Friday, November 14, 2008

What he said

I'd heard about this commentary by Keith Olbermann on the passage of Prop. 8, but hadn't seen it until today. It's heartfelt and worth watching.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Get with the program

Time for newspapers to get with the program? The video program? That's what journalism pioneer Michael Rosenblum said recently to the Society of Editors conference. Here are some excerpts on his presentation from a blog post by Dominic Ponsford on Press Gazette (U.K.) blog:
  • tags: video, future of news, business model

    • “Any idiot can do this, making TV is not hard, it's not complicated, it's not difficult. The technology makes it incredibly simple.”

      And he said print publications “must have video” on their websites or else go out of business.

    • “If you only have print or stills and your competitor has video your going to get eaten.”
    • He said print journalists were danger of becoming as obselete as the New England whalers of the 19th century.
    • “You are not in the newspaper business...When new technology like the internet comes along you can hide from it or you can embrace it.”

      He said: “Like the oilmen of New England you are already in the business but you have to remember the business you are in.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stand on the side of love

Since the election, I have done a lot of thinking about the passage of Prop 8. I keep wondering how so many Californians could be more supportive of the rights of farm animals than of the rights of people. I keep wondering how people who have experienced discrimination could vote to inflict it upon others and enshrine discrimination in our constitution. I simply do not understand.

What I do know is that this is the next civil rights struggle. What I do know is that one day we will be as appalled by Prop 8 as we now are by the laws that forbade interracial marriage. I can only hope that day comes soon.

If, like me, you are looking for a way to express your support for the right of all individuals to marry the one they love, please consider attending one of the following Peninsula candlelight vigils on Monday, Nov. 10, from 5-6:30 p.m.:

* San Mateo corner of El Camino Real and Fifth Avenue (I'll be here)
* Belmont at El Camino Real and Ralston Avenue (CalTrain side)
* Redwood City corner of El Camino and Jefferson Ave.
* Palo Alto at the corner of El Camino Real and Embarcadero
* San Jose at S. Bascom and Hamilton Ave. (southeast corner, just west of 17)
* San Jose downtown at Metropolitan Community Church, 65 South 7th Street

Click here for the most up-to-date list of venues, and links to maps. Bring candles. Rainbow flags and banners from faith communities are also welcome.

How Unitarian-Universalists view the right to marry
Listen to the UU hymn, Standing on the Side of Love

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


The answer to the question we've all been asking:

Election day impressions

I spent most of the day on the front lines of the No on Prop. 8 campaign, greeting voters and handing out hand cards at a San Bruno polling station at a middle school.

(In case you're not a Californian, Prop. 8 would overturn the recent California Supreme Court decision allowing gays to wed.)

Here are my election day impressions:
  • We Prop. 8 volunteers got lots of "thumbs up" from voters and passing drivers. We could tell they were really glad to see us when they honked their horns or took both hands off the steering wheel to give us two "thumbs up."
  • We decided to "kill them with kindness." We smiled and wished everyone a wonderful day, even if they told us they were voting "yes" on 8. We even smiled and waved at drivers who stopped to yell abuse at us (yes, there were several of those).
  • I expected a majority of younger people would support us, but I was pleased to see how many older men and women also told us they were voting no on 8.
  • About two-thirds of the people we greeted said, "You've got my vote." About 20-25 percent avoided us, ignored us, or waved us off. About 5 percent were rude or abusive.
  • One man, already in line (and thus out of reach) when we got to the polling station around 7 a.m., stopped on his way out to tell us how happy he was to see us there. I thought he was going to hug me.
  • One middle-aged woman and her husband stopped to say she's been angry ever since she first heard about Prop. 8. Saying it was "unfair," said she'd been waiting to vote against it.
  • One guy drove up around noon on a motorcycle, thanked us for being there, and gave us some homemade rice krispie bars. They were good.
  • I helped several people maneuver into tight parallel parking spaces on the street outside the polling station. One of them, when I handed him the No on 8 hand card, told me he wasn't that thrilled with the idea of gay marriage, but since it was now law, he was going to vote no on Prop. 8.
  • Big domestic model pick-up trucks and SUVs usually indicated "Yes on 8" voters.
  • A surprising number of people (8-10) questioned our presence outside the polling place. Several times I had to tell someone that we had indeed checked with the precinct captain and we were well outside the 100-foot limit.
  • A sizable proportion of Yes on 8 voters seemed angry, some downright nasty.
  • Many Yes on 8 voters couldn't seem to just pass us by or wave us off; they had to stop and taunt us, saying "you're going to lose because we voted yes" or the like.
  • Several Yes on 8 voters stopped their vehicles in the middle of the street yell out their windows at us. Some just yelled "Yes on 8" at us. Some yelled, "You're gonna lose; you're going down." One woman told us to repent because we were going to hell. So it goes.
  • Our "No on 8" stickers were a hot item with middle-school students. We gave out all we had and wished we had more. A good sign for the future.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Campaign tinnitus?

Here is New York Times columnist Gail Collins' theory about the voters who, at this late date, say they're still "undecided":
My theory is that whenever they hear someone start to discuss the issues, they cover their ears and make humming noises, the way my husband does when I say it is time to take a look at our 401(k)s.
Her Nov. 1 column is called Our Election Whopper.

For another sound of the campaign, check out "Don't Speak for Me, Sarah Palin: The Musical," a hoot of a video posted on the

And if you want to hear a blast from the ugly side of America -- the side I dearly hope doesn't prevail this time around -- read some of the vicious comments appended to this KC Star editorial. In it, Yael T. Abouhalkah (you can imagine how well that name goes over) notes that Obama is "poised to become America's first black president" and suggests his opponents get used to the idea.

From the sound of these so-called "Midwest Voices," I'd say that's gonna take a while. Makes me glad I no longer live in Kansas City.