Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Sheesh! I take a couple of weeks off and suddenly there’s another Target boycott. Only this time it isn’t an LGBT boycott of the retailer over the company’s habit of endorsing anti-LGBT political candidates, it’s a group of bigots and haters and transphobic asshats boycotting the store over Target’s transgender bathroom policy.
The American Family Association [AFA], a conservative so-called “Christian” activist group says it has gathered more than a million signatures from people pledging to boycott Target because the company refuses to give in to hate and fear. The AFA says Target’s bathroom policy encourages sexual predators and puts women and young girls in danger because "a man can simply say he 'feels like a woman today' and enter the women's restroom."
Except then the man is not transgender, he’s a sexual predator — and quite likely a Christian like Josh Duggar, or a conservative like Dennis Hastert, or a Republican like Larry Craig — so go after the predator not the trans woman who just wants to pee.
AFA President Tim Wildmon says the viral nature of the protest — and those “millions” of signatures … much like One Million Moms actual number being about seventy thousand — is because “everybody knows who Target is, and it’s an easy-to-understand issue." Wildmon says Target stands "to lose a lot of customers who won't come back."
Yeah, except Target isn’t budging:
"We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions. As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work — and our guests an inclusive place to shop — we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target." — Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder
She also added that hundreds of Target stores "have single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option."
This whole bathroom kerfuffle came to light in a Target blog post last week when the company stated that it welcomes “transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity." Sounds quite simple, but then folks, like the AFA and governors in a few states, decide to use fear as a weapon against something they do not understand, so, again, I’ll put it as simply as I can:
A trans female is not a “Man in a dress;” a trans female is a female and simply wants to walk into the women’s restroom, enter a stall, shut the door, do her business, and get out. That’s it.
Now, about that idea that a million people have signed the AFA petition … yeah, not so much; from what we hear, because the AFA doesn’t verify, or prove, the number, they are simply using this story as a means to get press and publicity and money for their Hate Agenda. And, to do that, the AFA listed several scary stories on their website — including one about a non-transgender man who had been arrested for illegally filming women in restrooms — to shore up their warped opinion. However, there is one list you won’t see on the AFA site: the names of those ALLEGED one million people who signed the Hate Petition.
So, to prove the AFA is lying, the good folks at ThinkProgress successfully “signed” the petition three different times from the same web browser using the names “I disagree With this,” “I really think this is stupid,” and “This isn’t A real email.” All that the AFA petition required was using a different email address each time, though, as the last name suggests, it was possible to sign the pledge using a non-existent email address.
Still, this petition, or pledge to boycott Target as the AFA calls it, is having an impact. Last week, the city of Oxford, Alabama passed a law banning transgender people from using public restrooms, and anti-LGBT conservatives in Texas, like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and state Representative Matt Shaheen—both Republicans, of course—have stated their intention to boycott Target; Shaheen even said he would help Target pack up its stores, vow to “die on this issue politically. I am going to bat for my wife and my daughters.”
In response to the wingnuts, the “Christians,” the Republicans using fear as a weapon, MoveOn has launched a #StandWithTarget petition to counter the AFA pledge:
“I pledge to support Target and any other business that stands up for transgender rights and accommodates transgender people in their restroom use.”
You can sign HERE. When I signed there were over a hundred thousand real names on the list.
Stand with Target, and stand with and for our trans brothers and sisters.
Monday, May 02, 2016
So ... we were on vacation ...
Toledo, Oregon, my father’s new, old home. He lived there with my Mom until she passed away, and then a couple of years later he moved way up north to Sumas, Washington. Sumas never felt like home, but he’d secured a long-term lease agreement for his Toledo house and waited the five years until the tenant moved and then Dad came back home to Oregon.
This is the The Timbers in “downtown” Toledo. I’m of a mind that every single coastal town has a bar called The Timbers or The Driftwood.
Newport, Oregon. The Newport Bridge, from the bay and from the beach, and the seal population in the harbor. Oy, the noise they make … like Carlos practicing his trumpet. [And, yes, I told that joke to him and he did not laugh!]
The Rogue Brewery in Newport where one can, and did, enjoy a Chipotle Ale whilst overlooking the harbor. One also enjoyed what was left of Carlos’ Hazelnut Ale, too.
Three lighthouses along the Oregon coast; the first, top left, is at Yaquina Head and is the tallest along the coast; plus the coastline there, the birds and the surf, is just so gorgeous and peaceful. The second, top right, is the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport; it sits atop the lighthouse keeper’s cottage. It’s pretty, but holds a wee sad memory for me. My mother and father volunteered as tour guides there when they first moved to Oregon and, one day, my mother slipped on the stairs and broke her ankles … plural. That was due to years of smoking which caused the bones to become spongy but, as the doctor told my mom, there was no sign of lung cancer. A year later she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Sad memory, pretty house. The last is the Heceta Head lighthouse a bit further down the coast. It sits on a gorgeous point of land, and the keeper’s cottage is a B&B now, where my parents spent their fiftieth, and last, wedding anniversary.
Another view of the Heceta Head lighthouse and the beach …
Local Ocean Seafood in Newport. It’s run by fishermen’s wives, and all the fish is as fresh as fish can be when it’s caught, brought ashore, and then carried form the boat, across the street, and into the restaurant. Any and all profits from the business go to help local fishermen’s families in times of need, so it’s good for you and good for the community.
This tree, in Toledo, seems to be trying to tell me something ….
The Bridge Over Troubled Waters, or, as it’s called in Oregon, the Bridge Over The Devil’s Churn; just another gorgeous spot along the coastline.
The weather was so beautiful the entire time we were out there, save this one day when we visited Depoe Bay and the sky was gray and the seas were ragged. Even then … beautiful.
The night before, though, my Dad had taken us up to Depoe Bay to the Tidal Raves for dinner; the food was amazing, the view was spectacular, and our waiter had great guns and a nice butt. No matter where I looked, I saw The Pretty.
Nye Beach; kinda tourist, kinda quaint. And home to Nana’sIrish Pub where I had the best Irish Coffee—mostly Irish with a little java—and a killer Reuben Sandwich. After eating, we went into a little shop and started chatting up the owner. When she found out we were from South Carolina she told us she had a tenant upstairs who had recently moved to Nye from Ashville, North Carolina, So we were talking North Carolina and it’s crazy Bathroom Bill, and how beautiful Asheville is, when the phone rang; it was the tenant, from upstairs, who’d heard us talking through the floor, and was coming down to meet the two guys from Camden. She brought he freshly bathed dog with her and we chatted South and North Carolina for quite some time; just makes you realize how small the world really is.
Astoria, Oregon. That little needle at the top is the Astoria Column with spectacular views all around. You can climb to the top and walk out on that little teeny tiny balcony but, well, it was very windy that day and I was sure I‘d be blown—and not in a good way—of the top of that big rod so I stayed put. That last picture is a view from the Column looking down on Astoria; the bridge crosses the Columbia River into Washington. Now, is it just me or does anyone else expect Julie Andrews to come twirling across that hillside signing about climbing mountains?
While in Astoria we stopped in at Baked Alaska for lunch and views and a lovely glass of Albariño, my favorite Portuguese wine. It’s one of those wines, and restaurants, where you want to sit and sip all day long … we did not, sadly.
We had planned to stay in Astoria but then we chose to drive into Portland for our last day to see the Japanese Gardens. We’ve been before on a previous trip, but it’s so peaceful there, and so lush—no, they don’t sell wine …sorry—that we wanted another visit. That is the Zen Garden from above, and a stone pillar inside the garden itself.
More of the gardens, with the pure white sand gardens and the beautiful, almost neon, moss gardens.
Just two of the ponds and waterfalls in the gardens, and the hillsides behind.
And the Koi Pond, too. Plus a little stone temple icon; there are scattered throughout the gardens and sometimes you might not even see one of you aren’t really looking and enjoying.
On our way to the airport, whilst driving through Portland, I saw the Boy’s Fort. If anyone knows Stephen Rutledge — he has a blog called Post ApocalypticBohemian ... though he posts mostly on Facebook now — the Boy’s Forts is what he and his husband dubbed their back garden at their Portland house. Stephen’s husband, a designers, and a partner, opened a Boy’s Fort pop-up store last year that was so successful, it is now a full-fledged, thriving, fabulous Mecca for manthropology!
Anyway … those are few pictures—seriously, I took hundreds—of the trip. It was so nice to get away; so nice to see my Dad and help him get settled back at home; and so nice just to spend time with Carlos away from home and work …
Now, time to plan another getaway.