Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Rick Roll

I never watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

...but I missed the most epic moment.
Thank zombie jesus that we have youtube,
because I would have been truly sad if
I wasn't able to see this moment.

First off I love Foster's Home for Imaginary
Friends. It is truly one of the best kids cartoons
ever. Then...something amazing happened.

The most epic Rick Roll probably in the
history of rick rolling.

Rick Astley...Mr. Rick Roll himself showed up
on this rad float, and proceded to rick roll the entire country.

Bored geeks across the land probably uniformly pissed
themselves a little.

*I sometimes assume that everyone is an internet geek,
like myself. So, I forget that maybe some of you
have never been rickrolled, or haven't heard the term.
So here is a link in case you don't understand this.*


Thanksgiving is know for getting together
with family and having a good meal.
I love Thanksgiving even more because
instead of a traditional meal, my grandma
makes us this:

Nothing better than homemade, authentic spaghetti
and meatballs. Throw in a little sausage and pork
and it is a feast for the ages. So delicious. My grandma makes
this for Thanksgiving every year. And hopefully
next year she is going to teach me. It is a two
day process, but I think I am up to the task.

On another subject. I went to see Ohgr for the first time this
last Wednesday. And I will say the show was
pretty cool. He is very theatrical. He came out
in an amazing costume, and I tried to get a picture
of it, but my camera was not having it.
Luckily, he stripped it off during the show, and
displayed it on side. So as everyone was
clearing out, I went and got a good picture.

I enjoyed the show, especially since there weren't
a ton of people there. Although I wish he would
have played more of the older stuff.

Here's a video. Be warned, somewhat creepy.

Oh and if anyone is curious to know why
I loathe Christmas, this article sums it up.


Monday, November 24, 2008 can't be...not already!

Every year, it gets worse. I try so hard to
avoid it. I try to put it in the back of my
mind. And then as I'm watching TV,
I hear those six words that form that
terrible sentence. The sentence that strikes
fear into my very soul.
'It's that time of year again!'


Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm not apologizing this time

*Yes, I can't help myself.
I absolutely loved this article.

...hmmm...comments on or off...*

Democracy, Religion and Proposition 8

How can a free society reconcile the often competing values of democracy, religious liberty and the separation of church and state? This challenge was vividly illustrated by the recent controversy over California's Proposition 8, which forbade same-sex marriage.

In a democracy, the majority of citizens ordinarily may enact whatever laws they want. Some laws, however, are prohibited by the Constitution. For example, the majority of citizens may want a law denying African-Americans the right to vote or prohibiting Muslims from attending public schools, but such laws violate the Constitution.

Does Proposition 8 violate the Constitution? There are several arguments one might make for this position. One might argue that Proposition 8 discriminates against gays and lesbians in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. One might argue that Proposition 8 unconstitutionally limits the fundamental right to marry. One might argue that Proposition 8 violates the separation of church and state. It is this last argument that interests me.

Laws that violate the separation of church and state usually take one of two forms. Either they discriminate against certain religions ("Jews may not serve as jurors"), or they endorse particular religions ("school children must recite the Lord's Prayer"). Proposition 8 does not violate the principle of separation of church and state in either of these ways. It neither restricts religious freedom nor endorses religious expression.

What it does do, however, is to enact into law a particular religious belief. Indeed, despite invocations of tradition, morality and family values, it seems clear that the only honest explanation for Proposition 8 is religion. This is obvious not only from the extraordinary efforts undertaken by some religious groups to promote Proposition 8, but also from the very striking voting patterns revealed in the exit polls.

Proposition 8 was enacted by a vote of 52% to 48%. Those identifying themselves as Evangelicals, however, supported Proposition 8 by a margin of 81% to 19%, and those who say they attend church services weekly supported Proposition 8 by a vote of 84% to 16%. Non-Christians, by the way, opposed Proposition 8 by a margin 85% to 15% and those who do not attend church regularly opposed Proposition 8 by a vote of 83% to 17%.

What this tells us, quite strikingly, is that Proposition 8 was a highly successful effort of a particular religious group to conscript the power of the state to impose their religious beliefs on their fellow citizens, whether or not those citizens share those beliefs. This is a serious threat to a free society committed to the principle of separation of church and state.

The Framers of the American Constitution knew that throughout human history religious self-righteousness has caused intolerance, discrimination and injustice. They understood that religious self-righteousness is dangerous, divisive and destructive, and that it has led to untold ignorance and misery. It was for that reason that they embedded in our Constitution a fundamental commitment to the separation of church and state.

