Monday, April 30, 2007
In the past I wrote about the threats that Shakespeare's Sister had to deal with as part of the fallout with the Edwards campaign. The threats weren't just in the blogosphere but came right to her front door.
So apparently this is not an isolated incident. According to this article, women are receding from the cyber community due to these threats of rape, violence and death against not just them but also their families.
A few weeks ago I posted a diary for the first time at Kos. It was the story about my friend Julia and her eventual demise from cancer. Oh wait, I posted it here too. Anyway, I got a blistering response from somebody for talking about my friend and making the comparison to Elizabeth Edwards. Although the moral of the story was how much I hate to see women having to deal with this, well I was just wrong.
Never mind that I knew about my own experiences with my friend but it was just enough to make me realize that, yes, the blogosphere is the wild west. But I didn't have to go look there or any other site that made me uncomfortable. I could get my news in places that weren't the wild west, that people weren't insane or intimidating or um, just stupid. So I stopped going to Kos and any other site that I felt was not friendly.
Anonymity and misogyny is a very bad combination. Add the ability for threats of violence to be posted without any repercussions and I really don't want to play in that sandbox.
I will just keep writing because I like to write. A few people drop by regularly and that is great. I just want a little community where we can share a laugh and talk about hockey or something and wave to each other in passing.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Billie Jean's talk last night stirred up a lot of brain cells for me. How incredible to get to be in the company of such a leader. And what a doofus I am to have to be talked in to going last night, for a free event.
Anyhow, let me talk about my conversation with her. Because of this damn foot thing, I was in a wheel chair, provided by my friend Sharon. (You can read about her here.) Once again dealing with the very important issues of how does one get down to a floor with the elevator working. As usual, my snotty ass self made sure Sharon and I were front row.
I digress. After the speech, I rolled up to the stage to try to schmooze with the mother of women's sports. I finally rolled my way in front of her and had a lovely conversation. Introduced myself as the only Latina lesbian to ever address a presidential convention. She asked what I talked about. I told her it was about real family values, how my cousin's baby had died and they didn't care who my partner was but that I was part of the family and showed up for them. She agreed, talking about family was really important. I thanked her for opening the door for people like me. Her response, "We help each other."
BJK was so accessible, so friendly, so supportive, it was just unbelievable to hear the stories. The Bobby Riggs story, her galimony case, her start in tennis, what she did for women's sports, all were so important in the country's history, womens' history, LGBT history.
The critical piece I heard time and time again, tell your truth. Tell the truth about who you are, what you want, what your opinions are in every day of your life. And if you don't know the truth for yourself, find out. Find out who you are, no matter how painful because if you tell the truth about who you are, you can tell the truth to the world and make a difference.
No wonder I slept better last night, I am surrounded by women who tell the truth and make a difference, starting with me.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Look who I spent the evening with? Yes, that would be the fabulous Billie Jean King. Due to my ongoing physical problems, I was in a wheel chair up front and personal as the King who is really the Queen of all women athletes talked about her life, the highlights and lowlights.
But I felt I made the better choice over Hillary and Obama and listening to BJK's version of the battle of the sexes against Bobby Riggs.
There will be more in the AM with more pics and hopefully film.
Wolfowitz has been under increasing pressure to step down since acknowledging his role in securing a job change and salary increase for Riza, his longtime companion. Shortly before Wolfowitz assumed the World Bank presidency in June 2005, Riza, a World Bank employee, was transferred to the State Department at an annual salary of $193,000.Duh, what did you expect from him? Morality, ethics? Not gonna happen.
A draft of the report reviewed by the committee late Friday declared Wolfowitz had violated World Bank regulations in three areas: breach of contract, breach of ethics rules and undermining the reputation of the bank.
Friday, April 27, 2007
If it wasn't for the damn foot, I would be blogging from down in San Diego. I have to depend on the local homos to keep me posted. That is not right on so many levels. Oh well, I will just go see Billie Jean King tomorrow night at Stanford. Thhhpppttt.
Back in my other life in New Mexico, we were able to get a state bill passed like this - a non-discrimination bill that was trans inclusive. Leading up to that legislative session there were many painful, rancorous conversations about trans inclusion. I was very sad to witness the chingasos which activists, alleged progressive people were only too willing to throw our trans brothers and sisters under the bus. I still hear and see it.
I would say in public that I wanted us to all get to the finish line together. To me, why would I treat someone the way I have been treated? Why continue that system of oppression, that hierarchy of discrimination when we could do something different? How does one say I want equality but just for me, leave the others behind?
