Saturday, September 30, 2006

Police Abuse & Misconduct ~ How to Stop Hate in Your Hometown ~ and ~ The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Nearly four decades after Stonewall, and despite significant progress in the recognition of the human rights of LGBT people, the targeting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals for police abuse and misconduct remains a persistent and widespread problem in the US.A new report by Amnesty International, Stonewalled: Police abuse and misconduct against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the US, documents serious patterns of police abuse, including incidents amounting to torture and ill-treatment.

With the release of it's report Stonewalled, Amnesty International called on police departments to sign a pledge affirming their commitment to combat discrimination and violence against LGBT people, and to review AI's recommendations in the report and take steps to address problems within their departments.


How to Stop Hate in Your Hometown
Humans hate. Apparently it's a significant component of our emotional "palette." At the risk of sounding naïve, or visionary, someday maybe we'll evolve out of it. Hate may become unnecessary like our tonsils -- unused and serving no purpose but still there, only occasionally becoming infected. Or maybe we'll learn to focus and harness hate so that it is only directed usefully at injustice and cruelty. It's not inconceivable at all that medicine will find a cure, much as progress continues to be made on curing depression.

For now though, hate can rear its ugly head in social as well as individual and family settings. Mistrust, fear, hatred of the "other" race, the "other" gender, the "other" religion, the "other" nationality, or the "other" sexual orientation can escape the boundaries of civil order. Then vandalism and violence, up to and including murder, result. At that point a community faces a crisis.

Since we don't have a cure for hate, the best we can do is an antidote. There is one. It was "invented" 10 years ago in Billings, Mont. It's called Not In Our Town (NIOT).
Read the article: How to Stop Hate in Your Hometown by Frank Joyce ~ AlterNet ~ September 29, 2006


The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence homepage ...
and: The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in Wikipedia

More on Jesus Camp

Bill Maher on Jesus Camp

Maher is surprised and off they go on the subject of religion, extremism, human nature, etc. Standard stuff, loosely related to the film. But Maher's comfort at hearing Rios, a conservative Christian, decry the subjects of the film is far more sinister than he appreciates. Rios is far more of an activist, and far more powerful, than anyone depicted in Jesus Camp.
Read the whole article: Bill Maher on Jesus Camp by Evan Derkacz ~ September 27, 2006 ~ AlterNet

Note: Bradley Whitford (the actor who played Josh Lyman on "The West Wing" among other things) was a panelist on this Bill Mayer show. Listen for what he said at the end of the clip above! :-) ~ Gabi


Fundamentalist Camp Trains God's Little Army
The directors of the new documentary 'Jesus Camp' discuss the good, the bad, and the disharmony in the evangelical community.

They have billions in media holdings, the ear of the president, and the ability to make or break a Republican candidacy. To Becky Fischer, however, former manager of a custom sign business and current children's minister, evangelicals are in danger of losing the next generation. Unimpressed by the fact that 43 percent of America's 100 million evangelicals accepted Christ before the age of 13, Fischer set out to ensure that a new generation of Americans are instilled with a "Christian worldview." "If we wait until they are teens," she remarks, "we have waited too late!"
Read the whole article: Fundamentalist Camp Trains God's Little Army by Evan Derkacz ~ September 28, 2006 ~ AlterNet


They Cry, Pray to Bush and Wash out the Devil - Welcome to Jesus Camp
Some critics say that the often raw approach used by the camp's founder, Pastor Becky Fischer, as she prepares the children for "war", is too "scary". Others accuse the documentary makers of distorting Pastor Fischer's message.

