Tuesday, January 2, 2018

NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW—MUELLER FIRING RAPID RESPONSE

I'm inviting you  to join me in signing up for this brilliant plan:  To be notified IMMEDIATELY if Dude45 fires Special Prosecutor Mueller, and to come to a protest in your city -- or one near you -- that will be happen ASAP.  As you will see when you click the link below, there are literally hundreds of cities and towns throughout the country that have committed to this immediate protest. 

https://www.trumpisnotabovethelaw.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response/search/?from=@

I am not one to endlessly sign online petitions.  But this is different, and it's a brilliant use of the Internet.  No, we don't wait for a month or even the next Saturday.  We hit the streets within 24 hours, coordinated with folks all over the U.S. 

We're all traumatized by the events of last year.  And we face 2018 with ... I don't want to use the word "fear" but I AM frightened ..... this is something that demands we ACT IMMEDIATELY if this crisis unfolds.  It gives me hope and comfort to sign up for it. 

Below is a photo I took at a demonstration against the invasion of Iraq.

Terry

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Last Best Christmas Eve Party


THE LAST BEST CHRISTMAS EVE PARTY

Pat Bond -- lesbian actress, writer, and comedienne -- was my close friend.  She toured the country as a solo performer, telling stories about her life as a dyke in San Francisco in the 50’s, and as a WAC in the army during the terrible witch hunt against gay people after World War II.     For thousands of gay people, Pat was the first out lesbian they had ever seen on stage.  Pat laughed at everything -- straight people, gay people -- especially herself.  She used to say, “I had a great pick-up line for the bar scene:   ‘I’m going to take you home and fuck you until you’re blind.’  And then I’d get her home, and I had no idea what to do!  I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about!” 
This is the story of Pat’s last Christmas Eve party.
Pat always had a Christmas Eve party. This was the ONLY party she had, and it was a very big deal to her. If you were her friend, you were REQUIRED to attend.  Not that she decorated or cooked or did anything other than set up her tiny aluminum tree and open some cans of marinated mushrooms and stuffed grape leaves.  No, it was up to us, her friends, to bring presents and food and drink to her studio apartment on Christmas Eve.
Pat always felt lonely, like an outsider.  She used to say, “When I was a baby, I was stolen from the gypsies by a band of rednecks.”  As Pat got older and frailer and unable to perform, she became terrified of dying destitute, abandoned, forgotten. Her bitterness drove people away.   I couldn’t walk away from Pat.  I did try.  But she called me up and yelled at me, “What the hell’s the matter with you?  You’re supposed to be my friend, for Christ’s sake!”  So we started seeing each other more.
Then in the Fall of 1990, Pat ended up in the hospital with a diagnosis of lung cancer.   She told me, “Don’t tell Gail.  She doesn’t give a damn.”  Gail, Pat’s ex, was the great love of her life.  Of course I did tell Gail.  She said,  “Count me in. I always knew I would be there for Pat when she got sick.” The next day Gail appeared in Pat’s room, bearing flowers and a book to read aloud.  Pat beamed with joy.
And then there was Little Sun, a magical butch country girl with long braids and cowboy boots.  She didn’t know Pat very well, but she announced “Count me in too .”   I thought of the three of us as a tripod. A stool doesn’t need four legs, but it’s got to have three! Right?  So Pat had her tripod.
 When she realized that she would be taken care of -- that there was enough -- enough friends, enough support , enough medical care, she became very open and loving.  Spending time with Pat was a gift.
Around the middle of December, Pat said, “What about my Christmas Eve party?!?  I can’t disappoint everyone!  It’s a tradition!”  I promised Pat a party in her hospital room and invited ten friends. Pat got weaker and weaker.  Would she even survive until Christmas Eve?  By December 23, she was in a coma -- or so we thought until one of her visitors got up to say goodbye to her.  She suddenly opened her eyes and said, “You’re coming to my party, aren’t you?”
On Christmas Eve morning, I got a call from the hospital that Pat was fading fast. Gail, Little Sun and I rushed to her beside.  Pat seemed unconscious and was breathing in a very labored, rasping way.  
We stood around her bed, holding hands.  What to do?  It WAS Christmas Eve, and Pat loved Christmas carols. Very tentatively, we began singing.   Our voices blended beautifully. Our singing got stronger. “And heav'nen and nature sing, and heav'nen and nature sing, and heav'nen and heav'nen and nature sing!”  The sound was really lovely.
Gail and Little Sun and I had talked endlessly on the phone with each other, we’d conferred with doctors together, but we had never sung together until that moment. Who would have thought our three voices would make such a joyful noise?  We harmonized, sometimes three parts, sometimes two, and then gliding back to unison.  Our grief that Pat was dying deepened our joy in singing to her.  When we ran out of carols, we started on folk songs.   As we sang, Pat’s breath came at longer and longer intervals. We kept singing. 

