Archive for April, 2009

Deb’s House Concerts


Women In Entertainment … and Politics

In the news in the past week were Bea Arthur, Kelly McGillis, Miss California (Carrie Prejean),  Condoleezza Rice and Elizabeth Edwards. Yes, other  women were in the news, too. But, I want to comment on these five.

Wide Ranging News Stories

Bea Arthur died. Kelly McGillis came out as a lesbian. Miss California is backing up her ‘marriage’ stance by going to Washington, D.C. to work with NOM (“National Organization for Marriage”, a group that opposes marriage between two adults of the same sex). Condoleezza Rice has denied any responsibility for the waterboarding torture of prisoners of the USA under the G.W.Bush administration. And, Elizabeth Edwards said the news of her husband’s affair made her throw up.

Bravery and Pain

Bea Arthur was tall and had a deep voice. I imagine that she had to overcome a lot of teasing and talking behind her back when she was growing up. She certainly had to deal with a lot of openly stated ‘humor’ at her expense when she was an actress on the “Golden Girls” television show.

Courage and Guilt

Kelly McGillis said she’s known since she was twelve. For years, she believed God was punishing her for being gay. Where in the world would she have gotten that idea? (sigh) From what I can tell, the only real anti-gay sentiment in the world comes from religions. That’s a shame.

What About What God Says?

If you believe in God, and you  believe that God created people “in His own image,” then think this one over: Gay people (lgbt) are created by God in God’s image, just as straight people are.

Anti-Gay Teaching, Talk, Behavior = NOT From God

All the anti-gay hate that comes from the pulpit (and from whatever the head person’s place of speaking is called in other religions) is NOT from God. Hating gay people, hurting gay people (verbally, physically or legislatively), disrespecting gay people, rejecting gay people and judging gay people are not from God.

“It’s not political. It’s about morality.”

That’s what someone said to me. She’s female. She’s married to a man. We were talking about Prop 8 in California last fall. I said the organized, networked, well-financed opposition of churches acting to from the highest levels of their organizations to get people to vote for Prop 8, was against the law.

Churches Don’t Pay Taxes

It is against the law for churches to engage in politics. They can encourage their members to participate in politics. They can encourage their members to vote or volunteer for the candidates of their choice. But, using a non-profit (non-tax-paying) organization’s vast wealth and tens of thousands of members to make phone calls and pass out literature to influence people to vote for legalized discrimination against tax-paying U.S. citizens is against the law.

Youth and Idealism

I’m willing to give Carrie Prejean a pass this time, for a short time. I’ll give her a pass on her “pro-marriage” comments because she’s young, and she’s probably grown up in a household with people who say exactly what she said as her pagent answer.

PFLAG Parents Love Their Gay Kids

I’ll give Miss California a pass for a few months. In that time, I hope she meets families where there are two women and two men who are committed partners. I hope she meets PFLAG parents who love their gay kids and want nothing more in this world than for them to be safe, happy and treated with respect.

I Used to Believe What Miss California Believes

I used to believe marriage only meant a man and a woman. It still does in most cases, simply because there are more heterosexual people. Most couples are made up of a man and a woman. But, there are many loving and committed couples who are two men, and there are many loving and committed couples who are two women.

Work, Taxes, Love, Commitment, Responsibility

Those two men and two women couples work just like the man and woman couples. And, those two men and two women couples pay taxes just like the man and woman couples. So, why should same-sex couples not be protected by the same laws that protect opposite sex couples? And, why should same-sex couples not be allowed to make the same commitments to each other and have the same responsibilities to each other as opposite-sex couples? Hmmm?

Not All People Support Equal Rights For Their Gay Family Members

That’s clear to everyone. It does not make sense, but that’s  how it is. People choose religious dogma over family ties. They choose discriminatory teaching over love for their own kin. Why?

Everyone Has A Gay Relative

I’ve read that Carrie Prejean has a sister who is a lesbian. Why would she work with a group whose only mission is to keep her sister from being able to live in an openly committed, legal, loving relationship with her partner? Why? This is where I say I’m willing to give her a pass, since she’s young, for a short time. I fully expect her to realize that her love for her sister is what is most important. When she get’s older, she’ll realize that her sister will always be there for her, long after the ‘NOM’ people have turned their backs and walked away.

Faith In America’s “Open Letter to Carrie Prejean”

You can read it here.  It includes a quote from Mildred Loving.

Mildred Loving in 2008 issued a statement which answers the question about gay Americans having the right to marry:

“Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the ‘wrong kind of person’ for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.”

It’s Not My Fault

What did Condi Rice actually say? “I conveyed the authorization of the administration …” She says she did not personally authorize waterboarding torture of prisoners. She simply told the people who were to do it that it was okay.

If Women Ruled the World

I accept that people who work for a sitting President of the USA are probably in sticky situations once in awhile. But, it seems that people would draw a line in the sand at some point. Ms. Rice certainly is a fly in the ointment of my “if women ruled the world” idea that women, as a rule, are less likely to start wars and more likely to show compassion.

A Good Woman in a Bad Situation

Elizabeth Edwards  has written a book telling her side of the story. Bits have been released by the publisher, to tease us I’m sure, but I’m game. I like Elizabeth Edwards. She seems like a good woman, strong, grounded, intelligent and compassionate, the kind of person I like knowing as a friend. We do not know each other, but I’m sure she’d be a good friend if we did know each other. 🙂

What Women Did You Notice in the News This Week?

