Nancy Pelosi Releases Most Uninspiring ‘It Gets Better’ Video To Date

Don't get me wrong: It's great to see Nancy Pelosi follow Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama with her It Gets Better number. But my god, I can't think of any child who is going to see this and think, "Wow, am I no longer depressed." Not that these videos need to have pop soundtracks and be full of laughter, but, HEY NANCY: This is not a speech to Congress. You are talking to children. Ditch the speech writers. And sense the tone.

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Report: Dallas police arrest suspect in 2 recent armed robberies in Oak Lawn, Uptown

Dallas police have arrested a suspect in two recent armed robberies in the Oak Lawn and Uptown areas, according to an e-mail we received late Friday afternoon from Nancy Weinberger, a volunteer with the Oak Lawn crime watch group. We’re still trying to confirm the arrest with Dallas police. Both robberies involved the victim being kidnapped and forced to drive, at gunpoint, to ATMs to withdraw cash. The first incident began late Sunday night at the Office Depot on Oak Lawn Avenue, and the second occurred Monday at the Katy Trail Animal Hospital on McKinney Avenue. The Dallas Morning News picked up the story Friday morning, two days after we reported it here on Instant Tea. Anyhow, here’s Weinberger’s e-mail:

I have been advised that DPD has made an arrest related to the two recent
robberies…where the people were forced to drive to ATM’s to withdraw $$$$.
One occurred in the Office Depot parking lot about 11 pm Sunday night and
the other occurred about 6:45 am Monday in the 4100 block of McKinney.
There was an article about the incidents in this morning’s newspaper.
Suspect sounded like same person. Arrest made early this am.

Thanks to Chief Aziz and Lt Overstreet for getting me this information as
quickly as possible.

Have a good weekend!

Reminder: This doesn’t mean you should let your guard down.

UPDATE: According to a press release from DPD, the suspect is facing charges related to the McKinney Avenue incident but not necessarily the first incident on Oak Lawn Avenue. The suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, was nabbed on Thursday night after he was spotted leaving the Exxon station at Maple and Oak Lawn. Here’s the full release:

Notable Arrest by DPD

On September 27, 2010, at approximately 6:45 a.m., the suspect carjacked and robbed a complainant at gunpoint at 4151 McKinney Avenue. The suspect drove the complainant to an ATM where the complainant was forced to withdraw money.  The suspect then forced the complainant to drive to Ervay and Grand where the suspect fled on foot.  Investigators processed the crime scene and obtained forensic evidences which allowed them to identify the suspect.  Investigators walked an arrest warrant for the suspect.  After an attempt to locate the suspect at his residence rendered negative results, the information was forwarded to each of the patrol divisions.  On September 30, 2010, at about 10:30pm, Central Deployment Unit observed the suspect leaving the Exxon Station at Maple and Oak Lawn.  The suspect was taken into custody.  The identity of the suspect will not be released at this time because investigators are waiting to conduct a photo line up.  The Aggravated Robbery incident is documented on incident number 269715X.

—  John Wright

GetEqual, LGBT advocates give Rep. George Miller, Nancy Pelosi agita over broken ENDA promises

It’s been a bit quiet on the direct action front and so I was wondering who/what GetEqual’s next targets would be. This time it comes in twos.

George Miller Protest Last Night

Last night there was an action, organized in conjunction with One Struggle One Fight and AFL-CIO’s Pride at Work (its LGBT group), where members staged a protest during the debate between Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the U.S. House Education and Labor committee, and his Republican opponent.

The debate at the Travis Credit Union Auditorium in Vacaville, CA was interrupted in an act of non-violent, civil disobedience demanding that Chairman Miller make good on his promise to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) before Congress recesses for the November, mid-term elections.

On March 18th, 2010, after GetEQUAL protested for the passage of ENDA in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office, Chairman Miller was asked by the Washington Blade, the Washington, DC-based, LGBT newspaper, when he would move the legislation through his committee.  Chairman Miller replied to the question saying, “Right after healthcare”.  The ENDA legislation has still seen no movement in the U.S. House and healthcare reform passed Congress on March 22nd – nearly six months ago.  (GetEqual press release):

“The ability to obtain or maintain employment should have nothing to do with someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. They have nothing to do with one’s ability to complete any job’s objectives and under the law, that should be all employers are allowed to base hiring and firing of an employee on,” said Robert Moore, spokesman for One Struggle One Fight.

