Tag: politics

Obama’s Leadership

An interesting reflection on President Obama’s leadership during his first term from a friend’s husband and the Christian Science Monitor…read it here: Obama and leadership

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/obamas-leadership/

From the West LA Prop 8 Protests:

***This is not me…just a repost from elsewhere (since that wasn’t clear to everyone)***

Posted by panasonicyouth on Buzznet:

My experience at the ‘Reverse Prop 8’ Rally in West Los Angeles yesterday

afternoon, I attended the rally outside the Mormon temple on Santa
Monica Blvd and Overland, in order to protest the Mormon church’s
involvement in helping to pass Proposition 8 here in California. My
co-worker, Richard Flores, biked with me from the Buzznet office in
Hollywood to the rally in West LA.

In the interest of avoiding
any legal implications (since I do not have or have not seen a lawyer),
I am not going to describe the events leading up to my arrest.  Please watch the arrest video for that; I think it speaks for itself. I think it is more important to describe what happened afterwards.

Read the rest on Buzznet

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/from-the-west-la-prop-8-protests/

An Open Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama, from Willie Nelson

reposted from Farm Aid:


Dear President-elect Barack Obama,

As President of Farm Aid, I’d like to take this opportunity to whole-heartedly congratulate you on your historic victory. I’d also like to offer you every resource that Farm Aid has available to assist you in creating a new farm and food policy that supports a sustainable family farm system of agriculture.

I started Farm Aid in 1985 when family farmers were being forced off their land as a result of federal policy that paved the way for industrial agriculture. This shift replaced independent family farmers with factory farms that have wreaked havoc on our communities, our environment and our public health.

There is broad agreement that our farm and food system needs to be drastically reworked. The good news is that the work of building an alternative to the industrial food system is well underway and Farm Aid is proud to have been a leader in this work, something we call the Good Food Movement. The Good Food Movement has grown and thrived almost entirely without the support of the federal government. However, now is the right moment for the leadership of our country to take a role in this important movement. In fact the future of our economy, our environment and our health demand it.

Our family farmers are a national resource with incredible potential to be the protagonists in solving the challenges we currently face. Family farmers are on the cutting edge of thriving local food systems and economies, alternative energy production and environmental stewardship. Family farmers are marketing the fruits of their labor close-to-home at farm stands, farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs), helping local money to circulate in local communities where it can do the most good. Family farmers are growing green energy and harnessing the power of the sun and wind. They are transitioning to sustainable production methods to grow food that is good for our health and our planet. These steps are strengthening our local economies, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, protecting our natural resources and increasing our national security.

As the national organization working on behalf of family farmers for the last 23 years, Farm Aid has helped family farmers stay on the land, organized communities to fight factory farms in their own backyards, and educated eaters about the choices they can make to guarantee healthy, fresh food from family farms. Over our history, we have grown, partnered with, and sustained a network of more than four hundred grassroots farm and food organizations across the nation. As you begin to implement programs to support a family farm system of agriculture, Farm Aid and our vast resource network is here to work with you.

Now is the time for our country to recognize and call on family farmers’ ingenuity, strength and value to our past and our future. We can have strong local economies, green energy, a clean environment, healthy citizens and good food–all of these start with family farmers. I look forward to working with you to make this vision of a family farm system of agriculture a reality.

Stay Strong and Positive,

Willie Nelson signature

Willie Nelson

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/an-open-letter-to-president-elect-barack-obama-from-willie-nelson/

Shame on You California

I’m reposting this post from LAist by Jimmy Bramlett:

No on 8
Protesting the passage of Proposition 8. AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

Shame on you Californians.

With the passing of Proposition 8, you have relegated me and my queer brothers and sisters (and everything in between) to the margins of society while reaping all the benefits we bestow upon you.

In one fell swoop you told us that we are not fit in your eyes as deserving the same rights as you. Even though we wouldn’t have gotten the same Federal rights thanks to Clinton’s signing of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, you could have allowed us to take one step closer to that ever elusive goal of equality.

The campaign supporting Proposition 8 bemoaned the sanctity of marriage. How is marriage sacred anymore with divorce rates being what they are? It’s pretty unnerving that it is you heterosexuals who have made a mockery of marriage jumping in and out of it like last year’s cashmere sweater set. And now you are claiming that we will destroy the institution of marriage?

And the children. Oh God THE CHILDREN! Well never mind the Catholic Church has done more to harm children what with their priests and all. And the Mormons? Well just ask those teenage brides.

Do you really believe that children learning about gay people will convert them into card-carrying depraved homosexuals? If that were true all of my cousins would be gay. Hell, all of my neighbor’s kids would be gay.

In the end you chose to impose your beliefs on me. You think it’s wrong that I have relationships with other men, so you chose to exclude me. But to keep up appearances you let us have “domestic partnerships” that sound more like a maid’s union more than anything else.

We’re not asking for all that much. All we’re asking for is the right to be able to have the same rights when we decide to share our lives with that special person. We’re not demanding the Catholic church, the Mormon church, the Synagogues, the local preacher to marry us. We just want equal rights, not that other water fountain.

So as happy as I was Tuesday night that America has voted in the first black man as President, part of me is very disappointed that us queers are still not afforded the same rights as everyone else as proscribed by the Constitution.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/shame-on-you-california/

Sketch 44

It has been an interesting week.  Of course the big happening of the last week was the election (if you couldn’t tell from my earlier posts today).  Over the weekend, I saw two shows by Ray LaMontagne (in San Diego and Los Angeles respectively), look for more on that in a future post though.  A friendship has changed (sadly).

I am hopeful this week though.  I’m still in disbelief in some ways about the election.  Both the fact that Obama was elected President, and that the state of California pass Prop 8, eliminating the right of marriage for same-sex partners.  I am hopeful though that eventually all of the citizens of California (and the US) will be treated equally when it comes to marriage.

I’ve been in my new apartment for about a month now.  I’m really happy there.  My roommates are great.  The only bad thing is I’m watching more TV now…but oh well.  I do want to get back to some more creative pursuits however.  I need to make that a goal this month.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-44/

Prop 8 Challenges

The first legal challenge to Prop 8 will be announced later today:

Here’s the first press release of the morning regarding the passage
of Proposition 8, the ban on same sex marriages in California. It comes
from the law offices of Gloria Allred:

Attorney Gloria Allred and her clients, Robin Tyler and Diane Olson,
will hold a news conference today November 5, 2008 at 12:00 noon at
6300 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1500 L.A. to announce a new lawsuit against
Prop. 8. Prop. 8 intended to ban same gender marriages in California.

Ms. Allred and her law firm represented the couple in their victory
before the California Supreme Court. Her clients became the first to
marry in Los Angeles County in June.

Ms. Allred will file the new lawsuit today with the California
Supreme Court on behalf of the couple.  The new lawsuit will contain a
new and controversial legal argument as to why Prop. 8 is

Copies of the lawsuit will be provided to the press at the news conference.

More info from the LA Times

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/prop-8-challenges/


This makes me incredibly sad.  It even passed in LA County.  I cannot believe we are writing discrimination into the state constitution (along with Arizona and Florida in this election cycle).  I just cannot understand how two people who love each other threaten your “marriage.”  For me, these kind of laws and amendments do more to destroy the sanctity of marriage than anything else.  It makes me ashamed to be a Christian and even remotely be associated with this kind of discrimination (as the majority of the funding for Prop 8 came from the Catholic and Mormon churches).  I cannot imagine a God (or Jesus) not embracing us all…Black, White, Hispanic and yes, gay or straight.  So yes, while I’m extremely hopeful with the election of Barack Obama as President, I’m extremely disappointed about the results of Prop 8.  I for one will be praying that this can be changed soon.

prop 8.PNG

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/despair/


nov 5 2008 latimes.PNG

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/hope/

America’s Strength

“People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than the example of our power.”

–Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention 8/27/08

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/americas-strength/

Still Dreaming…

But today, we are closer than we’ve ever been.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/still-dreaming/