Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Think About It (and support The Mathew Shepard Act)

With a new administration headed by our noble president and statesman Barak Obama, isn't it high time we put some legal muscle up against hate crimes? Haters are the ultimate of bullies.

Speaking of bullying, recently an eleven year-old boy named Carl, from Springfield, Massachusetts took his own life after months of vicious bullying and repeated taunts that he was gay. Click here for a news story.

View this video narrated by Mathew Shepard's mom Judy, calling for action on the hate crimes legislation.
Below it is a legislative alert from Human Rights Campaign. Insert your own legislators in place of mine, John Olver. Click HERE for more information.

We've received word that the House will vote on the Matthew Shepard Act TOMORROW.

We also know far right groups are flooding Congress with calls, emails and sickening "fact sheets" claiming that sexual orientation means criminal acts like bestiality and necrophilia, and that this bill protects those behaviors. Shame on them.

We need more calls to Rep. John Olver, and we need them right away. So we've organized a national call-in campaign with dozens of organizations across the country – I hope you'll do your part.

It takes about 45 seconds. So set yourself a reminder on your phone. Stick a note to your computer. Or stop reading this and do it right now. Whatever you do, make sure to CALL REP. Olver TODAY.

If you've never called Congress, let me assure you, it's easy. And even if you have already sent an e-mail or called, please make another call – this is our LAST CHANCE before the House votes tomorrow!

1. Before 5 p.m. ET, call Rep. Olver's office at (202) 225-5335.
2. Most likely, one of Rep. Olver's interns will answer and ask where you're calling from and why. You're calling to urge the Representative to vote for the Matthew Shepard Act (H.R. 1913). Most calls end right there. But if you like, you can add:
* Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are on the rise. One out of every six hate crimes is because of the victim's sexual orientation.
* Hate crimes have more than one victim. They are intended to create an atmosphere of fear and terrorize entire communities.
* The Matthew Shepard Act targets only violent acts – not speech. It does not tell any clergy member what he or she can or can't preach.
* Mention that Rep. Olver's vote on this bill will affect your future support.
3. IMPORTANT: After you hang up, click here to let us know that you made the call. Don't skip this step! It helps us track our progress.

It's been 10 years since Matthew Shepard was murdered for being gay. Judy Shepard has fought for 10 years for this bill, and HRC has been by her side. It's been 10 years, and this is our chance to get the bill signed into law.

Unlike the other side, we can't use lies to win. We only have the truth – and the voices to speak it. Please make your phone call right now.

Then, please pass this email on to your friends and family.

Thank you for taking action.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Music for Sunday - Dinosaur Jr.

I've sneaked this in for you but please find the two photo posts of my visits to Amherst and Mount Holyoke College, below this!

I've been posting a lot about Amherst and surrounding towns of South Hadley (home of my daughter's school Mount Holyoke College) and I wanted to tie a local band to the whole thing. I thought about The Neilds who are local folk due. They're excellent. But my favorite Five College Band is Dinosaur Jr. which hatched at my alma-mater UMASS.

This is actually a prett laid back performance from frontman J Mascis and his band. You're lucky I didn't try to make you listen to one of many earspliting clips from their performances at clubs in the area.

This clip shows the campus pond and the area around it where concerts are held. This is an old one; before J Masic and I went totally grey. Dinosaur Jr. is UMASS all-over. Though the kids over there have gotten either all tatted up or very preppy clean-cut. Where's the revolutionary spirit? ;-) It's all a grand conspiracy, I tell ya!

Looks like I'm a Valley Girl for the long-haul. I can imagine all sorts of places I want to travel to. But I can't imagine not coming home to The Pioneer Valley.

Shadow Shot Sunday & Part Two of my Amherst/Mount Holyoke College Day Trip

See Part One here.

Shadow Shot Sunday is being brought you to by The Pagan Sphinx blog this week, for a change of pace.

I went down to Mount Holyoke to surprise my daughter (SG1) and DIL (The Beloved) with a visit and maybe lunch and stopped several places along the way to take pictures. But there are just too many stops and too many photographs to document them, I'll post these for Tracey's Shadow Shot meme. I eventually meandered my way down to the campus. It was like summer today. Sunny and clear and hot. The First day all week that's been really nice.

During one of my stops, I discovered I'd forgotten my cell phone and couldn't call the girls to tell them I was in the area. So went about getting lunch on North Pleasant Street.

click on all photos to enlarge to a nice size

and ate it on a bench in front of this fountain. After lunch,I continued to travel through downtown traffic and down rt. 116 to my daughter's campus to look for her, sans cell phone. But not before I stopped and snapped these photos.
Mary Lyon Hall

Iron fence shadow in front of Mary Lyon Hall on the Mount Holyoke College campus
South Hadley, Massachusetts
I then came upon this festive scene. Nice but it will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack with all these kids spread out over the expansive lawn

But there they were! So I asked them to pose, which they did with ease, dontach think? :)

My girl is radiantly happy. It's spring. She turned in her thesis today and she's in love.

Thanks, Tracey from Melbourne, for hosting Shadow Shot Sunday

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