Saturday, October 25, 2008

Prop 8

The Advocate online
October 24, 2008
Poll: Likely Voters Oppose Prop. 8 But by Slimmer Margins
A new poll released Wednesday found that California’s gay marriage ban, Proposition 8, is losing among likely voters 52% to 44%.

But comparing those results to previous polls conducted by the same organization indicates that the margin is tightening, not widening. Last month, likely voters said they would vote against the measure 55% to 41%, and in August likely voters opposed it 55% to 40%. Support for Prop. 8 among Republicans has risen to 70%, up from 62% in September; and Democrats now oppose the initiative by only 67%, down from 71% last month.

In the presidential race, Sen. Barack Obama’s lead over Sen. John McCain has grown to 23 points (56% to 33%), a 13-point gain since September.

The new statewide telephone survey of 2,004 adult residents was conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California from October 12-19 and the margin of error among the poll’s 1,186 likely voters is +/- 3%.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gay Marriage in California

photo after our marriage in Long Beach, Ca. with friends and family around the cake.
Go to this Time article on The Gay Marriage proposition 8 in California,8599,1852263,00.html?imw=Y

The article gives a history of states that have passed similar propositions against Gay Marriage including Hawaii. The Supreme court decision in California by a Republican led State Supreme Court was far reaching. more far reaching than any other court which has issued a decision on the matter of the right to Gay Marriage as well as takes a stand o all forms of discrimination against Lesbian and Gay folk.

As one who married my Lesbian partner of 37 years twice, once in SF in 2004 which was voided and then again in August 2008, we are hoping proposition 8 will be defeated. We also do not understand how a State Supreme Court decision can be overturned. We are told even if the yes votes win, our marriage and others who married under the new State law will be recognized as valid. If this becomes reality, it seems a major contradiction and discrepancy of the law to allow some and not all who want to have a same sex marraige legally sanctioned. This whole thinking leaves many of us stupefied and confused.
Any legal minds out there who can explain what is going on here?

Sharon Raphael, Long Beach
Married legally Aug. 24th by a designated County official who is also a friend. It was a non-religious ceremony though many of my friends have been married by Rabbis and MInisters after obtaining the prescribed paperwork at the LA County offices in Norwalk, Ca.

Monday, October 20, 2008

W. the Movie: It wasn't funny

I just came back from seeing ( W. ) the new movie release directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stanley Weiser. It wasn't funny but it was worth seeing. Oliver Stone and the writer tried to get inside George W. Bush's head and in some ways may have succeeded in developing a picture of a driven man who can't live up to his father's expectations and even after becoming President is haunted by his Father's real and his own fantasy of his Father's disdain for him. James Cromwell is one of my favorite actors, has always been, and he did a great job of playing George Herbert Walker Bush, Senior. Every movement and close look into his face exuded the senior Bush. In comparison to his son, Bush the senior comes off as a decent man though in an odd way the son appears to be trying his best to outsmart his Dad, to be better than him, to win and take over Iraq like his Father didn't. He is depicted as a not so bright fellow who is misled by his advisers especially Cheney and Wolfowitz, the true believers in the notion that the USA must "own" the world. Not sure why I put own in quotes as these men really want a take over of every aspect of the MIddle East so they can control the oil production in name of "freedom and democracy". Now that really should be in quotes. Josh Brolin does a good job of making Bush come to life. At times, it is hard to separate fact from fiction as he does achieve a look alike quality especially when Brolin is in motion. But also there are shots that make them seem like look alikes too. But something is missing and it is not Brolin's acting ,it is in the script. Bush still remains a mystery of sorts. The jocular nature of Bush is left out. Perhaps, if that was kept in, W would seem more evil because of the contrast.

I hated the way Condi Rice was depicted, as a yes woman who had no mind of her own. I rather think she probably believed in the road she was traveling but I doubt she could have gotten as far as she did at Stanford and in her rise to Secretary of State by never questioning anything and acting like a servant of Bush and that alone. In spite of the fact, I despise all of these war mongers including Rice, I found the depiction too rough and quite sexist but perhaps, I do not know of what I speak. The truth is Bush Junior comes off as a pathetic figure. His only slight hesitation with signing off the documents that gave the military and intelligence people the right to torture suspects was explained away by his equating this newish kind of "sophisticated" torture with the hazing he received when he was a fraternity boy at Yale. Quite an insightful correlation and probably right on at least in part.

The truth is Bush is not really depicted as a stupid man but as a shallow person not used to probing anything very deeply.
Not one to see every side of an issue. Colin Powell tries to explain his side of it, trying to prevent the NeoCons from declaring War but fails miserably as he is alone in his great hesitation, outnumbered and outmaneuvered. He is a pathetic figure in my mind. Not eloquent, rather stumbling in his efforts. Just not loud enough on some level though he bangs his hand on the table and scares Connie Rice as a result of his physical gesture. I felt the portrayal did not reflect the Colin Powell I am used to seeing on the news. One reviewer said that Thandie Newton who played Connie Rice looked just like her. I didn't think so. She was too young and her physicality was somehow different less than in my opinion. Laura Bush is insipid and irrelevant and that depiction of her is probably correct though I think she was played "too young" as was Connie Rice's role and character too. This was because the actresses were caste "too young". By making them so young, the consequence was to also make them appear smaller and more irrelevant than I think is reality.

If Oliver Stone intended for this movie to make me come away hating Bush for his terrible misdeeds, I did not. I came away more angry at a public that elected this misbegotten figure. Cromwell's character was the only one that had real depth and seemed bigger than life, well Cromwell is a towering figure but Cromwell achieved something bigger than that- I think it will be an Oscar. Too bad the overall movie doesn't have the same overall strength.

The baseball analogy that is used throughout the movie, showing W playing ball and trying to catch the ball in different scenes
didn't do it for me. It was as if Bush was trying very hard in his own mind to be a good President, a son who makes it in his Dad's eyes and good Christian since his recovery from alcohol addiction (what happened to the drugs)? and his Born Again transformation. There is something pathetic about the whole business of George W and there is the rub, maybe this version is just too hard to take. As I said there was nothing funny about this movie.

P.S. Ellen Burstyn does a good job of portraying Barbara Bush but she does it in a somewhat positive light. You find Barbara Bush to be sensitive to her husband's need less so regarding her son. She even engages in self criticism, says W. is like her, they both say too much, don't censor enough something like that. After her history, calling HIllary "a bitch'. belittling Katrina survivors by suggesting they were having a good time in a Texas stadium used as a refuge for them as compared to their own homes. Seeing Barbara Bush as a nice Southern lady supporting her nice man and acting rather normal was a hard pill to swallow. What was Oliver Stone trying to convey about any of these women in the movie? I think he saw all of them as totally irrelevant.

Sharon Raphael