Gay Fresno - Opinion


The Word by Sheila

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Monday, 16 September 2013 11:14
  • Written by Sheila Suess Kennedy

More and more, I find myself mulling over the question posed by Rodney King in the wake of his horrific beating at the hands of the L.A.P.D. and the ensuing riots: "Can't we all get along?"

Evidently, we can't.

As I write this, a jury in Florida has just acquitted George Zimmerman of Second- Degree Murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin. As a recovering lawyer, I am not prepared to argue with the jury's verdict. For one thing, I didn't watch the trial. And for another, there are elements of a crime that must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in order to justify a conviction. From the bits and pieces I did see, it appeared that the prosecution was struggling to prove Zimmerman had the requisite criminal intent.
But while it may be possible to absolve Zimmerman of legal liability for Martins death, his moral culpability — and what it tells us about human behavior in the presence of difference — is quite clear.

From all accounts, Zimmerman was one of those pathetic wanna-be macho types that gay and lesbian folks — and especially gay men — encounter all too frequently. He'd wanted to be a police officer and had been rejected on more than one occasion — rejections for which we should all feel grateful. He compensated by buying a gun (Feelings of inadequacy are an all-too-common reason for owning a firearm.) and by participating in his neighborhood watch where he could exercise an authority he did not otherwise possess.
In the television interviews that followed the shooting but preceded his trial, his self-righteousness and embarrassing swagger were on display. This was not an individual who was self-reflective. He displayed no remorse about taking the life of an unarmed teenager whom he had voluntarily stalked, despite being told by the police dispatcher to "go home and let us handle it."
Read more: The Word by Sheila

Advice: Pink in the sheets

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Sunday, 15 September 2013 15:11
  • Written by Mz. Pink

Dear Mz. Pink,

I recently moved in with my girlfriend, and it was a great decision but she has memorabilia from her past girlfriends all over the place. She has pictures, movie tickets, decorations, stuffed animals and anything you can think of in her house.

I told her that I feel uncomfortable with the stuff, but she laughs and says I am overreacting. She says that not all of the stuff was hers and theirs. She said she would put the pictures up, but that I needed to not be so sensitive. She said I needed to trust her.

Am I being insecure? Should I not care so much about stuff? How do I deal with the stuff and with her?

Sign me Stuffed

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Advice: Outside The Box

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Wednesday, 11 September 2013 17:57
  • Written by Dr. Frank Schloemer, Ed.D., LCSW

Dear Dr. Fred: My partner of seven years recently broke up with me and moved out, because ... get this ...he “doesn’t think he’s gay anymore!’’ He was married to a woman when we first met, but he had been having sex with men on the down low for some time. All I can say about him “not being gay anymore’’ is that he sure put up a good act in the bedroom over the years we’ve been together, (although I have to admit, we haven't had much sex at all for a long while).

While I was pretty torn up at first about the break-up and the reason he gave for it, I’ve been working my way through all o f that with my therapist and am pretty proud of the progress I’ve made there so far. So that’s not my biggest problem.

My biggest problem is that my ex and I co-own and operate a business togethera very busy and profitable salon and spa. There’s no way either one of us can walk away from it, as we still owe a substantial balance on a loan we took out to get it started. So now. I’m trapped in a situation where I have to go in to work every day and spend the whole day working beside a man who just dumped me!

Worse yet, he seems to want us to be “just friends" now, spending all day chatting it up with me, making stupid little jokes and acting like nothing ever happened between us, assuming I can do the same thing. But I can’t, and in fact, sometimes I just want to choke him, but I have to act civil for the sake of our patrons.

So my question for you is, how do I cope with working with this man who (I now realize) is completely superficial and about as deep as a mud puddle?

Should I continue as is, and wait for the day when our loan is paid off and we can afford to sell the business or I can afford to buy him out? Also, what are the health/ mental health consequences likely to be for me of having to work under these stressful conditions? I already have an ulcer. Is this likely to make that worse?

Sign me,



Read more: Advice: Outside The Box

Finances in Focus

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Saturday, 14 September 2013 13:42
  • Written by Michael Wright

One of the things I hear a lot writing is that the "average reader" is a guy in his late 20s, meaning I often get reminded that I need some columns and suggestions for the beginners reading my words. Guys and gals who are just a year or two out of college, now have good jobs and want to know what they should be doing for their futures. That's why this month I'll look at some of the "basics" and see if I can offer some tips.

