Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Day To Vote In The 2010 Black Weblog Awards

Today at 12 midnight EDT is the last day you can get your vote on for TransGriot and my homegirl at Womanist Musings in the 2010 edition of the Black Weblog Awards.

Of course you knew I was going to help y'all loyal readers out by providing the link to the ballot. ;)

I'm nominated in the 'Best LGBT Blog' category while Renee is nominated in the 'Best International Blog'. We'll find out the winners tomorrow September 1.

if you've done so already, I thank you for your support, and thanks once again for supporting and reading TransGriot.

A GOP Rat In This Harris County Voting Machine Warehouse Fire?

Friday night at approximately 4 AM CDT the warehouse in which Harris County's 10,000 eSlate voting machines are stored mysteriously went up in flames and has county officials scrambling to find replacements for those machines before the October 18 startup date for early voting.

As of yet there hasn't been any announced cause for the fire, but there are a lot of things percolating below the surface of this that are making thinking individuals here in H-town go hmmm.

*The GOP controls the voter registration apparatus in Harris County and much of county government. Paul Bettencourt, the previous registrar was more concerned with nitpickingly purging the voter rolls as fast as peeps registered.

*Leo Vasquez, the current registrar lost in the GOP primary to an Anglo,and he's trying to prove in the limited time he has left in that position he's more 'conservative than thou.'

*As the largest city in the state, Houston and Harris County's 1.9 million registered voters provide about 15% of the total votes cast in any Texas statewide race.

*This city and county over the last two election cycles (2006 and 2008) have been ejecting Republicans from control of many of the judgeships and countywide offices.

*In the 2008 presidential election Harris County went blue for President Obama.

Factor into this situation the Harris County Republican Party along with their slimy cohorts at the state and national party have engaged in voter suppression tactics since 1984. It's something that I angrily discovered during that Reagan-Mondale presidential election year.

To add more intriguing food for thought to this political stew, a new right wing group in town suddenly starts singing the usual GOP song and dance about 'voter irregularities' and 'voter fraud'. Translation: their code words for 'too many non-white people and 'libruls' exercising their right to vote.'

Since ACORN isn't around for the conservafools to attack, their faux outrage has fallen upon a group called Houston Votes with Leo Vasquez claiming 'fraud' as well. Houston Votes called them on it.

We have a governor's race in which Rick Perry had a bitterly contested March three way GOP primary with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and teabagger Debra Medina that left many Hutchinson supporters with bruised feelings and reportedly Sen. Hutchinson herself pissed at Perry.

The Democratic nominee for governor in this cycle is former Houston mayor Bill White, who during his 2005 and 2007 mayoral campaigns captured an astounding 91% and 86.5% respectively of Houstonians votes.

White has attracted some support from Republicans tired of Governor Goodhair's occupation of the governor's mansion ever since Junior departed for Washington in 2001 and pissed over the primary results.

If you were a GOP strategist deathly afraid that an increased Houston turnout combined with other urban areas of the state and a pissed off Latino vote would be enough to make Bill White the first Democratic governor in the state since the late Ann Richards won in 1990, since we know the GOP will do anything to win an election, I could see someone in their ranks saying burn, baby, burn to that voting machine warehouse in order to attempt to depress the number of precincts available for voting in POC areas.

But I definitely smell a rat, and what kind of rat we'll find out later.

Welcome back home to Texas politics, Moni.

Happy Birthday Caroline Cossey!

One of our pioneering trans women of the 70's and 80's was born on this August 31 date in Britain.

She was a model and a Bond Girl until a British tabloid outed her. She also fought for trans marriage rights in her home country.

Today she's on our side of The Pond happily married to her hubby in an undisclosed location in the great state of Georgia at last report.

Happy birthday, Caroline! My this day be filled with abundant blessings for you and may you have many more.

Gay People, Chill With The Transphobic Hatin' On Ruth Johnson

One of the things I really get tired of is transphobia. It's especially galling when the phobic reactions are coming out of the mouths of your own people or so called allies.

Towleroad has a post about transphobe/homophobe Ruth Johnson winning the five person race last weekend at the state convention to get the GOP nod for Michigan Secretary of State.

