July the 4th is just around the corner. Now is the time to put your best intentions into action. Clean out those pantry shelves (but please double check those expiration dates), go to Costco or wherever you get the most bang for your buck, and tell your friends it's time to pony up.
Then count the number of items you are donating and take them to your local pantry or shelter. If you live in the Northern Ky/Cincy area you can bring them to the church Sunday morning, July 5th. We serve breakfast at 9:15 and worship is at 10:45 a.m.
Finally blog about your efforts and send me the link in the comments section. If you don't blog, then just tell me your total in the comments. I'll do a final tally in a post shortly after the 4th and include the links to your blogs.
If you make a cash donation to your pantry, let me know the amount and I'll list those as well. There seemed to be some confusion about cash donations. These would be made to your local pantry. (Unless you're feeling the love and want to make those checks out to the RevPhat Benevolent Association.) Whether cans or cash, everything is to be done on the local level.
And if you need a reminder of what this is all about click here.
PLEASE EVERYONE: Email Rachel daily (or even hourly?) Some of you have asked me about contacting Rachel Maddow's producers or asked my permission to do something or the other. Permission is hereby granted to do whatever is necessary - and legal - to get the word out. And you don't have to limit it to Rachel only. Call KO or Wolfie over at CNN. If anyone knows Markos or has an in at Daily Kos send them the word. I've tried emailing him, but I'm only one small voice.
Now it's time to get busy. Talk this up to your friends. Blogwhore it widely. ONE MILLION CANS: YES WE CAN! LET'S DO THIS!!
Come, all you who are thirsty…and you who have no money, come and eat! (That Unruly Isaiah 55:1)
[Hey Rev P, sorry but I'm butting in on your post, to amplify, and well, push the harsh reality... smooch, UC/Kelly Canfield]
Let's get real about the scope of what we are proposing against the reality of what exists. 2 years ago, I had the privilege of the Lincoln NE Foodbank letting me in to see a bit of the operations they do:
And if you think it's ONE BIT BETTER TODAY, you gotta another think coming. The new survey for the "Hunger In America" study has only just been completed and is not available at this writing. But from what I am hearing from Lincoln and Denver, the need is devastatingly larger.
And a Million Cans will be grateful, useful, but far less than the need. The visibility YOU can help with will totally make a difference; SO DO IT!
It was really quite formative of my youth, and now here's the next truly formative age, fast forwarding in time to 1980.
I came out 30 years ago. Bit by bit, piece by piece, social segment by social segment, and my family last. I never realized till much later, and still think to this day, that "coming out" is a process, rather than an event. And so, from the beginning, my process unrolled, and continues to do so.
From the pot-smoke filled '71 Mustang where I told my best friend the first time in '79, until I told my mother in '80, there were layers. And ever since then too. Experimentation of HOW to just get the words out were a big deal to me (still is.)
We're talking about 1979 and 1980 after all. In backwards Phoenix AZ to nail the place as well as time. It was so different there, then. Violence was really an issue for me. It was so prevalent. [The story of the scar on my ass while I was getting mugged doesn't happen till '84, and is a different post.]
After the fits and starts, I began to get the hang of the words, and how to come out. Surprisingly quickly, but surprisingly devastatingly.
You'll never believe this, but my school was actually the easiest entity to come out in. A boys only Jesuit High School.
Reading that sentence above, I realize I'm going to give a lot of people the wrong impression. It was no homo playground. That school was so right wing and jock oriented, it was tough to be myself. But it was also such a world, where intelligence, acumen and loyalty totally counted, that I had some amazing experiences, particularly when I was homeless.
That's right; homeless, which really wasn't a word at the time, or at least didn't have the same cachet or meaning of circumstances.You see, to come out as publicly gay was "simply not suitable, this is disgraceful" thus, I could not be allowed in the home. Away with you!
Which was perfectly fine with me then. At that minute that I handed my mother the key to our house, and turned away, I knew the life I had expected was gone, and whatever was going to happen was not what I had expected previously. At that point I was 17 years old by less then a months worth of days.
Dominique Starr was still in my future by about 6 weeks.
What I did during those earliest days, was make deals with some of the guys at school. Two in particular. Let me store my suitcase in your trunk, and sleep in your car. I'll do your homework. Worked for about two weeks, as I'd shower at school, and keep that whole suitcase thing to a minimum. The clothes situation I handled by sneaking into the locker room, and doing my clothes in the school's laundry. So far, so good.
