Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here comes that Sound, Again...

Are you wondering what the hell is that sound that I'm talking about it? Well it varies depending upon the situation. It could be the sound of the "blame game" from Capitol Hill, those "I approved this message," tag lines in the political ads, could be the falling of another financial institution or most likely it's the tap, tap tapping of my fingers keeping this forum smack dab in the middle of it all. Those are the sounds that I'm speaking of and that make the cut here. I'm sitting tall in the big chair, continuing to bring you the latest updates, commentary, links, breaking news and video for the GLBTQ community and beyond.

Cash Dash Coup: Gosh Dern it, the cash is still in the till, just for a few days more. All of the Arkansas delegation voted for this untested, sorta defined, ill conceived measure that many on "main street" simply don't understand and are made as hell at those whiz kids on Wall Street. Meanwhile the stock market rolled up not a lucky "777" but rather a unlucky loss of at least a Trillion "on paper" dollars. Houston do we have a problem? Yes, there is a problem and that problem has been founded in fast and loose business dealings trumped with lack of oversight or regulations. What needs to be done? We need a bill that has saber tooth tiger teeth that will not allow any loopholes, penalties for any abuse, spelled out measures to address foreclosures and strict enforcement elements across the board. No monkey business, no way, no how. In our last post I'm encouraging you to action and I'm doing so again. Educate yourself on this matter and state your position. Call your Representative in Congress and your Senators. (click here to find their phone numbers). Feel free to them COP:24/7 sent ya! Remember no matter what happens, breathe, stay calm and believe that it will be alright...

Easy Street/Easy Over: Recently a few Dallas folks with Arkansas ties have been floating inquires about Easy Street and speculating if the joint was now apart of the NK empire. Well, as usual so far there's been no official "comment" or announcement. In case you've not been in the loop, Easy Street has been the subject of much consternation from those many "silent" investors to an array of allegations concerning leases, leverages and losses. Despite it all, life has been a cabaret at the piano bar hosted by Michael Henderson and if a cash infusion is forthcoming, the good times will somehow roll on. Stay tuned....well have it first!!!

Unity Walking: The annual Walk for CommUNITY is a perfect event for those who want to fight bigotry, promote diversity and have fun at the same time! Every year, hundreds of concerned and engaged citizens join together to express appreciation for the diversity offered in central Arkansas. Walkers follow a path, which is just one mile in length, over the Main Street Bridge to North Little Rock and then back to the River Market Pavilions. Following the Walk, we celebrate this diversity with music, refreshments, entertainment and lots of fun!
Funds raised from the Walk will be used to support JCCA's youth and community leadership programs.
The Walk for CommUNITY is a great opportunity for all allies of JCCA to support the work that JCCA does and to showcase their pride in the diversity of the Arkansas community.
If you would like more information about the Walk for CommUNITY or to become a Team Leader or Sponsor of this event, please contact Mallory Jewell, Special Projects Coordinator, at the JCCA office.http://www.arkansasjustcommunities.org/events/unity/

Monday, September 29, 2008

From the Big Chair

The first debate between Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain took place last Friday and I don't know about you, but there was no game changer for me. Supposedly McCain was to trounce the Bouncing O on a multitude of topics. However, what I saw was a candidate that was in "repeat" mode. Citing those knowledgeable sound bytes from stump speeches and past wanderings from his various campaign stops. I was also mystified at this "elder statesman's" body language which telegraphed all sorts of questionable signals. The nod goes to Mr. Obama who bullet pointed, outlined, and qualified himself as not only knowledgeable but certainly presidential. I'm through with those "experience" slings and arrows because after this debate, it's all about leadership and commanding the issues. No one could avoid the talking pundits who have analyzed this thing to death. I have to agree that Senator Obama may seem aloof and almost just to damn cool to deal with this pot boiler of a country. But I'm basically convinced that his tempermeant as well as intelligence would be comforting in this stifling atmosphere. Even though I don't expect him to get much done in his first term, I think that he'll give it his all and then some.

Oh Sarah!: Well it seems that the maybe the wheels may be coming off the McPalin band waggon, as some conservatives are having second thoughts about the Alaska Gov. Mrs. Palin's painful interview with Katie Couric and all those photo ops with world leaders whom seemed to want to bask in her afterglow, rather than discuss anything of substance has started a micro chorus calling for Palin to take a bow and move on. It's been reported that Mrs. P is secluded at Camp Mac in Arizona, taking a crash course in everything political in lieu of her much anticipated debate with Obama mouthpiece and pit bull, Senator Joe Biden. It's gonna be a doozie and maybe a game changer in itself. I've still got some cheese dip and chips left over for this next outing, perhaps I'll need some Kleenex as well.

