Categories
politics

Hope

I just want to write this down so I remember it later. I woke up at 5:30 this morning full of nervous energy, thinking about today and what’s happening around the country. I’m excited, but most of all, I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful that Obama will win, and not just with a slim margin like the last two elections, but a real mandate to start the process of fixing things.\
I’m looking forward to watching the returns tonight, and seeing what happens. I smiled this morning, at 7:45AM, as I drove past our local polling place and saw a line out the door and into the parking lot.\
I’m tired, but happy, because unless all the polls are wrong, and really wrong, Barack Obama will be the President-Elect tomorrow morning. That makes me smile. It makes me downright giddy.

Categories
marriage politics religion

Spare Eight Minutes

Lawrence Lessig provides a great argument against Proposition 8. It’s reasoned, has a sound legal backing (because, he’s Lawrence Lessig), and is profound in its simplicity. It perfectly echoes my own feelings on it, and does a great job of dissolving the rationale for the proposition without insulting those who support it. Great great stuff. Please watch it.

Categories
current events love politics

It’s In Every One of Us to Be Wise

It’s in every one of us\
To be wise\
Find your heart\
Open up both your eyes\
We can all know everything\
Without ever knowing why\
It’s in every one of us\
By and by\
It’s in every one of us\
To be wise\
Find your heart\
Open up both your eyes\
We can all know everything\
Without ever knowing why\
It’s in every one of us\
By and by\
By and by

from It’s In Every One of Us by David Pomeranz\
I should be going to sleep now, but I started watching Big Bird singing It’s Not Easy Being Green at Jim Henson’s funeral, which led me to the Muppet’s Tribute to Jim Henson, and then to Frank Oz’s lovely eulogy. In the second video, I heard a song I don’t remember, the one above, and it got me thinking (and yes, crying a little) about my heroes, and why they hold that position.\
I love Jim Henson. He’s one of my heroes – a man of amazing creativity, warmth and love, who created so many great characters. More than that, though, he opened up imaginations by sharing his, and everything he created has at its core a gentleness, decency and humanity. You can tell right away that there’s a piece of him in everything he did. He died long after I’d outgrown Sesame Street (I was fifteen), but I still got choked up whenever anyone played Rainbow Connection (still do).\
My second hero is Mr. Rogers. I used to watch both shows as a kid, but didn’t really understand who Mr. Rogers was as a “real” person until much much later. Mr. Rogers was seemingly without guile, someone totally in touch with their emotions and with the emotions of those around him – and like Jim Henson, the adjective that jumps to mind when I get past the things they created – the artifacts of their professional lives, is “gentle”. I love that Mr. Rogers dedicated his life to speaking softly to children without speaking down to them, to teaching them about the world without fear or cynicism. I told this to a friend today and she looked at me like I was crazy, but I think Mr. Rogers may be the most Christ-like person to live on the earth since, well, Jesus.\
And last, but certainly not least, my dad. I certainly don’t tell him this enough, but he is my hero. He is the most patient person I’ve ever met, and set a great example of what a husband and father should be – one that I don’t measure up to, but aspire to. He is kind, and gentle. I think the only times I heard him raise his voice were either on the golf course or home repair “mishaps” with heavy tools, and they were never directed at us (the only reasons my brother and I ever went golfing with dad were: to hear him swear, and to drive the cart).\
It all comes back to being gentle, something I’m not very good at, but want to be. All three of my heroes are good men: creative, smart, compassionate and charitable gentle men , who leave those around them better for having known them. They are who I aspire to be.\
Thank you, dad, for being there when I need you. And thank you, Mr. Rogers and Jim Henson, for being examples of where imagination and decency can take you in a sometimes dark and always imperfect world.\
And to get back to the song, it is in all of us to be wise. It’s in all of us to be better than we are, to aspire to being more like our heroes and to choose leaders more like we aspire to be instead of those that feed on our fears. I saw a sticker today Love More. Fear Less (you can get your own), which is what started this whole train of thought.\
We, I, have been afraid too long – driven by fear to compromise our dreams, our futures and to choose leaders who feed those fears. It’s time to be led by love, to stop being afraid and embrace the future as a challenge to be better, to live our ideals instead of preaching them to others and doing the opposite behind closed doors when we think no one is looking. I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of hearing politicians claim that the people who disagree with them aren’t “real” Americans. I’m tired of the pandering and the lies. Anger is fear turned outwards, a blind response to things we feel powerless to control, and anger is not love. I’m no hippie. I know I’ll still be angry when I wake up in the morning and catch a glimpse of the news, but I’m going to try to be wise. I’m going to try to love more and fear less, and I will keep my heroes that embody those qualities.\
I don’t know that this makes any sense at all. It’s late, and I should have been asleep two hours ago, but I couldn’t go to bed with all this trapped in my head.\
“It’s in every one of us to be wise. Find your heart, open up both your eyes.”

