5.49 | Monday, Oct. 7, 2013
still needs to work on equality issues
OCT. 7, 2013 -- "What's next?" is the faithful question that doggedly follows every social justice movement when goals are apparently reached and obstacles are overcome. It is no different this year for the Alliance For Full Acceptance and the movement toward equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The U.S. Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality this past summer catapulted our movement forward nationally. But so much still remains to be done here in South Carolina. It should come as no surprise that we are not living in a state leading the way for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality.
For the past 15 years, AFFA has already established a consistent course and track record moving the community incrementally forward in human rights ordinances, diversity training for community leaders, award winning media campaigns and work with religious institutions and schools
While it would seem that the next (and exciting) step AFFA should take is to challenge our state's ban on same gender marriage and legal relationships, we live within a wider movement that is working for real equality for every American. AFFA's leadership is part of a larger network of national organizations (ACLU, Lambda Legal, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Human Rights Campaign) and advisers leading the charge on LGBT equality. The movement forward for the nation needs to be careful with actions, particularly in conservative states, so that we put our eggs in baskets we can win. Losses in court cases and repeal attempts will only set us back.
The political climate here in South Carolina makes it is unlikely we will be able to overturn the state's constitutional amendment banning same-gender marriage through our legislature or state courts. Efforts toward these ends right now would drain significant resources and energy, resulting in a loss that would set us back. It is likely, however, that as other states gain marriage equality and more defined, sweeping federal legislation is won, it will have impact on South Carolina. So where does that leave us?
Our best plan of action locally is to continue to move forward in very intentional ways that expand our culture to provide benefits and protections that will strengthen the foundations of our community. Each win at this level better prepares us for broader changes as national reforms impact the entire country.
Certainly, if a repeal or court case presents itself in South Carolina, you can be sure that AFFA will be assisting the legal experts in every way possible to ensure a critical win. In the meantime, we are developing plans on the key issues above to ensure that every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender South Carolinian is accepted, equal, and safe.
Change does not come easily. We need the support of every fair-minded citizen to make these strides and prepare for the bigger changes ahead as the nation tips toward full equality.
schmuttdown: Tired of Congress
2013 -- I'm tired of Congress.
tired of the bickering, shutdowns, partisan games, red lines, red states,
blue states, sequesters, talking heads, Fox TV, MSNBC, CNN and all of
the Beltway bandits who must think we're gullible or just plain dumb because
they think we can't see what's going on. I'm tired of John Boehner, Nancy
Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and every one of the other 531 people
elected to Congress.
somewhere in that motley crew, there were leaders who put the interests
of the country first. I wish they'd grow up and stop being whiny, runny-nosed
Republican brats and Democratic brats that they appear to be whenever
they open their mouths.
of them having meetings "back home" where they act like they're
listening to us. They're not. They're wearing specially-designed earplugs
that keeps them from actually hearing anything we say so they can get
back to the Capital to make dumb speeches, point fingers, ask for campaign
contributions and look like they're working. That way, they can get a
$174,000 salary and a boatload of perks, such as a great lifetime pension
that vests after five years, free airport parking, special gyms, lifetime
health insurance, a generous death benefit and more.
there's anything that's happened during the government shutdown, it's
an increased focus on Congress for being increasingly out of touch and,
perhaps, increasingly irrelevant.
missing are real members of Congress like those of 50 or 80 years ago.
Those members had big policy disagreements. But instead of having hissy
fits, they voted on measures and then met cordially at dinners or over
cocktails. Nowadays, each side retreats into their own corners for Shakespearean
plotting and contrived nastiness.
1935, Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt proposed a Social Security
insurance program to support older Americans in their golden years. Many
Republicans didn't support it because of its impact on employers, among
other things. But in the end after compromise and some changes, 81 GOP
House members backed it and 16 Senate Republicans voted for the measure.