Check out the reactions of some transphobic Towleroad readers in the comment thread.


I feel so sorry for the transgendered man in the picture. The Secretary of State should be ashamed!
Posted by: candideinnc | Aug 25, 2010 9:17:05 AM

Looks like Brian Brown in drag.
Posted by: Brian in Texas | Aug 25, 2010 11:54:02 AM

Wait, that blond in the photo is a CHICK?
Posted by: ManPuppy Gay Social Network | Aug 25, 2010 7:27:33 PM

Ruth Johnson has a johnson. Chrissakes, the b***h looks like a fuckin' dude! And, an ugly fuckin' dude at that... This is what the word irony was invented for. And michigan is a shit state for gay rights...it's full of trash, esp, the upper peninsula.
Posted by: TANK | Aug 25, 2010 10:23:58 PM


Okay, Ruth Johnson's hatin' on the community for political gain, so y'all want to strike back and hate on her. I get that. I understand the underlying frustrations in that stance. I know that she once received a 2002 endorsement from the gay community and note that you wish to express your disdain and sling shady insults at her via your First Amendment free speech rights.

But one of the major issues the trans community has a problem with right now and for decades with gay men is the rampant transphobia in your ranks.

It ain't funny, it ain't cute, and it's disrespectful to us as your allies to do so.

But then again, since when did some of y'all ever care about what we thought, even if it turned out later that we were right?

Bottom line is that you need to treat people the way you wish to be treated. If the script was flipped and a trans blog's commenters were using anti-gay epithets in the comment thread to demonize a cis opponent, y'all would be screaming bloody murder.

I'm not a fan of hers nor of any Republican. I'm not saying stop flinging insults at Miss Thang. What I am saying is find other attributes you can creatively attack her for and refrain from using transphobic insults to do so.

Conservafools: If You Really 'Support Our Troops', Stop Hatin' On Islam

One of the things I'm concerned about is the anti Islam attitudes that have been stoked by conservafools around the country for political purposes.

Of course the neo-Know Nothing conservasheeple have responded by using the zoning hearing process in California, Kentucky and Tennessee to deny their ability to be built, attacking or picketing mosque construction sites, and other disturbing nationwide incidents.

In other New York incidents 21 year old Michael Enright was arraigned on hate crimes charges for slashing cab driver Ahmed H. Sharif August 24 after asking him if he was a Muslim. Another is in jail after barging into a local mosque, shouting anti-Islamic slogans, and urinating on prayer rugs.

Another pipe bomb was detonated outside a mosque in Jacksonville, FL a few months ago.

There's also some fools in a conservachurch in Florida who are planning a 'Burn a Quran Day' on September 11, which they are trying to turn into the conservafool national holiday after Ronald Reagan's birthday.

What the conservafools fail to realize is that the Internet runs both ways and this 'hate on Islam' rhetoric isn't occurring in a vacuum. Devout Muslims around the world have computers too and surf the web. They read what our right wing fools do get rightfully pissed off and want to strike back at Americans.

And who are the Americans the adherents of Islam have the easiest access to attack? Our troops on the ground in Afghanistan and military personnel around the world.

That concerns me since I and other people have family members currently in the military. Those deployed in Afghanistan have a rough enough time there without you right wing idiots inciting and antagonizing the 1 billion people who are Muslims.

Religious freedom cuts both ways. Muslims here in the States have every right under the First Amendment to practice their faith without interference from you Islamophobic fools.

If you claim to support the troops, you'll chill with the Islamophobic rhetoric.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Team USA FIBA Worlds- Survivor Istanbul: 70-68

Team USA turned their first two games in FIBA worlds play into track meets. But today they were confronted by a Brazilian team in Group B that wasn't 'scurred' of them. It's also coached by former Argentinian national team head man Ruben Magnano, who has engineered two of the 7 losses that the Team USA men have suffered recently in international play.

In addition to Brazil's basketball tradition, it also has NBA ballers of their own on their FIBA squad. While Nene Hilario didn't make the team due to injury, it does have Leandro Barbosa, Tiago Splitter, and Anderson Varejao who didn't play due to an ankle injury.

