Cats with claws

Posted November 16, 2009 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: Whatever the hell

imgres.jpegBengals 18. Steelers 12. At Heinz Field.

Yes. It’s true.


Out of hibernation

Posted November 15, 2009 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: Whatever the hell

Can’t believe I’ve overlooked writing in this since July 2008. I forgot to write about my knee being blown apart last year, or about my happiness at the election of Barack Obama, or about the economic crash, or anything else of note……

Let’s take off on new subjects.

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and this has been the most boring year on record. The GOP has sold out to the corporatists and become the party of no, and the Dems have sold out to the corps nearly as much.  I’ll refrain from discussing economics now, that’s a lengthy post for another day. I’m happy that Matthew Shepard passed, and markup on an inclusive ENDA is due to happen this week, but I’m at a point where I hold Harry Reid in nearly the same contempt I hold Bitch McConnell. At least Nancy Pelosi has some balls.

Bengals fans, we’ll know in a few hours if we really have another shot at a Super Bowl – it depends on what happens against the Steelers today. Whenever the Bengals have had a good defense – and they do this year, by God – they’ve gone to the Super Bowl. Not to mention Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson, and the ever-present Ochocinco. I’m keeping fingers crossed for a Bengals – Saints Super Bowl. Maybe……..

In music, there’s only been 2 new albums that have impressed me the least bit at all, but both are excellent: Dan Fogelberg’s “Love In Time”, and Dream Theater’s “Black Clouds and Silver Linings”.  Fogelberg passed on from prostate cancer in late 2007, but he completed this album before his death and left it for his wife to issue, with a donation from each download or sale to benefit the fight against the disease that killed him.  It’s a rich album, with songs that have meaningful lyrics and easygoing melodies. Fogelberg has always been all that, both as a musician and songwriter, and it’s a damn shame he’s gone, but we still have his music to remember him by. Download this one by all means.

Likewise, Dream Theater’s latest.   If there’s a better drummer on the planet than Mike Portnoy, I don’t know who they are.  If you haven’t heard Dream Theater, and you like 1970s progressive rock or late 1980s metal, think about what a combination of the two might sound like, and you have the idea. Rush would be the closest comparison, but the styles are different, and the musicianship is excellent. As for “Clouds”, there’s not a bad cut on it. Start with “A Rite of Passage”, then ‘Wither”. You will be hooked. Spring for the “special edition”, which has a great cover – covers of 1970s rock classics is a Dream Theater hallmark – of Queen’s “Tenement Funster”, “Flick of the Wrist”, and “Lily of the Valley”, from “Sheer Heart Attack.” James Labrie comes pretty damn close to channelling the late, incomparable Freddie Mercury.

Enough for tonight. I won’t take another year to return. Maybe I’ll make this a nightly thing.




HRC: Now Hiring Goons

Posted July 28, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: Whatever the hell

On Saturday, July 26, HRC did it again, this time in the transgender mecca known as San Francisco.  For some reason, when a group of transgender people decides to protest their fundraisers, as they have every right to do, HRC’s dinner organizers instantly contract cases of cranial rectosis.

Read this blog posting from Calitics, from someone who was there:

63 year old lesbian dragged out of event (0.00 / 0)
What follows is what a friend wrote me late last night:
Around 7:00 I sat at table #72 (which was in the back row). I listened to Diego Sanchez’s speech. During Joe Solmonese’s talk I left my seat and walked towards the tables in front of me with the intent of distributing printed materials. At this point 2-3 large men accosted me. I don’t remember their exact words but I quietly said that I had bought a ticket and had the right to be there. I began to place printed material on a table when I was grabbed roughly by at least 2 men (who I think were behind me). One of them put my right arm in an armlock behind my back and up and bent my right wrist with tremendous force.  I was also held by both arms  (with force enough around both upper arms that I had bruises within 20 minutes).
At some point I was knocked to the ground and dragged out of the dining area into the outer room where they lifted me to my feet but did not let go. I then said to them-“let me go I will leave (we were walking to a stairwell). They did not let go and dragged me off my feet again and down the stairs to the exit on post street.”
I have huge bruises on my arms and a shoulder that feels like it was half pulled out of it’s socket.  Years ago I was thrown out of the st francis by SFPD and they didn’t hurt me at all. These are a company of private goons hired by Human Rights Campaign to police their event.
HRC is afraid of peoples’ protests and they can’t afford their donors getting information.
Can It Happen Here? by: janinsanfran @ Sun Jul 27, 2008 at 06:41:09 AM CDT

