Please go here and sign. His trial is tomorrow (Tuesday, June 30) morning.
Just click on his picture under "Action".
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Please take these actions tomorrow, Monday June 29! It will take you maybe 5 min.
On June 5, the CPC sent a letter to the house leadership regarding their position on health care. The house leadership are the following folks:
Speaker of the House
Office of the Majority Leader
Office of the Majority Whip
John B. Larson
Democratic Caucus Chair
- Enact concurrently with other significant expansions of coverage and must not be conditioned on private industry actions.
- Consist of one entity, operated by the federal government, which sets policies and bears the risk for paying medical claims to keep administrative costs low and provide a higher standard of care.
- Be available to all individuals and employers across the nation without limitation
- Allow patients to have access to their choice of doctors and other providers that meet defined participation standards, similar to the traditional Medicare model, promote the medical home model, and eliminate lifetime caps on benefits.
- Have the ability to structure the provider rates to promote quality care, primary care, prevention, chronic care management, and good public health.
- Utilize the existing infrastructure of successful public programs like Medicare in order to maintain transparency and consumer protections for administering processes including payment systems, claims and appeals.
- Establish or negotiate rates with pharmaceutical companies, durable medical equipment providers, and other providers to achieve the lowest prices for consumers.
- Receive a level of subsidy and support that is no less than that received by private plans.
- Ensure premiums must be priced at the lowest levels possible, not tied to the rates of private insurance plans.
In conclusion, the public plan, like all other qualified plans, must redress historical disparities in underrepresented communities. It must provide a standard package of comprehensive benefits including dental, vision, mental health and prescription drug coverage with no pre-existing condition exclusions. It must limit cost-sharing so that there are no barriers to care, and incorporate up-to-date best practice models to improve quality and lower costs. All plans, including the public plan, must include coverage for evidence-based preventive health services at minimal or no co-pay. All plans, including the public plan, should be at least as transparent as traditional Medicare.
This is why Nancy Pelosi KNOWS that without a public option, NO health care will pass in the house. It's not a matter of what she thinks, it is an effective CPC that will withhold their votes on anything health care that doesn't meet their test. What this ALSO means for the poor and/or unemployed, is that waivers would exist to cover their medical care until their incomes improve. With the economy in such sad shape, that is sorely needed.
So, Action #2 is to write the CPC and lend your support. Send a letter to the CPC's director, Bill Goold: e-mail: Bill.Goold@mail.house.gov
Hat tip to mcjoan, dKos. Hat tip to slickerwink, dKos for CPC contact info.
This is for Californians: Here's Move On's short vid (30 sec) on CA Senator Dianne Feinstein:
Californians, contact Feinstein. Tell her to get off the dime and represent Californians on health care by supporting a public plan that covers everyone with NO triggers or co-ops.
Friday, June 26, 2009
This is the question being asked right now by the 45 million uninsured in this country. I am one. I am an uninsured cancer survivor. You can imagine the cost of insurance for me, which I cannot possibly pay. I am not alone. I did nothing to get cancer. Nothing. I was just unlucky.
Others--for instance the nearly 20% unemployed in parts of Michigan and Ohio--are wondering asking for help, too.
72 percent of Americans support a public plan for health care including 50% of republicans. These people are your neighbors, your co-workers, your waitress, those pew-sitting beside you, your car mechanic, the family now living in their car down the street, and the families of your childrens' friends.
This is about you, me and 72% of everyone we come across. For every 10 people you meet, 7.2 of them support a public option for health care.
Think about that for a minute.
Now, be honest. What have YOU done about it?
Have you made calls over and over and over and over to your senators and house reps?
Have you sent e-mails?
Do you even KNOW where your senators and rep stand on the issue?
72% of this country should be melting the phone lines. 72% of this country should be causing servers to fail. Are they?
We Christians talk a lot about caring but we don't really focus much on action. I am asking you to change that and to change that today. Right now! 45 million of us need your help, and so does 72 percent of everyone else.
