Sunday, November 23, 2008


I found this today and really loved it. It's a film and book by Andrew Zuckerman. You can find out all about it here. Below is the trailer and the making of video. Both are worth watching. (If you are reading this post from an email, click through to my blog to view the video.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Message To The Health Insurance Industry

Dear America's Health Insurance Plans:

I am not so much interested in reforming you, as I am in eliminating you as the middle man between my health, and my health practitioner. Health insurance has been a big ponzi scheme since its inception. Your profit motive is and has always been in direct conflict with a human being's right to health care. A government-managed, universal health care program may inherently lack efficiency, but at least it will not exclude or obstruct people from accessing care, when they need it. Under the guise of "managing costs," you are really focused on managing your profits, at the expense of the American people. YOU created this problem by your own greed and irresponsibility. YOU need to get out of the way.

With millions of the American people's hard-earned dollars, your industry lobbyists will continue to try and control the government's efforts in health care reform. You will continue to pretend that you are dedicated to protecting the needs of your policy holders, but more and more Americans know that this is a big fat lie.

I hope that the new administration will stand up to you, and finally eradicate you.

Go find some other way to bilk people out of their money in return for bad service. And don't let the door hit your butt too hard on the way out.

You too can tell off the health insurance lobby. Click here to tell 'em what you think. There's copy provided for you, if you don't feel like making up your own. I just had a certain bone to pick, so I picked it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In The Eye Of Newt

Newt Gingrich thinks that anti prop 8 demonstrations are "gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion."

Check out the fear language. And the purposeful lies.

Here in France, people protest at the drop of a hat. That's because they have a tradition for making their voices heard. Because they believe they have the right to dissent, and to peaceful protest. They actually believe that the government serves the people, and not vice versa. These darned socialists and their democratic ways. Sheesh.

If you happen to live in Sacramento, please join this peaceful protest. Or any of the protests that are happening nationwide. Whether you are gay or straight, this is about standing up against discrimination and hate. Take action to make all of our voices heard (Hat tip to my friend Lori over at Hahn At Home):

Obama's AG Pick: Eric Holder

This is a recent speech (Friday) made by Eric Holder, Obama's pick for attorney general, at the American Constitution Society. It is music to my ears. He starts out kinda dorky funny not-so-ha-ha, but seconds later, he gets serious - about torture, about the rule of law. Definitely worth watching all the way through. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to embed it.

Click here to go see the video.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

John Bolton Gets His Ass Kicked

And by an Iraqi woman, no less. And then again by a righteously wrathful Tony Benn. And then again by Syrian Ambassador Dr. Sami Khlyami. And then one more time by Tony Benn, who recited the UN charter, which he obviously knows by heart.

Nice ass kicking. Couldn't have happened to a better guy... (If you're reading this post in an email, click through to my blog to view the video.)

I've been trying to figure out when this aired. It was posted on YouTube in March of 2007, which makes sense because it looks like Benazir Bhutto is on the panel, although she doesn't speak in this clip. I would have loved to have heard what she had to say too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Price Of Gas

Priceless... (If you are reading this post from an email, click through to my blog to see the video.)

(Hat tip to After Downing Street.)

UC Berkeley Study: Guantanamo And Its Aftermath

UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and International Human Rights Law Clinic, in partnership with the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights, released Guantanamo and Its Aftermath (PDF). This in-depth, two-year study "opens a window onto the plight of detainees, from arrest and imprisonment to the return home." From the press release:

The report ... reveals in graphic detail the cumulative effect of Bush Administration policies on the lives of 62 released detainees. Many of the prisoners were sold into captivity and subjected to brutal treatment in U.S. prison camps in Afghanistan. Once in Guantanamo, prisoners were denied access to civilian courts to challenge the legality of their detention. Almost two-thirds of the former detainees interviewed reported having psychological problems since leaving Guantanamo.

