The 2008 Election and the Iraq War Ripple

The 2008 Election and the Iraq War Ripple

Manchester Pride 2017
Source: Flickr

Time heals all wounds. That’s an old proverb.

But how much time? It probably depends on the wound. For now, no one can say that the United States is over the 9/11 attack. The attack, the Afghanistan war, and the Iraq war, have left a scar that will grow up and grow older with us, year after year, President after President.

It’s hard to find an American anymore who didn’t lose somebody close to them in the past seven years. Either you knew a firefighter or a work acquaintance who died in the World Trade Center, or you know a soldier who went overseas to a war they’re never coming back from. Some of us have lost children, or siblings, parents, or spouses. And now we have to figure out, without any help at all, whether how we vote in the 2008 election will mean we lose more people. And if so, how to vote right.

The United States is a land of fractured lines and jittery nerves. There are staunch war supporters. Attack forever! That is the way to stay safe. There are the war protesters. Never attack again! That will give no one a reason to attack us. There is the 9/11 Truth Movement. They think we were all fooled. They may even be right, but the mob frenzy makes it hard to tell. No two people seem to agree anymore on what happened, what the right thing to do is, or even whether it will happen again.

This makes the 2008 election one of the most decisive ever. The voters who come to the polls today won’t be the same ones who lightheartedly picked a candidate and shrugged prior to 2001. They come with a purpose. They will clutch their ballots in their hands, not even very sure if they can trust the government with their vote any more, and they will not reveal their decision until the last minute. Possibly because they don’t know that decision themselves until the last minute.

Lack of trust in government is everywhere. It used to be that the public questioned mainly the fiscal policy; as long as they had jobs and houses and cars, they were happy. But the past seven years have shown us a side of our government that some of us are shocked about. There is the question of torture; unspeakable a decade ago, but now it’s just one more check-box on the polls. Are you pro-torture or anti-torture? Should we build a wall around the United States? Should we allow spies in our homes? Should we abandon everything but the military, and become a nation at permanent war forever? Does anybody have rights? Any rights at all?

And is there really that much difference between the parties anymore? Many say that there isn’t; we have two right wings and no left. The Libertarian party is where the lefties are, now, and they’re down for the count. The Democrat and Republican side are the same side, with some check-boxes different. Unless you’re talking gay marriage; then nobody, not even the farthest-left Libertarian, will disagree. We are decisive on eliminating gayness from our society, and at least that will rid us of gay terrorists.

The United States, as a nation, will have its collective temperature taken this November, 2008. It is impossible to tell what will happen. But one thing is certain; by December, 2008, we will, at last, know what we were thinking. We hope that we can look back on what we were thinking, and be proud of ourselves.

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The quest for liberation and rights recognition

Have you ever heard of the term LGBT or GLBT to some? Well, this is actually a collective term used to refer to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals. When you hear the term “gay culture”, it usually refers to them.

The sexual revolution was said to have occurred in the 1960s and up until then, the LGBT community were referred to as the “third gender” or the “third sex”. Nowadays, people call members of this community as “homosexuals” or “homos” which in itself is a derogatory term.

In the past, bisexuals and transsexuals were not considered as a part of this community as they were believed to be nothing as men or women who were afraid to “come out” and admit their identities. This view started right after the Stonewall riots in the late 1970s to early 1980s. It was only in the 1990s that bisexuals and transsexuals were included in what we now call as the gay community.

Since then, the cry for liberation and the acceptance of the rights of the LGBT has been a constant debate among scholars, the church and lay people. Despite the widespread integration of LGBT communities to mainstream culture, it is undeniable that some people are apprehensive with the thought of having a neighbor who is lesbian or gay.

In the United Kingdom, a TV series entitled Queer as Folk rocked the whole world as it features the many problems encountered by gay people in their daily lives. It also shows the enticing night life that they experience and the fanfare of celebrations hosted by anyone belonging to the community. We also see the many stereotypes associated with gay people in general – the myths and the truths – the proliferation of drugs, sex and alcohol.

This is perhaps the reason why people look at gay individuals as immoral and undeserving of praise. If “normal” people can do things such as watch pornographic material and nobody has any qualms, a gay person caught watching gay sample video is regarded as lowly. This is something I do not understand. Gay people are individuals who have their own rights and are hoping for their own voice. If “straight” people can appear in adult films, why can’t gays appear in gay web cam sites? Sure we are in a sexual revolution, but this revolution is characterized more by the liberation of women than by those belonging to the subculture of the gay community.

