Sunday, August 15, 2010

To Mosque or not to Mosque

Obama Supports 'Right' For Ground Zero Mosque:
So much debate. It isn't actually ON ground zero. I originally thought it was. Now I REALLY don't get what the big deal is. And Obama never said it was a good idea. He said it was a religious freedom. Just like our right to build a Christian or Jewish building near grind zero which would really be a good idea. EVERY religion represented in the area to promote unity in the face of adversity. I have always thought that this ongoing 9/11 craziness was overboard. It happened and yes it was horrible. The people killed will never have their lives back. Their families will always have their loved ones missing. However we are America and we need to heal from this and move on. We need to work on rebuilding lives and freedoms to prove that they cannot scare us into doing what they want. Let the mosque be built and let them teach the correct ways. Let them educate. Let all religions teach their people to be decent human beings and to not fly planes into buildings. It is when we leave our people ignorant that these horrible people recruit otherwise decent people and make these horrible atrocities happen. Education and upbringing. The same holds true for every religion.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Six Word Memoirs

I've seen the six word memoirs before, but I'd never been able to come up with something worth submitting.  I'm rather long winded, taking time to go through my points and hash and rehash them over and over again.  This made me really consider what the one single main point was and work it down to six words. Personally, I think this is paramount for any writer.  From now on, when I sit down to write a book, I want to have a six word synopsis.  Something to sum it up and make a good selling point.
In the theme, I believe this journal entry will also be brief.  If you want to write your own six word memoir, go to Six-Word Memoirs and sign up.  And if you're interested in my memoir, you can check it out here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Survivors Benefits

Click the link.  It will open in a new window and you can view the video that has me so fired up right now.
This is why, my friends, that gay marriage is so important to us and why civil unions really just don't cut it.  These two people had domestic partnership rights and were registered with the state of California, but when his partner died, this man lost his home because he couldn't afford to pay their bills on his own.  Even as a gay person, even as a gay rights supporter... I had no idea.  I had no idea that civil unions were as piecemeal and BULLSHIT as they are. This video breaks my heart and I really, really hope it strikes a chord in someone to step up and do something for change.  I know it has me.  I'm going to start looking into being an activist instead of simply a supporter.
Civil Unions are no more recognized as marriage than wearing a ring on your left third finger.  People may assume that a civil union or a ring on the appropriate finger means marriage.  However, civil unions are a glorified way of pacifying people in order to make them sit down and take what the state will afford them.  I'm honestly surprised they haven't come along and taken AWAY the right for gays and lesbians to have civil unions.
Civil Unions are just like many licensures  in the United States and are up to the state governments to decide what constitutes a civil union and for whom those rights are recognized.  Recently in the news, everyone has heard of Prop 8 that would "protect" the "sanctity" of marriage by providing that marriage would only be recognized in the state of California when it was "between a man and a woman".  Recently that law was overturned by the California courts and, within hours, an appeal was filed.  It's now going to the Ninth Circuit courts to be heard yet again to see if it is still deemed to be unconstitutional.  This bill, through the war of both sides, should make it to the Supreme Court of the United States and will be heard and, hopefully (even though I'm not counting on it), will be overturned and deemed unconstitutional through the entire country and gays will be afforded the same rights as everyone else.
I don't know about anyone else, but this really reminds me of all of the hub bub people had about interracial marriage.  It was still a hand-over-mouth gasp when someone dated someone of another race when I was in high school and it earned my best friend a few raised eyebrows when she married a black man when she graduated, but it's been seen as acceptable throughout my adulthood.  These laws that protect the right to marry between races has been legal in the United States since 1967 with the Loving vs Virgina case, 11 years before I was born and now 43 years after its passing. It took 40 years before people chilled out and realized that, in fact, marrying someone of another race did not rock the boat of marriage and cause society to come crashing down into a pit of annihilation, fire and brimstone.
My grandmother remembers people being completely up in arms about blacks having the right to marry whites and she also remembers when her friend who was black couldn't really be her friend because she was black and people looked down on them for it.  It's no wonder my grandmother, who stayed friends with her black friend, says that gay marriage is just the next thing that "idiot people have to stick their noses into as though it makes any difference on their lives".  My grandmother is an 81 year old woman and still going strong.
I have faith that, in 50 years when I'm an 80 year old woman, people will see that gays haven't caused the country to go falling down into a pit of screaming death and AIDS.  I will be able to look at my grandchildren and wave my hand with a scoff and say "Oh, it's just like that whole gay marriage thing we had to fight for when we were young" and I can whip out that gem of wisdom that my grandmother told me and say it's just another way for people to stick their noses in where they don't belong.  Like interracial marriage, however, we have a lot of work to do to take this through the court systems all the way to the supreme court and work our asses off to show that gay marriage should be legal for US citizens.  Civil unions just don't cut it.  People are being denied the same rights as married individuals, they aren't entitled to the benefits and hospital visitations given to people who are in a heterosexual marriage.
The thing that really bothers me, however, is that Loving v. Virginia was a court case that was overturning the Racial Integrity Act of 1924.  That means people were fighting for the right to marry against race for 40 years before that.  It kind of makes me appreciate that things have moved so "quickly" for gay marriage.  Considering that gay rights movements didn't really gear up until the 1950s and gay marriage didn't really become a hardcore issue until the 1990s, we've moved pretty far, pretty fast in 50 years.  Okay, by fast I don't really mean fast because that's a long time to be fighting for your rights, but given the alternatives, it seems that we're ahead of the curve by about 10 or 20 years.
Going back to the issues of civil unions versus marriage, the civil courts in California noted nine differences between the unions and marriage.  There are only five states not including California or the District of Colombia that recognize gay marriage.  Of those states, only New York, Rhode Island and Maryland recognize same sex marriages from other states.  Four states offer nearly the same benefits and rights to domestic unions as they would marriage.  If you'd like a breakdown, you can read it on the NCSL website.  The ACLU has decreed that they believe it unjust to deny persons the right to marry because of sexual preference and there are many ways to get active in the rights of GLBTQ persons.
I have yet to find a site that details out exactly what each state decrees are the rights of civil unions or domestic partnerships but I have found a Wikipedia article detailing the rights of marriage.  I'll continue to work on what each of the states calls a civil union to try and find the differences between the two.
In the meantime, I believe I have exhausted myself on the subject for the time being and have a few links for anyone who, like me, has decided to get active in the fight for gay rights.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Return of Hopalong