The Framers were not anti-religion. They understood that religion could help to nurture the public morality necessary to a self-governing society. But religion was to be fundamentally private. It was for the individual. It was not to intrude unduly into the political sphere.

But here's the rub: From a strictly legal perspective, it is next to impossible for courts to enforce the separation of church and state in the context of laws like Proposition 8. When a law does not directly restrict religious activity or expressly endorse religious expression, it is exceedingly difficult for courts to sort out the "real" motivations behind the law. As a consequence, courts are loath to invalidate laws on the ground that they enact a particular religious faith.

This does not end the inquiry, however. Courts also have difficulty in dealing with laws that do not expressly discriminate on the basis of race or religion or gender, but that were motivated by racial, religious or gender prejudice. But we know - as an essential part of our national character - that we as citizens should not support laws because they advance our discriminatory biases about race, religion, and gender. We know that it is un-American for us to enact laws because they implement our prejudices. We know that it is our responsibility to be tolerant, self-critical and introspective about our own values and beliefs and to strive to achieve our highest national aspirations.

The separation of church and state is one of those aspirations. Indeed, regardless of whether courts can intervene in this context, it is as un-American to violate the separation of church and state by using the power of the state to impose our religious beliefs on others as it is to use the power of the state to impose our discriminatory views of race, religion or gender on others.

This is the fundamental point that the religious advocates of Proposition 8 fail to comprehend. Like other citizens, they are free in our society to support laws because they believe those laws serve legitimate ends, including such values as tradition, general conceptions of morality, and family stability. But they are not free - not if they are to act as faithful American citizens - to impose their religious views on others. That is, quite simply, un-American.

This is not to say that individuals cannot attempt to persuade others freely to embrace and to act in accord with their religious beliefs. The First Amendment gives us virtually absolute protection to preach, proselytize and evangelize. But the fundamental point about religious liberty in the United States is that it is private. Christian Evangelicals have every right to try to persuade others to accept and abide by their beliefs. But they have no right - indeed, they violate the very spirit of the American Constitution - when they attempt to conscript the authority of the state to compel those who do not share their religious beliefs to act as if they do.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Time for a break

I figure I would give you a break from
my seriousness, and post some of the
other things going on.
I completely skipped Halloween because
of my distractions. So I will post on that.

I have not been to a haunted house in
ages. Heather was extremely nice to attempt
to plan an outing for all the bloggers.
And after numerous emails, trying to
get a time and date to work for everyone
(seriously I think these emails spanned
a month, and more emails than I could
count), it ended up just being me and Heather.

We went to the haunted house at This is Place
State Park. I have never been up there, but it
was pretty cool. I unfortunately wore heels,
because Heather always complains about how
tall she is. So I wanted to make her feel better.
I regretted it shortly thereafter. It was an outdoor
haunted house and I was quite wobbly. This was only
made worse by Heather being quite the wuss, and as she
was scared, she proceeded to tear my arm off.
(I call you a wuss with the utmost amount
of respect and love my dear Heather)

The first house we went into was the best.
Only because Heather managed to scream at every
turn. I knew that Holly was the screamer, but
much to my delight, Heather was just as bad.
I caught on to this, and without her knowing at
first, I recorded her numerous screams.
Unfortunately, she found out, and I missed
the majority of the good ones in the beginning.
But here are two. (Heather thought she might
have gotten away with me not posting this.

This was a surprisingly long trail. The place was
pretty amazing. There were tons of old houses and
mansions. We managed to spend a good half hour
in a tiny maze. I still don't know how we missed
the exit. And to top it all off, there was
a headless horseman riding horse back along
one of the trails. A real effing horse galloping
pretty damn fast. I managed to cuss extremely loud
when it came. Something a long the lines of
"HOLY SHIT! That's the coolest thing I've ever seen!"

We spent a good amount of time trying to figure out
how to take a picture of both of us together
(I think it was about 10 or so).

I also told Heather I would not post her funny face
picture. You see, Heather wants so badly to make
cute funny faces. She thinks for some reason I have mastered
this art (I do not know why). But I like Heather's funny
face in this one.

And, my advice Heather. Practice in the mirror.
Although some people are just born with funny faces (in my case)
Be extremely thankful that you were born with the kind
of face you can't practice. And that is a beautiful face.

Soooo Sappy! (but very true)

In the end, I was glad we still both went after
everyone managed to bail.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So I be written in the book of love.

