Tag activism (24)
link saturday: net neutrality, video game soundtracks for work music
Posted on 2014-05-24 14:57:00
Tags: activism links
- My comment about net neutrality to the FCC is live! (see how to write your own) Vi Hart has a good video on net neutrality, and the great Google Fiber (come up north in Austin, please!) has a delicious poke in the eye to ISPs that do discriminate based on content (they don't).
- It's been an eventful month in same-sex marriage, and I've had my hands full keeping the map updated. (I also added the rainbow color for states (like Texas!) where a judge has overturned a same-sex marriage ban but the ruling is on hold) For the rest of the world, here's a very nice visualization of what rights LGBT people have.
- CIA will no longer use vaccine campaigns for spying - hooray! But it's a bit late for that...even if the CIA is sincere (which I don't have any particular reason to doubt), trust takes a long time to rebuild.
- Video game soundtracks ideal for work music - I've been trying this out this week and it's worked pretty well. I've been using this site (linked from the article) - you can vote on what to play next, or you can just sit back and listen to what's next.
- NPR had a good series on people being thrown in jail because they couldn't pay court fees, which the Supreme Court ruled against in 1983.
- Cutting Off Emergency Unemployment Benefits Hasn’t Pushed People Back to Work - sad, but unsurprising
- Arecibo Observatory Detects Mysterious, Energetic Radio Burst
- China proposes to fund and build high-speed rail line from Beijing to Vancouver - is this really going to happen? Probably not.
link friday: Mayday PAC succeeds!, net neutrality, solar cells in pavement
Posted on 2014-05-16 11:59:00
Tags: activism links
- The Mayday PAC that I mentioned last week met their $1 million goal! They have a $6 million goal for June, which is...ambitious.
- The FCC proposed some rules that would let ISPs accept payment for faster traffic, which is against the principles of net neutrality. But they're not final yet, and you can comment on them! Here's what I wrote - feel free to copy and paste!:
I believe internet providers should not be allowed to establish or accept payment for so-called "fast lanes". I also believe the FCC should using Title II to regulate internet providers, as they are a sort of common carrier.
Technical information collected from the use of Google Fiber Internet for network management, security or maintenance may be associated with the Google Account you use for Fiber, but such information associated with the Google Account you use for Fiber will not be used by other Google properties without your consent. Other information from the use of Google Fiber Internet (such as URLs of websites visited or content of communications) will not be associated with the Google Account you use for Fiber, except with your consent or to meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.
bleg: help stop an anti-gay amendment in North Carolina! (and a few links)
Posted on 2012-05-04 10:50:00
Tags: activism gay links
Give to stop an anti-gay amendment in North Carolina! They vote on Tuesday!
The amendment would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions - in marriage map terms that would turn North Carolina from beige to the darkest red. Unfortunately, it has been looking like it's likely to pass, but polling has been turning towards the "No" side.
(if anyone out there is in North Carolina: please please please vote against Amendment 1!)
- Are Apple's Tax Games Bad for America? - the summary says it perfectly: "The great global tax maze deprives the United States of revenue and jobs. But there's not much we can do to prevent it."
- A new study shows all-white juries convict a higher percentage of blacks, and having just one black person on the jury is enough to eliminate the effect.
- Bruce Bartlett (who served under Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and on the staffs of Jack Kemp and Ron Paul) shows yet again that lowering taxes probably won't increase employment, and the US's taxes are among the lowest in the world.
Stop SOPA! Write your Congresspeople!
Posted on 2011-12-19 10:11:00
TL;DR: Write your Congresspeople to oppose SOPA - it takes less than a minute!
There's a new bill aimed at stopping piracy, and it is extremely dangerous to the Internet's health.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) makes it easy for IP holders to, if they see infringing content on any other website, stop online ad programs and block access to credit card payments without appearing before a judge or any sort of court order.
A refresher on how it works now: under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), if an IP holder finds infringing content somewhere (say, on YouTube), they can file a takedown notice to YouTube and YouTube is required to respond unless the person that posted the content objects (in which case presumably the IP holder will sue). YouTube is a good example of a "safe harbor" under the DMCA - as long as they respond to takedown notices, they're not required to police their own content. Which is a good thing, because it's nearly impossible to guarantee that no one is posting any sort of infringing material on your site.
