Saturday, November 22, 2008

Deep Thought

If the election of Obama as president...

an America-hating Muslim/radical/socialist/Marxist/terrorist-loving, effete arugula-eating/Black liberationist...

represents a victory for center-right conservatives...

then what did McCain/Palin represent?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Charlie Brown CA-04--It's Getting Closer! UPDATED

11-22--Vote count is now 357. Woo-hoo!

From my in-box:

From: Todd Stenhouse, Brown for Congress

This week Charlie, Jan and I made the trip to Washington D.C. for
"Freshman Class Orientation" for the 111 th Congress. It's an exciting time to be in D.C. but it's a reminder we still need to fight to make sure Charlie gets to come back in January.

Click here to help make sure Charlie gets to D.C. for the 111th Congress.

This week marks a critical juncture in the vote counting process and
we need your help. We've made huge gains in the past few days, and
with more than 338,000 ballots counted, and over 29,000 to go, the
current vote margin stands at just 574.

This week, the three largest counties have started verifying and
counting provisional ballots. Historically these trend towards the
Democratic candidate, and therefore are likely to be the most hotly
contested by the McClintock camp.

To win the fight for the provisional ballots - and the election - we
need the legal resources to make sure every provisional vote is
counted-and that can cost up to $5,000 per day.

More of What I'd Like to See Happen

Continuing my list...

Screw health "insurance." Health care for all on demand.

Declassify all files on the Kennedy assination.

Prioritize Hanford cleanup and get a handle on the plume of radioactive waste in the groundwater that's heading towards the Columbia River.

Ban the use of antibiotics and hormones from animal feed.

Adopt Prop 2 anti-cruelty legislation for farm animals as federal law.

Allow tax breaks for landlords of single-family homes for making green, energy efficient upgrades to their rental homes.

Amend the Constitution so that states with more than five million citizens gain another Senate seat.

Eliminate construction of new logging roads and defund current logging road construction projects.

Eliminate funding for new weapons research.

Increase the leasing fees for use of federal lands by ranchers and farmers.

Stop the Navy's new sonar testing and use.

Increae the fees and substantially lessen the time frame for mineral/energy rights leases on federal lands.

Begin a nationwide public education campaign to turn our lights out at night.

Fund the Coast Guard for a laser-beam focus on illegal fishing.

Re-institute the assault weapons ban.

Eliminate tax breaks for corporations like Wal-Mart who refuse to pay their employees high enough wages or provide them with enough work hours per week so that they need to go on public assistance to make ends meet.

Adjust public assistance payments so that there is no upward adjustment in benefits for pregnancies brought to term while on public assistance, but do provide free birth control, free abortions and free sterilizations to recipients.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Prop 8--Taking it to the Mormons Today UPDATED

Today I attended two spontaneously-organized protests of Prop 8.

I'm hetero so I'm not directly affected by Prop 8 or other anti-gay measures, but I am an a-theist, and I am more than ready to push back. Hard. I've got no tolerance anymore for holier-than-thou religious freaks and bigoted, hypocritical a-holes invading people's privacy, imposing religious litmus tests and advancing the purported superiority of their authoritarian, superstitious beliefs as a necessary moral guide for the rest of us. It's obvious to anybody paying attention that these jerks will not stop with eliminating gay rights and abortion rights. They want an American theocracy, and they will push their agendas as far as we let them.

When I heard about the protests I thought, "Fuck it. I'm in." Gay people must have the same civil rights as everybody else in America--including marriage rights. Period.

The first demo started at 8 a.m. at the Mormon church in the University District in Seattle. The second was at the Mormon temple in Bellevue. Only about 30 people were at each event, and the low turnout is attributable to last-minute organizing and word-of-mouth publicity. But both events were effective symbolic throw-downs of the progressive/liberal civil-rights gauntlet against religious bigots.

The afternoon demo was held in front of the temple at the intersection of the temple driveway and a heavily-traveled road about 400 feet away from the temple itself. Demonstrators formed into small groups at the intersection corners. There was a fair amount of honked support from passing drivers, but no in-person interaction with Mormons driving out from the temple parking lot.