Cash-O-Rama: Does anyone get the Bailout? It's about the bell weather "They," that's those credit issuers, brokers, Wall Street whiz kids, insurance people and all the ilk that has done some bad business without much regulation. Meanwhile, a beleaguered President Bush and whom ever left in his administration is doing a Mr. Magoo. Stating that they didn't realize that this thing has gotten to this point nor did they expect that all this funny money shigity would eventually catch up to the mighty USA economy. Oh Really now? The latest incarnation of this measure has the funds being piece mealed out starting with a mere 250 Billion to start with other details still being hammered out as we go to edit. I'm suspect at this latest cash dash and of all those involved.I feel like some one's trying to pic pocket me to the tune of $3000.00, which is suppose to be each citizens share. I'm furthermore cautious that both Obama and McCain are being swift boated into supporting this shoddy deal at the hands of Congress and others. If you are concerned, and most likely you should. Here's some stuff you can do:

1. Call or e-mail Senator Obama. Tell him he does not need to be sitting there trying to help prop up Bush and Cheney and the mess they've made. Tell him we know he has the smarts to slow this thing down and figure out what's the best route to take. Tell him the rich have to pay for whatever help is offered. Use the leverage we have now to insist on a moratorium on home foreclosures, to insist on a move to universal health coverage, and tell him that we the people need to be in charge of the economic decisions that affect our lives, not the barons of Wall Street.
2. Take to the streets. Participate in one of the hundreds of quickly-called demonstrations that are taking place all over the country (especially those near Wall Street and DC).
3. Call your Representative in Congress and your Senators. (click here to find their phone numbers). Tell them what you told Senator Obama.

Friday, September 26, 2008

TGIF: Changing Channels

Have you had enough of the money mess coverage? Are you just as confused as you were when you first heard about it? O.K. Welcome to our Friday Diversion post, where I've highlighted items of a lighter nature and a bit of kitsch. Let's not wait any longer, because that other news is just around the corner. Here we go....

Noah's Arc Jumpin: I posted a brief blurb last week about the upcoming Noah's Arc: Jumpin the Broom, movie scheduled for an October 24, 2008 release. In response to a reader who wanted to know if the film would be shown locally, I think the jury is still out, especially since I asked those who are interested in the this product to make their voices known. So far, I've gotten "crickets." That means, no responses, no comments, no questions, no nothing. I stated then and again now, that this is why films of this nature don't view in this city. The distributors, LOGO Feature Films, don't send out their productions on a whim, but rather demographics that are revenue driven. Simply put, if there's no cash for the coffers, then they show the film where there's some bonafide dollars for the bottom line. With that said, the closest site that I've discovered is of course, the ATL. The film is booked for the Atlanta Midtown Art Cinema as well as sites in NYC and LA respectively. I'm sure that once the theatrical legs run out, there will be DVD's or downloads of some sort widely available. One more time people, if you want product, you've got to ask for it in force with letters, e-mails, postcards or comments. This forum is trying to spear head a demand to Noah's Arc movie. It's either about putting up or shutting up. Think about it...

Pageantry in the STL: Just in case you missed it, The Miss Gay America 2009 pageant is on the road this year after rolling on the river in Memphis. The promoters L & T Entertainment, have selected St. Louis, MO for this year's competition, October 8-12, 2008 at the Millennium Hotel. This year's extravaganza is themed, "A Vision behind the mask, A Masquerade Gala." Arkansas' delegation includes MGA Stephanie Richards & Zia D' Yor, 1st alternate competing with 65 other national competitors. Ticket packages are on sell now via the pageant website along with everything else "pageant." I'm sure that it's going to be a sell-out. So plan, execute and if you can spend an extra day in the city to take in some of sites like I did in July. There's lot to see and do, and lot's of it is, "FREE."

