lotusbiosm: (Default)
Work was slow.
We watched the ceremony, I tried not to throw things at Rick Warren (I, personally, don't feel there should be an invocation or a benediction at the Inauguration at all, but if there is, it shouldn't be Rick f*cking Warren). We drank sparkling cider when President Obama took the oath of office.

Getting to work was easy-peasy.

Getting home was a bit harder, because people wouldn't move out of the way when I tried to get off the train (they were on the platform), the escalators were all off, there was trash all over the escalators (which really upset me, how rude is it to come to someone's home and leave garbage all over the place), and there was only one faregate I could use to get out.

But I am home, I am warm, and I have a President I can believe in.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
You know, everyone talks about how much they want Jed Bartlett to be President (though less so now that we're counting down to the inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama). But you know who I really want the chance to vote for? Sen. Laine Hanson. I just rewatched The Contender, and damn. She's just so full of integrity. I think I especially appreciate that they hit her with sexual "misconduct", because I just watched The Notorious Betty Page and so I've been thinking a lot about out country's fucked-up attitudes towards sexuality, especially female sexuality.
It doesn't hurt that I'm basically 100% in agreement with her politics.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
Dex hooked me up with this link: Yes We Can (Hold Babies)

Barack Obama + Babies = awesome
lotusbiosm: (Default)
Warning- it will get stuck in your head.

We Believe (in Barack Obama) by the Hush Sound
lotusbiosm: (god bless)
OK, so I think that Michelle Obama seems like an awesome woman. And her speech is good. But the introduction of her made me say "um, Michelle is not the Obama who is running for president..."

But now she is done, which means I can go to bed.

Grrr, argh

Jan. 22nd, 2008 09:07 pm
lotusbiosm: (equality)
So, today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Which didn't seem to get much coverage in the media I generally consume. But there were protests. At the place where I go to happy hour, the sign outside said something like "Welcome Right to Live" or something. I remember that it said "live" instead of "life." And then there were signs in various trash cans on the way back to Union Station, and some people wearing pro-life things, and I actually growled at them as I passed. And then on the Metro there was a sign with Susan B. Anthony's name on it saying "I vote pro-life" and I got really, really mad. I was chatting with a new friend, but oh, I was not amused.
In fairness, a lot of the 19th and early 20th century proto-feminists were anti-abortion. And Susan B. Anthony was a little bit on the conservative side, for all that she was a Quaker and an abolitionist and women's right's activist. She was also involved in the temperance movement (as were lots of other women, all the reform movements of that period are related and overlap). And she wasn't as radical as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and was always trying to get my girl Lizzie to chill out and focus on suffrage rather than getting behind all these other causes too. (When Mrs. Stanton wrote a letter congratulating Frederick Douglass on his second marriage, which was to a white woman, Miss Anthony was very afraid that Mrs. Stanton was going to make that her new campaign, and you can imagine that in the aftermath of Reconstruction inter-racial marriage as a platform plank wasn't gonna win too many people over.)
And even later, Margaret Sanger, the champion of birth control and the founder of what became Planned Parenthood, was against abortion. Part of why she wanted birth control to be available was to reduce abortions, mostly because she'd seen so many of them go bad but she may also have thought it was immoral on top of being very dangerous.
But even though my head knows these things, my heart still gets upset when I see "my people" being used by my opponents. And, of course, it's not really fair to speak for the dead. You can use their words to support your cause, but to try to assume what they would have thought or felt is tricky.
These are the people who made the sign, btw.
lotusbiosm: (graduation)
OK, so I actually agree with the President that the US is way too dependent on oil and we should spend the money and time to develop alternative fuels and energy sources. Wind, water, solar, biodiesel, all of it. And I was watching CNN earlier, and this guy from Car and Driver was talking about how it's all well and good to talk about ethanol, but it's expensive. Hydrogen, same deal. And that got me thinking about how the reason we're not all gung-ho over hydrogen (which, in theory is awesome because it's abundant and produces water vapor as a waste product) is because it likes to go boom. And that got me thinking about how gasoline is pretty flammable/explosive too, especially the vapors. And that got me thinking about internal combustion engines, and how that's basically just a bunch of little controlled explosions that provide the energy to make your car go (it's more complicated than that, I know, but I'm a humanities student), and that seems to me to necessitate an explosive/flammable fuel source. And that got me thinking: why all this talk about alternative fuels, but no talk about new engines? Why do we assume that we need to develop a new way to power our internal combustion engines instead of thinking that maybe we need a different kind of engine? (Incindentally, I vote biodiesel, because I think it's supercool) Isn't there some way to use magnets or something to make an engine that doesn't need fuels that go boom?
I can't possibly be the first person to think of this, can I? And if I am, I wish I was smart enough to know how to put that idea to use (well, I wish that anyway). So my charge to you, dear readers, is to go forth and spread this word to your friends and neighbors who might actually know a thing or two about engines and that kind of thing, and hopefully we'll only have to worry about how to fuel the rest of our energy needs with alternative energy, and not our transit too (because we still need alternative energy for our computers and our heaters and traffic lights and our hospital equipment and everything else that turns on).
lotusbiosm: (Default)
OK, so being a New Yorker, Hillary Clinton is my senator. There was a petition on her website about trying to get the FDA to get its head out of the sand (I'm being polite) and make Plan B available over-the-counter. I filled it out, as I'm one of her constituents, so I thought she might actually care what I think. I completely forgot about it in the meantime, but today I got an email from her!
letter from Senator Clinton )

