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View Article  Big Lesbian Shout Out to All the Friends of Dana Edwards, She of the White House and Southside's Chocolate Celebrations

Timing, as they say, is everything.

Just Saturday night, my lover and I took a stroll through the Southside to our favorite Cambodian restaurant and passed by a local confectionary called Chocolate Celebrations and the Milkshake Factory.  You may recall a certain Post-Gazette article fawning over two certain members of this family owned business, siblings Dana and Chris Edwards.  Their claim to fame is that both work for the White House.   I blogged about it here.   I wasn't impressed that two Pittsburgh kids work for the war machine presidency while their family makes a living schlepping ice cream to hardworking families who don't know any better.  Call me a liberal. 

Why do I bring this up?  Well, over the 72 hours, I have had visitors from multiple governmental sites surfing over to my little post by typing "Dana Edwards and White House" into their engines.  At first, I thought it was one of the "google myself" things.  But its coming from the House of Representatives, the White House, Securities and Exchange Commission and so forth. 

Just one of those things I keep noticing. 

Dana has friends in high places.  Or gives good milk shake.  

View Article  Reason #17 I Need a U-Haul

"Maybe the city's in a position to look for some security and let things settle down a bit," said Mr. Onorato. "We don't have elections to distract us."

h/t 2 Political Junkies

View Article  Suzie McConnnell-Serio to replace Rene Portland? And what does JoePa think?

The PG's Bob Smizik takes Penn State to task for allowing Portland to ride roughshod over university standards, policies and common decency.

It's not like the Harris incident was the first against Portland. She had a long and documented history on the subject. As far back as 1986, Portland was quoted making an anti-lesbian statement. In such a comparatively unenlightened era, such behavior might be understandable. But to maintain such an attitude over some 20 years speaks to the ignorance of a closed mind -- something that should not be tolerated among leaders at a major university.

And what does the big mac-Daddy of PSU sports himself have to say about the whole thing (he hired Portland back in the day when he was athletic director)?

"She is doing what she wants to do," said Paterno, who hired Portland in 1980 when he was athletic director. "I hired Rene and have always been fond of Rene. I think she has done a great job. If she wants to get out of it, then that is up to her."

Uh huh.  Well, fortunately, he won't be hiring the next coach.  Rumor has it that Pittsburgh's own Suzie McConnell-Serio is at the top of the consideration list.  Now that would be very romantic, but I'd suggest PSU take a moment to ensure that McConnell-Serio "gets" it on LGBTQ issues.  She's on the record as stating that sexual orientation is a "personal choice" and that she'll respect personal choices.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement for affirming lesbian players, but a far cry from the Portland-menace approach.  If McConnell-Serio can keep her attention on the game and the players' behavior related to the game, more power to her. 

But wouldn't it be cool if Penn State hired an openly lesbian coach? 

View Article  Talked to Peduto's Campaign and I'm Even More Pissed Off Now

A few days ago, I received a letter from Mr. Peduto thanking me for attending a house meeting in my neighborhood.  This is how he signed off:

"Together we can move Pittsburgh forward.  Together we can win.  I look forward to working closely alongside you to help build a New Pittsburgh."

Today I received the acknowledge of my campaign contribution which I have to admit was a big chunk for me to fork over.  It was incorrectly adddressed so I called the campaign to get that corrected.  During the course of that conversation, I was fed the whole party line about the reasons why it was in Pittsburgh's best interest for Mr. Peduto to withdraw from the race and why I should still be a true believer. 

It just made me angrier.  Its almost as if I am supposed to just stuff my feelings down and take one for the team with just the slightest suggestion that actually *criticizing* Bill Peduto is a big fat no-no.  Good girls/progressives don't.  I'm supposed to suck it up and go to bat for other progressive candidates. 

Fuck that.  While my learned blogging colleagues around the burghosphere explore the political underbelly of recent events, critique the media response and go all cosa nostra on the Ravenstahl administration, I sit here at my computer staring at these two letters just FEELING ANGRY.  It has only been three days after all.  I'm allowed to be angry.  It is a healthy response to betrayal.  Oops, did I say that?  I mean to tacitly accepting the status quo with regard to Allegheny County Dem politics. 

Its only two years, the staffer told me.  I'm 36.  Two years is a still a proportionately decent amount of my lifetime.  It is 24 months of my payroll taxes and property taxes and sweat equity.  It is countless community meetings and volunteer hours and meals in locally owned restaurants and purchases in local businesses. 

