Friday, November 28, 2008

The terryfaceplace plan for a mo' better holiday season.

Hey, kids. I hope you all had a happy and filling Thanksgiving. In honor of Black Friday and the fact that I'm not going anywhere near a mall today, here are terryfaceplace suggestions for holiday gifting.

First off, we all have plenty of stuff. I'm on an anti-stuff mission.

Pardon my notable and significant exceptions in the case of music and books. And clothes. Well, and shoes.

And yarn.

Anyway, my intentions are good. I just don't need another tshirt, bath gel, pair of socks or any knick-knacks whatsoever. I bet you don't either. So my first proposal to my family is to do the name-drawing thing, but with a twist. Instead of buying something for the person who's name you drew, you can either do something or make something for your giftee. Voila! Less stuff, more fun, more meaning. It lets the kids in the family participate in the spirit of giving on a different level than usual too.

There it is. The terryfaceplace plan for a mo' better holiday season.

Now, if you must buy stuff, you still don't have to brave the marauding hordes at the mall. I have two options to the right...No Sweat and Powells. Shop there. Support me. Easy. I have a particular soft spot in my heart for No Sweat where you can buy union made, sweat shop free clothing from the comfort of your living room.

I also love for unique, handmade gifts. It's like ebay for artsy set. I really like the idea of buying directly from the person who creates the items because it allows people to make a living making things, and they can offer their goods at a fair market price without someone in the middle who takes a share. Plus the stuff they sell is interesting and unique. It's a very cool site to browse.

That's all for now because I need to get moving if I'm going to get to a bargain matinée of Milk this afternoon.

(edit!) How could I forget iGive. If you do any online shopping, check out iGive. They'll donate a percentage of your purchase to the cause of your choice.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

San Diego Joins the Impact

On Saturday Nov 15, in San Diego, and other cities across the state and the country, tens of thousands gathered to march in support of equality and to vow that Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to strip civil rights from gay couples, will not stand. Approximately 20,000 people walked from Balboa Park to the County Administration Building in yesterday's hot San Diego sun where they rallied for and demanded a return of the equal rights guaranteed to all citizens by our nation's constitution. A huge crowd for a typically laid back and somewhat conservative San Diego!

Despite the pain of having to fight for what is rightfully yours, it was for the most part, a positive, joyous crowd. These rallies are good medicine, because they remind us that no one is alone and that this is a fight that can be won because it's right for all Americans to enjoy equal protection under the laws. The founding fathers knew that was an essential part of a free nation, and so do we.

It was a very long and hot march through the city, but I loved feeling the positive spirit. The speakers at the rally talked about yesterday's march as a beginning, and not as any kind of goal in itself. It was a day to remind people of the strength of their numbers, of the battle ahead, and to get personally involved in overturning Prop 8. That means volunteering, donating and influencing others to accept the idea of equality for ALL.

One of the speakers talked about, and I agree, that one of the best ways to do that is to be open and out. You can't emotionally segregate yourself and expect others to know you...people fear what they don't know. It's much harder for people to be hateful and ignorant about the LGBT community if they know that person they like so much who sits next to them at work is a lesbian, or that guy they shake hands with at church every Sunday is gay. Knowledge is strength.

It's past time to put human faces and loving families at the front and center of this movement. One of my biggest gripes about the No on 8 campaign (I have several) is that it did a simply terrible job of humanizing same sex marriage. It was all very nebulous, philosophical, and intellectual about the issue and about rights. They never successfully made the campaign about people or families. They failed miserably by not putting a face on the issue. They NEVER addressed the obvious emotional high points, or hit people in the gut with the fact that Prop 8 deeply hurt loving families. If we've learned nothing else from the past years of increasing far right influence in our politics, we should have learned that people vote with their emotions much more than they vote from their intellect.

I trust that the passage of Proposition 8 was a Pyrrhic victory for the far right, because it will be the catalyst for a much for successful campaign to ensure equal rights for all. As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously stated, "we shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." That won't happen in a's up to us to bend it.