So here's what you need to do:
1. Call your senators and reps:
- Ask them if they support single payer or a medicare-like like plan without triggers (a date when things click in), and without co-ops.
- If the answer is no, tell them you do and that 72% of others and 45 million uninsured also do and that they had better support such an option. Ask them to defend their position against the 72% of the public that wants them to do something and wants it done NOW. Call them EVERY DAY until they say they support single payer. And if they never do, find someone else to vote for next time. Opponents should NOT be reelected regardless of party.
- If the answer is yes, thank them and tell them you expect them to do everything in their power to get this done AND SOON.
It's time to put our actions to work. Consider Matthew 25:31-46:
The Sheep and the Goats31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
I have a feeling that if Jesus was preaching today, he's be asking you to make calls and send e-mails to help those in need. It's a presumption, but surely a plausible one. This is the way, today, we CAN--all of us--help the sick.
Now, will you PLEASE GO and make those calls and send those e-mails?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Now, to get started, let's watch some really FUNNY stuff, shall we?
Funny! Well, sort of! Well, not really. The sad part is, as you saw, these excuses are actually being used in press conferences, on news shows, and on entertainment news (read Glen Beck etc.).
In fact, it's really not funny at all... the whole point of the two vids, AND, importantly, these things are also not true.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Interesting bedfellows. Not that we haven't seen Warren's involvement before and certainly not that we haven't intoned the Calvinist leanings of many in ACNA.
And what would a day be without IRD being mentioned in the mix (not to mention their press release)?
You can read it here.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Now, before you do this, I want to give you a cheap way to contact your legislators. AND everyone reading this--many of you from TEC--need to make these calls.
Here's a toll-free number to use: 800-828-0498. Just ask for your legislator.
Also, write and e-mail: here is a site with the information to do so.
US House of Representatives
Keep your letters short, nice (if terse) and to the point.
Those of you sensitive for one reason or another on dKos... please set that aside. Just don't read the comments, and you don't have to comment. But Please (and you know who you are!) read this post and get busy cross-posting on your sites and to your personal e-mail lists to get this done.
Every person that comes here needs to do this. Change happens from the bottom up.
This is activist work. You are activists. Do it. If you aren't an activist, start being one. It is how change happens.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Perhaps no one will like what I have to say. Fine. But you need to understand that just because you don't like it doesn't make it less true.
And before I continue, let me make my position as clear as possible: I support equal rights for ALL people. I support legal marriage for lgbt+ people, though I prefer ALL marriages be civil contracts with a "marriage" being considered a religious affair--an event by choice in whichever church (or other entity) you prefer.
And NO, that is not different. They do or they don't.
As to the language used in the DOJ DOMA brief, it was horrid. Worse than horrid (you get a good sense of it here, in a previous post, where John Dean and Rachel Maddow discuss it). This is the same vile language spewing forth from every rabid right wing literalistic Christian lap dog that you can name, bar none. It's even worse than many. It makes Rick Warren look like a near Saint (and if you have been here for long, you know what I think of that man).
I do NOT want a current DOJ like the old DOJ. I don't want the Gonzales support for torture manipulated by the president. If the DOJ screws up, I want the president free to replace it's head and others. This means, as Obama has said he would do, a presidential hands-off on DOJ. And I concur.
Does that mean that Obama shouldn't hear from hell hounds like me that his DOJ head went WAY beyond in its language in defending? No. It MEANS that you call not only Obama on the point, but the offender himself. It means you register a blistering response, as I did (did you?), to DOJ's outrageous language and seek redress. And if you haven't, do it. And if you won't, then go away. You are politically irresponsible and useless.
No one is here to help you with your issues. DO IT yourself. It doesn't come from the cosmos.
Does it mean Obama needs to be blamed for this? NO. He cannot micromanage an entire nation. Get over it. Stop whining and start doing something about it (see above para).
