Friday, November 11, 2011

Leonard Matlovich

Leonard Matlovich

Technical Sergeant Leonard P. Matlovich (July 6, 1943 – June 22, 1988)[1] was a Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.[2]

Matlovich was the first gay service member to fight the ban on gays in the military, and perhaps the best-known gay man in America in the 1970s next to Harvey Milk. His fight to stay in the United States Air Force after coming out of the closet became a cause célèbre around which the gay community rallied. His case resulted in articles in newspapers and magazines throughout the country, numerous television interviews, and a television movie on NBC. His photograph appeared on the cover of the September 8, 1975, issue of Time magazine, making him a symbol for thousands of gay and lesbian servicemembers and gay people generally.[3][4][5][6] Matlovich was the first openly gay person to appear on the cover of a U.S. newsmagazine.[7] According to author Randy Shilts, "It marked the first time the young gay movement had made the cover of a major newsweekly. To a movement still struggling for legitimacy, the event was a major turning point." [8] In October 2006, Matlovich was honored by LGBT History Month as a leader in the history of the LGBT community.

Interview With Capt. Stephen Hill, Heckled Gay Soldier
Interview With Capt. Stephen Hill, Heckled Gay Soldier

‘When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.’

"Tell my father that his son didn't run or surrender. That I bore his name with pride as I tried to remember you are judged by what you do while passing through. As I rest 'neath fields of green let him lean on your shoulder. Tell him how I spent my youth so the truth could grow older. Tell my father when you can I was a man. Tell him we will meet again where the angels learn to fly. Tell him we will meet as men for with honor did I die. Tell him how I wore the Blue proud and true through the fire. Tell my father so he'll know I love him so. Tell him how I wore the blue proud and true like he taught me. Tell my father not to cry then say goodbye." - Murphy/Wildhorn

Friday, October 7, 2011

Church wants to protest at Steve Jobs funeral

Church wants to protest at Steve Jobs funeral

"I do not feel challenged by organized religion. In some cases it is helpful, and often is harmful."
Morris Kight, a Comanche County Texas Legend

Friday, May 27, 2011

Question for Steve Harris: Why this blog ?

Comanche County Native, Morris Kight, and I became phone friends in the days following 9.11.2001 When I returned from a Vacation in Colorado and New Mexico in September of 2001, I found Morris had called and left several messages. Morris had read the Texas Observer report "Pineapples vs. Chicken-Fried Steak: A Multi-purpose Activist in Brownwood" (see below) and wanted to speak with me. Until that day I had never heard of Morris Kight. The more I learn about Morris, the more I understand why he took the time to call that day. Morris was a fellow "Pineapple Activist" and wanted to extend a word or two of encouragement. It was then that I learned of his love and fond memories of The Carnegie Library in Brownwood and standing up against injustice in his hometown. It takes a discriminatory Village to raise/create a "Pineapple Activist" !

Pineapples vs. Chicken-Fried Steak: A Multi-purpose Activist in Brownwood

Steves' Market and Deli doesn't quite seem to fit with the rest of Brownwood, a sleepy little country town located in almost the exact center of Texas. The downtown restaurant occupies a turn-of-the-century building, its roof lined with colored glass bottles, its windows plastered with random bumper stickers. Inside, sayings from famous leaders and movie stars are pinned up next to photos of old Brownwood, while Mexican folk-art figurines of nuns stand next to paintings rendered on the sides of old suitcases. The menu is as unexpected as the decor, offering veggie clubs and aqua della madonna (Italian …

A young Steve Harris "in the Kitchen" !

Sixteen year old Morris Kight was very brave in a land of many racist cowards

Did Comanche's Morris Kight, at sixteen years old, bravely serve the parents of United States Attorney General Eric Holder ? Morris knew an injustice like discrimination when he saw it. Morris Kight did not care about being an outcast in his community because of his first act of civil disobedience.

"Holder says his sense of what is right comes from his parents, immigrants from Barbados. His father has faced discrimination in the past.

"While he was in the service, in the South and in Oklahoma, he was refused service at a couple of places where he was in uniform, and was told that African Americans, blacks, Negros, were not served. And in spite of that, I've never known a man who loved this country more than my father did," he said.

Holder raised a lot of eyebrows with his own comments on race last year, when he said: "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and we, I believe, continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards."

Salud Morris Kight

A Candid Conversation with Gay Legend Morris Kight

Interview by Andre Ting,

On December l3, l999, I visited Mr. Morris Kight in his residence in Hollywood Hills. We had a wonderful time talking about our past and recent events. After much reminiscence, I conducted an interview with him, which is of interest to CRA members:

Q Andre Ting: I know that you have being a human rights advocate for a long, long time. Did you first start your activism in Texas?

A Morris Kight: Yes, I did. As a child, I was different from anybody else. I was literate, and I spoke clearly, brilliantly, and thoughtfully. I read poetry and I wrote poetry. I started developing a philosophy of social positions. In l936 my mother and I were partners in a roadside food stand. An African American family came by and said, " We've driven all across this country and nobody would serve us. We're very hungry. Would you serve us?" I said to them, " Sit down, sit down." I knew the mixing of the races was a violation of the law. But I served them anyway. A couple came and saw us and told the sheriff. I was detained. [But] I was proud of my first act of civil disobedience...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All Anti Gay Hate/Discrimination is local !

KCUR: Growing up in the Phelps Family (2011-03-21)

Estranged son of anti-gay Westboro pastor says father does 'evil'

Nate Phelps Speaks About His Atheism

How to use the Bible to get away with murder

Soulforce is committed to freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious and political oppression through relentless nonviolent resistance. As we enter our second decade of work, we invite you to join our movement.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guatemalans sue over 1940s U.S. syphilis experiments

US apology over Guatemala syphilis experiments by itnnews

(AP) Guatemalans sue over 1940s U.S. syphilis experiments | 1940s, experiments, guatemalans - Odessa American Online

Guatemalans sue US for deliberately spreading illness in 1940s experiment

A lawsuit was filed Monday in a US district court on behalf of 700 Guatemalan soldiers, mental health patients, and orphans secretly experimented on from 1946 to 1948.

"The complaint compares the victims to those of the 1930s Tuskegee syphilis experiments in Alabama, where hundreds of poor African Americans were observed for decades without being told they had the disease. The same Public Health Service doctors from the Tuskegee case had even initially supervised the Guatemalan experiments, according to Piper Hendricks of Conrad & Scherer."

‘First do no harm’: Past medical testing on humans revealed

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Kochs and the Guv Stir up a Hornets' Nest | Common Dreams

The Kochs and the Guv Stir up a Hornets' Nest | Common Dreams

New McCarthyism: Right-Wingers in Congress Targeting America's Muslim Community

New McCarthyism: Right-Wingers in Congress Targeting America's Muslim Community | News & Politics | AlterNet

Lee Baca testimony at Peter King's Muslim hearings

Morris Kight Honorary Member Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission

Muslim Cops Put Faith, Lives on the Line
Muslim Cops Put Faith, Lives on the Line

Smearing a faith for political attention

The Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee held an odious hearing on Muslim Americans. Where does Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., go next with his religious and cultural inquisition?

THE once righteous defender of the murderous Irish Republican Army went after Muslim Americans in a hearing Thursday. Demonizing religion might be all the congressional career Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., imagines he needs.

King has no point to make, other than faux scrutiny of a religious minority as a security risk. His repugnant mission is to inflame cultural bias for political gain, and perhaps get some extended airtime on Fox News.

Of course if King is serious about protecting Americans from radicalized religion he might have to extend his hearing schedule. Does the congressman intend to next go after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia? A bishop is in trouble for apparently ignoring a grand jury report about as many as 50 priests sexually assaulting children.

Maybe King will take his show on the road to Spokane. Did radical fundamental Christianity play any role in the philosophy of a suspected white-supremacist plot to blow up people attending a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade?

The congressman is a fraud. He lauds the IRA — perfecter of the car bomb as a weapon of mass destruction — but he would not invite Attorney General Eric Holder to testify. King knew the AG could challenge every phony point the committee strained to make.

Smearing minorities is as old as politicking. Blatant attacks on religion go hand in hand.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Mad Hatters of the tea party are having their moment

"What "mean and parsimonious" gets you is crumbling parks, potholed roads, transit systems in crisis, libraries closed half the time, class sizes ballooning to unmanageable proportions and poverty growing like a cancer all the while. I understand the need for "honest and economical" as well, but conditions have reached the point where it's time to address the revenue side of the equation."

Smashing 'Demon Government'
Walker's small-government zeal resembles that of the prohibitionists

Many Walker supporters in/around Kight's Birthplace (Comanche County Texas).

