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bliss... [Nov. 16th, 2004|10:01 pm]

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New beginning... [Nov. 12th, 2004|02:10 pm]

i decided it was time for a fresh start...
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Rebuttal... [Nov. 5th, 2004|02:12 pm]
Since I seem to have upset a few "conservatives," I have chosen to rebutt their accusations and statements. And unlike them, I will accurately quote them.

First, Shymyr, in regards to your IM...

"i don't care if you think i'm a whore, a nigger, or (god-forbid) a "false conservative"..."

If you can find one mention of race in my last post, please do show me. The fact that you need to introduce such a word, or even throw the race card into this discussion, tells me you have a lot more soul-searching to do than just to identify yourself politically. I am glad to hear that you stand for what you feel is right. However, what you feel is right and what the party that you identify with feels is right are two different things, and I can say that without even knowing you. The point is, the ideals that the Republican Party truly represents are FAR different than what most Republican's represent as individuals. If every person who voted Republican this week was represented truly by their party, then 51% of the voters would be multi-millionaire business owners, 99% of them would be white and they would all be evangelical christians. Considering this is not true, your party does not truly represent you.

Oh, and FYI...slander is spoken word...libel is written word. If you're going to accuse me of one or the other, atleast know which one is which.

Next, Meryl, in regards to your rebuttal...

"I dont write your party off as a group of money taking, tax raising, socializing profiters"

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats don't shy away from their principles when they get out in the open to discuss political agendas. I am proud to be a "money-taking, tax-raising, socializing profiter." Democrats are responsible for each and every piece of economic legislation in the 20th century that kept our nation moving forward. If it were not for Roosevelt's New Deal, Johnson's Great Society, and Clinton's economic liberalism, our country never would have recovered from our past depressions and recessions that in many cases were created by negligent Republican economic policies. Programs that you take for granted (social security, medicare, medicaid) and will expect when you are your grandparents' age are there thanks to "money taking, tax raising, socializing profiters." The poor, rural Republicans who are left behind by their party, but vote Republican because they appear on the outside to represent their religious and moral values, survive off of the welfare and public assistance programs that were created by "money taking, tax raising, socializing profiters." The Bright Futures Scholarships that so many UF students live off of to have a quality college education, as well as the federal student loan and grant programs that the rest of us depend on, were inplemented by "money taking, tax raising, socializing profiters." The fact is, the aspects of our lives that we take for granted and that keep us a prosperous nation are thanks to Liberal Democrats.

Republicans preach limited government and limited spending. All Bush has done the last four years is balloon the deficit and increase the size of the bureaucracy. Don't blame it all on the war, because the war is only a small percentage of the budget spending over that time. Republicans preach limited government intervention in day-to-day life, yet they feel they have the right to intervene in your personal choice as a woman to do what you feel is right with your body. Republicans claim to support the working man, yet they create tax codes with loopholes that give them tax credits for outsourcing jobs to other countries and leaving working-class Americans jobless. Republicans pride themselves in preserving the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, yet they strip us of our right to privacy that has become precedent in rule of law, as well as eroding the fourth amendment and the prevention of illegal search and seizure. They also loaded up the circuit and appeals courts with ultra-conservative judges who feel that civil rights laws are unnecessary, and plan to introduce the same type of people to the Supreme Court so that the Civil Rights Act of 1963, as well as Roe v. Wade, are repealed. I fear the day that African-Americans are forced to pay poll taxes to vote, and the day that a woman who is raped or a victim of incest is forced to bring that child into the world. But its all in the name of safety and protection. If our Constitutional rights have to be eroded to keep us safe, I'll live in a less-safe world, thank you very much. If I wanted my rights eroded, I'd move to Russia.

I received an e-mail from my dad today. For those of you who have never had the privilege of meeting him, my father has a doctorate in history and teaches both history and political science. He has 30 years of college teaching experience, has published a book and many journal reviews, speaks frequently about political issues in front of large audiences in South Florida, and is highly respected for his knowledge in the academic world and while he is a proud liberal, is educated enough to understand the entire political spectrum and make objective statements outside of his partisan views. This is the text of his e-mail.

Needless to say, I am very disappointed about the election. It is obvious to me that we will be in Iraq and losing thousands of men and women over the next four and more years, fighting a nationalistic insurgency that will not disappear or be overcome even with heavy loss of life. At home, our environment will be more damaged than under Reagan; the Supreme Court will likely be more reactionary than at any time since the 1920s and early 1930s, labor rights will be curbed and workers will be more exploited than at any time since the 1930s, civil liberties will be curbed further, our standing in the world will further decline as we will be seen as the major threat to world peace, new abuses toward prisoners of war will be revealed, health care will continue to be unavailable for 45-50 million Americans, education will continue to decline, the power of evangelistic Christianity will continue to grow and promote intolerance and narrowmindedness toward minorities and gays, the tax system will continue to give benefits to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor, evidence of corruption in the Bush Administration will be revealed but Congress will do little about it, and Congress will be the most right wing since 1948, including such characters as newly elected Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and sitting senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania who plans to run for President in 2008 on a platform of Morality. God please help the United States to survive the next four years!

