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no second chances..

Friday, 17 August 2012, 17:54 PM

Meet Travis Iosue, as a young child, he was what you would call a bit aggressive, always wanting the attention and never wanting to stand still.. His worried Mother took him to see doctors where he was diagnosed with severe obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette's Syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He was still seeing a doctor back in 1995 when he was invited to "hang out" with some friends of his. Travis, although he was 17, had the mind of a 12 year old, and as a result many of his friends were younger than he was.. this night, he was the oldest child in a room with three young girls and another boy. At some point, one of the girls sat on his lap and Travis says he "pushed her off" but never was he alone with her..

The next day the Police arrested Travis. The girl had told her mother that Travis had put his hand on the outside of her shirt, over her breasts, and touched her for sexual gratification..

That night, however.. according to the testimony of the other three children in the room, the girl had not said anything and acted like everything was fine. She laughed and played like normal.

Still, Travis was arrested and put in jail, in spite of the witnesses that said they believed the girl was lying. Travis's court-appointed lawyer, Randy Lepley, pressured Travis (against his Mothers wishes) to make a deal. In the deal, Travis would plea guilty and get five years probation but he would be allowed to "go home". All he would have to do is have no contact with minors.. Travis, being a minor himself, violated his probation in less than a month and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, next to murderers and rapists..

Prison is not a good place to be, regardless why you are there.. but to be sentenced for child molestation means the prison population will make an example out of you. Travis had his nose, right arm, eye socket, shoulder and front teeth all broken as well as he now suffers from dizzy spells..

Travis spent 16 years in prison.

When the victim's mother was called, after Travis's release, she said her daughter "still has nightmares about it" and she feels Travis should still be in prison. However, her voice is alone.. The victim's father was reached separately and he felt that his daughter made up the story and wanted to come forward with the truth but was in fear she would be arrested..

Still, after 16 years.. Travis should be able to put his past behind him and move forward?

unfortunately not.. Travis must register as a sex offender. Meaning he wears a GPS device around his ankle, can not live within 500 feet of where children gather and anyone with a computer can look up his address and harass him. Try getting a job with that on your resume.

America has quite a history with the sex offender registry, the first state to pass such a law was California in 1947 however communities were not told who was on it till 1996 when Megans Law was passed requiring all states to make public who were sex offenders and their personal information. In 2007, The "Adam Walsh Child Protection Act" was passed giving states more legal permission to "throw the book" at offenders who don't register. One person was given a life sentence in prison because they couldn't register with a home address because they were homeless..

What does it take to wind up on the list? using the bathroom outside (even if the one inside is broken) would do it, sending a friend a picture of yourself in the nude would do it as well.. I even read of a teacher who was given jail time because a computer in her classroom somehow showed porn and they felt she was "to slow in stopping it".

So it seems clear we need to be a little more detailed on what gets you on the registry. Crimes against children, without a doubt.. However, in cases like Travis, where the facts do not add up.. we need to think twice before we react.

The government spends how much money taking care of these people in prisons? that would be much less if they could get a job after they were released, but due to the registry.. who wants to hire them?

As for Travis, he went back to prison again.. seems something set off his ankle bracelet in the middle of the night and his parole officer thought he took to long responding to it, then the next day he had his family over for a 20 minute birthday party, at the half-way house where he is forced to live, that wasn't scheduled with his parole officer.. These two events cost him two months in jail..

There are two things most commonly heard amid those in the sexual offender registry.. the first is "I wish I were dead" and the second is "I would have an easier time if I had murdered someone".. both are true.

While there are ways to get off the registry, it is rare it happens and it always takes years. There are legislators trying to make changes in the law but unfortunately it takes majority votes and the people who vote all represent a population who is afraid to live near someone termed a "sex offender".

I am glad that there is a system that keeps track of sexual predators, but still, I feel sorry for Travis, and others like him.. who were given a title they didn't deserve and will continue to pay for it for the rest of their lives..

~ Daniel

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Will The Real Joker Please Stand Up..

Friday, 27 July 2012, 17:09 PM

In the comic series "Batman", creator Bob Crane has tried to balance the good and evil. Batman represents the good in mankind, Batman doesn't have superpowers so he has to use his creative imagination (and the endless money flow of his alter ego,Bruce Wayne) to fight injustice. On the other end of the moral scale, you will find "The Joker". He has been Batman's greatest nemesis from the first ever story.. causing the paralysis of Commissioner Gordon's wife and the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd.

The Joker has been played on screen by three actors.. Cesar Romero took the role in the television series while in the movies both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger have donned the makeup. After Heath Ledger died, people viewed his portrayal of the Joker as something more somber..

Then came last weeks shootings in a movie-theater in Colorado. One person dyed their hair orange and opened fire on a crowd of people watching the premier of the latest Batman movie.. According to media reports, when he was arrested the first thing he claimed was "I am the Joker"..

Whenever there is a national tragedy, our country comes together in support for the community, in shock over the crime and in fear there may be someone out there who might copy the crime.

Folks at Pitney Bowes had that fear when one of their employees, Neil Prescott, phoned in a threat that said "I'm a joker, I'm going to load up my guns and blow everybody up". Seems Mr. Prescott was only days away from being fired and not happy about it. When Police arrived at his house, he was wearing a t-shirt that said "Guns Don't Kill People, I Do!". Can you guess what they found in his home?

as you can see in his picture, his arsenal included one assault rifle, two shotguns, nine handguns and three rifles. Was he serious? The only law he broke is verbally threatening his co-workers, he shot no body and all of his weapons were legally purchased.. Does not our Constitution give him the right of free speech, that he can threaten anyone, just so he doesn't act on it? Before you say "no", remember that hate groups have this right.

Should we have waited to see if this guy was going to kill someone for real?

Allow me to introduce you to someone else.. His name is Stephen Kennedy. He was also placed under arrest.

His crime? Stephen is a student at the University of Kentucky and involved in a discrimination complaint. He wasn't very happy with the fact that the Associate Vice President wasn't returning his phone calls so Stephen e-mailed him a picture of Heath Ledger as the Joker. That's all, no death threats, no guns.. just a simple picture of a movie villain.

The college called it a "threat to do the vice president harm". Stephen was charged with third-degree terroristic threatening.. Kennedy's defense? "The Joker has been my profile photo long before this months shootings, the whole thing is one huge miss-understanding."

I'm at a loss how we can arrest someone just because they sent someone else a picture, one that everyone has seen millions of times, of a fictonal villain called "The Joker"..

Not to make light of the lives lost, but that was one persons evil rampage. It has nothing to do with the Joker, Batman or anything beyond one sick person who wanted to make himself famous at the cost of 12 other lives. The public themselves have spoken by making this new Batman movie one of the biggest selling movies yet this year. We should embrace these characters because the people who died, in their last minutes.. did.

However, thanks to a couple idiots, it seems the real joke is on us...

~ Daniel

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To Shoot Or Not To Shoot

Monday, 23 July 2012, 15:03 PM

To Shoot Or Not To Shoot

Back in the old west, a cowboy could count on two things.. His horse and his gun. His horse might run away but his gun would always have his back.. So began America’s love affair with the gun.

There were guns on the Mayflower, in the form of a modified .66 caliber Italian single-shot wheellock carbine carried by a guy named John Alden. It didn’t take the Indians long to learn how deadly guns were, they bought, stole and traded for this firepower from the Gods. Guns were so important that our forefathers included the rights to have them in the second amendment. America, it can be argued.. Would still be a British colony if it were not for guns..

Personally, I remember watching “The Lone Ranger” as a child and wanting so much to have a toy gun to play cowboys and Indians with.. This desire of mine was ignored by my grandparents for two reasons.. #1- I was an only child on the farm, who would I “shoot” and #2- guns kill.. I know we had a gun somewhere on the property because I remember my Uncle going to the pond to shoot at the turtles that were drowning the baby ducks but I never once saw it.. Then.. When I was around 12.. I was given a B.B. gun for Christmas.. I felt like Ralphy in the movie “A Christmas Story”.. I felt very strongly that this was the first sign I was becoming an adult.. I was so thrilled and soon everything and anything on the farm was my “target”.. I’m also sure that was the year the cows really started hating me.. They didn’t have to worry for long, however, because this new toy was taken away from me after I accidentally shattered a large solar panel behind the house. Still that didn’t ruin my love for guns..

When I was 17, I tried to hang out with the “wrong” crowd. Yes, it was an attempt to be someone “cool”.. One of the people who I knew at the time thought it would be funny to give me a real gun and tell me to go to the convenience store with it.. And I did.. Nothing happened and I went home thinking how powerful I was.. However, all these illusions were shattered only six months later when I lived in Houston, Texas.

It was very late, around midnight, and I was parked in front of a club that had a restaurant next to it. I was enjoying a snack outside, sitting on the hood of my car, with friends when suddenly we heard what sounded like fireworks going off.. I didn’t think nothing of the noise but I did find it odd when everyone around me hit the ground.. After a couple minutes, everyone except one man stood back up.. He had been murdered.

I didn’t know the guy or even, to be truthful, see who shot him.. But it did for the first time occur to me how deadly a gun can be.. I vowed at that moment that I would never want to own one.

But this is just me.. Allow me to introduce you to Andrew Lee Scott..

