Saturday, March 28, 2020

Saturday 9: Everybody's Somebody's Fool

Sam’s Saturday 9: Everybody's Somebody's Fool (1960)

On Saturdays I take a break from the heavy stuff and have some fun…

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

None of this week's questions mention the corona virus. However, if you want to share how you're feeling about Covid-19 at this extraordinary time, please feel free to do so.

1) Next Wednesday is April Fool's Day. Do you have any pranks planned? Do you expect to fall victim to any April Fool's Day mischief?
Not this April 1st I will be in “social distancing.”
Hopefully we are all hunkered down.

2) When she was a kid, Crazy Sam would fool her mom by putting bubble wrap under the bath map so there would be a POP! when her mother stepped on it. When you encounter bubble wrap, do you always indulge in a pop or two?
I can’t stop popping the bubbles.
One time at work I put a strip of bubble wrap down on the floor and I sat in my chair and went zipping over the bubble wrap and it sounded like a machine gun… pop, pop, pop, pop...

3) While we're using this song to celebrate April Fool's Day, it was written about another subject entirely: heartbreak. The lyrics tell us that at some point, we each get our hearts broken by someone who doesn't love us as much as we love them. Do you think that's true?
Yes. It has happened to me.

4) In 1962, this week's featured Connie Francis published a book aimed at teens called For Every Young Heart. It addressed topics like going steady and schoolwork vs. social life. Do you ever read advice columns or self-help books?
Well I think most people I do glace at Dear Abby every morning. More for entertainment than for advice.

5) Connie Francis can play the accordion. Sam has never met anyone adept at this complicated instrument -- not even in her high school band. What about you? Do you play the accordion, or do you know anyone who can?
Thank goodness no.
There is a big Polish community here and at weddings there usually a group of accordion playing polkas.

6) In 1960, when this record was popular, Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird was published. Have you read it?
Yes, in school and I didn’t like it and I didn’t like the movie.

7) Also in 1960, one of Life magazine's best-selling issues had Sophia Loren on the cover. At that time, she was an international film star and considered one of the world's most beautiful women. Who do you consider one of 2020's most beautiful women?
Who knows, if my mother was still alive I would say that tit was her.

8) A 1960 issue of Vogue acknowledged how expensive it had become to maintain a fashionable wardrobe and asked, "If you were to buy only one thing, what would it be?" If it's good enough for Vogue, it's good enough for Saturday 9: If you could purchase only one new article of clothing for spring 2020, what would you buy?
A bathing suit with a wrap-around skirt.

9) Random question: When someone makes you really angry, are you more likely to respond with stony silence or a big noise?
Silence as my blood pressure rises.

In the town in Connecticut where I live the virus just got a foot hold, we just had our first cases... 9, it doesn't sound like many but we are a small suburb town and New York City is only about 60 miles away with 26,697 confirmed cases. I'm nervous.

I have been hibernating, I only been to the grocery store, and I have been walking the park. This weekend I want get take-out pizza tonight and seafood tomorrow night. The weather was nice yesterday and I read out on the deck.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Support Groups

Everywhere you look you see events canceled including peer support groups,but there are other types of places where we go for companionship.
How the disappearance of Cambridge pubs threatened the city's only transgender support group
The Diamonds are the only transgender support group in the city and their story parallels that of Cambridge's disappearing pubs. Learn its history through newcomer Gem, as she explains why these lost venues were so important
Cambridge News
ByDebbie Luxon
25 MAR 2020

The Diamonds are Cambridge's only transgender support group and they've been quietly making history in the corner of pubs across the city for the last 20 years.

It's still running today, however they first met up at a time when transgender people weren't met with the acceptance that is more common today.

It was a time before reliable information and support was readily available online, and before many had access to language that would help them understand their identites.

Coming to terms with a new gender can be an incredibly isolating experience, but for those in Cambridge the Diamonds were there for vital and life saving solidarity.
The article is about losing the pub they used to meet at as a result of bigotry in the community.
The impact of these pubs disappearing may not be obvious, but for the Diamonds, it meant whether or not they felt safe. Transphobic attacks have risen every year since 2015 in Cambridge, and as one of the most vulnerable groups in our community, having pub owners on their side is vital.
The number of places where trans people can meet socially is deceasing and I notice also that the LGBTQ+ community centers hold a number of drag show annually but they don’t have many events for the woman.

I am not a fan of drag shows, it is not that I don’t like drag it just that my cup of tea are board game nights or maybe coffee shop with folk music.

