Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Going Home...

So I may be a bit quiet for a while, with all that needs to get done while I'm there. I will be home on Election Eve and available for comment, commiseration, and comedy.
Peace,
Erika

Monday, October 27, 2008

The 6-4 Black Guy | HuffPost

This story breaks my heart, because I know it to be true.

For those who think racism is dead in this country and everyone now gets the same fair shake, run your eyes over this. Feel the fear, dread, and uncertainty. Think about "loving the bogeyman", the generic man of whom everyone is afraid, and who is everyone's target.

Whirlwind!

Wellll....
After staying up for 26 hours and sleeping for 5, I have to pack and clean my apartment in anticipation of my trip home. The good news is I have one of my statements completely done, I am still satisifed with it hours later so I think it will stick this time. One more to go and then the fun of attaching everything electronically and double-and triple-checking everything before it goes out will begin! The bad news is, my body seems unsure what day it is and I keep having tiny panic attacks that I've missed my flight, which is at 6pm tomorrow. :/

My poor friend is really taking it from all sides right now as a Christian and seminary student who supports the right of equal marriage. I am so grateful for his support, and the support of some of my other friends of faith who are crawling out of the woodwork to oppose the cruel CA Prop 8. I'm not so much the praying type but if you are and you read this, pray for my friend. His is obviously a minority viewpoint where he's standing and he seems to be taking a whole lot of flak for it and becoming quite the target. Which is, funnily enough, the perfect example of why majority opinion shoud not automatically be canonized as law.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tonight

I have to get back to work on my statements. They are driving me craaaaazy. I don't usually get this much time to edit and I think it is screwing me over a bit.

Back to square one. Ugh

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ashley Todd

Ugh, I don't even know what to say. Racial, political, cuckoo, or just a desperate plea for attention?

UPDATE: cuckoo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Notes on my Friday... regarding CA Prop 8 and AZ Prop 102

This all started because a friend of mine wrote that an organization in which her dad's involved was a big supporter of CA Prop 8, aiming to constitutionally ban gay marriage and take away the marriages that have already been performed there. It's an interesting series of points about how fairly minute differences in state civics can make huge differences in how rights are protected in different states... in particular, the differences between states with "direct-democratic" principles like initiative, referendum, and recall, and states that adhere to the original representative frameworks. I've put it in temporal order for legibility's sake.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Erika
Date: Oct 24, 2008 1:00 PM


Well, yeah, KofC is a Catholic organization. So... most of the big opponents are affiliated with religion in some way. Nothing helps a community like keeping non-traditional families weak, you know! It's gross. I spent a whole day the other day looking at all the people and organizations who've donated directly. You can look at it here:
http://www. latimes. com/news/local/la-moneymap,0,2198220. htmlstory
The good news is that in the last few weeks we've pulled even with them money-wise. The bad news is that a higher percentage of our support comes from outside CA, though that may not necessarily translate to fewer votes, it may be just weaker organization within CA. I fear that come election day I'll have a mixed bag and be so happy about President Obama and be so sad about this. It could still get shot down though... I really hope it does.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: (my friend)
Date: Oct 24, 2008 5:40 PM


i guess i don't totally understand prop 8. i mean, isn't gay marriage legal in ca now? are they trying to reverse that? it's just crazy. i keep thinking about the non-traditional thing too... i want to propose a ban on gay marriage and add "and inter-racial "marriage," because the bible preaches slavery" to the bottom of it... then we can see how many people check their "values"

but anyway - it's good to see that the contributions are neck and neck even though there's all those corporate supporters. easy answer: stop recognizing marriage as a legal bond and they can keep marriage. i would rather have it legal though.

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Erika
Date: Oct 24, 2008 6:38 PM

Yeah, with Prop 8 the CA courts ruled the gay marriage ban in the CA civil codes unconstitutional... that ban was placed in the civil code by popular vote in 2000. So the tactic of Prop 8 is to constitutionalize the ban, therefore overruling the court's decision and the basis upon which it rests. It's a very tricky legal tactic and honestly, I believe it won't stand for long even if it does pass this year. My primary concern is for those people who have already been married and are on the verge of having their rights taken away again. Frankly, it's cruel. The courts know that you can never win minority rights by popular vote, especially when the majority has so successfully been convinced that they will somehow lose something if their rights are shared by "undeserving" minorities. It's a basic danger of democracy that was addressed by the Framers hundreds of years ago. But most Western states and a few others east of the Mississippi instituted direct democracy laws within the last hundred years. These can place the will of the majority equal to, and in some cases above, the legislature and the courts. Originally the constitutions of states could never be changed by popular vote, only by the legislators... the Founders thought it was crazy and dangerous to put the rights of the whole in the hands of the majority and always moved against it. So that's your civics lesson for today lol. Any other confusions? I believe that Prop 8 may squeak by and it may not. Some people who don't necessarily support gay marriage agree on principle that it's heartless to take away what rights someone has already won. Prop 102 in AZ, I will be very surprised if that does not pass. Direct Democracy at work.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voted.

Sent in my absentee ballot!
Napping.
Later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weird Morning

Well...

First of all, I had made up my mind last night that I was going to go "into town" (as the locals say) today and visit the Public Gardens and the Common. This is probably my favorite spot in the city and the leaves are turning so I thought it'd be a nice little diversion. However it is a dreary day and it has been "raining" all night. I put raining in quotes because it's more like a constant dribbling mist. If it were a tiny bit colder I guess it'd be sleet. But anyways, I think the Gardens are out today, as it's cold, wet, and windy too. Maybe I'll do a museum or something instead.

Secondly... they are doing some kind of construction on my block the last few weeks and there's now a porta-potty parked in the neutral ground directly in front of my building. When I go out to smoke I have the dubious pleasure of watching the workers go in and out. This actually amuses me to no end but I wonder if it makes them uncomfortable that some random person is standing 30 feet away while they do their business. Heh. Made me think of this:




It's a working public toilet and also an art installation, part of an installation amusingly titled "Don't Miss a Sec". Like, even if you have to make a pit stop, you can still see what's going on around you. It's enclosed in one-way glass like they use in the viewing rooms at police stations. So you can do your thang and still feel connected to the outside world, which of course provokes the question of who exactly wants to have that experience. Gooooood stuff.

Finally, there has been a flock of seagulls (actual birds, not the 80s band) all around the neighborhood lately and today they are hopping around outside the building. I wonder if this has anything to do with the workers, like if they're leaving trash, etc. Whatevs.

Oh, yeah. For posterity, I'm gonna start importing all my old blogwork from MySpace and LiveJournal. Keep it all nice and orderly. There's a lot, especially from LJ, so it'll be an ongoing project. It'll all be dated with original dates so none will show up on top, but it'll make for some good digging one day when I'm bored or you're curious.