While the law remained controversial for awhile, members of Congress kept
working for the overall good of the country.
thing happened 30 years later with Medicare, muscled through Congress
by President Lyndon Johnson. No House members voted for it until it reached
the floor, when it got the support of 70 Republicans. Both
of these measures weren't hugely popular among Republicans while being
considered. But after the vote, members moved on. They didn't shut down
the government because they were mad.
has always been partisan. But the nastiness we see today got started around
the time of Watergate when a president disgraced a nation and when money
became the mother's milk of politics. Then came the divisive Supreme Court
nomination of Robert Bork, which led to Republicans and Democrats to start
delaying judicial nominations for partisan purposes. South Carolina native
Lee Atwater got into the mix with his famous Willie Horton ad in 1988.
And later came President Bill Clinton's budget bill, which raised taxes
on the rich and cut them for millions of low-income families. It passed
with no GOP votes in 1993 and led to, you got it, a government shutdown.
this has to stop.
imagine today how America might be worse off without Social Security and
Medicare? Instead of workers paying a little in insurance over the course
of their working lives for a benefit they get when they're older, guess
who would be saddled with caring for them in their golden years -- their
Security and Medicare have done is they have relieved some of the burden
on young, working families from providing completely for their parents
so that the families can invest in their own children. We need to start
thinking of Obamacare with such a longer-term view.
Gov. Steve Beshear wrote recently, "The Affordable Care Act was approved
by Congress and sanctioned by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the
land. Get over it ... and get out of the way."
Members of Congress shouldn't hold the country hostage in their petty
May everything be in order
As we parliamentarians
study his rules we feel he is part of the family. Your article reinforced
those feelings. Keep on writing and may everything you do be in order.
heard this story
column on Robert today. Despite seven years of service up here as
parliamentarian, I had not read this story. Many thanks.
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OCT. 7, 2013 -- The words celebrate is defined as:
Why can't we just celebrate the aging process or most commonly, just getting older? There are many reasons for us to celebrate our "seasoning" in this life.
We celebrate our past with our children, grandchildren, occupations (whatever those may have been), our friends who have come, gone and that we cherish. What about the parties, the Church, the political affiliations, the camaraderie that we have formed. We can celebrate the fact that people and events are something to be remembered. We can celebrate that people have come into our lives for a time, met either our needs or theirs and they have quietly (or sometimes not so quietly) moved out of our lives and cherish those who have remained. We celebrate the loves in our lives, whether they are still in our lives currently or that they have passed and we look forward at that next step in our lives where we will hopefully be reunited once again.
And we can celebrate the now, that we are simply in a different place in our lives. We have cooked, cleaned, worked, made lunches, carpooled, attended PTA meetings, sports events, Santa Claus, Sunday School, Easter Bunny and then fallen exhausted into our beds at night to only get up and do it again.
Now, don't get me wrong, I loved doing those things at the time, but now it is a different time for us. We get to go to sleep when we want, eat when and where we want (not just a drive through to keep the peace in the back seat), we get to spend money on ourselves (I know that sounds a little selfish), go to church and sit in the front without lifesavers or goldfish, have uninterrupted conversations with our friends, have a cat and, with all of this, we can still love our families, but celebrate our "our now age."
I heard the comment this weekend, "mental floss." We should all have a little mental floss going on, clean out what we don't need and look, run and embrace our current lives. After all, we only have the present moment in which to rely on.
There are a couple of events coming up October that can help celebrate us:
Citadel to receive national leadership award today
Citadel cadets and students spent more than 13,000 hours in community service during the 2011-12 academic year, a feat for which they have won one of five major leadership awards. It will be presented 2 p.m. today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The Higher Education Civic Engagement Award from The Washington Center "recognizes institutions achieving breadth and depth of civic engagement through sustained and mutually transformational partnerships that define and address issues of public concern at any level from the local to the global." More.
According to a press release, the school works to sustain student civic engagement starting freshman year by connecting students with the community. It has active partnerships with 36 communities.
