Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bye PyeongChang...See You In 2022, Beijing

"The Olympic Games are an homage to the past and an act of faith for the future.  With your joint march, you have shared your faith in a peaceful future with all of us.  You have show our sport builds bridges in our very fragile world.  You have shown how sport builds bridges." 
-IOC president Thomas Bach


The Olympic Games that started earlier this month with a flurry of diplomatic activity that resulted in a joint North and South Korean team marching into the Olympic stadium under a unification flag as South Korean Olympic champion figure skater Kim Yuna lit the torch ended this morning our time as we slept here in the States.

In case you're wondering,Tongan cross country skier Pita Taufatofua was there at the closing ceremony in all his oiled up shirtless glory just as he was during the opening ceremony back on February 5.   He finished 114th in his cross country skiing event and greeted his fellow stragglers at the finish line, but is without a doubt the worldwide fan and Olympic athlete favorite of these Winter Games and the 2016 Rio ones.

Speaking of competition, the Norwegian national anthem was undeniably the soundtrack of these PyeongChang Games.   Norway led all nations with 39 total medals won (14G,14S,11B), and won a Games best 14 gold medals.

The Germans finished second with 31 total medals (14G, 10S, 7B) and tied Norway with 14 gold medals.  Our northern neighbors Canada were third on the medal table with 29 medals (11G, 8S, 10B) and the Netherlands after a fast start at the beginning of the Games, ended up fifth with 20 total medals (8G, 6S, 6B) tying the host South Koreans, who also ended up with 17 total medals (5G, 8S, 4B).

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The Olympic Athletes From Russia despite the sanctions that forced it to use the Olympic flag and anthem and have the 168 athletes who did participate in these Games pass a stringent vetting process still managed to capture 17 total medals (2G, 6S, 9B) during this Olympiad, including the men's hockey gold medal.   

But old habits die hard.   The Olympic Athletes From Russia lost the chance to have their suspension lifted and march under their own flag for the closing ceremonies when two Russian athletes tested positive for banned substances.

Team USA, despite having the largest contingent of athletes in PyeongChang and narrowly finishing second in the medal count in Sochi with 28 medals to the host Russians, finished a disappointing by our standards fourth here in PyeongChang with 23 total medals (9G, 8S,6B)

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It was shaping up to be a disappointing Winter Games for the US considering many American pre-Olympic medal favorites failed to make it to the podium or had disappointing results.  Despite historic feats in their performances by Nathan Chen and Mirai Nagasu, they didn't translate to a medal in their individual skating events.  They are bringing back home bronzes from the team event. 
Mikaela Shiffrin fell short of her goal of winning five gold medals as did Lindsey Vonn who is bringing home a bronze medal.   The US did have a late run powered by the first gold medal in women's hockey in 20 years, and surprising first ever women's gold in cross country skiing and the men's curling.

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But these XXIII Winter Olympic Games are now headed for the history books, and while we wait for more history to be made when Beijing in four years becomes the first ever city and supplant Vancouver as the largest one to host a winter and summer games, we'll get to see in the runup to them the return of the summer Olympics to Tokyo in 2020 as part of the Asian continent's run of three consecutive Winter and Summer Games..

Bye PyeongChang.   See y'all in Beijing. 

March For Black Women Happening Saturday

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This week in Houston the first ever March For Black Women is taking place on Saturday at Emancipation Park from 10 AM-1 PM .   And yes, I've been asked to be a speaker for it.

Unlike the Houston Women's March, this one is centering Black cis and trans women, which is why I was asked to participate in it and stood in solidarity with my Black cis sisters in boycotting the Houston women's march after their concerns in the organizing runup to it were dismissed or flat out ignored. 

