Sunday, November 30, 2008

Betty Bowers - The World's Best Christian...

No Sin Zone: R.I.P. America:

Meet Tonya Jenkins. She died of shock this morning. You see, the poor thing had spent the past two years getting all of her information from Sean Hannity. She would then go to her favorite website, Free Republic, and read thousands and thousands and thousands of vitriolic posts, all containing no facts inconsistent with Mr. Hannity’s and no opinions that caused Tonya to rethink her own.

Tonya went to bed last night with a tumbler of cold tequila and a head full of comfy knowledge. She knew that the Lord Jesus would answer her prayer to never let no colored Muslim communist terrorist be no durn president. She was certain she would wake up to find that sassy Sarah Palin and her running mate, a wonderfully mavericky war hero, had been elected instead. In her Christian heart, Tonya was confident that Americans were every bit as racist as Republicans hoped they’d turn out to be, as the much discussed, posted about and wished for “Bradley Effect” would work its reactionary magic at the polls.

I needed this tonight. I am still in tears and short of breath. Read the rest HERE.

More Later.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Shoppers and a Perfect Manhattan

I have been relaxing with a perfect Manhattan following a very hot shower and dinner is on the way, so I thought I’d update what’s been going on around here since Wednesday.

Off from work Tuesday and Wednesday and, of course Thanksgiving Day, I chose to rest up and give the back a chance to heal a bit; at least a bit. Listening to music and reading was a luxury that I wouldn’t have traded for anything.

Showered and shaved Thursday night so I could be up, have a quick breakfast, coffee, and be ready to open the store at 7 am.

We know none of our customers would be dimwitted enough to be out shopping at that ungodly hour, but the Mall Nazis have their rules and they apply to ALL businesses, so we complied. Not one person set foot in the store until after 10 am. Then we were, as we say – SLAMMED! And they just kept coming – singles, couples, small groups, and hordes. It was exhausting. I need roller skates for next year.

Help arrived a little after noon when there was a lull as shoppers took a breather and had lunch. After that short break, we were busy all afternoon, as our third person arrived to pitch in. Between the snappy patter with our regular customers and new comers, it was a delightful (though exhausting) afternoon. I am sure we made some of the newcomers feel comfortable and that they will become regulars in the future, as well.

Having been at the store and on my feet for 12 hours I decided that the back had had enough, so I made my way home to have a shower, cocktail, and something to eat. The third item almost didn’t happen. The back pain was excruciating and all I wanted to do was lie down and die.

I was in bed and asleep by 8 pm.

Up before dawn today and having a coffee as I pulled myself into business drag for another day of salivating crazed shoppers. Opened the store two hours early (before most of the mall was open) and had a few good early sales.

As the saying goes – ‘blather, rinse, and repeat’ – today was almost identical to yesterday’s experience. Buyers were jovial; having a good time and not at all hostile.

Worked to the bitter end with a buzzing in my ears and searing pain in the back.

At the apartment (that shower and Manhattan worked wonders) and about to enjoy BBQ ribs, asparagus, and my own Cajun potato salad.

Thanks to the Goddess we open tomorrow at 11 am.

And so it goes.

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Exhausted Caturday


Yes, that's the four of us after work today. Almost 12 hours yesterday and 13+ today.

More later, if I can keep my eyes open.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday, Indeed

A twelve hour day dealing with mostly sane people went well and everyone seemed happy. Not so in other places, like Long Island. From the NY Daily News:

Merry Christmas?

A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

What makes humans act in this manner? I just don't understand this kind of behavior.

Does anyone remember the reason for the season? Apparently not.

I smell olives.

And so it goes.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Macy Parade Gets "Rick Rolled"

Too funny.

Astley is clearly getting the last laugh and digging this new found fame even if 'Rick Rolling' was meant in a derogatory way.

It made me laugh out loud for the first time today. Also, he looks almost as he did when the song was popular - 20 years ago.

It's now definitely cocktail time at this abode.

Maybe more later.
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Harvey Milk Assassination: Thirty Years On

It was thirty years ago on this date that Dan White brutally murdered Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
This is from Yahoo and written by Rob Epstein, the director of "The Times of Harvey Milk" in which he compares Prop 8 of today, with Prop 6 back in 1977-78:

Thirty years ago on election night Harvey Milk gave an electrifying speech at the "No on Proposition 6" headquarters in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco. The results were in: Proposition 6 was going down to defeat.

In 1978, Proposition 6 ( "the Briggs Initiative") was the California ballot measure aimed at preventing gay people and supporters from working as teachers in public schools. Harvey Milk was a San Francisco city council member who had been in office for a mere ten months. Through his role in this campaign he proved himself to be more than just an "elected gay official." He was a leader at the height of his powers. When introduced to the crowd that night by Sally Gearhart (another important figure in the fight against Proposition 6), the response to Harvey was thunderous. He proceeded to give one of the greatest speeches of his relatively short political career.

Although there are many parallels to be made between Proposition 6 (1978) and Proposition 8 (2008) there are also many differences. Unlike Proposition 8, Proposition 6 had a name, a face, and a personality as its figurehead in the person of State Senator John Briggs. Briggs came across as a seemingly opportunistic and somewhat ineffectual politician, but regardless of his baboonery, the issue that he and his supporters tapped into -- "gay teachers" -- was volatile enough to find large-scale support among the electorate. Only one month before the election it looked as if it would be a very close vote, with the majority of California voters in favor of its passage.

On the other side, we had Harvey Milk as our figurehead, a "community organizer" who understood the value and importance of a well-coordinated grass-roots campaign. As a coordinated master plan, Harvey debated Briggs in high school gyms and on TV and radio, while an army of well-trained volunteers went about "canvassing" door-to-door, speaking with people on the streets and in the shopping centers about the potential consequences of the "anti-gay" Briggs Initiative. Eventually, enough voters were convinced that the measure was both unnecessary and a possible violation of constitutional rights. Proposition 6 went down by a resounding 59 to 42 percent.