While we're on the subject, I also got a response from Target a while back. Others have gotten the same letter, but I'll post it here for you.
letter from Target )

I'm cool with this response. I like that they're trying to make what they think is a fair compromise. And of course, if the FDA makes it OTC, it's a moot point. I also like that they had the guts last year to apply their "no solicitation" policy to the Salvation Army, when it already applied to other charities. So, I can shop at Target again.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
OK, so I live in DC. Which means that I get to see political ads from Maryland and Virginia. There's a candidate in the Virginia governor's race who apparently doesn't believe that the death penalty is justice. His opponent is using this as the basis for an attack ad, using grieving relatives of crime victims to tug at our heartstrings and make us cry out for justice. (It's such an obvious tactic, it's kind of insulting, actually) What they don't seem to understand is that this makes me want the other guy to win. Because I don't believe the death penalty is justice, or moral. It's vengeance, which makes people feel better, but it doesn't make us safer, it doesn't make us more civilized people, it doesn't bring the dead back, it doesn't act as a deterrent and it basically doesn't do anything to actually further the cause of justice, it merely makes the system appear tough. The problem is that the death penalty is almost never given to people who confess, as they make deals and get life in prison. It's those who plead not guilt and who are convicted that are sentenced to death. And it costs us all lots of money in appeals. And it costs us all in goodness too. When I was a child, I saw some tv movie about someone who was falsely convicted of a murder he didn't commit. I don't remember much about it, other than that he was black and some of it was racially motivated, and that it left me with the thought that if it's possible to mistakenly convict someone, that means that it's possible to wrongfully execute someone, which basically makes the state a murderer.
On top of that, it makes the argument that some lives are worth more than others. And they're not. All lives should be equal before the law. I know that sometimes it's not that simple, that sometimes we have to decide between two lives, and we make choices, based on any number of things. But in principle, if we believe that life is sacred, that means all life is sacred. Christians who advocate the death penalty seem to forget a few things: Jesus was a victim of capital punishment, we are called not to judge others, and we can all be forgiven. The death penalty is a statement that we believe people to be beyond redemption. Which, for a Christian would seem to defeat the central tenet of the faith, since Christ's death is supposed to redeem us all, so we can't be beyond redemption, and if we are beyond redemption, then his death on the cross was just another one of billions of historical examples of needless violent deaths. For those of us who aren't Christians, the death penalty should be similarly morally and ethically abhorrent. One of the fundamental philosophies of the American experience is that we all can have a second chance, and raise ourselves up. Beyond that, if we are using capital punishment to punish those who take the lives of innocents, but yet we cannot guarantee that those we execute are guilty, we are hypocrites of the worst order. It's brutal punishment, and it's not befitting a land that claims to be a land that celebrates justice. We criticize those nations that exact other forms of corporal punishment, but yet we do it too. Our president claims that he wants us to have a culture of life, but yet he was governor of the state that executed the most people of any state in the union. That's a culture of revenge, not life.
Every Sunday at my church we say that we affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and that we are called to express our faith through acts of justice and compassion. The death penalty is neither just nor compassionate.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
So, I went to class, and was bored, because the guest speaker had one of those really soothing voices that would be great for a bedtime story but not for lectures, and she's an interesting woman, she actually wrote our textbook. But like the good student I am, I'd read the textbook. Some of what she said was interesting, but she went over time and it was one of those things where you just want to leave because you already know what's being talked about.
Then I went to the campus center for lunch because I didn't think I had anything here for lunch. This guy wearing a shirt that said "Support the President, Confirm John Roberts" and a College Republicans sticker tried to hand me a piece of paper, saying "here you go, dear." I glared at him. First off, I'm not entirely certain that either the president or Judge Roberts believe that women should have full citizenship and autonomy over their own bodies. Secondly, I'm 23 years old, and you're likely an undergrad, 21 at most. Don't call me dear, because I'm not your girlfriend. The only Republican allowed to call me dear is my father (he's technically registered as one, though he's not really a Republican). The funny thing is then I left and he didn't even try to give me anything because he remembered. He said something to the other people with him about how his positive response rate had gone down since he put on the sticker.
Anyway, while I was eating lunch, I saw on tv that there was a protest in front of the White House. Since I didn't have anything else to do, I walked over (it's not far). It was great. It was anti-war, a carry over from the weekend. There were people getting arrested (voluntarily- they knew they would, they wanted to), including, allegedly, Cindy Sheehan. There were several clergy, as well as a contigent of Code Pink and several Veterans for Peace. These were the people directly in front of the gate, some were support for those who were going to be arrested. Those arrested were essentially arrested for standing still in front of the White House. The Police were very polite and non-violent, even helping get water to those sitting on the sidewalk. There were barricades and the rest of us were protesting on the other side, offering our support to the main protesters. One group was Breasts Not Bombs, who were topless women. They were protected under the 1st amendment because it was political speech. They got quite a few looks. I wished I had my camera, not just for them, but for the whole thing. It was amazing. Buddhists meditating, people singing, etc. Some people were a little ridiculous, but it was very peaceful and non-violent. I almost joined in with the topless women, because it would have been fun. A bunch of school kids, around 12-13 years old, all boys, walked by, which was hilarious, since they were very excited to see topless women. Of course, these were not Playboy models, they were real women with stretch marks and sagging boobs and everything. It was cool.
And really, as much as people say they hate America and get mad at the police, in many other countries in the world such a protest would be completely impossible and put down by the military. As much as I dislike many things that are happening in the government and the world, I'm really glad that we're allowed to freely express those feelings. And I love living in DC, where I can walk to a protest after class.

