Monday, September 29, 2008


In MILK -- A Great Movie Trailer. Steve Schalchlin wrote:
The Gus Van Sant movie about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected politician, a man assassinated for nothing more than being gay and refusing to pretend otherwise, looks incredible. I actually began to tear up in the theater just watching it.

Filmed in San Francisco and featuring what appears to be a sensational performance from Sean Penn as Harvey Milk -- well, if the movie is as good as this trailer, this could sweep the Academy Awards. And I hope it is. And I hope it does.
Wow, I can't wait to see this film!

View the great movie trailer here.

MILK - the official site for the movie in theaters November 26th.

John Cloud wrote:
People told him no openly gay man could win political office. Fortunately, he ignored them
Read the article: Heroes & Icons: Harvey Milk by John Cloud
TIME 100 ~ June 14, 1999

And read more about: Harvey Milk in Wikipedia

Executive Compensation During this Financial Meltdown Is An Issue For Me

According to Steve Kaplan:
The White House and Congress appear to have reached an agreement on a bailout plan that restricts executive pay at companies that participate in the bailout. The plan limits CEO compensation that encourages "unnecessary and excessive" risk-taking, creates a tax disadvantage for CEOs who are paid more than $500,000, prohibits severance payments (so-called golden parachutes), and recovers bonuses or compensation paid based on promised gains that later turn out to be "materially inaccurate." Unfortunately, restrictions on the pay of operating executives are unlikely to strengthen the plan; instead, they have the potential to weaken it.

The advisability of imposing pay restrictions depends on the extent to which they weaken the bailout plan. This can happen in two ways. First, companies have to choose to participate in the bailout by selling mortgages-related or other securities to the U.S. Treasury. The pay restrictions will weaken the plan if they lead some companies not to participate that otherwise would have. Second, the restrictions will weaken the plan if they lead to a reduction in the quality of CEOs and executives who choose to work for the participating banks.
Read more at: Kaplan: Pay Curbs May Weaken Bailout
by Steve Kaplan - Wall Street Journal - Management - September 29, 2008


According to Federal TRIO Programs 2008 Annual Low Income Levels (Effective February 2008 Until Further Notice)

The official "Annual Low Income Level" for a family of 4 (for example) in the 48 Contiguous States, D.C., and Outlying Jurisdictions (not including Hawaii and Alaska) is $31,800.00.
The term "low-income individual" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount.

The figures shown under family income represent amounts equal to 150 percent of the family income levels established by the Census Bureau for determining poverty status.
(The Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.)

So the actual "weighted average" poverty "threshold" for a family of four is $21,203.00 from the U.S. Census Bureau's Poverty Thresholds for 2007 by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years.

The TRIO number above is about 150% of that.

Now, we are talking about a bailout which may put some kind of cap on financial instiution CEOs who are paid more than $500,000 a year , and that isn't the whole bailout picture for these executives.

What is wrong with this picture?


Soooo ... what do I think?

Now, I'm not well educated about economics, and I realized this post is somewhat scattered, but its my visceral reaction to one of the proposals to fix this mess.

Being quite generous, I think any CEO/executive of a financial institution that is getting help from our U.S. government in a bailout during this crisis -- because they and their company acted irresponsibly to put us here -- should be limited to no more than $100,000.00 a year.

And IF they quit because they don't want that deal, they should get NOTHING.
Butkis! Let them live off the money they already earned, like the rest of us would if we were lucky enough to have any savings.



The Fiscally Insane Bailout Bill Might Not Pass -- Here's 5 Reasons It Shouldn't
by David Sirota, Alternet - for Blog for Our Future - September 29, 2008

Trickle-Up: What a Progressive Bailout Would Look Like
by Joshua Holland, AlterNet - September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Catching up

Hi everyone. I know I have been pretty quiet.

Let's see...

We left the country! My sister has a time share usually in Mexico, but she traded it for one at a resort on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Alec and I got passports (I had one from when I was 20 but it had expired, and we drove up. It's not something we usually do, and it was fun. We hadn't been swimming for about 15 years and I had to get a bathing suit!
See our pictures from the trip ... Our Canada vacation - September 2008.My brother was also there the first night, but I didn't get any pictures of him.

