ellienihon: (Default)
"In preparation for his new commander-in-chief, Admiral Mullen is overseeing the final stages of a comprehensive military strategy review of the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan — one of four such studies in the government — to guide Mr. Obama in his first days as president. More quietly, he has also had initial conversations with his top commanders about potential changes in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that allows gay men and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation secret."

from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/us/politics/16mullen.html?8au&emc=au
ellienihon: (Default)
Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and h ouses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker

From [livejournal.com profile] shemem

Nov. 3rd, 2008 08:52 am
ellienihon: (Default)
I Thought You Meant It

I have friends of different races because when you taught me not to judge people based on how they look, I thought you meant it.

I respect other people's religious beliefs because when you taught me that a person's religion is between them and God, I thought you meant it.

I believe in universal health care and social assistance because when you taught me to be kind to those less fortunate than myself, and when you taught me that people are more important than money, I thought you meant it.

I support equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples because when you taught me that every person has the same human worth (and also to keep my nose out of other people's business), I thought you meant it.

I am environmentally conscious because when you taught me to take no more than I need, and to clean up after myself if I make a mess, I thought you meant it.

I support reproductive rights because when you taught me I shouldn't judge someone when I don't know what their circumstances are, I thought you meant it.

I am dismayed that you would call someone "elitist" merely because they are educated -- because when I became one of the first people in our family to earn a college degree, and you told me how proud I'd made you, I thought you meant it.

I am not ashamed if these things make me a liberal, because you taught me not to let other people belittle me about what I stand for, and I choose to believe you meant it.
ellienihon: (Default)
Please send this to anyone who you know who is in California, or knows someone in California. This is an important step in granting equal marriage rights to more people.

Read more... )
ellienihon: (Default)
From the article:

In his majority opinion, Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote that the court found that the “segregation of heterosexual and homosexual couples into separate institutions constitutes a cognizable harm,” in light of “the history of pernicious discrimination faced by gay men and lesbians, and because the institution of marriage carries with it a status and significance that the newly created classification of civil unions does not embody.”

The court also found that “the state had failed to provide sufficient justification for excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/11/nyregion/11marriage.html?8au&emc=au
ellienihon: (Default)
http://www.slate.com/id/2201510/
I recommend reading the whole article, but here are the last few paragraphs for those that want the punchline.

Read more... )
ellienihon: (Default)
And if Senator McCain is your man, do the same thing with him. Fear and anger do no one good.


Let's help President Obama help our country. Read more... )
ellienihon: (Default)
Obama and the Palin Effect
by Deepak Chopra Read more... )

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