On election night Harvey delivered his galvanizing speech with gale-wind force:

...to the gay community all over this state, my message to you is, so far a lot of people joined us and rejected Proposition 6, and we owe them something. We owe them to continue the education campaign that took place. We must destroy the myths once and for all, shatter them. We must continue to speak out, and most importantly, most importantly, every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is you must tell your immediate family, you must tell your relatives, you must tell your friends, if indeed they are your friends, you must tell your neighbors, you must tell the people you work with, you must tell the people in the stores you shop in (thunderous applause), and once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and for all. And once you do, you will feel so much better.

In light of the passage of Proposition 8, Harvey's message of thirty years ago remains as vital today as it was then. It is our responsibility to let our loved ones, co-workers, friends, and neighbors know who we are, so that those who vote in favor of discrimination have our names and faces in their minds eye when doing so.

Although Proposition 8 wasn't exactly a re-make of Proposition 6, it's the same disaster movie storyline pitch: any recognition of constitutional rights for gay and lesbian citizens will somehow destroy the natural order and as a result America's institutions -- be they schools or marriage--will crumble.

Harvey pitched a different storyline: an accommodating democratic society based on constitutional principles, including the separation of church and state, and equality for all its citizens will make our country stronger and freer. But Harvey was more than just a good pitchman. He had an innate sense of history, and as a result he made his mark on history. Three weeks after his Proposition 6 victory speech Harvey was killed, and we're still waiting for another leader of his ilk to emerge. While we may not be able to predict from where or when real leaders come, eventually they do. In the meantime, as we celebrate the election of a man whose own parents' interracial marriage would not have been legal in sixteen states prior to 1967, Harvey we're still waiting.

Rob Epstein is the director of the Oscar winning film The Times of Harvey Milk, and is this years' recipient of the International Documentary Association's Pioneer Award.

“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.” - Harvey Milk.

And so it goes.

Happy Thanksgiving, I think...

Yes, someone had way too much time on their hands.

It's quiet and sunny this morning. I'll be working at cleaning the place after breakfast, since I'll be at the store all weekend. Have to be there tomorrow at 6 am; not that our customers will be around, but it's the rule of the mall nazis. Never mind the economy.

More later.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wishful Thinking?

I can dream, can't I?

More later
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MILK Opens Today

Part of the review from Today's NY Times:

One of the first scenes in “Milk” is of a pick-up in a New York subway station. It’s 1970, and an insurance executive in a suit and tie catches sight of a beautiful, scruffy younger man — the phrase “angel-headed hipster” comes to mind — and banters with him on the stairs. The mood of the moment, which ends up with the two men eating birthday cake in bed, is casual and sexy, and its flirtatious playfulness is somewhat disarming, given our expectation of a serious and important movie grounded in historical events. “Milk,” directed by Gus Van Sant from a script by Dustin Lance Black, is certainly such a film, but it manages to evade many of the traps and compromises of the period biopic with a grace and tenacity worthy of its title character.

That would be Harvey Milk (played by Sean Penn), a neighborhood activist elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and murdered, along with the city’s mayor, George Moscone (Victor Garber), by a former supervisor named Dan White (Josh Brolin) the next year. Notwithstanding the modesty of his office and the tragic foreshortening of his tenure, Milk, among the first openly gay elected officials in the country, had a profound impact on national politics, and his rich afterlife in American culture has affirmed his status as pioneer and martyr. His brief career has inspired an opera by Stewart Wallace, an excellent documentary film (“The Times of Harvey Milk,” by Rob Epstein, from 1984) and now “Milk,” which is the best live-action mainstream American movie that I have seen this year. This is not faint praise, by the way, even though 2008 has been a middling year for Hollywood. “Milk” is accessible and instructive, an astute chronicle of big-city politics and the portrait of a warrior whose passion was equaled by his generosity and good humor. Mr. Penn, an actor of unmatched emotional intensity and physical discipline, outdoes himself here, playing a character different from any he has portrayed before.

This is less a matter of sexuality — there is no longer much novelty in a straight actor’s “playing gay” — than of temperament. Unlike, say, Jimmy Markum, Mr. Penn’s brooding ex-convict in Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River,” Harvey Milk is an extrovert and an ironist, a man whose expansive, sometimes sloppy self-presentation camouflages an incisive mind and a ferociously stubborn will. All of this Mr. Penn captures effortlessly through voice and gesture, but what is most arresting is the sense he conveys of Milk’s fundamental kindness, a personal virtue that also functions as a political principle.

Which is not to say that “Milk” is an easy, sunny, feel-good movie, or that its hero is a shiny liberal saint. There is righteous anger in this movie, and also an arresting, moody lyricism. Mr. Van Sant has frequently practiced a kind of detached romanticism, letting his stories unfold matter-of-factly while infusing them with touches of melancholy beauty. (He is helped here by Danny Elfman’s elegant score and by the expressive cinematography of Harris Savides, whose touch when it comes to framing and focus could more aptly be called a caress.)

Go and read the whole thing HERE. The film opens today in NY, LA, and SF. God knows when - or if - it will ever get onto screens here.

And so it goes.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Say NO to Drugs?: An Update

Was she kidding? I mean, Nancy, really.

If not for the painkillers and muscle relaxants I would have killed myself a week ago. While the drugs relieve some pain, they cannot eliminate it completely.

Made an appointment with my PCP for last Thursday but not without a few hassles with the snotty reception staff (I don’t know what their medical title is) reading my beads for not calling sooner. Who are these people…my parents?

My last office visit was over a year ago and she wasn’t going to go easy on me essentially saying that she didn’t think I was worth the doctor’s time. I told her to look through the file and she might understand the reasons for the absence. She ignored that completely until I demanded that she do so.

Who are these people demanding a reason to see the doctor; WHY do they always sound like they’re doing a favour; WHY are they so disengaged; WHY do they ask about my symptoms. My answer is always the same – it’s none of your business. Why do you need to know? That usually shuts them up, though some have hung up on me.

All I ask is personal access to my PCP and/or his nurse or nurse practitioner. Not file clerks who answer the phones; demand payment before even seeing the doctor.

Fast forward.

