Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just Vote

This is another fun video. It features well-known celebrities urging us not to vote.


Just watch it. (Thanks for the heads up, Mieke.)

On November 4th, Vote for Change. Vote for Barack.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pike Place Fishmongers for Change

This is not the best video ever.
The message is simple and clear - but not terribly well-tied to the visuals.
No matter. It is totally fun to watch because it is filmed at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Vote for Change.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do we want an America that enshrines hate into our laws?

This is from a newsletter I received from Love & Pride today. It is well-written and says a great dea, so I wanted to share it with you here.


Dear Friends of Love and Pride
I was recently asked to share my thoughts on marriage equality and Proposition 8 the proposed amendment in California that would effectively enshrine homophobia and hate into in their state constitution. This measure has the potential to reverberate either positively or negatively across the U.S. We have made such wonderful progress in our fight for the rights of all loving couples even under the last 8 years of a less than supportive administration. We cannot afford to take such a giant step back. Please take a look at the editorial that was recently posted online. And let your voices be heard in a clear and resounding NO to Proposition 8 next week. Whether you live in Wisconsin, New York, Alaska or anywhere else we are all Californians next Tuesday.
- Udi Behr


Picture this.

A typical New York dinner -- good friends sitting around and pontificating on the state of the world -- with everyone having an opinion on everything. The upcoming election is the topic of the evening. And while the majority of the diners are confirmed liberals -- there is of course, a smattering of Republicans -- well, OK, only one confirmed conservative at the table. I do believe in equality after all.
He gets very quiet while we are discussing the impact of the election on marriage equality -- especially the upcoming vote in California on Proposition 8. Thinking he is just a bit uncomfortable about voicing a negative opinion on marriage rights for gays and lesbians amongst this ACLU crowd, and given how vocal I tend to be on the subject, I turn to him during a lull in the conversation and ask what he is thinking.

The table quiets down as he turns to one of the gay men at the table and says, You know, apart from about 1 hour a week, you and I are pretty much the same. I am really uncomfortable about taking away such a basic right. I always supported an America that gave freedom and rights -- not one that enshrined hate in their laws.

Overwhelmed by his comment and insight, I am encouraged that perhaps the true spirit of Americans will show itself in California in November.

Marriage equality is a reality in California -- a right that we, as Americans from every state, need to nurture and protect from those who would like to see the State Supreme Courts decision set aside. How ironic that we need to protect our lesbian and gay children and family members newfound rights from those organizations with names like the Campaign for Children and Families.

Who do these people think lesbians and gay people are? Where do they think they come from? Dont they get that every gay and lesbian is the son and daughter, sister and brother, uncle and aunt, mother, father -- and grandparent of someone else in this wonderful world.

I have been married for 25 years. Flexing emotional muscles every day is hard work -- whether straight or gay. But the end results can be wonderful. My wife and I have two children, a son and a daughter. They are our family and we only want the best for both of them . We want them to have the ability to experience the universal joys of life. How could parents look at their children and know that they couldnt share the same right to express their love -- our most astonishing gift as humans -- just because of who they were born to love?

Love is our very best quality and the law cannot put a limit on that.

I am a jewelry activist. I express my dreams and my beliefs through my designs. I design jewelry for people who want to make a fashion and a social statement. 10% of proceeds from my companys sales are donated to non-profit organizations that support a world of true equality -- like the one that Lambda Legal fights the good fight for on behalf of the gay and lesbian community.

The right to say I do is fundamental and a life experience not to be denied to 10% of our family and friends. So, if the gay and lesbian community cant say I do, Ill say I dont.

- I dont understand why over 4,000 American soldiers have died fighting in Iraq to bring democracy and civil rights to those outside the U.S. when many more are fighting in California to deny the basic right to love.

- I dont get why foreclosures are up 65% from last year -- and rising with no end in sight.

- I dont fathom how gas is at $4 and we continue to be the #1 global warming polluter in the world.

- I dont conceive how our elected officials can look at themselves every morning in the mirror knowing that our most vulnerable children and citizens dont have affordable healthcare.

- I dont understand why people are surprised at the global economic meltdown with the policies of the last 8 years.

I dont get why all of this is true -- and were still talking about enshrining prejudice and hate in our state and federal constitutions. As if the right of all loving couples to marry is the most important evil to overcome.