Who do you want to comment on? Feel free to name names and say what you have to say. Just be civil and avoid anything I might have to remove.

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Do Corporations Have Any Incentive to Go Green (if it will take the green out of their pockets)?

I have been somewhat disheartened by how our world seems to be run by corporations, and decisions seem to be made based on how to put more into the pockets of the primary shareholders (which include those at the top of said corporations). So, I’ve been somewhat skeptical about the possibility that we, as a nation that consumes most of the energy resources in the world, would ever ‘go green’ in our energy use.

This device for using slow-moving water currents to create electricity gives me hope.

This article on the Telegraph.co.uk website, says there is a new technology that can use the very slow currents of rivers and oceans to creat energy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create energy without destroying the earth, creating polution, entering into ‘preemptive’ wars against people who have not attacked us but sit on vast stores of petroleum, and costing everyday people a fortune to live?

It looks like it might be possible in our lifetimes. Maybe sooner? The device could be placed on a river or ocean bed and used to harness energy from the slow-moving water. Here’s how it works:

The new device, which has been inspired by the way fish swim, consists of a system of cylinders positioned horizontal to the water flow and attached to springs.

As water flows past, the cylinder creates vortices, which push and pull the cylinder up and down. The mechanical energy in the vibrations is then converted into electricity.

Cylinders arranged over a cubic metre of the sea or river bed in a flow of three knots can produce 51 watts. This is more efficient than similar-sized turbines or wave generators, and the amount of power produced can increase sharply if the flow is faster or if more cylinders are added.

A “field” of cylinders built on the sea bed over a 1km by 1.5km area, and the height of a two-storey house, with a flow of just three knots, could generate enough power for around 100,000 homes. Just a few of the cylinders, stacked in a short ladder, could power an anchored ship or a lighthouse.

Systems could be sited on river beds or suspended in the ocean. The scientists behind the technology, which has been developed in research funded by the US government, say that generating power in this way would potentially cost only around 3.5p per kilowatt hour, compared to about 4.5p for wind energy and between 10p and 31p for solar power. They say the technology would require up to 50 times less ocean acreage than wave power generation.

The system, conceived by scientists at the University of Michigan, is called Vivace, or “vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy”.


It looks good to me. What are your thoughts on energy (production, consumption and anything related)?

Please take my Energy Poll.

Remember, you can write in an answer if you like. But, please be courteous. I’d like to keep the ‘write in’ feature on future polls.

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Right-wing legislators in Oklahoma

Okie Funk, Notes from the Outback, has posted some scary, but not surprising information about the agenda of right-wing legislators in Oklahoma.

Although an anti-evolution bill was killed by a Senate committee recently, there remains plenty of bad, right-wing measures under consideration by the Oklahoma Legislature.

The graphic says it all

There’s more, but the graphic gives a bird’s-eye view.


Read the rest of it here.

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Deb’s House Concerts


Creationist view illustrated by Jack T. Chick


Roger Ebert on Ben Stein’s documentary ‘Expelled’



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Nathan Pacheco and Yanni

Nathan Pacheco will be in concert with Yanni this Friday night, TOMORROW, April 24, 2009.

I’ll Be There!

I’ll be in the crowd, cheering him on, listening to his beautiful voice and loving every minute.

See You There 🙂

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I Like This Quote

I found it over on Gary Murning’s page. He found it in a science book! 🙂

The Whole Universe in a Glass of Wine.

“A poet once said “The whole universe is in a glass of wine.” We will probably never know in what sense he meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imaginations adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the Earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secret of the universe’s age, and the evolution of the stars. What strange array of chemicals are there in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that Nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all!”

Richard Feynman.
The New Quantum Universe (2003) by Tony Hey and Patrick Walters; Epilogue. (Originally, from “The Feynman Lectures on Physics,” by Feynman, Leighton and Sands.)

from a comment – This quotation comes, originally, from “The Feynman Lectures on Physics,” by Feynman, Leighton and Sands. It is the closing paragraph of chapter 3, “The Relation of Physics to Other Sciences.”

Thanks to Gary Murning for this quote.

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I Missed the Day of Silence

Last year, I posted about the Day of Silence.

Day of Silence – April 25, 2008
The Day of Silence Will Soon Be Here – April 25, 2008
Day of Silence April 25, 2008 – Watch Larry King’s Public Service Announcement

This year, I missed it. I’m sorry.

You Searched for “Day of Silence”

You found my posts from last year. But, I did not have the current information posted. I hope you found it somewhere else.

Huffington Post Covered It

Of course they did, and they were on time.  It’s too late to participate, but you can read their article. Jason Mannino Homophobia Is Killing Our Youth

Videos From the Day of Silence

These videos are also posted on the HuffPost article:

San Juan High School Gay Protest (Anti GLSEN)
GLSEN Teach Respect
Day of Silence (“End the Silence PSA”)

A Few More Day of Silence Articles

These are from various authors at Pam’s House Blend:

Friday is the Day of Silence
Tweet the silence! #dayofsilence Twitter chat today at 3:30 PM Eastern/12:30 Pacific
Day of Silence a huge success again while the opposition tries to pull a fast one
My Day of Silence

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