Welcome to Finley Experience

This website is dedicated to LGBT folks who are surviving in this crazy world.

What's good for one isn't necessarily good for another.

Attempting to control the hearts and souls of the masses through force and injustice only forces the seeds of dissension to grow. History has taught this lesson repeatedly. Perhaps, we'll learn the lesson this time.

13 December 2011

U.S. House Betrays U.S. Citizens with H. 1540: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

(Update, 1-2-2012: President Obama signed NDAA FY2012 into law over the New Years holiday weekend. Here is the link to the presidential statement released concerning Obama's "serious reservations". If his reservations are so damn serious, why sign it, why ask for the provisions? Sounds more like he's paving the way for codified authoritarianism. Remember: the Nazis were obeying the law.)

Fellow Heroes, as promised:

H. 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 vote and bill from govtrack.us

I pay a good bit of attention to the news, yet, I don't remember hearing about this passing in the House of Representatives back in May of 2011. I did, however, hear about the senate version of the bill passing in December of 2011 (yeah, that's now in case you were wondering). To learn more about the senate's betrayal of America follow this link. This is the House's version of a bill that declares the United States military can arrest anyone inside the United States that the government declares a terrorist. Peaceful Occupy protesters in London are currently being labeled terrorists (see my S. 1867 post).

H. 1540 passed the House of Representatives with 322 Ayes, 96 Nos, and 13 Not Voting.

That's 322 Traitors to the People.
96 Heroes to the People.
And 13, Absent to the People.

The 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the People peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

While the First Amendment exists as a complex sentence, its components are actually quite simple, regardless of what the courts may have decided over the years:

- Congress CANNOT make laws "respecting an establishment of religion"
Religious tolerance is law: Congress cannot push for one religion over another, to do so would be to establish a state-sanctioned religion. Every law that grants religious organizations special privileges is in violation of this amendment. (Sorry to break that one to America, I know it comes as a surprise).

- Congress CANNOT make laws "prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]"
Religious tolerance is law: Congress cannot prohibit religious followers from practicing their religion. There are many religions and the people who follow these religions have the right to do so without prohibition from the government.

- Congress CANNOT make laws "abridging the freedom of speech"
Free speech is law: Congress cannot create laws banning speech. Hate to break it to everyone but speech can be negative or positive (hate or love) and congress has no right to ban any of it. Isn't that great? Doesn't that suck? And, yet, isn't that one of the things that makes this an awesome place? You have the right to say whatever you want. Holy Shit, what a novel concept that totally goes against politically correct speech and every hate-speech law that exists.

- Congress CANNOT make laws "abridging the freedom of...the press"
Free press is law: Congress cannot create laws preventing the press from reporting the news. Which means all those federal organizations created by congress to monitor and police airwaves (FCC, etc.) are actually in violation of the 1st Amendment's free speech and free press clauses - oops.

- Congress CANNOT make laws "abridging the freedom of...the People peaceably to assemble"
Peaceful assembly is law: protesters can peacefully assemble and congress has no legal standing to create law that criminalizes that peaceful assembly. Yet another reason why it is imperative that protesters remain peaceful during these trying times. Bring your tents (thank you Wall Street Occupiers)! Wear your tents (thank you Melbourne Occupiers)!

- Congress CANNOT make laws "abridging the freedom of...the People...to petition the Government for redress of grievances"
Petitioning the Government for redress of grievances is law: which means that Congress is in breach of the 1st Amendment when attempting to pass legislation meant to hinder the people from petitioning their government - NDAA allows indefinite detention of anyone (citizen or non-citizen) within the United States. By this law the United States Government reserves the "right" to determine who is a terrorist (Occupy movement - ???), in essence, the U.S. Government can decide that peaceful protest to petition the government is a terrorist action.

In addition to the numerous ways NDAA shreds the 1st Amendment, citizens will also lose their Constitutional Rights guaranteed by the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments with the "indefinite" detention clause. The 15th, 19th, and 26th are arguable since they each deal with voting rights, but I strongly believe that a person being held indefinitely, is indefinitely denied the right to vote.

So, now that you know the many ways that Congress is using NDAA FY2012 to fuck citizens out of their Constitution Rights, why don't you take a minute and sign the damn Petition to OBAMA to VETO the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867).

Please share this petition with as many people as you can.

And, remember, the only way to protect our right to free speech is to use our voices to speak our minds. Stay strong through this winter Occupiers you're doing your country a great service! Stay safe, stay peaceful! Stay loud and proud!

10 December 2011

U.S. Senate Betrays U.S. Citizens with Senate 1867: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Subtitle D - Detainee Matters; Section 1031 and 1032)

Dear Readers, I regret to inform you that the American Congress has approved measures to remove Constitutional Protections from American Citizens via S. 1867 and H. 1540. Should Obama pass the reconciled form of this legislation then  lawful and peaceful protesters (i.e. Occupy movement) will be deemed terrorists (it has already happened to Occupy London).

