Posted on Aug 4th, 2010 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues)

Yeah!  It appears that Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has ruled that California’s mean-spirited Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, and overturned it.

That’s great news.

The ruling is only a step in the process (as it will surely be appealed) – but it’s a positive step. It gives me hope for my gay and lesbian friends – as well as for the nation as a whole.

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Posted on Jul 24th, 2010 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues, Whatever)

I think I have a crush on Rachel Maddow.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

You go girl. Keep being smart and sassy and putting idiots like O’Reilly in their place.

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Posted on Mar 19th, 2010 by Allison (Funny Stuff, Politics / Social Issues)

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I love Jon Stewart.

Jon outdoes himself with a 15 minute parody of (idiot) Glenn Beck’s rantings.

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Posted on Jan 28th, 2010 by Allison (In the Garden, Politics / Social Issues, Whatever)

January CalendarWell, January is nearing an end. It’s been an eventful month filled with dozens of things to blog about, and yet… no blogging has occurred.

So here is a summary of all the things I considered blogging about but didn’t.

1. My son, Brandon, and his family became “location independent” and moved to Costa Rica this month. It’s been fun reading about their adventures on Brandon’s blog. And my 6 1/2 year old granddaughter just started her own blog this week –

2. Crazy Sarah Palin’s *shocking* (sarcasm) announcement that she’ll be a political commentator on Fox News. I burst out laughing when I heard her say how proud she is to be with the network that is ‘fair and balanced.’ Actually, hearing anyone refer to Fox that way makes me laugh. The not funny thing about this is how many Americans will actually tune in an listen to this idiot. WHY????

3. The earthquake in Haiti. Make a donation to the humanitarian organization of your choice.

I gave to Save The Children.

4. Pat Roberston’s idiotic comments about Haiti – Kristin handled this one quite nicely.

Purple primrose5. I still love living in the northwest.

In the middle of January I was outside doing gardening. Primrose in bloom, daffodils and tulips several inches tall, and buds forming on many of my spring and summer plants.

6. Both Project Runway and Psych are back!

7. The Supreme Court’s radical decision to throw out 100 years of precedent and allow corporations to spend as much as they want on political ads really made me mad. Go ahead, hand America’s elections over to the drug companies, insurance companies, big banks and other wealthy corporations. Certainly they’ll have the public’s best interests at heart. Morons. Something else to thank GWBush for.

Words With Friends8. Ashley introduced me to my latest addiction – iPhone app Words With Friends. If you have an iPhone and like to play scrabble, look me up and let’s play. My game name is allihays.

9. My trusty old 1996 Camry had a melt down. Heater broke, then engine light came on… running very hot. Thought I’d have to replace her. But happily found a good mechanic who replaced her broken radiator and thermostat without trying to sell me on a single unneeded repair.

10. Obama’s State of the Union address. He inspired me again. You can watch it here.

So, how has your January been?

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As only he can, Stephen Colbert gives the Report treatment to the detention by Mormon church security of a gay couple after they shared a kiss on the cheek while walking through the plaza.

Enjoy.  Unless you’re LDS and homophobic… then I advise you to NOT watch 🙂


The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Nailed ‘Em – Mormon Church Trespassing
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor U.S. Speedskating

Write up in the SL Tribune indicates the show got permission from the church to film on the property…. but they didn’t specify they’d be shooting a parody of the “kiss incident”…

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Last night I was going to post a video showing idiot Glenn Beck comparing volunteerism to Maoism (this guy is such a moron), but decided I didn’t want to give him any voice on my blog.

Instead, I am giving voice to a newly released trailer for an upcoming film about the ballot initiative that eliminated same-sex couples’ right to marry in California.

8: The Mormon Proposition chronicles the religious beliefs and financial contributions that fueled Prop. 8, and it captures the national response that protested the measure. The producer was a journalist in 2008 who did a lot of coverage of Prop 8. When he left his news agency, he began working with the crew that made this documentary.

It makes me sad and angry all over again. But hopeful that change will still come – that compassion, a sense of fair play, and recognition of civil rights will win out.

