Monday, April 30, 2007

Global Warming Solutions: If You Haven't Already Done This, You are Wasting Money

Energy efficiency is the smartest step towards dealing with global warming.

There are many ways that you as a private citizen can be part of the solution. Carpooling, using mass transit, bicycling, walking, buying a hybrid car, turning your thermostat down a degree in the winter, and up a degree in summer, turning off lights, insulation, etc. are all ways where YOU can both save money in the long run and save energy. They all make sense both for your budget AND for dealing with global warming. You should do all you can to do these things. But there is one that is such a no-brainer, that if you haven't already done it, you are losing. The number one change you should have made at least 5 years ago is to switch your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs.

The one difficulty is that the initial cost is higher. You have to shell out more money when you buy a compact fluorescent bulb than when you buy a regular bulb. But...the overall savings are pretty big. For every regular bulb you replace with a compact fluorescent bulb, you save $35-$60 on energy bills over the life of EACH bulb (5-10 years depending on usage).
Read Global Warming Solutions: If You Haven't Already Done This, You are Wasting Money ~ in mole333's blog ~ April 29, 2007

Watch this video ~ America: Freedom To Fascism

In times of universal deceit telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. ~ George Orwell
Watch this director's final cut authorized version of America: Freedom To Fascism (AFTF) a 1 hr 49 min documentary by Aaron Russo. And be sure to read the biography of this amazing man.

Aaron has listened to everyone's feedback - volunteers, students, lovers of freedom & liberty, young and old alike - and, true to his word, in October 2006 he uploaded the film onto Google Video knowing that the hour has come for Americans to either be awakened to restore the Republic or be swept aside by the dark global forces of fascism that seeks to enslave mankind.

AFTF's main focus comes in a statement with six very simple words: SHUT DOWN THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bill Moyers returns! "Buying the War" on Bill Moyers Journal

How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President - no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?"

See the video and read the transcript: Buying the War
Bill Moyers Journal ~ PBS ~ Wednesday April 25, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Silencing New Voices? ~ what is wrong with asking questions and using challenging inquiry?

In my limited understanding of Jewish tradition this quote relates to what is below it:
Questioning-asking has not only long been seen as a central component of Jewish educational practice but has also been thought to be part of a broader culture of Judaism.
from: Beyond Questioning: Inquiry Strategies and Cognitive and Affective Elements of Jewish Education
by Irving E. Sigel; Jeffrey S. Kress; Maurice J. Elias in The Journal of Jewish Education, Volume 73, Issue 1 January 2007

Therefore I do not understand this:
What happens when a student magazine committed to fostering dialogue and to featuring a diverse range of opinions opens its pages to critical views on Israel? The sobering consequences were brought home recently to the staff of New Voices, a magazine put out by the Jewish Student Press Service that features a lively blend of essays, reporting and commentary on issues of particular concern to Jewish undergraduates.

Two years ago, New Voices applied for and received a grant from the Solelim Fund, a philanthropic venture affiliated with UJA-Federation of New York. The grant was renewable for up to $100,000 over a three-year period, during which New Voices, which like many student publications has operated for years on a shoestring budget, would hire a publisher, expand its circulation and eventually become self-sustaining. An initial $30,000 was disbursed, and in May 2006, representatives from Solelim and UJA-Federation visited the magazine to advise its staff on attracting more advertising revenue. By all accounts, the meeting went well; New Voices staffers emerged confident that their funding was likely to be renewed. Yet a few weeks later came a phone call from Dori Kirshner, director of the Jewish Leadership Forum at UJA-Federation, who had attended the meeting. She informed the publication it might not fit into Solelim's plans after all.

What happened?
Read Silencing New Voices
by Eyal Press in The Nation (web only) ~ April 20, 2007.


New Voices is America's only national magazine written by and for Jewish college students creating a Jewish media that speaks to young Jews, and empowering Jewish students to take ownership of their heritage. It is published through the independent, non-profit, student-run Jewish Student Press Service. New Voices promotes progressive, pluralistic Jewish values with writers and readers who reflect the diversity of America's Jewish student population. The magazine features regular coverage of student activism, civil liberties, labor issues, gender issues, and the relationship between Judaism and social justice. It engages Jewish college students with their Jewish heritage and issues of importance to the Jewish community, provides Jewish students with a forum for self-expression and a means to address a diverse, national audience of their peers, cultivates the next generation of Jewish journalists and leaders, and connects Jewish students with Jewish organizations.

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For more on why my
understanding of Jewish tradition is limited (and yet something I am proud of) you could read Encircled by My Heritage which I wrote in college.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

great article: "Old Mike, new Christine"

During my 23 years with The Times' sports department, I have held a wide variety of roles and titles. Tennis writer. Angels beat reporter. Olympics writer. Essayist. Sports media critic. NFL columnist. Recent keeper of the Morning Briefing flame.

Today I leave for a few weeks' vacation, and when I return, I will come back in yet another incarnation.

As Christine

I am a transsexual sportswriter. It has taken more than 40 years, a million tears and hundreds of hours of soul-wrenching therapy for me to work up the courage to type those words. I realize many readers and colleagues and friends will be shocked to read them.

