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Several years ago, I received a crash course in privilege.

I took a taxi to the airport.

It was 3:30 in the morning on a Thursday in November.  It was my first real job, and I was wearing a brand-new suit.  I was very young and excited to go on one of my first-ever business trips, even if I was half asleep.  Despite the earliness of the hour, I met the cab at the door.  I bounded down the stairs, greeted the driver, put my laptop in the back seat, set my raincoat on top of it in neat folds, and we were off.  

The driver and I chatted briefly about the weather (cold and wet).  He mentioned that he was from Eritrea, had been in the USA a little over three years, and that he liked it here.  I settled back into the back seat, enjoying watching the patterns street lights made against the dark puddles.

As we tooled down one of the major in-city highways, red and blue lights appeared in the rearview mirror and the familiar wail of a police siren cut through the air.

The driver cursed softly and found a place to pull over.  

(Story continues under the symbol)

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Many of you have heard of Jon Meis, the hero of the Seattle Pacific University shooting yesterday.  For those of you who haven't been following the story, Mr. Meis, who was the building monitor used pepper spray to subdue the shooter and then he and other tackled and restrained him while waiting for the police to arrive.

Mr. Meis is getting married in two weeks. Local Seattle people found out and bought out their online gift registry, so someone has started a GoFundMe account to help pay for their honeymoon.

Edited:  Thanks to Toyotabob7 who has heard of Jessamyn McIntrye, who is a producer at a local news station and a sideline reporter at WSU Cougar games - so this site is legit.  

For those of you so inclined, let's give this young man and his wife-to-be the honeymoon they never even dreamed of having!

Also, as of right now (7:45 PDT), they have raised almost $9,500 for their honeymoon.  Maybe if this catches on enough nationally, they'll be able to buy themselves a house!

Link here:  http://www.gofundme.com/...

On a related noted, one of the young men injured in the shooting was able to go home today.  

Peace to all.

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According to the Huffington Post, CBS News and CNN (among others), the Episcopal Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, more familiarly known as "The National Cathedral" has announced that it will start performing same-sex marriages.

In light of the legality of same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia and now Maryland, the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, decided in December to allow an expansion of the Christian marriage sacrament. The diocese covers the district and four counties in Maryland. The change is allowed under a "local option" granted by the church's General Convention, church leaders said. Each priest in the diocese can then decide whether to perform same-sex unions.
So, basically (for now) in states that have legal marriage equality, it's up to the individual priests (probably with some direction from their bishop) to decide whether to perform same-sex marriages or not.  Yes, that's Bishop Mariann Budde - she is definitely a woman.  

Here are some words from the Cathedral Dean:

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, the cathedral's dean, said performing same-sex marriages is an opportunity to break down barriers and build a more inclusive community "that reflects the diversity of God's world."

"I read the Bible as seriously as fundamentalists do," Hall told the AP. "And my reading of the Bible leads me to want to do this because I think it's being faithful to the kind of community that Jesus would have us be."

Well said, sir.  Needless to say, the comments in various links have ranged all over the place - but the fact is, one of the oldest and most storied churches in our country now recognizes the equal rights of all our citizens.

That makes two - the Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Seattle will also start performing same-sex weddings this spring.

ETA:  Make that four - I believe the Cathedral in Boston also allows same-sex marriage.  Thanks to sfbob for cluing me in to the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Luke, in Portland Maine, where Kossacks commonmass and GreenMountainBoy2 will celebrate their nuptials later this year.

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Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:49 PM PST

Indian Gang Rape Victim Has Died

by LSophia

(trigger warning)

Reuters is reporting that the Indian gang rape victim has died.  She was 22.  And a medical student.

http://www.reuters.com/...

They are not releasing her name, just calling her "the victim" or "the woman." News of her attack has spawned massive protests across India.

This is hard on the heels of another gang rape victim's suicide, after police officers pressured her to drop the charges against her attackers and marry one of her assailants.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/...

There are no words for this.  I don't understand the attackers.  And I don't want to.  I am taking a moment to pray for and honor the courage of these victims and I will make a donation to charity in their memory.  Then, I plan to do whatever I can - whatever little I can - to create a world that is safe, nurturing, protective and honors both our daughters and our sons.

11:32 PM PST - Wow, I am honored to be on the rec list - but would gladly forgo this honor if it meant that valiant lady got to draw another breath - or prevented just one rape from being perpetrated.  Just one.

8:23 AM PST - Reuters now reports that her assailants have been arrested and charged with murder. We will see what happens next.

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A tribute for my uncle, and everyone else who has lost someone they love to sudden death.

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Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:03 PM PDT

The Grieving Room: Elegy

by LSophia

A tribute for my beloved grandmother, died a year ago yesterday.  Gone, but not forgotten.

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Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 09:27 PM PDT

Big Bill Brings It to Washington State

by LSophia

Today, the Jay Inslee for Governor Campaign hosted a political fundraiser at the Washington State Convention Center, with a special guest – the Man from Hope himself.  After the speech at the DNC, there was no way I was going to miss this, despite the fact that it was sunny, and sunny Saturdays in Seattle are at a premium.  