Strangely enough, it's been over a month since my last post about Cassidy!  She's doing pretty well.  We've actually worked her down off of the prednisilone and she is completely off of it now.  She hasn't had any tramadol for a long time and she's actually getting around pretty well.  There is less of a hunch in her back most days, but we can tell when she's getting painful based on how high the hunch is in her back.  We've been continuing to work with her back legs and actually get her flexibility back and we've been trying to get her to actually play ball and tug of war like she did before.  I don't think I'll ever see a day when she'll be able to run after a frisbee like she did before, but maybe someday I'll actually be able to take her for a walk with me and she won't get tired after 30 feet.
I took a couple new videos that I'll share.  She's actually getting a lot more active recently and it makes me happy to see her acting like herself again at least a little bit more.  She's been actually running after her bath like she used to and she's rolling to dry herself off, something she hasn't been able to do before.  It's encouraging to say the least.

At least she's been moving a lot more and doing things with the family.  She wants up on the sofa so bad she can't stand it, but with her occasional potty accidents still happening when she's painful, we haven't been letting her on the sofa.  She's actually been better about it since the pustules on her vulva have cleared.  We've been wiping her with a baby wipe to be sure she's getting clean.
Poor thing looks like she lost her last friend.
By all accounts, Cassidy is doing well.  She's off all of her drugs and although she's still Hopalong, she's not paralyzed and she's still making little improvements here and there.  I don't think I'll ever get back the dog that was able to jump up the windows and go up steps without a ramp again, but she's still trying.  She actually made it up one step tonight on her own and, if there had been a board behind the step, she might just have been able to right herself and pull herself up the second one.  I'm paranoid to have her risk it, though, so I'll be putting in a ramp so she can get up and down a little bit easier to use the bathroom on her own.  Any apartment we get into is going to have to have a ramp on it so we can get her in and out easier.  It's all little adjustments and things we'll have to work on between now and the move.
So that's my update.  All's well!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

There's a hole, there's a hole

I took a few videos of Cassidy today after picking her up from boarding.  She's walking better, able to wag her tail this week and was so excited that she wouldn't stay in her kennel and wandered around the clinic sniffing and doing her front end bunny hop.
Three short videos, but you can see from last week to this week that she's doing much better.  Hopefully this isn't where she will plateau.  Considering, however, that she was belly crawling under the tea cart to have her cave back, I consider it a plus.  It also made us put the blanket back over her kennel so she could have her bedroom back.
More improvement?  Maybe less peeing on my carpets?  She's actually been better about that.  Only one accident and that was because I didn't watch her water intake as well as I should have.  Improvements every day.
I also snagged some pictures of the hole we figured out she tripped in.  This one shows what it looks like just coming up on it.  Looks pretty harmless, doesn't it?
It doesn't look like there's even a hole there. It looks really innocent.
Once I almost twisted my ankle in it, I found this. It's as long as my fingers and wide enough the toe of my shoe caught in the hole and I tripped over the concrete. It's most likely what Cassidy did, too.

Never really gets easier

Story time since it's on my mind and I wanted to share and ask a little extra patience.  May 20th. Mary and I are at a local garden shop...