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As you can see, I haven’t hauled my patootie over here in quite some time, so I must REALLY feel strongly about posting the Treehuggers International 2010 Voting Guide, if I’m willing to wrack my brain to remember my password to get into my WordPress account.  Yup, I’m just about THAT lazy.

Tommy Hough (of Treehuggers International, FM94.9, and my favorite radio show “Brunch with Bob and Friends“) does the thoughtful research and thinking I should do all the time, and someone whose opinion I pretty much trust without a doubt, based on what I’ve known of him over the past years.  His essays on many of the races and propositions cut to the chase and lay truth out there for all to see, in no uncertain terms. This is one of the things I like best about Tommy, on air and in his writing–his ability to speak to you on just about anything, with a depth of understanding on countless subjects, without making you feel like he comes from a place of higher understanding than you do. He’ll impart his wisdom upon you, leave you with some great key phrases to help make the point, and have you moving right along to share your newfound knowledge with anyone and everyone, whether they want to listen or not. (Pretty much how I operate anyway.)

I urge you to not only take the time to read the voting guide and the essays (snippets below), but to spread the word about them via any social media you can, and the good old-fashioned way: Person to person. Thanks, Tommy!


Regarding Meg Whitman and the race for governor

“We’ve had several moderate friends and colleagues wonder aloud the last few weeks, if someone spends their own money like this, how do you expect them to spend your money? Note to CEOs with money to burn: getting rich doesn’t make you a genius, and you don’t run government like a business because, sheesh, do we have to spell it out? Government is not a business.”

Regarding U.S. Representative, 49th District, Darrell Issa

“Never mind his investigations would center around a lot of Whitewater-style nonsense, it’s designed to tie up members of the Obama administration with lawyers and investigations over their heads, and keep them from focusing on their jobs. Issa has admitted on media outlets from Real Time With Bill Maher to Fox News he is relishing the moment he gets to stick his investigative powers into a White House which has already demonstrated a willing transparency and openness which would have shut off Dick Cheney’s pacemaker. Don’t like the sound of this? Then vote for Howard Katz in the 49th.”

Regarding Prop. 19 (legalizing marijuana)

“Want to get the jump on hemp, which could be a banner renewable industry for California? Make marijuana legal and use hemp for the same purpose it was used for in the U.S. for centuries: clothes and rope. Want to take the thrill out of smoking marijuana? Make pot legal and tax the heck out of it.

For those of you who believe marijuana is a gateway drug, guess again. Alcohol is and always has been the ultimate gateway drug, ruining lives daily as it continues to be blissfully legal. At its worst, pot renders its users hungry, playing video games, and listening to Incubus.”

Regarding Prop. 25 (replace the two-thirds majority to pass state budgets with a simple 51% majority)

“The budget process in California is contentious enough without the two-thirds majority requirement. Prop. 25 would scrap it, enabling a 51% majority to pass a budget or enable a majority, and would also force lawmakers to forfeit pay for every day they fail to produce a budget after June 15th. At first we thought the last bit of the proposition was petty, but then we learned business groups and corporations are financing the opposition to Prop. 25, and apparently they feel they have the most to lose. Yes on Prop. 25.”

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Happy Birthday, my fellow Americans! Whether we agree on politics, religion, civil rights, equality, war, and the myriad of issues we have the good fortune to be able to FREELY agree/disagree upon within our borders, today WE ALL SHARE our country’s birth, so let’s toss back a cold one, remember our history, improve our present, look forward to our future, and blow out some candles.

Three years ago Candye Kane allowed me to post a great commentary she’d written on what being an American means to her, so I thought I’d share it again for those of you who hadn’t read it, and as a great reread for those who already had. Enjoy!

MUST READ: Candye Kane’s Incredible 4th of July Thoughts on Being an American (7/4/07) Read the rest of this entry »

Meant to post about this earlier, but I never seem to get over here as much as I should.  Bad me, bad me.

San Diego Pride created the Equality Torch Relay to help raise awareness of the equality cause by bringing together all areas of the San Diego region.  The relay will simultaneously take place in the north county and the inland area, and from the south bay to the east county, with all torch bearers converging this evening at the San Diego County Administration Building for a 6PM rally, which everyone is invited to attend.

