Sunday, January 10, 2010


California: The Ultimate Battleground?

I am beginning to see speculation in the press and on the web that what happens in California may not stay in California--the issue, of course, is same-sex marriage.

Should the ruling in California go against Prop 8 thereby reinstating gay marriage, the expectation is that the various groups who stand against gay rights will form a coalition and appeal right up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court could--COULD--deliver a ruling that would go beyond California and either establish gay marriage across the length and breadth of the United States--or do the other thing entirely. So, either the long, arduous process of going state by state would be averted, or we could lose everything some Monday later this year and watch the victory laps of those who would oppress gays and lesbians.

It's a serious question--and risk--because there is a majority of Roman Catholic Justices sitting on the bench at this time, at least one well-known homophobe among them, and the Vatican, which is denying the sacraments to Patrick Kennedy for his support of a woman's right to choose, has no hesitation in imposing itself on the American legislative and judicial process.


For all my worry, the wine glass rack went up without incident. I marked and drilled four holes, hitting solid wood each time. With the ceiling hooks firmly anchored I hung the rack, filled it with glasses, and we lived with it for the evening and the next morning.

At that time, we both decided it was riding too low, so I removed two links from each chain. I also added a brace made of a nice piece of scrap oak because the rack had developed a noticeable sag during the night. The woodworking site on the web from which I ordered the rack makes them out of clear pine, but the runners going the length of the rack are not particularly hefty and weren't strong enough to carry seven slots of glasses without forming a dip in the middle. I don't think I'll be ordering from them again.

The piece of oak turned out to be seven inches longer than the rack. My plan was to trim off the excess and center it lengthwise at 90 degrees to the slots in which the glasses hang. But I happened to lay the piece on top of the rack so that it overhung on each side and liked the look, as well as having a place from which to hang drying herbs and clusters of garlic bulbs. When we're putting recipes together on the island below, we'll just have to reach up a little to get some of the seasonings.


It's MY sofa!


Anne Frank diary guardian Miep Gies dies aged 100
From BBC News

Miep Gies, the last surviving member of the group who helped protect Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis, has died in the Netherlands aged 100. She and other employees of Anne Frank's father Otto supplied food to the family as they hid in a secret annex above the business premises in Amsterdam, from 1942 to 1944.

Anne's diary of their life in hiding, which ended in betrayal, is one of the most famous records of the Holocaust. It was rescued by Mrs Gies, who kept it safe until after the war. She died in a nursing home after suffering a fall just before Christmas.

Speaking last year as she celebrated her 100th birthday, Mrs Gies played down her role, saying others had done far more to protect Jews in the Netherlands.

When the family were found by the authorities, they were deported, and Anne died of typhus in the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.

It was Mrs Gies who collected up Anne's papers and locked them away, hoping that one day she would be able to give them back to the girl. In the event, she returned them to Otto Frank, who survived the war, and helped him compile them into a diary that was published in 1947. It went on to sell tens of millions of copies in dozens of languages.

Mrs Gies became a kind of ambassador for the diary, travelling to talk about Anne Frank and her experiences, campaigning against Holocaust denial and refuting allegations that the diary was a forgery. For her efforts to protect the Franks and to preserve their memory, Mrs Gies won many accolades

In an interview from 1998, published on the annefrank website, Miep Gies says she thought it "perfectly natural" to help Anne and the seven others despite the penalties she could have suffered under the Nazi occupation. "They were powerless, they didn't know where to turn..." she says. "We did our duty as human beings: helping people in need."

Mrs Gies also remembers the day the Franks were taken away and how she went up into the empty annex to find the pages of the diary lying on the floor. Removing the pages, she did not read them immediately, telling herself at the time: "These may belong to a child, but even children have a right to privacy."


Fritz and I have put on hold for a while our plans to take down this year's Christmas tree. We had a great time putting the two sections up, all our friends and family had a great time with it, the birds love the outside section and the cat has a great time watching them just a couple of inches from the glass. It's being well watered and remains supple, so there's no great fire danger. We'll probably get to it this weekend--reluctantly, to be sure.

We had the same reaction to our Christmas tree--even if it was a much less elaborate affair than yours!

Christmas holds special meaning for us. My partner, being Japanese, is no stranger to gaudy Christmas trimmings, but celebrating Christmas with a genuine "Christian" is a source of wonder and delight to him.
We'll all be watching the California case closely. Something's gotta give.

The glass rack looks great, but you didn't post a photo with the new brace! (did you? did I miss it?)
Will, you have expressed my entire concern about the CA's truly a life changing event unfolding. WELL SAID, and thank you for reminding me that we ALL should be paying attention.
Re: your tree - certain liturgical mavens argue that the Christmas season lasts for 40 days until Candlemas, February 2nd. So just say that you're keeping the tree up until the Feast of the Holy Woodchuck...

cheers from Boston - Joan R
I think your wine glass rack is lovely.
I do not have hopes for California etc.
I think that your analysis of the California situation is pretty much on target. After wrestling with how I felt about the decision to pursue the lawsuit, I have decided that I'm glad they are going for it. It's a significant risk- but important gains are not made without significant risks.
We took our tree down this past weekend. It's always such a let down - looks so bare afterward.

I like you wine rack. You're so handy. I would have hired someone to do it.

Interesting about California.
It will be *fun* watching elderly heterosexuals decide this issue. I'm not very hopeful, but then I've already solved problem in my life. Everyone should just apply to move to Canada in protest. I actually got in because of our relationship whereas Serge is prevented from living in the US BECAUSE of it.
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