Barack and roll!

Thoughts and Opinions
Barack Obama Wins!

Barack Obama Wins! (Photo credit: BenSeese)

I am SO HAPPY and relieved that Obama won re-election. I haven’t been into politics for quite awhile. I used to rant about it  a lot on this blog awhile ago. But that fire has turned into a few smoldering embers at the bottom of the pit. On the eve before election day I suddenly felt very anxious at the very real possibility that Romney could actually be president. I did not like it. Not at all. Not after hearing him speak during the debates and realizing how completely out of touch he is with my hopes, dreams, and desires as an American.

So I chewed my nails down to the quick during election returns. When Obama won it felt like the biggest exhale ever. What a relief! I am so happy.

Unfortunately I quickly found out that there was a vast number of citizens who are not happy. Not at all. Not even close. There are tumblr blogs  that are chronicling the tears of Romney supporters. News sites with lists of epic Conservative meltdowns.   sigh.

The thing is that I know exactly how the other side feels. I felt exactly the same way 8 years ago. I had the same fears (except I was afraid we would go fascist) and I seriously considered moving to Canada.  I even said some of the same words I am seeing conservatives using. So I feel compassion for them. It hurts badly when your team loses. Especially when there is so much emotion wrapped up in it.

But the fact of the matter is that we got through the last of the Bush years intact. We didn’t turn fascist, like I feared. We ended up pretty much o.k. as a nation. Maybe a little scarred but we are o.k.

I  noticed that lots of the fear is rooted in the fear of our country becoming socialist. I am hearing conservatives say things like “We elected a Socialist president.” We did not elect a socialist president. Having Obama in office is not going to cause our country to become socialist. We will never, ever (in a million, trillion) years become a socialist nation. Ever. We are a capitalist country with some socialist philosophies and institutions. We will continue to stay that way. You know why? Because Americans, no matter what side of the fence we are on, like our choices.  All of us do. I, personally, like that we have some government regulated institutions (like the public library for example). I would like to continue to have these institutions, as an American. I don’t want them taken away from me. Does having government-run institutions threaten capitalism? Absolutely not.

Anyway, just some post-election thoughts. I am happy that we have four more years of Obama. Very happy. I am sad that there are many people in this country who feel that we are divided because of it. I don’t want us to be divided. I want us to work together. We all want the same things, ultimately.

Photography Friday: Weeds

Photography, Random, Thoughts and Opinions

Oh my goodness! how has more than a week gone by? I’ve been busy.

I met Preita again for coffee! This time at Tiny’s in NorthEast Portland. I think so far this is my favorite place. It wasn’t pretentious. The coffee was pretty good. Everything about it was cool. Except for one thing. There were two toilets in the restroom. What. The. Fuck. My mind doesn’t even know how to process it. It was just weird. Portland is weird. And I’ve lived in Santa Cruz. So that’s saying a lot.

We wandered around the neighborhood and shot some of the scenery. It was kind of a rough looking area, which is fun photography-wise.

 

I’m going to end this post on a completely different subject. I just found out today that the House voted to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. This is really bad. I don’t know if the House of Representatives understands the importance of this institution to millions of men and women in this country. For me, personally, Planned Parenthood was very important in many different ways. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I finally got health insurance through my full time job. Up until then I absolutely relied on Planned Parenthood for my annul exam.

They provided me with the birth control pill, for free, which was a god send. See, we live in a time when a woman can choose to have a child or not have a child. This is incredible. I feel so incredibly grateful to be living in this time in history. Planned Parenthood makes this choice a reality for women who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it and this is a very good thing.

And, yes, I had an abortion when I was in my early twenties. And I was able to do this through Planned Parenthood. The experience was very safe and very professional. The radicals outside the clinic were an entirely different story. I’ve never written about this experience before and maybe I should. But I do have to say that I am very grateful that Planned Parenthood was there during this time in my life. Of course there are mixed feelings surrounding this decision I made. But I am very, very grateful that I was able to make the decision. If it wasn’t for Planned Parenthood that decision wouldn’t even be there.

They are an essential service. Please consider signing their petition.

