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My Experience at the Democratic National Convention Protests in Philadelphia 2016

We will not yield!

We will not yield!

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Martin Luther King Jr.

First I would like to thank 2 people for really making this happen – my wife, asthma Tatsiana, prostate and our friend, bronchi Betsy Bowers. Without their support, I would be a really sad panda. Thank you for being part of the team which assisted me in taking part in a historic moment!

This rather large post will not be so exciting due to a few factors which will be listed below, but I will talk through my experience here for my own benefit and for posterity.  Factors:

  • I arranged this trip quickly so I did not plan and research things as well as I could have
  • I am quite shy so talking to random strangers, even ones that I will most likely have a lot in common with when attending a protest, is not my thing
  • Cabs are really expensive to get around in
  • It was really hot and humid out there. I mean yikes!!
    It burns us! It chokes us!
  • I had limited time

I really, really wish I had a computer to sit down and write my thoughts, a notepad to take notes in, and a camera to take pictures with so I can organize a post like this with more detail. =(  Well, to be honest, an assistant would be even better! Let me know if you would like to volunteer for my next crazy adventure. =) Maybe next time.  I will really get to my thoughts on things in an upcoming post about the Bernie or Bust movement and why it matters, and why it is the only answer towards an actual solution. I think with the fraudulent coronation of Queen Hillary that things have come into a much clearer perspective.

Arranging the Trip and the Trip There

A week or so before the convention I had originally been looking at attending the whole protests from Monday through Friday, but as I was looking at flights on whichever site I was, it appeared as if the 1-way flights were $500-600 each which would be over $1,000 total for airfare which is ridiculous. We could not afford that and everything else that goes into a trip, especially the costs of hotels, so with a deep sadness in my heart I had to say that I could not go. Most likely, I was misreading it, but I looked several times to make sure, because these prices seemed crazy. Albeit, I  only checked that one site, so this would be my fault for not searching for alternatives to verify the seemingly crazy prices.

So, the Monday of the Convention, with a heavy yet wistful hope in my heart, I longingly did a little research on airfare again and found that they were $500-$600 round trip which is what I was expecting price wise. I contacted the wife and I received the OK for the second time. I had already previously made most of the arrangements I needed for babysitting, so I just verified those and then bought the tickets. That night was a mad night of some shopping for things (backpack, camelback, and other small items) and packing. I finished up preparing the next morning and we left at around 11pm for my flight leaving from Madison to Chicago to Philadelphia @ about 1:19pm.

I had only 2 carry-ons – a new backpack and a small roller suitcase, although they checked both into baggage on one flight and one in for the other flight, which had never happened before as far as I can remember and I have flown a lot (over 30 times), so that was confusing. When I arrived at both locations I had no idea where to pick up my bags. It apparently wasn’t the baggage claim. =( Apparently, they were going to be brought out near the gate, so that was stressful and a lot of missed time, and a lot of sweat and running. Although one airport lady was kind enough on first time to try to meet me to bring my baggage to me so I would not miss my next flight. =) The flights to Philadelphia went well other than my baggage confusion.

Arriving in Philadelphia

Tuesday, July 26 with 91 degrees and 62% humidity

While I was confused about my baggage situation I arrived in the Philadelphia baggage claim as the TV mounted over the silver baggage carousel announced that Bernie Sanders said let’s have the vote @ ~6:55pm local time. I took a picture of that screen and posted to Facebook the following message: “We just witnessed the death of democracy.” My stomach was a mess for the rest of the night. I can only imagine how horrible it was for Bernie to say those words out loud. It is bad enough to think them, but to actually have to say them and be part of the coronation of the person who orchestrated election fraud, voter suppression, money laundering and collusion to steal the election from him and the people. I do not think he will ever be able to recover from this. Only time will tell. Fortunately, Bernie’s superdelegates staged a walkout in protest to the stolen election, which is no real consolation, but we do have that moment.  =) =(

We have just witnessed the death of Democracy

We have just witnessed the death of Democracy

https://www.facebook.com/FreeXenon/posts/10153775356118354

First Night in Protest Area

Tuesday, July 26 with 91 degrees and 62% humidity

After that I called a cab and arrived at the 20th and Pattinson (I think these were the street names)  at one of the entrances to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park where the “Free Speech” zone was  =(  I could see the black fencing that was around the Wells Fargo Center where the convention was being held from here and the wall of police behind it. There were officers everywhere inside and outside of the Democratic National Convention (DNC)  area. Many streets were blocked off to control and restrict traffic, even parts of the interstate were limited too.  At the entrance on the road were city garbage trucks or other large similar trucks which were blocking the road to prevent traffic from passing through. Democracy? Where the voice of the people was so far away from those that needed to hear it, so far from the area of those who were supposed to “represent” us. =( Democracy? That word, I do not think it means what it is they think it means. =( Free speech is everywhere in the country just not behind a fence where our voices and concerns cannot be heard.

Outside the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia

Outside the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia

I wandered around and there were a lot of people talking and singing, and had signs protesting various things from the TPP, GMOs, War, electoral fraud, the drug war, and some that were pro-Bernie, anti-Hillary, or were various shades of Bernie or Bust, or pro-Jill Stein. I was at home here. I was with my people and it felt good, reassuring, heartwarming that I was really not alone. I was with those who understood me and I understood them. This was a strange yet comforting feeling, although I still felt quite alone since I knew no one here and was a bit too shy to start a conversation. Introversion is a mixed blessing. This is not one of those times when it  a blessing, unfortunately.

I wandered around to see what I could see and eventually made my way towards the very back depths of the Free Speech area at a rally with a black stage. Up there was a black rapper who was rapping some political stuff for us and also performed something political that he was working on. After that Debbie Lusignan, The Sane Progressive (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter) talked for a little bit and then introduced several people like her fellow YouTuber Tim Black (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter), activist YahNe Ndgo (Facebook, Twitter), and 2 Bernie superdelegates, one of which was Tim Friend (if I remember correctly) who is also running for office somewhere and seems to be doing well. He is taking Bernie’s path to try to reform the Democratic Party from within and that is great, although Debbie was all #DemExit.

