Reverend Lowery’s Moving Benediction

Posted January 21, 2009 by apartment1d
Categories: Activism, GLBT, News and Current Events, Social Justice

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Reverand Lowery’s Benediction (transcript, video) on the occasion of Barack Obama’s historic Inauguration lit a fire in my heart and my soul.

The man spoke from his guts. He used straightforward language, and he wasn’t afraid to say what was on his mind. Don’t call him a racist or a man who is stuck in the past; he is a national hero.

A lot of people want to sit on their laurels and celebrate the election of a black man to the highest office in this country. It is a noble accomplishment, and it is something which I hope will be remembered for a very long time. It is something I will tell my children about with pride, and that I will always look towards as a sign of hope and possibility.

But there is still a lot of suffering and discrimination in this world, and in this country. People are put down and kept down for reasons of race, religion, gender, sexuality and creed. Bigotry and hatred persist in this country despite the hard work of men like Reverend Lowery.

There are over 1,000 laws in this country that apply to heterosexual married couples, but do not apply to same-gender couples who are denied the right to marry. Muslim men and women are discriminated, stereotyped and racially profiled everywhere they go. People are judged by the color of their skin, their dress, and their speech. People are not judged by the content of their character.

Rev. Lowery’s words were stirring. He used terms and expressions I would not feel comfortable using, but which he was able to deftly disarm. He was charming, witty, and inspiring. I was lifted by his words like no one elses since Dr. King.

Twitter is for Losers Like Me

Posted January 21, 2009 by apartment1d
Categories: Mind Dump, News and Current Events, Pop Culture, Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

I love telling people that they can follow me on twitter – on twitter I’m known as apt1d.

I love checking every couple of minutes to see if anyone new is following. I’m desperate for replies or direct messages. I seek the approval of hundreds of strangers who are no more talented than I am . I have no financial reward in store for the recognition I crave. I have nothing to gain by having 10,000 followers, but I am obsessed with chasing that goal.

I write blog posts about things I find interesting, but I allow the quality of my content to be determined by the amount of hits it gets. I try to adapt my posts to solicit comments. I am in need of web 2.0 attention.

It’s all a load of bupkiss isn’t it? What’s the point of all this connecting and linking? How much can I learn from 140 characters? Is anyone showing who they really are, or is everyone simply a facade?

I’ll continue on Twitter as I always have, but I don’t know why. I’ll continue posting to my blog, but only because I like writing. I hope I can get over this addiction; I hope we all do.

Good Riddens Caroline Kennedy

Posted January 21, 2009 by apartment1d
Categories: General, News and Current Events, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The news broke just now: Caroline Kennedy has told Gov. Paterson to withdraw her name from consideration for Hillary Clinton’s NY seat in the US Senate.

It is time to get rid of this woman. She is not qualified to be a U.S. Senator. She comes from a very important family, but she does not deserve to be given this position without having to prove herself. If she wants to be Senator, and people believe in her, then let her run during an election, and be vetted by the public.

Polls have been showing that Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Attorney General, is the preferred choice of the citizens of New York.

I don’t care if she says it’s because of her sick uncle (may he recover speedily), as long as she pulls herself out of the running. This state deserves more.

Disturbed and Disappointed by My Fellow Zionists

Posted January 21, 2009 by apartment1d
Categories: Activism, News and Current Events

Tags: , , , , ,

For months now, I have been receiving emails from a woman named Chana who represented the Web site I always assumed they were filled with nice messages about the Land of Israel, and I simply never clicked on any of the articles because I didn’t have the time.

Today I saw a video link in the email titled “Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem #25: Peace Now VS. Hebron.” Now I was intrigued for a minute because Peace Now is an organization I have been thinking of getting involved with for a while. I believe very strongly that Israel needs to evacuate Jews from the West Bank, and move towards an immediate two-state solution.

I watched the video, and was horrified by what I saw. Two men were standing on a stage speaking in English to a crowd of people. They tried to play it off like a weird mix between SNL and the Late Night Show. In truth they came across like televangelists of the worst kind. They had a room full of sheep that were baying at their every word.

They explained that they believe the Hebron was, and always should be, an important place for Jews to live. After the applause from the audience, they took a man-on-the-street approach, and went to visit both a Peace Now rally, and the settler neighborhood in Hebron.

