Monday

Prop 8 Donors












Well, I was going to write about Obama. But my mind goes back to the Mormon Church sponsoring this Proposition in California that has the state in an uproar.

Here are the names of those who donated for the campaign:

Mormons for 8 Donors

Some interesting highlights. The Republican Party is in for a grand. An old folks home in Adelanto put in 5 Grand. Hey, I've been to Adelanto, these old cowboys got nothing better to do than make gay people feel bad? The Vineyard Group of Mesa Ariz in for $100K. And there's alot more people spending thousands of dollars to propogate the myth that marriage is something other than a legal contract.

Even the Governator came out today against the idiotic proposition.. only a few days late - but he said he thought it would be overturned by the courts.

My gay friends are understandably upset, but what makes this unusual is that they're not going to take it any more. They're rising up, and starting a boycott of those people and organizations that brought this hate filled Prop to our shores. And I say it's hate filled, not because it's about a moral issue, not because it's anti-gay - which of course it is - but because it's nonsense.

As I mentioned previously, the law doesn't recognize weddings. Weddings are the purview of religious groups, ceremonies, what have you. They can dictate whomever they want to be married in their church or in their organization. As a matter of law, marriage is something that is protected by the state, by the government, by the people - but not to prevent people from marrying, as in the case of different races marrying, but in the case of protection from discrimination.

However, I'm inclined to agree with my friends who feel that this is an unjust law thrust upon them by an insensitive public - and if a boycott of their businesses, or their companies, and protests in front of their places of business will help them become more sensitive, then I'm all for it. It took a bus strike for America to wake up to injustice in one community, and if it requires a boycott, then I for one will support it. Just let me know what restaurant, and what old folks home (!) I should stay out of.

Here's the creep roll. I'm boycotting any and all of their products, because they put their money where their mouths are, and they don't really deserve to be fed by the citizens of California.

And it's about time the Mormons stood up to be counted. Maybe now people will shine a light on their history, their belief system, because I believe the truth does set you free. Whether it's Joseph Smith pretending to be able to read an Egyptian hyeroglyphics or baptizing Jews so they can get into Mormon heaven, there's a whole lotta stuff that should and will come out by shining a light on their organization. What's that passage about people living in glass houses throwing stones?

My two cents.

Sunday

It Still Felt Good the Morning After

This bears repeating:

It Still Felt Good the Morning After


Published: November 9, 2008
Frank Rich

Our nation was still in the same ditch it had been the day before, but the atmosphere was giddy. We felt good not only because we had breached a racial barrier as old as the Republic. Dawn also brought the realization that we were at last emerging from an abusive relationship with our country’s 21st-century leaders. The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place — in cities all over America.

For eight years, we’ve been told by those in power that we are small, bigoted and stupid — easily divided and easily frightened. This was the toxic catechism of Bush-Rove politics. It was the soiled banner picked up by the sad McCain campaign, and it was often abetted by an amen corner in the dominant news media. We heard this slander of America so often that we all started to believe it, liberals most certainly included. If I had a dollar for every Democrat who told me there was no way that Americans would ever turn against the war in Iraq or definitively reject Bush governance or elect a black man named Barack Hussein Obama president, I could almost start to recoup my 401(k). Few wanted to take yes for an answer.

So let’s be blunt. Almost every assumption about America that was taken as a given by our political culture on Tuesday morning was proved wrong by Tuesday night.

The most conspicuous clich├ęs to fall, of course, were the twin suppositions that a decisive number of white Americans wouldn’t vote for a black presidential candidate — and that they were lying to pollsters about their rampant racism. But the polls were accurate. There was no “Bradley effect.” A higher percentage of white men voted for Obama than any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton included.

Obama also won all four of those hunting-and-Hillary-loving Rust Belt states that became 2008’s obsession among slumming upper-middle-class white journalists: Pennsylvania and Michigan by double digits, as well as Ohio and even Indiana, which has gone Democratic only once (1964) since 1936. The solid Republican South, led by Virginia and North Carolina, started to turn blue as well. While there are still bigots in America, they are in unambiguous retreat.

And what about all those terrified Jews who reportedly abandoned their progressive heritage to buy into the smears libeling Obama as an Israel-hating terrorist? Obama drew a larger percentage of Jews nationally (78) than Kerry had (74) and — mazel tov, Sarah Silverman! — won Florida.

Let’s defend Hispanic-Americans, too, while we’re at it. In one of the more notorious observations of the campaign year, a Clinton pollster, Sergio Bendixen, told The New Yorker in January that “the Hispanic voter — and I want to say this very carefully — has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates.” Let us say very carefully that a black presidential candidate won Latinos — the fastest-growing demographic in the electorate — 67 percent to 31 (up from Kerry’s 53-to-44 edge and Gore’s 62-to-35).