Maybe eventually I can get back to reporting on
the happenings of my life. But right now, my
life seems tiny and meaningless. If you do not
enjoy reading about these issues, please feel free to
take a break from my blog. Because honestly, this is what
consumes me in my life right now. And I use my blog
to write not only about what I do, but how I feel.
And this is me, take it or leave it.
I have spoken
quite a bit on this issue, and I probably sound
uniformed and possibly uneducated.
But there are people who come along and
take my breath away. Keith Olbermann has
managed to put into words what I could never
imagine to do on my own.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I encourage you not to read this.

I have had a very hard time deciding if I should
post certain things because of my personal
opinions, especially knowing that most people
who read my blog generally disagree with me.
But, I have decided that this is my personal
blog, something I hope to look back on and
remember certain points in my life.
That being said, I am about to write some
very personal feelings. And I am going to
warn you, some of you might not like
what I am going to say.

Yesterday was an historic day for our
country. 40-60 years ago was an ugly time
for blacks and minorities in this country.
Segregation was the norm, and blacks were
allowed to entertain us, but not use the
same drinking fountain, eat in the same
restaurants, or sit by white people on
the bus. All of us are very aware of this point
in Unites States history. We are taught in school
how the black community banned together, and
some lost their lives, to fight discrimination and
segregation. Our government backed the idea
of a black individual being less of a person
than white individuals. A lot of our generation looks
back on this and we can't quite understand
how anyone could even think this way.

And yesterday our generation spoke loud and clear
about how we felt. We voted and elected an
African American as our president. And I
think we should be so proud as a nation that
we have gotten this far. As Obama gave his
speech, I was moved to tears.

But my pride turned to sorrow today as I got
the news that the majority of people in California
voted for Proposition 8. I also found out that the
Mormon church was 70% of the finances used to
help back this proposition. Surprising to me, knowing
that the Mormon religion had their own struggle with
people discriminating against them for their religious
beliefs. 70 million dollars total was spent to back a
proposition that encouraged discrimination. And I realize
we have another fight coming in this country.

We are at the same point we were, just with
a different group. We allow gays and lesbians
to entertain us. Ellen Degeneres, Will and Grace,
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. We listen to
musicians like Elton John, Judas
Priest, Michael Stipe of REM and Lou Reed.
And yet, we don't allow these people the same
rights that we've had since we were born.
This isn't about allowing people to be gay,
it's about accepting that they are. Acceptance.
There was a time when it was illegal for people
of different races to marry each other.
I know that had we not seen this as discrimination,
it would have affected a lot of people I know today.
People who have married mexican-americans,
latin-americans and asian-americans.
Think about all of your friends who have
interracial marriages and think how it would
affect them if they were told that they couldn't get married.

This Halloween weekend I was literally yelled
at by someone that I know my parents consider
family because of my views on gay marriage.
A simple discussion of politics turned to
anger and hatred. Homosexuality was compared
to pedophilia and bestiality. And it brought me to tears
that people still feel that much anger towards a
group of people, that are only asking to be treated
equally when choosing who they want to spend
their lives with. And isn't that what we are told
as children what America is all about? Equality?

It brought me to tears today to find out that
the majority of California, which is know to be culturally
ahead of the curve, is still stuck in this idea
of discrimination. The majority of blacks and
hispanics voted yes on prop 8. Surprising to me
that the same people who fought so hard
to be treated equally now get their chance
to discriminate.

I have tried my best to not judge anyone based on their beliefs.
But, this issue has really gotten to me. We as voters have
so much power. And it scares me to think that my life
could possibly be in the hands of people that hate who I am
or could be. I am so thankful that I live in a country that
is not allowed to discrimate against me for being a woman or an
atheist. Most places of business can be sued if they
discriminate against a person for their sexuality, and
yet that is exactly what the whole country is doing.

I hope that one day younger generations look back at us
and think to themselves how ignorant we once were.
And I hope more than anything that President Obama
looks back at his ancenstry, and puts a stop to this
kind of discrimination once and for all.

I will leave you, and this post, with a heartwarming
story (at least in my eyes) about a lesbian couple
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, who have been together
for 55 years! They were married in 2004 the first time they
legalized gay marriage until it was struck down.
And again in May of this year. These two women have spent
their lives fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians
since 1955. Everyone keeps talking about the sanctity
of marriage, when I believe our generation doesn't even take
marriage seriously. I know people my age who have been
divorced twice already. And for two women to last that
long, they deserve to be married. Unfortunately, Del Martin
passed away. And with Proposition 8 being passed, I believe
that will make their marriage void.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I sure as hell hope so!!!