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What’s the Harm in a Pillow Fight

Last month The Mustard Seed had this on a pillow fight in San Francisco entitled
“When White Kids Have Spontaneous Fun, Working Class People of Color Left to Clean Up Their Shit.”

Apparently the Detroit police weren’t thrilled with either the pillow fight or the mess it would leave and halted it.  Supposedly this is (International) World Pillow Fight Day and occurred in front Wall Street and in ‘dozens of world cities.’

Flooding at the Osha Thai Restaurant…..estimated….cleanup costs at more than $10,000.

Vaillancourt Fountain …… filled with feathers, threatened to jam and burn out its pumps. Workers had to drain the cubist fountain’s 12,000 gallons of water – it had only recently been filled – clean it out and refill it, said Dito.

The city had to dispatch two engineers to check the fountain along with a five-person crew that filled three pick-up trucks with feathers, all at a cost of more than $2,213, said Dennis Kern, director of operations for the Recreation and Park Department.

“It was quite a mess, much more than we have experienced in previous years,” said Mohammed Nuru, deputy director of the Department of Public Works. “Everywhere was feathers.”

DPW assigned three extra cleanup shifts – a total of 69 employees and an extra street sweeper truck – costing about $19,000, Nuru said.

Zeb Bell’s Pitiful Party

Since approximately mid-2008, two of Idaho’s progressive bloggers have been keeping tabs on southern Idaho’s radio talk broadcast  ‘Zeb at the Ranch.’  I’m not about to rehash what’s been unearthed as a result of their coverage.  I am going to confront something posted at The Mountain Goat Report – a question in relation to an accusation from Mr. Zebbell.

First – there’s this.  It’s a two-minute clip of Mr. Zebbell with a rough transcript provided below. Make sure you either listen OR read the words.

Ah yeah, let’s see – ya know. I do want to mention something else … quickly.

For all the far left attacks by the liberal, left, hate-filled bloggers – and these people really are hate-filled. They have no shame and they have no conscience evidently.

And if you or I stand for a value system…..we stand for a value system: believe in the bible, believe in god, believe in the 10 commandments. We try to live our lives. We all make mistakes, and every day we try to get up and say I’m sorry for what I did yesterday, I will try not to repeat it and try to be better human beings and better to our fellow man.

But if you stand up for a value system – they come after ya. Yep.

They had resorted to some of the lowest forms attacks on the blogs, on me, my life, and even – my physical challenges.  I make no bones about it. I’m all busted up and I’m on crutches. Oh boy – they really went after that. Continue reading

Heads UP! Rally on the 4th of April

For more information visit http://idahoansforfairness.org and help pass the Idaho Human Rights Act Amendment. (IHRAA)

The IHRAA will protect LGBT Idahoans from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in areas of employment, housing education and public accommodations.

The Bariastas, & The Christian

Two stories caught my attention as both are related to employee/worker rights.

The first was with Starbucks’ union busting activities, and the second with an employee who was fired for saying “Merry Christmas.”

give-war-bonds-christmasWe’ll begin with the latter.  This undoubtedly will fall under the category – War on Christmas.

An employee who is Christian (Baptist) says she was fired “because she greeted callers with “Merry Christmas.” The company, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc., defines itself as being  “[We are] a Christian company and we celebrate Christmas,” said Andy Phillips, the company’s president.  The employee had been with Counts-Oakes Resort Properties, Inc.,  since July 2007.

The jist is that Mr. Phillips wanted employees to say ‘Happy Holidays’ and the employee refused, stating that:

“I hold my core Christian values to a high standard and I absolutely refuse to give in on the basis of values. All I wanted was to be able to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or to acknowledge no holidays,” she said Tuesday. “As a Christian, I don’t recognize any other holidays.” Continue reading

To Be Prolife, Wanting to Vote for Obama?

