Preparing to vote 2004
*whew* It's a big ballot when you're carefully choosing your party central committee members. I re-registered from Green to Democrat so I could vote in the primary. As I mentioned before, I'm still voting for Dean because I want to see his delegates helping set the party platform. I support the ideals of the Dean campaign and want to see them as the ideals of the Democratic Party. However, as I also said before, after the primary I will be supporting the strongest candidate against Bush, who will almost certainly be the Democratic candidate, who is likely to be Kerry.
In case you're wrestling your way through the ballot this weekend and are also in California District 13, here's what I decided on. Maybe you'll agree, maybe you won't, but if you've been reading here a while you know my politics and this may help you decide on anything you're still sitting on the fence about.
President - Dean
Senator - Boxer (though I wish she'd fully support Newsom)
Representative - Pelosi
State Senator - Migden
State Assembly - Leno
Prop 55 - Yes
Prop 56 - Yes!
Prop 57 - No
Prop 58 - No
Measure 2 - Yes!
Yes on all city measures except:
Measure G - No
Measure J - No, no, no. I support Newsom on some things, but most definitely not on this pandering to developers.
Democratic Central Committee members:
David Serrano Sewell
Owen P. Stephens
Robert J. Haaland
Copyright Isabel Samaras. www.astrocat.com/samaras/smarty.html
Shared on Flickr on this date.
Riddle commented: "See also: www.flickr.com/photos/tags/samaras/"
Bush stands by decision to support amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage (but his language is becoming less devisive) - Maybe the president has had a talking to by a gay or lesbian friend? He sounds like less of an asshole today.
Scientists counter Bush view / Families varied, say anthropologists - As someone with a BA majoring in History and minoring in Anthropology, I concur in this statement and applaud them for making it.
Has civil marriage lost its utility? - Jane and I should get together for tea and talk politics. I think we're thinkin' the same things.
Laissez les bon temps roulez! 2004
I celebrated Fat Tuesday in style at Ti Couz crepery tonight. All the staff were dressed as pirates and one of the chefs was a pirate bride in white silk. He looked lovely. I think food tastes better when it's cooked by pretty boys in dresses and Sylvie, proprietress of Ti Couz, agreed with me when we discussed it at the end of the evening. After dinner, I retired to the bar where I consumed two small pitchers of dry cider while clapping my hands and stomping my feet to the music of Rube Waddell.
Friends, let me tell you, Rube Waddell are indeed the salt of the earth and they can rub it in my wounds any ol' time. They pleased me mightily tonight. I flirted with the Mahatma - who is so damn good at it, was unable to stop my body from moving to the rhythm of the right Reverend's beats, and was delighted by the Captain's skill with sousaphone, ukelele, and, oh baby, the Harmonica. Now it's midnight, I'm listening to "Salt of the Earth" one more time - yes, Reverend, that must make 41 times since Sunday midday when I dredged myself out of bed after seeing the last show - and wishing they could be just starting up their set despite my hands being sore from clapping and the fact that the alarm will be going off in less than 7 hours.
Good music reminds you why life is worth living.
My Wedding Wishlist 2004
Things I'd like to see happen within the next week:
- Gavin Newsom not being the only mayor in the United States willing to stand up for equality.
I think he's the bravest elected official in the country and his unflinching commitment to protecting the rights of all the citizens of his state is an example everyone ought to follow.
- Same-sex newlyweds and witnesses to their weddings telling their story to family, friends and their communities.
The best way to combat hatred and fear over this issue is to make sure that people know banning same-sex marriages isn't a generic act against some horrible imaginary monsters somewhere out there, it's a specific decision to deny the right of your best friend's nephew to marry his high school sweetheart and to void the public acknowledgement of the bond between those lovely two elderly ladies who were so helpful when you first moved into the neighborhood and to tell your child's school chum that his daddies don't deserve to be treated the same as any other parents and to reject your sister's request that you witness her committing the rest of her life to be with the woman she loves. It's personal and if you think no one you love or like or respect is going to be affected by it, you're very probably wrong.
- Well-known same-sex couples who have made life commitments to each other travelling to San Francisco to get married.
If the President tries to put forward a constitutional amendment to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples, I want people to think of it as a proposal to annul the marriages of people who have touched their lives.
Recommended music: Sandman, the rappin cowboy (I ain't kidding; he's great) - Now I don't normally hold with country OR hip hop, so you know he must be good.
How to obtain a marriage license in San Francisco - Call for an appointment.
Mona Caron - The Market Street Railway mural - I saw this wonderful work in progress when I was out walking yesterday. Check it out!
Interesting conversation on Caterina.net: Heidegger, Dwelling, Television - See, I don't want a TV either, but I can't pull out the Heidegger to back up the decision.