Pictures to follow...I took my film camera and need to get them developed. Hopefully later today!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A better world

This No on 8 video really represents my feelings about voting No on Proposition 8. This is why I keep reasonably informed, and volunteer and donate to causes that support and promote peace and social justice. It's why I write about the things I write about. It's about my kids and grandkids. I want them to live in a more just world.

I got involved with peace and justice activists 8 years ago because I didn't like the hostile, aggressive and anti-democratic positions taken by the current resident of the White House, and I didn't want to have to someday in the future tell my grandkids I just sat on the sofa watching reruns of Law and Order in the early part of the century while the world blew up or while Democracy began to disappear in America.

I also don't want to sit idly by while Californians vote on whether we should constitutionally eliminate civil and legal rights for other Americans. My kids and grandkids don't deserve to live in that kind of world, and I'm not going to sit on my tuchas while it happens.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Protect Marriage... by voting No on 8

In the state of nature...all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the law. Charles de Montesquieu (1689 - 1755)

It's been difficult for me to write about Proposition 8, because I just can't wrap my head around the idea that some people think America should amend our federal and state constitutions to discriminate against an entire group of people. It shocks and horrifies me to think about those who think it's OK to actually write injustice into the constitution, corrupting the foundational documents of democracy. Will the next step be repealing the 14th Amendment that states "no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.?" Isn't that what they'd have to do to make Proposition 8 stand? Deny equal protection under the laws?

Proposition 8 makes a mockery of American democracy. How can it be right or just for a government to tell adult citizens who they can or can not marry?

Not only does it blow my mind that there are actually Americans who don't understand or appreciate the importance of the basic democratic concept of equal protection under the law, but how do these people who think of themselves as Christian rationalize the bigotry and hatefulness inherent in what they're trying to do? I try not to pick on any religion too much because I know that leads to over-generalizations, but that's who's funding this hateful bigotry. The majority of the financial support has come from the Mormon and Catholic churches, but sadly, Proposition 8 is manifestly un-Christian. It worries me that some churches apparently have the money and the soapbox to take away fundamental American rights and values that conflict with their church dogma.

How can anyone try to deny other people the love, commitment and security of marriage, and still think of themselves as messengers of God's love? How can any person who considers themselves Christian deny the sanctity of love? The sacredness of marriage is not found in any church or in any ceremony, nor is it granted by another person. That's an incredibly shallow notion. The love that leads two people to marry is what's sacred, and no person has any right to judge the appropriateness of another person's love. This is not just about the's about protecting the sanctity of ALL marriages. Even the marriages of people you don't personally like or approve of. That's the American way, and that's the Christian way. Proposition 8 is un-American and un-Christian, and I urge everyone to VOTE on November 4 and to vote NO on Proposition 8.

Yes indeed... protect marriage....everyone's. This video was made by a co-worker who was married this past September, and he's asking you to vote to protect his marriage too. It's a more than reasonable demand.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Truth About ACORN

Monday, October 20, 2008

Progressive Voters Guide

Just a quick note, as I'm on the road again, but wanted to share this great voter's guide with you. Election day is right around the corner! Courage Campaign has published a California Progressive Voter's Guide with recommendations on the 12 ballot initiatives. It's well done and very informative. You can download a pdf that you can take with you to the polls, or you can get the guide on your mobile phone by texting VOTECA to 69866.

Once again, Courage Campaign steps up and does a great job of getting important information out to California voters. Way to go!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Who really supports the troops?

Last week while Cindy McCain was standing on a stage claiming that her "blood ran cold" over Barack Obama's lack of support for the troops, including her own son, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America were releasing their Report Card on how U.S. representatives and senators voted this year on issues for those who've come home from these conflicts.

Every year the IAVA announces their legislative goals for veterans, and this past year there were many important pieces of legislation for military veterans including a New GI Bill, suicide prevention legislation, funds for the treatment of traumatic brain injury, and help for homeless vets. At the end of the year, they simply grade our representatives on how they voted on these predetermined issues.