Of the more than 770 detainees who have endured Guantanamo since it opened in 2002, more than 500 have been released without formal criminal charges or trial. So far, of the 250 or more who remain in detention, only 23 have been charged with a crime. Two have been convicted and one has pled guilty.

The authors warn that such a commission should not be undercut by the issuance of pardons, amnesties, or other measures that would protect those culpable from accountability. President-Elect Barack Obama has called for the closure of Guantanamo. The UC Berkeley report asks for even broader remedies.

"We cannot sweep this dark chapter in our nation's history under the rug by simply closing the Guantanamo prison camp," Stover said."The new administration must investigate what went wrong and who should be held accountable."

That's what I'm talkin' about. Been talkin' about. Go Bama Close GitMo.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Feck Yoo (And The Rest of BushCo Too)

Ever since the horrors of Abu Ghraib were made public, and then conveniently pinned onto the chests of the underlings who were carrying out not just an implied tone, but an actual White House abuse and torture policy, I marveled at how the American people could remain unmoved.

Even more, the fact that the revelations of Abu Ghraib were made public before Bush ran for his second term, but did not stop the American people from voting him into the highest office in the land for the second time, has alternatively made my blood boil and my stomach churn.

All of the evidence is there, and has been there, for the eyes to see, if you have the will, and the capability, and the inclination to view it. But I have come to realize that Americans, at many levels, are incurious, and certainly infantile in their world view.

You may take exception to my generalizations about the American public. You may say that you, as an American, were disgusted and horrified. Yet Guantanamo, an American gulag that will end up being, as a wise person said in the following documentary, the Nuremberg of our time, is still open for business. We Americans sit complacently, and allow this crime to be committed day in and day out, without rising up and demanding its closure.

We are all guilty of abuse and murder (of those who died in US custody, and of those that are somehow "missing" from US custody), and should be collectively ashamed.

I have some theories as to how this evil can persist, in broad daylight, without protest from not just Americans, but from the world. It only takes a little listening to the neocon rhetoric of the Bush administration to get a hint of what they believe is the psychology of the American people. Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, John Yoo and the rest of the neocon legal cabal are experts in scripting the type of code speak and propaganda that is effective in steering the American public towards supporting their heinous acts, or at least ignoring them with the idea that our leaders "know better" than we do, as to what is best for our country. (Just listen to Sarah Palin talking about "those teeruhrists" and you'll know what I mean.)

The first key talking point is the sneering, derisive statement that we should not "coddle" prisoners, especially these terrorists who "wish to destroy America." So, in the face of actual photographs of a pile of naked and chained human beings struggling on the ground, surrounded by beefy male and female guards, exposed, filthy, terrified and humiliated human beings, the American public says, "But those people want to kill all of us. So they don't deserve the respect that we, the better people, deserve."

There are many problems with this simplistic viewpoint, not just the incredible moral injustice and for those Christians out there, the completely non Christ-like behavior of these acts. First: many of those "terrorists" were SOLD to the United States by people who read the leaflets dropped on their village and who wanted to capitalize on the incredible amounts of money offered by a sadistic US administration hungry for retribution (in the case of those who actually believe in all this horse shit) or for human examples to parade around as images of evil so as to keep the fear machine, and thus the incredibly profitable war machine, in motion.

This means that the odds are very high that there are innocent people incarcerated, with no hope of proving their innocence or being freed. There are people in Guantanamo STILL, who have not yet been charged with a single crime, but have been held in terrible conditions, with torture, for periods of up to seven years.

The second problem: The reference to "coddling" prisoners, or jokes like, "What do you want a prison to be, a country club?" serve to dehumanize a group of human beings and simplify and minimize the serious impact of violating the Geneva Convention, primarily the negative impact on the safety of our own troops, the very troops that BushCo claims to be protecting. It is a fact that if we torture, then it gives license to our enemies to torture us as well.

If your son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father, or next door neighbor is taken as a prisoner by an enemy, you can no longer expect them to be treated fairly, or humanely. BushCo has sealed the fate of our soldiers in the case of capture. Will you protest then? Will you remember how you failed to protest over the last 8 years?

