Saturday, November 1, 2008

Kate Clinton on Prop 8

Big Gay Slowdown

Despite much good-natured pressure, my partner of twenty years and I have not gotten married. If we ever do marry, I know I will want an old fashioned wedding. Really old fashioned. When I get married, I want a country.

I am the Mr. Big of gay marriage. That said, I completely support the freedom to marry for all gay people. I believe my friends when they tell me how surprised they are at the transformational power of declaring their love before family and friends. I love hearing their stories.

I hate hearing their stories of the on-the-ground, hand-to-hand combat against anti-gay ballot initiatives in Florida, Arizona [again], and California. In California, two newly wed lesbian friends called me as they drove to yet another "No on 8" rally through a thicket of "Yes on 8" yard signs. The friend who was driving was distraught because her usually serene partner who was having a homicidal, screaming jag triggered by all the Yes signage. She asked me to talk her down. I suggested she drive on the lawns and take out some signs.

In this financial climate, in California alone, sixty million dollars is being spent for and against the basic human rights of gay people. You would think the attitude would be, "Oh for heaven's sake, it's almost the end of the world, let the gay people get married."

If we defeat Prop Hate, I say we sue our adversaries for anti-gay harassment and to recoup our money. We can use the money to continue to provide for homeless LGBT youth, HIV AIDS support, and care for our elder gays.

If we do not defeat Prop Hate, I say November 5th we call for a general gay work slowdown. Decorators will do deliberately bad, possibly dangerous feng shui. Hairdressers will mistakenly lay hot curling irons down on ears. Social workers will give bad advice, "Your father sounds like a great guy. Show him some love." Salespeople will ooze, "Oh, that looks great on you." Waiters will serve cold food and suggest the wrong wine. Flight attendants will put 'out of service' signs on bathrooms midway through long-distance flights. Some nameless malaise will dim Broadway.

If gay people are not to be full citizens of this country, we should stop paying taxes. To make up for the lost funds, as an alternate revenue stream, it is time to tax churches that have encouraged anti-gay hatred through their bullying pulpits. The FBI recently released hate-crime statistics that showed a 1% decrease in hate crimes over all, but a 6% increase in anti-gay hate crimes.

When and if I get married, I want my country. Call me old-fashioned.

Vote No on 8!

How My Lesbian Boss Makes Me a Better Father

The Stench Run

Obama 52%, McCain 42% Among Likely Voters

Gallup Daily: Obama 52%, McCain 42% Among Likely Voters
November 1, 2008
Barack Obama leads John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking interviewing conducted Wednesday through Friday by a 52% to 42% margin in both of Gallup’s likely voter models. Obama leads by a similar 52% to 41% margin among all registered voters.

Halloween with Spencer & Nikki

Solar Tube... ona very rainy and dark day

Had this installed in the living room, it is a very dark and rainy (all good we need it) day here on the Ponderosa, and I can sit and work with out any lights... woo hoo!

Studs Terkel, Listener to Americans, Dies at 96

FOCUS Studs Terkel, Listener to Americans, Dies at 96

William Grimes, The New York Times: "Studs Terkel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose searching interviews with ordinary Americans helped establish oral history as a serious genre, and who for decades was the voluble host of a popular radio show in Chicago, died Friday at his home there. He was 96."

Call for UN Election Observers!

A coalition of U.S. pro-democracy organizations today petitioned the members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations for international election observers for the upcoming U.S. presidential election.Representatives of No More Stolen Elections!, True Vote, Liberty Tree, Global Exchange, and the Economic Human Rights Project filed the petition seeking international observers with embassies in Washington, DC on Thursday, October 30, 2008, and the New York City offices of the UN on Friday, October 31, 2008. The embassies we visited included those of UN ECOSOC member nations New Zealand, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, France, United Kingdom, and Sweden. We want to make sure that if the election results are contested, steps have been taken so that the U.N. is able to participate in ensuring the integrity of the U.S. election. You can read a summary of the petition here:

You can read a summary of the petition here:

You can watch a video of our delivery of the petition here:

In filing these petitions, we have put U.S. officials on notice that the whole world is watching. Please sign the petition to support our call for international involvement in a disputed election.