Flickr is the newest offering from the clever kids at Ludicorp. If you only try one social networking software this year, make it Flickr. - I've been resisting all the Friendster-style things, but Ludicorp can always get me on board. [Except that as of May, I'm not really using it anymore since it's very focused on photo sharing and my Treo doesn't easily support getting its photos out to a Mac]
Pink Steel: Gay heavy metal music - I defy you not to enjoy the cheesy metal cheerfulness of "We Fight For Cock"
Mona Caron painting her great SF mural 2004
This wonderful Market St railway mural is at Church & 15th. Read more about it here.
Worldwide Love 2004
Lest you think that it's only those wacky San Franciscans and homosexuals who were feeling the joy at City Hall today, I think I better pass on a few stories of the day.
Couples came from all over the United States. Most of the approximately 175 (the news reported 133 weddings but I think that wasn't a final count given who gave me the 175 number) people who were wed today had been waiting since 6am or before. The remainder of the line at 4pm were given appointments for their weddings so they won't have to keep coming every day and hoping to be one of the lucky pairs. Despite long hours of travel, getting up in the wee hours, braving annoying small-minded homophobic idiots (who were noisy though heavily out-numbered) and waiting for 10 hours in narrow claustrophobia-inducing hallways in the basement (where the line was moved to spare them from harrassment), spirits were high, smiles were everywhere and most people were making friends with everyone in line around them.
Some couples were there on their own, some had children and parents with them. I think I even saw some grandparents there for their grandchildren's wedding. And definitely some grandparents finally getting the chance to wed. There was support everywhere along the line; people helping each other out all day long. There were great volunteers, gay and straight. A woman who'd been wed on Saturday and came back to help. A straight man who said that if the weddings were continuing over the weekend, he'd be there to help if needed. A few people who just wandered in to see what it was all about and ended up helping. All day there was a constant stream of people who came to show support with little gifts for the couples: desserts, chocolates, children's books, and flowers flowers flowers.
Those who couldn't be there in person to show support ordered deliveries. The bouquets kept coming and every couple had beautiful flowers to hold during their ceremonies. Some bouquets saw service in multiple weddings as those newlyweds passed on their good wishes to others in line. What was most wonderful were the cards that came with the bouquets; blessings on the new marriages from all around the country. One man I spoke with grinned broadly as he showed me the lovely flowers he received from Houston, Texas.
The very best story, though, is this. When I was helping watch people's coats & bags during their ceremonies, I was right at the area where they wait for an officiant to marry them and that's where we had the bouquets waiting for those who needed them. A delivery man arrived with a 3 foot long gold box. Long stem red roses for delivery to "Random Couple". I signed for the delivery (I think channel 2 filmed it, actually) and pledged to the other folks volunteering in that area that we'd give them to the next couple who'd travelled a long way to be there and needed a bouquet. Well, just a few minutes later, two women around my age or a bit older came around the corner with their license, ready to be married. They had driven up from Santa Barbara and had no witness, no fancy wedding clothes and one of them was holding a few loose roses which someone had given her in line. I handed them the big gold box and they opened the card to discover that the lovely flowers were a gift from someone in Alaska. They were married on the steps in the rotunda of that wonderful building. I don't remember if theirs was one of the weddings my friend Kevin Smokler witnessed, but we all applauded them and gave them hugs when they came back for their coats.
About that time we finally asked a young guy who'd been hanging around watching and smiling bigger and bigger with every couple who came through if he wanted to help volunteer. He said he would and we found out his name was Amir and he was visiting from Israel! After a little while who showed up to volunteer but the couple from Santa Barbara and while one of them served as a witness for another couple's ceremony, her wife, Kevin and Amir went out and bought water and cups and started serving everyone in the long, long line.
Everywhere smiles, everywhere love, everywhere kindness. This is a beautiful revolution. Join it. Ask your mayor to follow San Francisco's lead. This harms no one and makes the world a better, gentler, sweeter place.
And this just in from the bottom of a news story on SFgate:
after watching TV images of the weddings, the symbolic ruler of Cambodia, King Norodom Sihanouk, said Friday that homosexual couples should be allowed to get married.Go Cambodia!
Well, I just went and watched the video on demand on KPIX channel 2's website and they're doing the usual news media thing of focusing on the noisy controversial part instead of the other 99% of what was going on in San Francisco city hall today. They have headlines like "Vocal protestors fill city hall" when the story itself is about a dozen or so guys who sang religious songs and shouted inside for a few minutes in the morning before being asked to disperse and they did. By the time I got there in the 11 o'clock hour only a handful of them remained outside where they were outnumbered by people supporting same-sex marriage.
I was on the main level of San Francisco city hall from about noon until a bit after 5pm today. For about half that time I was actually in the main rotunda area next to the entrance. I did not hear a single negative remark or see any anti-gay signage inside the building in that entire time. I wish KPIX would focus on the 1000+ happy people instead of the 15 or so hateful ones.
