Saturday, August 23, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

John McCain Promises to Re-criminalize Homosexuality


More from the summer of love!

Two weeks ago, today, I was married, for the fourth time. The first time I was married to my son’s mother more than 25 years ago and the last three to the man I have been living with for the last nine years. It seemed that every time the law changed we got married; hopefully, this will be the last time. Until we get to Brasil, at least…

We were married here in California on 8/8/08… the date being set months before we both realized the auspiciousness of the date. We decided to wait until we returned from Brasil for the summer, and realized we should just do it on the date of our 10th. Being pragmatic mathematicians, neither of us is capable of anymore anniversaries. So the 9th was selected, and plans were made and invitations sent out, and since the authorities are only open weekdays. So it was that we selected the 8th, that Friday for the civil ceremonies.

I am not sure but neither of us was quite prepared for the energy that changing our status to “married” was going to give us. It has been good. Indeed, very good. Everything from the energy of the actual civil ceremony, to that of the using “husband” instead of “partner” has been enlightening.

In Brasil, I asked M’s family for their blessing, and they gladly gave it. Back in the states, Milton asked mine, and was treated to a treatise as to why marriage should only be between a man and woman. It was humiliating and deeply sad for us and for those at the wedding and reception who had wished they might have come around. But in the end my son, Spencer stood as our best man, and dear friend Jeri stood as our matron of honor at the small civil ceremony at the county courthouse. We had asked for the blessing from both our families in hopes that we might have a Bahá’í ceremony, but alas, it was not to be.

At the Saturday reception at our home, we had a short blessing by our dear Catholic Priest, colleague and friend Father Joe. He met with us a few days before, and had rewritten a lovely blessing from the traditional Catholic marriage blessing (Milton is Catholic, I am Bahá’í). We both agreed that it added just the right touch to a fun afternoon with about 40 friends and cousins.

Milton, a truly gifted cook, insisted on preparing all the food for the party, and 40 people came, some a far as Portland, and Florida. Two sets of cousins came, but that was it from my family. Though an Aunt and Uncle made sure to let us know that they were not coming, but not because of the marriage thing, but because she had been the prime organizer for her high school class reunion for years and it was the same day, way up in Yreka.

So we had brought back water from the headwaters of the Sacramento River on Mt. Shasta, and the padre blessed us all, and then we had a party. My son and his girlfriend made a DVD that is a smashing success, even though they arrived late, and missed the ceremony and ½ the guests. The whole experience was great! The love and best wishes, the food, the friends… all great! I had connected some really great rainbow nightlights all over the back yard, so as the evening descended on the few brave souls who remained, it was very pleasant.

There have been surprises… for instance, during the party, when we were both scurrying about making sure gasses were filled and conversation flowing, Milton looked shocked at something. Later, after we collapsed in bed, he told me that, he had seen his father walking though out of the corner of his eye. His father, has been dead for about two years now, but dearly loved us both, and had given his blessing to us right be fore he passed away. It was such a confirmation, that his father had made the extra effort to peek between the veil to extend his best wishes. It was even more fitting that he was enjoying the party! The first time that I could have used the term “husband” a colleague corrected me for using partner… now when I call the bank or AAA, I refer to my “husband & I” and things just move ahead professionally.

It truly is the summer of love!

How Barack Obama can get his momentum back: redefine labor and wages

Your Life Depends on It

Your Life Depends on It

By Anthony M. Brown
Originally published in Gay City News

There is nothing more frustrating to me than a gay person who won’t vote. While hard to believe, there are still some of you out there. Recently, my friend Patricia, whom I have known for almost 20 years and lived with as a roommate for two years, told me that she had never registered to vote, nor does she plan to do so for the upcoming presidential election.

“I would have voted, if it were Hillary,” she explained... read on

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Second Bahá’í to win an Olympic gold medal! Viva!

Nelson Evora of Portugal won the Men’s Triple Jump with 17.67m. Phillips Idowu of Britain landed silver with 17.62m. Leevan Sands of Bahamas had bronze with 17.59m. I think the first one was Cathy Freeman of Australia who won gold for the 400 meters in the 2000 Olympics.

How many houses do you own?


Most Americans could answer that question quite easily.

But John McCain couldn't remember yesterday when asked by reporters. It's actually kind of ridiculous. He paused and said, "I think—I'll have my staff get to you." (The correct answer? At least seven.)

This could be an election-defining moment—it's a reminder of just how out of touch John McCain is with the lives of regular Americans.

Barack Obama's campaign responded today with a strong new TV ad. This is just the latest reminder that John McCain doesn't understand what most Americans are going through right now. It was recently reported that he wears $520 shoes on the campaign trail—more than some families pay each month for food or rent.

