Nov 08

Musings on last night’s election

the 44th President of the United States...Bara...

Image by jmtimages via Flickr

am not going to try to write a long intellectual entry on what happened last night. I can only post snapshots on we witnessed.  My feelings are still too raw.  I woke up this morning, like in 2000 and 2004, with a knot in my stomach; expecting a different outcome.  I rushed to grab my morning paper to make sure it was all real.  That today wasn’t Election Day and I just dreamt that Sen. Obama had won over 330 Electoral Votes.

It was real.

It did happen.

Senator Barack Obama is our President-Elect.

My 5 year old, who has been an Obama fan since last Spring, kept asking me this morning, “Did Obama really win?”  Through tears, I said “Yes. Yes he did.”


I spoke to some of my older family members last night.  The constant refrain was, “That young man did it.  He ran a great campaign and didn’t let anyone tear him down.  I never thought I’d live to see this day.” They reminisced on growing up in segregated towns in the South and Midwest.  One 92 year old cousin, in Arkansas wept as he talked about he had to keep his head down, just so he would stay out of trouble, “Today, I hold my head high, like Obama did throughout his campaign.”  I cried.


Sen. McCain’s concession speech, was the most classy concession speech I think I’ve ever witnessed.  Even though from July on he ran the exact same campaign Sen. Clinton did, his concession speech was exactly the one she should have given in June.


The first black President won this election without the Self-Appointed Godfathers of Blackness.  We didn’t have to see Rev. Jesse Jackson or Rev. Al Sharpton pontificating on our TVs last night for the first time in my lifetime. Rev. Jackson was shown, tears streaming down his face, as he stood with thousands in Grant Park.


Scholars will study the Obama campaign forever.  Not just political scholars, but in business classes, PR majors, technological studies.  Every tool out there was used, even abused if my text messages and emails are any indication. The branding was simple and consistent, from slogan to font, to color.  The business acumen of where and how to raise and spend money, would make many major corporations jealous.


Social media came into its own this election cycle. Twitter broke most stories before even blogs had a chance to write up something.  This election cycle belonged to black bloggers.  It seemed that they alone were taking advantage of social media tools, not just to announce new posts, but to organize GOTV and appearnces.  It was a simple way for them to stay in contact with their readers outside the blog and get more on-the-ground reporting from around the country.


I still haven’t received my shirts from the Obama-Biden campaign. I’m sad.


The ground campaign of Obama’s was probably the best of any campaign ever.  Speaking to friends who worked for the campaign and speaking to people who volunteered from the campaign, they all said the same thing, “This is the first election where people from DC who had never stepped foot in my town, didn’t come in to tell us how it is. They gave us ownership and listened.”


A few weeks ago, Republicans started whining about how Democrats shouldn’t have a majority because that would be dangerous for the country.  All of a sudden they despise the idea of one party controll the Administrative and Legislative branches of government.  I’m still trying to find where they were so distraught about this in 2000 and 2004.  It’s a disengenious arguement and insulting to my intelligence.  Republicans need not fear. Democrats do not govern to abuse power.  A Democratic majority will have it’s hands full rolling back and repairing the damage of the last 8 years.


Best quote of the night, after the election was called for Sen. Obama: “Meanwhile, in D.C., two guys named George and Dick have placed the single largest order for industrial strength paper shredders that Office Depot has ever had to fulfill.”


When I had heard that Fox News (!) had called Ohio for Sen. Obama, I thought I was going to faint.  When I saw that he had also won Florida, I had to sit down.  Thank you to both states.


I can only hope that we never have to hear or see the hatefulness that is Gov. Sarah Palin.


And finally, we’ll never learn what Republican voters liked about Sen. McCain.  It’s a testament to spin, that when asked the most intelligent offering was the tired, “Obama’s a socialist/radical/communist/Muslim”.  That never explained McCain’s appeal.

Feb 08

One more reason not to visit Saudi Arabia

I know that I need to make Hajj, yet the way the so-called government runs over there really repulses me. If it’s not some psychotic twisting of the Qur’an, it’s something so incredibly stupid and pointless that it makes me want to tear my hair out. If you want to know what a Mike Huckabee administration would probably enforce, look no further than Saudi Arabia. That’s what the fundamentalists of this country want.

Tangent. I know. My point is that now the country is banning anything red leading up to Valentine’s Day:

“As Muslims we shouldn’t celebrate a non-Muslim celebration, especially this one that encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women, ” Sheikh Khaled Al-Dossari, a scholar in Islamic studies, told the Saudi Gazette, an English-language newspaper.