Getting a bit of activity on my fundraising page, which makes me feel really good. If you still haven't given, please drop by and do so! http://www.actblue.com/page/erikaseven

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy-Making and Angry-Making, all at once.

Rep. Bachmann's Seat in Jeopardy Following McCarthy-ite Allegations The Nation
I, personally, HATE this woman.
I hate her as no good humanist should ever hate another human being.

It's not just that she stands in direct opposition to EVERY thing that I stand for. That, I'm okay with.


It is that she is a foul, putrescent, spewing, hateful, soulless example of a human being, who proudly calls herself a Christian. If the God I once believed in really does exist, she will rot in the lowest of hells.

I mean, ugh, just try watching her on the cable news shows. Give her a chance to make you hate her too. Flippin' Larry King has her on all the time. Seeing them side by side is horrifying: one side of the screen is the most horrifying vision to every part of me which is shallow, and the other side of the screen is the most horrifying vision to every single part of me that isn't.

And now...

She done gone 'n done it.
She was flapping her jaw like usual, probably thought nobody was paying attention, and basically accused all Congressional liberals of being involved in "anti-American" activities and had the gall to suggest that there should be an investigation.

Dumbass. What a throwback to the 50s!

Now she's also started lying about it and claiming she never said such s thing. Hi, there's tape. And some of us losers were watching live as it happened on MSNBC. Sputter, sputter, all you like. The upshot is... her Congressional opponent in MN, a relatively unknown Dem by the name of Elwyn Tinklenberg (you'll remember him now) has received close to a million dollars in new campaign donations since she went on her tirade! Go ahead, Bachmann, get kee-razy. Then you can leave the "secular" public service, and continue giving sermons about being HOT FOR JESUS, fo real do. Can I get an amen?

What I want to know is this.... which part of our national history leads these mental giants to believe that it is conformity that is American and democratic? Or that it is dissent and plurality which are dangerous and anti-American?

Morons. These are our LEADERS!!!!!!!!! Argh!

UPDATE: Even if you want to take my advice and give the estimable Rep. Bachmann an opportunity to make you despise her crazy behind by watching her night after night on cable news, you'll have a bit of difficulty these days. She has quite suddenly lost her prodigious love of appearing before the cameras every dang day and is now in hiding, issuing fevered statements about how she did not say those horrible things that they have video record of her saying live to Americans on the national news... Grand!

I am really asking for your help.

I'm gonna be bothersome until I get some action... that sounds wrong. What I mean is that I know times are hard, but next time I see you I will personally buy you a beer or a magazine or a value meal or whatever your lousy five bucks would have gone to, if you'll just go to my fundraising page and donate it instead. It ain't about the benjamins, it's about the involvement. It will do you good. If you wanna donate more than five bucks that's good too.

http://www.actblue.com/page/erikaseven

This is a really big deal, you guys.... CA voters are on the fence and following the money. We can't outspend the opposition but we can get some airtime and use it where it makes the most difference. It is so important to show the world that equal marriage doesn't break down traditional families, it just protects the rights of non-traditional ones.

http://www.actblue.com/page/erikaseven

There are couples in CA who've been married three times now.... once "just for themselves", at a time when they thought they'd never be able to marry legally; once in 2004 when Gavin Newsom first legalized gay marriage in SF; and once this year, after the historic court decision that came from Mayor Newsom's act of courage. We have to make sure that these families finally retain this basic right, their own pursuit of happiness.

http://www.actblue.com/page/erikaseven

One such couple was Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. A committed, loving couple since Valentine's Day 1953, Phyllis and Del were groundbreakers who dedicated their lives to each other and to activism. Mayor Newsom married them 51 years after they moved in together; they were first of the 2004 equal marriages. When the courts took that marriage away while the cases were tried, Phyllis said, "Del is 83 years old and I am 79. After being together for more than 50 years, it is a terrible blow to have the rights and protections of marriage taken away from us. At our age, we do not have the luxury of time."

http://www.actblue.com/page/erikaseven

When the California Supreme Court finalized its decision, Mayor Newsom asked these ladies to once again be the first to receive the endowments of legal marriage under the law. Graciously, though now 87 and 83, they accepted again and made their way to City Hall. They were married on June 16, 2008, under the eyes of God and man. Sadly, Del passed away on August 27, 2008, from complications of a fracture. Phyllis, her wife, was at her side, as she had been throughout their 55 years together.

http://www.actblue.com/page/erikaseven

We should be so happy for them that, when Phyllis lost her partner, they were married under and protected by the law. We should be so horrified for them that a group of people claiming the mantle of God's authority would work so very hard, and spend so much money, to take that away from them. We should be driven to make sure that equal protection under the law is not taken away again. These are people's lives and families, this is for real. We have to help.

http://www.actblue.com/page/erikaseven

Snap

I'm trying it out, I like it on other sites. If it's too annoying, you can disable it when a box comes up by hovering on the top right of the box and clicking when it says disable. Also, let me know. If it annoys too many people (both of my readers LOL) I'll get rid of it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Uh-huh..... The truth is out there.

Palin Supports Federal Marriage Amendment | HRC

No big surprise, right? I guess the only way this could come as a surprise would be if you'd bought what she was so selectively selling at the VP debate.

Thanks, General Powell. You still rule. (the evidence)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thanks, General Powell. You still rule.

Ah... 7 minutes so well spent. This nicely frames my thoughts about the importance of the choice we will make on November 4th.
Powell said: "I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain."

Ah..... transformation.

There's this wishful part of me clinging to the notion of the McCain I used to know and love, and that part of me secretly wonders if Good McCain realized that Evil McCain has been tearing this country apart the last couple of weeks (Mickey Mouse's name on voter reg cards threatens the fabric of democracy? Puh-leez), and sent General Powell to fix everything. It's a silly notion, I know, but it has its roots in the nice "family-man, citizen" remarks made by McCain. I think that if the guy I used to know is still in there somewhere, he knows two things:
-He AIN'T gonna win this here thang
-A House divided against itself cannot stand.
Based on that, who knows? Maybe he is trying to fix things, I do believe he loves this country, and if he can kiss Bush's behind after SC in 2000, he'll work with President Obama (ee!). Not to take anything away from General Powell, who in all probability made this decision on his own. I know it's just my brain trying to level the wild waves of cognitive dissonance created by Evil McCain. Something in me still hearts the old guy.

Been a busy weekend, sorry no posts. Not that anyone's reading lol! Sorry, myself, I didn't post anything for you to read. :) Working hard to win NH for Obama, though I personally feel the matter's closed up there. You wouldn't know it from calling around though. It's amazing how people who can't commit to the choice of a President can commit to being uncommitted, like bulldogs commit to raw steak. LOL

Friday, October 17, 2008

Checking in...

I'm focusing on my law school apps like a crazy person, so I'm taking today off. Click on the blogs I'm following instead, 99% of blog material is somehow redundant anyway.
:)

I'll hit it up tomorrow night.

PS - Michael Reagan is kind of a douche.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thoughts on the "born gay" debate

My posted response on another blog from earlier today:

As a student of biochemistry and neurophysiology, I feel compelled to comment on the "born gay" controversy. Some people say that homosexuals were simply born that way. Others contend that it is a matter of environment only. Both of these views are inaccurate, incomplete. Genetic heritability is much more complex than people realize, and what is accurate is to say that, like most other biological traits, an INTERACTION of genetic expression and environmental influence is the source of our orientation. For example, you may have the genetic material of a tall person, but environmental factors can lead to you being short. You may be genetically predisposed to being fair-skinned, but if you remain in the sun long enough, you may get dark. On the contrary, if you are fair, and your parents notice this, they may teach you to wear sunblock. Or, if you are genetically predisposed to be tall, and nothing stands in the way, your genes will be fully expressed, and you will be tall.

In my personal experience, the influence of one aspect over the other also varies from person to person, just like any other biological trait... Many feel they were born that way, that they can remember these inclinations and a sense of feeling different since very early childhood. Others are empowered by the sense that their genetics may have triggered their orientation, but that their identities, experiences, and choices are their own. Homosexuals do sometimes have a history of being victims of abuse, but then so do heterosexuals, and much more frequently, so this doesn't prove much. Regardless, if one believes that the touch of an all-powerful Creator resides in our DNA, then it makes perfect sense to believe that we are as God intended us. I accept that logic, and, for the record, I am gay.

Incidentally, it is worth noting that no admonishment of homosexuality ever crossed the lips of the Savior. The Old Covenant was washed away with the blood of Christ; that's why Jews are kosher and Christians aren't, folks. In the New Testament, all admonishments against homosexuality are either in the writings of Paul or the writings of his followers, and many scholars who are not literalists agree that Paul's time in Greece may have infused his philosophy with a "cultural conservatism" never intended by Christ. For example, Christ never suggests that women should go unadorned and be silent in church, but, uh, Paul goes there.
All right, let me have it. I asked for it. :)

Prognostication

Well, I'm happy to have been wrong, at least as far as the end result. There's still too much variation in each day of trading for the market to be healthy, and I think it's going to stay this way for a while. Anyways, I'm retiring from my new hobby. It's too damned depressing, and it's not as if it does any good.

I'm out for a while, I'll be back to talk about the debate.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stocks, shmocks

Ah, the markets are back down again. I forgot to prognosticate last night, and it would have been down again, but not this far. So much for my missed calling.

It seems there's some kind of amplification going on, a smaller version of which is the normal case with the markets; people see activity and they replicate it. But really, it's gotten to an outrageous level. We get a bad retail report and everything tanks? What a bunch of sissies. Everyone's so afraid of losing the value they just gained back so they cash out, which makes others cash out, and so on, until all the recently regained value disappears. It's just silly. If those first people would just refrain from cashing out, the markets would rationalize and things could get going again, a little dip here, a little jump there. Not these exaggerated swings. The market needs some BuSpar. :)

Mind you, we're still up from the weekend. And some individual stocks are performing pretty well, all things considered. If the freakouts would stop, I feel pretty confident that things would get back to normal, even a recessed normal. And frankly, I'm solidly in the group of people whose financial future is being shaped by these market happenings, so yeah, I have a stake in these matters.

I'm trying to focus on apps until the debate, I'll be back later no doubt.
PS: Tomorrow's market, I'm afraid, is going to be worse, if that is possible. Early-week gains may get wiped. Just sayin.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Equality for ALL in California

If you support the right of ALL loving couples to marry, please consider visiting my fundraising page for the group Equality for All. Any small donation will help this group buy ads to inform the public about the importance of voting NO ON PROP 8- the supporters of Prop 8 are currently outspending us many times over and it seems this has turned public opinion in their favor. Please help, any small contribution could make a huge difference!


Erika's fundraising page: Equality for all CA

Goal Thermometer

Today

I'm wah-wah. Meow-meow. Just a little.

Maybe I'll be back once I've had a little evening caffeine.

Monday, October 13, 2008

ACORN, what's the dealio? Part 2

Gotta say, I'm kind of sick of the alarmist reaction circulating over the ACORN issue. Admittedly, my own reaction was alarmist, albeit for two reasons: One, I've been heavily involved with ACORN over the years, and have a lot of sweat invested in that affiliation, both literally and figuratively. Two, I hadn't really done any research yet, just reacted to the story without digging deeper. Not like me to do that, but again, it hit me emotionally. Turns out, this concern arises pretty much every election cycle, and ACORN is required by law to turn in all forms they receive, even those that are obviously fakies.

The truth is, falsified voter registrations, icky though they may be, and whether or not they were flagged as bad forms by ACORN, as the evidence now suggests they were, just don't add up to voter fraud at the polls on November 4th.

Here's why:

Mickey Mouse, Ronald Reagan, and Troy Aikman just can't show up and vote a hundred times. Or even once, without ID and positive address verification. Even John Smith can't do that. Duh, people. The only possible political gain for a group like ACORN would be creating the appearance of an advantage in terms of Democratic registrations, and that would be assuming that the nice people at the recorder's office didn't bother to do their jobs and keep false reg's off the rolls. Basically, you don't get political mo from submitting more Dem reg's, you get it from having more Dems ON THE ROLLS.


"Hey, I'm Troy Aikman, and she's Ronald Reagan, and we're here to cast our ballots, please."

(Since you asked, Philipsburg, St. Maarten)

Uh-huh.....


What'd I say?


That's right, baby, the Dow about doubled its best day ever in terms of point gain.
Nasdaq and S&P both increased about 10%.





Guess I missed my calling as a financial analyst.
My prediction: a slight decrease tomorrow. Nothing to worry about... Market elasticity. Hang in there. And if you still want in, plenty of cheapies.

Just before I wander off to sleep...

I'm calling it a good day for the stock indexes today. If you wanna get back in, today's the day.

Don't say I didn't warn ya!

AND....
Happy 50th Birthday, Paddington Bear.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

This is weird and I'm sorry....

I don't know why...

but I find John McCain's mother, Roberta, to be a very beautiful woman.




Not like I wanna hook up with her, you scoundrels! You rapscallions! She's 96, and anyways, I am spoken for. I just... find her beautiful!








