Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I used to work for Wal-Mart

t r u t h o u t - John J. Sweeney | How Can We Fight for Working Families?

In the small college town I used to live in, Wal-Mart ruined the local economy of shopkeepers. Only tourism, very limited to graduation days, kept some of the town's old businesses going. At the time, Wal-Mart paid more in hourly wages than local businesses did. That's why I worked there. Basically, nobody else was hiring.

Now Wal-Mart offers even lower prices. This is at the expense of their worker's wages and benefits. If we shop at Wal-Mart just for lower prices, but not for economic need, that is further exploitation of the low wage worker by the middle and upper classes.

Every person bears some responsibility for a healthy economy. Our rabbi often says something like, "We speak with our wallets."

Personal responsibility--no wonder this economy is in so much trouble.

If you live near L.A. please visit the Museum of Tolerance. The little cafe activity offers a great lesson in personal responsibility! I am still affected by that place...

Want to Request an investigation into the Presidential Election of 2004? A Petition...

A Petition to Congress requesting an investigation into the Presidential Election of 2004 Petition

Monday, November 22, 2004

Congress' cowardly attack on women's access to abortions

Feminist Wire Daily Newsbriefs: U.S. and Global News Coverage

Another step towards forcing women to risk their lives bearing children they don't want or by being subject to back-alley abortions.

Where's Congress' birth control "guaranteed accesss" provision for balance?!?? I guess THAT's a PRIVATE issue?!


He was born in a small town...

From John Cougar Mellencamp, Walk Tall (2003)

The simple minded
And the uninformed
Can be easily led astray
And those that cannot connect the dots
Hey look the other way
People believe what they want to believe
When it makes no sense at all
So be careful of those killing in Jesus's name*
He don't believe in killing at all*

And I wish you a long sight line
And the strength to walk tall
Walk tall
Yeah walk on
Through this world
Walk tall
Somewhere out in the distance
Is the death of you and me
Even though we don't think of it much
It's still out there for us to see
If you treat life like a bar room fight
You'll die stinking of gin
No drunkards are allowed in heaven
No sinners will get in

Walk tall
Yeah, walk on
Walk tall
Through this world
Walk tall
So be careful in what you believe in
There's plenty to get you confused
And in this land called paradise
You must walk in many men's shoes
Bigotry and hatred are enemies to us all
Grace, mercy and forgiveness
Will help a man walk tall

So walk tall
Yeah, walk on
Walk tall
Through this world
Through this world
Yeah, walk tall
Then walk on
Walk tall
Then walk on
Through this world
Through this world
Through this world
Through this world
Walk tall
Walk tall
Then walk on
Walk tall...

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Why the right's vindictiveness is a sham

Shortly after I woke up this morning my husband informed me that there's a wingnut campaign to have a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, AFTER the Supreme Court overturns Roe (the amendment is wanted to stop states from allowing abortion). I started fuming at the lengths these people will go to in order to prevent women from controling their lives and health. I got a sense of how gays feel about the anti-gay marriage amendment. Why are gays who want to marry and women who need abortions our nation's biggest problems? It's as if people need a target to point to, a scapegoat, to say, "YOU are a bigger sinner than me--shame on you--God's light shines on me!" This is so ANTI-CHRISTIAN! Abortion and gay lifestyles are private issues that effect no one's neighbor.

"The right" doesn't want people to be good. They don't want to provide the lighted path, the adoption path, the birth control path, the healthy economy, or the healthy relationship paths that prevent abortions. They'd rather force women to kill themselves giving birth or inducing illegal abortions (as they used to). They don't want gays to have healthy, bonded relationships that are sanctified in marriage. Instead, they encourage gays to be hidden and promiscuous--hedonists.

This makes no sense to me!

Abortions should be legal, safe and RARELY needed. Gay marriage is simply a move toward good behavior (as much as any straight marriage is).

And again I ask, why can't "the right" get their minds around the idea that God may have actually created evolution? Isn't that the ultimate "intelligent design?"