 Debbie Lusignan, The Sane Progressive @ a rally in Philadelphia protests

Debbie Lusignan, The Sane Progressive @ a rally in Philadelphia protests

I respect and value both methods of reform. I am #DemExit and #BernieOrBust which is easy for me since I have been a member of the Green Party for 3 years or so,  but we really need to attack the problem from both ends if we are going to see change. Not everyone could stomach, especially after this election, working inside the corrupt Democratic Party and not everyone is comfortable working outside the party. It is up to each person to contribute to the revolution in a way that plays to their strengths.

As I finished the night I walked towards the park exit to start walking to where I could get a cab. I walked near the fence to see what was going on and there were people there with signs and were singing ‘We are in this together’. I followed them for a little while on the right side  of the group and then decided it was time to call it a night. This video is of the group I was with  towards the front right, although I think I had left by the time this video was taken.

Now keep in mind I said that I arranged this trip quickly, which also means that I did not arrange for a place to stay. I was sort of hoping to talk to some people and see if I could crash with them. A lot of people were camping, but I could not do that because I would not be able to sleep in the horrible heat and humidity. I would die like that. Well, being that I am as shy as I am I did not talk to anyone, but I was able to get a room @ Motel 6 North East which, strangely, given its rather labyrinthine layout had no elevators and no signs pointing to the lobby. This was very annoying and meant I had to leave the building to figure out how to walk to the front to find the lobby without getting continuously lost. I showered to get all of the stink and sweat off and then went to bed to prepare for a long day tomorrow.

Only Full Day

Wednesday, July 27 with 95 degrees and 74% humidity

My Ukrainian Cabbie

In the morning (~ 11:00 am) I was taken to the FDR Park by a Ukranian cab driver, named Marcus. We had a good talk and he gave me his personal card and arranged for me to call him when I needed to go back to the motel that evening. We talked about politics, the convention, him coming to America with his family, life in Russia before he came here in the late ’80s and early 90s, and his life here since he came to America.

My Ukranian Cabbie named Marcus in Philadelphia

My Ukranian Cabbie named Marcus in Philadelphia

The Young Turks and Jimmy Dore

Shortly after I arrive in the sweltering humidity I came upon a few people standing around – 2 of which wore black The Young Turks (TYT) (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) t-shirts and one had a TYT microphone. My jaw dropped in shock at the possibilities. I was hoping to see them while they were here, because TYT rocks. They rock enough that I threw money at them this year to support their truly progressive news channel. I stood near and listened and after a little bit I was invited to join their circle. Three of them were TYT supporters and two of the three were prolific tweeters to TYT during their show. The guy holding the TYT microphone was TYT staff and the other was a local cameraman hired to work with them. They talked for a little while and I listened as they were trying to plan their day and talking about TYT stuff. It was just great to see them and know they were here. After a while, Jimmy Dore (Youtube, Facebook, Twitter) came with one of their producers. I was able to shake Jimmy’s hand! Squee!  Once Jimmy went to work interviewing people I shadowed them until they decided to call it quits for lunch and air conditioning. While I shadowed them and watched Jimmy Dore interview various people I was able to have some interesting conversations with the presence of TYT here acting as a catalyst for conversation. TYT, bringing people together!

Jimmy Dore of The Young Turks at the DNC Protests in Philadelphia

Jimmy Dore of The Young Turks at the DNC Protests in Philadelphia

https://www.facebook.com/FreeXenon/posts/10153776847843354

Conversation with a Libertarian

My first conversation was with a Libertarian while Jimmy was interviewing some Libertarians who were camped out in the park and congregating. A Libertarian who was very unhappy with Jimmy  ended up growling while he passed and sprayed some pamphlets at him.

I talked Middle Eastern Foreign Policy with him, although he did not have too many answers or any answers that were better than mine, but my thoughts revolve around the following ideas:

  • An incredibly aggressive 5-year plan to shift from fossil fuels to alternative energy (most likely end up being a 10-year plan, but we can start with 5 years and see what happens). This would work on the national security issues of climate change, energy independence and getting us out of the Middle East. Oil is one of the only reasons we are there. Once we dump fossil fuels and remove the leverage that the OPEC nations have over us then their economy will start to tank which will drastically change the balance of power.
  • Arms embargo to all nations in the area including Israel. Hell, almost all of the weapons there are American made and provided since we trained and funded all of the terrorist organizations there. An arms embargo would starve the region of weapons. Hell if we really wanted to sock it to ’em, when our troops leave we should confiscate as many weapons and ammo as possible too.
  • Have Saudi Arabia (and other regional Islamic countries) provide the front-line soldiers in the war against the Jihadists and ISIL with NATO and the US providing ancillary support
  • We cannot defeat a religion because it is a concept, an idea, and henceforth can never die, so the next step would be a guerilla education program to drop educational materials, radio programs and TV programs into the fundamentalist Arabic countries to reduce the control of religion against the imposed ignorances of their religious practices

These are just my modest thoughts on this horribly complicated issue.

Conversation with Michael Pellagatti of Occupy Wall Street

Next, I talked with Michael Pellagatti (Facebook, Twitter), the man who is known as the Occupy Wall Street Tour Guide and he seemed to have some anarchist leanings. He had no problem with people destroying other people’s property and said that he was a pragmatist. I said that promoting that ‘it is not good to destroy other people’s stuff’ was the most pragmatic thing and to only care about property destruction when people were destroying your stuff was very Republican or Libertarian mode of thought – as in – you do not care about others and their plight until it affects me, then I care. Uggghhh! But, the rest of the conversation was interesting enough, especially to have met a person who was one of the founders of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Michael Pellagatti, The Occupy Wall Street Tour Guide a the DNC protests in Philadelphia

Michael Pellagatti, The Occupy Wall Street Tour Guide a the DNC protests in Philadelphia

https://www.facebook.com/FreeXenon/posts/10153776953353354

edit: An interesting analogy he left me with was about climate change – global warming is analogous to our fevers. Earth has been infected with a virulent strain of humans who are poisoning and destroying the Earth’s form. In an effort to combat this infection, Earth’s defenses are starting a fever (global warming) in order to create an environment  hostile to the infection in hopes of destroying it to restore balance to its biological systems. I am sure others have heard this before. I am sure I have too, but I have definitely forgotten it. He brought this up in our conversation and it was refreshed anew in my mind and for that I am thankful. This metaphor really gets to the heart of it. We are the disease, the problem, and we have the power to fix it all. We, the people of Earth, need to stop being a virulent an infection and need to make a radical attempt to restore balance to Earth’s ecosystems and environment or this “fever” will destroy us all. It has happened before and it will happen again. Earth will remain but we humans will be wiped from existence since we are heading for an extinction level event. Our willful ignorance and unwillingness to stop the problem when we definitely can will be our undoing. Our hubris will destroy us as is typical of most decadent societies unwilling to face its corruptions.

