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
Protest

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
Police.

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
information.

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
the PHYLLABUSTER
prfrye@aol.com
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
Americas.

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
Americas.

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
weapon.

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!

ARTWORK ONE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR LAPELSTICKER 3.75″ x 2.5″ BUT
WOULD ALSO MAKE A GREAT KINKO POSTER.

ARTWORK TWO SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR BUMPERSTICKER BUT EASILY USED
BY KINKOS TO MAKE TWO LONG SIGNS CUT FROM ONEPOSTER.

IF YOU WANT OTHER ARTWORKS, LET ME KNOW AND IWILL SEND.

Phyllis Randolph Frye
the PHYLLABUSTER
prfrye@aol.com
http://www.tglegal.com/

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?

PB

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.

AC

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 http://www.brickboard.com, 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 http://www.fcpgroton.com and http://www.ipdusa.com. 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

A too-curious cat

Posted March 21, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: cats

Is it considered bad form for a polar bear to pull a dirty trick on a cat?

Sandy enjoys milk. Really enjoys milk. To the extent that she will jump onto the countertop when a polar bear stops to fix a beverage, in the hopes that the beverage will be milk. She will take a couple of laps off the top of the beverage, as if to pass approval-and request her own portion.

And so it was this evening. Except that the beverage in question was not milk. It was a Cuba Libre.  Yes, Appleton Estate dark rum, diet Coke, and a splash of lime, served over ice.  Yum.

Not yum. Sandy just had to have a taste.

Now, cats generally don’t like alcohol. Or cola. Or lime. Sandy took a taste, looked up at me with the “how can you drink this stuff?” look on her cute little face, then looked at me disapprovingly as I went back downstairs with my drink.

I fixed another some time later. She stayed away as soon as she saw me reach for the rum bottle.

Perhaps Scotch and milk might be more to her liking?

Got yer brackets done?

Posted March 18, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: sports, Whatever the hell

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”

Ending The New Cold War

Posted January 30, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: philosophy & politics, politics, Transgender

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. – Winston Churchill

Ever since September 2007, the T community and a good part of the GL community, most notably the political side of HRC, as well as some of the GL bloggers like Aravosis and Chris Crain, have been in a state of cold war. We do not communicate, and HRC feels they can choose our leaders, pick our representatives for us, listen to those they want and not listen to those who’d tell the truth, no matter how brutal. Joe Solmonese’ Southern Comfort speech, and his effort to characterize the lie he told during it as “misspeaking”, shows the unbelievable corporate contempt HRC has for the T community. As a result of that speech, and HRC’s deceitful lobbying techniques used in the passage of H.R. 3685, nearly all T activists have sworn to never speak or do business with HRC ever again. I’ve advocated that approach, myself. It’s pretty hard to do business with an organization that has such a history, going back to the 1990s, of deceit, conceit, and deception in their business practices, not to mention the fact that their words cannot be believed. As a result, among transgender activists, not to mention many GL activists, an iron curtain has descended between them and HRC.

While we should never give up our principles, we must also realize that we cannot maintain our principles unless we survive. – Henry A. Kissinger

HRC, in its rare town hall meetings, ostensibly held to explain their ENDA strategy and actions of Fall 2007, has taken the position that “Joe misspoke himself” at Southern Comfort. The manner in which they say this points out the difference between people who live “inside the DC Beltway”, and people who don’t live in the seat of government. Joe Solmonese believes he misspoke, most likely. To those of us who are more plainspoken, he told a baldfaced lie. And, nobody wants to do business with, or trust, a liar, do they? Of course not.

In reality, we all do business with liars all the time. Politicians at all levels, not just DC, lie and lie daily. Lawyers are paid to lie, to get their clients off. Shopkeepers lie about their products’ quality, preachers lie, and that’s before we get to the buying and selling of cars and trucks. The question is this: do we want to throw away the T community’s chances at passage of rights laws, in return for moral indignation and high principle, especially when the people we must do business with have the exact same (lack of) moral standards and level of innate dishonesty? I think that we need to consider the need for survival – and passing T-inclusive employment protections into Federal law could well mean survival for many T people.