At the end of this post you will find a letter from David Vitter sent in response to my letter demanding that he vote YEA for the amendment removing section 1031 and 1032 from Subtitle D - Detainee Matters found in the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867); additionally, I demanded, in the event those sections remain in the NDAA, that he vote NAY on this bill. As always, he did the exact opposite of my demands as his constituent.

The sections I mentioned authorize the U.S. Military to operate in America, where the military would be policing America and therefore American Citizens. In addition to the numerous Federal agencies that make up the already militarized police of America, S. 1867 authorizes the U.S. Military the rights to arrest and detain anyone inside of America who is deemed a terrorist by the government. Military arrest comes with the added caveats of indefinite detention (no constitutional rights) and it is not part of the U.S. Court System (Constitutional) but a military court system (war tribunals are anti-Constitutional).

Vitter proudly proclaims his YEA vote on S. 1867 (incl. sec. 1031 and 1032) - this bill passed the senate with 93 YEAs and 7 NAYs. That means of our 100 sitting Senators, 93 have betrayed the American public, betrayed their oaths of office, and betrayed the American Constitution. Only 7 sitting Senators have acted as defenders of the American public, defenders of their oaths of office, and defenders of the American Constitution. Here is a link to the vote on S. 1867 NDAA: Remember that 93 Sitting Senators are Traitors to the People, while only 7 are Heroes to the People.

IOWA Harkin, Thomas [D]
KENTUCKY Paul, Rand [R]
OKLAHOMA Coburn, Thomas [R]
OREGON Merkley, Jeff [D]
OREGON Wyden, Ron [D]
UTAH Lee, Mike [R]
VERMONT Sanders, Bernard [I]
(Update, 13 Dec. 2011: Senator Sanders has introduced a Joint Resolution to Amend the Constitution of the United States. The proposed amendment is called: Saving American Democracy Amendment. The point of the proposed amendment is to stop corporate personhood, prevent corporations from financing political candidates and political campaigns. Check out the proposed amendment. Sign the petition by Bernie Sanders to stop corporations from controlling our democracy. Corporations are not people. But the People are people.

Petition to OBAMA to VETO the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867)

THE BILL: National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (S. 1867) By following the govtrack.us link you can find out every thing you'd like to know about this bill including the names and ways of contacting every U.S. Senator. It is my suggestion that we contact every last one of these traitors and let them know that we will not stand for a flagrant dismissal of the American Constitution. Which is precisely why I wrote to Vitter and Landrieu. Only Vitter has responded:

From: "David_Vitter@vitter.senate.gov"
Sent: Friday, December 9, 2011 5:55 PM
Subject: Responding to your message

Dear Ms. Finley,

Thank you for contacting me about my vote on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

The U.S. Senate recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act that included language to address the handling of terrorists and enemy belligerents detained by the United States. Over recent years, there have been several proposals, including the Terrorist Detainees Procedures Act, which would grant those detained as enemy belligerents for suspected terrorist acts against the United States the rights and privileges of American citizens. I do not believe enemy belligerents have constitutional privileges, including access to federal courts to question our military authority and control.

I supported the FY12 defense bill because I have great concerns about the possibility of allowing into the United States individuals who were and will likely remain a threat to our homeland security. I believe the safety and security of our country depends upon allowing the military to pursue options to maintain our security, including detaining and interrogating terrorists.

The Obama Administration has effectively created a false choice for dealing with terrorists captured overseas: either bring them to the United States to be given the full constitutional rights available to U.S. citizens in our civilian court system or release them to return to the fight against the United States. The detainee provisions of the FY12 defense bill (S. 1867), which were unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, would address this issue. Critics have launched several misleading arguments against these provisions. However, the practice of holding captured terrorists in military detention is based in long historical practice, even back to George Washington, and the provisions in the 2012 defense bill are supported by Supreme Court precedent, past practice, and common sense. Rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the U.S. Senate considers legislation affecting the Guantanamo detainees.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about any other issue important to you.


FYI: Remain peaceful, but take action. Write congress. Go to their offices and protest. Vote against everyone of the Traitors who voted for NDAA. The next post will have information regarding the House of Representatives. Remember we have two chambers to our congress and it takes approval from both chambers to send a bill to the president.Petition to OBAMA to VETO the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (S. 1867)
To Occupiers Everywhere in America:

Congress made the laws that allowed Wall Street, Bankers, and the Rich to run away with our tax dollars. Congress repealed laws that were put in place to restrict the financial elite. The U.S. Courts have aided in the erosion of our Constitutional Rights (i.e. corporate personhood and the recently granted unlimited corporate financing of political campaigns). It is the U.S. Government, in all its infamous branches, that has slowly pummeled the Constitution to the point that Corporations are legal people and people are legal goods.