Young voters also triumphed over the condescension of the experts. “Are they going to show up?” Cokie Roberts of ABC News asked in February. “Probably not. They never have before. By the time November comes, they’ll be tired.” In fact they turned up in larger numbers than in 2004, and their disproportionate Democratic margin made a serious difference, as did their hard work on the ground. They’re not the ones who need Geritol.

The same commentators who dismissed every conceivable American demographic as racist, lazy or both got Sarah Palin wrong too. When she made her debut in St. Paul, the punditocracy was nearly uniform in declaring her selection a brilliant coup. There hadn’t been so much instant over-the-top praise by the press for a cynical political stunt since President Bush “landed” a jet on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in that short-lived triumph “Mission Accomplished.”

The rave reviews for Palin were completely disingenuous. Anyone paying attention (with the possible exception of John McCain) could see she was woefully ill-equipped to serve half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. The conservatives Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy said so on MSNBC when they didn’t know their mikes were on. But, hey, she was a dazzling TV presence, the thinking went, so surely doltish Americans would rally around her anyway. “She killed!” cheered Noonan about the vice-presidential debate, revising her opinion upward and marveling at Palin’s gift for talking “over the heads of the media straight to the people.” Many talking heads thought she tied or beat Joe Biden.

The people, however, were reaching a less charitable conclusion and were well ahead of the Beltway curve in fleeing Palin. Only after polls confirmed that she was costing McCain votes did conventional wisdom in Washington finally change, demoting her from Republican savior to scapegoat overnight.

But Palin’s appeal wasn’t overestimated only because of her kitschy “American Idol” star quality. Her fierce embrace of the old Karl Rove wedge politics, the divisive pitting of the “real America” against the secular “other” America, was also regarded as a sure-fire winner. The second most persistent assumption by both pundits and the McCain campaign this year — after the likely triumph of racism — was that the culture war battlegrounds from 2000 and 2004 would remain intact.

This is true in exactly one instance: gay civil rights. Though Rove’s promised “permanent Republican majority” lies in humiliating ruins, his and Bush’s one secure legacy will be their demagogic exploitation of homophobia. The success of the four state initiatives banning either same-sex marriage or same-sex adoptions was the sole retro trend on Tuesday. And Obama, who largely soft-pedaled the issue this year, was little help. In California, where other races split more or less evenly on a same-sex marriage ban, some 70 percent of black voters contributed to its narrow victory.

That lagging indicator aside, nearly every other result on Tuesday suggests that while the right wants to keep fighting the old boomer culture wars, no one else does. Three state initiatives restricting abortion failed. Bill Ayers proved a lame villain, scaring no one. Americans do not want to revisit Vietnam (including in Iraq). For all the attention paid by the news media and McCain-Palin to rancorous remembrances of things past, I sometimes wondered whether most Americans thought the Weather Underground was a reunion band and the Hanoi Hilton a chain hotel. Socialism, the evil empire and even Ronald Reagan may be half-forgotten blurs too.

If there were any doubts the 1960s are over, they were put to rest Tuesday night when our new first family won the hearts of the world as it emerged on that vast blue stage to join the celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park. The bloody skirmishes that took place on that same spot during the Democratic convention 40 years ago — young vs. old, students vs. cops, white vs. black — seemed as remote as the moon. This is another America — hardly a perfect or prejudice-free America, but a union that can change and does, aspiring to perfection even if it can never achieve it.

Still, change may come slowly to the undying myths bequeathed to us by the Bush decade. “Don’t think for a minute that power concedes,” Obama is fond of saying. Neither does groupthink. We now keep hearing, for instance, that America is “a center-right nation” — apparently because the percentages of Americans who call themselves conservative (34), moderate (44) and liberal (22) remain virtually unchanged from four years ago. But if we’ve learned anything this year, surely it’s that labels are overrated. Those same polls find that more and more self-described conservatives no longer consider themselves Republicans. Americans now say they favor government doing more (51 percent), not less (43) — an 11-point swing since 2004 — and they still overwhelmingly reject the Iraq war. That’s a centrist country tilting center-left, and that’s the majority who voted for Obama.

The post-Bush-Rove Republican Party is in the minority because it has driven away women, the young, suburbanites, black Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Americans, educated Americans, gay Americans and, increasingly, working-class Americans. Who’s left? The only states where the G.O.P. increased its percentage of the presidential vote relative to the Democrats were West Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas. Even the North Carolina county where Palin expressed her delight at being in the “real America” went for Obama by more than 18 percentage points.

The actual real America is everywhere. It is the America that has been in shell shock since the aftermath of 9/11, when our government wielded a brutal attack by terrorists as a club to ratchet up our fears, betray our deepest constitutional values and turn Americans against one another in the name of “patriotism.” What we started to remember the morning after Election Day was what we had forgotten over the past eight years, as our abusive relationship with the Bush administration and its press enablers dragged on: That’s not who we are.

