Monday, December 31, 2007

Pointing the way from 2007

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Toss up Thursday and counting...

It's only 4 days to 2008 and we are wrapping up the year with both barrels blazing! It's been a tremendous year filled with change and challenges, all the while churning out what I believe to be our best year of content and graphics. As I reviewed the year's past offerings, I'm just proud as punch about our coverage, perspectives and bold move as Arkansas'only GLBTQ "daily updating" online blog. It's been a labor of love that has taken myself in many directions as I've attempted to keep this forum both interesting and interactive. This year we've added polls, more video, guest columninst, striking photography and gutsy observations about what's really going on in the community and beyond. My committment to excelerating CorneliusOnpoint into new platforms, allowed us to become the first statewide GLBTQ blog in podcasting courtsey of our online partner, EVOCA. Wow!, Wee!, Gee!, what a year 2007 has been for me personally and creatively. I want to thank you all who have subscribed, shared, dared me, acknowledge our efforts and sometimes avoided me as I've tried to keep it real. It's been a good run thus far, and I want you to get prepared for what's coming next. In closing, "ain't no stopping us now..!"


Polls-R-Us: A poll here, a poll there, a poll everywhere...Those damn polls that keep asking us stuff. Yes, this forum was on the poll bandwagon this year and if you participated wonderful. If not, well we needed your imput. In our last outing, I wanted to discern what the readers wanted from this forum and if we were providing it. Bless those few souls who took the time to speak there two cents by telling me that our coverage is basically, "thank you,very much," doing a bull's eye for those who subcribe or click in. I was pleasantly surprised, but appreciated knowing that the many hours it takes to produce this weblog is resonating across the board. As usual, I implore you dear readers to share your thoughts with our next poll, or suggest a poll question to us.







Admiring Who?: According the latest USA Today/ Gallup poll of the most admired folks in the land, believe it or not, Hillary Clinton comes out on top along side President Bush. For the record, I was not among the those polled and I would really like to know how this random method is done. Neverthless, the list is populated by talk queen, Ms. O. Winfrey, Billy Graham, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Queen Elizabeth, Mike Huckabee, Angelia Jolie and a host of other notables. Who did you admire for 2007? Share it with us and we will post some of the findings in 08.



Calling Out the Dirty Laundry: I wanted to share this Editoral from our online partner, KuttingEdge composed by Doug S. Cooper. I found it quite interesting and thought provoking about another religious faction that is causing a stir in the land. I'm not sure if this movie is slated to show in the area, but we will be highlighting the variety of issues at the intersection of religion and gayness.

Over the last couple of decades Dr. Bobby Jones’ name has become synonymous with black gospel music and its terrible reputation as an incubator of homosexuality.” ~ Gay Christian Movement Watch


Well there you have it. Dr. Bobby Jones is being called on the carpet by some Christians for his appearance in the movie, ‘Dirty Laundry’. The group, Gay Christian Movement Watch, is calling on Christians to boycott Bobby Jones (pictured) for appearing in a movie that affirms a gay lifestyle (even though the movie is really about a black family learning to love each other in spite of their many differences). But not only is Bobby Jones on notice, black gospel music as a whole is being called down front.
Now I don’t know too much about Bobby Jones. But from what I’ve gathered from friends and from reading about him, he does seem to take an affirming stand when it comes to embracing gays and lesbians, and this bothers some. However, Dr. Bobby Jones is not the only black minister who has taken such a stand. Michael Eric Dyson, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Joe Lowery, Desmond Tutu, Peter Gomes, Carlton Pearson, Calvin Butts, and the list goes on, are all black ministers who hold a view of God that is affirming of homosexuals. There is even an annual conference addressing homophobia in the black church that has been attended by some of these ministers. It’s called The Black Church Summit.
But what perplexes me about this whole mess is:

1). Why is the Gay Christian Movement Watch so disturbed by gays and lesbians being viewed in a positive light? As a gay man, living my life really should have no residual effect on them unless they allow the mess that they-- or others before them-- conjured in their own heads to vex them; and 2). Why would people who profess the love of their religious founder, Jesus the Christ, have problems with people like Bobby Jones, who seeks to live the love Jesus set forth?
If I recall, Love is supposed to be the ultimate task we’ve been given to endure on this earth. Therefore, it would seem odd to fight against those who teach love and understanding simply for the sake of disrupting and destroying the lives of those who pose no threat, but do not share your belief.In the end, all of this leads me to wonder whose sin is this really?




Coming up, Our final post for 2007 will feature a recap of snapshots of the last 12 months. Please stay in the loop with a subscription or make us a favorite. Stay locked in for 2008, it's going to be a doosey! Tell everybody you know!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Which way did they go Wednesday?...

It's over, Christmas 2007 has put us in fast forward motion through the rest of the holiday season, including Kwannza which starts to today. So gather up those present that don't fit, you dont' like, didin't want or ask for and for the exchange line. In the meantime we will give you a one of our last outings for the year before we morph into our best new self in 2008. Get ready, set, read!....

Election Watch 08: I can't stress enough to everyone about the importance of the upcoming election cycle and your participation in the process. Please make one of your New Year's resolutions to get invovled on some level, but ultimately register to vote. The last day to register to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary is Monday, January 7, 2008.
Go to your County Clerk’s Office no later than close of business on January 7 to ensure that you will be able to cast your vote in the primary on Tuesday, February 5, 2008.
To find the address and phone number for your County Clerk, go to http://www.arcounties.org/counties.

Being Invovled: If you need an idea to getting involved here's a starting place. Of course your can voluteer at the candidate of your choices HQ, yard signs, phone banking, or canvassing. So go forth and stake out your place in choosing the next President of the United States

Iowa Caucus Watch Party at the Clinton School

Join us for an Iowa Caucus Watch Party with call-in reports via speaker phone from national political pundits, journalists and representatives from the campaigns of leading candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties. Arkansas figures to be a major storyline in Iowa with former Governor Mike Huckabee and former First Lady, now New York Senator Hillary Clinton, leading the pack in each party. TVs will be tuned to the major news networks as caucus results come in, and Clinton School student James Mitchell will be on the ground in Iowa, giving live reports and providing election night commentary on the Clinton School Blog.

James’ Iowa commentary will run on the blog beginning December 27 through January 4.


When: Thursday, January 3, 2008
7:30 p.m. – watching party and interviews
*Light refreshments will be served.
Where: Clinton School of Public Service / Sturgis Hall
*Reserve your seats by emailing
publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or calling 501.683.5239.



National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2008

The mission of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is to build the capacity and increase awareness, participation and support for HIV prevention, care and treatment among African Americans. February 7, 2008 marks the eighth year of this annual event.
The primary goal of NBHAAD is to motivate African Americans to get tested and know their HIV status; get educated about the transmission modes of HIV/AIDS; get involved in their local community; and get treated if they are currently living with HIV or are newly diagnosed.
NBHAAD dates back to 1999, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) funded five national non-profit organizations known then as the Community Capacity Building Coalition (CCBC). On February 23, 2001, the CCBC organized the first annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The date was changed to February 7 the following year (2002) and is now recognized on February 7th of each year.Today, there are seven organizations that work in partnership with the CDC to ensure the success of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Alliances for Quality Education; Healthy Black Communities, Inc.; Jackson State University - Mississippi Urban Research Center; My Brother's Keeper, Inc.; National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors; National Black Alcoholism & Addictions Council; and National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.
It is hoped that NBHAAD will continue to build the capacity of community based organizations (CBOs) as well as community stake holders to increase awareness, prevent HIV and get those who need treatment into care. Back to Top
Currently, NBHAAD is directed, planned and organized by a group known as the Strategic Leadership Council who partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mobilize communities and address specific issues in regards to local epidemics and best practices that are science based and will influence the course of HIV in Black communities across the country.
Initially, the founding body held quarterly meetings to discuss activities, trainings, and/or events that each organization was doing around the country. The concept was to have a day to recognize the devastation of HIV/AIDS and to promote testing, education and involvement within African-American communities.