Conversation with a Veteran

I talked with a Navy vet who was interviewed by Jimmy Dore and who was a part of anti-narcotics ship based off the east coast. He has handled a big gun in the process of his work and a moment in time that inspired his diligence was what the horrible tragedy that happened to the USS Cole. We praised the Young Turks, thanked each other for our service, and consoled each other on the state of things, especially the stealing of the election.

David Cobb, The Move to Amend Guy

The very last interview they did that morning was with David Cobb, the man who started to Move to Amend movement (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter) which is about amending the constitution to overturn the Citizens United to remove money from politics. He was great. Jimmy let him just run with it and he did his very well-practiced spiel until he was done. He has definitely done this a few times. Yea!

David Cobb, the man who started to Move to Amend movement at the DNC protests in Philadelphia

David Cobb, the man who started to Move to Amend movement at the DNC protests in Philadelphia

https://www.facebook.com/FreeXenon/posts/10153776990213354

3.6 Mile March to Philly Town Hall with Just Us Riders

Following the TYT’s last interview with David Cobb I wandered around a little bit and found a man with an alpaca named Shae… an alpaca in the middle of Philadelphia. Naturally, I was curious about this. The man’s name is Ethan Abbot (I think)  and he started JustUsRiders.org (Facebook, Twitter). He goes from town to town staying at various farms with his menagerie of animals – something like 2 alpacas, 2 sheep, 2 pigs , and 4 chickens, I think.  He has taken that alpaca right into the middle of a boardroom or town hall meeting to bring attention to the issues. An animal is a good gimmick to attract attention.

Ethan Abbot of JustusRiders.org and his alpaca, Shae, at the DNC protests in Philadelphia

Ethan Abbot of JustusRiders.org and his alpaca, Shae, at the DNC protests in Philadelphia

With Shae in tow he marched about 8 of us from the FDR Park protest grounds through town to the city center at the Town Hall with him occasionally saying through his  megaphone something like:

“Yes ma’am, this is an alpaca!

Are You fed up?  Time to take back:

…our farms,

…our families,

…our food

…our freedoms,

from the corporations.

Get off your couches, turn off your TV’s and do something about it.

Come Join Us.”

There was a little more to his megaphone spiel, but this is all I can remember. He really enjoyed the megaphone and watching people’s responses and their attraction to the alpaca. He said that the day before he made that 3.6 mile trip many, many times over a period of 12 hours. I am glad he was there, but that is a crazy level of dedication especially in that heat and humidity.

We arrived in the center of town, where Black Men for Bernie (Facebook) were holding a rally. I was tired, hungry, sweaty as hell, my knees were burning and my camelback had run out of water for the first time. With another person from the march (the green shirt carrying water in the picture) we went to the bathroom, got water, and ate at Subway. Normally, I do not order a foot long, but after that 3.6 mile march through the heat and humidity,I ordered and summarily devoured a foot-long tuna sub. Once we rested a little bit and finished our subs we then took the subway back towards the FDR Park and returned to the “Free Speech” protest area.

Black Men For Bernie rally at Philadelphia town hall

Black Men For Bernie rally at Philadelphia town hall

Jez Coulson, Photojournalist for the Sunday Times

After we returned to FDR Park I spent some time near the tent that was providing free food to protestors so I could rest my feet and knees and to listen. Among the nearby tents and people talking I was a bit surprised to find many people were smoking normal cancerous cigarettes and some were smoking pot too. I rested, sat, and listened for a while and then walked over and sat on the only bench I have noticed in the park.  Eventually, I made my way back towards the tents, people, and the food tent and saw this thoroughly British looking guy dressed all in black (shirt and pants) with a camera or two and some equipment strapped to him so I thought I would hear his story.

He is a very well known British photojournalist named Jez Coulson (Facebook, Twitter) who works for the Sunday Times. He has traveled all over the world even into some war zones to get pictures. He was mostly based in the US, but still did a lot of traveling for work. We talked about the election and how the British saw Trump and the stealing of our election. He saw parallels between the elections and our sad pair of candidates and the Brexit movement, both of which are sadly very bad for all involved. After a little while, he moved on to get more pictures of the event.

Rally Speeches

I had considered not staying for any of the rally speakers that night, but I tried to endure for as long as I could. I was here, so let’s do it! I heard some speakers talk about the Monsanto and other GMO corps poisoning Hawaii and their kids. I heard a speaker from the Organic Consumers Association talk about bioremediation of soiled lands. I heard some other speakers on a few other important topics that I cannot remember as of this writing. I really needed to bring a notepad and pencil on this trip. I am an idiot for not packing one. =( To take advantage of what little time I had here in Philadelphia I stayed as long as I could to listen to as much as I could.

I was so tired and exhausted from the heat and the humidity and the march earlier that day that I decided to call it quits near 8:00 pm. I felt bad since there was so much more going to happen later in the night, but I just could not take it anymore, or perhaps I am just getting old. If there was an easy place to sit down out of the heat and humidity, or even take a shower I might have endured late into the night, but these were not to be found, so I called Marcus, my Russian cabbie, and, sadly, I made my way to the motel to retire for the night.

Last Partial Day

Thursday, July 28 with 95 degrees and 74% humidity

Wandering the Park

Marcus, my wonderful Russian Cabbie, brought me to the FDR Park @ 8:00am, nice and early, so I could still check things out before I had to leave. I expected that there would still be a bunch of people there since there was one more full day left of the convention, but as I was walking through the park it was empty, a ghost town, like no one had been there before, as if nothing had happened. The only signs that there were protestors here over the last few days were  the portapotties off in the distance and the occasional orange and white barriers which still had been not returned to their homes with the city’s street department. Even though cars are now able to drive through the park and joggers were jogging the park paths, the spirit of the protest still lingered. You could still feel the spirit of anger, rage, defeat, hope, and an emotional viscosity still palpable in the air. I did not see any tents or signs or any sort of gathering. It was quiet with just a few people lingering.  It was as if the corruption that spawned such protests and anger had consumed it again, like it was a natural part of the cycle.