2. Regarding the US military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (Clinton.. and believe me it could have been worse) policy, it's a ridiculous, harmful, and seriously unwise policy from a US Security standpoint that has NO place now or in the past not to mention all the other crap that goes with it. In polling (even by the most conservative of credible pollsters which Gallop is), the American public agrees.
So, why hasn't Obama just used his pen (which he actually CAN do in this case) to undo it? Good question and I, like Dean in the above cited MSNBC vid with Maddow, doesn't know either. There may be political reasons that exist we all are unaware of. If so, I don't have a clue, factually, what it (they) might be.
But I do know that often, politically, you let rest one thing for another so something moves through realizing that you only have 3-5 issues that you can realistically support and get through at one time. Given the NO Party's (read GOP) reaction to everything Obama and Democratic Party, it is not impossible to imagine that that some horse trading is going on not only within the Democrats but aside it with the GOP.
Has it ever occurred to you that if health care is passed, more might be likely to accept other things the pres does given the enormous support for national health care of some kind (which is well above polling for ALL other issues and clearly the issue of the day, and on the other hand, if not gotten by the public, your issues are moot entirely for the public)? Are you out there supporting this and advocating for it? If not, you should be, it's good politics.
Then, of course, you have the military structure to deal with which is, in and of itself, an entire huge problem in terms of its own culture and structure. It might not be helpful, politically, to the president and dems in getting big ticket items passed to have renegade generals and the like dissing Obama for this move before the path is paved politically. Do I believe it will come and come relatively soon? Yes, I do. And, if for no other reason than national security, I think even homophobes might agree (though I doubt any will speak up as this will just be spun as homo-loving... well you know the lingo... regardless of party).
That we have traded a smart military for a white-supremacist/neo-Nazis military v. lgbt inclusive one is incredulous on all points. AND it does NOT help the country in terms of success, understanding or security.
But really, how many people do YOU know that actually READ?
3. On Obama's announcement today regarding federal benefits for same gender partners, a post was on dKos last night that got a huge amount of response. But if you read through the comments last night (and I re-read today) much is understandably emotional response, not well calculated political response. The former is understandable, the latter isn't and represents, mostly, people who don't get how legislation is made and the grinding until the end process. Obama CANNOT offer domestic partnership health insurance. NOR can he offer equality. And if those minds and bodies as represented on dKos are NOT moved to a political position, you will lose. Plain and simple.
The issue is right, the framing is wrong, yet it sets up the president... the one that CAN actually do something positive in terms of arm bending and signing bills, for not only a fall but places the blame on him for things he cannot do without giving the duty to congress which CAN do something. DOMA is a federal law. Congress makes laws, and congress changes laws. Presidents sign or veto laws.
This is what happens when you have a leaderless movement, nationally (unlike the King movement). If only Harvey Milk was alive today.
But realize, the environmental movement, a much older and broad movement, is likewise fractured, though less so now than 20 years ago. I could have strangled the Sierra Club for some of the inane work (not to mention their ridiculous community-based issues structure) on various issues. BUT, some were good. And some were REALLY good. It's how it goes.
So... my advice? If you want to GET SOMETHING DONE, then get OUT THERE and do it and make sure you have a clue as to what is politically feasible this month, the next and the next, and FIND A LEADER. The anarchistic approach just isn't working and won't and is actually destructive.
I am, frankly, sick of the whining. I understand it, but I am frustrated that no national approach has been put forward by the very movement that needs it most.
I will follow if YOU LEAD.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
--Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
I got a kick out of this blogger's take on Rick Santorum's recent whine on gay marriage.
This LA Times article on Newt Gingrich should be archived if only to refer to it every time one of your GOP friend says just how moral and smart (and what great political instincts and skills) he is. History is your friend.
The economy appears to be improving. That might be a bad thing for all those that hope it doesn't because of their hatred for our president. In CA, however, we have our own set of problems. Read this which includes some really super info and great graphics and notations. Be happy!