The appointment went well; the dr. was on holiday so I met with the nurse practitioner that knew my history, updated my file, and answered all my questions. Blood pressure was still elevated, but better than in the ER. She was surprised to learn that I am no longer insured.

I needed prescriptions for ongoing meds as part of the daily regimen. The NP gave me refills, and refills for the painkillers and muscle relaxants prescribed by the ER physician.

While I am no longer whimpering in constant pain, when it hits it is manageable with the Ibuprofen and in severe situations a muscle relaxant helps me sleep.

I pray for the morning that I wake with no pain.

I smell olives.

And so it goes.

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Clarifying Lies About Prop 8 Protests.

From Black Tsunami:
We need to clarify the lies about the Proposition 8 'protests'

I wrote this as a sort of itemization of claims by the religious right. The unfortunate thing is that we don't have a network of pundits or shows (i.e. Fox network) to set the story straight.

There have been claims that due to the Proposition 8 vote, the gay community has undergone a coordinated plan of violence against those who voted for the law.

Senator Mike Huckabee, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, syndicated columnists such as Michelle Malkin and Thomas Sowell, and religious right organizations have referenced incidents that according to them, proves this assertion.

But all of these individuals are incorrect. The incidents in question have been either exaggerated or distorted.

Whatever the case may be, the incidents in question are isolated, and certainly are not indicative of the needs and desires of the gay community. However, for the sake of clarity, the complete story behind each incident must be given:

Distortion - For no particular reason other than their hatred, gays attacked a 69-year-old woman and ripped a styrofoam cross from her hand

Truth - The woman in question, Phyllis Burgess, is infamous in her area for invading gay events such pride festivals. While she has a right to attend, her behavior while at these events are clearly designed to draw attention and evoke a response. The incident in question had to do with her attending a silent protest over the passage of Proposition 8. People attending were asked to ignore her. However as television cameras appeared, she made it a point to push her way in the middle of the crowd, allegedly knocking over a disabled man. That only increased the volatility of the situation.

Go and read the rest at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, then pass the link along to others.

More later.
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

President Obama: Can He Kick It?

Yes, He Can.

I love this, and in case you're not old enough to remember the music in the background, it's Take a Walk on the Wild Side by the Animals.

It's Sunday and that means a dining experience at the Parrot with friends.

And so it goes.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Forty Five Years: JFK

While relaxing on the veranda after a swim in the pool at a hotel in Acapulco, Mexico our usually jovial waiter arrived with drinks and informed us that JFK had been killed, the governor of Texas had been wounded, and that the borders of the US were closed.

Remember November 22, 1963.

It was two or three nightmarish days before we were allowed to return to the US. As soon as my Eastern Airlines flight landed at Idlewild airport (later to be renamed for the fallen president) I hopped on the Carey shuttle bus to the city, ran to Penn Station threw my baggage into a locker and boarded a train to DC. I was present for the funeral procession. I just had to be there.

The universal grief expressed in the crowd was as if I was drowning in a vat of jello. I cried so hard I threw up behind a large trash can. I was not alone.The entire world deflated for so many of us following that day.

We now have a new, young president-elect and I am fearful about a repeat of so long ago. I was too young in 1963 to appreciate all that JFK was and could have been, but I am well aware of what Obama has to offer to the US and the world.

We have come full circle and hope is alive again in this country. May it be the gift that we give to one another and to the world.

We move on.
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Garnish Caturday

More later.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Bernstein's Mass: Epistle

Original cast. More relevant than ever, today. I've been singing this for days, so it was only logical that I'd find it and post it here.

Maybe more tomorrow.
And so it goes.
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AFA: What Were They Thinking?

What do you make of this? It looked to me like a cross burning on the porch of a fairly well appointed home, but is it? Well, yes and no.

It seems that the marketing genius at the American Family Association (of Tupelo, MS) forgot what the burning cross means to most folks. The caption “Let Your ‘Light’ Shine for Christ This Christmas” makes perfect sense to these people. As far as I remember the cross is the Easter symbol; the Manger is the symbol of Christmas, but what do I know. Maybe the Manger didn't have that certain look the folks at the AFA were going for. Here’s the copy appearing on the website:

Looking for an effective way to express your Christian faith this Christmas season to honor our Lord Jesus? Now you can.... with the "Original Christmas Cross" yard decoration.

Light up your front yard, porch, patio, driveway, business, organization or church this holiday season with a stunning Christmas cross.

This beautiful Christmas Cross is 5.5 feet tall, with 210 individual ultra bright lights. SHIPPING IS INCLUDED!

Assembles in just minutes! Includes simple instructions and requires only a screwdriver. The cross is compact when not in use. And of course, it's weather-proof.

Decorate this holiday season with the Original Christmas Cross to remind your friends, family, neighbors, and all who drive by your home, office, or church of the real meaning of Christmas. You won't find the Original Christmas Cross in stores, so order online today!

Suggested ‘donation’ is $81.85

Looking at the price, do you think that the free shipping is already included in your ‘donation’? Oh, and don’t forget the War on Christmas is in full swing thanks to Bill O’ the clown, and AFA’s Donald Wildmon.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Obama - Biden Plan for LGBT Community

Although Obama and Biden are not onboard for same sex Marriage, Obama's plan to address the issues of the LGBT community is impressive.
The Obama-Biden Plan

* Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. Barack Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

* Fight Workplace Discrimination: Barack Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. Obama also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

* Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

* Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: Barack Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

* Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: Barack Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

* Expand Adoption Rights: Barack Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

* Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, Barack Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Obama will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. Obama also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. He will continue to speak out on this issue as president.

* Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Barack Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

This is far more than any previous administration has proposed. Now let's see how it all shakes out in the coming years. I am skeptical, but hopeful as well.

And so it goes.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bush Snubbed by G20 Leaders.

How embarrassing for us all. I would like to feel sorry for him, but...bullies always get their comeuppance. Dubya would be nothing without Cheney and his handlers and that says it all. Watch as one on line actually folds his hands as Bush passes by.
From CNN:

I have never been so ashamed of my country as during these last eight years. Now, I am ready to work to get us back on track.

I am on a new prescription painkiller and will write the whole story of the visit with the PCP, but may not be posting again soon, depending how the old body (and mind) respond to the drugs.

And so it goes.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Song for the Religious Right, or Wrong...

Whatever. We need a bit of levity (at least I do) and so I post this to all those who voted for Prop 8. "Keep Your Jesus off My Penis"

NOTE: This is not a suggestion.

'nuf said.

And so it goes.
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Tribute to Sen. Ted Stevens.

So Uncle Ted was planning to return to Washington even after his conviction, but there was a little hitch. A birthday gift, if you will, not for Ted Stevens but for the rest of us. He lost the election. He's been thrown under the bus by the increasingly irrelevant GOP. Like it makes a difference.

So in honor of his crankiness' birthday, a celebration is in order. Put on your dancing shoes, grab a partner - or not - and get down and boogie.

It's cold here tonight, so - move over olives - I smell cherries and a perfect Manhattan is in my future.

Doctor appointment tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

And so it goes.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Church: "Obama is a Sin Against the Lord"

They grow some pretty big nuts in Kansas. The Stoopid! It Burnssssss...

CNN's Rick Sanchez reported on a church marquee that reads "America we have a Muslim president. This is a sin against the Lord." Mark Holick is pastor of The Spirit One Christian Center in Wichita, Kansas where the sign is being displayed.

Holick told KSNW, "The main point of the marquee is to cause the Christians to understand he is not a Christian, Again, they will call me and they will tell me that he's not a Muslim because he is a Christian. That's not the point. The point is he's not a Christian."

Sanchez talked to Wayne Slater who is the Sr. political writer for the Dallas Morning News. "It's absolutely not true. He was born in the United States. Barack Obama. He is not a Muslim. Yet, there are people who hold on to this and part of this, i think, is an intent to believe what people want to believe about their environment because their environment is changing," said Slater.

Worth a Thousand Words...

More later.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Outbreaks of Racial Anger

It's increasingly difficult to believe in the "New South" when these things happen and expected to accelerate. A recent visit - after 25 years - made me understand why whites are terrified of Obama's possible election as president. There is nowhere else to run. Most of the whites I know had long ago left the big cities for more rural or suburban white areas. The white flight began many years ago and it continues today. Obama winning the election a majority of Americans (of all colours) have told the rest of the world that 'we're grownups' and ready for change, but the Old South wants none of it. Long before the election I listened to prophesies that if Obama won, all hell would break loose with riots in the streets on election night. Didn't happen. Instead, celebrations of joy, hope, and unity popped up seemingly everywhere. Isn't it interesting that 'violence' is always projected on hordes of blacks while it's whites sneaking around under cover of darkness doing deeds most foul against blacks? There's this:

Crosses burning. Children chanting, "Assassinate Obama." Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Reports of incidents such as those across the country are dampening the glow of racial progress and harmony that bloomed after the election of Democrat Barack Obama, an African American, to the presidency.

From California to Maine, police have documented a range of incidents, including vandalism, threats and at least one physical attack. There have been "hundreds" of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.

In Snellville, Ga., Denene Millner said that a day after the election, a boy on a school bus told her 9-year-old daughter that he hoped "Obama gets assassinated." That night, Millner said, someone trashed her sister-in-law's front lawn, mangled the Obama lawn signs and left two pizza boxes filled with human feces outside the front door.

"It definitely makes you look a little different at the people who you live with," said Millner, who is black. "And makes you wonder what they're capable of and what they're really thinking."

Potok, who is white, said he thinks there is "a large subset of white people in this country who feel that they are losing everything they know, that the country their forefathers built has somehow been stolen from them."

Grant Griffin, a 46-year-old Georgia native who is white, expressed similar sentiments. "I believe our nation is ruined and has been for several decades, and the election of Obama is merely the culmination of the change," Griffin said.

A black president is "the most profound change in the field of race this country has experienced since the Civil War," said William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. "It's shaking the foundations on which the country has existed for centuries."

The rest is at the Statesman.

I've heard that black people are just waiting for Obama to be sworn so they can riot, take over and do whatever they please. On the other hand, I've heard that teachers in area schools talk about a handy new phrase used when black or white kids act up or get out of hand; 'do you think President Obama would do this or act in this way?' and they tell me it pulls the kids up short, makes them more aware of their actions. If anything Obama's election might be the catalyst that forces kids to work for a better education.

I believe in HOPE more than ever.

And so it goes.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Emergency Room Adventures

Don't try this at home...

So there I was recreating a Fred Astaire routine on the tiny porch; instead of a coat rack my prop was a full garbage bag. (Remember Royal Wedding?) Unlike Fred, I made my partner to awful. Oh, you don’t believe me, huh? OK

That fall I took last week did more damage than I thought. What was believed to be a couple of cracked ribs turned into two fractured vertebrae in my lower back. How do I know this? The story:

Yesterday morning in the wee hours, I was awakened by pain the intensity of which I had ever experienced. No matter the position, none were comfortable and when I tried to move the pain shot through me like so many bullets.

I took a few aspirin and read while they kicked in. There was little relief. I took a few Ibuprofen tablets. The pain only increased to such a degree that sitting or lie lying down were out of the question. I broke in drenching sweats and at times my whole body trembled violently.

At around 3:30 pm, I struggled into the car short of breath (not even attempting to draw a deep one) and drove to the hospital stifling screams; praying the driving wasn’t too erratic.

At the ER I was put into a wheel chair and quickly into triage; then waited about a half hour before I was wheeled into a room where a nurse decided to take my BP again because triage readings were especially high and she suggested that was due to the extreme pain. The results were slightly lower, but still off the charts.

The doctor arrived, closed the door, shook my trembling, sweaty hand, took a seat and asked for the story of what happened two days earlier. He said it didn’t sound like kidney stones, to which I replied that I had given birth to many of those, and this pain was completely different.

X-rays (if they still call them that since they are now done in computers and sent directly to the doctor’s screen) were ordered and a urine sample as well to check for any blood or urinary infection. There was none.

I was whisked off to X-ray where in agony had to lie flat, turn on each side and then fetal position. By the time it was all over the hospital gown was soaked with sweat and I was wheeled by to room #32.

