Monday, January 28, 2008

How to decide

Super Tuesday is fast approaching, what's a voter to do?

I wanted to offer some interesting websites that help a bit in getting more specific information on each of the candidates. I would also highly recommend going to the candidate website for the serious plan details, that back up the sound bites. I would also take into account your "feeling" about them as well.

I disagree with several Obama views, but not by much, and he inspires me. And more importantly, he seems to inspire many.

We just saw the movie Bobby last night. There were loads of news clips of the real Bobby Kennedy on the day leading up to his assassination as well as his speech explaining his running for President. It could have been given today. He spoke so plainly and truthfully-it was really moving. He moved people. He acted on his word until his life was cut short.

Today, Teddy, Carolyn and Patrick Kennedy endorsed Obama. It reminded me that optimism in the face of what seems impossible and hopeless is just what is needed. Courage to believe again in what our country can be. Who each of us can be.

OK. OK. Here are the resources:

spoof of the candidates

Views on Global Warming

Remember this?

More to come...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The ugly truth is leaking out

Oh fellow Americans, how can you be so ugly? Over the past few days, I have been following the articles, the interviews, the websites, the blogs, all leading up to the South Carolina primary.

By yesterday, the full spectrum of ugliness has emerged. I know I live in a racist society. I know I live in a sexist society. I know I live in an ignorant society. I guess I have been somewhat protected living where I live, where people SEEM more accepting of differences, or at least, talk about what they don't understand out loud (some of the time).

The racism that I have been reading on the web through blogs and article comments on NYT, Washington Post, you name it, almost any forum for political banter, is filled with crazy intolerance, racism, ignorance...all hiding under "Know it all" or "this may not be PC to say but..."

I didn't expect it from those who call themselves progressives.

OK. I am not a complete idiot. I know that Race is an issue in this country. I know its a huge issue and that most of our institutions still discriminate, that most of us hold some form of racism towards another group, not even on purpose but just because we don't understand or because we are scared of what we don't know. But it doesn't make it OK to spread the venom.

There were all these comments about illegal immigrants being the majority of Hispanics in CA and they are ruining the economy...Wha?

Many comments questioning how "Black" Obama is? Or, on the flip side, that he has sold out his race, or flipping back, the fear of his middle name (Hussein) or his last name that sounds like the bad guy (How can you vote for a guy who's name sounds like Osama?)

Then there are the comments insulting the black voters of SC for "setting back Civil Rights 150 yrs by voting for Obama" which I don't really follow. There are so many assumptions that he got the vote JUST because of race. Clearly it has bearing but how does it explain women who vote for men?

These are the polite comments. They get much worse. Much worse. I am ashamed for this country.

Disclaimer: When first choosing a candidate I was worried about choosing Obama because I assumed someone would make an attempt on his life (i.e. MLK jr), but then I was reminded that they shot Bobby in his run, and he was White (but Catholic and related to JFK and very progressive). So basically, anyone who threatening to change things up, is in danger.

Disclaimer #2: I don't really think Obama is so different than Hillary or Edwards, but, he speaks so beautifully and he seems to have a better world view and he seems to attract more diverse perspectives.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Las Vegas

I am back from Las Vegas and BZ's birthday weekend. Two nights of sleeping ALL night.

I had time with BZ to remember why we have such fun together.

I got to hang with the Storm troopers. Apparently, the guy who plays Boba Fet was signing autographs, and the storm troopers were there for added fun. I'm not kidding. The guy who "played" the character, who wore the costume, with no lines, was signing autographs, without the costume on. Go figure.

So now I am back. Back to politics. Back to work. Back to the kids. Its good to be back to reality.

Now playing: Lucy Kaplansky - A Child's Hands
via FoxyTunes

Friday, January 18, 2008

Off we go

BZ is in Las Vegas. He fly out this morning. I fly this evening. First trip without the kids. I mean to say, first trip with BZ without the kids. First time the kids are without both of us at the same time for more than one overnight. Whew.

I am very nervous. I know this is probably a good thing. A good exercise to go through. My heart has begun to beat a bit faster this afternoon as I get closer to picking them up at preschool. Closer to giving them their afternoon snack and reminder that Mommy is going bye bye for two days. Letting them know what FUN they will have with Pat, the one who gave them a present at Christmas. Zingo. They love Zingo. My heart rate has definitely gone up a bit.