They didn't need him as Brazil shot a lights out 71% in the first half thanks to some piss poor pick and roll defense by Team USA and Brazil nailing seven of 11 three pointers for a 46-43 halftine lead.

Kevin Durant kept Team USA close by being a one man 19 point wrecking crew in the first half. He dropped four treys, five of six free throws and seemed as though he was the only guy busting his butt on defense. He would finish the game with 27 points and 10 rebounds and play 39 minutes.

Team USA regrouped and came out swinging in the third quarter as they tightened up the defense and outscored Brazil 18-13 to take a narrow 61-59 lead. Splitter and Marcelo Huertas picking up their 4th fouls in the quarter didn't hurt either.

But Team USA could never get that knockout scoring run they needed to secure the game. It was a nailbiter down the stretch that came down to Marcelo Huertas having two free throws with :03 seconds in regulation time to tie it and send the game into overtime.

Huertas missed the first one and deliberately clanked the next one off the rim. He tracked down the rebound and whipped a pass toward Leandro Barbosa who was in the in the paint who missed the contested shot at the buzzer

Team USA now leads Group B with a 3-0 record, and after their day off takes on Iran on Thursday.

Team USA just needs either one more win against either Iran or Tunisia or a Brazil loss to clinch the number one seed and get three days off before they take on the 4th place team in Group A in the knockout rounds.

Read Your AP Stylebook, Fort Bend Herald

Our latest episode of Transphobic Reporter Gone Wild takes place just down the Southwest Freeway from me in Fort Bend County. It's the suburban county that's wedged up between Harris and Wharton County, where the Araguz trial is taking place.

It was also the political home base of one Thomas Dale Delay, so that gives you a clue which way the politics of Fort Bend county lean for the most part except for the easterb half of it bordering the Harris county line.

Now that I've finished with the Texas geography lesson, time to reveal the name of this 'journalist'.

John S. Merculief II wrote a Saturday August 28 piece with the headline 'ABC’s '20/20' to air segment on firefighter who wedded ex-man.

John, I know you people have an AP Stylebook in the office somewhere. Why don't you find it or go to it online and review the section on respectfully reporting on trans people.

transgender-Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth.

If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly.

But then again, I guess asking for respect for trans people in a paper based in conservafool turf is asking a bit much, huh?

Good News, Bad News In Michigan GOP Secretary Of State Nomination Race

The Michigan GOP convention was held last weekend, and one of the items on the agenda was of major concern to trans Michiganders.

The delegates in attendance at the convention had to decide which one of five candidates would carry the Republican label in the Secretary of State race against Democratic nominee Jocelyn Benson.

The good news was that transphobic conservanegro state rep Paul Scott finished fourth out of the five remaining candidates for the Secretary of State nomination.

So what's the bad news? Ruth Johnson, the other transphobic candidate in the race is the Republican nominee.

Oh course, here's Kat Rose's ENDAblog take on this revolting development.

I've already vented on this issue, but I will add this comment to the mix.

I hope you trans peeps in Michigan are planning to bumrush the ballot boxes on November 2. Your ability to change your gender markers on your Michigan drivers licenses and ID depends on Jocelyn Benson winning that office.

Houston's Transgender History Archive

Since it is H-town's birthday I'm doing a few Houston themed posts today.

Wanted to do a little more bragging about my hometown and give a shout out to our local trans community.

In addition to having four IFGE Trinity Award winning activists who reside inside Houston's expansive city limits (sadly, one of us, Brenda Thomas is now deceased) we also have a IFGE Virginia Prince award winner in Phyllis here as well.

Something else we have here is the Transgender Foundation's transgender history archive. You can visit it from 1 to 5 PM Monday through Friday at its 604 Pacific Street location.

I've had the pleasure of looking at some of the exhibits in it, and I'm going to have to take the time to sort through my papers to see what I can donate to it as well for posterity.

Thought I'd share with you the August 27, 2010 KPFT-FM 90.1 interview with Transgender Foundation board member Daniel Williams. It has an accompanying video with some of the things you'll see in the Transgender History Archive.