Slowly I walked further into the park with my backpack and camelback on which soaked my back with sweat while my carry-on suitcase rumbled behind me. I came upon a large open pavilion near the lake with 4 people talking. A man named Michael ,who traveled here with his tribe and was here in support of Shailene Woodley’s (actress from Divergent series) organization and their work here at the convention, was talking with 3 people and was telling them that he and his crew were arranging a live streamed healing ceremony @ 2:00pm for people to be heard as to why they are angry or why they are protesting in a hope to diffuse their anger. Feeling like we are being heard can be powerful. I sat there and just listened as he courted a few more passers-by with his event.

Another person came up who seemed to know him, perhaps from his tribe in one way or the other. Michael seemed to have a unique skill set – perhaps he was trained as non-violent communication facilitator or experience in tantric communication. I asked him a few times what his training was in but he would not divulge. =) He worked with this friend who had made his way here and had no money at all for the ride back or for his family back home, but he was here to be a part of history and to try to make a difference. Michael used his skills to negotiate helping him with his financial situation and to help him get a ride back home, hoping that some of his tribe would be able to get him some of the way home when their tribe started their migration home. I eagerly threw in my cash as soon as he said something even before the negotiation had begun. I was thankful for the experience and to have witnessed and to have been allowed to help out what little I can.

On my way further into the park in I picked up a few pieces of plastic garbage, stuff that would normally just be there due to careless park-goers, but I knew that it was here because of the protests, lingering here as the city finished its clean-up, the last remaining vestiges of the people gathered to protest the widespread corruption and fraud in our government and in our political parties. As I traveled deeper into the bowels of the FDR Park near the tennis courts I saw there was still a bit of life left in the park – a bottled water tent  was still open and a few tents with people here who were still here conversing, sharing, perhaps even mourning the death of democracy, and celebrating their time here. This group was all hidden away from prying eyes with no indication that they were here for a protest, that perhaps they were here just for camping  for the week.

Leaving the Revolution

I left a little early to go to the edge of the park to rest my feet and wait for Marcus to come pick me up. I sat on one of the few large rock there at the edge of the park entrance and waited for to Marcus pick me up near 12:00pm so I could go to the airport and begin my return from the Revolution. In our talks we made arrangements to go to Bells Market which are a series of grocery stores which are owned by a group of Russians and sell a lot of international food in the Philadelphia area. He was excited to show me this and to take me there. It was pretty big and had an incredible amount of international food. I bought some sweets for my sweet back home in hopes that these would help to assuage any of her annoyances with my trip. Happy wife, happy life, right? I knew she would like this. I bought for her something Russian called Zephyr which are like our pinwheels, and a few other sweet things. I arrived at the airport two hours early and was whisked through security with a crap load of time to wait for my flight.

The Philly airport and Philidelphia itself, what little I saw of it, was really clean. My flight was delayed by at least an hour because of rain. I had an almost a two-hour layover in Charlotte, NC so I was not worried too much.  By the time we arrived in Charlotte there was just enough time to get to my gate in time to board. I was freaking out while trying to run through the crowds of people. With a heavy breath, I stopped one of those airport cart people and he agreed to take me all the way to my gate which was quite a bit away. The glorious black man’s name was Jason. He was my hero. Although I did arrive there right at the time when they were supposed to be boarding, it turns out that there was a delay in the flight because the first officer’s flight was delayed and had not arrived yet. We waited almost an hour before we could board. I did all of that running and worrying for nothing. =(

In closing

On my drive home with the wife and kid, while thinking to myself while they slept, I kinda also wished that I had approached this as an opportunity to as research for a blog post and not just a post about being there as a part of history and for the experience. This would have me paying more attention to picture opportunities, having a camera with me, actually knowing what is going on and when, and so on. It would have made the trip even more productive.  I also wish it had not been so hot and humid. I wish I had been more prepared. I wish that I was not confused by the airfare screens. I wish I was not so shy. =(

I can say that I was there, that I tried to do my part. I have a post titled What did I do to Help Bernie? and spreadsheet to prove it. =) I can not add this to the list the ways I participated in the Revolution. I can tell my daughter and my grandkids that I tried to do my part and to explain it to them. I will have the satisfaction that we did not go down without a fight and, hopefully, my daughter and eventual grandchildren will remember this example that I have set so they will not be so complacent when it comes to politics and to try to be politically aware so when the moment comes they can lend their voices and make a difference.  This whole movement is not about Bernie. It is about us, our children, and the future of the human race.

Viva la revolution!

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

#DemExit #BernieOrBust #BernieSanders #StillSanders #BernieSanders2016

#JillNotHill #JillB4Hill #JillStein #Green2016 #29ForStein #ImWithHer #JillStein
#TimeForStein #SteinBaraka2016

#NeverHillary #HillNo #NeverHillary #StealingIsNotWinning #HillaryClinton
#WikiLeaks #DNCLeaks

The Apology: The Church could start by asking for forgiveness.

How I Found Out About The Green Party

I have officially joined the Green Party. “How did this come about?” you ask. Well, treat the short of it is that I took a thorough survey during the 2012 presidential electoral cycle which was titled “I side with…?“. I knew who I was going to vote for – Obama, doctor but I was curious as to what the survey would come up with – looking to validate/invalidate my current political label or to illuminate where I really stand even if I think  I stand else where. The result for me was a bit surprising – 98% Democrat, viagra sale 92% Green Party, and 5% Republican. Agreeing with Democrats and not agreeing at all with the Republicans I understood, but I had no idea who Jill Stein or the Green Party were. I was kinda stunned. Who the hell are these people and how do I agree with them so much?  This started my search into the Green Party – the Green New Deal and other Green Party related sites. Recently I quickly took the survey again and I am at 95% Green and 91% Democrat and still @ 5% Republican. =)

Joining the Green Party

A little over a month ago (29 June 2013) I attended the Wisconsin State Green Party‘s Annual Meeting @ UW Oshkosh officially joining their ranks and become an Alternate Delegate for the state of Wisconsin to the National Party, as well as joining the National Green Party Platform Committee. About 2 weeks ago (25 – 28 July 2013) I attended the 4 day Green Party Annual National meeting in Iowa City, Iowa, and after a day and a half of training and talks on how to run for office, and like 2.5 days of committee meetings, I also have jumped on their Tech and Outreach Committees, as well as assisting their Campaign Coordination Committee.