Jesus Camp is "a sarcastic documentary that paints evangelical, fundamentalist, charismatic, and politically concerned Christians as very shrill, warlike and dangerous," a critic wrote on the Christian website

At one point Pastor Fischer equates the preparation she is giving children with the training of terrorists in the Middle East. "I want to see young people who are as committed to the cause of Jesus Christ as the young people are to the cause of Islam," she tells the camera. "I want to see them radically laying down their lives for the gospel, as they are over in Pakistan and Israel and Palestine."
Read the whole article: They Cry, Pray to Bush and Wash out the Devil - Welcome to Jesus Camp by Dan Glaister ~ September 29, 2006 ~ Guardian / UK

Friday, September 29, 2006

Farewell Aleta Fenceroy 12/27/1948 - 9/23/2006

Aleta Fenceroy, who with her partner Jean Mayberry ran the wonderful email listserv "Fenceberry" passed away from cancer a few days ago. If you are interested, there is a memorial blog set up at

Monday, September 25, 2006

Watch your water bill: toilet-flushing cat

My mother's shoes and Danny Kaye

My mother had terrible feet -- they were very flat - no arches. She wore Murray Space Shoes and swore that without them she would be crippled. Murrays would take a plaster cast of her feet then from the mold they would make the shoes.

I was always getting lectures from mom about taking care of my feet and not wearing shoes that would hurt them. I guess I listened to that. I can only remember one time wearing very short pump heels. It was in about 1971. I was in an all day training at a fancy hotel in downtown San Francisco and my feet were so blistered it was horrible!! On the way to my apartment riding the cable car I took my shoes off and held them up, offering them to anyone who wanted them. Some woman did, and after handing them to her I walked the 4-5 blocks or so to my apartment in my stockinged feet.

On an odd whim today I looked Murray Space Shoes up. Not only is the company still going but I found out Danny Kaye wore them too -- and he had 44 pair! ! I loved Danny Kaye. See more about him in Wikipedia.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jesus Camp - the movie / and The Daily Show : Jason Jones & the Gay Translator

See the video on "Jesus Camp" on YouTube, with a link from Huffington Post:
Kids At Jesus Camp Worship To Bush Picture
and be sure to read the comments below the video after you watch it

also see Jesus Camp-- the movie

and Kids in Ministry International


“Extreme liberals who look at this should be quaking in their boots,” declares Pastor Becky Fischer with jovial satisfaction in the riveting documentary “Jesus Camp.” Ms. Fischer, an evangelical Christian, helps run Kids on Fire, a summer camp in Devils Lake, N.D., that grooms children to be soldiers in “God’s army.”

A mountainous woman of indefatigable good cheer, Ms. Fischer makes no bones about her expectation that the growing evangelical movement in the United States will one day end the constitutional ban separating church and state. And as the movie explores her highly effective methods of mobilizing God’s army, that expectation seems reasonable.
The great unanswered question is what will happen to these poised, attractive children when their hormones kick in and they venture beyond their sheltered home and church environments.
Read all of Children’s Boot Camp for the Culture Wars by Stephen Holden ~ The New York Times ~ September 22, 2006


The Daily Show: Jason Jones & the Gay Translator

Jason Jones examines the "dangers" of allowing "the gays" to be in the military.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

misc and sundry: Ann Richards / The Activism Industry / 10 Nobel Peace Prize Winners Take Aim at US

Texas teacher and politician Ann Richards died from esophageal cancer at the age of 73 ~ September 13, 2006).

A wonderful quote from her keynote address at the Democratic National Convention ~ July 18, 1988:
"Poor George, he can't help it...He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."

The Activism Industry
Progressive groups are outsourcing their grassroots canvassing to national organizations. What happens when paid employees replace committed activists?
One of the largest of the progressive grassroots clearinghouses is the Fund for Public Interest Research*, which currently runs campaigns from numerous progressive groups simultaneously. In summer 2003, for example, the Fund ran campaigns for more than fifteen organizations around the United States, including the Sierra Club, the Human Rights Campaign, Save the Children, and Greenpeace. Their model of grassroots politics is very successful at recruiting members and raising funds. Sally Green Heaven, the deputy field director of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), reported that their membership has grown from 200,000 to 600,000 members since the group started outsourcing to the Fund in the late 1990s. According to John Passacantando, the executive director of Greenpeace USA: "[The Fund] helped us build our new financial base...It gave us a new base and it paid approximately 25 percent of our yearly income from monthly electronic donations, which is huge."

