Please Don't Let Ken Starr Divorce These People

[Cross-Posted at Library Grape]

This video is absolutely heart-breaking.  I am having a hard time holding back the tears at work.

Sitting here without a mate in my little bubble of comfort, it's easy to forget about the countless married gay families in California that are currently under assault from the likes of Ken Starr.

Not only are the religious fundamentalists behind Prop. 8 planning to defend its legitimacy in the California Supreme Court, they have taken their fight to the most outrageous extreme imaginable and are actively trying to invalidate the marriages of tens of thousands of devoted Californians.

This is not some abstract discussion about rights, equality or the legal merits of gay marriage.  

These are real people with real families who were legally married in California before Prop. 8 took away the marriage rights of every gay Californian.  

These families are now faced with the prospect that the perennial agents of intolerance will forcibly rip their marriage away from them.

I hardly have the words to describe how furious this makes me.  

We've come a long way in this country -- struggling mightily to stamp out the abominations of slavery and segregation -- but we still live in a society where people unapologetically indulge their ignorance and animus in order to lash out at vulnerable minorities they blindly choose not to understand.

If this makes you as angry as it does me, take action now and sign the Courage Campaign's letter to the California Supreme Court.

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Sexism: The mother of all 'isms'.

Sexism is the 'gateway 'ism'', that makes all other 'isms' possible.  It precedes all other forms of discrimination, setting the example that there are some people that view others as inferior and they use brutality upon them.  What I mean by that is that because our family and society models are built around the model of inequality, injustice and brutality - we accept that behavior as normal.  So, too is racism, classism, speciesism and any other oppression by one group toward another.  The behaviors of sexism are the behaviors of bullying, injustice, intolerance and cruelty.

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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A Christmas linkfest

Merry Christmas to MyDD readers who are celebrating the holiday today.

And if you're Jewish like me, remember that Jesus was an important Jewish theologian and reformer.

Here are some holiday links for you.

On the real meaning of Christmas:

A Christmas prayer from pastordan.

Carnacki shares a true story and treasured family memory.

John Lennon sings "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)."

greywolfe359 reflects on Light in the Darkness.

noweasels offers Christmas wishes and memories of small-town Christmas pageants.

Some less-happy Christmas stories:

Millions of children grow up in poverty, and even if they are relatively comfortable as adults, they never forget those feelings of economic insecurity. Last year chuckles1 shared his memories of "The year we stole a Christmas tree." (The piece is still relevant, even though the presidential campaign angle is obsolete.)

Expatyank lives in Britain, where unemployment and other economic problems are causing the retail sector to implode during what should be the busiest shopping week of the year.

For history buffs:

Daily Kos' resident historian Unitary Moonbat talks about how Christmas has been celebrated throughout the centuries.

Remember, the Puritans felt Christmas"incited moral degeneracy and so they declared war on the Christmas holiday by passing laws against it in Scotland and England, later in Massachusetts [...]"

Other useful Christmas links:

Asinus Asinum Fricat is a chef and native of France. He shares some memories of Christmas in Provence, including recipes for traditional desserts.

The same diarist is a veteran restaurant owner and operator, and offers a Christmas proposal for entrepreneurs out there. It's about how to set up and run a low-cost restaurant that "will thrive in this severe economic downturn."

A conservative blogger offers some Christmas cooking and sewing ideas (the muffins look truly decadent).

Daily Kos commenters had lots of good suggestions to add to my list of no-clutter holiday gift ideas.

Eddie C posted a fun photo diary on Christmas in New York City.

Christmas humor:

JeffLieber wrote a funny piece from the perspective of Joseph: I've just discovered my wife has been unfaithful.

Asinus Asinum Fricat offers a selection of Christmas jokes (some are Australian and "saucy"). Be sure to read the comments, where many people posted additional Christmas humor. I added a Jewish Christmas joke.

Christmas music:

What do you prefer? Old-fashioned cheesy, like Bing Crosby and Tony Bennett? Childhood favorites like the Charlie Brown Christmas album? Hip adult options like Diana Krall's jazzy Christmas music?

Deoliver47 shares a bunch of Christmas music videos.

We mostly listen to Chanukah music, but I do enjoy Oy to the World: A Klezmer Christmas.

Share holiday cheer or other thoughts in the comments.

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Are we too stupid to save ourselves?

I walked onto the train platform in downtown Chicago today.  A woman had just finished shopping at Macy's and had several red shopping bags.  She was trying to put everything into one bag.  The wind picked up and blew some of the empty bags down the platform.  I took off running and stopped them from blowing out onto the street.

Then, she yells to me that: "It's OK!  They're empty." Then she sits down and waits for the train with her two bags full of stuff.  The 5 empty big red bags are just out there on the platform and she makes no effort to pick them up.  I told her that I didn't want litter for a Christmas present, picked them all up and threw them in the trash (no recycling on CTA platforms...dammit!).

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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Religious Belief Astounds Me...

Tonite is the first night of Chanukah and here in our half-Jewish descent, half-Christian descent and all-Atheist household we are getting ready to have a daughter and grandsons over for first night dinner. It's interesting how we align ourselves with the holidays in order to maintain gift-giving and food celebration traditions.

It started me thinking about belief in general and, watching CBS News Sunday Morning as they did a piece on Angels, I heard that 65% of Americans believe that angels exist as messengers from heaven. Many believe they have spoken with angels. And, of course, they substantiate the basic belief in Heaven (and Hell) that an ABC poll of a couple of years ago said 85% of Americans share.

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