Archive for the ‘Whatever the hell’ category

Cats with claws

November 16, 2009

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

Yes. It’s true.

 

Out of hibernation

November 15, 2009

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

July 28, 2008

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

April 18, 2008
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

© DOORS MUSIC COMPANY
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.

HRC Becomes T-Community Bully

April 14, 2008
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 prfrye@aol.com
if you want off Phyllabuster, send REMOVE to prfrye@aol.com
________________________________________________
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?
Violence?
Anything other than possibly some political high-jinx that hotel security could have easily handled?
WE WERE NO PHYSICAL THREAT AND NATIONAL HRC KNEW IT!

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.
Why?
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
a.k.a. THE PHYLLABUSTER
www.tglegal.com

prfrye@aol.com

Got yer brackets done?

March 18, 2008

Got yer brackets done, yet?

Well, I’ve been considering them, and it shapes up to being an interesting tournament.

Let’s cut to the chase: in the East, I see UNC, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Washington St., Oklahoma, Louisville, Butler, and Tennessee making the round of 32.

In the Midwest, it will be Kansas, Kent St., Villanova, Vanderbilt, USC, Wisconsin, Gonzaga, and Georgetown.

In the South, Memphis, Mississippi St., Michigan St., Pitt, Marquette, Stanford, Miami, and Texas.

In the West, UCLA, Texas A&M, Drake, UConn, Purdue, Georgia, West Virginia, and, of course, Dork, er, Duke.

Let’s go to the Sweet 16: North Carolina, Notre Dame, Louisville, Tennessee, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Georgetown, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Texas, UCLA, Drake, Georgia, and Dork.

At this point, we’ll discuss upsets and such. Indiana is in disarray after the Kelvin Sampson firing, Arkansas will take them right out. Kent St. is better than people would think. As much as I’d like to see Kentucky advance, I think Marquette will slaughter them. I see Drake as a powerful team and a sleeper with nothing to lose. And Georgia became a rock-hard team this past weekend, shaped by adversity, and might go far.

The Elite 8: North Carolina, Louisville, Kansas, Georgetown, Pitt, Texas, UCLA, Georgia. Yes, I picked Georgia to advance over Dork (I think WVa will give them all they want the game before), and Louisville to edge Tennessee – and not because I’m a Louisville alumni, but because they are playing fantastic defense right now. The big one here is Pitt over Memphis: I like Memphis, but I think any team that wins the Big East this year has to simply be unstoppable.

The Final Four: Louisville, Kansas, Pitt, UCLA. First of all, I think Louisville can strangle Hansbrough of UNC. The Kansas-Georgetown game may be the best of the tournament Pitt-Memphis isn’t), but I’m taking the Jayhawks because they are a beautifully balanced team that does everything well. Pitt should take Texas out in a good game. I think Georgia’s luck runs out with UCLA – impressive personnel, well coached.

I think Louisville’s defense will keep the game close, but Kansas is too well balanced and has a decided scoring advantage over the Ville. I think Pitt can beat UCLA, in, once again, a titanic struggle that could go OT.

The championship game. Kansas Vs Pitt. I think Pitt will outmuscle the Jayhawks. Pitt 66, Kansas 62

Your mileage may vary

PB

Present book: “The Majors” by John Feinstein

On the turntable: “Around The World With Three Dog Night”

What Do We Do About HRC?

January 16, 2008

A simple question, with a complicated answer.

Hating HRC will not help pass any legislation.

Don’t make me stutter. Yes, hating HRC will not help pass legislation. Yes, they suck. Solmonese IS a lying shithead, never to be trusted again, even by his own mama, except perhaps to fuck up. But there is work to do.

State laws are pending in Massachusetts and Kentucky. These can be passed. In Kentucky, the Fairness Campaign has never been affiliated with HRC, and hopefully never will be. In Mass, MTPC recently got into bed with HRC and accepted $25K of their blood money. No matter, you can lobby your legislators without anyone’s help, if you so wish.

In the US Congress, things are at a standstill presently. The version of ENDA (the inadequate one), according to one of Ted Kennedy’s aides, is coming up soon. I doubt that. ENDA is far too controversial a bill and far too close to be raised in an election year. Furthermore, it won’t take much work to kill it. It takes 60 votes for a bill to clear a cloture vote. The hate crimes bill passed with barely 60 votes. Does anyone really believe that Norm Coleman, George Voinovich, Richard Lugar, John Warner, and Arlen Specter will really all still vote for this ENDA? It won’t take much lobbying to kill that ENDA – and if they did somehow get the votes for this dud ENDA, no way Dick Cheney lets George Bush put his X on it.

What it is time for, is for each person who reads this blog to make the effort to actually meet their Representative and Senators. I mean them, not an aide, but them. Face to face, shake hands, introduce yourself, give them your business card. Tell them what you believe in, what you want them to do in the next Congressional session. You can best do this right in your own state capitol or home town. If they are not approachable, or are absolutely dead-set negative on the issues you believe in, then work for their opposition and get to know them, that way.

If you can’t do the above, or you have the desire to do more, then you can learn to lobby. Keep in mind that you need to see “the member” – not the aides, because they will try to keep you away from the actual Congressman. You can lobby any Congressman you wish, but it helps if you have a connection to their district – use your mother-in-law’s address, tell them you do business in their district, use your imagination. You are probably most likely to speak to an actual Member of Congress at home, not in DC, although you can actually run into them there. Having pictures helps – they might be in the lunchroom or walking the halls, or you might be able to ambush them following a committee hearing. If you write them, always do it by FAX – snailmail letters are still being delayed for inspection, and email is nearly always read and discarded by aides.

Be sure you’re not lobbying for “air” – lobbying for a hypothetical bill or inclusion in same requires great experience, an appointment with the actual Member of Congress, and only with the Congressman who is likely to take the lead on such a bill. And it is useless to lobby for bills that have been thrown out in committee, or withdrawn by their sponsors – there’s a group I know of now that believes that HR2015 (the inclusive ENDA) can be resurrected – since Barney Frank withdrew it, it is dead for this Session of Congress, and by lobbying for it, they are showing their ignorance to every Congressional office they contact.

There’s your homework assignment for this year. Meet your Members of Congress, and/or work for better ones. Work in your state and locality. Learn how to do things right. And, if you have the chance, protest an HRC fundraiser. They need to be hurt. Always show more respect than I’d show a ringed seal!

PB