As to why we are marching, the statement from the March For Black Women website:

Why We March

Angela Davis once said,  "I AM NO LONGER ACCEPTING THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE.  I AN CHANGING THE THINGS I CANNOT ACCEPT."
In that spirit, we are calling on every Black woman in the Houston area and our allies to change a system that is no longer acceptable or viable for Black women. We strive to unite Black women from every walk of life and demographic to rise together in all our diversity, face our common oppressors, and denounce the systems and communities that deny us our civil and human rights and relegate us to political backseats.

We are also coming together to celebrate the sisterhood, struggles, and accomplishments of the unique space that Black women hold in society. We affirm the position of Black women in politics and ensure our representation is rightfully increased.AA

We are a power like no other when we are joined together. We have suffered the most heinous maltreatment in this country, and we are still here. Standing. Proudly. Let us gather together to celebrate one another. There is no one that understands us like us. We will celebrate the African Diaspora of womanhood in all the ways it exists. We will experience the music and poetry of sisters from different perspectives and engage in the advancement of Black lives.

This event is Black woman-centered, but we welcome all allies in support of Black women. Be mindful that this is for us.
***

Fundraising is still happening for this even, and the march is still seeking volunteers


So looking forward to being a part of this historic event, and I'm still working on putting the final touches on my speech.   As to what I'll say, stay tuned i'll post the text of it on that March 3 date to the blog .

But if you're in the Houston area on March 3, I hope you'll join us on that date to support and march with us     

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mack Beggs Is A Back To Back Undefeated Texas Class 6A Wrestling Champ

Because the UIL played itself and refused to change a rule that forced Euless Trinity trans masculine wrestler Mack Beggs to wrestle against girls when he would prefer to be wrestling against boys, Beggs cruised to an undefeated 2017 season in his 110 pound weight class and capped it off with a Texas Class 6A state title

In case you wondered what happened in the wake of his initial 110 pound division title, a group of legislators tried to pass during the 2017 legislative session a bill that would have barred him from competing because of the testosterone he was taking for transition purposes. 

Beggs took a low enough dose to start the masculinization process but not enough to build muscle.    That bill passed the Texas Senate (what else is new?) but died in committee with the legislative grownups in the Texas House.

All the University Interscholastic League, the governing body for Texas high school athletic and academic competitions  had to do was follow the NCAA standards.  But noooo, y'all still wanna do the right wing thing and stubbornly use for partisan political reasons the birth certificate as the basis for determining where you're placed for UIL competition purposes

Beggs is mulling a scholarship offer from an out of state college, and if he decides to wrestle in college, he'll get his wish to wrestle against men because the more realistic NCAA rules classify him as male.because of the testosterone treatments.

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The 'Mack Attack' is back, and once again advanced to the UIL state wresting tournament being held in the northwest Houston suburb of Cypress, TX that started yesterday and concluded today.

Beggs successfully defended his Class 6A title, going undefeated once again to do so with a 36-0 record.    He won two matched by pinfall on Friday to advance to today's semifinal and finals.

But first, he had to get past Cypress Ranch senior Kayla Fitts, who is undefeated herself at 52-0 to get to the final.  He got past Fitts and earned a rematch with Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch, who he defeated last year to capture his first title. 

The championship rematch ended up with Beggs defeating Sanchez 15-3 by decision to cap the back to back title run.

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So hate on transphobic haters.   Y'all wanna be mad and stay mad at someone, you need to direct your frustration at the UIL, not a kid simply trying to compete in the sport he loves.

Congrats to Mack Beggs for putting in the work to become a two time state wrestling champ.   Proud of you for handling your business despite the haters and being a class act. 

And note to the UIL.  Beggs is not going to be the last trans athlete who wished to compete in Texas.   There are trans kids matriculating rights now in Lone Star State elementary and middle schools, and it's past time y'all cleaned up the rules to let trans people play high school sports in their target gender as cisgender kids can do. . 

Good luck to you Mack Attack when you move on to the collegiate ranks.

Now it's up to the UIL to do what they should have done and aling their competition rules to mirror the NCAA ones so we don't have this happening again .   


