“Mayor Filner’s continued abuse of power knows no bounds” ~ Kevin Faulconer, San Diego City Council Member

Reblogged from the Huffington Post (click on the link to watch the heartbreaking video) because Filner just won’t go away . . .

Peggy Shannon, a 67-year-old great-grandmother who works at the Senior Citizens Service Desk in San Diego City Hall, allegedly faced "continuous inappropriate sexual advances by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner while trying to do her job," according to the office of her attorney, Gloria Allred. Click through the gallery of other women who have come forward in the case:
Peggy Shannon, one of 16 women accusing San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of inappropriate conduct/sexual harassment

SAN DIEGO — A volunteer city worker who assists senior citizens said Thursday that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner repeatedly asked her to rub his hands, requested dates and made sexually suggestive comments.

Peggy Shannon, 67, said she cried after Filner forcibly kissed her on the lips in January. She said she was offended by his constant requests for dates because she knew he was engaged to another woman at the time.

The 70-year-old mayor once took her hands and told her he could last eight hours at night, according to Shannon and her high-profile attorney, Gloria Allred.

“I was shocked that he would say that to me,” Shannon said at a news conference. “I was working and had to get myself together to continue my job at the senior citizens service desk. I was very bothered by this statement and went home and cried again.”

Since mid-July, more than a dozen women have publicly identified themselves as targets of Filner’s advances, including kisses, touching and lewd comments. Shannon is the second city employee to speak up, after Filner’s former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, said in a lawsuit that the mayor asked her to work without underwear, told her he wanted to see her naked and dragged her in a headlock while whispering in her ear.

Filner, a former 10-term congressman and San Diego’s first Democratic leader in 20 years, has resisted widespread calls to resign, insisting that he can be an effective mayor after two weeks of intensive therapy. He is scheduled to return to work next week after a three-week absence.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of Filner on Thursday, saying on Twitter, “Mayor Filner is out of rehab, he should be out of the Mayor’s Office – should not subject San Diegans to the pain & expense of a recall.”

Shannon, who lives on Social Security, said she was initially flattered when the mayor lavished attention on her but soon became fearful whenever he approached her desk, which happened several times a day.

When allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced last month, Filner allegedly walked past her and pressed a finger to his lips, which Shannon interpreted as a message to remain silent. Less than a week later, she filed a complaint with the city’s Equal Employment Investigations Office.

A spokeswoman for the mayor, Lena Lewis, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Shannon’s remarks. Filner has avoided addressing specific allegations and has insisted he is innocent of sexual harassment.

 

Time Out for Incredulous Indignance

The New York Post Shows Its True Colors Again

When I saw the editorial cartoon, I will admit that my first response was incredulity: No one in 2009 could possibly be this obtuse. But wait, it’s Rupert Murdoch’s gang at The New York Post, so immediately, I regroup and realize that yes indeed, there are people who can be and are this blockheaded, this blatantly over the top, this far to the right that they no longer can see the horizon.

What am I ranting about? If you don’t know, please, let me share with you this delightful bit of editorial humor:

2009-02-18-cartoon

The drawing, from cartoonist Sean Delonas, is at best, tasteless, at worst blatantly racist.  And no, I am not over-reacting here.

No one can deny the fact that for years, African Americans have historically been likened to monkeys. The author of the Stimulus Bill is our nation’s first president of color, Barack Obama. Need I draw a line from point A to point B? Or is the implication that the Stimulus Bill is so bad that a chimpanzee could have written it? Either way, it’s an insult to the President.

Not to mention how insensitive the cartoon is to the poor woman in Connecticut whose face was mauled. The cartoon is based on the horrific event of the woman in Connecticut being attacked by a friend’s pet chimpanzee, resulting in the chimp being shot to death by police officers. In that case, the officers had no choice as the woman who was attacked was severely hurt, and the chimpanzee began to attack an officer. However, I am finding it very hard to connect that horrible event to the Stimulus Bill, no matter how much I work to draw incongruous connections.

Delanos told CNN that racism allegations were  “absolutely frigging ridiculous.” But he is not content to stop there. He continues: “It’s about the economic stimulus bill. If you’re going to make that about anybody, it would be [House Speaker] Pelosi, which it’s not.”  

Let me see if I understand: the dead chimpanzee is Nancy Pelosi, and that’s supposed to be better somehow?

rude-bw

No matter how you turn this thing around, spin it, move it, try to justify it, it just doesn’t work. The heart of the matter is that the drawing and its publication are rude. No matter how it is interpreted, it is morally objectionable and in bad taste.

Delanos is known for his insensitive editorial cartoons, in particular his collection of gay-bashing cartoons, so the fact that he sees nothing wrong with this latest piece of questionable editorializing—questionable as editorializing and questionable as having crossed that unspoken line that the really great editorial cartoonists never needed to cross in order to slice and dice their targets—is hardly surprising.

In the end, The Post is being picketed; rumors are that Rupert is not happy, and even insiders at the paper are writing not me e-mails to gain distance from this disgrace.