San Diego Pride "Equality Torch Relay" stop in Oceanside, CA

San Diego Pride "Equality Torch Relay" stop in Oceanside, CA

Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s an extremely inspiring video of various religious, labor, and civil rights  leaders (including Eric Lee of SCLC) as well as those who worked so hard to put the powerful “Meet In the Middle 4 Equality” march and rally together (Robin McGehee) yesterday.  This video is from just prior to the 14 mile march from Selma, CA to the MITM4E rally in Fresno, CA.  Big thanks to Unite the Fight for these videos, as well as getting the live feed of the rally on ustream. Read the rest of this entry »

Unite the Fight will have a live feed from the “Meet In the Middle 4 Equality” rally in Fresno, CA, today at 1pm PST on USTREAM. You can also see videos from the 14 mile equality march from Selma, CA to Fresno, CA on Unite the Fight’s qik site. To see these folks marching for 14 miles in over 90 degree heat is pretty darn inspirational to me, and makes me very proud of them. Saw San Diego in the house, as well as Planned Parenthood, in this video. Also great to see folks representing us straight allies!

You can also follow “Meet In the Middle 4 Equality” by putting #mitm4e in the search box on Twitter for up-to-the-minute tweets.

Best of luck to everyone involved in today’s equality rally and march!

***Live feed for “Meet In the Middle 4 Equality” just went up @ 12:40pm PST…they’re welcoming the 14 mile equality marchers. :)***

Dear GLBTQ community,

Please know that not everyone in California thinks the way those who voted Yes on Prop 8 do. Please know that the illogical decision handed down by the Supreme Court of California WILL be challenged. Please know that you have countless straight allies, such as myself, out there who are ready, willing, and able to continue to fight with you to gain equality in every aspect of the law.  Please know that you ARE valued individuals (not second class citizens), that who you love should NOT matter, and the fact that you continue to stand firm in your love in the face of this ignorance is still truly amazing to me.  Don’t be discouraged for too long,  don’t look at every person and wonder how they voted, don’t think that things will never change, and don’t give up hope.  Everything is just going to take a bit longer than anticipated or hoped for, but change WILL come and I look forward to being right there with you when it does.

Much love and admiration,

Laura Read the rest of this entry »

Yup, it’s me.  I’m really back…well, for the most part.  I moved in early December and was without cable/internet until 1/16.  (Yes, it IS humanly possible to NOT be connected to the internet; I just don’t recommend it.) And a big fat “Screw you AT&T”  for claiming to service my area with U-verse, having me wait WEEKS upon weeks for an installation appointment, then the day of installation notify me that ‘ooops’ you don’t service my area!!!  And Cox isn’t doing much better since for some annoying reason I can’t get the internet to be connected if I’ve got the TV connected…argh!  And I just don’t have the patience to deal with the customer service runaround I get each time I call, so until I do, I have to unscrew the TV cable if I want to connect to the internet.  Obviously very annoying (TV cable is behind a bunch of stuff), so it goes without saying I’m not popping over to the web very often.  (Hmmm, does anyone say web anymore?)

Anyhooch, what amazing things we’ve had happen since I’ve been gone, most notably inaugurating our new President of the good old USA!  Now you just KNOW this big time Obama supporter made damn sure she had cable in time for all the inauguration hoopla.  Heck, I even took a vacation day off of work to plop my fanny in front of the TV all day.  But if that wasn’t enough, I made sure to hang my US flag up in the window AND wear my Obama/Biden shirt.  Yes, I’m a geek, but I don’t care. 🙂  Let’s just say that the tears started when I was watching the Whistle Stop Tour, continued that Sunday with the Inaugural Concert on HBO, and were out in full force on Inauguration Day.  Is it not absolutely INCREDIBLE to actually be (dare I say it?) PROUD to be an American again?!?!  And yes, despite this annoying BS back-and-forth debate about the stimulus package, I AM still proud and thrilled with our country and our democracy.  I do want to kick the majority of the Republicans in their collective stubborn elephant asses, but will try desperately to retain even the slightest of grips on that olive branch Obama really wants us all to extend.  Let’s just say my grip is quickly slipping away and I’m just about ready to use that branch to start knocking some common sense into some noggins, but…

Okay, enough with that–for now.  How about that Adele and her two Grammys on Sunday night?  Who’s Adele you say?  Well gather round my friends, and let me introduce you to one of the most powerful, unique, soulful, and incredible voices I’ve heard in quite some time.  I first became aware of Adele when she appeared on Saturday Night Live mid-October, last year.  Of course I was watching SNL hoping the Sarah Palin appearance would be worth it (read that as Tina Fey really sticking it to her), and wasn’t too interested in the musical performer I’d never heard of before.  But the minute Adele belted out those first notes I stopped what I was doing, turned my attention to the TV and was instantly mesmerized–and hooked!  This girl can sing, and I mean S-I-N-G!  I was so excited when they announced her name as the winner of the Grammy for Best New Artist two nights ago, and was hootin’ and a hollerin’ (did I just go hillbilly on ya?) and making sure Rudy (yes, he’s my dog…told you I’m a geek) was as excited about her win as I was.  This gal has got a powerhouse voice that you just know is going to withstand the test of time.