It will be fine. I will be fine. Vegas. A birthday weekend with BZ and his family in Vegas. It will be fun. I will be there during the Nevada caucuses. Now that is cool. I must remain cool and not let on that that holds as much interest as it does for me.

OK. Pick up kids. Now. Let the games begin.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tom Cruise is CRAZY

Commercial break from politics...

I have gotten a whole lot of email with "Watch this!" or "Have you seen this?!"

Here are just a few...

1. Tom Cruise speaking crazy (even better are the comments following, hilarious)

2. More crazy Cruise (Shrinks should be jailed, his heroism after 9/11)

What's tragic, is that watching him be a nut ball makes him somehow even sexier.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hillary: The Movie

Its not a joke. Its for real. And the "filmmakers" have just started on a "documentary" on Obama. They say they are just doing what Michael Moore is doing.

Check out their website:

CBS News, “Starting Gate: Down – and Dirty”

January 16, 2008 8:58 am

The makers of "Hillary: The Movie" have lost their court battle to be exempted from campaign finance laws. They had argued that their film, which features conservative commentators arguing that Clinton is unfit to be president, is a documentary similar to "60 Minutes." Citizens United wanted to run ads for the film during campaign season, but judges ruled the group "must either keep its ads off the air or attach a disclaimer and disclose its donors," according to the Associated Press. In 2004 Citizens United argued that ads for ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' should be kept off the air, but the complaint was dismissed because ads for that film were not to be run during campaign season.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The good life

Sunday night, I went on a date. With my husband. We ate at Little Shin Shin and had a delicious meal. We went to see Juno and loved it. It was such a great evening. It was really nice to hang out with BZ. He's a pretty good guy.

Today, I actually cleaned out my office and although I have a bunch of piles to go, I have rediscovered the floor. I recycled about 6 book boxes worth of paperwork-YAY!!!!! I emptied out 4 huge plastic storage bins-Yahoo!

And I didn't have to go anywhere to work today. I organized and listened to great music and tonight I get to watch the debates.

Beat that.

Now playing: Michael Cera & Ellen Page - Anyone Else But You
via FoxyTunes

Monday, January 14, 2008

Obama's church and a pirate story

I was pleased to see the following on a fact check site, referring to Obama's church:

Trinity United Church Of Christ Is The Largest UCC Congregation, A Liberal Denomination That Was The First To Ordain An African American, Woman, And Gay Man. "However incongruously, Trinity became the largest congregation in The United Church of Christ, a predominantly white denomination known for its liberal politics and steepled churches in small New England towns. The UCC, or Congregational church, as it is also called, was the first mainline Protestant church to ordain an African-American (1785), a woman (1853), and an openly gay man (1972), and the first major Christian denomination to endorse same-sex marriage (2005)." [Christian Science Monitor, 7/16/07]

Trinity Educates New Members About the Historical Context of the Black Values System; Puts It In Context of Civil Rights Movement And Chicago's South Side. There is information on the Black Values System in the new member packet provided at Trinity, and the new member classes put the Black Values System in the historical context of the civil rights movement. "Because the community that Trinity sits in [the south side of Chicago] in faces a number of challenges, Trinity made the commitment to this values system in the hope that it will help...transform of the community. [Activities that exemplify the Black Values System include] the drug and alcohol recovery ministry...the prison ministry, the congregation's commitment to mothers who have been incarcerated, and the Rites of Passage program [youth ministry] which helps young people move into adulthood connected with their faith and [a sense of] economic justice." [Conversation with Reverend Otis Moss III, Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, 1/30/07]

My main concern about Senator Obama was not knowing what being a Christian meant to him in the face of liberal politics. Huckabee is a different brand of Christianity that sounds good but ends up being exclusionary. Seeing the above on Obama's church and seeing his voting record for civil liberties, a woman's right to choose, gay rights, health care for everyone...okay, I am relieved.

I'm concerned for how drastically his camp is denying any connection to being Muslim, like being Muslim is bad. I mean, I get they are down playing his middle name problem (Hussein), and are trying to educate regular folks on the difference between Obama and Osama but its a bit insulting.

Back to much more immediate concerns. Max wants to write a story. Tonight's subject is pirates. I will just give you a few chapters since, story books can be long.

