Friday, October 31, 2008

seriously, no on 8.

today i got a yes on 8 mailer. and i'm still pissed about it. i can't really write logically about it right now because i'm too damn angry. but:

for anyone interested in helping stop prop 8:

1. donate: your money puts ads on the air. the mormon church has pumped millions of dollars into the yes campaign, and turned public opinion from 38% in favor/55% opposed in mid-september to a majority in favor today. donations are being matched dollar for dollar until midnight tonight (10/31.)

2. call voters: the yes on 8 campaign mobilized thousands of people (many from out of state) to call and knock on doors, spreading lies about prop 8. you can sign up online to call people, either at a phone bank or from your own home. for calling from home, they use a fancy calling system that means that your number doesn't show up on people's caller id, and you pay no long distance fees. i've been doing it, and although it makes me nervous, i am proud to be a part of this effort.

3. talk to your friends and family about prop 8: i've definitely got friends who support/considered supporting/used to support prop 8. there are still people who haven't really heard about prop 8, since there's so much noise about this election. others have only heard from the yes on prop 8 people, and may be convinced that without prop 8, all elementary school classes will be replaced with mandatory, non-age appropriate sex ed. (for the record, parents have always, and will always have opt-out rights in the state of california...remember those permission slips you had to return before awkward sixth grade sex ed time? still the law.)

i talked to both of my parents about it. my mom donated, and my dad's thinking about it.

for more information:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

vote no on proposition 4 (again.)

in november 2006 i wrote this about proposition 85, which can be seen as the parent of proposition 4. (proposition 73 is the grandparent, i suppose; anti-choicers have been trying to force through a parental notification law in california for a long time) [i only changed the proposition numbers and the date references; the rest is vintage 2006 c.w.a.j.a.?.]:

so two years ago, california voters rejected prop 85. and this year, i hope we reject prop 4 as well. it's a law that would require parental consent for all minors seeking abortions. and it's a bad plan. in a super ideal world, no minors would have to seek abortions, period. (you know, that world in which no one is ever a victim of sexual assault, and all birth control is 100% efffective? that super ideal world.) in an ideal world, all minors would be able to talk to their parents and those parents would be supportive, emotionally and financially, if a minor decided to seek an abortion.

but here's the thing: we don't live in either of those worlds. sometimes girls can't talk to their parents about needing an abortion. because sometimes their parents would kick them out of the house, or kill them, or force them to keep a baby they didn't want and couldn't care for. and sometimes, those dads or stepdads are the fathers of the babies, or those moms or stepmoms are the ones who knew that girls were being raped and didn't stop it.

so seriously, california voters, think about this. sometimes girls will not be safe, and cannot get what they need, from their parents. awesome for you and your kids if that isn't your situation. but realize that this isn't the case for everyone. think of the girls who can't talk to their parents. and vote no on prop 4. it's a horrible idea, just like props 85 and 73 were two and three years ago, respectively. no on 4.

and there you have it. the bottom line is this: not all girls can safely tell their parents that they are pregnant. although proposition 4 provides an option for girls to seek a waiver from a judge, that is an unacceptable solution. the last thing a scared, pregnant girl needs is to have to navigate our legal system and then be forced to justify herself before a judge, who may or may not decide that she has to tell her parents because he finds her explanation why she can't uncompelling.

oh. also: making it harder for teenagers to have abortions isn't going to reduce the number of teenagers having abortions. it will just reduce the number of teenagers having saving, legal abortions. if prop 4 passes, more girls will turn to unsafe methods, and their lives will be in danger. no on 4.

vote no on gender auditors, and no on proposition 8.

courage campaign, "gender auditors"

via the always excellent meh-wee-uhn at hai voluto la bicicletta, which used to be called "sleep is the new sex", and which is still wonderful.

Friday, October 17, 2008

jesse danger, on urban transportation:

"i'm waiting for my bus. or as i like to call it, the peoples' taxi."

[a little later on]

"oh, i've got to go! my cab's here."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

for anonymous: this is not a mccain/palin comment.

mike butler's endorsement:
as a matter of principle (or pragmatism?), i don't support third parties in national elections, only local ones. at least at the present time. but i do support cats, and also mike butler (who is both radical and rad. you remember. we've been over this before.)

so, in the spirit of fairness, and of not writing about mccain/palin (anonymous, i'm thinking of you!), here is mike's recommendation.

i just got the courage campaign's 2008 progressive voter guide today, and although it was well-written and quite reasonable, it lacked excellent photos of kitties. i'm glad to have this poster to balance things out.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

the presidential race, in photographs.

option one: obama. this man clearly knows his way around a baby. it looks to me like he participated in the raising of his own children. he's got great technique. of note:

the butt support
that baby's firmly anchored to his tummy. it isn't going anywhere.

the upper back/neck/head support
this baby is too tiny to be held without supporting its upper half, and obama's doing a great job with that.

the look
he's into it. you can't fake that kind of appreciation for a tiny person.

the stance
he's standing so that baby can still see mama, just in case the baby's not as into obama as i am these days.

i am impressed.

option two: mccain. dude has no idea what's going on. he's uncomfortable and confused, he's making other people miserable, and he has no idea how to hold a baby.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

i'll say it: sarah palin is a terrible mother.

1. she knew her seventeen year old daughter was pregnant when she was offered the vice presidential nominee slot. her choices: say no, and keep her daughter's major life issue more or less an alaska matter; say yes, and make her daughter's pregnancy international knowledge.

her desire for her own political career trumped her desire to care for and protect her own child. unacceptable.