Under SOPA, though, just one piece of infringing content anywhere on the site gives the IP holder power to block the entire site, possibly even including messing with the site's DNS entry. This is someone akin to bombing a city block because some guy is selling shady-looking DVD's on the corner.
There's lots of other bad stuff in it, but that's the upshot. Many people involved with the creation of the Internet (including Vint Cerf, one of the "fathers of the Internet") have written an open letter warning about it. Even the Business Software Alliance, who only exists to stop piracy, has serious reservations about it. Many Silicon Valley founders have also written an open letter blasting SOPA. Reddit has said they may have to shut down if it passes.
So: please write your Congresspeople! The bill is still in committee, but is scheduled to be voted on (to go out of committee) on Wednesday...the good news is that it seems like the backlash is having an effect, but as many people as possible need to let their legislators know that this bill is bad, bad, bad.
debt ceiling - write your representative!
Posted on 2011-07-26 13:11:00
Here's my letter to my Representative and Senators. You can write your Representative here and write your Senators here.
I urge you to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling by the August 2nd deadline. I understand that our national debt is a problem that we should address, but it is problematic to cut spending during a recession when unemployment is so high. We have already passed our budget for the year, and failing to pay the country's bills will result in financial disaster.
Please carefully consider any proposal to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a financial catastrophe.
Sprint and @palm: I get a phone call
Posted on 2011-02-16 14:34:00
Tags: activism palm palmpre
After emailing the CEO of Sprint about carrying the new webOS phones, I got an email from Vanessa, a woman in his office who wanted to give me a call to address my concerns. I hesitated but figured sure, what the heck?
Vanessa called this morning and we had a pleasant but short chat. Basically, the message was the same as I had read on webOSroundup - no plans to announce right now, but she emphasized that that doesn't mean they won't end up carrying them at release. So basically it sounded like nothing more than "yup, we haven't said anything publicly". I asked how soon before launch they know that they're going to carry a phone and she said usually very close to the launch, which was a little confusing since clearly they'd have to do testing, etc.
Interestingly, she said she had used a webOS phone but just recently switched to Android. Hopefully that's not a bad sign!
Anyway, I was impressed that someone bothered to call, even if there was really nothing to report. Makes me hope even harder that Sprint ends up with the Pre3...
My email to Sprint re the Veer/Pre3
Posted on 2011-02-13 02:07:00
Tags: activism palm palmpre
(sent to Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, at email@example.com)
Mr. Hesse -
My name is Greg Stoll, and I'm a happy Sprint customer. I joined the Sprint family in 2009 with the introduction of the Palm Pre, which I purchased in August, shortly after its introduction. The reason I switched to Sprint from T-Mobile was the availability of the Palm Pre - the webOS operating system was compelling enough for me to switch to a new network.
But, once I joined, I was pleasantly surprised - the Sprint coverage in my area has been great, and the customer service I got has been superb. I have sadly had to deal with this more than most as the first-generation Palm Pre's had some hardware difficulties, but every time I came back to the store I was helped by friendly and knowledgeable people who dealt with my problems quickly and fairly. For this reason, I recommended Sprint to my partner, who switched from AT&T just a few months ago to get a Samsung Epic 4G.
I'm sure you've seen the presentation by HP about their new smartphones Veer and Pre3, which are scheduled to come out this spring and summer. I am writing you to ask you to please seriously consider making these devices available on Sprint at launch. I know that Palm had some rough times with the Pre and Pixi, but more experience with similar form factors with the vast resources and marketing of a company like HP will make the Veer and Pre3 much more likely to succeed in the market.
It seems like HP is gearing up big time to promote these phones as well as webOS, and I think Sprint would be a great fit for their reintroduction after the absence of the Pre/Pixi Plus and the Pre 2. I know that personally I will be getting a Pre3, and while I'd like to stay with Sprint given my good experience with y'all, if it's not available I'll be forced to switch to a competitor.
Thank you for your time!
Don't Ask Don't Tell update, and some fun links to make up for wall-to-wall DADT coverage
Music: Zero 7 - "Destiny"
Posted on 2010-12-16 15:11:00
Tags: activism gay politics links
So, yeah, sorry about all the Don't Ask Don't Tell stuff. But hey, some neat links after that!
The big news: The Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal bill passed the house 250-175 which is better than the previous bill did. Apparently it now has at least 61 votes in the Senate, which is one more than is necessary. Now the question is whether a vote can be held in time before the recess. Here's hoping!
