Sunday, November 12, 2006

BREAKING NEWS Action Alert -- House Vote on AETA this Monday!
This is your ONLY chance to defeat the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (HR 4239, S3880)!

In a late night move on Friday, AETA was added to the House Suspension Calendar for THIS Monday! This underhanded fast-track maneuver, like the one in the Senate, means that AETA will not have any debate... only an up/down vote.

Contact YOUR Rep this weekend and Monday morning!
Identify your House Representative: name, fax, e-mail, and phone number at http://www.house.gov
Then, use our sample letter and/or the talking points below to...

Be a triple hitter for the animals:
Call direct or use the switchboard 202-225-3121
Fax
E-mail
Remember, all contact info is at
www.house.gov.

Call & Fax Representative Scott ALL Day!
Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA) is the leading Democrat on AETA. He's also the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary so assert your right to have a voice with him, even if you are from another district. Be the squeky (but respectful) wheel... if Rep. Scott withdraws his support, others will follow!1201 Longworth House Office Building(202) 225-8351 Phone(202) 225-8354 Fax

Talking Points!
"As your constituent, I strongly urge you to: (1) vote NO on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (HR4239, S 3880), which is currently on the suspension calendar for 11/13 to be voted on Monday after 6:30pm, and (2) to contact Rep. Sensenbrenner to remove the bill from the suspension calendar. The measure is much too important to pass without discussion."
The bill must be opposed for the following reasons:
AETA is opposed by more than 150 animal protection, social justice, and civil liberty organizations including: National Lawyers Guild, Humane Society of the U.S., ASPCA, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the League of Humane Voters.
Click here for opposition list.
AETA deserves a hearing to afford its many opponents a voice.
AETA denies equal protection under the law and limits freedom of speech and assembly.
AETA unfairly brands as ‘terrorists’ nonviolent animal protection advocates.
AETA unfairly brands as ‘terrorism’ nonviolent civil disobedience and undercover investigations.
AETA invokes excessively harsh penalties for comparable offenses.
AETA is excessively broad and vague by covering innocent parties.
AETA may authorize unwarranted wiretapping of animal protection advocates.
AETA has a chilling effect on all forms of social justice and life affirming advocacy.
AETA interferes with prosecution of real terrorism against the American
people.
Join Us for the Anti-AETA Lobby Day on Monday!
Please join us in Washington, DC for an emergency Anti-AETA Lobby Day on Monday, November 13, starting at 10 am. Please dress conservatively. The details will be announced on
NoAETA.org by Monday morning. You can also call 800-632-8688 or 202-468-4834.
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This alert is sponsored by the
Equal Justice Alliance, a national coalition of social advocacy organizations preserving free speech and equal treatment under the law by defeating AETA. Details at 800-632-8688.
Thank you and please forward widely and immediately!
online version
In Response to The Garden Guy’s “Personal Choice”
(submitted to the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle letters to the editor)
I know many people who make choices, “personal choices”, based on the movement of their hearts. People who have chosen to stop consuming animals, people who have decided to foster children or become missionaries, people who have decided to join Doctors Without Borders or to run to Darfur to help in anyway that they can. I know about “personal choice”. But when you make a “personal choice” that negatively affects other people, you cannot hide behind this alleged “heart choice” or behind religion. You have to recognize that you are not standing on moral ground, you are standing under the lynching tree, next to the hobbling mallet, next to the torturer, you are standing in front of the jail house door, unjustly mandating how others are treated.
The Garden Guy Company in Houston Texas discriminates. Do they have a right to? Of course, it is a free country. However, do not hide behind my bible. In my bible it says to love all, worship one. It says that God has the final call on all judgment. It says love your neighbor. It says loving those that love you is easy; it’s loving those that affect you adversely, that hate you, that’s hard.
A hard enough job without the added responsibility to judge others as well.
So when Mrs. Faber states that her husband is making a “personal choice” to not do landscaping work for homosexuals, I say, that’s a crock.
A crock of cowardice and ignorance.
It takes courage to swallow your pride, to put aside the earthly societal constrictions placed upon us by each other, and look to what God instructs us to notice, to care about.
The inner person.
The inner person has no color.
No sexual orientation.