2. she was in texas when her water broke, but instead of going directly to the hospital, she gave a speech as planned, then took a commercial flight back to alaska, where she then drove 45 minutes to a regional medical center. any woman whose water breaks needs to go to a hospital or call her midwife immediately. particuarly since palin already knew that hers was a high risk pregnancy, there is absolutely no excuse for her failure to go to the hospital. 30% of newborns with down syndrome require immediate surgery for a potentially fatal congenital heart defect. quite simply, she endangered her son's life by:
  1. not going to the hospital right away;
  2. getting on an airplane;
  3. taking a long flight back to alaska;
  4. driving to a medical facility with a relatively low level of capability for dealing with newborns with special needs.
i've seen a number of strong, independent women tying themselves in knots over sarah palin. these women hate the idea of feeling like something they think or say is demeaning to another woman who has chosen to have a career and a family. i have future aspirations in at least one of those areas, and possibly both.

but nothing excuses the way she has treated her eldest daughter and her youngest son. on a personal level, she has failed.

Monday, October 06, 2008

election thoughts:

so. i'm kind of freaking out about the election. it keeps coming up in most of the conversations i have each day, i'm reading the news and political blogs all the time, i'm having nightmares about how it could turn out (no joke.)

along with many of the people i know, i'm investing a lot of emotional and mental energy in the election. and i realized a couple of weeks ago that the only way i was going to make it to election day was to do at least one thing every week that will help keep sarah palin and john mccain out of the white house. i would like to encourage you to make a similar commitment, if you feel so inclined.

although it may seem painfully obvious to you that palin/mccain is a bad idea (because she's totally unqualified to become president, because he votes with bush 90% of the time, because she opposes abortion under any circumstances—even in cases of rape or incest [so a twelve year old girl who was raped by her father would be forced to carry the pregnancy to term, in sarah palin's america], because he and his buddies are some of the key people who got us into this economic catastrophe, because seeing russia from your house doesn't make you ready to deal with world leaders anymore than seeing the moon from my porch makes me an astronaut, because rich people aren't just those who earn more than five million dollars a year, etc), there is still a very real chance that palin and mccain will win.

you have the power to help stop this.

here are some things you might want to do:

1) register yourself or someone else to vote.

october 20 is the last day to register if you live in california.

you need to re-register if any of the following apply to you:
a) you've changed your name
b) you've moved
c) you wish to change your party affiliation (regardless of your present party affiliation, you can vote for whomever you wish for president)
d) you aren't registered already (duh)
voter registration forms are available at all post offices, libraries, and dmv offices. they're postage paid, so if you get one at the post office you can fill it out and send it in before you even leave the building.

if you will be 18 by election day, november 4, you can register. if you're on probation but off parole, you can vote.

2) volunteer for obama/biden.

they aren't perfect, but if you prefer them to the bible spice/old man mccrazy ticket, they need your help.

the obama/biden campaign in california is focusing on calling and visiting nevada. california is a safe state—although it won't be a landslide, obama will win here. nevada is totally up for grabs, at this point. kerry lost nevada by about 12,000 votes in 2004, and there has been a lot of new voter registration since then. it is entirely possible that the entire election will come down to nevada, and you could be one of the people who helps turn it blue.

the east bay headquarters is located at 3225 adeline street in berkeley, less than one block from ashby bart. it's open 10-9 every day of the week. the san francisco headquarters is located at 939 market street, and it's open from 9-9 daily. (information for the other california offices is here) you don't have to have any experience. just go when you have a bit of time, and you'll be able to make calls to undecided voters. (bring your phone and charger and a laptop if you can, but it's not essential.) they give you a script to read or paraphrase, and you aren't arguing with people. if someone doesn't want to talk to you or says they support mccain, you thank them for their time and move on to the next call (which just might be a 75 year old lifelong republican who tells you how much she loves obama and thanks you profusely for what you're doing.) if you really aren't up for phoning, they might have you do some data entry, or some paper shredding, or some photocopying. if you go in and tell them you'll do anything, they'll put you to work.

also, there are snacks. and it is beautiful to see so many different people coming together for different reasons toward the same goal. be part of history.

if you have time to go to nevada to knock on doors and register voters, go! they'll tell you all about it at the office.

3. donate money (seriously, even $10 makes a difference) to obama/biden or to

they'll make your money go far. obama/biden are funded just by donations from people, none from lobbyists. (palin-mccain take money from wherever they can get it.)

donate to the campaign directly at, or donate to at, well, is sending people union-printed, made in america, american apparel obama t-shirts for a donation of $12 or more. i've found space in my budget to send them a little more than that, twice. they're comfy shirts.

4. vote.

election day is tuesday, november 4, 2008. polls are open from 7 am-8 pm. find your polling place by looking at your sample ballot or calling your county registrar of voters (contact info here, from the california secretary of state's website.)

under federal law, your employer is required to give you time off to vote, if you cannot do it outside of work hours. you may have to ask them in advance, so figure it out now. (if you're registered with an old address, why not reregister with your new one? you'll get a sample ballot with all the propositions and candidate statements, and you won't have to plan to go far away to the proper polling place.)

5. read up. know what you think and why. talk to other people.

a lot is going on right now. it's a scary time to be alive. there's a lot at stake here, for americans and for the rest of the world. there are times when politics and religion and other potentially awkward subjects can be ignored, and there are times when they can't be. you know which is which. but when you have the opportunity, have those tough conversations.

6. don't give up.

if you want to see a different world than the one in which we currently live, we have a lot of work to do. it won't stop on november 4, but it will be a hell of a lot easier to work toward that better world if we don't have palin and mccain in office.

thank you for reading.