"The Citadel's mission is to educate principled leaders. Service learning and civic engagement are key elements toward producing principled leaders. Before you can lead, you need to be able to serve," said Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa. "The Higher Education Civic Engagement Award is further confirmation that our students are making a difference in the lives of others."
Peck to sign new poetry collection Oct. 18 at King Street shop
Sara Peck, longtime store manager of Blue Bicycle Books on King Street in Charleston, will sign copies of her first book of poetry at a 7 p.m. October 18 event at the store.
also will celebrate the release of "Think of Me and I'll Know: Stories,"
by College of Charleston professor Anthony Varallo.
right, grew up in Greenville, graduated from the College of Charleston
and received an master's degree in fine arts Columbia College in Chicago.
She is a popular counselor and teacher at Blue Bicycle Books' Write of
Summer camp for kids and University School of the Lowcountry. She is published
or forthcoming with OmniVerse, Everyday Genius, and Versal, among others.
Lad Bob," (Persistent Editions, San Francisco, paperback, $8),
is a reading through various works of the Black Mountain School. Combining
lines of text appropriated from Creeley, Denise Levertov and Robert Duncan
alongside her own annotations, Peck blurs the lines between writer and
reader and responder, making clear the process of building something out
of stuff; the hidden parts of composition are laid bare.
previous two books are "This Day in History," winner of the
John Simmons Short Fiction Award, and "Out Loud," winner of
the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. He is an associate professor of English
at the College of Charleston, where he is the fiction editor of "Crazyhorse."
Free fall film series to focus on food, sustainability
Charleston and Whole Foods Market will host a free fall film to focus
on real stories about food sources, farmers, politicians, sustainability
to scarcity. The line-up includes:
The first event at Dirthugger Farms will feature a "Slowest Picnic" contest judged by local farmers and slow food advocates. While guests are encouraged to "Bring Your Own Picnic" (with some to share), wine will be provided by Grassroots Wine. The film will start at sundown.
Family Circle Cup has T-shirt design contest
like to create, draw, paint or design? If so, your masterpiece could be
featured on the official 2014 Family Circle Cup T-shirt!
The prize package includes a cash prize of $250 (gift card for junior winner); a $100 gift certificate to the Official Family Circle Cup Merchandise Tent; four tickets to the 2014 Family Circle Cup; six T-shirts featuring the winning design; and four 2014 Family Circle Cup souvenir cups
"Divergent" is a fast-paced dystopian thriller set in futuristic Chicago, where society has attempted to fix its problems by splintering into separate factions governed by different virtues. At the age of 16, all citizens must take an aptitude test and choose between joining Erudite (the intelligent); Abnegation (the selfless); Candor (the honest); Amity (the peaceful) or Dauntless (the brave). Those who do not successfully complete their faction's intense initiation ritual will be declared 'factionless' and be shunned by the entire community.
Beatrice Prior is torn between remaining with her family's faction and charting her own path in life. Her choice is made more difficult when her test results reveal that she doesn't fit neatly into any one faction, which makes her a threat to the strictly-controlled system. Forced to hide her true nature if she hopes to survive, Beatrice realizes her secret might help save the lives of those she loves or it might destroy her.
With an action-packed plot and essential themes of individuality and finding one's place in the world, "Divergent" is one of those rare books whose appeal crosses age and gender lines.
"Divergent" is Charleston County Public Library's 2013 selection for One Book Charleston County, an annual initiative that aspires to unite local residents to read, attend events and discuss the core topics relating to a single book during the month of October.
Also known as lady's fingers, gombo, gumbs, quingombo, okro, ochro, bamia, and quiabo, okra is considered by southerners to be a delicacy, in spite of its slippery quality. The poet James Dickey once told an interviewer, "If God had made anything better He'd have kept it for Himself."
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus and Hibiscus esculentus), a ribbed vegetable resembling the shape of a manicured lady's finger, arrived in South Carolina at the end of the seventeenth century via the slave trade from Africa. It is doubtful that slaves were able to bring seeds over themselves. Rather, it is believed that ship captains transported the seeds and the African slaves devised the means for growing and cooking it.