Friday, December 21, 2007

Free Fall Friday: Reloaded 4 U

It's a Free Fall friday and I don't need to add much to to these nuggets from the latest news cycles and message caravans. Let the chips fall where they may. Happy Holidays, my pretties!







Yeah I said it: On Meet The Press, Rudy Giuliani (pictured) was asked if he agreed with Mike Huckabee that homosexuality was an "aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle" Giuliani: "No, I don’t believe it’s sinful. My moral views on this come from the Catholic Church. I believe that homosexuality, heterosexuality, as a way of somebody leads their life isn’t sinful. It’s the acts—it’s the various acts that people perform that are sinful, not the orientation that they have.”


HOLY FIRE Crotches!: It seems that James Stabile,(pictured) has decided that his "puirty seige" by fire which allegedly cured him of his homosexuality has decided it was his lack of meds for his bipolar condition and a few drinks that caused him to loose his desire for men. Back in November, Stabile told Pat Robertson's outfit, The 700 Club of his experience with local evangelist slash "fire thrower," Joe Oden outside a Dallas nightclub, who said,"He just barely touched me, and he said, ‘Fire!’ And I remember staggering backward, and I thought I was, like, tripping on acid,...” “It was the weirdest thing ever. … I didn’t feel the desire to be with men like I had felt before.”But once this so-called miracle had been performed, Mr. Stabile was whisked away to Pure Life Ministries in Kentucky where he was to be further emancipated and reprogrammed after paying his $2100.00 entry fee plus another $150.00 weekly. However, "camp straight" didn't work out and Stabile is back over the rainbow at home with his parents, Rev. J. Stabile and wife Suzanne. The folks at The 700 Club have "no comment," and Pure Life Residential Center didn't return any of the "fees." I guess it was a case of mission impossible on Cedar Springs.

Deposit Slip, Please: Dr. Ron Paul ain't afraid to say it's allabout the benjamins , baby! His one day 6 Million dollar haul may also have included a nefarious $500.00 contribution from Don Black, leader of Stormfront, a white supremecist group. Sources have quoted a spokesman for Paul saying, "If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he's wasted his money. Ron is going to take the money and try to spread the message of freedom." I guess his campagin needs all the cash they can get to keep that Blimp floating in Iowa.


Deconstructing MSM: Just when I thought I had heard it all, I realize that there's just going to be more everything about living the life and all that comes with it. Enter this new approach using musing from noted zoologist, researcher and authority,
Desmond Morris, who became a bestselling author by applying zoology to explain human behaviour, has now utilized the techniques to put forward an explanation for homosexuality. In his latest book, The Naked Man, he concludes that men are “made gay” because they retain infantile or juvenile characteristics into adulthood – a phenomenon known as neoteny. According to this theory, gay men also tend to be more inventive and creative than heterosexuals because they are more likely to retain the mental agility and playfulness of childhood. “Gays have in general made a disproportionately greater contribution to life than nongays,” said Morris, who is also a noted artist. “The creative gay has very much advanced Planet Earth.”“The playfulness of childhood is continued with certain people into adulthood. This is very much a positive. Adult playfulness means that certain people, often a fairly large proportion of them gay, are more inventive and curious than heterosexuals.” For the record I'm not endosing his viewpoint, just wanted to offer you something to wrap your mind around. The book will be available in January 08 from bookselling sources for around $48.00.



Here we Grow again: Well, what can I say, we just can't sit still or stay the same. So stay tuned for more changes to our format, updates to our look and more savvy content for the GLBTQ community and beyond. We are looking for serious contributors, artist, musicians, writers, and photographers to join us in delivering Arkansas' best destination for news, video, podcasting, and just plain old stuff. If you've got the goods, then share it with us first. Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let's Do it Again...

Let's do it again... spin the big wheel of information and see what falls out or what we fall into. 2007 is rapidly calling it a day and the news cycles just keep on coming in full force to our forum. I'm just too proud to keep bringing you the latest goings on and carrying on that's happening in our 24/7, rockem-sockem world. So, without further hesitation, Let's do it again...



Oh Omnibus: Yes the goose is getting fatter this Christmas as our beloved Congress has approved more cash outlays for everything from war funding to those pesky earmarks. You know those "bridges to no where," commonly known as pork barrel spending that are just too tasty to quit consuming. Of course, President Bush is all to happy for his war open faucet, but is chiding his Capital Hill counterparts for their 9000 earmarks worth as estimated, 7.4 billion. Yes folks that's with a capital "B." Meanwhile, there's some 13 Million Dollars worth of Arkansas bacon in the mix as well. Featuring a Million dollar perk from Rep. Snyder to UALR for "Activated Nanostructure for De-icing,"or Rep. Berry's 3 Million dollar "Standoff Improvised Explosive Device Detection Program." Say What?? Didn't the Democratic Congress tell us that this type of spending was going to cease once they took power earlier this year? Well apparently the "air dropping," that's Hillspeak for slipping it in without any formal committee consideration or scrunity continues even though many stalwarts state that this is a reduction from past spending bills. Holy Money Bags!! If you want more info, I've discoverd a couple of handy websites for your consideration. Click em at your pleasure: http://www.earmark.org/ or http://www.sunlightfoundation.com/
Invasion of the Lavender People: Did you hear? Eurkea Springs is under attack from the Lavender people who have a master plan to take over a variety of small towns in the midddle America? According to the American Family Association in a newly produced DVD, " The Gay Agenda: They're Coming to Your Town..." slated for a January 08 release date, which outlines how these indivudals have infiltrated the Ozark hamelt's city council with a strategy of creating an Arkansas gay mecca. Oh My Goodness! All this from the minds of Donald Wildmon's troops who have refuse direct comments on this latest dogma from the Christian right but cite that Eureka's adoption of the DPR ( Domestic Partner Registry) is a sure sign of the covert plot to replace the city as a popular Christian resort to a bastion of gayness. Are these folks for real...you betcha. I checked their website and they've got an arsenal of stuff to assist in supporting any conspiracy theories you want to believe. Including Springdale's Dr. Ronnie Floyd's book, "The Gay Agenda," describing how's it's dividing the country. Some one needs to alert Nicolas Cage, while he's finding National Treasure maps, he could clue me in on the gay agenda.
In the meantime and as a random act of kindness fun, I though I would post the trailer from National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I saw the last outing and look forward to the latest from this franchise. If you see the movie before I do, share your review here!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Swing Out Wednesday...Holiday Style

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, oh what a relief it is...finally, I think I've shaken that cold that was really giving me the blues for the past week. I kept thinking all this sneezing and wheezing, despite my flu shot visit to my PCP? What's up with that? So I asked, as was informed that even though I got the shot, it's only a "viral supportive" innoculation to facilaitate a more rapid recovery from the common cold, not a preventative measure. I had to ask, didn't I. With that aside, I've stayed the course and kept bringing you our brand of updates, links, news, commentary and just plain old stuff to boot. It seems like I'm just the type to take licking and keep on ticking. Rememeber, earlier this year when I actually posted from my hospital bedside shortly after surgery. Is that dedicated or what? Anyway, it's all about Swing Out Wednesday-Holiday Style, so let's start swinging....