These angry "you're the sinner" people and creationists will puzzle me until my death.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Counter Clinton Library

The Counter Clinton Library

Dear Counter Clinton people,

Why would you want to start a precedent of building opposing presidential institutions? Can't you let go of your anger and forgive an ex-president who was a sinner yet a good president? Can't we come together as a nation and try to find pride in the positive legacies of our presidents? I do not support most of Bush's policies, but I respect his presidency, even if we were to discover that he's weak in his personal life (I certainly have questions about his parenting skills). I would certainly trade a Bush economy for a Clinton economy--is that the Clinton legacy that you're really trying to erase?

I sincerely hope that you fail in your hate-driven efforts to permanently vilify President William Clinton.

Update: My e-mail to this group was returned undeliverable, "no transport provider."

Of Prayer and Payback

MSNBC - Of Prayer and Payback

The Religious Right asks for your daughters to be forced to bear children they don't want and our gay friends to not be blessed in monogamous relationships.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Family Values

I'm listening to Air America Radio's Mike Malloy. He's talking about how fascism is taking hold in America. He's saying how liberals are really the ones who care about family values. I certainly do, as does my husband. We are expecting a child now for the first time in our lives and want the best for him or her. We've taken parenting classes and will take more. We value family, and our child, so much that I will stay home with our baby for the first year. I may or may not return to work the second year--that will depend on our child's sense of independence.

Not to give the right fodder, but we don't expect this to be a popular decision among my colleagues (an art crowd with corporate values) and possibly our liberal friends and family. Like our decision to rent our home and save rather than buy, this kind of mommy lifestyle goes against the grain of how a lot of urban dwellers live. Even though my husband's corporation has lots of stay-at-home wives--I wonder if this falls under the banner of being machismo and rich enough to support a stay-at-home wife rather than a deep understanding of nurturing (I hope that I'm wrong). And yes, for some time there has been a growing movement for women to step out of the workplace for a period of time in order to raise their children. We are having children later in life and fully realize the importance of giving children the attention of a reliable, full-time caregiver. Even better that that caregiver is mom and/or dad, we think.

While I deeply believe that the following 7 months and 2 years will be some of the most wonderful years of my life, well-meaning others wonder if I'll suffer stress and boredom. While I expect an expanding network of mothers becoming my friends, people worry that I'll become isolated and depressed. From now on, I have to let this stuff bounce off of me. I've been an optimist my whole life (except for one moment during a time when I was suffering from a shocking experience involving severe grief and a broken heart), and I will continue to be.

Unfortunately, this is one area where I have more understanding of the ways of the Red States than the Blue States. C'mon Blue States, I know you really mean to value nurturing children over personal ambition and work.

Hannity on Air America Radio

He's claiming that liberals talk tolerance but won't tolerate Red State values. Liberals by nature and definition tolerate differences in people and don't mind living among them. That doesn't mean we agree with everybody, or even each other. But how does one tolerate people who legislate bigotry? You can do what you want with your own life and your church--just don't spread your "Christian" hyocrisy through legislation. I wonder if German fascists asked Jews to tolerate Hitler's early policies.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

t r u t h o u t - Michael Feingold | Our Vanished Values

t r u t h o u t - Michael Feingold | Our Vanished Values: "For make no mistake, this is the election in which American Christianity destroyed itself. Today the church is no longer a religion but a tacky political lobby, with an obsessive concentration on a minuscule number of social topics so irrelevant to questions of governance that they barely constitute political issues at all. These are the points of contention tied into what are blurrily referred to as 'moral values,' though they have almost nothing to do with the larger moral question of how one lives one's life, and everything to do with the fundamentally un-Christian and un-American idea of forcing others to live the way you believe they should. The displacement of faith involved is eerie, almost psychotic: Here are people willing to vote against their own well-being and their own children's future, just so they can compel someone else's daughter to bear an unwanted child and deprive someone else's son of the right to file a joint income tax return with his male partner."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Raised a white Christian in a red state

For the record in this time of condemnation, my father was a Christian minister in Missouri who believed that Jesus would not have prevented women from seeking abortions. He was not a feminist, but he based this interpretation of Jesus on the premise that Jesus would have understood a woman's pain, and would forgive her any sin. He also firmly believed that Jesus would treat gay people as equal to anyone, deserving the same dignity and respect that those who persecute them expect. My father often spoke on these issues to other clergy, and was seen as the conscience of his conference until his death.