That's OK. I understand that I am not the only one in transition as I move from Mike to Christine. Everyone who knows me and my work will be transitioning as well. That will take time. And that's all right. To borrow a piece of well-worn sports parlance, we will take it one day at a time.
and
When you reach the point when one gender causes heartache and unbearable discomfort, and the other brings more joy and fulfillment than you ever imagined possible, it shouldn't take two tons of bricks to fall in order to know what to do.

It didn't with me.

With me, all it took was 1.99 tons.

For more years than I care to count, I was scared to death over the prospect of writing a story such as this one. It was the most frightening of all the towering mountains of fear I somehow had to confront and struggle to scale.

How do you go about sharing your most important truth, one you spent a lifetime trying to keep deeply buried, to a world that has grown familiar and comfortable with your façade?
Read all of Old Mike, new Christine
by Mike Penner ~ Los Angeles Times Staff Writer ~ April 26, 2007

Monday, April 23, 2007

Gem of the Ocean

Yesterday Alec and I went to Seattle to see Gem of the Ocean by Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, directed by Phylicia Rashad, at Seattle Repertory's Bagley Wright Theatre.

It will be there until May 6th. ~ See it if you can ~ it's excellent, very powerful!

More on Gem of the Ocean in Wikipedia.

Watch "Gem of the Ocean" director Phylicia Rashad interviewed by
Enrique Cerna on KCTS Public Television She originated the role of Aunt Ester on Broadway.
S
treaming video: Broadband | Dial-Up (15 minutes & 20 seconds).

We almost didn't make it there in time due to bottleneck traffic mess after the exit off I-5 in Seattle due to construction. We arrived at the theater with only a few minutes to spare.

Noel works there, so we were also able to have dinner with him after the matinee while he was on his dinner break. That was great of course. :-)

An Interview with Doctor Hunter "Patch" Adams, founder of the Gesundheit Institute

"The Gesundheit Institute is a pie in the face of greed - by taking the most expensive thing in America, health care, and giving it away for free."
and
We [Gesundheit Institute] represent possibly the only model in this country really addressing the problems of care delivery in an active model. We are now culminating 22 years of experience in a 40-bed hospital in West Virginia that won't charge money, won't carry malpractice insurance, and won't accept third party reimbursement.

It also won't separate the healing arts. All of them work together - traditional medicine and surgery with acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. We want to make the hospital a place a person can't wait to come to, whether they are working there or being there as a patient. Because we are interested in promoting wellness, we will integrate medicine with performing arts, arts and crafts, agriculture, recreation, nature, and social service. Those are some skeletal parts.

I would like to see that Gesundheit is both a stimulant and an irritant - that those are its two real functions, not so much that it's doing free medicine and that sort of thing, but that our example either stimulates you to follow your dreams or irritates you where you are with your life.
and
"At Gesundheit, we see deep intimate friendship between patient and doctor as having great medicinal power." Whatever ideals you bring to medicine, you have to lie to yourself every day with all the forms, the malpractice, the costs, the limits on time, and your training that says don't touch the patient, but you see the patient reaching out to you. So everything that is your humanity that screams out to help people is squished in some way or another. It's very hard being in health care delivery now. That is why several thousand doctors and nurses last year said, "I'll work with you. I'll give up my private life and work for free, just to be out of this garbage."

Basically, medicine as a business is ethically wrong. We can never get a re-creation of community and heal our society without giving our citizens a sense of belonging. Without knowing that your tribe will care for you if you need their help, you are never going to get a sense of belonging.
Read all of Interview with Patch Adams Interview by 'Caring People' Magazine, Spring 1993

Read Doctor Hunter "Patch" Adams ~ a short bio. from 'Caring People' Magazine.

Also read Patch Adams in Wikipedia.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" at TESC in Olympia April 27,28, & 29, then "Voices of a People’s History" in Olympia on May 5

From April 26th through 29th, the Seattle Repertory Theatre production of My Name is Rachel Corrie will be performed at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, brought by Evergreen Expressions.

The Rachel Corrie Foundation is organizing talkbacks, post-play discussions by those who attend the play, and educational outreach to local high school and college students.

My Name is Rachel Corrie
April 27 & 28 at 8 pm ~ April 28 & 29 at 2 pm

at the Experimental Theater, Communications Building
The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia

admission: General $30; Seniors/Students $20

tickets: Rainy Day Records, Evergreen Bookstore, BuyOlympia.com,
Communications Bldg. Box Office daily: 12-3 pm or 360-867-6651 to order by phone.

Alec and I saw this in Seattle and it is excellent. I highly recommend it.

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Alec and I will be going to this and I wanted to be sure other people know about it:


On Saturday evening, May 5th, Peace Works will present Voices of a People’s History at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Olympia. This is a theater presentation of readings from the book of the same name edited by Anthony Arnove and Howard Zinn.

Other Voices performances have occurred in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Berkeley to great acclaim. The Olympia performance will be narrated by Anthony Arnove and will feature readers presenting true-life narratives from American history–from Sojourner Truth, Tecumseh, and Eugene Debs, to the present day–including an email from Gaza from Rachel Corrie.

Voices of a People’s History
Dramatic Readings Celebrating the Enduring Spirit of Dissent
Saturday, May 5, 2007
7:00pm (doors open at 6:15pm)
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts
512 Washington St SE, Downtown Olympia

Featuring Anthony Arnove, Dennis Brutus, Nomy Lamm, Nina Laboy, Brian Jones, Cindy Corrie, Chanan Suarez-Diaz, and others, to be announced. The event will be wheelchair accessible and ASL interpreted.