Friday, February 23, 2018

Shut Up Fool Awards- Last Weekend In PyeongChang Edition

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The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang are coming to a close and Team USA is making a late run for medals in some unexpected sports.

They will be competing in the gold medal match vs Sweden in men's curling after knocking off the world number one ranked Canadians TWICE to get there.   We picked up an unexpected gold medal in the cross country ski relay. It was the first medal ever for USA women in the sport, the first gold in cross country skiing by any American of any gender  and the first since Bill Koch won a silver in the 30km race in Innsbruck in 1976

Amd yes, the USA women finally captured that second elusive gold medal in Olympic hockey over their bitter north of the border rivals

But as the Winter Games come to a close and the hosting toch gets passed north to Beijing in 2022, the fools among us keep striving for perfection in our news cycle.  They are chasing idiocy, hypocrisy and WTF level outright lying.

So here's this week's medalists for the TransGriot Shut Up Fool Awards, Olympic style

The bronze medal goes to the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, PA who mere days after a mass shooting happened in Florida that killed 17 people with this assault, is happening a blessing ceremony for AR-15's

Really?   You ammaosexuals really love your guns. 

The silver medal is a joint one to the NRA and the Republican Party for every stupid comment or attempt they have made to spin this Parkland, FL tragedy and stifle any attempts at much needed gun regulation, starting with banning AR-15's

Image result for Marco RubioThe gold medal goes to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who not only has had a tough week in his home state because of his A+ NRA rating,.he's coming under more intense criticism from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and their parents who are calling BS on his constant attempts to spin for his NRA paymasters.

He also took to Twitter to attack the MSG students and parents mere hours after appearing at that CNN town hall as 'extremists who hold a position well outside the mainstream'

Naw boo boo itty, it is you who are holding 'a position well outside the mainstream because overwhelming numbers of people want sensible gun regulations.'     .

And for those of you in Florida and elsewhere hollering 'Fire Marco Rubio', y'all had a chance to do that in 2016 and failed to handle your business.  You're stuck with his NRA butt kissing behind until 2022

Marco Rubio, Shut Up Fool!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

CNN Guns Town Hall

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For those of you who missed it, here's the  town hall that CNN broadcast featuring the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School vs the NRA and Sen. Marco Rubio (NRA-FL)

Also taking part in this conversation that was moderated by CNN's  Jake Tapper  was Sen Ben Nelson (D-FL), Rep Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel along with NRA shill spokesperson Dana Loesch . 

As you probably guessed, coming a mere week after the mass shooting event that killed 17 people, it was contentious at times.

Here's the video of it.


Down Goes Canada! USA Women (Finally!)Win Hockey Gold!

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The last time the USA women won a gold medal in women's hockey was during the Nagano Games in 1998.   Team USA beat Canada 7-4 in the preliminary round, then beat them when it counted 3-1 for the first every medal awarded in women's hockey.

Image result for USA women hockey loses gold medal game 2002Since then, as my green tea drinking north of the border homegirl has been reminding me, it has been a frustrating series of Olympic defeats for the USA women's hockey team despite successfully (and repeatedly) beating those Canadian behinds in the IIHF World Championships.

There was the 3-2 gold medal game loss to Canada on home soil in Salt Lake City in 2002.  Four years later in the 2006 Turin Games Team USA didn't even make it to the gold medal game.  They shockingly lost in an 3-2 OT shootout to Sweden in the semis and had to settle for the bronze medal.
 
In 2010 the USA lost to Olympic hosts Canada in Vancouver 2-0 in the gold medal match to collect another silver medal.   

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The 2014 Sochi Games was the most frustrating USA women's Olympic hockey loss.  Team USA was up 2-0 in the third period and 3:26 from avenging those defeats until Canada scored twice to force overtime, then won it with a golden goal in overtime to win their fourth straight gold medal.