To me, anyone who sees pregnant women who seek abortions, and gay people who seek to sanctify their love in marriage, as evil, or corrupt, or as moral failures, fails to understand the basic aspect of compassion that Jesus preached his whole life. In my opinion, if we lack compassion for others, we fail to find G_d on earth.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Twisted logic

I'm torturing myself again and watching O'Reilly on Fox. He is talking about (attacking) Democrats for being out of touch with the American people. Then he quoted some columnist who called Bush voters dumb (as if this wouldn't have happened on the other side if Kerry had won). He also went after Michael Kinsley for stating that Kinsley was open-minded and tolerant, compared to Bush voters. O'Reilly's point being that Democrats are morally vacant and elitist snobs all at once. Robert Reich held his own and suggested that you could find divisive figures and statements on the right as well, but that Americans want real solutions. Reich suggested that it is immoral for corporations to ship jobs oversees and not to raise the minimum wage. O'Reilly dismissed economic issues as moral and said, "that's free enterprise," and kept trying to potray moral errors as only a Democratic problem. Then he and Tony Snow "discussed" how Americans are sick of judges enforcing liberal points of view and that we should allow people to practice their religions freely. We need to start asking them how they are going to legislate our religious "freedom."

It's obvious that conservatives grant freedom to millionaires and businesses, but not individuals (gays, pregnant women, non-combatant prisoners, etc.) This is what they really value

Democrats believe government should preserve Americans individual freedoms, practice fiscal conservativism, and provide a healthy environment for children. We value peace over war.

Update: The only thing my husband and I can think angered Jesus or brought about his condemnation were the money changers!! Money profiting off of money--much like Bush's tax system that gives lower taxes to capital earners than wage earners. Let's really talk Christian values here...

Friday, November 05, 2004

The city of victims of terror voted for Kerry 3 to 1.

I might go to New York City next week and I'm expecting my friends and former colleagues to be quite down and out about the election. New Yorkers value honesty, individuality, and acceptance of our neighbors. Democratic values do not need changing--Republican values need changing. Here's a story about it: http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/110504Y.shtml

I was right

The votes haven't been counted. Our neglect of minority district voting practices is killing us. We need to protect voters by making their votes COUNT!


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Wrong about the vote....

Boy was I wrong. I cried like a baby last night, disgusted by the injustice of a winning campaign full of repeated lies, bullying, character assassinations, moral divisiveness (gay bashing beyond my wildest fears) and scare tactics. I saw the death of all progressive economic, energy, and social policies. I felt like my dysfunctional family kept our charming abusive father from going to jail. The only silver lining for me is that Bush has to clean up his own mess. Let's hope he does--and let's hope he doesn't concede this country and the courts (for generations to come) to the extreme right. It looks like Arlen Specter, a more responsible Republican from Pennsylvania, is trying to stop that, thank G-D he was re-elected.

My friend from Missouri was brave to point out to me and our friends who voted for Bush that whoever voted for Bush has blood on their hands (innocent Iraqis).

Today, a gentleman lost to a bully.

Hooray America, ignorance and prejudice helped get W elected with 3 million extra popular votes. About 4 million evangelical/gay hating Christians went to work to elect their G_d fearing leader. Welcome to Germany 1933.

We spent the evening comforting our frightened gay friend.

No innocent, decent person should be frightened by the votes of his or her fellow Americans.