Right Wing Media Slams Rural Pride in Iowa, Visalia’s summit ignored


Well, this is insulting. “Lesbian and transgender hillbillies”.  Rush Limbaugh has launched the right-wing media circus into a full foaming-at-the-mouth freak-out over the 15th Rural Pride Summit, held last Thursday, August 18, 2016, at Drake University Law School in Iowa.

Really, Rush? You’re freaking out about this NOW?  We held the first west-coast Rural Pride Summit here in Visalia, the heart of the nation’s number one agricultural producing county, last month, but it took Iowa to make you notice? Harrumph!

I think it goes to show you how far the mighty “El Rushbo” (as he calls himself) has fallen. After all, it took until the 15th summit for him to notice, and it was apparently the Drake University Law School’s press release that caught his eye (or some staffer’s eye, assuming he still has staffers. He’s been losing advertisers at almost the same rate that Republicans have been abandoning The Donald lately. Staff salaries have to be taking a hit.).

Tulare County – crickets. Drake University Law School – OMG! They’re trying to infiltrate rural America with lesbian and transgender hillbillies!!!!!!!!!!!

I suppose California doesn’t evoke rural America like Iowa does.  It’s only natural, after all. Say “California” and people from anywhere other than the Central Valley will think ‘Hollywood’ or ‘San Francisco’.  The idea that the single largest dollar producer of agricultural products is a California county (yes, us. Tulare County) doesn’t resonate with much of the country. Probably especially so with the narratives of the Farm Bureaus of the mid-west.

And to think, as I opened my article in the July 16-17 edition of the Visalia Times Delta’s Inspire edition, “Lesbian farmer. Gay dairyman. Bisexual equipment dealer. Transgender farm worker.” are people who really do exist. That seems to have come as a surprise to Limbaugh and his crowd, and you know how the right hates to be surprised with the truth. It really disrupts their thought processes, and throws their entire world-view into chaos.

While El Rushbo opened his segment with the freak-out about Rural Pride, he continued later in the same broadcast attacking homeless transgender individuals, ranting about attempts to end discriminatory practices at shelters.  It doesn’t matter to the wingnuts (Limbaugh’s primary but shrinking audience) that people are being attacked and killed for being transgender, it’s more important to them and him that churches and shelters be able to discriminate. “So here comes the Regime, once again, with a full-fledged assault on religion.” Yeah, which religion is it again that has as one of it’s tenets to turn away the homeless and the poor?  And directing how Federal aid dollars are spent, and Federal law is enforced, is an “assault” on religion. Another harrumph here.

One sign you’re winning the culture war is when the losing side starts using terms like “third-rate Iowa law school“.  The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo attempts to channel the late Senator William Proxmire and his Golden Fleece Award, focusing on alleged waste of government funds, headlining her post “This Might Be The Dumbest Thing Feds Have EVER Spent Your Tax Dollars On“!  Twitter users couldn’t help but join in, as well. Search the hashtag RuralPride for some stellar observations.

I feel a bit like someone holding a raffle ticket, where I missed being the grand prize winner by one number.

Image: DonkeyHotey/Flicker H/T NCRM 

GOP suffering extreme buyers remorse


California law provides an option for the purchaser of a used car to return it to the dealer within two days if they’re not satisfied. The Republican Party wishes they had such an option right now. They’ve discovered their shiny Trump-mobile has a lot more mileage on it than they thought, and it sounds like it’s about to throw a rod.

The GOP defections are amazing to watch, as more Republicans jump ship.  When you’ve lost Laura Bush, you (should) know it’s over.  Now all the RNC and the leadership can try to do is limit the down-ticket damage, but, brave faces on the talk show circuit aside, it’s beginning to look like the GOP will experience a near-death moment in November. Only time will tell if the party can be resuscitated, or if Donald Trump will be the last GOP nominee for any office, let alone the Presidency.

I’m beginning to wonder if my crystal ball led me astray.  It had shown Trump being sworn in (then immediately quitting), but now, as the smoke inside that slightly cracked orb has cleared, it looks like about 95% of the country is going to shout “YOU’RE FIRED!” at The Donald on November 8, 2016.

The GOP may be experiencing buyer’s remorse, but the country as a whole isn’t buying that lemon.

Get ready for President Hillary.

Image: Donald Trump on his chances to win the Presidency. 

First Friday Art Crawl stop to feature local Native American/Southwestern works


For centuries, before the imposition of Christianity on First Nation communities of the Americas, many tribes had members who are now referred to as “Two Spirits“. These individuals were often important members of society, responsible for, among other things, passing down the oral traditions and songs of the tribe. Today, we would identify many of those individuals as LGBT.  The August display of art at theSOURCE LGBT+ Center highlights the work of local native American artists, featuring handmade traditional beadwork, southwestern themed art, and related artifacts.

The beadwork shown above is by Reyes Anaya of Visalia. He is a founding board member of theSOURCE LGBT+ Center, and his handcrafted work will be on display as part of First Friday, the Arts Consortium’s monthly event in Visalia.

The First Friday Art Crawl will be August 5th, 5 to 8 pm in downtown Visalia. Beginning at the Arts Consortium at 400 N. Church, the tour includes the 210 Cafe,  210 W. Center; theSOURCE LGBT+ Center at 208 W. Main St, Suite B, downstairs; the Brandon-Mitchell Gallery, 117 S. Locust; the Odd Fellows Building, 118 S. Court;  Velouria Records, 109 E. Main; Clay Cafe, 1018 E. Mineral King; the Garden Street Studio, 303 N. Garden, and the Arts Visalia Visual Art Center, 214 E. Oak.

theSOURCE LGBT+ Center invites you to stop in and visit us as we honor the rich culture and history of First Nations and southwestern themed art, especially by those of Two Spirits.  If you can’t make the First Friday event, we’ll have the artwork on display for the entire month of August.  Visitors are welcome to drop in and view the art during our regular operating hours. Staff will be on duty to provide any information regarding LGBT+ services you may need.

theSOURCE LGBT+ Center is open Tuesday through Friday, 3pm to 6pm. Saturdays 12pm to 3pm. Other hours and events by appointment.

208 W. Main St, Suite B. (downstairs in the Montgomery Square building)

Visit our Facebook page at theSOURCE LGBT+ Center.

Our webpage is at theSOURCE LGBT+ Center.

Phone 559-429-4277