A story about Pirates by Max Marshall Lewis:

Once there was a captain. He told his crew to do everything. But his crew never listened to him. His friend, the ghost leprechaun listened to him. He told all the pirates to listen to the captain. They sang, "Ah haha, we will never listen to that mean old captain!"

The leprechaun said, "You are nice pirates, and he's a nice captain." But they liked gold so much that they didn't remember they were nice pirates. They sang mean things like, "Who's the jolly captain that's so mean?" But the Head Gold Present (see below) is for Grip, the Pirate. And that head thing was so nice that the captain liked it so much. The Head thing said to the pirates, "You have to be nice."

Grip wanted to change his name to Sit. He wanted his captain to sit down in the shark's mouth. But then Grip understood the captain now because he remembered that he had to be nice.

On the ship that had skull and crossbones, the skeleton had nothing. The pirates said, "Arg, arg, arg, arg!" And the captain said, "Arg, arg, arg, arg!"

Grip and his friend Nick and Bellwing and his captain understood stuff already since the captain learned since he was born. The captain's name was Rick.

This pirate, Nick, just stood like a statue and never moved. The End.

Is there a moral to this story? Is there some connection to politics? To anything? Probably not but I can't help but think that if we could all just remember that we are nice pirates, we could be nicer to one another, we just keep forgetting since we like gold so much.

What a shame.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The terminator

Have you read The Terminator's plan for California? Here's just a bit of a peek:

Parents, teachers and education advocates up and down California reacted with outrage Friday to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to cut nearly $5 billion from public schools over the next 18 months.

The news that millions of dollars could be cut from categories such as class-size reduction, textbooks, preschool programs, after-school tutoring and hot lunches led one father to ask why a state that ranks among the top 10 global economies educates its children in the manner of a Third World nation.

And this is just the education need to see his plans to cut health care. There are those that say he's just doing this as a threat so he can raise taxes. What makes me mad is that he's the one who took office and immediately sent everyone a refund check for their car registration. What a nice guy, sending us all a check for several hundred dollars and a few years later, bankrupting our schools, taking away health care from those that need it but could hardly afford it anyway, and so forth.

Does this make sense to any of you? I truly am trying to understand the thinking behind taking funds from programs that serve those without, instead of getting funding from large businesses and those with all the tax loop holes at the top of the heap.

I don't believe that the wealthy should be responsible for paying my taxes, I just think they should pay their fucking share.

Sorry about the language but I can't curse out loud anywhere anymore. I seriously don't understand why it makes sense for any community to punish those with less and make it worse for them. This is not about handouts. School should not only be for the elite, the well to do, the lucky few. School should be a right. Good education should be available to us all.

In California, at least in our county, most of art, music, library, PE are parent funded. PE is provided by our district for 1/2 hour a week. I thought obesity was an epidemic in children? What does it cost to treat obesity, diabetes...? What happened to Arnold, has he forgotten his past?

What planet do I live on? Outside of SF, I'm considered naive for thinking teachers aren't paid well, for thinking the gov't should help with health care, for believing that racism and classism is alive and well in the US of A.

I suppose I am naive thinking that things can change and that the world can be a loving and compassionate place. I choose to remain hopeful. This craziness just inspires me to fight back. But where to begin?

I know, I'll join the knitters for peace movement. Randy, I'm on my way.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Obama '08

OK. I am tentatively supporting Obama. Well, probably more than tentatively as I am hosting a New Hampshire primary watch party. I am not yet selling bumper stickers or hosting phone banks but...I am easing my way back into activism.

I got so devastated in 2004. I am staying safe now by enjoying the big open playing field and assume I will get more invested as the field closes in.

Last night watching the debates, Max asked about the statue. "Who's the statue?" A bit later he pointed to Obama, who was listening very seriously to Edwards or Clinton. Max was right. He absolutely did not move. He was just like a statue. Funny. I am voting for a statue. A statue for Hope.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


We went for a New Year's walk yesterday at Chabot Regional Park. It was much longer than we probably should have done with two small children but it was a loop so...there you are. Everyone helped out with the kids, in fact, here's Linda and Max having a moment:

I should also have a picture of Tod as he did MUCH of the heavy lifting and pushing of the stroller. But he wasn't smiling very much while being stuck with that beast of a stroller, it was a camera-down moment. Sorry Tod.

The following photo was taken while the sun was still high and we were all still "full of beans."

It was beautiful and fun and a great way to start the year.