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View Article  The Family Circus Mocks Sarah Palin?

I caught this on a blog referrer.  I read this cartoon (I know you read it, too) and the Sarah Palin costume went right over my head.  What do you think?


View Article  Farewell Opus
View Article  Post-Gazette Accepts Anti-Obama Ad for Monday's newspaper bags

Monday's Post-Gazette will show up on your doorstep swathed in "Vote for Freedom ... Defeat Obama" ad on the little bag in which the paper is delivered.  I confirmed this over the telephone with the Post-Gazette's customer service department this morning. 

That's pretty shameless. I understand the line between editorial content (they endorsed Obama) and advertising revenue, but the day before the election seems like an opportunity for exploitation of that line.  And the PG has to know that.  Other newspapers turned it down...like the Virginia Pilot.  Here's what they said about that decision, courtesy of 2 Political Junkies:

Similar considerations factored into The Pilot's decision to reject the ad, said company business development manager Alan Levenstein.

Because it takes about six weeks to print the plastic bags, permitting a group with one view to purchase that space could deny a group with an opposing view a chance to buy the same space before the election, Levenstein said.

"We want to make sure that we provide equity for all sides, make sure that there is a level playing field," he said. "We want to make sure that we don't look, as a newspaper, that we're endorsing one viewpoint or another."

As a matter of policy, The Pilot would sell space to candidates and interest groups of all persuasions in its print pages, which unlike the plastic bags can accommodate multiple ads in one edition.

Maria's post is excellent.  She's urging all you who find this offensive and inappropriate to call the PG's Advertising Department to complain.  412-263-1100.  Some are calling for cancellations of subscriptions.  I mean the whole point of this business decision was to get the ad in front of those who get the hard copy delivered at home.  If you cut off that source of income, you send a message. 

The PG's desperation is getting pretty schlocky.  The Pittsburgh Bible was ridiculous.  I feel zero responsibility to support the PG when they are engaging in business practices that violate voter ethics.  It is despicable and beyond belief that someone was stupid enough to accept this ad. 

View Article  Steel City update - bar crawl and election info you need to know
Lots of good information here.  I still haven't had any feedback from local Dems on the PG linkages of Rob McCord with Wall Street.  Also, while Jason Altmire does support ENDA, he was willing to vote for the non-inclusive version.  Of course, it is a no brainer that he is better than Melissa Hart, but still important to keep in mind the distinction between "lesser of the evils" and "good on our issues." Excluding transmen and women from ENDA is not good on our issues, IMHO.  Still, voting for Altmire is the right thing to do.  Hart's commercials about his takeover of Congress have been absolutely over the top.
I wish the Steel City folks used an easier to read font and included information on the geographic regions of these races. 
Dan Onorato on a gay pub crawl.  Now that is something noteworthy. Maybe domestic partner benefits for County Employees is not too far off, not to mention an inclusive anti-discrimination measure on a county level. 
Read on ...if you can step up to assist, please do so. 

BAR CRAWL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1st starting at 10:30 PM

Come & join PA Congressman Mike Doyle, PA State Rep. Dan Frankel, PGH City Councilman Bruce Kraus, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, & PGH City Council President Doug Shields.

The Crawl begins at 10:30 PM at 5801 VIDEO BAR, 5801 Ellsworth Ave, Shadyside.

and then continues on to:

HARRIS GRILL, 5747 Ellsworth Ave.  Shadyside.

DONNY'S PLACE, 1226 Herron Ave.  Mexican War Streets

IMAGES, 965 Liberty Ave.  Downtown.

941 SALOON, 941 Liberty Ave.  Downtown.

THERE VIDEO LOUNGE, 931 Liberty Ave. Downtown.

PEGASUS 818 Liberty Ave. Downtown.

PITTSBURGH EAGLE, 1740 Eckert St. North Side.


Special Thanks to the Organizer & Steel-City Stonewall Democrats Member: Gary Van Horn




The PA House is very much in play.  State Rep. Babette Josephs who was key in stopping the PA Constitutional Amendment to ban GLBT Marriages & Civil Unions will lose her Committee Chair if Democrats lose just one seat.  Therefore we urge people to vote for the Democrats across the board for State Rep. in order to preserve Babette Josephs leadership role in the PA legislature along with the Democratic Majority in General.

Ayanna Lee is in one of the closest PA State House races in our area and needs volunteers on election day.  Check out http://www.ayannalee.com/ to find out how to volunteer for her campaign


In the 4th Congressional District, Jason Altmire www.jasonaltmire.com is in a tough reelection battle with former Congressional Rep. Mellisa Hart.  In the last Congress, Jason Altmire voted to include gays in existing hate crime laws & for ENDA which would prohibit job discrimination against gays & lesbians .  In comparison, before she was defeated, Melissa Hart racked up one of the most homophobic voting records in the Congress.

In the 18th Congressional District, Tim Murphy opposes stem cell research to cure diseases like AIDS & cancer & is one of the prime supporters of the Constitutional Ammendment to ban gay marriage .  Steve O'Donnel is fighting an uphill battle to defeat Murphy & has wonderfull positions on GLBT issues.  We urge people to support Steve O'Donnel www.electodonnell.com


Rob McCord is running a tough election for PA Treasurer.  He has excellent positions on our issues we urge people to support Rob McCord www.mccordforpennsylvania.com


Don't believe the polls.  McCain is making Pennsylvania a central part of the election and everything will depend on turn out.  If you would like to volunteer to help Get Out The Vote for Obama.  Click http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/palgbtGOTV

Check out the rest of our endorsements & recommendations on  WWW.STEEL-CITY.ORG


Election Results Watch Night Party on Tuesday Night, November 4th. at There Video Lounge, 931 Liberty Ave. Downtown

Special Thanks to the Organizer & Steel-City Stonewall Democrats Member: Scott Noxon

View Article  4 days ...

As I've written, I have election fatigue.  Tony Norman persuaded me that Obama "has this" so I'm sort of lacking in the last minute urgency department, probably b/c I have urgent stuff happening on a personal level and there's only so much urgency to go aroud. 

Intellectually, I have some sense of guilt when I pour my way through the 799 million pleas streaming into my inbox and my Facebook account and over the telephone.  I know that all of this is important.  I try to follow what's happening on the various marriage amendment issues (California, Arizona, Florida, etc).  There's an important proposition that would impact gay foster parenting and adoption in Arkansas.  I recognize how the intersection of race and class is deeply embedded in the Presidential campaign. 

Emotionally, I am just spent.  Still, I dutifully read the email messages this morning (Rosie O'Donnell apparently supports Elizabeth Dole but hasn't financially supported the anti-marriage amendment efforts in her home state of Florida?).  Then I checked in at the Obama Pride site (see the button in the right hand column) and reread the closing argument.

Yes, government must lead the way on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and our businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair.  But all of us must do our part as parents to turn off the television and read to our children and take responsibility for providing the love and guidance they need.  Yes, we can argue and debate our positions passionately, but at this defining moment, all of us must summon the strength and grace to bridge our differences and unite in common effort ? black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; Democrat and Republican, young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, disabled or not. 

- Senator Barack Obama

I have to admit that on this particular day the emphasis on a joint individual/systemic response to social problems resonates deeply with me.  I struggle with systems every day, both in my personal life and my professional realm.  Perhaps that's why I seem a little too invested when the obvious flaws rise to the surface.  You would not believe how difficult it has been to access publicly funded senior services for my grandmother -- just getting good information was a stroke of luck.  Working our way through the patchwork of public and private providers and decision-makers has been traumatic.  And exhausting.  And I'm just dealing with the paperwork side; my parents are the caretakers -- how people do both is beyond me. 

