Friday, November 21, 2008


This was on The Gaytheist Agenda blog. Short and sweet and I felt it should be repeated:
Radical Homosexual Activist:
rad⋅i⋅cal ho⋅mo⋅sex⋅u⋅al ac⋅tiv⋅ist
Am. Eng. Late 20th Cent.

A gay person who has the audacity to demand equal rights from people who shouldn’t have the authority to withhold them in the first place.

Thus ends today’s vocabulary lesson.
I especially like the part about having one's rights taken away by people who should not have the authority to withhold them.

How many of you Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, etc. would sit still while YOUR right to marry was being voted on? Would you think this is something that shouldn't even be put up for a vote? That the very idea that such a freedom can be taken from by a majority of the people shouldn't exist?

Not all that uncommon. Interracial marriage was illegal in many states all the way up through the 70's.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bush and Obama

Obama visited the White House yesterday and he and Michelle were met by George and Laura. Quite a scene, it was as if we saw the emotional transfer of the power of the presidency from the old to the new. I especially liked Obama putting his hand on Bush's back, showing who was in control.

What surprised me is how gracious Bush was reported to have been. There seemed to be genuine respect towards Obama and an acknowledgment of the enormity of Obama's accomplishment.

I think it boils down to two things. The first is that being president is a VERY exclusive club of a very small group of highly exceptional men and Bush has a great deal of respect for that club and the men in it. Only natural he would feel that way since that makes him exceptional too. But Bush is right, it IS a very exclusive club of which he and Obama are two of only five total living membership. And despite what anyone thinks of Bush it really is quite an exceptional thing to be President of the United States.

The second, I think, is that Bush is genuinely choked up at the enormity of the US having the first black president in history. I can think of many bad things to say about Bush but racist isn't one of them, after all, he put Colin Powell and Condi Rice in his cabinet. As choked up and overwhelmed and pleased by this idea as I am, I think Bush's feeling are very close to mine. I also think he felt like it was a great honor for him to be the one to greet our first black president and show him the White House.

Many of my friends have theorized that Bush had never intended to give up power and would declare martial law before leaving office, this goes back to before the 2004 election. There was lots of evidence to support this, including a law Bush signed that made it easier for the president to do that very thing. Creepy.

But it's all gone wrong for him and he now has a 22% approval rating, a new low for any sitting president and he probably feels like he couldn't get away with stealing the presidency under current circumstances. I also think Bush is getting pretty stressed out by it all and really, really wants to be out of the office. Whatever was going on behind the scenes Bush was very gracious yesterday with President-Elect Obama and I think when he does something good he should get credit for it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Olbermann on Prop 8

This is one of his best, and most emotional. He captured my own feeling of horror that this travesty of discrimination has been made into constitutional law:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The New New Deal

Here is a good article by Paul Krugman on what Obama should do about the economy:
But it would be fair for the new administration to point out how conservative ideology, the belief that greed is always good, helped create this crisis. What F.D.R. said in his second inaugural address — “We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics” — has never rung truer.

And right now happens to be one of those times when the converse is also true, and good morals are good economics. Helping the neediest in a time of crisis, through expanded health and unemployment benefits, is the morally right thing to do; it’s also a far more effective form of economic stimulus than cutting the capital gains tax. Providing aid to beleaguered state and local governments, so that they can sustain essential public services, is important for those who depend on those services; it’s also a way to avoid job losses and limit the depth of the economy’s slump.

So a serious progressive agenda — call it a new New Deal — isn’t just economically possible, it’s exactly what the economy needs.

The bottom line, then, is that Barack Obama shouldn’t listen to the people trying to scare him into being a do-nothing president. He has the political mandate; he has good economics on his side. You might say that the only thing he has to fear is fear itself.
That last line is a good one. Maybe next time Krugman will win the Nobel Prize for literature to go alongside the one for economics.

But it's a very true statement. Nancy Pelosi said they would govern down the middle. Screw that! Obama was elected for change and that is what people want. We certainly don't want cowardice and timidity, this is the time for bold action along the lines of what FDR did in the 30's.