A lot of times society treats people unfairly. A lot of the members of LGBT do something good for their community but no one notices. Maybe we think that it was their duty to pay off their mistakes. But that is blatantly cruel and unjust.

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The Perfect Gay Honeymoon

The Perfect Gay Honeymoon

Manchester Pride 2017
Source: Flickr


Since the Civil Partnership Bill for gays and lesbians becomes law on in UK many gay couples have decided to take the step and legalise their relationship.
And we are not talking about celebrities but about the normal gay couples.
Out Now Consulting, the marketing agency with a team of specialised marketers with high levels of expertise in understanding gay and lesbian customers revealed that “a total of 274,000 couples in the UK are expected to quickly get hitched which means that gay honeymoons are going to be booming.”

In spite of this new finding a report released at World Travel Market, the annual business to business exhibition that provides a unique opportunity for the whole global travel trade industry to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business, suggests that the travel trade is not taking the sector seriously. World Travel Market Special Report advises that the travel industry is failing to take the potential of gay honeymoons – despite more than 250,000 couples expected to get married.

Ian Johnson the director of Out Now Consulting stated that in spite that “there are nearly three million lesbians and gays in the UK and more than half of them are in committed relationships, the travel industry has to do much more if it is to capitalise on the new development with new products, new targeted marketing campaigns and more training for their staff.”

The research made on 1,000 readers of Diva and Gay Times shows that the average age of respondents was between 25-44 and the average income of £28,481 with almost twenty per cent of them earning more than £40,000.
The description for the perfect gay honeymoon is romantic. The Romantic atmosphere implies all places where you can hold hands, coo at each other, and generally act like Doris Day and Rock Hudson. The romantic accommodation doesn’t have to be a sumptuous suite (but it wouldn’t hurt), but it does have to be comfortable, airy, stylish and excitingly different from your usual bedroom. Romantic dining could mean a candlelight dinner at a table for two, a dining room with a view, or a really good room service menu.

The most common locations for gay honeymoons are beach locations. Hawaii is a honeymoon paradise, and a gay paradise, as it came very close to allowing same-sex marriage licenses. Hawaii has many gay-specific accommodations of the small bed & breakfast variety and it also has many deluxe mainstream resorts, and mixing a stay of the two varieties offers you the best of all worlds. Not every couple is looking for a beach holiday, and while some cities are hard pressed to provide the kind of romance that a perfect gay honeymoon requires many offer a perfect mix of gourmet food, cool bars and plenty of sights, art and culture during the day such as Florence, Rome & Venice in Italy, Barcelona in Spain and Monte Carlo in Monaco.
Plenty of Indian Ocean destinations offer picture perfect beaches, turquoise oceans and ooze charm and romance. Whilst couples that have got married after a very long engagement may look to Morocco, South Africa, or closer to home Italy, Spain and Greece since they offer lots of diversions and activities, and the ideal setting to rekindle romance.

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Same Sex Adoptions

Same Sex Adoptions

Studies have shown that children tend to blossom in same sex families. The problem is that only one parent is allowed to adopt. By not allowing both parents to adopt the child, it means that he law can not protect the rights of the co-parent. The co-parent should have rights such as knowing that if something where to happen to the other parent they would still be able to care for the child. The co-parent should also have rights if for some reason the couple should split up. The co-parent needs to be allowed to make decisions such as for medical treatment or for educational purposes.

Research has also shown that there are really is not a difference between straight and non straight couples when it comes to parenting. Both want what is best for their children. Just because a child is raised by a same sex couple does not meant that they are going to grow up to be non straight. But they do tend to handle people of different cultures better.

The outcome of a child being raised in a same sex home is unknown. Many same sex couples are finding it more and more difficult to adopt and instead turn to insemination or sera get mothers. Some states allow one parent to adopt and then the second parent to do a domestic stepparent adoption. There are no international adopting countries that allow same sex couples either and if you gay or lesbian and single, if you keep your sexuality under wraps you may have better luck adopting. In Massachusetts, California, and Vermont, where same sex marriage is legal, they still recommend that the second parent file for stepparent adoption. This way the federal government will recognize the legality of the parent-child relationship.

Other than there unique hang ups and legal difficulty, the process is typically the same. A home study is required. So are the standard background checks. None of the steps are different, only getting those accomplished takes some breaking through taboos and stereo types. In general a lot of red tape. In some cases things tend to go right through when the judge is on your side, if he or she is not then there could be friction there too.