The nurse arrived once again to give me a 600mg dose of Ibuprofen and a glass of ice water.

The doctor arrived with the results; he sat on the bed and described what he saw and what the technician pointed out to him. He asked if anyone had brought me in or had I called 911. Neither, I said. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped; he just looked at me for a few seconds before shaking his head and reading my beads.

He said I should not have driven myself, because he couldn’t offer an IV of a powerfully strong painkiller prior to sending me home. It was then my turn for the wide eyes and chin on the floor.

The nurse arrives to take the BP one more time; it is a bit lower again, but remains in the danger area. She frowns and walks out to give this new information to the doctor.

In the end there were three prescriptions to be filled (which I had to do myself) before I could get back to the apartment and pop some painkilling, muscle relaxing happiness.

As I left the parking lot heading to the drug store, a thunderstorm came out of nowhere making it difficult to see the road in the darkness. Arriving at the pharmacy I waddled to the prescription counter where the kind pharmacist greeted me kindly and noticed I was in much pain. “Sit down over there and I will have these ready for you in a few minutes.” And he did. So, $100.00 and three prescriptions later I am on the road in the torrential downpour; even the highest speed of the wipers has little effect. I consider getting off the road and waiting for the rain to let up, but the pain is too intense and nudged me onward. I had to get relief.

Entering the apartment – before removing wet clothes – I popped two bottles, read the instructions and downed two pills with water. Within a half hour the pain had let up enough that it was possible to sit down. An hour, I was able to lie down and get a few hours of sleep.

I plan to make an appointment with my PCP tomorrow and expect him to rip me a new one for not calling sooner. I deserve it. I’ll live – or not.

Now comes the fun part...paying for it all. I have no insurance. Compared to "Just David" my little episode is a walk in the park.

And so it goes.
*

Decision Caturday - A Day Late

It's a long story. The real Caturday was spent in the ER. More on that later if I can write through the haze of painkillers and muscle relaxants.

And, so it goes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Transparent Presidency

Wow! What a great idea. A double edged sword, though. From HuffPo:
President-elect Obama's office gave the media a new way to present him as Franklin Roosevelt 2.0 by announcing Friday that it will be posting weekly addresses - fireside chats for the web generation - on YouTube.

The first address will appear on Change.gov this Saturday, after it airs in audio. An Obama spokesperson says that this innovation is just the beginning of the digital, transparent presidency. The plan appears to be in the mold of what the campaign did with videos like "Four Days in Denver" and Campaign Manager David Plouffe's conversations on the state of the race. These videos allowed supporters to feel like they had a direct connection to the campaign, a connection that bypassed the media. Already, the Obama team has made good on the post-election plan. It posted a video from Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama's transition chairs, discussing plans for the new administration. Watch it here:

Good: His words cannot be taken out of context and can be viewed by everyone.

Bad: Any slip ups will be on the recorded video.

Ugly: The opposition edits the videos anyway, and sends viral emails to all their crazy friends, who then, won't believe the original.

I am grateful that he chooses this opportunity to communicate to and engage the American people on the issues confronting us. For thinking folks residing in reality based communities this is a great challenge.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Palin's Africa: Continent or Country? - A Hoax

As I wrote earlier on this subject the fact that the story broke on FOX didn't pass the smell test for me. And, as usual, the other networks hopped on the train and ran the story without proper vetting. Well, would you like ketchup with that crow?

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, had come forth and identified himself as the source of a Fox News Channel story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.

"The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air," said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. "We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes."

Gaines told the Times that someone in the network's newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.

The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin _ not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.

Eisenstadt's "work" had been quoted and debunked before. The Huffington Post said it had cited Eisenstadt in July on a story regarding the Hilton family and McCain.

Among the other victims were political blogs for the Los Angeles Times and The New Republic, each of which referenced false material from Eisenstadt's blog.

And in July, Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones magazine blogged an item about Eisenstadt speaking on Iraqi television about a casino in Baghdad's "Green Zone."

Stein later realized he'd been had.

"Kudos to the inventor of this whole thing," Stein wrote. "My only consolation is that if I had as much time on my hands as he clearly does, I probably would have figured this out and saved myself a fair amount of embarrassment."

I know it's got to be a bother for reporters to actually vet details of stories in this 24 hour news world we live in, but reporting what is essentially a hoax means; 1.) you have to retract the story which challenges your credibility as a news source, and 2.) you are an accomplice to this woman's continued presence in the spotlight.

h/t HuffPo - David Bauder

BTW, I laughed out loud listening to Sarah's speech at the GOP Governor's conference today. Oy!

And so it goes.
*

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ow! Ow! Ouch!

I think I’ve cracked a rib or three…and sporting an egg sized bump on the back of my head.

Ever since I was on a high dose of Prednisone for a year in 2006 – 07 my balance and depth perception have been out of whack. (If you have ever had to take that stuff, you know what I mean. The side effects can be lethal.) Although the slow weaning process ended in December 2007, things just haven’t been right.

Here I was just taking out the trash when I slipped on the porch landing and fell backwards onto more than a few steps cracking my head on the floor of the landing above me. I was holding on to the rail with my free hand, and am clueless as to how it happened.

I didn’t know what happened really, maybe it was the wet landing and my foot just came out from under me. I lay there for a while still clutching the damned garbage bag in one hand trying to collect my thoughts; assessing the possible damage – or broken bones – before even trying to get up.

The pain is horrible and made worse by attempts to take deep breaths, or any breath for that matter. This is going to leave marks, several I think.

I am going to take a few aspirin and lie down. I am such a klutz. Jeez.

More later, or maybe not.

*

Remember Mark Foley?

He's back and the AssPress got the interview:

NEW YORK — Even today, two years after Mark Foley's very public fall from grace, the former congressman can't explain why he sent lurid, sexually explicit computer messages to male teens who had worked as Capitol Hill pages.

Sitting in his room at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York this week, the Florida Republican, wearing a yellow tie with blue elephants, finally broke his silence.

"I'm trying to find my way back," Foley said in an interview with The Associated Press, his first public comments on the scandal since resigning from Congress on Sept. 29, 2006.

Foley insists he did nothing illegal and never had sexual contact with teens, just inappropriate Internet conversations. Investigations by the FBI and Florida authorities ended without criminal charges.

And while he concedes his behavior was "extraordinarily stupid," he remains somewhat unwilling to accept full public scorn.

These were 17-year-olds, just months from being men, he insists.

"There was never anywhere in those conversations where someone said, 'Stop,' or 'I'm not enjoying this,' or 'This is inappropriate' ... but again, I'm the adult here, I'm the congressman," Foley said. "The fact is I allowed it to happen. That's where my responsibility lies."

Foley had built a national reputation as an advocate for tougher penalties against child sexual predators. As co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, he helped craft a law to protect children on the Internet.

Still, he said, there was no hypocrisy.

"The work I was doing was involving young children ... You know, you hear the term 'pedophile.' That is prepubescent," Foley said, noting a "huge difference" from lurid chats with teens on the brink of adulthood.

"At the end of the day, they were instant messages that were extraordinarily inappropriate," he added, breathing a heavy sigh, his eyes wandering toward the ceiling.

So why talk now? Sympathy? Forgiveness?

Nope.

Just to free himself from the media clamoring for his first interview.

"I believed I owed my constituents an apology," Foley said. "I embarrassed them and I embarrassed my family and I wanted to have a chance in a public setting to lend my voice to what happened, not through an attorney, not through a spokesperson, but from myself."
HuffPo has the rest.

And so it goes.
*

The Gay-Black Divide

San Francisco Chronicle: Another take on this issue by Jasmyne Cannick.

"I am a perfect example of why the fight against Proposition 8, which amends California's Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, failed to win black support. I am black. I am a political activist who cares deeply about social justice issues. I am a lesbian. This year, I canvassed the streets of South Los Angeles and Compton, knocking on doors, talking politics to passers-by and working as I never had before to ensure a large voter turnout among African Americans. But even I wasn't inspired to encourage black people to vote against the proposition.

"Why? Because I don't see why the right to marry should be a priority for me or other black people. Gay marriage? Please. At a time when blacks are still more likely than whites to be pulled over for no reason, more likely to be unemployed than whites, more likely to live at or below the poverty line, I was too busy trying to get black people registered to vote, period; I wasn't about to focus my attention on what couldn't help but feel like a secondary issue.

[snip]

"Some people seem to think that homophobia trumps racism, and that winning the battle for gay marriage will symbolically bring about equality for everyone. That may seem true to white gays, but as a black lesbian, let me tell you: There are still too many inequalities that exist as it relates to my race for that to ever be the case. Ever heard of "driving while black"? Ever looked at the difference between the dropout rates for blacks and for whites? Or test scores? Or wages? Or rates of incarceration? And in the end, black voters in California voted against gay marriage by more than 2 to 1.

Go and read the whole piece at the link above. It's well worth the read.

More later.
*

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prop 8 & The African American Vote

I’ve been speculating about the story that 70% of African American voters in CA voted YES on Prop 8 and the vitriolic reaction from the white gay community. But considering how poorly the NO on 8 campaign was run and how angry the rhetoric from almost everywhere in CA, I chalked it up to the internalized homophobia and homophobia within African American churches and communities.

Turns out I was only partially right. Homophobia is a big deal in many black churches; those churches are very important to the communities, but there is also the fact that the NO on 8 campaign didn’t actively seek out black gays and lesbians, or communicate the need for their help, or even canvass their neighborhoods.

From what I’ve read and seen of interviews with black gays and lesbians, they tend to live in black communities, many close to extended families, most all feeling safer there. That's true of my friends here. Not many are found in the more white neighborhoods or the gay ghettos.

The other evening as I watched coverage of the protest outside the Mormon temple in CA, what I saw and heard almost made me sick. As a group of 4 or 5 black gay men arrived carrying protest signs in solidarity with the crowd, some whites began taunting and blaming them for the outcome of the vote. Using the ‘N’ word and yelling things requiring bleeps on the soundtrack.

I’ve also learned that black folks – gay or straight – don’t necessarily take to the idea of comparing the LGBT struggle for equal rights to that of the African American Civil Rights Movement. I can certainly see their point.

I talked with a friend in NYC yesterday and she assured me that this could never happen there. New Yorkers are stacked one atop the other and there’s no getting around that fact. LA, like most of CA is sprawling; New York City, not so much. Manhattanites get along to survive and thrive.

CA is used as an example here because that’s where the most damage was done by the vote. The other states didn’t involve those already legally married.

I don’t know how this is going to play out, but clearly the California LGBT community cannot afford to ignore, marginalize, or vilify anyone. In my opinion the NO on 8 campaign dropped the ball and it’s going to take a lot of fence mending, not finger pointing, to get back on track.

Bottom line is we as a community must be more inclusive or we will never reach our ultimate goal.

And so it goes.
*

"World of Friends" - The Obama Song

I received this link in an email from a friend. Just wonderful.

h/t = BobC

And so it just gets better and better...
*

Sarah Blames the Bloggers

From the NY Times:

Ms. Palin directed most of her media criticism at liberal bloggers, whom she twice called, “those bloggers in their parents’ basement just talkin’ garbage.”

If you read the Times piece (at the link above) tell me she doesn’t come off as a Valley Girl a couple of decades too late.

Poor Missy can’t put a sentence together, dontcha know? But Jane at FDL sets the Wasilla beauty queen straight by introducing Sarah to some of the best. HERE.

Heh!

And so it goes.

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R.I.P. Mother Africa

Miriam Makeba, age 72, died on stage in Italy. I saw her in concert with Harry Belefonte in D.C. back in the sixties after she denounced Apartheid and the South African government revoked her passport thereby making her truly a citizen of the world. I had a number of her "albums" on vinyl, which were lost in the settlement.

She eventually acquired 10 passports and spread her joy and music everywhere - including South Africa where she joined Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. This video in her honor was put together by DWT:

And so it goes.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

"Getting Better All the Time"

The giddiness continues; experiencing a natural high. Unlike the 60s. OK, so I'm an old hippie. Bite me. Anyway...