That loss has fueled the Team USA fire for the last four years.  As usual, they've beaten Canada in four straight IIHF world championships, with three of them happening post-Sochi, but would it finally translate to Olympic gold for Team USA?

Yep it did in PyeongChang. 

This was the third consecutive Olympiad that the USA and Canada had met in the gold medal match and as I warned my green tea drinking homegirl, Olympic win streaks can come to an end.

.Even with a 2-1 loss in the preliminary round to Canada back on February 15 Team USA was a confident bunch going into this game with their bitter rivals.

Team USA struck first late in the 1st period with a Hilary Knight goal to give them a 1- 0 lead.   But Canada struck back after the first intermission with two goals in the 2nd period to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room at the second intermission.

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It wasn't looking good for Team USA until a failed 2-1 break and botched Canadian line change resulted in a breakaway goal from Monique Lamoureux with 6:21 remaining that tied the game at 2-2 and sent it to overtime.

After 20 minutes of overtime and constant pressure by Team USA on the Canadian goal resulted in no game winning golden goals for either side.  it was shootout time.

The USA won the coin flip and elected to go second and Amanda Kessel, Gigi Marvin and Jocelyn Lamoreux delivered in the shootout to gain revenge for Sochi and earn Team USA's first women's Olympic hockey medal in 20 years,



The World Champs are finally the Olympic Champs!

See y'all in Beijing,  Renee.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Can Y'all Stop Using Texas As A Political ATM?

Early voting has just started in the Lone Star State in advance of our March 6 primary election, and in Harris County and the other 15 largest counties in the state, first day early voting Democratic turnout is double the rate it was in 2014, while the Republican turnout numbers are slightly below 2014 numbers.

There is enthusiasm in the Texas Democratic Party ranks and among liberal progressive Texans for the first time in a while.   Many Republican held legislative seats that went unopposed in 2014 and 2016 have now drawn Democratic challengers.   There's a competitive Democratic primary in CD 7, currently held by Rep.John Culberson (R) that drew seven quality candidates.

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In Harris County, (Houston) lost in the bad news of the Trump upset win was the fact we flipped the most populous county in the state blue, and are eagerly looking to continue the process in this cycle.

The significance of this news is that Harris County provides 25% of the vote total in a statewide race, so if we can get turnout up here, it helps Democrats across the state.

And Texas liberal progressive peeps, after observing what happened in Virginia and Alabama, are fired up and ready to demonstrate we can do the same in the Lone Star State and start flipping Texas blue or at least get it to purple status.

But what that is going to take to make a Blue Texas a reality is money. 

One of the things that has pissed Texas Democrats off for a long time is that Democratic candidates from the rest of the country come to Texas to fundraise and taking money out of our state to spend in other races around the country . 

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The problem with that repetitive pattern of using Texas as a political ATM because you assume we can't win here is that it deprives Lone Star State Democratic candidates running for office the funds we need to aggressively take on and beat  entrenched Republican office holders.

Texas is also the linchpin of the Republican Party efforts to cling to power on a national level.   It's why the Texas GOP has spent millions to voter suppress and gerrymander this state so they keep control of it.   According to an AP analysis, in 2016 the Republicans picked up four additional US House seats in Texas they wouldn't have if not for the gerrymandering.

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It's also no surprise that a federal judge has decaled the 2011 Texas federal and state legislative maps unconstitutional because they were gleefully drawn by the Texas GOP to suppress African American and Latinx political power 

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They are even more desperate to cling to power here in Texas because they know as we do that since 2009, demographics have not been on their side.   There are more non-white Texans than white Texans, and they know that if they didn't suppress or gerrymander the vote, this state would be purple or already well on it's way to becoming the political mirror image of California.

If that happens, the Republicans will be hard pressed to win a presidential contest, much less keep control of the US House of Representatives because they would have to fight for Texas' 38 electoral votes instead of relying on adding the Lone Star State's EV's in their total.