It is two more years of endless telephone calls to Luke's Folly (aka 311) about dumping, dog fighting, marijuana sales, runaway girls, and overgrown lawns.  It is several years of calling 911 from my cell phone so the cops don't show up on my door and rat me out to the local dealers (if they show up).  Its probably another few years of the house next door to me remaining unsold, unkempt and unattractive.  Oh, and that holds true for the other 10 houses for sale on my street. 

Two years is how long it might take for Allegheny County's anti-street violence project to actually try and intervene with the young men on our street.  Of course, in two years they could all be in jail anyway and who needs to worry then?

Two more years of driving out to the Giant Eagle on Camp Horne Road because its clean AND prostitute free.  On a bright note, with extra daylight it is safer to go to our Northside Giant Eagle a bit later in the evening (per the jitney drivers who have urged me away at times). 

So, Mr. Peduto, I look forward to a New Pittsburgh, too.  But over the next two years, I'm going to have to put all my energies into just keeping body and soul together here in my inner-city neighborhood. I'm one of the lucky ones who has a two income family and the privileges of being white.  You may not have noticed that most of the people who showed up at our little neighborhood meeting were white, most of us yuppies.  The following week at another community meeting, the reverse was true.  But you weren't there.  Neither was our actual city council rep (Ms. Payne) or our state rep (Ms. Wagner) or our senator (Mr. Fontana).  I wonder why they couldn't make it?

So while I appreciate the genuine sentiment of Mr. Peduto's campaign worker, I disagree with her philosophy.  She asked me to keep an open mind.  I blew a gasket at that and have to give her credit for listening to me.  My mind is open. 

It is my heart that is closed. 

View Article  Dyke Poets and Fag Hags - this week's City Paper

Our favorite editor over at the CP sticks his toes into the muck that is Ann Coulter's latest brouhaha.  As we mentioned earlier, the Pitt College Republicans have invited Annie to town for a talk on April 1, 2007.  While none of the College Republicans responded to his Potter's request for an interview, he does dig up some interesting facts about $$$.

The price for Ann begins at $20,000.  How the heck can the College Republican's come up with that kind of dough?  Even at a significant discount, you have to wonder ...

Yes, the protestors are ready to make an appearance both inside and outside the event.  That information comes from my assorted queer mailing lists, not the Potter column.

However, I have to make note that the obliviousness so rampant among Pittsburghers seems to have found a new low in the capable arms of Terry Milani, a Pitt student life administrator. 

Still, Milani says, "I don't expect [her appearance] to be contentious. I would expect that, for whatever reason, people would be interested in what she had to say."

Huh.   Maybe she's in charge of the part of student-life that doesn't involve reading the paper or watching news.  The girl part. 

Speaking of girl parts, I was thrilled to see one of my favorite performers featured in this week's edition.  Her name is Colelea and she's someone we've blogged about numerous times in the past.  One thing I like about Colea is that she just doesn't dismiss and turn her back on the mainstream gay community, she doesn't write us all off. 

You marched in last year's PrideFest Parade and said it was about lesbians taking space of their own. What role do gay men play in supporting your agenda?

Gay men have more of a vested interest in capitalism and patriarchy. We do have a lot of oppression in common, but we do have separate issues that are valid. I identify with queer politics and call myself a dyke. I think there have to be separate organizations, not that we don't share the same issues. ... I'm certainly what you'd call a radical feminist. I certainly don't represent the interests of all lesbians.


View Article  Penn State's Rene Portland Resigns

Here's a tidbit of good gay-tidings!

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State women's basketball coach Rene Portland resigned today, ending a 27-year tenure in which she won 606 games but battled allegations that she discriminated against lesbian players.

Portland resigned last night, the university said in a statement this morning.

Hurrah!  Hurrah!   More later ....



View Article  Ann Coulter's Coming to Pitt ...

Vis a vis recent email ...

If you are dying to boo Ann Coulter off a stage come to this...

Pitt's College Republican group is bring Ann Coulter to speak at Pitt on April 1st at 7pm in David Lawrence 120 & 121.

"The event is free, but tickets are now required. They will be available at the William Pitt Union for a few days for Pitt students to get the first opportunity, then open to the general public after. Due to Security: Please limit all coats and large bags, there will be a MANDATORY coat check, which will be at your own risk as we cannot be responsible for the items of 1000 guests."