On the way back to Olympia, Alec dropped me off at Noel's placeand I spent the night there. (Thank you, Noel!) Then he took me to a Youth Suicide Prevention conference which focused on youth at risk including LGBTQ, Native American, homeless youth and others. I thought it was excellent.

One of the things I did during the conference was planned ahead. I was a lunch table facilitator, which means during the lunch break I talked very briefly about why I was at the conference (Bill's story, safe schools, etc.) and then asked people at the table why they are there and have a conversation.

Who sat with me was very random. I was at a table in the corner of the big room full of tables and people. Only two women sat at my table, and they were from the new Seattle chapter of

ULTRA Teen Choice (Character, not condoms) - yup, abstinence folks. Needless to say we had an 'interesting' conversation.

Now I'm making plans to go to Washington DC for a week to be at safe schools thing in mid-October. I will get to work with some cool people doing some amazing work. I'll get to see some old friends and some relatives while I'm there too.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jay Smooth: Machine Guns And Stupid Choices

Please listen to Jay Smooth's October 2007 commentary on rapper TI's arrest on federal gun charges right before he was scheduled to appear at the BET Hip Hop Awards where he had been nominated for nine awards.

Jay goes way beyond acknowledging that if T.I. was guilty of those charges (which he eventually plead guilty to after this video was made) that it was a 'stupid choice' which Jay in no way excuses -- to a very sensitive analysis of why someone might do something like that.

T.I. says now in the biography on his website:

"Obviously that was one of the worst mistakes of my entire life, but I will not let that mistake characterize my existence or my contribution to society,” says T.I. “I cannot go back and change the past, but I can learn from it, and teach others how a poor assessment of a situation can not only affect you drastically but also impact the ones you love. It’s something that I still have to deal with."
Jay talks about having worked in a group home for youth in the past, and what he learned there. I very much agree with what he understands based on my own work at shelters with young people.

Thank you, Jay. I'm glad to be allowed to share this.

Watch more from Jay Smooth at ill Doctrine.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Carrie Says No To Proposition 8

The issue of gay marriage is addressed by 15 year old Carrie Shores whose parents (Del Shores and Jason Dottley) are gay.

Great job Carrie! Thanks for posting that.

Background notes:
I met Carrie's dad Del when my friend Michael Sugar flew me to Los Angeles to see Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu in the fabulous The Big Voice as a 50th birthday present in September 2002 (see Steve Schalchlin's September 22-25, 2002 blog post).

While I was there, Michael also took me to see Del Shores' wonderful play, "Southern Baptist Sissies" (read Alec's 2005 review). I introduced myself to Del in the lobby after the play, and we have stayed in touch a bit since then. After that I saw his excellent movie Sordid Lives which is now a cool series Sordid Lives on Logo TV.

Wow! Listen to what Pat Buchanan had to say about Barack Obama's acceptance speech!

This is truly amazing. Check it out!

Staunch conservative Pat Buchanan had nothing but love for Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic national convention given before 85,000 people in Denver's Mile High Stadium.
Thanks to Liza Sabater on culturekitchen for sharing that one!

And if you missed Obama's speech - or want to hear it again - here it is:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Olympia - Our Nuclear Free Zone is at risk! Please help.

Our Olympia City Council is seeking to repeal our Nuclear Free Zone Ordinance on Tuesday, September 9th!

Please take action on this!

Here is the press release that went out today:



Supporters of Nuclear Free Zone rally for community show of support

The Olympia City Council wants to repeal our Nuclear Free Zone. Tuesday, Sept. 9 they plan to repeal it without allowing for public dialogue or testimony. Supporters of the Nuclear Free Zone ordinance are asking people to show up at the Council meeting to demonstrate their support.

The city’s Nuclear Free Zone (NFZ) ordinance was adopted by the Council with great support by the members of this community in August, 2005 on the 60th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 90 percent of the community voiced support at that time.

Here are some why repealing the ordinance is a bad idea:
  • Council Members admit the ordinance places no burden on the city.
  • The NFZ was adopted following an extensive process including three public meetings of the City Council General Government Committee, and a public hearing at which 100 percent of the people who testified supported the ordinance
  • Since 2004, the city has been contacted 282 times about the ordinance. 216 of the contacts supported the ordinance (76%), 38 opposed it, and 28 had no opinion.
  • Several Council members have stated that the ordinance is not enforceable and is merely symbolic. However, it is no more or less enforceable than any other city law, and has been successfully enforced since it was passed in 2005.
  • Many cities across the nation and across the globe have taken positions to oppose nuclear weapons. Mayors for Peace now includes more than 2000 members. Nuclear Free Zones have been established across the globe and in such diverse places as Oakland, CA, Lane County Oregon, San Juan County, WA Chicago, IL, Tacoma Park, MD, Las Vegas, NV, Boulder, Co and the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • The City attorney reported that the NFZ ordinance poses no tangible risk or legal liability to the city.
The NFZ is the ultimate example of taking local actions to address global concerns. Such actions should be embraced, as solving big problems always come about through many small solutions coming from the grassroots, rather than one big solution imposed by fiat from the top down.

Repealing the NFZ sends a message of hopelessness and despair to the community. It says that we as a community are powerless to address one of the most significant challenges of our time. Is this the message we want to send to our young people?

Supporters are calling on the public to join a rally and procession Sept. 9. The rally kicks off at the Knoll, 5th avenue, north side of Capitol Lake, Tuesday, Sept. 9 at 4:30 p.m. At 5 p.m. there will be a sidewalk procession to City Hall to welcome city Councilmembers and staff with a beautiful display of support for our Nuclear Free Zone at 6 p.m. Council meeting starts at 7 p.m.

People are asked to bring sunflowers, musical instruments and creative signs and props.

TJ Johnson
360-943-4596 (home)


So, please help get the word out.

Send the press release above to people in Olympia -- and ask them to take part on Tuesday.

And here is a flyer to share:

Download the full page flyer in pdf format here:
Flyer for Sept. 9 Save NFZone Rally, Procession,Welcoming Party

Also, we are creating a large bank of names of folks who support the Ordinance! Will you add your name to this list?

  1. Create an email addressed to
  2. TYPE YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME into the email with the statement "I (or we) support the Nuclear Free Ordinance. That's it. When Molly receives your email, she knows that you support the Nuclear Free Ordinance.
  3. Click "send".
Molly will add your name to the list that list will be presented to the City Council onTuesday night.

And join with us on Tuesday. Alec and I will be at City Hall for the Council meeting.

Jay Smooth: The Republican Hater's Ball

Published September 4, 2008 on ill Doctrine, a hip-hop video blog hosted by Jay Smooth, creator of the hip hop music blog and founder of New York's longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI's Underground Railroad.

Mark Morford: Greetings from "the angry left"

Hey, peeved hippie! Stop your hatin' and learn to love the (McCain) bomb!

Aww, just look at you. You seem a little upset. A mite peeved, even.

Heck on a hot pancake, I'd even go so far as to say you were downright angry, given how I can see the ripples of general upsettedness and waves of appalledosity coursing through your hot liberal body like fresh biodiesel through a converted VW van. Really now, that can't be good for your chakras, can it?

What's wrong, buttercup? Right-wing politics got you down? RNC '08 making you gag? Toxic and inexcusable events of the past eight years make you deeply sick to your stomach, spleen, heart, mind, spirit and even your kneecaps? Or is it the wretched notion that the bizarro-world McCain-Palin agenda wants to continue more of the same?

Or maybe it's this: Maybe it's all this terrifying new evidence that there still seems to be this huge pile of Americans who aren't all that concerned with -- or even aware of -- just how violently the GOP continues to dump all over their very heads. Is that what's making your blood boil? Aww, there, there, now.

Read: Greetings from "the angry left"
Notes & Errata ~ by Mark Morford ~ San Francisco Chronicle Columnist ~ Friday, September 5, 2008

More Mark Morford

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Today: Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC


September 1, 2008

Denis Moynihan 917-549-5000
Mike Burke 646-552-5107,

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here:

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation's leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman's Arrest: