Thursday, June 12, 2008

Talking Out Loud: a Double take

I can feel it. Can you? It's the sounds of summer that raging just over the horizon. Even though we've been experiencing a mini heatwave in the last few weeks and those AC's are starting to hum a bit louder, I'm all about fun in the sun. This year more than ever, most likely much of the fun in the sun will be closer to home, due to those pesky gas prices, however, I will rise to the occasion. In the meantime, I will still find the time and patience to continue to produce this forum. Heck, how would you know what' really going on? So, let's get this version cracking as I post items that should cause you to start talking out loud....

Who's Asking: Remember the much ballyhooed Clinton policy of "Don't Ask - Don't Tell? What about those high five moments of Nancy Pelosi who announced that there would be serious legislative changes in the first 100 days of the Dems taking back congressional control in 2007? Well, folks didn't much happen in the first 100 days or 1000 days for that matter,especially in the area of the armed forces policy toward gays in the military. All across the board from Democratic presumptive nominee, B. Obama who feels that he can "reasonably see" a repeal if he's elected President. Other Hill bystanders are all in favor of repealing the measure but, feel that the electorate( that means you, me and everyone else) are interested in more pressing matters such as gas prices, inflation and foreclosures. Sound like the Congress is doing what they do best, averting anything that may cause them to step out of their comfort zones and actually stand for something.

There's Marriage in dem Hills: I know by now you've heard. Yes, the yellow brick road leads to the altar in California. After the recent state Supreme Court paved the way for that states GLBTQ community to get marriage certificates, it seems that it's all anyone can talk about. It's on the cover of the current Advocate which gives one the low down and possible shut down of getting hitched in tinsleland come this November via referendum. Even though we've been quite proud of the Eureka registry, the noise made in the Golden state has been deafing not to mention the money that's been spent by both proponents and opposition. The totals are staggering with the Protect Marriage organization dolling out at least 1.8 million on a signature campaign with sights on amassing around 10 Million to stop them gay folks from marital bliss. Yet not to be out done, Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and a coalition member, Equality for All intends to match the opposition “dollar for dollar.” To pull that off, it’ll need to raise between $10 million and $20 million -- more than has ever been raised to fight a gay ballot initiative. (As we went to press, the Human Rights Campaign announced it would donate $500,000 to this enormous effort.) Whew, that's a lot of "I Do" dollars.

HIV Talk -Talk Tour: Last week, June 5, the first of several scheduled HIV/AIDS Task force forum was held at Philander Smith College. According to news sources only 45 people attended which included the 19 person board and the remaining were service providers. Unfortunately, I couldn't attend due to this meeting being scheduled at 5:30 p.m. which precludes some working stiffs from attending. After further scanning my sources, I discovered that many possible stakeholders or other interested parties were of the opinion, "so what do they want to talk about?" I re-read the material circulated by the task force and came to conclusion that the purpose of the this forum did not quite ring loud and clear. After this assessment, I went on to redetermine exactly what these forums were designed to do, subsequently catching the article in the Arkansas Gazette( 6.12.08) in which Dr. Katherine Stewart said, "that the public forums can be time when we can hear about their concerns..." Continuing with, "hearing directly from those suffering from the disease is crucial to the task force's mission..." Say What? Excuse me but, I've heard bucket loads of "concerns" from the HIV/ AIDS community without leaving my desktop and sometimes without even asking. So, where have these folks been for the last two decades. Are they not on the The Notes e-blast list? Did they miss that ADH HIV pow- wow that was held a few weeks ago? What about that highly promoted talkfest that was held at the Art Scene? Why hell they all could just bookmark this site! What more testimony is really needed? Sorry, I digressed. The next forums are scheduled for Fayetteville, July 17, August 21 in Pine Bluff and Sept. 22 in West Memphis. I can't wait to see who shows up for those meet and greets. Stay tuned I'll keep you posted....

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