Friday, August 6, 2010

Odds and Ends...

While everyone is still agog over the throwing out of Prop 8 in California on Wednesday and the Senate’s confirmation of Elena Kagan as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday, we should take a deep breath and take the time to tidy up all those tidbits that have been piling up on our desktop.  But before we leave the Prop 8 issue, we must note one Big Voice not heard from, viz. the President’s.  He let David Axelrod speak for him.  In The Caucus, the NYTimes’s political blog, reporter Sarah Wheaton quoted Obama advisor David Axelrod’s “on-the-one-hand-this-and-the-other-hand-that” comments when he appeared on WNBC on Thursday morning.  [Here]
The president opposed Proposition 8 at the time [that it was passed]...He felt that it was divisive. He felt that it was mean-spirited.   [However] The president does oppose same-sex marriage, but he supports equality for gay and lesbian couples in benefits and other issues.  Mr. Axelrod noted that Mr. Obama backs civil unions.
Wow.  Can someone explain to me how a person can oppose same-sex marriage but supporst gay/lesbian couples “in benefits and other issues?”  What exactly does this mean and what exactly is it that the President objects to?  Is it the actual ceremony with two same-sex folks holding hands?  Is this what offends him?  Or is he speaking for God?
Taylor Marsh titled her Thursday’s post about Obama’s position on the subject “How to Make a Presidential Statement Without Doing Anything.”  Yes, indeed.  The gay and progressive/liberal community deserve better.  With Obama’s favorable opinion poll ratings below 50%, he needs all the support he can get.  He shouldn’t take his base and its enthusiasm for granted.  He’ll need all the help he can get in 2012.
Now, to my desktop:  On Wednesday the President awarded the Citizen’s Medal to 13 honorees.  In his remarks the President noted that women outnumbered the men this year.  Indeed!  In the Washington Post’s coverage of the story, only two men and one woman were profiled in the story.  When I looked at the list of those honored this year, I found there were 13 in all, 2 men and 11 women.  Both of the men were profiled at length but only one of the woman.  Sigh.  Some things never change, do they?
In our last item today we should note that there is another young woman setting out to circumnavigate the world.  [Here]  This time it is a 14-year-old Dutch youngster, Laura Dekker.  She set out from the Dutch harbor of Den Osse in her red 38-foot two-masted ketch named Guppy with her father aboard, bound for Portugal.  From there she plans to leave her father and to circumnavigate the globe--alone.  She and her family first had to win a legal battle with Dutch officials who were concerned that she was too young.  The legal battles delayed the start of her journey.  She now has a sturdier boat.  During her legal battles she proved her prowess to Dutch officials by sailing to England alone.
Remember Abby Sunderland?  She is that marvelous American 16-year-old who was sailing around the world until her boat was battered by a violent storm in the Indian Ocean and a rogue wave demasted her sloop.  I found Abby’s blog and her new blog entry about fellow skipper, Laura Dekker,  [Here]
I admire Laura's spirit - it would be hard not to for anyone who has followed her story.  I'd just like to wish Laura the best of luck and a word of advice from a sixteen year old sailor (though I doubt she needs it) have fun! Live life the best you can. There's no time like now so take all the opportunities you get.
On that wonderful message from one courageous young woman to another, we’ll close and pick up more desktop bits tomorrow.
Bon Voyage, Laura...

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