Now I am as pragmatic as the next person. I know how to count votes, lobby, pressure and give money when needed. But, but, but I need to be able to look myself in the mirror and know I did the right thing for everyone, not just some.
This same argument runs through the thread of immigration. Immigrants are somehow less than human, they are "illegal." Those coming here without papers are criminals, trying to destroy the country. Yes because everyone wants to leave their family and live in crowded conditions and not see their children for months and years. All this so they can work in crappy jobs with low respect and be treated badly by segments of the population.
Wanting the best for our families is not solely and American concern. It is universal as should be our humanity. So whether it is a person from another country, a person who has changed their gender over the course of their lifetime, someone in a wheel chair or whatever makes the next person different, there is always a chance to treat them well.
Unless it's me then you can treat me REALLY well.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Mary Tillman is the mother of Pat Tillman. Pat Tillman was a pro football player who gave up the high life and went to war in Afghanistan. He enlisted in the Army Rangers after the 9/11 attacks. He was killed by Americans, Americans in the Army Rangers in a clear case of fratricide. Unfortunately the Army didn't get around telling Mary Tillman or her family about the fratricide until five weeks after his death.
Pat's brother Kevin was a few hundred yards away when their fellow Rangers opened fire on Pat and blew his head off. Now we know that a ranking officer told the man who witnessed Pat's death to not tell his brother. So began the cover up.
Pat Tillman was given a memorial service at a beautiful park in San Jose, not far from my house. One of the officers in attendance at the service knew he had been killed by his fellow Rangers but never said a frigging word to the family. We still don't know how far this cover up went in the ranks or in the Pentagon or in the White House.
But yesterday Mary and Kevin Tillman testified in Congress. They told the truth and questioned why they have been treated in a such an immoral fashion, with lies and obstacles placed in their way to the truth. How in the hell does the Army do FIVE investigations and still not yield the truth?
Well we know the answer. This is a rhetorical question at best but it is the heart of what this country has become. A country in the midst of a civil war in a country we have destroyed based on the lies of the president and his gang of bullies. Pat Tillman believed in his values, telling the truth, standing up for his country and doing the right thing. What his country did to honor him was to lie to his family.
That's why I want to give Mary Tillman a hug. Just to let her know I honor her son. I honor her family and I, too, just want the truth.
For more details on Pat Tillman read this story in Sports Illustrated. And send Mary Tillman a hug.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Here I am still working too. Today I had a legislative breakfast for my job, then had a meeting with an organizer/ Back to the office for messages, back home to the computer then off to the LGBT Dem club meeting. It's just Monday, too.
Immigration legislation looks even more fucked up now. Bush is pushing an immigration bill which doesn't allow for family reunification. Congressman Gutierrez was here this weekend pimping his bill and trying to scare people-it's either his bill or more raids. His bill or nothing, the big liar.
To top it off, Alberto Gonzalez still has the same job. That is just not right.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
But for me, the question becomes also about other issues we can't discuss, race and mental illness. Last year when I was just starting this blog, I wrote a lot about Denice Denton, the chancellor at UC Santa Cruz who committed suicide. There was an alarming number of flashing lights going on with the late chancellor but hardly anyone picked up the signs. Now again, the warning signs were flashing in Virginia but the systems there couldn't and wouldn't address this young man's mental illness.
In questioning my APA friends today, I asked if they had any repercussions from this horrible event. The answers were interesting. They all uniformly said, no, not any repercussions. But they had a number of viewpoints from their different angles:
- they were glad he spoke clear and precise English so it didn't look like he was a recent arrival with no skills to be in the country;
- why did the issue of race have to be raised so often in the reporting?
- why is Korean culture (specifically South Korean movies) being blamed for this assault?
- since Korean culture tends to be homogeneous, should all Koreans be ashamed of this act?
Monday, April 16, 2007
I knew this already from other experiences with people in wheel chairs but sheesh, I had such a difficult time with people just walking, crossing, running in front of me. There was a fair amount of what? Selfishness? Self absorbtion? Total lack of attention to a person who was limited in the ability to walk? Stunning, really.
When I went to the bathroom, the women were at least friendly and not in a hurry to get around me. There were a number of men who were very kind and helpful while I was making my way to the jane. But for the most part I felt very invisible.
Quite the lesson learned tonight. Doesn't hurt to be kind to people with different abilities, they are people too.
Friday, April 13, 2007
In Washington Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General of the United States, is testifying under oath about his role in the firing of U.S. Attorneys.
But here in New Mexico, no one is getting the truth about Heather Wilson’s involvement in the scandal.