Senator Cornyn emailed me back about DADT; here's his response:
Dear Mr. Stoll:
Thank you for contacting me about current Department of Defense (DoD) policy regarding sexual orientation and military service. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.
As you know, in 1993, Congress passed legislation to codify the existing military “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy, which governs homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces. This policy has served our nation well, and I oppose any effort to repeal it. The readiness of our Armed Forces must always be the foremost consideration in any decision regarding military personnel policies, especially as our troops are serving in harm’s way in two active theaters of conflict. Now is not the time to increase the level of stress on our force through such a dramatic policy change.
Moreover, as you may know, three of the four military service chiefs recently testified before Congress as to their clear reservations with repealing the policy at the present time. I believe that it would be a profound mistake to disregard the informed opinion of these military leaders, and I am deeply concerned by the blatant disregard that some members of Congress have shown to their concerns by including provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (H.R. 5136; S. 3454) that would repeal this law. For these reasons, I opposed the motion to proceed to consideration of S. 3454, and I will continue to oppose the attempt to repeal the DADT policy.
The United States Government has no higher purpose than keeping the American people safe from harm. Our national security depends on the ability of our Armed Forces’ to maintain military readiness at all times. The linchpin of military readiness lies in maintaining cohesive units consisting of competent, fully trained personnel who share a sense of common purpose and confidence in their unit’s ability to accomplish its mission. Our Armed Forces recruit the finest individuals possible and help them develop into world-class Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.
My father served in the military for thirty-one years, and I was privileged to grow up around men and women dedicated to protecting our country. As such, I remain committed to ensuring that our military is the best-trained, best-equipped force in the world and able to maintain a strong national defense. I appreciate your thoughts regarding current military policies, and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as these matters are discussed. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
Don't Ask Don't Tell, and some non-DADT things
Posted on 2010-12-13 14:34:00
Tags: activism gay politics links
As I guessed last time, it looks like the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal's chances are not good. It's pretty disappointing especially considering that it's not going to get any easier with the next Congress.
I emailed my Senators about DADT, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson responded:
Thank you for contacting me about our nation's "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. I welcome your thoughts and comments.
Officials from the Department of Defense previously testified before Congress that the current policy has served the military well. However, in recent months, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates publicly stated his support for repealing the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy, pending the results of an internal Pentagon review.
The internal Pentagon review report was released on November 30, 2010, and its findings indicated that the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would bring about limited disruption to unit cohesion and retention. I respectfully disagree with the report's findings. I will not support a repeal of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. After speaking with military personnel and former leaders of our armed services, I remain very concerned about how repealing this policy could negatively impact unit cohesion and overall troop readiness -- especially during a time of war.
Our military has obligations around the world, including intensifying efforts to topple the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. I, along with many others, am concerned that a drastic change in the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy could hurt morale, recruitment, and retention at a time when our armed forces need to maintain a strong presence at home and abroad.
Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind. I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue that is important to you.
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator
tax cuts, Don't Ask Don't Tell
Posted on 2010-12-08 14:02:00
Tags: activism gay politics
President Obama cut a deal with the Republicans to extend all of the Bush tax cuts for two years (the Democrats had wanted to just extend the ones on the first $250K of income). In return, he got extending unemployment insurance for 13 months, cutting the payroll tax (a regressive tax) by 2% in 2011, boosts to some various tax credits that generally help low income families (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, a credit for college tuition). Here are the details.
I understand how some people feel that this is terrible messaging on the part of Obama - the tax cuts above $250K affect the richest 2% of Americans, and they're generally not stimulative. But I think he got a decent deal given the hand that he was given, and the fact that Republicans were going to filibuster extending the tax cuts if they only covered income under $250K. From the Atlantic: 5 Ways to Look at Obama's Grand Bargain (which makes the point that a lot of these cuts will be stimulative) and A Good Deal for Democrats on Tax Cuts (admittedly written by a Republican).
Word on the street is that Don't Ask Don't Tell may come up for a vote tonight in the Senate to try to break the filibuster. Here's a list of swing Senators - please contact yours if he/she is on this list! You can follow along with coverage at AMERICABlog Gay today.
Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell!
Posted on 2010-12-01 11:17:00
Tags: activism gay politics
The Pentagon's long-awaited survey on Don't Ask Don't Tell came out this week - you can read a summary here or see the full Pentagon report. Basically, it found that most servicemembers don't care one way or another and there's little risk in repealing DADT.