It occurs to me that I also happen to find this gentleman, an actor named Hans Howes, very handsome. You may recognize him from There Will Be Blood or some commercials he's done. I dunno, he has nice eyes and good bone structure. However, he's only a spry 65, and an Aquarius to boot. Sue me.

All right, bring it on. I pretty much asked for it.

UPDATE: I know some of you will laugh and point, but it turns out that both of these fine-lookin' old folks are Aquarians. Call it a coincidence if you want, but many of you know I have an Aquarius problem! Aquarians just have a, uh, joie-de-vivre that sets them apart. Perhaps that's what applies here? Eh. I dunno.

Sunday Musings

I decided to write because my cat is talking in her sleep, and I can't get over that. Someday I'll have to record it so I can save it for posterity. Too good.

The last few days I've been thinking about friendships and expectations and all kindsa other stuff along those lines. It's funny how easy it is for me to share my political beliefs or my thoughts on current affairs, but not my feelings about my life and what's going on with me. At least, not here. Who knows who'll read this thing? I've already gotten a couple of comments (outrageous and therefore deleted) from anonymous nutjobs who obviously searched the Blogger site and found my humble blog somehow. But I don't want to clamp down, I want this site to be open and easy to read and respond to. I guess I'll keep it moderately distant so that I don't have to feel all violated by the prying eyes of random strangers!

So, I'm thinking about disappointments.... the times that I've disappointed others, and the times they've disappointed me. Through it all I know I have something so good, someone that I trust so much, who trusts me so much, and that gives me more hope than I would have ever expected to know. However, it also makes it hard to accept the failings of others, and of my self toward others. It's spoiled me a bit, and the part of me that remains blithe and naive doesn't understand why everything can't be like that, why anyone wants to screw anyone else over. But I get it, or at least the part of me that hasn't been protected all these years gets it. Too many things get in the way, even when we want to do right by others. In the end, we're lucky if we have anyone at all to whom we do not feel we have been a grave disappointment.

Meow, meow, meow... Debbie Downer. Just thinking "aloud". It's never as bad as it sounds.

UPDATE: I just went outside to smoke, and every single person who passed had some kind of douchey look on their face, as if to confirm all of my low thoughts about the state of human interactions. BTW, I live on a pretty busy street. Heh.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One man's propaganda is another's really cool dorm-wall art.


The WorldNet Daily site is using this poster image in their article about Louis Farrakhan essentially claiming that Obama is the Messiah. Now, I don't really care about WorldNet Daily OR Louis Farrakhan, except that they represent extremist viewpoints, with which an informed position compels me to familiarize myself.




Having said that, I REALLY LIKE this poster! If it evokes a sense of propaganda, perhaps it is just a bit ironic... it twists those existing notions to present something new in a familiar way. That's, um, art! Actually, that's also how I feel about this other popularized image of Obama, which was meant to evoke the dramatic old propaganda posters, and has accordingly had EVERY possible kind of message Photoshopped beneath it, from the optimistic to the obvious to the upsetting. I personally like this version, one of the two originals by Shepard Fairey of Obey. (Don't know yet who did the first poster but I will find out.)


If you ask me, which you didn't, these are two of the most beautiful political art posters I can remember. Food for thought: even if one evokes messianism or (GASP!) Africanism, and the other evokes revolutionary socialism, isn't the characterization truly in the eye of the beholder? And... what candidate in our lifetimes has inspired the myriad forms of creativity that Senator Obama has? Just chewin'.


NOW I'm taking the night off. :) Heh heh.

UPDATE: The Dream poster is by artist Ray Noland. Found this info originally on the blog of Steven Seidman at the Ithaca College Department of Strategic Communication. It also appears in a few different versions; in one, the same depiction of Obama appears surrounded by megaphones instead of rays, in another before a blue background (which, funnily enough, still kinda has rays). Interesting! The posters can be seen at http://gotellmama.org/, a Chicago-based organization on the stump for Obama.

Hee

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Posted by jabarri12stacks in response to a YouTube viewer who called Obama a "monkey"

I'm taking the day off...

Gonna take myself on a date. Dinner and a movie.
I'll be back later.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happier-Making

I just...
love this.

Barack Obama - Dream

Yeah, I'm one of THOSE Obama people. He just gets it. I heart him AND his magical unicorn.
I feel pretty good right now, all warm and fuzzy. Revisiting that convention speech is kind of intoxicating. It's so funny, I always used to say (when I was supporting the powerfully pragmatic HRC) that the only thing I didn't really like about Obama was his goofy-headed supporters. Now, many months, lots of pragmatism, and both of his books later, I'm all goofy-headed. Bring out the unicorn!

Hey Sarah Palin



If you haven't seen this.... well, you should. It made me laugh and laugh.
Thanks Kristen!

Ye Olde Tymes

just a quick trip down memory lane....

8 years and 4 months ago:




Sorry about the bad quality of the shot, just snapped a quickie w/my camera phone of the original in the frame.

Thank you, Senator McCain

Sen. McCain gets booed for defending the citizenship and basic decency of his opponent!

I guess he heard the many calls last night for him to stop these mobs of simpletons from getting too rowdy (and sometimes murderous!)....

The video of this is actually quite powerful, particularly the longer scenes with the remarks and responses from the crowd. I'm looking for it and will post it here when I find it. Gotta say, I'm proud of McCain for putting himself out there this way. Whether it's political or not, it is the decent thing to do when the rabble keeps literally calling for Obama's head! Ew, people freak me out.

UPDATE: Still can't find the video I want. Having considered it further, I think it's probable McCain realizes that it's not gonna go his way, and has decided he wants to go out like a man of honor instead of a desperate old creeper. BTW, as I write they're releasing the report that Palin abused her power in firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, but DID NOT break any laws in doing so. Whatevs. Not terribly surprising at this point, right?

UPDATE:
Here we go! Clip from CNN on YouTube.
Creepus maximus.

Don't know whether to laugh or cry....


NY absentee ballot mix-up: 'Barack Osama' on the ballot

Zoicks!

For the moment

Markets are back up to level 1/2 hour before the closing bell!
I'm crossing my fingers that we've hit the bottom. When I saw that quick dip below 8000 earlier today I definitely got nervous... Although that would make me surer than ever that bottom is here or near.

Love the way the markets tumble everytime Bush opens his mouth. Do us all a favor and just stay home for a month or two, Georgie.

News of the Day: Separate but equal edition

CT Supreme Court rules in favor of marriage equality | HRC
All content courtesy of HRC, more info and live links at the original story above.

BREAKING: The Connecticut Supreme Court announced this morning at 11:30 a.m. EST that it had ruled, in the case of Kerrigan et al. v. Commissioner of Public Health et al., that civil unions place gay and lesbian couples in an "inferior status," clearing the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Here's the important part from the official court ruling:

We conclude that, in light of the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody, the segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm.

This is just gross, dude...

Michigan GOP Using Foreclosures To Block Black Voters | HuffPost

Because, you know, they were foreclosed on, so their addresses of record aren't good anymore.

Update: ACORN, what's the dealio?

A discussion of the ACORN problem, thanks to RBC & Prof. Mark Kleiman

Acorn Defends Itself | RBC

Thanks, man. I feel better.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy-Making

Barack-O'Lantern | RBC

Angry-Making, Part II

Just gotta say, this is getting to be a kee-razy election in these last few weeks....

People are PO'd all over the place. Did you see these clips of the Repubs' rally today in Wisconsin, where the odds are now in Obama's favor?

Video selections from the rally DailyKos

Jeez, man, you'd think that the political ascent of a liberal was the end of the world. Oh, wait, I used to belong to the group that thought that was true, and that was over fifteen years ago. Looks like the rhetoric hasn't changed. Whatever.

I'm just a tad freaked out over the tone this all has taken on... fear and anger over the economy are gonna hike up the stakes for everyone on both sides, and open up opportunities to twist the hearts of the voter in either direction. Gross. Nobody wins when things are this keyed-up.

Speaking of being PO'd: Dammit, ACORN, WTF? I hope that it turns out that these apparent commissions of fraud are the work of rogue activists, and not something that the organization or the local offices condoned. Quite frankly, the allegations and investigations are becoming kind of widespread to be nothing more than isolated chicanery, but that could be panic or political backlash, or so I'd like to believe. Anyway the name of the organization may have been irreparably tarnished... I've been so proud of my long work with ACORN in new voter registration and rebuilding in New Orleans. Now what? Do I take those credentials off of my law school applications? Thanks for making the rest of us look like a bunch of dirty cheaters, whomever you may be, you schmucks.

Angry-Making

It's driving me nuts that everyone can suddenly see just far enough to blame the sub-prime mortgage crisis for the current financial situation, but not any farther to the factors of greedy inflation and lack of regulation that truly created the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the first place. They point the finger at the lenders and buyers and governmental mandates and "good intentions" involved in purchases of less-than-affordable housing by less-than-affluent buyers, but NOT all the way back to the simple importance of housing, and to the house-flippers and other investors who, let me make this very clear, artificially drove up home prices in the first place.

News flash - housing is just not meant to be an easy short-term investment for people who never intend to occupy. It is meant to be a good long-term investment for people who take shelter there, for people who call the place home. One could even say that the tendency to look at housing as anything more than shelter is the immediate cause of most housing-related problems in America today. I mean, I get it. If you're rich, you deserve access to cooler housing than us po'folk. Right on. But should that mean that if you're poor, you deserve no access to any kind of housing? Or, worse yet, if you are solidly middle class, you should not be able to afford to buy a home for yourself & your family merely because others (most of whom already own their family homes) were "smart" (greedy) enough to buy second, third and fourth "investment homes" when they were affordable for normal folks?

Stay with me here - this kind of activity reduces supply AND drives up demand. It creates, from thin air, a housing bubble. And it drives regular people out of the housing marketplace, which is then filled with vacant houses for sale at inflated prices. Regular people wait this kind of market out if they can; if they can't, because (duh) housing is something that some people actually need, they get themselves into mortgages where they will be upside-down in a heartbeat once the bubble bursts. They do this because, they are told, housing is always a good investment. They believe that the value can only go up. But like so many other investments, this is only incontrovertibly true in the long term. And who in their right mind would want to hang on to a house for 10 or 20 years? Maybe only a family who'd want to live there.

Those folks, the ones who deserve access to reasonably-priced housing and happened into the market at the wrong time, are the ones who are getting thoroughly screwed at this point. They bought into the system way too high and their lives are getting yanked out from under them. I don't feel too sorry for people who had their homes before all this mess and are seeing the value fall; the value should fall. The market is just correcting itself after the hideous, artificially-produced bubble. Very few, if any, of this group should see their home values fall below what they were prior to this wicked boom, unless they live on a foreclosure-riddled block. Too, I may feel bad for them on account of other crappy economic factors, but I think they're gonna be okay when it comes to home values.

So all these conservative pundits today are smugly deriding the "good intentions" of "liberal" lawmakers who wanted affordable housing options for sub-prime buyers. It goes something like this....

Those liberal bastards! They wanted people to have shelter, and to gain some equity on that shelter! Those bleeding-heart rats! Didn't they know that all the good real-estate was snatched up early by those smart house-flipping investors? Maybe we did go ahead and sell some of our $100k houses to those po'folk for $200k, and the $200k houses to the regular folk for $350k. But we made a tidy profit! That's our right in the free market! And we stand by as those homeowners continue to get thrown out on the street, en masse, across the country, blowing their brains out, weeping, and praying, telling their children it'll be OK. When the market collapses as a result, we adapt quickly, learn to ignore our cherished free-market principles, and cry foul. Not on behalf of those regular folks, or those formerly and newly poor folks, who have lost everything; on behalf of our wallets, bruised as a result of their vital losses. After all, who could have predicted that the bubble would burst? Who could have predicted that mortgage-backed securities would someday reflect so little value? There's no way we would have undertaken that kind of risk. Never mind that the market is all about risk, that we love risk when it profits us; we despise it when it bankrupts us. That's when the government should step in, to save us from economic crisis once it's already too late, not to regulate the nature of the profits and prevent the crisis in the first place!

I have never seen such an infestation of red-tie, free-market suits crawling to the teat of socialist government controls. John McCain wants to nationalize mortgages and subsidize the ridiculously inflated principal amounts that caused this mess???? Are you fucking kidding me? That is the most socialist thing I've ever heard, you pinko commie. How about if you had simply allowed the regulations that would have prevented outrageous home value inflation and thereby steered us clear of this bullshit in the first place? You hypocrite. You want to swipe up that suggestion of the "most liberal" Senators you constantly deride, who would have been perfectly happy to regulate the housing market when it was needed, and claim it as your own "new idea" because you think it will sound good to the voters, even though it stands in grave opposition to every goddamn thing you stand for? You swine. How very "bi-partisan" it is of you to lay claim to the ideas of your opposition, you bloated, arrogant, bloviating shell of the man you once were.