“Michael Row the Boat Ashore” is a great song for an occasion like this.  It has a lot of verses, and when you’re finished with those, you can make up your own.
(SINGING)
It’s Pat Bond’s famous Christmas Eve party
Hallelujah
I’m glad I’m here, though she ain’t feeling too hearty
Hallelujah

At some points, it seemed like Pat had stopped breathing, but then... another labored breath. We kept singing. We kept singing and singing, and finally there were no more breaths, and we kept singing. We sang for a long time after what turned out to be Pat’s last breath.
Then we were quiet.  Gail, Little Sun and I had sung Pat across the bridge.   Imagine that!
Then the guests started arriving, with presents and cake and champagne.    Pat’s last Christmas Eve party. Here we were, all lesbians and gay men, brought together for one last time by Pat.  As Donald pointed out, Pat had always had a great sense of timing. We unwrapped the little presents we had brought and traded them around until everyone had something they liked.  Charlotte poured everyone a glass of champagne and we stood around Pat’s still body, toasting this courageous lesbian pioneer, this great storyteller, this loyal and difficult friend.  We cried and talked and laughed about this  woman who had touched us all so deeply.  We felt her spirit hovering over us.
People slowly left, one by one.  Finally, it was just Gail and me. Gail said she wanted to stay with Pat until the people from the mortuary came to take her away.   I took one last look at Pat.  Gail sat close, holding her cold hand.  If Pat could have spoken at that moment, she would have announced in her brash, honking voice, “Now, THAT was a great Christmas Eve party!”
Pat as Lorena Hickok, Eleanor Roosevelt's lover.
Pat had been in love with Eleanor since she was
about eight years old.  So when the biography of
HICK was published in 1981, revealing that
FDR's wife had had a lesbian lover,
it was Destiny in spades! 
Pat had Hick's charisma.
She kind of looked like her. 
She even had the same illnesses!
She toured the country with her play
about Hick and Eleanor's romance.

  

Pat in WORD IS OUT, the first documentary
where gay people talked about their lives.
 It made her famous.  Her solo career
 was an outgrowth of the response to WORD IS OUT.


Pat, with a photo of her beloved Gertrude. 
She toured the country with
GERTY GERTY STEIN IS BACK BACK BACK!
GERTY was filmed and shown on PBS.






Tuesday, October 3, 2017

WRITE YOUR LEGISLATOR AND...... Thoughts on Democracy

 POSTCARDS 4 DEMOCRACY!

Last week we wrote postcards to elected politicians supporting impeachment, protesting restrictive amendments to the ADA (Disability Rights Act), and several other issues.  We also had a good time talking with each other.  

Please join us.
THIS WEDNESDAY, OCT. 4, 7-9pm
Cafe Boheme, 24th/Mission across the street from BART.   

THOUGHTS ON DEMOCRACY

Truly, I feel we have to:

ELECT DIFFERENT PEOPLE TO THE SENATE 
AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES!  

... and also to all the other legislatures in our lives.  Because -- guess what? -- that's what the Tea Party did!  That's right.  They started at the bottom -- Library Board and Sewer Commission and such, and they built from there.  Before they started seriously working on  getting elected to SOMETHING, no matter how small, they were considered politically irrelevant wing nuts.  Pesky mosquitos to be squatted every once in a while.  Who knew they carried Zika?  