You can dispute my knowledge on the subject of politics, but his, you can not. The fact is, we are in trouble, and I challenge everyone who I know right now, to come back to me four years from now and tell me that we as a nation are in a better position than we are now, and as we were in 2000. I might as well just say told you so now to save you the trouble.
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The nation has spoken... [Nov. 3rd, 2004|09:00 pm]
It's unfortunate that the ignorant outnumber the intelligents in our society. And before any of you "conservatives" start bashing me, let me have my piece. You have your fucking government. Don't pretend that you can steal my freedom to speak. You've already tried to steal our freedom to privacy and have plans to steal our freedom to make choices on what we do to our bodies. Sit and fucking read.

The election was won fair and square. I'll never debate that. I won't debate that the DNC did not do the best job at running Kerry's campaign. I won't debate that Kerry wasn't the answer to all of our problems. I won't even debate that there wasn't always a clear deliniation between Bush and Kerry on certain important issues. I will debate the following though.

con·ser·va·tive (kn-sûrv-tv) (adj.) Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
Traditional or restrained in style. Moderate; cautious.

conservativism (n.) : a political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes

Considering a majority of the people who call themselves "conservative" do not practice what they preach (figuratively and literally), it is a sham that they even call tag themselves with such a term. They preach the importance of God and religion in life, yet most of them don't even attend church regularly, and those who do don't follow the sanctity of their religion. It's no coincidence that pre-marital sex, teen abortions, underage drinking, felony convinctions, incest, and adultery spike in all areas of the demographic classified as "conservative." It's also no coincidence that a majority of the politicians nationally who have been impeached or who have resigned from office over the last twenty years for offenses such as adultery, perjury and financial scandals were "conservatives."

I'm not bashing Bush. He won fair and square. I am not even bashing the voter group as a whole who voted for him. In my efforts to promote the progressive ideal this election year, my major focus was on education. People should make educated votes and know who they support and why they support them.

I am, however, bashing the fake "conservatives." You know who you are. Conservatives don't wear too much eyeliner, dress like whores and contemplate getting fake tits. Conservatives don't preach that their basis for voting for Bush is based on his consistency of moral values and judgment, yet those individuals themselves don't echo that consistency. Conservatives don't pretend to support the interests of the poor, uneducated and indigent when they know their bankrolls come from the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Conservatives wouldn't take advantage of the ignorance of America to the actual agenda of their party by using religious "moralistic" values as a backbone to mobilize a voter base that simply lives under the false notion that this "conservative" party really is based on morals, while they line their pockets with tax cuts and business contracts and small-town America loses their jobs, pumps out more ignorant children because of poor education requirements and resources, and fosters the growth of minimum wage jobs while higher level jobs get outsourced internationally and corporations get tax breaks for those outsourcings.

Or would they?

It's bad enough we have a President who has already been deceitful. It's even worse to know that the majority of voters who re-elected him don't even live by the values that they supposedly support in their candidate.

Moral of this discussion - if you're going to preach conservativism, be conservative. Otherwise, you can hold it on your conscience that you've contributed to the degradation of this nation over the next four years on a false notion that the people you've voted for actually are conservative. Then again, what makes them any different from you?
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Here we go again... [Oct. 8th, 2004|07:12 pm]
I've hit another one of those stages. Nothing seems right. Everyone alienates me. Everything seems to fucking unsure. Not even the ground I walk on feels stable. Sometimes I wonder if I suffer from some sort of depression. So much of what I go through is self-inflicted, due to my incessant need to always strive for more and be better and to never be satisfied. The problem with this is...when I can't do anymore than I'm doing, I tend to shut down and lose all motivation to do anything at all.

This is where I am at now. Here I am, about half-way through the semester of hell and I am freaking out. I have a paper due monday that I have barely started (atleast I read the book). I have 4 exams next week. I see my five research papers approaching on the horizon. I am going to class and reading as much as I can physically and mentally handle, but I just don't feel prepared.

Beyond the immediate, I have graduate school to think about. I have a real dilemma. Life would be perfect if I can just get into the program here at UF and stay here. It may not be that simple. I had a meeting today with the graduate program advisor, and while I realize its obviously his job to enforce the rigid requirements for entrance to students who are interested, the way he described it did nothing to put me at ease. That translates into another source of concern for me, the GRE. I found out today I can wait until January to take it, so atleast I will have winter break to prepare for it, but who knows how I will do on that. My GPA is above the minimum requirement to apply for the masters program, but it isnt exactly high, so I need to counter that with a good GRE score. So, aside from that, the real dilemma is...if I don't get accepted here, then what? The problem lies in having to leave the state. Even if I were to get accepted to a good school out of state, that means paying out-of-state tuition rates for atleast a year until I gain residency. It leaves me with no options, because there are no other political science masters programs I want to apply for here in Florida.

Bleh. So all of this, along with some issues with some *cough*friends*cough* made my week pretty hellish. Once again, I'm in one of those periods where I just don't know who to trust. Who are true friends? Who won't sell you out? Who won't use you? And who will actually want you around when you don't have something to offer them? Who is there when you really need them? This isnt meant to be a calling to any particular individuals, so don't take offense. However, if you do take offense, maybe you should think about why you take offense. These are just some rhetorical questions I've been asking myself lately. Sometimes you need to ask yourself questions to find the answers you need. The world around you doesn't always have the answers. I just need to find them within myself.

Thanks to Krystal, Chris, Stephanie, Laura, Leslie and Tanya for commenting.
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Bonding time with Dad and brother... [Oct. 2nd, 2004|08:38 pm]
What a long, but fun weekend. My dad and brother came up to Gainesville on Thursday night. We went out to dinner that night, caught up on family news, and watched the Presidential Debate together. Friday I went to class and when I got done, we went furniture shopping. My dad bought me a really nice couch with a fold-out bed for visitors. Its really comfortable (both as a bed and a couch) and its going to be delivered on Thursday. Say goodbye to the futon! LOL We went out to dinner again, then did some shopping at Borders. I picked up some graduate school books so I can start researching masters' programs, and I also got a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report. I doubt I'll get a chance to read it this year, but hopefully next year I'll get a chance to do some recreational reading. We then hit the movie theater and saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. My rating? eh. Nothing that great.

Today, we all went to the Gators-Razorbacks game. This was their first exposure to a major college football game. They enjoyed it a lot, despire the huge crowd and blazing mid-day heat. It was a pretty exciting game, starting with the Gators blowing Arkansas out, then a pretty decent comeback, ending with a 45-30 Gators win. Then we came home and I cooked them a pretty big dinner...chicken parm...ended up delicious :) and now we're all stuffed and lazy LOL. They're going home tomorrow after breakfast, but its been quite a great weekend.

So for a lot of the weekend, my dad and I discussed my options for grad school. Ultimately, it would be best for me to stay at UF, since going out of state would require having to pay higher tuition rates, since I won't have residency anywhere else. Plus I'm building a good repoire with the political science professors here, so that will be handy as I get along in school. So, I've started the application for the political science masters program here at UF. Aside from just filling out the app, I need to get three letters of recommendation from professors, need to get atleast 1000 (preferably higher) on the GRE and I need to write a 3-5 page essay stating my educational and professional goals. All of that is due sometime in March, but I don't want to wait until the deadline, so I'll be getting started on all of that stuff soon. Blah. So much crap to do the next few months.

Much love to Krystal, Stephanie, Angela, Kimm, Angel and Caleb for commenting. I've had an exhausting few days, time to sleep...ciao!
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And the winner is... [Sep. 30th, 2004|09:45 pm]

"It's one thing to be certain...its another thing to be certain and wrong"

- Senator John Kerry
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Life goes on... [Sep. 28th, 2004|06:43 pm]
If you missed my radio show on Sunday, you missed a great show. In memory of what is hopefully the last hurricane we'll get in Florida this year, I had a hurricane party, including a full 3-hour block of songs relating to hurricanes, storms, weather, rain, lightning...I'm gonna start doing more themed shows like that, I got some good feedback and got quite a lot of listeners. Make sure you tune in every Sunday from 5-8pm ET to hear me on the air!

I updated my layout here some...didn't feel like totally redoing the site, but Chris just doesn't have any time anymore for the site, so its basically just me now. Hope that's enough for all of ya :). I changed the image to another that Gainesville Mike took when we were in St. Augustine and left this one in color. I'm thinking I might re-do some of the content sometime soon too, but I'm not inclined to actually re-do the layout. I don't have any good ideas for one anyway, so its gonna stay this way for a while. Part of the new layout is the revolving button thingie down at the bottom. If you want yours there, e-mail me your button and then go to the link ep1phany page and take a button and put it up on your site. I'm all for spreadin the love, as long as you return the favor ;)

My dad and brother are headed up to Gainesville thursday night to spend the weekend with me. We have tickets to the Florida-Arkansas game...2nd row on the 50 yard line...and we'll spend some other much-needed bonding time together. I'm really looking forward to it; should be a great time.

So lately I've been making a lot of plans for the next year, pertaining to Spring Break 05, my graduation in April, and then grad school. For spring break, I have a few options. I'll have a surplus of about $1200 from my financial aid next semester since I'll be taking fewer classes and buying fewer books, so I have money available for a trip. One of my professors is offering a trip to Berlin that week, which would fulfill my craving to go out of the country. I could also use that money to go on another spring break adventure like I did with the guys last year when we hit Panama City. Or, I could use that money to buy a laptop, which is something I wish I had now and can definitely use later on in grad school. Choices, choices, choices.

In regards to my graduation, I have a few things left to do. My major is secure, as all of my requirements will be fulfilled with the completion of this current semester. My international relations certificate will be complete when I take my final two INR classes in the spring. I just got approval for my history minor today and I'll have all of those classes completed this semester. I still have to take the SAT II for Spanish. My hope is to take that, get atleast a 430 and test out of having to take Spanish II next semester. If I don't reach that score, I'll have to struggle through that class next semester (its been 5 years since I took Spanish I), but atleast I can take that class as an S/U class, rather than having to earn a grade. Other than that, I have to take the GRE in January to apply for grad school. The deadline for the political science graduate program at UF is in March 05. I'm obviously going to apply to start my masters in Aug 05, and I'm considering applying to a few other schools around the state, as well as some around Washington DC. Right now, I'm considering UCF and FAU for in-state, and in the Washington area, I'm going to apply at Virginia, Georgetown and George Washington U. So it's going to be a busy few months, in addition to my normal school load, making plans for grad school. It's so exciting though, realizing I'm less than a year away from finally graduating. I thought it would never come.

Much love to Lori, Jennifer, Steph, Kristina, Heather, Angel, Krystal, Laura, Spiff, Leslie, Kirsty, Beth, Sheila, Kari, Daniel and Meagan for all of your well-wishes relating to Hurricane Jeanne and everything involving my grandmother's funeral. Life goes on, ya know?
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Here we go again... [Sep. 25th, 2004|07:07 pm]

I give up.
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My eulogy for my grandmother... [Sep. 23rd, 2004|01:31 pm]
Just a few months ago, I turned 25, and aside from cheaper car insurance and the ability to rent a car, there was not much to this birthday. I felt it was a milestone though…a quarter century…and I spent a few hours the night before thinking about my life; what I have accomplished, what I still want to do with my life, and the people who have shaped my first 25 years.

When I thought back to the very early years of my life, a lot of what happened has faded away, but memories of summers with my grandma stand out and remain vivid in my mind. Nothing was more exciting to me as a kid growing up in New York than flying down to Florida every summer to spend a few weeks with her.

The memories come in flashes, but those flashes are very detailed. I remember looking off the second floor balcony across the street at the pool; picking snails off of the building after thunderstorms and keeping them in Tupperware; riding the trolleys around Century Village; sitting on the patio in the yellow and white rocking patio chair, trying to see around the big tree that always blocked my view of the house on the other side of the fence; playing gin rummy on the dining room table; eating grilled cheese sandwiches with a glass of ginger ale; laying on the shag carpet watching Sesame Street; eating grandma’s tic-tac’s that she always left on the table near the window; staring at all of the colorful paintings on her walls for hours; pictures of my mother and uncle as children, Mitch and Beth during their 80s phase, friends and family, and my yearly elementary school and summer camp portraits.

Grandma told me as I was growing up that I reminded her of Grandpa Phil in many ways…how I look, the things I am interested in, my potential to succeed and her seemingly prophetic knowledge that I had a great life ahead of me. While I was always honored to be compared to my grandfather, who was an amazing person, I was and am still even more honored to be recognized in that manner by the woman who married him. She obviously had great taste in men when she chose him, so I have a great reputation to live up to.

My point though is that Hannah Osroff always saw the best in people, and at the same time, loved everyone with a great passion, even when they showed their not-so-glorious side at times. She had a strong faith in God, and with that, never passed judgment, always put her family first, and never let divisions break apart the family she was so proud of. We honor her today by coming together to celebrate her life, and by committing ourselves to keeping a strong family bond, for I know that if she hoped I would gain any knowledge from my years with her, it would be to remember the importance of family.

All of my memories and thoughts culminate into the person that is Hannah Osroff - loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. Her life was about love, family, and making sure everyone she touched felt as much love and happiness as humanly possible. She made me a very happy grandson, and even on a day like today, with tons of emotions running through my mind, heart and soul, I find room for happiness, because we are here to celebrate an incredible life led by an amazing person.

Thank you for everyone's support. It hasn't been an easy few days and everyone being there for me really helped me get through this. Ashley, Krystal, Andres, Bobbi, Laura, Angel, Chris, Caleb, Stephanie, Christine, Jeff, Kari, Mike, Goldi, Daniel, Meagan, Heather, Max and Kirsty, as well as everyone else who left me voicemails and IMs with your best wishes and condolences...thank you so much. Your friendship, care and concern will not be forgotten.
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