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OVATION: GUEST POST – Regarding Kim Davis And Other County Clerks Whose Religious Beliefs Prevent Them From Fulfilling The Duties The Taxpayers Pay Them To Perform.

County ClerkWhen civil servants, or public and government officials begin refusing to do the job for which they were hired (to serve the citizens) because of their religious beliefs, then they have constitutionally disqualified themselves from serving as a civil servant or a public or government official.

The debate is not one of marriage equality – that issue is over and settled.  The debate now is whether or not an individual’s religious beliefs should be a disqualifying consideration for that individual to be hired into, or have their employment continued, as a civil servant or public or government official if those beliefs interfere with the performance of that person’s duties while being paid with tax dollars.

The Supreme Court, in last June’s landmark ruling in favor of nation-wide marriage equality, did not “redefine” marriage.  This is a nation of laws.  The Court’s responsibility is to interpret the United States Constitution – not a religion or ideology.

GuestBloggerThe preface of the United States Constitution contains 52 words, which delineate the six fundamental principles for which the entire Constitution is written to preserve.

People, particularly those who claim to have, but obviously have not read the Opinion of the Court, do not realize that aside from the 14th amendment and other Constitutional justifications cited in the Court’s decision regarding marriage equality, the decision also supported five of the six fundamental principles;

1.) To form a more perfect Union;

2.) Establish Justice;

3.) Insure domestic Tranquility;

4.) Promote the general Welfare;

 5.) Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

The sixth principle is to provide for the common defense (spelled defence in the original text.)

Many of those who are protesting the Opinion of the Court have also not read or studied the United States Constitution.

The Constitution is readily available via Google. Anyone who is interested can download a PDF of the Court’s decision can CLICK HERE.

Dave KochDave Koch specializes in consultant services via on-site or his virtual office.  His primary interests are start-ups, seed capitalization, corporate turnarounds and the development and implementation of earned income strategies for underperforming assets.  He does a fair amount of writing, too. Other samples can be found at The Sextant.

 

 

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Diatribe: Five “Trumpisms” To Make Us Think.

Trump 2There’s no question that Donald Trump is comfortable in front of television cameras and since, according to recent polls, he’s the current favorite in the enormous lineup of GOP 2016 Presidential hopefuls it’s not surprising that he commanded the most attention during last night’s televised debate.

Not surprisingly, a good deal of the attention that he received was the result of some of the bizarre things that he had to say … or didn’t say … as he avoided answering questions and talked in circles seemingly focused more on being entertaining than honest.  Here are five of the most obnoxious things he had to say.

KellyWhen Fox moderator Megyn Kelly challenged Trump about his history of referring to women as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,” Trump responded: “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”

Trump explained why he believes the United States has failed to secure its border: “Our leaders are stupid, our politicians are stupid and the Mexican government is much smarter.”

Confronted with his past donations to Hillary Clinton, Trump explained that he was just trying to buy influence over her: “With Hillary, I said be at my wedding. And she came to my wedding. She had no choice.”

Trump gave his polite assessment of President Obama’s foreign policy: “I would say he’s incompetent, but I don’t want to do that, because that’s not nice.”

iranHe described how Iran would benefit from the newly signed nuclear agreement: “If Iran was a stock you should go out and buy it, cause you’ll quadruple.”

If the object of last night’s debate was to generate the most “buzz” in the media then Trump was the clear winner.  If the purpose of his appearance was to be taken seriously as a politician and the potential leader of the free world … maybe not.

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Ovation: Christ Hyndman (March 3, 1966 – August 3, 2015)

chris-hyndmanpicWhen we bought our home in December 2001 it was a true “fixer upper”.  The house was built in the 1970s and we found ourselves surrounded by more paneling and Berber carpeting than humans should have to endure. We were proud of our new “nest” and determined to make it as beautiful as possible … on a new-homeowner budget, of course.

Like many, we turned to cable channel HGTV for ideas and inspiration.  We learned from programs like Holmes on Homes, Design on a Dime and Designers’ Challenge, which were the networks newest and most up-to-date programs of the time.  But our favorite was always Designer Guys starring Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman.

Sabados and Hyndman, both born in Canada, joined forces in 1992 to form the design company The Sabados Group.  After making appearances on a variety of home decorating shows they were asked to audition for HGTV.  Together, the calm and suave Steven and the dynamic and quick-witted Chris sealed the deal and have been on television ever since staring in not only Designer Guys, but Design Rivals and the highly rated personal make-over program So Chic with Steven and Chris that still airs on the CBC, the English-language unit of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Until today when it was announced that Steven and Chris has been pulled from the pub broadcaster’s schedule.

The body of Christopher Hyndman was found in an alleyway in Toronto’s east end Monday night.  Police have reported that Hyndman, 49, was found without vital signs in an alleyway near the intersection of Queen Street and Broadview Avenue … near the apartment where he lived with Sabados, his off-screen partner of more than twenty-five years… shortly after 11:00 p.m. Monday.

book“When I was a little kid living in St John’s, Nfld., suicide was on my mind a lot because I had nowhere to go when I was 12, 13, 14, to talk about it. There was no Will & Grace. The ones that were role models for us were caricatures of being gay. That wasn’t really what you really wanted to represent yourself. I ended up being one, but I didn’t necessarily want to be at the time.” – Chris Hyndman

Police are not appealing for witnesses and an investigation is said to be underwear by the Toronto police department who will not comment further until completing interviews.

I think we’ve still got a copy of the 2004 best-seller Designer Guys: Finding Your Personal Style.  I think I’ll dig it out and look through it again.

I’ll grieve a bit for Steven Sabados in the home that he and Christopher inspired us to decorate.

