It is fitting and proper

It is fitting and proper that Derek has placed I voted 2000 in the "Hope" section of fray.
I voted.
I’m watching the returns roll in. A close race. Scary, and exciting too. Despite the fear and depression inspired by political rhetoric, my basic mood is one of optimism and pride. I’m wearing red, white & blue today.

Sly fellow

Edmond doesn’t think women should stop at equality; they should settle for nothing less than world domination. You’ve got to love it when your boyfriend says something like that. Then again, I think this may relate to his sly “keep me as your love-slave and I’ll stay home and play video games and day trade” plan.

Ain’t likely to suddenly start working…

(Chez Meinfelder)

Librarians rule.

Forwarded from Aaron Engelhart via my Uncle Larry:
The QPSAT (Quick Political Scholastic Aptitude Test)
This test consists of one (1) multiple-choice question (so you better get it right!)

Here’s a list of the countries that the U.S. has bombed since the end of World War II, compiled by historian William Blum:
China 1945-46
Korea 1950-53
China 1950-53
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-60
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Panama 1989
Iraq 1991-99
Sudan 1998
Afghanistan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999

In how many of these instances did a democratic government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result? Choose one of the following:
(a) 0
(b) zero
(c) none
(d) not a one
(e) zip
(f) a whole number between -1 and +1
(g) zilch

I haven’t perused these yet, but here are some alternate news sources posted to the Library school mailing list at San Jose State:
The Nation
National Public Radio

And if the news doesn’t depress you enough, consider your own mortality.

Getting a clue

This is the day the world got a clue:
The Cluetrain Manifesto
Get on board

Warm weather is coming. I have events lined up every weekend for the next month. Good thing my energy level goes up in Spring!

The sugar snap peas are sprouting and the sweet peas are spreading out their leaves to catch the spring rain. The air smells good. I like it. (Sometimes a simple declarative sentence is really all one needs).

Impeachment? Give it a fucking rest, already.

Worked a long day. Money! Yay! Tired. Boo!

Read all today and yesterday’s posts to the monkeyjunkies list. And I’m going to read a hundred of the one’s waiting for me to get through. There’s only a little over 10,000 of those.

The House of Representatives has impeached the President. Now the Senate is considering a completely open-ended trial. We face key economic and foreign policy challenges in the coming year and the government is obsessed with the President’s sex life. Frankly, I don’t think what happened with Lewinsky hurt anyone. Not Monica, not Hillary (I think she knew), and certainly not the American people. When will Congress set aside partisanship and address the nation’s real interests? Are you as sick of this bullshit as I am?
I’m participating in an Internet campaign to tell our representatives that we’ve had enough. The President can receive censure from the Congress (though I don’t even feel that’s necessary) and we should all move on. It’s time for the public interest to come first, and for our representatives to show real leadership.
You can help. Just go to to sign the petition and take action. It only takes a minute. And then if you tell more people, the ball will keep rolling. Our voices will be heard. If not now, then loud and clear on every election day from now until all the supporters of this whole impeachment idiocy are out of office.

No One Deserves Such A Fate

Some fine words you should read about Matthew Shepard.

Chaplain’s Reflection
From the Chaplain of Trinity College, Hartford, CT, 10/15/98

I saw on the news today that Matthew Shepard died. He was the 22 year old man from Wyoming who was beaten and tortured and left to die for no reason other than he was a homosexual. This tragic murder has raised a national debate again, the kind of periodic soul-searching our society goes through whenever a crime of hate startles us into awareness. The burning of Black churches, the bombing of innocent people, the death of a shy young man from Wyoming: these events suddenly shake us out of complacency and remind us that fear, prejudice and rage are always the shadows just beyond the light of our reason. And so people suddenly start to speak out. There are voices of outrage and grief. Voices of sorrow and demands to know why such a thing could happen. And predictably, there are also defensive voices: the governor of Wyoming trying to explain why his state has no laws to protect people from hate crimes and the leadership of what is called the Christian right wing? trying to explain why their national ads against homosexuality don’t influence people to commit such violence against gays and lesbians.

In the days to come, these many voices will fill our media and the cultural consciousness it imprints until we are once again lulled into the more familiar patterns of our lives, dozing off as a nation until the next tragedy rings the alarm of despair.

As the chaplain for our own community, I would like to invite us all to consider Matthew’s death in another way. Not through the clamor or denials, not through the shouts or cries of anger: but rather, through the silence of his death, the silence of that young man hanging on his cross of pain alone in the emptiness of a Wyoming night, the silence that ultimately killed him as surely as the beatings he endured.

Silence killed Matthew Shepard. The silence of Christians who know that our scriptures on homosexuality are few and murky in interpretation and far outweighed by the words of a savior whose only comment on human relationships was to call us to never judge but only to love. The silence of well meaning educated people who pretend to have an enlightened view of homosexuality while quietly tolerating the abuse of gays and lesbians in their own communities. The silence of our elected officials who have the authority to make changes but prefer to count votes. The silence of the majority of straight Americans who shift uncomfortably when confronted by the thought that gays and lesbians may be no different from themselves, save for the fact that they are walking targets for bigotry, disrespect, cheap humor, and apparently, of murder.

Crimes of hate may live in shouts of rage, but they are born in silence. Here at Trinity, I hope we will all listen to that silence. Before we jump to decry Matthew’s senseless death or before we seek to rationalize it with loud disclaimers: I hope we will just hear the silence. A young man’s heart has ceased to beat. Hear the silence of that awful truth. It is the silence of death. It is the silence that descends on us like a shroud.

At Trinity, as in Wyoming, we are men and women surrounded by the silence of our own fear. Our fear of those who are different. Our fear of being identified with the scapegoat. Our fear of taking an unpopular position for the sake of those who can not stand alone. Our fear of social and religious change. Our fear comes in many forms but it always comes silently. A whispered joke. A glance to look away from the truth. A quick shake of the head to deny any complicity in the pain of others. These silent acts of our own fear of homosexuality are acted out on this campus every day just as they are acted out every day in Wyoming. Through silence, we give ourselves permission to practice what we pretend to abhor. With silence, we condemn scores of our neighbors to live in the shadows of hate. In silence, we observe the suffering of any group of people who have been declared expendable by our society.

As a person of faith, I will listen, as we all will, to the many voices which will eulogize Matthew Shepard. I will carry that part of our national shame on my shoulders. But I will also listen to the silence which speaks much more eloquently still to the truth behind his death. I will listen and I will remember. And I will renew my resolve never to allow this silence to have the last word. Not for Matthew. Not for gay men or lesbian women. Not for any person in our society of any color or condition who has been singled out for persecution. Not in my church. Not in my nation. Not in Wyoming. And not at Trinity College…



Brave New World
Aldous Huxley

"Utopiae appear much more achievable than man believe in the past. And actually, we are faced with a question much more frightening: How to avoid their final realization? … Utopiae are achievable. Life leads to Utopiae. And maybe a new century is starting, a century where intellectuals and the educated class will dream about some means to avoid utopiae and return to a non-utopian, less perfect and more free society."

– Nicolas Berdiaeff