Where are the constitutional amendments for equality, diversity and tolerance?

Now I am an optimist at heart. And I believe in the better angels of our nature. But I will keep a vow to say No and I dont until all of us can say I do. I truly hope that others, like my conservative friend, will also say no to hate and send a clear message on Proposition 8 that love and marriage is a basic right for all loving couples.

For me, its truly that black and white. As a jewelry designer, I know that no two diamonds are created equal. But as a husband and a father -- I know that all love is.

A former Israeli paratrooper turned award-winning jewelry designer, Udi Behr is the Chief Designer and Creative Director of Love and Pride, the first high-end designer jewelry online destination for people who believe in equality, diversity and tolerance. Find out more about Udi Behr and his Love and Pride Collection at

Friday, October 24, 2008

More Weekend Thoughts

You might say I am on a roll today. Hey - it's Friday! I can mostly breathe, after fighting a nasty cold for the past two weeks, and I've got movie night to look forward to. Not bad!

Hey, this is strange, but we've not had a family weekend in two weeks! Since Wife was gone last week, we were not together as a family. It is supposed to be nice. As I mentioned, we'll be doing pumpkin carving, raking, maybe a bit of other yard work. The kids can play on their wooden swing sets. Well, OK, they really have only one swing set, and another swing that is on a raised playhouse that we often call a tree house. Our backyard is filled with kid-stuff - the swing set, a plastic play structure, a sandbox, and numerous balls, golf clubs, Frisbees...etc. Add in the dogs toys that are scattered about, and I'd say we have the perfect playground for kids and dogs alike. Of course, mowing becomes a bit of a challenge, and as soon as the rain starts, one with which I will have to deal again. I haven't needed to mow in months. That's been nice, but we are looking forward to the grass getting green again, rather than the mostly brown of the past couple months. About the time the grass is getting green, the brown and orange leaves start to cover it - and really - it is quite beautiful.

Hope it is a nice weekend, wherever you are.

Higher Education: A Good Reason to Stay Ignorant

C'mon good headline, right?

I was just listening to a short video by James Ray, who is one of the gurus of the Laws of Attraction. Basically, it is a lot of the power of positive thinking, with a bit of science thrown in to make us True Believers. I love this stuff. There's nothing wrong with focusing on the positive things in life, your goals, and watching them happen.

The message was about not letting yourself drown in the negativity of the economy, politics, global warming....etc. - all the bad stuff we hear in the media, if we listen much at all. I realized I simply don't have the time, nor desire, to get too caught up in it. If I let myself really listen to all the sides, research it all, dwell on it day in and day out, there would be no time left for my school, or homework, and probably no drive left either.

Sure, I think about it some, I read about it some, but it has it's place and I cannot allow it to be all-consuming. I can't keep up on all the daily news, or the latest trends - alli diet pills, $500 shoes, $1000 purses. Really, it's hard enough to keep up on the important things, like Boston Legal and Gray's Anatomy, without listening to a politician's latest lies. I'll take my news in small doses, please.

Now it makes sense, right? Sometimes being ignorant is the best way to become educated.

Weekend Plans

Happy Friday!

Our weekend is shaping up to be one of a fall theme: carving pumpkins, raking leaves (with some of the required pictures, of course), maybe some hot chocolate if we get a little chilly.

First there will be movie night tonight and homework much of tomorrow. That whole MPRE thing, and a big paper that's not yet been started are both looming. With my reliance on my laptop, I am happy to report that I have a new memory stick, good not only for transporting files, but excellent for back-up purposes. I sometimes remember that, but at least once a week, I do put my class notes and papers onto our school's web-based storage. Very convenient.

It should be a good and productive if it were just one of those nice, PAID, three-day weekends, we'd be set!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Baby and Law School?!

So, did you see my posting about our zoo trip? If not, scroll down, because it is fun to show off my kids :)

As you can see, they are getting big! At about 6 1/2 and 3 1/2, they are not babies anymore. *sigh* Although we still take the stroller for longer outings, gone are the days that we are longing for the latest Bob stroller, fancy high chair, or baby sling. In fact, the youngest is now ready for her own two-wheeler (with training wheels, of course).