The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision. – Henry A. Kissinger

There is no question that transgender leaders rarely share background, history, or culture with many GL leaders. In her TransGriot blog posting entitled ,”Why The Transgender Community Hates HRC,” Monica Roberts wrote In the 90’s the transgender leadership became more national in scope and more diverse by the end of the decade. In addition to the founding core leadership from California and the Northeast corridor, transleaders emerged in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, and Illinois. The emergence of leaders from what was derisively called ‘flyover country’ by the peeps from Cali and the Northeast Corridor changed the dynamics of the transgender rights movement.The addition of leaders from these states brought people into the movement who not only believed in the principles of Kingian inclusion and non-violence, they practiced those values. The rise of the Internet gave them efficient communications links to exchange information and tactics, coordinate strategy and inexpensively talk to each other. They were also people of faith who had ringside seats to the Religious Right takeovers of the Republican parties in these regions. The Texans watched their state be used as a laboratory for the tactics that would be used in the South and later the rest of the country.As people of faith who were mostly Southerners, the new transleaders correctly perceived that the Religious Right was the same coalition of 60’s racist anti-progressive forces masquerading in ‘family values’ drag and urged coordinated efforts to defeat them.Unfortunately, while the Religious Right was using the 80’s and 90’s to organize for culture war and develop their Machiavellian playbook to power, transpeople were fighting a pitched battle with the gay and lesbian community just to be included. This civil war against the GLB transphobes sucked time, energy and money from the transgender community that could have been better spent combating the Religious Right.

The predominately white and bicoastal-based gay and lesbian leadership didn’t see the Religious Right as a threat because they not only didn’t have fundies in their backyards, they let their anti-transgender biases color their perceptions. They dismissed the threat because it was transpeople who were sounding the warning bells about it. At the same thime they were cavalierly dismissing their concerns about GLBT unity and the Religious Right threat, they arrogantly demanded that transpeople work to pass gay-only rights bills.”

Most transgender community leaders that I know have little knowledge, in turn, of gay culture. I admit that I don’t.  Drag shows bore me to tears, I prefer Midleton’s Irish whiskey, neat, to martinis, I dress like a slob most of the time, and I can’t dance. Literally, if men are from Mars and women from Venus, then gay men are from Uranus, lesbians are from Saturn, and transpeople from Neptune. A prime example is the popularity of gay entertainer Charles Knipp’s allegedly comic character “Shirley Q. Liquor” among gay audiences; Shirley Q. Liquor is universally abhorred by transpeople as an insulting and racist characterization harkening back to minstrel shows. Likewise, the popularity among lesbians of the writings of Germaine Greer and Janice Raymond, both abhorrent to transgender people, illustrates the cultural distance sometimes present. Transgender people know well the history of what HRC and others like Raymond and Greer have said and done; likewise, many GL people hold on to the belief that T issues are foreign to them, and some even oppose them outright. Clearly, we each believe the other is more of a threat to the other than we are; in reality, both of us are ineptly open, by dint of our lack of knowledge of the other, to attacks from the Religious Right and social conservatives.
 

The Cold War isn’t thawing; it is burning with a deadly heat. Communism isn’t sleeping; it is, as always, plotting, scheming, working, fighting. – Richard M. Nixon