OCCUPIERS: Stand strong! OCCUPY CONGRESS, and stay peaceful! You are Heroes and Defenders of the Constitution!

It is time to OCCUPY CONGRESS!!! Have some links to help:

18 November 2011

Remembering People Who Have Changed Our Perspectives

I'd like to take a moment to shout out to all the people who have inspired someone else to seek self-understanding, self-awareness, and self-improvement. Some times these moments of inspiration are unintentional and sometimes they are quite intentional.

One may meet many people in a life time and it is possible that one could find inspiration in each meeting. Though, we are often guilty of letting potential moments of inspiration pass us by, we are not ignorant of the import of such moments.

Marianne Carmichael inspired me at a very young age. She passed away some years ago (cancer), yet she is still with us (in memory).

Who has inspired you? Please leave a comment if you feel like honoring them here!

08 November 2011

H.R. 313: New Attack on People: "Criminal Conspiracy" for Planning a Trip to Country Where Marijuana is Legal?


Have you ever spoken to someone else about using marijuana in a country or state where marijuana use is legal?

Answered yes to that question?

You plan to go? You plan to abide by the laws of two different countries or states? You even willing to leave your own country at high expense in order to abide by two different nation's laws on marijuana usage? And, now you've engaged someone else in your plan to use marijuana: you've told your friend(s) about a country where it is legal?

"Criminal Conspiracy" - conspiring to use marijuana! Shazam! Take that you law-abiding citizen! Shame on you for speaking about abiding the laws and using marijuana in a country where it is legal. Shame on you for respecting your country's laws and another country's laws on marijuana. Your country said, "no marijuana" and another country said, "marijuana okay." And, you spoke about going. You conspired. You are a criminal!

If HR 313 (2011) passes then the scenario above (two people speaking about potential legal marijuana use) would become a criminal act. The authorities (DEA, ATF, etc.) could legally charge you with "criminal conspiracy" because you conversed about a desire to use marijuana in a country where it was legal. This bill is part of the Controlled Substance Act.

Sign the petition to get President Obama to speak about HR 313 and the assault of Free Speech. Tell him to VETO if it makes it to his desk! Tell Obama: Defend the 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech! Tell Obama: Talking about abiding marijuana laws is not criminal!


29 October 2011

Winter Survival Tips for Occupy Everywhere

Stand strong this winter! Stand together! Layer your clothing and try to stay dry. Change wet garments immediately.

Some resources:
Snow reminders from the Times Herald-Record (not really for those in the snow-filled parks, but useful numbers). 
Source from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. Updated: 3 Aug 2015.

Easy to create winter survival heater. 

Outdoor in snow? Reminders!

Easy to make emergency salt water battery. Updated: 11 Apr 2012.

http://www.atlantictraining.com/online-training/winter-safety-online-training-program.html Winter Safety Online Training Course - covers OSHA recommendations for working in winter - the course charges a small fee. Updated: 3 Aug 2015.

21 October 2011

Occupiers vs. Lawmakers and Corporate Financiers

In Tennessee, the state has begun working with TSA to harass truck drivers at weigh stations (like the various state agencies that performed this function were not adequate) and people at bus stations (like the poor waiting for transportation really need an extra moment of legalized harassment). http://www.newschannel5.com/story/15725035/officials-claim-tennessee-becomes-first-state-to-deploy-vipr-statewide

And, if Tennessee's new harass the American People efforts aren't enough for you to think about joining Occupy Wall Street, then, perhaps Louisiana's recent move to illegalize currency (cold hard cash) will piss you all the way off. If this isn't a sign of government and banks trying to screw small business and non-bank users (i.e., the poor who often aren't eligible to have bank accounts) I really don't know what is:
Don't take the news for it (bottom of page 28 and top of page 29):
Or, if you prefer:

So, because I was horrified that the state that I live and do business in has now directly threatened one of the ways that I do business (flea markets)...I thought I'd do a little research on federal currency laws to see what the Federal law says...
Treasury Dept. says business owners can determine their own cash, debit, credit, check, money order acceptance policies, UNLESS there is a state law that prevents a business from setting their own policy. Basically, the Fed says that Louisiana lawmakers can do what they want, including strong-arming small business owners (who accept cash for second-hand goods) into using bank services they cannot afford. This screws the poor people who shop at second-hand stores and it screws small business owners...nonprofits (Goodwill) and government contractors (Construction - building material resale) are exempt from this state government maneuver meant to further criminalize poverty:

Two words for you Louisiana: CASH ONLY!

And, in South Carolina legislation has been introduced to switch back to gold and silver currency (this guy doesn't want to use the dollar any more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-6217403-503544.html
If you prefer Mike Pitts bill (H 4128):
Interestingly, there is a similar bill in South Carolina's State Senate (S 862): http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/bills/862.htm

It appears that Rep. Mike Pitts is a real gem, he would also like to kick the U.S. Dept. of Education out of South Carolina: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/bills/3272.htm

A Refrain to Occupiers Everywhere

Find my newest poem on Associated Content (Yahoo Contributor Network)

This poem was inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the raising of global awareness!

