The Queque hopes you’ve enjoyed the campaign trail mix we’ve been serving up lately, and want you to try these delicious nuts: Mayor Phil Hardbody and 18 other candidates on San Antonio’s May 12 ballot did not bother to seek an endorsement from the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, a chapter of the LGBT national organization begun in 1998. More than half of the ballot’s 35 candidates forgot to answer the SDSA questionnaire by the due date, and skipped out on the candidate forum (and chin-drizzle!) at Grady’s Bar-B-Que last Sunday.
Hardbody’s was a particularly painful affront, because A) he’s a Democrat (even though the City races are nonpartisan, the Queque has seen his CV, and knows he was Bexar County’s Democratic Party Chair from 1968-1970, a post currently occupied by the raven-haired Carla Vela), and B) he was a guest speaker at a SDSA meeting just two weeks earlier and had promised he would seek the group’s endorsement. That’s why they issued a bitch-slap “No Endorsement” in the mayor’s race (along with the council races for Districts 2, 3, and 9, all filled with candidates too sididdy to court the gay vote).
Considering the low voter turnout in 2005 (114,000 ballots cast in a city of 1.3 million) and that the city’s gay population is more than 46,000 (according to QSanAntonio and last year’s report by UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy), the Queque thinks these cold-shouldering candidates are being as reckless with their constituents as Stuntman Mike is with hot hitchhikers.
Or are they? Looks like District 1 candidate Mary Alice Cisneros lost the SDSA endorsement to former Current staffer kat swift because of her heartless answers on the questionnaire: Lady Cisneros said “no” the City shouldn’t help fund HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Two weeks ago the daily reported the SA region will lose millions in federal funds from the Ryan White Act program, exacerbating the half-million-dollar gut-punch HIV/AIDS programming took after the county coordinator fucked up a grant.
As of 2005, some 2,364 San Antonians had AIDS, 1,609 had HIV, and officials estimate another 1,000 don’t know they’re infected at all, the Express-News reports.
For a complete list of folks who won the SDSA’s favor, visit Stonewallsanantonio.org.
A week after the Current spoke on pulling funds from companies operating in Sudan (“Divested Interests,” February 28-March 6) and outed UTSA’s Sudan-connected project funding, we received an email from Danny Hosein, a graduate-cum-employee of Trinity University, proving that, as we’ve long suspected, once you’re done reading the Current, our filthy rag makes a fine fire accelator; Hosein said we’d helped kindle a Trinity campus divestment movement.
The problem, though, was that his crew didn’t know where to start. They weren’t even sure Trinity was investing in Sudan. So, the Queque passed along the road map: Trinity’s employee-retirement plan, which includes Fidelity Invest-ments mutual funds that are worth investigating.
This week, Hosein reported back that they’ve hit nothing but walls:
“One administrator told us that the super-secret Committee on Investments already discussed it and decided that there was nothing they could do because we allow money managers to place our money where they deem best. The Vice President in charge of Investments derided us for trying and rudely explained that Committee on Investment meetings were confidential. He said we had no way of knowing if Trinity had, had not, would, or would not divest, nor would we ever know, due to the confidential nature of these
Hosein said his gang’s now decided to be “slightly more direct with this on campus.” The Queque salutes you with the double-thumbed fist of resistance. And now to reward your valiancy with music.
In early March, we learned that Cdigix Inc., the company that provides music downloads to Trinity students, will be cancelling the service. So, due to the Digital Rights Management coding Cdigix solders to each track, come May all those Windows Media tunes you grabbed may be worthless (unless you downloaded Nickelback, which was worthless to begin with).
Now, we’ve *heard* of — and for liability reasons do not endorse — a free program called FairUse4WM (appropriately abbreviated FU4WM) that will strip the DRM. According to Wikipedia, Microsoft has filed a federal lawsuit against “Viodentia,” the hacker who programmed it, even though as yet they’ve got no clue who he/she/they are. Don’t they know that V is an idea, and you can’t kill an idea? Microsoft is also going after those who host FU4WM, so the following links may no longer exist once this hits the stands: Tinyurl.com/l37dr and Upatnieks.com. Install at your own peril. Pay programs are also available at Noteburner.com ($29.95) and Soundtaxi.info ($14.90).
Despite the fist-shaking of human-rights organizations and the media, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is still holding hundreds of families of asylum-seeking immigrants, including children, inside a Corrections Corporation of America maximum-security prison outside of Austin. Of course, it’s not officially a prison anymore, though they haven’t so much converted it as renamed it a “residential center.” (To us that’s kinda like when Ol’ Dirty Bastard changed his name to Big Baby Jesus; a nicer title only makes it twice as sick.)
The Current covered the situation in February, when journalists and human-rights groups were first allowed access (“Families Behind Bars,” and “Hutto Report,” February 14-20). Here’s what’s happened since:
• The Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service released a chilling 72-page report on the family detention program, specifically condemning Hutto, including the observation, “People in detention displayed widespread and obvious psychological trauma. Every woman we spoke with in a private setting cried.”
• The Houston Chronicle’s editorial board (Express-News’ brother, which actually makes reasonable declarations) has called for the closure of Hutto, stating, “It is inhumane and shameful and is a draconian response to an immigration issue that could and should be handled in a responsible, nonpenal manner.”
• The American Civil Liberties Union and the University of Texas School of Law filed federal lawsuits against Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on behalf of 10 immigrant children from Lithuania, Canada, Haiti, Honduras, Somalia, and Guyana imprisoned at Hutto. The 9-year-old Canadian boy and his family were released on March 20.
That’s the past, and now for the future: Blister-footed activist Jay J. Johnson-Castro Sr., who made headlines in December for trekking 35 miles from Austin to Hutto’s front gates (puny compared to his 205-mile walk between Laredo and Brownsville to protest the security fence), is hoping a few other generous soles will join him on his next three-day march, tentatively scheduled for April 13-15, with a candlelight vigil on April 15. Contact the Triple-J at firstname.lastname@example.org or (830) 768-0768. Incidentally, Castro’s sneakers come exclusively from San Antonio’s SAS Shoemakers.
Patriots, District 5 residents, lung-users, we remain on the Lifshutz lookout for you as the standoff between the Big Tex developer and the EPA continues. `See “Big Tex moving day?” March 28-April 3.` It seems that owner James Lifshutz has asked for yet another extension before giving word on whether he’ll oversee grid-sampling to determine the extent of asbestos contamination on the 7.5-acre property he wants to turn into condos and shops along the San Antonio River. Keep your rocks and firecrackers at the ready, we may have to demonstrate outside someone’s embassy before anyone releases
conclusive information about how safe the soil is to stir up.