Catch Adele on her tour which happily begins in my area on 3/9, but sadly is already sold out.  Don’t let that happen to you, so buy your tickets NOW!  Here’s her SNL performance for you to (hopefully!) enjoy as much as I do.

g

 

join-the-impact1

Join the Impact  (Click the image or link to find protest locations near you.)

This election is something I obviously felt quite strongly about, not only on the presidential level, but especially with some California propositions I took to heart; Prop 2, Prop 4, Prop 8.  One would think that with my choice for President, Barack Obama, being swept into office, and two of the propositions I felt strongly about all going the way I had hoped, I would be running to my blog, sharing my happiness and thanking everyone who voted the same way I did.  But the joy at seeing my beloved country make the historic choice it did for President, was unfortunately overwhelmingly deflated when I realized that the majority of my fellow Californians who took the time to vote on Proposition 8 (defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, thereby stripping away the civil rights of the GLBT community to marry the person they love) voted to support this antiquated, hateful, and discriminatory proposition. 

This has affected me in a profound and extended way which admittedly has surprised me.  I’m not gay.  I’m not married, and don’t have any mad desire to be (have already traveled down that road).  But why should I have rights my friends and neighbors don’t have just because I was born straight?  Why should my love for someone else be deemed “appropriate” and “legal” just because as a female I may want to wed a man and not a woman?  I don’t get it folks, I really, really don’t.  I don’t get how someone thinks that they have the right, usually based on their religious beliefs, to legislate who someone else can spend their life with, who they can love and be with.  I don’t get the hate–and yes it’s hate so don’t try to sugarcoat it–that people have for others who believe in something different from what they might believe in. 

And where is this unbelievable hell that we are all supposed to descend into if gay people are allowed to marry?  They’ve had the legal right in California for several months now, and I’m not seeing the heterosexual marriages needing protection from that.  I’m not seeing the marriages of straight folks falling apart any faster than they already were.  And have your children come home from school over the past months, suddenly preaching “the gay lifestyle” because they are being indoctrinated into it at their public school?  Hmmm, the sky has not been falling Chicken Little?  Say it ain’t so! 

How ridiculous all of this is.  Ridiculous that this proposition even made it to the ballot, especially considering our State courts have already stated that disallowing gay marriage is unconstitutional.  This is definitely going back into the courts which is only going to extend the divisiveness, the hate, and the pain being inflicted upon members of the GLBT community who have to face each day knowing that other human beings are considering them to be second class citizens without the right to love the person they choose and have that love be acknowledged legally in marriage.

Do any of you that voted yes on Prop 8 REALLY think that you will be keeping gay marriages from being legal for all time?  Really?  Do you really feel so strongly about the issue that you are willing to spend your time fighting against equality for all?  Is there nothing you could be spending your time on more productively?  Really?  How sad it is that you choose to spend even a second of your life fighting against love.  I feel for you.  I really do.  What a sad little life you have if needing to strip away the rights of others is a priority for you.  Sad and pitiful.  Shame on you, narrow-minded, hateful person, shame on you.

Transcript of Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comment” on gay marriage

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics, and this isn’t really just about Prop-8.  And I don’t have a personal investment in this: I’m not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble.  You’ll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?

I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling.  With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don’t have to help it, you don’t have it applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

“I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,” he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: 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.” 

Considering some of the extremely ridiculous and far-fetched things that have been asserted by McCain and Palin during this campaign, it wouldn’t have been that surprising if McCain had decided that Obama was to blame for the “redistribution of daylight” with DST going into effect on Sunday.  However, due credit for that hilarious line must be given to Seth Meyers from tonight’s Saturday Night Live Weekend Update.  Was everyone else as shocked as I was that the entire show (well, at least 90% of it!) was actually, really, really good tonight?!  A lot of the credit has to go to Ben Affleck who really stretched himself and became each character he inhabited. (What a hoot he was in the German coat and Target sketches!) 