Now, personally,  I can understand why HRC might need security. They do serve alcohol at these soirees, after all, and there are wealthy people, political leaders, and celebrities present.  But, if your security team’s worst threat is a 60-something lesbian who is simply dropping brochures on an information table, then your priorities are sorely, severely skewed.  It is quite apparent that you’re organizationally quite confused as to who is a friend and who is a foe. I’m quite aware of the encounters Monica Helms had with the HRC goon squad in Atlanta, and plenty of online pictures of the Houston horsemen sitting in wait for the transgender demonstrators – all 10 of them? Maybe?  What did that cost you – other than your credibility?

I suppose that, in addition to the aides and interns and salaried help HRC hires, including at least one transgender woman, they also seem to be hiring goons.
Maybe some of them are like Buddy, here……

Buddy’s real talent was beating people up
His heart wasn’t in it but the crowd ate it up
Through pee-wee’s and juniors, midgets and mites
He must have racked up more than six hundred fights
A scout from the Flames came down from Saskatoon
Said, “There’s always room on our team for a goon
Son, we’ve always got room for a goon”
Hit Somebody! (The Hockey Song) – Warren Zevon and Mitch Albom

Now, goons have their uses. But, does HRC need them? Really? And why do some brochures or literature illustrating the plight of a community they claim to represent (okay, that community doesn’t feel they represent it, but I digress), seem dangerous enough to require a goon squad?

Mother, Father, I’m here in the zoo
I can’t come home ’cause I’ve grown up too soon
I got my sentence
I got my command
They said they’d make me major if I met all their demands
I could be a corp’ral into corp’ral punishment
Or the gen’ral manager of a large establishment
They pat some good boys on the back and put some to the rod
But I never thought they’d put me in the

Goon squad
They’ve come to look you over and they’re giving you the eye
Goon squad
They want you to come out to play
You’d better say goodbye

Some grow just like their dads
And some grow up too tall
Some go drinking with the lads
Some don’t grow up at all

And you must find the proper place
For everything you see
But you’ll never get to make a lampshade out of me

I could join a chain of males or be the missing (a) link
Looking for a lucky girl to put me in the pink
They pat some good boys on the back and put some to the rod
But I never thought they’d put me in the

Good squad ….

Mother, Father, I’m doing so well
I’m making such progress now that you can hardly tell
I fit in a little dedication
With one eye on the clock
They caught you under medication
You could be in for a shock

Thinking up the alibis that ev’ryone’s forgotten
Just another mummy’s boy gone to rotten
They pat some good boys on the back and put some to the rod
But I never thought they’d put me in the Goon squad….
“Goon Squad” – Elvis Costello

Joe Solmonese, this has gone too far. I have had advance knowledge of each of the HRC gala protests, but in no case was the intention of any of these protests meant to disrupt the gala in any way, shape, or form. The attendees to the galas, as your stockholders, so to speak, deserve to get the full information about all the people HRC claims as their constituency.  But, instead of allowing transgender people to educate, to teach the attendees about their issues and needs, and about the dire need for civil rights protections in Federal law, you instead feel threatened enough to hire goon squads.   Are you really that scared?  If you were asking me what to do, I’d suggest being frank and honest, and meeting with those who are the angriest at HRC’s actions, both historically and recently.  But, after the 2007 Southern Comfort, we know that “honesty” and “HRC” don’t belong in the same sentence together. But, I suppose it’s easier to hire a goon squad instead.  That is tantamount to beating up a little old lady who you screwed on a used car sale. Which is what you are, Joe Solmonese, at the end of the day: a disreputable used car salesman, and your organization is the J.D. Byrider of political organizations: big, national, and crooked as poison ivy.

This will escalate.  It always does when goons are employed. Ask the Rolling Stones about Altamont.  People got beat up, and a man died. Goons do that. The blood would be on your hands. What does that have to do with human rights, anyway, let alone peace, love, and understanding?

See you in DC, Joe.