Hard to believe that three years ago, I was entering law school, leaving Wife at home with a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old. I remember saying, "Wow, Boy Wonder will be 7 when I graduate." Now, we are almost there! Someone asked me the other day about having a baby while in law school. While every situation is different, and people have to make their own decisions based on their own life circumstances, my first instinct is to say, "NO - Don't do it!"

I've been lucky to have a partner that could be a full-time stay-at-home mom for our two while I've been working and going to school. The sacrifices she has made have been tremendous, and the constant adjustments (including acting out to get my attention) from the kids were prices they had to pay for my choice. They always would rather I had been home, and often asked me to be when I could not. In my situation, it was not possible to give my all to either my partner, my kids, my school work or my job. Everything was only done to my partial best ability. Well - it was the best I had at the time. Sometimes, that has been enough. Others, I wish it could have been more. I didn't have time for law review or volunteer activities. I could only be home 3 nights a week for dinner, bath time and bedtime. I could only spend one full day per week seeing my kids. Sure, sometimes I have taken time off of work, or school, when one of them was sick, or had a special occasion, but sometimes, I just missed out. So did they.

Having a baby and raising a baby is harder than most people believe it will be. It is also really amazing.

Law school is challenging - mentally and emotionally - especially if you are also working full-time. It is sometimes nearly amazing.

Trying to do both, or rather, all three at once is crazy, if you have a choice.

I'm sure I could say a lot more on this topic, but for now, that is enough.

Computer Envy

I am grateful for all that I have. I truly am. I must confess, though, that I have laptop envy. I have a three-year-old, perfectly fine Dell laptop for school. It's small enough, compared to ones of 5-6 years ago. It isn't terribly heavy. Still, I look at some of the really thin, sleek, ultra-lightweight laptops and think about how much I would love to cart around one of those instead. I imagine myself booting up my new computer in half the time it now takes, and using only half the muscle-power currently needed to lug my overstuffed computer/book bag around. Maybe one of these days - but by choice, not necessity, please!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Single Mom for the Weekend

Yes, it is true: I played solo parent this past weekend as Wife went off with her friends for an all-girl getaway sans kids and partners. This was her first time ever away from our Little Princess for more than a couple hours. It was also her first chance to not have parental responsibilities in over 6 years. So, the break was far overdue.

I took a bit of time off of work to do the homework I would normally do on Saturday, and starting Friday afternoon, it was just me and the kids! I printed up a schedule, including pictures, so the kids would know what to expect. I planned fun, vacation-like activities so we would have our own special weekend as the other mom was off having fun at the beach.

First, I did once-every-two-week grocery shopping trip with the Little Princess, arriving home in time to meet Boy Wonder's bus. Then it was Pizza and Movie Night, featuring the newly re-released Sleepy Beauty. The waltz lessons in the bonus feature were a big hit! After the movie, I allowed the kids to skip bath and we proceeded with our standard bedtime routine of stories in bed.

Saturday was an all-day trip to the zoo. Big fun was had by all! Lots of money spent! Lots of pictures! Good memories!

Sunday we had an art project - using nature to paint Mom welcome home cards. We had a scavenger hunt in our yard, then used the objects as stamps to paint cards, which I then helped write words in for the Little Princess. Boy Wonder wrote his own message. (Very cool!) We also made cut-out cookies, and decorated them, but not until mom got home, after 3:30 sometime.

What a full and fun weekend! The kids and I did really well together, but we did miss their other mom! (Glad you had a fun weekend, Honey!)

Here is the slideshow Wife put together for us from the pictures I took: (The original is on her blog, along with a slideshow from her weekend. Thanks for doing this, Sweetie!)

MPRE and other things

You know how sometimes there is so much going on to blog about that it is hard to select just one? There's the election, the economy, my fabulous weekend with my kids where I was the only mom on duty, the fact that I have to take the MPRE in just 17 days, big decisions like paper or plastic,
term life insurance or whole life, a Quarter Pounder or a simple cheeseburger, Ebay or Craigslist.....? See? So many topics.

*deep breath*

Choose One.

The MPRE. That is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, and in most states a person must pass it in order to be admitted to the bar. It's a two-hour test on the rules that govern the ethical behavior of lawyers. Stop laughing. We have ethics. There are rules. They must be followed.

