Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who is this Sarah character anyhow?

Let's see.

  • She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.

  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.

  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000.

  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.

  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.

  • She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.

  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.

  • She hasn't paid "much attention" to Iraq.

  • She has ethics and wrong-doing baggage following her from Alaska.

  • LGBTQ rights? What rights?

I don't plan to give this woman much unearned media by writing about her very often, but a few details seemed to be in order. McCain picked her because she isn't a threat to him and because he is assuming that the women of this country will put gender for gender's sake ahead of their actual interests. Maybe some will...I don't know any of them, that's for sure.
And here is the rest of it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Right to Vote

And WHY will I be receiving a ballot in the mail in October, filling it out (the WHOLE thing people!) and mailing it back in?

Well, that would be because:

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was declared in effect. And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Greenland melting, melting, melting

Well heck...

WASHINGTON — In northern Greenland, a part of the Arctic that had seemed immune from global warming, new satellite images show a growing giant crack and an 11-square-mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off a major glacier, scientists said Thursday.

And that's led the university professor who spotted the wounds in the massive Petermann glacier to predict disintegration of a major portion of the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier within the year.

If it does worsen and other northern Greenland glaciers melt faster, then it could speed up sea level rise, already increasing because of melt in sourthern Greenland.

The crack is 7 miles long and about half a mile wide. It is about half the width of the 500 square mile floating part of the glacier. Other smaller fractures can be seen in images of the ice tongue, a long narrow sliver of the glacier.

And here is the rest of it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Coquille and same-sex marriage

Just Out caught this piece from the Oregonian.

The Coquille Nation, in southern Oregon, has sanctioned same-sex marriage. I don't think the Oregonian's short piece does justice to the possible legal rumblings likely to be born of this, but I love the fact that there is anything IN the Oregonian about it! And here is the rest of it.

Rebuilding the Gulf Coast

I received this from the Color of Change. They call it bold, but as the message points out, boldness is not a new concept.

Three years after Hurricane Katrina, there's finally a bill in Congress that will give all Katrina survivors a fair chance to rebuild their lives. But it won't become law if your representative doesn't stand up to support it.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act would hire 100,000 Gulf Coast residents and evacuees, providing them with training and jobs to rebuild their homes and communities. It started as nothing more than a good idea, but after thousands of members called on Congress to support the plan, and after years of persistent activism from students and Gulf Coast organizations, it now has a real chance of bringing some justice to the Gulf.

Even though it's come this far, it will take massive public pressure on each member of Congress to get the bill passed. If we want justice for Katrina survivors, we need to make our voices heard now as the media focuses its attention on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Please join us and call on your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, then ask your friends and family to do the same:

It's the right thing to do

The Gulf Coast is still struggling, suffering from a lack of jobs, affordable housing, and basic infrastructure.1

For the last three years, we've seen public officials accept--whether out of hopelessness or carefully concealed joy--that post-Katrina New Orleans will be a smaller, whiter and wealthier city. We've seen politicians support plans that will push Black and poor people out of the Gulf, amplifying race and class inequalities and permanently gentrifying the area.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act represents a powerful shift from that path. The plan calls for hiring 100,000 Gulf Coast residents to rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding region. They'll be provided with temporary housing and job-training and will build and repair houses, schools, parks, and other civic buildings.2

It's been done before

The idea behind the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project is not new. During the Great Depression, the federal government believed it had a responsibility to ensure that those hit hardest did not fall through the cracks.3 It also knew that those Americans wanted a hand up, not a handout. So, in 1935, Congress created a program to hire out-of-work Americans to get things done to benefit their communities. Within 2 weeks of launching this unprecedented project, over 800,000 people were hired; within 2 months, 4.2 million were working to build bridges, roads, libraries, schools and other public facilities. If we could put 4 million people to work in just 8 weeks in 1935, why can't we immediately put 100,000 people to work rebuilding the Gulf Coast?

It's a plan that makes sense--for displaced survivors, for the communities of the Gulf Coast, for the nation as a whole. It provides an opportunity to invest in Americans while reversing the most glaring problems that plague current rebuilding plans: gentrification, government waste, and massive corporate profiteering. It would revitalize the Gulf Coast's economy while rebuilding its infrastructure, and it's a model that could be applied to solve similar problems across the country. members should be proud that we've supported this plan since long before it was a bill in Congress. Getting it introduced as a bill was a great victory and a huge step forward, but it's going to take even more public pressure to get it voted on and passed.

Please join us and call on your representative to co-sponsor the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. It only takes a minute:

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Promoting Inequality has a hefty price tag

CAUSA reports that:

Yesterday, it was reported that the State Financial Estimate Committee, comprised of four state officials and one local representative, put a price tag of $250 Million to Oregonians on Measure 58. The measure, placed on the November Ballot by anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore, would limit English language instruction to Oregon students to 2 years.

According to the numbers, Measure 58 would have a drastic impact on Oregon’s General Fund, slashing available funding for colleges and universities, health care, human services, public schools and public safety. In the tough economic times that Oregonians find themselves, Measure 58 would only add to hardship many already face.

So why will Measure 58 cost so much? According to the Financial Estimate Committee, $250 million will be spent in each of the first two years for training new “English immersion” teachers and aides for local school districts.

Well, with all of his sham anti-tax measures (because you know, he wants to save us our hard earned dollars), who exactly does he think will be paying for this crap? And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

McCain-Not pro-much a 'nothin

Doesn't seem so different to me.

NEW YORK -- John McCain has pitched himself as a different kind of Republican but not, apparently, when it comes to gay rights.

In a interview with the Conservative magazine Weekly Standard , McCain was asked if he was considering a pro-choice vice presidential pick like former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge. In his answer he volunteered Mike Bloomberg as an unworthy candidate:

"I think it's a fundamental tenet of our party to be pro-life but that does not mean we exclude people from our party that are pro-choice. We just have a -- albeit strong -- but just it's a disagreement. And I think Ridge is a great example of that. Far more so than Bloomberg, because Bloomberg is pro-gay rights, pro, you know, a number of other issues.

Anyone who thinks this man is a maverick or whatever, is plain kidding themselves. If it's up to him, I have neither rights as a woman nor as a lesbian. Tell me again how he will claim to lead my country (not to mention collect my taxes)?And here is the rest of it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No stagflation...Yippee?

From CNN Money:

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- With the price of practically everything jumping, you probably wouldn't mind getting a bigger paycheck.

But your employer isn't the only one who's unenthusiastic about that idea. Fed chief Ben Bernanke is counting on a weak labor market to keep employees from demanding wage hikes, which could in turn boost inflation. With unemployment rising and jobs moving overseas, you're probably not in the mood to push it anyway.

So the good news is that the Fed's probably right when it says that we're not headed for a replay of the stagflation of the 1970s, replete with its so-called wage-price spiral. Unfortunately, that means Americans are going to be feeling poorer - with no end in sight.

Ok, we should be happy to be avoiding stagflation, but which one of these is the lesser evil? Damn we need better choices. And here is the rest of it.

Domestic Partnerships Solid

This just arrived from Basic Rights Oregon:

In a unanimous decision issued this morning, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision dismissing our opponent’s claims in the Lemons v. Bradbury case. Thanks to your courage and unwavering support, Oregon's domestic partnership law is secure. There will be no referendum on the ballot this November.

More details at their website. For now, I need to go call my girlfriend.:) And here is the rest of it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Veterans-So much for honoring them

Ugh...I can't stand it when people do insanely stupid things that only result in citizens being disenfranchised, and then pretend that isn't the goal. One of the greatest things that veterans sign up to protect, is easily denied them.

Susan Bysiewicz, Secretary of State for Connecticut, has a pointed op/ed piece in the New York Times, shedding some light on the repercussions of a recent decision by the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs:

WHAT is the secretary of Veterans Affairs thinking? On May 5, the department led by James B. Peake issued a directive that bans nonpartisan voter registration drives at federally financed nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and shelters for homeless veterans. As a result, too many of our most patriotic American citizens — our injured and ill military veterans — may not be able to vote this November.

I have witnessed the enforcement of this policy. On June 30, I visited the Veterans Affairs Hospital in West Haven, Conn., to distribute information on the state’s new voting machines and to register veterans to vote. I was not allowed inside the hospital.

Outside on the sidewalk, I met Martin O’Nieal, a 92-year-old man who lost a leg while fighting the Nazis in the mountains of Northern Italy during the harsh winter of 1944. Mr. O’Nieal has been a resident of the hospital since 2007. He wanted to vote last year, but he told me that there was no information about how to register to vote at the hospital and the nurses could not answer his questions about how or where to cast a ballot.

There are thousands of veterans of wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and the current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan who are isolated behind the walls of V.A. hospitals and nursing homes across the country. We have an obligation to make sure that every veteran has the opportunity to make his or her voice heard at the ballot box.

She goes on to explain the illigetimacy of the arguments used by the Secretary in making the decision:

The department offers two reasons to justify its decision. First, it claims that voter registration drives are disruptive to the care of its patients. This is nonsense. Veterans can fill out a voter registration card in about 90 seconds.

Second, the department claims that its employees cannot help patients register to vote because the Hatch Act forbids federal workers from engaging in partisan political activities. But this interpretation of the Hatch Act is erroneous. Registering people to vote is not partisan activity.

If the department does not want to burden its staff, there are several national organizations with a long history of nonpartisan advocacy for veterans and their right to vote that are eager to help, as are elected officials like me.

The department has placed an illegitimate obstacle in the way of election officials across the country and, more important, in the way of veterans who want to vote. A group of 21 secretaries of state — Republicans and Democrats throughout the country, led by me and my counterpart in Washington State, Sam Reed — has asked Secretary Peake to lift his department’s ridiculous ban on voter registration drives.

How many ways do they plan to disenfranchise before November? I think we better get on the horn to our own SOS.

And here is the rest of it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Make the Switch

We Can Solve It is putting out an ad, to air during the Olympics to counter the big push to open up protected areas to drilling.

And here is the rest of it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Q Center's Buy-Us-a-Garage Sale

Ok, this just plain sounds like fun. I'd add more but...I need to go clean out my closet now!

