Archive for April, 2008
I wrote last week about Safe Schools: National Day of Silence April 25th I would like to share a little more about the day and the rally I attended at the Texas State Capital to break the silence.
Young people across America went to school and did not speak on National Day of Silence to bring attention to the silence that is heard from teachers, parents, school administrations, elected officials, and students about the ongoing problem of bullying in our schools.
The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. This year’s event will be held in memory of Lawrence King, a California 8th-grader who was shot and killed Feb. 12 by a classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. Hundreds of thousands of students will come together on April 25 to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior.
At 4:30 pm students from several Austin high schools, their friends and allies started arriving at the south steps of the capital to break the Silence. The featured speakers from such groups as TACT(Transgender Advocates of Central Texas), PFLAG(Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays), Equality Texas, and many other groups were there to show their support for the brave teenagers.
The most heart moving moment was when a young transgender woman spoke about how we all say “Not In My Town” when we hear of violence and evil.
She was on her way to work on the morning of February 12th when she heard a news story of a 8th grader being killed in California. As time went by the story was elaborated on and it turned out Lawrence King had been shot and killed by a fellow classmate in class for being gay. The most shocking part for this young lady was that the killing happened in her hometown. She had always been able to say ” Not in my town” but now it had happened in her town. The time for silence was over and she would never be able to say “Not In My Town” until we could say “Not In Any Town”.
Many of the students also told of their day in school and what type of reception they received from their classmates and teachers. There were stories of taunts and jeers as well as support and cheers. The most impressive thing was that each of the students, no matter their experience, said they would continue to observe the National Day of Silence as well as speak out loudly for change the other 364 days of the year.
For an older gay male standing listening to these brave young people, it was one of the most heart warming experiences I have ever had. Here are young people doing what could never have been done back when I was 15. Many of the students could not speak or be on camera as they are not out to parents but it was not only GLBT students but also their straight allies who were there supporting them.
After talking several of the teenagers into talking at the open mike, I also shared some of my thoughts with the audience.
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I stand here today in awe of the young people for their bravery in speaking out against bullying and harassment. I, also, appreciate all the allies I see supporting change and trying to make this a better world for all Americans.
I have been involved in Civil Rights since I was 8 years old and will be 50 in November. I cam out at the age of 15 in a small town in North Carolina and was beaten and nearly killed 3 times and could not go to the police as they probably would have finished the job. This was before there was any such thing as a hate crime.
I remember when I first started working for Equal Rights for the Community. It was Gay Rights then Gay & Lesbian Rights then Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Rights then Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Rights then Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Rights and now Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Androgynous Rights. Before long we will add so many letter we will have the whole alphabet and maybe then we will stop discrimination.
I remember Martin Luther King’s speech “I Have a Dream”
He said “I have a dream… little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
I have a dream also. I dream that one day young men and women will be able to hold hands and look into the eyes of the person they love and no once care who that person is. We have come a long way but we have a long way to go but we will get there.
The way we make the biggest difference is speaking out and also changing the leadership in this building behind me. We have to elect leaders who understand and care about all of their constituents and not just the status quo. We have many great allies in the Texas Legislature but while there is a Republican majority we will always be treated as an outcast minority. If you are not registered to vote, talk with me. afterwards
It’s Wednesday, and once again time for another Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up.
WhosPlayin resumes his watch on GOP Congressman Michael Burgess, and joins North Texas Liberal in rejecting his “flat tax” proposal as a tax increase on the middle class.
Hal at Half Empty wonders why Texas’ junior senator, John Cornyn, doesn’t support our troops.
Over at McBlogger, Captain Kroc has a real problem with some of the concessions the City made to a certain developer looking to build condos on Lake Lady Bird.
The Texas Cloverleaf promotes a story about more shenanigans in the Texas Youth Commission, this time forcing a Denton County superintendent to quit before she is fired.
Last week, KUHT (PBS Channel 8) in Houston ran a special on immigration and public attitudes towards it called Houston Have Your Say, which included public officials, activists, ordinary citizens, and a couple of bloggers. Off the Kuff was one of those bloggers, and he wrote about his impressions here.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Students across America will attend class on Friday and not say a word. This silent protest is to bring attention to the desperate need for anti-bullying laws across the nation to protect students from their peers and their teachers.
The Truth About Day of Silence
from Equality Texas
The purpose of Day of Silence is to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment, and effective responses.
o The goal of Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation
and gender identity/expression.
