Chuck Norris is a giant douche / Bigotry in America

I can’t really believe I’m bothering to comment on something Chuck Norris said, but I just can’t help myself and it segues nicely into something that’s been bothering me very much.

First a little back story.

According to his entry on Wikipedia (don’t worry, it’s got several legitimate references on what I’m about to mention, check them out for yourself) Mr. Norris has done the following:

  • Married Diane Holechek in 1958
  • Had his first son, Mike, with Diane in 1963
  • Had his first daughter, Dina, not with Diane in 1964
  • Had his second son, Eric, with Diane in 1965
  • Divorced Diane in 1988
  • Married Gena O’Kelley in 1998
  • Had twins with Gena in 2001

So what am I getting at, and why is Chuck Norris a giant douche?

Recently Mr. Norris posted a little diatribe to the internet about the recent protests proceeding the passing of Proposition 8.

Now, before I continue I will say one thing.  I do agree with him that these protests should not involve violence.  Causing physical injury to others or damaging personal property is clearly sending the wrong message.  Martin Luther King Jr. understood in the ’60’s that peaceful protest was the best method and so should those continuing the fight for equality today.  (Odd that we are still fighting for equality in the US four decades later don’t you think?)

All that said, I’ll get to my point.

Mr. Norris claimed that the protests and rallies occurring in California and around the nation equated to a desire for anarchy.  That somehow these hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people that are publicly displaying their outrage for the passing of this hateful legislation are giving up on democracy and calling for anarchy is outrageous.  Mr. Norris has clearly never heard of or fully understood the concept of “tyranny of the majority” and would presumably be a-ok with a majority of his fellow citizens taking away just about any of the rights currently bestowed upon him by the US or his states constitution.

Before I cut Chuck Norris out of this I will mention why I felt the need to provide a mini bio on Mr. Norris earlier.  Here we have a man that is ok in defending those that proposed and passed a proposition that’s aim was to “protect” marriage.  Now he may not have said that he stands behind Proposition 8 exactly, if he did at some point I couldn’t find a reference to that effect, but in defending the actions of those that supported it, and saying to the opponents, tough luck, that’s democracy for yah, he might as well have.  If you accept my argument that he’s indeed defending the defense of marriage argument, I have one question.  Who is he to be defending those that think they are defending marriage?  The guy cheated on his wife between his first and second child, subsequently fathering an illegitimate child, divorced, and later remarried.  Marriage is under attack not by those that don’t have the right to marry, but by those that do!  That’s enough of Chuck Norris.  I promise never to mention his name again.

My Generations Fight for Equality
Californians just wrote into their constitution legislation that flat out takes away rights from a minority.  Just to say it again.  The majority of human beings in California decided that a minority of other human beings are not worthy of the same rights and privileges that they are.  If that doesn’t absolutely disgust you I honestly have no idea what would.  Every generation seems to have it’s own fight for equality and this is my generations.  Although this time it’s a little different.  This fight is being fought on two fronts.  On the one hand this fight is to grant rights to a class of people that has truly never had them.  On the other hand the fight is against those that are not happy enough with people just not having these rights, they want the rights specifically taken away from them if current laws don’t make it clear enough already.  What year is it again?

Bigotry in America?  You betcha!

Well, if it isn’t obvious enough yet that I vehemently oppose Propositon 8 and any law that tries to accomplish the same goals, then you haven’t really been paying attention.  I supported No on 8 financially as best I could.  I couldn’t vote or fly to California to help oppose the proposition physically, so I did what I could.  For that matter it seems like others from out of state did what they could to support the proposition.  The Mormon Church (Utah), The Knights of Columbus (Global), Focus on the Family (Colorado), and countless individuals.  I think it says a lot about the people supporting the proposition and their reasons for supporting it when you realize that these religious organizations, and their followers, were among Proposition 8’s largest donors.  I may not be religious myself, in fact it’s this very type of religious bigotry that pushed me away from it all together, but I honestly have no problem with you following whatever religion you’d like.  Be that a religion that’s extremely out of touch with the issues facing the world today, you can name just about any main stream religion as far as I’m concerned, or a religion that’s based on the writings of an unsuccessful science fiction writer.  Believe what you must to get you through the day.