This... without explanation... bears reading. It says a lot about the difference in two kinds of politicians and men.
And finally, just to cheer you up (heh):
Friday, June 12, 2009
Please go here and read. It is a VERY interesting piece, and I tend to agree with this master in stats and polling, Nate Silver.
I think he is clearly heading in the right direction.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Hat tip to dKos.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Formidable Opponent - Don't Ask, Don't Tell|
Saturday, June 6, 2009
And the winner is...
Newt Gingrich for this gem:
If you want to watch the conference where Newt and other speak on the topic of Rediscovering God in America, you can go to God TV and watch tomorrow (Sunday evening). Yeah I know... ya'll will be there:)
Friday, June 5, 2009
Recently, I came across a dKos commenter, Random Acts of Reason (Random), in a diary by writer ErraticSynapse.
Random asks a very good question:
Will Christians stand with atheists on fighting hate and prejudice against them?
This graphic, displayed on a Texas billboard, is the center of the diary's issue:
In order to understand the group, you can visit the link on the billboard. I just won't link a hate group regardless of religious or other affiliation. I won't support hate no matter who it comes from.
This really, really creepy 15 seconds found at the Genesis site should give you great pause:
BTW: To the Aussies that come here... hey, the leader of this group, Ken Ham (and boy does that fit in so many ways) started out as your guy... now he is, unfortunately, our guy. Is that because he couldn't get a foothold there and came to the really, really stoopid US? What's with that?
Now, many of you that come here are NOT atheists or agnostics, as I am not, and a few VERY respected folks ARE. And as many of you know, I WAS an atheist/agnostic bouncing back and forth from agnostic/atheist before returning to the Episcopal Church in my very late 40's (and, BTW, you can thank--or I suppose blame!--the Fr. Terry/Jake for that, going back some nine or ten years, I guess).
Atheism and agnosticism have advocates of all stripes, much like the difference between Jerry Falwell and ++Desmond Tutu in Christianity. Some of their reasoning and knowledge about theology is good (on the theology part, almost NO atheists/agnostics in the movement seem to understand or even care about modern scholarship on the matter, one thing that irritates the hell out of me, personally... they come at Christianity with the boring sticks of Falwell-like literalism which makes them look absolutely eye-rolling STUPID to their educated opponents on the matter).
But THAT is NOT the issue. The issue is HATE and whether we Christians will stand with them against the vitriol of hate the billboard above, for example, posits.
Now many of you may say... argh... enough to do... who cares. And I guess that is your answer.
Because you are not defending against a certain TYPE of hate directed at a certain TYPE of person, it seems too small to worry about if you are neither. For whites, civil rights for African Americans really wasn't a big deal... until it was.
For hets, lgbt rights were not an issue until the hets' mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, neighbors, church members, friends, bosses, co-workers, social contacts (and on and on) ... 'came out.'
HATE does not confine itself to race or gender identity. It is far more inclusive. It might be political or social or intellectual identity. It might come from envy or jealousy. And it might come disability or illness or class. I certainly never lacks teh stoopid.
No matter where it comes from, no matter what the thinking, hate needs to be called out for what it is. Hate leads only to civil rights violations and limitations, harm in all aspects of life, and in some cases injury and/or death.
So the question is this, on the Christian front: How should we be dealing with this within the frame of Christianity? Why are Christian groups NOT framing hate from another Christian group as unacceptable? DO we, as Christians, follow some 'code of respect' for the hateful among us and if so, how can we possibly defend this?
Those here lgbt know how Rick Warren's lgbt positions (and the scrubbing of his mega-church website on the matter) pissed everyone off. Most don't really understand, to this day, how Warren works with TEC schizmos in helping them into the more Calvinist beliefs by giving them cover and this over women in the church, lgbt issues, prop 8, evangelizing in Africa, reproductive issues (e.g. birth control) etc. In other words, evangelizing through exclusion and more soft-pedalled-Hawaiian-shirt hate. It's still hate. You know it, and I know it.
