Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I find the love story of these two 70+ years old couple very moving. How can anyone say that is not true love !!!
Some of the US conservatives are saying the Supreme Court is out of its jurisdiction, as only God shall define what a marriage is.
The last time I heard such an argument was from alleged terrorist Chiheb Esseghaier at his arraignment before Justice of the Peace Susan Hilton in Toronto. He reportedly told the court that the Criminal Code of Canada, under which he was charged, is not a holy book !!!
In my opinion, the separation of state and church is important in a democracy.
Before the Supreme Court decision, there was just Edith and Thea
TU THANH HA, The Globe and Mail
Last updated Wednesday, Jun. 26 2013, 10:10 PM EDT
When Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer wed in 2007 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, near Pearson airport, they were in their 70s and Ms. Spyer’s long battle with multiple sclerosis had confined her to a wheelchair.
It was a bittersweet occasion because the two women were in the autumn of life and couldn’t afford to wait for their country to legalize same-sex marriage. “We just said, ‘We’re running out of time,’” Ms. Windsor told The Globe and Mail at the time.
Less than two years later, Ms. Spyer died. Her death and her Canadian marriage set off a chain of events that would make legal history and turn her widow into a historic figure of the movement for gay rights.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Ms. Windsor’s favour and quashed a key part of a federal law that denied benefits to same-sex married couples.
Her legal fight, case No. 12-307, United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor, looked at a paradoxical situation in which Ms. Windsor was boxed in after Ms. Spyer’s death.
Because New York State recognizes their Canadian marriage, Ms. Windsor was able to inherit Ms. Spyer’s estate.
However, under the Defense of Marriage Act DOMA of 1996, Ms. Windsor was not considered married under the eye of the U.S. federal government. Therefore she couldn’t claim the federal estate-tax exemption for surviving spouses and was hit with a $360,000 fiscal bill.
According to an affidavit she filed in court, Ms. Windsor grew up in Philadelphia and attended Temple University. In 1950, she married a classmate and family friend, an Army veteran named Saul Weiner.
“Although I had had the feeling that I was attracted to women, and not men, since I was a young girl … In the context of the homophobia that was so prevalent in the 1950s, I certainly did not want to be a ‘queer,’” she said in the sworn statement.
Within two years, they had divorced and she moved to New York to work on a master’s degree in mathematics. She got a computer job that involved programming for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and, on being questioned by the FBI, was terrified that being a lesbian would threaten her security clearance.
In an interview this spring with NPR, Ms. Windsor said that by 1962 she had grown tired of hiding her sexual orientation and asked a friend to take her “where the lesbians are.”
She was directed to the Portofino, a gay-friendly Greenwich Village restaurant where the thirtysomething divorcée first laid eyes on Ms. Spyer.
They left together to go to a party, where they danced together for so long that Ms. Windsor wore a hole through her stockings.
A clinical psychologist, Ms. Spyer had her own experience with discrimination. In the early 1950s, she was expelled from university when a campus security guard caught her kissing another woman, according to a court brief her widow filed.
In 1967, Ms. Windsor said in her NPR interview, the two women were returning from a drive in the country when Ms. Spyer got out of the car, got down on her knees and asked: “Edie Windsor, will you marry me?”
To avoid questions from co-workers, Ms. Spyer gave her fiancée a diamond brooch instead of a ring.
They moved in together, one working at IBM, the other having a private clinical-psychology practice. By 1977, Ms. Spyer was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis.
Source: The Globe and Mail "Before the Supreme Court decision, there was just Edith and Thea"
Sunday, June 23, 2013
"The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before."
Physically and even mentally, it's easier said than done in some countries/culture, or on a cruise ship with thousands of other tourists (which is not my kind of vacationing). But figuratively speaking, the quote is right !!!
BTW, don't follow the crowd and assume Einstein said that :-O
Quote Investigator / http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/10/18/follows-crowd/
" ...... this saying was probably crafted by Francis Phillip Wernig who was using the pseudonym Alan Ashley-Pitt. The earliest known version referred to a “man”, and later versions switched to “one”, “person”, or “woman”....."
Photo credit: Facebook/The Law of Attraction
Friday, June 14, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
This 78 years old woman who was being characterized by the Crown as "cold, calculating, .... " was found guilty and sentenced to 3.5 years in jail. According to news report, her husband/boyfriend/partner(s) all seemed to die or get sick after falling for her charm.
She has been nicknamed the Black Widow for her abilities to spin lies and trap the senior male victims. Even the Chief Justice warns: 'People who have contact with this lady should be careful.'
To all older gentlemen out there, don't let this woman start your engine !!!!
