Ken Mehlman: A Kinder, Gentler Roy Cohn

This bitch.
This bitch.

Disgusting shitbird Ken Mehlman, the formerly-closeted gay Republican strategist, was profiled in the NYT today – and all I can say is “feh!” This despicable quisling was a key player in W.’s 2004 election (N.B.: Let’s not forget that W was appointed to his first term, not elected) and used  opposition to same-sex marriage not just as a key plank in the Republican platform, but to whip up the conservative base and appeal to their rank homophobia. Thanks in large part to this strategy chosen and embraced by this amoral opportunist, 21 states have amended their constitutions to forbid same-sex marriage, enshrining discrimination against gay men and lesbians as the law of the land in these states. (And let’s not forget the over 4,000 U.S. and coalition troops and 130,000 civilians killed in Iraq. Or the near-destruction of the U.S. economy. Nice work, Kenny!)

 “This is not just any Republican — this is one of the single greatest successful strategists for Republicans,” Mr. [Chad] Griffin [president of the Human Rights Campaign] said of Mr. Mehlman. “And now he’s on our side.”

Well, you know what, Chad? I don’t want him on our side. And we don’t need him on our side. Same-sex marriage is now supported by a majority of Americans. It’s coming – maybe sooner, maybe later, but it’s coming. And I’d be happy to wait a bit longer rather than to embrace someone like Mehlman, who took the dicks out of his mouth just long enough to make sure that gay men and lesbians were vilified and despised – while lining his own pockets in the process

The article seems to imply that there is an even divide regarding Mehlman’s reputation, now that he’s “apologized” and is working as an advocate for same-sex marriage. But please read the comments – it’s pretty clear that most still see Ken Mehlman for what he is – a foul, immoral, selfish individual who is perfectly content to sacrifice principle for his own benefit. Truly a shonda to his people.

And New Yorkers? Please shun this terrible, terrible person. And gays? Don’t fuck him. Don’t have brunch with him.  Throw him major shade. Tell him to sashay away. He does not deserve to be a part of our community.

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Not Cool, FedEx Driver, Not Cool…

I was riding my bike home after work on Friday, June 13, using the marked bicycle lane on Howard St. here in SF. And, for the third day in a row, came across a FedEx delivery truck parked in front of 500 Howard thusly:

The white line on the left is the bike lane marker.
The white line on the left is the bike lane marker.
And here one can see that the driver had plenty of room to keep from blocking the bike lane.
And here one can see that the driver had plenty of room to keep from blocking the bike lane.

Now, as a regular recipient of packages from FedEx and UPS, I am not unsympathetic to drivers and their need to park their vehicles and keep to their schedule. But given that this fellow had plenty of room both in front of and behind his truck to park in this marked loading zone, his decision to completely block the bike lane is either rank incompetence or a big “fuck you” to cyclists. Frankly, the motivation doesn’t matter. He has created a situation that is dangerous for every cyclist using this heavily-traveled route – and right at the beginning of rush hour.

Howard St. is a one-way, four-lane artery to both the Bay Bridge and the 101 freeway – plus this location at 500 Howard is immediately after a traffic signal – meaning that this FedEx driver’s blocking of the bike lane virtually guarantees interaction between bikes and cars as the bikes are forced to merge into the traffic lane to go around the FedEx truck.

Unfortunately, the driver of the truck was not near his truck on Friday – but I can assure you the next time I come across this (and yes, I’m sure there’ll be a next time – like I said, this was the third day in a row that he’d parked like this) and he’s around, I’ll address it with him directly. But I certainly hope that someone at FedEx sees this post and takes some steps to ensure their drivers don’t engage in such blatant disregard for bicyclists and the CA vehicle code (section 21211, if you’re interested).

Maui Wowie

Well, just a few last photos to share. Hoping to make a visit to Maui an annual event – I just love it there so much.

For a perfect day there, do what I do: wake up early, have some breakfast, pack a cooler with some lunch and plenty of water (and, if you are feeling extra elegant and classy like me, an empty water bottle refilled with wine…), head to Little Beach with a chair and an umbrella, sit, swim, eat, read, head home, shower, go to dinner at Monkeypod Kitchen, head back home, have some wine, watch some Netflix or a Law & Order marathon, sleep. Repeat as necessary.

So many waterfalls!

Well, it already feels like it was so long ago, but I spent a delightful week in Maui just before Memorial Day. Having been to the island several times previously, my plan was a simple one: sit on the beach and swim in the ocean every day. And that was exactly what I did – with one notable exception.

Midway through my visit, I went on a tour to Hana with No Ka Oi Adventures. On one of my prior trips to Maui, I’d driven about halfway down the road to Hana, but never all the way, so this was a golden opportunity to see parts of Maui I’d never seen before. Wade, guide extraordinaire, had already assured me via email that he regularly included single travelers in his small tours and that I need not worry about being the fifth wheel. Given Wade’s perfect score on TripAdvisor (literally every review is a perfect score), I was pretty confident that I’d enjoy my trip.

WELL! It was even better than I expected. Wade picked me up at 6:20AM, then collected the two other fellows, Mike and Ken, on that day’s trip (you can imagine the sigh of relief from me when they advised they were from NYC – we’ll all get along just fine…) from their hotel. And the rest of the day was spent hiking, swimming, seeing countless waterfalls (seriously – I lost count), eating, snorkeling. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, though some of the highlights included:

  • Our first stop to hike through a bamboo forest, at the end of which Wade told the three of us, “Good – you passed the test.” Phew!
  • Jumping off a rock into the chilly water at our first waterfall stop.
  • Later, hiking a short way up to a waterfall and having Wade tell us we were passing that one for a better one. When we got to the second one and “oohed” and “ahhhed,” Wade told us that this wasn’t the one either! We were going a bit further to a waterfall he’d stumbled across while exploring. It was amazing and remote and we were the only ones there.
  • Stopping at Coconut Glen’s for the best coconut ice cream I’ve ever eaten (this is not hyperbole – it was amazing and delicious). And – get this – it’s vegan. I KNOW! And it was still the best coconut ice cream ever!
  • The red sand beach in Hana is beautiful. Weather not super-cooperative – it was gray and we got a bit of rain – but we still snorkeled and swam.

Anyway, it was a great day. Wade took us to places few others get to see, which makes for a wonderful trip. He is also very well-versed in the history and lore of Hawaii, the flora and fauna, and the current environmental issues affecting Maui.

But it wasn’t actually until the next day that I realized what made this trip so special – Wade was having just as much fun as his clients. Every time we stopped for a swim or took in another beautiful view of the rain forest or the ocean, Wade was grinning ear-to-ear just like we were. This is clearly more than just a job for him and it shows.

So, enjoy these photos – and keep in mind they don’t nearly capture everything I saw and experienced that day. And if you go to Maui, be sure to make time for an adventure tour with No Ka Oi and Wade.

Oh, and here’s a bit of live action…