Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm ashamed of my city and university

I live in Davis, California and did graduate studies at UC Davis. UC Davis has been in the news lately for the infamous pepper spraying of students for peacefully protesting and refusing to leave. You may have heard about this or seen the video. I haven't been able to watch the video. This is so unlike Davis and UC Davis. But the administration must feel threatened by protesters and overreacted. UC Davis has a history of permitting protests, so what happened this time? The chancellor of UCD is Greek, and according to a fellow Greek professor, Greece has a long history of accepting student protests, so she should understand that students protest and that's normal. A violent reaction to a non-violent protest is outrageous. In the 1960s during the student protests throughout the country, the chancellor at that time met with the students, talked with them, arranged meetings to hear their grievances and never over-reacted. I signed a petition asking the chancellor to resign and I encourage others to sign one as well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

another step on Prop 8

Today the California State Supreme Court ruled that the backers of Prop 8 do have state standing to defend Prop 8 in court. So the case goes back to the Ninth Circuit court for a hearing on December 8. As I understand it, the judges will decide if the backers of Prop 8 have federal standing and will also decide on the merits of the case. Legal matters seem to take forever.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Leo has had a busy day today."

That was how the lady working the desk in the principal's office in Leo's school greeted Christopher when he went to pick Leo up yesterday. (He was picking Leo up for an appointment, and the school policy is that the parent goes to the principal's office and the staff call the classroom to have the child sent to the office.) As all parents would when hearing that comment from the school office, Christopher braced himself for bad news, thinking "What has he done?" Well, it turns out that it wasn't anything bad at all. Leo had dragged one of the ladies from the cafeteria to the principal's office with him and wanted to complain about the choices in the cafeteria. (How did he convince the "lunch lady" as he calls her to come with him? He is persuasive though.) He wants to bring back the pesto pasta salad that he says all the kids like and get rid of some onion dish that has replaced it. So the office told him to start a petition to change the lunch options and have others sign it, which he did. He told me that he had 60 kids sign the petition, while Christopher says that he only saw 25 signatures on the petition. Either way, the office staff, Christopher and I are all proud of his determination. I encourage him to change the world when he can. Maybe he is an activist. Will I soon see him joining Occupy Wall Street?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Respect for Marriage Act

Yesterday the US Senate's Judiciary Committee approved the Respect for Marriage Act, which will repeal the section of the inappropriately named Defense of Marriage Act that prevents the federal government from recognizing valid same sex marriages. It was a 10 to 8 party line vote in the committee, with the Democrats voting for it and the Republicans opposed. I am proud that Dianne Feinstein of California sponsored the bill. The arguments that the Republicans made were offensive and lame. The bill will probably not come up for a vote in the full Senate, but this is a positive step. I want my government to acknowledge my marriage.

Also in the elections on Tuesday in a state Senate race in Iowa the Democrat won, thus continuing the Democratic control of the chamber. This is important because the majority leader, Mike Gronstal, has promised not to allow the Constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality to come to a vote while he is the majority leader.

On a personal note, my son Leo advanced from level 6 to level 7 in his swim lessons. In this level he will learn the butterfly. I'm proud of his accomplishment, since he now swims better than I do.

I also didn't realize how long it had been since I posted here. I'll try to check in more often.