Contrary to popular belief, honest and concrete support from representatives come from their votes, not their flapping mouths. Words mean nothing if actions don't back them up, and John McCain's words don't amount to much since he received a D this year. At least in part, this appears to be a result of him missing important votes while he was campaigning. In contrast, Obama earned a B. Personally, I appreciate a president that can multi-task. The thought of having a president that can't manage competing, important tasks makes my blood run a little cold, Cindy.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

She's baaaaack...

My last post was May 15th?!? How did this happen?

Actually, I know how it happened. It's a series of things. Work has been beyond insane, and all my brain power is used up every day by 6 pm. I've had the ever-popular family and financial issues. My hubby got laid off from his job. I'm considering cashing out my IRA before it's completely gone. I could keep it under my mattress. Maybe grandma was right afterall.

In other words, I've been preoccupied, exhausted and busy. Not necessarily in that order.

Then in August my mom had a stroke. She's in a rehab hospital in Idaho, which is much too far away for my liking. I'll be going up to see her again next week. She's improving but it's been extremely rough.

Jeez, that looks really bad all written down like that. No wonder I've been kind of crabby.

Speaking of crabby, I've still been reading the news. Good lordy. The economy is in freefall. We have Wall Street on welfare. McCain and Palin are swing wildly from hilarious to terrifying and back again....and again....and again. The right wing zealots are out in force. How can I NOT write about this stuff?

I'll try to do better. I promise. My husband is sick of listening to me rant anyway.

In the meantime, here's a little something from me to you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

on hiatus

Ok, it's offical. I admit it. I've not been around much lately. It's a combination of things, not the least of which is extreme fatigue. If I were a famous celebrity, I'd be "suffering from exhaustion" by now.

I've decided I should give myself permission to take a break from this rather than beating myself up for not fitting everything into everyday. Not that I'll never say another word (what a concept!), but it'll be sporadic for a bit. My day job has become much more intense. Longer days, more responsibility, greater work load, and much less brain power remaining at the end of the day. That pretty much sums it up. I'm running on fumes.

My remaining oomph has to go to mi familia in the evening and on weekends. Not to mention the house and the yard and the dog and the cat and the fish and the groceries and kitchen floor and the bills.

I can do it all, but I can't do it all at once.

I think I'll tell them that at work too.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blackwater for sale?

On the same day it was revealed that Blackwater USA Worldwide and Cerberus Capital Management were in negotiations, the news came out that the talks were over and there would be no deal. Blackwater's capacity for generating negative attention didn't appeal to either the founder or the investors.

The reclusive founder of Cerberus, Stephen Feinberg, reportedly told his investors in a letter earlier this year that he hated all the attention the company was getting.

"We do our best to avoid the spotlight," wrote Feinberg, "but unfortunately, when you do some large deals, such as Chrysler and GMAC, it is hard to avoid."

Owning control of Blackwater would certainly have attracted even more attention to Cerberus. Blackwater has been accused of tax fraud, improper use of force, arms trafficking and overbilling connected to its work for the U.S. government in Iraq. A grand jury, federal prosecutors and congressional investigators are all currently probing allegations against the company.

Cerberus is kind of an interesting group in it's own right. They're a private investment/private equity group that purchases majority or large minority shares of companies that are teetering on the edge. Cerberus has owned all or part of Mervyns, Albertsons, Air Canada, and most recently, Chrysler. Former Treasury Secretary John Snow is the chairman, and former Vice President Dan Quayle is the chair of the advisory board. Donald Rumsfeld has been an investor.

It makes me wonder if Blackwater is suffering from some financial instability or excessive debt. That would be a typical scenario for Cerberus. They buy companies that are in financial distress, then they restructure, downsize, layoff, cut cut cut and make the place shiny so they can sell at a profit. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they don't. They make high risk investments. I guess Blackwater is even too risky for the risktakers.

Considering who's involved, I could get conspiracytheoristitis about that particular gang owning their own private military, but it's late and I'm not gonna go there.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

They're baaaack....

