Friday, December 17, 2010

This Victory is Also Personal

1) Reaching 2,000 views on this blog! Hard to say how many of those are me, but still, exciting!

2) I really love what this choir teacher is doing for his kids. Check out their songs. (The hipster/Earlhamite in my really loves their version of MGMT's "Kids." They even do the hipster fist in the air dance in the beginning. Wonderful). It's clear that his song choices are made with the kids' interests in mind, but also, he's somehow empowering them to be incredibly expressive and uninhibited, without being tied down by middle school pressure to look disinterested and too cool for school. Well done.
Also, remember the video I posted a while ago of Greyson Chance singing Paparazzi at his middle school talent show? Well yeah, that kid is super famous now, and coming out with his own album, and here he is singing with PS22.
(PS: Looking at this guy's blog, I realized that PS22 did the refrain for the Passion Pit song "Little Secrets," one of my favorite songs from the past few years, and possibly one of my favorite songs ever!)

3) We had a really great, but really exhausting, retreat this weekend. My housemates/coworkers have all gone home for the holidays already, but I have to stick around for work at the diner. So I've given myself the day off. It's a sick day without being sick! I should clean, go the bank, take out the compost, respond to e-mails, get dressed, but today I'm giving myself permission to not do any of those things unless I feel like it! It's wonderful. I've been eating vegan mac and cheese in bed and watching Battlestar Galactica.

4) Every once and a while, Saturday Night Live still come up with some gems.

5) Getting home to find this in my inbox (I cried a little):
Friend --
Moments ago, the Senate voted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed.
Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are.
The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one.
This victory belongs to you. Without your commitment, the promise I made as a candidate would have remained just that.
Instead, you helped prove again that no one should underestimate this movement. Every phone call to a senator on the fence, every letter to the editor in a local paper, and every message in a congressional inbox makes it clear to those who would stand in the way of justice: We will not quit.
This victory also belongs to Senator Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and our many allies in Congress who refused to let politics get in the way of what was right.
Like you, they never gave up, and I want them to know how grateful we are for that commitment.
As Commander in Chief, I fought to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" because it weakens our national security and military readiness. It violates the fundamental American principles of equality and fairness.
But this victory is also personal.
I will never know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation.
But I know my story would not be possible without the sacrifice and struggle of those who came before me -- many I will never meet, and can never thank.
I know this repeal is a crucial step for civil rights, and that it strengthens our military and national security. I know it is the right thing to do.
But the rightness of our cause does not guarantee success, and today, celebration of this historic step forward is tempered by the defeat of another -- the DREAM Act. I am incredibly disappointed that a minority of senators refused to move forward on this important, commonsense reform that most Americans understand is the right thing for our country. On this issue, our work must continue.
Today, I'm proud that we took these fights on.
Thank you,
Barack


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