Christmas Greetings the Campaign: It's only 15 days until Iowa and the candidates are sending the season's greeetings to potential voters admist the slings, arrows, totally absurd, "What the hell?" and subliminal much ado about nothings. I'm totally over the silliness of the Mike Huckabee holiday commerical with those acqusations of floating crosses and such. This items is vintage Huckabee, it's who he is, and I'm not taken aback that he's saying Merry Christmas. However, if he'd asked me for suggestions (and no one from his campagin did), for universal flavor, I would've surrounded the candidate with people of different faiths representating their culture's observation of the holiday. Meanwhile, Obama's holiday greeting featuring himself, wife, Michelle and his children wasn't nearly as scrutinized. Yet, I found interesting that his campaign sent out a "Holiday Text" message offering a 20% discount to supporters on products from his website. Oh Joy! But playing devils advocate, I kept thinking shouldn't he be chided for not giving a shout out for Kwanzaa? Not to be out done, the "feel my warmth" Hillary Clinton tour continues with ads featuring her mom, Former President Bill, Chelsie and trying counteract the Oprah factor, enter former NBA baller, Magic Irving Johnson. If that's not enough and just in time for Christamas, Ron Paul announced the opening of an official Arkansas campaign presence as coordinated by Jason Sheppard. Boy, I'm just about ready for a hot toddy and fireplace.


Tipping Point: The holiday season keeps taking new twist and turns for me. Especially this year as I tackle the issue of taking my "tipping out" to a new level. I started to realize that I had more folks doing stuff for me than I actually put some thought into. Since I've been encouraging my readers to "random acts of kindness," I wanted to re-evavluate my tip scale to include my dog's groomer, newspaper person, pedicurist, mailman and maybe... Ummm, I'm gonna have to really work on this one in the budget that I'd set for the season. Looks like I may need some adjustments. Imay be baking some cookies or putting together some fruit baskets to make the rounds.



Getting Creative: On Saturday, February 9, 2008, the Center for Artistic Revolution, CAR will present the 4th Annual Toma Mi Coraz√≥n (Take My Heart) Silent Heart Auction and Tex-Mex Dinner. It’s an evening of amazing art and awesome food! This is CAR’s signature event and annual fundraiser.

Wooden hearts are given out to artists, school children, community activists, and anyone else who would like to participate. If you are interested in donating your talents, we will supply you with the heart and necessary paperwork to get you started.

Then it’s your turn, you can paint it, burn it, weld it, mosaic it, collage it, work in your favorite medium. You can turn it upside down, add things to it or around it, we just need to see the shape somewhere in the piece when you are done.

You can view past samples of corazons created for this event by going to our website: http://www.artisticrevolution.org/ and clicking on CAR Events.

When you have completed your creation, contact us and drop it off at the CAR office located at 800 Scott St., Little Rock (inside the First Presbyterian Church). Deadline for completed work to be back at the CAR office is January 31, 2008.
Lavender in the Ozarks: I had my first Eureka Diversity experience earlier this year and wanted to share some of the upcoming dates. Each weekend is uniquely produced and offers a getaway from the tired and true. So if your credit cards are not maxed out from all that holiday shopping, you might consider checking out what's going on in the hills of Arkansas. For more info go to: www.eurekapride.com Tell you heard about it here...
Eureka Gras Extravaganza Feb. 1 - 3, 2008 Valentine's Diversity Weekend: Feb. 15th - 17th, 2008 Spring Diversity Weekend: April 3 - 6th, 2008 Eureka Five-O: June 21 - June 23, 2008 Summer Diversity Weekend: Aug. 7 - 10th, 2008Fall Diversity Weekend: Oct. 30 - Nov. 2, 2008
Pride in the City: It's coming around again, Capitol PRIDE 2008 and I havent' heard much about it. I do know that there was board elections in September, a co-fundraiser in November and a possible meeting that was TBA. I will check in with organizers to see what's really going on. Stay tuned....
AAF Billboard Search: I'd hope that there would be a press release or something posted on their website about the groups HIV/AIDS Billboard campaign in addition to their MacArthur Park ballon release. But, that wasn't to be, I guess. Consequently, I could've called Lamar billboards to ask where they were, but I thought I would stay par for the course and keep it difficult. So I went looking for the billboards and yes, I found two of them. One, on Colonnel Glenn (Asher) facing eastward and another on Roosevelt Road (facing westard) just before the fairgrounds. (note: to bad this billboard couldn't have been there while the State Fair was expericing record crowds.) I recall that this effort was previously done and I've always wondered about the effectiveness of this type of outreach or it's impact. Did anyone consider the traffic pattern for this stretch of highway? For the record, so far I've not heard one person tell me that they've seen these. Furthermore, I'm not sure if these are the only two, so if you just happen to spot one, let us know what you think or send us a picture.




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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Breaking it down Tuesday

Ah Tuesday, the third day of the week where I start to prepare my stance for the rest of the impending days to come. Every morn that I get back to the boards, I try to sort out what breaking news, event, item or issue will make the cut. One of my readers saw me out and about and said that he wanted me to know that he checks this forum almost daily. Furthermore expressed that it seemed that I put a lot of work into it as well. The truth is yes and how. However, I believe that if you going to do it, then do it to the best of your ability. It's simple as that. That's my mantra and I'm sticking to it, folks. With that said, let's spin the big wheel in "Breaking it down Tuesday..."


Defrosting Hillary: For the life of me I've been trying to understand why candidate Hillary Clinton is perceived as "frosty the snow women." As I moved through my daily life, I've encountered many individuals, even strangers who have commented to me on how they find Mrs. Clinton untrustworthy and some type of political robot. Apparently, Camp Clinton is out to defuse this perception aboard the "Hill-Copter" that will be criss-crossing Iowa to let possible caucus goers feel the warmth. This Thursday there will be a mass "phone-a-thon" for Clinton entitled National Team Hillary Calling Night to add an even more fuzzy feeling to those cold Iowa nights. However, as I think back on the then, Arkansas First Lady Clinton, she did appear to have an aloofness about her and I don't recall her being an ardent fan of the states GLBTQ community as she now heralds on her website. This attitude was colorfully displayed a few months ago with a "tit for tat" spat from users of the Sidetracks Yahoo boards, when a member formed a Arkansans for Clinton group and posted it on the site. Talk about Queens A-Flaming! Of course since then, the ire has all but flamed out and the group lacks momentum. I'll keep an open mind about Clinton and see if I can feel the warmth. Even though quiet as it's kept, I like things a bit frosty.


OH Mike Huck!: I don't about you, but do you feel that Mike Huckabee's recent splaining of his past rhetoric is wrapped in " I said that then, but what I meant was that I didn't really mean what I said because much of it is taking out context..." repackaging? Of course he didn't' say what I just said exactly, but what he is saying is that he's a victim of "Dumpster Diving" tactics from the liberal press and all those other "sinners." The questions surrounding his AIDS/HIV statements and where Arkansas stands today were analyzed recently by an Associated Press article on ArkansasBusiness.com. The article cites and I remember then, Gov. Huckabee's 1992 bombastic statements in spite of clear and concise transmission information. Did he not get his booklet from Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop or no heads up from the State Health & Human Services Department? Then, it was his refusal to use his Emergency fund for ADAP( AIDS Drug Assistance Program) while AIDS activist banged tin cups in protest. Of course we learned later that he used some of that very fund to destroy some computer equipment and such. He stated that he was well within his right to do so. Alrighty then, Mike. Also, let's not forget his full throated support of the Marriage amendment supported by the Family Council which is mounting a moral campaign for 2008. Although the article was insightful, I found it a bit lacking in sources with singular quotes from activist Eric Camp, and not any from say, State AIDS Director, Gary Horton, Former State Health Department Director, Dr. Joecelyn Elders, Arkansas AIDS Foundation or perhaps HWPA? Were they unavailable for comment or is Mr. Camp the only person who will speak openly and on the record? When you think about it, have attitudes changed in Arkansas since Huckabee, the emergence of life saving drugs, more educational platforms or campaigns? I'm hopeful but staying realistic at best. How about you....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Everything is Everything and Me...