Photo Credit/Caption: (CBC) Melissa Shepard, who has gone by several last names, was charged under the surname Weeks because she had married Fred Weeks days before her latest arrest. Facing an attempted murder count, she pleaded guilty Monday to lesser charges and was sentenced Tuesday.
Woman, 78, called cold and calculating by Crown, pleaded guilty to lesser charge after husband fell ill
Posted: Jun 11, 2013 10:52 AM ATLast Updated: Jun 11, 2013 12:47 PM AT
Internet Black Widow is back in custody as police investigate the attempted murder of her current husband.
The Black Widow: She preyed on the lonely, then married and buried them.
Text and photo credit: CBC TV Fifth Estate (originally aired Feb 20, 2012)
She brought hopes of love and romance but instead she turned out to be a predator who gained the trust of vulnerable, elderly men and then, their family members say, she tried to kill them. In Black Widow, the fifth estate tells the incredible story of Melissa Stewart, also known as Melissa Shephard and Melissa Friedrich.
In 1992, Melissa was convicted of manslaughter in the death of her second husband, Gordon Stewart. She claimed that as she attempted to get away from him after he had raped her, she had to drive over him, twice. She was released from prison in 1994, after becoming the sympathetic focus of an NFB documentary When Women Kill, and established herself publicly as a victim of spousal abuse.
Melissa married widower Robert Friedrich in June 2000. His health deteriorated soon after that and his family suspects Melissa in his death. Her next lover, an elderly man living in Florida named Alex Strategos whom she met online, was committed to a nursing home after he suspiciously began to get sick. While he was in there, Melissa helped herself to his bank account.
The fifth estate’s Linden MacIntyre talks to the family members of the dead men as well as Melissa’s last lover, Alex Strategos. He reveals Melissa drugged him with so much medication that he ended up in the hospital eight times in just under two months and signed over power of attorney to a woman he barely knew.
We also meet Florida businessman Sunny Decker, the man who could have become Melissa’s next victim had she not been arrested. Decker was one of twenty men from across the United States and Canada who Melissa made contact with via an Internet dating site. She had dinner with Decker while Alex Strategos was sitting in a nursing home.
How does Melissa account for these allegations and her actions? In an exclusive interview from a Florida prison, Melissa talks publicly to Linden MacIntyre about her life, her loves and her crimes.
Please visit the CBC website for more detailed info, documentation, pictures, and video: http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2008-2009/black_widow/
Friday, June 07, 2013
這是在面書上看到的無神論者意見，我不反對宗教自由，但贊成政府与宗教權力要分立 separation of state and religion.
Updated info 20130624:
* Wikipedia: "..... 政教分離（英語：Separation of church and state），指的是宗教權力和國家、政府統治權力的分割，如《美國憲法第一修正案》中明文規定：「國會不得制訂關於創立宗教或禁止宗教自由之法律。」此外國家力量不援助、助長、壓迫各宗教團體。政教分離是現代政治學的一項原則，源於歐洲擺脫宗教控制的科學革命、啟蒙運動、文藝復興、宗教改革，並成為歐美政治學說主流觀點。現代歐洲社會的趨勢是向現世主義方向發展，從而宗教與政治不互相干涉。在不少國家，仍然有宗教背景濃厚的政黨，不論是羅馬天主教或伊斯蘭教。...."
* Wikipedia: "..... The separation of church and state is the distance in the relationship between organized religion and the nation state. Although the concept of separation has been adopted in a number of countries, there are varying degrees of separation depending on the applicable legal structures and prevalent views toward the proper role of religion in society. While a country's policy may be to have a definite distinction in church and state, there may be an "arm's length distance" relationship in which the two entities interact as independent organizations. A similar but typically stricter principle of laïcité has been applied in France and Turkey, while some socially secularized countries such as Denmark and the United Kingdom have maintained constitutional recognition of an official state religion. The concept parallels various other international social and political ideas, including secularism, disestablishment, religious liberty, and religious pluralism. Whitman (2009) observes that in many European countries, the state has, over the centuries, taken over the social roles of the church, leading to a generally secularized public sphere. The degree of separation varies from total separation mandated by a constitution, as in India and Singapore; to an official religion with total prohibition of the practice of any other religion, as in the Maldives....."
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
I do my best to visit her everyday and treasure the moment with her more than ever, knowing that at some point, she might no longer know who I am.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
I have registered to run 10K to raise funds for Tim Hortons' annual Camp Day on June 5, 2013.
Last year, participating Tim Hortons owners donated 100% of coffee proceeds on Camp Day & helped raise more than $11 million to send kids to camp. This year's target is to help send 16,000 kids to a Tim Hortons Children's Foundation camp.
It's good to learn there is such a thing as corporate sponsored social program.