Thursday, May 31, 2007
"Times" Letter to the Editor
A clip from PBS FRONTLINE'S "The Dark Side"-Offers details on the lead to Iraq
Thursday, May 24, 2007
BY CODY LYON
BY CODY LYON
The weather goes from cool to warm and the sun is bright this particular Thursday in
The park is crowded, the playground full of kids, the grass covered with sun bathers, the dog run is noisy, chaotic.
At the dog run, people gather, watching the dogs, apparently a fight has broken out, first between dogs then it spreads among humans. One man pushes another, barks and shouts are traded, as all the dog owners yell at an older man, because of what they say is an aggressive dog.
But the cell phone rings, it’s a friend in
She’s been dating a new guy, she thinks she really likes him and he’s taking her on a trip to
Near the end, she asks the price of gas and says that it's over $3 a gallon down there. Fortunately, she drives a compact car.
Meanwhile, the older man in the dog run is not leaving, voices are even louder, the others appear mad, they keep shouting at him to leave, the dogs keep barking.
The phone rings again, it’s another really good friend, it goes to voicemail.
“Hey, I’ve had a problem and I need some advice” the message he left said.
Later, after doing some work, a bike ride is taken across the village on
The bike makes it to Christopher Street the river is in sight, headed towards the pier, there’s music everywhere, smiles cross many faces, but up ahead there is congestion.
Two women in a car are blocking traffic, apparently one took another home, the street is narrow, they’re in an SUV, cars begin backing up, horns are being honked. Finally one of the women gets out, she’s young, very pretty and she appears oblivious to the anger behind her.
In one of the cars behind the two’s, a man who is driving and listening to disco music hollers at her, she doesn’t appear to hear it.
“I’d like to go home too b*tch ” he screams in a slightly southern accent, while she climbs onto the sidewalk with her IPOD head-phones on.
Once the biker makes it to the river, the sun is gone and the sky is filled with pinks, orange and streaks of red. The river glistens, almost metallic, as the rays of light glimmer from the west that is
To the south, is
A man walks by, he smiles, a smile is returned, here appears the peace and that moment of reflection only sharable by writing it down.
A couple walks by, they are laughing, holding hands, one of them just told a story about his Mother and the fact that her voice cracks when she's angry.
A large number of joggers are out, all shapes, all sizes, some run fast, as if they're catching up on training for a marathon. They compete with bikers for space. Sometimes, the shoot each other nasty looks.
In the grass, two women on a blanket appear to have brought in some wine, they better be careful, the park police will give them a ticket.
The view to the south offers
The night before, PBS “Newshour” was watched, part of a report was aired, it was called “The Costs of War in
Part of the story showed returning Army reservist Brad Heun of
The “Newshour” report showed Huen as he struggled to get up out of a chair, obviously in great pain. It also offered a photograph of Heun, at an earlier date, a well built, athletic looking young man, who’d probably have fit in with the fit and fast joggers this day in
Heun’s vertebrae was crushed in a 2003 truck accident in
He now has fused discs, a steel bar in his back and constant excruciating pain in his hip and leg according to Solman’s report.
“Literally, it feels as if somebody just took a baseball bat and blindsided you across your back” Heun told the “Newshour”.
In the report, viewers learn that the army discharged him with only 20 percent disability, which means no benefits. Heun does get medical care from the VA plus $2,500 a month to support a family of five, but no insurance for his wife or children. He’s trying to afford a COBRA policy, but that is too expensive. His 2 year old daughter now needs surgery, but the family has had to put it off, because they simply can not afford it.
Heuen’s wife Beverly tells correspondent Solman, that they don’t want to do the daughter’s surgery at the expense of her not having a home to live in.
“I think it’s a disgrace to this country for me to even be sitting here trying to tell you this” she told “Newshour”.
Earlier in the report, Brad Heun described his constant physical pain in graphic detail.
“At its worst, I have been on an emergency room gurney, curled up, and not even be able to concentrate on simple questions” he told “Newshour”.
Concentrating on simple questions, during a sunset along the
Suddenly, some questions appeared to have answers.
Memorial Day was just a few days away.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
CBS NEWS LINK
Friday, May 11, 2007
By CODY LYON
On a cold night this past February, around 20 New Yorkers gathered in an upper west side brownstone to view and offer support to filmmaker Sebastian Cordoba and his latest project, a documentary film called “Through Thick and Thin.” The movie details the uncertain plights of seven bi national gay and lesbian couples, who, under current
The film takes on added relevance after Federal legislation was re introduced this past week in
“You meet somebody and you fall in love, maybe you move in together and then you both realize, that perhaps you’ll either have to move, or even worse, separate” said filmmaker Cordoba of a current common scenario among bi national same sex couples in the United States.
But, this past Tuesday May 8th, New York Representative Jerrold Nadler re-introduced the Uniting American Families Act, or UAFA, formerly known as the Permanent Partners Act or PPIA. If UAFA were passed into law, a new option would be opened for such couples.
UAFA would provide a mechanism under the Immigration and Nationality Act that allows
Under the UAFA, to qualify as a permanent partner, a person would have to show commitment, financial interdependence, exclusivity, the inability to marry in a manner that is “cognizable” under the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as the absence of blood relationship.
As current immigration law now stands, bi national same sex couples in the
“The most cruel form of anti-gay discrimination is to physically separate a couple from one another” said Rachel B. Tiven, a lawyer and Executive Director at Immigration Equality, a national organization that seeks to end discrimination in U.S. immigration laws.
The current UAFA legislation introduced this past May 8, does not have any status outside of immigration laws. It would not create any kind of relationship recognition separate from the immigration benefits. In other words, the policy is not a step towards gay marriage, a fear expressed by those who oppose any legal sanctioning of gay couples.
As filmmaker Sebastian Cordoba points out, of those countries that do recognize same sex partners for immigration purposes, only three have legally sanctioned gay marriage.
Mark, who’s been a registered Republican most of his life, often finds himself discussing his situation with conservatives. He says that he just deals with the facts based on tax and laws.
“Fred can’t work, even though he has his doctorate in education” noted Mark of his highly skilled partner who he can’t sponsor for a green card.
“I don’t even have a chance to pursue it, if my partner and family is taken away from me, one of my fundamental rights is gone” he said of the current immigration laws that do not allow him to continue living life in the United States with his partner of 15 years.
Regardless, he says he’s exhausted from worrying about it all and has given up on the struggle to try and stay in the
While most supporters of the bill agree, that part of the key to successful passage is the education of Americans about current policy, some worry that the gay community itself has not been exercising its own political activist connections in seeking eventual passage. They point out that current immigration policy is one of the most blatant, clearly spelled out examples of lesbian and gay inequality in the United States.
“The first thing is to tell gay people that this point in time, they are not equal to straight men and women in the