Pride Month, Al Gore for President, Paid Sick Days and Cab Drivers…

by on June 7, 2007

June 28, 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of those drag queens who had the courage to stand up to the police outside the stonewall gay bar on christopher st in nyc in an effort to protest their harassment when congregating openly.

I think it would be fitting if on this very important occasion in 2008 (and perhaps in 2018 on the 50th anniversary) if pride parades be dedicated to those brave drag queens.

We often hear even from our own ranks that drag queen are something to snicker at, but in reality, they were the founders of pride and the voice of our courage. Yes drag queens led the way for our pride.

I think it would be incumbent of the new generation, who are carrying on this grand tradition of gay pride to honor those drag queens of June 28, 1968

We as a gay community are always looking for role models to emulate, and i think that given this history, gay pride in 2008 be dedicated to those drag queens who gave us the courage to declare our pride.

Regards,
Chuck Tieuli


Here is a political thought experiment, a fanciful depth meter to assess where we are and where are we going. Hold on your keyboards, settle in for an idea whose time has come: have both majors nominate Al Gore for president in 2008.

We’re only talking four years – one term, no re-election, a one-time gift, concession, apology, whatever. If this country, like any dysfunctional family, can’t take one time-out, appoint a serious adult, and try to resolve ugly years of voting anomalies we’re all doomed anyway.

Gore ain’t perfect

One charm is that Al Gore isn’t perfect, but we know what we are getting. We’re in trouble, as American democracy is guilty of serious, multiple errors. Not once but twice this honorable country put – or allowed — a distinctively compromised George Bush to dominate the political power center like a king. More apparent every day, Bush is hardly presidential timber (likewise for Dick Cheney), his denial and incompetence leading to the war in Iraq, torture, rights abuse, less economic opportunity, regressive taxes, dreadful appointments (judicial and otherwise) and abuse of natural resources. The unholy offspring of Florida mischance was an illegitimate presidency and we today pay the painful price.

Gore the only bridge

Election by acclamation would show offer Gore a straightforward apology: this democracy (and Supreme Court!) screwed up and here’s your chance. After all, Gore was right about global warming, prescient in 2002 when sharply opposing the Iraqi invasion; opposed using the tax code to justify a discredited economic theory and honors Social Security. Most of all, he would not reign by misusing wedge issues (9/11, gay marriage, evolution) or master the art of daily lying.

Finally, we’re not electing God, just a temp president while we process challenges that already jeopardize our entire system.

Immediate payoffs

If both parties agreed to nominate Mr. Gore, think of the immediate, unquestioned payoffs. We instantly eliminate months of divisiveness, corrupt presidential campaign funding and an array of enduring voting violations — plus gain a temporary veto of special interests and time for healing. We can even focus on improving Congress instead of mainly quarreling over the top spot.

With Gore, America claims a trusted president unscathed by ruthless campaign slanders – the character assassination that defeats modern presidents before they’re inaugurated from becoming unity presidents. Otherwise, brace for more Karl Rove-style ambushes, promising chaos and permanent, internal discord.

Finally, Gore’s not dying to run

Al Gore is a decent man with tested leadership skills and vision, one of the few national politicians (except Bill Clinton) a large majority of citizens could again trust. We’re talking redemption for our political system and our national stability, not just political leverage – and for only one special term.

That’s it: Gore by acclamation doesn’t violate our moral values, nor the Electoral College, nor the Constitution, like torture or abusing rights in the name of faux anti-terrorism. Let’s “appoint” Al Gore as central to a national unity experiment to bring together a badly-scarred America, alienated from itself. For how long can America survive unrestrained, craven ambition, where anything goes as long as arrogant extremists win? That is, more of the same — corrosive “business as usual” by those who never knew, or long ago forgot, what America promises to the world!

Robert Becker
Mendocino California


As a sometimes San Francisco cab driver I don’t expect paid sick days. We are “private contractors” who lease equipment. Cab drivers’ special sick day problem in San Francisco (not in New York or Chicago where I also have worked) is that WE are obligated to pay the COMPANY when we are sick and cannot show up for work. IOW, if we are scheduled to show up for three shifts a week and we miss one we have to pay for the lease anyway — unless somebody else takes the scheduled cab out (not always and not always reliably reported).

Some companies allow a doctor’s note as an excuse — which doctor’s visit may cost almost as much as the lease and the doctor cannot help you get over the cold or virus so you might as well stay home and rest anyway.

What San Francisco cab drivers need is in lieu of sick days per se is a certain number of days we may call in sick without paying the company for a cab we don’t drive (just as in other cities) — this is a terrible imposition and can force drivers who are not fully capable and alert to go out and work on the streets of our city.

Denis Drew


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