HRC does not particularly care what we, as a community, think of them. Our hate for them is unrequited, not returned. They will continue to do what they are doing, regardless of whatever we may think of them or write about them. Neither does Barney Frank – Congressman Frank is widely rumored to be assembling a group of white, East Coast, non-critical transgender women to participate in hearings on H.R.3686, the separate gender-only bill that has no chance of being voted upon anytime soon. These hearings, along with HRC’s town hall meetings, are examples of the fact that HRC will follow their agenda, unabated. Transgender people are little more than an inconvenience or annoyance to them. For hatred and anger to bring them to heel, it will take a massive impact on fundraising, a massive dent in their membership rolls, or catastrophic failure in its legislative mission. The T community is limited in its ability to effect such things – it simply lacks the organization, money, and numbers of activists willing to do so.Worse, still, is the threat from the Religious Right. In November 2007, the Jefferson County, KY., school board considered employment protections for GLBT faculty and employees. Even though Louisville/Jefferson County is a jurisdiction that has had a T-inclusive employment/housing/ public accomodations law in place since 1999, then reaffirmed in 2004, the T was quickly jettisoned when push came to shove – and omission from H.R, 3685 was cited as a rationale for that omission.

The Religious Right does not differentiate between gay and trans. Even if employment laws omit transgender people, the “man in a dress using the women’s restroom” analogy is nearly always used as a reason to not pass such legislation, and will continue to be used. Gay and lesbian people, just as often as transgender people, are painted by Christian fundamentalist extremists as being pedophiles, even though the most likely type of person to engage in pedophilia is a straight married male Caucasian.

“Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.” Winston Churchill

I don’t trust HRC, and most transgender activists don’t, either, but eventually transgender activists will have to sit across a table and speak to them. We know they will, probably, lie to us, because they’ve done so many times before, including very recently. Yet, sooner or later, transgender people will have to do business with HRC, if we want to be included in legislation in 2009, or even in the years beyond that. We need, then, as a community, to decide who should do the talking for us, and decide to let them do so without conducting the sort of on-line questioning of motive and integrity that so far has occurred, whether that questioning may have been warranted or not.What do we ask for, in a negotiation? First of all, a public apology for the SCC lie. A return in kind of the monies fundraised from the transgender community at SCC, spread among the major transgender lobbying organizations (IFGE, NTAC, TAVA, and NCTE). A pledge to never again lobby against the interests of the transgender community to expediently pass a GL-only bill. A commitment to hire transgender people to work for HRC in varying capacities, including on the various boards and in the Federal Club – and not just the “nice trannies”, but transgender activists that have actually carried picket signs outside HRC galas and events, transgender people of all ages, gender identities (including intersexed), and transgender people of color.

Unfettered access to Congressional and Senate offices, with HRC-affiliated aides being involved only long enough to get the transgender lobbyists in the office with the actual Members of Congress, must be one of the demands in the negotiations. Many Congressional aides have served internships with, or have worked for, HRC. In fact, part of our problem in Congress last year was due to, I feel, our lobbyists’ongoing inability to meet with actual Congressmen and Senators. We are giving our knowledge and stories to aides, when it it the actual Members who need to hear them. This is a logjam that must be broken through, if this community is to ever be included in employment rights legislation. When Barney Frank said in September 2007 that not enough education had been done, this is what he was talking about – and, yes, you can bet that HRC meant for the education to not take place, or wanted it to come from their lobbyists’ mouths, not the mouths of transgender people, for some reason. Knowing that reason, beyond doubt, should be a priority. However, to break this logjam, we must get past the aides and through to the Members – and HRC will have to be induced to let us do that.

Others, I’m sure, can add to this list of demands – and I encourage comments to that effect.

We also need to decide to whom we should speak – and that needs to be our community’s decision. HRC will, very likely, expect this community to negotiate with people who lack the authority to deliver on matters of question. We must stand firmly on the need to speak with the person who’s set HRC’s political strategies for the past 10 years or so. Hint: that’s not Joe Solmonese. No, that’s David Smith, the long-time power behind the throne, and a man long known to be unenthusiastic about the transgender rights movement. Solmonese, as seen at SCC and the weeks thereafter, can promise much, but if Smith doesn’t agree, it isn’t happening, and they have no compulsion about leaving ol’ Joe twisting in the wind. In short, talking to Solmonese won’t do the job – he’s just the monkey. Smith is the organ grinder.