First, I understand that if you're starting out as an investor, you might be feeling overwhelmed. After all, it seems like there's just so much to know. How can you get enough of a handle on basic investment concepts so that you're comfortable in making well-informed choices?

Actually, you can get a good grip on the investment process by becoming familiar with a few basic concepts, such as these:
Stocks versus Bonds — When you buy stocks, or stock-based investments, you are buying ownership shares in companies. Generally speaking, its a good idea to buy shares of quality companies and to hold these shares for the long term. This strategy may help you eventually overcome short-term price declines, which may affect all stocks. Keep in mind, though, that when buying stocks, there are no guarantees you won't lose some or all of your investment.

By contrast, when you purchase bonds, you aren't becoming an "owner" — rather, you are lending money to a company or a governmental unit. Barring default, you can ex¬pect to receive regular interest payments for as long as you own your bond, and when it matures, you can expect to get your principal back. However, bond prices do rise and fall, typically moving in the opposite direction from interest rates. So if you want to sell a bond before it matures, and interest rates have recently risen, you may have to offer your bond at a price lower than its face value.

For the most part, stocks are purchased for their growth potential (although many stocks do offer income in the form of dividends) while bonds are bought for the in¬come stream provided by interest payments. Ideally, though, it is important to build a diversified portfolio containing stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), govern¬ment securities and other investments designed to meet your goals and risk tolerances. Diversification is a strategy designed to help reduce the effects of market volatility on your portfolio. Keep in mind, however, that diversification, by itself, can't guarantee a profit or protect against loss.

Risk versus Reward — All investments carry some type of risk: Stocks and bonds can decline in value, while investments such as CDs can lose purchasing power over time. One important thing to keep in mind is that, generally, the greater the potential reward, the higher the risk.

Setting goals — As an investor, you need to set goals for your investment portfolio, such as providing resources for retirement or helping pay for more college education or that home you hope to use every Winter in Palm Springs.

Knowing your own investment personality — Everyone has different investment personalities — some people can accept more risk in the hopes of greater rewards, while others are not comfortable with risk at all. It's essential that you know your investment personality when you begin investing, and throughout your years as an investor.

Investing is a long-term process — It generally takes decades of patience, persever¬ance and good decisions for investors to accumulate the substantial financial re¬sources they'll need for their long-term goals. Do not be in a hurry, but do be prepared to change your strategy and move your money around to get the best results as time passes. What's a great stock or bond now might not be in five or 10 years time.

By keeping these concepts in mind as you begin your journey through the investment world, you'll be better prepared for the twists and turns you'll encounter along the way as you pursue your financial goals. As always, I, and other financial advisors, planners and accountants are around to offer help and suggestions, so do not be afraid to ask!

On this same line of thought, a reader recently asked me what he should do if he wants to change his mind and reverse an earlier decision he made not to go to college. In other words, he now wants to plan on attending. If you are like him or you already attend school, you're keenly aware that it's getting close to back-to-school time. Today, that might mean you need to go shopping for laptops or iPads. But in the future, when "back to school" means "off to college," your expenditures are likely to be significantly greater. How can you be financially prepared for that day?

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Medical Matters - Hospitals... Meds... Oh My!

  • Category: Opinion
  • Published: Tuesday, 10 September 2013 16:47
  • Written by Ted Fleischaker

With all of the hospitals consolidating and competing for patients these days, as well as drug firms trying to sell this or that new remedy for a condition we might not even know we had or have, there are a lot of health-related ads out there asking for our attention. Some are in print, some on TV or radio and others on billboards. I think one thing they have done for sure is make each and every one I know a bit of a hypochondriac.

A shrink I used to see told me years ago all of this was merely making us all "a bit more health aware" and that might also be the case, but more and more of us seem to be running to the doctor, the ER or the doc in a box at the local drugstore or shopping center seeking answers to what ails us, even if we do not need to be there. That begs this month's question of when's an appropriate time to get help and what do we worry about and what do we not worry about.

Back in the day, before we had costly "miracle cures" for everything, remedies which have fallen out of favor usually did the trick.
Read more: Medical Matters - Hospitals... Meds... Oh My!