Sept 6th & 7th: “Buy-Us-a-Garage” Sale
It’s time to clean out your closets and help Q Center raise funds for the Building Challenge!

Our good friends at JustOut have graciously offered their office building to help us host a Community Garage Sale, or as we’re calling it: a “Buy-Us-A-Garage” Sale.

We will take your clean and fabulous items and sell them at a gloriously GAY sale. We will have several “departments” and are looking for furniture, cds and DVDs, electronics, cool bric-a-brac, books, etc.

We are especially looking for items for our “Specialty Boutique”, the spot for the super good stuff. So if you have an antique, a beautiful piece of art or another “high end” item that you are willing to donate for our sale, we will gratefully take it off of your hands.

Spread the word that shopping at the “Buy-Us-A-Garage”-Sale is another great way to support our search for a new home!

**Items should be dropped of at JustOut’s offices**
6234 N Greeley Ave, Portland

“Buy-Us-a-Garage” Sale
Sunday, September 7th, 2008
Just Out’s Offices
6234 N Greeley Ave, Portland

Collection on the 6th is from 10am-2pm and the sale on the 7th is from 10am-4pm. All proceeds will go towards the Challenge Fund.

And here is the rest of it.

Community College Challenge

When I made the decision to return to college, at the age of 36, I chose to go to community college for a couple of reasons. The thought of going to a university scared the crap out of me. Financially, I didn't think there was a way. Emotionally, after being out of school for almost twenty years, I didn't have a clue as to how I would do as a student, and knew I would likely need support, more easily found at a community college. Physically, I knew that I wouldn't be able to navigate a really large campus because my injuries at the time were too much. I went back to school because I couldn't do my old work (restaurant management) anymore and needed new skills. What I found at community college was the beginning of a whole new life. It sounds really corny, but my whole world opened up and I don't really think I would be succeeding at the level I am if I had not gone to community college before going to a university. It affected me enough for me to know that, no matter what else I do between here and there, working in student development at a community college is what I want to do when I grow up.

All of this is a lead up to this
post that I found about a grant challenge to all 17 of Oregon's community colleges.

Supporters of students at Oregon’s 17 community colleges have been challenged to increase their giving to scholarship funds next year, thanks to a challenge grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

The Miller Foundation – an independent, private organization established to enhance the quality of life of Oregonians through support of the arts and education – has offered to donate a total of $1.5 million in scholarship funds to the 17 community college, in varying amounts depending on enrollments. The challenges range from $50,000 for the 10 smallest community colleges, including Clatsop Community College, up to $320,000 for Portland Community College, the state’s largest community college

To qualify for the grant, each college’s foundation will have to raise an equal amount in new scholarship funds – atop the amounts they raised between April 2007 and March 2008 for scholarships.

“A challenge grant like this is really terrific,” says Nadine Faith, Executive Director of Clatsop Community College Foundation. “It means that for every new scholarship dollar an individual or business in our community contributes to help our students, Miller Foundation will match it with a scholarship donation of its own . . . effectively doubling a local donor’s impact on student opportunity.”

Each community college has its own Foundation, so you can pick whichever one you want.

The fact that we are in economically hard times, does not make it easy to raise money. However, considering that community colleges are the absolute backbone for a skilled workforce, any dollars raised are an investment in improving our future economy. The state is projecting that by 2010-2012, 80% of liveable-wage jobs in this state will require at least an Associate's degree.

Think of any cornball life-changing story you can about people turning their lives around, and you will find an example of it in a community college student somewhere.

And here is the rest of it.

Friday, August 8, 2008

SAFE Hearing

This is about the Sit/Lie ordinance in Portland (an insulting law)

SAFE Oversight Committee Public Hearing

Monday August 11, 2008 from 3 - 5pm
At the Community Room, First Unitarian Church. Enter at: 1226 SW Salmon, Portland 97205.

From Sisters of the Road

Come protest the Sit-Lie Law with us and/or give testimony during
the hearing about why you think this law should be repealed!

Sisters' Civic Action Group members will be wearing their black
CAG tee-shirts so try to wear a black t-shirt in solidarity!

As with anything Sisters is involved with, this is a nonviolent
protest. Come speak your truth about the law and lets do it in a
respectful and non-humiliating way!

For more info, please contact Patrick at 503-222-5694 ext. 13 or
email Patrick @

And here is the rest of it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I wasn't very stimulated...were you?

Yeah..I think most people I know, and myself, coulda told you this.

From the The New York Times:

Consumers spent more in June, but only because the things they bought cost more.

Driven primarily by energy and food prices, inflation grew 0.8 percent over May, the biggest monthly increase since September 2005, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Monday. Spending, by comparison, grew just 0.6 percent in June.

“Inflation is intensifying, and that is the main source of weakness in consumer spending,” said Dean Maki, chief United States economist at Barclays.

High food and energy prices continue to drive overall prices. Without food and energy, core inflation grew at a more modest 0.3 percent over May. The prices of nondurable goods — the most current measure of food and energy prices kept by the bureau, adding in items like clothing — recorded the biggest year-over-year increase since July 1981.

And here is the rest of it.