18 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street (links of interest), Now Occupying a City Near YOU

Potential declaration of the 99%.
yahoo group for the 99% declaration working group

Huffington report on the declaration

KTBS covers Occupy Shreveport initial planning meeting.

KTBS covers Occupy Shreveport 15 October 2011 March for Solidarity.

Occupy Shreveport planning event happened days after this...KSLA was invited to the 12 October meeting, but did not attend. The next link is the only mention of Occupy Shreveport and the clip is shorter than the commercials. The commercials I've been subjected to range from 14 seconds to 21 seconds.The clip of the Occupy Shreveport march lasts 8 seconds. A single sentence accompanies the clip. The protesters started gathering at 8:30 AM. Occupy Shreveport joined worldwide protesters in a global march for solidarity against greed (corporate and government sponsored greed). To their credit, KSLA did have a second link to a report of the 15 October protest http://www.stormtracker12.com/story/15702839/occupy-shreveport-rallies-downtown

13 October 2011

Map of Occupy Communities World Wide

Occupy Shreveport

Occupy Shreveport solidarity march to be held 15 October 2011. The marchers can meet at the Union Hall beginning at 8:30 am (for sign making and other preparation). The protesters will meet at the Caddo Courthouse around 10 am for opening remarks and instructions for protesters. The march will begin at 10:30 am.

House of Representatives: Do NOT pass H.R. 313 Drug Trafficking Safe Harbor Elimination Act of 2011

06 October 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Hey all,

As a matter of course (i.e., seven classes of homework), I'm a little behind in my posts. I'll be linking my twitter feed up to the blog, so you all will have access to what I've been passing along when I get short breaks!

Please watch this short clip:

Now is the time for us to get together, to get a dialog going between the peoples of this world and the governments that claim to "represent, defend, and protect" the peoples of this world!

Check out these websites:
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Together

More links and info coming very soon! We are the 99%!

25 September 2011

Dear Russia

I must apologize to my readers...I promised you all a number of poems about Russia (the winning country of my stats poetry competition) over the course of July and I have only provided you with one poem displaying my vague knowledge of Russia. I hope you will forgive a poet who falls back on the old cliche of life getting in the way of good intentions.

That said, I hope you'll forgive me. There will be more poems with Russia as subject, fear not! They arrive at unannounced intervals...I'll put them up as I create them!

As always,
in peace,

31 August 2011

Fall 2011 Classes Begin

I'm excited to say this semester is now underway. I've got Latin again and German this year which just pleases me to no end. I have a new Latin professor and I'm interested in how he will differ from my prior instructor(s). BTW: I'm psyched about physics and psychology (forgive me). Senior Sem & Tutorial for English plus an Independent Study (class I forgot about). That, my friends, is what you can call a "full load". I do feel confident (today), but talk to me again around finals and we'll go from there.

I still owe my apologies to my Russian readers, I promised multiple poems that I have thus far failed to produce. I stand by my vow to deliver, though I must graciously decline promising date and time. Look for them. They will pop up when you least expect it.

As always my friends and foes...

Merry Meet!

Monique Finley

12 July 2011

Russia Wins the Finley Experience "International Views Contest" (Poem One)

To: Russia (With the Poet’s Sincerest Apology)

What bravado and arrogance--
this writer, this pen--?
How little known so large a land,
so far away? And, I wonder
if those far off inhabitants
would forgive me my ignorance?

I bet a number I might try my hand
at a foreign view of a noble land,
where long held customs stand
frozen listening to some blues band
as their singer sings throaty tunes
and the sultry folks swing their sway
attuned to the need to move to continue
on in that jocund hips sway kind of way.

Or, so all the American movies portray.

I rack my brain
for everything, anything
I can recall about Russia,
the USSR, the Soviet Union,
and all I know for sure:

these veritable names are variables
of a geographical mass subject
to reorganization and redistribution
at a pace that frightens at least one
similarly stationed nation.

An unimaginable testament,
lives lost to the competitive races:
Stalin’s five-year plans versus
McCarthy and his anti-Communist
choke-hold on my nation, either way,
friend turned enemy turned friend again.

Watch, now, as yours sells mine seats
onboard ships sailing into inner space,
for a per seat price set in no less than
eight digits before the decimal place.

Earth bound issues seemingly floated away
in the haze of one last frontier just barely
big enough to hold the hopes of all of us
and waiting to be tamed by our combined
strengths and diversities as we leave
behind the local for the global, perhaps
one day down the road we’ll develop

the universal.