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Diatribe: Good Bye Cecil … Hello Cecily’s $2,500 Artificial Drumstick.

chicken legThe death of Cecil the Lion, a black-maned lion kill by Minnesota big-game hunter Dr. Walter Palmer in a Zimbabwean National Park has been in the news for a while now and folks don’t seem to be backing away from the subject.  People can are very selective in their attitudes when it comes to threatened species and the attention resulting from this incident could be put to much better use.  Shelters in my city, for example, are at capacity leading them to waive fees in hopes of finding new caregivers for the many homeless dogs and cats in their care.

Surely, every pet lover will have their own take on the situation.

I’ve brought our dog to the vet twice in the last ten days.  Veterinarian bills can add up quickly.  I suppose, to a point, it’s because the patients can’t actually discuss their symptoms with their doctor that so many expensive tests become necessary in order to diagnose a pet’s ailment.  The amount of money

“To each his own” when it comes to loving animals, I suppose, but the financial decisions made by some animal lovers simply don’t make sense.  Andrea Martin of Clinton, Massachusetts, is a woman who one might question.

Ms. Martin, who specialized in chicken rehabilitation and rescue (apparently, that’s a thing) owns a hen who will be fitted with a prosthetic leg.  Ms. Martin will be paying $2,500.00 for Wednesday’s operation at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine out of her own pocket.  Martin’s chicken, named Cecily,  was born with a damaged tendon that makes her right leg useless.  A specialist in avian orthopedics (apparently, that’s a thing) will amputates Cecily’s bad leg and then, after a 10- to 14-day recovery period, a prosthetic chicken leg made on a 3-D printer will be fitted.

Yes, Martin is willingly funding a two thousand five hundred dollar artificial drumstick.

Cecil’s death was a tragic loss and I certainly believe that Dr. Palmer should be held accountable for his part in the illegal manner in which he was killed.  The price the doctor paid to hunt Cecil was reportedly more than $50,000.00 and makes Ms. Martin’s $2,500 payment seem like a bargain.

Wouldn’t it behoove those who are angered by the death of Cecil the Lion to focus their energy on more positive outcomes than online rants?  Perhaps Cecil’s death could be a call to spread worldwide awareness regarding endangered species and man’s destruction of their natural habitat?  It’s easy to complain and judge on the internet but if every online commenter were to donate the price of a(n) (average, not Cecily’s right) chicken leg to their local animal shelter or to a global relief fund the results would be far greater.

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Ovation: Happy Birthday, Natalie Carson. You Are Not Alone!

NATALIE-CARSON-largeMy birthday was last week.  I’ve had a lot of them.  I always joke and say that “It beats the alternative!”  They’ve all been good.  I hope I have a lot more.  I, generally, don’t like to be the center of attention but, once a year on my “special day” I acquiesce and let my loved ones celebrate ME.  I don’t think I’ve ever been alone on my birthday.  I consider myself extremely fortunate in that regard.

Today is Natalie Carson’s twentieth birthday.

Last week Natalie, who lives in Colorado, after years of lonely and painful birthdays decided that this one would be different.  The determined teen turned to Craigslist to look for people willing to act like a loving family to help her celebrate her birthday.  In an advertisement posted on the free online classifieds website, Carson explained that she’s a young, female college student looking to “rent” a family with whom she might celebrate her birthday.  She explained that she had aged out of the foster care system after years of living in an abusive household in Georgia.

Natalie Carson's Craig's List Ad

Carson, who even offered to pay eight dollars per hour to make her birthday special, has explained in interviews that when she left the foster care system, she moved to Denver where she was homeless for a time before getting a GED and continuing to take computer science classes.

“I just want one day that I can feel important and special, and like I matter if I really don’t. I have never had a good birthday so I figure why not this birthday.” – Natalie Carson

Inspired by another girl in California who rented a family via Craigslist for the holidays, Carson has received thousands of replies via email, with some families offering to visit her in Colorado and bring gifts.  She thinks she may have found a family to celebrate with.

I hope she has the best birthday ever.

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Diatribe: Don’t Drink And Bake.

Burning cookiesLast month our oven stopped working.  We knew that it was on the fritz and assumed that there was something wrong with the thermostat because we had to leave our frozen pizzas in longer than usual and at a slightly higher temperature.  The oven is about ten years old and its heating element had simply given out.  An easy enough fix, we thought, until we tried to find a new part.

Finding a replacement heating element for a ten-year-old oven is a bigger chore than one might think.  We learned the hard way that, although it’s possible to find same-day-delivery when buying a whole oven, you can’t just buy the individual parts.

Unlike 28-year-old Caitlin Marie Patterson of Muncie, Indiana, we went without an oven for weeks.  Earlier this week, Ms. Patterson was enjoying her fully functioning oven by baking cookies while getting tipsy.  Unfortunately, she got so drunk that she fell asleep … with her four children in the apartment at the time … and smoke from her burning cookies set off a fire alarm that caused a neighbor to call 911.  When firefighters arrived at about 1:30 a.m., they found her asleep in bed and her kids, unharmed, in the living room.

A witness reportedly stated that there were no visible flames but the apartment was very smoky and smelled bad and police noted that Ms. Patterson staggered and swayed as she stood.  Her blood alcohol level was allegedly 0.115, far above the state’s limit for driving of 0.08, and marijuana was found with her on her bed.

Ms. Patterson was charged with four counts of neglect of a dependent and possession of marijuana.  Child protective services was involved and her children are now with their grandmother.

As for our oven adventure …

After, eventually, finding the model number of our oven we were able to order the replacement element online and it was delivered to our home in less than ten days.  It was installed in less than ten minutes and we enjoyed a frozen pizza for dinner that night.

Nobody got drunk.  Nobody fell asleep.  Nothing burned.  The authorities were not involved.

Don’t drink and bake.

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