Thursday, May 31
by Sue on Thu 31 May 2007 07:49 AM EDT
I'm getting ready for my journey to NYC, so I'm going to throw out a few first impressions of the City Paper's cover story ananlyzing the election outcomes, the potential for the three new City Councilpeople-elect, and, of course, where blogs fit into it all.
* Interesting that Patrick Dowd and Bruce Kraus were interviewed together, but Ricky Burgess was interviewed separately. Was that a timing issue?
Taking things one step further, didn't any of the progressives working so hard for Dowd and Kraus make the time to get to know Burgess? The election has been over for more than two weeks folks. I read about Burgess on the Steel City Stonewall site and noted that he was good on some issues (DP bennnies, needle exchange, history of workign with PATF) and not good at all on others (gay marriage, right to choose). But he's here and he's now and it just strikes me as odd that no one is taking the time to get to know him. Reading yard signs and the City Paper article isn't the same thing as saying "Hey, Ricky, let's you, Bruce/Patrick, and I grab some coffee at Ritter's Diner and get to know each other." To be fair, I have to wonder if Burgess' people took the time, then or now, to get to know Dowd or Kraus -- these things matter to me because I work in District 9 and a lot of my families live there.
* Blogs get a rap on the knuckles in this piece. We feasted on the setbacks of the old timers. Burgess thinks we don't pay enough attention to issues outside of our own purveuy, like the perspective in Homewood.
Ouch! <Surveying the landscape for political bloggers who aren't white or anonymously racially unknown -- Hello Three Rivers Online .....Khari --- why no updates?.>. To be fair to myself, I live in Manchester which isn't a haven of white upper class sensibilities and I do blog about local issues, but my perspective on local issues is definitely colored by the privileges of being white and middle class. I've most notably blogged about urban dumping, police indifference, political indifference and so forth, but I do think I've tried to consider the big picture.
Please note that I do have a constructive plan on this particular issue, a plan I've been hatching with Maria and Agent Ska. It will be anounced, hopefully, next week. You will all, including Chris Potter, be invited to lavish us with phrases like "Pure Genius," "Revolutionizing the Burghosphere," and "Damn, Those Chicks Are F***ing Brilliant."
* It is easy to romanticize the "progressive bloc" backing Peduto, but the CP reminds that in politics, things are never romantic. Dowd and Kraus are not clones and have philosophical differences <thank goodness they have philosophical anything>. Burgess is keenly aware of the historical isolation of his district and staking territory as his own man. It is not Peduto the progressive leader or Peduto the king-maker who is going to surge ahead with these gentleman in tow. It is Peduto's ideas -- solid, smart and good governance policies -- that stand a chance of winning the support of these gentleman. And, to be fair, these gentleman stand a chance of winning Peduto with their own good ideas.
* There's a really cute picture of Doug Shields in the story. Not really relevant to anything, but I did honestly think,"That's a cute picture." He looks like a man who wouldn't light up in a public building. Let's hope.
Alrighty then, I must go finish packing my carryon bag. Ledcat and the woofers will hold down the fort. The kitties will carry on as usual. I will probably log back on tonight and look forward to the usual hundreds of comments.
Wednesday, May 30
by Sue on Wed 30 May 2007 09:23 PM EDT
Where oh where have my little reps gone, oh where oh where can they be?
During a recent heated discussion on the Run, Baby, Run listserv, I realized that I am not sure who my Allegheny County Democratic Committee representatives are. I moved to this here neck of the woods (Manchester) in 2005 and have never been contacted, approached or sought after by anyone connected with the Democratic Party. I am not a supervoter (to my chagrin), but I have attended a lot of community meetings and events and never once have I seen anyone, male or female, identify themselves as a committee people or a ward chair or ward cleaver for that matter.
I did happen to learn by quirk that a neighbor down the street may or may not be the female committee person. She's a very nice lady, but when I saw her at the post-endorsement Bill Peduto (sigh) rah-rah meeting she was more interested in playing with the hosts' children than doing any networking or socializing. In fact, most of the old school long-time muckety muck white people there pretty much talked with their friends and ate blue cookies. She also tends to brag that she's been a committeewoman for like 25+ years or some ungodly amount of time and that "they won't let me retire." I'm hopeful she's talking about her employer, but I doubt it.
So I was encouraged by ACDC guru herself Dianna Wentz to call the office and get the scoop. The number is 412-321-2995.
Being an intrepid blogger, I tried their website first. No dice. Lots of pretty red, white and blue fonts to convince me how patriotic I am for being a Democrat (something you never reinforce often enough I suppose), but not a lot of actual information to be had.
Today, I called and left a detailed message. Dianna cautioned me that they have a lot of calls and an overworked staff, so I'm willing to wait a few days and see what happens.