Happy 174th Birthday H-Town!

Today is the 174th anniversary of the founding of the largest city in Texas, the fourth (and soon to be third largest pending the results of the 2010 Census) largest in the United States, and my hometown of Houston.

Since last year's birthday we have seen the election of our second female mayor in Annise D. Parker and interestingly enough, the first to graduate from Rice University.

Ahem, our first female mayor, Kathy Whitmire, was a UH alum. Eat 'em up!

But back to the post.

As you can tell by reading this blog throughout the years, I'm very proud of my hometown. It's a diverse, international city that really doesn't get the credit for being one. It has a world class fine arts culture, the Texas Medical Center, The Johnson Space Center, a rapidly expanding light rail system as part of its transit system and a sizable GLBT community.

It has come a long way since the Allen Brothers founded it on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. Hometown is a city with a colorful past and a bright future.

I'll have to celebrate it properly with some Frenchy's chicken and Blue Bell ice cream.

Happy Birthday H-town!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Guess Where The Best Airports In The Country Are?

Travel and Leisure magazine recently surveyed its readers about 30 US airports on a variety of fronts such as food, shopping, on-time performance, and the efficiency (or potential surliness) of airport employees and ranked them.

The five worst according to Travel and Leisure readers?

5. Boston
4. Washington DC
3. St. Louis
2. Los Angeles
1. New York

The five best?

5. Providence, RI
4. Portland, OR
3. Minneapolis-St. Paul
2. Orlando

And the city with the best airports?


We're number one! We're number one!

I'm not surprised since I worked at IAH for 14 years, saw many of the improvements the Houston Airport Authority invested it hat went into making IAH and HOU more travel friendly and the hard work my old Continental coworkers and the other air carriers put into getting people out on time and as in friendly a manner as possible.

This news makes it even sadder that the Continental-United merger is one step closer to happening.

But congratulations people, you earned it.

Team USA FIBA Worlds- USA Smacks Slovenia 99-77

Team USA got the early Group B game this morning, and you know the old saying about the early bird. Team USA was wide awake as evidenced by Kevin Durant on Slovenia's opening possession snatching the ball away and raring in for a dunk just 20 seconds into the game and an arena filled with Slovenian fans.

Team USA raced out to an early 12-2 lead and nailed 8 of their first 11 shots for a 23-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Slovenia woke up, tightened up the defense and held the USA scoreless for six and a half minutes while they crept back into the game with help from sloppy USA play.

The Slovenians whittled the early deficit down to 26-23 at the 3:36 mark before Russell Westbrook jump started an 8-0 American run with his basket and an assist on Kevin Love's bucket. Love had an amazing basket during that run in which he grabbed an offensive rebound with his right arm while Uros Slokar was holding his left one, and putting it back in while being fouled.

At the halftime break Team USA had a 42-28 lead and put the game out of reach in the third with another killer run. Lamar Odom and Derrick Rose hit consecutive 3 pointers to get the basketball party started to trigger another run that pushed the USA advantage to a 59-32 lead with 4:30 remaining in the period. They expanded it to a 67-46 advantage when Rudy Gay was fouled with :01 second left on the clock.

Team USA had five players in double figures led by Kevin Durant's 22 points with Rudy Gay chipping in 16. Kevin Love chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench to move to 2-0 in Group B play with the 99-77 win.

The next game for Team USA that will be televised on ESPN at 2 PM EDT is with a Brazilian team that is missing Nene due to injury but has NBA ballers Anderson Varejao, Leandro Barbosa and Tiago Splitter.

After that Team USA gets a well deserved day off before it takes on Iran and Tunisia.

Happy Birthday, MJ

Today would have been the 'King of Pop's' 52nd birthday. Still hard to believe that the only way we'll see him perform ever again is on video and not in a concert.

One thing is certain. Michael Jackson's music will live on for generations to come.

Texans 23-Cowchips 7

I had a very enjoyable evening watching my fave NFL football team take on that NFL franchise north of here.

Those of us who love wearing battle red, liberty white and deep steel blue to games had a marvelous night watching the Houston Texans manhandle the Dallas Cowboys 23-7 in a nationally televised preseason game.

The Cowboy fifth column in Harris County is writing in the Chronicle comment threads and already singing that 'it was only a preseason game' tune.

Oh yeah, do you want some cheese to go with that 'it'll be a different story when we play y'all during the season' whine?

Ho hum. My response to you is simple: 23-7. Read the scoreboard and weep.

As a wise saber wielding friend of mine states at regular intervals in Da Ville, excuses are only tools of incompetence.

And there was plenty of it exhibited by the Arlington Cowchips on both sides of the ball last night.

BTW, the Governor's Cup is staying here.

It doesn't take away the joy of me watching my team taking the opening kickoff and driving the length of the field to set up the opening 24 yard strike from Matt Schaub to Jacoby Jones for the Texans initial touchdown.

Hmm..shades of 2002

It's doesn't take away the fun I and other Houstonians had inside and outside reliant stadium watching the Texans run the ball down Dallas' throat and sack Tony Romo.

We loved watching Andre Johnson run wild and free across the middle, Arian Foster gain 110 yards on just three quarters of work and rookie corner Kareem Jackson pick off a Romo pass in the red zone and return it 61 yards.

But I don't have to tell you Cowboy fans that, you saw the game.

See y'all September 28.

Hurricane Katrina 5th Anniversary

Today is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katina's devastating landfall in the New Orleans area.

I was pissed off when it happened then and I'm still angry about what happened to New Orleans in the wake of this disaster. And don't even get me started on Karl Rove using this tragedy for GOP political purposes.

New Orleans is one of the unique treasures of America, and it took a major blow.

It has half the population nowadays and the 2010 Census will reveal just how much population the Big Easy lost.

The aftermath of Katrina has profound social and political consequences as well. Rove went into this with the intent of turning Louisiana red and suceeded. In his zeal to do so, he may have sowed the seeds to turn Texas into a swing state thanks to all the people displaced from New Orleans who relocated to Dallas and Houston.

Thanks to all those New Orleans evacuees who stayed here combined with Latino population growth, our population in Houston finally surpassed 2 million. If it's confirmed by the census, it will trigger the addition of two more city council seats.

We Gulf Coast residents also take hurricane evacuation warnings seriously now.

We also know another affect it had-It highlighted the GW Bush administration's gross incompetence and putting a bright media spotlight on the failure of conservapolicies. It was a factor in helping eject the GOP from federal power and giving the Dems control of Congress in 2006.

So on this fifth anniversary, let's pray for and remember the people who lost their lives during and after the storm and never forget what happened to New Orleans.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Texans vs Cowchips Preseason

As a proud card carrying member of the 'I Hate The Arlington Cowchips Club', Houston Division, I have no love for that NFL team north of here.

My dislike of the Cowboys runs deep. It goes back to the Tom Landry 'America's Team' days and the smug faith based arrogance of its fanbase.

When I would refer to Texas Stadium as the 'Stupiddome', the Cowchip fans would counter with, "We have a hole in the roof so God can watch His favorite football team play."

Ugh. The fact they played in and won a few Super Bowls along with the irritating Cowboy fifth column inside Harris County got on mine and other Oiler fans last nerves.

Many of my relatives on my mom's side of the family reside in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and that only made it worse. My cousin William would never fail to pick up the phone back in the day when the Oilers and Cowboys bumped heads and remind me who was the superior NFL franchise.

I got to turn the tables on him one memorable Thanksgiving Day 1979. Earl Campbell ran through, over and around the Cowboys in Texas Stadium for 199 yards rushing and a sweet 30-24 victory.

Now that the Tennessee Traitors have moved on and been replaced by the Texans, I remind him on a regular basis that the Texans opening win as an NFL expansion team in 2002 was a nationally televised 19-10 butt kicking in Reliant Stadium.

This one is just a preseason match, but the dislike of the Cowchips is still there.

We'll get to hate on the Cowboys properly when the NFL season starts since our interconference schedule is against the NFC East division this year. That game will also be at Reliant on September 26.

Go Texans!

March On Washington 47th Anniversary

Since Beckapalooza is happening today, rhis video is more timely than ever in showing the contrasts between Beck's vanilla flavored rally and the multicultural one that happened in 1963.

Team USA FIBA Worlds- USA Rolls Over Croatia 106-78

Team USA has received the 'B-team' nickname due to no members of the 2008 Beijing gold medal squad playing in Turkey for this 2010 FIBA worlds tournament.

We know that every team will try to make their FIBA tournament stay a memorable by beating Team USA. Coach Mike Krzyzewski will definitely keep this team focused and remind them of that.

‘We’re not taking anything for granted; we know that we can get beat here.’

And to emphasize that point, during the pregame warmups the arena video screens played the USA FIBA failures in 2002 and 2006

So they unleashed their 'A' Game on Croatia.

FIBA number 2 ranked Team USA had everybody score and five players in double figures led by Eric Gordon's 18 points and Kevin Durant's 16. They shot 55% from the field, only turned the ball over seven times, and lit it up at a 40% clip from three point range as they broke open a close contest in the second quarter and rolled to a 106-78 win.

The Croatians were playing in their first FIBA Worlds in 16 years. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 17 points and Marko Popovic added 16 for Croatia, which once was among the world's best teams but hadn't played in the world championship since winning a bronze medal in the 1994 FIBA Worlds in Toronto.

Thanks to the efforts of Ante Tomic, Bojan Bogdanovic and Luksa Andric they stayed in contact with Team USA. The Croatians hit the glass in the opening stanza for a 12-9 rebounding advantage and trailed 22-20 at the end of the quarter.

The teams traded baskets until a Kevin Durant dunk and subsequent three point play at the 8:52 mark of the second quarter triggered a 14-2 run that broke open the game and sent Team USA racing off to a 48-26 halftime lead. Croatia was held to six points thanks to Team USA's stifling defense.

After a Croatian turnover to open the third quarter, Andre Igoudala opened the scoring with a three pointer to extend the lead to 51-26. Team USA outscored Croatia 30-22 to build the halftime cushion to a 78-48 advantage at the end of the quarter.

The teams traded baskets in the fourth quarter to close out their opening Group B game as Coach K got the starters some rest and the rest of Team USA some FIBA game experience.

"People aren't expecting us to come out here and win, so we just wanted to make a statement and I think tonight we did," Kevin Durant said.

Team USA plays Slovenia tomorrow in an early showdown for the Group B lead. Slovenia beat down Tunisia in their FIBA tournament debut 80-56.

Team USA plays Brazil on August 30 and Iran on September 1 before closing group play September 2 against Tunisia.

Team USA FIBA Worlds-Let The Games Begin

Team USA got through the exhibition part of their schedule with an unblemished 4-0 record in their games against France, Lithuania, Spain and Greece.

But now they are in Istanbul for the real deal, the 2010 FIBA World Championships and these games count.

Lamar Odom, who was a member of the 2004 USA Olympic team, said: "Our goal is to be the best defensive team in the tournament. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a pretty good chance to win."

Team USA will play five games in six days starting w3ith their opening Group B matchup against Croatia. They have never faced Croatia in FIBA Worlds play, but have an unblemished 3-0 against them in Olympic b-ball play

But Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has a 39-1 international coaching mark and is leading his third USA FIBA squad, isn't sleeping on Croatia.

“We have a lot of respect for them. Their guard play is outstanding, (Roko) Ukic is one of the best international guards and (Marko) Popovic is just a veteran. Their size is a concern, they have five guys who were 6-11 or above so we don’t have as big of team. They have a rich tradition and we have a lot of respect for who they are.”

The opening game against Croatia will be a 12 Noon EDT start on ESPN3 and will be repeated at 11 PM EDT. Here's the schedule if you wish to follow the FIBA Worlds action.

So let the games begin, and may Team USA win!

Leonard Pitts: This Is Who `We' Really Is, Glenn

TransGriot Note: A column from my cousin, Miami Herald 2004 Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. about the Beckfest rally.


A few words about who ``we'' is.

``This is a moment,'' said Glenn Beck three months ago on his radio program, ``...that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement. It has been so distorted and so turned upside down. . . . We are on the right side of history. We are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties and damn it, we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement, because we were the people that did it in the first place!''