It was kind of heartening when the collection lady for the non-Medicare part of her hospital bill responded so nicely when I explained why she didn't have supplemental insurance (government allowing bankruptcies to screw retirees) and that we are spending every dime on in-home care so she doesn't end up in the hospital b/c she really isn't sick.  She's just old and needs some help.  The woman actually said we are making the right choice with her resources and most people just dump and run in her experience.  How sad.  But it was nice to have someone recognize that you do have a personal responsibility to take care of your family and sometimes that is a tough, tough thing to do. 

I've been talking to my parents until I am blue in the face about the President who will oversee their retirement and ensuing access of services and supports.  I hope that what I think will be two Republicans voting for Obama will help.  My father will not confirm or deny his vote; he never does. 

I'm not feelng much in the way of strength and grace these days. Here's hoping Tuesday brings us all some change. 

View Article  Happy Birthday, Mum!

Today is my mum's 66th birthday or, as we like to say, her 1year anniversary of being eligible for ACCESS.  She's an ACCESS goddess now.


View Article  Various Updates

Here's a good site for an update on Prop 8, the California amendment that would make gay marriage illegal.

Pam's House Blend has an interesting post about Barack Obama's Caucasian family.

From PageOneQ:


And, finally, this from the Bay Area Reporter's Political IQ column:

I'm not joking when I say we need heroes right now. We need a Martin Luther King Jr. or a Gandhi. And, I wouldn't at all mind if a Wonder Woman or Superman flew in to help.

We should be winning. This year's electoral map looks increasingly liberal, yet we're still struggling. As I gaze at the political landscape, I can't help but wonder: Where have all our champions gone?

Personally, I think these people do exist, but they are impossible to spot unless we understand what it really takes to become a hero. To do that, first consider Superman and Wonder Woman. These fictional super folk illustrate the two characteristics shared by all heroes, imagined and real.

First, heroes have to have the ability to act. Because they face super villains, Wonder Woman and Superman need extraordinary powers. But even with their super strengths, these two couldn't claim the title of "hero," if they hadn't first decided they have a personal responsibility to help other people. Wonder Woman could have lived regally as an Amazon princess. Superman could have ripped apart bank vaults and lounged in luxury with his plundered millions. Who could have stopped him?

In real life, heroes don't need super strength. In fact, real heroes are quite ordinary before they ever do anything heroic. Martin Luther King Jr. was nothing more than the pastor of a church in Alabama before he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Gandhi was a lawyer before he launched his first crusade for freedom. However, both realized that they had a responsibility to act. Both brought their real-world gifts to the battles they faced.

I ask again: Where are the champions in LGBT America and among our straight allies? Who are the people who will save us?

Who are our heroes in Western Pennsylvania? It is something I struggle to understand and seem to question far too often for anyone's comfort. Including my own.  My therapist keeps asking me why I have to go there and I'm not sure I understand it myself.  First and foremost, I just think it should be okay to ask questions.  Second, it should be okay to have opinions.  And third, well, it should be okay to hold people accountable when they assume leadership roles and make promises/commitments/pledges to us.  Like the President. Only someone that I acutally believe.

View Article  Electile Dysfunction: Wagner and Peduto?

Due to my radiator malfunction in Uptown during the afternoon, I was unable to attend the Electile Dysfunction event last night.  Missing Lynn Cullen was a definite downer.  Spending hundreds for the repair is another.  Sigh.  I keep repeating that I got luck enough to be able to pull into a parking space before the last of the fluid leaked from my car AND that my engine doesn't need to be replaced.  Right? 

Someone please book Lynn Cullen somewhere so I can get a little jolt.  You would not believe how much email I get asking for her email address.  It is cullenshow@yahoo.com, by the way. 

I'm in the process of wrapping up my tenure with my current employer and switching gears from the child welfare system to the adult MH system.  Just learning the acronyms is a challenge.  But I'm excited about moving from a literal closet office to one with a giant window.  Sunshine! 

