Saturday, November 29, 2008

Signorile shares the following:

Exploding the Myth of the Black Vote and Prop 8

Hendrick Hertzberg gets it right in The New Yorker, exploding the myth that the black vote put Prop 8 over the top (and hopefully ending the scapegoating) and putting the responsibly squarely where a lot of it should be: our own weak campaign:

Some conservative commentators, who didn’t have much else to gloat about, dwelt lingeringly on what they evidently regarded as the upside of the huge, Obama-sparked African-American turnout. “It was the black vote that voted down gay marriage,” Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News, insisted triumphantly—and, it turns out, wrongly. If exit polling is to be believed, seventy per cent of California’s African-American voters did indeed vote yes on Prop. 8, as did upward of eighty per cent of Republicans, conservatives, white evangelicals, and weekly churchgoers. But the initiative would have passed, barely, even if not a single African-American had shown up at the polls. Still, this was a fight that should have been won, and after the initial shock—which tempted a few gay and lesbian voices to blame blacks for what O’Reilly credited them with—California’s gay activists and their straight allies, judging from their online postmortems, have begun to direct more criticism at themselves than at their opponents. They were complacent.

Of course, even with the myth exploded, there is still enormous work to be done on battling homophobia in the African-American community, which had many blacks voting for Prop 8. Charles M. Blow offers some of his thoughts as to reasons why, and ways to combat it, in his NY Times column. I'm not sure I agree with all of his reasoning, or his strategies, but it's certainly worth a look.

Historians say marriage traditions have been fluid

Historians say marriage traditions have been fluid

In the end...

Joe Klein: "In the end, though, it will not be the creative paralysis that defines Bush. It will be his intellectual laziness, at home and abroad. Bush never understood, or cared about, the delicate balance between freedom and regulation that was necessary to make markets work. He never understood, or cared about, the delicate balance between freedom and equity that was necessary to maintain the strong middle class required for both prosperity and democracy. He never considered the complexities of the cultures he was invading."

Sheila Samples: Political comedian Mort Sahl once said, "Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they've stolen." Obama is not perfect. The problems Bush is only too happy to dump on him are almost insurmountable and getting worse by the day. Obama will make mistakes, but he has promised that, with our help, the hopes of all Americans can be realized. Together -- we can change the direction of the country.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Agreed, a poet was missing...

From a colleague

A freind of this person sent me this, my first teaching job was jsut outsoide this town, at that time, I had no idea it was so gruvy:

One of my best friends for the last 40 years, Lisa, has lived in Silverton Oregon these past several years.

Silverton elected a cross dressing mayor this last election. Naturally, the uber Christian Fred Phelps (God hates Fags) contingent came from Kansas to protest.
Let me tell you in Lisa's own words what happened:

Silverton had its first protest from some nutty/religious group from KANSAS, of all places. They came here to let the people of our town know God hates them because we elected a cross-dresser as our mayor. As our response to their protest, the men of Silverton put on dresses and make-up and took a stance across the street carrying signs such as “You’re not in Kansas any more”. I am now sure the people from the Mid-West are drinking the corn they have been raising!
With love,
A very proud Silvertonian


The Marine Mammal Center- media coverage from my friend Debbie

Hi all,

The Center is enjoying some really great media coverage, and we wanted to share some of it with you.If you missed our Director of Veterinary Science Frances Gulland's appearance on the Today Show Monday morning, a clip is available below. She did a really great job, and this is wonderful exposure for the Center.

Also, for those of you who missed a segment about the Center and our upcoming episode of Nova on ABC's Nightline last night, you can watch the clip at the link below. The segment features Executive Director Jeff Boehm, who did an excellent job highlighting our work. Another great high-profile media piece!

Finally, be sure to tune in to PBS' Nova at 8 p.m. tonight (Tuesday)! Check for your local station at .

The hour-long episode features the Center. If you miss the episode, it will be available for viewing after the 26th at

Enjoy!Mieke EerkensCommunications Specialist

The Marine Mammal Center

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Latest Victim of Iran’s Abuse of Human Rights: Artistic Expression

Latest Victim of Iran’s Abuse of Human Rights: Artistic Expression
November 24, 2008
Translated by Ahang Rabbani

One of the Baha’i artists in Shiraz (identity undisclosed) built a model of the residence of the Bab – a site that remains one of the most sacred places for the Baha’is of the world, which because of its historical significance was completely destroyed shortly after the Islamic Revolution. In order to achieve this artistic masterpiece, an exact replicate of the house of the Bab was built on scale of 1:10 using wood, stones, bricks and other construction materials. It took five years of intense effort to build this work of art.

In August 2007, agents of Ministry of Intelligence searched the artist’s home and in addition to this model (which was being built in the basement), his personal computer, satellite receiver, family picture albums, CDs and some books were confiscated.

Immediately, the aforementioned artist complained against this seizure; many times during the last year he has appealed to courts and the media in the province of Fars in hope of reclaiming his personal affects and artistic expression, and of securing his rights. However, the only response he receives is, “Since these artistic works are related to your belief in the Baha’i Faith, they will never be returned.”

The above injustice is taking place at a time when the entire world has come to recognize that every artist essentially creates new ways to express the realm of his interests and beliefs.
Unfortunately, however, not only do the talents and abilities of such individuals remain unrecognized in Iran because of their personal beliefs or religion, but they remain deprived of sharing their creation with other art-lovers – worst, in today’s Iran, the very fact that they have attempted such undertakings exposes them to criminal investigation, imprisonment and other legal problems.

[The above report was posted on Monday, 24 November 2008 by the prestigious Human Rights Activists of Iran at: and appears on Iran Press Watch in translation.]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Polls re: Prop 8

A Conversation with Candace Gingrich:

FPPC agrees to launch investigation into Mormon Church involvement in Prop. 8 campaign

FPPC agrees to launch investigation into Mormon Church involvement in Prop. 8 campaign

Kenneth Starr May Defend Prop 8

A reprint from JMG:

According to Mother Jones, Bill Clinton's nemesis Kenneth Starr will bat for the haters in the coming Prop 8 case before the California Supreme Court.

The involvement of the former Clinton special prosecutor in efforts to preserve California's new ban on gay marriage really wouldn't come as much of a surprise. Two years ago, Starr, now dean of the Pepperdine law school, represented a bunch of anti-gay marriage groups, including the Mormon Church, in amicus briefs in some of California's gay marriage litigation. He's been involved in the issue for a while, now. Given the intense interest in other people's sex lives that Starr demonstrated during his investigation of the Lewinsky scandal, he seems a perfect fit for the job.

Wingnuts Call On Governator To Condemn Marriage Activists

The Liberty Counsel has gathered 12,000 signatures on an "emergency petition" demanding that Arnold Schwarzenegger condemn the "hate-filled" marriage activists in California.

Monday, November 24, 2008

An Apology

The Missiongathering Church in San Diego has put up a billboard apologizing for the Christian support for Proposition 8.

Candace Gingrich

Candace Gingrich

Posted November 22, 2008 | 02:22 PM (EST)

A Letter to My Brother Newt Gingrich

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