Click here to sign the petition:

Friday, October 31, 2008

No On Prop.8 Signs Go Up At Steve Young's Home

PALO ALTO (CBS 5) Prominent voices have been coming out in opposition to Proposition 8, California's proposed ban on same-sex marriage — but one of them is a name that might come as a surprise.The 'Yes On 8' campaign has been funded in large part by members of the Mormon church, but one of the Bay Area's most prominent Mormons and his wife have several "No on 8" signs on their property.

Former San Francisco 49ers' Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young has two official "No on 8" signs in the windows of his house in Palo Alto.On Friday, there were also three Halloween-themed signs in Young's yard that also urged people to reject the gay marriage ban.

Young's wife, Barbara, has also donated approximately $50,000 to the "No on 8" campaign aimed at defeating Proposition 8. Steve Young, answering a doorbell ring at his home late Friday afternoon, declined to comment about the signs in his yard.

But in an e-mailed statement to the gay rights group Equality California, Barbara Young wrote: "We believe all families matter, and we do not believe in discrimination, therefore, our family will vote against Prop. 8."

Great video at

A Neiman Marxist


Afternoon walk...

Record 17.3 million Californians registered to vote!

Record 17.3 million Californians registered to vote

Expose oily politicians!

Obama’s Lead Widens Some on All B

Gallup Daily: Obama’s Lead Widens Some on All Bases NEW
October 31, 2008
Barack Obama holds an eight percentage point lead over John McCain among “traditional likely voters” -- 51% to 43% -- his largest margin to date using this historical Gallup Poll voter model. He leads by nine points among “expanded likely voters.”

Vote No on Prop 8!

Field Poll carries news that Prop 8 is narrowly losing, 44 to 49%

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Park Update

Mormon Church rejects 16,935 signatures

Watch the video: Mormon Church rejects 16,935 signatures
Volunteers urgently needed to defeat Prop 8
The letter, signed by 16,935 people, was delivered to the Los Angeles Mormon Temple, accompanied by several reporters, our own videographer, and Eric Lee, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) of California.

And the Mormon Church refused to accept your letter to President Thomas Monson, asking him to stop the lies, stop the blackmail, and stop dictating public policy to Californians.We filmed it all. You can watch it here. Like a ping-pong ball, we were bounced back and forth by security guards, a "Yes on 8" coalition member, and a Mormon Church leader who refused to accept your signatures. We will not stand down. You gave us a mandate to hold the Mormon Church accountable. And we will. This weekend, our friends in Salt Lake City will deliver your signatures to the Morman Churchheadquarters in Utah. The best way to hold the Mormon Church accountable is to beat them at the ballot box.

U.S. Expects Bin Laden Message Near Election

OBL Could Speak Out in an Effort to Prove His Relevance

How are we like Nazi's? Hey wait a minute, weren't the Nazis the ones who made homosexuals wear pink triangles?

A Yes on Prop 8 spokesman actually compared the right of same-sex couples to marry to the rise of Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany. Watch the video.

The Toll of War in Iraq: U.S. Casualties and Civilian Deaths

Chart U.S. military casualties and civilian deaths in Iraq month by month against key events in the war -- and hear about the lives of those who died fighting.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama Maintains Edge Over McCain

Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains Edge Over McCain
October 29, 2008
Barack Obama continues to hold an edge over John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking, up by 49% to 46% using the traditional likely voter model and 51% to 44% using the expanded model.

This is more than my marriage, it is about a cultural take over by radical religious rightwing

The religious right is calling Proposition 8 its "decisive last stand" -- an "Armageddon"-like battle to pass a ballot measure that would "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry."
We couldn't agree more. This fight for our fundamental rights will shape the future of the progressive movement for decades to come, both in California and across the country.
The Mormon Church is on the front lines of this culture war, having intimidated members into contributing more than $10 million to pass Prop 8. But they are not alone in their rabid devotion to discrimination.
This Saturday, several ultra-right-wing religious groups will be gathering 70,000 evangelicals together in San Diego at Qualcomm Stadium for "The Call" -- a mega-church event that will mobilize thousands of out-of-state volunteers to get out the vote in Califonia.