The protestors reminded Chairman Miller that his campaign slogan, “Keep moving America forward.protect workers” also includes LGBT workers.  During the 7-8 pm(PST) debate, the protestors silently walked to the front of the auditorium holding a sign that read:  ”Miller Markup Employment Non Discrimination Act Now”

“Chairman Miller stands for moving America forward and protecting workers.  As co-sponsor of the Employment Non Discrimination Act and Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, he has the power to get the bill marked-up and send it to the House floor,” said Dan Fotou, a California member of GetEQUAL and one of those participating in the protest.   “He promised the LGBT community he’d pass ENDA out of his committee, “right after healthcare”.  Well, healthcare passed nearly six months ago and we’re still waiting.  It’s time that ALL Americans were protected from the ugly reality of discrimination.  Chairman Miller, your conscience and integrity are needed on this issue.   Move the bill to markup and bring us one step closer to being fully-recognized, fully-protected American citizens.

In mid-July of this year, GetEQUAL released a timeline showing years of broken promises and excuses from elected officials that have led to the stalling of any federal protections being in place for LGBT workers.  The timeline is available atwww.getequal.org/endatimeline. To read the entire email titled, “Fight Back Against the Broken Promises”, go to: http://getequal.org/?p=449.

Today: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi targeted with shut-down of Market and Castro Street in her home district of San Francisco

GetEQUAL, One Struggle One Fight and Pride at Work Rally, To Close Down Market and Castro St. Targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):  ”Pelosi:  When Jobs are Lost, the Market Stops

Today, GetEQUAL, a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization; One Struggle One Fight, an LGBT and allied civil disobedience organization; and Pride at Work, an officially-recognized, LGBT constituency group of the AFL-CIO, first rallied at Harvey Milk Plaza and then proceeded to shut-down Market and Castro Street in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home district of San Francisco. The act of non-violent, civil disobedience was the second protest this week targeting House Democratic Leaders to make good on their promise to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would protect LGBT workers from discriminatory employment practices. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees can be fired from their jobs in 29 states, and transgender or gender-nonconforming employees can be fired in 38 states.

At 5:00 pm (PST) a group of LGBT and allied advocates gathered in the historic Harvey Milk Plaza to remind Speaker Pelosi that they are making good on her July 24, 2010, speech at Netroots Nation, telling progressive activists that she wanted to pass ENDA but asked them to “build the mass to make me do it.” At 5:30 pm (PST), after the rally, advocates marched from Harvey Milk Plaza to the corner of Market and Castro Street – in the heart of Speaker Pelosi’s San Francisco Congressional District – where they unfurled a banner across the street, blocking traffic, that read, “Pelosi: When Jobs are Lost, the Market Stops.”

“Why is the Speaker of the House, who hails from the gayest city in America, blocking legislation that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers from workplace discrimination? Every day we live without the passage of ENDA is another day Congress turns a blind eye to discrimination against the LGBT community,” said Gabriel Haaland, spokesperson for Pride at Work and city-wide elected DCCC Committee Member. “Most LGBT workers have no protections from workplace discrimination. ENDA would provide legal protection against discrimination nationally. Speaker Pelosi has repeatedly promised to schedule a vote on ENDA, but has yet to fulfill those promises. The time to pass ENDA is now. The overwhelming majority of Americans support it; the politicians promised it. No more broken promises. We demand that Speaker Pelosi stop blocking ENDA and schedule a vote, now.”

“We pay taxes, contribute to the economy, and create American-paid jobs that provide products and services world-wide. Yet we continue to be treated unequal and Speaker Pelosi has the power to bring us one step closer to being fully-protected American citizens – and workers,” said Dan Fotou, a California GetEQUAL supporter and participant in today’s rally. “As Speaker Pelosi and other members of Congress are out campaigning to keep their jobs, they should know we have every intent of continuing our campaign to keep our jobs, too. Speaker Pelosi has said that ‘our impatience is justified’ – but what isn’t justified is the unfulfilled promises she continues to make to the LGBT community. It’s time for Speaker Pelosi to do the right thing and schedule an immediate vote on ENDA.”