The polls just before the election showed that McCain's cry of "redistribution of the wealth" actually raised Obama's numbers. People want that. Even those who don't know all the details know the rich have been ripping us off for years and we have a collapsing economy to show for it. Obama does have a mandate, let's hope he uses it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Barack Obama WINS!!!!

It hardly seems believable that this has happened, that a black man is now president-elect of the United States of America. I remember so well listening to MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, which still brings me to tears. "I have a dream of a day when a man is judged by the quality of his character rather than the color of his skin."

We're almost there. How different will it be for children growing up now, to look on TV and see a black man as president, and for that to be perfectly normal, nothing unusual at all? While their grandparents, like me, look on in astonishment and wonder. When I was 7, the age of my granddaughter Ally, the voting rights act had not been signed into law yet, that would happen 6 years later. Blacks in a position of authority almost anywhere in society were non-existent.

This was only 48 years ago, a mere speck of time in geological terms.

When I was a hippie what we were so upset about was the fact that the promise of what America SHOULD be was so at odds with what it actually was. In the past few years we seemed even farther from that promise than ever but today we have moved so much closer than we have ever been.

Too bad the American public is so stupid it takes a near-collapse of our civilization to get them to stop voting for Republicans. Even mules only needed a stick to get their attention.

We stand at a very unique moment in history and I am glad I'm here to see it happen and even participate in it. Hopefully, I'll be able to tell my great-grandkids about it. Unlikely I could live that long but now I have hope. Because a 55 year old with no health insurance is a dead man walking, it's only a matter of time. But if Obama can get some health insurance going that will cover me and that I can pay for the death setence might be removed.

I Voted

And it sure felt good. I never thought I'd get to vote for a black man for president with there being a good possibility of him winning. It really got to me. I voted for Hillary in the primary so I've voted for a woman for president as well. Quite a year.

I also got to vote against prop 8. This is the California proposition that makes gay marriages illegal in the state constitution. That felt really good too.

Go out and vote, this is a historical election and you want to be part of it. You will tell your grandchildren about this election and you will want to tell them you voted. Also, the larger a percentage of the popular vote Obama gets the stronger his mandate for change is.

And if you are in California you want to vote no on 8, that is actually more important than voting for Obama. He has a 25% margin in California so he doesn't need your vote to win, but Prop 8 is running neck and neck and needs all the no votes it can get. It will be a terrible thing to have bigotry made the law of the land in our state constitution.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Campaign Comment

Keith Olbermann nails McCain on something that's been bugging me for quite some time. If Obama had made all the mistakes, gaffes and stupid faces and comments that McCain HAS done we would not take him seriously any more. How has McCain gotten away with this farce? Because he's the white guy or because he's the ex-prisoner of war?

American Tune

A commercial came on playing an old favorite Paul Simon tune so I had to look up to see what it was. Since Darcy is in the ER right now and might be admitted and I'm not sure she has too much more time, the essence of the ad hit me hard. Thoose rich little fuckers in the Republican party have no clue what it's like to be out here in America on your own - often it's life or death.

TV and Teen Pregnancy

There's a new study out linking teen pregnancy to watching TV. Over a certain number of hours of TV watching the rate of pregnancies doubled:
The RAND Corp. study is the first of its kind to identify a link between teenagers’ exposure to sexual content on TV and teen pregnancies. The study, released Monday and published in the November edition of the journal Pediatrics, found that teens exposed to high levels of sexual content on television were twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy in the following three years as teens with limited exposure.
It looks like they added up the number of hours watched then matched it to teen pregnancy rates and decided there is too much sex on TV.

This is absurd, all they have done is show the two happen at the same time, not that one caused the other. Maybe pregnancy causes more TV watching? Maybe they aren't even watching the shows with lots of sex on it.

I think both are symptoms that result from stupid teens (lets face it some just aren't too bright), uneducated teens (abstinence only sex ed), and lack of parental involvement.

But then, I'm just using my own biases to reach a conclusion, just like the study did.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

McCain's Big Backfire

Just came across this article on Alternet that says all the same things I said in yesterday's post. Just in case anyone thinks I'm making any of this up or have my facts wrong check it out:
Obama has not only maintained a stable lead under the Republican barrage, he has increased his positives in the traditionally Republican territory of taxes. The final national polls before Tuesday all show a national hunger for national wealth redistribution downward. An Ipsos/McClatchy poll finds that likely voters prefer Obama's tax plan to McCain's by 8 points. Pew says Obama added to his edge on taxes and the economy between mid-September and mid-October by 6 points, jumping from 44 to 39 earlier to 50 to 35. On Oct. 30, Gallup released results showing Americans favor Obama's style of wealth spreading by a whopping 58-to-37 margin.

It appears the nation's sanity and sense of fairness has reasserted itself to wipe the floor with condescending GOP red-baiting.
As I said, money has been flowing upward for a long time, in the last 8 years 90% of all the wealth in the nation has gone to the upper 10% of wage earners. Does that seem fair or natural? No, it's greedy asholes trying to steal from the government coffers (your taxes) and getting away with it. Also wiping out the credit card so all of our children and grandchildren have to pay for our exceses. Is that family values or what? It's time to turn it around and start sending that money back down to the rest of us.

If anything Obama's plan to raise the taxes on the top 5% (making over $250,000) from 36% to 39% is much too conservative. It should be raised to 50%.

But I think he didn't want to scare the really wealthy too much. Despite the way I talk about the rich I'm sure that most of them are not too upset by this kind of tax increase. It isn't going to affect their own spending in the least and they realize they've been reaping huge benefits from Bush that they don't really deserve. Some, I think, even realize just how desparate it is getting for the people in the middle class, how close to the edge everyone is. Make a large number of people too desparate and we will have violent revolution. I'm hoping Obama will be the non-violent revolution.

It's not like the middle class is greedy and want something they don't deserve. They simply live in a system created and maintained by the wealthy that make life a difficult proposition for the non-wealthy. All most of us want is to make a decent wage - a liveable wage - for our work, and health care and retirement so no one has to face financial disaster. This doesn't seem like too much to ask, in fact it's merely what the basics SHOULD be in a modern, Democratic society.

And it's not like we are asking any sacrifice of the wealthy, either. So someone makes $10 million after taxes instead of $12. Poor guy! Death can't be far behind! But for those in the middle class who can't afford health insurance and are diagnosed with cancer they really ARE going to die! In 2005 three thousand people died in California alone because of a lack of health insurance. This is a silent holocaust. Add in the other 50 states and we are talking about tens of thousands of preventable deaths every single year in America. This happens in third world countries, not in the wealthiest Democracy on Earth, right?

We just have to ask ourselves what kind of America to we want to live in. One where 95% of us or more are prosperous and happy or one where only %5 of us are and the rest are struggling just to survive and often failing? I have trouble thinking even the richest people think that is a good idea.

Of course, there are lots of very wealthy people who think wealth is a sign of the worth of a person. Those on the lower end simply do not deserve to live if they can't afford to pay for medical treatments. It's a kind of brutal Economic Darwinism, which is truly ironic since most of them don't even believe in evolution.

So McCain's claim of socialism doen't hold much weight. Many don't even know what it is and if they did they would realize they are for quite a number of socialist things. Like Social Security and Medicare, universal health insurance and help for people in natural disasters.

Alexander Zaitchik goes on to say:
Over the last eight years, 90 percent of the new income generated has accrued to the top 10 percent, while average family incomes have dropped $2,000. These numbers have engendered bitterness on top of anxiety that has shifted the economic debate. If Democrats get a chance to seek forceful redress in the coming years, Republicans are sure to call Obama a socialist and much else besides. But that's OK. Tuesday's election is going to show that when people are hurting, they don't mind a little "socialism" -- just as long as it's pointed their way.
The wealth will ALWAYS get re-distributed in a modern society, economics is all about moving money around, it’s just a question of whether you want it flowing up or down. And we already have socialism for the rich and how does that make sense?