A lot of it is common sense, or the underlying logic is based on common sense, but that doesn't mean that the questions are phrased in ways that the answers are obvious. In fact, generally tests are written so as to confuse test-takers if possible. What does this mean for me? Lots of rules to memorize. Take the test. Pass it. Then the next big test (aside from class finals) will be the Bar Exam.

(*Shhhhhhhhh* We're not thinking about that, yet.......)

California's Proposition 8

I was just speaking with one of the Associate Dean's with whom I work and she is as disgusted with what is going on with California's Proposition 8 as I am. She brought it up, in fact. Proposition 8 proposes to write discrimination into the California Constitution by eliminating the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to marry for same-sex couples.

The Mormon church has solicited their members to donate TONS of money towards funding the discriminatory proposition. (Google it -Proposition 8 and Mormons.) Reports say that some families are sacrificing huge amounts of their life-savings in order to support this attempt to save marriage for only men and women. Really? That is what this religion is about - sacrificing a person's own family's security in order to discriminate against others?

Followers somehow really believe that marriage between same-sex couples will ruin the sanctity of heterosexual marriage (whose reputation is clearly pristine...) and are donating like crazy, following the herd. Might as well go ahead and get some cattle supplies, because these folks just don't seem to be thinking for themselves.

I guess that is what many organized religions are about though, isn't it? Having someone in a position of authority telling the followers what God or a Higher Power wants them to do rather than figuring out the right things for themselves. To me, that sounds like what church authorities might want, but not so much what a Higher Power would have in mind.

Want to help support the defeat of Propostion 8? Go to

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Don't Throw Away Your Vote

I live in an area with a lot of independent thinkers. Lots of folks don't want to label themselves as Democrat or Republican because they don't totally agree with either platform. They want to vote for the Independent or the Green Party. I understand the sentiment, but please, before doing this, consider the ramifications. We know that ultimately, a Republican or a Democrat will win all of the major races - especially the race for President. That is simply the world we live in right now. Consider which of the major parties most represents your views, and vote that way. To do otherwise is to throw away your vote, no, actually, it is worse. It is helping the party that may be the furthest from what you believe in. For instance, a vote for Ralph Nader is not going to cause him to win, but could put McCain closer to the top since otherwise a Nader vote would likely be a vote for Obama.

I've heard some folks at my school say they will vote for the Green Party. Please reconsider. Cynthia McKinney, The Green Party's presidential candidate, is not going to win. Maybe there are local races that the Green Party has a good chance to win, but not the Presidential race. In 2004 there was quite the stir as Republicans helped fund Nadar's campaign in an effort to split the Democratic vote. Look what happened. Don't let it happen again. Make your vote count.

(Thank you for the prompting from Wife to blog about this. Were I not loaded up on a ton of cold medicines, this posting might have even made more sense.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Colors of Autumn

How cool is this ivy? This is just a camera-phone picture, so imagine how gorgeous it is in real life! It is right outside the building where I work. We have so many amazing trees and bushes that are changing color right now. Some of them are this blazing bright red - incredible! If I had color security cameras, or I suppose even a web-cam, I could take you on an amazing tour. That would be fun. I should learn to do that....OK, well, all I would have to do is remember the camera and figure out how video can be posted to my blog. Probably not that difficult...other than finding the time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

How much fun can you pack into one weekend?

Wow - you know those weekends when you've been so busy and had so much fun that you just need a rest by the time Monday rolls around? Well, we had one of those weekends! Wife had a friend from out of town visiting, and managed to rope her into helping paint our living room and dining room. It looks great - and I am thrilled that I did not have to do it! (I was doing homework.) We all finished what we were doing by mid-day on Saturday, so then we all went out for a late lunch, then to a local outdoors tourist attraction. We enjoyed a little nature hike, and got back in time to settle the kids into bed at nearly their normal bedtime.

