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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Why, sometimes Ive believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Alice in Alice in Wonderland

Well, the "impossible" happened Friday in Utah.  Gay couples lined up to get marriage licenses and were getting married right on the spot.  It is safe to say that most Americans did not think this was even a remote possibilty.  Yet, Robert J. Shelby, a very brave federal judge, made it possible.  History marches on, despite narrow minds, and bigotry.   Justice and equality triumph again!  I do know that the majority of citizens in Utah are against gay marriage.  Governor Herbert has already said he will fight the decision and the fight has begun in the courts already.  He argues that 66% of Utahns believe marriage is between one man and one woman.  That is just fine, but irrrelevant.  If 66% of Alabamans thought slavery was a great institution should we have left it in place?  Honest people, know the answer is obvious.

I think everyone has the right to their beliefs whether I like them or not.  However, those beliefs, many of which are religious based, have no place in policy.  Allowing gay couples to marry and have the rights to all the benefits that go along with marriage, is called equality!  It is a major tenet of our nation.  The LDS Church does not have to marry gay couples.  The Church can continue along just as it always has.  However, it has no right to influence law and make others follow its rules.  We do not live in a theocracy, much as it looks like it sometimes.

The fight over this decision is a waste of valuable resources.  Utah will spend loads of money on a fight they will not win.  We have so many pressing issues in this state - sub par education, horrible air quality, poverty etc.  Wouldn't it be better to use funds to solve these issues for our citizens.  A lot of couples were married over the last few days and their lives are happier. What harm was really done?
The "institution of marriage"  was made stronger not weaker!

I am thrilled that the "impossible" happened Friday!   I feel sorry for those who cannot share in that happiness.  My life is better today because other's lives are better!  Love wins and the "impossible" looks beautiful!  Hope is high and I can't wait to see the next "impossible" event.  Maybe, just maybe, peace on Earth!  When pigs fly you say, when hell freezes... Well check this out my friends


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I want a fucking car, right fucking now! Steve Martin in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

That scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen.  I highly recommend you watch it again if you need a good laugh.  (
If we are being honest, we have all felt that kind of frustration and have certainly wanted to behave just like Martin did.  Sometimes, there really is no better word than fuck!  Having said that, I know two things.  One, the word may be highly offensive to many, including most of the Mormons here in Utah.  And two, the word is over used and is not funny just for the sake of saying it.  Teenage and twenty something people use it far too often, my son included!  I have asked him on several occasions to limit it in his vocabulary, but so far my requests have fallen on deaf ears.  I do hope he will outgrow the habit!

The reason I am  writing about it today, has to do with an incident at my son's men's basketball league.  Apparently, David fumbled the ball and lost it out of bounds.  In frustration, David was angry with himself and muttered something along the lines of "Are you fucking kidding me?"  The referee heard it and tee'd him up and he was forced to sit for 10 minutes.  He may have deserved the technical and he understood it!  That is not the issue here.  At half time, he approached the referee and tried to apologize.  He put his hand on the ref's shoulder and said he was sorry and did not mean to offend him.  The ref said "Get your hands off me now!"  David said he looked at him as if he was dirt on the bottom of his shoe.  My son thinks he is a badass, but is actually pretty sensitive.  This guy really hurt his feelings and made him angry.  When he told me about it, he said "Mom I am so tired of being judged by people in this state.  I was trying to apologize and he treated me like I was a terrible person.  I can't wait to get out of here!"

Again, I may need to repeat for the judgmental folk out there, that David should not have used that language and he tried to apologize for it.  What was unfair, but typical was the way he was treated afterward.  I understand that this word is offensive to some and I can respect that.  Yet, I will never respect treating people in a cruel manner.  If this referee has never heard this word before, then he is new to the job.  It is bantered about on the court all over, including in Utah and not just by non-Mormons.  It is not the best way to handle frustration, but it absolutely does not make you a bad  person!

My son is a great kid and this incident really bothered him.  He checked into the league rules and found the policy.  He was pretty taken a back by what he discovered.  Here is his facebook post,

"So this a official rule in my mens league:

“F-Word Rule”: Any player, coach or bench personnel that say the four letter “F-word” loud enough to be heard by the referee(s), score keeper and/or game personnel will be ejected from the current game and the next 2 games

Ummm excuse me, this is a mens league, not a kindergarten class. Only in Utah would this rule even exist. What exactly is the "4 letter f word", FART? FOUL? Aren't we adults here? In my family I was raised to not use the "3 letter f word" which gets said constantly in this state and no one seems to mind. You know the one that actually offends an individual. But by all means go out of your way to make some B.S. rule for a word that gets flung around all sports by ALL types of people, not just us "sinners"."