Busted! About 3 weeks into this, I'm innocently going to my goddamn LATIN class, first class of the day, and get hauled into the Principle's Office.
He was a prick to begin with. SOP - Standard Operating Procedure. Then -
Mike: How are things going? Me: Fine. Mike: No, I mean how are things going with you living with your dad? Me: What? Mike: Your Mom tells us you're not living with her. Me: True. Mike: Your Dad lives in San Diego, right? Me: Yes. Mike: Then where are you living exactly? Me: [hackles rise] What do you care? I'm coming to class every day. Mike: This is what we find amazing. Me: What? Mike: Because in normal circumstances, you'd be long gone. You wouldn't be here. Most kids run away and don't go to school. You've run away, and you still show up. What's the deal?
Honest to God, right then I lit a cigarette in his office; right then and there.
Me: Mike I didn't run away, I was thrown out. Mike: Put out that cigarette. Me: Sorry, nope. Mike: Don't call me Mike, It's Father _____, and put out that smoke. [Fr. Mike was smoking BTW. Those were the days at that time.] Me: No. You can throw me out, but since I'm responsible for myself, res ipsa loquitur. [The thing speaks for itself. I actually really said that. The Jesuit took notice, and hard.]
Mike: [pushes himself back from his desk] What are you saying? Me: I am responsible for myself. [I blew a cloud of smoke out at then. The irrepressible hippy/punk kid.]
Mike: So you're not living with your mother? Me: No I'm not. Mike: You're not living with your father? Me: No I'm not. Mike: Where are you living? Me: However I can. Mike: [the ever keen Jesuit] you said however. I asked where are you living? Me: I told you. However I can.
Good ol' Mike spun his chair around, where he didn't have to observe the next exchange.
Mike: We're prepared to make a deal with you. Me: About what? Mike: Tuition. Me: [trepidatiously] OK Mike: Yeah, your mom, well, you, if I read your thoughts correctly, owe the school about $10,000. Me: No no no. She sued my dad for tuition, and won. You should have been paid. I only owe for today forward. Mike: Sadly, that's not the case. There's nothing paid on your account beyond the first enrollment of your freshman year.
Dear reader, you cannot imagine my fury, angst or impotence that I felt at that very moment, as those feelings were fused, all together at a single point in time. My parents used me as a pawn between each other, threw me out the house, AND dumped the whole Jebbie School debt on me simultaneously. Freaks, really. That's all changed but only in degree, not in substance. And I fell sorry for both the parents, but in different ways, which is for another telling.
It didn't dawn on me for years that this selfsame Jesuit asshole who was basically CEO of a mini prep college was badgering a homeless kid for thousands of dollars. I bought into his meme for a while - and cut a deal. That's what you do with the Republicans In Charge, right?
I got to stay homeless and agree to thousands in debt with these fabulous Christians.
Needless to say, it totally got around the grapevine what my situation really was, and the kids who were in-the-know and at all sympathetic dried up, as their parents really couldn't have "such a situation." It was really socially unacceptable. My life was really unacceptable at that point. Until I met;
Dominique was a transsexual and performing at several bars around town, the seedy ones you know. Including one in the neighborhood of 3rd and Roosevelt [back in the day] where she busted me blowing some dude for cash. Her fury was legendary, the dude was instantly disappeared, and I was esconced on her couch in her apartment immediately. Dominique Starr was a Saint to me.
You cannot, dear reader, imagine the relief that Dominique provided me. Street knowledge alone kept me from being killed. Aside from that, she was a real Pridester (as I call it now.) She was FIERCE! and Proud and simply couldn't accept what had happened to her, happening to anybody else. I hung onto her for advice all through the early and mid 1980's when we had the MLK marches happening in Phoenix too. She was fantastic and unsung and passed away from AIDS in '85.
Dominique was a shrewd character; she only co-signed for my apartment when I had ponied up 6 months worth of rent for the 6 month lease I signed in 1980. (Don't ask how I put the money away.)
I was devoted to her; how could I not be?
So aside from the whole DOMA/DADT bullshit going on lately, I simply can't countenance any ENDA legislation that does not include the "T's".
I only understand help and freedom from where I got it, and I ain't abandoning that source. What Dominique did for me mattered; what I do in her memory matters too.
No more kids rooting around in garbage cans and alleys or blowing tricks for a living. They're human and this nightmare has to stop.
And just let me tell you this, whether you like it or not; you have seen one of these kids. You have passed by them in some McDonalds or Taco Bell as you go through your life. Someplace like that. You just haven't seen them in their seedy reality, unless, you actually have. And if you have;
Are you Dominique Starr? Can you help one of these kids?
Do it. I find for myself I simply must do something that helps.
On July 4th, Teabaggers will be having another one of their astroturfy tea parties protesting the evil rise of socialism. Only this time, liberal bloggers are busy organizing a real grassroots counterprotest. If the Teabaggers are afraid of socialism, then we'll show them the horrors of socialism. And what is more socialistic than sharing our food with the hungry?
To help our struggling food banks this summer, the Million Can March will raise one million cans of food by July 4th.
And since we are all in this together, we're inviting conservative bloggers to come to the party and bring the drinks!
The Million Can March is starting to pick up steam. But one lesson we should learn from the tea party movement is that you can't have enough media attention. Please, Ms. Maddow, would you consider mentioning the Million Can March on your program - again and again and again - relentlessly for these next two weeks. We would be most appreciative.
Imagine a million cans of food dropped off at food pantries and shelters across the country. Yes we can!
The unruly thing to do is for everyone to email Ms. Maddow at firstname.lastname@example.org everyday for the next week and see if we can get her attention. It's not stalking if it's for a good cause, right?
Yoda lookalike Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel an important lesson in this clip from The Karate Kid.
"Man Who Catches Fly With Chopsticks Can Accomplish Anything."
And by now we've all seen this video:
The Swatta From Chicagga
So how 'bout it Mr. President? You killed a fly and didn't even need the chopsticks! So when are you going to start accomplishing some of the things you were elected for? Just for starters, I'd suggest some investigations of the previous administrations many and varied crimes. You should also think about providing real effective healthcare for all Americans, there are a LOT of other countries that have already accomplished that. There are a dozen other things that you promised in your campaign (and I'm still being solicited for donations BTW) and then reneged on. And finally, you could start standing up to the Republican party for a change. I don't know if you remember this, but THEY LOST THE ELECTION IN NOVEMBER.
The Obama administration, in the persons of the DOJ's Tony West, James Gilligan and W. Scott Simpson gave eight legal reasons in the form of a Motion to Dismiss Smelt/Hammer v. United States of America why gay people are separate and unequal. A summary list of those reasons:
1 - Court Lacked Jurisdiction 2 - Plaintiff's Claim Lacks Standing 3 - DOMA is a Valid Exercise of Congress' Power under the Full Faith & Credit Clause 4 - DOMA Cannot Be Said to Violate an "Asserted Right to Travel" 5 - DOMA is Consistent with Equal Protection and Due Process Principles 6 - DOMA Does Not Violate the Right to Privacy 7 - DOMA Cannot Be Said to Infringe on any Rights of Speech 8 - DOMA Cannot Be Said to Infringe on any "Right" under the 9th Amendment
Reasons 1 and 2 are techno-legal, and can be dismissed as regards the separate and unequal discussion that follows. These same technical reasons could have been enough for the Obama DOJ to weigh in on the Constitutional basis that the President is required to do if s/he feels that the case at issue IS Constitutional. If the case is deemed un-constitutional, the President is free to not defend the damn law.
The Department of Justice may also notify Congress of a refusal to defend an impugned statute without appearing in court for either side. As recently as 2005, the Department of Justice notified congress that it would not defend a law prohibiting the display of marijuana policy reform ads in public transit systems. ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta (civil action no. 04-0262).
Since PresBO's DOJ wieghed in, points 1 & 2 alone would have sufficed if the Administration meant it's campaign claims, namely that DOMA was "abhorrent" and should be repealed, yet felt on technical bases that the case lacke merit or standing.
And yes, repeal means a legislative process. But the Administration has not sponsored or introduced their own legislation. But they did offer the remaining six reasons why I am separate and unequal along with other gay people. Frankly, this leads me to the belief that the campaign promise was empty, hollow, as actions are louder than words as we all know.
Let's have a look at the interesting points and most egregious claims in this Memorandum of Points and Authorities.
"I certainly agree (a) that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, at least as applied to couples like those who are currently challenging it in federal court here in Massachusetts.... I'm not at all reluctant to have it known that I think the equality component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause forbids the federal government to deny same-sex spouses benefits identical to those that it would grant to opposite-sex spouses when the spouses are "married" under the law of their state -- that is, when the spouses were married and reside in states where the law forbids a distinction between same-sex and opposite-sex marriage and rejects the DOMA definition of 'marriage.'"
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is Clearly Unconstitutional
Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) DOMA, 1 U.S.C. § 7 states, ““In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word „marriage‟ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word „spouse‟ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”
Because of this interpretation guideline, same-sex couples legally married in their state are denied economic benefits granted to heterosexual couples legally married in the same state. These include spousal health insurance for state employees, federal income tax deductions for those “married filing jointly,” and the one-time lump-sum death benefit granted to a spouse under the Social Security program claim. Gill et al. v. OPM et al. v. U.S., No. 12-345 ¶ 6-8 (D. Mass. filed Mar. 3, 2009).
The denial of these benefits to legally married couples has no rational basis. The denial of marriage-based benefits to same-sex couples has been found to violate constitutional equal protection guarantees by a number of State Supreme Courts. Kerrigan and Mock v. Connecticut Department of Public Health, 957 A.2d 407 (Conn.,2008.), In re Marriage Cases 43 Cal.4th 757 (2008), Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309 (2003), Varnum v. Brien, WL 874044 (Iowa 2009). The challenge to DOMA 1 U.S.C. § 7 does not argue that same-sex marriage is guaranteed by the United States Constitution. It does not, in fact, address the question of same-sex marriage at all. Instead, DOMA 1 U.S.C. § 7 denies benefits to same-sex couples already legally married in their home state where the equality question has already been argued in front of the courts and settled.
The President reserves the right to refuse to defend an unconstitutional statute. Section 3 of the DOMA is clearly unconstitutional in that it denies married same-sex couples economic benefits granted to heterosexual married couples from the same state without providing a rational basis for this discrimination.
We ask that President Obama and Attorney General Holder refuse to defend DOMA in the upcoming challenge filed in the State of Massachusetts, Gill et al. v. OPM et al. v. U.S.
Yes, you'll notice that's the Gill case, not Smelt/Hammer. But it's the same difference in Presidential perogative as regards USA standing. Larry Tribe and the FlipFlop folks viewpoints are prior to the filing of this MPA (Memorandum of Points and Authorities) under discussion.
On to the egregious. Reason 5 (C) DOMA is Consistent with Equal Protection and Due Process Principles; DOMA Does Not Rest on Any Suspect Classification. The twisting of the Loving decision from the DOJ motion:
Loving v. Virginia is not to the contrary. There the Supreme Court rejected a contention that the assertedly "equal application" of a statute prohibiting interracial marriage immunized the statute from strict scrutiny. 388 U.S. 1, 8, 87 S.Ct. 1817, 18 L.Ed.2d 1010 (1967). The Court had little difficulty concluding that the statute, which applied only to "interracial marriages involving white persons," was "designed to maintain White Supremacy" and therefore unconstitutional. Id. at 11. No comparable purpose is present here, however, for DOMA does not seek in any way to advance the "supremacy" of men over women, or of women over men.Thus DOMA cannot be "traced to a . . . purpose" to discriminate against either men or women.
Speechless. The issue is about orientation, not gender, which is superfluous, as we're talking about SAME SEX COUPLES. But that's the rub with this argument; same sex oriented people clearly do not have the same rights as opposite-sex oriented people, hence the term "Unequal" in my post headline.
Since the claim by Hammer/Smelt brought up the Ninth Amendment, the same rude treatment was given by the Obama DOJ as they too brought up Griswold and twisted it just as they did Loving. Reason 6: DOMA Does Not Violate the Right to Privacy
Plaintiffs also assert that DOMA constitutes "an undue invasion of the Right of Privacy,"citing Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 85 S. Ct. 1678, 14 L.Ed.2d 510 (1965). See Complaint ¶¶ 17, 27, 28. This claim must fail, first, because the Supreme Court has rejected a "right to privacy" claim in relation to same-sex marriage. One of the arguments made in Baker v. Nelson, referred to above, was that Minnesota's refusal to permit same-sex marriage constituted "an unwarranted invasion of . . . privacy" in violation of the Constitution. See Jurisdictional Statement, Baker v. Nelson, No. 71-1027, at 18 (Attachment 2 hereto). In dismissing the appeal in Baker "for want of Case 8:09-cv-00286-DOC-MLG Document 25 Filed 06/11/2009 Page 47 of 54 a substantial federal question," the Supreme Court necessarily addressed the merits of that claim, and rejected it. 409 U.S. 810 (1972) (Mem); see Hicks v. Miranda, 422 U.S. at 343-44.