Anyone else know their committeepersons? Do they go to meetings? Contact people? Identify themselves? Show up period?
by Sue on Wed 30 May 2007 10:11 AM EDT
by Sue on Wed 30 May 2007 09:32 AM EDT
Oh those wacky Polish children's rights watchers .... always a day behind and a dollar short. Remeber back in 1999 when Jerry Falwell deemed Teletubbie Tinky Winky a homo because he carried a purse (TW is the purple one)? Now Ewa Sowinski is on the same bandwagon. Well, she way until apparently someone reminder her of 1999 so she's off again.
Spokespeople from Sowinska's office have confirmed that they will not ask psychologists to examine the character.
Kacszynski has famously said, ""It's not in the interests of any society to increase the number of homosexuals, that's obvious."
I have a recurring dream that my father and I are on a long highway and we see a bridge that says "This way to Poland" and another exit that says "This way to France." For some reason, I always want to go to Poland. My father goes to France anyway. For the record, as a lesbian and a woman, I'd much rather go to France. Thank goodness for my Dad.
Tuesday, May 29
by Sue on Tue 29 May 2007 10:02 AM EDT
I completely missed this. The Post-Gazette ran an editorial on May 21 opposing extending federal hate crimes legislation to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
In an ideal world, that's nice. Was Tony Norman off on this day? Because no one claims that the murder of a heterosexual white Catholic male is less devastating and horrific than the murder of a person who is African-American, Jewish or gay. But very rarely is that individual murdered with the intent of creating a chilling effect on the larger minority community.
Expanding federal jurisdiction is necessary to ensure fair and equal treatment of crimes motivated by hate, especially when state and local authorities can't or won't investigate or prosecute. How an editorial board so in touch with the modern trend of states abridging basic civil protections of the LGBTQ community can fail to see the need for this protection is beyond me. Remember when states refused to investigate voting discrimination against African-American citizens? Remember when states wouldn't let black students in public schools? Why was federal intervention okay in those instances, but not when it comes to queers and trannies?
I sure as hell don't trust Pennsyvania to do a good job investigating hate crimes against LGBTQ citizens. At least not all of Pennsylvania. Most of our so-called Democratic legislators from Western Pennsylvania voted for amending the constitution to protect marriage from the queers before they voted against it. Politically expedient for their careers, but a clear message to us here in da' burgh that we cannot count on anyone to respect and value us as full and equal citizens in the Commonwealth.
Or how about the now and future Sheriff of Allegheny County telling a crowd of gay people that there really aren't any problems around gay issues for local law enforcement, even after 20+ years on the Pittsburgh police force. Do you think he's going to be receptive to a hate crime investigation when a transexual prostitute is beaten to a bloody pulp in South Park? Hmmm ....I know that would be the County Police, not the Sheriff but the point is about his attitude, not his jurisdiction. He's a law enforcment leader and should be setting the bar high for protecting all residents of the County.
For a clear analysis on the revision of the federal hate crimes legislation, check out what the YWCA has to say here. The Southern Poverty Law Center has some other interesting stuff.
Back here in Pittsburgh, two letters to the editor about Hate Crimes legislation moving through the federal level.
Robert Timm of Mt. Lebanon agrees with the Post-Gazette.
Timm doesn't seem to get that it is not the crime, but the motivation for the crime that's at stake. No one is suggesting going easier on crimes against the majority population. If a serial murdered kills a random group of people, the death of the homo is not greater than the death of the hetero. But when a group of frat boys target and beat up a young man because he is gay, they are trying to send a message to gay people. Why is that so hard to understand?
Ian S. Thompson of Baden seems to get it. It is about the crime, not the value of the victim.
Monday, May 28
by Sue on Mon 28 May 2007 06:02 PM EDT
It has been a roller coaster around Lesbian Central. Overall, things are good, but Ledcat and I are exhausted (and it is only Monday).
As you may recall, Miss Mona began her chemo treatments last week. She has done remarkably well with only a few minor side effects making an appearance. Today, she stood in the kitchen barking her heart out when we left the house, so I know she's feeling better (and peeved about being left behind with the cats). She has four more rounds of chemo to go over the next four months. We also switched her to this no-grain/high protein diet called Evo, The Ancestral Diet which she loves, as well as some no/low grain treats. Apparently, carbs feed cancer and a diet high in protein and fat fights back. Who knew?