“GetEQUAL has promised that, as long as people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake, we will not stop standing up for those LGBT workers in dozens of states across this country without a voice, without any job security,” said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL. “With the launch of our ‘ENDA Summer’ campaign, we told politicians that while they are back home campaigning to save their jobs, we intend on reminding them that their employment isn’t the only one on the line. Millions of LGBT workers punch a clock every single day unsure if today’s timecard could turn into tomorrow’s discriminatory pink slip. The time to pass ENDA is now.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

A letter to the Pentagon about DADT from Nancy Manzella, a military mom

The Pentagon is in the process of surveying military spouses about the repeal of DADT. SLDN “will release a letter each day this week from family members and spouses of former service members impacted by DADT. As the Pentagon reaches out to 150,000 straight couples on how their lives are impacted, these letters will share the perspective of those forced to serve under this law alongside their loved ones.”

Yesterday’s letter was from a military spouse, Lynne Kennedy, the partner of Capt. Joan Garrah, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Today’s letter is from a military mom, Nancy S. Manzella. Her son, Former Army Sgt. Darren Manzella, was discharged under DADT:

August 24, 2010

Hon. Jeh C. Johnson
General Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense
Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group

General Carter F. Ham
Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe
Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group

Dear General Ham and Mr. Johnson:

My name is Nancy Manzella and I have been a mother for 34 years. My husband and I live in rural Western New York where we have made our home at a grape vineyard and have raised three wonderful sons. We now have beautiful daughters-in-law and grandchildren. We are proud to say that we are the all American family.

I also was a military mom for six years. Our son, Darren Manzella, served two tours in the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Soldier in the United States Army. He was promoted to sergeant, was a team leader of a medical squad, and conducted more than 100 12-hour patrols in the streets of Baghdad, treating wounds and evacuating casualties of sniper fire and roadside bombs.

Darren was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, honoring him for treating American and Iraqi troops while under fire. He saved lives while putting his own in precarious situations by treating gunshot wounds to blast injuries and more. He was “out there” and our family knew he was in constant danger.

As anyone who is familiar with our military knows, service takes tremendous sacrifices, not only for those who serve, but for their loved ones they leave behind. Our family was always concerned for Darren’s safety, as all military families are for their sons and daughters in uniform. We were also concerned for him because he was openly gay while he served his second tour. We knew that anyone in a war zone was at risk of being harmed at any time, but we also understood that because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Darren was especially vulnerable. He could be fired, forced out of the Army, and potentially face harassment and abuse. The stress was incredible.

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” not only affects the gay and lesbian service members’ lives, but also throws their loved ones, friends, and all family members’ lives into a stressful nightmare. We cannot get to them if they need us for support, as they are thousands of miles away. The ban impacts so many lives adversely. It causes unbearable stress on everyone concerned, especially with the constant fear that we may slip up, we might inadvertently “out” them even in a simple letter from home. The “All American Families” who have gay or lesbian service members serving are living with this stress every day.

As parents, this law offends us deeply. It tells us that our gay and lesbian children who are in uniform and putting their lives on the line every day, saving lives, are not good enough to serve their country. The law discriminates against family members, forcing fear and anguish into their lives. Our sons and daughters should be judged on their performance, loyalty to country and bravery, not their sexual orientation.

We need to support all American military families – straight or gay.

Our son was fired under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and I still believe to this day he would willingly serve his country again if this law ended. I can tell this discharge not only affected his military career, but caused him to question his self-worth. Under the law it doesn’t seem to matter how good you are at your job; how many lives you save or people you support; or how patriotic and dedicated you might be. If you happen to be gay or lesbian, this law says you are somehow “less than.”

The Army teaches honor and integrity and holds those values dear. Despite these values, the Army still isn’t allowed to let our gay and lesbian troops live up to that potential because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Under this law, troops are forced to be dishonest, to put integrity to the side, and to live in the closet – with their families closeted beside them – denying who they are.

They need the opportunity to “Be All That They Can Be.”

I am urging you to support the repeal of this unjust law. The values that we gave our kids, and the values the Army told Darren they believe, are really the values we should strive for. But until this law is gone, those values are undermined by unfairness, discrimination and prejudice. I realize that our country is in the midst of great change having to make many crucial decisions. I also understand that the Administration has “a lot on their plate” right now. I’m an American, too, and have many concerns about our country. But, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal cannot and should not be pushed down the road.

Sincerely,

Nancy S. Manzella

CC:

U.S. Sen. Carl M. Levin, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee

U.S. Sen. John S. McCain, Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman,Member, Senate Armed Services Committee




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright