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.