Coming Soon, One Less Place Marker

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If the rain holds off, a helicopter will arrive soon to remove the PNB letters.  I wonder how many photos of them have been taken over the years.  I know I’ve taken quite a few.

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Nairobi. And Our Coverage

I, like most of us, I’m sure, was horrified, disgusted and saddened, when i read/heard/saw the news about the massacre at the Nairobi shopping mall. Between terroristic acts around the world, the mass shootings here in the U.S., and the violence occurring every day on our streets, it often seems like the whole world has gone mad.

The language and tone of the news coverage of the Nairobi attacks — in addition to the content of the reports — left me cold.  Writers for any number of radio and television accounts found it necessary to make sure we knew it was an upscale mall. CNN (and I don’t know what others) included the wording in their written accounts ( http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/21/world/africa/kenya-mall-gunbattle/index.html). This just turned my stomach: would the attack be any less horrific if the mall wasn’t “upscale”? Would the 68 (and probably climbing) killed be any less less dead, or the others be any less injured? Would the victims’ families miss them any less?

I’m sure the original reports of the massacre was provided to news outlets by the AP our some other large news provider, but CNN, NPR, and all of the others have editors…and yet the wording stood. I guess a massacre in an African city is only worth coverage if  wealthier citizens and foreigners (i.e., Americans and Europeans) were killed?  The killings were horrific, sad and frightening; the coverage made me shake my head.

I suppose, though, it helps explain — in a more obvious way — why we hear less about the killing of African-American children in our cities.

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Pennsylvania Governor: gay couples marrying, ‘like 12-year-olds’

One of the local reporters here in Philly this morning noted that Pennsylvania is an island when it comes to Hsu marriage. We’re surrounded by a number of states that marry gay couples, and even  the Pennsylvania governor’s traditional ally in conservatism, New Jersey, recognizes domestic partnerships. Yes, Pennsylvania, we’re an island…and thanks to our guv.

As Montgomery County continues to give out marriage licenses to gay couples, the governor has been trying stop it.  And, since Pennsylvania’s AG will not try to stop the licences, based on the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, the health department is filling suit for the governor. Huh?

I suppose, when you have a department getting getting involved in a legal case that has no business in it, you get arguments like this:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/29/pennsylvania-gay-marriage-licences

Not only is it insulting, it makes the government here look less than bright…the same government that works diligently  to roll back health care for women and the poor.  Maybe if the governor. keeps the health department tied up with the gay marriage debate, it’s easier to explain those things away?

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Ask.fm and Social Media in General — Another Heads-Up for Adults

I know that the issue of kids being bullied while using Last.fm — six teens have committed suicide, [reportedly] after being bullied on the site — is not new news., but it’s relatively new to me. I’m no Luddite, but frankly, and, I think as many technologically savvy adults of a certain age believe, there are just so many new social-media sites launching these days that it’s tough to keep up. And, after you find a few that work for you, who needs to know about every new site that gets launched (remember, I’m talking about “average” adults, not kids, not the tech community)?

But…and here’s where I come back to one of my regular themes, while we need not be responsible for knowing all about every site out there, we — and here I’ll include kids, the technorati and the Luddites too — need to be responsible for each other: responsible for letting kids know that we give a damn (kids, let each other know too!), for keeping in the know about what kids are doing (parents, grandparents, teachers, everyone who has that kind of relationship!), be aware of when kids are out of sorts/upset, etc. Treat everyone else the way you’d want to be treated — be kind, respectful, aware (self-aware too), and compassionate! It’s not new, it’s not magic, but it is tried and true. We all matter, dammit, and we all can make a difference.

And, with that in mind, here’s a powerful and touching message from one teen/young adult who’s been bullied to others:

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Buy My Book…Please

Yes, please, buy her book. Read it and learn. Read it and teach. Pass it along to friends and family. Donate it to organizations that work with kids…

Raising My Rainbow

This is the awkward post that I knew I’d have to publish one day.  The day is here.

My book, Raising My Rainbow, goes on sale in exactly two weeks.   So, here I am officially asking you to please buy my book.  Not just buy it, but preorder it.

Why?  Because preorders increase the chance that the book will make it onto local and national bestseller lists, which will help immensely in (hopefully) inspiring a conversation that raises awareness of, understanding about and acceptance for gender creative kids.

I am the kind of person who hates asking for help.  If I can find a way to do something myself and not bother anybody else, I always will.  I can’t do this by myself.

I never thought that I’d be an author or advocate, but here I am – thanks to you all – and I fully intend to use…

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Yo, Mr. Corbett, Mr. Nutter: Stop Messing with Our City’s Future

Whle this may not be the “final answer” for Philly’s schools, it’s gotta be the first answer. You can’t improve them, and do better by Philly’s kids, if schools don’t open! Enough of the politics and going after the unions — this is not the time, and our kids are not the people.

(By the way, does anyone out there really know why the SRC gets to keep the ‘R’ in its name?)

Streets Dept

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(Image via Fight for Philly)

Fund our schools… Fund Our Schools… FUND OUR SCHOOLS!

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