Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage

In 1993 Dr. Maria P.P. Root wrote the Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage.

Watch this to hear what Dr Root wrote:
Mixed Minute: Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

'By Omission' - "losing ground in silence"

Safe Schools Coalition and our son Bill were mentioned in this report:
On Friday, in a hearing before the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee, Senators Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise) and Charles Coiner (R-Twin Falls) introduced legislation prohibiting employment, housing and education discrimination based on an individual's real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill proposed amending the Idaho Human Rights Act to include these protections. This wasn't the first time Senator LeFavour has introduced such a bill and, unfortunately for supporters who were hoping to see it enacted this year, it won't be the last.

In a fourteen-minute, at times emotional, presentation, Senator LeFavour simply asked that the committee acknowledge that the issue merits further discussion and to print the bill. Offering to stand for questions upon closing, members of the committee responded with silence. No questions. None.

Idaho Public Television's Thanh Tan interviewed an emotional Senator LeFavour after the vote.

The consequences of tacitly endorsing discrimination can be devastating, especially to kids.

This artwork was created by a young man in Washington state who committed suicide after being mercilessly harassed at school and was published in a Safe Schools Coalition report.

So back to the debate and bringing in the artwork above again, most people who have grappled at one time or another with questions of sexual orientation will tell you as the young man says, "This is not my choice. ... This just is."

By omission we have tacitly endorsed discrimination. On her blog, LeFavour described it as "losing ground in silence."
Thank you to Idaho Senate State Senators Nicole LeFavour (D-Boise) and Charles Coiner (R-Twin Falls) for continuing to refuse to stand in silence. My love to you both, and to all who stand and speak with you.

And thank you to Beth Reis for letting me know about the article.
Go to Safe Schools Coalition website, and also In Memory of Bill Clayton

Please read all of 'By Omission'
The MountainGoat Report: News from the ledge ... life and politics in Idaho ~ February 21, 2009

Steve Schalchlin: Gabi's Song (New Video)

Steve posted a video of the song beautifully performed by Stephen Camarota of/with The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

Thank you to Steve, Stephen and The Chorus!

Thanks for "Milk" 2009 Oscars

Writer Dustin Lance Black's Acceptance Speech for Best Screenplay "Milk"

Actor Sean Penn's Acceptance Speech for Best Actor in "Milk"

In Sean Penn wins best-actor Oscar for `Milk' Christy LeMire wrote:
In wrapping up his own speech, Penn mentioned the protesters who lined the streets of Hollywood near the Oscar festivities, holding anti-gay signs: "We've got to have equal rights for everyone," he said.

Backstage, when asked what he would tell those protesters if he could speak to them, Penn responded: "I'd tell them to turn in their hate card and find their better self."
Interview after the Oscars event with Cleve Jones, the American activist who conceived of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and a good friend of Harvey Milk. This is on The Rachel Maddow Show, with Alison Stewart hosting.

Thank you for sending these to my Olympia friend Curt Pavola with whom I share many interests and concerns.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

For those who have nothing in Seattle now and NYC in the 70s

Tim Harris, founder and executive director of Real Change wrote:
The Boston years were about getting my butt kicked and organizing without a roadmap.” By the time Harris left for Seattle in 1994, he understood that homeless people couldn’t win without allies, and that street newspapers could bring people together.
and ...
How does one meet the immediate survival needs of those who are have nothing while building institutional power to fight the root causes of homelessness and poverty?
Please read: For The Alma Mater
by Tim Harris ~ Apesmas Lament ~ Saturday, February 21, 2009


Tim writes in another blog posting:

An initiative campaign launched last week to shine a little light on the City's freight train approach to building a new jail in Seattle. It's the culmination of about four months of discussion and planning. ...
In my more hopeful moments, I think that this effort, and the opportunity for movement building across race, class, and issue that it represents, is just the kind of organizing that could lead to the new civil rights movement this nation so badly needs. In my less hopeful moments, I think of how overwhelming the odds against our success really are, and how this could be just one more example of institutional power and momentum overwhelming citizen participation.
Please read: Living In The Burning Light
by Tim Harris ~ Apesmas Lament ~ Tuesday, February 3, 2009.

Also listen to this great February 5, 2009 KEXP interview with Timothy Harrison KEXP's Kevin Cole Show:
Tim_Harris_KEXP_Interview - Timothy Harris
Tim, you remind me of Jack Scully, a very important part of my history. (Read Alec's Everything for Everybody.)

Jack told me in 1973 that I was too naive for this world -- and I very much disagreed with him. I was 21 then. Now I know he was right. Sometimes I think he still is and that's alright.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not Believing in God

Here are two good recent articles about atheism.

10 myths—and 10 Truths—About Atheism
by Sam Harris, The Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2006

10 Myths and Truths About Atheists
by Greta Christina, AlterNet. Posted February 11, 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Apesma's Lament: The Seattle Crime of Standing While Black

Tim Harris writes in his blog, Apesma's Lament:
Donald is one of those people who, not to put too fine a point on it, was f***ed from birth. Raised Black, male, and poor in the projects of New York, he took his best shot at success by joining the Army just in time for the first Gulf War. When he came back, Donald found that he was still Black and poor, and all his military experience counted for was a case of PTSD.

Since then, most of his time has been spent homeless or in prison. Given that our system seems to delight in nothing more than kicking people when they’re down, I find this sadly unsurprising, and admire him for each and every day that he’s woken up without hating the entire human race.
A couple of days ago I heard a speech by California Senator Barbara Boxer and in it she said something about helping people with the economic stimulus bill they are working on in the other Washington. She listed people it would help, and in her list she included "the working poor" - and while I thought her speech was a very good one, that phrase gave me pause.

What about the not-working poor? The unemployed, the physically-disabled-and-unable-to-work, the mentally-ill-and-unable-to-work, the youths who must run away from homes where they are not safe, and oh so many more.

We must not forget them. We must find ways to support those who may not be able to visibly "contribute to society" by some people's terms - but who do very much so - each in their own way - part of us, our land and culture.

We must not forget people like Donald, struggling to thrive in a hostile world with the help of programs like Real Change in Seattle WA.

When we are looking at 'economic stimulus' we must include funds for programs that serve.

Read all of:
Apesma's Lament: The Seattle Crime Of Standing While Black

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Some Help Needed in Olympia

Mickey Smith was a DJ on the show "Sister Sound" on KAOS Radio at The Evergreen State College.
She wrote:
Jeanice and I need some help. I am just about out of savings and my UI runs out in March. I am unemployed and have been for sometime. Please read and help us if you can.
  1. A job for Mickey would solve all. I am a certified special education teacher and a damn good one. If you know ANYONE who might be hiring please pass my info on.
  2. A roommate to share our spacious apartment would help a lot. We are two congenial lesbians and a cat, looking for a 3rd female. Please pass this on.
  3. Barring any help from the above two points, we will be needing a place to live. Your extra room would do, enough for us and the cat.
Please help us if you can.
Please contact me if you can help, and I'll get you in touch with her.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Living InThe Bonus Round: Singing Gabi's Song in New World Waking.

Wow, I want to share this which Steve Schalchlin just posted on his blog this morning:
Living InThe Bonus Round: Singing Gabi's Song in New World Waking.

Thank you Steve, Stephen and everyone. Being there for that concert was amazing and such a powerful experience for us.