Andrew has a real job but to earn some extra spending money he sells drugs on the side. Not exactly an income you would want to tell your parents about but still something that many people do.. I’m not here to judge him for that.. However, Andrews problem became deadly when someone knocked on his door last Monday night in Lake County, Florida. Andrew was sure it was someone after his drugs and he wasn’t going to allow that to happen so he thought it would be a good idea to get the jump on someone before they got the jump on him. He asked “who is it” but there was no answer.. Yes, it has to be someone after his drugs..

So Andrew grabs his gun, points it at the door and opens it..

I doubt if he lived long enough to realize he was standing in front of four or five Sherriff’s, weapons drawn, looking for an attempted murderer who happened to have parked his motorcycle in front of Andrews house.

Yes, they had the wrong house.. The guy they were after was across the street, but in that split second when the door came open and they saw Andrew’s gun.. They had to act. I don’t blame them at all, the guy opened his door with a gun. Sure, they could have identified themselves as the Police but remember, at that time, they thought the person behind the door was someone who was wanted for attempted murder and would have tried escaping out the back window.. They still had the element of surprise and to have identified themselves would have given it away.. Besides.. Who would have imagined that the person opening the door was not only someone else, but someone else with a gun..

I feel Andrew was one of those people who would have worn that shirt that said “you can have my gun when you pry my cold dead fingers from it”.. After all, Andrew was inside his rights to own the gun.. . American’s have had guns so long there is no way we could ever give them up.. People would die for the right to hold onto them.. So getting rid of guns isn’t the answer..

Gun control perhaps? In 198, our President was shot by a crazy man who was trying to impress Jody Foster. The only good thing to come out of it is something called “The Brady Law”. It requires background checks on anyone buying a gun plus a five day waiting period. We can still have the guns we want, we just have to wait a couple days plus hope we don’t have anything in our records that would make people wonder what we would do with it..

Then this week, at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight” in Colorado opened our eyes to one mans evil. 12 people lost their lives to a guy who is probably a lot book-smarter than me. This guy trapped people in a theatre and shot them as they tried to escape. It turns out he followed all the laws on owning weapons by the book, he waited his time and allowed the background search.. His worse offense? A speeding ticket.

I’ve read some people who said “If I would have been there with a gun, I would have stopped him before his second victim. “ I fail to see how a shootout inside a crowded theatre would be any safer but perhaps it might have been.. The sad thing is this guys motive.. Which I have yet to hear from the media but it is clear to me.. The same reason Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon.. To be famous..

In conclusion.. I don’t believe we can spot people like this guy.. He showed no signs before and , like Ted Bundy, will probably impress the judge that gives him the death sentence.. “If only you would have used your talent in a good way”..

So this brings up the issue of why are guns that can fire 100 rounds a minute for sale to the public? What are we going to need that sort of firepower for? Killing squirrels? To me a gun is just like a car.. Both can kill people depending on who is in control.. There are cars that can go 150 mph but we are not allowed to buy them.. They are reserved for “professional race-car drivers” but we can buy a normal car that will do 80.. So why can we buy such guns? Why are they covered by our second amendment?

I want to wish all the families and survivors from the shootings in Colorado the best.. The road to recovery will be uphill but you will not have to walk it alone. I do hope that perhaps, somehow, something good can come from this.. America needs better gun control laws to keep people from attempting to find fame thru the barrel of their gun..

~ Daniel

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What does it take to make a great President?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012, 18:09 PM

When I was a child, I remember reading about a man who was captain of a PT boat that was rammed and sank during World War Two, yet this man saved another mans life as he led his crew to safety. John F Kennedy was destined for the White House and almost 5 years before I was born he was shot to death in Dallas Texas. John F Kennedy was not raised to be President, his older brother Joseph Jr. had that distinction till his death in the war, but Jack (as his friends called him) met the challenge and gave America hope as it entered into the Space Race.

Jack Kennedy happened to the right man, with the right support, at the right time to bring our Nation together.

United States Presidential history has many such examples.. George Washington was a great military leader when we needed one, Thomas Jefferson had the savvy to help arrange the Louisiana Purchase when this new country needed to expand and Abraham Lincoln is the only man alive in his era who saw the importance of keeping the Union together, in spite of the enemies he made. Almost 100 years later another man, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of all troops in France, would become President and give America a reputation as "the strongest, most influential, and most productive nation in the world" Clearly again, he was the right President at the right time.

Today, in our era.. we live in a time when our bills exceed our income. This being election time, we see Democrats and Republicans battle it out with smear campaigns designed to make it look like there is no honest people left in our Nations capital. Today, we need a President who understands the economy and has a plan to once again bring jobs to those not working. The last time we had such a president was in 1932 when Franklin D. Roosevelt took office and ushered in the "New Deal"..

In history, I've often heard about the "New Deal" but if you ask me, I couldn't have told you what it was or how it worked.. so I've done the research..