Wilson said a constituent’s complaint led her to call Republican U.S. Attorney David Iglesias about an ongoing federal corruption investigation.
But Heather Wilson won’t identify the constituent … she still refuses to release her phone records … and many important questions remain unanswered.
In Washington Attorney General Gonzales is being asked to tell the truth …
Isn’t it time we asked Heather Wilson to tell the truth in New Mexico?
Check the facts at www dot Heather Wilson watch dot com.
People have asked questions on other blogs about the whole corruption topic being over with now. Just remember corruption is the life blood of New Mexico. People thrive on it. Corruption is as important as water.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Let's see....how in the hell do you lose that many emails? Oh I remember, when you are under suspicion for breaking many federal laws. Hiding things from Americans because you are unethical, lying, flying monkeys working in the White House?
Imus got kicked to the curb today and I couldn't be happier to finally see some accountability. Now, dude, about those eyebrows. Get some tweezers.
Tomorrow afternoon I am having surgery on my left foot. The movie will be called My Mexican Left Foot. Got the percocet already so as long as I get home in front of the tv for the Sharks game, life is good.
I may have to blog on percocet, wheeee.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Like since she doesn't have a passport and no possession of her birth certificate, what would happen if ICE tried to pick her up at say an immigration rally? What would happen to anyone in that position, how do you prove you are here legally? Since we brown types are the subject of suspicion, again, our requirements become um, suspect.
So much for the land of the free.
Guess I'll go back to the See's and forget about this for the rest of the day.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I n the meantime I can celebrate the Sharks win tonight. I got my Stanley Cup tickets today, too. No work this weekend, thankfully, too. My red poppies are blooming out in front. I think I managed to make all my deadlines today. Whoohoo, a good day in the neighborhood for me. This gives me a chance to ignore Bush's stupidity of the day.
Oh but wait, why is he throwing such a fit about Nancy Pelosi going to Syria when there are Republicans there this week too? And why is he making asinine comments about Congress going off on vacation as he has one foot in the plane so he can go to Crawford? Ah the hypocrisy, it is always breathtaking.
Monday, April 02, 2007
The state's ban on same-sex marriage tells lesbians and gay men that they are "second class citizens" inferior to sex offenders and prisoners, and it contributes to discrimination, the city of San Francisco argued today in asking the California Supreme Court to strike down the law.
In a strongly-worded brief, the city traced the discrimination of lesbians and gay men from the first millennium to the Enlightenment to the present day. City attorneys compared the fight for same-sex marriage rights to the battle for desegregation, and they asked the state's highest court to ignore the pull of tradition and "the will of the popular majority."
She was always cognizant about issues of race, class and gender. If she said something that could use some correction, I would not hesitate in pointing it out to her. She was never defensive and always was a great friend and ally. We would have arguments about the L Word but it was way cool when she got Mautner recognized during the very sad story line about one of the characters dying of breast cancer.
I know there will be times in the future when we get to cause trouble again. Until then, my friend, take a much needed rest. You certainly earned it.
I finally have insurance at Kaiser and met my swell new doctor today. She has sent me on to the foot people so with any luck I will be getting that damn operation to alleviate the pain in my feet, the nasty case of plantar fasciatis. This is now four series of shots, steroids, pain pills and endless days and nights of this really terrible pain later maybe there is some help on the way.
Then I can go back to soccer and walk the dogs again. Good lord, a normal life????
Sunday, April 01, 2007
So what the heck is an N-400 you may ask. That is the form that the wizards at the Department of Homeland Security use to process eligible residents to become citizens. It is a loooong, multiple page form asking some very interesting questions. We, staff and volunteers, assist these folks with this application. It has been a very eye opening experience for me. I want to share some of my experiences.
First, I find it amazing to see the complexities of people's lives. I was working with a man who had a traumatic brain injury so he cannot remember his work history. The people from southeast Asia have very complex histories that are a product of wars, dictators and genocide. One woman from Cambodia could not remember her birthday or the birthdays of two of her children. I could never imagine what she has seen or experienced in her lifetime.
Some of the questions on the form are kind of cheeky. Like asking a 70 something Vietnamese woman if she was ever a prostitute. Then her daughter has to translate the question for her. Or was she a drug addict, a habitual drunkard? These fall under the category of morality questions. Plus, what person is going to say yes? No drunk or drug user could get through this process! It is long, it requires patience and a real desire to get to the citizenship ceremony. This is not for the faint hearted!
At the end of very long days, though, I felt like I had done my part to make the US a better place, more of the real melting pot and less of a hypocrisy. I look forward to seeing more citizens who will vote and participate in a real democracy.