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With the 2020 census and reapportionment looming on the horizon that will determine how the political fights of the 2020's shake out, it is incumbent upon us liberal progressive Texans in 2018 and 2020 to do what we can to cut into those Republicans margins in the Texas House and Senate despite the gerrymandered maps and put ourselves in the best possible position for that 2021 redistricting fight. 

We also need to have liberal progressive Texans running for statewide and countywide offices, school boards and judicial benches.   It's a win win for us in Texas and for you nationally if Ted Cruz is no longer patrolling the US Senate and Beto O'Rourke is.

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But the critical piece in that effort to flip Texas blue is for the national Democratic Party and other national PAC's to stop treating Texas as a political ATM, fundraising, and taking that money to fund races somewhere else.

We need money for our races, too.   Y'all could also send more money here as well to help us flip Texas in 2018 and 2020 as well.

We'll do the rest of the work necessary to make it happen. 

Social Justice Discussion On TSU Campus Tonight

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Our local HBCU Texas Southern University has produced a long list of distinguished graduates since its 1947 founding     One of them is trailblazing Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. 

The School of Public Affairs Building on the north side of the TSU campus is named for her and another distinguished TSU alumnus in Congressman Mickey Leland.

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February 21 is her birthday, and in honor of it, a panel discussion organized by TSU professors Dr. Carla Brailey and Dr Kimberly Brown-Pellum on the topic of social justice is being held in the Walter McCoy Auditorium (room 114) in the Jordan-Leland School of Public Affairs Building.

The special guest is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who currently represents as we sometimes call the 18th Congressional District in H-town 'Barbara's Seat'.

The other panelists will be District 146 Texas state Rep Shawn Thierry, Dr. Rockell Brown Burton of TSU's School of Communications,  Algenita Scott Davis, longtime business leader and a visiting professor in TSU's School of Business , attorney Antoinette 'Toni' Jackson who is a partner in the Jones Walker LLP firm,  the Honorable  Fredericka Phillips, Vice Chair of the Texas Democratic Party, and Rhonda Skillern-Jones, the HISD school board president.

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The event is running from 7-9 PM, and with this lineup of amazing Houston women leaders, should be an interesting conversation and discussion. 

Hope people will check this discussion out since it is open to the public.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

It's Early Voting Election Day In Texas

Today is the start of early voting in Texas and the day we begin the process of turning this state blue.

The early voting period runs from today until March 2, and you can go do so at the various designated early voting locations in your various counties until that date. 

If you're wanting to do your homework to help you cast an informed vote, various political organization, unions, your local newspapers and the League of Women Voters in your locales have voter information guides tailored for your area and region.

In case you're wondering, TransGriot also does endorsements, and these are the candidates that received the TransGrot clenched fist salute.

You had to be registered by February 5 to be able to participate in the 2018 party primary of your choice.  While it's too late for you to register to participate in the primary, it's still not too late for you to register for the general election.

Bring that yellow voter registration card and approved ID to your fave early voting location to handle your business between now and March 2.

Once you choose which party primary you will participate in, you are locked into that choice for the rest of the year/   So if you're thinking about as a Democrat of meddling in the Republican primary and vice versa. don't do it.   It will not only prevent you from participating in your party primary runoff elections and in your party's state conventions later in the year, it can also not give you the result you're expecting..

After the early voting period closes, you'll have to go handle your election business on March 6 and at your designated precinct location.

So if you want a better city, county, Texas, and nation, the road to that better government starts today at polling places across Texas.   It also starts with us.

So go handle your 2018 election business.

 .

Can Use Some Help Again For Housing

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You know I usually don't like to ask for monetary help unless I absolutely need it, but once again TransGriot readers, I'm at a point where it's necessary to call on your help again.  . 

I'm needing to move from my current space by March 1, and need to I need to raise a total of $2000 to pay for first months rent plus deposit for a new place to live, plus potential moving expenses. 

So far I've raised a quarter of that, and I'm $1500 away from the goal. 

