Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Via AmericaBlog: Obama appoints Roberta Achtenberg to US Commission on Civil Rights


Obama appoints Roberta Achtenberg to US Commission on Civil Rights

You might recall that Roberta was Jesse Helms' "damn lesbian," the first openly gay person confirmed as a presidential appointee under the Clinton administration (she was appointed as an assistant secretary at HUD). Helms went nuts, it was quite a big deal in the early 90s. Obama has now appointed her to the US Commission on Civil Rights:
Roberta Achtenberg, Appointee for Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights
Roberta Achtenberg is a corporate advisor in economic and workforce development policy, with more than 30 years of senior-level leadership experience in business, government and law. Ms. Achtenberg also held senior-policy making roles with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Center for Economic Development from 1997 to 2004. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and later as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of HUD. She is currently a member and past Chair of the California State University Board of Trustees and serves as Vice Chair of the Board of the Bank of San Francisco. Previously, Ms. Achtenberg was a member of the Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco and represented San Francisco as a Director of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Before becoming a public official, she worked for more than 15 years as a civil rights attorney, nonprofit director and legal educator. Ms. Achtenberg is the co-founder of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national nonprofit serving the needs of the LGBT community. She holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of Utah.

Via Belrico: Why Hasn't Star Trek Ever Had a Queer Character?

AfterElton has an interview up with a Star Trek writer/producer, Brannon Braga, uhura.jpgon why the franchise never included an out gay character. He doesn't really answer, implies that the problem was unnamed people who worked on the show twenty years ago....

I recently rewatched all the Star Trek movies and was surprised not just by how progressive the franchise was - the future has all races working together, women in positions of power, and problems usually solved by learning to interact with a new species - but about the specific brand of hippie-ness in the older movies. There's a scene in Undiscovered Country where a Klingon accuses Uhura of racism for talking about "human rights"; Kirk's son in The Wrath of Khan goes on an anti-military rant; and the entire message of The Voyage Home was that our survival depends on biodiversity (that and "Whales are sentient"). Oh, and money doesn't exist in the future and everyone's taken care of.

So you'd think introducing a queer character wouldn't be too hard in that context. But apparently it was:

Continue reading "Why Hasn't Star Trek Ever Had a Queer Character?" »

Via Belirico: Just Say No to ROTC on College Campuses

President Obama acknowledged that gays and lesbians will serve openly in the abolishROTC.jpgarmed forces this year thanks to last year's repeal of the so called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law. In exchange, the President has asked the college campuses and universities that banned the ROTC from recruiting on their campuses to let them return. I respectfully disagree.

Colleges and universities should focus all their energy on preserving the lives of their students, and students throughout the world. They should be harbors of peace, not war. Students should never have to face down a recruiter in the cafeteria, or outside class. No, there are better ways.

College is expensive and becoming more expensive every year as states slash their budgets and as our federal government diverts trillions to war. The military actively preys upon the poor and disadvantaged with the offer of a better future through the GI Bill. They are common in high school cafeterias and college campuses as students struggle to stay afloat. There is no greater predatory practice on our youth than the ROTC.

Instead, we should invest in more peaceful solutions to students, like the Peace Corps, AmeriaCorps, tuition reimbursement programs for educators, scholarships, grants, and more. We should create additional opportunities for students, opportunities that do not involve the perpetuation of the military industrial complex, but provide opportunities for students to help rebuild America.

Continue reading "Just Say No to ROTC on College Campuses " »

Via JMG: Crazy Eyes Quote Farm

Buzzfeed's always-amusing Matt Stopera today provides us with thirty memorable quotes from Crazy Eyes. Hit the link and enjoy. Another example: "[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said she has even said she is trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that 2,000 years ago."

reposted from Joe

Via Political Loudmouth:

Via HimalayaCrafts:

Bondage and suffering are proportionate to the extent we let our senses dominate us.
♥ Namaste ♥ ~ HimalayaCrafts

Via JMG: NEW MEXICO: Tea Party-Backed GOP Lawmaker Introduces State DOMA Bill

Yesterday Tea Party-backed GOP state Rep. Nora Espinoza introduced a state-level version of DOMA. Equality New Mexico reports on their Facebook page:
This very concept of creating less equal classes of people has been fought against for generations in New Mexico and is contrary to our state’s proud traditions of providing equal protection and opportunity for her citizens from every background and community. Similar legislation was defeated last year when it was tabled in the Senate Rule Committee. This year, however, promises greater challenges given the much more conservative make up of both our state legislature and governor’s office.
New Mexico residents are urged to contact their state representatives and demand their opposition to Espinoza's bill.

VIDEO: Here's Espinoza's speech at Tea Party event last summer in which she screams the usual teabagger talking points.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: It Gets Better - The Book

Pre-orders are now being taken.

UPDATE: Profits from sales of the book go to the Trevor Project, the Gay & Lesbian Straight Education Network, and the ACLU.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Naples News Boots Pamela Grothaus

The Naples Daily News has finally booted hate-blogger Pamela Grothaus after she posted a nasty attack on PFLAG over the group's inclusion at a "religious freedom day" at Collier County, Florida public high schools. Last month Grothaus proudly declared that she was hoping to be named "JMG Bigot Of The Year" for her attacks on LGBT rights. That prompted many of you to contact the Naples Daily News and probably contributed to their decision to shitcan her ass. On her personal blog, Grothaus is complaining that the newspaper "didn't even have the decency" to tell her she was fired. So sad, too bad.

reposted from Joe

Told You So - 2011 Doritos Superbowl Commercial Ad