~Monique Finley

11 July 2011

1st Annual Finley Experience "International Views" Contest Results

Okay, peeps, the first year (May 2010 through May 2011) International Views (Stats) contest are in:

Russia 92
Slovenia 49
France 39
Germany 35
Canada 32
United Kingdom 31
Denmark 26
Japan 19
Iran 13

While Russia is the winner, I'd like to thank every reader-where ever you may be! Come check out the Russia themed poetry that will appear in this blog throughout July 2011

07 June 2011

Finley Experience International Views Contest UPDATE

The long awaited for results for the Finley Experience 1st Year Stats "International Views" Contest shows Russia as the winner. I will post the view totals within the next few days. Russian viewers, please stand by and look forward to your winnings in July (Poetry Subject: Russia).

09 May 2011

Spring 2011: Finals Over, Still Missing Reiko, Module Tomorrow

Okay folks we've got three bits for updates:

Made it through another semester, this one was by far the most difficult. There has been so much going on in the world and in my life, so much tragedy, yet, even in the peek of tragedy I see much to be thankful for, much to smile about, and much left to do. We cannot overcome death, but we can work together to improve everyone's quality of life.

I still have not heard from Reiko Muller, my friend I believe to be in Japan. I have scoured videos and pictures from Japan hoping to see her walking by or somewhere in the background. To no avail. I wont stop looking. And, if anyone knows her or if anyone has been contacted by her, please leave me a comment, send me an email, just let me know she and her little girl are alive.

Tomorrow the Gay Politics Module begins. This will be the final module taught by Dr. Rodney Grunes at Centenary College of Louisiana. I'm excited to be able to attend his last module, and saddened that a man who has done so very much for educating the community about LGBTs is retiring. I'm also honored to have spoken at his last four modules and to have been asked to speak again at this last module. Eventually (read as this summer) my CV will be updated with all kinds of awesomeness!

My friends, that's all for now.
Monique Finley

(*Update 17 Dec 2011: hadn't updated this post, my bad. Good news though not confirmed by sight. Was told Reiko was not in Japan at the time of the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear meltdown. So happy she's alright. Still worried about her family and all the Japanese people, especially since the nuclear reactors can't be move from the fault lines at Fukishma, which means thought they haven't won the battle, they're still under threat of an even worse catastrophe. Stay strong Japan).

15 March 2011

Japan Earthquake

I have a friend I believe to be living near Tokyo. Her name is Reiko (pronounced Leiko) Muller. I was unable to get her contact information before I stopped working at Horseshoe. I'm putting the word out, so if anyone knows her, please contact me through this blog, just leave a comment.

Google and some students from Boston have created a people finder app to help locate people who may be or are missing in Japan. Japan Earthquake People Finder app. (Thanks to Monyunna for sending me the link).

More information will be posted. However, it is 2:22am and I still have a little ways to go before I'm finished with the midterm that is due tomorrow at 2pm and my first class is at 9:45am. So, while I hate to say anything negative about education, my midterm dims greatly in comparison to what the brave Japanese people have endured and will endure in the months and years to come.

I am very worried about Reiko  and her family. I have no idea how close they live to the epicenter or the nuclear reactors.

You and all your family are in my thoughts and heart!

Monique Finley

*Update (5 April 2011): The message I posted has disappeared from the Google App mentioned above, I'm not sure who has the option of deleting a message or why anyone would delete it. You can also use the ICRC's missing person list.
**(17 April 2011): The message has returned. No word on Reiko, I've combed too many videos, pictures, my heart to you Japan!
***(14 August 2011): I received a message via FaceBook that Reiko is alive and well! To everyone who attempted to find her, thank you for your efforts! My heart goes out to everyone who is still looking for family and friends. Good Luck in your endeavours!

11 March 2011

David Kato Remembered in NY

Human Rights Campaign article about New York remembrance of David Kato, murdered Ugandan gay rights activist.

Our hearts mourn the loss of David Kato. And, our fists clench in anger. We must work together to stop this senseless violence against homosexuals in Uganda and across the globe.

UPDATE 13 November 2011
David Kato's murderer sentenced to 30 years. No public trial, but very serious sentence!

13 February 2011

Little Boy Dresses as Daphne from Scooby Doo, Mother gets Flack from Christian Preschool and Mothers

For a first person account of small-minded bigotry regarding a young son and his Daphne Halloween costume follow the links in order:



Many people could take a lesson from this mother, she is supporting her child by allowing him to be a child.
Monique Finley

Dream: What else do you have to live for?

12 February 2011

Peaceful Protests by the Peoples of Tunisia, Egypt, Algiers, and Yemen

As said in 10 Things I Hate About You: ""The shit hath hitteth the fan..eth."

To all the peoples fighting to overthrow dictators: you are not alone, your voice is heard, and your cause is worth the fight. The people prevail when they join together to depose repression! Stand together, stand proud. The following links offer a brief (very brief) timeline of action in four different countries currently toppling oppression: Tunisia, Egypt, Algiers, and Yemen. The peoples of these countries deserve our support as they oust repressive regimes and move towards Liberty!