And why did they do it?  Because they realized that the power to:
  1. pass laws, and
  2. spend tax money
is REAL POWER!!!!!

And let me tell you, it's not easy to elect a progressive candidate -- even in the Holy Land of San Francisco.  For example, my supervisor district has not elected a progressive candidate since we elected.... Harvey Milk in 1977!!!

Why is it so hard to elect progressives?  Most importantly, the other side has more money (SURPRISE!!).  When Matt Gonzalez ran for Mayor against Gavin Newsom, Gavin won with 52% of the vote.  But he spent $4,000,000 to Matt's $400,000.  In other words, Matt was outspent 10 to 1.  I think it's safe to say that the extra $3,600,000 that Gavin had to spend gave him his winning margin.  

With equal funding, Matt Gonzalez would have won.   Our country would have had its first Green mayor of a major city, which undoubtedly would have scared the Dems to the left!

And who KNOWS where we'd be today?  Maybe medicare and free college for all!

Okay, I don't want to get everybody all depressed by talking about how screwed up San Francisco is.  I know, for some people, the only thing that keeps them going is the belief that San Francisco is DIFFERENT!  But, folks, change for the better is harder than we would like.  That's the simple truth.  That's why we have to work so hard.

Please, start thinking about who you might work to elect or defeat the next time your vote comes around.

I would like to talk about how you can effect change even when you LOSE an election in a future blog.

Terry

Here's me and my campaign manager, Sue Vaughan, when I ran for Mayor in 2011.  I had a good time and MADE A DIFFERENCE!!

Inline image 1





PLEASE JOIN ME IN WORKING FOR HILARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT (orig. email sent 10/5/16)

Subject: PLEASE JOIN ME IN WORKING FOR HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT 

Wednesdays 4:30-8:00pm  Squat & Gobble, 1 West Portal
Thursdays 5:30-8:00 pm Mission Developing Environments 540 Alabama
(These two I'll be at for sure)
Hillary for President HQ 1001 Van Ness/O'Farrell 9:00 am-9:00pm
(If anyone wants to go to the HQ at any particular time, I'm open.)

I've decided/realized that there is nothing more important than electing Hillary Clinton President of the United States.  We're talking about the survival of civilization as we know it.

Reportedly, when Hillary's main opponent was briefed by top security advisors, as all Presidential candidates are, Hillary's opponent asked three times -- THREE TIMES -- if it wasn't possible to use nuclear weapons.  

If Hillary Clinton's opponent is elected, I predict we will have a nuclear war with North Korea.  

There is a deep soul sickness in our people, caused by crushing growing inequality between the rich and everyone else.  We have to attend to this soul sickness, by ending the inequality that causes it.  That's easy:  TAX THE RICH -- Duh!

But before we do that, we have to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton the first woman President of the United States.  

This is the next thing on the plate of all of us.  I felt the same way the two times Reagan ran for President.  I feared that there would be a permanent change for the worse.  And there was.  

Please do what you can and continue doing it until the polls close on election day.  It's easy.  Just go to hillaryclinton.com/events and find something in your zip code.  Get a button and wear it all the time.  Get 10 buttons and sell them for $1 and donate the money to the campaign.  Make people promise to wear them.

In Northern California, some of us are cavassing in Nevada.  I plan to do that once.  I heard it was grueling.  

And forward this to friends.  And the friends forward until we have a volunteer army of people who understand we have  a choice between two things:

1.  The end of civilization as we know it

2.  The same old same old with a woman.  

I choose #2.  I'm asking, I'm begging you to do the same.    I'm personally driven by a need to not feel personally guilty if the worse happens.  

Please.

Terry
Slightly World-renowned Lesbian Playwright

Friday, September 15, 2017

IT'S A NO-BRAINER!

DONALD TRUMP HAS COMMITTED CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN.  HE HAS CRIMINALLY ASSAULTED  WOMEN.  ACCORDING TO THE LAW, HE SHOULD BE ARRESTED FOR THOSE CRIMES.

I WANT TO WORK WITH ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED IN PUTTING THIS CRIMINAL IN JAIL.  IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, THEN PLEASE COME ON:

WEDNESDAY,  SEPTEMBER 20
6-9 PM

TO:

CAFE BOHEME
24TH & MISSION

WE'LL TALK ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND ANY OTHER POLITICAL ISSUE.

WE'L SEND PICTURE POST CARDS -- AT LEAST ONE -- TO AN ELECTED POLITICIAN WE SUPPORT AND/OR AN ELECTED POLITICIAN WHO HAS EARNED OUR ANGER.

ADDRESSES, POSTCARDS, PENS AND STAMPS WILL BE SUPPLIED.

WE'LL CONTINUE MEETING ON WEDNESDAY UNTIL ALL THE PROBLEMS ARE SOLVED.

TERRY BAUM
CANDIDATE FOR U.S. CONGRESS




Saturday, August 26, 2017

FREEDOM OF HATE SPEECH?

Dear friends:  This is an article written by Kathy Lipscomb, examining the dilemma of hate speech.  Kathy is a friend, neighbor and totally committed activist for neighborhood issues and, obviously, broader causes.  Heartfelt thanks, Kathy, for examining this very difficult and confusing issue in such a thoughtful way.  

Here it is:

"New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in a historic speech explaining the removal of Civil War statues from his city in May, said, “The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity.” Last week, fierce right-wing forces brandishing Nazi regalia took a life and injured 19 people. They didn’t absorb Landrieu’s message.


Civil libertarians remind us there is almost no hate-speech exemption to the First Amendment. Now, quietly flying under the radar, there is a crackdown on such speech. U.S. social media companies operating in Germany face fines of as much as $58 million if they fail to delete illegal, racist or slanderous comments and posts after a law prohibiting such messaging passed in June.
For months, Facebook, Google, Twitter and others dragged their feet in screening such content, but now have come to their bottom-line senses. They will no longer post Nazi symbols, Holocaust denial commentary, clearly inflammatory speech or incitement to violence.

Facebook announced that it would nearly double to 7,500 the number of employees worldwide devoted to clearing its site of flagged material. Facebook and Google are taking steps even in the United States to limit the spread of extreme messaging. Kudos to Google for having separated an engineer from his employment for having written and disseminated a “manifesto” stating that women don’t have the biological wiring to do coding.

Germany has some of the most stringent antihate laws in the world: Germans apparently have paid attention to their history. Germany’s justice minister said the new rules that apply offline would be equally enforceable online.
Moreover, the European Union ministers approved a plan this spring that will require social media platforms and online video hosts to block and remove from their platforms hate speech, incitement to hatred and content justifying terrorism.

Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and India all have laws banning hate speech. The U.S. mind-set, deeply rooted in law and culture, has a more individualistic approach. In short: “I’m an American, so I can say what I want.”

Others complain that it would be undemocratic for the government to regulate speech. The Federal Communications Commission for many decades, however, has taken issue with obscene, indecent, profane comments and banned them. How ironic that one’s average swear word is verboten on the airways, but ethnic nastiness is not.

In 1983, a New York judge dismissed a libel case brought by several Puerto Rican groups against a business executive who had called food stamps “basically a Puerto Rican program.” How far have we come in 34 years? The 2016 presidential nominee, Donald Trump, labeled Mexican immigrants a bunch of rapists and went on to win the presidency.

Free speech must be defended. However, given the enormous demographic changes in our country, isn’t it time to rethink the public permissive use of hate speech? Would it help our society to advance to make “my freedom” more important than the hatred and disrespect spewed at “the other”? In other words, what about the victims’ freedom to live without fear and insult?

There is evidence of a cultural shift in how hate speech is viewed. The stunning 3 million-person march led by women in pink pussy hats in January had a visceral connection to Trump’s hate speech. Signs in Bay Area windows reading “Hate-free zone” clearly applied to both acts of violence and speech.
Perhaps our growing rainbow nation will dramatically shake up patterns of behavior once found acceptable, and make them, well, totally unacceptable. Would it not be appropriate for us, given our blighted past, to move in the direction of being a kinder, gentler people by finding ways to eventually vanquish hate speech?"