I'm humbly asking for a little help and donations to get there.   No donation is too small.  $5, $10, $20 quickly adds up.

I do have a PayPal account, and it has a DONATE button on the left hand side of it marked TransGriot Tip Jar.    transgriot.blogspot.com 

The direct link to it is https://www.paypal.me/TransGriot


If you can, thanks for doing so. For those who have donate already, I thank you.     

Emma Gonzalez Gun Control Rally Speech

As you may be aware, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior  Emma Gonzalez put Trump, the Republican Party and the NRA on blast during her powerful speech at a gun control rally in For Lauderdale, FL a few days ago that has since gone viral.

Here's  Ms. Gonzalez's speech.   The text of it is below the video.




We haven't already had a moment of silence in the House of Representatives, so I would like to have another one. Thank you.
    Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving. But instead we are up here standing together because if all our government and President can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it's time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the Founding Fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed but our laws have not.
    We certainly do not understand why it should be harder to make plans with friends on weekends than to buy an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. In Florida, to buy a gun you do not need a permit, you do not need a gun license, and once you buy it you do not need to register it. You do not need a permit to carry a concealed rifle or shotgun. You can buy as many guns as you want at one time.
    I read something very powerful to me today. It was from the point of view of a teacher. And I quote: When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student's right to live. All I hear is mine, mine, mine, mine.
    Instead of worrying about our AP Gov chapter 16 test, we have to be studying our notes to make sure that our arguments based on politics and political history are watertight. The students at this school have been having debates on guns for what feels like our entire lives. AP Gov had about three debates this year. Some discussions on the subject even occurred during the shooting while students were hiding in the closets. The people involved right now, those who were there, those posting, those tweeting, those doing interviews and talking to people, are being listened to for what feels like the very first time on this topic that has come up over 1,000 times in the past four years alone.
    I found out today there's a website shootingtracker.com. Nothing in the title suggests that it is exclusively tracking the USA's shootings and yet does it need to address that? Because Australia had one mass shooting in 1999 in Port Arthur (and after the) massacre introduced gun safety, and it hasn't had one since. Japan has never had a mass shooting. Canada has had three and the UK had one and they both introduced gun control and yet here we are, with websites dedicated to reporting these tragedies so that they can be formulated into statistics for your convenience.
    I watched an interview this morning and noticed that one of the questions was, do you think your children will have to go through other school shooter drills? And our response is that our neighbors will not have to go through other school shooter drills. When we've had our say with the government -- and maybe the adults have gotten used to saying 'it is what it is,' but if us students have learned anything, it's that if you don't study, you will fail. And in this case if you actively do nothing, people continually end up dead, so it's time to start doing something.
    We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we're going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because, just as David said, we are going to be the last mass shooting. Just like Tinker v. Des Moines, we are going to change the law. That's going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook and it's going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the family members and most of all the students. The students who are dead, the students still in the hospital, the student now suffering PTSD, the students who had panic attacks during the vigil because the helicopters would not leave us alone, hovering over the school for 24 hours a day.
    There is one tweet I would like to call attention to. So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities again and again. We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn't know this kid. OK, we did. We know that they are claiming mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife.
    And how about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the student's fault, the fault of the people who let him buy the guns in the first place, those at the gun shows, the people who encouraged him to buy accessories for his guns to make them fully automatic, the people who didn't take them away from him when they knew he expressed homicidal tendencies, and I am not talking about the FBI. I'm talking about the people he lived with. I'm talking about the neighbors who saw him outside holding guns.
    If the President wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association.
    You want to know something? It doesn't matter, because I already know. Thirty million dollars. And divided by the number of gunshot victims in the United States in the one and one-half months in 2018 alone, that comes out to being $5,800. Is that how much these people are worth to you, Trump? If you don't do anything to prevent this from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down. And we will be worthless to you.
    To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you.
    (Crowd chants, shame on you.)
    If your money was as threatened as us, would your first thought be, how is this going to reflect on my campaign? Which should I choose? Or would you choose us, and if you answered us, will you act like it for once? You know what would be a good way to act like it? I have an example of how to not act like it. In February of 2017, one year ago, President Trump repealed an Obama-era regulation that would have made it easier to block the sale of firearms to people with certain mental illnesses.
    From the interactions that I had with the shooter before the shooting and from the information that I currently know about him, I don't really know if he was mentally ill. I wrote this before I heard what Delaney said. Delaney said he was diagnosed. I don't need a psychologist and I don't need to be a psychologist to know that repealing that regulation was a really dumb idea.
    Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was the sole sponsor on this bill that stops the FBI from performing background checks on people adjudicated to be mentally ill and now he's stating for the record, 'Well, it's a shame the FBI isn't doing background checks on these mentally ill people.' Well, duh. You took that opportunity away last year.
    The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and our parents to call BS.Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers these days, saying that all we are self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submission when our message doesn't reach the ears of the nation, we are prepared to call BS. Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don't know what we're talking about, that we're too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.
    If you agree, register to vote. Contact your local congresspeople. Give them a piece of your mind.
    (Crowd chants) Throw them out.