The Tunisians overthrew their dictator, we must wait to see what happens:
January 3rd News (Foreign Policy magazine online) "Tunisia's Protest Wave: Where it Comes From and What it Means"

January 13th News (Foreign Policy magazine online) "Wikileaks and the Tunisia Protests"

January 26th News (Al Jazeera) "Tunisia Protests Turn Violent"

February 1st News (BBC News) "Tunisia Protests Against Ben Ali Left 200 Dead, says UN"
(Author's side note: It irritates me when the headline reads "200 Dead" and the subhead reads "219 Dead." That kind of inconsistency is pointless. I like BBC News, but doing that makes one seem untrustworthy. Why not just say 219 Dead in the headline? Which was it? 200? 219?)

The Egyptians overthrew their dictator. The military has the reins. We wait to see what happens next:
January  25th News (Al Jazeera: Cross-Cultural Understanding) "Thousands Call for Mubarak to Resign in Coordinated Protests Across Egypt

February 11th News (myway.com AP report) "Analysis: Military Coup was Behind Mubarak's Exit"

February 12th News (CNN News) "Egypt's Military Says it is Committed to Democracy, Foreign Treaties"

The Algerians standing in the streets, their internet lost. News repeating recent weeks, we wait to see what happens next.
February 12th News (The Telegraph) "Algeria Shuts Down Internet and Facebook as Protest Mounts"

February 12th News (The NY Times) "Security Forces Halt Protests in Algeria"

And, don't forget the people protesting in Yemen, we wait to see what happens next.
January 27th News (The New York Times) "Thousands in Yemen Protest Against the Government"

February 12th News (BERNAMA Malaysian National News Agency) "No Chance of Tunisian or Egyptian-style Protest, Says Yemen Official" 
(Yes, we have heard this before, it was said about Egypt).

February 12th News (AFP) "Students Hold Yemen Protest, Demand President Quit"

One Further Note:
No matter where you are stand solid with the voices ringing out against oppression! American Protest Literature (The John Harvard Library)American Protest Literature (The John Harvard Library)

29 January 2011

Protests in Egypt, Senator Susan Collins and the Internet "Kill Switch" Bill

Click link to read Wired.com's article about the "kill switch" bill, this article also includes links to an open opposition letter as well as a counter letter from the senators supporting the bill.

Petition links coming soon, because I know we're all going to want to petition legislation that threatens freedom of speech by giving the president the ability to shut down the "critical infrastructure," you know, the internet connects a lot of people, institutions, and organizations.

Al Jazeera article about the protests in Egypt.

As the example in Egypt shows, one person with the ability to order the internet off, is a bad idea. However bad that idea, we have the opportunity to prepare for most eventualities and Wired.com is definitely helping with those preparations by offering a how-to wiki titled, "Communicate if Your Government Shuts Off Your Internet".  

24 January 2011

UN cont

Google Scholar list of links related to UN exclusion of sexual orientation.
Monique Finley

Dream: What else do you have to live for?

11 January 2011

UN Draft Resolution Removing "Sexual Orientation" (continued)

Because of the above news release, I sent the following letter to the United Nations, only the website said I entered more than 200 characters. This isn't twitter. This is a citizen of the world, writing a complaint. So, the letter I tried to send:

To whom it may concern:

The removal of "sexual orientation" from the "draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions" directly violates the very heart of international peace and human rights. The act of removing "sexual orientation" from the protective warning acts like a green light to murder for nations like Uganda (a country which recently legalized the homosexual death penalty).

The UN website says: "Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world." That statement is correct. I live on this planet too. I am a lesbian, a United States Navy veteran, a gay rights activist, a blogger, and a college student. I've lived a hard life, but nothing that compares to the betrayal the Ugandan homosexuals have undergone, first by their own country; then, by the United Nations.

Only two corrective measure are appropriate: 1) the wording "sexual orientation" to be included in the "draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions"--again. In addition, peaceful measures must be taken to ensure the anti-homosexual actions in Uganda are stopped.

If I may, what is being done by the United Nations to protect the lives of homosexuals?

Monique Finley

What I was able to send:
What is being done to stop the murder of homosexuals? Removing "sexual orientation" from the "draft resolution on extrajudicial...executions" directly violates peace and gives a green light to murder.
What is being done to stop the murder of homosexuals? Removing "sexual orientation" from the "draft resolution on extrajudicial...executions" directly violates peace and gives a green light to murder. 

It occurs to me now, that I may have sent that email to the wrong department at the UN. In the future, I will address questions and comments to: inquiries2@un.org.

Horrendous News For Homosexuals: The UN Removed Protective Wording "Sexual Orientation" from Draft Resolution Concerning Extrajudicial Executions

Our dear Ugandan homosexual family has just had their teeth kicked in by the international community (UN)! First, they get the death sentence, then the UN removes the very wording that would offer some thread, some pinpoint of hope to those sentenced to die for loving some one of the same sex.

The following link will take you to the UN document I speak of, it's clearly represented as some trade off. What on earth could the UN gain from the deaths of Ugandan homosexuals? Does it matter what the UN might gain? Is not the murder of innocents criminal? Read the document.


I found out about this through the following blog: http://blog.outtakeonline.com/

09 January 2011

Honorary Consul Dr. Dana Kress, Way To Go Man!

This is so cool! My fiance and I are learning Haitian Creole from Dr. Kress. I meant to edit and publish this some time ago. But, the realities of my semester responsibilities prevent much. The links are about French Ambassador Vimont and the investiture of Honorary Consul to France on Dr. Dana Kress. I was invited and attended the ceremony with my family. I think it was incredible to watch, unfortunately, I couldn't listen this was due to the low volume of the speakers and the high volume of the attendees. One news woman from the Shreveport Times was especially disrespectful considering she should have been listening to the accolades, rather than chatting loudly near the hors d'oeuvres banging silverware and plate.  It was a really amazing week. The next day I was deep into a car engine, all greasy, it was great. Go figure.

If you get the chance hit the links and learn a little something about the relationship between France and Louisiana.

Honorary Consul Dr. Dana Kress

Ambassador Pierre Vimont visits

Ambassador's biography

Consul Général Olivier Brochenin

Honorary Consul Mr. Christian Goudeaux

Centenary News announcing Dr. Kress' Honorary Consulship

Amazing Latin Text Resources





The people who have participated in various online projects designed to make Classics texts available are modern intellectual heroes. By maintaining contact with the collective histories of the world we gain much insight into the peoples we have become. Furthermore, future generations will be able to participate in the centuries of dialogue that provoke serious thought and debate concerning the health and well being of humans as a collective species. My serious appreciation is sent out to all those dedicated to uniting modern communication technologies with handwritten classics passed down through the ages.

08 January 2011

Update of Change.org Bill James Censure Petition and Chic-Fil-A Petition

Alright, I can admit it, I fell behind on checking emails. I do have a great excuse, I haven't turned the computer on in three days. My ass has been grinding in Ancient Rome, trying to read between the lines and find that nugget that Woolf so desperately sought in that library way back when. It is right there just waiting for me to grasp it, or so it seems. I keep digging. I feel like a linguistic archeologist's apprentice digging around for the first time, partially blinded by excitement and nerves.

Anyway, the following is the second email I received concerning Bill James' anti-homosexual comments.



Victory in NC! Now stop Chick-fil-A from sponsoring homophobia

Dear Monique,

Because of you, we just scored an important victory for equality and now we’re going to win another.

After 28,024 Change.org members flooded the email accounts of Mecklenburg County Commissioners in North Carolina, they passed a strong resolution late last night condemning anti-gay bias and affirming diversity and inclusion. This controversial resolution passed after Commissioner Bill James used his office to call gay people "sexual predators" and homosexuality a "crime against nature."

With battles like this brewing across the country from city councils to corporate America, we’ve got to keep up the fight against homophobia. Check out the story below and help win again by taking action now.


Remember the backlash against Target last year for bankrolling strongly anti-gay politicians? Apparently, the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain wasn’t paying attention.

Chick-fil-A is known as one of the fastest growing fast-food companies in the country. But it turns out the restaurant is serving up far more than just chicken sandwiches. Chick-fil-A has joined with the Pennsylvania Family Institute to sponsor a February event aimed at preserving "biblical" marriage and denouncing marriage equality for same-sex couples.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI) has been the leading voice in the Keystone State against same-sex marriage. They have argued for a constitutional amendment banning gay couples from getting married. They’ve said that same-sex couples harm civilization. They’ve even stated that for same-sex couples to consider themselves married would be like a dog considering its tail a leg.

And now Chick-fil-A wants to throw their corporate support behind this homophobic organization? Not on our watch.

Please join Change.org members now in demanding that Chick-fil-A pull their sponsorship from this anti-gay event immediately. Just click here to sign the urgent petition.

It’s not the first time that Chick-fil-A has been connected to anti-gay groups. In years past, the business also partnered with Focus on the Family, the Colorado ministry founded by Rev. James Dobson. Focus on the Family labels homosexuality a disorder, supports "conversion therapy" for LGBT people, and once said that same-sex marriage would be a bigger disaster than Pearl Harbor.

As one of Focus on the Family’s state affiliates, the Pennsylvania Family Institute is attempting to pass a constitutional amendment in the state banning same-sex marriage. Chick-fil-A’s endorsement of PFI’s event legitimizes their campaign and threatens the civil rights of every LGBT person in Pennsylvania -- and across America.

It’s time to get Chick-fil-A on record. Are they interested in being a fast-food restaurant that serves all Americans, or partnering with and catering to some of the most radical anti-gay groups in the U.S.?

Send Chick-fil-A a strong message that homophobia is not acceptable. Period. Add your name to the petition telling Chick-fil-A to stop sponsoring this anti-gay event immediately:


With your help, Chick-fil-A will realize that they should value all of their customers, including their LGBT customers and straight allies for gay rights. Together, we’ll win again.

- Eden and the Change.org team

P.S. I just started at Change.org as Director of Organizing for Gay Rights and I’m really fired up that we won a big victory together on my first day. I'm excited to join you and more than 1 million other Change.org community members focused on equality and 11 other critical causes -- from the environment to education. If you’d like to get in touch with me, shoot me an email at Eden.James@change.org.

Change.org Petition for Censure of "Bill James, a County Commissioner in Mecklenburg, North Carlolina"

Hey all,
Here's the latest letter from change.org asking for petition signers who support censuring a county commissioner in North Carolina who has accused homosexuals of being "sexual predators." When examining the quotation from Bill James, it becomes clear, that he has used his office to propagandize anti-homosexual sentiment. If Bill James had expressed his personal view, then he would have been expressing his first amendment right to free speech. However, the as a representative of government (regardless the level), he's obligated to politically correct speech. Besides, let's admit the truth, homosexuals are not sexual predators. In fact, the majority of sexual predators are self-identified heterosexuals. However, I do not think we should illegalize heterosexuality simply because they are statistically more likely to be sexual predators; rather, we should punish sexual predators for their crimes. More importantly, we must stop discriminating against people who are not heterosexual. Failure to proscribe to the "one man-one woman" fundamentalist equation is not grounds for accusation of predatory status. Furthermore, multiple studies have shown repeatedly that open homosexuality does not harm military readiness. So: read the letter, follow the link at the end, and shazam there rests the petition! Just sign it and press the send button.


Dear Monique,
While most Americans celebrated the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Bill James, a County Commissioner in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, used it as an opportunity to bash LGBT people.

“Homosexuals are sexual predators,” James wrote. “Allowing homosexuals to serve in the U.S. military with the endorsement of the Mecklenburg County Commission ignores a host of serious problems related to maintaining U.S. military readiness and effectiveness, not the least of which is the current Democrat plan to allow homosexuals (male and female) to share showers with those they are attracted to.”

It’s not the first time Commissioner James has used his spot on the County Board to promote anti-gay bigotry.  During debate over a domestic partnership bill, Commissioner James called homosexuality a “crime against nature” that should be prosecuted by police.

And last year, Commissioner James turned to a colleague whose son died from complications from AIDS, and called the son “a homo.” He then compared homosexuality to alcoholism, and argued that all gay people bring AIDS on themselves.

We can’t let this kind of hate speech by public officials go unanswered – and we have a chance in the next few days to do something about it.

Right now, the rest of the county commission is publicly debating whether to censure James. Condemnation by the commission would send a strong signal that bigotry by elected officers holds no place in our society.

Thousands of people from Mecklenburg and around the country already speaking out. Join them by signing the petition to the Mecklenburg County Board and tell them to censure James for his anti-gay attacks:

Thanks for taking action,

The Change.org team

03 January 2011

Aeroscraft: Check out the Next Generation of Aero-Awesomeness

Now, if this isn't the grooviest thing! Seriously folks, check out the link for the Aeroscraft. This thing hangs out at about 10,000 ft., has vertical take-off capabilities, and can cruise in the air for a freaking month. In 2006, when I first stumbled on to this company they were marketing the prototype (I think).

Here's the wikipedia link: Wikipedia: Aeroscraft.

I'm telling ya'll the potential for this thing is just stupid awesome.

01 January 2011

Happy New Year 2011

It is a new year. The last one was crammed full of good shit and bad shit. I have to say, I'm glad that one's done and we're on with the next one. A lot happened for us all. And, a lot more waits to happen. I always wonder at what one year can contain. So much can happen in mere seconds, so much that the conglomeration that is a year worth of seconds brims, boils, and recedes emotion and reaction. Myriad realities mingle globally and what have we to show for it? The same ups and downs of all human existence. Perhaps we have yet to learn that is is not our environment that must change, but ourselves. 2011 presents us with another opportunity, with luck, it won't be wasted.

Monique Finley

Some Nights by FUN

(*Please Note: We the People of the United States of America are citizens of a Constitutional Republic, a.k.a. The Republic. We are not a direct democracy like some believe. By the Constitution, we are a Representative Democracy. We elect representation to defend the Constitution and the People. We placed our faith with government in the people, not in monarchs, not in career politicians, but in the People.

You want changes? Then, it is time for you to take an active interest in the good of the Republic. Do not leave governance to career politicians. Run for office. Vote for third, fourth, and fifth parties.)

This November vote them all out!
Clean Out Congress or Bust!

Take Me to Church by Hozier

* 26 JUNE 2015 * LGBT Rights Victory *
read the Supreme Court's opinion:


What Would the Dude Do?