In contrast, the morning demo formed a line on the sidewalk directly in front of the church at the entrance steps, which is located on a quiet neighborhood sidestreet, so church attendees had to pass quite near the demonstrators to enter the church. So, the morning demo was more effective.

Most Mormons ignored us and refused eye contact, or simply returned our friendly "Hello" and requests for support with a neutral "Hello." Only one Mormon man went a bit "gorilla" on a couple gay guys--moving aggressively into their personal space and challenging them--but this tense encounter was brief.

I was stunned when two extremely brave Mormons (a young man and a thirtyish woman) walked up and took a place in the demo line. They openly stood with us against their church. After about 10 minutes, they left to attend the service. The woman was crying and saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you." We in turn thanked them for their courage, decency, bravery and their support--and we all loudly applauded and cheered them.

I suspect that their church "elders" will go after them soon enough.

My hope is that repeated public protests at Mormon worship sites combined with targeted boycotts of Prop H8te supporters' businesses will give Mormons who disagree with their church the strength to speak out and agitate for change from within.

UPDATE Some Mormons are apparently gleefully spreading lies and rumors about gay riots in LA at the temple protests and that Seattle demonstrators chained themselves to temple gates. My link feature is down, but check out this Mormon newsblog for a small sample:

John McCain and Sarah Palin--Own Up and Pay Up

I haven't been posting to my blog over the past several weeks, but instead I've been intensely reading and posting at other political blogs and donating to candidates and issues I support.

With the exception of the anti-gay marriage amendments passing, the election losses of some solid, progressive candidates, and the failures of various e-voting machines, I'm elated about the election results. I'm especially grateful for the Massachusetts voters who outlawed dog racing, and for the California voters who voted to provide factory farm animals with some measure of humane care and treatment.

And, of course, I am grateful for Obama/Biden's presidental win.

But--I'm deeply disturbed by the republican's campaign tactics. I understand Obama's call for national unity and coming together to solve our problems, but unless there is a lancing of the boil, so to speak, and an acceptance of responsibility, such unity is likely impossible.

Yeah McCain gave a "sincere" concession speech--but it's not enough. The repugs have nearly 1/2 of the nation believing that Obama is a dangerous radical, and a secret Muslim, and a traitor, and a communist, and a Black Power liberationist, and the anti-Christ--and he needs to be killed.

On edit I will include a link to an article in the London Telegraph quoting the Secret Service that McCain, Palin and the wingnut echo chamber's "palling around with terrorists" line and the "who is the real Obama" campaign crap caused a huge upsurge in the number of specific assassination threats to Obama and his family the likes of which they've never seen before. In addition, the Secret Service disrupted several plots and they are investigating several others.

McCain and Palin have not done nearly enough to repair the damage to the nation that their campaign has wrought. So McCain gave a nice speech when he lost. Whoop de doo. Other than this one speech what has he done? Not one damn thing. And neither has Palin, or Faux News, or Limbaugh, or Savage, or Hannity or any of other the ugly, mean-spirited bastards whose stock in trade is treacherous deceit, and riling up the ignorant and the violent while claiming innocence using plausible deniability.

As a matter of fact, attacks on Obama are continuing, full speed ahead. For example, just today I heard Limbaugh spew this type of garbage:

We're in an Obama recession, folks. The stock market has tanked. Obama has absolutely wrecked this economy. He's wrecked it. And he's not even president yet! And you know, folks, it's only going to get worse. Obama will make sure of it!

During Obama's campaign he appealed to our hopes, our desire for unity, and of caring for others. He also talked about restoring justice, fairness, dignity and decency to our civic discourse and policies. He said that the republicans need to take responsibility and "own their failures" and be held accountable for their actions.

I would love to see all people who voted for Obama/Biden DEMAND that McCain and Palin immediately issue a complete, full retraction and repudiation of their garbage campaign rhetoric and ask for our forgiveness. I want them to admit that all the crap about Ayers, about ACORN, about Rev. Wright, about Obama's citizenship, about his policies, etc.--all of it was just crap they said to win the election.

Without their open acknowledgment and ownership of their campaign crap, their stupid, violent supporters will continue to believe their lies and behave accordingly.

If they have not taken ownership of the harm they have caused America during their campaign, and if harm comes to Obama or Biden, well I'd hate to be in either McCain's or Palin's shoes.