Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Warning!!! If you think the Pope is infallible, don't read this. If you think the church is being attacked for its inability to protect children in its care, don't read this.

I went to a Catholic school in Santa Clara, Ca. So did my siblings. My sister was pulled out of that Catholic school the day after she slapped by a nun in front of her entire class. The nun then told the entire class they could not tell their parents what happened. Violence followed by an order from a nun to lie.

She was in public school the next day. I remained in the same school simply because I was a few weeks away from graduating from the eighth grade. Thankfully, many of her classmates did not obey the order to lie to the their parents and the phone was ringing that night with parents calling to talk to my parents about the violence my sister suffered in public that day.

Now I see the church has enlarged its ability to violate children. Not that this has been a big secret for a long time. But each day over the last few weeks we continue to see the centuries old pattern of the catholic church. Blame the victims, absolve the church members. I find it ironic that with the current Pope a German they have responded with a classic Nuremberg defense.

I find the violations visited on the 200 boys at a school for the deaf to be particularly revolting. No one believed them then that a priest was violating them in every way imaginable, even in the confessional. Yet, it is the child, now an adult, who is at fault. One deaf man, in particular, continues to stand brave in the face of attacks. Arthur Budzinski continues to ask for answers and accountability. In sign language. I applaud his bravery and commitment to telling his truth.

All of these secrets, lies and obfuscation are vulgar, in my mind. Having gone through the process of receiving all the sacraments, including the little slap on the cheek for confirmation, I will continue to believe in what I was taught in Catholic school. Lying is wrong. Cheating is wrong. Our jobs are to feed the poor, clothe the unclothed and act as if being a child of God means you act with integrity and honor. I don't see that coming from the Vatican nor did I see that from St Justin's school in the 1960's.

That is a span of over 40 years. What will it take for the Vatican to be accountable to its "flock" and really take care of the children and not just its power?

The only time I will return to the church will be for a relative's funeral. Until then (and I hope it is a really long time) I will follow the teaching to help those who need help. To bring kindness into the world and see the work of a spirit greater than myself in the animals, flowers and people who seek peace in the world.

BTW, Jesus never said a word about gayness so I am going to keep telling the truth of my life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The World has changed, again.

I have added a correction, in bold to a comment Speaker Perez made about repealing Prop 8. This is my mistake and not him walking back anything.

The world has significantly changed this week for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. Some significant events to note:

Wedding licenses were issued to same sex couples in Washington D.C.

Mexico City allowed same sex marriages to begin there.

John Perez was sworn in as Speaker of the California State Assembly, the first openly gay person to occupy this top of the food chain position not only in California but in the country. Add the Latino part and you have a Latino gay man leading the Cal Assembly.

The world has changed.

In a conference call on Tuesday, Speaker Perez talked with LGBT media about his priorities as Speaker this year. He obviously is making efforts to make the Assembly more transparent by limiting texting while lawmakers are on the floor.

Education is a priority for him and he wants to take advantage of his new positions on the UC Regents board as well as sitting on the CSU board of Trustees to review fiscal policies and the impact of those policies on students. Rising tuitions and over crowded classrooms have a significant impact on the accessibility of all California students to advanced studies.

Today (Thursday) there are statewide protests by students regarding these very issues. Speaker Perez (that looks so awesome) is concerned about the breadth and depth of financial resources available and what cuts will mean to grants such as CalGrants for students in California.

Also among his priorities in the upcoming budget he said "AIDS is a real priority for me." He did lead the charge last year against the Governor’s attempts at cuts that turned out to be illegal. With the Governor having slashed all prevention money, the Speaker will be coming to the budget talks with a different set of priorities this year. He said this will be a "new relationship with the Governor."

The world has changed. A gay Latino is leading the Assembly.

When queeried about his position on repealing Prop 8, the Speaker was unflinching in his analysis. He felt "there was no practical way to overturn Prop 8 this year." The lack of signatures and funding were fatal to any efforts this year.

In terms of the past Prop 8 campaign, he said that all the Latino electeds were on board with us. All his colleagues in Southern California supported the No on 8 campaign. We must "invest in education" and talk to people we didn’t talk to last time, Latinos, African Americans, working people.

Speaker Perez feels the ultimate solution to the problems plaguing California is to work in greater coalition. "We must invest in a broader approach" to coalition work and problem solving.

Many moons ago, my family, my Latino community was very excited about the new world that awaited them, not working in fields, getting educations for themselves and their children, having people represent us in different places. When well known singer Eydie Gorme started singing older Mexican songs with the famous Trio Los Panchos on the Ed Sullivan Show, we knew we had arrived. A real star was embracing her roots and singing in our language. No hiding, no changing the subject about Mexican roots but luxuriating in her browness.

I won’t say Speaker John Perez is the Latino LGBT Eydie Gorme (wait I just said it!) but it is a big ceiling that he has cracked. And just like Pete Wilson said, "They just keep coming and coming." You betcha, si se puede, adelante we are right behind you John!

The world has changed for the better..

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nieto/detail?blogid=94&entry_id=58456#ixzz0j8M5IslT

Someone Didn't Get the Memo, Meg

I watched the 10 o'clock and 11 o'clock news while wading through seed catalogues. Besides the usual depressing murders, unemployment and impending educational cuts was the story of Meg Whitman's tour of Southern Pacific train yards at the Port of Oakland.

This was not your usual press gaggle following a candidate on a tour of a key component of California's economy. No this was in fact a punishment of the media. While the press had been told they were going to go on the tour with the candidate, they were in fact, sequestered because of an apparent break out of cooties as determined by MEGabucks' staff.

The media were put in a holding room for, hmmmm, two hours? Then she had a sit down with Mr Southern Pacific but wouldn't take questions. WHAT???? Why invite the media???

As I said, someone did not get the memo on campaigns. In the film last night, Whitman's campaign people were scolding the media for asking questions as if the press,who I will remind again,were invited to this, were still cootie covered and must be rushed out the door lest the contamination spread to those who would rule one of the largest economies in the world.

In October I heard Madeline Albright say "The hottest places in hell are for women who don't help other women." So rather than disappointing all those nuns who put so much effort into disciplining my sister and I, I will offer some unasked for advice. No hot place in hell for this gal.

Madam Candidate, I have no idea why you want to be governor of California. I am also at a point where I don't care why. What ideas you have offered as a cure all for this debacle we are living in except to cut the size of government? As if this has not already been done by everyone. And that is what we need, more unemployed.

The memo should say that you must go out and find out what people need. Your ideas must be conveyed in an adult manner, not preceded by nannernannernanner, Steve Poisner has cooties.

So I will point out this campaign is your job interview. So far you seem to have no grasp on what the issues are for the millions of people in this state who are struggling, having to make a decision between food and medicine, wondering if they will ever get a paycheck again. We will be the ones voting in November and guess what??? This may come as a surprise to both you and your staff but my vote counts the same as yours. My sister, my mom, my aunt, my neighbors all those people you are ignoring, we all have one vote. Funny, that democracy.

That lame apology on tv last night too, when you were sorry that the event didn't turn out the way you thought it would, well it was lame. Who is in charge at your campaign then? Aren't you? If you are not, who is in charge, let me talk to them. Remember this is your interview.

Looks like you are as qualified to run the state as I am to run ebay. Neither of us have the experience to do a good job.

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