Four out of five LGBT students experience harassment at school.
o Students across the country participate in Day of Silence to bring attention to this problem,
let students who experience bullying know they are not alone,
and ask schools to take action to address the problem.
This is not a new issue and is one that is of great concern to all Texans. What child deserves to live in fear of attending school? What child deserves to be called names or intimidated just because they are perceived to be different from the nor or are willing to express themselves in a different way.
While this is about GLBT students, it affects all students. Many are taunted and bullied by their classmates just because they do not fit a certain mold. It is time for us to break the molds that cling to stereo types and teach understanding and acceptance in our schools.
Having been a victim of harassment in school, I can personally attest to the fact that walking the halls in fear is not a pleasant way to attend school or try to achieve an education. This type of treatment- mainly from a coach who’s class I could not avoid- was the main reason I quit high school as a senior and got my GED instead. I was one of the lucky ones. I went on to college after quitting school due to fear and harassment. Many of the kids who quit don’t even get their GEDs much less go on to college. They are taught to fear people and even hate themselves by the very people who should be helping them.
Day of Silence participants encourage schools to implement proven solutions to address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.
o Adopt and implement a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories such as race, gender, ethnicity, physical appearance, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression.
o Provide staff training to enable school staff to identify and address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment effectively and in a timely manner.
o Support student efforts to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment on campus, such as Gay-Straight Alliance clubs.
o Institute age-appropriate, factually accurate and inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole.
Day of Silence is a positive educational experience.
o Day of Silence is an opportunity for students to work toward improving the school climate for all students.
o The day is most successful when schools and students work together to show their commitment to ensuring safe schools for all students.
Day of Silence in Texas
Day of Silence Rally
Friday, April 25th, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
South Steps of the Texas State Capitol building
Out Youth will co-host Day of Silence Rally on April 25th at the State Capitol along with Equality Texas, Texas GSA Network, PFLAG-Austin, allgo, Soulforce, GLSEN Dallas, and Transgender Advocates of Central Texas (TACT). The rally will have an open microphone for youth to share their experiences and thoughts about the bullying and harassment faced in schools.
Breaking the Silence Rally
Friday, April 25th, 7:00 p.m.
Reverchon Park, Maple at Oak Lawn in Dallas
The Dallas chapter of GLSEN, in partnership with Youth First Texas, has organized over 20 Dallas and Fort Worth community organizations to join the Day of Silence student participants for the first-ever Breaking the Silence Rally.
Check out this article in the Houston Chronicle, Silent Teenagers Have Katy, Clear Creek Adults Talking.
As the video asked, What are you going to do to end the silence?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
This from my friend Texas Sharon at Bluedaze
I don’t care who you support for president, this is NOT OK!
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Wise County Chicken Express in Bridgeport sent the wrong message with their politically motivated sign.
Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. ~Robert Fulghum
Sometime during April, Wise County watched as the Bridgeport Chicken Express displayed the following on their marquee:
Try the Hillary Special
Two fat thighs
Two small Breasts
And a left Wing!
Let’s forget about the political message—Chicken Express does not care to do business with Democrats—and look at the many, negative messages this sign sends our youth.
Making disparaging remarks about other people’s physical attributes is acceptable behavior.
As many as 86 percent of American children are bullied at school. Later in life, children who were bullied suffer from poor self image and emotional problems, while children who bully others are at a greater risk of breaking the law. On-campus homicide and suicide have increased 500 percent in the past four decades.
Men are judged by their accomplishments; women by their thigh and breast size.
If a girl is born with the genetic predisposition to have full thighs or small breasts, there is little she can do about that other than dieting or surgery.
One in five women has an eating disorder, and up to 20% of those affected will die as a result. Ninety-five percent of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. Young women are literally dying to have thin thighs!
More than 360,000 women and teenagers underwent surgery to have their breasts enlarged with silicone or saline implants in 2005. Any surgery involves risks; and since breasts implants have a shelf-life, all of those women will face at least one more surgery. The risks from implants increase over time and include ruptures, silicone migration, bacteria or mold that can grow in saline implants and escape into the body, cognitive problems, pain, hardening of implants, loss of sensation, and financial burdens from repeated surgeries.