Beck was promoting his Restoring Honor rally, to be held Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial, 47 years to the day after Martin Luther King famously spoke there. You'll notice he didn't define the ``we'' he had in mind, but it seems reasonable to suppose Beck was speaking of people like himself: affluent middle-aged conservatives possessed of the ability to see socialism and communism in places where it somehow escapes the notice of others.

If you agree that assumption is reasonable, then you must also agree Beck's contention that his ``we'' were the architects of the civil rights movement is worse than nonsensical, worse than mendacious, worse than shameless. It is obscene. It is theft of legacy. It is robbery of martyr's graves.

We're in an odd moment. Having opposed the freedom movement of the 20th century, some social conservatives seek, now that that movement stands vindicated and venerated, to arrogate unto themselves its language and heroes, to remake it in their image.

Thus, you get claims that ``racism'' is now what Shirley Sherrod said in a speech to the NAACP. And people calling Sarah Palin the new face of feminism. And conservatives touting the likelihood that King voted Republican -- as if the party in 1957 bore any resemblance to the party now.

But even by those standards, Glenn Beck's effrontery is monumental. Even by those standards, he goes too far. Beck was part of the ``we'' who founded the civil rights movement!? No. Here's who ``we'' is.

``We'' is Emmett Till, tied to a cotton gin fan in the murky waters of the Tallahatchie River. ``We'' is Rosa Parks telling the bus driver no. ``We'' is Diane Nash on a sleepless night waiting for missing Freedom Riders to check in. ``We'' is Charles Sherrod, husband of Shirley, gingerly testing desegregation compliance in an Albany, Ga., bus station. ``We'' is a sharecropper making his X on a form held by a white college student from the North. ``We'' is celebrities like Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando and Pernell Roberts of Bonanza, lending their names, their wealth and their labor to the cause of freedom.

``We'' is Medgar Evers, Michael Schwerner, Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, Cynthia Wesley, Andrew Goodman, Denise McNair, James Chaney, Addie Mae Collins and Carole Robertson, shot, beaten and blown to death for that cause.

``We'' is Lyndon Johnson, building a legislative coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats to defeat intransigent Southern Democratic conservatives and enshrine that cause into law.

And ``we'' is Martin Luther King, giving voice and moral clarity to the cause -- and paying for it with his life.

The we to which Glenn Beck belongs is the we that said no, the we that cried ``socialism!'' ``communism!'' ``tyranny!'' whenever black people and their allies cried freedom.

The fatuous and dishonorable attempt to posit conservatives as the prime engine of civil rights depends for success on the ignorance of the American people. Sadly, as anyone who has ever watched a Jay Walking segment on The Tonight Show can attest, the American people have ignorance in plenitude.

This, then, is to serve notice as Beck and his tea party faithful gather in Lincoln's shadow to claim the mantle of King: Some of us are not ignorant. Some of us remember. Some of us know very well who ``we'' is.

And, who ``we'' is not.

Tina-All Time WNBA Scoring Leader

I'm still pissed at the WNBA for allowing my beloved Houston Comets to die without giving local peeps a chance to put an ownership group together to save a team that has two displays in the Basketball Hall of Fame and four consecutive WNBA titles.

But I have to take a moment to congratulate Tina Thompson for passing Lisa Leslie on August 8 to become the all time leading scorer in WNBA history.

Leslie spent her entire WNBA career playing for the (yecch) Los Angeles Sparks and scored 6,263 points before retiring last year.

Tina surpassed her by scoring 23 points in an 92-83 loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars in a game played in Los Angeles.

A Thompson 16-footer with 5:01 left in the third quarter gave her the all time WNBA scoring lead.

"Basketball started here in LA for me," said Thompson. "Anything I'm able to accomplish here is a pretty big deal because it's in front of my family, my friends and the people who supported me."

The people in Houston who supported you would have rather seen you break the record while wearing a Comets uniform instead of a (barf) LA Sparks one, but it's all good.

We know that four of your championship rings have Houston Comet logos on them.

Congrats, Tina.