Categories
Jen politics religion

Good Gnews from Gary Gnu.

1. The broken pipe isn’t actually going into the house in Va, so yay! They won’t have to tear up the house to fix the problem. This means the estimate was a lot higher than the actual bill will be. Phew. “Tonight we eat like the lower middle class to which we aspire.”\
2. Speaking of food, our grocery store finally got in some decent-looking strawberries. I don’t think I have seen any since we’ve moved here. They’re usually bruised and old looking, ewww. Even though these ones were more expensive than usual I bought them, because- yum- strawberries! Double, yay. Max then ate them ALL at breakfast the following day. I guess he was missing out on the strawberries too.\
3. The house we’re renting is for sale (as you long-time readers will know), making our situation here unstable. But! There have already been a couple of offers from people wanting to keep us as tenants, so triple yay. I am guessing at this point that the bank would rather take one of these bids than foreclose, but I don’t actually know the dollar amounts involved, so homelessness is still a possibility.\
4. Every once in a long while, Kevin will be sort of grumpy for a few days, only I won’t really notice it until he is suddenly in a good mood. Well, the same thing happened to me! After being a complete cranky-queen on wheels for the last month, I surprised myself by singing along to a commercial on the tv. (Me being in a bad mood isn’t all that unusual, just that I was surprised to find myself not in one.)\
5. In a PMS-fueled rage, I cleaned the house last night and it was awesome. I couldn’t sit still long enough to fold laundry, but I did scrub and mop and sweep and wipe, etc, etc. I guess PMS is good for something. Then I sacked out on the couch with the brownies I had made earlier in the day and watched some bad tv. What’s up with this lame season? (Oh wait, this is an all good gnews post, so never mind about that.)\
6. I have been a member of the LDS Church my entire adult life and almost half of my total life. It has been great, fulfilling, enlightening, fun, and has helped me grow spiritually, emotionally, and socially. I have had some of the most amazing experiences that are directly linked to the church and the gospel. I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had to meet Kevin, marry him in the LDS Temple, and become part of the Lawver family.\
While I disagree with the church’s support of Prop 8, I don’t have bad feelings for the church, the leaders, or its members. I have not written ill of the church, except to express my disagreement on this one issue, and don’t plan on it.\
So, there is this guy who started a website and wrote a really rational petition to the leaders of the church from members asking for the withdrawal of the church’s support of Prop 8. As for how he went about getting his message out there? I in no way sanction that or anything else about him. All I know is that I agree with the petition, believe that gays should have equal rights to marriage, adoption, government benefits, et al.

Categories
Jen politics religion

I just spent $80 filling up my gas tank

More from me-\
I get that the LDS church wants to silence dissents, but this guy isn’t speaking out about church doctrine. The petition states: We affirm the LDS Church’s right to define doctrine and policy for its own members. So, let the church proclaim all it wants about whatever. Let the church dictate the actions of its members, bestowing religious privileges only upon whom they see fit. But when it comes to denying civil rights to others? I just can’t support that all. Doctrine and Covenants 134:9 states, “We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government…” So, yea. There ya go.\
See the petition here: Signing for Something.

Categories
Jen politics religion

Bleebleeblahblahboo

I am vehemently against Prop 8 on California’s ballot in November.\
Ok, Church, do to me what you will.\
ETA- Kevin’s post beat mine by 6 minutes! I knew I shouldn’t have wasted time with a potty break!

Categories
Jen politics

Don’t dislike Palin because she is a woman; dislike Palin because she is WRONG

Just so you know, I disagree with Palin about everything. Here is someone else’s take: Jesus was a Community Organizer, and Pontias Pilate was a Governor.