It just makes me tired all over when people still fail to realize that the election of 2008 was about more than Obama and McCain. It was about people being really tired of things as they were, tired of people being treated as outsiders because of otherness, tired of war, tired of poverty, tired of the U.S. ranking among third world countries for infant mortality. Tired of all of these things. And I think that their tolerance for intolerance is probably reaching its limits.

Perhaps people like Delanos might want to take that into consideration. But more likely than not, he will continue to be hebetudinous when it comes to an awareness of others.

More later. Peace.

Separate But Equal

Proposition 8

This is the actual wording of Proposition 8:

ELIMINATES RIGHT OF SAME–SEX COUPLES TO MARRY. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

  • Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.
  • Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

On November 4th, this nation took a giant leap of faith and voted to elect the first black president into office. On the same day, California, Florida, and Arizona banned gay marriages in their states, with the passing of California’s Proposition 8 largely seen as the biggest loss of gay rights in the country. Arkansas also passed a measure preventing gay men and lesbians from adopting children.

California has long been viewed as a barometer of the nation’s acceptance of gay marriage. The state will still allow civil unions or domestic partnerships, which have many of the same rights of marriage; however, for many gays and lesbians, a civil union is hardly the same thing as a marriage. It is akin to that old “separate but equal” standard that many minorities used to face before desegregation: You can have this kind of union, and it’s just as good as a marriage. Sure, but not quite.

But even Arizona and Florida will not offer civil unions. To date, thirty states have passed bans on gay marriage. Only Massachusetts and Connecticut remain as states where same-sex marriages are legal.  More than 40 states now have Constitutional bans or laws against same-sex marriages.

The irony of the loss of civil rights for one group of people coupled with the tremendous gains of civil rights by another group of people cannot and should not be ignored. Gays and lesbians are taking the defeat hard, as well they should, just as their black brothers and sisters are rejoicing at finally winning a place at the head of the table.

As Julius Turman, a chairman of the Alice B. Toklas L.G.B.T. Democratic Club, a gay political group, said when he called his mother in tears when Mr. Obama won the presidency: “It is the definition of bittersweet.”  “As an African-American, I rejoiced in the symbolism of yesterday,” Mr. Turman said.  “As a gay man, I thought, ‘How can this be happening?’ only to be crying over the same-sex marriage vote in a different way not much later.” (NYT)

Why does it have to be this way? Why does there always have to be a great divide?

Funding From LDS

Religious organizations that supported Proposition 8 included the Roman Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and especially, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), who publicly supported the proposition and encouraged its membership to donate time and money to helping the initiative pass. The LDS provided about 45 percent of out-of-state contributions (Utah Daily Herald). An estimated $35.8 million was spent to help Proposition 8 pass.

When asked, students of BYU in Utah stated that they believed that their work on helping to pass Proposition 8 was “needed” and “important.” According to one student, “I think it was needed for people like me. I’m not really into politics and I don’t know that much, but to be informed by the leaders of our church I think was needed by us.” (http://ldsfocuschrist.blogspot.com/2008/10/2008-byu-idaho-students-reaction-to.html) 

Reaction From the Community

Following passage of Proposition 8, mass protests took place across the state in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Opponents of Proposition 8 included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with twenty other members of the 53 member California congressional delegation and both of California’s U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Ten of the states largest newspapers editorialized against the proposition, including The San Diego Tribune and The Los Angeles Times.

The Human Heart

All of the facts and statistics above notwithstanding, the really egregious aspect of Proposition 8 is the fact that it exists at all. Why does it matter? Why should you care what other people want to do with their lives? How many of you out there don’t even know that you have gay or lesbian children because your children are too afraid to tell you? What business is it of ours who someone loves? Love is such a scarcity in this world—real love that is. When a person finds love with another person, we should rejoice, not condemn.

What two people share in moments of quiet togetherness, it is theirs and theirs alone. Who are we to intrude and impose upon them our beliefs? Who are we to say what is right and just? Who are we to say who and when they should love? Why is love between a man and a woman, which usually ends in divorce one out of every two times, better? 

When you look upon the face of true love, is it not incredible to behold? Are you not better for having seen it? Do you not find yourself feeling more alive, more vibrant, if only for a moment? Consider yourself lucky to have been included in its circle, no matter who the participants are. Because those who love, always enrich those around them in some way.

At least, that is what I have found to be true, especially of my gay friends who have been denied the basic rights that straight couples have enjoyed for years—the right to own property together, the right to share family insurance policies, the right to be named next of kin, the right to visit in an intensive care room—seemingly mundane rights that we take for granted. That is what Proposition 8 denies. The right to fight over holiday dinners, the right to argue over whose mother is more of a pain, the right to have in-laws: Everyone should have to have those rights if straight people have to suffer them, then so should gay people.

But seriously, those of you who would be so small minded that you cannot look past a person’s sexual orientation are no better than those who could not look past the color of a person’s skin. You have just traded one bigotry for another.

Special Comment by Keith Olbermann

 

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

– Lao Tzu

 

More Later. Peace.