The House has already passed repeal, and so it's a race to get the Senate to pass it before the end of the year. Here's a list of Senators that are pivotal - especially if you're in one of these states, please drop a quick note to your Senators urging them to vote for repeal. Here's how to get in touch with your Senators. And here's the quick note I wrote to mine:
Now that the Pentagon study has been completed regarding Don't Ask Don't Tell, I would respectfully urge you to vote for repealing the policy. The study shows that for the majority of troops it makes no difference who they're serving with, and requiring gay and lesbian servicemembers to lie to stay in the military opens them up to discrimination and blackmailing. For the sake of fairness, equality, and national security, please vote to repeat Don't Ask Don't Tell!
Texas senators support Defense of Marriage Act
Posted on 2009-10-05 14:49:00
Tags: activism gay
A few weeks ago, I posted about the Respect for Marriage Act that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and allow the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in the states that currently recognize them. (see handy map) I was a little surprised to get an actual response from my two Senators (Representative McCaul indicated that he would send an actual response at some point), but not surprised to hear they were in favor of DOMA. For posterity:
Dear Mr. Stoll:
Thank you for contacting me about the definition of marriage. I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important matter.
As you may know, in 1996 Congress overwhelmingly passed—and former President Bill Clinton signed into law—the Defense of Marriage Act (P.L. 104–199). This federal law defines marriage as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." I agree with this position.
Under the laws, traditions, and customs of all fifty states, marriage has historically been defined as the union of a man and a woman. However, judicial rulings—and outright lawlessness by local officials in some states—have threatened traditional marriage and moved this debate onto the national stage. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas provides lower courts with the leverage needed to invalidate traditional marriage laws. The first major assault on traditional marriage came in Goodridge v. Mass. Dept. of Health, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court—citing the Lawrence decision—overturned that state's traditional marriage law. Other activist state courts have followed Massachusetts’s lead. In light of these judicial trends, constitutional scholars on both sides of the aisle agree that the Defense of Marriage Act and similar state laws are now in peril. I believe that judges should strictly interpret the law and avoid the temptation to legislate from the bench or color their rulings with personal ideology.
I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate, and you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind should relevant legislation regarding the definition of marriage be considered during the 111th Congress. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
Thank you for contacting me regarding same-sex marriage. I welcome your thoughts and comments.
Marriage laws have historically been the responsibility of state governments, and I generally oppose federal government intrusion into matters of state authority. Currently, there are four states in which marriages for same-sex couples are currently performed. However, in 23 states these unions are either statutorily or constitutionally banned. Clearly, one state's action can have serious and far-reaching implications for other states, particularly because our Constitution requires states to give full faith and credit to the laws of other states.
In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defined marriage as only between a man and a woman, and provided that states are not required to recognize same-sex marriages granted under another state's laws. I voted for this federal law, and I continue to support it today because I believe the traditional family unit should remain the foundation of our society. With respect to marriage, I am a strong supporter of the due process and equal protection rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. However, I do not support legislation that extends the traditional definition and recognition of marriage to same-sex couples.
On September 15, 2009, Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced H.R. 3567, the Respect for Marriage Act of 2009. The bill contains provisions that would force all states and territories in the Union to recognize all marriages that are legal in the state of origin. This legislation would further repeal the federal law implemented by the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which stipulates that “no state or territory needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.” Currently, no Senate bill has been introduced to repeal DOMA.
Should Congress act on this legislation, I will keep your views in mind. I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.
Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator
Respect for Marriage Act introduced!
Posted on 2009-09-15 13:27:00
Tags: activism gay politics
This bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allow married same-sex couples the same federal rights as all other married couples. This is a big deal. Here's a fact sheet about it. (.pdf) Right now, it only has 91 cosponsors (out of 435 representatives) so drumming up support is important!
Here's what you can do:
- Find your representative and senators and write them asking them to support the bill. The email I wrote is behind the cut:
I respectfully urge you to support the just-introduced Respect for Marriage Act of 2009. This act will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and restore the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the US Constitution to allow states to determine who is married, not the federal government.
Right now, 5 states allow same-sex couples to marry (see http://gregstoll.dyndns.org/marriagemap/ for a detailed breakdown), and in 3 of these states the couples were given this right through a legislative process. However, married same-sex couples in these states don't have the rights under federal law that other married couples do, such as Social Security survivor benefits, Family Medical Leave protections, and fair federal taxation.