I love this!  He actually does listen to his mother!  We never use derogatory terms about other people's race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. in our home.  That is the kind of language that we find offensive and is never tolerated.  All my son's friends know this fact and have learned to respect it. Yet, the reality is that the community we live in tolerates these slurs all the time and at all levels.  Religion may curtail what they think is "foul" language, but I would argue that the other words are far more offensive and hurtful!  So, judge me and my family as you choose.  I am comfortable with how we behave and who we are.  If you don't like it, then you, my friend, and I mean this with love in my heart, can fuck right off!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Without hope, life's not worth living." Harvey Milk

What a wonderful and historic day!  I was a teenager in the Bay Area when Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man ever to hold public office in California began his crusade for gay rights in San Francisco.  He called on gay men and women to come "out of the closet" and let their families, friends, and communities know them.  He lost his life in this fight, but I believe that he would be so very proud today!  The Supreme Court struck down DOMA and although this hardly ends discrimination against the LGBTQ community, it is certainly a huge step forward!  I am proud of all the Americans who stepped into this fight and am inspired that the torch lit by Harvey Milk continues to glow brightly despite the bigotry of many in our country.  As I have often said, history marches on, and equality wins out every time regardless of the backwards institutions that try to stem the tide of progress and fairness.  Unfortunately, I live in a state that is light years behind on these issues and will probably remain so for quite a while.  But, like Harvey Milk, today I have hope for the future of our nation.  That hope brings me joy and at this moment that is enough!  Cheers!  Celebrate equality today!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"Elementary, my dear Watson." Sherlock Holmes

Certain things seem elementary to me...things like basic human rights and kindness.  I also thought that separation of church and state was pretty basic and not too difficult to understand.  Here in Utah, that basic concept does not exist.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a say in everything.  I don't just mean everything about the church or its followers, I mean everything that happens in this state.  The Utah state legislature is over 90% LDS and it seems their members rarely think for themselves. The Mormon church weighs in on all issues and if they don't give their approval it simply will not happen.  I want to scream and pull my hair out after I read articles stating how the Church either approved or disappoved of an issue and that influenced the outcome of the vote in the legislature.  The blatant disregard of law by this body is repugnant.
I was, however, impressed to read an Op Ed last week by Republican and Mormon senator Stephen Urquhart.  He sponsored a non-discrimination bill that would outlaw housing and employment discrimination based on sexual identity and orientation.  Yes,  that is still very legal in Utah.  Of course it is, as you all know the church's stance on homosexuality.  This church has gone to great lengths and spent big dollars to withhold rights from the gay community in Utah and other states, most notably California.  I applaud Mr. Urquhart's bravery and wish there were others who would stand up for what is clearly elementary!  No one should be discriminated against!

Sadly, today's paper had an article, "Anti-discrimination bill for gays appears dead for 2013 session". Apparently, there are just not enough votes to get it passed.  Here is a direct quote from the article, "Advocates from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community had negotiated for more than a year with leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to try to win support for the legislation."  You see,  this unlawful influence is not even a secret.   This is just sad and pathetic.  It displays bigotry and I cannot believe that we Utahns accept it.

So another year goes by and discrimination against a group of Utahns is still legal.  For now, the only elementary thing is that we have to pander to a Church that thinks not all people have the same rights.        It is time for everyone, LDS or not, to stand up for others.  The LDS church will not get the respect of the nation or the world until it is able to put aside bigotry and judgement.  The Church was 14 years behind in granting rights to their black members, I hope they will not lag that far behind on this equality issue.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"Say hello to my little friend." Tony Montana in Scarface

Yesterday's headline read, "Guns front and center on the Hill".  Of course, they are.  The population of this state loves their guns!  I am always about full disclosure, so I must admit I don't own any guns, and I don't understand some people's obsession with them.  Having said that, I also have many friends who are gun owners and I don't have any desire to "take their guns away".  I understand the second amendment and am very aware that it is here to stay.  I do, however, believe in sensible gun legislation along with better access to mental health treatment to deal with the violence that pervades current society.  I fully understand we cannot stop all crimes, but we still have laws and many of them are quite successful in curbing behavior that endangers members of our society.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving did not throw their arms in the air and proclaim they would never be able to stop everyone from ever getting in a car after drinking.  Instead, they fought hard for sensible legislation which has had a significant effect on drunk driving violations and accidents.  Those are the facts!  I realize, some of you don't deal in a factual world because as Stephen Colbert so eloquently said, "reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Anyway, enough pontificating!  Here in Utah, our legislators are busy making it easier to access guns.  One bill would allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.  Another would allow local law enforcement to arrest federal agents who attempt to seize guns from Utah residents.  February 20th became known as "Gun Day" on Utah's Capitol Hill.  Super!  I may have mentioned we have an embarrassing public education system and virtually unbreathable air, but our legislators have more pressing items to discuss.  After all, in March 2011 Utah became the first U.S. state to name an official state gun,  the Browning Model 1911 automatic pistol.  I guess I shouldn't be too worried...the poor air quality will probably make me too sick to even notice the guns.  That is  until, some person who should have gotten a back round check before being sold a gun shoots up another mall, theater, or school. Way to go legislators for yet another "bang up" day on the hill.  


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking...don't they?" Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz

When Dorothy asks the scarecrow how he can speak if he does not possess a brain, he simply replies, "Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking..don't they?"  Here in Utah some of the loudest people are easily the most brainless.  Ok, I am just going to say it...Gayle Ruzicka is an idiot!  She is constantly spewing her bigoted and ridiculous nonsense to anyone who will listen.  Unfortunately, our state legislators listen a lot.  Of course, most of the time I think their skulls are filled with straw too so that is not surprising.

For those of you outside the state, Gayle Ruzicka is president of the Utah Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group. She and the Eagle Forum are quite influential in Utah politics.  Here are a few tidbits taken directly off the Eagle Forum website:

We support constitutional amendments and federal and state legislation to protect the institution of marriage and the equally important roles of father and mother.We honor the fulltime homemaker and her rights in joint income tax returns.

We oppose the feminist goals of stereotyping men as a constant danger to women, while at the same time pushing women into military combat against foreign enemies.

Eagle Forum successfully led the ten-year battle to defeat the misnamed Equal Rights Amendment with its hidden agenda of tax-funded abortions and same-sex marriages.

We oppose and deplore the dumbing down of the academic curriculum through fads such as Outcome-Based Education and courses in self-esteem, diversity, and multiculturalism.

We oppose liberal propaganda in the curriculum through global education and Political Correctness

We oppose the feminist goal of federally financed and regulated daycare.

Ruzicka and some Republican legislators have been vocal about their opposition to the International Baccalaureate program, an academically rigorous program offered at some Utah high schools.  This program is highly regarded and educates students to compete in a global economy. The program was developed in Geneva, Switzerland in the mid 1960's so clearly it is "foreign" and therefore dangerous and bad. I believe some critics have actually used the word "anti-American."  What nonsense!

Utah's public education system is mediocre at best.   When my son was invited to an awards ceremony honoring his outstanding academic achievements in high school, he refused to attend.   I asked him why and he explained that he had not really worked very hard and certainly did not deserve to be honored for anything he did in high school.  I wish I would have been more educated about the International Baccalaureate  program and that I had given both my children an opportunity to experience such a challenging and diverse curriculum.  Thank goodness my kids are bright and have gone on to be successful college students despite the substandard experiences they had in high school.

In today's newspaper, Paul Rolly, a regular Tribune columnist wrote, "Conservatives:  You have I.B. grads in your midst!"  No....say it isn't so!  Rolly does a great job poking fun at Ruzicka and the straw brained legislators who agree with her.  What an enjoyable read!   Thank you Mr. Rolly for making me laugh this morning.  All day I have envisioned Mrs. Ruzicka sitting in a corn field quietly singing...

"I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain..."


Monday, February 18, 2013

"But why is the rum gone?" Jack Sparrow

Saturday's newspaper had a couple giggle producers.  The first was an article titled, "Bill: Once and for all, you can order drink before food."   The article tries to clarify the confusion which has erupted recently over whether or not it is illegal to order   alcohol before food.  You see, it would seem Utah lawmakers have a lot of time on their hands as they are " considering a bill to clarify Utah liquor laws to make it clear diners are allowed to look at menus while sipping alcoholic beverages without placing an order of food."  Scandalous I know...

On another note, the front page headline read, "Having a baby?  Wait for good air".  I mentioned the air quality here in Salt Lake City in my last blog.  It is literally so bad here that doctors are recommending when it is healthiest to try and conceive a child.  The president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment actually is quoted as saying, "get out of Salt Lake City to conceive."  This is certainly disturbing news for anyone who lives here and considers breathing important.  Yet, our state legislators are quite busy with other pressing matters such as when I can or cannot order a drink in a restaurant.  As much as I enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail, I am actually more concerned about the horrible air I am breathing.  Oh well, while I am driving less to do my part for better air quality I am also quite sure I can't make any profound changes on my own.  I just opened the liquor cabinet...thank goodness my rum is not gone!