Friday, August 31, 2007

For just a brief moment in time

For just a brief moment in time (4 hours, one actual marriage), Iowa became the 2nd state to allow same sex marriages.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Homophobia is alive and well, its illogical!

Just this past week a local across the river county legislator exposed his homophobia (along with 5 others) when he stood up for protecting marriage by not granting same sex couples the right to register for domestic partnership in Dutchess County. Oh, the sanctity of marriage. Funny, how Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate even though same sex couples have been marrying there for the past two years. (and when Ginny Apuzzo --president of the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center responded in the Poughkeepsie Journal, the reader response was, well read it for yourself...

And, then there's the "I am not gay" cry from the Republican senator from Idaho, Larry Craig , who performed a tap dance in the stall at an airport men's room or Florida State Rep Bob Allen who can only think of offering $20 for oral sex when confronted by big black men (can we say stereotype?) in a men's room ... and respectively.
[those funny Republicans seem to have a problem with sex (Craig,Foley, Vitter) with ethics (Abramoff, Stevens, Renzi) with compassion (Bush et al). . .but not with G*d and the Almighty dollar, but that is another blog for another day.]

And, Richard Rothstein pointed out today on Queersighted The Denver Post's columnist Al Knight's stance that "gay rights are not special rights" and then Knight points out all the rights homosexuals do not enjoy ...

Who thinks of such things? We should send them all a thank you note for making the reason why gay rights are necessary...

Dear Mr. or Mrs. (definitely not Ms.) Republican:

Thank you very much for feeling free enough to let your homophobia (and misogyny) show. Your homophobia (and misogyny), and your reasons for it, give others a better understanding why the fight for equal rights is a) important and 2) not dead.

Let freedom ring.


Sign your name here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Justice may Prevail

Gonzales has tenured his resignation. May the Senate Judiciary take their "Advise and Consent" power and use it so that the next Attorney General will protect the Constitution and the people, and not just cover the President's arse.

Friday, August 24, 2007

So much for "Family Values"

The Bush administration has come up with regulations that will allow uninsured children affordable health care coverage. There are only two catches: The first is that the child would have to be without health care for at least one year to qualify. This regulation is to insure that their parents do not drop them from more expensive health insurance plans to save money. because we all know that children do not need health care every year of their lives (?). It also does not take into consideration the parent who loses their job, and thus their health care. For instance the middle class (plus) 40,000 plus mortgage bankers who have lost their jobs this week? Or the death of the covered parent which leaves the child without coverage? Second, that the state in which they live has to have 95% of their children below 200% of the poverty level ($20,650-41,300 for a family of 4) enrolled in Medicaid or the state's children's health program (NY has around 85% of their children covered by their health care plus, only 2 states have 90% coverage). By the way, there is no extra federal funding to cover the boost in health care coverage from even 90 to 95%, so forget about those 48 states with less than 90% coverage trying to foot that bill!

So, not only do these regulations hurt children (the very essence of family based on their definition of family, no?) but it also treads heavily on state's rights. State's rights--the concept that the states make policy decisions to cover the health and welfare of their citizens (also known as police powers). States rights used to be the rallying cry for conservatives /republicans.

So, so much for compassionate conservative family values--next time any of that group uses that term, I suggest shoving the rhetoric back down their throats.

It is time we call them on their hollow rhetoric,


Friday, August 17, 2007

Ahead of her Time

I took Sophie to ValKill the other day, and once again I was reminded that Eleanor Roosevelt was way a head of her time. For instance, she advocated for affordable and adequate housing. See her work at Arthurdale where she insisted on indoor plumbing and Howard Ickes [yes, the father of Hillary's advisor] said"how would be able to tell the poor from the rich" as if we can see into everyone's home.
She championed respect, human rights, and dignity. (see The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will be 60 years old next year). She gave people the tools to make a difference, in their lives and the lives of others. She made connections between people.

And she wrote--daily for public readers. If she was alive today, she would be blogging...

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
"My Day," February 16, 1946
If we are honest with ourselves today, we will acknowledge that the ideal of Democracy has never failed, but that we haven't carried it out, and in our lack of faith we have debased the human being who must have a chance to live if Democracy is to be successful.
The Moral Basis of Democracy (1940)
A respect for the rights of other people to determine their forms of government and their economy will not weaken our democracy. It will inevitably strengthen it. One of the first things we must get rid of is the idea that democracy is tantamount to capitalism.
Tomorrow Is Now (1963), p.45
The function of democratic living is not to lower standards but to raise those that have been too low.
Tomorrow Is Now (1963), p.59

Monday, August 13, 2007


Sam Schwartz said it today, as he said it many years ago when he was just an assisant commissioner in NYC's Dept. of Sanitation: it is less costly to properly maintain infrastructure such as our bridges, than it is it build new. .
The practial truth is that politicans do not want to spend money on something that their constituents can not really see--they would rather spend money on things that can be built quickly (while they are in office) so that they can take advantage of the ribbon cutting photo ops.

Citizens, tax payers, need to tell politicians what is necessary and important. Politicians who control the governmental budgets (on all levels)--need to listen to their civil servants--the technical experts, those who are implementing the laws, and making government run.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Is there a connection?

On August 3rd the NYT published a story that stated that in (selected) urban areas young unmarried, unburdened with children, college graduate women n their 20s earned 117% of male's income in NYC. This was based on a study of 2005(latest Census data) by Andrew Beveridge of Queens College .
[ ]

My antennae went up...perhaps because 2 months earlier the Supreme Court had issued its opinion n Ledbetter vs Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company which stated that if one does not challenge one's wages within the first 6 months of the first instance of discrimination than they are not eligible to do so [see Also see my posting "Unequal Pay"]. Might this study dissaude young women from checking on possible pay discrimination?

The analysis did state that this increase in young women's wages was only for certain urban areas (NYC, Chicago, Boston Minneapolis and Dallas), and it also said that women's incomes fall as they age, thus, this increase might not hold. The article also noted that the 20 yo age group nationally only earns 89% of the males' wages; translated to dollars nationally, the median income of young women is $25,467, compared with $28,523 for men.

While young people migrate to big cities to make their marks, this study is a bit misleading when it comes to NYC. When most people, including those who live in NYC think of the city, they are referring to Manhattan, yet the study actually finds that the young women with more earning power are in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens (Staten Islanders earn the same as males). Twenty-something men have a median wage of $46,859; its $45,840 for women.

So, young women, do not sit back and think that you have achieved economic equality, or even more: check your facts.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Memoralizing Evil

I am just back from Berlin where the people have memorialized evil so that it may not happen again. There were ongoing debates about how much power the state needed to fight terrorism, to protect people. The fear was that if the people gave up their civil liberties and rights in the name of security, was that not a slippery slope towards totalitarianism?

At the place where book burnings happened(Bebel Platz) there is a plexi glass window in the plaza beneath which is an empty room lined with empty bookshelves. The point is, according to a tour guide we overheard, that as you look down, you see a reflection of yourself, and then focus on the empty book shelves.
"You can not change history" she said "you can only change yourself."

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