What Appeals to Me About the Green Party

The Green New Deal really appeals to me because it provides real answers to the many issues that we are facing as a country and as a people if we are to have any hope of a future for our country and the world. I do not agree with everything in there, but all most all of it makes a lot of sense and really attacks the real problems that we face in which the Republicans and the Democrats are too spineless to tackle for fear of losing their corporate sponsorship and backing. They are more concerned with money and power than actually solving the problems.  This saddens me greatly. Below I will highlight one of the ares that appealed to me about the Green Party and the Green New Deal, as well as add my thoughts to it:

Electoral Reform

One of the most powerful problems which truly prevents real change and real solutions to our problems is an electoral system that is rigged by the system to keep others out beside the two entrenched major parties. It is a herculean effort for a 3rd party to get on the ballot to be up for voting, especially for presidential elections. When the powers that be write the laws that keep them in power it is very, very difficult for anyone else to really participate in our “democracy”. I do not believe in any way that the Republicans and the Democrats truly represent the breadth of views that the entirety of the American people believe. Americans are not truly represented as long as there are truly only 2 parties able to run for office – the super conservative and the quite a bit less conservative. Voters are more concerned about “wasting their vote” than voting their conscience. I have been victim of that as well. I wanted to vote for Jill Stein in 2012, but did not. Below are four main reforms that need to happen to help correct this. These are not all that needs to be done, but this will go a long way towards fixing things:

  1. Government Paying for Elections: Elections are to be paid for by the federal/state government. This will limit the money wasted on such things, but more importantly it will get rid of corporate money from elections. This is the single most important change that can radically change the political and electoral landscape over night. Corporations will lose their power and will lose their primary method of bending the political process to their will and against the people.
  2. Proportional Representation: This will only really affect the senate and assembly and other seats where their is more than one person up for a position. In proportional representation seats are put up for vote in a block or seats. In this case let us say that their are 10 seats up for vote. Seats will be portioned out in proportion to how may votes they have received. If democrats receive 40%, Republicans receive 40%, Green Party receives 10%, and Libertarians receive 10% then they shall receive seats as follows: D – 4, R – 4, GP – 2, L – 2. This will allow for other parties to access the ballots and allow people to vote for who they really want and not fear wasting their vote.
  3. Shortened Electoral Window: The current electoral season is huge. Congress “works” for like 5 months out of the year and then they spend the rest of the time fund raising and campaigning. I am pretty sure this is not what we voted them in to do – campaign and fund raise. I think we voted them in to legislate. The electoral window should be shortened to a month or so, so that time and money is not wasted on such things when people are going hungry, are without homes, and our education system is continually being cut.

Read More…

The following article titled 'The Apology' is pulled directly from Dr. Stewart Edser's Website 'Being Gay, drugs
Being Christian'. I felt compelled to reproduce his wonderful article for posterity, visit web
if, for some reason, his should go off-line. Please do not read it here. Click on over to his site Being Gay, Being Christian

The Apology

Here is the apology that the Christian Church needs to offer the gay people of the world. It doesn't seem to be forthcoming at the moment from the Church, so I have penned one myself on the Church's behalf to give it an idea of how this might go. To give credit, there are some in the Church who do feel this way, but still not enough. So share it with your Christian friends. Share it with your pastor, your priest, share it with your bishop. The church needs to change its view of gay people and its treatment of gay people. We too are part of God's incredible human family.

The Church could start by asking for forgiveness. It could start with an apology.

To Gay People the World Over

We the Christian Church, while professing that our reason for existence is to spread the knowledge of God in the manner of Jesus of Nazareth and to show God's love and compassion for all humanity by our lives, with Jesus as our exemplar, most especially to the down-trodden, the weary, the sick, the old, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, the weak, the oppressed, the poor and the marginalised, acknowledge that we have fallen so far short in our attitudes toward and our treatment of one marginalised group – gay people – that our actions can only be described as sin. And sin of the gravest kind. We have called that which God has created good, evil. We have contaminated the worth of your lives with toxic shame and presented you to the world as reprehensible and filthy, as the epitome of moral repugnance.

We know that one of the earliest words in the Scriptures for sin was an archery term, the Greek word hamartia (ἁμαρτία) describing an arrow 'missing its mark.' As the Church of Jesus Christ, we freely acknowledge that we have completely missed the mark regarding gay people from the very beginning and that two thousand years of history has not seen us grow any more enlightened. To this very day, we continue to judge you, deny you, reject you, pillory you, vilify you, denigrate you, condemn you, besmirch you, denounce you and exclude you and we do this for one reason and one reason only – your sexual orientation.

We do humbly and abjectly apologise for our actions. We acknowledge our mistreatment of you. We ask for your forgiveness even though we know we do not deserve it.

We own this great transgression of Jesus' first and only commandment of love. We have been anything but loving. We have been the antithesis of loving. We have been an organ of hate.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

We have clung to out-dated interpretations of Biblical passages. We have refused to openly explore modern scholarship that brings to light so much about the Bible, Jesus and his teachings that we never knew before. We have been openly belligerent towards you and have acted in pride as we shot you down in flames and pronounced judgment over your lives as an abomination. We have behaved towards you in dialogue from a place of hubris where we haughtily saw ourselves as the saved and you as sinners. We have ignored your feelings as if they did not matter; that only our precious pronouncements mattered.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

We have told the world that your life is not natural, that you are set against nature and in so doing, you are set against God. We have told the world that you are sick and disordered and sinful, that you are deviant and that your love is not real but is only lust. And we have told the world that lust is evil. We have told the world that your whole lives are 'inclined to moral evil,' a statement so grandiose in its language and so all-encompassing in its reach that you gay people are left reeling because such language is usually reserved for despots and tyrants, the cruellest of the cruel.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

We have pitted parents against their gay children. We have caused untold damage in families. We have stopped you from ministering in our churches. We have sacked and dismissed you from legitimate posts because of your sexual orientation. We have impeded your promotion and even put up barriers for your housing. We have refused the communion service to you. We have forbidden you to remain in our fellowships because of your lives. We have persisted in calling your life a ‘lifestyle’ and your orientation a ‘preference,’ knowing full well that those words are not only illegitimate but are also heavily loaded emotionally and politically.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

We have ignored the wisdom of science. We have refused to acknowledge that you are born gay. We stubbornly declare to the world that your 'sexual preference is a choice,' despite knowing the fact that science has been able to show definitively that there is a substantial genetic component determining all human sexuality. But we haven’t cared about that. That does not fit our ancient world or mediaeval worldview, so we just ignore the research and dismiss it out of hand, acting as though it does not exist. And we continue to trot out our worn-out arguments and pronouncements with divine certitude while we argue with one another as to which of us has faith the most right. And while we're busy arguing among ourselves, we trample you underfoot with carefree abandon as we pour out rejection and judgmentalism from our bile-filled mouths.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

We set up our own idols. Men usually. We follow their every pronouncement and treat them as celebrities. Hatemongers who are either ignorant, prejudiced or have some personal axe to grind about sexuality. But also the Church. We construct its systems as though they are set up by God and use the weapon of bureaucracy against you. The Bible. Some of us worship the book instead of seeing it as a pointer to the One.