Political Horse Latitudes

Posted April 18, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: Whatever the hell

When the still sea conspires an armor
And her sullen and aborted
Currents breed tiny monsters
True sailing is dead
Awkward instant
And the first animal is jettisoned
Legs furiously pumping
Their stiff green gallop

And heads bob up
Poise, delicate, pause, consent
In mute nostril agony
Carefully refined and sealed over

We’re at that point in the Presidential campaign that most of us knew would eventually arrive: the political horse latitudes. Even a political junkie like me would have to be, largely, bored with the present state of the Presidential campaign – but for different reasons.
Watch that debate on 4-15? I did. Excruciatingly so. Let’s all pile on Obama. For 45 minutes. Did anyone really hear an issue argument that distinguished Hillary from Barack? I didn’t.
Am I the only one that thinks that John McCain is the second coming of Richard Nixon? I doubt it. Check out the parallels
Topic                                                  McCain                                                                Nixon
Senatorial scandal                        Keating 5 Case                                             “Checkers” slush fund
First time loss                               2000 Presidential run                                     1960 Presidential run
Temper                                               Notably bad                                                    Notably bad
Military svc.                              Honorable in Vietnam                                 Honorable Pac theatre WW2
Press relations                                         Great                                      Well….he MADE the Wash Post famous
Won after being counted out           2008 nomination                                            1968 nomination
Foreign war                                 Has no plans to end  H                                  ad secret (no) plan to end
Economy                                           Stagflation                                                          Stagflation
If you loved Richard Nixon, I think you’ll love John McCain. Be interesting to see if he buys a place in the Florida Keys, if he wins. It will also be interesting to see if we end up leaving Baghdad in helicopters from the embassy roof, with Shi’ia militias firing their Kalashnikovs at us. And it will be fun to hear the stories of Staffers whom he tongue-lashes.
At this point, I want it over. I almost don’t care whether it’s Obama or Clinton. I’d prefer Obama and will vote for him, most likely, in the Kentucky primary, if for no other reason that he represents a fresh approach to the nation’s issues. I really don’t care who the GOP nominates at this point, because there isn’t a single GOP member that is presently running for office that I could even consider supporting, due to the warmongering, deficit-spending, antigovernmental, bigoted nature of nearly every member of the party that left me in the early 1980s. But, I’m realistic: no matter who the Democrats nominate, the party of the ass will no doubt do its level best to lose an election, at all levels, that it should win at all levels in a cakewalk.
And, quite frankly, after a few more years of GOP control, we will either have to seek merger with Canada to pay our bills, or we will be invading Canada to prevent young and GLBT Americans from seeking asylum there.
It’s my opinion that we need to abolish the Presidential election system. Instead, put the names of all US citizens from age 35 to age 70 in a computer database, who have at least a bachelor’s degree. Then let the computer pick one at random. Then have it select again for a vice-president. I would wager that the end selectees would do a better job than the Bush-leaguers we’ve had the past 40 years.
As for Obama’s ‘bitter’ remark, I understand what he was saying. His comment pertained to people who have been screwed by economic and political policies practiced over the past 40 years that have absolutely ruined America’s manufacturing base, and in the process have shrunken the middle class, and thus ruined the American economy. Many of these people have been screwed badly by the Republican economic policies, but instead of voting their economic interests, they instead concentrate on the remarkeably asinine issues of gun control, “family values”, and the Religious Reich agenda. The truth is that nobody’s passing any more true gun control acts, that government cannot legislate morality, that GLBT people deserve the same rights as everyone else, and that religion must stay out of government and keep their preaching in the pulpit and out of the courthouse. For an idea on this topic, read “What’s Wrong With Kansas?” Obviously, Barack Obama has. It’s one more book than George Bush has read in his life.

Hockey’s Greatest Hit

Posted April 18, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: politics, sports

I admit to being a hockey fan. It’s not a sport that translates to television well, but, in person, it’s some of the greatest fun you can have in a sports arena.

In my opinion, this is hockey’s greatest hit. It took place during the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals, a classic between the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils. Hope this ends up watcheable, most of my attempts at posting graphics don’t turn out well.

Now, c’mon, wouldn’t you really love to lay that hit on George Bush? Or Barney Frank? Or Ted Kennedy? Or Joe Solmonese?