While doing a search on YouTube for Beatles videos/songs I came across this one made as a 'response to the "expectations for Obama are too high" meme.' Enjoy.

Time for olives while watching the sun set, another day closer to getting our country back on track.

And so it goes.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Mormons Stepped In It...

And it stinks to high heaven. The religion of the magical underwear isn't happy that they are now targets of a backlash of their own making by crossing the line - not just state lines - to support discrimination. You would think that having been the target of such discrimination they would have, if nothing else, stayed out of the fight.

That they chose bigotry over human rights isn't surprising and they have no idea how far this is going to take them.


There is no going back - the world only spins forward - and the LDS church having provided 70% of the Yes on 8 budget is learning there is a price to pay...and pay they will.

More later.
*

A Night to Remember.



The pride, it feels so good.

And so it goes.

*

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Body Language & Analysis of Election Day

Two photos sent by a friend; a body language analysis of President Elect Obama (I just love typing that) by Kathlyn & Gay Hendricks.

Power, Joy, Grief And Fatigue = One Whole Person
When Obama took the stage, we saw a man embodying a complex array of feeling. He looked tired, of course, and who wouldn't be? A ten-year-old in the room, who hadn't heard of the death of Barack's grandmother, said "He looks sad." It takes a deeply integrated person to let his grief be visible on a night of overwhelming victory. This is a key to his personality, and bodes well for the future of his presidency. It takes enormous strength to let your vulnerabilities rest so comfortably in yourself that they can be readily seen.

There was one emotion we're glad was missing from Obama and the crowd in Grant Park: any sense of triumphant glee. We couldn't help wondering if it would have been present in McCain's supporters had the tables been turned. John McCain had to silence a few boos and jeers from his audience, but by and large they just looked sad, tired and meek.

Finally, we were deeply moved by Obama's body language at the end, in the easy way he brought forth the other members of his and Biden's family to share the stage. He seemed to melt into them, as if he knows deep in his bones that none of this is really about him as an individual ego. There's a huge difference between needing to be the center of things and simply being in the middle of things. Somehow, despite all the adulation and glory (as well as the relentless attacks mounted by the other side) Obama still knows what he's known all along: he's one of us.

Go and check out the the whole thing, the other photos and the analysis of each, at HuffPo HERE. It's really very interesting.

I am going to prepare another one of Peter's delicious recipes for supper. That link will take you directly to this specific recipe. To peruse the site for more just go to TTS and enjoy.

I am beginning to smell olives so it must be close to Martini time.

And so it goes.
*

On the "End of Discrimination" thing

h/t to Happy in Nevada

We ain't down yet.
*

Obama's New Website

It's all up there, folks.

The new website devoted to the transparent and open government that is to be the cornerstone of the Obama/Biden administration is now fully operational.

The name of the site is CHANGE.GOV.

There’s news, opportunities to share your story of the election, and a place to offer suggestions. Click on any news item to go to the whole story as well as related videos on the topic.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on links to anything you want to know more about regarding the positions and policies that await us all in just 73 days. Very impressive and even fun.

It's great that the secrecy of the past 8 years is on the way out; this site makes one wonder what the official White House site will look like in the coming months and years.

Enjoy.

And so it goes.

*

Prop. 8 Opponents Call for Boycott of Utah and Sundance Film Festival

From the Mercury News:

AP: SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's growing tourism industry and the star-studded Sundance Film Festival are being targeted for a boycott by bloggers, gay rights activists and others seeking to punish the Mormon church for its aggressive promotion of California's ban on gay marriage.

It could be a heavy price to pay. Tourism brings in $6 billion a year to Utah, with world-class skiing, the spectacular red rock country and the film festival founded by Robert Redford among the state's popular tourist draws.

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

Salt Lake City is the world headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which counts about 62 percent of Utah residents as members.

The church encouraged its members to work to pass California's Proposition 8 by volunteering their time and money for the campaign. Thousands of Mormons worked as grassroots volunteers and gave tens of millions of dollars to the campaign.

The ballot measure passed Tuesday. It amends the California Constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual act, overriding a state Supreme Court ruling that briefly gave same-sex couples the right to wed.

The backlash against the church — and by extension Utah — has been immediate. Protests erupted outside Mormon temples, Facebook groups formed telling people to boycott Utah and Web sites such as mormonsstoleourrights.com began popping up, calling for an end to the church's tax-exempt status.

Aravosis is the editor of the popular political blog, americablog.com, which has about 900,000 unique monthly visitors.

He's calling for skiers to choose any state but Utah and for Hollywood actors and directors to pull out of the Sundance Film Festival. Other bloggers and readers have responded to his call.

"There's a movement afoot and large donors are involved who are very interested in organizing a campaign, because I do not believe in frivolous boycotts," said Aravosis, who has helped organize boycotts against Dr. Laura's television show, Microsoft and Ford over gay rights issues. "The main focus is going to be going after the Utah brand. At this point, honestly, we're going to destroy the Utah brand. It is a hate state."

Messages left with a Sundance spokeswoman Thursday and Friday were not immediately returned.

Read the rest HERE.

I read John's blog just about every day, so I don't know how I missed this one. But it has been a very busy week, after all. Stay tuned, this is going to get ugly.

And so it goes.
*

Gloomy Caturday

Rain and strong winds are predicted all day. Good day to bundle up on the sofa with a mug of hot chocolate and a book. After running a few errands, that is.

More later.
*

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yes on 8 - Wrong!

This is not over. It's only the beginning.

Unfortunately we thought CA would be an easy win. There are no easy wins. Get it? Got it? Good!

Mormons, of all people! No. Really?

More later.

*

Obama is NOT the President of the United States of America

Yet!

For the last two days I have listened to people saying, "now that Obama is president he can..." or, "President Obama has to do ________ (fill in the blank), as soon as possible." Are we really this stupid? If so, it's no wonder people continue to believe he's a one man Muslim terrorist cell. Jeebus!

Please people, we have to get through the next 74 days before Barack Obama is sworn in as President - and in case you haven't been paying attention - Bush is still a loose canon and could conceivably take us into yet another war in the interim.

