Saturday, January 12, 2008

National Gathering "California Dreaming" OLOC

OLOC (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) announces plans for the upcoming National Gathering "California Dreaming: Building a Better World for Every Old Lesbian” to be held at the Hacienda Hotel in Los Angeles, CA from July 30 to August 3, 2008.

Keynote speakers will be award winning author Jewelle Gomez, community activist and politician Jackie Goldberg, and jazz/blues artist and Lesbian activist Gaye Adegbalola (who will also perform).

Other entertainment planned for the Gathering includes Alix Dobkin, Mothertongue Feminist Readers Theater, Robin Tyler, the Los Angeles Women's Community Chorus and the OLOC Chorus, both directed by Sue Fink.

Numerous workshops will be provided on topics relevant to Old
Lesbians. In addition, there will be a dance and a banquet. Some
financial assistance will be available.

Registration information and fee schedules will be available in the
near future on our web site,

OLOC is a national network of old Lesbians of all races age 60 and over working to confront ageism; support, respect and empower old Lesbians; increase visibility of old Lesbians; and encourage and support local chapters using education and public discourse as
primary tools.

For further information about OLOC contact: OLOC PO Box 5853 Athens, OH 45701

For questions specifically regarding the ‘08 Gathering email or phone 888-706-7506 and leave a message if you reach voice mail.=

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hillary Wins New Hampshire: shocks the male commentators

Commentators such as Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman, Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert and others expressed surprise that Hillary instead of losing double digits to Barak Obama wins approx. 39% to 37%. Hillary says she has found her voice. I think as some have gathered by now that many women especially those over age 40 became afraid the chance for a woman President would be over for years if Hillary Clinton's chances in New Hampshire were not realized. I was also pulled in many directions. My first choice was Kucinich as his politics are closest to mine. I liked Edwards' focus on fighting the corporate interests and not being afraid of saying the word poor. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd often made a lot of sense. Clinton mentioned all the Dem candidates and praised them all for their efforts in the race. I can only hope the passions that fired these candidates and others spills out to Hillary for real. I am glad HIllary was given another crack at the race for President. She did not deserve to be crushed this early in the campaign. Her credentials are too good to throw out like an old bag of garbage, her roots in our consciousness too embedded to not recognize.

Obama still has a chance to best her and he may well do it again. He needs to focus on what he really believes because as of now their two positions are almost the same. Barak will continue to attack Hillary for being an insider but on some level no woman is ever an insider and no son of an American white woman (a rather Bohemian one at that) and a proud educated man from Kenya is either. Hillary has the baggage of her husband Bill. Some of that baggage is good and some we would like to forget. In addition to Hillary finding her voice, many Dems at least in New Hampshire decided the baggage should no longer be a weight for Hillary to have to carry anymore. Perhaps, the fact Hillary showed her true feelings when she was questioned in a cafe in New Hampshire, when she teared up thinking about the fact she was way behind Obama opened up a flood of feeling that women especially understood, some men too. There were those who said, it wasn't appropriate ever for someone running for the high office to cry. I guess the Dems in New Hampshire thought otherwise and so probably will the majority in the country- women.

What Hillary actually said through her near tears from what I remember was" I had opportunites. I love this country. I know what is going on, I see what is happening to people in this country. I want to change it." The implication was she wanted the chance to change it. Some analysts are saying race is probably a factor. These pundits are saying that people said they were for Obama but when it came to voting they changed their minds. Perhaps, for a few or some this was true but I think the overwhelming vote was based on the deep seated need for women to see a woman President in the White House and when presented with the two options felt getting a woman in the highest office was their first priority. The motivation was the woman thing not the race card in my opinion.

Quotes from victory speech in New Hampshire.

"I listened to you," she told the voters of New Hampshire, "and in the process, I found my own voice.

"Too many have been invisible for too long; you're not invisible to me. . . . There will be no more invisible Americans. . . .

"Now let's give the country the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me."

Sharon Raphael

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The New Hampshire Debate and The Dems

Preface: Let it be known in this discussion below that I use the name Hillary for Hillary Clinton and Obama for Barack Obama because that is what I have grown accustomed to saying in referring to them and not intending this way of speaking of them to be interpreted as a sexist application of first names and last.

I also want to register my complaint that Congressperson Dennis Kucinich, Ohio, was not allowed to participate in the New Hampshire debate. The Republicans allowed Ron Paul in on their debate and he is a fringe candidate too. Kucinich describes himself as the Democrat's Democrat meaning he stands up for the ideals of the Democratic Party implying the mainstream candidates have wavered from principled positions and people's party values. I agree with him.

Discussion on the Debate:
After serious discussion on nuclear warfare and terrorism, Hillary came out swinging at Obama pointing out his recently shifting positions on health care from single payer to private insurer to a form of health insurance that does not require individuals to buy health insurance unlike Hillary and Edward's health care plans among other positions she saw as inconsistent.* Edwards joined in defending Obama by stating (I am paraphrasing) whenever agents of change speak, the status quo attacks, a cheap shot I thought. I felt Richardson talked longer and got more air time than any of the other three. What he said was informative but also irritating as it left the main players with less time to make their points. I would have liked to hear more long winded talking from Hillary but that is not Hillary. She is not a talking machine like Obama, Edwards, and Richardson.

At one point, Hillary was told by the questioner that polls showed that on substance the public supported her but that on the likeability factor they preferred Obama. Hillary replied "that hurts my feeling" but " I will go on". Obama with his head down jotting notes said "You are likeable enough" which I thought was a snide and caustic
remark. There was something sexist about it. Hillary had the good grace to say "Thank you" to that remark.

Obama did make an eloquent response to Hillary's criticism (paraphrasing) that words alone cannot make change. She spoke on the side of her experience and the changes she has already accomplished in her 35 years of public service. Obama spoke about the need for a President to convince his public that they need change. I think this is true.

It is obvious to me that Hillary will have to make a lot of new effort to catch up to Obama's recent surge in popularity in New Hampshire and elsewhere. Will heads roll behind the scenes? There is still a long way to go and things happen. It will be more than interesting to see if the Best Man or Best Woman wins in this case. As an older woman myself I feel for Hillary. At the same time, I think her campaign people should have helped Hillary do a better job of appealing to the younger age group right from the starting gate. How to do this may not be as easy as it sounds given the universal institutional ageism that exists in our society.

Hillary's approach is down to earth and honest. She does not make promises she cannot keep. She thinks about all the options. All three, Obama, Edwards, Richardson in New Hampshire are busy raising expectations. Perhaps, Hillary needs to dream a little more; and Obama needs to get down to earth and not just push a pie in the sky kind of platform. Too bad we can't have three Presidents at the same time. I like Edwards too. Or how about Co-Presidents Clinton and Obama. That would be something else. Obama could give the speeches and Hilary could do the work. Or am I talking about how the real world is, the men often talk a lot, while the women get things done, oh dear.

* It appears that Obama also voted for a Cheney energy bill which diverges from Obama's present position on the need for us to not be reliant on oil.