I'm disappointed that Bill Peduto and Chelsa Wagner have still not identified the charity to benefit from tonight's Halloween party.  I'm a little more disappointed that they seem to be affronted that I would ask questions of them about a political event (we all know it is a political event).  I asked some folks in the know, including someone connected to another state level official, and it does seem that there is an "understanding" that we who identify as liberal/progressive are supposed to sort of grant more wiggle-room (for lack of a better term) to our progressives allies whom we've elected when they are doing the political/pre-campaign thing.  I violated a taboo when I shared my opinion with the 57 people who read this blog, most of whom are other bloggers and already knew.  Gosh.

I think failing to name the charity is a mistake in general and that's more from my social work/NPO perspective. But I'm much more concerned that Chelsa Wagner's team (the campaign team, the office staff, the behind the scenes supporters who are putting this shindig together) are completely ignoring my concerns about her lack of presence in Manchester.  It doesn't make sense that you could consider a run for Mayor when you haven't been tending to your current duties in a City neighborhood. 

The response from her supporters in the blog comments has been rather vile, but privately people keep asking me if I'd vote for Chelsa over Luke, even given this lack of attention to my community.  That's a ridiculous question at this point.  I mean Manchester has been pretty much ignored by the City anyway, so does it really matter on that point?  Well, Tonya Payne is at least putting in some effort to change that.  And BBI told me they are coming out in November to do a sweep of Manchester and clean up tons of vacant lots.  That's going to generate a feel-good buzz which will last until the weeds and vines really take hold in mid-summer.  Someone commented about that and I agree its a possibility. 

I just think as a resident that it is offensive that our State Representative would lend her political cred to OTHER neighborhoods in the Northside when she hasn't been doing a satisfactory job in our neighborhood.  And then complain to another blogger about "no good deed going unpunished" while her alleged supporters are personally attacking me and her other constituents.

Who exactly is being punished here?  Read the comments again.

I was planning to attend the party, but now I am carless and have several other invites that Ledcat prefers to attend.  So I don't know.  Clearly, if Bill and Chelsa aren't going to even reach out via private email or phone call in response to the racism and homophobia running through this discussion, then it doesn't seem worth my while to even bother.  Clearly, dissent is not a viable tactic in this dialogue.

View Article  LGBTQ positive letter to the editor

This ran in Thursday's PG.  Kudso to Lee Marcuzzi of Shaler for noting a LGBTQ positive story. 

What a wonderful article. ("Taking center stage," Oct. 23.) It is so refreshing to see an article about drag queens and kings that is not biased and discusses the true talent and work that these performances require.

As a female, and concerned member of the community, I think that positive coverage like this will help people see that GLBT people are not threatening. Unfortunately, the bullying and harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth in our schools is a huge problem. It is a fact that nine out of 10 gay kids are victims of name-calling in the schools and four times as many gay kids attempt suicide as straight kids. Our schools should be safe and welcoming for all students, regardless of gender identity. We are all different! Let's embrace and enjoy our diversity as your writer has.

Here's a link to the original story about the Miss Tri-State All Star pageant. 

Lee hits the nail on the head.  Our community has been pretty fortunate that the majority of local coverage has been gay-positive, even in the Tribune Review.  The worst sin seems to be a tendency to rely on cliches, even if they are alleged to be "positive" by a predominantly hetero media (Mike Seate is a classic example).  But the vile tends to come from the columnists and most of that from the syndicated ones.  The local reporters tend to "get it" and I'm optimistic that this coverage has helped promote positive representations of our community. 

We are actually fortunate that the issues are being covered at all.  We have a lot of political balls up in the air, on the state and local levels so it is important that our straight allies speak up and speak out. 

Keep looking for opportunities to write letters.  Call the talk shows.  Be vocal and make sure the media continues to be aware that we are paying attention.

View Article  Here's One Way to Keep Warm ...
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