Sunday was a crazy day! We started it by going to Kung Fu Panda, as part of a fundraising program that our local second-run theatre hosts. After that, knowing that we needed to let the kids burn off some energy after sitting quietly in the theatre for so long, we took them to a park. As if that was not enough - and it would have been - we realized this was the best (maybe only) weekend we would be able to go enjoy our annual pumpkin patch activities. So, off we went to the pumpkin patch to enjoy pony rides, a hay maze, a petting zoo, a hay pyramid, launching pumpkins with a giant slingshot, grinding corn into feed for the chickens, and a tractor-pulled wagon ride out to the pumpkin field to select pumpkins. That adventure required quite a long walk since the drop-off was in a very picked-over field, and we wanted a better selection. Though we hit a few rough spots in the cooperation department, all in all, it was a good, fun-filled day, made even better by some unexpected sunshine.

Check out wife's blog within the next day or so, as I suspect there will be photos! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where do kids get these things?

It is always amazing noticing the things the kids have learned. Boy Wonder is reading and using his imagination in wondrous ways. Our Little Princess has an amazing capacity for gratitude and empathy, and an impressive vocabulary. Sometimes we wonder where the heck they came up with a particular expression, or how they learned to us it in just the right context, but mostly,we can chalk it up to the fact they are sponges.

Case in point - This morning I ate my breakfast while watching Boy Wonder play a computer game. He had just reached a new level, and was doing quite well.

"This is going to be easy!" He proclaimed.

A few moments later he lost a life (actually popped the bouncy ball he was manipulating in a Mario-style game) and had to start the level over again.

"I stand corrected," he says with perfect timing.

I smiled to myself and thought about how I had to remember to tell Wife this one. Instead, I have posted it for all the world to see.

Next thing you know he will probably be designing engineering marvels and casually tossing out opinions on the lastest in music and Oscar de la Renta fashions. You never know what will be next!

Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I am certainly not one who relishes in the tragedies of other. Frequently though, I am grateful for my own circumstances as compared with someone else. I can honestly say I am truly grateful that I am not the owner of this house.

The entire house slid right down the hill this morning, totally demolishing the house. Neighbors rescued the home owner. I wonder, does home insurance cover this sort of thing, or is it an "act of nature" and this poor homeowner is just out of luck? Crazy.

Yes, today I feel very fortunate!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Family Day

For a grocery shopping day, it actually ended up quite good. First off, I have not been dreading it since Thursday. I've decided that is just a terrible way to go into the weekend, and is a set up for failure. Both kids were good in the store - got lots of groceries, a new shirt for the Princess, batteries, bar faucets - well, maybe not that, but there were a ton of bags, so I can't be really sure.

After putting away the groceries, we had a picnic on a blanket in the living room. Later Wife went to a baby shower and the kids and I found several fun things to do in between me trying to get chores done. For the last week or so we've been playing "Halloween," which could be any of a variety of games focussed on dressing up and playing "trick or treat" at the bedroom and bathroom doors. We played one of these games today, with background music found on Youtube - like Monster Mash and the Addams Family theme.

The night ended with me discovering that I could walk with one kid attached to each foot (I had told Boy Wonder earlier in the day he was too heavy and I could not do that with him anymore), tickle games, bath and bed.

It was a good day. Now for some quiet time with my Wife. Good night, all.

Politics or Weather Only?

So, is it good to talk politics with your family, or not? Maybe yes, maybe no......Due to the email discussed in my previous post, I had a very long conversation with the family member who started the whole thing. I realized how dark and scary her world seems. There is too much input from the tv and internet and it is all bad, negative news that she worries about - A LOT. I personally don't think it represents a particularly balanced view....but then, I tend to live at the other end, trying to almost always focus on the positive.

Also as a result of the situation, I spoke with my mom a bit about politics, and remembered other perspective - that of not really caring enough to get passionate about politics. I've certainly been there before....especially before children, but now, as a lesbian who created children with her partner and adopted those children in a legal action not allowed in all states....well, I am more aware now.

It is useful to understand where others are coming from and remember how our lives are all very different. It does mean it is harder to pretend you share the same world view, though. Preserving that fiction is one reason for not talking with family about politics and just focussing on ligher subjects instead - best lowfat ice cream brands, the weather, how to remove blackheads - that sort of thing.