Highlights

Random

Shipwreck found on the beach in Santa Cruz in 2005

I’ve been spending some time updating the photos on older blog posts and have been enjoying the walk down memory lane.

Some of these old posts document some really great quotes I’ve heard from random people over the years. Here are a few highlights:

“I died in Spring and was resurrected in Winter.” – guy on a bike at Santa Clara University.

“This is about me proposing to Chloe’s ashes at the memorial isn’t it?” – Heard on Days of Our Lives in April 2005

“But when I listen to music it is transmitted to the whole world.” – guy at public library listening station when told to turn down the Britney Spears. November 2005

“Hey, I think that’s the library lady..Is that the library lady? Yeah, it is! That’s the library lady, guys!” – kid at the bus station. December 2005.

update and our founding fathers

Random
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

Image via Wikipedia

I discovered the other day that WordPress 1.5 has been released and so I upgraded my blog, Blacksheep to it. So far I’m loving it. It has a “static pages” function which I’m using to create a project gallery. Very cool. And it has some really good comment spamifiers, which will be utilized, for sure.

I haven’t posted all week and I don’t really know why. I guess I’ve been busy with updating Blacksheep.

I am reading this excellent article in the Nation about how our founding fathers were not Christian and how our country is not, neccessarily based on Christian priniciples, but rather Enlightenment principles. Our founding fathers were students of the Enlightenment. If you are interested in reading the article it is in the February 21, 2005 Nation. …Here is the article online. I highly recommend this article.

I love history and I read lots of it. I have read in numerous history books that our founding fathers were not Christian. Rather, many of them were Deist. I don’t know where Christian Fundamentalists get that our country “was founded on Christian principles.” When I was a Christian, this lie was propagated among Christians, and this was years ago.

This is a subject that I find fascinating and this article is sparking me to do more research on it, so you will probably see me write about it in the future.

Have a good evening 🙂

The First Amendment and public libraries

Random
The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been thinking about John’s comment: “The first amendment does not entitle one to a taxpayer-supported avenue of expression.” and I’ve been really bothered by it. I think F**k walmart is right, It does sound a little bit fascist to me – when you take that statement to it’s logical conclusion. I mean, the first amendment is the first amendment, right? Let’s look at it:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

you can see all of the amendments here. (I thnnk everyone who lives in this country should read the constitution every six months or so, at least on a periodical basis. But that’s just me.) So where in that does it say, “except when taxpayers are paying for it” ? It doesn’t. Free speech is free speech. Freedom of religion is freedom of religion (incidentally, my tax dollar are paying for congress to say a prayer every morning before thier session).

Also, if John is correct, then who decides what kind of speech is okay for public libraries and isn’t okay for public libraries? Is it even fair for people to decide these things? Or do we begin to creep into the realm of fascism when those things are decided for us? I realize that the courts have been trying to interpret the first amendment for years, and they have never really been able to put their finger on what exactly is offensive. It’s a vague term. Personally, I do not find John Stwart’s America offensive in the least bit. I think it’s a wonderful expression of free speech in the form of humor during a time when we need it most. Just because one “taxpayer” is offended by a book in my public library, doesn’t mean that, because this person’s tax money is being used to fund the public library, that we should get rid of all books that this person feels are offensive. That is not how the public library works. The public library serves ALL the public, not just the public that are uptight and can’t seem to understand the concept of satire. Frankly, I am offended by those crappy “left behind” books about the rapture. Oh and that horrible mystery novel that O’Reilly wrote (and, boy, is there some offensive material in there). Am I going to go demand that my public library take these books off the shelves? God no! Of course not! I don’t mind my tax dollars going to the public library, even if it means they carry badly written novels that are offensive to me. For me, it is more important that the public library exist as a place where EVERYONE has equal access and there is a variety of material provided for everyone, offensive or not.

This is why the public library exists – to provide equal access to information. Librarians are not in the business of banning books, at least we shouldn’t be. In fact, ALA dedicates whole week to banned books! They encourage people to read a banned book during this week (or anytime, for that matter).

Again, her are a couple of quotes to leave you with that sum up my feelings very eloquently:

“A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.” -Jo Godwin

“So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.” – Kurt Vonnegut