We all know the purpose of IRD, yet our OWN church, a target of the organization, doesn't talk about it at all. WHY? Does anyone really believe that the damage done to TEC is absent IRD influence? Does anyone care that when issues arise, they don't contact TEC for thoughts, but IRD as though we have NO opinion or social witness? Errr... do we have a social witness?
Do we REALLY have environmental witness?
It's one thing to SAY you do something. It is entirely different to DO something.
Hate: It isn't just a noun.
Update: the pre-signing add by NOM... view it here, (30 sec.) Then call the NH Governor (it will cost almost nothing and take about one minute of your time!) and let him know how much you appreciate him signing the bill. NOM, nicely, provides you with that number in their video. Finally, they are useful:)
Yesterday, after years of working on the issue, the New Hampshire Governor signed a bill that would allow lgbt persons to marry in the state. This is the sixth state to "legalize" lgbt marriage.
The Episcopal Church's first openly gay Bishop, Gene Robinson, testified at the hearings in favor of lgbt marriage before the state's legislative body. +Gene is a New Hampshire resident, as is his partner Mark Andrew, and is Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese.
Meanwhile, we learn, in the face of the upcoming TEC convention being held in Anaheim, CA--a state which recently banned lgbt marriage via Proposition 8--that a subcommittee (of nameless membership, and here) of the Bishop's Theology Committee is "studying" same gender relationships with a report due out in 2011, two years AFTER the upcoming July 2009 convention.
Over a dozen resolutions to be considered at the upcoming convention pertaining to marriage of lgbt persons, revision of Prayer Book language, canonical revisions, even the rescinding of B033 etc. are known at this time.
But the irony greatest to me is this:
This man, our Bishop of the Episcopal Church's New Hampshire Diocese...
can now legally marry his partner Mark Andrew, should they desire, anywhere in New Hampshire with one major glitch...
He and Mark could not, under B033, marry in a New Hampshire Episcopal Church.
So... the state gives the green light, TEC's B033 stands in the way, and a Bishop's Theological subcommittee want to study it for a few more years.
If this ghastly irony doesn't give you pause, it should.
While many of we Episcopalians are marching with our lgbt brothers and sisters, knocking on doors to "listen" to people in California (I am training this Sunday for this) in preparation for a 2010 or 2012 ballot measure to legalize equality through lgbt marriage in the state, our own church (already with lgbt's active in EVERY level of our church) lags behind after 30+ years of reflection on the matter.
As my e-mail signature suggests:
So I have to pop the question: Which will it be, TEC?
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Since 15 February, Silk has been at the vet... well over three and one half months. Not in a cage, mind you, but at the vet. This was just one of the 23 cats rescued from the hoarder/foreclosure situation in Los Angeles which we are, unbelievably, STILL dealing with.
First, Silk, extremely ill, was in a cage... all the tubes and bags and all that stuff... one extremely ill cat that required more drugs than I have ever had through four illnesses and cancer, and a blood transfusion from Scarlet the Cat as well.
But as the first weeks went by, Silk was better and free to leave her cage and jump from a surgery room counter into the deep window ledge where she would sleep in the sun for the day.
Or maybe she would walk the vet office and just say hi to everyone, including all the other vet cats.
Or maybe I would get to the vet to see my vet standing and using the computer because Silk was sound asleep in her chair.
Or perhaps you would see Silk curled up on the entry counter of the clinic, last Thursday, in a wee little green cat bed, sound asleep but with a touch would radiate a huge purr and a head-butt.
But no more.
Little wee Silk, whose owners NEVER even gave her one damn chance, has moved on. We gave her EVERY chance ten times over. And with your prayers, so did you.
For the last two days, Silk has lived at the vet's home. Today, my vet put Silk to sleep. My vet and the staff loved this cat and this was VERY hard for her, particularly, and for the staff as well who cared for and adored this cat.