Regardless of where you decide to adopt, one thing is for certain due to how new this idea is for mainstream America same sex adoptions are likely to be an uphill battle for some time to come. Gay and lesbian couples will still be able to adopt after overcoming the challenges of their sexual orientation. And though little is known about how same sex parenting impacts a child raised in these circumstances, one could scrutinize that many have adopted already, and there are a lot of well adjusted children living in those situations, or it would not still be allowed.

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Mainstream Dating or Adult?

Mainstream Dating or Adult?

8
Source: Flickr

It depends what your looking for but in general both sites will have something on offer. At the adult sites you can expect to find sex and erotic fantasy, lots of gay, lesbian and bisexual type members as well as swinger couples. At the mainstream sites you can expect to find sex and relationship types. It is less common to find a serious relationship on a full blown adult site but we do see some people looking…

The point is there is cross over from one to the other, I’ve seen women looking for relationships – long term type on adult sites and I just think no way your in the wrong place. Your going to get hammered with replies from guys who are just after a casuald fling every time so you must be kidding yourself. In contrast you do see quite a few girls advertise for guys and making a point of “not looking for anything serious or long term” It’s not uncommon.

The other shift we are seeing is the community nature of the sites coming into play, more and more people are using a website as a hangout rather than getting out to a regualr venue. Not sure how healthy this is but it is happening and as the new generation comes through it will only become more common. We may see a further fragmentation of the “dating industry” into niche groups of people with like minded interests.

So the question is pretty easy to answer – the adult site is going to be more of an adventure ride and the mainstream sites are more community contact find true love and romance. At the end of the day it is yoru choice as long as you go in knowing what to expect from each site. One thing is for sure your going to find lots of grey areas in between.

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Search Engine Rankings for Beginners

Search Engine Rankings for Beginners

Search Engine Ranking for Beginners
Search engine optimization is best left in the mystical land of the Intenet Marketing Guru right? Good Search engine rankings are tough to achieve. Understanding search engine marketing takes years of studying and only people with true insider knowledge and secret tools rank well in Google right? WRONG. Pure crap as a matter of fact.
Ranking well in the search engines is not difficult. In fact search engine optimization is relatively easy. What stops most people from ranking well in search engines is misinformation. Every week there’s yet another quick fix to ranking well in search engines and people jump from one quick fix to the next hoping for that Top 10 position in Google and never achieving it.
There are 6 key areas of search engine optimization that you need to know about. These are the basics. Getting these right will help you achieve the Google rankings that you’ve always wanted.
Domain Name – The jury is still out on the how relevant a keyword rich domain name is. What I mean by keyword rich domain name is say for example your site was going to be about money making ideas then an idea domain name could be either www.moneymakingideas.com or www.money-making-ideas.com. My own personal preference is with the hyphenated approach e.g. www.money-making-ideas.com simply because I believe that search engines can read it more easily. To registed your domain name I would suggest using either 000Domains.com or GoDaddy.com
Content – Useful content. Not keyword stuffed, spammy pages. Write something useful for your visitors. If you can’t write then you’ll need to learn. Turn Words Into Traffic is a great resource for learning how to write content and is a resource that I use personally. Turn Words Into Traffic gives you an A-Z on article writing – from a writers perspective. If you don’t want to learn how to write content then you could always use Create Website Content Fast to help you speed the process up.
Keywords – Keywords are the words or phrases that you expect people to search for your site/service/content with. There are two distinct factors to consider when choosing keywords for your site.
1. You need to target specific keywords. For example if you have a website about dating then you’ll probably find it quite difficult to achieve high search engine rankings initially with that single term. However if you were to refine an area of your site to target say Gay & Lesbian Dating that’s more specific. You could also regionalize your keywords or key phrases e.g. Gay & Lesbian dating in Toronto. This refining process is often referred to as niche (pronounced neech) marketing.
2. You need to choose the keywords that you want people to find your site with. Put yourself in your visitors shoes – think about what they might use to find you in the search engines. What keywords or key phrases would you type into a search engine to find your site? What keywords or key phrases would your potential visitor use to search for you? Always, always think like a typical websurfer.
If you’re interested in seeing what people are searching for on the web and how profitable that might be for you I would recommened that you check out Good Keywords. It’s free and does a wonderful job of helping you find good keywords ๐Ÿ™‚
I would also suggest that you try Wordtracker also. It’s a brilliant service for tracking down specific, popular keywords.
Keyword density – This is how often your keyword is used on the the page itself. For example if you have 100 words of text on a single page and you mention your keyword 5 times then you have 5% keyword density.
Opinions vary on this but anywhere from 1% – 7% is considered ideal. If this doesn’t make sense to you then it’s ok. The simple rule is this: less is more. Do not alter the text on your webpages to include your keyword over and over again because………well…. it looks stupid, won’t instill any confidence in your prospective customer and might also get you penalized or removed from the search engines.
Page title – Your tag is critical to your page being ranked well. Stuffing your tag with keywords in the hope of ranking well is pointless. Your tag, once constructed properly, will see you moving up the search engine rankings quickly. Bear this simple fact in mind when building your websites and it will serve you well.
Links – Having good links pointing to your site and good links within your site (an often overlooked aspect of search engine optimization) is pretty important as far as search engine ranking goes. Having other sites linking to yours proves the importance of your site to the search engines i.e. if the content on your site is so valuable that other site owners want to link to it then it must be important.
META Tags – Meta tags are dead baby. Well not quite dead but they are only used as a point of reference for search engines. It’s a shame to see websites that have their META tags still stuffed with keywords. It’s pointless. Put your primary keywords in the Meta Keyword part of your webpage but apart from that don’t lose any sleep or waste any energy on them.
There’s not enough space in this article to explain all of the above in the detail that I’d love to. Also I’m not a search engine expert so some of the explanation is best left to those that I learned from (Sean Burns and Jay Stockwell take a bow please ๐Ÿ™‚
Having learned the basics of search engine optimization and submission I have achieved Top 10 Rankings for all of my websites. It’s not hard to do this. It just takes work, a little patience and a little common sense.
Recommended reading:
Rankings Revealed
Microsite Miracles

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Gay Marriage ‘Rights’

Gay Marriage ‘Rights’

nonsummerjack (43)
Source: Flickr

We have been brought up in a society where homosexuality is not acknowledged. To be in love with someone of the same sex is a sin and now to want the rights to live united under the bonds of matrimony is even a huger sin. But my thoughts are if a same sex couple want to unite for the rest of their lives let them. It’s none of our business.
Maybe allowing people the right to marry someone of the same sex is upsetting to you but how would you feel if our culture believed in say arranged marriage and you were forced to marry someone you didn’t love. Now think about it. Is it really fair for us to force the gay community to be with someone they do not want to be with. Should they not have the same rights as heterosexuals, to spend the rest of their lives united under the bonds of matrimony.
Question your child says mom and dad , I’m love with someone of the same sex. Do you accept them or turn them away ? What happen to loving your child unconditionally and accepting them as they are. I know the Bible says it’s a sin, but it also says that the only unforgivable sin is not accepting Jesus. If a gay person accepts Jesus ,but does not change his lifestyle, can he go to heaven?
John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” there is only one sin that is unforgivable. That is the sin of not believing and not receiving Jesus Christ into your life. God is the only one who truly knows our hearts. Some have reason that a child in a same sex marriage might be teased .But that same reasoning you would be outlawing inter-racial marriage because the child might be teased or let’s outlaw people with disabilities from getting married. After all the child might get teased. How far do we take it? When to stop teaching our children hatred and bigotry?
People said the same thing when we allowed blacks the same rights as whites, or when we allowed women the right to vote, or when we allowed blacks and whites to marry each other. People went off about society. I don’t believe that religion actually has a whole lot to do with it. I believe that it is ignorance and fear (mostly).
But in the interest of fair play with the people who do not believe that homosexuals should be granted the right, that is your right to think that. I don’t agree with it. however I do respect it. However what is it with thinking that a homosexual relationship is all about sex. If sex without the possibility of creating life is wrong, then you better start warning people about masturbation.
Like everyone on this earth gays have the right to be happy. I’ am sickened by the sheer volumes of people on this earth that seem to believe it’s their duty to correct the gay community on their lifestyle. Gay people are still human, and homophobes need to find a healthy hobby, instead of bashing things they are threatened by or don’t understand. These people don’t wake up one day and say “I’m going to be gay just for fun, let’s go! “, it’s a natural part of their existence, and to be hated for something they have no control over is as ignorant, old-world, and pathetic as being racist to others with different color skin.
Marriage is really about forming a permanent bond with someone that you love deeply and want to spend the rest of your life with, as well as create your own family with. Being homosexual It’s not an anomaly or some freakish disease that they can take pills for, it’s natural. Not everyone is the same, this is evident in skin colors and physical appearances I think same sex marriages should be allowed – they are human beings after all and deserve just as much respect as anyone else – basic human rights!
We must accept that people are who they are, and we shouldn’t exclude them from anything – including the right to live happily married together. The way I look at it is this: A person’s sexual orientation is his or her personal lifestyle. No one has to agree with it but him or her. You aren’t forced to accept or condone it, but you have to live with it.
Who cares if another man or woman chooses to live that certain lifestyle? It doesn’t affect me and frankly, it’s none of my gosh-darned business. They don’t sticking their nose in my bedroom , I’m not about to go snooping in theirs. Why do so many people feel the need to stick their noses where they obviously don’t belong? I seem to remember something from the Bible that said, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Homophobia, like racism, is ignorance. We hate and fear what we don’t understand. I am not gay, but I couldn’t care less if someone else is. I say hell let them get married
Which brings us to another point: God. Actually it’s not so much God as it is all God’s followers who use the Bible as an excuse to condemn homosexuality. God is a loving God. Why do some people feel that they must do the hating for Him? While is it he preaches love and forgiveness and some of his followers preach gay bashing and intimidation. Bigots!
Marriage is a basic human , the state should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully an equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage.” The people who get me are the ones who slam gays as sinners but have engaged in rampant pre-marital sex, something the bible also clearly frowns upon. According to the bible any sexual relationship outside of a committed marriage relationship between one man and one woman demeans the institution of marriage and is a sin. That would include adultery.
What about Divorce Many Roman Catholics have reached different beliefs about when, if ever, the Bible permits divorce and remarriage. According to the Bible, 43% of the same people who condemn a gay man for his homosexuality choose to live in a life of adultery, a sin that’s equal to homosexuality in God’s eyes. We are not ruled by the bible last I looked. There is a difference between legal and moral. Many things in Todays society are immoral however they are still legal. Therefore who is the Government to decide what is legal based on their opinion that they feel it is immoral.
I sure as hell don’t support the state’s tendency to attempt to legislate morality based on a typically narrow world or religious view. That’s not what freedom is about. I know gays and lesbians that have been good and faithful parents. On the other hand I have seen straight families that mentally abused if not physically abused their children. I believe people should have all of the legal rights possible and if that means we call it a marriage then so be it.
If two committed partners want to legally formalize their relationship, why should the Government prevent them from joining, even if no church will marry them. After all, we allow atheists to get married and they certainly don’t go in for the whole religious ceremony.

