Happy Holidays and Best Wishs for 2012

As I go into 2012 I stop and count my blessings. This year I have been blessed with good friends, good humor, decent health, and a fullly charged spirit. Friends you have stood by me during some rough spots, and I say thanks for being there when I needed you.
2012 will be a year of change. I resolve to make some alterations to my life that will possibly leave me happier and more prepared to take on what ever god has in store for me. I plan to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers, and I pray for you to have all of what you dream as your reality.

Be blessed my friends and remember:

The road is long with many a winding turn that leads us to who knows when and who knows where. But we’re strong … strong enough to cary on. Its not hades, its our future.

An RVAMaverick creation.

Appeals court rejects anti-gay graduate student’s bid for reversal of her expulsion

Appeals court rejects anti-gay graduate student’s bid for reversal of her expulsion

ATLANTA — The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by a U.S. district judge who ruled Augusta State University may expel a graduate student who refused to comply with graduate degree program requirements citing her Christian beliefs that homosexuality is immoral.

Jennifer Keeton, 24, who was pursuing a master’s degree in counseling, said she was ordered to undergo a re-education plan that requires her to attend “diversity sensitivity training” when the school told her that her anti-gay beliefs are incompatible with the standards of her desired profession.

Keeton sued the University in July 2010, claiming that faculty and university staff had violated her rights to free speech and the free exercise of her Christian faith when it told her that, in order to stay in the program, she would have to change her beliefs about homosexuality, which Keeton cited as “immoral, unnatural, and a ‘lifestyle choice’ that can be reversed through “conversion therapy.”

According to the lawsuit, faculty members allegedly assailed Keeton’s beliefs as “inconsistent with the counseling profession” and “expressed suspicion over ‘Jen’s ability to be a multi-culturally competent counselor, particularly with regard to working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning populations.’”

In supporting Augusta State in its actions, the U. S. District Court judge wrote, “The record suggests, and the testimony at the hearing bolsters, the Plan was imposed because “Plaintiff exhibited an inability to counsel in a professionally ethical manner — that is, an inability to resist imposing her moral viewpoint on counselees – in violation of the ACA Code of Ethics.”

In its ruling on Friday, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit agreed with the district court judge, ruling that because Keeton was unlikely to prevail in her lawsuit, a court order for her preventing expulsion was unwarranted.

The court noted that the requirements of the counseling program—needed for its continued accreditation and compliance with the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics—are similar to the rules for judges, who must apply laws even if they consider them erroneous.

“In seeking to evade the curricular requirement that she not impose her moral values on clients,” the appellate court wrote, “Keeton is looking for preferential, not equal, treatment.”

Augusta State University spokeswoman Kathy Schofe told LGBTQ Nation last month that the university had tried to work with Keeton, suggesting she take diversity sensitivity workshops and attend the local Augusta LGBTQ Pride parade, but Keeton refused and declined to
participate claiming the university’s “demands” violated her First Amendment rights.
Appeals court rejects anti-gay graduate student’s bid for reversal of her expulsion – LGBTQ Nation

Source: LGBTQ Nation

An RVAMaverick creation.

Error-Plagued History Book publisher Bypasses Legislative Review

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A year after Virginia overhauled its review process to improve the quality of textbooks used in public school classrooms, the publisher whose error-plagued history books helped spur the change is refusing to submit its offerings for state Department of Education scrutiny.

The Washington Post says Five Ponds Press plans to introduce a series of elementary-level science books that it will market directly to school systems, bypassing state review. The newspaper says the publisher didn’ respond to its requests for comment.

The move angers legislators who voted to bolster regulations. Del. David Englin of Alexandria tells the newspaper that it seems “improper — and possibly fraudulent” to claim the series meets Virginia standards without state review.

Virginia schools are allowed to use non-approved textbooks, but few do so.

___

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

An RVAMaverick creation.

An exam cram time storey.

Twas the night before finals,
And all through the college,
The students were praying
For last minute knowledge.

Most were quite sleepy,
But none touched their beds,
While visions of essays
Danced in their heads.

Out in the sports field,
There were some throwing,
In hope that some exercise
Would get their brains going.

In my own apartment,
I had been pacing,
Dreading all those exams
I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless,
His nose in his books,
And my comments to him
Drew unfriendly looks.

I drained all the coffee,
And brewed a new pot,
No longer caring
That my nerves were shot.

I stared at my notes,
But my thoughts were all muddy,
My eyes went a blur,
I just couldn’t study.

“Some pizza might help,”
I said with a shiver,
But each place I called
Refused to deliver.

I’d pretty much concluded
Life is unfair and cruel,
Since our futures all depend
On grades made in school.

When all of a sudden,
Our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put-It-Off
Ambled inside.

Her spirit was careless,
Her manner was mellow,
She looked at the mess
And started to bellow:

“Why should us students
Make such a fuss,
About what those teachers
Toss out to us?”

“On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes!
On Last Year’s Exams!
On Wingit and Slingit,
And Last Minute Crams!”

Her message delivered,
She vanished from sight,
But we heard her laughing
Outside in the night.

“Your teachers won’t flunk you,
So just do your best.
Happy Finals to All,
And to All, a good test.”

An RVAMaverick creation.

U.S. war in Iraq officially ends

So today marks the ending of the war in Iraq. The flag of the United States has been lowered, troupes are packing up their military toys, politicians and public officials stand up and give long speeches and the United States officially gives the Iraqi government and military a fond farewell.

“To be sure, the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States and also for the Iraqi people,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called. “But those lives have not been lost in vain.” The fighting resulted, Panetta said, in a “free and sovereign Iraq.”

So what happens now? The Iraqi people will still have disadvantaged splinter groups terrorizing the country. Bombs and other nasty stuff will still make the streets of Bagdad and other places unsafe. The United States, arguably the initiator of this war, has stepped out, and the military of Iraq is left to fend for itself.

I hope that what so ever happens in the years to come, we take to heart the lessons taught by losing over four thousand soldiers. With all that pomp and circumstance; all those lives lost; all to bring democracy, freedom, and sovereignty to the Iraqi people, I hope this time we do not have to go back.

It is time to take care of the United States.

In the words of John Lennon, “Merry Christmas. The War is over!”

U.S. war in Iraq officially ends – USATODAY.com

An RVAMaverick creation.

Tip Thy Waiters Well

I have never been a waiter, bellhop, soda jerk, or anyone who accepts less pay for honest work relying on the goodwill of patrons for tips. These folks have my undying respect, and thanks for putting up with the millions of irrational customers who cannot tell a rare steak from a piece of foam rubber.

These folks do a good job of getting your food to you. They handle millions of plates, put in thousands of man-hours on their tired feet, all for the lousy 15 or 20 percent tip we give them. To give less than that is simply careless. To purposely stiff them with fake money and religious tracts is just plain wrong. They do not need your faked religiosity. They do not need your attempt at salvation through missionary work. What they need is money in order to make ends meet.

Having read an article on the rise in fake tipping from Christians, I am righteously pissed off at my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know God told you to spread the good news of his grace. He did not tell you to act like a dick while doing so. He did not say that thou should stiff one in five servers whose families need their help with a fake $10 bill with my face on it.

The bible teaches to be kind to others, and to treat others as we wish to be treated. This way lays the kingdom of heaven and a salvation bought and paid for by good works and faith. Christians, take note of these words, as they are the Truth.

Do unto others, and you will be done unto.

Stiff a poor waiter and you will get a shaft in your life as well. It may not be right away, but it will happen. When it does, that waiter you shafted will be able to have the good fortune you so virtuously withheld from them.

Waiter’s Phony $10 Tip Includes Religious Lesson – DailyFinance

An RVAMaverick creation.