The New Deal created the Federal Emergency Relief Administration which provided emergency welfare and aid. This created homeless shelters, soup-kitchens, vaccinations as well as literacy training and free childcare for job seeking parents. They also put 20 million people back to work in jobs such as repairing public buildings, laying sewer pipes and raking leaves.. Another New Deal agency was the National Recovery Administration which gave us the first ever minimum wages and standard 40 hour work week.. Roosevelt's plan also created the Civilian Conservation Corps which created 250 thousand jobs in conservation, forestry and land improvement. They planted more than 3 billion trees, constructed fire towers, built fire roads, fought and prevented wildfires, preserved wildlife habitats, controlled floods and prevented soil erosion. Much of the CCC work was centered on areas of low population, where there was work to be done yet few people around to do it.. Also created was the Public Works Administration, which later became the Works Progress Administration, which employed 8.5 million people from 1935 to 1943 and built 650 thousand miles of roads, 78 thousand bridges and 125 thousand buildings. One branch of the PWA was the Arts Program which hired thousands of artists, musicians, actors, photographers and writers to use their talents for public works.. It is due to these artists that we today can see so clearly what life was like in the Great Depression..

The New Deal also gave us the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation which guarantees us our account is insured up to $250.000, after having so many banks fail in the Great Depression, who can blame anyone for not trusting them anymore yet banks are important. It is the bank that will help the dreamer realize their dream. The New Deal also created the Federal Housing Administration which helps insure enough affordable housing exists for purchase by offering loans to home-building companies, which are the first to suffer in an economic downturn.

Yet another New Deal program was the Securites and Exchange Commission, this requires discloser of a company's financial information and dealings to investors and because of this law, many millionaires are sitting in jail today for cheating their employees and shareholders out of money.

However, I believe the most important agency created from the New Deal is the Social Security Administration, this agency provides financial assistance for single mothers, a free food program and unemployment insurance, but most famously, they manage a federal pension system for retired people. Because of them, someone can retire from the workforce and it helps open up their jobs to new workers.

Not all of the New Deal programs worked like planned.. one that failed was the Agricultural Adjustment Administration which paid farmers to grow less crops (in theory, creating a greater demand). Destroying crops while so many people struggled to put food on the table made this agency very controversial..

However, by 1940 America had eyes toward Europe and the threat of war, with so many men headed overseas, American women learned their skills and our economy had never been better. After the war, the men returned home and for the next 20 years the term "American Dream" became known the world over.

We were lucky to have Franklin D. Roosevelt as our President, he was the right man at the right time..

Today we face another election.. a candidate who gave us 4 years, one whom many called a "novelty" they expected him to fall apart after one year yet he surprised everyone and even impressed a few. The other candidate is almost an unknown.. I have myself heard both bad and good stories about him..

It's not my goal to convince you to support one or the other.. In all honesty, I believe anyone in the White House will fail unless they go in with a plan like Roosevelt did in 1932.. what saddens me, is neither candadate has publically make known such a plan.. However, whoever we call President next year will need our support if such a plan is put into action.. we can't have our Government spend years fighting over the way this plan is worded, or even who gets what.. we need action! and we need to start turning things around today!

All the Presidents we consider "great" were, in their own time, hated by someone or another.. it's just politics.. we need to look past the name-calling and pointing of fingers and ask them the real questions.. how can we find jobs? how can we pay our bills? what plan do you have so this will happen?

I think if this would happen, we would have a great President in office.

~ Daniel

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new, this season ... the latest FLORIDA drama

Friday, 23 March 2012, 6:10 AM

Catch the latest from the state who gave the media the miss-justice of Casey Anthony with her den of high-profile lawyers, it is an all new drama involving a Hispanic boy who shoots and kills an African American boy who happened to be walking thru an area where he did not live.. yet no arrest has been made, why?

The police say the evidence (which has NOT been released to the public) shows he acted in self defense.. What has been released? the 911 phone call made by the shooter who claims he felt threatened by the "boy in a hoodie".. Yes, only one person that night had a gun and the other had a bag of Skittles but how was either to know that? The sad truth is guns are real and in the pockets of many people, both young and old. I have a friend in a wheelchair who keeps a gun hidden and yes, he would shoot you if he felt you might harm him.

Was this a case of racism? does this Hispanic guy, who has many friends of all races, just hate young African-American guys he doesn't know who wear hoodies? or did he honestly feel threatened? only he knows that answer..

The media has stirred the kettle of public opinion, we have begged for the Police to arrest someone without knowing why they didn't. We seem to have lost faith in law enforcement.. We now have at least another year of National Enquirer headlines to look forward to.. To quote that little voice in my head.. "Wonderful.." I bet Casey Anthony would love to give this guy a hug for taking away the "most hated person in Florida" title she has worn for the last two years..