So. I'm mad. I'm just a dumb kid, really, and I saw this coming. Just like the fucking war... No one in their right mind believed that Saddam had crafted WMD from thin air in the decade following the first Gulf War. How is it our ennobled leaders can't see this crap coming when regular folks who simply pay attention can? And when, oh when, will we stop this madness of letting the profiteers get away with murder when the markets are bouncing and then breaking the fall once their safely-banked profits have vampirically drained the value from everything? Will the enormity of this situation finally teach Americans the lesson that there is so much more value in regulating long-term stability than in permitting the short-term opportunity for the rich to get richer? Can we use this golden opportunity to make it clear, at last, that the chance for some to own the whole damned pie is not more important than the need for everyone to get, and hang onto, their own little crumbs of the crust?

Oh, God.
I think I know the answer.

Ode to Sean Hannity - by John Cleese

Aping urbanity
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Faking humanity
Journalistic calamity
Intellectual inanity
Fox Noise insanity
You’re a profanity
Hannity

this is going viral and pretty funny so I thought I'd throw it in here.
Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Herd

Aw, it hurts so bad.....

And that's just watching the Palin/McCain rally! Heh heh heh....

I am so wretchedly sore today. I look around my little home and see all the things I should have used my arms and shoulders to do before 5pm yesterday, like put away my laundry, or vacuum the cat hair off of my futon. I don't know how long it will be before I can safely or easily do these things again, but I have a guest tomorrow night so I suppose they will be done whether I like it or not. I have let Greg the trainer do things to me that I have never allowed anyone to do to me before, which sounds funny but is very, very true. I'm hoping that once I break all these muscle groups in, feeling this sore will be a thing of the past. Lord knows I've worked out plenty before, but I have never felt like this. Maybe I'm just getting flippin' old.

So, back to the rally, which is the real reason I dragged my arms onto the desk to post.

There are few things that make me more physically uncomfortable than when the cameras at a political rally focus on the glassy eyes and queer faces of a crowd chanting some punny political slogan. Just now it was "No-Bama!" and there were three kinds of faces in the crowd: those who were loving it, feeling all victorious; those who clearly felt awkward and lame about it but chanted it anyway; and, most frightening, those who appeared not to even be cognizant of where they were, just chanting away. For that group, it seems as if you could replace the "No-Bama" with "Heil! Heil! Heil!" and they would just be chanting along, all flat affect and lifeless eyes.

Brrr!

Now, I want to be clear, especially now that I've replaced a Republican chant with a Nazi one, that I'm not only talking about Republican rallies here. I attended an Obama rally, and I love the man, but I'm just not a chanter; when the "Yes, we can!"s begin, I think, "Ugh, no, I can't". I'm one of those people who feels wrong clapping along at concerts, mostly because I know that eventually everyone will get off beat and just screw everything up for the artist or the portion of the audience who does not believe that their participation in the performance is required. I guess the difference is, I'll clap at concerts when the performers encourage it (and start it off so that everyone in the rhythmically-challenged audience doesnt wander too far off the beat!), but no chanting for me, please. I don't think I'm too cool, I'm not ironic about these things, and I don't get easily embarrassed by shows of patriotism, political solidarity, idealism, etc. I just..... don't want to chant. Don't make me. And don't look at me like *I* am weird or some kind of loser for not wanting to do it. I don't know who really wants to do it anyways, people just do, it's like social clapping. Who goes to a rally thinking to themselves, "I hope we chant a lot tonight! I love that part!" People just do it, they need no motivation. And, ugh, cameramen- don't focus on those queer faces when the audiences are doing it. Brrr! Bleagh!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate Deflate

I sorta feel unqualified to comment on the debates these days. Mind you, not because I'm not engaged, but almost because I'm too engaged. I spend so much time researching the candidates and campaigns, and listening to their blurbs on TV and the internet, and the debates are on message to the point of being repetitive. I mean, I could probably create a word-for-word replication of this debate using only old video clips from before tonight. That is, of course, excluding the pissy moments displayed in the debate on the parts of both candidates.

I also tend to see the debates, between McCain and Obama at least, as draws, because I don't perceive either of them as the most skilled of debaters. However, there's a lot more to public perception than a scorecard, and on that count, I feel pretty certain that public sentiment has been swung our way, if only a minute amount, after all three debates. Kudos to Obama for working the room like he did when it was all over, even the undecideds (and probably plenty of the Republicans) can't resist that charisma of his. Funnily, the truth is that Joe Biden beat them all down with his performance, especially on the front of connecting with the electorate in a way that seemed unaffected and apolitical. If either of the principals could do that in the third debate, it could change the game for sure. It's sorta weird to me how Biden's presence has emerged over the last couple of months, despite the fact that he was never a serious contender for the presidency. He was *such* a smart pick on Obama's part, not a flashy one, but such a very smart one. That is to be contrasted with McCain's choice of Governor Palin, which I feel borders on irresponsible, and it seems that an increasing number of the electorate agrees.

I'd be super interested to hear what others think, especially if they are still undecided. I laugh as I wonder if there's anyone left who might ever read this blog who is still undecided. Seems like most everyone I know comes down pretty strongly on one side or the other, and, admittedly just like me, after a formula that is pretty predictable. I'll tell you, I wish that this was a contest between McCain from days of yore and Obama. Not because it would make it more likely for my guy to win (no doubt it wouldn't), but because I would feel certain that, either way, our nation would be on the verge of electing a President who possesses a powerful mix of principle and pragmatism. Over the last eight years, Senator McCain has disappointed me repeatedly on both counts, and I know I'm not alone. And the truth is, it's personally disappointing for me as well, because Senator McCain was once a bonafide hero of mine, not to mention a man who was a friend of my family and for whom my family campaigned. Even as my politics continued to diverge from his, he was someone for whom I long maintained a healthy dose of admiration. I can still admire McCain the man, for his service and determination, but my last shred of reverence for McCain the politician was obliterated a while ago.

Anyway, I'm so over boring-ish debates. I'm pretty much a wonk and these debates bore me, so I'm guessing that most people, for whom this ain't exactly their bread and butter, aren't moved by hearing the same crap over and over. That's especially true when all anyone wants today are solid answers on the economy, and it is becomng more and more evident that our economy has grown into a juggernaut so complex that it even eludes the grasp of our leaders. Someday I will figure out how to get Americans interested in politics and civics; I will figure out how to make the direct connection in the American psyche between our daily lives and our choice of leaders. We're headed that way, I think, but there's some trick that remains undiscovered. Some smart political analyst, maybe with a background in psychology, will do it eventually, and why shouldn't it be me? And when I do I will rule the world! Muahahaha. Just kidding, I'll never make a good candidate myself. Too many, uh, background issues. But I can Rove it up through others! LOLOL!

Ugh, I'm tired.

We're gonna bring you the power!