I think I will reserve judgment on the issue for now.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Political Parties and Families

My extended family is a mix of Democrats and Republicans. You can imagine how it is not easy being a lesbian, with a wife and kids, with family members who are Republican. They support US, of course, but because of their other beliefs, still support Republican candidates. It is hard to not feel very offended that their candidates do not support my life and family, and would prefer not to offer any kind of protections for us, but I realize a party is more than a single issue. That said, I wrote a very long email to them today in response to a family member sending an email encouraging us to check out alternative media, like Fox News (?!) and other conservative choices for the real story.

This is really long, and may not be that interesting, but you will never know unless you read it!

Reasonable minds can differ, and I agree that the media has not been telling us the truth for a long time. However, I find it interesting that all of the sources you suggest we go to get alternative views either are, or recently were, Republicans with a mostly conservative slant. In fact, a quick Internet search on all of them quickly reveals the word “conservative.” O’Riley and Dobbs both call themselves independents or populists and are not happy with either political party. OK, that is certainly reasonable. Colmes, the Fox liberal, admits he is really a moderate and often takes conservative positions (his words, not mine). Alternative media implies a balanced view, but really it is “alternative conservative media” you suggest we turn to. I am sure alternative liberal media is no more balanced. Each side strongly believes it is right, and is therefore not good at representing the other side, or sides.

Among more liberal folks, Fox News is considered bought and paid for by the Republicans and/or the Bush Administration. Guess we cannot really separate the two. There was a 2004 documentary called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism that criticizes the Fox News channel and its owner, Rupert Murdoch, claiming that the channel is used to promote and advocate right-wing views. Fox, of course, has taken issue with the documentary. What the truth is, we may never know, but I would be cautious about buying their stories hook-line-and-sinker.

Some of the folks I know rely on getting their news from the BBC or Canadian news sources. It is amazing how much more Canadians know about our government, politics, economy..etc. than most Americans. Sad, really. Another great source, not exactly for news, but for checking how accurate either side is being: This is a really interesting site to read after the debates because they take candidates’ statements and explain, with citations, what parts were true, and which were false. Often it is not that the person was lying, but that what was represented was not quite accurate. From what I can tell, this is totally non-partisan.

Yes, we do all need to consider multiple issues and how they align with our own personal values – AND what the consequences of supporting those positions will or could be. Since without saying it, you are encouraging those of us likely to vote for Obama to vote for McCain, I will outline the facts for why this does not support my values.

I could make this even longer and explain why Obama’s stance on each of these issues is more palatable to me, but I think it is pretty each to see what the opposite of each of these issues is, so I won’t do that. The one thing I will say specifically about Obama is to seriously look at his views, put them in another body and another face –maybe a 56-year old white man and see if you still feel the same way. Casey and I have spoken with people that are afraid of Obama because he might be a Muslim. First, it seems to have been proven he is not. Next, what if he was? We do still have freedom of religion in this country. Not every Muslim is a terrorist. Most are not, in fact. Get over the fact the guy is black. We have racist roots going way back, so deep that most of us do not even see it when we are up against it. Don’t think it is not at play in this election.

OK – so this issues:
Woman’s Right to Choose – McCain is pro-life. That is a nice way to say it, isn’t it, because who isn’t in favor of life? What he means is he does not support a woman’s right to choose what happens with her own body. He supports repeal of Roe v Wade – one conservative judicial appointment, and it could easily be done. What does that mean? It means back alley abortions that used to exist become prevalent again. It also has other ramifications. Just yesterday I saw proposed legislation for a “pro-life” bill. In the fine print is prohibitions for physicians giving pain-relieving drugs at the end of life if the dose could be fatal. This is a right-wing, religious issue and most of the proponents don’t just want to control the beginning of life, but they want to control your decisions at the end of your life, too. Probably most of us are anti-abortion for ourselves, but I sure don’t feel like I should be able to make that decision for anyone else.

The War in Iraq – McCain intends to win the war. He has stated that. Is this a war we can win, and at what expense? He has backed Bush all the way in a war that we started under false pretenses. He is a war president. That is one of his main priorities – and a strength – if military victories at all cost are something you value. Can we afford to keep spending hundreds of millions of dollars (estimate seem to range from $343-750 million per day) that we do not have on a war when we still have not adequately helped the victims of hurricane Katrina? I have heard the argument that the Iraqi citizens want us there – sure – in any country where we go in and start building roads, and water systems and improving the level of poverty, the citizens will appreciate it. We cannot save the world. We are not even taking care of our own citizens. How many people are now homeless or soon might be due to foreclosures? How many people are or soon will be without jobs?