Idolatry. Ecclesiolatry. Bibliolatry. We listen to homophobes and misanthropists and share their words while we worship a book instead of the God that it speaks of. And we hide behind church governance instead of relating to you as fellow human beings. And from our book and from our churches and from our God, we exclude you. We other you like we have othered no other group in history. We have resolutely painted the picture as us and them. We have done this for centuries. We are the us. And you are the them.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

We have even told you that you had to change, even though we know in our heart of hearts that there is no change. We have set up ministries to lie to you to tell you that your lives are worthless as they are. You must change, that you are not good enough as you are. You must turn yourselves into heterosexual people. Against all evidence, we have told you that you can do this by the power of God and with our support. We did not tell you that should you succumb to our ministrations you would forever be in limbo, a no-man's land where you will never be straight and you cannot call yourselves gay. And even if you do marry an opposite sex partner and even have children, we will still never quite accept you. We do never quite go the full distance to full acceptance. We have ignored the signs from around the world after some of you have committed suicide because you couldn't cope with what we did to you in these ministries. However despite the deaths, we have continued on, referring young vulnerable gay people, mostly brought up in the church and in Christian families, to these ministries at a time when they are emotionally defenceless and the power differential between them and us is gargantuan. We have harmed you. We have killed you. We are responsible.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

In our realisation of the grotesque distortion of the Christian Gospel that we have offered the world, a distortion that the world rightly rejects, we abjectly apologise to you. We have debased the Good News and driven people away from God and from life in the Spirit. We have put before the world a false dichotomy between the sacred and the profane and we have put sex and desire in the profane. It is no wonder we have rejected you for you have had to go on a spiritual and emotional journey to be able to accept yourselves at the sexual level. We are frightened of this. We are frightened of sex, of desire. We always have been. We fear you and your comfort with sexuality. We have placed celibacy as the zenith of human conditions and even mandated some of our clergy to live this way against all inclination for the rest of their lives. And we tell young gay people that they too must be celibate and deny an integral part of their identity for the rest of their lives too.

For these sins we are truly sorry.

We are mortally and grievously at fault here. Like the old Latin words we say contritely, 'mea cupla, mea cupla, mea maxima culpa – through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.' We are stripped and laid bare and our transgressions are unveiled for all to see.

Our sins have been grievous and manifold. We have not acted like Jesus at all. We have not shown love or compassion. We have been quick to occupy the divine judgment seat and speak with hubris as if the plank in our own eye were not big enough already.

In apologising and asking for the forgiveness we do not deserve after perpetrating so much hurt and so much harm, we seek to redress our sinful actions. We need to make recompense. We need to change.

We will be the followers of Jesus we were always meant to be. We will have love and charity as our foremost test of everything we do and everything we say. We will seek out and ask for your views and value your opinions. We will include you in our liturgies and as part of our clergy. We will happily employ you. We will desist from calling you unclean, disordered and evil. We will abandon such language forever. We will stop using the Bible as a weapon against you and start reading the scriptures in the light of modern scholarship. We will be big enough and strong enough in our faith in God to say where we think the peoples of the ancient Biblical world got it wrong, such as with slavery, women, the death penalty, and gay people, among other issues. We will have a strong and robust faith that is partnered with reason so that our God and our faith are not mocked and laughed to scorn by an educated, literate, post-enlightenment humanity. We will speak out for equality for all human beings and denounce homophobia specifically. We will be strong advocates for gay people so that you feel welcome, valued and loved as part of the family of God.

We will do our best to make up for the centuries of trauma. We do not know how long it will take for you to trust us and to forgive us. But we openly and honestly offer you our sorrow, our contrition, our apology for our actions past and present.

For these and all our sins against you we are truly sorry.

Pax et Amor – Stuart

Read More

    Busy Week for Same-Sex Marriage in the Supreme Court

    This week on Tuesday and Wednesday we had the Supreme Court final hearings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage of Act (DOMA), page respectively. These are the final hearings prior to the Supreme Court’s final decision which should be given sometime near June (possibly unless they dismiss the cases due to lack of standing). After that, the Supreme Court’s decision will be up for appeal by the affected parties.

    Prop 8: I am fully expecting that the Court will strike down Prop 8 in a narrow way and that it this will likely be appealed, but I am, thankfully, losing faith in the possibility of the appeal by the National Organization of Marriage’s since their funding seems to be drying up.  We can only hope that their biggoted nut-jobbery can come to a screaming and embarrassing halt by a Supreme Court slap-down.

     DOMA: I fully expect that this will also get struck down, but, after listening to the judges questioning I cannot help but wonder that they may be thinking of a slightly larger scope decision. We can only hope.

    If you have not read or listened to the transcripts please do:

    Read More

    2012 Presidential Election is Historic for Many Reasons

    I can say that I am really happy at the results for the 2012 Presidential Election. I was very worried about this election. I stayed up late into the night watching the results as they were slowly tallied. My stomach was upset when I saw that Romney had the lead like 23 to 8 electoral votes.  I greatly feared the possibility of Romney winning and imposing more Republican foolery upon us to turn back all of the progress we have made and drive us right back into the ground where Bush put us, order but that is neither here nor there at this moment.

    Firsts for Elected Officials

    President Obama won and was the first black president elected, visit this and the first to be reelected with back-to-back terms. This alone is a wonderful, thumb historic, and powerful fact that is more than worthy of praise for our country, but there were even more electoral events that happened that made this election even more historic than Obama’s relection. What will  follow is a wonderful sample of firsts and this is just the beginning, which all bodes well for the United States and its future. We are supposedly a melting pot of the world and it is about time our governmental representative show that. All American citizens are not all white conservative Christian males.