This past week, McCain and Obama were asked what constitutes "rich." Obama said, "If you are making more than $250,000, then you are in the top 3, 4 percent of this country...You are doing well." McCain answered, "I think if you're just talking about income, how about $5 million?"

With the economy a top issue this year for voters, everyone needs to hear about this recent news. Can you watch Obama's new ad and forward this email to friends?

Click here to watch—you can also donate to Obama's campaign if you like it:

McCain Doesn't Remember How Many Houses He Owns


How Barack Obama can get his momentum back: redefine government and taxes

Obama Pride

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How Barack Obama can get his momentum back: talk about health care

Can you help inform voters about McCain's tax breaks for big oil?

John McCain let big oil companies keep $13.5 billion in tax breaks—money we could have used for solar and wind.


Goodbye to an an old friend...

Spencer having graduated from Berkeley (Go Bears!) is off to do some work with MTV folks in New York City, and then seven months in Africa... so we decided that our beloved 1993 Jetta (all 185,000 miles of it) had to go. So we decided it was better to donate it to Capital Public Radio.

The guy just came and got it, and Spencer called from the plane... headed to the Big Apple...

Bubye Spencer, Bubye Jetta! Why are they both headed east?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Religion and Gay Marriage.

Approval Ratings: The Public v. McCain


How Barack Obama can get his momentum back: talk about education

Swift Boat Economics

Swift Boat Economics
Monday 18 August 2008
by: Dean Baker, t r u t h o u t Perspective

In the last election, the Republicans invented their brilliant Swift boat strategy to get George W. Bush back in the White House. Challenged by a decorated Vietnam War veteran, President Bush, who couldn't be bothered in serve in a war that he supported, took the offensive. He enlisted a group of right-wingers to invent stories impugning Kerry's integrity and service record.

The media completely failed in their responsibility to the public and treated the lies invented by the Swift boaters with respect. The country was then treated to a he said, she said, in which Kerry had to defend himself against lies fabricated from whole cloth.

Senator McCain now faces a similar situation in this election. He is stuck running on the record of a president who is presiding over an economy that is sinking into recession and is facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. By contrast, Senator Obama can claim the legacy of the strong economy of the Clinton years.

Tarred with the most dismal record of job creation and income growth of any president since the Great Depression, it would be reasonable to expect that Senator McCain would be defensive on the economy; but not in Swift boat America.

Instead Senator McCain is filling the airwaves with commercials telling the public that Obama's tax increases will slow growth and cost the economy jobs. It's pretty scary stuff to anyone who takes it seriously.

Of course, there's no truth to Senator McCain's Swift boat economics. During the eight years of the Clinton administration, when rich people paid the same tax rates proposed by Senator Obama, the private sector added 15.8 million jobs. By contrast, in the seven years and six months of the Bush administration, when rich people paid the Bush-McCain tax rates, the private sector has added just 3.5 million jobs. And, it is losing jobs at the rate of almost 100,000 a month as President Bush prepares for retirement.

While job growth is probably the most important measure of the economy's health, almost every other measure also showed that the economy performed better with the Clinton-Obama tax rate than the Bush-McCain tax rate. The real wage for the typical worker rose by 6.6 percent in the Clinton years. By contrast, wages have risen by just 1.0 percent in the Bush years and are now falling. At the current rate of decline, real wages will be lower In January of 2009 than when President Bush took office in 2001. The typical family's income rose by 15.3 percent under Clinton, it fell by 1.6 percent under Bush.

In short, it is easy to show McCain's ad is utter nonsense. The economy had its most prosperous period in 30 years with the tax rates Obama is proposing. President Bush then cut taxes for the rich, and the economy turned in its worst performance since the Great Depression. While the tax rates are hardly the whole story behind the prosperity of the Clinton years or the economic deterioration of the Bush years, the record makes a mockery of the scare story in the McCain ad.
So why would Senator McCain make an ad that is so obviously false? In Swift boat country, there is no place for truth. McCain knows he can say anything he wants, regardless of how untrue it is, and his claim will be treated seriously by the media.

Reporters will now treat it as a debatable point whether the tax rates proposed by Obama will stifle growth and cost jobs. They will act as though Senator McCain has raised a serious point - perhaps Obama's tax plan really will hurt the economy. Reporters would actually have to know something about the economy, or at least arithmetic, to know that McCain's claims are utter nonsense.

The public will have to teach the media. This is not a he said, she said. The economy has performed very well taxing rich people at the rates proposed by Senator Obama. Any reporter who suggests it is plausible to claim these tax rates will stifle growth and job creation is simply too ill-informed to be covering economic issues. Reporters should be telling the public Senator McCain's ads are contradicted by the facts, not pretending that they raise plausible concerns about the economy.

McCain's Mansions

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