Friday, February 24, 2006

A Class Act with a Mission

I’m probably just slow on the uptake, but I hadn’t heard about the Patriot Guard Riders until today, when I saw an article detailing their latest mission in Minnesota.

It sounds like some neofascist group, doesn’t it? Just the opposite, it seems. The job of the Patriot Guard Riders is . . . well, let them tell you through their mission statement:

The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us.

“We don’t care what you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a ‘hawk’ or a ‘dove’. It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is. You don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

“Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

“1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.

“2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors.

“We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.”

In other words, the mission of the Patriot Guard Riders is to attend funerals of American soldiers – when invited – and to shield the mourners from attacks by the members of Westboro Baptist Church – Yeah, that church. See, Fred Phelps and his ilk like to show up at soldiers’ funerals to torture the families. They figure that the U.S. is too gay-friendly (ok, I must have missed the news bulletin on this!) so anyone who fights for the U.S. is bound for hell as a punishment.

The Patriot Guard not only shields the family from such hatred, but it refuses to engage the protesters in return: “If you’re looking for a group that protests, counter-protests or confronts any organization, you’re in the wrong place. The PGR is not a protest group.”

Pretty cool, huh? Now, I’m not a dyke on a bike, and to be perfectly honest, seeing all the Harleys and burly guys in bandanas and links to veterans’ associations makes me a tad uneasy.

But I’m hooked enough to want to know more. If these folks really are what they claim to be, and I hope they are, then there’s going to be at least one card-carrying lesbian joining their next Georgia mission.

Oh….an important side note here: I support the speeches made at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. The speakers were requested by the family and what they said was consistent with Mrs. King’s life and values. Totally different thing than unwelcome intruders coming in to make a fuss.

Oh, and one more thing: that link above for Fred Phelps? That goes to the Wikipedia entry on him. I don’t know how much of it is true, but hoo boy, it makes for a whale of a Lifetime movie.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oh, PABBIS, I am Librarian, Hear Me Roar!

From – Parents Against Bad Books in Schools – comes a truly remarkable news release about The Evil That Is the American Library Association. I’ve heard tirades against the ALA before, but this one takes the cake. But don’t trust me, read some excerpts for yourself:

The un-American ALA has taken the American constitutional right of freedom of speech and has perverted it into their right to push graphic and explicit smut on children. ALA and ALA affiliate brown boot bullies are constantly working to implement their weird social Marxist agenda. What started, purportedly, as a professional union-like organization for librarians has morphed into a powerful, dangerous, leftist, extremist organization.

In schools and libraries you are seeing and will continue to see increasing use of graphic and explicit books. The ALA and ALA affiliates will continue to promote the vulgarization and sexualization of children - or even better in their view - the homosexualization.

Future librarians and English teachers are trained to promote, select, acquire, use and defend smutty books by their college professors, who are even more leftist and social marxist than average college professors, who in turn are more leftist and social marxist than typical Americans. These "properly thinking" and "trained" students graduate, and become English teachers and librarians and ALA and National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) members.
This part is true. In my Children’s Lit courses they wouldn’t let us read anything but smut. And my law library has just gotten an ALA grant to develop our new “Smut: Smuttier and Smuttiest” collection.

While public school teachers and public and school librarians formerly acted as public servants, that is no longer the case. They have become public masters. Many of them, deluded in their self-perceived "professional" knowledge and importance, think they know what is best for all of society including you and your children.
Still a little bitter because we couldn’t get into library school, aren’t we?

To PABBIS it appears that the ALA is successfully running a huge racketeering or terrorist operation for the political indoctrination and moral corruption of children.

Geez. So the ALA is really Al Capone, Osama bin Laden, and Chairman Mao all wrapped up in one nasty package! Well now, this does trouble me. I mean, if it’s true, how come I’m still living in a trailer?

A very small insular group of powerful like minded leftists has control of the ALA. Just as college English and library professors are to the left of typical leftist college professors, the ALA leadership is to the left of a typical leftist ALA member. ALA leadership is a small group of very (usually aging) leftist, social marxist, pro-sexualization, pro-homosexualization, pro-atheist, pro-"multi-culturalism", pro-"world government", pro-world tax, anti (especially Christian) religion, pro-porn, America bashing, America blaming people. All, repeat all, are way to the left of middle America.

Hey – now that’s really hitting below the belt. I’m not old!

Oh, well. I just hope someday one of my books ends up on PABBIS’ list of bad books. To be among that distinguished group would indeed be an honor.

I realize that by publishing this blog entry – and by including key phrases like PABBIS, Parents Against Bad Books in Schools, PABBIS, and PABBIS, I may come to this group’s attention. Well, you know what they say about publicity.

PABBIS, honey, get a life already. Just keep it out of my face.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Topic One:  First, let me just mention that there’s a good reason I’m not posting as much these days:  my only Internet access is at work and the school is cracking down on Internet usage because of bandwidth limitations – at least for the next couple of months.  So I’m sort of being watched.  I’m working on getting independent Internet access and hope to get that set up in the next week or two.  Anyway, I apologize and I’m so appreciative that you are sticking with me!

Now back to my regular programming.  

Topic Two:   They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, but I think it’s writing that does that.  I’m currently doing a resume for a client who is somewhere right of right-wing.  He’s working for a well-known extreme-right anti-gay organization.  No, not the KKK.  Not quite that far right…  I don’t think…  But he wears his values on his sleeves and more importantly, on his resume.    

I find myself uncomfortable with this.  I half-expected this client to ask me if I’m a Christian.   Instead, he was very nice, very grateful, and very gracious when I spoke with him on the phone.  

I’m grateful for clients like this, even though they make me uncomfortable.  They make me think.  I abhor what this person does for a living, but if I’m really for equality and diversity, then shouldn’t I take that stand for everyone – not just the ones that make it easy?  

But then I am faced with the fact that he’s probably not for equality and diversity.  In fact, if he knew more about me, he might even request a different editor.   What do I do with that information?  

And then there’s the side of me that says, I don’t want to do work for people like this, but I can’t afford to turn him down.    Is that hypocritical, or just realistic?  

Finally, there’s that voice that says, “so what if he’s a wingnut?  His money is just as good as anyone else’s.”

So…  Just what does it mean to stand for something?  


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Oh, Dancing, Happy Librarian Feet!!!

I’ve been keeping a terrible secret from all of you – a secret so dark, so shameful that I really should send it to PostScript rather than confessing it to you here.  

Ok.  Here it is.  Ahem.  

I’m not a real librarian.  

I mean, I’ve been working as a librarian, and I’ve taken all the courses and everything, but when I finished my master’s coursework in 2002 (or was it 2003?) I, um, owed the university money.  And since it wasn’t part of my federal loans, they wouldn’t give me my degree until it was 100% paid off.  

Which meant that I did not have that coveted credential that is the sine qua non of library-job riches (an oxymoron if ever I heard one):  

You must have an MLS degree from an ALA-accredited school.” (in job listings, this is always written with a sneer).  

But guess what!  I’m making the last payment tomorrow!!!!!  So now I will be a bona fide, real-live, snob-worthy, I’m-better-than-you-are-because-I-have-a-goddamned-piece-of-paper university-issue librarian!  


Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I’m in no shape to write anything useful or clever this morning, so I’m just throwing out a few tidbits until I can think more rationally, perhaps later today. I apologize in advance for my rotten mood and very unladylike language.

What a dick….

Never, ever discuss money with your ex when you’ve only had an hour of sleep. Where, oh where to put all this frustration?? Can’t dump it back on him. Can’t tell Zeze what a jerk her dad is. So the frustration just sits there. Color my mood seriously black and discombobulated.

Gender Bending at the Steak ‘n Shake

I love, love, love our Steak ‘n Shake. It’s open all the time and it employs numerous gay men, lesbians, and at least one transgendered person in a suburban area where we are very invisible.

So, am I going to tell you which Steak ‘n Shake it is? Not on your life! I don’t want it to go the way of my favorite Denny’s, which had several rather colorful crossdressing waitresses. Alas, that was a truly fun Denny’s until word got out to management what a great place it was.

It’s singing season again.

Like, on stage and everything. Our gay and lesbian mixed chorus is putting on its annual cabaret and I get to do a lot more than last year, which I’m very, very pleased about (last year I was an Oompah Loompah…). Meanwhile, it’s the 25th anniversary of the lesbian chorus here, and I’m also in a smaller ensemble called the Melodivas. So I’m busy learning music. The rehearsal schedule will be murder for the next few weeks, but singing gives me energy and there are very few activities that do that.

Car insurance hell

I have now been without a car now since October. Today I’m in the mood to name names: SafeAuto sucks the sucky big one. I am not in safe hands and no elk is standing on a mountain waiting to lead me out of the wilderness. Somewhere in hell there must be a special place reserved for insurance adjusters like mine.

Still, there’s hope…

Ok, quick update. Started out in a trailer. Then got a house. Now back into a trailer for various reasons having to do with termites. Long story full of my own and others’ stupidity and perhaps a touch of fraud. Yesterday, Docwife put a deposit on a manufactured home to place on our 10 acres of mud. We now wait for financing which is possible but by no means certain. I am cautiously optimistic, which is to say I’m afraid to memorize the floor plan just yet.

And on the brink of something really big…

I am almost, almost ready to cut my ties to formal employment and freelance full-time. It’s a big step, and a scary step, but for lots of reasons I feel just about ready for it. Right now – the end-stages of my day job – it’s extremely difficult because I’ve got a fairly hefty writing load on top of my full-time job. So I’m working very hard right now, which is why I haven’t been able to post every day. Something’s got to give pretty soon. I would prefer it not be my sanity. But I’m grateful I’ve come this far. And on resumes of all things! Who woulda thought?

So, alrighty then. Having pounded this poor little keyboard into submission, I’m ready to get back to work without thinking too much of old What’s His Face, the creep. He still got me good, all right, but at least I’m feeling a little better.

Have a happy Wednesday, everyone!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Anita Bryant's Revenge

Well, Anita Bryant must be happy.  The Florida courts have affirmed the denial of visitation to a co-parenting lesbian who had separated from the birth mother.  

Two aspects of this case are particularly troubling.  First, the couple had a written parenting agreement that allowed for coparenting.  Second, the court found that the children’s best interests didn’t even come into play here – despite the fact that the trial court found “compelling evidence” that enforcement of the agreement was in the best interests of the children – because the co-parent was, in fact, not a parent at all.  

Citing Florida precedent and the state’s constitution, the court based its ruling on the birthmother’s privacy rights.  It said that the state does not have authority to compel visitation with a nonparent (even a grandparent) unless there is demonstrable evidence that harm would occur otherwise.  The court expressly declined to address Florida’s laws on same-sex marriage and adoption.  In short, the court said it was not permitted to acknowledge that the agreement even existed.

This is exactly the sort of result you can expect to see when cases resting on anti-gay marriage laws begin to wind their way through the courts.  Many of those new laws specifically prohibit the enforcement of any agreement that is based on a homosexual relationship.  Courts may be forced to rule that they have no authority to enforce parenting agreements or property settlements.  That is, assuming that such laws are found to be constitutional.  Of course, if the anti-gay language has been injected into the constitution itself, the court will be stuck with it.  And so, I’m afraid, will we.

It’s worth noting that Judge Van Nortwick, who sat on the panel, wrote a thoughtful concurrence in which he requested that the Florida state legislature address the needs of the children in nontraditional households.  If you’re looking for demographic statistics on the subject, his concurrence is a good starting point.

It’s also worth noting that birthmother DenĂ© Dixon has not allowed her children – now only 7 and 5 years old –to speak to mom Mary Wakeman since June 3, 2004.