Do not, however, think that you can take your dogma and force it on me or anyone else that disagrees with you.  Define marriage as it pertains to your religion however you’d like.  I don’t care if that means only men and women can get “married” in your church or that a man can “marry” however many women he’d like, or that the color of each individuals skin must be the same to “marry.”  Make up whatever crazy rules you’d like and “protect” YOUR definition of marriage, whatever that may be.  My definition of marriage affords every human being the same rights and I am in no way forcing this definition on your religious beliefs.

These bigots, religious or not, fail to recognize time and time again that marriage at the state/federal level is completely different than at a religious level.  Marriage at the state/federal level grants rights that only that level of government has the power to do so.  Over 1000 individual rights depending on who’s counting them and how they’re counting them.  Marriage at the religious level grants religious rights only.  The two are completely independent.  If I’d like to get married tomorrow all it takes are a few forms and signatures at the local courthouse, not church.  Likewise if I meet the requirements of a certain religion I would have no problem marrying in their church.  That marriage in itself does not entitle me to the rights millions of Americans are demanding.  In order to be granted those rights I would have to, you guessed it, go to the court house and acquire a marriage license administered by the government.  What’s so hard to understand here?

I’m absolutely disgusted that millions of Americans were given the opportunity to vote hate and unequal rights into their own constitution.  I’m even more disgusted that some chose to use that opportunity to force their bigoted views upon millions of others that merely want to be treated as equals.

I’m sure I could go on, and I might in a later post, but for now I’m done.



New York City - New Years Eve 2006!

We’re headed to Times Square!  It’s a mere 7.5 miles from here but a cab costs $60.  Wonderful!  We’ve got other plans to get there but we’ll see how that works out.  Bye for now and Happy New Year!


More Photos (Philly)

Here they are!



Some Photos!

Here they are.  I’m sure I’m missing some good ones but here’s a start.


Driving through Canada

Niagara Falls

Driving to Philadelphia 

John and Jenna

answers (1)

Niagara Falls, ON to Swedesboro NJ Coming Soon!

Time to unpack and rest.  We’ll update later!


Niagara Falls Day 2

·    Sleep in until noon.
·    At 12:15 finally get Jenna out of bed.
·    Shower, get dressed, etc, and head out for the day!
·    Take more pictures of the falls during the day.
·    Stop to get a snack at Table Rock.  Pizza Pizza, not to be confused with Little Caesers (which they also have here in Canada), is supposedly Ontario’s best pizza.  Though this claim can not be validated since this is the ONLY pizza we’ve ever had from Ontario, it was quite delicious.
·    Jenna hear’s her first “eh” while waiting in line for pizza.  She is excited beyond all belief.
·    Get in line for Journey Behind the falls.  Wait in line.  Pay for tickets.  And then this…
Ticket Seller:  Enjoy the falls!
John:  You too!
·    Jenna promptly points out what I just said and promises to make sure it’s well documented.
·    We take our “homecoming” photo in front of a green screen before getting on an elevator to take us down into falls.
·    Take a look through two portals located directly behind the falls.  Not much to see, just falling water through a large hole.
·    Final stop before ascending to the surface is the upper observation just a few meters away from the side of the falls.  It made for some sweet photos.
·    Spend the next several hours walking down the river towards Rainbow bridge.  Several souvenir shops, the Hershey’s store, some actual souvenir shopping, and a whole lot of walking around some of the shadier tourist areas finally led us to Hooters.
·    Sitting behind us were too very regular Canadian’s.  Jenna had the privilege of eavesdropping on their extremely Canadian accents.  More authentic “ehs” could be heard.  Our trip could have ended right there and she would have been happy.
·    A stop at the hotel to get off our feet and to drop off our purchases was much in need.
·    To wrap up the evening we decided on some Applebee’s desert.  Jenna ordered the apple chimicheesecake and I ordered the Holiday Bread Pudding.  Both were as delicious as they could ever be.  Oh, did I mention Jenna ordered a Long Island Iced Tea?  She was after all only legal for 12 more hours.
·    A quick stop back at the 24 hour souvenir shop and Jenna had herself a nice Canadian Hoody.
·    Before heading home and retiring for the evening we had one more stop.  The Fallsview Casino and Resort!  Not having any idea what we were supposed to do we walked around the casino for a few minutes before cashing in our $5 USD bills for some Loonies.  Now we had to figure out what do with the slot machines.  Eventually we sat down at some nickel slots complete with handles and had at it.  Long story short Jenna and I lost our $5.  BUT we did walk out with some sweet change cups!  Thanks to the nice gentleman cleaning the casino who was nice enough to ask if we could indeed walk out with them.


Niagara Falls Day 1

·    We decide to take the Yahoo! directions instead of the exits pointing to Niagara Falls.  At this point we don’t actually know where the hotel is and we’re just driving around the town of Niagara Falls.  Eventually the road we’re on heads past all of the hotels and falls.  Continuing on is useless as it merely follows the river towards the power plant with no turn towards the hotel district in sight.  We turn around and head back finally making it to the hotel.
·    Upon checking in we find out parking is $20 a day.  Also, I have no idea where the valet took my car!  I become slightly worried.
·    After checking in and taking a brief, much needed nap, we head down to the river to view the lights on the falls and the Festival of Lights.  We are surprised with a fantastic fireworks show on our way down to the river and watch with our nice hot
Starbucks hot chocolate in hand.
·    Many pictures of the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls are taken and we enjoy the light display set up as part of the Festival of Lights.
·    We make the trek back up Murray street.  This is literally like hiking up the side of a small mountain.  At the summit we find a 24 hour souvenir shop and take a look around.
·    Our hunger has now finally caught up with us and we decided to have our first real meal at the Applebee’s.  It’s very important to note that the apostrophe in Applebee’s was a genuine Canadian maple leaf!  Canada is also still enjoying the Apple Chimicheesecake that Applebee’s has long deprived the United States of.  Oh, and Jenna orders a chocolate martini!  That’s right, you can drink, smoke, and gamble your money away at 19 here.
·    We retire to our hotel for the evening.


Chicago to Niagara Falls, ON via Detroit

Officially the longest I have EVER driven in one day. Atlanta and Daytona don’t really count because I was able to kick up my feet and take a nice nap while someone else drove. Jenna was nice enough to stay awake the entire time! Here’s a quick recap, bullet style.

· McDonalds on Harlem: breakfast of champions!
· No “Welcome to Indiana” sign on 80/94. Hello to you too Indiana!
· Indiana, home of “adult” stores and fireworks. Krazy Kaplans buy one get one free!
· Jenna fumbles with the camera as we enter Michigan. No “Welcome to Michigan” photos.
· Michigan, second home of “adult” stores and fireworks. X – It here for books, movies, and arcade!
· Stop in Jackson, MI at rest stop. There’s a reason all the other rest stops are under construction.
· Gas stop near Ann Arbor, MI. Hot dogs and Bawls. Sugar free Bawls for Jenna!
· Detroit, MI. Home of every company’s automotive division and more bridges than we could count.
· Saw the skyline for about 5 seconds when 94 permitted.
· Final stretch to Canada!
· Blue Highway Bridge to Canada: $1.50 USD.
· Show the nice man my passport and drivers license. I will be visiting Niagara Falls for 2-3 days and I’m not currently transporting tobacco or alcohol. Canada let’s us in!
· Decide to follow gentleman from Michigan, seems to know what he’s doing.
· Change car from US to metric. Now doing 115 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. Keeping up with Americans, passing the Canadians.
· Realize that all measures of distance and temperature in the cars computer have been converted. My car has been driven 47,000km, our trip has been 700 or so km, the outside temp is 2, the inside temp is 22. I’ll spare you the rest of the measurements.
· Find amusement that highway markers are little crowns.
· Finally get passed by a Canadian.
· Road is smooth, straight, and cuts through farmland. Much like Illinois’ 39.
· Tim Horton’s are at every major exit. Decide to stop for some donuts and a much needed bathroom break.
· Our first interaction in Canada goes smoothly. The Tim Hortons does not accept credit cards but graciously accepts my $20 USD bill instead. No stereotypical Canadian accents here.
· Brentford, Ontario, “The Telephone City”
· The sun has set as we enter the Niagara Escapement. The surrounding town is lit up with lights and traffic. And on the shores giant flames shoot out from stacks from what we could only assume was an oil refinery. A sight to see as we passed through the town.
· More driving on QEW towards Niagara Falls.


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