Can we agree that Sheikh Khaled Al-Dossari is an idiot? Look at me. I’ve never celebrated Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a stupid holiday and there’s no reason to get riled up wondering what you’re going to get or waste money buying more crap after you just bought a buttload of crap for Christmas. Now, I’m married. My husband and I use Valentine’s Day as a break from being broke. We buy each other books, we got to a nice dinner…one year I got a sewing machine. If my husband bought me flowers, chocolates or–poke-my-eyes-out–jewelry, I’d have to laugh at him. Hard, loud and long…I’d laugh my ass off.

Ahmed Al-Omran, a university student in Riyadh, told CNN that the government decision will give the international media another reason to make fun of the Saudis “but I think that we got used to that by now.”

“I think what they are doing is ridiculous,” said Al-Omran, who maintains the blog ‘Saudi Jeans.’ “What the conservatives in this country need to learn is something called ‘tolerance.’ If they don’t see the permissibility of celebrating such an occasion, then fine — they should not celebrate it. But they have to know they have no right to impose their point of view on others.” (emphasis mine)

You hear that you nutjobby Christianists? That goes for you guys too. The report goes on to state the obvious, how now that there’s a crackdown, prices have been driven up and there’s a lot of sneaking around.

But any country that has a Vice and Virtue Squad is one where I don’t want my hard earned money to go. I’ll probably never make Hajj unless something drastically changes in Saudi Arabia…or they move Mecca to Syria or something. That’s not going to happen, is it?

Dec 07

Huckabee’s Christmas Ad

Oh geez…talk about laying the Christianity on thick. You can watch the ad without sound. Basically it says, “I’m Mike Huckabee and I want to be President of Christians in the United States. Fuck the rest of ya!”:

Yeah, check out the cross in the background. Now you know I think it’s a horrible idea for Huckabee to be president. Crap like this is exactly why. Now, Huckabee is quoted as saying the cross is just a bookcase and there’s nothing there. I can not believe that there is a person on this planet that is that dumb. There isn’t a person alive who’s gonna fall for that load. No one running for any office, let alone POTUS has something in their campaign commercials that is just coincidence.

Along with the text of the ad, AP has an analysis of the ad:

ANALYSIS: The ad is unusual for a presidential candidate in that it is a religious message that excludes all religions except for the predominant Christian faith. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and ordained Southern Baptist minister, is appealing to the Republican Party’s important conservative Christian base, reminding them that he shares their values.

Pfffft…like I said in my previous post, there’s a separation of Church and State in this country for a reason. The Talibangelicals this sort of ad appeals too, don’t get it. They live in a mythological US that was created by SuperChristians. The rest of us who paid attention in school learned that the founders were atheists, deists and yes, some Christians that the British determined were doing it wrong. Let’s put it this way, when the gay-bashing, liberalaphobe president of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue thinks you’ve gone too far, you’ve gone too damn far:

But Catholic League president Bill Donahue said the former Arkansas governor went way beyond wishing people a joyous holiday.

He was especially disturbed by the cross-like image created by a white bookcase in the background of the ad, saying he believed it was a subliminal message.

“What he’s trying to say to the evangelicals in western Iowa (is): I’m the real thing,” Donahue said Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends. “You know what, sell yourself on your issues, not on what your religion is.” (emphasis mine)

Yeah, my head exploded too. Never in a million years would I think that Donahue would say something I agree with 100%.

In the QuadCity Times (IA), there’s an area called First Vote, where your college and high school Iowans who are voting for the first time, post a blog entries. Kevin Trahan makes this case:

Take a look at his website. On his “Issues” pages, his header is “Faith and Politics.” He starts out that article with “My faith is my life. It defines me.”
That is all he stresses (other than the fact that Chuck Norris endorses him). This, for some reason, really bothers me. It is a decent strategy, and many hardcore Christian conservatives will vote for him. I just don’t understand how faith makes him the best candidate.
Now, believe me, I am not putting down any religion. My mom is Jewish and my dad is Christian and I respect both very much. But someone’s faith does not make them a better president.

I like that last line and I really wished more people would actually look up a candidates website. That would save me a lot of stupid conversations where people start talking like they know things, but have never actually looked up anything. Trahan, by looking up Huckabee’s site makes him 94% smarter than most adults I know, when it comes to politics.

But I’m just one person, and reading posting on news sites from around you see the Talibangelicals coming out in full to support Huckabee. Of course, people are talking about Huckabee’s assumption that everyone is the US celebrates Christmas:

The former Baptist minister also shot back at some who said the spot should have been more inclusive, and that he should have wished voters “Happy Holidays.”