Canvassers at the Fund are expected to bounce from one campaign to another. In the words of HRC president Joe Solmonese, "The person who is out standing on the street corner trying to sign you up to join HRC... they honestly, like the next day, might be doing the same thing for [a different organization]." As a result of their short shelf lives and having to juggle multiple campaigns, most canvassers do not become particularly committed to the cause. (Turnover is notoriously high.)

Beyond raising money, it is unclear how effective canvassers can be at building grassroots support when they have such limited knowledge of and passion for the campaigns. One long-term canvasser I met in Portland spoke to me just before canvassing on behalf of Save the Children. When I asked him about the group, he replied: "Yeah I don't know too much...You probably know as much as I do."
Indeed, progressive causes and progressive candidates have been losing out to conservative issues and candidates who use a very different model of organization. In contrast to the outsourced politics of the left, political groups on the right work through pre-existing civic associations formed by churches and other locally grounded networks to create lasting connections with its political base. Adopting more and more of the social conservative platform originally developed by the Christian Coalition, Republicans are able to tap into the extensive network of local groups that the Coalition developed since its creation in the late 1980s.
Read all of The Activism Industry by Dana R. Fisher ~ from The American Prospect ~ September 19, 2006


Ten Nobel Peace Prize Winners Take Aim at US
DENVER, Colorado - Ten Nobel Peace Prize laureates called for world peace Saturday and took direct aim at the United States, asking an enthusiastic crowd of 7,000 youth to demand the U.S. pull back its military, spread its wealth and offer aid to developing countries.
photo caption: 8 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates from around the world gathered for a picture at the University of Denver on Friday, Sept. 15, 2006 where they are participating in the PeaceJam conference that is scheduled to run through Sunday. From left back row: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama, Betty Williams; Front Row: Jody Williams, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Shirin Ebadi and Malread Corrigan Maguire. Missing from the picture are Oscar Arias and José Ramos Horta. Aung San Suu Kyi is still under house arrest and was expected to speak to the group via video.
One after the other Saturday night, the laureates thanked the crowd that rose to its feet before and after each speech, and then called on Americans to do something about their government's foreign policy. From efforts to close the border with Mexico, to Iraq, to arms exports, the Nobel laureates had words for the U.S. government.
Read all of Ten Nobel Peace Prize Winners Take Aim at US by Chase Squires ~ September 17, 2006 ~ Associated Press

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Alec & Noel 09/13/06

"Friends With Low Wages" ~ a cartoon from American Rights at Work

Turn on your speakers.

Disclaimer: this satirical animated cartoon is not sponsored or endorsed by or affiliated with Wal-Mart Stores or Garth Brooks.

Friends With Low Wages

"This hole in the ground" ~ 9/11/06

Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.

All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.

And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.

I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.

And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.
Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.

The President -- and those around him -- did that.
Read all of the article This hole in the ground Sept. 11, 2006 - by BLOGGERMAN - Keith Olbermann

See the video of this from that link ~ its worth watching for the images with his words if you have a high speed internet connection.

song "I have Two Fathers" by Terrence Van Cleave

A YouTube video of sweet song "I have Two Fathers" a young man in Holland, Terrence Van Cleave, wrote and sings. (English subtitles)

The name of this group is "Kinderen voor Kinderen" (in English: Children for Children).
The name of the album with this song is Kinderen voor Kinderen 2005

Banksy ~ British Public Prangster ~ An Artist Without a Face

A splashy Los Angeles debut by Banksy, perhaps Britain's most notorious graffiti artist and public prankster.
Earlier this month Banksy surreptitiously placed a blow-up doll dressed as a Guantánamo detainee inside the fence of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride at Disneyland, where it apparently remained for more than an hour before park officials shut down the ride and removed it.
Many of the pieces have been seen before, either on the streets of London and other cities, in books of Banksy’s work or at his Web site. Many comment on war, like the stark image of a television camera crew filming a child amid ruins as the producer holds back aid workers to allow for just one more shot.
Read the whole article: In the Land of Beautiful People, an Artist Without a Face by Edward Wyatt ~ New York Times ~ September 16, 2006


Here is a quote from Banksy's website:
I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me
Click here to see the image that the quote goes with.
And here is the entry to Banksy's website
(note: ~ some of the images are slow loading but worth the wait!)