9 days until Christmas 2007 and the count down to the beginning of New Year, 2008. Boy, where has the time gone? Well, it's been a whirlwind year of breaking news, fluid content, cutting edge graphics, savvy new links, updates galore and you my dear readers who've encouraged me to continue this effort as a public service to outreach to the GLBTQ community and beyond. I believe that 2007 has been a break through year for our forum as I've covered a host of local color, organizations, issues and world stage events that have reverberated back to our door steps. It's been a wonderful ride thus far and I look forward to taking CorneliusONpoint to the next level. Stay tuned, you ain't seen nothing yet!.....



Politically Speaking: In a previous post I mentioned my letter writing to our Capitol Hill represenatives about the controversial ENDA measure and was seeking others who expressed there sentiments to the body politic. One intrepid reader informed me that he had received a response via a letter on the matter from Rep. Vic Snyder.(D) I appreciated knowing that I wasn't alone and hopefully there were many of you who notified your Rep with your viewpoint not only about this measure but, all legislation that affects us all. I actually had a chance to personally meet with Rep Snyder(pictured) while being escorted by DC Activist Mike on a Capitol Hill Rally concerning AIDS Funding. Mr. Snyder has a notable voting record in legislation related to GLBTQ issues. This letter is unedited except for personal information. Thanks R.R. for keeping it real and of course, Onpoint!





December 13, 2007






Dear Mr. Ramsey:







Thank you for contacting me regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007.Representative Barney Frank introduced H.R.2015 on April 24, 2007. If passed, this legislation would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Concerns over specific language in this bill prompted Representative Frank to introduce two new bills on September 27, 2007. H.R.3685 prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, while H.R.3686 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Furthermore, H.R.3685 and H.R.3686 have broader religious exemptions than H.R.2015, making this legislation inapplicable to all religious organizations.On November 7, 2007, the House passed H.R.3685 passed the House by a vote of 235 to 184. H.R.3686 is currently in the House Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee. It is still unclear if this bill will come before the House during the 110th Congress. Thank you again for contacting me. Your views have been helpful.






Sincerely,





Vic Snyder

Member of Congress








Stonewall Recounts 07: Closing out 2007, the Stonewall Democrats have announced that the group will not meet during December,but will return in January 17 at 6 p.m. with a membership drive and electing new officers. According to a news release the caucus group listed it's accomplishments and goals for 2007. They are as follows:








STONEWALL DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS
2007 ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Was recognized as a Caucus of the Arkansas Democratic Party
Joined and participated in the grassroots political organization Citizen's First Congress
Hosted an Arkansas Legislative Luncheon, attended by over 30 legislators to meet SDC members
Helped defeat AR SB959 (to ban gay foster parents) by educating legislative and state leaders
helped with voter registration – get out the vote events
held successful fun events:
Annual Yard Sale
Wine Tasting
Night at Weekend Theater
Presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Aimee Berry for her work to defeat SB959
co-sponsored Capital City PRIDE
Presented a 'Friend of the Community' award to Senator Jim Argue for his work to defeat SB959
Sponsored a full table at the Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
co-sponsored the JCCA CommUNITY Walk
Presented a Holiday donation to the 'Feed the Hungry' in Little Rock
Joined with other organizations to create a coalition to oppose the proposed 2008 ballot initiative to ban 'unmarried cohabitating' foster or adoptive parents in Arkansas


Dont' forget that 2008 will be an important election cycle and everyone will be needed to get out the vote. If you are interested in becoming a member go to there website for more info: http://www.stonewallarkansas.com/
Helping Mickey: The friend of Mickey & Colton Osborne demonstrated that compassion is a defining part of the GLBTQ community mix. Last Friday night, the mixer held at Sidetracks netted a reported $700.00 in cash and gifts for his relief/direct assistance fund. The outpouring of concern was admirable during this holiday season. His represenatives told me that they were amazed at the response as well as overwhelmed with the well wishes for his speedy recovery. The buffet, conversation and the "over the top" service from John helped make the evening a gratifying success. Kudos for coming together to helping one of our own. Let's keep the blessings flowing with more random acts of kindness.
KUAR Programming note: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow program will feature a segment on Kwanzza next Tudesday. The show will explore it's origins and the events that will be held in the greater LIttle Rock area. To give you a brief overview of the principles, I've listed them below. If you get a chance check out the show on KUAR 98.5

THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES : Umoja (Unity)To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)To build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems and to solve them together.
Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Nia (Purpose)To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Kuumba (Creativity)To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Imani (Faith)To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
FOUNDER'S 2007 MESSAGE"Kwanzaa and the Seven Principles : Creating a Shared Good in the World"by Kwanzaa founder Dr. Maulana Karenga The Founder's Welcome
As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for African Americans and indeed, the world African community, it is imperative that an authoritative source and site be made available to give an accurate and expansive account of its origins, concepts, values, symbols and practice.
Moreover, given the continued rapid growth of Kwanzaa and the parallel expanded discussion of it and related issues, an authoritative source which aids in both framing and informing the discussion is likewise of the greatest importance. Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.
The holiday, then will of necessity, be engaged as an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people's culture. It is within this understanding, then, that the Organization Us, the founding organization of Kwanzaa and the authoritative keeper of the tradition, has established and maintains this website.


Dr. Maulana KarengaCreator of KwanzaaChair, The Organization UsChair, The National Association of Kawaida Organizations (NAKO)



HAVE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE YET?? IF NOT, WHY NOT...DO IT TODAY! GO TO VOTEPULASKI.NET FOR MORE INFORMATION

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It getting rough out there, in here and more...

Boys and Girls, in our last post we stated that it is was getting rough out there, and we're not kidding. There were so many instances of this roughness that I needed to offer a second helping and who knows maybe even a part three. "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get," was the simplistic view from character Forrest Gump which has some semblance of truth within it. But ultimately it's our self relliance, responsiblity and "reality checks" that will carry you forward. Yes, it' rough out here, however, I'm undeterred to keep bringing you breaking news, updates, commentary, video, podcasting and links. Let the roughness begin...


Where's the Party?: In recent conversations, I've been enlightend about the seeminly off kilter or errrily strange fact that area bar crowds are fluctuating wildly. Due to my demanding schedule I don't always make the late night rounds but I do try to get an early start and make efforts for special events. However, those die heart party goers have made mention to me that the bars are in a "hit or miss" mode. Case in point, it seems that Backstreet has a relatively good turn out on "Friday's" but is a ghost town on Saturday's. Discovery, open only on Staturday nights still has it's loyal fans among the straight crowd and those who haven't decided. Over at UBU, the situation is steady on most weekend outings, with women dominating the venue but openly welcoming the alternative lifestyle crowd. Meanwhile, piano bar Easy Street, continues it's slow weekday build up to it's weekend offering with Saturday night's show crooner, Michael Henderson and other special events. Across town, DSRA's Clubhouse has been humming with activity, yet volume crowds are still mysteriously elusive. I've trired to get a vibe on Club Good Times but everyone I've asked doesn't know anything about it. I guess I'll have to do a first hand assessment then let you know. What's up with this?...well, it's been reported that the era of gay bars and venues are undergoing serious challenges from the E-World, economics and changing needs. As I've long stated, if we don't support them, perhaps they won't be around to support us. Think about it.


Dissing HRC: The Human Rights Campaign's debacle on ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) is still outraging a host of folks from coast to coast. In case you some how missed it, the national organization waffled, flipped-flopped and played hard ball in the arena of Congressional politics surrounding the inclusion of transgendered individuals within the legislation. My inbox was swamped with mail about the issue and subsequent vote. However, it was the following article that really demonstrates the disdain that HRC has spurred on all levels of the lavender landscape. Locally, there were those who were monitoring the dilemma, but when I inquired to many, most were clueless. For the record I contacted my D.C. represenatives, signed online petitions, posted updated info and asked for reactions, but got none to date.