John McCain has male pattern baldness over which he has no more control than Hillary has over her breast size. Maybe he has a small penis but I’m sure Chicken Express would never display a sign denigrating any man because of physical attributes over which he has no control.
The Chicken Express Message was clearly sexist, immature and irresponsible. By calling it sexist, some people may call me a feminist; and that’s alright as long as you don’t call me a doormat.
I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat. – Rebecca West
I hope that Wise County businesses will show more responsibility and give our children a better example to watch.
[o]ur children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They’re gonna be like us
So let’s learn from our history
And do it differently… ~ The Dixie Chicks, I Hope
If you would like to register your disgust:
The store that displayed the sign:
802 Hwy. 380
Bridgeport, Texas 76426
Their corporate headquarters:
Stuart Group, Inc. d/b/a Chicken Express
PO Box 1309
Mineral Wells, TX 76068
Maybe Hillary needs to listen to her dear hubby.
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Mad Libs is celebrating 50 years of total craziness. Here is a little of the history:
” A “Mad” Beginning
The first sighting of Mad Libs happened in 1953 and remains indelibly etched in my mind. I was in my New York City apartment working on a Jackie Gleason Honeymooners script. Actually, I was sitting and staring at the typewriter (yes, I still use one) searching for the precisely right adjective to describe the nose of Ralph Kramden’s new boss. After wallowing in clichés for thirty minutes, I was ready to throw in the thesaurus when Roger Price, my best friend, fellow word-aholic and the most original thinker I’d ever met—one of a kind of which there was no kind—showed up.
We had planned to do a final polish on our book, What Not to Name the Baby. I apologized to Roger and told him we’d be cracking on the book in a moment. “No we won’t,” he said. “You’re in your idiosyncratic pursuit of a word mode. I could be standing here for hours. Do you want help?” Reluctant as I was to admit I did—I did. I said, “I need an adjective that—,” and before I could further define my need, Roger said, “Clumsy and naked.” I laughed out loud. Roger asked, “What’s so funny?” I told him, thanks to his suggestions, Ralph Kramden now had a boss with a clumsy nose or, if you will, a naked nose.
Roger seldom laughs, but he did this time, confirming we were onto something—but what it was we didn’t know. “Clumsy” and “naked” were appropriately inappropriate adjectives and had led us to an incorrect but intriguing, slightly bizarre juxtaposing of words. Why? A “clumsy nose” indicated nature had failed or there had been a genetic mix-up and an alliterative “naked nose” had the sound of a bestselling mystery novel—I remember feeling, So what?
Then, suddenly and simultaneously, Roger and I realized what had happened. My obsession had produced an unpredictable wedding of words which had resulted in laughter—and a GAME! Abandoning Gleason and the book, we spent the rest of the day writing full-length stories with key words left out. We played the game at a party that night. Hilarity reigned. Everyone thought this nameless game should be published. We agreed, but not until we came up with the right name. “Until” was five years later.
The name “Mad Libs” came to us out of the blue plate special at Sardi’s restaurant in New York in the summer of 1958. At the table next to us, an actor and his agent were having coffee and an argument. From what we couldn’t help but hear, the actor wanted to “ad-lib” an interview; his agent thought it was a “mad” thing to do. Abandoning our eggs Benedict, Roger and I were off and running to a publisher— the same one that had published Roger’s best-selling humor book, In One Head and Out the Other. And within minutes we were in one door and out the other. These good souls didn’t think it was a book but honestly believed it might appeal to a game manufacturer. The game manufacturer in turn thought it was a book and sent us to another book publisher, who didn’t think it was a book!”