All duly glammed out, I headed for the bus stop, only to be swamped with people wearing purple.  The Washington Huskies were playing at home, and, in the interim while their stadium is being remodeled, their games are being held downtown.  Plus, the scheduled bus never came.  When the next one finally showed up, way, way too many people crammed our way onto it.  Fortunately, it was a short bus ride.

Follow me below the fold for a trip to the Convention Center.

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Mon Feb 20, 2012 at 09:21 AM PST

Gazing backwards into the future

by LSophia

With all of this trumpeting from the right about how birth control is wrong and evil and shouldn’t be included in health care, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on what our future would really be like, if we woke up tomorrow and birth control was no longer an option.

[Disclaimers:  I am not a witch, nor do I play one on TV.  I make no attempt to predict the future.  This list is far from exhaustive and I would love to hear other peoples’ thoughts.  No animals were harmed in the writing of this post.  All standard contest rules apply. ]

Right.  Let’s carry on below the fold.

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Mon Jan 02, 2012 at 10:42 AM PST

The Root of Orthodoxy

by LSophia

After the most recent World News flare-up involving members of a religions trying to tell other members of religion that Their Way is Wrong, I decided to dig out my old theology student persona and do some research into the whole phenomenon of orthodoxy.
Orthodoxy originates from two Greek roots, which meandered to the Latin – “Ortho” meaning right or correct and “doxa,” which is defined as opinion.  (Thanks to Kimball Cross for the etymology correction!)

So, to be Orthodox might be defined as “having the right opinion” – except that isn’t its actual definition at all.  Merriam-Webster online defines is as “conforming to established doctrine, especially in religion,” or “of, relating to, or constituting any conservative religious or political groups.”

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Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:24 AM PDT

Thinking Ahead to 2016

by LSophia

With the Tea Party, the Republicans have an excellently-crafted, right-wing scare machine out there, designed to panic the left and make moderate Republicans, or even conservative Republicans with coherente messaging, look sane and reasonable.  What's a good Democratic answer to this?

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Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:55 PM PDT

To the leaders of the world...

by LSophia

Dear people with power:

This is a note from the approximately six billion or so of us who aren’t in charge. We aren’t CEOs. We aren’t even Vice Presidents. We aren’t holders of elected offices. We’re just ordinary folks, some employed, some not; some well-off, some not; some housed, some – not; some with health care, some – without. We’re the rest of the world, whom you seem to have conveniently forgotten - you know, the ones who grow your food, make your Kleenxes, open your limo doors, scrub your floors. THOSE people.

Here is our message for you. WE ARE TIRED.

…tired of seeing you and your cronies pocket 90% of the world’s wealth, while we fight over scraps.

…tired of seeing our neighbors die or dying ourselves of treatable, curable diseases, while drug company and insurance company executives’ bank accounts bloat

…tired of watching you poison our earth and gobble up the resources. Your grandchildren are going to need that stuff, too, you know. It's not just us.

…tired of watching you play golf while an entire country teeters on the brink

…tired of seeing bombs fall on innocent civilians, instead of going after the true targets – your cronies or straw men

…tired of sending our sons and daughters off to warfare to protect corporate special interests. Even if we get them back, they’re never the same

…tired of budgets that gut services to people who need them the most, conveniently ensuring that the vast majority of us will have to struggle to stay afloat and won’t have time to keep an eye on you

…tired of our so-called “free media” that refuses to hold you accountable and wastes our time on filler and nonsense

…tired of being lied to by the very people we are supposed to trust

…tired of seeing catastrophes eased off the front page (Haiti? New Zealand?) to make room for the celebrity tidbit-of-the-month

…tired of seeing true public servants pushed to the sidelines, mocked and denigrated, while corrupt sock puppets continue to game the system

…tired of wondering when our issues – jobs, economy, climate change, health care – will matter to any of you. If they ever will.

…tired of being ashamed of a country we used to love and whose principals we used to venerate

...tired of being pandered to for our votes and ignored the rest of the time.

...tired of leaders who mouth slogans and platitudes rather than take concrete action. Even more tired of false promises.

...tired of being afraid of what new catastrophe we'll face next

Please take note, leaders. You work for us. You may have forgotten this important point. Also, history is a b!tch – and karma is worse.

We are watching and taking notes. We would love to be surprised. We’re not counting on it. But, believe us, one day – in whatever form – you WILL be held accountable for what you do and don't do.

Please, shape up, do the right things, repair the broken systems and get back to work. Because, frankly, if we tick off the planet enough – and we may have already done so – there won’t be a future for any of us. Including you.

So, shut up and get on with it already. Thanks.

Love,

The Rest of Us

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Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 07:22 AM PST

2007: It's Clark vs. McCain

by LSophia

Another superb post from the always excellent Gordon Suber, cross-posted from Securing America.  (link to Gordon’s original post:  http://securingamerica.com/...

This is especially timely, as Bush is set to release his "new plan" this evening.  

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