A Time For Detente

The feelings of the transgender community are still very raw, where HRC is concerned. We must remember that the violation does not get us closer to achieving the passage of legislation. We must accept that HRC IS the 10,000 pound gorilla on the Hill. They know they have a big problem among transgender people, as well as with right-thinking GLBT organizations who support full transgender inclusion, and no amount of hatred or invective vented via the Internet will affect that one bit – although some effective protests, like the October 1997 protest at the national dinner in DC, may. Playing upon their desire to mend fences may help this process. At the same time, we must guard that all segments of the community have a say, that it is not a one-way negotiation, and that all organizations have a say in the questions and terms. In fact, I suspect that this community isn’t going to be able to agree on who to negotiate, let alone what to negotiate, and that Barney Frank and HRC will simply impose their will. I fully expect to be vilified in print, even by people I respect and consider friends, for daring to suggest that we should negotiate with the monolithic Gibraltar on Rhode Island Ave.. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not willing to let them have their say, without getting a word in edgewise. The time to start getting that word in edgewise, is now. Otherwise, we’re going to be reduced to writing letters to Congressmen’s office that will never be read by Congressmen, and bitching to each other on the Internet. That simply isn’t good enough for me, and people are quite literally starving and being killed for being transgender.  What harm is there in talking?  Unless hatred is the best we can do………

 Look at ya
Yeah, take a look in the mirror now tell me what you see
Another satisfied customer in the front of the line for the American dream
I remember when we was both out on the boulevard Talkin’ revolution and singin’ the blues
Nowadays it’s letters to the editor and cheatin’ on our taxes
Is the best that we can do
Come on”Amerika, Version 2.0″ – Steve Earle

Present Book: “The Gonzo Way”, by Anita Thompson

On the turntable: “There Goes The Neighborhood”, by Joe Walsh

Pride, on this day

Posted January 21, 2008 by polarbearspeaks
Categories: philosophy & politics

Pride (in the name of love) – U2 (as they perform it live as of 2006)

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you…)

Afternoon, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of loveIn the name of love
What more in the name of love…

Today is January 21, 2008. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday. 40 years ago, this year, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down by a scumsucking coward. The fact that Dr. King would have forgiven him for his evil deed, is a fact not to be forgotten, for he was also a man of God, a man who truly believed in and understood the universal values of human equality and rights that are recognized by every civilized belief system the world over.

We all know his story – it’s on many websites, not to mention Wikipedia. If you haven’t heard his speeches, they’re available. I’m not doing your research for you. That’s the job of libraries, not blogs.

This is a Federal holiday, and a holiday in most states. It’s the most special type of holiday, because it’s not a holiday for drinking beer, grilling burgers, watching NASCAR or bowl games, exchanging gifts, or going fishing. Instead, it’s the day that we should annually remind ourselves of who Dr. King was. What he stood for – basic fairness, passion, human kindness, the power of the spoken word to challenge and inspire, charity towards others – and above all, basic human rights for all – and what his presence on this earth should still inspire us to do today.

Period. No more, no less.

Of course, most people think of Dr. King’s mission as being 0ne of civil rights for African-Americans, which certainly was the basis of his life’s work, although many people not of African-American descent were inspired to thought and action by his works and words. His work resulted in rights being guaranteed under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on racial grounds, as well as for women, people who were born in other countries and emigrated to the US, and people of faith – and inspired myriad other laws that protected housing rights and rights for handicapped people, to name just a couple.

Dr. King is a hero of mine. I am many shades lighter, lack his power to hold an audience of thousands in the palm of his hand, not to mention the ultimate power he had to inspire people to follow and work for a righteous purpose. I have other skills that I try to use in the service of human rights, but none stack up to his. I’m not aware of anyone currently alive that has Dr. King’s skill set.

People throughout the world will study the life, works, and words of this man centuries from now, will learn from and apply his lessons, and will aspire to his oratory prowess and ability to inspire. Remember him today, consider his words and deeds, and ask yourself what you can do to help those who still are working for human rights. If you aspire to Dr. King’s goals, and work in the spirit of his memory, you may not achieve what he did – but you will do good for all human beings.

PB