The third problem: I am not exactly sure that there was a big group of people out there that wanted to "destroy America." That big group full of Arab boogie men, who are supposedly out to git us, each n' every one of us. But I am positive that if there was one, the group is MUCH BIGGER now. When you watch the film below, just think about how many people you would hate and want to kill after you got out of US custody. Just think about all those relatives of those prisoners at Guantanamo who hate the living shit out of America now. We've been busily manufacturing fresh new jihadis all by ourselves, just by our own behavior. 'Nuf said.

Once upon a time I learned an important lesson about interviewing potential employees to work for my teams in corporate America. My ability to create a warm, welcome and respectful environment during the interview, gave me more information about the candidate than if I had approached the interview in an intimidating, controlling or authoritarian style. I didn't need to exert authority. I needed information. I needed to get an idea of what this candidate had accomplished in his or her career that could benefit my team, and I needed to see if their style, demeanor and attitude would fit into my team's environment. I had one candidate tell me about a prior arrest for drug posession. He volunteered that information. I didn't have to beat it out of him.

This example is not even close to the practice of interrogation in a time of war, but the more I read from interrogation and legal experts about the inefficacy of torture for obtaining information, I know why this is true. Because I have experienced getting information out of people in my own little way. Yet, Americans, for some reason, LIKE the idea of torture. Otherwise, a TV show like 24 would not be such an amazing success. Americans have this naive little sexual fantasy about spies and torture. At least the Brits made 007, the guy himself, sexy, instead of making what he did sexy. Of course, 007 had a lot of sex, ate a lot of good food, drank the best booze and looked great in a tuxedo, so he was romantic as a spy character, but he didn't fucking torture anybody. At least the 007 production teams kept the line pretty clear between the good guys and the bad guys, and only the bad guys tortured.

Torture, and the support of torture, no matter what kinds of softened, vague euphemisms the bastards in the Bush administration come up with to describe it, is depravity. But, contrary to George W. Bush's repeated lie "We do not torture," we, America the beautiful, DO torture and that liar ordered up the torture. Unfortunately, like it or not you flag wavers out there, we Americans are now the bad guys.

As a shining beacon of freedom and democracy, we have utterly failed. Currently, we are a third-world country, run by insane power- and money-hungry despots. When a friend of mine who had been cynical about Obama read the recent headline that Obama plans to close Guantanamo, this friend of mine, a grown man in his fifties, stood in front of his computer and cried like a baby. He still welled up the next day, and the day after, every time he spoke of that news. He was the one who said to me, "How could this have taken so long? How could America have been publicly running a gulag without anybody doing anything about it?"

I feel like I'm pissing in the wind writing this. I'm calling out to a largely deaf American public. Those who read this blog already agree with me, so I'm singing to the choir. There are also many people who have written and produced much more compelling articles and films than I could ever produce in my tiny little circle of influence. Yet even with all the facts available, America is still unmoved.

If you could, as a tribute to those whom we have harmed by allowing BushCo to perpetrate these crimes against other human beings, please watch the powerful documentary created by The National Security Archive Project at George Washington University, called Torturing Democracy, available online in its entirety (3 segments). Please pass it on via any means you have, to as many people as you know. It was supposed to be aired on PBS but the Bush administration threatened to slash PBS funding, so PBS said they would only air it after January 21st. When The Daily Beast busted PBS on this and the New York Times subsequently also challenged PBS, they actually said that the timing of January 21st, the day after the end of Bush's term, was "a coincidence." Fuckers.

If you can spare some change, please also donate to Amnesty International's "100 Days" campaign, which calls on President Obama to set a deadline for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, issue an Executive Order banning the use of torture, and end impunity for human rights abuses in his first 100 days in office.

