Prop. 8

Okay, I can’t let go of this constitutional amendment declaring some people unequal. Thankfully, neither can the rest of the No on 8 people.

So, historically, in a democracy such as ours, people vote for representatives and for laws. But there is a check on the hateful, ignorant, or misguided attempts of one group to hurt another. When the people enact a law that goes against the principles of the Constitution, the judiciary backs us up and makes us take back the law and start over again.

So the people pass a law. The Supreme Court says, um, you can’t do that. It’s not constitutional. And the people are supposed to say, damn. I wish I could have it my way, but I respect the constitution. But now, in the era of executive dictatorship, the people write a Constitutional Amendment to make their unConstitutional law into an unchecked and unassailable law?

There was a time that Americans wrote laws saying it wasn’t okay for blacks to marry whites. And the Supreme Court said, um, you can’t do that because all people are equal.

And we are.

So now people write laws saying one man can’t marry another man and one woman can’t marry another woman. And the Supreme Court said, um, you can’t do that because all people are equal. And instead of saying, aw shucks, it sucks to live in a country where all people are equal but I guess I’ll have to, people then write a Constitutional Amendment and say all people are equal except people who love similarly gendered people?

How did 52% of Californians say that people aren’t equal if I don’t like who they are?

How did 52% of Californians say, if this law is un-Constitutional, let’s change the Constitution?

Some Americans used to say that blacks were not equal and shouldn’t have equal rights, and they were wrong. And now they say it about gays, and they’re wrong again.

Know what totally sucks? By percentages, in California it was overwhelmingly African Americans who voted that some people aren’t equal and shouldn’t get to marry.

That’s at least Alanis Morisette ironic, even if not literary ironic.

I mean, it’s not surprising that the Church is willing to be on the wrong side of a civil rights issue again. Religion has been the excuse for oppressing women and for enslaving human beings. So I’m not shocked that the church groups are pouring their tithed dollars into making their rules seem like the only rules that are acceptable. But African Americans turning around after having the civil right to marry whomever they want, and take that away from another group? Tsk tsk, Californians. Tsk tsk.

Don’t hold your breath on your high horse, there, Utah. We’ll undo this miscarriage of justice soon.

Real costs of doing business

You know what? It’s time for us to start paying what it costs to produce and ship the stuff we buy.

I’m sick of egg ranchers saying they can’t have cages big enough for the birds to turn around because eggs would be too expensive. Well, then, maybe we, as a nation, should buy fewer eggs. (Propostition 2 in California mandates that animals be able, int heir cages, tostand up, turn around or stretch. Egg producers are fighting the measure, saying they’ll all leave the state to continue cruel farming in other states. Won’t that make eggs more expensive because of shipping costs? Nope. I forgot that in this country gas is so cheap we can throw it away and not benefit financially from buying local.)

I’m tired of farmers saying they can’t pay workers a fair wage because strawberries and lettuce would be too expensive if they paid human beings what its worth to do backbreaking labor. Well, my friends, I would pick strawberries for a living if it paid well enough (I do pick enough each week to feed my berry-centric family), and I am willing to pay more for my strawberries because I want workers paid a living wage. I’m willing to pay a lot more because I can’t eat cheap strawberries without seeing the faces of families who can’t eat after a long day in the field because they’re not paid well enough.

I’m exasperated with fast food restaurants who say they can’t possibly raise minimum wage by a dollar because it would add two cents to the cost of a burger. Two cents. Yup, that would make people stop eating a quarter-pound of cow flesh-plus-feces, all right. Two cents.

I’m irritated that big agribusiness insists it has to modify and spray and innoculate and irradiate and otherwise alter food to make it cheaper. What about making it healthful? What about making it good or natural? What about paying a little more and eating a little less (and a little mroe wisely)?

No, I don’t want Americans to have to struggle to buy their food. But as it is, we’re not paying the real cost of food. We all need to be growing tomatoes on our patios and spinach instead of grass in our yards. Because underpaying businesses for their products means they underpay workers and abuse animals and the planet in the process.

Find out more about Prop 2 here: For yes and for no.

And perspective on the precious resources animals offer here.

And the real cost of strawberries here.