Sunday, May 31, 2009
(by the by, is it okay for me to criticize government leaders?)
This past Tuesday California had yet another "special election" because Arnold can't lead to save his life. Because Arnold does not understand that this is a republic, not a democracy. We, the people, vote in others to represent our interests and ideals and they, in turn, go to work full time to ensure we, the people, get what we say we want. This is for a few reasons:
1. The People do not have the time to follow up and research--and vote for--all of the laws to be passed.
2. The People largely do not have the smarts to deal with all the laws to be passed.
But Arnold doesn't get this. It felt neat at first when he threatened the legislature with "taking it to the people" but after a while, the people got tired. We've our own crap to deal with.
He can be entertaining to be sure, but he's too scared to lead. Coward. To use his own words, Arnold is a political girly man.
You see, everytime there's a big decision to be made and the legislature throws their arms in the air and Arnold can't rally them up--which is almost every time--he takes it "to the people."
And it costs m-o-n-e-y. So much effing money.
As some may well know, California also cannot (a) balance a budget and (b) pass a budget. So what does he do? Special Elections.
And with the nationwide economic crisis with California suffering moreso than some other states, gasp, Arnold knows he has to cut some programs.
And what does Arnold like to cut? Education. Fire.
Now my involvement in politics admittedly ends too soon and I have no other answers. However, a friend of mine on a privatized blog of mine asked a key question:
What is he not willing to cut if he's willing to cut Education and Fire?
Before the election this past Tuesday, Arnold and his ilk were running around saying things like "I don't like to threaten with fear, but I have to. If you do not pass these propositions, I will have to cut education."
Just wait. There's more.
All the propositions failed. By a landslide. Arnold's reaction? "You guys sent a strong message this past Tuesday, that we need to live within our means. We need to cut education."
That is NOT what we said.
We said: do your job. Figure it out. We don't have time for this.
Don't come back and say "well, the people hath spoken" because that's political speak for "if this doesn't work, it's not my fault your child can't afford to attend a college here, to take his music and physical education class. The people voted."
Let's not forget the state is in more debt, I hear, even with the economy aside, than we were when Gray Davis was Governor.
You're taxing the hell out of us, too. You're just spreading it around so it doesn't seem like it. Our vehicle registration fees are doubled. It costs money now to get a smog extension. Our sales tax has been hiked. Thousands upon thousands of teachers are now out of a job and more are scared they're next. Schools have closed. Fire stations. I actually heard a leader say "don't worry, we still have enough firemen to get to everyone. It just might take a bit longer to get to your house."
Come on now. Seriously?
You know you can't run for President. Your tenure as Governator is, thankfully, coming to a close. There's very little to lose here. So stand up and do something. If you run for the Senate or the House, well. We know what kind of congressman you'll be. A lazy one.
I didn't vote for you the first time nor the second time, and you can bet your ass I won't vote for you again.
Go back to Hollywood.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
-State Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban
I wonder if Mr. Pugno and his ilk will feel the same way in a few years when voters reject the next version of Prop 8.
For real, people, read the articles. The 9th Circuit Court conservatives consistently decry as "activist" except for when the court rules in their favor did not rule against same-sex marriage.
I repeat: It did not rule against same-sex marriage. It didn't rule for it, either, but it didn't rule against it.
It ruled that Proposition 8 was an amendment to the state constitution and as an amendment and not a revision, it does not require a 2/3 vote of the legislature.
So I hope lawyers like Andrew P. Pugno are ready to celebrate the wonderment that is our system when a sufficient number of voters (not many, by the way) eventually see through the fear mongering and repeal Prop 8.
And when that happens, will they appeal to the 9th Circuit Court? When the Court stays the course and says "Nope, it stands" will those who oppose gay marriage then cry "liberal activist judges!"
...or will they accept the will of the people?
I think I know the answer.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
As of about eighteen minutes ago Prop 8 was upheld.
BUT, the 18,000 marriages performed while it was still legal are also upheld. So at least there's that. Better than nothing (I can't imagine).
I still don't understand the logic of "sex is only okay within the bonds of marriage [not "civil unions"], so because we cannot make 'sodomy' illegal anymore, we'll just make sure the gays can't get married."
Am I wrong there? At all?
The debate right now is when to time the next battle: 2010 or 2012 when they'll have the presidential election on their side (= greater turnout)
Nobody is truly surprised, but many are disappointed, especially given the events of the past few months with Iowa and Connecticut and other states which have legalized gay marriage. As my husband points out, however, this decision was not about legalizing gay marriage so much as it was deeming Prop 8 constitutional as a ballot measure, if this was a matter of amending the constitution or a constitutional revision.
And the judges by a 6-1 vote said it was constitutional.
But time is only on the side of the Prop 8 opposition.
Here's a bit of a news interview I just saw:
Reporter: "We're going to turn to someone who is in support of Prop 8. George Riley. Good morning. You know we've seen you out here since six a.m., how do you feel now knowing that the judges have supported Prop 8?"
Riley: "Well I feel like justice was finally served. This is the third time that we've had the people vote and the people for the third time have said yes. We believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and whether or not people like that or not, that's what the people want. So if there was anything else besides that, I'd have to say that the judges were trying to play lawmakers from the bench."
He went on to say that he feels Prop 8 opponents have a vendetta against Christianity.
Everything is about the Christians. If Christianity isn't being persecuted, someone will ensure Christians at least feel persecuted. Newsflash: this is only about the Christian religion inasmuch as they make it about the Christian religion.
As for "activist judges": People need to read their history books more often. I'm no historian, but I learned enough in the past semester of U.S. History to know that Supreme Court judges tend to do one of two things on occasion:
(a) Judge very poorly (see the Dred Scott decision)
(b) Judge against the majority (see Interracial Marriage. Loving v. Virginia)
One of the purposes of the Constitution of the United States is to protect the minority from the majority's whims. For so long (even into the '60s I believe) the majority felt interracial marriage was wrong. The majority isn't always right.
The Supreme Court justices are not there to represent the majority. They are there to act neutral, unbiased, to interpret the Constitution and the laws of the land, and sometimes it doesn't turn out as we'd like.
And that's why we have a system. There's always next time.
Again: this is not about legalizing or de-legalizing gay marriage. This is about the constitutionality of Prop 8--revision v. amendment. The Court found it was a perfectly legal amendment in need of no more than a simple 50% + 1 majority.
I respectfully disagree.
As other states have found, the right to marry is a civil right. It's in the books. Go look it up.
People don't have to agree with it. It's none of their business. But people do things all the time we don't "agree" with, but we pop our shoulders and we get over it. We understand nobody is forcing us to run out and have gay sex.
The opponents don't seem to have the same zeal regarding serial divorces. There’s no rallying against "no-fault marriages." They say (and by "they" I mean LDS leadership and membership) it's because straight marriages have the potential for celestial glory. By the way, this is also the LDS response to the point that the government once used similar rationale against polygamy--at least polygamy was between a man and, uhm, women.
That's fucked up.
The world will never be 100% LDS. And the LDS are not in charge, nor should they be. No religion should be.
Honestly I wish people would open a few books and consider different perspectives for a change. It doesn't hurt. I promise.
Marriage is a civil right. Not a basic human right like water and food and *cough* health care, but a civil right. A civil right is a right bestowed upon its people by its government (see 13th and 14th amendments)
I'll allow a minute for that to sink in.
And this is a government decision, not a religious decision. Nobody is going to force any church to marry a couple guys or a couple of girls. They don't force churches, especially the LDS church, to marry anyone--civilly or in the temple.
But apparently we can be coerced—a kind way to put it—into votes we weren’t sure we wanted to make in the first place (I know of a few people who would’ve voted differently)
Why more people don't understand this is completely beyond my comprehension.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
You've gotta love cultural context.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I haven't written a poem in months, perhaps a year, but this came last night to me after reading a poem by Gloria Anzaldúa entitled "El sonavabitche." Fantastic poem and intriguing poet, by the way. Google her.
Anyway, that said I'm laying this out for you guys. Please be respectful. None of this "Oh that doesn't really happen." I don't mind constructive criticism, just don't be an dismissive ass. That's all I really care about. Also know I remain faithful to no form of poetry, so comments regarding to meter or rhyme will be ignored. Rhythm, progression and structure (to a degree), however, are important to me. I also have issues with changing tenses. Blogger also won't allow me to create the layout of the poem I want with indentations and the like (help?)
Also know I'm one of those perpetual editors. I don't consider this done but I feel it's good enough to publish.
Hope you like it.
PS: I don't plan on writing too much more about the church (I have to give myself some leeway). It's been fantastic these last few weeks giving it so little thought. This is not to say I've been divinely censured or I'm suddenly a fawning fan. I'm just not interested in getting myself riled up these days. It's given me peace and I've waited a long time for even a taste of it. I'm also seriously considering starting up a writing blog. Now that the semester is almost done and we're moving into a new house (and won't be able to renovate for at least a year), I'll have time to truly focus on my writing.
Oh--That reminds me. I've been published in print. You don't have to buy the book (I get no royalties anyway), but if you're interested please check it out on Writer's Bump. It's entitled "Trapped" and it's for anyone who has ever felt the need to be someone they aren't. Writer's Bump found me on Writing.Com (one of the Writer's Digest Top 100 writing sites) where I'm a preferred author.
For those who have emailed me or otherwise commented that my words on this blog echo their thoughts, I invite them to New Order Mormon.
Then again there's always StayLDS. I know The Faithful Dissident enjoys it very much. That site is for those who struggle with some doubts and dissensions but who want to remain faithful. The previous site mentioned deals with people who don't want to StayLDS necessarily. Those have a beef or three with the Church, but they stay for whatever reason (family, friends, spouse, tradition, confused, etc)
So the content of this blog may change. May be random. The politics will stay (the GOP gives me far too much fodder) but I hope you'll stick around. I've really enjoyed your company.
* * *
The Golden Convert
I may as well have come from my mama,
In an ankle length skirt and modest top,
Scriptures tucked under arm,
Chin high to heaven
To be led in the direction the Lord wants me to be:
The One and Only True Church of God on Earth.
The confirmation had come:
“This is where you need to be.”
And I was
enamored with her;
Foaming for Independence;
So I went along
New friends and pats on the back,
Encouraged me along the way.
They told me
I am Golden,
I am Choice,
I once lived among the Noble and the Great.
I am Sarah.
I am Rachel.
But my lips never fully formed around
I Know This Church is True.
Yet I sacrificed
To cut the cord.
Because it feels good
To be Right;
For God to be indebted
To my obedience.
And so my god-in-the-making and I
Gritted our teeth.
Wrapped ourselves with spiritual dynamite
Ready to blow if we blew it,
We waited for marriage,
We tried, we tried, we tried,
Sacrificing ten percent
And then some:
Our Time, Talents, and Everything with which the Lord has blessed us
--or will bless us
With one piercing in each ear,
We hung the Temple on the Mantle,
Repented for keeping one too many pennies,
Donned knee length garments
To cover sex
An expression of
The sting of peculiarity
For a God with no respect
But more Alice Kramden than Donna Reed,
My Mustard Seed Faith suffered
Beneath a black thumb.
Now the kind faces of family and friends I love
They are careful to avoid
Every Appearance of Evil
(Just like Jesus did)
As they whisper and lament
Of a soul
They know not.
So I sit in the closet reading of the
impure practices of oral sex,
Of a man and his fourteen year old brides,
Of the calls for death on the spot for
The White Man
who thrusts himself into a willing Black Woman.
Of choosing death over fornication,
Of the fear of Africans and Women and Homosexuals
Plunging the world straight to hell.
(I’m still waiting)
I learn of the imploring against
“petting,” and men working the little factory
in its off hours
To keep the Vessel of God
Pure and clean.
I don't have wet dreams
Like you do.
As two men, worthiness of me decide
To be Eve, who
Veils herself when asked,
Gives him her New Name,
Covers herself, ashamed--
To keep these pearls before unworthy swine,
Because The Church Will Not Be Mocked;
To Hearken unto Adam
as He Hearkens unto God.
I am not Eve,
And I did not marry Adam.
Don't you remember?
Master, the Tempest is Raging,
And my prayers have lead me here.
Is it well,
Or does God ignore pleas
And toy with a shattered heart?
The solemn reply campaigns,
“Question not. Follow the Prophet’s refrain
For he will never lead you astray,
Listen to his words and obey.
Hearken not to thine own understanding,
Listen to his words and obey.
Submit and forget thyself,
Do not delay.
Listen to his words and obey."
Monday, May 4, 2009
* * *
I don't know who wanted to know (I'm merely volunteering information), but my husband and I just bought a house and should be closing in...geez, three or four weeks.
*enter shock here*
So we're in the midst of packing, finishing a school year/semester and all the other fun stuff. I won't be posting much, if at all, for a while. Especially if he gets a summer school position because we've a kitchen to remodel (and wallpaper to tear down and carpet to replace...oy vey. Great house, but it's like a step into the 60s. It's a trip)
I'll also be spending just under a week or so in Texas at the end of July to meet a longtime online friend of mine. Go see her blog. I've known her since I was 14 or 15. I think it's about time we met, no?
There's just a lot of crap--good crap, don't get me wrong--going on over the next little while.
In the meantime, I'm trying to cut down on my stress. It's been getting the better part of me lately. I'll post when I can, if something neat strikes me or I get feisty (I've a few posts in my queue and in my head, but I'm just not in the mood).
If you find yourself bored, any of the blogs on my sidebars are worth a look or twenty. There's also Going Dutch: How I learned to love the European Welfare State for some social democratic fun--
--Or go to town on some of my articles. Most are crap, but I've got a few good ones in there. It's an appropriate place for me to learn. Examples of the good:
The Other F Word
In Defense of Harry Potter
Thirteen Haunted Places to Stay in Northern California
*My second most popular article. I'll admit it's quite long. I was determined to stick with 13 for apparent reasons. This was my first article I interviewed others for. Quite frightening, to be honest. But it's a good one. I'm proud of it.
For those who are wondering, my most popular article is 10 Ways to Remove Stains From an Asphalt Driveway. Go look if you want. It's more practical than entertaining, obviously. I'm glad I took the assignment though. I had no idea there was such a demand.
And for the blog theme, I've California's Prop 8. It's still doing fairly well.
Then there's my first published short short story, Trapped. I hope you like.
Anyway, I hope everyone is well. Thanks again for reading :D