View Article  I'm really pissed at Bill Peduto

Lots of speculation tonight on Bill Peduto's decision to pull out of the mayoral primary race.  Pgh Comet and the Admiral are just a few speculating that Peduto has a master plan to run as an Independent, couldn't raise enough money, or really did refuse to go negative. I've talked briefly with both Political Junkies tonight.  My buddy Jim F called to assess.  And I've been IMing an assortment of friends all evening. 

Right now I don't care what the reason is ... I'm just pissed off at Bill Peduto.  This is yet another nail in the coffin of Pittsburgh's leadership letting me down and I'm really sick of it. 

I am sick of being spoon-fed promises, sick of solutions that don't materialize and sick of living in a City where its always about the rich white guy. ALWAYS

And i'm talking small things.

A year ago, I witnessed illegal dumping in my community.  I called 911 with a complete description, including license plate.  The police let him go and it took another 10 calls on my part to the company, the property owner, the city and, finally, the Post-Gazette to get anything done about it.

Two years ago, I tried to get a neighbor to maintain their property.  That neighbor was PennDOT.  It took countless calls to O'Connor's office, Senator Wayne Fontana's office, the city, the county, not to mention PennDot to get anything to happen.  Then they bulldozed the site and sprayed noxious chemicals in a residential community so nothing would ever grow again.  Problem solved. 

For the past six months, I've tried to get help with the trouble a certain young man has brought into our neighborhood.  I've called 311, 911, the Manchester Citizens Corporation, One Vision One Life, our community police officer and talked with countless neighbors.  What I get in return are empty promises.  I've done all the legwork digging up information that no one will use.  Because there's no body.  Yet.  Maybe when I report that a 13 year old girl has been tossed out on the sidewalk someone will actually return my calls.  Isn't that something to look forward to?

Its this vicious cycle -- the big kahunas tell us to be active and call things in, but give us no action in response. 

Then last week Bill Peduto came to my street and I asked him these questions.  He gave me concrete answers about solving the problems rather than just platitudes designed to shut me up.  It seemed for the first time like someone actually heard about some of the day to day quality of life issues of life in the city.   And he had good stuff to say about much larger issues. Like rehabbing the abandoned properties on our street.  Creating jobs and opportunities. 

He got my hopes up and for that I'm not sure I can forgive him.  I'm not sure how long I can tolerate living in this city  -- how much room for homos can there be in a city that's embracing yet another social conservative? 

I don't want to hear about the independent vote strategy and all that crap.  I just want to know when someone --- elected officials, the police, Richard Garland, Senator Fontana -- when someone will stop dashing our hopes and just do something to make it better.

View Article  Lesbians Love Bill Peduto

Earlier this week, I attended a community meeting to learn what Bill Peduto has to offer us here on the Northside.  I must admit I was prepared to buy when I walked in the store, but I completely fell in love with the merchandise.  I liked what he had to say about taxes, the gay community, economic development and the value of reading 69 page reports.  Not much time for details tonight as I am busy working my Nancy Drew groove ...but here's a shot of what made the meeting fun .... Peduto Cookies! 

As far as heterosexual men go, Bill comes in slightly below John McIntire and slightly above Dayvoe.  Not too bad ...

View Article  Post-Gazette and Faggots

I missed this letter to the editor from Keith Kondrich of Swisshelm Park (the most Euro sounding neighborhood in Pittsburgh).  Keith took exception with the supporters of Ann Coulter:

That harmless little racial joke, that innocent sexual stereotype, that silly political epithet slowly numb us until discrimination, harassment and violence become commonplace, indeed socially acceptable.

One need only open up any American history textbook to be reminded of how the illness of indifference has had horrific consequences for countless individuals.

One need only spend the day paying attention to all the harmless jokes and stereotypical comments to realize how widespread it can be.  My hair stylist and her colleague had a large discussion about the homophobic implications of the comment "That's so gay."  I don't want to go to a gay owned salon and hear someone say "That's so gay." It is offensive to me and its exactly the subtle kind of humor that reinforces homosexuals as a less desirable group of people. 

The PG also heard from Jack Kelly on the faggot issue this week.  While not a fan of Ms. Coulter, Jack seems more preoccupied with urging cons to avoid sinking to the depths of the left rather than any critical analysis of homophobia.  Big surprise.  Let's see how our weekly Kelly deconstructionists David at 2 Political Junkies and Bram  at Pgh Comet weigh in on this column.

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