No Gotham Welcome Wagon For HRC By

: DUNCAN OSBORNE


After repeatedly defending the Human Rights Campaign strategy for passing the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) withoutprotections for transgendered people, a senior HRC staffer said thelobbying group would have employed a different strategy had it knownits efforts would result in an angry response. "We probably would not have played it out the same way," said David M.Smith, HRC's vice president of programs, when asked what HRC would doif the group got a "do-over."Smith's comments came at the close of a 90-minute town meeting held at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on December5.Smith and Sultan Shakir, HRC's regional field director, faced witheringand often angry questioning about the organization's shifting positions on ENDA - that went from supporting transgender inclusion, toneutrality after transgender protections were tossed out, and finallyto aggressively backing the bill before its November 7 vote.ENDA, which passed the US House by a vote of 235 to 184, bans job discrimination based on sexual orientation. It was first introduced in1994 and gender identity and expression, classes seen as protectingtransgendered people, were added for the first time in 2007.Smith said the bill, even with the transgender protections gone, had little chance of passing in the Senate and was even less likely toavoid a veto if it reached the White House.When HRC saw in late September of this year that ENDA would fail withgender identity and expression included, the group decided to back the bill with just sexual orientation as a first step toward getting alater "inclusive" bill, or one that has transgender protections, Smithsaid."When it was likely the bill was coming to the floor we thought it was important to pass that bill and build on that success," Smith said."We're not going to stop until an inclusive bill passes and gets to apresident who will sign it."HRC had lobbied for a transgender-inclusive bill in 30 to 40 congressional districts and had spent hundreds of thousands of dollarsto win support. Had the House voted down transgender-inclusion as aseparate ENDA amendment, that would have damaged future efforts toinclude such protections, Smith said. "That would have done enormous harm to the cause of transgenderequality for many years to come," Smith said.The community members and activists who came to the meeting simply didnot believe Smith and Shakir. Audience members repeatedly said they did not trust HRC and did not believe that the group had acted honestly inthe run-up to the vote."I want to know why transgendered people have to be sacrificed on thealtar of political expediency," said Joann Prinzivalli, a lawyer for the New York Transgender Rights Organization.The general view is that HRC and the Democratic leadership in the Housewere more concerned with getting a victory for the lesbian and gaycommunity than enacting an inclusive bill and that when transgender inclusion threatened that victory it was easily discarded. This wasdone "at the very last minute because Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosiwanted to move forward for their own selfish reasons," said Pauline Park, a founder of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy.Speaker Pelosi, from San Francisco, and Frank, an openly-gayrepresentative from Massachusetts, were among those members who led thefight to pass ENDA. Frank aggressively defended the choice to toss out transgender protections.Less than two days before the November vote, HRC released a poll thatshowed broad support for passing ENDA without transgender protectionsamong gay men and lesbians. The poll was completed in early October. "[HRC] manipulated the poll data in order to give Barney Frank apretext to eliminate transgender protections," Park said. In a move that was seen as pressuring members to support ENDA, HRC announced prior to November 7 that it would score members on their votes. Seven Democrats, who are longtime gay community supporters and opposed ENDA because it lacked transgender protections, could be hurtby that, some audience members said."You screwed up on this every step of the way and I don't say that as an HRC basher," said Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden StateEquality, a New Jersey gay group, who objected to the scoring. "You'reabout to enter another land mine."Goldstein commended the HRC staffers for taking their "humility tour" and he suggested it continue when his organization honors United ENDA,a coalition of more than 360 gay community groups that opposed removingtransgender protections. Joe Solmonese, HRC's president, should present the award to United ENDA, Goldstein said.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's getting rough out there and in here...

Boy, it's getting rought out there.... Yeah, I'm talking about broken government, demon drivers, shopping maniacs, unconcerned customer service reps, obsessed cell phone users, tough talking children and the rest of heap clawing there way through life. Some days, I'm not sure what to make of it all but I still rise, thanking the creator that I get to see it all over again. What's going here? Surveys and researchers have offered many views about how either we are evolving or devolving as time goes on. As I look around, I realize that our "blink" society is whirling at a pace that means tighting the seat beat a bit more and hanging on. Trust me when I say, "it's getting rough out there..."


  • Broken Government: Congress has returned from it's turkey day vacation with a plate full of issues that most likely won't be acted upon before there Christmas vacation. Talk about gridlock and do-nothing? I though when the Democrats were ushered into power that stuff was suppose to happen in the first 100 days? Well we're well past that and I'm scratching my head going ,"huh?" To be honest stuff did happen in those first 100 days, lots of the same stuff that was happening before. Such as those dastardly earmarks, partisian bickering, lot's of White House spin and disinformation. Just today we hear that Iran's nuclear capablities were allegedly frozen, some 4 years ago. All the time the decider, President Bush said his World War 3 rhetoric still holds because he was just informed about this new intelligence assessment. You don't say, Mr. Bush.

  • Customer Service, Please: "Attention K-Mart, Sears, Target, Wal Mart, and any retail shoppers,... on isle "anywhere" there's no one to help you...that is all." Yeah I said it, poor customer service is simply become the norm in the shopping experience. I see it everyday and everywhere. No smiles, no greetings, no come back and see us, almost no- Can I help you and most certainly, no Thank you's. Here are few nuggets to prove my case. I was in RUE 21 in Alcoa Exchange last week, I walked through most of the store and not once did the clerk stop talking to her friend to ask me if I needed anything. I overheard the female clerk sharing with her friend there plans for the weekend, who they would see and how much fun it was going to be. As I left the store, she was still talking as other customers milled around. At Pei Wei restuarant, the cashier was so "stonefaced" that I though maybe a wok had hit her in the head, not to mention the surly server who "silently" brought our entrees and meandered off in a daze. If you've got a favorite feel free to share it with me. I got a million of em for ya.


  • Obssesed Cell phone users: Can you hear me now??, the damn answer is hell yes and everyone else on the planet. Who are these people talking too in the grocery store, toliet, gas station and walking down the street. Have we become so needy to reach out an touch, that we can't stop gabbing about mindless B.S. It seems that the airline industry is tinkering with allowing calls on certain flights. Can you imagine a "talking tube" of people while sitting on the tarmac. As for me, I've reliquished my land line and have gone celluar in my home, meanwhile limiting my yacking publically.







Let's Get the Huckster: It's smackdown time in the political arena and the bulls eye is none other than surging Mike Huckabee. It seems that the honeymoon is over, as the attack pit bulls are sharpening their teeth for some huck ass. From the media pundits to those "swift boat" types, they've all got questions for the former Guv and he's got some splainin to do. Such as that Dummond guy who was released then went on to kill again. How about them AIDS "quarantine" statements?, Did you violate some Arkansas Ethics and had to pay a $1000 fine? Didn't you raise some taxes? You get the picture. Everythings going to be thrown in, including the kitchen sink. Huckabee is talking as fast as he can to anyone who will listen. Including Jeannie White( Ryan White's Mother) about his AIDS education then and now. However as I remember, I think that Mrs. White was in Arkansas on several occassions while he was in office and didnt' seem to want to talk to him about his statements, why now? Let's close with this vintage Huck nugget ( circa 1992):

"Asked about gays in the military, for example, he didn't just reject the idea but added: "I believe to try to legitimize that which is inherently illegitimate would be a disgraceful act of government. I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk."
-Mike Huckabee






Benefit Walking: The Arkansas AIDS Foundation has announced it's AIDS Walk 2008, June 14, 2008. At this posting there have been no details released, but last year the event was held at the Clinton Complex. Even though I did see a infomericial on Comcast, the foundation itself didn't appear to release any information such as did they accomplish the $50,000 goal, how many participants or much else.



Toys for Tots: I was truly intrigued with the Marine's Toys for Tots campaign organizers stating that they coming up short of toys for needy families this year. Many of you don't know that many years back this very same organization threaten to sue our then gay rights group which used the moniker to raise support in the GLBT community. We were told to "cease and desist" any association with Toys for Tots. I wonder if they would like to get toys from us now since they've had to extend their toy drive. Gift giving from the GLBT community to mainstream chairites has been problematic and often disappointing. Including Childrens Hospital ( yes that one) wasn't responsive to our early 80's donation by stating that there would be "no formal acknowledgement" from the institution, consequently and years later, the hospital finally accepted a modest gift.