“I don’t know what else to call Christmas, last time I checked that is what we celebrate. If somebody can give me a way to get around that and do it honestly, then perhaps that’s what Christmas is,” said Huckabee.

“The very word Christmas comes from the contraction of ‘Christ Mass’ — the worship of Christ – again, change the word if we don’t want to talk about it, but that’s what it symbolizes and represents.”

On CNN’s Political Ticker, several people point out that “last time I checked that is what we celebrate. ” is the problem, stating, no Huckabee it’s what YOU celebrate.

I don’t care if the politicians decide they want to do a Christmas card. I do not think that an ordained preacher running for president should sit there hitting us with his GodBat. But you know what, this is America, there are several holidays in the month of December, how hard would it be to say “Happy Holidays”. Oh, I’m sure the Talibangelicals would be readying their combat boots to fight in the Annual War on Christmas (since it’s apparently the only war they’re willing to fight), but it’s not just the Talibangelicals who vote, Huckabee. Your dog whistle, was more of a foghorn.

Dec 07

Religion in the news

Howie Kurtz has a blurb about Mormons in the media. Mormons are not happy about their portrayal in the media. I’d like to muster up an ounce of concern, but I’ve seen the same ignorance in their portrayal of Muslims, even going so far as to assume that all Arabs/Middle Easterners are Muslims which is so not the case. So, it was with slight amusement I read stuff like this:

In reading coverage of Mormon matters, says Stromberg, a former Washington Post editorial writer, journalists “get details wrong all the time, to make the church look totally nuts. It seems like the writer might be trying to hint, ‘My gosh, look at these crazy people.’ “

You can easily put Islam in there and nothing would change. Especially if the writer is a conservative or an elected official (Virgil Goode anyone?). Think of all the stuff you learned about Islam via a news outlet. I can tell you, that 90% of it is probably flat out wrong, and the other 10% is shaky at best. I mean, there are still people actually believe that Muslims don’t believe in God. Isn’t that just stupid? I can probably see understand if it was 1674, but after that, there really is no excuse for the continued ignorance.

“What bothers me about the coverage is that journalists usually go to experts in other faiths,” he says.

Uh-huh…get used to that. If I see another article in the LA Times, slamming Islam written by a some fundamentalist Jew or Christian I’m going to scream. Oh sure, the LA Times is good about getting Dr. Hathout on record for minor issues or LA related issues, but look at national or international issues…where are the Muslims? You’ll have a professor of Theology quoted, an Indian woman who may or may not be Muslim, and conservative pundits, but very few Muslims. Meanwhile, a cursory glance at press releases from mosques and Islamic organizations worldwide, will give exact quotes and there’s nothing in the media.

“Some Mormons feel picked on in the press and are sensitive about what they read about the church,” Soukup says.

Still, she doesn’t feel hindered by her religion. “I felt it almost opened more doors for me because people were curious,” she says.

Good for her. I don’t think a Muslim woman in the country will ever have similar opportunities in the world of journalism.

Nov 07

Why Mike Huckabee Should Never Be President

Same reason Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton should never be president. We have a separation of church and state in our Constitution. We do not have a religious requirement for a person to become president. We should never entertain the thought of a religious leader, no matter the religion, to become president. This means that several of my family members and friends should never be allowed to be president.

I’m okay with that.

I just want those people who feel that Huckabee is a good idea for a president because he’s a minister to think about their hypocritical feelings if Huckabee was a rabbi or an imam. Think of all those idiot Republicans and GOP media types who make a big deal of Senator Obama attending a Muslim school as a child, in a Muslim country and the lies and idiocies they spread about the Christian Senator wanting to turn this secular country Muslim. Not just your average run-of-the-mill Muslim, but a psychotic-beheading-jailing-the-rape-victim sort (I had to throw in the beheading so you won’t think I was talking about, Bill O’Reilly). Then think about how you feel when I say: Huckabee as president is dangerous because he is a Baptist minister and would turn this country into something out of A Handmaid’s Tale. Or worse.

Sep 07

I know! Let’s evict the nuns!!!

That’s the brilliant move by the LA Archdiocese. To pay the settlement for them letting all those priests run around molesting kids, the Archdiocese has decided to sell off a convent.

For 43 years, Sister Angela Escalera has lived and often worked out of her order’s small convent on this city’s east side, helping the area’s many poor and undocumented residents with translation, counseling and other needs.

Now retired and partly disabled at 69, the nun thought she would live out her days here, in the community where she is still an active volunteer and in the dwelling that was built for the order in 1952.

But she and the other two nuns at the Sisters of Bethany house recently received word that their convent, which is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will be sold to help pay the bill for the church’s recent, multimillion-dollar priest sex abuse settlement.