As you probably know, Texas currently does not allow same-sex couples to marry (indeed, it is forbidden in the state constitution), and this bill would not change that. It would just give the same-sex couples that are married in states that have chosen to allow it the same rights as any other married couples. Marriage laws have always been left up to this states, and this would restore this practice as the Constitution intended.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
(a little tailored for Texas, obviously - change that part if you use it and you're not from here!)
President Obama supports repealing DOMA but it's going to be hard to get it through the House and Senate, and he's not investing any political capital in doing so. If you support repealing DOMA, please take a few minutes and write your representatives!
Stuff I've been following: Time Warner, gay stuff, dentist
Posted on 2009-04-10 10:03:00
Tags: health activism gay links
Email to Time Warner re bandwidth caps
Posted on 2009-04-08 11:13:00
Tags: activism timewarner
As a followup to Time Warner's proposed bandwidth caps, I sent the following email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and encourage you to do the same:
To whom it may concern:It's not a great email, but it'll do. If you care about these bandwidth caps, take a minute and send a copy (although you should probably edit the personal details :-) ) to email@example.com.
My name is Gregory Stoll and I'm a current Time Warner Cable customer in Austin, TX. I've heard that Time Warner is planning on imposing a tier-based bandwidth allocation system in Austin and I am very unhappy about this.
The maximum cap, 40 GB a month, is far too low to be reasonable. Even watching a couple of TV shows from hulu.com or movies from Netflix online will put me dangerously close to the cap. Even the proposed "super-tier" of 100 GB a month (source: http://a.longreply.com/101892 ), while somewhat more reasonable, pales in comparison to Comcast's 250 GB a month cap (source: http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2008/08/its-official-comcast-starts-250gb-bandwidth-caps-october-1.ars ).
I've had Time Warner Cable for cable service and internet service as long as I've been in Austin, through multiple moves, but if these changes go through, I will be forced to switch to AT&T U-Verse or Grande Communications GForce high-speed internet service.
Thank you for your time.
fight the smears!
Posted on 2008-06-12 17:23:00
Tags: activism politics
Obama's new site fightthesmears.com is a good list of rebuttals of the emails that have been going around about him. If you get those forwards, reply with a link to it!
Another impressive aspect of Obama's campaign is the new matching gifts thing. When I donated last week, apparently my money (since I had donated before) was used as a matching gift to a first-time donor, and I even got an email from the people whose gift I matched. They live in Oregon. Pretty easy way to make my gift feel like it means something.
a collection of links that suddenly accumulated in my firefox tabs
Music: Radiohead - "15 Step"
Posted on 2008-01-29 13:04:00
Tags: activism programming politics links
5 attributes of highly effective programmers - the title is cheesy, but it's a very good article, and it quotes The Screwtape Letters which was a nice surprise. Also on that site is The Effective Software Developer's Book List which is an impressive collection.
For Gay Democrats, a Primary Where Rights Are Not an Issue, This Time - the headline says most of it, except for this gem:
In an address last week honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a black church in Atlanta, Senator Obama made waves by lecturing the audience about homophobia. “We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them,” he said during the speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King served as co-pastor with his father.Awesome! (via dailykos)
Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay lobbying group, said he thought Mr. Obama’s speech was the first time a presidential candidate had brought up gay issues in front of a nongay audience without being prompted to do so. “This is dramatically refreshing,” he said. “It’s a great day when we can look at a field of candidates and determine that we are comfortable with all of them on gay rights and move on to other issues.”
Snickers ad pulled
Posted on 2007-02-06 15:41:00
Snickers ad pulled. (as a followup to my earlier post) Good? Bad? I dunno.
homophobic Super Bowl ad
Posted on 2007-02-05 09:25:00
I know that's a somewhat strong accusation, but I think it's justified in this case. I'm talking about the Snickers ad shown during the first quarter.
Here's the synopsis: Two guys working on car with open hood. One guy pulls out a Snickers bar, sticks it in his mouth, and starts to eat it as he leans over the open hood. Other guy sees this, puts other end of the bar in his mouth and starts to eat it. They meet at the middle (a la "Lady and the Tramp"), then recoil after a brief pause. They then discuss how they just kissed, and one says "Quick! Do something manly!", they they pull out some of their chest hair. The End. Or, an AP synopsis:
BEST AD FOR A LOUD BAR: Snickers. In this spot from Mars Inc., two auto mechanics accidentally kiss after being unable to resist chomping on opposite ends of a Snickers bar. The cure for this inadvertent moment of intimacy? "Do something manly!" says one. Both proceed to rip out handfuls of chest hair.