Why don't we just skip ahead and arrest this guy and give him the chair for murder, who needs a trial? lets save all the money and time and hours on hours of tv specials. I know the Constitution says he has rights and all but.. thousands of people say he is guilty and have demanded he be thrown in jail. Even the police chief felt he needed to step down but not because he didn't do his job but because, due to the media, his job became a distraction to the case.

I wish people would understand that we don't get facts from crimes from the news, but from evidence itself. Evidence MUST be proven beyond a doubt and that is why the girlfriends version of what she heard on her phone (which was not recorded) is only hear-say.. As much as we would like to include it, we need more than her word that it is true to call it a fact.

I must tip my hat to the Sanford Police for not bending to public opinion and arresting someone just because the public feels they should. They know the eyes of the Nation are on them so they have brought in the Federal Government to prove they are doing their job and still.. even with the Feds involved, there is no arrest.. to me, it looks like they must know something about the case that the media doesn't..

As for us.. one much loved son has died, one family mourns while another family prays that the evidence will prove their loved one would have never pulled the trigger had he not felt threatened.. and we sit on our couches and make judgments based only on what we see on the news or read in the papers..

So here we go again, the same state that gave us "Terri Shrivo's" right to die (so her husband could live) and Casey Anthony's right to party days after her baby daughter drowns in a family pool comes the next big drama.. playing out in living-rooms across the country all year long..

stay tuned and lets all hope that it is evidence that convicts or sets free this young man, not the court of public opinion..

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Respecting The Enemy.

Friday, 13 January 2012, 18:10 PM

Every person who takes the oath to defend their country and wears the uniform all deserve our undying gratitude. Their job is to run into the most dangerous areas of the world and attempt to bring order to chaos.. This is why this story this week, of four United States soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines who urinated on the dead bodies of dead Tali ban fighters is so upsetting. When they wear the uniform, they represent every soldier in that uniform, every citizen back home and sadly, themselves.. Every good action those guys took up till now in their careers will be forgotten..

Army Lt. Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, wrote "Defiling, desecrating, mocking, photographing or filming for personal use insurgent dead constitutes a grave breach of the LOAC (laws of armed conflict), violate basic standards of human decency and can cause serious damage to relations with the Afghan government..."

I was listening to a popular talk show host today and he commented that while he doesn't think they should have done it, he understands why they did it.. and.. in a way I guess I understand, I understand why people burst into banks with guns and rob them but I would never do it myself.

This talk show host is under the impression that these Marines should never be publicly identified, instead they should be allowed to quietly retire (with pay) and blend back into civilian life.. My only problem with that is if we never identify them, then the message we send the world is it was a Marine, could have been your son or brother, who disrespected another culture so much they urinated on them after they were dead.

This talk show host went on and on about how these dead fighters were Islamic and deserved to be urinated on.. He said the way their religion treats women, the fact they chop off heads.. these guys are barbarians! The fact a couple Marines showed disrespect on them is trivial..

He doesn't know squat about Islam, but nor does the majority of us.. I bought into the stories about how bad women were treated once myself but it stopped when one of my friends, who is Islamic, told me that not all Islamic men treat women that way. She said that if it were true, then the women would leave such abuse. She pointed many other religions have women who stay in abusive relationships, they are treated much worse than she is.. I couldn't argue with her, she loved her husband and her religion.

This talk show host also had a caller say "this is the reason America is hated by so many other counties".. Do you know what he said to this caller? Nothing, he hung up on him. Claiming he was "Anti-patriotic".. But the caller has a point.. America is known as a bully.. and it's not our Military but our leadership (over the years) that has given us this reputation.

I would also like to point out just how upset WE would be if a video had surfaced showing four Tali ban fighters urinating on dead American soldiers? Wouldn't we want blood?

How should they have behaved? I found one person who wrote these wise words to the soldiers.."I commend you for the conditions that you live in while you are overseas defending our right to sleep under the stars. Please take a minute and talk to the man or woman beside you about what is right and wrong in your situation. Only advice from someone in the very same situation makes sense when you you are dodging bullets and IED's on a daily basis. May God bless each and every one of you and bring you home to your family safely and to a public that you put your life on the line to defend to give them the right of "FREE SPEECH", many of whom would hang you out to dry if they got the chance. REMEMBER, there are those of us who put our kids to bed every night and teach them to pray for you while you are dodging death to keep us safe"

I have family and friends in the Military, and I couldn't be more proud of them. But I hate that these four men took it on themselves to do something so un-American. There are many who say that "I hate the fact that someone filmed it worse" but I believe that is like saying "I'm not sorry I did it, I'm only sorry I got caught!"

All those in uniform, please stay safe.. remember you are a part of our family and we want you home. Don't let the actions of a few make you think what they did was okay.. and above all else, wear your uniform proud because you represent a country who is proud of you.

