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This and That: A Little California Perspective (Open Thread)

It’s been raining in San Diego this weekend(!), so time to search the web for the “California-related” stories and perspectives! Here we go:


* Some in Congress learned of waterboarding in ’02; CIA gave leaders private briefings about techniques. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Waterboarding DescriptionIn September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included future-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make prisoners talk.

Among the techniques, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.


* Human Rights Watch Report: Poor care is given to detainees. Subheader: The study’s author said the most egregious case was of a 23-year-old transgender inmate held at the San Pedro facility. Man, who had AIDS, was denied treatment and became gravely ill, finally dying on July 20. (Associated Press/Daily Breeze, California)


* Remember those nine U.S. attorneys? (Los Angeles Times) A year ago, a Justice Department scandal forced them into new careers. Despite some bitterness, they’ve landed on their feet.


[After the break: Republicans salivating over Clinton’s association with S.F. Mayor; California diocese leaves Episcopal Church in rift over gays, theology; SDSU Student attacked on SDSU campus just hours after rally against hate; Hollywood “fade to black” begins; and more.]* Also from the San Francisco Chronicle: Republicans are salivating over Clinton’s association with liberal Mayor Newsom.

Newsom - ClintonSan Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will join Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on the presidential campaign trail when she comes to town on Tuesday – and Republicans couldn’t be happier about it.

The way they see it, the more face time the pro-gay-marriage, pro-sanctuary-city, pro-gun-control mayor of the most leftist, liberal city in America spends with the Democratic front-runner, the better.


* Also from the Los Angeles Times: California diocese leaves Episcopal Church in rift over gays, theology. Subheader: Diocese of San Joaquin in is the first to break from the U.S. church over its relatively liberal views on homosexuality and biblical authority.


* Student attacked on SDSU campus just hours after rally against hate; String of anti-GLBT incidents sparks students to speak out. (San Diego Gay & Lesbian Times)

The incident, which occurred just hours after a rally in which students, faculty and administration gathered to speak out against hate, San Diego Anti-Violence Rally, December 3, 2007comes on the heels of a number of hate-related incidents on campus.

The attack, on a 23-year-old female student, occurred on Dec. 3 at approximately 7 p.m., near the Villa Alvarado apartments on Alvarado Avenue.

The male perpetrator, sprung from behind the victim – described only as a GLBT ally and prominent member of the student body – choking her with a rope and blurting the words “faggot lover.” As the victim attempted to ward off the attacker, he threw her to the ground, fleeing the scene before the female could clearly identify him, authorities said.


* Last two from the L.A. Times — this time from the Business section: In Hollywood, the fade to black begins

Like a rolling blackout, Hollywood is shutting down.

Fallout from Friday’s collapse of negotiations for a new contract between writers and studios will in the weeks and months ahead leave audiences with dwindling entertainment choices.

If the five-week-long strike by the Writers Guild of America continues, it’s also poised to affect the awards season, the annual ritual of self-congratulation and promotion that runs through the winter.

Related from the L.A. Times’ “The Envelope” section online: REPORT: Golden Globes subject to picketing?

Better dust off those library books. 😛


* Sex change with public money; Another smart initiative of the “progressive” political parties in Mexico (California Catholic Daily).

In a Dec. 4 interview with the Mexico City daily Milenio, Jorge Carlos Díaz, the Coalition’s legislative coordinator at the Federal District Assembly, said the initiative is now ready and will be introduced in January.

The initiative has two main goals. One, to expedite the name-change procedure in official documents; and, two, to include the sex-change surgical operations in health services of public institutions. In other words, the initiative seeks to finance sex-change operations with public money.


* I guess we’re not talking palm trees here… CNN Overlooks Several Leftist/Homosexual/Muslim Plants (Traditional Values Coalition, based in Orange County, California)

During the CNN-sponsored Republican debate on November 28, several liberal/homosexual/Muslim plants were permitted to ask embarrassing questions of the candidates.

Traditional Values Coalition Executive Director Andrea Lafferty called the CNN questions “staged to include the most radical elements of the most radical liberal campaigns.”

“CNN financed, facilitated and disguised a bunch of radical activists posing as unbiased citizens. They owe their viewers and the American people an apology for a shoddy debate staged with purposeful indifference.”

Out my front, street-facing window in (Ab)Normal Heights, I can see 10 palm trees. None of them have been seen on CNN.  😉


On the good news front: Gay chamber hires transgender Executive Director. (Bay Area Reporter)

With the country’s LGBT community embroiled in a debate over protecting transgender people in the workplace, the nation’s oldest gay chamber of commerce announced this week it has hired a post-op transsexual woman as its new executive director.

New GGBA Executive Director Katherine Dean. Photo: Jane Philomen ClelandKatherine Dean, 53, took over leadership of the San Francisco-based Golden Gate Business Association Tuesday, November 27, but the chamber waited until this week to officially announce its decision. Dean replaces John D’Alessandro, who had managed the organization for the past two years and moved to Miami, Florida this week where his partner was relocated for work.

….In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter Monday, December 3, Dean said she decided to come out publicly about her transgender status due to the fight over the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the decision by congressional leaders to drop gender identity protections from the bill. Known as ENDA, the bill passed the House in November and is now awaiting approval in the Senate.

“I personally felt it was time to make a stand and come out,” Dean said. “I’ve spent over a decade trying to hide my history of being transgendered, but after what happened last month with ENDA, I chose to come help make a difference.”

If more of we transgender people come out and speak on civil rights issues, it’s bound to make a difference in the long run.


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