Categories
politics torture war

The Case For Obama

I’ve been considering writing a post about why I’m voting for Barack Obama in November, but I’ve been too busy to sit down and actually write it all down. Thankfully, my friend Joe has written an excellent case for Obama with positive reasons to vote for Obama.\
On top of all of the things Joe mentions, for me, this is the first time I’ve been able to vote in an election where I’m voting for someone. I like Obama. I’m happy that we finally have a presidential candidate who made it through the primaries that is intelligent, thoughtful, and stands for things I actually agree with, that isn’t entirely beholden to the party machine or big business. I think Obama is a great antidote to the last eight years, and I won’t hesitate at all to vote for him. In 2004, I voted against Bush. In 2000, I voted against both parties by voting for Nader (not like it mattered, Virginia was going for Bush and everyone knew it).\
For me, it’s all about intelligence, thoughtfulness and how I think the candidates will do actually governing, not about an individual issue. I think Obama has the perfect temperament to be president and actually fix a lot of the damage done by Bush & Company. He won’t be able to fix it all, and I don’t expect miracles, but he’ll surround himself with the best people for the job, not the ones who paid the most. He’ll make sound decisions based on facts, not gamble with lives based on hunches and forgeries.\
This isn’t a vote against McCain or his ridiculous pick for VP. I don’t agree with them on anything, or what’s become of their party and what they did to our country, but that doesn’t matter. I’m happily voting for Barack Obama.\
If you’d like to try to convince me, you can save your breath. I’ve heard them all, listened to McCain’s talking points and positions – there’s no way in hell I’d ever vote for him again. He betrayed everyone who supported him in the 2000 election (and I did) by spending the last eight years cozying up to the worst extremes of his party, and his choice of Sarah Palin proves it. She is the antithesis of everything I believe in. She doesn’t believe in science, wants Creationism taught in our public schools and is wrong about pretty much everything else… extremely wrong. How can I endorse that kind of stupidity? It’s just not going to happen, so, like I said, save your breath.\
Update: Andy asked in the comments (which aren’t showing up for some reason… I swear it’s a bug and not intentional) to re-address Palin’s stance on Creationism, and I’ve found another report from the same source as the one above that’s very well attributed that shows her stance on the subject and others. That she hasn’t pushed for it to be taught in school is small consolation: she uses all the same code words that every other creationist uses when trying to inject misinformed Christianity into public schools. That Creationism exists at all is a stunning tribute to modern American Christianity’s misunderstanding of the Bible, its translation over time and the nuance of the language it was originally written in. Instead of focusing on the parts of the gospel that are really important, like the Sermon on the Mount (you know, “blessed are the peacemakers“), the Religious Right has twisted religion to be about war, hate and shunning those that are different by selectively ignoring the many parts of the New Testament where Christ contradicts and supersedes the harsher laws of the Old Testament. It doesn’t belong in government, and I want nothing to do with it. She said even more outrageous things in her speech last night. For example, “The Iraq war is a task from God.” You have got to be kidding. The Iraq war is the biggest mistake our country has made in my lifetime, has cost the lives of over four thousand US soldiers and untold thousands of Iraqi civilians, fomented terrorism the world over and destroyed our reputation as a country. What happened to “love thy brother as thy self” or the other things that, you know, Jesus actually said:\
bq. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy … Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.\
I don’t understand how that’s not abundantly clear to any Christian of any denomination or sect. Anyone who quotes anything else is twisting the truth to suit their own desires.

Categories
funny politics

An Old Hope

TAFT!
\
by Calamity Jon Morris

I think we can all agree… Taft’s our man, or, as I like to call him: 300 pounds of awesome behind a 5 pound mustache.

Categories
Jen Max moving politics school

Raspberries the world

My parents live in southern Miss. I was telling a friend that I am not worried about them though. I went on to say that around their town, you can see roofs with blue tarps from where they still haven’t been fixed since Katrina. And then I was like, “And why am I not scared again?” Kevin was like, “Yea, why aren’t you scared? They are pretty much right in Gustav’s path.” Gee, thanks a lot, Kev.\
Hanna is heading straight for us. Is this what the whole Fall is going to be like?\
Our landlord is going through bankruptcy and is desperately trying to short sell the house we are currently renting so the bank won’t foreclose. This means that we will probably be moving again. Booo. Remind me next time we rent to check the credit of the homeowner, ok? The worst part (as of right now, when I am not packing/unpacking again) is the uncertainty and the unclear time line. How long does a foreclosure take, if it comes to that? How does his bankruptcy affect ownership of the house? If he’s asking less than the market price, what is the liklihood of it selling quickly, to someone who actually wants to live here? (If it sold to someone who wanted to rent it out, we’d stay.)\
So, Palin, huh? Yea, no thanks.\
In happier news, Max was placed in the advanced class of his grade. We didn’t have to wait for testing because I had the standardized test results from last Spring. YAY! He is really excited about school. There are all sorts of clubs he can join too. Savannah has 5 magnet elementary schools, so I was worried that the neighborhood elementary schools would suffer. So far, so good though. I’ll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the school actually will be as awesome as it seems. When I told a friend of mine that this school seems better than the one we left in No Va, she was shocked. Cuz yea, No Va schools have a great rep and Ga schools not so much. But we’ll see!