Somehow, I want to believe that we can get through to the American public about the gravity of this situation. Somehow, I want America's eyes and ears to clear, and their brains to start thinking again. And I want Bush, Cheney, John Yoo and all the rest of those bastards to be tried and convicted of war crimes. And I want reparations to begin. Somehow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Once So Maligned

The effects of the election are still bubbling up in my mind, and have colored my perception of life as it pulses around me. As I meet with students from all over the world - Russia, Bulgaria, Cote d'Ivoire - I feel better about being an American. We have interesting conversations about politics instead of covering the subject at hand. One student said, "They are treating Obama as a God. But he is just a man. Nobody can clean up that mess quickly." So true. But in my mind, he isn't a God. He's a skilled, competent campaigner, and a man who will make mistakes, as all men do. But he is also a historic figure, a powerful symbol, not just of "hope" but of the much more important dream of self actualization for all people who have ever felt they were powerless because of something they could not control, such as the color of their skin, or the circumstances of their birth.

As I walked home this morning from guiding some new Canadian friends to the taxi stand, I passed a restaurant that had taken all of the French newspaper coverage of the election and taped each page to the inside of their windows. I could walk along the sidewalk and gaze in at huge headlines and photos of Obama, his wife, their children. There were pictures of people celebrating all over France. That's right, French people. Last night at dinner, there was a short lull in the conversation, and the two lovely ladies whom I had just met a few hours earlier after watching their beautiful performance on stage, picked up their wine glasses and said, "Can we just say this now...Cheers to Obama." We clinked our glasses and smiled as we talked about our mutual relief at the imminent end of the reign of terror. There was nothing to fear, it turns out, but that smirky little enfant terrible and his skulking dark lord Cheney.

But one of the events of election night has remained in my mind, nudging me for attention. I was alone on election night. I had been nervous with expectation for days. Tuesday morning dawned here in Paris, and I knew that Americans were still tucked into their beds. I would have to wait until 4:30 pm, when finally Los Angeles awakened at 7:30 am and started voting. I had my Mac set up with my RSS news feed updating constantly, then my browser windows with the Google electoral map, MSNBC live TV coverage, CNN and the Huffington Post.

I had Twhirl open and heard the little bell each time someone twittered some news about the election. I was watching the incredible organizational skills of the No On Prop 8 team in San Francisco and Los Angeles. As soon as anyone saw any Yes On Prop 8 signs, they twittered the location and there was a general call from HQ to get people out to that location with No On Prop 8 signs. They worked their asses off and still lost, which really broke my heart. I was also following several websites that were tracking and responding to voter suppression stories. I was so worried that there wouldn't be enough of us to overcome Rovian dirty tricks, and the neocons would steal the election one more time.

Then I fell asleep! It was 3 or 4 in the morning my time, and I couldn't stay awake. My cat woke me up at 8 and for the first time, I wasn't grumpy with her when she stood purring on my chest and daintily plucked my lip with one claw. Darling thing. And by then, Obama's win had been announced. I was awed and felt all quiet inside. Then on MSNBC, I watched Juan Williams speak. There he was, a black man in an expensive suit, behaving his damn self. Of all things. He was the consummate professional journalist. But then, in the midst of a measured dialogue, he said the word "maligned," and it was just afterwards that I heard his voice break. It was that one word that broke the façade that he wore, the same one we all wear, to cover up our humanity. Here's what he said (full text is here):

This is truly an incredible moment of American history. I can't think of another country in the world where you could have a significant minority that was once so maligned and so oppressed finally have one of its sons rise to this level. This is ah...

There is a wound in our hearts. We put superman bandages on it, in hopes that we can grow a new fragile skin over the top of it. But it festers, even with our ministrations. We try to ignore it as we dress ourselves up, and go out and meet the world. We put on a smile of confidence and worth, and we don't allow ourselves to entertain any doubts. There's a dull, almost imperceptible pain from our collective wound. Even if we are people who, by circumstances of our birth, have never known prejudice, some of us have been abused in other ways that create similar scars. Or we carry the wound in our genes, from the pain passed down by our parents or grandparents. Nobody gets away scott free. We, or someone before us, or someone we have helped along the way, were "once so maligned."

Juan Williams didn't crack until he pulled the bandaid off and let some air hit that wound. One word became the key that unlocked Pandora's box. It was then that his costume fell away. All he had done, all he had achieved, all the symbols he wore, became unimportant for a few seconds. And I felt his humanity. It touched my own. THIS is the power of Obama's win. It isn't about one guy. It isn't just about black people. It's about all of us, with our festering wounds, being one. It's about prevailing, when we were once so maligned. And no matter what Obama accomplishes, there is no turning back. This win can never be taken away from us, and the wound is absolutely on the mend.

BY THE WAY: I'm just a middle class, middle-aged, white girl, born in the Philadelphia burbs. I went to a private Catholic girls school in wealthy Merion, Pennsylvania. There was one black girl in the whole school. I still remember her name: Winnie. And Winnie's father dropped her off and picked her up at school every day in the limo that he drove for a living. The only other time I ever saw black people was when I'd lie to my mother and take off with my friends to 69th street in Philly, so we could smoke cigarettes and wear our contraband hippie clothes and hang out in the record store. I can't pretend to know what it feels like to be black in America. But this post, entitled The Happening, is an insightful, beautifully written chronology of election night in New York City, written by LOWERMANHATTANITE in the Group News Blog. I urge you to hop on over there and read it. It's a story about regular life, and some wounds healing, and I thoroughly enjoyed being a fly on the wall.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Black Guy Gets The Shit Job Again

I just had to laugh out loud while I was reading a blog, The Skeptic, to see one Egyptian's viewpoint on the Obama win. This is how small the world Egyptian blog directed me to an Onion article entitled, Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job which said: "As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind." I assume Obama will also be responsible for sweeping up after the inauguration parade too. And I hope Aunt Jemima will be appointed to the White House kitchen so she can sing while she makes massuh his waffles on the morning of January 21st.

Meanwhile, I read that gun sales "soared" just before and just after the Obama win. It reminded me of my Dad, years ago when I was a freshman in high school in Arizona, when he told me he had two shot guns hidden and loaded in his bedroom closet. I asked him why and he said, "Because when those niggers decide to rise up, there will be nothing stopping them from just kicking down our front door and coming into our home. I'll be ready for them."

About five or six years ago, my Dad ended up selling those guns to one of my boyfriend's cowboy friends. I guess my Dad figured he was safe.

Until now. I bet he regrets selling those rifles.

The New York Times article about gun sales decided to package that news as if the people buying the guns are worried about Obama taking away their right to bear arms. Bullshit, and bullshit again. Didn't you see all them niggers on TV getting uppity after the election? Hootin' n a howlin' in the streets like animals? Any minute now, they'll be kicking down all of our doors, you just mark my Dad's and Sarah Palin's words. Suddenly, they'll "get" that they have power now, and they'll be after us all.

I'm sorry, but if Obama were to change the law about arms bearing, it would take time. There would be debate about it. And you'd have plenty of time beforehand to stock up. So, the gun buying "surge" wasn't about gun ownership. It was about defending our homeland from them angry black people.

Oh. But it's been five days and I haven't read any news of the Great Kill Whitey Uprising. But I did read about the "surge" in death threats to Obama that correlated with Palin's campaign speeches about pallin' around with terrorists. And those two white supremacist guys that got busted who had a plan to go on a shooting binge and finish it off with an assassination of Obama.

So, who should we be afraid of now? I'm confused.

Withdrawal: Stop The Pleasure Now!

Juan Cole has posted his brilliant Ghouls Glossary 2008. Here are some of my favorites:

Iran: A largely Shiite country that would attack the United States and impose Sunni Bin Laden rule on us if only they had Bin Laden or any weapons.