There was this announcement at the God-o-Meter, a Belief.net blog passing along the addresses of two websites dedicated to being “prolife” and voting for Barack Obama.   One is the Matthew 25 Network; the other is ‘ProLife – ProObama.’  The Matthew 25 Network has an adjunct website: Put Away Falsehood that addresses the various mistruths, lies, deceptions, and rumors aimed at Obama – while quoting from Ephesians:  “Therefore, having put away all falsehood, let each one of us speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are all of the same body.”  (Eph. 4:25)

The Matthew 25 Network is a community of Christians – Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Evangelical – inspired by the Gospel mandate to put our faith into action to care for our neighbor, especially the most vulnerable..

Therefore, while no elected official will be without flaw, we come together as individuals to support candidates for public office who share the values of the Matthew 25 Network: promoting life with dignity, caring for the least of these, strengthening and supporting families, stewardship of God’s Creation, working for peace and justice at home and abroad, and promoting the common good

Some time ago a gentleman by the name of  Douglas W. Knemic wrote a statement clarifying the reason why he, as a ‘prolife Christian’ would be voting for Obama.  Knemic, it seemed, had been assistant attorney general (Office of Legal Counsel) during Reagan’s and H.W. Bush’s administrations, a professor at Notre Dame & Catholic Univ., as well as endowed chair of constitutional law at Pepperdine University.  (Endowed is quite the honor, BTW).  Mr. Knemic’s statement was published in Feb/March of this year.

However none of that was what irritated the hell out of me. Continue reading

Is Palin Consistently Prolife?

I’m really bothered by Sarah Palin’s claim that despite having an amniocentesis performed, finding out the results – which to some folks might seem tragic or overwhelming — she carried the pregnancy to term ‘any ole ways’ because she’s pro-life. My thought when I first heard all that . . . . .Big Deal. And now the tidal wave of “support” for her sticking to her alleged “prolife” stance is disgusting especially from quarters I had considered strong progressives and advocates of a woman’s right to choose.

Consistent with her alleged “prolife” stance.  Nooo…. consistency with your ‘prolife’ stance is just that – consistent. Protection of life prior to birth, protection thruout one’s life.  Consistently pro-life brings into the mix issues like the death penalty,waging preemptive war, those things that are uncomfortable and bring out deepness in thought.

There have been many a pro-choice woman who when confronted with an unexpected pregnancy – myself included – had no other thoughts than the obvious: start taking prenatal vitamins, setting up doctor appointments – all the things an expectant mother would do and does.  And two women immediately came to mind when I first heard Palin’s last pregnancy presented in the light it’s being presented.

With one woman, the discovery during an ultrasound of an abnormality of the fetus’ skull (that led to abnormality of the brain) and the very huge likelihood of neurological problems to include cerebral palsy didn’t freak her out. She was pretty darned concerned for sure.  However what she and her husband chose to do was educate and ready themselves on what might be coming.  As it turns out, their son does have cerebral palsy (which was the medical consensus early on).  As for the second woman without divulging the specifics of my friend’s pregnancy, Margo says – her decision, their decision absolutely is consistent with their pro-choice beliefs.  You don’t get to tell another woman what to choose (do), and you don’t get to specifically make laws that alleviate those choices for women.

Afterthoughts:  I know all three of us were quite fortunate we were in relationships in which our beliefs and values were supported.  I’ve often wondered that perhaps my decision may have been different if I were alone or in ‘crisis.’  I truly don’t know; I have the benefit of hindsight now and I don’t even know if it’s relevant.

Another thought I’ve had while listening to the back-and-forth:  There are a multitude of women I’ve known who consider themselves “prolife” and are quite consistent in their beliefs.  They are advocates for disposing of the death penalty, they absolutely do not support preemptive war, war in general or even with specifics, and they also believe we are responsible for each other.  They believe in that which is stated in the New Testament, in the Gospel:  We are our sister’s keeper, we do help the least of those among us.

‘Irrelevant & Obsessive Focus On Gays’

Another one out of the park for Bishop Desmond Tutu:

However, he said he sometimes felt ashamed of his fellow Anglicans as they focused obsessively on trying to resolve their disagreement about homosexuality while 30,000 people died each day because of poverty.

“We really will not be able to win wars against so-called terror as long as there are conditions that make people desperate, and poverty, disease and ignorance are amongst the chief culprits,” he said.

“We seem to be engaging in this kind of, almost, past-time [while] there’s poverty, hunger, disease, corruption.

“I must imagine that God is weeping, and the world quite rightly should dismiss the Church in those cases as being totally irrelevant.”

Archbishop Tutu accused some of his fellow Anglicans of going against the teaching of Jesus in their treatment of homosexual people by “persecuting the already persecuted”.

Bishop Tutu was attending a conference sponsored by Tearfund, a UK organization looking to alleviate poverty – material and spiritual.  There he said it is the church who makes the invisible G*d, visible. Continue reading

Attacking the Messengers

So Donna Brazile somehow managed to get pepper sprayed.

“I got a strong whiff — just toxic — and my head and throat are still hurting,” said Ms. Brazile, who appears on CNN as a political analyst. “I’ll avoid the protesters tomorrow.”

Yeah, I’ll bet.  She doesn’t strike me as the protesting type anyways.

But Amy Goodman was arrested when attempting to get the scoop on two producers for Democracy Now! who were arrested, as was an AP photographer.

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

They are urging journalists and concerned citizens to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651-266-8535) and the Ramsey County Jail (651-266-9350) and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

I had watched this episode of Democracy Now! last night on the unlawful detention of another Democracy Now! reporter/correspondent, Elizabeth Press, in a house raid by the police departments of St. Paul/Minneapolis and the feds.  And nothing, nothing! pisses off a fellow unruly more than suppression of free speech and of the press.   He doesn’t disappoint either.

Utah Phillips followup

The recent acquisition of some great music led me over to Righteous Babe Records where I found a long memorial page for Utah Phillips. There are several wonderful photographs of Phillips – wonderful, which includes this picture of his guitar at the memorial service in Nevada City, California. There’s a terrific blog with even more information and pictures. And, of course – Utah Phillips dot.com.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Celebrate equal pay day on April 21st by contacting your senator and urging them to support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007.

  • Senator Mike Crapo – Boise office: 334-1776 (fax: 334-9044)
  • Senator Larry Craig – Boise office: 342-7985 (fax: 343-2458)

Lilly Ledbetter was an employee at Goodyear for nearly 20 years before she discovered that men in the same job were paid more. The Supreme Court ruled that wage discrimination complaints must be filed within 180 days of the initial discriminatory salary decision, even if the victim is unaware of the discrimination until much later. This 5-4 decision by the Bush Supreme Court reversed decades of precedent un wage discrimination cases decided under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

There is a reason that legislation on gender pay equity is needed — and needs to be taken seriously. The woman involved in the case that the Supreme Court decided was a supervisor — the only female supervisor — at a Goodyear plant, where she had worked for 20 years. She learned about the pay disparity issue late in her career — but that did not matter to the majority in this decision.

Bit of background on the Supreme Court’s decision. The SCOTUS decision is here; Justice Ginsberg’s scalding dissent follows the initial decision. Her dissent begins on page 28. Also dissenting were Souter, Stevens, & Breyer. The good ole’ white boyz and their house pet were the majority.

Alliance for Justice – Justice Watch blog …… SCOTUS blog

Call your senators immediately to urge them to vote yes on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act! The vote is expected Wednesday, April 23. This toll free number, 866-338-1015, will be available Monday through Wednesday.
The House has already passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to correct the recent Supreme Court decision that guts the ability of women workers to sue for wage discrimination.

Celebrate Equal Pay Day by calling your senators toll-free at 866-338-1015 today!