~ Daniel

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Caylee's Ride

Thursday, 11 August 2011, 9:13 AM

Sometimes people happen into our lives, and like a flash of light, they are gone.. yet what they leave behind in our memories changes us. This girl was one of those people..

I never knew Caylee Anthony, only the picture of the beautiful little girl who showed so much to live for. To look at her, you would believe every tomorrow was going to embrace her, unlike the pictures of the starving children in third world countries who have hunger in their eyes, Caylee was a beautiful child who gave her grandparents, George and Cindy, reasons to smile and laugh. Her Mother, Casey, I honestly believe loved her but..
three years ago something went wrong for Caylee..

I'm not going to debate anyones guilt here,

in the end, the result is that Caylee's body was found in a bag in a ditch only a mile away from George and Cindy's Orlando, Florida home.

We all know the story..

the last time anyone say Caylee was June 16 2008. Casey took her and went to stay with friends, not returning for a month, in which time Cindy and George tried to see Caylee but Casey kept telling her she was with a babysitter. Then on July 15th, Cindy couldn't take any more of Casey's answers so she called the police and only then did Casey admit to the child being missing.

In that month, Casey had spent time with her boyfriend, she got a tattoo that says "Bella Vita" (beautiful life), and she entered a wet t-shirt contest.. these actions, plus having an auto trunk that smelled of human decomposition, would two years later turn the public against her..

It was in this time that Casey, and her parents, went on television begging for whoever has her child (a babysitter that it turns out didn't exist) to return her safely. When the police started their investigation, they found out right away the babysitter never existed nor did the job Casey claimed she was working..

The sad thing is, while this was playing out on television.. Caylee was already dead and laying in a ditch. Overlooked by searchers in July but she would be discovered in December. Searchers claimed they missed seeing her before because the water level in the ditch was high..

Casey spends all of 2009 in jail and this is when her relationship with her parents breaks down.. They don't know what to believe anymore, they don't want to think her daughter murdered her child but..

Lets skip ahead to the trial.. what defense will Casey's team use?

Her NEW story is.. #1- my dad sexually abused me all my life and so did my brother.. #2- Caylee drowned in my parents swimming pool back in June and my dad helped me cover it up..

George Anthony was a police officer, everyone who knows him well (and that is alot of people) say there is no basis to Casey's claims. How must he feel to have his own daughter, on national tv, say something like that?

and how, even if it were true, would it explain what happened to Caylee and the previous stories Casey has told.

What it did do, apparently, is give the jurors reason to doubt the prosecutions case.. They can't say without a doubt that Casey had anything to do with Caylee's murder..

so they found Casey innocent.. shocking a nation into disbelief.. I, myself, never even thought for a second they would let her go, she admitted into covering up her own daughters death..

but as I said earlier, this isn't about Casey's innocence or guilt.. all I have written are the facts as they happened. The jury found Casey Anthony innocent so today she is in hiding (afraid for her life) and millions of people feel like Caylee will never find justice..

so they want to build Caylee a memorial in the wooded area where her remains were found..

yes, finally I get to the whole reason for this entry.. how should we memorialize Caylee?

The people around the wooded area, and the entire neighbor hood George and Cindy still live in, do NOT want something like this that will draw in strangers into their neighborhood who just want to "sight-see".

and I believe they are right.. what good is glamorizing the area where her body was found. To me, it makes more sense to name a ride at Disney after Caylee.. Something where children, like Caylee, can laugh and enjoy themselves.

I know, people at Disney would need to get behind it (and I'm sure they would if there were money to be made) but considering Disney is inside of 20 miles from where all this happened.. For once, Disney could give back to the community and help other children.

I also think Disney should take all money made from Caylee's Ride and invest it in a program to help children who are abused and neglected.. if they are concerned about the "bottom line", they can always write it off on their taxxes..

maybe, somewhere in the future.. children will laugh and play while learning a little bit about a little girl who stopped laughing far to soon.

Rest in Peace, Caylee.

~ Daniel

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My Own Journey Into Space.

Friday, 20 May 2011, 19:47 PM

Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there."

Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked

..with these words President John F Kennedy launched millions of imaginations into a future that allowed us to touch the moon, to climb the stars and to plant a flag on a surface that for thousands of years was out of reach.

This is the 50 year history of NASA, and I am but one of millions of people who look admiringly into the heavens and see the history of NASA as something beyond just a group of "rocket scientists" who build controlled bombs for people to ride on but as something that is part of my history as well..

.. in 1982 NASA launched "Columbia".. meanwhile, back on Earth, I was in 7th grade and life as I knew it was about to fall apart.. This was the year I lived in three separate foster homes and went to just as many different school systems.. yet on television they showed this new, futuristic vehicle that could fly into space and carry people.. exactly the place I wanted to be because here on Earth, I just didn't seem to fit in..

I don't have any memory of the launch, but I do remember the landing as it was televised alot (and I was living in a home at the time that only picked up one channel). The name "Columbia" would forever be in my memory..

Four years later television coverage had died down as there had been multiple take-offs and landings, as for myself, I had survived my youth and my sister offered me a chance to live with her in another state.. I was still in school, and still clueless as how to fit in.. On January 28th I remember the announcement over the intercom at school about the Challenger exploding during take off.. I remember my first thought at the time was being upset at myself because I wasn't even aware there was a launch that day..

This was a sad day for NASA, President Reagan went on television and said
"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God"..

.. I believe (but I could be wrong) that my Mother wrote a poem in memory of those who lost their lives that day..

yet for NASA, as for me.. life went on.. the disaster brought attention back to the space program and the disaster I was calling my life brought me first to Texas and then to Florida..

this is the point where I should tell a something about myself.. as I said earlier, I was raised in foster homes, yet it wasn't because I didn't know my family.. The one foster home I spent 9 years in also included my half brother Shawn who, to make a long story short, was never able to walk or talk or eat or do anything else I could do.. As you can guess, Shawn's illness threw me into the role as the "big brother" who wants to protect him yet I couldn't.. when I left that home, I never went back yet Shawn has always been part of who I am today. The reason I never went back is my destiny took me to Florida..

It was in 2003 that Shawn died.. I got the news at work and it was the longest 8 hour shift of my life.. Living so far away, there was no way I could go to his funeral so that morning, Feb. 1st, I decided to watch the space shuttle Columbia return to earth.. I had not watched a shuttle landing in a long time yet there was nothing else that could keep my mind away from Shawn..

only the Columbia never landed.. it broke apart in re-entry and seven souls were lost forever.. I took this news hard as something in my mind showed Shawn welcoming these astronauts into Heaven..

It was July 26th, 2005 before NASA returned to space. That happened to also be the first day of my new job.. I remember my new boss allowing me to be alone as everyone went outside to see the launch..

I could imagine Shawn watching it as well..

In 2006, I started attending open microphone's at a coffee bar in Daytona Beach owned by two wonderful people, Marsha and Gus, who just happen to, at the time, both work for NASA. Gus was with the shuttle program from day one and although I've never told him my own personal history, his kindness and smile reflect exactly to me the very inspiration that took us into space 50 years ago.

I also should mention one time I won a chance to go "backstage" at NASA, to an area restricted to regular visitors.. to see a small private rocket launch. It was really an amazing experience to drive by the launchpad where the Gemini rockets were launched. For that day, I felt special.

I currently live only 50 miles or so away from NASA and I have had the honor of seeing, from a distance, many launches.. I love the night launches, when the ball of fire goes straight up and then takes a curve and heads south.. it's something I wish everyone could witness.

so this last week NASA launched it's next to last ever shuttle.. I looked out the front window at my work and all those before mentioned memories passed by in just one moment. I will attempt to play tourist someday and drive down to Kennedy Space Center and see a shuttle up close, to wonder what it was like for those who walked in space, and most importantly.. to believe again that nothing is impossable..

~ Daniel

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The Trouble With Tilikum

Monday, 04 April 2011, 12:52 PM

meet Tilikum, his name means "friends, relations, tribe, nation, common people".. Tilikum was born in 1981 and is an entertainer, showing off before thousands every year, however from Feb 2010 till March 2011 Tilikum did not preform at a single show..

why? he got in a bit of trouble..

he killed someone.. and it's not the first time he has been involved in someones death either, back on Feb. 21 1991 Tilikum and two of his friends "roughhoused" someone to death.. Then, on July 06 1999, a man named Daniel Dukes tried to "bite" Tilikum and lost his life as a result.. yet all this time Tilikum kept working..

Then last Feb, 40 year old Dawn Brancheau, in front of witnesses, was dragged to her death by Tilikum. It seems that the owners of this entertainment complex thought bad publicity from Dawn's death was hurting business so they did away with Tilikum's act..

Only for a year.. last week Tilikum came back, preforming to crowds again, doing what he does best.. Entertaining..

With so many people dead because of Tilikum, to me there seems to be no justice.. Had I killed three people (even accidentally) I'm sure I would be writing this article in a prison library.. Or at the least in a sanitarium..

The company that runs the entertainment business couldn't exactly hand Tilikum over to the authorities.. why? because Tilikum is an Orca Whale.

So I guess that makes it okay he drowned three people? This company (SeaWorld) gave him a year off, lectured him against drowning his trainers, taught him a couple new tricks and, now that the bad press has died down, put him back in a small pool so he can entertain tourists and help SeaWorld get more money out of their pockets..

yes, SeaWorld has made changes with the way Tilikum is trained..