Even if Baker were not dispositive in this regard, this Court should reject plaintiffs' right to privacy claim. The Supreme Court has described the contours of this right as follows:
The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy. In a line of decisions, however . . . the Court has recognized that a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution. . . These decisions make it clear that only personal rights that can be deemed "fundamental" or "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty," are included in this guarantee of personal privacy.
So you see, according to the Obama DOJ, rights of marriage equality for gays are neither fundamental, nor do they rise to the level of the "concept of ordered liberty." [And btw, just be on the alert about Griswold and the Ninth Amendment as regards women's reproductive rights with this Administration, as Griswold and the Ninth are part and parcel of Roe v. Wade.]
I'm not buying into what others around the blogosphere are saying about the incest and pederasty angles that are being read into this MPA, as I think that's overly reaching compared to the civil libertarian material I've pointed out so far, which I believe is enough to oppose the Administration.
Which brings me to the next part; how to oppose a popular President and not support the Right?
In this case, I propose that neither Obama, the DNC, DLC, Democrats of any stripe get one nickel until they do a 180 on this issue. Additionally, I think a tactic from the AIDS activists of the '80s is due for revival:
It's FUN! Stamp your cash in pink, red, hell just write on it in pen GAY MONEY and watch how the bills flood the circulation. Hell, just screwing around with money to send messages is kind of a neat way to protest at all.
But to end, that's the first peaceful method of protest I can think of at this moment as I am just simply mad at this turnabout from the campaign rhetoric. I'm sure to think of others, and I bet you will to.
Thank you for reading.
Out, Proud, and Not Asking For Rights - Simply Demanding and Living Them - Kelly Canfield, Denver Colorado
Food, Inc., a new film documentary opening today, attempts to answer the question, "Where does your food come from?" You can watch the trailer here. It doesn't look like it will be showing anywhere near my corner of the world, so I'll let those who know more than I give there take on it.
They also explore the science of advanced growth in these animals. In recent years, chickens and cows have been genetically enhanced with steroids, growth hormone and corn. CORN? What's wrong with corn? Cows are herbivores and are only supposed to eat grass. Thanks to government subsidies carboload corn is cheaper than grass. The result is animals who grow three times as large in a fraction of the time. By slaughter time, their legs cannot even support them.
This begs a question, "Why are there congressional investigations of baseball players who use steroids and not investigations of chickens and cows who do?" In the big picture, a Barry Bonds or Manny Ramirez has little effect on my life outside of the occasional heartbreak. Chickens and cows using performance enhancing drugs do. The answer is simple Bush and Clinton both appointed Food Corporation lobbyists and insiders to the head of the FDA. In essence the wolves are guarding the hen house. Those who should be investigated lead the investigations.
And before your friends try to tell you that eating organic, sustainably produced food is too expensive, go over to Cook for Good and learn how you can eat for less than the food stamp allowance. They've got menus, recipes and cooking and food storage tips that will have you saving money and eating healthier.
Welcome to the Unruly Mob and the launching of our Million Can March! This all started with a vague notion that we should do something more than just have a good laugh at the next round of tea parties scheduled for July 4th. I thought that if teabaggers are so afraid of socialism, maybe we could show 'em socialism on a national scale. And what is more socialistic than sharing our food with others. Food banks across the nation are struggling with shortages as increasing demands meet head on with decreasing donations. But bloggers also reach across the nation - and the world - and we could make a real difference for our neighbors and make this a memorable 4th of July.
THE CHALLENGE: To collect one million cans of food for our nation's food banks, food pantries and shelters by July 4, 2009.
WHO: Progressive bloggers with a special invite to conservative bloggers.
HOW: Act locally. Here are some examples:
• Take a bag of food to a local pantry • Organize a food drive where you work or play, your church or motorcycle club, etc. • Organize some friendly competition amongst a group of blogs • Challenge your Facebook & Myspace friends and your twitter followers • There's no one right way to get involved. Look around you, see the need and do something about it.
WHAT: Nonperishable food items. Note: We've already had a cash donation to a relief agency reported (and I know this is a good way for some folks to participate) so if you report your cash donations we'll run a tally of those as well.
SPECIAL CHALLENGE TO OUR CONSERVATIVE READERS: Bring the drinks! Ask your readers to donate cannisters of premixed tea, lemonade, koolaid, etc. You could even set up collection barrels at your next tea party. After all, it wouldn't be a party without the drinks. And it'd probably give you a little better publicity this time...just saying. Now aren't you wishing you thought of this first?
AND THEN WHAT: Blog about it and send us the link. We'll add your amounts to the totals and keep a running tally of the results. And we'll post all your links so folks can see what you did. (Hint, hint: We especially love posts with pictures! Yeah, we're simple like that.) But wait! There's more! If you want more than that warm fuzzy feeling from doing something good, we'll send you the script for an awesome button to adorn your blog to memorialize your participation in the 2009 Million Can March!
Here are some food suggestions:
• If in doubt, call the agency you plan to donate to and ask them what they need.
Here's a basic list:
• cereal, instant oatmeal • Canned meats & fish (tuna, salmon, deviled ham, canned chicken, etc) • Peanut butter, jelly, crackers • fruits and vegetables • Soups, stews, canned pasta dishes like beefaroni, lasagna, ravioli • Boxed potatoes and rice and pasta mixes in a box or pouch • "Just add water" cake, pancake, muffin mixes, etc. • Canned and powdered milk • Infant formula and baby foods
You can also think in terms of a meal:
• Spaghetti sauce and pasta • Tuna and macaroni and cheese • Beans & Rice
You get the idea, and then add a vegetable, a fruit, and a sweet treat.
Really, this isn't rocket science. Give what you like to eat!
Ok, let's get this started! Copy and paste the Million Can March button to your blog so your readers can join the party.
Right now the bill has only five of the 20 cosponsors it needs to move forward. And every day that passes, an estimated 4,100 children will die from diarrheal diseases spread through poor sanitation and hygiene.
The Water for the World Act targets underdeveloped countries with focused initiatives to improve access to clean water and sanitation; fosters global cooperation on research and development; provides technical assistance and capacity-building; provides seed money for the deployment of clean water and sanitation technologies; and strengthens the human infrastructure at USAID and the State Department to implement clean water and sanitation programs.
This bill will help establish the capacity and momentum we need to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on increasing access to water and sanitation by 2015. If those MDG targets are met, the benefits will include a total annual economic return of $22 billion for Africa in saved time, increased productivity and reduced health costs.
And most importantly, 203,000 fewer children will die in 2015 from lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage on Wednesday (June 3) in part because faith leaders testified that the measure would not impinge on religious rights, according to V. Gene Robinson, the state's openly gay Episcopal bishop.
When credible Christians, Muslims and Jews advocated for same-sex marriage, it "had a lot of sway with legislators in terms of giving them cover," said Robinson. "Our message was loud and clear: religious organizations have nothing to fear from civil marriage for same-gendered folks."
Two separate studies released on Wednesday concluded that anti-gay marriage groups relied heavily on religious language to successfully push for ballot initiatives in Michigan in 2004 and California in 2008 that outlawed gay marriage.
"A religious opposition requires a religious response," said the Rev. Rebecca Voelkel of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and an author of one of the reports.
Robinson said, "I think it's about emboldening legislators to see people like them who identify as Roman Catholic or American Baptist or Methodist or Lutheran (and) say `OK, this ... is clearly a person of faith, so despite what the denomination says as a whole I've got a fairly firm piece of ground to stand on here."
On July 4th, teabaggers will once again gather in crowds of ten and even twenty wearing their teabag hats and teabag earrings proclaiming their hatred for all things Obama. If it's anything like the April 15th events, it should be good for a laugh. But why stop there? I say we really piss 'em off and engage in a national act of socialism. And what would be more socialistic then sharing our food with those who have none?
The long summer months mean a drought at our nation's foodbanks and homeless shelters. It means children home from school may no longer have access to breakfast and lunch programs. National statistics about hunger in America are available only through 2007, but we need only look at the record unemployment rates and deduce that food will come in a long second to paying rent and utilities. And as this report notes,
In March 2009, SNAP/Food Stamp participation was 33,156,745 people, the highest participation level on record, and an increase of nearly 600,000 individuals from February 2009, the prior record level. Over the past twelve months, participation has grown by 5.2 million individuals.
I'd like to get a grassroots campaign going throughout the progressive blogosphere to counter the upcoming July 4th teabag protests with a food drive. And I know the Unrulies are just the ones who can make this happen. We have one month to make a plan and put it to action. I'm imagining folks across the blogosphere all giving locally, but let's use this thread to do some brainstorming. It's been my experience that two or more brains are way better than mine alone. Most important, I think, is we need a concerted effort to get the bigger blogs on board ala a blogswarm or like the blogs against theocracy campaign. Okay, maybe most important, is you telling me this is a good idea or a dumb idea. I'm willing to do the work on this, but I need your creativity, your ideas, your blog connections. Tell me what you think.