General Admission - $10 ~ Tickets available on April 17th
through The Washington Center (360-753-8586),
Rainy Day Records (360-357-4755), and Orca Books (360-352-0123).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chomsky and Zinn on Patriotism in America

An interview with two of America's leading dissidents on how the highest act of patriotism would be opposing the war in Iraq and calling for a withdrawal of our troops.

Democracy Now! was broadcasted from Boston on April 16, Patriots Day in Massachusetts -- a state holiday to mark the start of the Revolutionary War. In a Democracy Now! special, Amy Goodman was joined by two of the city's leading dissidents, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.
Read the interview: Chomsky and Zinn on Patriotism in America
by Amy Goodman ~ Democracy Now! ~ April 18, 2007

Nagasaki Mayor Ito killed

With the killings in Virgina in so much of the news another important story is not getting much attention. I thank my friend TJ Johnson for bringing it to my attention.

TJ wrote in an email:

Nagasaki Mayor Ito killed

Violence has claimed the life of another peacemaker.

Earlier today the Mayor Iccho Ito of Nagasaki, Japan was assassinated by a member of the Japanese mafia (yakuzu).

Mayor Ito was a pacifist, an outspoken critic of militarism, and unrelenting advocate for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Along with Mayor Akiba of Hiroshima, he led the Mayors for Peace campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Ito at the NPT conference at the United Nations in 2005, and corresponded with him since that time. He was well aware of our anti-nuclear work in Olympia, and sent several letters of encouragement and thanks us for our efforts to establish a nuclear free zone.
and
Please keep his family and the many Japanese peace and anti-nuclear activists who are grieving the loss in your heart and mind.

TJ Johnson
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Read Nagasaki Mayor Itoh dies; suspect held grudge
Asahi Weekly ~ 04/19/2007

Last Night Olympia's City Council Said No to Adopting Rafah as a Sister City

The Olympia City Council voted 4-2 against adopting the Gaza Strip city of Rafah as a sister city late Tuesday night.

Before the vote, at nearly midnight, an overflow crowd of about 150 people attended a public hearing about the subject, and 83 signed up to speak. Of those, 55 supported of the proposal and 28 opposed it.

Council members Laura Ware and TJ Johnson voted in favor of the ordinance; members Karen Messmer, Doug Mah, Jeff Kingsbury and Mayor Mark Foutch voted against it. Council member Joe Hyer was absent.
Read Council says no to Rafah tie Motion against other sister city relationships also loses
by Matt Batcheldor ~ April 18, 2007 ~ The Olympian

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This was my letter to the Olympia City Council several days before the hearing and decision:

Subject: Please support the Olympia-Rafah sister city proposal
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2007
From: Gabi Clayton
To: citycouncil@ci.olympia.wa.us

Dear Olympia City Council,

I am writing to ask you all to please vote to adopt the Olympia-Rafah sister city proposal.

I've heard that there are some people who question Rafah's credibility as a 'legitimate' sister city. What difference does that make? In reaching for peace how can we let something like "legitimacy" get in the way? This would be like saying that a person who does not have married parents is "illegitimate" and therefore must be less than human or not deserving to be treated as an equal. Do you really believe that? I do not think so.

How can Olympia turn down this request for sisterhood? On top of every other reason to become family with Rafah, it was one of our own children's dreams to see this happen. Rachel Corrie did not live to see her dream a reality, but we do not have to let it go because we have lost her.

Sister Cities International works to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, & cooperation - one individual, one community at a time. "No Borders ... No Boundaries ... A World of Possibilities."

Please vote for a world of hope and possibility.

Thank you,
Gabi Clayton
Olympia, WA

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I sent a slightly edited version of my letter to the Olympian newspaper. I have taken a public stand on this because I feel strongly about it.

I know there are many people who disagree with my position on this, including people who I respect and work with on many other issues. I am not afraid of that.

Some of them have made the point that as Jews they cannot forget what was done to them. And I agree. And yes, Israel is a land with a Jewish heritage. But not only Jews were there in the past. That region was shared by other people.

What I did not mention in the letters and perhaps should have is that I am the daughter of a Jewish refugee from Germany, and three of my four grandparents were Jews. That heritage is something I am proud of (see Encircled By My Heritage) and that has made me more aware of what this kind of bias does to people.


I was talking to Alec last night and I told him that one of the arguments is that Rafah is not legitimate because the people there do not live in a legitimate city because it is not part of a real country. But Israel took land from the Palestinians. I compared it to when the people came here and took land from Native Americans to make these United States.

Virgina Tech

My thoughts are with the people connected to the Virginia Tech students and teachers who lost thier lives, the dozens of people who were shot, and the thousands of people who were traumatised in any way by the shooting there.

As the reports started coming from Blacksburg I heard someone on the news say she also felt what the parents and loved ones feel now that this happened there. No, you don't. You can't and I can't know what this feels like unless it is your child, sister, brother, family or friend who was a victim. Or if you were on that campus and terrified like those who were there were.

I'm saddened by this tragedy, affected by this event, but I can't know what it feels like and I think it would be insulting to say I did.