Scouts Movin: Talk about being rough out there, I found this report from our online partner BGN ( Big Gay News) recounting the Boys Scouts being uprooted from their meeting digs. According to the article, Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Boy Scouts, will be evicting the organization from the Scouts’ city-owned meeting hall over a gay-rights fight.
The Philadelphia Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the seventh-largest chapter of the organization, will be tossed from the Beaux Arts building, a place they have called home since 1928, for refusing to denounce the organization’s ban on homosexuality.
The city owns the half-acre of land where the building stands and is bound by laws against discrimination.
“You cannot be in a city-owned facility being subsidized by the taxpayers and not have language in your lease that talks about non-discrimination,” City Councilman Darrell Clarke told The New York Times Thursday. “Negotiations are over.”
The Boy Scouts have maintained that homosexuality would be inconsistent with their stated values. They could have legally stayed in the building if they paid an annual rent of $200,000 per year; however they said that would cut into their summer-camp funds for needy children.






Myspace Updates: Thought we were talked out...wrong O! We've got a tea cup more on our sister site, www.myspace.com/corneliusonpoint Who's that girl? It's Miss Gay Arkansas US of A, Whitney Paige and she's stumping in northwest Arkansas this weekend along with many others. Want to know who else, then click the link to find out!



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Monday, December 10, 2007

Spin Cycles & Caravans...A Special Recipe Mix

It's fifteen days and counting to the feasting, gift giving, gabbing, games and most likely lots' of Googling from all those new laptops that were under the tree. Yes people it's Christmas time again in the city. However as the holiday dash goes full tilt this week, Pope Benedict XVI chided Vatican Pilgrims and the rest of us by criticizing “materialistic” ways of celebrating Christmas, pressing the Vatican’s campaign against unbridled consumerism. He continued by saying,
“The way of living out, and perceiving, Christmas unfortunately quite often suffers from a materialistic mentality,” Benedict said.
In conclusion while addressing English-speaking pilgrims, the pope said he was praying that the approaching Christmas celebration “will fill your hearts with redeeming hope.” His words are certainly something to ponder and consider. In previous post, I challenged each you to perform a December random act of kindness and in case you can't think of one, I will be highlighting some possibilities throughout my post until the end of the year. But don't fret, we will still be giving you updates, links, breaking news, commentary and much more for the GLBTQ community and beyond. With all that said, Happy Hanukkah as we press on into the season!


A Random Act of Kindness No.1: A few years ago there was a wonderful song called, "That's What friends are For," that resonated with me personally and many around the world. The words, "in good times and bad times, Ill be on your side... that what friends are for," are most poignant and bear out my special request to you readers to attend a evening of sharing December 14, at Sidetracks, 8 p.m. in the Upstairs Bar. This evening will be devoted to assisting Mickey Osborne and his 15 year old son, Colton in a time of need. Mickey has developed severe health issues that have left him debilitated and facing uncertainty during this holiday season. Organizers will collect can goods, gift cards, new toys, and any direct assistance to help offset his accumulating expenses. More information will be on the Sidetracks Yahoo boards or E- contact: Moorebuffy@hotmail.com for additional details.



Fundraisers A-GO-Go: It's been another round of fundraising for the Arkansas AIDS Foundation and some of the numbers are in. The Bachelor Auction, held December 1, which featured area hunks and a hunkette took in $1350.00. Babes in Toyland, held at DSRA last Saturday reportedly reaped another $500.00 despite another low community attendance for events of this nature. As a part of my "random acts" I 've participated in two recent AAF fundraisers and have been puzzled at the lack of support when this projects is held at DSRA. I've been on the hunt for answers and discovered that perhaps more advance notice as well as, community folks broadening their scope would be beneficial. The "boys who were the gals" still went tour De force led by AAF Development coordinator, "Cherity," Lady Champagne, Diva Dinnery, Gigi Galore, Marvella, Miss Lana, Crystal Love and the DSRA Royalty Team. Also, let me give a special shout out to Mary Kay Arden who had "my back" at the after party at Sidetracks. The girl just can't help it, she just loves to have fun!! Hat's off to all for a job well done. Next up: AAF holiday fundraiser at Backstreet, December 16, 10 p.m. or for more info: http://www.backstreetdanceclub.com/ (editor note: I checked the Backstreet website and didn't see a listing for this event, call AAF 501.376.6299 or the club 501.666.6900) Don't forget to tell them you read it here first!


Politically Speaking: Just when you thought that I couldn't burn the candle from the middle, my face was in the place for the Pulaski County Democratic Committee, Democratic Women and VIP Christmas party at the Governors Mansion, December 8. Accompanied by my life mate, I schmoozed, hob nobbed, mingled and people watched at the annual event hosted by Gov. Beebe and Ginger Beebe. The Mansion was ablaze with Christmas lights, interesting decorations and smartly accented from the entry way to the ballroom. I wasn't sure about security, so I didn't take my trusty camera but later realized that things weren't so tight that I couldn't have had it in tow. (Darn!)After a warm welcome from party services coordinator, Amy Kelley, others I saw in attendance were Pulaski County Chairperson, Joyce Elliot, Rep. Kathy Webb (pictured), political commentator, Jay Barth, DPA Executive Director, Bruce Sinclair, PUCO Circut Clerk, Pat O'Brien, volunteer extraordinaire Mrs. Debbi Murphy and other democratic party movers and shakers. To my delight and surprise, First Lady Beebe, while circulating stopped to engage me about my attire. She commented that I looked great in my holiday red jacket and hoped that both of us was enjoying the evening. Chalk one up for this slave to fashion. Meanwhile, in an effort to put my self in the "call to action" mode that I often mention, I've registered to be an elector for the Special State Convention, as we prepare to haggled over who will be official delegates to the national convention in Denver in 08. I will keep you posted on the in's and out of this process as well as how you may be able to help me take it to the next level.

Reading and Voting: Staying in the loop within the busy framework of life can be trying, but I want to call you attention to the December 11, Special election to enhance library services and sources. I have always voted in the affirmative for these mileages because they offer opportunities to narrow the digital divide with additional computer services and open materials to enrich your mind. I know this first hand, due to the fact that I got the chance to access computer labs across the city, long before I ever owned a PC or the Internet. I will never forget that experience or how it assisted me in crossing the threshold to grasp information globally. Take the time and vote, "YES" to the library millage.


NATIONAL BLACK CAUCUS OF STATE LEGISLATORS
The 31st Annual Legislative Conference of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators will meet in Little Rock December 12 - 16. In an invitation to NBCSL members, Arkansas Senator Irma Hunter Brown stated the following.
For over thirty years, NBCSL has been the leader in providing access and opportunity for its members and identifying the needs of African-American state legislators and their constituents. Today, our programs and initiatives addressing topics ranging from education and health awareness to economic development and international relations are accomplishing their goals. The conference will include public policy sessions, critical workshops and unprecedented keynote speakers including Little Rock Nine member Ernest Green, former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders and former President Bill Clinton

ARE YOU REGISTERED YET!!! Do it TODAY. For more information go to http://www.votepulaski.net/

Friday, December 07, 2007

Talking Out Loud some more...

TGIF...Thank God it's Friday is the rallying cry of the 9 to 5 set who have weekend off for meaningful R & R. However, there are those who still must toil during the weekends, night shifts and those during double duty with two jobs that I want to give a shout out to, as well as, a way up high five. Making a living in times like these can be awfully demanding and sometimes a total frustration when it seems that you can't get a freeking break. Yet, as the Christmas season rolls upon us, I've come to the realization that I have much to be thankful for despite all of the trials and tribulations that beset me daily. Especially, juxtaposed to the realities of others who are living perilously in places of conflict or mayhem. Therefore, I'm challenging each of you dear readers to join me in performing a random act of kindness through December 2007 and then feel free to share your action with me. I've already started and will be looking forward to hearing from you. Until then, let's lighten up by talking out loud some more....