The Economy – No one can argue that McCain was not a part of what has happened. He has been quoted all over the place backing Bush and encouraging deregulation. (Now he is all for stricter regulation.) When asked during the debates how his plans as President would change in light of the economic crisis his first response was to take care of our troops and our vets. The military is his first priority. Yes, a strong military is important, but again, at what cost? It seems to me we have serious problems here at home, but the fact that his first response was about the war really concerns me.

The Environment – McCain says he is pro-environment, and the fact that he was against some of the Bush administration policies is hopeful. HOWEVER, his conservative bias tend to indicate he will appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, which could be disastrous for our environment. Also, of great concern, he chose a person who does not even believe that man has contributed to global warming as his running mate. (She has done nothing in the area of clean energy in Alaska.) That means he supports her views, or wouldn’t believe she was a good choice. She is pro-drilling, supporting expanded drilling in Alaska, including the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. She opposes listing polar bears as a species threatened by the effects of global climate change. She leads the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee which works to promote the expansion of oil and gas usage.

Equality for Gays – of course I could not leave this one alone. While McCain is not as conservative as his running mate on this issue, he did vote for the CA proposition 8 of marriage being defined as between one man and one woman. He feels gay marriage should be left up to each state and does not favor a constitutional ban on gay marriage. He feels “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy works fine. Tell that to the veterans who after having served honorably are kicked out when their sexuality comes to light. A lot of people support the idea that marriage should just be between one man and one woman, but that gays should be allowed equal domestic partnership rights. That is still discrimination because there is power in language. The word “marriage” automatically means something to people. It legitimizes the relationship. McCain not really supporting and not really opposing gay rights in general is more of the “if you aren’t with us, you are against us.” If we let states VOTE on civil rights, the day might not be far away where Casey and I are not even allowed to live together, same sex adoptions are made illegal (not legal now in many states), and my rights to Boy Wonder and our Litle Princess could be severed. That is extreme, but when we let extreme religious conservatives start running things (Palin, for example), that is a path we open up. That is not a value I can support.

Worse than McCain on gay rights though is his running mate. Sarah Palin claims to be a friend of the gays, but when the Human Rights Campaign went to Alaska, they couldn’t find any of her friends. Her record reveals that she not only is very concerned about preserving marriage for one man and one woman, but also that she supports denying benefits to same-sex couples. She actively sought to ban books about LGBT topics from the Wasilla library . (Sound like censorship to anyone? Is that ever OK?) The GLBT people in Wasilla are very frightened that she could become VP – check out this video with the people in Wasilla made by HRC.

Sarah Palin – no, she is not a political issue, but she can’t be ignored. She could be in the number 2 position in our country. This is frightening people, it really is. A lot of people worry about McCain’s health, and what if he dies in office and she become President? She doesn’t even have to die. What if he just needs to undergo surgery? At his age, that is not unrealistic. Sarah Palin becomes Commander-In-Chief until he is able to resume his duties.

Please, please, listen to her interviews with Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson. They are on Youtube. The woman does not have the knowledge and experience to lead our country. You can see she is desperately trying to remember the words on the flash cards she’s been provided. She struggles for answers. She says things she probably should not say. She is out of her league. We all know that she is being tutored and prepped like no other candidate ever before. Do we as regular citizens get to prep for a job interview like that? I want to know what she knows NOW, what she thinks NOW – she could be governing in just a few short months and we need to know real abilities that do not just reveal how well she crammed for the test of the debates and other public appearances.

Want to know where people stand on the issues? This is a really helpful site:

We all have to make our own decisions when voting, and they should be well-thought out ones. They should be informed by multiple sources. They should not be just because we have always been a Democrat or a Republican, but because the party and the candidates embody our values. Casey and I have been talking with a lot of people and it is shocking how many people vote with a party just because their parents did, and their parents before them. Times change. Issues change. Parties change. The Republican and Democratic parties of our grandfathers, or our fathers, are not the Republican and Democratic parties of NOW. Be an informed voter, because then, when we disagree, at least it really is reasonable, educated minds disagreeing about real issues.

If you stayed with me this far, thank you for your time.