HRC Becomes T-Community Bully

Posted April 14, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: Whatever the hell

Reposted from the Phyllabuster List.  They lie, they intimidate….what’s next on Joe’s list?  Are they HRC, or the fucking Mafia?
if you want on Phyllabuster, send ADD ME to
if you want off Phyllabuster, send REMOVE to
Phyllabuster: Has National HRC become the Community’s BULLY? The B-HRC?
After a night’s sleep and looking at the photos that I sent you (separately and in two packages so as not to overload some of your older model computers), and after reading many responses from some of you, I need to put forth this question:
Has National HRC become the BULLY of the previously united LGBT community?
Is National HRC now to be called the B-HRC?
Consider:   Why did National HRC call the Houston Police about a political protest from GLBT “family” folks?
Now, National HRC will tell you it is their standard policy to notify police in the event of a protest threat.
Yes, I can understand that some so-called religious groups and social bigots have been problematic in the past.  Right on, if dealing with skinheads or the Klan or a Neo-nazi group.  Absolutely!  Good policy in those situations
But we are “family.”
Or at least we were “family.”
We were a united GLBT community family until National HRC divided us last fall over an ENDA bill that would never be signed by Bush and that would protect only those GLBs who expressed gender in a socially accepted manner.  Who don’t break the sex-stereotype mold.
What did National HRC expect?
Anything other than possibly some political high-jinx that hotel security could have easily handled?

In the history of protesting National HRC fundraisers  that began in 1995 over transgenders then being deliberately omitted from the ENDA of that decade (and as we learned, that omission was at the direction and insistence of the National HRC), has there been even one instance of a GLBT “family” protester pushing or shoving or otherwise harming an HRC fundraiser guest or forcing literature or a lapel sticker onto a HRC fundraiser guest who made it plain they did not want any?

Rack my brain (someone may know of an instance), I know of no such instance in our 12 year struggle with National HRC over the full inclusion of “sexual orientation or gender identity or expression” in the ENDA bill.
We were there last night in Houston, to let HRC attendees know that transgenders and gender variant GLBs had been abandoned by National HRC and that we wanted to speak with and educate HRC attendees as to the issues.
We were there TO EDUCATE with lapel stickers to give to supporters of a Unified ENDA who were in attendance and to generate discussion.
The community’s Bully — National HRC — sicced the cops on us.
Not because we were a physical threat, but to intimidate our allies and to diminish our protesting ranks.
I hope the Houston Police Department sends National HRC a bill since National HRC clearly set of a false alarm.
An alarm no less false than if they had deliberately set off a fire alarm which would have brought trained fire personnel and expensive fire equipment to fight a non-existent blaze.
And so my friends in New Orleans and in Phoenix and in other cities who are about to deal with the National Bully HRC — or should we all begin to write, the B-HRC — be of good cheer.
The B-HRC will alert the police in your city of your “family” protest.
But the B-HRC will not tell the police that it will be peaceful and of their own making.
The police will show up in riot gear with barricades and horse mounted officers.
If your city’s police are professional, you should have no problem.
During our entire outside protesting event last night alongside the Houston Police, only twice did HPD officers get a bit verbally testy.  In both cases when I reported those HPD officers to their OIC (Officer In Charge), the HPD OIC quickly jerked those errant police officers back into compliance with the law.  No one was injured.  No one was arrested.

It is all a B-HRC contrived intimidation gambit at taxpayer expense to keep the B-HRC cash-cow alive.
So protest.
Carry your signs.
Be festive.
Ask to enter and distribute literature or lapel stickers.
Take pictures and video record things.
Write it up and tell the story of what B-HRC did in your town.
Submit a Freedom of Information Request to your city controller or auditor or treasurer to get the official taxpayer price tag for the B-HRC false alarm and send that information out as well.
Finally — Please pass this on.

Phyllis Randolph Frye

Good and bad news

Posted April 13, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: politics

First, the good:

These folks will make you smile. They’re 70 years old and up, and singing rock n’ roll. The gentleman singing “Fix Me” by Coldplay, with the beat kept by his oxygen machine, was special.

Then, the bad:

> Phyllabuster: HRC goes petty: directs security to
> escort educators  out
>    The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) just got more
> petty  and immature in
> responding to protests of its actions last fall that
> clearly  divided a once
> united GLBT community.
>    As we arrived at the site for the Houston
> protest  of the HRC fundraiser
> this Saturday, April 12th afternoon (reposts below
> for  those new to this
> saga), we were told by hotel security that HRC had
> changed its  mind about our
> attempts to educate.
>    We would be allowed to enter (without signs or
> banners, which we had
> never planned to bring inside).  If we went
> directly to the event located on the
> second floor, we could hand out our lapel  stickers
> that read, “GLBT & ENDA:
> United, Not Divided: I Support FULL  Transgender
> Inclusion.”  And we could
> engage in conversation and educate  those people who
> wanted to listen and learn.
>    So we walked around, outside the hotel for  over
> an hour, carrying signs
> and visiting with each other.  It  was very
> festive.
>    The Houston Police gave us NO trouble.  There
> were two very minor
> incidents where officers got a bit testy,  but when
> I called their OIC, those
> officers were told they were wrong and  to stop
> being testy with us.  The rest of
> the force were very polite to  us.
>    We joked amongst ourselves that we hardly
> warranted  the riot barricades
> or the eight, horse-mounted officers or the  other
> preparations and
> personnel.  But the police felt it was better to be
> prepared than not.
>    The hotel had a guard at each door and along
> several parts of the
> sidewalk.  They had placed traffic cones
> everywhere.
>    It was surreal — all that effort for just
> little  ole, inoffensive us.
>    After we had watched a lot of folks enter for
> the  HRC event and it
> approached the planned 6 PM beginning, three of us
> entered the  hotel, prepared to
> chat and educate for the hour before the 7 PM
> dinner,  using our stack of 3 x
> 2 lapel stickers to initiate conversation.
>    We were met at the top of the escalator by an
> HRC official wearing a
> cream colored business skirt and coat.  I asked if
> this was the HRC event area,
> and she said yes.  So I offered someone a  lapel
> sticker.  I was immediately
> corrected, “No, not here, but here (she  was
> indicating a place 18 inches away
> on the other side of a rope).  Hotel  security was
> poised nearby.
>    So we walked along the rope to an opening and
> around to the other side
> of the rope.  I then offered another lapel  sticker.
>  An HRC man with a pink
> tie, a pink vest and dyed blonde hair  (clearly who
> would be discriminated
> against on the basis of “gender  expression”) said,
> “No, not hear, but here
> (pointing us back to the initial  place that we had
> just left).
>    I pulled out my cell phone.  Immediately,  the
> HRC guy told the hotel
> security to escort us out of the hotel.  An  event
> photographer took a photo as
> the hotel security closed and asked us  to leave.
> There was no hustle.  The
> security was polite.  But we  had to leave at HRC’s
> direction and insistence!
>    So we did our gig outside until 7 PM.  The
> weather was beautiful.
> During this part of our gig when we had planned to
> be inside educating, some
> friends drove up and lowering their window, asked
> how  it was going.  I told them
> about being escorted out at the direction of HRC
> when I began to offer lapel
> stickers.  Our friends took a stack of lapel
> stickers and said, “They won’t
> ask us to leave!”
>    As our group was packed up and leaving, I  got a
> phone call that HRC had
> finally agreed to allow us to come in  now — after
> 7 PM, when all the
> cocktail chatty and education time was  finished and
> folks would be sitting down to
> eat and hear a program.  Or we  could come back at
> 10 PM to offer folks our
> stickers as they left the  event.
>    After being jerked around by HRC for the past
> hour, we were not about to
> submit ourselves to another trick or  lie.  We left
> to refresh and reflect
> at the nearby eatery.
> NOTE: Protests against HRC are being planned for New
> Orleans and  Phoenix.  I
> will send info when I get it.
> Phyllis Randolph Frye
> _www.tglegal.com_ (
> _prfrye@aol.com_ (

So, we can, from Phyllis Frye’s account of the event, glean the following.

1. HRC had arranged for enough security to prevent Osama bin Laden, or the Phred Phelps Cult, from infiltrating their soiree.  Probably far more security, between hotel security, HRC’s security people, and the Houston Police, than would be needed to squelch an IRA attack. Mounted officers? Really, now!