Iraq: A largely Shiite country that would attack the United States and impose Sunni Bin Laden rule on us if only they had Bin Laden or any weapons.
Pakistan: A largely Sunni country that does have Bin Laden and nuclear weapons, but which declares itself an ally of America in the war on terror and allows itself to be routinely attacked by the United States.

You have to go to his post to see more. OK, I can't resist just adding one more:

Withdrawal: A way to avoid the worst consequences of a moment of pleasurable conquest, which, however, often comes too late to avoid years of support payments.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our Work Has Just Begun

As a little girl, I followed my mother on the campaign trail for Barry Goldwater. She was the head of the Pennsylvania Republican Women, and later on in her political life, she and my father attended the inaugural ball for Richard Nixon. Three Christmas cards from Nixon are still framed and hanging proudly on her wall. Although she despises what Goldwater became, and referred to him as "that old drunk," she still somehow thinks that Nixon was framed.

My mother changed her Canadian citizenship in order to work and vote for Goldwater. Her political roots came from her father, who was a sugar broker in Detroit during the depression, and thus was able to buy a new car every year. He was a staunch Republican, and a Catholic. Meanwhile, my British grandmother, apolitical and Protestant, fed poor men who came to her back kitchen door, and I once found her hiding behind my brothers' bedroom door, sobbing at the death of our pet parakeet.

My grandmother was probably not as apolitical as she appeared. From her position on the couch, with an apple pie in the oven and crossword puzzle on her lap, she sometimes risked a strong opinion or two. She never approved of what she saw as my mother's desire for status, luxury and intellectualism. She was happiest having a simple meal at home or an inexpensive meal at Horn and Hardart's counter, versus my mother's preference for fine dining and shopping at John Wannamaker's or Saks Fifth Avenue in Philadelphia. The gifts she gave me were focused on teaching me how to make things with my hands. She was outnumbered, surrounded by Republicans, as I am now in my own family. And as my mother dismissed her own mother as childish and naive, so she does the same to me now.

I think I was born a Democrat. And I was a stranger in a strange land. But there were also things that attracted me to old-time conservatism, such as fiscal responsibility. I agreed with Republicans of the time, that our elected representatives should be cautious and wise in how they handled "our" money. But as we have seen from 8 years of Neoconservatism, if any party could be the standard bearer for fiscal waste, it would now be the Republicans. The "tax and spend" label they have slapped on Democrats, has lost its glue and just won't stick anymore. With billions poured down the drain in Iraq for an illegal, immoral and completely mismanaged war, with unbridled corruption in no-bid contracts for such behemoths as Dick Cheney's Halliburton, with corporate regulations slashed to the point that greed grew like Kudzu in Alabama, the Republicans have destroyed what once was a conservative standard for their party.

In my early observations of politics, I listened to my parents rail against welfare and so-called entitlement programs. Their vision was always of the shiftless, ignorant poor who did not deserve the elite's hard-earned money. "Get a job!" was not a joke in my family, it was an angry, resentful cry. Even though I know there are lazy human beings, and uneducated human beings the world over, I felt at the time that it was unfair to paint all those in need, with the same broad brush. Even though I had never met any poor people, I couldn't imagine that they were all, each and every one of them, so bad. There had to be people out there that through their own mistakes, or perhaps even through no mistake of their own, had fallen into dire straits. And if my parents' religion was true to its calling, we should be kind and generous to all of those in need, whatever the origin of their circumstances.

"Let the churches and charities take care of those people" was a common dismissal of my questions. And today, as then, churches and charities have played a heroic part in a war against poverty and misery. But a bigger question began to eat at me. Doesn't our government also hold some responsibility for the needy? We can argue this question on economic, philosophical or moral ground until the cows come home, but I believe, statistically, that when government aid is generously funded, and there are fewer desperate, starving or ill people, the overall economy is strengthened and crime is lessened. I don't have the stats, but I believe in my gut that this must be true. And, in my readings about the roots of terrorism, I often see that poverty, frustration and the feeling of impotence when it comes to managing their own destiny, is what makes young men and women ripe for the lure of the destructive power of terrorism.