Please watch this shocking promo video for "The Call" right now. This is what we're up against. And we need to respond with a "call" of our own -- a call to volunteer for the "No on 8" campaign across California this weekend and on Election Day. Click here to watch this unbelievable video and then take action today:

Obama: The Hope of a Return to Tocquevillian America

Victor Yves Ghebali Obama: The Hope of a Return to Tocquevillian America

Le Temps: "Victor Yves Ghebali, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced International and Development Studies, emphasizes that Obama is a 'human bridge,' a symbol of creative fusion."

Kids Know best! Arizonians might too!

"In the 14th Weekly Reader election survey, with more than 125,000 votes cast from kindergarten through 12th grade, the result was Obama 54.7% and John McCain 42.9% (with "other" candidates receiving 2.5% of the student vote). The Obama victory in the classroom electoral vote was even more resounding: The Democrat won 33 states and the District of Columbia, garnering 420 electoral votes." The survey has predicted the winner in 12 of the past 13 elections. Out of the mouths of babes...

Whoa! New Poll: McCain, Obama in statistical dead heat in Arizona

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Check these out...

Vote No on 8!

Apocalypse Now...

John McCain in the Echo Chamber

Gore Vidal | John McCain in the Echo Chamber
Gore Vidal, Truthdig: "October proved to be the cruelest month, for that was the time that Senator McCain, he of the round, blank, Little Orphan Annie eyes, chose to try out a number of weird lies about Barack Obama ostensibly in the interest of a Republican Party long overdue for burial."

Subject: Tell Mukasey: Don't suppress Ohio voters.

Dear Friends,

This year, there are over 600,000 newly registered Ohio voters, but President Bush has asked Attorney General Mukasey to investigate as many as 200,000 of them. Why? Because Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has refused to use an "exact match" standard before adding these voters to the rolls.

What is this "exact match" standard? Basically, it works like this: After you fill out your voter registration card, a local or state employee has to type in your information to add you to the voter rolls, and check to see that you really exist, usually by verifying your driver's license number or Social Security number. And as you can imagine, sometimes there are typos or other disparities when the information gets entered and matched - for example, if your last name is "De la Rosa" and it got entered as "Delarosa", you would fail to meet the exact match standard, and your registration form would be invalid.

Secretary Brunner has refused to use this standard on the grounds that it would erroneously deprive tens or even hundreds of thousands of Ohioans of their right to vote. The Ohio GOP sued her a month ago to try and get the courts to compel her to use the exact match standard, but the Supreme Court ruled that they had no standing to make that case.

Now, President Bush is trying to run around the Supreme Court by getting the Department of Justice to intervene. On Friday, October 24th, Bush reportedly asked Attorney General Mukasey to investigate whether as many as 200,000 voters need to reconfirm their registrations before November 4th - which would almost certainly result in forcing them to vote provisionally.

I just signed a petition urging Attorney General Mukasey not to act on President Bush's sickening request. I hope you will, too.

Please have a look and take action.


A powerful new ad featuring U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein

"Proposition 8 would be a terrible mistake for California. It's about discrimination and we must always say NO to that."

Senator Feinstein is a trusted and respected voice that will resonate with voters. She joins the chorus of leaders across California who are calling on voters to reject this unfair initiative.

Thank you Senator Feinstein!

Vote No on 8!

Early Voting Now Up to 18%

Early Voting Now Up to 18% NEW
October 28, 2008
Eighteen percent of registered voters who plan to vote have already voted, and another 15% say they will vote before Nov. 4; so far the voter preferences of this early voting group are tilted more toward Obama than those voters who say they will wait to vote on Election Day.

California to break voter registration mark

California is set to break voter registration records in an election that could result in the nation's first African American president or first woman vice president.

Neo-Nazi Skinhead plot

Skinhead plot news sweeps suspect's Tenn. hometown. Remember, this is the second skinhead plot to assassinate Obama. The Colorado Republican, Bushevik U.S. Attorney Refused to Prosecute Another One During the Denver Convention. Meanwhile, McCain and Palin Fan the Flames of Racism with Coded Appeals to Openly Racist Crowds.

Vote No on Prop 8!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vote No on 8!

Da Crowd doin the Cupid Shuffle @ the Saturday Obama Rally at the California State Capitol

too dumb to breathe ?

fake news controversy drummed up by the all too common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain

This is a fake news controversy drummed up by the all too common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain, who apparently decided to close out his campaign with the same false, desperate attacks that have failed for months. In this seven year old interview, Senator Obama did not say that the courts should get into the business of redistributing wealth at all. Americans know that the real choice in this election is between four more years of Bush-McCain policies that redistribute billions to billionaires and big corporations and Barack Obama's plan to help the middle class by giving tax relief to 95% of workers and companies that create new jobs here in America. That's the change we need, and no amount of eleventh-hour distractions from the McCain campaign will change that," said Obama-Biden campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Vote No on Prop 8!

Early Morning Walk...

Happy Vijaya Dashami!

Happy Vijaya Dashami to all my Nepali Friends and colleagues




Dear Colleagues & Friends,

We are deeply disappointed to tell you that the sudden funding cut of $31.3 million to the CSU announced last week turns out to be, not a requirement, but rather a voluntary give back to the governor by CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.

Correspondence between Chancellor Reed and the governor’s Dept. of Finance reveals that the Chancellor understands that he is making a voluntary cut.


The California Faculty Association’s officers are troubled by the Chancellor’s unilateral decision to give up this funding, especially in light of the good work done by the entire CSU community and its supporters through the Alliance for the CSU this year.

We worked hard to mitigate as much damage to the university as possible in this difficult economic period and we met with some success. The Alliance won $97.6 million for the CSU.

The Chancellor’s action gives back one third of that money.

He did so without even a word of public protest on behalf of the state university system, of which he is the chief executive.

In a communication to “All CSU Employees” last week, the Chancellor misled the campus community by incorrectly reporting the CSU is among the agencies that “need to cut a total of $390 million from the current budget.”

As the attached documents show, the CSU is not covered by the order requiring this cut. Do not be deceived by misinformation: The Chancellor's give-back of $31.3 million is voluntary — and he knows it.


Chancellor Reed also knows this cut is exactly the wrong thing to do for California, especially in an economic crisis.

Public higher education helps to solve financial crises because it prepares people for better paying jobs in sectors that revitalize the economy. College graduates pay more taxes, rely less on social services, and play a bigger role in solving society’s problems.

We must remind Chancellor Reed that all of us must drastically revise our thinking about public higher ed funding, including him.

He, first and foremost, must stand strong for policy that will help to end the financial crisis, and not give in to cuts that make things worse.


CFA calls on the Chancellor to

• rescind his give back of $31.3 million, and
• take a strong stance in defense of CSU funding

Enough damage was done in the budget bill adopted in September -- $215 million cut from the CSU -- combined with another steep student fee increase while closing the doors on 10,000 potential students.

Please join us in sending a fax to Chancellor Reed and the CSU Trustees with this message.

To send an automatic fax

• go to the CFA Web Site at and click on “CFA Action Center,” or
• go to


At you will find these documents that support the facts:

• Executive Order S-09-08: This was the governor’s executive order last July 31, 2008, addressing spending during the state budget stalemate. In it, the governor acknowledged he does not have “direct authority” over the CSU.

• CSU News Release “CSU works to ensure employees receive paychecks,” July 25, 2008: In this news release, Chancellor Reed was referenced saying, “CSU is not under direct executive authority and subject to the requirement” to enact the governor’s order.

• Office of the Governor (Dept. of Finance) Memo, October 9, 2008: Extends the above Executive Order S-09-08 to achieve another $50 million in savings from agencies that receive money from the state’s general fund.