The Dueling Stellas: They're back, you know those two, "McMillan and Wife," no not the 70's TV throwback, but best selling author Terry McMillian and former husband, Jonathan Plummer. This time it's Mr. Plummers' first co-written book with Karen Hunter," Balancing Act," that's caught the ire of Ms. McMillian who is simply trashing the novel by describing it as apart of the new "ghetto/ urban genre." Meanwhile, Plummer who has been on a troublesome publicity jaunt of some sort is trying to stay civil about the matter by stating that “ ‘People realize that she wrote her story, and now this is a way of showing an alternative side of my story.’ “ He's referring to Ms. McMillian's tome, "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", in which she illuminates the main character's "May to December" romance with a young Jamican man. Balancing Act is set in the high fashion world with main character Justin Blakeman and his "Ugly Betty -Whilemina" in the guise of Tasha Reynolds who has more than just modeling assignments on her mind. The book's promotional material from Hunter's publishing house and Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, details the romantic entanglement of the characters including "Justin's hunger for a male model." Now with all that said, this complex literary drama gets fueled further by McMillians' online UNEQ magazine interview in which she want to set the record straight by saying, "I am not doing this to literally demonize Jonathan Plummer, but he is an evil person to have done the things he has taken pains to achieve. I loved him for years and did everything I could to help him evolve. The reason I told UNEQ Magazine so many of these previously undisclosed details is because he needs to be exposed to the community he is also pimping. He forgets that gay men have sisters and mothers. And it is because he doesn't care, just like he doesn't care if he ever goes back to Jamaica. It is the main reason he went on television to announce his homosexuality. " I know it's almost too much, isn't it? I've actually read some excerpt from this book and it's not on my preferred reading list, if you know what I mean. I don't think it will make the Oprah book club cut. I''ve also seen the online interview and McMillian does make enrodes to explain a vartiety of matters including why she appears to be "homophobic." She is firm that's she's not and that this perception has been a product of Mr. Plummers lawyers and others who have tried to defame her. Futhermore, She gives some pithy details about the realtionship and it's affect on her prior to that notorious Oprah interview. Well, If you are so inclined you can see the video from the website: http://www.uneqmagazine/ The books is probably available from Amazon and if there's more fallout we'll bring it to you.

OH GW: It's become apparrent that the leader of the free world just can't get a break either. President Bush who often mangels the english language, yesterday flubbed the contact number for his mortage bailout program in lieu of the sub-prime mess. Mr. Bush somehow, subbed "1-800," when it should've been "1-888." I understand that the decider is busy with world affairs and nuclear stuff, but can't he get at least a phone number correct for once. Call me skeptical, but I'm not exactly sure if this "bailout" package is really going to take care matters or make them worst. I just keep thinking about all those Katrina vouchers, cash cards and trailers that were in the mix to make a difference. Let's keep our fingers crossed.


Not ready to make nice: The gloves are off! Hillary Clinton and Barrak Obama are ready to call each other out on the "experience" question and those many postion papers that are flying off the press almost hourly. Mrs. Clinton is not missing a beat by issuing positions on the mortage situation, that recent NIE (national intelligence estimate) and has alluded to character issues concerning an Obama "slush" fund for candidates who will endorse his candidacy. As I mentioned before, Mr. O has new website (http://hillaryattacksbarackobama.com/ ) primed to list the "Hill bombs" and his rebuttle to them. Those poltical junkies say that people don't like negative politics, but they never seem to fail us each political cycle.


Help Wanted: Got stories, information,updates, or need to a place to express your self...well the comment section is open and ready for your two cents. Let's hear from you today!!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Speaking Volumes..,from another voice

I'm always seeking otherview points and those who have inspiration to share that is forward looking. The article below fits that criteria and I hope you will take a moment out of the busy holiday season to get refreshed. This forum was conceived as interactive and in search of opinions accross the board. If you've got thoughts or creative works that you would like to share, we are always here for your use.




Transforming Pain To Power: The C. Mark Ealy Way

TRANSFORMING PAIN TO POWER:
THE C. MARK EALY WAY

By Wyatt O’Brian Evans


“I suppose my writing is different than that of a lot of people because ‘I do not own the words.’ The words come through me, not from me. I only write when I’m inspired by the Holy Spirit. The purpose of all my writing is to help people on their spiritual journey.

Those rather weighty words provide keen insight into C. Mark Ealy, author of the new book, The Making of a Preacher: Naked in the Pulpit. Largely autobiographical, it’s the saga of a minister (“Larry”) who “bares all in his journey to find truth.”

After overcoming nearly impossible odds—growing up poverty-stricken and hopeless, being trapped in an all-Black ghetto in South Central Los Angeles (L.A.)--Ealy become an ordained Baptist minister. Over the past 27 years, he has held major positions of leadership in the secular and church worlds. Currently, Ealy serves as a consultant for various churches. And, he is the founder of The Institute for Living, an organization whose mission is to assist individuals in their spiritual growth.

Naked in the Pulpit is the story of “Larry,” the youngest of four children, who grew up in abject poverty. “We were evicted from our apartments three times while I was growing up,” Larry says. “Our electricity was cut off several times because we hadn’t paid the bill. One morning as mother was preparing to bake a pan of biscuits—that was the only food left in the house—the man came from the gas company to cut off our gas because the bill was past due. When mother asked if he could wait just 20 minutes so we could have some food, he replied that he had other houses to get to, and therefore couldn’t be concerned about our problems. Needless to say, I sobbed. I went to the refrigerator and scraped up the last one-half teaspoon of mayonnaise—it was the last drop of food in the house. As soon as I ate it, I fell across the bed because I was so weak.”


EVANS/TRANSFORMING PAIN TO POWER 2


Larry states that his father’s decision to quit his post office job threw the family into financial dire straits. His father “had a revelation that God wanted him to leave all these ‘worldly’ pursuits and become a preacher. What we experienced as children was a father who didn’t work. He spent his days going to the barbershop and preaching there all day to anyone who would listen.”

Larry continues, “Periodically, he would leave and go on ‘journeys.’ These were events where he would merely take off from home and go walking out into the wilderness or the desert. He would be gone from one week to a month. Upon his return, he would tell us many stories about his exploits out in the desert or the wilderness.”

Meanwhile, Larry says, his mother worked as a maid for whites. Unable to earn enough for two adults and four children to survive, the family was on welfare for most of his childhood. Consequently, “we were all mad at our poverty-stricken life—and at a father whose life choices had left us in emotional and physical pain.”

Larry adds, “Although I achieved financial success—two Cadillacs in the garage of my suburban home—I was not able to sustain my success, long-term. I suppose the reason was that my internal image didn’t fit the external trappings.”

Regarding his dad, Larry explains, “my relationship with my father is, as best I can tell, the most significant factor in the shaping of my adult behavior. The tremendous emotional abuse that I experienced from my father has negatively impacted all of my adult relationships. He was a father who sent conflicted messages. While verbalizing love and even adoration for his children on the one hand, at the same time he was cold, distant, hostile, and extremely harsh (whatever we did, it was never quite good enough).”

Larry says, “A failed marriage and three children with whom my relationship has been very strained are only the tip of the iceberg. Underneath are tremendous amounts of sexual confusion and bewilderment.” He confesses that one of the major struggles of his life continues to be reconciling his faith and sexual desires.