It is not time to make wishes or demands; there is work to be done to get this country back on track. Line up and help get it done.

Off the soapbox.

And so it goes.
*

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama Wins: Dancin' in The Streets

I am still processing this election and tuning out the pundits as they pile on Obama talking about what he "must" address immediately on January 21st.
But I love this:

Thing is, I danced to this song on TV when it was in the top 10. Yes, I am old. Just shoot me.

And so it goes.
*

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There is Always This Threat

We need to face this, though not dwell on it.

I pray the Secret Service and local police departments take any and all of these threats seriously.
While most of Chicago was celebrating Tuesday night, police and Secret Service agents believe one man may have been plotting to harm the man who would become president elect. This from Raw Story:

"Police and the Secret Service are investigating whether a man arrested this afternoon in Rosemont with an assault rifle intended to harm Barack Obama, several sources have told the Chicago Sun-Times," the paper reported.
The man was arrested during a routine traffic stop, according to the paper. Police found a laptop computer opened to a page warning of possible riots if Obama won. The man also had a stun gun, ammunition and hand guns, along with the assault rifle, sources told the paper.
“There’s an individual who we have in custody at this time. There’s no charges as of yet,” a police spokesman told the Sun Times. “As part of the investigation, we’ve gotten the assistance of other law enforcement agencies.”
Obama, who Tuesday night became the first African American elected president, has been targeted in a handful of possible assassination plots, including during the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer.
On Wednesday, Newsweek also reported that Obama's Secret Service detail became aware of an increase in reports earlier this fall.

"The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied," the magazine reports in a special post-election edition. "Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. 'Why would they try to make people hate us?' Michelle asked a top campaign aide."
There are a few who thrive on hate and aspire to celebrity for whatever reason. Must we live with the threat of assassination for the next four years?

Please, we cannot allow this to happen again. No. Never again.

*

"Yes We Can" Changes Everything!

There will be those who say it doesn’t, but they’re wrong, just as they have been for these eight long years.

Yesterday:

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival....

- - Frederick Douglass

Today:

Those who chose not to vote because Hillary lost, McCain was pro-choice, or Obama was African American have lost. America won.

Focus on Family and all the other smug rightwing religious nuts had their chance to take over with hate and fear but informed voters realized they were being played for fools.

Abortion, terrorists, and religion didn’t have the same ring this time round. The economy, two wars, hundreds of thousands of people dead clearly was a wake-up call.

Yes, we may have lost the anti-American ballot initiatives banning gay marriage and adoption, (though the winner isn't yet clear) but there is hope in change in our future. It is only a matter of time before these too, come to pass.

Hate didn't win the day. Thank God.

Fear didn't win the day. It never does in the long run.

America, we have a mandate. Let’s not fuck it up. OK?

All children may now dream of becoming President of the United States of America; that is now a simple fact. Every parent can say that to his or her kids and point to the White House as proof.

No, this election will not end racism in this country. It is too deeply engrained, but we have taken steps in the right direction and we are all better for taking those steps. Thank you to all progressive American voters who made this day possible.

I am proud to be an American today. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so.

BONUS: Watching those girls grow up in the White House. A real American family in the White House.

And so it goes

*

Good Morning World. It's a Brand New Day!




I especially like the inset photo from Spiegel of dubya making that stoopid face as he attempted to flee the stage through a locked door.

Spontaneous celebrations broke out everywhere in this country. Hope and hard work are on the agenda, but we're ready for it. We're going to get our nation back.

Last night I had a dream that the world,
was changing by leaps and bounds.
It started out in the bigger cities
and spread to the smaller towns.
People began to smile at people
that they'd never even seen,
and when Jeremiah woke me up
I was a ready to live that dream.

It's a brand new day.
A brand new way.
Yes a brand new day.
- Al Kooper

People get ready.

*

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Voted! Voted! Voted!

The deed, it is done. This has been the most exciting election cycle in my lifetime.

It took over an hour and as we were queued two abreast potential voters were spilling out of the polling place into the parking lot in the torrential rain. There were brightly coloured golf umbrellas and more than a few beach umbrellas sheltering us from at least some of the rain though the wind whipped the water up to the waist.

I arrived at 7:15 am and spent thirty minutes in the rain; forty five indoors as we split into two queues by the initial of last names (A to L, M to Z); unfortunately, the A to L line was twice that of M to Z; another 10 minutes getting checked in, then a few minutes waiting for a vacant booth and casting my vote. It was amazing to see a full compliment of poll workers and four voting booths (they were short handed and had only two booths for the primary), so the flow of voters went smoothly, if slowly.

Usually rain has a negative effect on voter turnout, but not this time. Seems everyone wants to be a part of this election. In my heart there is a bit of relief that this 8-year nightmare is about to end. There is a fear in my bones that this election, like the previous two, could well be stolen. It’s easy to be cynical with those images burned into memory. No, I won’t be giving in to those thoughts on this day.

It is also easy to imagine a dignified, articulate, compassionate president replacing a swaggering, smirking, moronic dry-drunk. I believe that the majority of Americans are willing to come together to rebuild what has been destroyed over the last 8 years.

I have to admit to one great fear; once in the privacy of the voting booth, white people will be unable to bring themselves to vote for a black man, and I don’t think this nation could survive a McCranky/Bible Spice administration.

So unless these two things happen – or Chimpy & Cheney decide to take the country into yet another war – I can’t wait for January 20th.

A bit of the ugly: the phrase ‘Body Odor’ was repeated by various people while in line followed by a strange string of words that made no sense in context. However, as we neared the check in table, the elderly gentleman in front of me leaning on a cane turned and said “you know what they’re saying, don’t you?” I shook my head. “Body Odor, or B O, referring to Barack Obama.” He disapproved, but didn’t want to cause a scene. I sense his vote went to BO.

And so it goes.
*

Obama: Going the Distance

From Brooklyn Radio.

I love it.

If you haven't done it yet, VOTE! Lines are long, even here in LSD (Lower Slower Delaware). But that's no reason to be complacent. Your vote does count and the more voters, the better the outcome.

More later.
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