The very day she began her chemo, I found a lump on Deus' jaw. My heart sank and I was pretty upset. Off we went to Allegheny Veterinary Associates only to discover, to my great relief, that is was a fatty tumor. Deus enjoyed the car ride. He has gained 10 pounds and now weighs 120 which makes him almost equal in size to Ledcat. Wrestling him to the ground to trim his nails was great fun. I should bring my grandmother to the vet with me -- she's nearly 91, weighs 110 and he is gentle as a lamb when he's around her. She has absolutely no fear of the boys and they pick up on it. I think it is because she collects crumbs in her lap and doesn't mind if they sniff her. :-) Anyway, Deus is fine albeit chubby. Ledcat thinks we tie a hot dog over his head and get him to run around the yard chasing it. :-)
Next week is Grandma's 91st birthday. As a surprise, I am taking her for her absolute favorite thing -- ice cream. We'll go to Klavons in the Strip District because I think she'll get a kick out of the retro soda fountain. Plus, I know they will fuss over her which is her second most favorite thing. Third is seeing Miss Mona. Mona goes for ice cream all the time and enjoys munching on a cone and all the pets she receives from other ice cream aficionados. I'm not sure I can swing Mona and Grandma at the ice cream parlor at the same time -- they are both rather feisty grand dames.
I'm off this week to attend the wedding of my college roomie and long-time friend, BJ. I haven't seen her family in over a decade so I am very excited. They live in New York City. Ledcat is staying home with the critters to keep an eye on Miss Mona. I promised my therapist I would leave my laptop at home, but I just cannot do it ... four days without email is more than I can bear. Plus, I have designated downtime when I'm trapped at the hotel with only out of town guests and in-laws, so I can use that for blogging time. (Yes, I'm taking work with me, too. There's no such thing as a real vacation in the wonderful world of social work.)
Other items of interest (at least to me):
So there you have it. Feed your dogs ancestrally. Feed yourselves at two great local restaurants. Save your pennies. And be nice to your grandma because you don't know how long you'll have her around. Or your dog.
Sunday, May 27
by Sue on Sun 27 May 2007 08:58 AM EDT
From today's Post-Gazette, I learned that the Three Rivers Arts Festival has recruited a talented young gay man as the associated director. His name is Chris Taylor, he's from Penn Hills and he describes himself as "single and looking for a domestic partner." Love that.
Always nice when there is a bit of good gay news in the paper. Welcome back to Pittsburgh, Chris.
Saturday, May 26
by Sue on Sat 26 May 2007 09:13 AM EDT
Courtesy of Pam's House Blend
Pam has the original .pdf file of the HRC questionnaire.
My understanding is that Edwards has been the first Dem presidential candidate to get his answers out there. I'm personally not impressed with Hillary and Barack at this point -- I have significant suspicion that they would sell out the LGBTQ community to curry favor among socially conservative Democrats, especially people whose faith pronounces us immoral.
However, I'm not convinced Edwards wouldn't do that same. Saying that he's "not there yet" on gay marriage is a bunch of hooey. Denying Ledcat and I 1,000+ federal benefits because of his personal morality is just wrong. Especially since I suspect his personal morality is about political expediency and the "faith" vote.
However, I agree with Pam that Edwards is worth a second or third look. I've been saying all along that its going to be Edwards for Pres and Obama for VP. That's still my call.
Friday, May 25
by Sue on Fri 25 May 2007 06:51 AM EDT
I love letters to the editor, almost as much as I enjoy the comics. I truly admire folks who take the time to pen a letter, even when I do not admire their perspective or beliefs. From the perspective of a lesbian blogger, it is valuable for intolerant people to put their prejudice, bigotry and rational out there for everyone to read. It is like a blueprint of hate. It is just as valuable when gay people and our allies take the time to put another perspective out there, affirming the value and dignity of people in the gay community.
Today's letter is one of the latter. Joseph Kowalski of North Huntington responds to a recent epistle from Matt Muffmyer who, like so many of his christo-comrades, believes it is necessary to beat us over the head with his verion of WWJD. Matt thinks Jesus was anti-homosexual and anti-pornography, and admonishs us to avoid the Jesus buffet aka pick and choose Christianity.
Unlike me, Joseph took the high road and did not mock Matt (who appears to be a frattesque boy from Grove City College - are you surprised?). Instead, Joseph offers a succint response .... well, read it for yourselves:
That's the piece that some Christians don't want to acknowledge -- no one is forcing churches in Vermont to perform gay marriages. The state cannot compel a church to change their religious activities; it just doesn't get to cross that line into imposing on other people. This is an important point because the Christian zealots very much want to impose their morality on the rest of us -- conversion to their way of thinking is the only real option.
Kudos to Mr. Kowalski for reminding of that very fact.
Thursday, May 24
by Sue on Thu 24 May 2007 12:02 PM EDT
Two big McIntire lesbian items of note ...
First, I'll be around 2:20 this afternoon to chat about Mary Cheney and Heather Poe's baby son.
Second, I got a nice shout out as a "sometimes political" blogger who confirmed Bruce Kraus' gayness. If you want to know who else is gay, but not open about it and usually voting against our community, check aht www.blogactive.com If you want to read what John McIntire thinks about it all (Kraus, not closeted self-loathing Republican homos), click on "nice shout out" and check aht his City Paper column.
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