“Who is God?” is a subject Larry ponders. He states, “The ‘God’ I grew up with was very powerful—all powerful—very mean, very judgmental, standing ready to punish us whenever we disobeyed (which is much of the time). I’m really struggling now to be in relationship with a new God: one who loves me ‘unconditionally.’ “

Larry examines the age-old question, “Is it Wrong to be Gay?” and doesn’t let the church “off the hook.” He asserts, “The church must remember its core mission of rescue and recovery—not judgment and condemnation. In fulfillment of that mission, the church’s role is to help the individual walk in the Spirit.”


EVANS/TRANSFORMING PAIN TO POWER 3


In Naked in the Pulpit, Ealy paints an affecting, vivid portrait of pain, heartbreak, disillusionment, and sexual confusion. His writing style is immediate. It flows exceptionally well, and is quite accessible. It draws you in and keeps you there. The reader feels that he is actually sitting across the table and having a “heart-to-heart” with “Larry.”

Naked is not a “pity party.” Far from it. It’s a story full of hope, and the burning desire and courage to understand one’s self—and therefore, to beat the odds. This tome teaches without being “preachy,” and is a “heapin’ helpin’” of common sense.

Ealy revealed, “I will say that I entered adulthood with severe emotional scars because of my childhood. The essence of the book is about transforming pain into power.”

While growing up in the greater Watts community, Ealy certainly had his share of pain, as well as despair and helplessness. He experienced first hand the explosive, large-scale Watts Riots, which began on August 11, 1965 and lasted for six days. As a result, of the 34 people officially reported killed, 28 were African-American. Also according to “official” records, 1,032 people were injured and 4,000 people arrested. Six hundred buildings were either damaged or destroyed, and an estimated $35 million (nearly $220 million in 2006 dollars) in damage was caused.

“My sister actually saw the event that triggered the riots,” Ealy claims. “A lady who was 8-9 months pregnant was getting out of her car at a shopping center in the Watts area. She had parked her car. Apparently there was some altercation between her and a white lady over the parking space. The police went into the passenger seat of the car and got her husband out and handcuffed him—although he was doing absolutely nothing! They then proceeded to beat the black lady who was pregnant.”

He added, “My neighborhood became a military zone. We had an apartment on Pacific Coast Highway (one of the busiest streets in Southern California). It was incredible to me to look out the window and see no cars riding up and down the street. Instead, U.S. Marshals were posted on each corner with their rifles drawn!”

The author had strong words on the role of the church in people’s lives. “My passion is simply to bring the church as corporate body back to the core value of its CEO—Jesus, the Christ—who articulated the core principles in Luke 4:18. The church has a capacity to care for people at the soul level. No other institution public or private, profit or non-profit, social service or commerce—can do the church’s work in human lives. If the church doesn’t do it, it goes lacking, and people suffer. And people are suffering. People are wandering without clarity and without purpose because the church doesn’t really care.”


EVANS/TRANSFORMING PAIN TO POWER 4


Ealy’s Institute for Living embodies his “passion for building new infrastructures of rescue and recovery until everyone is safe in the harbor.” He explained, “I have had what we call material success, but now I have a passion to focus away from success and towards real ministry. So in order to pursue my ministry appropriately, I have to find new indicators of success, such as: How have I helped reduce the number of deacons molesting young boys? How can I create a culture where men from the pulpit to the door can be honest about their same-sex attraction? Can I create a safe place for young boys who feel a same-sex attraction to come and express their feelings and receive appropriate guidance?”

Ealy believes that the Black church does indeed practice and promote homophobia. “There is almost nothing worse that one can declare than to declare that he/she is homosexual in the Black church,” he stated.

Same-sex attraction, he continued, “is a highly-charged issue around which people are deeply polarized. Therefore, it represents a template for us to construct a new infrastructure that gets people interacting in new ways. God is love. That is the essence of what church is.”

According to Ealy, “Naked in the Pulpit is the toughest of all my books (he’s currently writing eight others) because it is the closest to me personally. In it I model what I am teaching: the necessity of getting naked with one’s self, with others and with God in order to be whole.” (You can visit Mr. Ealy at http://www.theinstituteforliving.com/.)


Wyatt O’Brian Evans is a journalist and author whose bylines have appeared in print publications including the Washington Post, the Washington (Gay) Blade, and American Politics magazine. He also writes for the on-line infotainment sites qbliss.net and imperiousent.com. As well, Mr. Evans created and penned a popular African-American/gay/erotic serial, the “Black and the Beautiful.” His upcoming novel is entitled “Nothing Can Tear Us Apart.”

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

On point and Stayin ahead of the Curve! part 3



While you are shopping for that special gift or little something that would give someone encouragement, you might want to consider this new film from our online partner, Kuttingedgeonline.com


Just Between Us is a documentary that was inspired by its creator and director Ken Jackson to educate the community about its own limitations of being a voice in American society. Jackson traveled the United States to meet the legends, the pioneers and the revolutionaries of the 21st Century in the African-American Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender community to gauge its position as a whole since the start of the new century. For Jackson, the documentary is both a test and a discovery, not only for the community, but himself as well. As African-American Diasporas have all been too prevalent in American society, given that during the Clinton Administration it was colorfully titled as the Gay 90s, where Gays, Lesbians, Bi-sexual and Transgender individuals could enjoy some basic civil liberties, the African-American gay Community was somehow seemingly missed, avoided or passed over. And now with the popularity of the Down Low phenomenon, where the community as a whole has had to withstand the brunt of what most of the country considers a public threat, the African-American gay community needs to make strong and significant efforts to solidify its presence and rebound in the face of this disgrace and harsh scorn. Jackson traveled to the South, the Southwest, and the East Coast to explore the rich, diverse landscape of the African-American Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender community, by interviewing people who are trying to redefine, reshape and rejuvenate the community as a whole in the work that they do. Influential and famous individuals like Bobby Blake, Faith Trimel, Maurice Jamal, Sharon Bridgforth and Christopher David and individuals like Rudolph Carn, Zandra Conway, Brandon Bragg and Layli Phillips, Ph.D, who are apart of grassroots organizations, all of which whose personal and organizational missions are to empower and enlighten the African-American Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender community. The DVD is available from their website: http://www.kuttingedgeonline.com/ It's listed for $31.99 If you decide to get one, tell em you heard about it here first.






It's On NOW: Formidable presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton is not gonna stand for it and is taking it to the streets right before the Iowa caucuses. Mrs. HRC is stepping up her attacks on B. Obama citing his lack of experience, health care plan and that awkward statement he made about his living in a foreign country as some kind of foreign diplomacy credential. Joining the pile on is President 42, Bill Clinton who is ardently defending his wife by disputing the "inaccuracies" from other contenders. Camp Obama in a "no you don't" moment has created an additional website highlighting Hillary's statements as negative politics. We are only weeks away from the Iowa show down... you've just got to stay tune.




OH! GW: I know most of you didn't see it and you should have. It was yesterday's press conference with President Bush's spin on the latest NIE, which stated that Iran's nuclear program was stopped some 4 years ago and doesn't have one in place now. However, the decider who actually had further "unanalyzed" intel information in August, stated that he sorta just learned about this recently. Despite his "mushroom cloud/World War 3" rhetoric that he's freely shared with the world in October. I did a double take as I listened to the leader of the free world continue to take a defense posture, meanwhile spouting that a pre-emptive military strike is "not off the table." Excuse me, but haven't we been down this road to Iraq. What about those missing weapons of mass destruction, our nation building, and the confusing issues of intel "credibility." In the words of Lou Dobbs, "What in the world is this President thinking?" Or should I be saying not thinking. Mr. Bush, could we get this right before someone get's blown up for no reason.




Have you registed to vote yet? If not here are some important dates for you to remember.


January 7, 2008 Voter Registeration Deadline

January 29, 2008 Early Voting Begins

Febraury, 5, 2008 Presidential Preferential Primary Elections



If you don't know if you are registered, and why don't you know? You can find out by logging on to http://www.voterview.org/ to check you status. What you waiting for, do it today!!!




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