2. The transgender contingent was jerked around on purpose, and with intention of being thrown off the premises, by HRC’s people. It’s either a case of 3 different people with 3 different instructions (in which case, the HRC organizers were disorganized dumbasses, certainly a possibility), or  they meant to jerk the protesters around. Which meant that the person who told  Phyllis that they could “educate” inside was obviously a graduate of the “Joe Solmonese Never Tell Trannies The Truth” course.

3. The good part: there seem to have been no mishaps, no arrests, and nobody needing bail money. I feared for the protesters safety and liberty. These are people I’ve met and respect greatly, and an organization that deliberately can lie to 1000 T people is also possibly capable of other acts of violence against transpeople.

The transgender community needs to make it it’s mission, from here on out, to protest and educate at each and every HRC gala event, in each and every city in the US, with the goal of educating, embarrassing, and protesting HRC’s propensity to deliberately lie and subvert the T community, as well as making their attendees question the wisdom of donating money to an organization that lies like a Persian rug.  A distraction? Possibly, but if HRC isn’t forced to stop their lying about, and subversion of, the T community, we will be prevented from accessing offices in DC, and will be locked out by Barney Frank, at HRC’s behest. It’s a dirty job, but it will have to be done, and we may have to get our hands dirty to do it. It’s engineering. You have to get your hands dirty, sometimes. Kudos to my friends and associates in Houston for showing the fortitude, wisdom, and good common sense that is endemic to Texans.


Reading: Still working on “John Adams”, by David McCullough

On the turntable: Laura Nyro, “Eli & The Thirteenth Confession”

Posted April 12, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: politics

Those of you who’ve read my writings before already are quite aware that I consider the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to be a pack of liars, an anti-democratic corporate entity that is only interested in empire building, not winning rights for glbT people.

I’ve known and called Joe Solmonese a liar before, so many times I’m tired of saying it. If you don’t agree, you’re either ignorant in general, or a total dumbass. But, never before, have I equated him to the rapscallions I’m about to, nor have I ever made the comparisons between HRC and the organizations I’m about to.

Read this post, from the famous Houston transgender attorney, Phyllis Frye. Read it carefully. My comments follow it.

Phyllabuster: National HRC called the Houston Police about Saturday

I just finished a very pleasant meeting, in my law office with the
Houston Police Department about the scheduled protest of the HRC
event in Houston this Saturday from 4:30to 7:30 pm, downtown at Polk
and Avenue of the Americas (DETAILS PASTED BELOW).

It seems that in response to my national Phyllabuster about our
protest, …… GET THIS …… the National HRC called the Houston

HPD and I had a very nicemeeting. I do not foresee any problems. HPD
was so courteous that Iwas given a “Demonstration Guide” that they
published in 2003 to assistcitizens in expressing their 1st Amendment
rights will not violating anylaws. I told HPD that I would scan it
and attach to my list. It isattached herein as good general

During the chat with HPD, I was also
informed that HRC has also instructed the hotel security to ask us
to leave if we attempt to pass out any written information or
ask folks to wear our stickers.

I always thought thatHRC was big on education and discussion.

Well, we will be there (read reposting below).
andwe will be peaceful,
andwe will be within the law,
andwe will be protected by HPD,
andwe will attempt to hand out our lapel stickers.

Phyllis Randolph Frye
http://www.tglegal. com

############ ######## repost of event details ############

Phyllabuster: Protest HRC Event, this Saturday,April 12, Houston

The HRC event is scheduled to begin at 6PM. That means some of the
ultra-rich-donors will arrive early forpre-gala cocktails.

I suggest that we plan to begin at 4:30 PM tocatch those coming early
and stay until 7:30 PM. That should be enough asthe event begins at
6:00 and most folks — even the late comers — willhave passed our
demonstrations by then.

The convention center hotel in downtown Houstonis bounded by Dallas
St, Avenue de las Americas (running in front of the GeorgeR. Brown
Convention Center), Polk St and Crawford St.

The two primary entrances are on DallasSt and on Avenue de las

There is an elevated pedestrian bridge from theGeorge R. Brown and
another from the Parking Garage.

The Parking Garage’s vehicle entrance is at PolkSt and Avenue de las

I suggest that you park in the ParkingGarage or on a nearby street
and meet at that corner of Polk St and Avenuede las Americas.

Either myself or Josephine Tittsworth on herscooter or Vanessa
Edwards-Foster — one or all of us will be at thatorganizing spot —
will ask you what you want to do and direct you to where youwill be
the most effective.

I suggest three outside teams and one insideteam.

The outside teams will be for signs. Isuggest
(1) the corner of Polk and Avenue de las Americas,just off of that
hotel entrance
(2) the corner of Dallas and Avenue de lasAmericas, and
(3) along Dallas near Crawford, just before thedrive in for that
hotel entrance.
Any and everyone driving in will see those threespots.

The inside team will be several of us tomix and mingle and convince
attendees to be supportive of full GLBT inclusionand to wear our
offered lapel stickers (artwork below).

I have pasted two artworks hereon. They are JPEG files that you can
probably right click to lift and copy toyour computer. Most Kinkos
will take a jpeg file and turn it into a nicelarge and readable
poster for a reasonable fee. Or you canmake your own sign. All
efforts are welcome.

BUT DO NOT PUT YOUR SIGN ON A STICK. Astick could be construed as a

I have the first artwork printed onto 1000 lapelstickers. The inside
team can walk amongst the guests at the eventand ask if they will
wear the lapel sticker. I especially hope thatMatthew Shepherd’s
mother (the keynote speaker) will wear a lapel sticker.

The outside teams will also have lapel stickers

So, mark your calendar THIS Saturday, April12.

Make your sign or poster if you wish or goto Kinks and give them the
artwork. I have otherartworks. If you want other artwork files, let
me know.

Come and park and walk to the corner of Polk andAvenue de las
Americas at 4:30’ish and look for me or Josephine orVanessa. Plan to
stay until 7:30’ish. It should be fun!




Phyllis Randolph Frye

Ohh-kaaay. Let’s see here. The Houston HRC dinner’s Saturday night – my calendar says it’s April 12, half the time I don’t know what date it is, anyway.  And Houston area T activists are gonna protest it – damn right, I’m down with that,  I’d join ’em if there were seats on an airplane available from here, which there aren’t.  But the part that gets me is this: THEY SENT THE COPS TO TALK TO PHYLLIS FRYE DAYS BEFORE THE EVENT.

I only take that one way: HRC was trying to use the Houston Police to intimidate an organizer of the protest to call it off.

Would somebody explain to me, please, how this differs from having a firehose pointed at the protesters? (Selma, AL)  Or having National Guardsmen carrying automatic weapons? (Kent State) Perhaps it’s closer to having Arkansas State Troopers present to make sure a couple coed students made it safely to their classrooms past Orval Faubus and hundreds of screaming rednecks – I don’t know. Whose side ARE the Houston cops on?  Are they going to be there to protect the transpeople’s (and everyone’s) right to peacefully protest? Or are they going to be there to protect the poor, downtrodden, rich gay guys from having to deal with the impudent trannies?  I doubt the cops know.

Joe Solmonese goddamn well knows the Number One fear of most transpeople is to be arrested – and with good reason.   They  know what this threat means, the symbolism involved. Threatening transgender protesters means 10 times what it means to a group of straight, or even gay and lesbian people.  Vince Lombardi once said that, if and when a quarterback passes the ball, 3 things can happen, and 2 of them are bad. Basically, nothing good can ever come to a T person once they check into the Steel Bar Inn.

They’re fucking with the wrong persons.  Phyllis, Vanessa, and Jo are made of sterner stuff than most T people I know. They’re also smarter than most, and they’ll know how far they can go to make the point and not be in danger. Still, this is a blatant attempt to break the demonstration, to scare off the demonstrators, to suppress the idea the protesters plan to extol (that ENDA without T inclusion is meaningless and morally bankrupt, a notion I fully believe in).  HRC’s use of the Houston Police Department to attempt to suppress this demonstration is morally the same as the forbidden fruit that was left hanging in the trees by the Ku Klux Klan, or the hangings of the bodies of city officials in the city squares after the Nazi German panzer troops overran towns in the countries they conquered.