Election 2005: not good, but not horrible
Mood: a little depressed, but ok
Posted on 2005-11-09 08:39:00
Tags: election activism
So, the big news is obviously that Prop 2 passed by a wide margin - 76%-24%.
Before my analysis and thoughts, a message to those of you who didn't vote for whatever reason: I understand that situations come up on Election Day and that we're all busy people. But when you don't vote, you're letting other people speak for you, and in Texas, that's not necessarily a great idea :-) You may argue that your vote wouldn't make a difference, since the margin was so wide, but if it had passed with a narrower margins we'd see stories about how it was a close vote and did more poorly than expected instead of Ban on gay marriage passes by large margin statewide (screw the Stateman's registration...grr...). So, if you're not registered to vote, please do so - it's easy to do. And if you couldn't vote for whatever reason, just plan ahead next time and vote early or request an absentee ballot. Both are pretty easy to do.
Anyway, so, yeah, that sucks. On the bright side, Travis County was the only county in which it was rejected, which makes me happy I'm living here (at least of anywhere in Texas...)
Here's why I not as upset as maybe I should be: I know that we're on the right side of this issue, and I am fully confident that in the end we will win. It may be 10 years, it may be 50 years, but at some point gays being married will be like interracial marriages today. So, screw you, Texas, but we're in this for the long haul.
Anyway, the news was good from other parts of the country - Democrats won the governor's race in New Jersey and Virginia, and Maine rejected a measure to repeal antidiscrimination laws for gays (after voting anti-gay in 1998 and 2000). So that's good, at least.
Happy 151st post to me!
Posted on 2005-11-08 13:28:00
Tags: pictures activism
I put up pictures from this weekend (including Ren Fest), although I didn't take very many.
For your viewing pleasure this evening, the Texas election results (courtesy of the Secretary of State). I'll be watching as soon as we get back from our boring meeting.
My hands have been hurting for the last week or so (it feels like the muscles in the hand, but it's hard to tell). This is not a promising development.
Reminder: vote tomorrow!
Posted on 2005-11-07 12:53:00
Just a reminder to vote tomorrow (and vote against Prop 2 if you're in Texas!) See my previous post for more info. If you live in Travis County, you can go to www.traviscountyelections.org to find your polling place.
vote next tuesday!
Posted on 2005-10-28 12:21:00
For people that are registered to vote in Texas, there's an election next Tuesday (November 8). Please vote No on Proposition 2, which would not only ban gay marriage in the Texas Constitution, but prevent any "legal status identical or similar to marriage". So, clearly civil unions are not permitted, but perhaps even legal documents that would give djedi and I some rights associated with marriage (visitation rights in the hospital, next-of-kin type status, etc.)
This is a special election, so turnout will likely be low, which means that we do have a chance to reject this amendment!
You can go to friendsvote.org to find your precinct number and polling place.
flag burning, mostly
Music: nothin' at the moment
Posted on 2005-06-23 10:15:00
Tags: activism flag burning python challenge
So the House passed the flag-burning amendment yesterday, and people think it has a chance in the Senate.
Quick poll on the subject:
I wrote my senators (Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn) just now.
I would urge you to vote against the constitutional amendment that would give
Congress the power to ban desecration of the American flag. I agree that the
flag is a powerful symbol of our country, that many have fought and died for.
However, they have fought and died for the freedoms that the flag represents,
including the freedom to disagree with the government. Free speech is one of
our country's most important rights, and any curtailment of such should be
In addition, flag burning is such a rare event that it seems foolish to amend
the Constitution to prevent it. Our Constitution has been amended very few
times in the history of our nation, and never has it been amended for trivial
or symbolic reasons.
All these concerns notwithstanding, the text of the proposed amendment is very
broad and open to interpretations. Does this mean that wearing or washing a
T-shirt with a picture of the American flag on it is "desecrating" it?
I hope you share my concerns about this amendment, and I would be interested in
hearing your thoughts on the matter. Thank you for your time!
In non-flag related news, I did another Python Challenge level, but I'm stuck on level 5.
ASMC rehearsal is tonight - hopefully it won't be as tiring as the last one. Especially since I'm more tired going into it...
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