All American CHO: OH NO it's the Cho Show!, as in comedian Margaret Cho who seems to keep resuscitating or resurrecting her career in shock and awe fashion. Her recent incarnation, "The Cho Show," left me wondering, "did someone actually green light this with the thoughts that perhaps it would make good TV? O.K. I fell for it and watch a couple of episodes to see what the "notorious C.H.O." was up too. I have to admit it, I love a little baughty humor, even it sometimes becomes at bit too much. And the Cho Show goes to the limit and then some. Even though the premise of the first episode that I watched was about Ms. C dealing with turning 40, I've never felt that having "anal bleaching" as means of dealing with the aging factor. Now, I realize that those Hollywood people get hipped to the latest techniques but exactly what was to be funny about this procedure. So far everyone I've asked about this, thinks that I suffered some anesthesia damage. Of course her "glam squad" a mixed group of friends tossed this matter back and forth with their add on candor is again supposedly to the height of comedic relief. Actually the best part of this comedy mash up is watching the reaction shots of her parents(Ma & Pa Cho) who are probably thinking," who are you and what have you done with our daughter?" The next episode that I dared to watch dealt with, get this, Margaret's "haunted Vagina." Now really. Yes, people it's come to this, when the creative set believe that this stuff is suppose to be must see TV. I don't know but maybe I'm loosing my hippness and cool. I watched, The CHO Show thinking I'd like to spend my viewing hours watching something a bit more enlightening and entertaining.Afterall I did watch a entire marathon of Gunsmoke reruns in one setting. If you dare, it's reality in living color on VH1. Check you local listings for times and episodes. If I'm wrong about this, feel free to let me know.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hear Comes that Sound!

Can you hear it? Now listen closely. It's the slow build up of folks who may end up with a "we're mad as hell and we are not going to take it any longer," attitude. I can feel it and I believe that it's not going to get any prettier out their. In the meantime, we are always about keeping the heat turned up and the volume on high as we continue with our minted brand of updates, links, breaking news, and what ever trips across our radar. So let's go get em....

Recovery JAM: On Monday, September 29, 2009, the fourth annual Recovery Jam will be held at the Little Rock River Market Pavilion from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Recovery Month’s goal is to reduce the stigma associated with alcoholism and other drug dependencies through prevention, education, and treatment. Our goal is to provide help and hope, especially to family members, that recovery is possible by raising awareness about substance use, mental disorders, treatment and recovery. The event is free and open to the public. The event will include live music, free refreshments, personal testimonies, and providers with resources to raise awareness about substance use and mental disorder, treatment and recovery information. Also present will be ARCPG which will have display table with a variety of information inter-related to the junction to which HIV/AIDS and substance abuse intersect. Unfortunately this aspect of the health crisis is not always on the forefront despite the increasing incidences of drugs being involved with risky sexual behavior. I highly encourage anyone and everyone to check this event out and if you need assistance, by all means make an effort to get treatment. Here's a hot link for more info:(www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/PDF/idu.pdf).

Dialing for Dollars: Recently there was a interesting article that appeared in the NW edition of the AR Dem-Gaz citing ongoing struggles of an area clinic that serves HIV-AIDS patients. The piece offered an insightful look into the how there continues to a low threshold of "dollars and sense" being applied to helping this vulnerable individuals, the "wishy-washy" value that seems to be placed on their lives and the municipal battle for health care dollars. Those interviewed expressed thoughtful positions, however, according to Ed Barham, a ADH spokesperson, "Arkansas received 7.9 million last year for services for people with HIV..." Even though this sounds like a lot of cash, it's simply not when you account for the ever rising cost of treatment, plus the many associated financial needs of patients. The stories of those named are not anomalies, but rather the norm for HIV/ AIDS patients in this state. It's apparent that outlying areas are being impacted to the point where local governing bodies are debating funding such clinics. This could leave many individuals in a health care void and isolated. It's unacceptable and we must show our support by contacting those entities and Representatives respectively. You can read the article at (Arkansas Democratic Gazette):http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/237281/
VOICES Carry: I'm throwing out the welcome mat for submissions to this forum from area activist, writer, poets, humorist, soap box theriost or just "joe speaker." I prepared to offer a recurring column or featured item as dictated by the author. So if you are interested in giving your two cents here at COP, just drop us a line in our comment section or submit your content for consideration. We are ready whenever you are! Let's hear from you today!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

All Hands on Deck Wednesday!

It's all hands on Deck! They're at it again, our illustrious U.S. leadership is winding up to throw us a pitch that just may be a wild one. Golly Gee's it takes me at a minimum of two days to make small decisions, not to mention a major one involving taking the Federal deficit in the Trillion sphere! Meanwhile, as we wait and watch these jokers at work, this forum will continue to keep it real and of course, On Point!...