The inner spirit is to be our focus. To fixate on anything else is a cop out. To spit vile epithets in defense of categorical sexism, racism, bigotry and discrimination, and claim that these are “personal choices” are as ludicrous a statement as one could possibly utter. I am sure that the teenage boys that attacked and sodomized the Mexican boy in Houston felt that they had some inalienable right to make that “personal choice”. I am sure that people that refuse to hire women who might get pregnant or single mothers feel they have some unassailable right to hire whomever they choose. I am sure that the decision to build a fence on one border but not another is permissible to someone. I am sure that those who made the “personal choice” to walk past the injured man on the side of the road felt that this was in some way, warranted. But if you noticed, they were used as the example of how NOT to be in the bible, as the “Good Samaritan” is held up as the person that not only made a “personal choice”, he made the right one.
Everyday we are forced to make “personal choices” in regards to every aspect of life. But the problem is that the majority of those choices are in fact not personal, they affect too many people to be so seemingly innocuous. A “personal choice” to eat a fiber rich cereal as opposed to say, Captain Crunch, is a choice that is indeed personal. But to turn someone away because they don’t fit some sort of criteria is by no stretch of the imagination a “personal choice”. Last time I checked, good “personal choices” weren’t being reported in the New York Times. Choices made that adversely affect a huge number of people are.
Mrs. Faber said that this did not hurt her business. That is, again, a load of landscaping manure. My conservative Republican 74 year old mother was disgusted, and has told everyone she knows about this incident. She even wrote them a letter. I did too. This woman cannot comprehend the business that will now not come her family’s way because of “personal choice”. She has no way of gauging the damage that has been done.
Once again, the Christian value system has been hijacked by people that are bigots, biased, intolerant and haven’t got a clue what Jesus died for. They have no idea that defending your beliefs means being gracious, inclusive, kind, compassionate. Why is it that the most vocal “Christians” are the ones screeching about war, controlling other people’s rights, wanting their religious icons and idols all over the place, and bashing people over the head with the good book? Why do they get the focus when there are so many people, good, grounded, wonderful Christian people who do a thousand good things for people every day? I guess that must be what the Muslims are thinking. Why is it that the Jihadists are always in the news? The extremes are always held up as the example of something we don’t understand. Much like the extreme homosexuals that love to parade, party, and wear bottom-less chaps. But the truth is, the majority of gays and lesbians are just everyday people who want to do everyday things with their family.
They want to work.
They want to play.
They want to socialize.
They want to grocery shop.
They want to landscape their yard.
And what they get is some self-righteous, arrogant extremists inflicting their bad choices on others.
The KKK did as you are doing, Garden Guy. They hide their bias, their cruelty and their intolerance behind a cross. But what an abhorrent thing to do! To use the symbol of sacrifice for others, the symbol of grace and agape love and benevolence for such vicious, selfish “personal choices”.
Be honest. At least be that. At the very minimum, do not taint our faith anymore than it has already been tainted by those wishing to use Christianity for their own selfish purposes. My brother, my spiritual mentor, who died this year after a 6 year struggle with ALS said it best. He said that the greatest obstacle to Christianity is Christians. I see that this, once again, has been proven to be all too true.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Political Musings
Can I just say...WOW! What an incredibly great week. Not only did I find a job where I am not micro-managed, I am given such a wide variety of projects and stuff to do that I couldn't for a second be bored, and I am working for the best department ever, but the American people finally got to express their feelings about this administration and this congress.
We won thhe house AND the senate?
Is that just crazy?
AND Rumsfeld is gone??!!
Pinch me, baby, I think I'm dreaming.


Now I just want these guys to do what they have been given an actual mandate to do. Clean up. Set a different course in our foreign policy. Correct the minimum wage debacle. Work on national healthcare. And fix the voting machines. Because regardless of who came out on top, I cannot express how distrustful this system is. We need a paper trail. We need to be able to close the gaping holes open to hackers. Fix the machines. Clean up the environment. Open up the market for innovative alternative fuel. GM just came out with a hydrogen car in China. Now why is that?
Why is an American company that is failing with its gas guzzling autos going to a communist country to unveil such an innovation?
It just seems wrong to me.
But really, that is SO my only complaint this week.
I am elated.