Good news

Jun. 30th, 2005 01:51 pm
lotusbiosm: (Default)
So, Canada's House of Commons voted to legalize gay marriage on Tuesday. It's not law yet, but it's expected to be soon.
On top of that, Spain's Parliament just legalized gay marriage today.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
but, I'm going to write about it.
On Bullshit (Penn & Teller's show on Showtime), they're talking about creationism.
This guy claims that accepting the theory of the Big Bang means that you say that God doesn't exist, which means you're not accountable to anyone. Which is, as the title tells us, bullshit. The Big Bang does not preclude the existence of God. What it does is offer an explination of how the universe started, with or without an entity to start it. Nor does the absence of God mean that I am only accountable to myself. I'm accountable to my fellow man. To humanity. To my children, and their children. To my parents and their parents.
If I commit murder, I am accountable to the justice system, and can be imprisoned or executed (that's a whole other rant). If I steal, there are consequences for that. On top of that, I have my own conscience to deal with. I should (and try to) do the right thing because it's right, not because I am afraid of conquences, whether in this life or the next. Doing the right thing because you are afraid of punishment is nowhere near as ethically/morally mature as doing the right thing simply because it's right. I don't kill because killing is wrong. I don't steal because stealing is wrong. I try to be nice to people because I believe it's good to be nice to people. I try to be environmentally conscious in my decisions because I care about the way my actions affect other people, including those not yet born.
Do I believe that these actions make God happy too? Sure. I think God wants us to be good stewards of the earth and to love each other and be good to each other. But I don't think that the existence or non-existence of any deity or higher power, heaven or hell, reincarnation, karma, whatever, should change whether or not we do what's right. Do you really think that when you get to the pearly gates that the God who knows what's in your heart will be happy with your actions knowing they were based not out of love for humanity, or even for Him, but rather out of fear of His wrath? If you need a theological reason, and you believe in God, then do good things out of worship- in gratitude for the things you have that you didn't earn, for the grace that gives you the things that others lack, to show your love of God by demonstrating love to His children. Let your actions be a witness to the presence of your deity in your life. Don't live your life in fear of fiery torment or being reincarnated as a bug. Live your life being accountable to yourself, and let the supernatural take care of itself.
What's right is right, regardless of whether or not the universe started in a Garden in Mesopotamia, on the back of a turtle, or in a Big Bang.

