a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

SUMMARY: A step away from agility for today.

In Taj MuttHall, I usually try to focus on my dogs and dog agility. I often stray off into photos and photography, hiking, flowers and wildlife, and just random daily life, but not usually anything more serious.

Today, in honor of the excellent decision coming down today from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stating that California Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, I thought I'd take a moment to open the doors on where my money goes when bills and dog agility are done. Because I think that staying silent can be an error with dire repercussions.

Not in any particular order:

  • Gay rights. Because I want all my friends to be able to go through life without being abused by individuals and by the system, to be able to marry the people they love and want to spend their lives with, to not have to fight to visit and make decisions for their life partners in the hospital when they're ill, to not have to go through extraordinary hoops to get the rights and benefits that heterosexual couples get simply by marrying. It is the civil rights issue of our time that I think that I can most do something about. 
  • Environmental causes--in many forms. Because when the last plant dies, when the last of an animal species goes extinct, when a mountain is razed, a sensitive habitat is destroyed, a natural resource is used up, a stunning view is compromised, it's gone. Forever. There are no second chances. 
  • Canine cancer research. Because our dogs live short enough lives already, and no one should have to go through what I went through with Remington.
  • Breast cancer research. Because people I know, my sister among them, have experienced breast cancer and it's one of the most prevalent causes of death among American women.
  • Feeding the hungry. Because hungry people can't be productive and hungry children can't learn, and starved people are ill people, burdening the health care system even more, and in any case, if I were in their place: Food is life.
  • Consumer Reports. Because they provide an invaluable service, advertiser-free, for consumers of almost everything. This country is much safer and healthier, and my pocketbook and the quality of things I buy, are much better because of CR.
  • ACLU. Because every time a right or liberty is taken away from an individual or group, it becomes easier to take away rights or liberties from other groups. Even if you personally don't like the individual or group.  As Ben Franklin said, "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power." (Often paraphrased as "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.") 
  • The Cal Band. Because I had a really good time the year I spent in this organization, learned a lot, was drilled into possible the best physical condition I've ever been in, and the University no longer has money to support organizations like this.
  • Clarion West. Because I had a really good time the 6 weeks I spent in this workshop and learned so very much. And because writers--and aspiring writers--mostly don't have a lot of spare money for things like this.
  • Wikipedia. Because it is the most amazing compendium of human knowledge--you can find the basics about anything here and follow links to the sources for more detailed and/or accurate information--and it's free AND free of advertising. Millions of people have donated possibly billions of hours to make this information available to all of us, but someone has to pay for the servers and upkeep. I don't know what I'd do without Wikipedia; it's more helpful to me now than my bound Britannica.

(And to wrap it up:
  • Announcement and info about today's decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional because it "serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples." And that's clearly unconstitutional. We've already been through this with other minorities.
  • A bit of analysis on the ruling. )


  1. All good causes! I don't get the whole marriage is between one man and one woman thing. I agree it's between two people that love each other. Currently there's a woman sorting out her life after her partner was killed by a semi truck. Because they weren't married she didn't have any rights to finding out information, and the brother of the deceased, against their relationship from the beginning, is making it really difficult for her. Just doesn't seem right.

  2. That seems to be one of the hardest things that many same-sex couples have to deal with.