    Monday, February 19, 2018

    Daniela Vega To Be A 2018 Oscar Awards Presenter

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    The Oscars happen on March 4 in Hollywood, and the initial group of people tapped to be awards presenters has been announced.  For the first time, one of the twelve instage presenters for this year's 90th edition of the Academy Awards will be an out trans person.

    Rge person given the honor of repping the trans community on that Oscar stage will be Chilean actress Daniela Vega.

    The 28 year old Vega is the star of the Oscar nominated film A Fantastic Woman in which she plays Marina Vidal, the trans protagonist in this Sebastian Lelio movie.   She loses her life partner Orlando, ,and her trans status makes it difficult for her to mourn Orlando's death.

    Hmm, another movie I'll have to check out.

     

    A Fantastic Woman was nominated in the Best Foreign Language film category, and after getting award nominations and international acclaim for the role of Marina, there was buzz building that she could possibly be the person that finally made Academy Awards history and become the first out trans person ever nominated for an Oscar. 

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    While that Best Actress nomination unfortunately didn't happen for Vega this time, she did get the consolation prize of being the first out trans person ever to be named as an Oscar presenter.

    Congrats Daniela for making that history, and hopefully one day you'll be back on that Oscar stage to actually claim an Oscar of your own.

    T- 24 Hours Until Texas Early Voting Starts


    Texas yellow 2018-19 voter registration card -CHECK.   Texas drivers license -CHECK.   

    Texas primary election early voting starts tomorrow, and as you can tell I am oh so ready to do my part to select the best Democratic candidates available to take the Lone Star State and my country back from the Trumpers hellbent on ruining both. 

    Early voting will run from February 20 until March 2.   During this period you can vote at any early voting center location of your choice.   On March 6, the primary election day you must do so on that date at your regular precinct location.

    If you need information about where to vote, times the early voting polling places are open, check your county clerk's websites (this is the Harris County one as an example) or the VoteTexas.gov website. 

    So make it easy on yourself and handle your voting business during the early voting period at a time and place of your choosing.   And if you aren't sure who to vote for,  these are the folks that TransGriot has endorsed for the primary

    This is also the sample ballot for you to peruse.

    Many political groups from the Houston GLBT caucus to HBAD to the Tejano Democrats and unions have also put out their own endorsement lists, and the Houston Chronicle and other major newspapers across the state have done endorsement sement candidate interviews

    If you are unhappy about the current misguided direction this country and the state of Texas is headed in, here's where you start doing your civic duty to change that.   Consider this as a practice run before the main event on November 6

    And if you missed the registration deadline to participate in the primary, you still have time to get registered for the critical to our democracy midterm election this NOvember.

    So handle your electoral business.