Sunday, November 9, 2008

YES WE DID!! And Did Not!

Tuesday night was a bit crazy at our house. No, the Lady Vols were not taking Dad Ed out of his fall Volunteer coma. And no, Dad Steve was not watching a replay of the 1994 Razorback NCAA basketball championship. We were watching Barack become our president. It was awesome! A few friends came over to watch the results, Dad Ed was watching while tracking results on his laptop and the chew treats and goodies were flying all over the place for me and the Foster Goofus! I knew it must be a good night.

So just after 10 or so, it was over! Obamamania was going strong and finally it seemed every American would have voice (unlike the past eight years -- four of which I can testify to!). It was a good night. I saw some tears of joy from Dad Ed all night. He has been a bit of a basket case for the past few months over the election. So this was a special night for him. When Aunt Elaine (his sister) called, Dad went outside and was tore up something big! I've never seen him so emotional. It was actually nice to see all the months of his worrying, donating and passionately supporting Obama pay off. So I suppose "YES WE CAN" became "YES WE DID." Or did we?

It seems something just as important as the election of our new leader was happening on the west coast. A group of Americans were being denied their god given right to be equal in the eyes of the law. Proposition 8 in California narrowly passed that denies gay Americans the right to marry that is afforded to all other Americans. I listened closely to the discussion and wondered "how could people who saw the light in electing a man of inclusion, diversity, love and peace reject the rights of so many? Well, rather than me ramble for a while, I'll leave you with a blog entry Dad and I found from Melissa Etheridge, a wonderful artist and singer who is also denied the same rights as my Dads. It speaks volumes and makes you ask yourself a few questions. And most importantly it makes it clear to those who oppose my Dads equal rights that gay Americans are not going away – they will fight like hell for our rights. No stopping them! They are Americans! YES WE CAN!! YES WE DID!! And YES WE WILL!!

Melissa’s Speaks

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One More Day

Well, as the last weekend before the 2008 election comes to an end, I felt it important to reflect a bit on what my takeaways were of this historical presidential election.

First, let me get this out of the way. Neither campaign -- and I mean neither has talked about what they will do for those poor little homeless pups walking the streets of this fine nation. Nope -- nothing. Instead, we continue to rely on the wonderful people at the ASPCA and those struggling and underfunded shelters that help pups find homes. This said, I'll simply ask that our next president do the right thing and make a statement in support of these organizations AND most importantly demand harsher federal punishment for individuals involved in animal cruelty.

Now, onto the choice that is front of the American voter. It's no mystery as to my political leanings and preference. If the past eight years taught Americans one thing it is "ruling" a free nation with lies and deceit while putting greed in front of the needs of hard working citizens should never be allowed again. This dark period in our history is thankfully coming to an end. I'll refrain from asking those who helped elect and re-elect this embarrassment of an administration how they feel now. Rather, I'll ask them to "think" -- and "think" very hard about the direction this country is headed, and how we right the ship. Forget the ridiculous need for a $600 check that will do nothing but maybe help Wal-Mart sell more cheap overseas-made goods. Forget the thought that "when republicans are in power the stock market is better." HA! And forget the idea that keeping gays from marrying, making stem cell research illegal and eliminating the rights of women somehow trumps the needs of keeping and creating jobs, educating our children, keeping our nation secure and fixing our reputation around the world -- they do not!

America, this election is about our livelihoods -- here at home and abroad. It is about restoring the world's faith in our nation and about each and every person no matter their race, sex, religion, national origin, sexual preference or number of rescue dogs owned having the opportunity to live happy and successful lives.

Maybe it would help if you looked at things from my perspective. You see, I've actually be shielded from the horror that many now feel as a result of eight years of terrible government that forced their lives to change, and not for the better. I live in a home that is on a fixed mortgage. I do not have to wonder if Dads have to choose between feeding me and getting me my monthly heart worm pill. When I was stung by a bee, my Dads took me to the doctor because we could afford it (that's insurance for me!). And get this, my two parents -- are both Dads. We are a family. We do not hurt any "traditional" families. In fact some pups with one Mom and one Dad actually let us play with them -- novel idea, isn't it? All this is to say, I'm fortunate to live the life that all Americans should have the opportunity to live. And to do this my friends, I simply ask you to look at the two tickets running and imagine this nation four years from now. Which one gives us hope and opportunity, and which one continues to play on false fears that do nothing but drive a wedge between two Americas. Do not get it wrong this time. Do not return to the days of promoting the haves at the expense of the have nots. When you walk into the voting both ask yourself "what moves my family closer to the life of Arlie Rufus; that sounds pretty damn good to me!"


Arlie Rufus