SDC "O" Pride: Arkansas' Stonewall Democrats announces their Obama Pride in Arkansas meeting, 9.25.08, DP HQ, 1300 W. Capitol in downtown Little Rock. The evening will feature guest speakers: State Representative (and SDC-Ark founder) Kathy Webb(pictured); Arkansas for Obama Field Director, Kyle Simon; and joining us via conference call, National Obama Pride co-chair (and Stonewall of Dallas President) Jesse Garcia. Together we can make a difference, so bring your friends and find out how we can help put a true ally of our community in the White House. If you can make it, then do so. If not, don't forget their are volunteer opportunities at the Obama HQ. What are you doing this election season? Tell us how you are showing your support for your candidate by submitting a comment, pictures, video, podcast or op-ed. Let's talk!

Saturday Night Straps: What's a "Leather Hobba?" Don't have a clue? Then, if you want to know, you'll have to trek to the northside and join the Sidetrack family for their 4th Saturday Leather Night in the Loft Bar. This evening is being billed that the leather community will be taking charge of the atmosphere along with demonstrations. What kind of demo's you ask? Well, let's just say I've seen some fascinating Master & Servant demo's "other places." However, you'll just have to take the plunge for yourself to find out what the local set is up too. It's all going down starting around 9 p.m. Tell em The C.O.P sent ya...!

Rodeo Rockin 09: Believe it or not, 2008 is just about history( and how!) and soon it'll be 2009. The year DSRA continues it tradition of Rodeoing in the Rock. Miss DSRA, Diamond Rose will host another benefit night 9.26.08 at the Hoffman street clubhouse. Doors open early and show time is 9 p.m. If you haven't visited in a while, do so, because you'll want to come back real soon!

Say it Ain't So!: As the globe seems to about to tilt off it's axis with the Cash Crash of 08, comes the "shocking "news and I do mean Casablanca shocking news that Clay Aiken is what...Gay! It's so anti climatic that I gave it, a "nawwww, say it aint so." I guess this matter just had to be handled since he's on the cover of People magazine with his son, Parker Foster and talking openly about his life and his baby mama drama. For those in the know, allegedly his kid was medically conceived by his 50 year best friend. Now what's that all about? I've never been a Aiken admirer or fan, but didn't Mr. A realize that he had busted off the "gaydar" years' ago? Furthermore, why didn't he call up Lance Bass and get some advice about this down low maneuver he was trying to pull. All in all, congrats to Clay for doing it his way, the birth of his son and what will befall him as he pursues his career. I don't think any of his adorning twinks or tweens will abandon him at all. Most likely they will just want to go shopping with him instead. Hey Clay, let's do lunch the next time you're in Little Rock, I know all the hot restaurants that have baby changing stations. Call me...O.K.!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Roll Out for U & Me

At last it's fall. Cooler weather, beautfiul seasonal foilage changes, leaves rustling about as we all continue to stand dumbfounded at the nuttiness that surrounds us on a daily basis. Welcome to Fall 2008 where not only are leaves falling from the trees but so are banks, brokerage houses and home prices. It's another wonderful day in the neighborhood and this forum is ready to give you the latest updates, links, and happenings in Central City and beyond...

And They're Off: It's only about 40 days or so left in the run for the White House race and boy does it look like a it's going to be a nasty barn burner. At every turn, I'm amazed at the amount of the electorate that can't seem to make up it's mind about who will be the next leader of the free world. So far, Maverick Mac has been nudging Team Obama out of the lead. Subseqently the bouncing O comes ebbing back into play but not quite in a notable lead. Oh that McaCain! especially with that smart play of bringing on Alaska's Governor Palin. She's been a story with legs that the media can't stop fixating on. What's really going on here? What must be done to stop this momentum? Is everyone registered? Where's Bill & Hillary? Is this OMG moment? Stop the presses...O.K. Just when I thought it was time to exhale, then a 700 Billion pound gorillla was sitting in the room. Yikes! If you are not registered to vote in this critical election cycle, I implore you to do so. Remember every vote counts and I mean every vote. I challenge each of you to assist anyone who has not registered. You can do it by phone at 1.866.MY VOTE.1 Well, what are you waiting for. I've begun this campaign by chiding my LTC about his apathy in getting registered. There you have it, I'm starting on the home front and working my way out. Let's hear where you are getting started.

