June 2005

Save NPR and PBS!

from Moveon.org:

You know that email petition that keeps circulating about how Congress is slashing funding for NPR and PBS? Well, now it’s actually true. (Really. Check at the bottom if you don’t believe me.)

Sign the petition telling Congress to save NPR and PBS:

http://www.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

A House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for NPR and PBS, starting with “Sesame Street,” “Reading Rainbow,” and other commercial-free children’s shows. If approved, this would be the most severe cut in the history of public broadcasting, threatening to pull the plug on Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch.

The cuts would slash 25% of the federal funding this year—$100 million—and end funding altogether within two years. The loss could kill beloved children’s shows like “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” “Arthur,” and “Postcards from Buster.” Rural stations and those serving low-income communities might not survive. Other stations would have to increase corporate sponsorships.

Already, 300,000 people have signed the petition. Can you help us reach 400,000 signatures today?

http://www.moveon.org/publicbroadcasting/

Politics

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Honeysuckle Jasmine

Jasmine

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Disintegration

With shaking hands I unlocked the rent-a-pontiac got inside, turned the ingnition and slowly backed out of my parents driveway. Tried the best fake smile I could muster and waved to my Mom in the driveway as I made my way up the road. Then did a pretty good job, I think, from not breaking down completely.

It’s a very hard thing to watch a parent disintegrate.

My dad has Parkinson’s Disease. According to my Mom, he has his good days and his bad days. But all I saw was the bad days. He can barely walk. He’s in severe depression and too stubborn to see a therapist. He’s falling apart. I knew within the first hour or so I was there that he’d never come visit me in San Francisco again.

My mother, she’s a strong woman. But she’s under this constant stress. I could barely handle it for the 3 days I was down there. Perhaps one builds up a resistance to it. I don’t know. All I could think about on the way up to Houston was how I could completely rearrange my life to make it easier on them. San Francisco is my home now. While things are tight, Courtland and I love the city. It was only days ago that I said that I could never imagine moving back to Texas. Yet that was all I could contemplate while driving.

I could move to Lake Jackson, that’s a small city near by. That way I could be near my parents whenever they would need me. I could move back to Houston. That would be better on me, I think, more metropolitan. Brazoria is only an hour away.

And then I think of the heat. And the bugs. And I’m sitting here writing this at Cafe Artíste and people are smoking. SMOKING. In a restaurant. To say nothing of the completely, overwhelmingly conservative nature of the people. Especially in Brazoria. There’s a reason I escaped to California. But I have some real close friends here. It could work. But I would hate every minute of it. It would feel like a giant step backward. And I can’t ask Courtland to move across the country again. He gave up so much to go with me to SF. Now he’s making a life with me in SF. I can’t possibly ask. And I don’t want too. Just thinking about moving back here fills me with a sense of dread. I can visit more often.

I can try to come out here more than once a year.

But, seeing my Mom and Dad. It just breaks my heart.

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