The nuns have four months to move out, according to a letter from the archdiocese. The notice, which was dated June 28 but not received until the end of August, asked the women to vacate the property no later than Dec. 31 — and noted that an earlier departure “would be acceptable as well.” Signed by Msgr. Royale M. Vadakin, the archdiocese’s vicar general, the letter offers the nuns no recourse but thanks them for their understanding and cooperation during a difficult time.

“We’re just so hurt by this,” Escalera, the order’s local superior, said this week. “And what hurts the most is what the money will be used for, to help pay for the pedophile priests. We have to sacrifice our home for that?”

Ain’t that some shit? And Escalera is right. Why are the nuns being punished because of pedophile priests? They built the Raj Mahal and considering how involved he is in the coverup, why can’t that church take a hit? Hell, do a swap with Gilmore since St. Vibiana’s dome is back up and the place can be reopened as a church. But do anything, but evict some nuns who had nothing to do with the LA Archidiocese’s vast coverup of their pedophile priests.

Torres called the decision to sell the convent unjust, given the nuns’ long history of care and service to their low-income community. Other supporters spoke even more strongly.

“It’s outrageous,” said Sally Sanchez, a community activist who added that she had known Escalera since 1964, when each had just arrived in Santa Barbara from the Los Angeles area. “Why should [the nuns] pay for the sins of the morons who did this? Why can’t they sell something else?”


As she sat this week in the convent’s simple living room, where paintings of biblical scenes and framed photographs of the order’s founders line the walls, Escalera said she was still wrestling with her feelings about the letter, shifting between pain, anger and resignation. She said she remained upset that the archdiocese had not contacted the nuns directly but had chosen instead to send a letter to the convent in Los Angeles, which then notified the Santa Barbara sisters.

“We’re not even worth a phone call,” she said. “That’s one of the things that hurts so much.”

That’s a shame. A damn shame. How do you add on PR disaster on top of your worse one ever? Is the LA Archdiocese now laser-focused on ruining people’s lives?

Sep 07

Hiding out in my house

They used to come on Tuesday mornings, but now they come on Thursday mid-morning. Who is ‘they’? ‘They’ is the GodSquad. The doorknockers full of pamphlets and the glory of the Lord. In my old place, they couldn’t get into the courtyard. But living in a house with full street access is a different story. The first time I ran into the, I tried my old, ‘No hablo engles’. Ha. They’re all Latino, with one Chinese. The 2nd time, I got lucky. The kid didn’t speak English and only had Spanish pamphlets. Once I tried to avoid them by going into the backyard. Unfortunately, the kids were playing by the gate and the lady sat there talking to them asking them to go get mommy. Ugh. The last time I got caught up with them, I was sitting on my porch reading the paper. Three of them descended on me. I let them talk and they offered me the pages. I woefully and loudly said, “I can’t read!”. They turned red, apologized and walked down the steps. They got halfway past the neighbor’s house before they realized I was reading the newspaper. Suckas.

I don’t know what denomination these people are, but the few pamphlets I got from them are scary. One had a picture of a bloody Christ on it the cover and the teaser on front was something like, ‘Armageddon is Nearing! Are you Ready for BATTLE!!!’ (there really weren’t any question marks which is why I remember it). The lady gave my little girl a pamphlet that was “for kids”. Thank goodness the girl can’t read. I flipped it opened and it was saying stuff like, “If your mommy and daddy don’t take you to church, they’ll be in hell for all eternity and you’ll never see them in heaven.” And you don’t get a pony! snort

All of this is just a long way of saying I need a fence.

Aug 07

Who’da thunk?

I’ve been hearing music all day long. Live music coming from…somewhere. It’s all in Spanish, but it had me dancing around the backyard. It was awesome. I finally translated what the guy was saying. The music is coming from the church on the corner. When I realized that and started listening to the lyrics, I realized that was listening to “praise music” en español. Now I was raised on Gospel music, so I know that songs praising the Lord can rock. I don’t even know if there’s a Muslim version, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is. But it’s 2007 and for the last 10 or so years, most of us have been (rightfully) completely appalled by “Christian rock” and other mainstream “praise music”. It’s not just “white” music either. The stuff coming out of Korean churches is equally dismal…I don’t know how anyone can feel that benevolent God could create such awfulness and I say this a fan of Korean pop music.

New Note:
So, they’ve run down the list of old R&B and soul songs in the past hour or so and all of a sudden I heard them yelling, “Go Jesus! Go Jesus! Go! Go! Go Jesus!”.

I shit you not.