Saturday, November 28, 2009

And for this, I am truly thankful...

Though I don't consider myself "elderly" (most days, anyway ;-), when I read this article on one of my favorite websites, Everyday Health, I thought about my own current situation--still trying to cope with the loss of my long-term relationship--and how much worse it all might have been had I not had my two loving beagles (Bela--named after the actor, Bela Lugosi--and Isis, the goddess) with me as I face a much different world than the one I had expected.

If anyone who reads this has ever had the blessing of being a pet owner, then you probably know well what I mean when I say that, in my beautiful 4-legged family members, I find so much more than companionship, I truly find unconditional love. It doesn't matter how long I'm gone away (10 minutes or 10 hours) but when I come back home, my beagles are jumping for joy and wagging their cute little tails off, so happy to see me that they wear themselves out & have to take one of their patented beagle naps!

On this first Thanksgiving without any of my human family, in the midst of trying to adjust to the not-so-sweet life of singlehood, I did as I have always done & took stock of all the blessings that I (still) have in my life, and (as usual) amongst the greatest of these blessings were those of the canine variety. :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Priceless: Gay Rights Activists Take Over Christian Right Hate-Fest in DC

I am known to frequent a website called

Alternet was established in 1998 in part (to quote their website) to confront the failures of corporate media, as well as the vitriol and disinformation of right wing media, especially "hate talk" media. AlterNet is a two-time winner of the "Webby Award" for Best Web Magazine, among others, and it pulls no punches as regards their raison d'être. Again, quoting their website, Alternet believes that media must have a higher purpose beyond the essential goal of keeping people informed. We insist on playing an active role in helping our community funnel its energy into change; an important & necessary mission when you consider that people like Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh & Glen Beck are blaring out their fear-mongering, Us-vs-Them hate talk nearly 24 hours a day.

Anyway, apparently a senior write for Alternet, Joshua Holland, writes in this recent Alternet article about a group of conservative Christian ministers who came to Washington DC recently to protest the expansion of the federal Hate Crimes law recently passed in Congress & signed by President Obama to include sexual orientation & gender identity. In his article, Holland references a Washington Post column by Dana Milbank about the happenings at this protest. Believe it or not, not only were they there to protest the law, they wanted to stand their & spew their lies & hate to prove the point that just by speaking the ugly things they believe they could be arrested. These people have always contended that allowing people like me to be protected from hate crimes meant that people like them could no longer freely speak their minds about the "threat" people like me represent to decent upstanding Americans (like them, supposedly), and to society in general.

So sure of their belief that they would now be legally muzzled if they dare speak out against the homosexual threat that they came to the nation's capital in hopes of being arrested, so as to claim that--as a representative of the "Christian Anti-Defamation Commission"--"we'd have standing to challenge the law."

But sadly (for them), not one person was arrested. They stood there on their Godly soap box speaking their alleged minds, and the few police officers that were there let them practice their freedom of speech unencumbered, of course. As Holland wrote, To run afoul of the new law, you need to "plan or prepare for an act of physical violence" or "incite an imminent act of physical violence." The same stipulations apply if you're speaking about people of color, disabled persons, or virtually any other group of Americans...including people of faith.

For me, the best part of this story is that the man the conservative Christian ministers hired to set up audio equipment for their little get-together had taken the money they paid him for his work at the event & donated to gay rights activists. The AV guy also waited until after the ministers were done & then--before taking it all down--he allowed the gay activists to use the same podium & the same sound system to practice their right to free speech, too!

After one of the ministers asked the AV guy if they were paying for the time "the homosexuals" were using (which they weren't, of course), he turned to one of the gay activists & asked "You guys gonna help us pay for the microphones?"

Holland writes that The gay activist smiled. "God," he said, "works in mysterious ways."

Amen, brother! :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The D.C. Catholic Archdiocese has threatened to stop helping thousands of the needy in the nation's capital if the District's City Council approves a pending bill which states that marriage between 2 people in the District of Columbia shall not be denied or limited on the basis of gender, and which also ensure[s] that no minister of any religious society who is authorized to celebrate marriages shall be required to celebrate any marriage...or solemnization of a same-sex marriage.

Though the Catholic Church in general is not usually known as a great supporter of GLBTQI equality, apparently this Archdiocese on this issue, has chosen to demonstrate their obvious displeasure with this bill by revealing a predilection toward being particularly punitive: castigating not just same-sex-loving people & our "enablers", but anyone & everyone in need under their religious purview.

According to the Washington Post article referenced above, Advocates for same-sex couples said they could not immediately think of other places where a same-sex marriage law had set off a break with a major faith-based provider of social services.

The article, however, goes on to say that [t]he church's influence seems limited, with one of the 13 council members stating that the Church was being "somewhat childish", and another council member saying that he would rather end the city's relationship with the church than give in to its demands. Good for them!

After the loss in Maine, a victory for equal marriage rights in the nation's capital would be particularly encouraging, of course.

As for the Catholic Church in DC, apparently the answer to the famous question, "What Would Jesus Do?", is to hold "the least of these" as hostages to their beloved dogma.

I guess that the world (outside the Catholic Church, anyway) has gotten it wrong all this time: sometimes the baby must be thrown out with the bath water...for the baby's own good, of course! (Please note the sarcasm dripping from that last sentence) :-/

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Michelle on Sesame Street!

Though I am nearly as old as our President, I have loved Sesame Street since I was a little kid (I don't think I know ANYONE who didn't watch Sesame Street growing up), and--of course--I think that Michelle Obama is the most impressive, awesome First Lady certainly in my lifetime.

So, if you put Michelle on Sesame Street talking about eating healthy & planting your own garden, you get very close to awesomeness overload...but it's well worth it!

As you'll see, Michelle not only loves vegetables, but they love her, too! :-)

The only thing I think that would have made this clip any better is if she & Big Bird did the fist bump! ;-)