I started this last night but got interrupted by a call from you-know-who
lotusbiosm: (Default)
This site may be of some interest to my Progressive Christian friends.
lotusbiosm: (Default)
Directly copied and pasted from [livejournal.com profile] unitarians

Boldfaced religous discrimination
This order can't possibly stand, but just the fact that it happened is mind-boggling. Please pass this around to raise awareness.

Synopsis: A judge in Indiana ruled that the son of a divorced Wiccan couple can not be exposed to non-mainstream religions. Both parents are Wiccan, and religion was never an issue in the divorce.

Indiana Star - Judge: Parents can't teach pagan beliefs http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050526/NEWS01/505260481

(cross posted to [livejournal.com profile] unitarian_jihad
lotusbiosm: (Default)
So, if I'm going to post the results I get taking quizzes I found in the LJs of the friends of my friends, I think I should post a real post.
I am looking for a place to live. And a job to pay the rent for the place to live. I *may* have found a roommate, but she seems to have a bigger budget than I. I should keep looking for myself, but I feel like if I find another place it will be akin to stringing her along. But, I can't go even more into debt just to be nice to someone. So we'll see. I got Chinese food the other day, b/c the power was out (again) and so I couldn't cook. They gave me 3 cookies, so I had one yesterday for dessert, and it said "your path is arduous but will be rewarded" or something like that. I am hoping this is true. And I am trying to maintain my faith in the fundamental goodness of the universe and that things always work out and that God will provide, and consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air and all that, but I can't help also considering that I'd like to pay the rent without having to resort to exotic dancing as a way of raising that rent.

My Dad has now turned the tv to some random PBS show, where they are discussing gay marriage and stuff. Now here's my issue: who's business is it who anyone marries? HMM? If I went down to city hall tomorrow, I could get a marriage liscense to marry any man who was of age and willing to sign that paper. He could be a drug addict, an alcoholic, abusive, any number of bad things. And I could know that, and the guy giving me the marriage license could know that, but as far as I know, he couldn't do a damn thing about it, b/c I'm a sovereign adult and may marry any person of the opposite sex I so choose. But yet, I could not go to that same city hall and get a license to marry a woman who loved me, and would take care of me, and provide for me emotionally and financially and whatever, simply b/c we would be the same gender. That's dumb. What right does anyone have to tell me whom I may or may not marry. And what difference does it make in your life who I marry, as long as we don't mistreat each other or create some kind of difficulties for other people? And, if God made the world and everything in it (which I think He did), didn't he make Homosexuals too?
Which brings me to two other things: A) God doesn't write books, so the Bible is not the ultimate guide to God's thoughts (he made sunsets, he could write better than that)
B) Marriage is a social construct. It was created for a bunch of different reasons, but its connection with love is relatively recent historically speaking, and is not a universal cultural construct. Different societies have different rules about who may marry whom based on social needs. So marriage between one man and one woman is not some fundamental, natural thing, ordained by God from the beginning of time like the tides and the laws of physics and other things that are what they are no matter who or where you are.
The End
lotusbiosm: (Default)
I didn't see it, but I can't stop hearing about how Justing Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson's breast at the superbowl. It was a semi-accident. My thing is, it's a breast. I have two. Get me drunk enough, and I'll probably let you see them. And I would rather my children see a woman's breast than a gun, or an explosion. I would rather than see a breast than football, actually. Why are we so obsessed? Human bodies are not bad or dirty. (Funny looking maybe...) Sex is a perfectly natural and healthy thing. Not that we should be ripping each other's clothes off in front of millions of people, esp not for shock value. But it's just a breast. Can we please move on? Why are we wasting our moral outrage over a couple of popstars doing something stupid? Where's the moral outrage over the was in Iraq? The Patriot Act? Bush's goal of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage? Why is that people can't be bothered to vote, but the networks are quaking in fear of what we'll do because we saw a nipple?


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