And being the HUGE  fan of MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” that I am, I was loving the ‘hilarious for the most part’ take-off on Keith and the show.  Keith had mentioned on his Friday Countdown show that he had been invited over to the SNL studio to see Ben rehearse the skit, but Keith wasn’t sure if it would make the cut since skits are really up in the air until practically air time.  Thankfully the skit DID make it, and Ben did a fantastic job, especially with the expressions Keith is famous for, although the voice could have used some work.  It really showed that those who put that skit together are fans of Keith’s show because they had the camera angles down pat, as well as the staging.  Only thing that could have made it even more perfect was if the camera was in a lot closer on Ben as it always is on Keith.  Very funny stuff, VERY funny.  I’ll try to dig up a video of the skit.  It will be interesting to see what my boy Keith has to say about it on Monday’s Countdown.

**ADDED: Look what NBC finally posted!  Woo-hoo!  This one gets better each time I watch it.***

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But for now I’ve got the two John McCain appearances for you.  First up is the opening skit with the always dead-on Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and John McCain, as, um, John McCain. (What casting! ;))  I have to say that the skit WAS pretty darn funny, especially when Sarah/Tina went all “rogue” and hawked her “Palin 2012” t-shirts–of course, asking potential buyers to please wait until November 5th to wear them.  Cindy McCain could definitely fulfill a Vanna White-type role if she’s ever hard up for money. (Like THAT will ever happen. ;)) 

[clearspring_widget title=”Saturday Night Live – McCain QVC Open” wid=”4727a250e66f9723″ pid=”490d5deaa42b8c84″ width=”384″ height=”283″ domain=”widgets.nbc.com”]

The second video is when McCain was on Weekend Update (you could hear some boos from the audience),listing the various forms of “Maverickiness” he could enlist.  Have to say I thought the “Sad Grandpa” one was the funniest.  All in all, John McCain’s SNL gig was MUCH more enjoyable than his “Maverick” counterpart’s was.  Enjoy the videos!

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So the Yes on Prop 8 folks are at it again–lying, and distorting the truth to meet their low standards!  Guess that’s what a campaign resorts to when they know their issue is flawed, discriminatory, and based on nothing but hate.  This time they targeted African-Americans attempting to have them believe that Barack Obama supports California’s Proposition 8, which he and Joe Biden most definitely do not.  I’ll include the NO on Prop 8 press release with the portion of the statement from the Obama/Biden campaign in blue.  Magic Johnson also says NO on Prop 8 and has recorded a phone message for California voters.  I’ll post the text of the message at the end of this blog.  But first, here’s the newest video from the NO on Prop 8 campaign titled “Divisive”, with words from Barack Obama, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Teachers Union, leading California newspapers, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  (Thankfully he’s right on this issue, but SOOOO wrong on backing McSame/Failin’…sigh.)

No on 8 Reveals New Ad Showing Obama, Schwarzenegger, Feinstein Joining Together Calling for Defeat of Unfair Initiative
Ad Answers Proposition 8’s Dishonest Flyer Targeting African-American Voters

SACRAMENTO – Hours after the Proposition 8 campaign admitted it had mailed a flyer to African-American voters that lies about Sen. Barack Obama’s position on the initiative, the NO on 8 Campaign launched a statewide television ad reminding voters that Sen. Obama, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as well as the state’s leading newspapers, have all called for the defeat of Proposition 8.

Using the words each of these leaders has used to describe the unfair initiative, the new ad makes clear that Sen. Obama has called Prop 8 “divisive and discriminatory,” that Gov. Schwarzenegger has said “it should never happen,” and Sen. Feinstein closes by telling voters: “No matter how you feel about marriage, vote against discrimination, and Vote NO on 8.”

No on Prop 8 Campaign Slams Dishonest Mailer Targeting African-American Voters
Mailer Misrepresents Sen. Obama Who is Opposed to Proposition 8; Misleading African-American Voters is Clearly the Goal of Deceptive Prop 8 Campaign

SACRAMENTO – The NO on Prop 8 campaign today condemned an official Proposition 8 mailer clearly targeted to African-American voters that completely misrepresents and lies about Sen. Barack Obama’s position on Proposition 8. In fact, the Obama campaign felt compelled to release a new statement tonight making it absolutely clear that he and Joe Biden oppose Prop 8 in the strongest terms.

The mailer, from the Proposition 8 campaign, twists Sen. Obama’s comments about marriage to suggest support for the unfair initiative — when just the opposite is true. In a June 29 letter to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, Sen. Obama wrote that he opposes the “divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution.”

The mailer drew a strong reaction from San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

“It is despicable that the Yes on 8 campaign would send out a last minute mailer to the African American community in a clear attempt to mislead voters about Senator Barack Obama’s position on Proposition 8,” said District Attorney Harris. “The leadership of this campaign should issue an immediate retraction and apology for this transparent attempt to deceive the public.”

The Obama letter reads in part:

“As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law…And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states. For too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It’s time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans.”

Tonight, in response to the mailer, the Obama campaign released the following statement:

“Senators Obama and Biden have made clear their commitment to fighting for equal rights for all Americans whether it’s by granting LGBT Americans all the civil rights and benefits available to heterosexual couples, or repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said a statement issued by campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt. “Senator Obama has already announced that the Obama-Biden ticket opposes Proposition 8 and similar discriminatory constitutional amendments that could roll back the civil rights he and Senator Biden strongly believe should be afforded to all Americans.”

SACRAMENTO – Magic Johnson, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame after winning five NBA championships as a Los Angeles Laker, and three Most Valuable Player awards, has lent his voice to the chorus of those calling Proposition 8 wrong and unfair.

In a recorded telephone call to California voters, Johnson says:

“This is Magic Johnson calling to ask you to join me and Barack Obama in opposing Proposition 8.

“Prop 8 singles out one group of Californians to be treated differently – including members of our family, our friends, and our coworkers.

“That is not what California is about. So this Tuesday, vote no on Proposition 8. It is unfair and wrong. Thanks.”

The telephone message from Magic Johnson will reach millions of California voters in the final days, urging voters to reject this discriminatory and unfair initiative.

For more information on NO on Prop 8 please visit www.noonprop8.com.

NO on Prop 8 needs ‘on-the-ground’ volunteers for Election Day visibility and talking with folks before they vote.  You can get your training this weekend (as I will be! :)), then do your part on Election Day.  For those of you who don’t live in California, but desperately wish you could help to defeat this hateful and discriminatory proposition, you CAN help by making phone calls to inform registered California voters on the facts.  Click here for more information on volunteer opportunities on both fronts

And it goes without saying that any financial help would be greatly appreciated.  I know times are tough (boy, do I know), but if there’s any amount you can spare it would be put to good use.  The Yes on Prop 8 campaign has had massive amounts of (mostly out-of-state)money come in over the past few days, so the NO on Prop 8 campaign is really struggling to keep up the airing of their television ads which bring the truth about this proposition to light and repudiate the barrage of lies the Yes on Prop 8 ads put forth.  PLEASE help out financially, if you can, or at least on the volunteer front.  Thanks!

The NO on Prop 8 Campaign has put together some great informational television ads, and has the endorsement of logical and forward-thinking groups, businesses, and individuals from all walks of life, but is now in DIRE NEED OF MONEY in order to push back against the massive influx of finances from those who are supporting discrimination: the backers of Prop 8, led in large numbers by Mormons. Please donate as much as you can afford (and as quickly as you can) to help make a bold and powerful statement on November 4th that California will NOT go back in time and tolerate discrimination of ANY of her citizens.  Thank you! (ADDED: Shout-out to my friend Jeanne who read this blog, then donated to the NO on Prop 8 campaign–and she doesn’t even live in California!  WTG, my friend, wtg! :))

Here is my previous posting on Prop 8, and the following is the latest from the NO on Prop 8 web site

New No on Prop 8 Ad Calls Upon Californians to Reject Discrimination
Ad is Narrated by Samuel Jackson

SACRAMENTO – The NO on Prop 8 campaign today announced a dramatic new television ad, narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson. The ad calls upon Californians to reject discrimination, and Vote NO on Prop 8.

The full text of the ad follows:

“It wasn’t that long ago that discrimination was legal in California.

“Japanese Americans were confined in internment camps.

“Armenians couldn’t buy a house in the Central Valley.

“Latinos and African Americans were told who they could and could not marry.

“It was a sorry time in our history.

“Today the sponsors of Prop 8 want to eliminate fundamental rights.

“We have an obligation to pass along to our children a more tolerant, more decent society.

“Vote No on Prop 8 it’s unfair and it’s wrong.”

The ad places Prop 8 in its appropriate historical context as a measure that would discriminate against certain Californians and treat people differently under the law.