So, tonight, please lift a cup to the wee Silk and sound a prayer for her. She fought, I fought, the vet and staff fought and you fought. We all did our very best. And please say a very special prayer for ALL the people, Dr. Laura and Gilbert especially, who moved mountains for this little girl at the clinic. They are really very, very sad.
Tonight we all send her off to the comfortable ledge in the sun, the sweet slow walk, and the nap on the counter and all the other places that Silk enjoyed while sharing her world with us.
May Silk bask in the sun forever more, and may God Bless this beautiful little one... Silk.
Thank you, each and every one, that took a moment for Silk in prayer.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I deeply hope all of you, especially my TEC brothers and sisters, will read through this and take action. I beg you to do so.
This was, and remains, a very painful decision for me. But I simply cannot attend a church that does not recognize all the baptized in the sacraments which is, simply, TEC's own form of discrimination.
Today, I am sending letter to the priest of my church with a link to each video asking her to please forward this to the deputy representing my parish. I want to go home. I can do that if they allow others to go home too.
This is a very emotional issue for me not because I am lgbt--I'm not--but because friends and loved ones, Episcopal and not, are deeply injured by prevailing B033. I cannot stand with a church that would so injure those I respect and love and set them apart, spiritually. It is wrong and it must be corrected.
When one reads the pain on the faces of--or taste the tears of--those spiritually wounded and intellectually confused by a church like ours, self-described as a "big tent" church that claims to "Welcome Everyone" but doesn't in reality, how can one not turn away from this wrong?
In one respect, I am just as bad as the GAFCONers in that I left though I did not, and will not, cut the spiritual strings. I am 180 degrees from GAFCON's point of view, but I also took a departing path in fact over one of the issues they claim as their opposite own.
I feel so very conflicted about this and it has been very difficult. I feel like I have let those I love down. I have justified this because I don't, personally, have a vote. I cannot, personally, make a difference. I can support with my vote and presence and action in the public square, but not in TEC's square. But now I can at least do something to help, and so can you.
On the other side, I cannot look at any of my lgbt friends or those I meet, especially those Episcopal, and explain how or why I can walk through my sanctuary's doors in the face of B033's standing.
If you only knew how this makes my heart ache.
I have prayed and prayed for clarity. It has not come. I feel apart from my church. I cannot imagine what it must feel like for our lgbt brothers and sisters who have felt this way for decades.
Meanwhile, five states have legalized gay marriage, and more have approved its second cousin, domestic partnerships while in CA, the recent Prop 8 passage and subsequent Supreme Court decision have brought flesh back to the dinosaur of exclusion. Other states are addressing either recognition of lgbt marriages in their states, or are considering domestic partnerships or lgbt marriage. Yet in the states where marriage is legal--and even where domestic partnerships are legal--our TEC clergy cannot marry or bless our own brothers and sisters.
Will the government lead the way on an issue that is apparently confounding for the children of God? Ironically, that answer is unquestionably yes.
While my diocese is progressive and active on the issue, I see little if any parish leadership on the issue in Orange County with the exception of the likely suspects. No TEC banner was in the recent Prop 8 protest held in Santa Ana. No TEC priests were lined up supporting our lgbt brothers and sisters there along with clergy from other churches. Why? Why? Why?
Is keeping peace in conservative parishes more important that guaranteeing our church's baptismal promises to our lgbt brothers and sisters? Well, is it? Apparently, it is.
Fear of rancor and loss of giving frightens our clergy into silence? Apparently. Shameful.
So I hope you have seen the recent videos from Integrity, and if you have not, I hope you will not only view them right now, but contact your deputies and let them know your wishes on the matter. I am begging you to do so EVEN IF you believe they are already in support.
Both Integrity videos are below and both are excellent. Please watch them and take action. I ask you--I beg you--to do so. Please help us all come home.
The following video is VERY powerful and explains many legal and spiritual points.
Pray for the church.