Friday, September 8, 2006

Brad Pitt: I'll Marry When Everyone Can

NEW YORK (AP) -- Brad Pitt, ever the social activist, says he won't be marrying Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped. "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19. In the article he reflects on "fifteen things I think everyone should know."

Brad Pitt: I'll Marry When Everyone Can

Thursday, September 7, 2006

The Michigan Women’s Music Festival Continues to Promote Discrimination


Families United Against Hate (FUAH)


Carolyn Wagner (479) 577-3069

Gabi Clayton (360) 888-5291



September 5, 2006

Families United Against Hate was elated to hear that the “Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival” had ended their 31 year long policy of discrimination toward transgender women. This was not to last, however, as we learned that the “Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival” spokesperson, Lisa Vogel issued a long and protracted statement which essentially said nothing has changed: the Festival is intended for women-born women, and those who seek to purchase tickets are asked to respect that intention. Vogel emphasized, “If a transwoman purchased a ticket, it represents nothing more than that womon choosing to disrespect the stated intention of this Festival.”

In the days that followed we read responses from Camp Trans (a camp of people who meet at the same time each year with the purpose of protesting this policy of exclusion, educating the organizers of WWTMC and other organizations and individuals about transphobia).

Now we are compelled to respond. On August 30, 2006, Carolyn Wagner, co-founder of FUAH called WWTMC and spoke with a spokesperson named Sandy who reiterated their position, and stated that it would not be changed even with our offer of mediation.

We deeply regret this ongoing act of bias toward our transgender family members and friends, especially when both we and WWTMC know that transgender women are targeted for such an extreme amount of bias-motivated discrimination and violence. The time could not be more urgent and crucial for WWTMC to open their arms to welcome their trans sisters, to eradicate any previous emotions of bias and pain.

Gabi Clayton, co-founder of FUAH states, “As the mother of a son who was assaulted because he identified as bisexual, I am all too aware of how marginalization contributes to beliefs that eventually lead to hatred and violence. The current attitude held by WWTMC toward transwomen is marginalization, pure and simple.”

Carolyn Wagner also stated that, “I now believe that the Michigan Women’s Music Festival is asking all transgender women to cooperatively and actively participate in their own oppression as a form of self imposed segregation. Having grown up in the south during the days of segregation, this would be equivalent to having people of color cooperating with their oppression such as sitting in the back of the bus, the segregated lunch counters, and so forth.”

We believe that to remain silent regarding this ongoing act of blatant discrimination toward transwomen enables such bias to continue and plants those seeds that we know can and do lead to violence and the destruction of lives we all hold to be precious. We invite individuals and other organizations to join us in denouncing such forms of discrimination regardless of how such bias is cloaked or who is perpetrating it, such as, sadly, this time when is the bias comes from those we would believe were within our own communities.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”

We regret that while we had heard in the past of the exclusion of trans-women from the Michigan Women’s Music Festival, we did not act. We now seek to correct that error and we beg the forgiveness of transgender people, their families and loved ones for our taking this long.


FUAH's position regarding federal hate crime legislation

Remember Our Dead


FAMILIES UNITED AGAINST HATE (FUAH) is a nonprofit grassroots organization created by and for families and survivors of hate motivated violence, in collaboration with other individuals and organizations.

We offer support, guidance and assistance to families* and individuals dealing with incidents based on bias; and to the people, organizations and agencies who serve and support them.

* We define family broadly to include biological, extended and chosen family.