• AB 88 (Budget) Chapter 269, Statutes of 2008: This is the section of the budget bill, known as “control language,” in which the legislature explains its intent regarding implementation of the adopted budget. It gives the governor authority to cut another $50 million without getting additional approval from the legislature.

• Dept. of Finance letter to Chancellor Reed, October 20, 2008: Notes an ongoing conversation with the Chancellor over the new additional cut of $31.3 million to the CSU.

• Office of the CSU Chancellor letter to governor’s Dept. of Finance, October 21, 2008: The Chancellor chooses the “’alternative compliance’ approach” to the cut, meaning he knows that executive order cannot force him to make the cut. He states, “We are committed and able to attain $31,314,000 of savings requested by the (governor’s) Administration” and that the cut can be made “without directly affecting instructional programs and educational services.”

• Chancellor’s Communication – October 23, 2008: Email to all CSU employees stating that “we have been informed by the state Department of Finance that state agencies and departments receiving General Funds need to cut a total of an additional “390 million from the current budget. For the CSU, this amounts to $31.3 million…” The email fails to indicate this is a voluntary cut on the part of the Chancellor and overstates the size of the governor’s cut.

Spencer at the Alden Spencer Lecture

Being the dutiful father that I am , I looked at my son's Facebook (he still won't make me his friend, I can understand). When asked who this guy was (on his facebook page) my son Spencer said he is, "Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel at Columbia! The Neuroscience Department has a big dinner and lecture in memory of my great-uncle Alden Spencer every year, so I got to go this time!"

Vote No on Prop 8!

Popularity of Mail-In Voting Surges in California, Elsewhere

Jennifer Oldham, The Los Angeles Times: "Opting for the convenience of their kitchen table over a neighbor's garage, nearly half of Californians are expected to cast their votes by mail rather than at a polling site on November 4, marking a milestone shift in the practice of democracy, elections officials said. At least 40 percent of the state's registered voters already have decided they want to vote by mail, according to data compiled Friday by the California Association of Clerks and Elected Officials."

The best way to beat voter suppression?

A landslide victory.

Click here to find your polling place and forward this email to five friends.

Race Stable With Obama Leading

Gallup Daily: Race Stable With Obama Leading NEW

October 27, 2008
Barack Obama has a five-point lead over John McCain, 50% to 45%, in the presidential preferences of likely voters using Gallup’s traditional model -- unchanged from Sunday’s report. He enjoys a more ample 10-point lead, 53% to 43%, using Gallup’s expanded model.

Desperately Seeking Seriousness

Paul Krugman | Desperately Seeking Seriousness
Paul Krugman, The New York Times: "I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, I'd argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. And this has worked to Mr. Obama's advantage, because his opponent has run a deeply unserious campaign."

Is Sarah Palin a Member of the John Birch Society?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

THE "8 AGAINST 8" CAMPAIGN: 8 Days - 8 Bloggers Against Proposition 8 (October 20, 2008 - October 27, 2008)

When the Gloves Come Off

Jonathan Schell | When the Gloves Come Off
Jonathan Schell, The Nation: "'Every tree in the forest will fall,' said James McCord, the Watergate conspirator, as he prepared to blow the lid off the cover-up of the scandal, leading to the forced midterm resignation of President Nixon. The phrase comes to mind as one surveys the condition of the United States today. The country's military power is evaporating in failing ground wars in two pulverized, impoverished countries, leaving its recent pretensions to global imperial grandeur in ashes. Its economic power is crumbling daily as its banking system collapses and its instruments of credit seize up in what Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke has told Congress may be a 'heart attack.'"

Obama Continues to Lead McCain

Gallup Daily: Obama Continues to Lead McCain NEW

October 26, 2008
Barack Obama leads John McCain in both of the latest Gallup likely voter estimates -- 50% to 45% using the traditional model, and a slightly larger lead with 52% to 43% in the expanded model.

Fotos from my morning walkies in the park

Acorns on the walk...

Republican Conpiracy to Suppress Democratic Voters

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