Thankfully, Blackwater won't be building their training camp in Potrero, but they're still working on establishing a presence in San Diego. According to today's UT, they will soon be operating on the grounds of a 61,600-square-foot former "trade school" near Brown Field, and between the San Ysidro and Otay ports of entry.

Kelly Broughton, director of the city of San Diego's development services department, said Blackwater applied for a permit in February to make improvements to the building. The permit was approved March 19.

Broughton said the building was already permitted for use as a vocational trade school, and Blackwater's training activities would fall within that category.

On March 7, Blackwater dropped its plans to build a training facility for law enforcement and the military on an 824-acre site in the East County community of Potrero.

I'm sure we'll soon see what kind of training facility they're planning. It doesn't surprise me that they're still focused on the border region. They won't be in Iraq forever, and they want to diversify. There was some speculation that they'd decided to adjust their plans, and were looking at other locations, but no one knew for certain. They've been setting up business under their E&J Holdings division rather than the more well known Blackwater brand. This place is much smaller than what they were planning in Potrero, it's indoors, and it's in an industrial park, but the proximity of Brown Field and the Tijuana International Airport are probably a plus from their business perspective. Maybe they need a new home for the blimp.

I'll take a pass on any more speculation for moment, but I'll keep my eye on what's going on and I'll keep you in the loop!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day in San Diego

It's Earth Day and the usual Earth Day goings on will be ... uh ... going on in Balboa Park today. See you at EarthFair!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Just shut up already

Good grief. It's that gawdawful Joe Lieberman again. Why won't he just stay home and shut up? Once again he commits felonious stupidity on Faux News.

NAPOLITANO: Hey Sen. Lieberman, you know Barack Obama, is he a Marxist as Bill Kristol says might be the case in today’s New York Times? Is he an elitist like your colleague Hillary Clinton says he is?

LIEBERMAN: Well, you know, I must say that’s a good question. I know him now for a little more than three years since he came into the Senate and he’s obviously very smart and he’s a good guy. I will tell ya that during this campaign, I’ve learned some things about him, about the kind of environment from which he came ideologically. And I wouldn’t…I’d hesitate to say he’s a Marxist, but he’s got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America.

Then he babbles a bit about Obama's "bitter" brouhaha. Bleh. I'm sick of it.

Not to mention, bitter.

Speaking of which, why is it that Hillary and McCain get indignant over Obama's remarks, yet McCain's Senior Advisor can say,
People in the country are in a very bad mood, and they want to have change.

and it's it should be. That's not what the article is about, but the comment sure jumped out at me when I saw it. It wouldn't have if there hadn't been a fuss over Obama's "bitter" comments.

So let it be said, one and for all, in the terryfaceplace Friday Night Water is Wet and the Sky is Blue News Report, there are a lot of bitter people in very bad mood out here. Can we be done with this silliness now? Thank you.

My stance hasn't softened on Liberman though. He should still stay home and keep his mouth shut if he's got nothing sensible to say.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lieberman campaign to blame for crashing own Web site

Back in the Fall of 2006 when Ned Lamont challenged Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, there was a big kurfluffle in the last day of the campaign where Lieberman's staff accussed Lamont's staff of crashing their website.

As it turns out, Liberman's staff crashed their own website. Bwaha. Well, it would be funny if it wasn't so crappy of them to make an unfounded accusation of dirty tricks in the last hours of the race.

According to the FBI memo, the site crashed because Lieberman officials continually exceeded a configured limit of 100 e-mails per hour the night before the primary.

"The system administrator misinterpreted the root cause," the memo stated. "The system administrator finally declared the server was being attacked and the Lieberman campaign accused the Ned Lamont campaign. The news reported this on Aug. 8, 2006, causing additional Web traffic to visit the site.

"The additional Web traffic then overwhelmed the Web server. . . . Web traffic pattern analysis reports and Web logging that was available did not demonstrate traffic that was indicative of a denial of service attack."

It took the media filing a FOIA request to get that information. The statement has been made in the past that there was no connection, but they refused to release the details of why the Lieberman site crashed. Now we know.