Budget shortfall: Abilene, area libraries face the prospect of program cuts

Friday, March 4, 2011

Comanche Depot, one of Texas' Most Endangered Places

One of Morris Kight's "Doors to the World", The Comanche Texas Train Depot, is in desperate need of restoring !

"Comanche is a rural community and lacks the revenue to restore and repair the neglected building."

It is much too late to save Brownwood's Carnegie Library which was demolished in 1965. Morris had fond memories of Brownwood's Carnegie Library. Did Morris ride the train to Brownwood to study at the Carnegie Library ?

Railroad Passenger Service
In Brown County

Passenger service to Brownwood came with the first train into Brownwood on December 31, 1885 by the Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe Railway. The first passenger was Dr. James Johnson. There was daily service between Brownwood and Lampasas. The Fort Worth & Rio Grande completed its tracks from Fort Worth to Brownwood on July 1, 1891.

Later, as the rail lines were extended, passenger service went to and from the towns of Coleman, Ballinger, Brady, Menard, May, San Angelo, Temple and Fort Worth. At one time Brownwood was served by fifteen passenger trains a day.

Trains from Comanche to Brownwood here

See before pic here

Comanche Texas Depot
Work in progress

Save The Depot
Fundraiser Event – Depot Gala
April 30, 2011 – 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm – Brennan Vineyards – Comanche, Texas

Are you on board? If you would like to get involved, you can mail donations to:
PO BOX 453
Comanche, Texas 76442

Learn more here
"I do not feel challenged by organized religion. In some cases it is helpful, and often is harmful."
Morris Kight, a Comanche County Texas Legend

Monday, February 28, 2011

Class struggle — a Wisconsin tradition

Kohler History Display - Kohler, Wisconsin Photo by Steve Harris

Milwaukee, Wisconsin Photo by Steve Harris

Class struggle — a Wisconsin tradition

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pro Union Kight was Right !

Labor and civil rights activities

Kight was active in many political, civil rights, and labor rights groups. As early as the 1940s, he was involved in organizing the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union.[4] After moving to Los Angeles, he kept up his involvement in varied rights groups. This work led to the first protest groups he himself founded: the "Dow Action Committee" in 1967. The Committee protested the chemical company, including its production of Agent Orange and its use, during the Vietnam War.

OCAW scored a final victory as an independent union seven months after the merger when the federal government acknowledged for the first time that nuclear weapons production during the Cold War likely caused the illness and even deaths of thousands of atomic mining, refining, and production workers. The government agreed to seek legislation to compensate workers and their survivors for their medical care and lost wages. The admission of complicity and legislative relief had long been sought by OCAW.[11],_Chemical_and_Atomic_Workers_International_Union

Kight's Comanche County Texas is represented by Koch Supported Congressman Mike Conaway (R). Koch Country Conaway was also a NON supporter of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Kight would be an "outcast" in Comanche County today just like he was in 1936 when he served a black family at his roadside food stand ! Kight's West Texas Birthplace is Koch Country.

Koch Industries $23,500 $0 $23,500


Union is the measure

Friday, February 25, 2011

WWMD - What Would Morris Do

When it came to defending unions, Morris would not be silenced. He helped organize the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union and built labor alliances throughout his life.

What Happens in Wisconsin Will Affect Workers Across the Nation

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out-
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me –
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

Pastor Martin Niemoller

"Respectful Corporations, Governments, and Unions work best for the people."
Steve Harris (SM&D Brownwood, Texas)

Know your history ! May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions

The GOP’s War On The Middle Class
Wisconsin & The GOP’s War On The Middle Class « SpeakEasy


Majority in Poll Back Employees in Public Sector Unions

Respondents said they opposed efforts to weaken collective bargaining rights and were against reducing state deficits via cutbacks for public workers.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Viva Morris Kight

"We have a common enemy, which is right-wing corporations that want to bust unions and attack gay, lesbian, bi and trans rights. "  Comanche's Morris Kight

Comanche County Texas, Home to Award Winning Wines and Birthplace of the Legendary, Pro Union/Pro Equality, Morris Kight

Plant a Chinese Magnolia for Kight

Friday, January 28, 2011

Morris Kight's water control techniques

Looks like we may have to soon break out Morris Kight's local water control techniques ! Kight was ahead of his time in so many "Liberal, progressive and forward thinking"
ways .

Viva Comanche County Texas Native Morris Kight

Drought in Dixie