    • Tammy Baldwin was elected as the first openly gay senator for Wisconsin
    • two Hindu congresspeople
    • Buddhist Representative
    • openly non-theist
    • 4 new openly LGBT people
    • bisexual and polyamorous person
    • openly gay congressman of color
    • First state to elect an all-woman House and Senate delegation and governor: New Hampshire
    INFOGRAPHIC: The 113th Congress Will Be The Most Diverse In History

    INFOGRAPHIC: The 113th Congress Will Be The Most Diverse In History (Think Progress)

    Firsts for Social Issues

    This is was also a first for a few social issues too. These show a significant shift in the cultural values and acceptance of mainstream Americans and it is a wonderful.

    • 2 states voted on an accepted gay marriage
    • 1 state denied a ban on gay marriage
    • 2 states OK’ed medical marijuana
    • 1 state legalized marijuana

    Read More About 2012 Election Firsts

    The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality [video]

    This is sad but true. The Tea Part has no real grasp on what America really is or who our founders really are. They claim to be Christians and hide behind claims of righteousness, medications but violate Jesus’ words at every turn. Hypocrisy and fundamentalism at it worst.

    Matthew Vines speaks on the theological debate regarding the Bible and the role of gay Christians in the church. Delivered at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita, sale Kansas on March 8, nurse
    2012.

    An Unexpected Birthday Present

    Erwin Cherminksy's book Interpreting the Constitution by

    Interpreting the Constitution by Erwin Cherminksy

    I received an unexpected birthday present in the mail from Katia, visit web who is a great friend of ours who is living in Belarus. She ordered a gift certificate from Barnes and Noble for me. I was really, allergy really shocked to receive it.

    With this wonderful gift I bought a book that I have been wanting for a while: Erwin Cherminsky’s Interpreting the ConstitutionErwin Cherminsky is a well known scholar of Constitutional Law. He is a professor at the University of California – Irvine, and has wrote the Introduction to Constitutional Law book that I purchased for my birthday last year (see my previous post on 22 Dec 2010).

    I still really want to go back to school to get my degree in Law specializing in Constitutional Law and Civil Rights.

    Thanks again Katia! =)

    Rachel Maddow Interviewing David Bahati, the Sponsor of the “Killl the Gays” Bill in Uganda

    As a follow up to my previous post on this topic titled “Ugandas Death Dentence Legislation for LGBT Peoples and the ‘Christians’ Who Counseled Them Towards This End ” – I just recently found this link from WATCH: RACHEL MADDOW INTERVIEWS UGANDAN MP DAVID BAHATI, migraine AUTHOR OF THE ‘KILL THE GAYS’ BILL. It is actually is disturbing to know that this sort of blind zealotry still exists. I do really know that it does, ed but it really saddens me to hear of it.  Please take the moment to watch it. Something interesting to note is that I do not think that this interview would have happened if MR. Bahati knew that Rachel Maddow was a lesbian.

    Interview with David Bahati – Part 1

    Interview with David Bahati – Part 2

    Interview with David Bahati – Part 3

    Prop 8 Appeal to be Televised

    If you have not followed California’s Prop 8 trial please take the moment to watch the district court appeal which should give you an ideal and a great summary as to what this is all about and both sides’ views. One of the places it is available is via C-SPAN and it all starts at noon (CST). There is also a live BLogging of the district court appeal available at Prop 8 Trial Tracker in case you cannot watch the video at work… like me.

    Please watch/read it. This really matters.

    Constitutional Law Studying on a Week of Vacation

    In reference to my previous post ‘A Birthday Present and Vacation – Constitutional Law Reading‘ I spent the last 9 days on vacation doing various things, generic but trying to concentrate on reading this Constitutional Law book. The idea was to read approximately 100 pages a day while on vacation…. =) Life steps in and says…. think again sucka! =)

    So this is the way the 100 pages a day turned out, taking into consideration I worked on Monday and I had at least one other day that was basically spoken for do to business obligations – so we are looking at 900 pgs down to about 700 as a goal:

    1. (sat) pg 107
    2. (sun) pg 146
    3. (mon) pg 237
    4. (tue) pg 275
    5. (wed) pg 327
    6. (thu) pg 398
    7. (fri) pg 441
    8. (sat) pg 507
    9. (sun) pg 583

    So, I read almost 600 pages worth which is not so bad. Almost half way there and still reading. I will, of course, not have a much time to read since I am not on vacation, but I will try to find time where I can. I would love to finish the book within 3 more weeks.

    “John McCain – It Gets Worse” by Jon Stewart of the Daily Show

    Here is a really neat rebuttal to John McCain’s antagonistic and ever-changing stance towards repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell titled It Gets Worse PSA by Jon Stewart of the Daily show:

    ask 0, sales 40, nurse 0″>

    The “It Gets Better” Project – a Message to LGBT Children

    Here is the “It Gets Better Project” and other associated It Gets Better videos on You Tube to which Obama, oncology Jewel, Chris Colfer from the Glee cast, Prince Poppycock from America’s Got Talent, Zachary Quinto from Heroes and the New Star Trek movie, and many, many more participate to show their support for gay children who are suffering and may potentially commit suicide due to ignorance,  intolerance, and bullying.

    Also, Cindy McCain and some Hollywood friends create An Anti-Bullying Message From the NOH8 Campaign.

    Our children need to know that they are loved and that bullies are not the norm, or even right for that fact. The rest of the world, especially once you get out of high school, is not necessarily filled with ignorant assholes. Shocking and hard to believe, I know, but there you go. Please watch these and spread the word, for this is a really important topic.

    A Birthday Present and Vacation – Constitutional Law Reading

    So, online for my birthday I have somehow convinced my wife to get me a Barnes and Nobles gift certificate so I can purchase a college text book on Constitutional Law – Constitutional Law: Principles And Policies (~ 1300 pages) and I have also somehow convinced her to let me take vacation next week so I can spend a significant amount of time to read it.  I am hoping to finish it during this next week off, but we shall see how that goes. I hope my brain can handle it. If I seem like a zombie the next time you see me, this might be why! =)

    Constitutional Law: Principles And Policies by Erwin Chemerinsky

    Constitutional Law: Principles And Policies by Erwin Chemerinsky

    I really would like to go back to school for a degree in law specializing in Constitutional Law and Civil Rights and this sort of reading and other reading that I have done is, perhaps, a stepping stone towards that dream.

    Books I Have Already Read Toward This End

    Post Facto Repeals Bother Me…

    So, and I am currently reading about constitutional law which is a fascinating topic, anesthetist and this has prompted me to write this post.  This is actually something I have thought of a long time ago before I started to read about this topic, but I thought I would now put ‘pen to paper’ so to speak to get this idea out there. I do not have a problem with post facto repeals of law as a principle, since they are definitely needed, but my problem is that there are so many of them and sometimes it make take years for them to come to light resulting in damage to people and their rights to which laws and our legislators, and other officials, are entrusted to protect.

    I have a problem with laws that are passed and eventually are found unconstitutional or have other problems, and are subsequently repealed with those, whose rights have been violated, have exactly no recourse or reparations for their violated rights and/or destroyed lives, beyond the repealing of the offending law. I think that this is a grave injustice to the American peoples whose lives and livelihood have been adversely affected.

    The fact that there is no real recourse for the American people, or punishment per se for those that enacted such negligent laws, allows the perpetuation of such practices. There is a no real punishment or deterrent to our lawmakers for walking this path. They have the potential of not getting elected again or being impeached, right, but that potential is so small and not enough of a deterrent especially when they cater to a majority in trampling the rights of the minority. There is no real deterrent to not pass these unconstitutional laws. By the time that it comes around for the government to deal with the law those that passed the offending law may not even be in office and besides, someone else will be fighting both sides of the battle – not the legislators – the ones who sanctioned the law. State and Federal government is one thing, and I understand that local governments are in some ways a different story, but still there is something that needs to be done about that too.

    Post Facto Repeals

    I realize that our founding fathers, in light of the common governmental philosophies and examples of the time, think that having the judicial branch  as a post facto (after the fact) method of solving these deficiencies is enough, but the post facto nature means that damage is already done to those people’s rights who have been violated. The communities then were smaller and word traveled quickly about such things, and the revolution and standing up for your rights was the thing to do then, but now a days  our communities are huge, spread apart, and disconnected, and long past the forgotten revolutionary mindset. The United States is huge and the common people are far removed from the law creation process and our legislators. We live in a very different world than our founding fathers could have ever imagined.

    One of the very foundational principles of  our government is that government is there to ensure the protection of our Life, Liberty, and Property (LLP). I belive that the passing of these unconstitutional laws and their subsequent need to be repealed as gross negligence on the part of our governmental and civil leaders, and their passing of these laws is a violation of their oaths and a violation of our rights to LLP. I understand that there are going to be some laws that are going to make it through which are borderline and need to be dealt with, but there should not as many as there are.

    There are some laws that take decades for someone to say something about and finally do something about it. There is a lot of social pressure to not rock to boat. If you take a look at the animus and violence surrounding the gay rights movement, the school prayer, and ten commandments issues then you will know what I mean. People are afraid to stand up for their rights due to potential  adverse social reactions regardless of how right they are. This fact allows for the perpetuation of violations to our rights out of fear and that is an unAmerican result.

    When these unconstitutional laws are passed and several years go by and damage is done to the US citizens. This is wrong and a violation of our government’s job of protecting our rights and not being apart of the violation process.

    Pre Facto

    Now, I cannot imagine that our lawmakers do not have some sort of judicial opinions being thrown at them as they are legislating new laws, but with as many laws as there are that need to be repealed I find it hard to see that there is. Perhaps it might be because I am more active in thinking and reading about civil rights stuff that I may be more sensitive to it, but still there are these laws that are getting passed and they are hurting people who have no recourse or reparations besides the agonizing process of pursuing a repeal.

    There needs to be more pre facto work done on these laws so that they either never get passed or that they are reformed to be made constitutional prior to be being submitted for approval. I understand that many of these laws get passed in the heat of the moment and under great socio-polical pressure where legislators are more concerned about keeping their jobs than doing things right, or they maybe caught up in the emotion of the “national” moment, but they still have an obligation to protect our rights and to not be  part of violating them.

    What can be done?

    I understand that our government officials can not be held directly liable else they will be not allowed to do their job out of fear, but we need some way to hold them accountable for their actions or install a deterrent for them to be party to passing such laws, but here are some of my thoughts and I know for obvious reasons that most of these will not work, but here is what came to mind:

    • 3 strikes rule –  government officials who pass 3 laws that need to be repeal loose there jobs.
    • fines – government officials who pass laws that need to be repealed are fined
    • reparations – those people whose rights are violated are compensated by the government and the violations are corrected. Sort of a class action lawsuit against the government.
    • amicus briefs – allowing for the filing of amicus briefs from all interested parties so that legislators can have more informed opinions from those outside the legislative process and the potential legal consequences
    • open content – posting laws to a public website for comment
    • subpoenaing legislators – during the repealing process require the legislators who passed the bill to testify and defend their actions

    Perhaps you people have better and more elegant ideas about this?

    9th Circuit STAYS Judge Walker’s Ruling Pending an Expedited Appeal

    California’s Appellate Court granted a stay on Judge Vaughn’s ruling pending appeal. This was, visit this in my opinion, to be expected since this is such a high profile case and precedent setting case,  so nothing drastic there. However, there is some good news as far as this process is concerned as is covered here BREAKING: 9th Circuit STAYS Judge Walker’s ruling; Appeal scheduled December 6 on Prop 8 Trial Tracker:

    • the appellate court is expediting the the appeal of the ruling of the unconstitutionality of Prop 8 and set the date for the week of 6 December, which is awesome. The sooner the, hopefully, better.
    • they are also specifically asking the Prop8’ers: In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. which is huge. Judge Vaughn said that they do not have standing for a stay or appeal, if I remember correctly, and the appellate court obviously pretty much agrees with them, but are giving them a chance to sound at least a little rational and try to retain some self respect.

    In the scheme of things this is pretty huge. The appeal process could end up being pretty short (comparatively speaking) since they do not have standing for appeal, so this may most likely get dismissed with prejudice, which would prevent a Supreme Court Appeal. This will be a massively huge win and precedent for gay rights all throughout the US if this does happen, since there will be a court ruling stating that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and they have no standing.

    If  the Supreme Court does not dismiss out of hand due to lack of standing, which would rock, then the appellate court’s decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

    Cross your fingers everyone. History and justice is happening. =)