Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Holiday

Hi ya'll,
It's been a great few weeks, but I have to get back to life, do my homework, term papers, exams, wash the dishes, look for a new apartment,,, all those kinds of fun things that I have successfully been putting on the back burner until after the election.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olbermann on Prop.8 and Love

If you missed Keith's special comment last night... it was one of the most moving things I have heard, a touching tribute to true love, humanity and the state of our world.
So I be written in the Book of Love,
I do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boycott Utah!

Sign the petition to review the 501(c)(3) status of The Church of Latter-day Saints here

UPDATE: This website is documenting the many Mormons who are leaving the church over this issue... props to the folks standing against this injustice!

Proposition 8 won in California on Tuesday. Part of the reason is due to fear pandering, slanderous, lying and misleading ads on TV, radio and in print. These ads were funded in a large part by Mormons, as part of a deliberate and calculated campaign by the LDS Church to defeat the measure and amend the constitution of California. Mormons from Utah gave millions of dollars towards this campaign which now takes away the rights of same sex couples to marry.

OK, granted, I have had a very longstanding beef with the Mormon church. First, as an atheist, and secondly having lived underneath an apartment of Mormon missionaries, and thirdly just as a person who regularly uses my brain.... the whole thing about Joseph Smith, con artist extraordinaire and the magic glasses given to him by the angle Moroni, the talking hat, and the whole thing about God having made the skins of Native Americans brown as a punishment for not accepting Jesus, and Jesus living in America among the Native peoples (oh there is just so much)... it just reeks of total bullshit (OK, not unlike other more established fairy tales, but I have outrage especially reserved towards NEW ones) ... and people buy into it lock stock and barrel??? Oh boy- I just don't get it. Plus, what a bunch of freaking hypocrites! Their whole history is of being tormented and hated because of their lifestyle... they claimed the land that is now Utah for their own so they could practice their religion without harassment... so now they decide to harass some other group who suffers torment and hatred because of their lifestyle. Please... I'm gonna puke.

My first response is this: You have a whole state to yourselves, why not leave us alone?? Many of us come to California to get away from the kind of church controlled/influenced government that infects many other areas around the country. Here, at least in San Francisco, we find and foster diversity, fairness and equality. Now a church, from another state, decides to inject its dollars to build a Christian morality in our legislature? Mormon account for roughly 2% of CA population... but the Mormon church and it's members contributed 77% of the money behind "Yes on 8". Something stinks.

Here is a document one of our fellow Kossacks somehow got ahold of:
It proves a distinct and organized attempt of the Mormon Church to interfere with and influence a proposition in California. Having exerted efforts in Hawaii, the church now, in 1997, directs it's efforts to California.

In todays Chronicle: Passages I find particularly offensive/sickening:
The church encouraged its members to work to pass California's Proposition 8 by volunteering their time and money for the campaign. Thousands of Mormons worked as grassroots volunteers and gave tens of millions of dollars to the campaign.
Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement about the temple protests Friday that it is "disturbing" that the church is being singled out for exercising its right to speak up in a free election."While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process," Farah said.
Church a part of California's democratic process??? What part of this sentence makes sense?
The blogosphere responds:

"At a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line on this one," said gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential blogger in Washington, D.C.
"They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards," he said. "You don't do that and get away with it."

So why single out the Mormon church? The Catholics were just a vehemently opposed to Prop. 8. Well, once again I say.... the Mormons have a whole fucking state to themselves, so why do they put so much money and energy into effecting our politics in California? I can't stand it.
"At this point, the Californians are the victims and the Mormons are the persecutors," he said. "We had won this until they swept in. ... We need to send a message to Utah that they need to stop trying to inflict their way of life on every other state."
And what about our fellow Californians who supported the measure? It's hard to just shake hands and let bygones be bygones, because they AREN'T! This measure goes forward from this day on to not only strip away rights but to AMEND the constitution. This from C.W. Nevius at the Chronicle:
This isn't like a disagreement between two co-workers about who should be president or a debate about whether city funds should be set aside for affordable-housing projects. This is a deep, visceral divide between two cultures...

But now the Prop. 8 backers are complaining that they are the wronged party."I think what infuriates me the most is that supporters of Prop. 8 could now possibly be portraying themselves as victims after successfully taking the rights away from other people," said San Francisco resident Paul Holtz. "It's bizarre, paranoid, and silly for them to be claiming suffering at this point."

It's hard to guess where this will all end. Hopefully the courts will straighten it out. Was this a constitutional change the should have required a 2/3 vote? If so this measure is invalid. Is there a precedent for stripping away rights once they have been granted? I can't help but be reminded that, if left up to VOTERS, African Americans would have never been granted equal rights. Not the Japanese or Chinese. So why should such an important decision be left up to voters, who in their ignorance and fear, fall prey to ads blasting lies and distortions across our airways 24/7? The people made the right decision in our Presidential election, but not for Prop. 8. One barrier fell while another was resurrected. This is not over! We have only just begun to fight for the rights of all people.

Am I the only one who thinks all the whining of the Prop. 8 supporters now rings hollow? I'll let C.W. have the last word:

... my guess is that many of the Prop. 8 supporters, like Pira Tritasavit of San Francisco, are asking some difficult questions of themselves. "As a Christian," he said, "should I feel apologetic for voting my conscience? Should I feel proud over a victory? Should this be 'rubbed in their faces?' Is this a done deal now? I don't think so. The passing of legislation can never change human hearts."
To which VanGundy [referring to attacks on Prop. 8 supporters] replies: "Bitterness, name calling and finger pointing will do nothing to help. Ignorance is our enemy - not people."