I was so disturbed by the slanted position they took to this video. The blatant editing tactics designed to change the meaning of someones words were nauseating. The biased questions and unfair approach to the attendees of the Peace Now rally was stupefying. The positive slant to present the settlers as peaceful and the activists as violent was shockingly upside-down.

But I guess I don’t know what else I can expect. When people take their religious beliefs and insert them into the political arena, dangerous things can happen. The extremist settlers living in the West Bank need to leave. They need to recognize the humanity of the Palestinian people, and their right to self-determination. They need to give up their dreams of a Biblical Israel, and settle (no pun intended) for something within the 1949 borders.

Enough is enough. President Obama will hopefully put pressure on the Israeli government to force out the settlers, and that will hopefully put an end to this whole thing. Until then, I will be avoiding like the plague.

Props to PeTA

Posted January 20, 2009 by apartment1d
Categories: Activism, Fun and Light Hearted, News and Current Events, Pop Culture

Tags: , , ,

This is not something I will do often. As much of an advocate for animal rights as I may be, I disagree with a lot of the stances and tactics of the organization known as PeTA.

I was talking to a few friends over the weekend, and we concluded that PeTA would respond to the Miracle on the Hudson by claiming that modern air travel is cruel and insensitive to the needs of migratory birds.

We expected pictures of charred and bloodied goose remains to be plastered all over the Web site, and for Hero, Captain “Sully” Sullivan, to be lambasted as an animal killing monster.

Kudos to PeTA for recognizing the bigger picture here, and, so far, not putting anything like that up on your site.

Wanted: Palestinian MLK

Posted January 20, 2009 by apartment1d
Categories: Israel, News and Current Events, Social Justice

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Today marked the ceremonial celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. King lead the non-violent civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

I have read many of King’s writings, and I can’t stop thinking how much of his message for racial equality in the United States would have applied to what is going on right now between Israelis and Palestinians. His message of hope is something that is still relevant today to people he may never have even thought about.

“And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing…” (I Have a Dream, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Dr. King is not just inspirational to blacks. He can be important to non-Americans. His message is transferable and translatable. Everyone has something to learn from his empowering message.

The Palestinian people need to find a leader like MLK. They need someone who will speak of tolerance and equality. They need someone who will denounce violence, and promote love and togetherness.

Too many leaders in the Arab world are calling for violence and the destruction of Israel. Some of the things that have happened in the last few weeks have been catastrophic. I don’t blame Palestinians or other Arabs for being angry. I’m deeply troubled by the deaths hundreds of innocent civilians.

But what we can’t do is lose sight of the big picture. For years there have been vocal liberal leaders in Israel that are demanding a swift and peaceful resolution to this impasse. I want to hear a Palestinian leader who is calling for a two-state solution. I want to hear Palestinian leaders calling for the equality of human rights that both Palestinians and Israelis equally share. I want to hear from Imam King.

I have a hope that Barack Obama will do a lot from Washington to finally bring peace to Israel and Palestine, but we need someone on the inside. Today is the inauguration of a new US President, and today is the day for all Jews, all Arabs, and all citizens of the world to stand up and call for a more peaceful tomorrow.

What is the best secret on HULU?

Posted January 17, 2009 by apartment1d
Categories: Pop Culture

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I am obsessed with HULU. I have a moral problem with downloading shows from these bit-torrent sites, and I was so happy to find out that a legit legal site was out there for people like me who are obsessed with television.

My wife and I don’t have cable, so all we get are the basic network channels, TBS, and the Food Network. I need an outlet for more television. HULU has been my savior, and my love affair. It has been my partner during dish-washing, and my distraction when I should be doing work.

I have a feeling that there are a lot of shows out there on HULU that are amazing, but I haven’t found yet. Not even to mention all of the movies that are on there as well.

The obvious gems that I watch religiously on HULU are:

30 Rock

The Office

The Daily Show

The Colbert Report

I have been watching Fringe this season, Prison Break, and even got hooked onto the first season of 24 (they only have the first five episodes!)

Just today my friends told me to check out It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and I’m already loving it after two episodes.

So what are you watching on HULU? What have you found to be the best out there?