The seed pod of a beautiful hibiscus and a member of the mallow family (as is cotton), okra likely originated in Ethiopia, moving from there to North Africa, the Middle East, Brazil, and India. Okra is an African word (nkruma in one Ghanaian language) and appears to have been used in South Carolina the way that the word "gumbo" (from the Angolan word ngombo) is used in Louisiana.
Best picked when small and tender, when under an inch it can be eaten raw or cooked with its cap on. Larger than that, the cap should be sliced off high enough that the inner seeds do not spill out, then the pod sliced. Because of a tendency to mold, it is best used within a day or two of picking. Predominantly green, there are a variety of colors and shapes. Some have a fuzzy, unpleasant coating that can-and should-be removed by rubbing before washing. It is frequently seen pickled, but can be steamed, boiled, braised, and sautéed. Its mucilaginous quality is used to advantage when sliced and used to thicken stews (called gumbos in Louisiana and okra stews in South Carolina).
Look up to find fall
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Redux exhibition: Throughout October, North Charleston City Gallery, commons area, Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston. The City of North Charleston is hosting the second annual Redux Contemporary Art Center Studio Artists Exhibition. More info.
(NEW) That BIG Book Sale: October 11-13, Omar Shrine Auditorium, 176 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant. The Charleston Friends of the Library will hold its annual sale of more than 60,000 books, DVDs, CDs and more with prices starting at just 50 cents. Proceeds will support the county's public library system. More information is online.
Come Out for Equality: 6 p.m., October 12, Memminger Auditorium, Charleston. The Alliance for Full Acceptance will hold its annual Gayla celebrating its 15th anniversary and National Coming Out Day. Festive attire suggested. $125 per person. More here.
Dill Bird Walk: 8 a.m., Oct. 12, Dill Sanctuary, James Island. Naturalist Billy McCord will guide you through various habitats found on this scenic site located alongside the Stono River. Participants need to provide their own binoculars. This walk from the Charleston Museum is designed for adults and mature teens. Register early -- only 10 spaces available. Register online or call (843) 722-2996 x235.
Fright Nights: 6 p.m. October 17, 19, 25 and 26, Magnolia Plantation
and Gardens. The attraction's fifth annual Family Fright Nights will bubble
up from the swamp with Halloween games, prizes, a costume contest and
more. Tickets are $10 per person or $40 per car. More.
Coastal Living's 2013 Showhouse: Open at various times now through Oct. 20. The magazine's newly-constructed home along the Wando River on Daniel Island is open for tours with a portion of the $15 ticket proceeds to charity. More info and times here.
(NEW) Colour of Music Festival: Oct. 23-27, throughout Charleston. More than 20 events -- from organ recitals and chamber music matinees to recitals and special events -- will be held throughout Charleston during the Colour of Music Festival, which will feature all-black classical musicians. Check online to learn more about the breadth and depth of this event.
Bazaar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 26, Christ Our King Stella Maris School, Mount Pleasant. The school's 62nd annual bazaar will offer entertainment, games, food, a cake booth, water blast, mystery bags, face painting, crafters corner, spooky wheel and much more. Free.
Oyster Roast: 1 p.m., October 27, Goldbug Island. East Cooper Meals on Wheels will have an Oyster Roast and Chili Throwdown to help raise money for the organization. Tickets are $30 each for adults and $10 for children over 2. More.
Harvest Festival: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 2, Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, 2662 Mullet Hall Road, Johns Island. The 12th annual Harvest Festival will feature a barbecue cookoff, bluegrass music from five local bands, hay rides, pumpkin decorating, lasso demonstrations and more. Cost $12 per person; kids under 12 are free. More.
Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival: Nov. 7-10, Sottile Theatre, College of Charleston, downtown Charleston. The four-day festival will celebrate Italian contemporary cinema and culture with several films and special guests. More info.
Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.
Christmas to remember
and your future
9/30: What happens when rates rise