But Prop. 8 supporters need to understand the basic truth. They can't have it both ways. They won a bitter, unpleasant and divisive battle. It's unrealistic now to expect those who lost their rights will understand and respect the Prop. 8 point of view.

Countries where same sex marriage is legal or perform civil unions or partnerships:
Spain, New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Andorra, Czech Republis, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxemborg, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., Uruguay, Hungary

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Democratic Shift

Funny isn't it! When the Dem's stopped trying to pander to The Right, The Right centered and concentrated (with Palin's prodding) and took control of the Republican Party. Then all of a sudden, moderate and intellectual Repugs came over to our side, abandoning the little wingnuts to their own devices. This map shows counties that, compared to 2004, voted more Democratic. This ingenious map shows dramatically the shift away from right wing extremism, and I find it comforting and reassuring. For more go here.

There was dancing in the streets!

Well, I'm still trying to take it all in... last night was tense, stomach wrenching, nerve fraying, then cautious optimism, then afraid-to-say-it-out-loud possibility, then we've-won-this-for-sure giddiness, then out-and-out rock the house HE WON!!! OBAMA IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!!!!!
We were in the lobby of the W hotel downtown, amidst hundreds of revelers. We watched and listened as Obama gave his acceptance speech. I cried... sobbed more like it. You see, I was born and raised in Georgia. My family consisted of your stereotypical racist bigots you find in that area. However, my mother's folks, in Alabama, were kind and just, even though they were prejudiced, I would not call then racist. I guess it's a finesse of degrees, but in the South, that counts for a lot. My mother's mother never said the "n" word, unlike my father's family... I can't even tell you how bad they were. But my father did not want us to grow up like that, and for all the faults I can list for him, he did believe in civil rights and he was not at all racist. Neither was my mom.

My father marched in the civil rights marches in Alabama in the 50's. He gave sermons condemning the white Citizen's Council and the KKK. Both my parents had black friends, and encouraged us to make friends of all colors. all these things did not win them popularity contests amng other white southerners. My dad was marched out of his church and out of town at gun point for those sermons. He lost another church job for teaching a Sunday School class on world religions. Apparently my own life was threatened for befriending the lone back girl in my class, because her parents and mine decided that we could not spend time over at each other's homes any more. When I protested through tears and tantrums, my dad said I would understand the seriousness of what was happening when I got older. Her parents and mind understood that we were in danger because of the KKK in the area. They did what they had to do to protect us. Other things I remember is that we had a brick thrown through our window with some kind of note (they never let us kids know what it said) after my mom and dad helped a black family who had a car accident in front of our house by bringing them inside and taking care of the kids while taking the dad to the hospital. Later, we moved from a Florida town suddenly when I was 14 because my dad have something to do with exposing the Sheriff as a leader in the KKK. To his death he would not tell me what exactly happened.
My mother was a public school teacher. She did not protest or cause big waves. Her work was much more personal and quiet. She spent her own money to buy glasses, shoes, clothes, even medicine for the very poor kids who were in her classes, the majority of them happened to be African American, as the black communities sometimes are very, very marginalized in the South. She attended funerals, weddings and baptisms of her black students, former students and fellow teachers. In the South, this can be looked down upon, because church congregations tend to be very separate, and also it involves venturing into the "black side of town" which most whites wouldn't do.
So, my parents, while not "liberals" as we tend to think of it, were not racist and proudly struggled to make sure my brother and I, despite growing up in the midst of it all, would not turn out to be racist either.
So last night I cried for them. They died 5 years ago, and did not get to see Obama elected as the 44th President of the USA. They would have worked for him, would have voted for him, and would have been thrilled that after all they did for their whole lives, that we as a nation have finally come to this point in history. And what's more, my cousins, brother and sister-in-law all worked for Obama. We are not proud about who our ancestors are, and the bad things they may have done in the past, but today we can be proud to say that our family has come a long way in two generations.
I wish so much that they could be here to witness and be a part of this. I cried because I miss them and I thank them for making me who I am today... working for hope, justice and progress. For this moment when I can truly say I am proud of my countrymen and women. So, Mom and Dad, I raise a glass in your honor!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Can by


Today is the day we have all been waiting for...
Today is the day we have all been working for...
Today is the day we have all been HOPING for...

Now Get Out And Vote!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Quotable Palin

Good read..

The chilling case against Bush/Chaney
By Andrew Sullivan:
"Cheney and Bush, unlike any presidency in American history, have dangerously pushed constitutional government to the brink of collapse. They did not merely assert a unified executive in which actions and regulations reserved to the executive branch were kept free from Congressional and judicial tampering. That is a perfectly defensible position, especially in wartime. They did not merely act in the immediate Agabuse wake of an emergency to protect American citizens swiftly - again a perfectly legitimate use of executive power, unhampered by Congress or courts. They declared such power to be unlimited; they asserted also that it was as permanent as the emergency they declared; they claimed their dictatorial powers were inherent in the presidency itself, and above any legal constraints; they ordered their own lawyers to provide retroactive and laughable legal immunity for their crimes; they by-passed all the usual and necessary checks within the executive branch to ensure prudence and legality and self-doubt in the conduct of a war; they asserted that emergency war powers applied to the territory of the United States itself; they claimed the right to seize anyone - anyone, citizen or not - they deemed an "enemy combatant," to hold them indefinitely with no due process and to torture them until they became incoherent, broken, brutalized shells of human beings, if they survived at all. They did this to the guilty and they did this to the innocent. But they also had no way of reliably knowing which was which and who was who. Never before in wartime has the precious, sacred inheritance of free people been treated with such contempt by the leaders of the democratic West."

Please! read this article.