September 7, 2006

On the Camp Trans 2006 website:

Our Goals and Frequently asked questions and objections

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

article: Army Tries Private Pitch For Recruits

A recent government report noted that many military recruiters were unhappy with their jobs and that recruiting violations -- such as instructing applicants not to disclose medical conditions -- increased 50 percent in one year.

By turning to the private sector, advocates argue, the Army can save money and free soldiers to fight. Critics say it pushes the limit to what military jobs should be outsourced, furthering a trend that has already drawn record numbers of private contractors into roles as central as interrogating prisoners.
To Serco and MPRI Inc., it is good business. The two Virginia-based firms have more than 400 recruiters assigned across the country, and have signed up more than 15,000 soldiers. They are paid about $5,700 per recruit.
Read all of Army Tries Private Pitch For Recruits by Renae Merle ~ Washington Post ~ September 6, 2006

Sunday, September 3, 2006

The TC Pro-Net "WE THE PEOPLE" video

part 1 speaker: Washington State Senator Karen Fraser
part 2 speaker: past Olympia Mayor Bob Jacobs

Both explain how citizen advocacy can be applied effectively to insure that we have the rights and protections intended by the Constitution.

This was the first annual 2005 Memorial Day picnic for Thurston County Progressives' Network (TC-ProNet) in 2005.

See the 33 minute video: TC Pro-Net - WE THE PEOPLE

Saturday, September 2, 2006

pictures of me today

It was 90 degrees at the hottest today in Olympia ~ and its Harbor Days on Percival Landing. That means lots of boats and lots of people and booths ~ food, crafts, politicians, etc.

So rather than the almost impossiblity of finding parking, and then dealing with crowds, we did a walk at Tumwater Falls.

Usually I am the one taking the pictures, but today I got Alec to take these of me. Thanks Alec!!

Friday, September 1, 2006

The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right

A hilarious new book provides instructions on how to argue the big issues with ultra-conservative fundamentalists.
--- and:
Anyone who's read the Bible knows some of its disturbing content could give "Grand Theft Auto" a run for its money.

War, murder, rape, slavery, men who wear sandals -- parts of the Bible should come with adult content warning labels. If you want a peaceful religion, even Ted Haggard of

the National Association of Evangelicals says, "Choose Buddhism." Nevertheless, many evangelicals love the Bible so much they're willing to accept the whole darn thing,

even the bizarre parts, at face value. They brag that they don't "pick and choose" from the Bible and refer to themselves as "Bible-believin'" Christians.

Yet the glaring list of passages that typical evangelicals ignore could fill Falwell's dessert refrigerator at the Moral Majority to capacity.
Read all of this excerpt from The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right by Rob Lanham ~ AlterNet ~ September 1, 2006

Have You Had Enough?

Shame on us ... 'Don't Feed The Homeless'

As homelessness has grown in the United States over the past two decades, so have laws that essentially criminalize those who have no home. In a misguided attempt to

grapple with the phenomenon of people living on our streets, city governments have passed laws that make it illegal to sit, sleep and eat in public spaces. These laws

criminally penalize our poor and homeless neighbors merely for the fact that they have no place else to go.
Laws that criminalize homelessness are not only an inhumane way to treat some of our most vulnerable neighbors, but they frequently pose constitutional problems and do

nothing to address the underlying causes of homelessness. Many of these measures have been successfully challenged in court as violations of homeless persons’ civil rights.

In addition, these laws that frequently apply to downtown areas have the effect of moving homeless people away from areas where services and other resources are located.

When people are arrested or cited under these laws, they develop criminal records, which make it more challenging for them to find housing or employment.

Further, using the criminal justice system to deal with homelessness is an extremely inefficient use of law enforcement and other resources. In a nine-city survey of supportive housing and jail costs, jail costs were on average two to three times the cost of providing supportive housing—a solution that actually works in ending homelessness.
Read 'Don't Feed The Homeless' by Tulin Ozdeger ~ August 30, 2006

Tulin Ozdeger is a civil rights staff attorney at The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty