Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What was I thinking? (again)

I just signed onto the blog after about 24 hrs. and there were 5 comments waiting to be published.

What can I tell you?

I'm exhausted!

I don't know why I thought I could handle all this - 4 stories for Newburyport Business, 2 for the Current, a Townie Tuesday and soliciting ads and going to focus groups on superintendents - oh but wait - I have handled it.

But I'm exhausted!

I didn't have time to update you on last night's City Council meeting, but all they did was approve the $18,000/yr. stipend for DPS Director Brendan O'Regan to do something with the sewer plant project.

I'm still not clear on what it is extra he is doing.

Anyway, I want to extend my best wishes to Brendan, who is in the hospital but is still fielding calls on his cell phone.

I don't know - maybe that's why he deserves an extra $18,000 in his pay packet?

I hope he is up and about soon.


Anonymous said...

Hi Gillian,

I found an article you wrote in 2008 about the closing of the Hog on Ice in Wicked Local. Do you know how I could reach either Poppy Nelson or Ron Rakowski, the former co owners of the store? I'm just a former customer who wants to know where I can find the pottery they used to sell.

Thanks for your help... debpetipas@comcast.net

macsurf said...

Gillian, give yourself a break.

I just submitted an op-ed piece to the Current in which I urged the newly elected, overwhelmingly liberal/progressive political class to not ignore the growing anger in the gay comunity over the failure of so called "liberal", STRAIGHT Democrats, to really step up to the the plate on gay issues.

I am curious if the Current will run it. I am also sure it will make some, in what I call faux liberal, obnoxiously politically correct Democratic circles who, gay or straight, claim to support the gay community when, in fact they do not, very angry.

There is a movement afoot among gay Democrats across the country, which I am actively involved in spearheading from here in Costa Rica, to generate a national funding boycott of both the Democratic National Committe, and Democratic candidates running for re-election, or election for the first time, in next year's mid term elections.

I'm 53 years old and endured death threats as a result of my AIDS and gay rights activism on the North Shore in the 19980's and 1990's.

I'm tired of faux liberals, and nouveau riche gays, who only came out of the closet once they decided it was "safe" to do so, (does the name Lisa Mead ring any bells?), who continue, because it serves their long term career interests, to embrace a Democratic party that is selling rank and file, working class gay and lesbian Americans down the proverbial pike on a daily basis?

This is a growing national movement, and Democrats, be they gay or straight, who keep telling the community to be "patient" have done run out of time.

You can only give of your time, your money, and your "patience" for so long before realizing just how badly you are being patronized and jerked around.

If the national contribution boycott takes off; supposedly gay friendly Democrats who've taken our time, money, and energy to get elected; only to hang us out to dry once in office, and those in the gay community who've enabled this abuse, will find themselves scratching their heads and wondering, "What happened?"

macsurf said...

Hi Gillian, hope you're catching up on your rest.

Just an update on the gay Democratic campaign contribution boycott;

This is not just the grumblings of some gay malcontents on the internet.

Some pretty heavy hitters in the gay community's struggle for civil rights and against AIDS are getting on board.

They include David Mixner, who served as President Clinton's national liasion to the gay community, until he resigned in anger over President Clinton's signing of the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Mixner's political activism career dates back to the 1960's when, as a closeted college student, he was one of the leaders in organizing the nation wide college student moratorium to protest the Vietnam War.

Long time gay community political activist, and founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt Project, Cleve Jones of san Francisco is lending his support to the boycott effort, as is Dan savage, the popular gay writer, radio, TV, and blogosphere personality

Perhaps a little background is in order here.

The discontent with Democrats in the gay community has been growing for some time.

It has deepened since President Obama was elected and, rather than working to fulfill the promises he made to the gay community on the campaign trail, his administration has actually taken steps to maintain many of the discriminatory policies and laws he said he opposed as Candidate Obama.

A particularly vexing example of that was his use of Justice Department attorneys to argue against efforts by gay plaintiffs who were challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

But this long brewing discontent reached a boiling point after November, 3's elections when it was revealed the Democratic National Committee, allegedly at the request of the White House, specifically Chief of Staff Rahm Emannuel, provided no support, financial or logistical, to the gay rights initiatives on ballots in the states of Maine and Washington.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back and lit the fuse that is quickly exploding into the Democratic campaign contribution boycott movement as the mid term elections loom next year.

In addition, the boycott movement is targetting several national gay rights organizations inside the Beltway, most notably the Human Rights Campaign. The boycott movement is urging the national gay rank and file to withhold contributions from HRC until its leaders show themselves to be as interested in really representing the issues and concerns of ordinary, working gay and lesbian Americans, as they are in making sure they have access to all the right parties, and are on the A-lists of the inside the Beltway HoiPolloi.

What many of us are hoping is that true liberal, non-gay Democrats will join us so that we can say, with a truly diverse voice, to the local, state, and national leadership of the party, and to the President himself, that they can no longer make grand, noble sounding promises on the campaign trail in pursuit of our time, energy, money, and votes, and then cavalierly forget many of those promises once in office.

This isn'y just about gay rights, it's about liberal and progressive values as well.

And, sadly, the Democratic party of today, with President Obama as its leader, is failing quite miserably to live up to those values.

People looking for more info about the boycott can go to gay.americablog.com.

David Mixner's website is, I believe, DavidMixner.com.

From there people can be referred to other sources of info about exactly where the boycott movement currently stands and more info on the origins of this long brewing discontent that has now, seemingly, boiled over.

macsurf said...

I don't know how many in Newburyport's gay and lesbian community will read these posts, or even have much interest in the contribution boycott movement.

As someone who grew up gay in the Merrimack Valley and summers on the coast of New Hampshire, who then went on to be very involved in regional and local gay rights and AIDS issues in the 1980's and 1990's, I see many of Newburyport's newly arrived, upscale, gay and lesbian bourgeois bohemian residents as being much more interested in "Going along to get along", than I do in them having any real interest in challenging today's unacceptable status quo.

Many of Newburyport's gay residents are VERY comfortable, even affluent, in the lifestyles they have carved out for themselves.

Such comfort, sadly, also breeds complacency.

As the gay driven Democratic campaign contribution boycott efforts gains traction, we've been contacted by several union leaders who want to get on board.

One was quoted on the Huffington Post today saying that "liberal elitists" could well be responsible for a President Sarah Palin in 2012, or someone of her ilk, if Democrats don't reach out to the blue collar, Joe six pack crowd that knows they got a raw deal under Bush, but are scratching their heads at Obama's concern for Wall Street and seeming lack of concern for Main Street.

That man's comments caused me to reflect back to the 1970's when Harvey Milk, the Jewish, liberal, ex stock broker, NY faggot, who moved to San Francsisco on a whim, took the city by storm, and became the first ever openly gay elected public official in the US.

Harvey didn't do that by being just a "gay" issues candidate.

He did it by being a candidate for the low income elderly then still living in San Francisco's Castro district.

He did it by listening to the complaints of union truck drivers who delivered beer to the gay bars in the Castro about the unfair labor practices of the Coors brewing company.

harvey wasn't just a politician for gays, he was a politician for all the working people of the district in which he lived.

In the documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk", a union leader of the beer truck drivers, a blue collar guy if ever there was one, talks about how he never gave a thought, one way or another about the "queers".He didn't like them, he didn't dislike them. He just didn't care about them.

Until he met Harvey.

Harvey quizzed this union boss about Coors' labor practices.

Harvey was outraged at the way Coors treated the drivers who delivered its beer to retail outlets and bars.

The blue collar union guy, who'd never personally known a "queer" until he met Harvey, couldn't believe it when Harvey organized, in support of the working class truck drivers, a ban on Coors beer being sold in the gay bars of the Castro.

That's the kind of leadership the gay community needs today - a leadership that understands, overall, our community has much more in common with the struggles of ordinary Americans and others who are somehow "disenfranchised", than it does, despite pockets of great wealth in the gay community, the bipartisan political elite that loves our money and panache, while never being willing to commit to true equality and a full place for us at the American table.

The gay community, much like much of the leadership of today's Democratic party, risks losing the support of the very people we need to attain our place at the American table because we seem to care more about the superficial material things than we do the substantive basics that most Americans, even if they aren't terribly chic and stylish, care most about.

I have no doubt that Harvey, if he were alive today, would be in total agreement with that assesment.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Are these comments in any way related to the stipend granted Mr. O'Regan. What does pottery or being gay have to do with this?

Anonymous said...

Someone must have woken up on the wrong side of the planet today.