Sunday, June 21, 2009

POTUS is not timid on Iran. Obama is intelligently supportive of the Iranian people. Freedom is a right!

In Eire [Ireland] we have a term "Soirse" which is Freedom in Irish! Interestingly the color wrist ban is also green as is the color of the Iranian movement within Iran for a resolution to the recent election results.

Our President has been accused by some conservative republicans of being timid about Iran. That is blatantly short sighted. In this case, our President is being intelligently supportive of the Iranian people and their desire for political & social freedom. This does not mean a western democratic solution necessarily; it means an Iranian solution to an Iranian problem. We must not continue our intervention in the affairs of a nation that goes all the way back to ancient persia. Don't forget that it was the US who helped topple a legally elected government to put the Shah on a repressive, but western friendly Peacock Throne!

The US record of subversion, intervention, and corporate "gun boat diplomacy" mars a century of intrusive actions in both Central and South America as well as in post colonial Africa and Asia!

The successful movements for a new governance by mediation and support of local solutions for local problems can be otherwise highlighted as in Post Apartheid South Africa, and the continuing progress in a six counties Post Good Friday agreement in what is sometimes called Northern Ireland.

The US must now be a honest broker, not a force of Bush-Cheney war mongering and initimidation by threat of force. We must stand for our better selfs and be an onlooker promoting self determination not Western style Democracy without any recognition of the wishes of the local people in a country.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First Step for Full Federal LGBTQ Equal Rights

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama said that he supported the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and called for the repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).

Since becoming president, Obama and his administration has, for the most part, been curiously silent on the subject, saying little more than, "These things take time." A recent legal brief from this administration's Department of Justice has merely fueled the fire of those criticizing Obama's inaction on LGBT issues, especially since the Senior Legal Counsel on the brief received a Distinguished Service Award from Alberto Gonzalez for his work on the constitutional challenges to the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.

Today Obama signed a presidential memo granting same-sex partners of federal employees some federal benefits. Unfortunately, this memo does not go so far as to grant health or retirement benefits.

Critics of Obama's LGBTQ inaction are likening it to a token thrown at the LGBTQ community, saying,"Tokens are not enough."

These critics are correct. Tokens are not enough. While there is no way of knowing for certain, it is very likely that Obama would not have signed the memo had it not been for the recent outcry against his DOJ or the constant pressure from LGBTQ groups and individuals.

However, we also have to recognize that this is a positive first step towards full Federal rights for LGBTQ people. There is still a long way to go and a hell of lot of work to do. It's unfortunate that Obama needs to be pushed to keep his campaign promises. Yes, he has a lot on his plate trying to fix the extraordinary mess left behind by Bush and Friends. But a simple executive order placing a moratorium on DADT until a full repeal can be implemented would go a long way towards showing that he really is a staunch advocate of full equality.

Still, we must keep the pressure up. Equality is a matter of time - there is no turning back. Obama will see that as well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Consistency is troubling when it is contradicted

President Barack Obama, under growing criticism for not seeking to end the ban on openly gay men and women in the military, is extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

This AP story was posted earlier today and it does highlight the inconsistency of a White House who has backed away from ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Worse is the Justice Department defending DOMA, The Defense of Marriage Act!

We must have a consistent moral position on a human rights question that candidate Obama was clear on; but his White House is not! We will have to see if our friends in the LGBT community are supported or betrayed in the give and take within the beltway?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It's time to play hardball with an out of touch governor

We are facing budgetary hearings and negotiations in Sacramento and the elected Democratic Majority needs to express the true hardline positions of those they represent.

Let's dispose of one media lie at first. The defeat of a second set of Governor pushed initiatives in a second Special Election does not mean the further dismantling of the excellent state services we have built here in California. It means a reasonable, thoughtful analysis of majority passed fees, and looking to the boondoggle of FOA [Friends of Arnold] revenue refunds, returns and failing to impose fair taxation on Corporations and the extremely well conpensated. The burden can no longer be shunted to bonds and future liabilities, and also not laid on the backs of the middle class and working families and single adults.

Not only should these legally passed fees that can be sent to the governor with a legislative majority vote be sent; and when he vetoes any then he should be unmasked as the obstructionist that he has always been. The Governor may have a blue pencil; but the legislature has the budget proposal authority. Our Governor thought he could be mean spirited and in the most egregious partisan act cut the Lt. Governor's budget by 64%. Let's cut his budget by an equivalent amount. He is not accomplishing anything now. He wants to take the authority of the State Land's Commission to approve or deny applications for off shore oil drilling away from them. Why, because our wilted and false "green" Governor and his minions want to approve offshore drilling in Santa Barbara, would have approved offshore LNG terminals for Malibu, Santa Monica and the Northern California coast! The only thing that has stopped this is the courage and responsible votes of our Lt. Governor John Garamendi and our State Controller John Chiang who now hold the majority on that same State Land's Commission.

Lastly, when our State Board of Equalization Democratic member, Judy Chu, becomes our newest California Congresswoman; no Gubernatorial appointee that is not acceptable to the Democratic majority should be confirmed. The Governor must not be allowed to subvert the will of the voter by hoisting a non-elected Republican into that office!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

very sad...

Like most people, I was very sad to hear about the cold-blooded murder of Dr. George Tiller on Sunday when he was at church. He performed the procedures many doctors were afraid to do - late-term abortions that were deemed medically necessary to save the life of the mothers or where doctors had confirmed that the fetus would not live outside the womb. Dr. Tiller had been shot before, had many death threats and was forced to wear a bullet-proof vest on a regular basis, but he refused to give into the fear that gripped so many of his colleagues because, as he reportedly told a woman recently, he feared that the women he helped would have no place else to turn.

Candlelight vigils are still being held all over the country, but as Gloria Feldt wrote in Salon, George Tiller needs more than candlelight vigils. As always, write and lobby your representatives. Donate in Dr. Tiller's name to Planned Parenthood and to the women's health clinics in your area. Make your voice heard.

(Janiece at Hot Chicks Dig Smart Men and Mike at Man About Murfreesboro each have excellent posts regarding this tragedy and the cowardice of the anti-abortion faction. Go there.)


A little something about my own views on abortion: I am of the opinion that they should be safe, legal and rare. I've always known that it was something I could never personally go through, but I am of the firm belief that women should have that choice. The women I've known that have had abortions never considered it a decision made lightly and I respect their decisions.

Of the people I've known that are anti-abortion, only one could be considered pro-life in the true sense of the term: Michelle is a pacifist who is against abortion and the death penalty. Unlike so many anti-abortion people who mistakenly call themselves "pro-life," she actually believes that every child that is born should be provided for and not left to fend for himself/herself in dangerous home situations. She doesn't self-identify as Christian, but she embodies the teachings of Jesus far more completely than any religious anti-abortion nut protesting outside women's health clinics. I highly respect that.

As for my thoughts on late-term abortion, I sincerely hope that they would never be necessary, but I understand that in some cases they may be. It's truly sad that women in need have lost one of their champions - one of the few doctors left that they could turn to.

My thoughts go out to Dr. Tiller's family, to all the women that he helped and to all the women he could've helped.

(Crossposted from just an ordinary goddess...)