Please visit Morris Kight

Please visit Morris Kight @

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The new dirty word


The reason some people resist health care reform is that they see reform as socialism. It's fear of the unknown. But from what I’m hearing, President Obama has not forgotten the interests of capitalists. This could be a big boom for insurance companies with mandated insurance and a “provision” for those “hardship cases” who simply cannot afford it. My mantra these days: Health care is not a commodity. If I keep saying this, maybe it’ll go somewhere that it could do something. In the meantime (and that’s going to be quite a long time), I’m keeping my eye on the goal as this is fundamental to the quality of our lives, individually and as a nation.

On a lighter note, check out the new adventures of Smigly from Allen Mez.

And back to a more serious note, if you haven't had a chance to watch Wendell Potter talking with Bill Moyers about his experience as a top executive for a top health insurance company, it's not too late.

Here in LA we say “stay cool,” not so much to wish cool and breezy temperatures or to invoke The Fonz, we say it wanting calm and levelheadedness.

And then we flip 'em the bird.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Two Birds - one stone

RE: health care reform

I want to direct you to this page in LA Progressive blog for two reasons. You need to know about Dick and Sharon's LA Progressive, they do a great weekly run down of the issues that matter to people who care.

Also want to bring your attention to this particular piece of video from Bill Moyers' Journal. It is an eye opener from a former health insurance executive. It is the best 37 minutes you'll spend towards effective, progressive health care reform.

The health care industry is described as a "giant ATM" for Wall Street. I'm starting to feel a little sick just thinking about this.

I remember an old adage about an apple a day will keep the doctor away. I am wondering what the formula is to keep the insurance industry away from health care decisions.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This is embarrasing

Well, this is embarrassing. I set up this blog last year with very good intentions to keep you posted on the comings and goings on over here at the Cherry Urban Ranch (that’s what I’ll call it for today) and you haven’t heard from me since the November election. I forgot the web address and the password. It’s embarrassing. But let me ask: didja miss me?

There have been lots of comings and lots of goings on over here. The right side of the brain is busy working on a new webisode entitled: “Arnie and Mike,” the left side of the brain says not to tell you too much at this time because we don’t want to spoil the surprises.

Am I the only one who sees the Senate Committee questioning Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, as a neutering process? They want to steam all the ethnic and female out of her in their last ditch efforts to protect the integrity of the white male perspective (which is always based upon personal experience). What’s the big concern? They seem to fear what the Supreme Court needs the most- a fresh perspective on the same old laws. Like most successful job candidates, she kowtowed to the interviewers and she seemed to survive intact. Let’s hope she’s not hoodwinking the America people who, while not all white and not all male, have a vested interest in the kind of job she will do. By the way, some of my best friends are white males.

I really enjoyed watching the Laker’s Victory parade. Not because I’m a big parade-ophile – I just like spending time with winners. And the Laker’s are so pretty when they win.

Like most of us, I was excited to see Barack Obama become president. It represented so many things, all of them good and positive. I admit, I wasn’t an Obama supporter from the gate (I wasn’t for Hillary either) and I never did get around to drinking the kool aid. I’m cool on his handling of the economic disaster; I feel that he is using the same tools and thinking that got us into this mess. I am not hopeful for his health care plan, which looks like it will amount to mandated health insurance (a big yahoo for the insurance companies). But I am loving Michele. She is by far the classist first lady ever. She’s an intimidating role model for working mothers only because she makes it look so easy (of course, she must have more help and handlers than a Ringling Brothers circus). She always shows up, looking cool and calm, she’s got it handled, whatever ‘it’ happens to be that day. She must intimidate Barack on some level and good for him for marrying a woman who does that to him. I was moved watching the photos of Sasha and Malia standing in the "Door of No Return" at Cape Coast Castle, Africa (a fortress where slaves were kept before being shipped to America). The two girls walked through the doorway, and then walked back out. It was a reminder that progress does prevail and as our president commented on his daughters freedom of movement, “while the future is unknowable, the winds always blow in the direction of human progress."

I’m going to leave all further comment regarding the City of Los Angeles paying for Michael Jackson’s funeral (in a time when we are laying off school teachers and cutting library hours) to Arnie & Mike. They will have something to say about that right from the start.

I’m here waiting for Suzanne. We are going to a special event at downtown’s Union Station. It’s SVREP’s 35th anniversary gala. What’s so special about this one? It features faire from six of Los Angeles’ top South American cuisine restaurants, which means a few hours of some serious um um. Suzanne will agree that an evening of multiple cuisines is probably the last thing that the either of us need right now- but it’s for a good cause.

The really important news, the big reason for you and me to be here, on this page at this time is the wonderful Morris Kight biography that has been keeping me the busiest. I love this work. It is time consuming, challenging, and it has added so much to my life. It has been a long process and I have grown from it. If nothing, Morris Kight’s memory is well served by the response of the people who knew him and the community he helped to create. The gay and lesbian community has opened their homes, their hearts, their photo books, their personal diaries to me to assist my effort to tell the story of this fascinating individual. In addition, I have traveled across the country and been given the privilege to scour private collections of personal letters, notes, doodling, audio tapes and 8mm films that help to piece together the 83 years that Kight put in on this earth and a majority of those years were dedicated to the liberation of all gay peoples. I want to thank the gay community who, for the most part, are a real classy bunch. See the photo of Morris Kight and this blogger taken in 1995.

And that’s not all. There are other people embracing the telling of gay history. It is so pertinent to this country’s overall history; these human stories need to be told and retold and examined from many different perspectives and experiences. First-person accounts of “the bad old days” of entrapments and arrests on trumped up charges are as important as the documentation of the holocaust. There are two such movie projects that I’d like to bring to your attention. “The Other Side,” by Jane Cantillon is an excursion through the oldest gay piano bar in the Silverlake section of LA. Beautifully told stories woven together by regulars at a neighborhood piano bar, reminiscing an incredibly oppressive era in a place where they would find joie de vivre and also a place that one police raid could abruptly destroy career and family.

Another recent effort is “On These Shoulders We Stand,” a gift of love to the LGBT community from mechanic-turned-filmmaker Glenne McElhinney. McElhinney has assembled an impressive trove of archival research, some of the finest film footage and photographs available from pre-Stonewall days entwined with personal accounts.

All the attention being given to the gay right struggle brings me back to the words our president said just the past week when referring to slavery: “While the future is unknowable, the winds always blow in the direction of human progress."


So with this blogisode I am making a sincere effort to begin the practice of “blogging,” as created by generation X, Y, or one of those. We’ll see how it goes and let me know what you think. Which, if any, parts of my ramble do you like? Dislike? Do I get a “D” in blogging?

Good night Uncle Walter. There will never be another anchor like him.

That’s the news from here for now.