So, Joe Solmonese and David Smith, how’s it feel to be Bull Connor?  How’s it feel to suppress dissent in the same manner Nathan Bedford Forrest thought appropriate? Does the possibility of becoming just like Benito Mussolini warm the cockles of your heart the way a fucking nasty-ass Appletini does? Will your ignorant and misguided attempt to stifle dissent among your banquet attendees end up with a one-act play, in which the Houston PD plays the part of the Ohio National Guard, T people are the people killed at Kent State, and you, Mr Solmonese, are the second coming of Richard Milhous Nixon (with David Smith as H.R. Haldeman?)  I hope not. But you’ve put the pieces in place to cause that to happen.

Mr. Solmonese, we’re aware of your attempts to stifle dissent in Atlanta, Phoenix, and other cities. In other places, the protests have gone on, with obvious cuts in attendance and monies raised. The protests will no doubt continue, and will make it impossible to even start a steering committee (only good for steering money towards DC and not from it to benefit local efforts, I will point out) in places you haven’t cursed with one, yet.  But free speech is allowed in this country, despite the best efforts of the GOP to eliminate it with the Patriot Acts. The T community is going to continue to point out to you that you lie, that you cheat, that you steal, and that you are dishonest and unreliable. But now, you’ve handed us one more weapon – open prejudice and open bigotry.

It didn’t look good in the 1960s.

It looks worse now.

Come to think of it, don’t Lester \"Pickrick\" Maddox and Joe Solmonese look a lot alike?


Presently reading: John Adams, by David McCullough

On the turntable: “Who’s To Bless And Who’s To Blame”, by Kris Kristofferson

Music Sale!

Posted April 1, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: music

Music lovers, have I a deal for you!

I am selling my entire collection, about 1200 CDs, cassettes, and vinyl albums, of 1960s-1990s rock music. I have lost nearly any desire to listen to rock anymore, and I am now listening exclusively to Gregorian chants.

Yes, Gregorian chants. That wonderfully nuanced medieval form of music, mostly heard in Roman Catholic churches.  The multitextured complexity, as well as the lovely choir vocals, have captured my ear, and are not letting go. It’s the best music for driving yet devised, bound to both keep you awake and stir the soul.

Before you mail in your request, take note of the posting date.


Bye, bye Volvos

Posted March 21, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: Used Volvos

Well, this polar bear completed repairs to a friend’s Volvo 240 today – a freshening of the seals (ironically) of Wilson (the person, not the volleyball)’s ’87 240. It’s been too long, doing it between snowstorms and heavy rainstorms, but it’s back to her and running samoooooth.

Got one more to go – a silver ’89 240 stick that won’t start. Probably fuel pump. Easily fixed. A friend wants to buy it, and my wife would like it out of here, so it’s all good.

I like the old rear-drive Volvos, and recommend them to anyone needing inexpensive transportation. If you’re transitioning and can’t afford payments, you can get an old 240 in decent shape for $1000 or less. They are not fancy, but are dependable for many hundreds of thousands of miles. Certain things do need to be done to them – the odometer gears break, the power window switches quit, the wiring under the hood needs to be repaired on the mid-80s models, and at about 250K miles you’ll need to replace the seals and head gaskets/clean the intake and exhaust. Tires are a cheap size and wear a long time, even if the suspension’s worn. But, if you buy a Haynes manual, a set of basic metric tools, and log onto, you can fix what goes wrong. And the gas mileage is reasonable.

You’ve heard parts are expensive? You heard wrong. Autozone stocks the everyday stuff, and the not so commonly replaced items are available from and In fact, the iPd catalog will provide you with a a number of power boosting and handling-improving items. Better still, the junkyards are full of older 240s. Remove the part yourself and save.

I’m getting out of old Volvos for now – I have a Toyota Matrix xrs, a Celica, and a Ford van to deal with right now. But if you need cheap wheels, or deliver pizza for a living, get a 240. You will get hooked on these transportation bargains. People dump them when they quit running, but rarely is the problem terminal, and once repaired, you can reliably drive a 240 or 740 cross-country past 300,000 miles without worry.

But you gotta find and fix your own now. I’m out of the business. Got a new job starting next week.

Present Reading: Current issue of “Rolling Stone”, which endorsed Barack Obama.

On the turntable: “No Secrets” by Carly Simon