Slackers Unite: Yes folks I'm locked and loaded for the release of Michael Moore's latest salvo in popular culture with his current film, Slacker's Uprising. He's throwing the switch at midnight(9.23.08) allowing the film to be downloaded for FREE. According to his press material "Slacker Uprising" traces Michael Moore’s 62-city tour of the swing states during the 2004 Presidential election and records the thrilling -- and frightening -- response he received across the country. I don't recall his tour crossing into this terrority but I'm floating the idea of at least finding a screening site for this film. The press release continues, neither Moore nor Brave New Films will make any money from the film, which had a budget of over $2 million. "This is being done entirely as a gift to my fans," said Moore. "The only return any of us are hoping for is the largest turnout of young voters ever at the polls in November. I think 'Slacker Uprising' will inspire million to get off the couch and give voting a chance."
“Our mission here at Brave New Films is to get out a message of social justice,” said Greenwald. “This year , that means getting people to take a close look at what’s at stake in this incredibly important election. You can find literally no better storyteller in the world for that purpose than Michael Moore. Michael is a genius and an inspiration to people all over the country. This new movie is a gift to our country in this critical moment, and we’re honored to be distributing it for free over the internet.”
Moore’s goal four years ago was to convince millions of non-voting "slackers” -- mostly between the ages of 18-29 -- to give voting a try. Starting out in Elk Rapids , Michigan , in front of an audience of 400 , the tour caught on like wildfire with up to 16 , 000 slackers each night coming to see Moore and his traveling band of speakers , comedians , and musicians.
To encourage the slackers to show up, they were offered a clean change of underwear, Ramen noodles, and a promise that no event would start before noon and no politician would be allowed to speak. These enticements filled basketball arenas and football stadiums every night on the "Slacker Uprising Tour."
Part concert tour , part stand-up comedy performance and part rock concert , SLACKER UPRISING is an uplifting and patriotic look at the birth of a new political generation in America -- a generation of young people who would signal the era of “Obamania” that would take place just four years later.
Along with Moore’s appearance, "Slacker Uprising" features live performances or appearances by Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam), Roseanne Barr, Joan Baez, Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine), R.E.M., Steve Earle, and Viggo Mortensen.
To view a trailer and a scene from "Slacker Uprising,” go to http://www.slackeruprising.com/
Sounds like a good evening of grass roots mixing and mingling. What say thee, well, shall we take it for a spin, if we dare...We are all ears and then some!! Let the comments rolls...

Monday, September 22, 2008

As The World Turns, Part 2

Who Moved the Common Sense?

A Tisky, a Tasky, another Billion in the Basket! Of course you've' had to have your head in the sand not to have been aware of the current financial "shigity" that's rolling down hill on to the lone tax payer. Although I was a bit under the weather, I channel surfed with vigor, while tyring to catch every perspective about this money wreckage that has everyone scrambling trying to explain the who, what and what for in regards to how this thing happened. I have no PHD or financial degree, but I do have at least a tea cup of what was simply missing from the gaggle of folks who created this mash up. It's called "common sense and personal responsibility." As this situation continues to reveal it self, there are many questions that I've pondered. Nuggets such as," is there lot's of blame to go around?," you betcha. Was their some probable fraud? Most likely? Did people go "ga-ga " for homes like Coco Puffs? Definitely. Did de-regulation and a "everything goes" attitude loom large on Wall Street? Bingo! Even though I didn't live through the Great Depression, I realized that I've been witness to the creation of Amtrack from a failed entity, Lee Iaccoca's engineered Chrysler's Buy Out, the S & L debacle, and now this ominous heap of bad decisions, predatory tactics and outrageous abandonment of business sense. When President Bush promoted the idea of Home Ownership in America, I don't think he actually meant a home of everyone whether they could afford one or not. Now here comes the Fed to the rescue doing only what could be done to keep this nation from the tipping point of financial ruin. Yet, what chaps my hide are those "know it all's " who sat in glass corner offices, meanwhile jumping ship with Million Dollar pay days, then slinking to their own high priced quarters. Unscathed and unrepentant to the shenanigans not to mentinon the Five Card Monte's, shell games and "winks and nods" that went on during their watch. Shame on them. And shame on those whom threw caution to the wind by accepting "NINJA"(no income,no job or assest) loans, or other dubuious "funny money" products that they didn't understand or question. Shame, Shame on all those intermixed in the real estate game including appriasers, agents, brokers, bundlers, builders, speculators, lenders and the kitchen sink for their "I didn't do anything illegal" just unethical attitude. Has this maddness bottomed out, who knows? Just like any good soap opera, stay tuned....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

As the Worlds Turns, part 1

Take one and take Two. As the world turns is in full affect these days, with some people going, "what the hell is this?" Could you be one of those trying to figure out just what's really going on? If not, I'm certainly monitoring all the news sources and then some, almost on a 24 hour basis. It's almost just to much! However, I'm keeping a eagle eye and steady hand on the wheel to keeping our special brand of news, commentary, links, and all we can muster beaming into your desktop. So, here we go!...

Haters Cometh: Don't forget that the PhelpPhobes have Central City in their sights this weekend. They will be flame throwing their "God Hates Fags" rhetoric and other Christian right dogma to unsuspecting visitor's and citizens. Their schedule is as follows:

Friday September 19th
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Little Rock, AR The Peabody Hotel (National Conference of Editorial Writers)
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Little Rock, AR Clinton Presidential Library
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Little Rock, AR The Peabody Hotel (National Conference of Editorial Writers)
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Jacksonville, AR Little Rock Air Force Base
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Little Rock, AR The Peabody (National Conference of Editorial Writers)
And for good measure
Saturday, September 20th 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Little Rock, AR The Peabody (National Conference of Editorial Writers)

If you would like to participate in a fundraising effort by the UALR/Straight Alliance, click it to http://www.westboroiscoming.com/ for more info.

Positive Gay Men are Healthier: What about You?

The degree of negativity toward homosexuality is what predicts poor sexual and mental health in gay men, according to a University of Minnesota study.
422 Midwestern gay and bisexual men completed surveys assessing their degree of homosexuality, their degree of positive or negative attitudes towards homosexuality, and a range of mental and sexual health variables.
In all cases, internalized homonegativity, not being homosexual, predicted poorer mental health (particularly increased depression) and worse sexual health.

Negative attitude linked to poorer health
Researchers say the study helps inform the debate of whether or not being homosexual is healthy.
“This study is a missing link in our understanding of the relationship between sexuality and health,” Simon Rosser, Ph.D said. “It provides new evidence that negative attitudes towards homosexuality, not homosexuality itself, are associated with both poorer mental and sexual health outcomes seen in sexual minorities. Conversely, positive attitudes towards homosexuality are associated with better mental and sexual health.”
Age-old debate
For more than 150 years, scholars and educators have debated whether homosexuality is an objective disorder or whether societal prejudice, not homosexuality, leads to the elevated rates of depression, drug use, and HIV/STD epidemics seen in studies of gay men, Rosser said. This study tested both theories.
“Given the debates in many religious denominations about homosexuality, and in society about homosexuals and civil rights, it’s also timely,” Rosser said. “In particular, the old advice to gay men to fight, deny, or minimize their homosexuality likely only increases depression, greater isolation, and poorer sexual health. In short, viewing homosexuality as a disorder is not only inaccurate, it may be harmful as well.”

Added bonus
The research, part of a state-funded HIV prevention program, has also been shown to be effective in reducing unsafe sex.
The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of Homosexuality.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wild Wednesday & Me

What's another 85 Billion Dollars top of that Multi-"Trillion" dollar deficit that's looming just over the horizon. It's another Wild Wednesday and the world is still turning, but probably a bit broadsided with all that's going on from now through the next 100 days. Then it's time to celebrate another new year. Can you believe it? Believe it. There's no time to spare, so let's get busy quickly!...

Dialing for Dollars: Obviously the current financial mash up's and shigity that's become a thorn in our cash cushions is allegedly a problem at the embattled, Arkansas AIDS Foundation. From the e-blasts that I've been scanning, it seems that the organization is in the midst or has been in the throws of cutbacks, but sorta not letting it's local providers know in a timely manner. You know the drill, clients show up for services, receive them, billing sent for payment, viola," there's no funding to pay the bills." Even though directed by the current Board of Directors to facilitate these notices promptly, apparently the proverbial ball has been either dropped or some one is still not minding the store at AAF and beyond. Need more? Yes ,there's more, so come on back to catch up on the latest from the Arkansas "benefit A-go- go" AIDS Foundation.

Linking in the Rock: Gayintherock. com is linking up with other cyber forces, including this forum. If you missed there roll out a few weeks back, then you can still get in on the action by subscribing to the site. All the details concerning our "working association" hasn't been ironed out, but perhaps it will be a win-win for not only Central City,but hopefully statewide. If you sign up, let us know or better yet, let them know that you heard about it here first. Of course we will be returning the favor with a link in our section shortly. Kudos to the creators for reaching out with a unity mindset. Go their now: http://www.gayintherock.com/

Registering U: A big high five to the upcoming CARE voter registration drive 10.20.08 being held at Sidetracks during their Autumn Solstice party. Go to their website for more info, then take a friend or stranger,(whatever works for you) and get them officially registered for the November smack down. Remember, every vote counts! And that mean you friend!

Getting involved in the election process is vital in this upcoming cycle. Here's a great chance to get some intensive grassroots training and maybe meeting someone new along the way. I'm encouraging you dear readers to put your foot down and support the candidate of your choice. There's got to be some changing in this nation and it's up to you to be apart of that process.
Personal contact at a local level is the most effective way to identify existing Obama supporters and introduce undecided voters to the kind of change we are working to bring about. That is exactly the purpose of Camp Obama Arkansas - you will receive training in the organizing and voter contact techniques that won Senator Obama the nomination. With this training, you will be able to help the Obama team reach voters in both Arkansas and neighboring battleground states.

Camp Obama training provides an opportunity to prepare our great supporters in Arkansas to deliver the state to the Democrats this year. You have three opportunities to participate in a Camp Obama in Arkansas. No prior experience is needed. Here are the Training Locations:

Saturday, September 20, 2008
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
The Edge Coffeehouse
1900 Aggie Road
Jonesboro, AR 72401

Little Rock
Sunday, September 21, 2008
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
112 West 7th Street
North Little Rock, AR 72114

Fayetteville (New Location)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Cosmopolitan Hotel, Sequoyah Room
70 N. East Ave.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Due to the tremendous response, locations are subject to change. Go to http://e2ma.net/go/1339604955/1218652/44587583/goto:http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/arcampobama for the latest details or to RSVP

Monday, September 15, 2008

Let's do it Again, Monday!

Boy, another Monday in September is upon me and I'm just giddy enough to do what I do best and get back in the saddle out in cyberspace. Ladies and Gentlemen, It's another COP; 24/7 coming to you with our special brand of everything and more. Therefore, are you ready, if so then brace yourselves because here I come....

The Big Count Down: Can you believe it? Yesiree, there are only about 50 days until the "change" showdown at the polls. I certainly hope by now that most of you have already registered to vote. If not, time is of the essence and your nearest phone can help get you ready to cast the most important ballot of your life time. I challenge all of you to at least register one person for this years election cycle. You can do it by phone at 1.866. MY -VOTE -1 or http://www.justvote.org/ The data on people not registered to vote is just mind boggling to me, not to mention the simple questions of, WHY are you not registered!? Let me be very clear people. This is a very important election cycle and every vote counts, and I do mean every simple one. Let's get busy, you get busy and let's register anyone and everyone TODAY!

OH! Harry, revisited: Last week in my minor posting about the White Trash party at Sidetracks, I mentioned seeing Mr. Harry Bounds among the revelers during the event. Subsequently, I have been called on the carpet by "Anonymous" whom seemed miffed with the tone of that post and inferred that I explain myself. Of course, I'm always happy to oblige readers, whether subscribers or those who I happen to touch upon their nerve endings. For the record, their response was posted and you can read that for your selves. But in the meantime, let's get a few things straight. I'm always intrigued by those who want to comment and shoot from the hip in the name of " Anonymous." In this forum, I'm front and center about it's content and our intentions. If Party "A" wants to call me out, then gird your loins and step to the plate with your name. In their response, they cited was the mention "necessary" and quipped that somehow my post was intrusive or perhaps a door stop of some sort to his career track. I deemed that post necessary since I state that I cover the "GLBTQ community and beyond," there's no malice intended. Especially since the venue is a "public" place and Mr. B is after all a public figure by choice. As for the 411 that I mentioned, this was the result of a casual conversation from an individual who was familiar with him, his work and his community efforts elsewhere. There was no scuttlebutt or mean spiritedness divulged or requested from me, nor did I go trolling for any other info about the subject. Furthermore, Party A accuse me of being negligent by opening a doorway to some type of speculation. I re-read that post in search of that speculation, only determining that I said his "face was in the place". I didn't mention who he was with, who he was wearing, drinking or any other behavior for that matter. Perhaps Party A's mindset dwells in a speculative zone, but the whole world speculates, whether good or bad, about everything for goodness sake. This forum has mentioned a variety of individuals seen at events, including KTHV's Anne Jansen at an AIDS Walk event, local personality/writer David Bazzel at Easy Street, Rep. Kathy Webb at Soup Sunday or my own "face in the place" at an AIDS Foundation event which was covered by local news mag, Soriee, which may have or may not have cause some type of speculation. To close this point, recently I suffered from a degenerative condition that was well known in the community. However, many and I do mean many, openly "speculated" that I wouldn't recover and were ready to write my obituary. I'm well aware of the "comfort zones" from which some must exist, however, this forum strives to meet the pillars of our mission statement, "to empower, inform and entertain." Ultimately, If Mr. B was bothered by my post, then certainly he should be able to speak for himself. I know the "off the record" routine very well. Finally, if Anonymous is into the "scratch and sniff" mentality, then the fragrance that emits from here at COP:24/7, is all about "keeping it real and staying on point."