The senior centers that hold a LGBTQ+ events find that mostly women show up for their events and one of the thing that we have been talking about was having a coffee shop with music at the senior centers. The younger set like their loud music and flashing lights while many of the older set like to relax and have good conversation with friends.

You know support groups can mean a formal peer supported groups or it can mean a quite evening out with friends to a drop-in center or a coffee shop.

There was a coffee shop on Capitol Ave, I forgot the name of the shop but it was where you could stop by have a coffee and talk to some friends. They had a shelf of games and some of the table tops had game board tops to play chess or checkers.

I go out once a month to a game night at “an alternative multidisciplinary arts organization that presents and supports contemporary artists and their work, facilitates the creation of new work and creatively engages, builds and informs audiences and communities.” and I would add a space to build communities. I go with about eight women, most of whom are lesbians, to play board games.

It is a relaxing evening out having fun with others and that is what we need more of.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Times, They Are A Changin’

Under the Obama administration we made great headway in gaining our rights. The courts ruled in our favor, the Department of Justice said that Title VII and Title IX covered us. To paraphrase one federal appeals court judge, he said just like being discriminated against for changing your religion is still religious discrimination so is changing your gender sex disdcrimination.

However, the Trump administration has taken an anti-LGBTQ+ stance.
DOJ Says Title IX Doesn't Cover Transgender Status of High School Athletes
The Justice Department has weighed in on a Connecticut case that addresses whether transgender students can take part in girl's sports.
By Robert Storace
March 25, 2020

Saying the federal government “has a significant interest in the proper interpretation of Title IX,” the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in a case that could decide whether transgender athletes can compete in girl’s high school sports in Connecticut.

In its 13-page brief, the Justice Department on Tuesday took aim at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the primary defendant in a lawsuit in which three high school girls claim they are at a disadvantage in competing with transgender athletes in sports such as track and field.
This is an 180 degree turn from the Obama administration.
Nina Pirrotti, a partner with New Haven-based Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, said the Trump administration often gets involved in litigation across the country siding against the interest of the LGBTQ community.

“The broader issue is that they are using Title IX as a sword, rather than a shield. It’s about trying to marginalize one of the most vulnerable segments of our population, which are transgender people,” Pirrotti said,

Pirrotti continued: “Everything the Trump administration has done with respect to Title IX is consistent with this approach. It’s chipping away at Title IX protections and that includes transgender people. This narrows the class of people who can seek protection under Title IX.”
And Trump and the Republicans have packed the courts with judges who are anti-LGBTQ+. In the past  the amicus curiae briefs from the Obama administration were favorable, now they are all negative and relying on antiquated 1950s belief that only chromosomes determine gender.

And here is the kicker…
The Justice Department’s brief was signed by Matthew Donnelly, an attorney in the Civil Rights Division.
The  Civil Rights Division has become an anti-civil rights department narrowing the definition of civil rights to just “religious freedom.”

Justice Dept. Religious Freedom Training Spurs Concern Among Lawyers
Some department lawyers expressed worries that the workshops were held to teach ways to limit civil rights protections for gay and transgender people.
The New York Times
By Katie Benner
March 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department this week hosted training for its lawyers on religious liberty laws as part of Attorney General William P. Barr’s push to prioritize religious freedom cases, but the workshops prompted concern among some career lawyers that they were being educated on ways to blunt civil rights protections for gay and transgender people.

Lawyers who worked at the Justice Department during the past three administrations could not recall a similar week of training sessions on any topic that were open to all employees, regardless of which section they worked in.

The training week was part of an ongoing campaign at the department to bolster ​its work to​ protect religious freedom, which is regularly described by top leaders as the first right protected by the First Amendment​, a department official said in response to a request for comment.
This is just a tip of the iceberg.

Mark my words… you are going to see this so called “religious freedom” exemption not only applied against LGBTQ+ people, but also against race, religion, and marital status.
It is against my religion… to allow blacks in my store!
It is against my religion… to allow an unmarried couple to stay in my apartment building
It is against my religion… to hire a Jew.
You can justify all of those because somewhere in the Bible you can find something banning all those.
Defenders of slavery noted that in the Bible, Abraham had slaves. They point to the Ten Commandments, noting that "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, ... nor his manservant, nor his maidservant." In the New Testament, Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master, and, although slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, Jesus never spoke out against it.
The focus on us because we are the low fruit, we are easy picking.

The Supreme Court will issue a ruling in June on the cases they heard in October on Titles VII IX cases, my prediction is that Chief Justice Roberts will be the swing vote and he will vote in favor of an inclusive Civil Rights Act, not an exclusive law.