I do know it will take time to heal. There will need to be time and space for the feelings of grief, and for processing this horror before healing can really begin. Trying to rush past that in order to avoid the pain and loss won't help. Squashing those hard feelings may postpone visible impact but will ferment into more damage. Numbing is a totally natural response to something like this, but eventually the emotions need be felt and gone through for any kind of healing to take place.

Expecting that anyone directly affected by this will ever be completley over it and will be back to who they were before is unreasonable and I do not believe it should be a goal. This must change them.

But that does not mean that finding a way through is not possibe. It will be a journey to someplace yet unknowable. Allowing it to change someone who has survived this is how to honor the victims.


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Death and violence are not rites of passage
You and I will try to make sense of the utter madness. And we in the media will report on every conceivable element of the worst shooting rampage in our nation's history as we try to learn more about the lives cut short by a 23-year-old man named Cho Seung-Hui.
and
It is also likely that too many of us will fail to ask and seek answers to the most important question of all: Why are we, our society and our culture, tolerating the deaths of so many of our college students? While the horror of the murders in Blacksburg galvanize our attention, we in the national media seemingly lack the capacity to report and analyze what has become accepted violence and death on campuses around the country.

Fatal mass shootings in our nation's elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges number just over 250 killed in the past 80 years. While shooting violence is worsening, it does not approach the toll of other violence on our college youth.

We all seem unable to assimilate the fact that thousands of college students are dying violently each year. About 1,100 students each and every year will commit suicide, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and four of every five young people who attempt suicide exhibit clear warning signs.

The rate of drug overdoses among teens and young adults more than doubled over the five-year period from 1999 to 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. And each year, on average, there are 1,400 drinking-related deaths among college students nationwide, according to the Task Force on College Drinking. The Task Force estimates that binge drinking by college students also contributes to 70,000 cases of sexual assault or rape each year.

The Virginia Tech murders are horrible. And because they are dramatic, they have our full attention. But for all our sakes, I hope we also ask ourselves why our society permits what has become the routine slaughter of a far greater number of young people on our college campuses. We should also ask ourselves why we've done so little to understand the causes of all these senseless deaths on our campuses.
Read all of Death and violence are not rites of passage
by Lou Dobbs ~ April 18, 2007 ~ CNN

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What does it mean to be a gay black man in America?

In response to The Washington Post series Being a Black Man several gay black men got together over dinner to discuss what it means to be black and gay in America.

Watch Being a Gay Black Man

Video by Ben de la Cruz, Pierrre Katter - washingtonpost.com
and Sholnn Freeman - The Washington Post

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ~ 1922-2007

In memory of Kurt Vonnegut, the novelist, socialist and humanist whose friendship and late-in-life peace activism should inspire us all.
and
At the turn of the millennium he became the beloved old crank of American letters, and of the New York literary scene. Although he is always compared to Mark Twain, he was a bit more like the great writers who established New York as a literary center, Poe, Melville and Whitman. Like them, Kurt was an outsider, at odds with the stylish uptown of the salons, emerging as he did from the World Wrestling Association of the book world -- a science fiction writer from the Midwest. He was accepted here when he could no longer be resisted, and finally had the home on the sound and the townhouse, too. But the boldness never left him, because he practiced it in small ways every few minutes, as he painted, as he went to his stoop to watch the world. He always practiced his sneaky casual epigrams. Short sentences that had a quality of everyday modesty, but would then address all of our lives at once. "Reverend, we don't need your jazz riffs. Just say it plain. And no semi-colons!"
Reflections on Kurt Vonnegut, a Man of Funny Fearlessness
by Reverend Billy ~ AlterNet ~ April 13, 2007.


Reverend Billy is pastor of the Church of Stop Shopping
and author of
What Would Jesus Buy? Fabulous Prayers in the Face of the Shopocalypse.

The Reverend Billy is a creation of the actor and activist Bill Talen.
He lives in New York City.


Read more about Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Yes I said it, and I am sorry.

Actually I wrote it. I wrote "my bad" in an email to Catherine yesterday and she replied "Where does 'My bad' come from?"

So I looked it up to answer her and wrote back:
Its a silly saying for 'I made a mistake' or 'I'm sorry'. I usually don't say it. And I just looked it up and found these:

Is "My Bad" Bad? by Chad Lundgren

and

Substance Musings by Alyssa Wodtke
Oy. I have been properly chastised and won't say that again!

More on Don Imus

GLAAD Statement on Don Imus’ Firing by CBS and NBC
April 12, 2007

Contact: Marc McCarthy, Senior Director of Communications
Phone: (323) 634-2051 Email: mccarthy@glaad.org

New York, Thursday, April 12, 2007 - Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) President Neil G. Giuliano today supported CBS's decision to cancel the Imus in the Morning radio program one day after MSNBC pulled its televised simulcast from the airwaves. Following Don Imus' repulsive expression of bigotry against the Rutgers University Women's Basketball Team, Giuliano joined and voiced support for the numerous individuals and organizations that have condemned the radio personality.

“GLAAD applauds both CBS and NBC for finally taking responsibility and ending their support of Imus’ legacy of bigoted and vulgar comments, including those against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” Giuliano said. “We call on all broadcasters to require the same responsibility and accountability from all their on-air talent.”

“For the past few days we've witnessed widespread media reporting on the outrage that greeted Imus' dehumanizing bigotry. That coverage has raised the profile of this issue such that our nation's media outlets no longer have any excuse for providing a platform to those who engage in these kinds of vulgar slurs toward any group of people.”

About GLAAD
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org.

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media center > press releases > GLAAD Statement on Don Imus’ Firing by CBS and NBC
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I love Harvey Fierstein!

Our Prejudices, Ourselves

AMERICA is watching Don Imus’s self-immolation in a state of shock and awe. And I’m watching America with wry amusement.

Since I’m a second-class citizen - a gay man - my seats for the ballgame of American discourse are way back in the bleachers. I don’t have to wait long for a shock jock or stand-up comedian to slip up with hateful epithets aimed at me and mine. Hate speak against homosexuals is as commonplace as spam. It’s daily traffic for those who profess themselves to be regular Joes, men of God, public servants who live off my tax dollars, as well as any number of celebrities.

In fact, I get a good chuckle whenever someone refers to “the media” as an agent of “the gay agenda.” There are entire channels, like Spike TV, that couldn’t fill an hour of programming if required to remove their sexist and homophobic content. We’ve got a president and a large part of Congress willing to change the Constitution so they can deprive of us our rights because they feel we are not “normal.”

So I’m used to catching foul balls up here in the cheap seats. What I am really enjoying is watching the rest of you act as if you had no idea that prejudice was alive and well in your hearts and minds.
and
The real point is that you cannot harbor malice toward others and then cry foul when someone displays intolerance against you. Prejudice tolerated is intolerance encouraged. Rise up in righteousness when you witness the words and deeds of hate, but only if you are willing to rise up against them all, including your own. Otherwise suffer the slings and arrows of disrespect silently.
Read all of Our Prejudices, Ourselves by New York Times Op-Ed Contributor HARVEY FIERSTEIN ~ April 13, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

And now for a commercial break? Cool cards.

Okay its a little commercial, but I wanted to let you know about these.

Hallmark Gold Crown stores are now selling Journeys encouragement cards - Encouraging Words Along Life's Way.

The series includes a coming out card!!!

Cover:
One of the most difficult things we can do is to show our true selves to the world. Yet, you found the courage to say, "This is who I am."
Inside:
There's no telling what changes will follow. But living with the strength that comes from being everything you are brings its own rewards -- and you deserve them all.
Journeys cards cover needs not typically addressed in traditional card lines including all of these and more:
  • Cancer diagnosis, treatment, hair loss, recovery anniversary
  • Loss of young life
  • Infertility, miscarriage, post-partum depression
  • Waiting for test results
  • Caring for an aging parent
  • Thanking a hospice worker or organ donor's family
  • Difficult birthday
  • Addiction recovery
  • Eating disorders and diet support
  • Depression
  • Job loss
  • Coming out
  • Leaving a bad situation
  • Quitting a bad habit
  • Empty nest
See more info also in the press room:
The New Normal: Hallmark Helps Navigate the Journeys of Life.
and be sure to thank them for that coming out card. I did and the store manager and clerk appreacted my raving about how good it was for their company to carry it.

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And don't forget to support small business! Check out this cool line of cards from Paper Words

Gay & Lesbian Coming Out Cards, Opening Night cards, Grim Reaper cards: "Who knew the Grim Reaper had a sense of humor? There's a twisted side in all of us, and sometimes you just have to let it out!"

~ and other cool cards from New York City artist Rob Fortier.


See Paper Words.

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More great cards ...

Open Closet extends love, happiness and cheer to and from the gay community. These "Greeting Cards with Gay Regards" are a welcome and necessary addition to the current greeting card market. The company offers an alternative family-friendly selection of cards for many occasions, including "Congratulations!" on an adoption by two gay parents or a birthday card from a child's two mommies or daddies.

See Open Closet

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Welcome to The Beloved Community

“The Beloved Community” is a term that was first coined in the early days of the 20th century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who popularized the term and invested it with a deeper meaning which has captured the imagination of people of good will all over the world.

For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community was not devoid of interpersonal, group or international conflict. Instead he recognized that conflict was an inevitable part of human experience. But he believed that conflicts could be resolved peacefully and adversaries could be reconciled through a mutual, determined commitment to nonviolence. No conflict, he believed, need erupt in violence. And all conflicts in The Beloved Community should end with reconciliation of adversaries cooperating together in a spirit of friendship and goodwill.

As early as 1956, Dr. King spoke of The Beloved Community as the end goal of nonviolent boycotts. As he said in a speech at a victory rally following the announcement of a favorable U.S. Supreme Court Decision desegregating the seats on Montgomery’s busses, “the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the Beloved Community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.”
Read all of The Beloved Community of Martin Luther King, Jr. ~ from The King Center

Read about Josiah Royce on Wikipedia.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation
FOR's Vision: We envision a world of justice, peace, and freedom. It is a revolutionary vision of a beloved community where differences are respected, conflicts are addressed nonviolently, oppressive structures are dismantled, and where people live in harmony with the earth, nurtured by diverse spiritual traditions that foster compassion, solidarity, and reconciliation.

FOR's Mission: FOR seeks to replace violence, war, racism, and economic injustice with nonviolence, peace, and justice. We are an interfaith organization committed to active nonviolence as a transforming way of life and as a means of radical change. We educate, train, build coalitions, and engage in nonviolent and compassionate actions locally, nationally, and globally.

A Global Mothers' Day Action at 1pm ~ Standing Women

The women of Ohio call upon the women of the world, from the day-old babies to our most senior elders, to stand with us to save the world.
and
Please stand with us for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. your local time on May 13, 2007, in your local park, school yard, gathering place, or any place you deem appropriate, to signify your agreement with the statement below. We ask you to invite the men who you care about to join you. We ask that you bring bells to ring at 1 p.m. to signify the beginning of the five minutes of silence and to ring again to signify the end of the period of silence. During the silence, please think about what you individually and we collectively can do to attain this world. If you need to sit rather than stand, please feel free to do so. Afterwards, hopefully you and your loved ones can talk together about how we can bring about this world.

WILL YOU STAND WITH US?
standingwomen.org

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I've written A Letter to Don Imus

I have a letter in the mail and posted on the Families United Against Hate website.

If you want to read it, see:
04-11-07 A Letter to Don Imus from Gabi Clayton.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cool creative newspaper comic

9 Chickweed Lane is a comic strip about a single mom, her adolescent daughter and gritty grandma.The strips three generations feature strong characters with McEldowney's grasp of relationshis through incredible artwork & flights of fancy.
Check it out. 9 Chickweed Lane

Olympia named #10 on best places for business in USA on Forbes’ list

The Olympia metropolitan area ranks as one of the top places in the country for business and careers, according to a new Forbes magazine study.
and
The study ranks Olympia 10th out of the 200 largest metropolitan areas in the country. The Olympia metro area, which comprises all of Thurston County with its population of 233,000, ranked high because of its 2 percent population growth — twice the national average — and growth in jobs and income in the past five years, according to the study.
and
One of the Olympia area’s strengths is that state government has given the area a stable economy, Portland, Ore.-based researcher Bert Sperling said. Another factor is that it is conveniently located between Seattle and Portland for shopping and other amenities.
and
Not all of the Forbes study’s findings were flattering.

The cost of doing business in the Olympia metro area resulted in a ranking of 113, according to the study. Association of Washington Business spokesman Richard Davis said Washington is considered a high-cost state for businesses.

According to Davis, Washington businesses:

• Pay about 51 percent of all state and local taxes
• Have high unemployment insurance taxes
• Have high labor costs

Some South Sound residents were skeptical of the Forbes study.
Read Robust business growth puts Olympia on Forbes’ list
by Rolf Boone and Jim Szymanski ~ The Olympian ~ April 10, 2007

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Wives of Marty Winters

On Alec's blog: South Sound Arts etc. ~ Posted: 07 Apr 2007
The Wives of Marty Winters is my latest novel. I'm in the midst of my second complete rewrite -- up to page 147 of 212 right now, after having two trusted friends who are good writers read it and make editorial comments. One of those friends' first comment was, "My God, you've killed off Gabi."

She was right that I began the novel with the death of a character, Selena, and that that character bears some resemblence of my wife, Gabi. But upon rewriting it I decided not to kill her off after all.

... Or did I? Ah ha! A novel has to have a little suspense -- even a character-driven novel such as this one that doesn't rely very heavily on plot. So I'll give this much away: a major character is shot in the opening chapter. But you'll have to read the whole damn book to find out if she lives or dies. And beyond some very obvious similarities -- she's a PFLAG mom and an outspoken GLBTQ activist -- Selena is not at all like Gabi. Truth be told, she is based more on my second wife, a woman I can't believe I ever even liked.

Read from the work in progress

As a teaser, I'm posting parts of The Wives of Marty Winters where it can be accessed only via links from this blog (pdf format - opens in new window). I'll post them little by little, and invite readers to send me editorial comments. If I make any changes in the manuscript based on your critiques, I'll ackowledge your contribution in the book when it's published.

Go here to read the first installment of The Wives of Marty Winters.

The section posted here is the prologue, although it's not labeled as such. It is set in the recent past. After this prologue, the story flashes back to 1960 and follows the lives of Marty Winters and his friends and family members until we come full circle to the present moment.

If you want to keep up, subscribe to this blog so you'll get announcements when new sections are posted. Thank you!
Read it on his site and subscribe! See The Wives of Marty Winters

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Mark Morford column: Notes and Errata ~ Is Your Fetus A Republican?

Soon, DNA testing will tell if your baby is gay. Or smart. Or the next George Bush. Ready?
and
Here are but a few of the imminent questions: What would you do if you knew your unborn child was, without doubt, destined to be gay? Or what if you knew your unborn had all the DNA markings of, say, a drug addict? How about if you knew he was genetically predisposed toward becoming, oh, a severe Republican, one with, say, a vicious hate-filled talk-radio show somewhere in the Deep South that ranted about war and gays and uppity wimmin and the need for more prisons and guns in the schools?

Would you celebrate? Would you scream? Would you abort? Would you call Fox News and demand your own reality show? Or would you immediately seek medical treatment to turn that hapless helpless bundle of goo and tissue and possibility into a nice straitlaced bland-as-milk moderate Democrat with a thing for gardening and the missionary position and tepid travel magazines?
Read Is Your Fetus A Republican?
by Mark Morford ~ SF Gate Columnist ~ March 23, 2007

and on that subject, see The Twilight of the Golds - a 1997 Showtime film based on a play by Jonathan Tolins. The story is set in a time when parents might be able to have a genetic test to see if an unborn child was likely to be gay or lesbian, and what choice the parents would face if they had the test done. It deals with those questions in some probing, challenging and sensitive ways. http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=154556
and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120392/

McCain & Lindsey's stroll and what it hath wrought at the Shorja market in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The crack of shots fired by unseen snipers echoed on Monday through Baghdad's wholesale Shorja market, a day after U.S. Senator John McCain held up his visit there as one sign of improving security in Baghdad.
and
"Who said there was security?" asked carpet salesman Abu Ammar, 55, who said he sold McCain a $60 Turkish rug.

"I told him there were snipers who were really harming us," he said, sitting behind his large office desk. "I told him the plan had improved security but Shorja still wasn't fully safe."
Read Snipers back at Baghdad market after McCain visit
by Mussab Al-Khairalla | April 2, 2007 | The Boston Globe

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

OLBERMANN::LARRY JOHNSON (EX-CIA) EXCORIATES ST.McCAIN
Provided By: jstully
Johnson says that McCain and Lindsey ... Johnson says that McCain and Lindsey Graham are both military guys and should know better than to stage a goddamned photo-op in the middle of a dangerous market so they can score five-dollar rugs from a merchant who will probably be killed for his "collusion" with the enemy.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Read What John McCain Didn't Tell You
by Larry C Johnson (bio/blog: NO QUARTER) | Apr 02, 2007

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Remember that Baghdad market visited on Sunday by Senator John McCain to show how calm things are? James Hider of the London Times writes, , "21 Shia market workers were ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital. The victims came from the Baghdad market [Shurja] visited the previous day by John McCain, the US presidential candidate, who said that an American security plan in the capital was starting to show signs of progress."
Read: 21 Shiites from McCain's Market Killed. 3 US Troops Killed Massive Truck Bomb at Kirkuk21 Shiites from McCain's Market
by juan cole (reposted) | Apr 3rd, 2007 |

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
John McCain's sunny stroll through a Baghdad market earned ridicule from Iraqis and American reporters alike. His campaign for president may never recover.
Read Has 'Straight Talk' By Media Derailed McCain?
by Greg Mitchell | April 04, 2007 | Editor and Publisher

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
On the same day Mr McCain was in Baghdad where he toured a local market and said that his ability to walk freely through the city showed that “things are better and there are encouraging signs”.

Traders from that same market later contradicted his account, saying that they had told the delegation about the mortal danger they faced. The security surrounding Mr McCain’s visit — where he was protected by helicopters, armed guards, snipers and a bullet-proof vest — was, they said, “abnormal”.
Read Cancer fears cap bad week for McCain as he looks for old magic
by Tom Baldwin in Washington | April 5, 2007 | Times Online, UK

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Baghdad residents expressed astonishment at Mr. McCain’s rosy remarks, saying that he visited the marketplace, the scene of numerous deadly bombings, under unrealistic conditions. Democrats and antiwar bloggers ridiculed him for blindly supporting the administration’s so-called surge policy.

Mr. McCain, in an interview to be broadcast on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday, acknowledged that his critics were right. “Of course I am going to misspeak and I’ve done it on numerous occasions and I probably will do it in the future. I regret that when I divert attention to something I said from my message, but you know, that’s just life.”
Read McCain Says He Erred on Iraq Security
by JOHN M. BRODER | April 7, 2007 | The New York Times

Friday, April 6, 2007

Another Year

Today is the 'anniversary' of the day Bill was assaulted: April 6th, 1995. Twelve years have gone by now.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

wild, wacky impish wonderful animations

kunstbar ... an animation by Whitehouse Animation Inc animators for art-lovers!

The Prophets ... an animation by Steve Whitehouse. (Viewer discretion advised)

More animation by Whitehouse Animation Inc

and The Man Behind Mr. Man An October 18, 2006 interview with Steve Whitehouse by Aaron Simpson of Cold Hard Fash: a news source focusing on TV production and online shorts being produced with Adobe’s Flash software.

Where Do Our Income Tax Dollars Go?

The federal budget is a reflection of our country’s moral values.
Yes?
No?
Does this budget reflect your values? (pdf format)
from Friends Committee on National Legislation

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

One of my favorite pictures!!!


This is Axel and me at Everything for Everybody on 13th Street,
in the West Village meat packing warehouse district in New York City
just a bit after we met.
This was before I was pregnant with Noel in about 1974.

We were so young!
This was 34 years ago. Alec was about as old as Noel is now.

PS: Alec is Axel by Jack Scully who was the benevolent dictator of Everything for Everybody. Alec was also known as Swoosh by his mom ... and when he and his twin brother Bill were kids a neighbor-man called them Wiznat and Whistlebritches! :-) Alec doesn't know which one he was.

Monday, April 2, 2007

sammy's haircut and news!


This is sammy (sam schaefer-joel) getting a new haircut, zack looking on with disbelief at what sam has let him do. Photo by Lebn - posted with permission. Thanks.

Great hair Sam!

He wrote:
Valparaiso, Chile. My new favorite city. It´s a cultural center of Chile, port town, steep hills covered with colorful houses--many with no street access-- connected a network of stairways and paths. The commercial center is down in the flats near the water. Markets are overflowing with abundance. Avacados are a 30-40 cents a pound. I love avacados.

We (Zack, Lebn, and I) are staying in a workshop where Tio Willy makes circus bikes and aerial rigs and his wife sews costumes and everyone eats together and cooks over a wood fire.
It´s a lot like the juggle farm we had in Bellingham, except urban and small and all in spanish, but it really makes me excited about creating a community space for circus, music, and gardens.

We´ve been hanging out often at a squat house in town--amazingly large building, over 20 people are staying there and there is plenty of space left, they have silks and a trapeze set up, lots of space for juggling, a big basement, water and electricity...
Last friday we performed at a circus show there, our first performance together (not counting stoplights, of course--our main source of income). It went really well, we got lots of laughs and applause and we were one of the first acts so then had the luxury of relaxing and enjoying the rest of it--amazingly talented crowd--chileans, argentinians, venezuelans---GREAT juggling, ball spining, silks, pole, trapeze, diablo, fire spining, devil sticks, amazing mime, clowning....Yeah!
Lebn took some photos and will be posting them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lebnjay/
I have some photos of our trip at http://www.flickr.com/photos/samalabares/
and Zack has a well written blog with more details of our travels at http://www.raggedyman.blogspot.com whew! Oh, one more link...there is a GREAT radio station we have been listening to here in Valparaiso and you can listen to them live athttp://www.radioplaceres.cl , check it out!

It looks like the squat house may be getting shut down, they have been expecting the police to show up in the middle of the night and kick everyone out, they have welded the lower doors shut and are planning to make a big outcry for publicity and put on their clown noses and costumes and make a circus of the whole ordeal. Wow. Everyone is stressed out about it, it´s crazy not knowing when they will come but having to be constantly prepared...

It´s hard to leave Valparaiso, I must say, lots to learn, acrobatics workshops, (which should be really good for our act... Our human platform of death has been a little wobbly... Yikes).

We are able to make about 10 dollars an hour working at stoplights here, juggling when the light turns red and collecting coins from amused and entertained commuters. 10 dollars is enought to eat well and save a bit for further travels. Lots of people travel and live this way, it´s pretty amazing. I´d like to see it start up in the states.

We are going back to Santiago tomorrow, and then heading to Northern Argentina and beyond, following the pull north towards the tropics and home. I´ll miss Chile, I really enjoy it here and have many thoughts about coming back for a longer period of time. I´d love to get involved in some community gardening efforts here.
Love to you all, send me an email and let me know what you´ve been up to,
Sam
and today he wrote:
Hey Gabi,
Of course you can post whatever you like....Yeah, I´ve never quite had hair like this before, it´s kind of fun, I usually where it as a topnot sticking straight up from the top of my head, I get a lot of second looks and giggles from people here in Mendoza...
I decided to do some solo traveling and break off from my friends, they are going up the Andes and I´m going to go to Brazil.....I´m excited to learn Portuguese!
It´s fall here, getting chilly at night--must be time to head north to the tropics!
Lots of love,
SAm

Sunday, April 1, 2007

More epilepsy!

Friday night I had another seizure. We were going to Lakewood so Alec could review a play and I started feeling weird while I was talking to my sister on the freeway. Alec was driving ~ I have never driven which turns out to be a VERY good thing. My sister says I used to be a 'wus' and now I have an excuse. :-)

I told Alec and he called 911 as soon as he pulled into the parking lot of the theater. Then it took three people to get me into the wheelchair to the hospital because I couldn't walk.

Apparently I have to live with this. My neurologist says I was probably born with epilepsy, but sometimes its adult onset. I had never heard that. Maybe it was from my forceps birth? The doctor said sometimes they can do brain surgery to fix the damage, but we don't have insurance so we can't afford that and we are trying to manage with medication.

They took me to St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood Friday night and I was there until Satutrday afternoon. Some of the time I couldn't feel or move half my body but I can't remember now if it was the left or right side.

I'm home now and dealing with some of the weird after-effects. It's like having a hangover from the seizure except I have never been much of a drinker so I'm not sure that's the best way to describe it. My brain is scrambled. At this point sounds like music and television are messed up ~ sort of sing-song off beat, and my skin is hyper-sensitive and feels lumpy but I know its not. Right now I'm sort of clutzy and discomumbobulated. Oh well. It should pass.

After the one I had in Frebruary I kept some notes:
After I came home from hospital on Friday night 02/17/07: I heard singsong iambic poetic pentameter on tv & peoples speech, headache, my ears were throbbing, left hip pain & nightmare of creepy spiders with red goopy stuff.Not much appetite.

Monday 02/19/07: I had mild nightmare (dead spiders) last night again and didn't sleep well. I heard pounding heart noise. Woke with a headache. Evening still some headache, plastic faces & not much appetite.
No plastic faces this time thank goodness.

And the headace that started with the beginning of the seizure is finally gone. They gave me morphine for that Friday night in the hospital. I never had that before! At least this time they didn't do a preganancy test - I told them about that and they thought it was as strange as I did.

7:30pm

The side effects are worse now than they were this morning. More intense. The sounds I am hearing are more jagged and now I am seeing the plastic cartoon faces again on the television.

Like this:


Epilepsy and seizure information for patients and health professionals is at http://www.epilepsy.com