Well, you can buy mad libs or if you have creative friends like Vince from Capital Annex, someone might compose one for you. Vince sent a request for the following along with the answer I sent back:
Name of a Republican House Member: Warren Chisum
Name of Republican House Member: Robert Talton
Noun (thing): Dildo
Name of a former Texas House Speaker: Pete Laney
Adverb : Happily
Name of Republican or Right Wing Organization, think tank or PAC: Minuteman PAC
Name of major GOP donor: T. Boone Pickens
Name of Female GOP State Legislator: Myra Crownover
Name of Republican State
Legislator : Susan King
Informal Noun (ie, honey, baby, dear): Honey child
Name of GOP state senator: Steve Ogden
Name of prominent gop-tied lobbyist: Tony Rudy
Name of State Agency’: Texas Department of Transportaion
Name of an Austin/Capitol Journalist: Gardner Selby
name of former GOP Politican: Terry Keel
area or place in the Texas capitol or Texas capitol grounds: Capital Rotunda
body part: butt
type of food: taco
Name of GOP Politician:
name of Democratic State Rep: Tom Craddick
name of Craddick Lieutenant: Sylvester Turner
name of a craccick d, : Dawna Dukes
name of an anti-craddick R, :Fred Hill
name of a Texas Supreme Court justice:Harriet O’Neil
Name of a restaurant or bar in Austin: Oil Can Harry’s
Name of a legislative or judicial process (ie, third reading, enrollment, etc.): Enrollment
and here is what I got back:
One day, Warren Chisum was walking along the corridors of the state capitol and he ran into Robert Talton. As the pair continued walking, they spied a dildo sitting next to one of the elevators in the annex, not far from the bust of Former House Speaker Pete Laney.
“Oh, this gives me a wonderful idea,” Rep. Chisum said. “I happily believe that we need more legislation to regulate these fabulous dildos. If we don’t they will continue to be a plague upon the stunning state of Texas!”
“But that is stupid,” Rep. Talton said. “Everyone knows that isn’t on Minuteman PAC’s agenda for the next legislative session!
“I don’t care what T. Boone Pickens and his dresses think,” said Chisum. I plan to write a frilly bill and get it filed as soon as pre-filing starts. I’ll bet Susan King will sponsor it along with me and I know our Speaker Craddick will support it because he is fast,” Talton said.
As the group continued to walk along, they noticed Myra Crownover crying in a corridor outside Susan King’s office. “What’s wrong, honey child?” they asked.
“Oh, I’m just having a bad day,” Myra Crownover said. I was outside and a mule flew into my hair and made a mess.”
“Oh no! We’d better call Steve Ogden and Governor Perry. Governor Perry is so fast, he’ll know just what to do!
“That’s a great idea,” Warren Chisum, Robert Talton and Myra Crownover said in unison.
So, the group went off over to the governor’s office. Tony Rudy answered the door smoking a car. “What the hell do ya’ll want?” asked the lobbyist.
“She got a mule stuck in her hair and it looks loud. We though, Governor Perry would know what to do.
“Well, the governor can’t help you right now,” said Tony Rudy. He’s on his reddish book tour and collecting cans full of money from those slimy Republican governors.
So, off the group went. They tried to find speaker Craddick but he was poking on his $1,000 solid brass toilet, and could not be disturbed.
So, they went off to the Texas Department of Transportation to see if they could help. “No, I’m sorry,” said the executive director. “That is out of our league. I feel very bewitching about it, though.”
Then, they ran into Gardner Selby. Gardner Selby Immediately took out a penis and started recording the scene. Your hair looks small! I haven’t seen anything like that since Terry Keel licked the lollipop outside the Rotunda.
At that point Myra Crownover took panties out of her dirty purse and beat Gardner Selby on the butt with it until he was unconscious and big.
At that point, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson walked up with a taco gun. I’ll take care of this, he said. He greasily took aim and fired the gun. It made a smelly sound, and the mule fell from her hair, making a ragged sound as it fell loose to the stretched marble floor..
“Oh, thank you!” Myra Crownover cried, I’ll make sure to tell Lt. Governor Dewhurst about your ragged actions here today. I am sure he will be loose.
“It’s nothing, ma’m,” Land Commissioner Patterson said, as he walked away, taco gun and mule in hand, off to the nearest public sale of park lands.
“Wow! He’s my hero!” said Myra Crownover. He is so rapid and jaundiced, it makes me all bitter inside!
At that point, Tom Craddick, Sylvester Turner, Dawnna Dukes, Fred Hill, and Harriet O’Neil happened to walk up, all returning from lunch at Oil Can Harry’s. They immediately called Terry Keel and demanded that Enrollment proceedings be started immediately against Commissioner Patterson for fast discharge of a taco gun on state grounds.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Dallas Morning News posted the following story:
Gov. Rick Perry told The Dallas Morning News on Thursday that he would seek re-election as governor in 2010.
During a break in a Republican Governors Association forum being held in Grapevine, Mr. Perry said that he would like to return as governor.
Tell us: Will you vote for Gov. Perry in 2010?
When asked whether the gubernatorial field would include Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and himself, Mr. Perry responded , “I don’t know about them, but it will be Perry in 2010.”
“I don’t know about the other two. You need to ask them.”
Since winning re-election with just 39 percent of the vote in a four-way field in 2006, Mr. Perry has held out the possibility of seeking an unprecedented third four-year term. But his statement Thursday is his most definitive yet that he would do so, though much could change in the two-and-a-half years until the next gubernatorial election.
Ms. Hutchison has stopped just short of saying she would run for governor, though she has said that her decision will not be swayed by the actions of Mr. Perry or any other potential rival. Mr. Dewhurst has not announced definitive plans but has long been thought to be interested a run at the state’s top position.
Mr. Perry will soon become the longest-serving governor in Texas history. He took over for George W. Bush when Mr. Bush resigned in late 2000 to become president.
While I know we are all caught up in the 2008 elections it is never too early to start recruiting a good candidate to run for Governor in 2010. The last thing Texas can stand is another 4 years of Gov. Goodhair’s homophobia, bigotry and failed leadership.
Oh, and please remember to lock up Grandma 4 Names and Kinky the Lounge Rat. Last thing we need is these two helping 39% stay in office yet again.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
On April 16th, 2008, ABC hosted what will go down in history as one of the most pathetic, one sided and hypocritical presidential debates in history. The moderator’s questions for the most part were asinine rehashes of gossip and innuendo from the tabloids. George and Charlie continually interrupted Sen. Obama when he was speaking and seemed to take more interest in everyone he has ever met or spoken to than the real issues that face America.
While it was shamelessly obvious, that they had no respect for Sen. Obama, the gave Hillary their undivided attention while she answered her question and even asked her questions about issues only to turn to Sen. Obama and twist the question to take on a totally different angle.
I guess Fox News finally got their debate since George actually took question from Fox News host and asked them during the debate. No wonder people are turning to the blogs and C-Span for their news.
And I wasn’t the only one to realize just how one side and disgusting this display was.
Tom Shales from the Washington Post wrote a scathing review of the travesty last night.
“When Barack Obama met Hillary Clinton for another televised Democratic candidates’ debate last night, it was more than a step forward in the 2008 presidential election. It was another step downward for network news — in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances.
For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with.”
Read the rest of his article In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC.
Contact ABC and let them know what you think of their Fox News style debate.
Main ABC switchboard: 212-456-7777
Tell ABC how you feel about this here:
Peter Salinger (THE MAN IN CHARGE OF ELECTION COVERAGE) Director, Special Events & Sports 212.456.5105 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cristi Landes Manager, Programming 212.456.5107 email@example.com
Wayne Fisk Director, Programming 212.456.5327 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Fitzgerald Executive Director, Operations 212.456.5554 email@example.com
Heidi Oringer Executive Director, Entertainment 212.456.5541 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Newman News Coverage 212.456.5100 email@example.com
Joyce Alcantara Assignment Manager 212.456.5106 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Kane Deputy D.C. Bureau Chief 212.222. 6604 email@example.com
Andrew Kalb Executive Director, Programming 05.567.2269 firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Garcia Executive Director, News & Sports 212.456.5103 email@example.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
After losing congress in the 1994 elections, the then-first lady gave a less than inclusive answer to the question of how to win white southerners back to the Democratic Party. “Screw ‘em,” she told her husband. “You don’t owe them a thing, Bill. They’re doing nothing for you; you don’t have to do anything for them.”
Maybe Hillary can lie her way out of this jewel.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Rep. Boris Miles of the Texas Legislature was indicted not one but twice today for waving his pistol at folks and a warrant issued for his arrest. Boris Miles stupidity back in December was well documented as he kissed a man’s wife and then waved his gun around like it was the good old days in the Wild, Wild West.
While Boris might have been a good legislator and voted the right way on many issues, he has proved to be a complete disappointment and embarrassment Democrat and a man. I hope he will get the help he seems to need so much. What a shame that a promising political career was destroyed by his inability to deal with the real world.
Texas politics is crazy to say the least. Because of Boris Miles’ stupidity in his personal life we get Al Edwards back who is a Craddick supporter and made famous by his cheerleader bill when he was last in office. I guess old Al watched American Beauty once to often or just has the hots for teenagers in short skirts.
And people wonder why the rest of the country shakes its head when we talk about taking Texas back. Characters in politics are fun but idiots are a damn shame.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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