And if you supported Prop 8, I really don’t want to know about it…. (unless you’re sorry now 🙂 ).

The documentary has been submitted to Sundance and other film festivals. You can read about the film and it’s makers here and read a blog by the director here.

(9) Comments   
Posted on Oct 11th, 2009 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues)

For those who don’t think our President deserved the Nobel Peace Prize….

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Posted on Sep 12th, 2009 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues)

Tent city 4This is a post I’ve been meaning to write since last February, when I first visited Tent City 4 as my participation on the National Day of Service that President Obama called for. Since then, I’ve taken donations to them several times.

I decided to return yesterday (another National Day of Service) to drop off some supplies, talk to residents, and take a tour and some pics of the new location (Holy Spirit Lutheran in Kirkland, WA).

The mission of Tent City 4:

  • To provide a safe place for homeless people to spend the night and keep their belongings
  • To give a homeless person the privacy and dignity of their own residence (a tent)
  • To develop a sense of community for homeless people who are isolated and alone;
  • To empower homeless people by being responsible for their own community.

There are so many reasons why people end up in a position of homelessness – and Tent City 4 provides a place for up to 100 residents to call “home” – single men, single women and couples. Some are only there for a few weeks or months – others have been there for a couple of years. The average stay is 6 weeks.

On a visit early summer, Will (assigned the job of accepting donations that day) gave me the tour. He lost his job of 14 years in Arizona and moved to Seattle last year looking for working in the fishing industry (which didn’t work out so well). He shared a tent with his fiance’ – which is kept spotless and graced with potted gerbera daisy. He said he needs to have that bit of natural beauty in his surroundings to feel grounded.

Will inspired me to give service/donation of flowers. So I purchased 7 small pots, some potting soil, a bunch of flowers, and set about creating floral gifts to help residents tents feel more like ‘home.’

Several residents tend to potted plants outside their tentsThey were quickly snatched up when I delivered them a couple of weeks later. I noticed one of them as I passed by the couples tent area yesterday and was happy to see they were still being cared for and thriving.

It appeared Will and his fiance’ were no longer residents. I hope he’s found good employment and somewhere indoors to live. Living outdoors can be brutal in the summer heat and winter cold.

Tent city residentMy tour guide this visit is taking classes at the local college to get a better job.  He wants to be a web designer, photographer – and possibly offer tours of Seattle.  We discussed how beautiful it is here, and how much there is to see.

It turns out he was caring for three of the flower pots – he’d taken them as their owners moved on so they’d survive.  I told him that when the summer flowers die, I’ll bring pansies in to replace them for the winter. He liked that idea.

Debi and friend at Tent City 4Also on this trip, I asked each resident if they’d like their picture taken. Many said no – but just as many were delighted and said yes, especially when I told them I’d bring back prints for them :). Debi asked for a extra copy so she could put it on her husband’s grave.

Tent city residentI’ll be returning sometime next week with pictures in hand – as well as at least one item I know they currently need (I’m on an email list to get regular updates of the needs).

I think TC4 is a really great idea and am grateful that various churches in King County are willing to play host.    Due to city ordinances, they are limited to 90 day stays before they have to pack up the entire setup and move to another property. The first time they go to a new area, there is resistance from the local residents.  But once they’ve had their 90 day stay, people recognize that TC4 is a good and responsible part of the neighborhood and they are much more welcoming for future stays.

Tent city 4 in Redmond, WA

There are strict rules of conduct – no alcohol, no drugs, no sex offenders, no fighting. One offense and you’re out. There is security at the entrance 24/7. They self govern, electing residents to serve on the executive committee. All residents are required to attend a weekly meeting, and to perform at least one task a day for the community.

Members of the hosting church usually provide a hot dinner for them each night. The rest of the meals they’re on their own with a food tent containing a fridge, microwave, toaster and coffee pot. A local dry cleaners donates the laundering of the blankets each week.  Residents are responsible for their own laundry. Food, clothing, personal care supplies, etc. are donated by community members.

More details about Tent City 4 are available in this FAQ – click here.

Tent City 4 is open to the public 24/7 – and they are happy to give tours into the early evening. Just stop by with your donation and ask to be shown around. It really is worth your time and energy to do so.  They’ll be in Kirkland through October 31st, 2009 (map here).

Here is a short list of some things they currently (and usually) need.  It doesn’t take much to make a difference:

Paper towels
Paper bowls
Paper cups
Hot and Cold cereal
Single serving can products
Bath towels
Shaving cream
Sweatshirts (esp large sizes)
Flip Flops for the shower
**used, in usable condition is fine, except for underwear

You can also send a donation to: Kirkland Interfaith Network

Mail to:
8316 NE 143rd ST.
Kirkland, WA 98034
Make checks out to KIN and put TC4 in notation.

They’ll make sure your donation is used specifically for Tent City 4. (Kirkland Interfaith has several projects they sponsor). Right now $52 will buy someone a new tent – and tents are ALWAYS needed, as most of them aren’t designed to be lived in 365 days a year.

So what do you think about Tent City 4?   I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with community service, homelessness, outreach, etc.

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Posted on Jul 27th, 2009 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues)

It really should be Health Insurance Reform, because the “care” really isn’t the issue – it’s access and affordability.

And coverage – since insurance companies spend hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars each year trying to figure out ways to deny legitimate claims. That disgusts me.

There have been periods of my life where I have been completely without insurance because I was self employed and could not get or afford it. Luckily, I remained mostly healthy during those times.

Now, still self employed, I do have health insurance, but I don’t even have access to a full coverage policy that would pay for office visits, etc. That means I (and millions like me) put off having tests done when we should, preventative appointments etc. because insurance won’t cover the visit/tests – which can be very expensive. I tend to put things off as long as I can – which isn’t a very good way to nip a disease in the bud. So I pay hundreds of dollars a month so that if some major health crisis hits I’ll have insurance to keep me from going bankrupt – though the copay could nearly break me.

Our health INSURANCE system is broken, and I’m a big proponent of reform that includes a government option. I believe every citizen should have access to the same insurance plans that our senators and other government officials have – and with the same affordability. I hear people bemoaning socialized medicine like they have in Canada, UK and most of Europe – and yet people I know who live in those countries aren’t complaining – and, frankly, are shocked at the cost of our health care. I’d actually be delighted with Universal Health Care, but that’s not what is being proposed. I’m ok with a compromise though I’m very disappointed that the bill continues to be watered down to appease lobbyists and conservatives.

surgeryI also see these ridiculous polls on Facebook like “Do you support government run health care?” which are designed to imply that THAT is exactly what reform is all about (see RNC talking point lie below). Very misleading. I don’t think the general population really understand what Obama is trying to do here…. and they aren’t helped by the media.

According to Pew research, 22 percent of Americans get their news from talk radio. And conservative talkers have been lying to their listeners about what’s in the health care bill.

  • Lies like, “If you don’t have private insurance the year that this bill is passed, you can’t get that later on from your employer.”
  • Lies that the bill would “outlaw individual private coverage.”
  • Lies provided in talking points from the RNC like “Democrats are proposing a government controlled health insurance system, which will control care, treatments, medicines and even what doctors a patient may see.”

Enough lies and fear mongering and the public will be afraid of reform… which is just what the drug companies, insurance companies and the politicians who take their money want. But there is a good editorial today in the NY Times called Health Care Reform and You that explains “what’s in it for you” without all the hype. You’ll probably have to set up a free account to read it (if you don’t have one already) but it’s worth it.

What is your experience with insurance & health care in the US or abroad? Do you support Health Care Reform?

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Posted on May 21st, 2009 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues)

Shut up, CheneyDoes anyone else wish that Dick Cheney would just go away and shut the *%#@ up??? 

Personally, I’d like him to experience some of those “enhanced interrogation techniques” he’s so fond of and defending so hard. But simply disappearing, never to be heard from again, would work for me too.

Good lord this man is a delusional, fear-mongering, pompous, self-important blowhard.  

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