So even as we celebrated our first black president, we looked around and rediscovered the nation that had elected him. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama said in February, and indeed millions of such Americans were here all along, waiting for a leader. This was the week that they reclaimed their country.

Post Mortem - RIP the 2005 campaign & Prop 8










ah... it's over.

finally.

we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

unless you're gay in LA. I think it's interesting to hear and read pundits debate this vote in california. On bill maher last night, it was opined that Hollywood was too chicken to vote down Prop 8 - (Prop Hate) and the evidence was that "Crash" beat "Brokeback Mountain" for an Oscar. C'mon.

It's pretty simple. People are prejudiced. They were and are prejudiced against other minorities that are different than they are. I was part of a program in the 60's called "Wingspread" - where a black high school from the south side of chicago teamed up with a white high school from the suburbs - and a group of students switched with each other. I became friends with the guy that I was assigned to - Frank Allen - despite growing up in the projects, he was like me in many ways, same kinds of interests (blues and piano) same position in football (guard and linebacker) same sense of humor (wacked) a fan of ripple wine that we'd get from Walgreens, we had many many laughs. However, the color of his skin was blacker than any person I'd ever met at the time, and I'll never forget when my friend Dave's mom nearly fainted when she ran into him at the local grocery store. Her three boys stood there and stammered and she had her mouth agape. Frank just smiled. Also remember hanging with him on the South side, and one of his friends little brothers coming over and feeling my arm. "I just wanted to see if the color of your skin would come off," he said "cause I've never touched a white person." That was pretty weird. We lived about 20 miles apart, but lifetimes apart.

But that was the 70's. And when the group of students who gathered together as part of Wingspread went to their final lunch together in Chinatown, I remember how everyone in the group made fun of the Asians in the restaurant - mocking their accents, eyes, etc. I thought to myself, "Wow, people don't learn anything other than their own world view." I was 15 at the time. I saw that prejudice was always there until you got to meet the other person, or minority.

Well it is everywhere. Some 70% of the minorities in California voted for Prop 8, the anti gay marriage ballot. 49% of the white voters voted for it, the rest against. So it was the minority vote that put it onto the books, preventing gays from marrying each other (or being legally bound to each other.)

Hey, I got news for you. And listen up you folks in Mormonland; MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL MATTER OF LAW. A legal matter if you will, which only means something to the state and the courts. A WEDDING IS A MATTER OF RELIGION, or ritual, or getting together, or whatever it is that you want to have to commemorate your vows.

So, people can have whatever wedding ceremony they want. It can be Mormon, it can be Lutheran, it can be on the moon - but it has nothing to do with the eyes of the law, which doesn't recognize a marriage unless it's a contract.

About 50 years ago it was illegal for races to intermarry. Was that a religious choice? I saw in the LA Times today, some nincompoop saying "I was born black. I didn't have a choice. These people weren't born gay. They chose being gay." Well, that's not true. At least if you believe in science - but genetic studies show that people have a predisposition to their sexuality. If you ever ask anyone when they started having feelings for someone else, they'll tell you it's in the early teen years when they start to know what kind of lover they prefer - even if they don't wind up going down that path.

However, I can't let the euphoria of Barack Obama's historic victory to get in the way of my feelings how wrong this Proposition was. I agree that the anti prop 8 people probably missed a chance to go into African American and Latino churches and preach tolerance - but they also missed the opportunity of showing how this is a matter of civil rights - because it's about civil laws - and you can't legislate civil rights away.. at least not while the country has a Constitution. If it's okay for races to intermarry, then it's okay for sexes to intermarry. That's pretty simple. If you're offended by races intermarrying, you have no right to stop them - it's the same with people of the same sex. The legal argument is the same.

So.. they have to go back into court, and they will win in court, because logic and the law is on their side. And until we decide that civil rights don't matter, then it will remain an unsolved mystery - but someone has to get out into the world to teach the truth; gays ARE BORN THAT WAY (as if shouting would help!), Marriage is a matter of civil law, and Weddings are a matter of ceremony - and one has nothing to do with the other.

Barack and Joe say they're "anti gay marriage" but pro gay unions. That's nonsense. I agree it's the most prudent position to take in an election, but it's false - it's based on prejudice. It's based on a belief that marriage has something to do with morality - when we all know how quick divorces can become law, and how easy it is to get married in Vegas but Marriage is a matter of the heart, and a matter of law - and no amount of legislating it is going to change the fundamental truth; gays have a right to marry, just like blacks and whites have a right to marry each other, just like Chinese and Latinos have a right to marry each other, just like an 80 year old business mogul can marry a girl 60 years his junior.

We are either a nation of laws, or we aren't.

my two cents

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