Archive for June, 2011

I’m at the Allied Media Conference!

This weekend I’m attending my very first Allied Media Conference!! It’s been wonderful though a bit overwhelming so far. No time to blog, really, though I’ve taken some good notes on a couple of sessions (links soon!) I’ve also gotten to meet a few folks I’ve known only through the blogosphere for years, like Alexis and Blackamazon and Brownfemipower, and have run into other folks I’ve not seen for a while like Maegan La Mala, which has been awesome.

And tomorrow, I present! I’ll be wearing my techie hat for From Open Source to Community Source: Collaboratively Created Tech for Movements:

The daily choices we make around technology, storing and sharing data, and communications have political implications for issues important to our movements: privacy, self-determination, labor and economic justice, corporate control, amongst others. Our session will address such issues, including strategies for reclaiming control of our technology, and ways we can shape it to serve our movements. We will explore how “free” software often demands risky compromises, how open source can help avoid those compromises, and how community organizations and activists can and must be involved in shaping open source. We will us ourpowerbase.net and letsduwthis.org as examples of community source tech developed by and for our movements.

If you’re at the AMC, come check it out!

Another stupid argument against marriage equality – and adoption?

Like others, I’m kind of excited about the prospect of same-sex marriage being legalized in New York state, despite my ambivalence around marriage in general and my disagreement with the centrality of same-sex marriage to the mainstream gay rights movement. So I was happy to read that the New York State Assembly approved the same-sex marriage bill yesterday. But in reading the Reuters article, I read yet another idiotic argument against same-sex marriage that offended me more deeply than usual, not only as a queer person but also as an adopted person:

Rev. Duane Motley, a Christian lobbyist, said in Albany on Wednesday that legalizing gay marriage would “undermine the stability of our society” because he said a child of a gay couple could only have one biological parent.

Um, WTF? First off, I don’t know whether Motley was misquoted or partially quoted by the article’s author, because I can’t imagine that anyone would be so stupid as to assert that a child of a gay couple would actually only have one biological parent. Until science makes greater leaps than it has so far, every human that is born will have two biological parents.

Whether they have both biological parents in their lives is another matter, of course, and I’m assuming that’s what Motley is ineptly referring to as a possible destroyer of the fabric of our society. However, same-sex marriage is hardly the first or only cause of one or both biological parents being absent from a person’s life. As a happy adoptee of two wonderful non-biological parents, I can personally assure Motley that the absence of my biological parents in my early life didn’t cause me any damage. (Well, unless he’d count my queerness, leftist politics, and assorted other perversions as damage done by only having one biological parent.)

Perhaps we’ll soon see Motley and his fellow “Christian lobbyist” fighting against adoption, child rearing by non-parental family members, and all forms of single parenthood (including parenting by widows or widowers) for fear that these scenarios will undermine the stability of our society!

Can’t they just catch a cab?

The cash-strapped, teacher-laying-off, social-programs-slashing NYC government somehow dug up $9.3 million to subsidize a privately-run ferry service on the East River. Residents of “Dumbo, Williamsburg, Greenpoint or Hunters Point” are expected to especially benefit.

…some transportation experts worry that the boats will appeal only to an affluent sliver of the population — those who can afford upscale apartments along the waterfront.

…The first boat departed at 7:15 a.m. with a gaggle of dignitaries and reporters aboard. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a seaweed-color tie, leaned on a blue plastic table and took in the view of the Midtown skyline.

“You have no idea what this does for property values,” the mayor said approvingly. “Wait till you see all of this development!” He waved at a pair of passing kayakers, who raised their oars in salute.

So, Bloomberg’s budget will eliminate upwards of $5 million for supportive housing for people living with HIV/AIDS, slashes funding for daycare and senior citizen centers, will result in the layoff of more than 4,000 teachers, will close 20 fire department companies, so on and so forth. And folks who rely on the MTA for transit continue to see fares go up and service go down. But a $9.3 million transit subsidy to a private company that will primarily benefit the wealthier residents of only a few neighborhoods and promote continuing gentrification there to boot? There’s apparently plenty of money for that!