Some interesting quotes from Facebook/Twitter today:

“We live in hard times, NOT END TIMES.” ~ Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

“If you care about things like health care reform, well-funded schools, gay rights, smart financial regulation, actually getting things done in Washington, renewable energy, and/or reforming immigration laws then support the party that’s most likely to move forward on those issues. Please go out and vote for members of the Democratic Party tomorrow because they need your support now. “

“I’m so disappointed in you Hulu for running ad campaigns, and I can’t believe that her people let Meg Whitman utter the words “And I’ll treat you like a grown up, California”. Really like? Grown up? Try treating me AS an ADULT you wench.”

“algore $70 million in dirty energy ads: http://bit.ly/9vLLKH

That’s right people: it’s almost election time! (Side note: I cannot wait for all those eternally obnoxious ads to get off the TV, though the one with Meg Whitman as Pinocchio did make me chuckle.) And you now have 2 days to read up on the measures.

Please, don’t vote blindly! Vote thoughtfully, get some non-partisan information on the issues. And please don’t buy into the hype – that’s all it is. I shudder to think that people could be persuaded into changing their vote from all those slanderous ads; they’re full of glittering generalities, buzzwords, and nonsense. And this election season has been pretty rank, in terms of mudslinging.

It’s the career politicians vs. the CEOS: frankly, even though the former don’t always make the best choices, I would rather have someone in office who made it their life’s work to be there, rather than a wealthy former CEO who decided to make an appearance and use their own money to propel themselves forward.

Even if I wasn’t a Democrat, I don’t think I could ever trust anyone with that amount of money to understand and work for the issues that face me and my social class – the priories are just different, and that’s how it is. But that’s just me.

This election year I really hope that we Californians can look past the hot-button issues (abortion, religion, party alliance, etc) and look at the ones that are most pressing: our environment, energy, education, health care, the economy. Parties  try to win us by playing to our most basic belief systems, and they are hyper-conscious. If you are a Christian, don’t vote Republican just because of religion (news flash: most politicians are all Christians – there has never been a President who wasn’t a church-going man, regardless of party.) Don’t vote Democrat just because you drive a Prius. Stereotypes don’t help us.

But, if you have read up on the issues and seen the pros and cons of each measure and candidate, feel free to choose who makes sense to you – this is, after all, America, right?!

I remember the first election season after I turned 18 in October 2004. (And Bush won. Sigh.) I waited in line at UC Davis for about an hour, and when I finally got that ballot it was quite a moment. There was a sense, an inkling, that I could now really participate in the debate.

Maybe it’s not like that for everyone, but apathy doesn’t help anyone, except maybe for the people running against those you might have voted for.

I don’t know about you, but these little stickers give me a thrill. Get yours!

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I think people are forgetting what ‘religious freedom’ actually means.

Simple: It means that everyone is free to believe what they want to believe, and practice accordingly, as long as it does not infringe on anyone else’s rights or break any laws. And yet, here we are, with a proposition on the ballot that is designed to, in short, walk (or something less PC) all over the US Constitution. Now, as an English grad student, I will be the first to tell you that this document can be interpreted in many different ways. However – the phrase where it declares that all men are created equal is not a gray area. Or is it?

It seems that this country is determined to test these words in every way possible. People said that slaves were not men, therefore did not need to be equal. Then blacks were clearly not men, and legally invisible. They also claimed that since women were not men, they also did not need the same rights as others. Stop me if you already know how these debates ended…

And now we are, again, trying to stretch these simple words to suggest that EVEN MEN are not all equal. However, while it was obvious who was black and who was a woman, one can’t always tell who is gay and who is not. Thus this kind of prejudice is somehow less visible, and more acceptable. And even on both sides.  I always hate it when people tell stories about how they know a gay couple who is fantastic and kind and has a great relationship. Or maybe they have a great gay cousin, etc. Why is there a need to rationalize their character because they have a different sexuality?! I know plenty of straight people who are angels and some who are jerks, but they all have rights because they are PEOPLE. Their character is not on trial in order to have equality under the law. Marriage is a concept, not a mathmatical equation. Any two combination of variables can be put together. The success of this union depends on the people themselves. Not what they do on Saturday nights.

Does this country need a group to set aside and discriminate against? Our constitution would say No, but it everything around me begs a Yes.  To put a law into our constitution that fully admits to discrimination sickens me. What will come next? Who will we rationalize into inequality?

When America was founded people sought refuge from a religion-dominated government. Separation of church and state is fundamental. Everyone must be able to carry their own personal beliefs, to not allow the government into their bedrooms to decide what legal rights they get. It’s not about God, or church. It is recognizing that we have injustice all around us and in our blood, and knowing that it does not mean we can’t turn around and try to fix it.

Wouldn’t it be nice, for a change, to decide that American doesn’t need to discriminate any group, whether they be of different race, gender, or orientation? This is not about marriage, or kids, or schools. It’s about common human decency, and our ability to look beyond any personal beliefs in order to make the right choice.

Be a true American, follow our constitution, and Vote NO on Prop 8.