Feeling the love 2004
An amazing day. I'm happy and exhausted. Kevin Smokler and I showed up at City Hall at about 11:30 or so and spent the rest of the day volunteering. I watched people's bags for them during their ceremonies & gave information and Kevin was a witness for those who needed one. If you are ready to have all your silly internal worries about yourself replaced with selfless joy, I highly recommend you do something like this. If you don't live in San Francisco, call your mayor and say you want all couples in your community to enjoy the freedom to marry. Equality is a beautiful thing. I've seen few things as beautiful as the joy on people's faces as they were married in that gorgeous building. It's also a great way to be reminded of the diversity of the homosexual community. Everything from middle-aged parents to college-age couples to grey-haired truly long time companions. I am so proud of this city and of our civic employees. When you see the joy and pride on the newlyweds' faces reflected on those of the cops protecting them, you know you're in the right place at the right time.
Not this time. 2004
I've just sent this letter to Ralph Nader:
Dear Mr. Nader,
I supported you four years ago. I wanted to vote my conscience. By the time November rolled around, I was scared to do so. I convinced a friend in a state we were already confident would go to Gore to vote for you and I, a Californian, voted for Gore.
As we now know, it was just too close a thing for Democrats and Greens not to be more strategic with our votes. We didn't realize just how bad Bush would be. We should have known better.
This time we do. Please, don't run. Do what you can to help change the agenda, promote awareness, protect civil liberties and advance progressive thinking. The most important thing you can do is convince progressives that Bush must go. The first step is to get his administration out of power. The democratic candidate is our best hope of that.
Believe me, I am very sorry not to get to vote my conscience this time. I've been working hard on Howard Dean's campaign. I think he's done more for democracy and political participation in this country that anyone in the last 4 years, probably the last decade. I supported Matt Gonzalez for mayor of San Francisco and was so sorry to see him lose and by such a close margin. But we've learned in the past week that sometimes a less liberal candidate can surprise you. Gavin Newsom has done a wonderful thing in supporting same-sex marriage and human dignity. I don't expect to have my opinion turned around as dramatically by Kerry or Edwards, but I do know this: either leading democratic candidate would be vastly preferable to another four years of Bush and I will absolutely not tolerate another election like the last one.
What do I want you to do instead of run? Save our votes. Put your skill and credibility to work on the issue of fair voting. We know there are major issues with electronic voting mechanisms. People trust you on technical issues. Give us safer voting booths the way you gave us safer cars.
Please, Ralph, don't run.
Maybe next time, okay?
San Francisco, California
The Ultimate Betrayal - This is what war does.
Uh oh. 2004
And another good one from Larry:
Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.
Well, I wouldn't buy an SUV or diamonds, anyhow. 2004
To suppose as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and stay sober. --Logan Pearsall Smith
[quotey goodness from Uncle Larry]
My favorite of the many wonderful pictures in Derek's Justly Married set of pictures - Such joy, such well-deserved joy. All humankind should be so happy.
Go GoGo 2004
Having a really good evening tonight despite the sad news of the day. I got a ride back to the city with my pal Beth from work. It's a beautiful night so I opted to walk back from Church & Clipper area. On a whim, I went to Tokyo GoGo for dinner and the food & the company were great. Tim the bartender was his usual pleasant self and I had a fun wide-ranging conversation with Kelli the hostess and Robert, who seems to be something of the regular I'm inclined to become.
(By the way, guys, noname sushi is at 314 Church).
I composed & posted that about 20 minutes ago while walking from the block of Church just off Market, up Market, to Streetlight Records where I failed to find the Dandy Warhols CD I was craving. Now I'm home, checkin' out Kelli's cool site and wishing it was Thursday since I'm taking Friday off.
Dean's contribution to democracy doesn't stop here 2004
I stand with Dr. Howard Dean when he says:
First, keep active in the primary. Sending delegates to the convention only continues to energize our party. Fight on in the caucuses. We are on the ballots. Use your network to send progressive delegates to the convention in Boston. We are not going away. We are staying together, unified -- all of us.
Secondly, Dean for America will be converted into a new grassroots organization. We need everybody to stay involved. We are -- as we always have -- going to look at what you had to say about which directions we ought to be going in, and what we ought to continue to do together.
We are determined to keep this entire organization as vibrant as it has been through this campaign. There are a lot of ways to make change. We are leaving one track, but we are going on another track that will take back America for ordinary people again.
Third, there have been a lot of people who have decided to run for office locally as a result of this campaign.
We want to encourage you out there in the grassroots effort, run for office, support candidates like you who run for office, and we will use this enormous organization to support you as you run so we will change the face of democracy so that it represents ordinary Americans once again; government that will not be bought and sold.
Let me be clear, I will not run as an independent or third party candidate and I urge my supporters not to be tempted to support any effort by another candidate.
The bottom line is that we must beat George W. Bush in November whatever it takes.
I will support the nominee of our party. I will do everything I can to beat George W. Bush. I urge you to do the same.
Let it go 2004
There is no need to hold on to what's obsolete: One never loses what one tosses away deliberately.
- Veronique Vienne, The Art of Growing Up
The next Discardia starts March 19th, by the way.