The trainers no longer work closely with him, no trainers are allowed in the water with him. High pressure hoses are used to direct the whales, and guardrails and safety nets have also been installed in the pool. There are plans to install false-bottom floors that can lift trainers and whales out of the pools in under a minute..

what else could they do?

wait, I have an idea.. RELEASE HIM!! He has spent almost 30 years in captivity.. I would say he has paid for his release in the money he generated.

Come-on SeaWorld, he's known as a "KILLER WHALE".. he weighs 12,300 pounds and he is 22 feet long.. Does this sound like something that should be in captivity? In the ocean, he can feed himself (no reason for any more trainers to die) and you have had him for THIRTY YEARS!! What does it take for him to earn his freedom?

My suggestion, for what it's worth, would be to have no whale in captivity longer than 10 years. They were not created to entertain mankind but as part of the creatures of the sea. It is a small way for you guys to do the "right thing".

As for the families of the three people who died because of Tilikum, I'm very sorry about your loss. SeaWorld owes you the memories you will never have with your loved ones. I do hope you win your court case.

Lastly, to the two dozen or so people in attendance when Dawn Brancheau was pulled under the water and drowned in a show while feeding Tilikum, I hope one night you can sleep peacefully again.

~ Daniel

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Forgotten Children

Saturday, 12 March 2011, 8:54 AM

No one ever said that being a kid was easy.. peer pressure, making friends, bullying, not to mention having to learn things in school that will help you get a good job when your older and have your own family.. My own childhood wasn’t exactly normal, but I know many other kids had it even worse than me.. It would seem that the show “Leave It To Beaver” was very fictional.. no-hard working father who spends quality time with his children, no stay at home mother who always listens and never gets upset, no understanding older brother who includes you in his plans.. such a storyline, even for the 1950′s, was as far out there as StarTrek would be a decade later..

still it seems, due to the current economy, children in the US have one other problem that I don’t remember hearing about when I was young.. homelessness..

When Dicken’s wrote “Oliver Twist”, he put a spin on homeless children that made us almost wish we were them.. all the fun they had being in a gang and stealing for food.. sadly, that too is fiction.. here are some facts however that are real.

According to the National Poverty Center, over 15 million children lived at or below the poverty line in the United States as of 2008.
Since the recession, the U.S. has lost over 7.5 million jobs, and it will be a very long time before those jobs are recovered.
There were over 1 million foreclosures last year, and there are another million expected this year.
The poverty threshold is if a family of four makes less than $22,000 a year
What this means is that due to jobs being so hard to find, parents are loosing their homes and being forced into shelters or into the kindness of their family or neighbors. With these parents are their children. When you have a house, you tend to collect enough things to fill it but when you loose that house, all your belongings need a place to go so many people put them in storages. When you can’t afford to pay your storage bill, then the storage company will auction them off to the highest bidder.. Your memories, your toys, everything you couldn’t carry around with you is given a price tag and sold.

Many parents have found ways to earn just enough money to rent a hotel room.. not for a couple days, but as long, in some cases, as a year or two. This forces entire families to live together in one room. School busses now stop in front of hotels and motels every morning. Sometimes, the free lunch program at school is the only decent meal these children have all day..

According to government projections, inside of one year, 1 in 4 – of this nation’s children will be living in poverty or living on the streets. Children will learn about hunger not from textbooks or fictional stories like Oliver Twist, but from real life. I saw an interview with some of these children and the reporter asked them if they knew about hunger and one boy said “yes, it’s so painful you can’t sleep, you spend hours and hours just turning over and never fall asleep”.. I believe he was lying for the camera, because hunger IS painful (the worse kind of cramps you can ever know) but sleeping is not a problem. When I was 18, I lived on the streets myself and I experienced this hunger.. I was down to half the weight I am today and I remember eating a tootsie pop one day because that was the only thing I could afford. You drink alot of water and you sleep often as it’s the only escape from the pain of the cramps.

Many people will argue: “why don’t these families go to homeless shelters?” and the answer is easy.. Every homeless shelter will separate them. The men will live in one place and the women in another. Keeping the family together, even if it is in a motel room, is the most important thing. To know you are with the ones whom love you will help get you through the hard times.

My heart goes out to these children, in some ways I can understand what they are experiencing as moving around from home to home growing up will leave you feeling as if you somehow missed something important in your childhood.. seeing your friends have that stability you lack makes you feel less worthy as a child. I know how much I hated sharing “my” room with another kid, but to have to share the ONLY room with your entire family.. these children really need someone in their families to reach out to them and tell them that what is happening is not their fault and they are worthy and loved.

So many things children today have to deal with.. I wish that organized religion would do MORE than run soup kitchens (which is a good start) by opening the doors to their churches for these families during the week, if every church housed 10 families… They already have the rooms..

yea, me being a dreamer again..

~ Daniel

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Tuesday, 02 December 2008, 16:54 PM

Daytona Beach, Florida
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