Saturday, January 31, 2009

For no particular reason ... remembering Bill

Yesterday Alec and I were talking to a friend about living with children who are at the young toddler age, and we remembered Bill when we were living in the upstairs of the big blue house in Hattiesburg Mississippi. I think Noel was about two and a half or so and Bill was a little over one year old.

Bill loved his walker, the kind with a frame with wheels and a cloth sling to seat the child on.

One of Bill's favorite things to do was to propel himself over to our bookshelves and pull each book out very, very slowly one-by-one with a finger until it plopped onto the floor between him and the shelf. He thought that was hysterically funny.

He would work his way down the shelf and then we would have to go put them back on the shelves.
That really amused him. I'm not sure if it was the plopping or seeing us put them back (so he could do it again) which entertained him more.

Then Alec remembered that another thing Bill did back then with those books. He would take each one all the way out, turn it around and place it back on the shelf with the spine in.

As I've said before, Bill was an imp.

Am I having flashbacks or what? Adam Smith and ENDA inclusion

After signing the petition in support of Gender Identity Inclusive ENDA through Equal Rights Washington on January 6th with this message:
Representative Adam Smith
U.S. House of Representatives
2402 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0001

Dear Representative Smith,

I join with the hundreds of thousands of people who make up the membership of the organizations of United ENDA in calling on Congress to quickly protect all workers in America by passing the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA).

In signing this petition I call upon Congress to pass and the President to sign ENDA. I also promise to do my part to ensure the passage of this important workers' rights legislation.

I stand with United ENDA in expressing support only for an ENDA that prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression as well sexual orientation. Any version of ENDA that does not include gender identity and expression will leave American workers unprotected.

Members of the transgender community, those perceived as being transgender, and persons with nonconforming gender identities face significant discrimination in the workplace. To deny people the opportunity to earn a living and be productive members of our society because of irrational animus harms both individuals and the economy.

While I know the majority of Americans already support this legislation, I will talk to my friends and family about the importance of gender identity and expression inclusive ENDA. I will keep my family & friends apprised of developments in the campaign to protect all of our nation's workers from discrimination. When called upon by United ENDA I will contact my elected leaders and take other action as needed to protect our nation's workers and economy.

I am proud to stand with United ENDA, a coalition over 300 organizations, in calling for an America where workers may not be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or, gender identity or expression. The time for including these classes in the anti-discrimination laws of our nation is long overdue.

Signed by:
Gabrielle Clayton
Olympia, WA
And so yesterday I received this email:

January 30, 2009

Dear Gabrielle,

Thank you for contacting me with your support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns with me on this important matter.

Like you, I believe that it is wrong that someone can be fired or denied a job opportunity because they are, or are perceived to be, gay, lesbian, or bisexual. ENDA simply extends basic employment discrimination law to include sexual orientation, thereby providing legal recourse in our state or federal courts.

This legislation is a common-sense solution to this problem. Unfortunately, it remains legal in 33 states to fire or refuse to hire anyone based on sexual orientation. This legislation does not create special rights; ENDA would simply add sexual orientation to the current list of federal employment protections that already ban discrimination based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability.

As you may know, Congressman Barney Frank introduced this legislation in the 110th Congress. It was passed in the House, but unfortunately it was stalled n the Senate and failed to pass. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act has not yet been re-introduced in the 111th Congress. Please know that should this legislation come back to the House floor for vote, I will support it.

Again, I want to thank you for contacting me on this important matter. If you have any additional questions, comments or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Adam Smith
Member of Congress


Something about it seemed very familiar.

I did a search and found this right here on my blog:

A 'conversation' with Representative Adam Smith regarding inclusion of gender identity in ENDA

I get it that politicians are busy and use form letters and emails and change the information to update and add your name and send.

And I get it that Congressman Adam Smith doesn't want transgender people included in ENDA legislation.

And I am not impressed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"This Land is Your Land" - The Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert

Listen to an watch this performance of Woody Guthrie's " great song, "This Land is Your Land"

It is sung by Tao Rodríguez, his grandfather Pete Seeger, and Bruce Springsteen

Tim Harris wrote:
Watch Pete's eyes gleam when he does the private property verse. A moment worth watching again and again. Looking at that gorgeous crowd, I'm feeling something like, what, can it be ... hope! Definitely hope.
in the January 21st post in his blog, Apesma's Lament. Read all of Tim's post: Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

And read: We Have Overcome
by Joyce Marcel, published on Thursday, January 22, 2009 on

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The inauguration of Barack Obama

Hi everyone. I haven't posted in a while. I've been really busy and also dealing with some health things. (No seizures thank goodness.)

I wanted to post something for this amazing day, and I watched this video and thought Jay Smooth. Here it is - be sure to watch it to the end!

Why I'm Happy, Why I'm Not Satisfied
by Jay Smooth on his hip-hop video blog ill Doctrine.
January 20, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The 'war' that was always illegal is now illegal.

Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway wrote today in
The Iraq War Is Now Illegal
Ongoing combat in Iraq is illegal under US law. As of January 1, Congress' authorization of the war expired.
As some of the comments to the article point out, this occupation of Iraq war was never legal.

I haven't updated it for almost a year, but if you are interested, check out:
My response to 9/11/01 and then to the invasion of Iraq
with links to articles and resources

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Daniel Cartier "Auld Lang Syne"

I really enjoyed Daniel Cartier's version of this old song:

Auld Lang Syne

Daniel wrote:
My fiancé Joe and I filmed this video on Cape Cod. It's one of my favorite songs of all time; a bittersweet song of hope. May the upcoming New Year be filled with joy and love for everyone.
God Bless!

Learn more about Daniel Cartier on his website.

Happy new year everyone.
love, Gabi

Apesma's Lament: Real Change Rock Rock On

In his blog "Apesma's Lament" Tim Harris, one of my favorite Seattle people (not yet met in 'real time') wrote:
Today, a close friend called to say their family was sending Real Change $1,000. It's been a tough year for them, but they're doing it anyway. I've been hearing that a lot lately. It's inspiring. It's also a lot of responsibility. This year, more than a thousand people valued our work enough to send a check, and lots of them stretched to do it. It's an enormous honor to be supported in this way. 2008 was a hard year in many ways.
and ...
Yesterday, one of our guys said he felt more loved at Real Change than anywhere he'd lived in five years. This is what we call a Real Change moment. A lump rises in your throat. You get a little misty, and you say something like, "Thanks. That makes me happy." Then you do a little hug or handshake or whatever, and feel lucky for having work that lets you be a real human being. You then go back to doing the best you can with what you have to work with, and push those rocks up those hills. Because that's what you do.

The friend who called also mentioned a local hip-hop band that's made it big. She'd been listening to their Long March EP. "Did you know the Blues Scholars mention Real Change?" Um, no. "Well, they do. They say, 'Real Change, rock rock on!"
Read Apesma's Lament: Real Change Rock Rock On
and find out more about Real Change

Happy new year, Tim. Maybe we'll meet sometime in 2009.