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Online Dating Dos and Donโ€™ts

Online Dating Dos and Don’ts

292 of Year 4 - Gay pride police car
Source: Flickr


Virtual reality and artificial intelligence nowadays solve problems that we find almost impossible to solve in real life.
One of the problems that is being solved expertly on the great world wide web is that of creating well matched couples and finding people perfect partners. In case you are also looking for a relationship, but cannot seem to find someone who suits your taste, then joining and searching through internet dating sites might turn out to be a good option for you.

A few dos and don’ts that should help you in getting the optimum results out of your forays on internet dating sites are given below.

• First and foremost, find dating sites that cater to “your” kind of people. Different people have different tastes, hobbies, interests and sexual inclinations. So, if you cannot think of a partner or date who does not share your interest in dancing, then make sure that you log on to a dating site that specially caters to people who love dance. Similarly, if you are gay or lesbian, then a dating site catering specially towards homosexual dating may carry more profiles of interest to you than a regular dating site. However, most good dating websites carry loads and loads of profiles which you can sort through on the basis of a number of criteria in order to find your perfect matches.

• Once you have decided which dating sites you want to be a member of, then create a nice, informative and friendly profile. Your name, age and geographical location does matter, but most people would dither from going on a blind date with just “Tom,29,Washington”. Therefore it is important that you fill in as many details about your profession, education, interests, activities and hobbies as possible, so that people with similar interests can find you easily.

• A picture speaks more than a thousand words! If this fact was not true, then this statement would not have made it through centuries and centuries of linguistic evolution. So make sure that you put in a good picture of yours on your profile. If you are really shy and do not want everybody in the world to know what you look like, then you can also put in a movie star or cartoon character that you think resembles you the most. You can also put in an Avatar, but try to make sure that that the people who date you do not think you are someone else unless you are on the dating site for the sole purpose of fooling people.

• Your profile is your one and only introduction to a large number of strangers who could become close friends given the right kind of encouragement. So make sure that your profile is written in correct language, is easy to read and is not full of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Putting profanities and peculiar slang on your profile is also a big no no, unless you are posting it on an adults only site. Similarly ,refrain from putting vulgar pictures or snaps of your privates unless you are on a site where everybody else has done the same thing.

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