For, as the saying goes, a hungry man is an angry man.

I have watched and commented on this campaign with intensity. If I had voted the issues, Dennis Kucinich would have been my man. But I knew, as a marketer, that Kucinich didn't have "it," all the surface image traits that Americans need in order to be comfortable with their vote. No matter how hot his wife was, he would forever be labeled as a kook, as many passionate people often are. What I don't think he could have accomplished, nor could any of the Democratic candidates for that matter, was the incredible skill that Barack Obama has for inspiration and unity. In the tiny microcosm of my own life and work, I've seen how powerful this kind of charismatic leadership can be. It has the power of shifting the consciousness, not just of this nation, but of the world.

I am thrilled that Barack Obama will soon be the president of the United States. And I am also aware that it is my continuing responsibility to stay on top of things, to bitch and blog, to hold Obama's feet to the fire. I want this consciousness shift to take root. I want it to become concrete, with legislation, foreign policy, and global results. I want to see a shift away from our debt-inducing addiction to consumerism, that focus on the never-fulfilled emptiness of the self, to a more other-centered world view. Although my grandfather, the Detroit sugar broker, would disagree with me, we don't need a new car every year. Instead, we as individuals, and we as a nation, need to be a lot more like my grandmother, Elsie McIntire Mitchell, and open up our kitchen doors, to share our bounty with others.

On this historic day, I am not finished with this thing called politics. I hope that all of you, no matter your political leanings, are not finished either. Now is not the time to relax and become complacent. Now is the time to work twice as hard, in any way that we can.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monitoring The Vote

Simon Owens of Bloggasm just published a great article on PBS entitled Citizens, Media Use Social Media to Monitor Election. He emailed me and asked me to post a link and I was happy to do so. I also actually read his article (smile) and ended up learning about and hooking up to more vote-related sites, like the Twitter Vote Report.

So, if you are voting today, please Video Your Vote (it might be the ONLY PROOF we have of anybody's vote) and hook up to any of these vote monitoring sites, especially any of them that use Twitter, to record any problems you have or observe during your vote.

I voted by absentee ballot a while ago, and I had a moment when I considered making a copy of my ballot for proof, but I got distracted and never did. I wish that I had!

If you are as interested in the results of the California same-sex marriage ban proposition as I am, you can track their progress on Twitter @noonprop8.

If you want to keep up with any and all Tweets about the election, you can go to Politweets, a little website that constantly updates with any tweets that have the candidate names or parties in them. (Hat tip to my pal in Palm Springs, CoffeeSister and her twittering self.)

I don't know about you guys, but I am both excited and nervous about this election. So many things in the balance. I woke up at 5ish this morning to a blue sky Paris and a prediction of 60 degrees (it's been cold and rainy for the last few days). A great omen? Perhaps. I'll be inside, glued to my Mac, wandering out on the balcony once in a while to have a smoke. Unfortunately, you are all going to sleep right now, and I will be sitting here twiddling my thumbs. At least I got to see the very first results, pouring in from Dixville Notch. Obama won 15-6. It's a small town. But it looks like at least 15 of them must not be real Americans. Hmmm.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mormon Church Chooses Bigotry Over Charity

It boggles my mind that any religious organization who claims to follow Christ will spend 20 million dollars to block same-sex marriage (California proposition 8) instead of spending 20 million dollars to feed the hungry, house the homeless, comfort the desperate or heal the sick. It's despicable. And when all those fake Christians keel over and ascend to their fairy land in the sky somewhere, I hope their fantasy saint at the golden pearly gates slaps the shit out of every single one of them.

Please Californians, vote NO on prop 8. Even if you don't live in California, please donate to stop this kind of discrimination.

Update: Read Mormon Church on Prop 8: We Oppose Civil Rights (but don't tell) on HuffPost.