“We believe it is important in the final days of an unfair initiative attacking individual rights, to remind voters that there have been other times in our history when we stood at this threshold of fairness,” said Patrick Guerriero, NO on 8 Campaign Director. “We know that most California voters do not want to wake up Wednesday morning to learn that we’ve taken a step back to a darker time. That’s why we believe on Tuesday, voters will resoundingly reject Prop 8.”

“Proposition 8 would take away fundamental individual rights, and I believe the historical analogies presented by the NO on Prop 8 campaign are completely appropriate,” said Congressman Mike Honda (D-Campbell). “I am opposed to Prop 8, and I hope my fellow Californians will reject it.”

“California used to ban people of different races from getting married under the law. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now,” said Fabian Nuñez, Former Speaker of the California Assembly. “Proposition 8 is a lot like that unfair ban on interracial marriage. And even though people may feel differently about marriage, everyone ought to agree unequal treatment under the law is a bad thing.”

“Proposition 8 eliminates equal rights for one segment of the population while continuing to grant that right to others,” said Maria Armoudian, an Armenian-American radio personality on KPFK in Los Angeles. “We Armenians have had to endure a century of discrimination. Let us now stand together calling for an end to discrimination for all people. Vote NO on Prop 8.”

Using historical footage, the ad reminds voters of three particularly bleak periods in state history:

— Japanese American Internment: Authorized by President Roosevelt in 1942, the Army ordered all people of Japanese descent, whether citizens or non-citizens, living in CA to be interned in permanent “relocation centers.” Those centers remained operational until the end of the war. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was California Attorney General at that time, later wrote that the internment was “not in keeping with our American concepts of freedoms and rights of citizens.”

— California’s Ban on Interracial Marriage: In 1948, California became the first state in the nation to wipe away a state law banning interracial marriages. In the 1967 case of Loving vs. Virginia dealing with the remaining state bans, the United State Supreme Court ruled that: [T]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival.”

— Racially Restrictive Covenants: These covenants were widely enforced in the early 20th century to discriminate against African Americans, Jews and other ethnic groups by prohibiting the lease or sale of property. The covenants were widely used in the Central Valley against Armenians. They were declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1948.

In 2007, on the 40th anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia decision, Mildred Loving wrote: “I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving and loving, are all about.”

Okay, so maybe real relief, and the ability to feel the possibility of change and happiness won’t truly arrive until Barack Obama has been declared the winner of that glorious process we have in America called voting, this Tuesday, November 4th.  But darn if it didn’t feel great to experience the teenie-tiniest bit of a smile creeping onto my face while watching Barack’s thirty-minute ad which aired in prime time at 8PM this evening (full video posted below).  I knew this election and all the hate, fear tactics, and outright lies that have been drudged up and thrown about were really starting to get to me, but I honestly didn’t realize just how much until I felt the tingling of a strange sensation occur during the mega-ad and realized it was one I had not really experienced for far too long: the feeling of hope. 

Hope.  Hope that things can change.  Hope that maybe this cloud of increasing stress and strain might be lifted from over most Americans.  Hope that someone (a politician, no less! ;)) was really looking out for us.  Hope that Americans would not fall prey to the same old Republican, Rovian tactics, and that they would see right through them and right into what Barack Obama is offering us.   Hope that someone IS on our side, that someone IS going to move us in the right direction, and hope that THIS TIME (unlike the last two presidential elections)my fellow Americans will put that incredible gift of the democratic process to good use and place their vote for someone who WILL do right by us: Barack Obama.

I’m far from naive about the always-simmering racial tensions that sadly exist in our country, but to see the pot stirred so intensively by the McCain/Palin campaign (and ultimately by some of their wingnut followers) in a constant and unbelievably overt fashion as well as via hidden/code meanings and words, with no concern or acknowledgment on their part of the immediate and long-term ramifications such hate brings about, has just saddened and dismayed me beyond belief and quite often had me embarrassed as a white person.  “Country first”, McCain?  Really?  Hardly, I’d say.  Certainly not MY country that you’re “putting first”, and that’s too bad because contrary to the desires of many of your believers, this country is filled with people from ALL political, religious, economic, and ethnic perspectives out there, and bringing them TOGETHER is what MY country and MY beliefs are about, not dividing the country and instilling unease of anyone who might not look just like you, practice the same religion you do, or believe the same political agenda you do.

Come on, America, now is the time for you to not become complacent and assume “others” will do the job for you.  You MUST get your fannies out to the voting booth on Tuesday (click here to find your polling place), or better yet VOTE EARLY if it’s available in your area.  Let’s elect a president and vice-president that will help us return to a government and a country we can ALL be proud of.

Obama for America web site

Barack Obama’s 30 minute ad: American Stories, American Solutions

The Yes on 8 campaign (California) has constantly been airing despicable television ads full of lies (click here to find out the truth about Prop 8), but to now find out that they have used images of children whose parents have NOT given their permission for their use in the Yes on 8 ad, shows just how disgusting the depths Yes on 8 will go to get their hateful proposition passed.  I have worked in the California school system and know full well the privacy issues involved with allowing the image of ANY child to be published without a parent’s consent.  Putting even that aside, common sense would dictate that anyone the least bit interested in children and families, as the Yes on 8 folks “claim” they are in their ads, would realize that you do NOT place a child’s image in the public eye WITHOUT consent! It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what legal action, if any, the parents can/will take.  I will let the following press release and video tell you the details. 

Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately

Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents 

SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2008

Contact: Julia Spiess

Phone: 916-601-8282

julia@perrycom.com

Outraged Parents of Children Featured in Latest Prop 8 TV Ad Demand that Commercial be Taken off the Air Immediately

Latest Campaign Gimmick Termed Exploitative and Shameless by Parents

SACRAMENTO – The parents of the two children most prominently featured in the latest multi-million dollar Prop 8 political spot today termed those ads “distasteful and exploitative” and demanded that the ads be taken off the air immediately. Both sets of parents – Laura Hodder and Matt Alexander and Jen Press and James Moore, sent two hand-delivered letters this morning. The first letter is to the Prop 8 Campaign demanding the ad be removed from its television and its Web site where it is being used as a fund raising tool. The second letter to the San Francisco Chronicle asks them to intervene on their behalf. The Prop 8 campaign manipulated video that the Chronicle has posted on its Web site.

In their letter to the Prop 8 campaign, the parents wrote: “We are absolutely outraged that you have chosen, without permission, to shamelessly hijack the images of our innocent children to promote a cause that we in no way, shape or form support. It is even more maddening that you have willfully and calculatingly edited the images of our children, with menacing music in the background, in a way that is completely contrary to their nature and harmful to them.”

The footage manipulated by the Yes campaign, without authorization from either the parents or the Chronicle, was originally captured on Oct. 10 when the children took a field trip with their classmates and several parents to share the moment of their teacher’s wedding to her longtime partner. All parents were notified well in advance of the trip which was organized by some parents, and, in fact, two families chose to have their children not participate under California’s broad opt out law.

“I’m a school principal so I know something about education and parents’ rights,” said Matt Alexander whose son, Ben, is featured in the ad. “And the opt out law is something we readily apply all the time. So, let me join every other educator in the state and ask Prop 8 to also stop lying about the opt out law.”

“This field trip was about sharing a special moment with a teacher these kids love,” said Jen Press whose daughter, Lucy, is prominently featured in the political ad. “To turn around and distort images of our children is outrageous. We’re opposed to Prop 8, but irrespective of our position, it’s wrong to use any image of children without their parents’ permission. And we think every parent in California would agree with us.”

In the letter to the San Francisco Chronicle, the parents wrote, in part:

“Our children are being exploited and used as pawns to further a political cause…We ask that you intervene immediately on our behalf and issue a cease and desist letter to the Yes on 8 campaign. If the campaign does not remove the ad, we ask that you pursue legal action against them.”

Added Jen Press: “Prop 8 claims to be about families, but we’re here to say you can’t be for families by attacking our families. You can’t be for families and take these children’s innocent images and flash them not only on television statewide, but on your fund raising page. This must stop right now.”

Click here to read the letter to the San Francisco Chronicle.(pdf)

Nice to read some good news after just watching my boys (San Diego Chargers)lose another game, this time about as far away from home as possible: the UK (Saints 37-Chargers 32) .  So the good news is that the Anchorage Daily News has endorsed Barack Obama over the ticket which boasts their own governor, Sarah Palin.  The editorial brings up many valid points, most especially who will best handle the monumental task of getting our country back on the road to recovery after the incredible economic mess we are all enduring.  But perhaps what should really ring loud and long for anyone considering a vote for the McCain/Palin ticket is in the last paragraph, which I’m copying below. (Emphasis added by me. ;))

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

Sorry this is late in posting, but work got in the way.  (Darn that need for a paycheck. ;))  You still have 4 1/2 hours to get that postmark, so get crackin’!

Truly “MUST SEE TV” was to be had on NBC’s Meet the Press  today, as Colin Powell did as many were murmuring he would: he officially endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States of America, over his fellow Republican and friend, John McCain.  I don’t think I have been as captivated by a speaker as I was while watching Powell, in a very long time, perhaps since Obama’s stirring keynote speech in 2004 (video) at the Democratic National Convention.  While that speech by Obama made me stand up and take notice of this newcomer, mostly by mere virtue of having no clue who this charismatic speaker was, in Powell’s case today it was the sheer common sense and eloquent, calm, measured way in which he put forth his thoughts (including concern of John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate and possible future president) and my wondering what the outcome would be that had my eyes and ears glued to the set.  Truly, nearly twenty-five minutes of not wanting to even take a breath for fear of missing something momentous.  Terribly sad that I have to categorize common sense as momentous, but the way this election campaign has gone–toward the unbelievably negative, ridiculous, racist and bigoted side–has me grabbing onto any and all shreds of common sense as if they were bits of fresh air amongst the putrid stagnation of negativity and hate.

While I have had intense misgivings about the role Mr. Powell had in our involvement in the horrific continuing disaster known as the Iraq war, I have always continued to harbor feelings of respect for most everything else he has done, especially on the charitable front.  This is a highly intelligent, compassionate man, with foreign policy and military experience matched by few, so to discount anything he might say by mere fact of my disgust with the hand he had in our involvement in Iraq would be shortsighted.  I am hoping that others who will vehemently disagree with the stance Powell took today, will not be shortsighted as well (not holding my breath), and will see that the points he laid out to explain his decision are points that bode well for our country, and for the drastic, immediate change we need at home AND abroad.

Below is a video clip (just over 7 minutes) of the lead up to Colin’s endorsement of Barack on Meet the Press, but I would also highly suggest reading this article on Huffington Post which discusses Powell’s endorsement, and has video of Powell speaking with reporters after the Meet the Press show.

And lastly, I’m sure it’s not just me, but did anyone else sorely miss Tim Russert being the one sitting in that Meet the Press chair and being the one to land this momentous interview?  What a lasting impact Tim has had on so many of us who never knew the man personally, but who miss his gentle, intelligent, and persistent style of being America’s truth-seeker and cheerleader for our political process.  You are sorely missed, Mr. Russert.

Thanks to VodPod, here’s NBC’s video of last night’s SNL send-up of the VP debate. Tina Fey did ANOTHER dead-on “winky-folksy-question avoiding-makes me want to gag” version of Sarah Palin, while SNL cast member Jason Sudeikis portrayed Sen. Joe Biden. Having Gwen Ifill “do” Gwen Ifill would have been sheer perfection, but I will say that Queen Latifah did a great job putting forth some “what the heck are you doing” looks toward Fey/Palin which I’m sure the majority of America was making while watching the actual debate last Thursday. (And I use the term “debate” loosely. ;))

SNL also did a skit regarding the bailout–I mean “rescue” plan–, and while it had some good moments (Fred Armisen as Barney Frank), it dragged on far too long.

Also, PLEASE make sure to REGISTER TO VOTE!! The deadline for my fellow Californians is 10/20, but in some places it’s today. Head over to Declare Yourself to find out information for your state.

Enjoy the SNL VP debate video!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Once again, I’m sending major thanks out to the Randi Rhodes MySpace page for posting this video of tonight’s SNL show featuring this fantastically nailed performance by Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton.  Best line of the skit (and there were many) was Poehler/Clinton saying, “In conclusion, I invite the media to grow a pair, and if you can’t I will lend you mine.”  (Heck, I’ll loan them mine if they’ll step up their pressure on getting to the truth. ;))  Enjoy the video!

***Added 9/14/08:  Well, it looks like NBC Universal pulled a copyright claim (yes, I know, it’s their right, their property, but…) on all the SNL videos that were posted to YouTube last night.  I hope those of you who headed over here to see it DID get to see it before they were pulled down.  Here’s the SNL web site link to the video where you get to sit through a commercial before watching the skit.  Upside is that it’s high quality and fairly large.  I think I’ve watched the skit about 10 times now, and find something new each time.  I don’t think Fey and Poehler could have possibly done a better job than they did, with their impeccable timing, nuanced looks, and overall out Palining and Clintoning the actual women! 😉 

And for those of you wondering what the heck flerg, flirg (or however you want to spell it) means, here’s what I found, but take it all with a grain of salt, or with… (shame on me ;)).

Again, enjoy the video!

Sniffin’ out the info

Photobucket

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