All right, so I'm in pain, but I gotta share...


First of all, my power bill for 32 days was $29.27. My heating is included in my rent. Suck on that, Phoenix! (Not people from Phoenix, just the city itself. I commiserate with the people.) Just to be clear, I lived here the entire time.


Secondly, they have two publicly available green options (and another for people with solar panels - in MA!). You can opt to have either 50 or 100% of your power come from wind sources. I was all about this but I thought, oh, it's gonna be so pricey.


I switched to the 100% plan for what will average out to be an extra $2/mo. And my power comes from a wind farm in Maine! Uh, cute!


I also checked the calculator to get examples of how much conventionally-generated energy will be saved monthly in the process...

This was a happy-making evening!

Want to blog... can't type....


Just got back from the gym and my arms are all John McCainy, by which I mean I can't lift them above a 90-degree angle.





Now, I'm not trying to be mean here. But really, every time McCain does this thumbs up thing, you can tell he kinda struggles. You can see it in the strained smile. I would never bag on someone's disability, but I would draw the simile to express my own. Having said that...









I also feel kinda shaky.






And a little nauseous.



But I'm excited for the debate! You may break me down, Greg the trainer, but you can't steal my love of politics!
No doubt I will recover some of my typing ability after the debate and be back. It seriously took me like 1/2 an hour to do this!

News of the Day: W....T....F Edition

These are all stories I read today.

Los Angeles man kills family, then self, despondent over financial difficulties

Ohio woman, 90, attempts suicide after foreclosure

Eastern Mass. woman shoots self as mortgage company forecloses on house

And, just for good measure...
Lehman sought millions for execs while seeking aid

Monday, October 6, 2008

Heart of Darkness

Andrew Sullivan just posted a bit about Conservapedia's hideous entry on Obama....

And the site is now unavailable. I was looking at it a moment ago, and it either crashed due to traffic or was pulled for revision.

Way to go, Andrew, you crazy wanker!

Hee




Credit to kdoug on DKos

More about law school applications...

I just want to say...

This is really exciting! I've been zeroing in on this very moment for years and now it's all coming together. I'm *almost* looking forward to the insanity of waiting for responses once all these durned things go out. Isn't that kee-razy?




I'ma be juuust like this guy! With the fists of victory and all!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hee

Obama refers to McCain/Palin attacks as "hoodwink", "bamboozle", "okey-doke"
Taking a page from the Folksiness Playbook?

News of the day

Haiti Pleads for Help
Really, they are in a very bad way down there....

Europe Scrambles to Rescue Banks
Will even socialist economies refuse to bite the bullet that America just swallowed?

Palin's words may backfire on McCain
She's being careless again. Surprise, surprise.

And last, but not least...
Developed countries push back vs. pirates
Yes, pirates.

Revisiting our textbooks

Why are so many Americans clueless about American history and civics?

Casual efforts to administer to regular citizens the exact same exam questions that a naturalized citizen must take yield dismal results. Lots and lots of people, even people who vote in every election, don't realize that the President is not elected by popular vote. Most of these people can not name who would ascend to the Presidency if both the Pres and VP died, and some of those who can name the position are unsure who currently fills it. From all I can tell, a majority of Americans do not know how many Justices make up the Supreme Court.

These are just the civic issues... the historical issues may be even worse. Do you know who was President during World War I? The naturalized citizen up the street, who gave up their life in another place because they believed in the promise of America, does. Ask an American to list the Presidents in order and many will fall off after #1. Most will quit or be dead wrong after 2, 3, or 4. Better yet, ask them to give the Presidents in reverse order, starting with George W. Bush. An occasional American does not know the name of the current President, and many do not know the name of the current VP. Again, the further along you get, the quicker they start dropping. Here's a fun one: who did America fight in the war for our independence? IF you'd answered France, you'd be so very wrong, or funny, but you'd also be very far from alone.

Why is it we as Americans do not feel compelled to understand these basic things about our own country? When we say that America is the greatest nation on earth, is it just because we were lucky enough to be born here, or do we stand for something more, for our own common ideals? To claim the exceptionalism of America without understanding what makes our country great is bald nationalism, which has a long history of turning great countries to piles of rubble. Let's not do that, hmmm?

Learning from MassHealth informational pamphlets

...Specifically, learning Creole. Or Kre'yol.

TRE ENPOTAN! Enfomasyon sa a konsene benefis MassHealth ou. Fok yo tradwi l touswit pou w. MassHealth kapab tradwi l pou w. Si w bezwen ed ak tradiksyon an ouben ak lot bagay, rele MassHealth nan 1-888-665-9993.

The funny thing is, if you speak just a little French, as I do, and try sounding it out phonetically, you can *kind of* make sense of it. I want to post the translation, but I don't want to spoil the fun! Also amusing, the French translation of the same information is here and is entirely different. The syntax is altogether different as well.

!!!

MA is so flippin' inclusive! Buncha hippies.

Learning from law school applications

...Specifically, learning how to describe myself aptly and powerfully in 3 pgs, 2 pgs, 500 words, 300 words, and in one case, a single sentence:

"I am an out & proud lesbian who was raised by a psychologically disordered single mother; I bring a singular perspective and a capacity to endure."

Damn.
That is crazy. It almost hurts to read it.
And brief. So much more I could say with 10 more characters?
And it is the truth.

Hee

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Setting it straight: John McCain on marriage equality

Senator John McCain has never been a staunch defender of marriage equality. However, he has managed to maintain the illusion that he is moderate on this issue and that he believes above all that it should be left to the states. I believe that he has achieved this primarily by opposing the Bush attempt to amend the US Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

However.... for anyone who is interested, he has taken the stance in individual state battles that their constitutions should be amended to define marriage thus. He has also opposed creation of domestic partner status on the record.

With regard to CA Proposition 8 on the ballot this year, McCain released the following statement:

"I support the efforts of the people of California to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman, just as we did in my home state of Arizona. I do not believe judges should be making these decisions."

This statement is a tad misleading, since the statute currently enshrined in AZ law is NOT an amendment to its constitution, but merely a part of its civil code, and it has since been the case in AZ law that equal marriage was not a legal possibility. In contrast, CA Prop 8 aims to do two things most distasteful to civil libertarians: it aims to amend the state constitution in order to discriminate against persons of a particular group, AND it aims to remove a civil right that has already been upheld by the CA courts.

Incidentally, and somewhat ironically, there is a similar measure (AZ Prop 102) on the ballot in McCain's home state of AZ this year, and he is not on record as having said anything whatsoever about it. However, in 2006 he actively campaigned in favor of AZ Prop 107, which would have not only amended the AZ constitution, but denied any kind of domestic-partner rights to gay AND straight unmarried couples!

Text of AZ Prop 107 from 2006, emphasis added by me:
To preserve and protect marriage in this state, only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by this state or its political subdivisions and no legal status for unmarried persons shall be created or recognized by this state or its political subdivisions that is similar to that of marriage.

The following was his statement on this extremely harsh measure:

"I believe that the institution of marriage should be reserved for the union of one man and one woman, said Sen. McCain. The Protect Marriage Arizona Amendment would allow the people of Arizona to decide on the definition of marriage in our state. I wholeheartedly support the Protect Marriage Arizona Amendment and I hope that the voters in Arizona choose to support it as well."



---McCain in 2005, smiling placidly while holding a number of the actual petitions that ensured this measure made it onto the ballot. The woman beside him is the late Lynn Stanley, who was at that time the chair of Protect Marriage Arizona.



The broad language included in AZ Prop 107 is the sneaky kind that often slips past the electorate at large. The voters of Arizona are to be commended for taking notice of its nefarious intent and consequently being the first (and thus far only) American electoral population to turn away the gilded offer of a constitutional same-sex marriage ban. Unfortunately, the current AZ Prop 102 contains no such surreptitious language and I believe it will probably pass, despite the general distaste of many Arizonans for amending their state constitution on such frivolous grounds. Regardless, it surprised me at the time, and continues to surprise me, that McCain signed on to such a punitive measure. It leads me to a very narrow set of conclusions:

-Mayhap he did not read the very short measure that he was endorsing?
-Perhaps he did read it but the elusive language slipped his ostensibly well-trained legislative grasp?
-Or, worst of all, might it be that our esteemed Senator uses the cloak of federalism, of leaving marriage issues to the states, to disguise contempt for the notion of equal marriage as well as for the possibility of any other kind of approximated civil equality for same-sex couples?

Disturbing.

Even a righty like Palin pretended to be all about some forms of civil equality in the debate. She chose her words carefully enough, but that was certainly the position she aimed to convey. She's made it perfectly clear on the record herself that she's not really all that into domestic partnership and conferring the civil rights of marriage, but that's a whole other topic and should surprise no one at this point.

I promise that this won't be a one-note blog, as I have lots of other stuff to muse and rant about. It's just on my mind and I've heard so many people say that they think McCain is moderate, or hasn't weighed in, on this issue. He's officially in!

One question on marriage equality

So.... I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as it's a subject near and dear to my heart. Also, recent legal happenings in Massachusetts and California have broadened the capacity of GLBT Americans to be legally bound to their same-sex partners. My question is this: if one is willing to put aside the causes of religious imperative and maintaining the status quo merely for its own sake, what sound argument remains for denying marriage rights to same sex-couples?


I first posed this question to a professor of mine at UCLA about three years ago, and his answer, uncharacteristically brief, was "None". Since then, I think I've asked the question scores of times, and most every time, the answer is as succinct and immediate as the one given me by my learned professor.


I have heard the suggestion that, due to the spread of STDs, regulating the sexual behavior of homosexuals is a public health issue. While that seems on its face a rather discriminatory idea, whispering as it does that gay sex is far more dirty and diseased than other varieties, I can accept the notion that sexual behavior, like many others, falls under the umbrella of public health concerns. What I can not understand is the insinuation that denying gay couples the ability to civilly solidify their monogamous relationships will somehow contribute to the improved health of the gay community or society as a whole. It stands to reason that reinforcing monogamous relationships of any sort could actually improve our public health scenario.

My assessment of a most common argument, namely that denying equal marriage is a valid means of protecting the family, is rather similar. Whose family, exactly, is protected by the civil instability of another family? This argument cannibalizes itself in the same fashion; one can easily deduce that denying equal marriage not only fails to protect the institution of family, but actively weakens it. This is particularly true when one considers a fact that equal marriage opponents would prefer to ignore - there are already hundreds of thousands of such families in existence whose ranks include children.

There are so many other arguments I could include here, but I won't because most of them are alarmist or irrational, like the notion that the government would force a religious official to perform a marriage against his or her will. So what else is there? What reasonable obstacle? We have a group of human beings clamoring for equality on several fronts, not just the front of marriage, and a Constitution designed to protect them. The arguments of religious or moral imperative and maintaining the status quo have no legal weight. So what is it precisely that prevents Americans, who tend to lay claim to the ideal of granting mankind "to each his own", from embracing the notion of same-sex civil marriage? Distaste? Awkwardness? Stubbornness?

I do not have the answer to this question, any more than I have gleaned the answer to the first. My elders assure me that the status quo may be slow to change with regard to civil rights, but that it will eventually change. In the meantime, I suppose it's up to us to continue asking these questions and to be grateful for every increment of progress.

The island life


...is the life for me. I'm obsessed right now! Maybe it's the advent of fall and cold weather here in Boston, but I just want to go to the Caribbean or Hawaii and sink my toes in the sand or do some snuba.

I hate the weekend news cycle. Even when stuff is happening nobody reports on it!


Welcome Post

Wow! Now that I'm here I'm not sure what to say. Oh, the irony!

Today there's a lot going on... everyone's still talking about the Vice-Presidential debate and the financial rescue bill. Of course, the pundits are peppering this conversation with tidbits about the stupid OJ Simpson trial redux. I have to say I'm personally happy that Sarah Palin performed reasonably well; now nobody has to feel sorry for her and everyone can just focus on the task at hand, which is electing a President LESS inflexible and sure of himself than the one we've had for the last eight years. One of my favorite things about Obama is his proven ability to surround himself with brilliance. You can't do that if you believe you're always the smartest person in the room, which is a quality that so many have tried to attribute to him.

Today I found an opportunity to go to New Hampshire the next few weekends and canvass for Obama. I suppose I don't understand the political demographics of the region too terribly well yet as I've only been here a month; nonetheless, I have a really hard time perceiving New Hampshire as a swing state. The campaign, however, is less certain, and this seems to align with the opinions of political analysts across the country, so if they want us up there, well, I'll go! Maybe if that doesn't work out I'll do some phone banking. I think that being from Arizona may be at least slightly useful, as my political and personal knowledge of McCain is fairly nuanced.

I guess I'll go ahead and comment on the VP debate myself: I was really impressed by Joe Biden! I never saw him debate that well during the primary campaign. And, funnily, Sarah Palin doesn't bug me as much as she does a lot of people I know. I mean, don't get me wrong, I want her nowhere near the White House, but I get the likeability factor. Maybe it's because my family was from Minnesota and I find those mannerisms charming to begin with.

Well, a decent start. Now I just have to find some readers! Or not. Whatever. :)