Money A Go - Go: I'm not sure if this can be considered a "black Monday," but it's not pretty out there when financial stalwarts are falling like redwoods. I'm not a money genius, but I do tune in to Jim Cramer's Mad Money show when I need another jolt about my own money management or that other Mother load of info, Suzi Orman. Also, I love getting those calls from my own Edward Jones broker whom feels that perhaps I need some reassurance about the markets or my investment portfolio. But, I'm usually not sweating any bullets, just concerned that those "smarty pants" folks who run the AIG's , Merrill Lynch's or Fannie Mae's are not so smart after all. Just exactly how many bad loans does an institution have to make before they realize that some one's not doing their job? I did pass basic math and if you only bring home $1500.00 a month and the mortgage is a $2500 ARM loan, then most likely there's going to be problems somewhere down the road, ya think? Now every one's acting like those exotic products were going to pay off from individuals who now can't pay, meanwhile company execs got out the "golden" parachutes bailing out with backpacks of cash. Off sheet balance books, Sub prime bundling, re-packaging loans, government shore-ups and the many fancy new fangled ways to stay solvent are just mind numbing. Haven't I seen this movie before called the S & L Debacle last century? Excuse me while I take a BC power and come back strong....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Two Day Double Take

Can you say busy? Some days it's all I can do to get this forum produced and still run my mini-empire. However to paraphrase the prosperous, "to much that is given, much is expected." Everyday I do my best to give it my all on every front and then some. I'm staying committed to my pledge a few years ago to explore, expand and empower not only myself ,but pass on the blessings that I've encountered thus far. With all that said, this outing is "twofer," as I compress two days worth of coverage into one fast take. So, here we go!....

McCouple Strikes Back: It's a bird, it's a plane, not it's McCouple better known as the maverick duo, John McCain & Sarah Palin. Yes, it seems that Mr. M is sorta using every body's playbook on the campaign trail. His choice of Mrs. P, seems so similar to that other ubber power couple named Clinton. Remember when Former President Clinton seem to infer that if he was elected you get "2 for 1?" Also, the Maverick team has swathed their efforts in "change" clothing all the while sorta towing the Republican mantra of less government and taxes. Oh Joy, has Team Obama began wondering what the hell is going on here? According to recent polls, this whole race to the White House is getting too close for comfort is you ask me. Apparently the Obama folks are not conceding Arkansas to the McCain "win" column after all, by opening their official campaign office Saturday, September 13. Arkansas's Obama for America headquarters will hold its grand opening and everyone is invited. The event begins at 12 noon at 112 W. 7th St., North Little Rock. Unfortunately, in GLBTQ circles I can't detect exactly what's really gong on. I've seen some ugly e-mails being circulated as well as heard a few rainbow folks diss Senator Obama and his historic candidacy. Meanwhile, the count down is on, the race is now a gallop and it's less than 60 days to Election Day. Well, it seems that I've got some more work to do.

The Haters Cometh: As the political world goes into gotcha overdrive, so does those "Christians," from Westboro Baptist church led by Rev. Fred Phelps of Topeka Kansas. They're coming to Little Rock, 9.19.08 & 9.20.08 to locally exercise their constitutional right to assemble. Despite it's distasteful nature and toxicity wrapped in the name of Jesus. According to the website, Westboroiscoming.com these rhetoric spewing Americans are responsible for protest at the funerals of Matthew Shepard, Tony Snow, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, PBS's TV famed Mr. Fred Rogers, and the funeral’s of those killed in Iraq. Let's not forget that these are the same folks that believe that 9.1.01 was God mandated. They say God hates America because of its tolerance and support of–in their words–”fags”. All I can say is, "only in America" people. To offset these dastardly peaceful protest, the UALR Gay/ Straight Alliance has announced a Pledge-A-Thon based on the minutes that these proselytizers spend on the stump. For more info or to offer a pledge, click it to: http://www.westboroiscoming.com/ Even though this is a novel idea, I pondered why this organization didn't coalesce with other "local" community groups that may need a cash infusion. After all such groups as CAR or ASD surely could use more donations for the work that they pursue on a local level. Hmmmm, something to think about, don't ya think?

Noah's Arc Lands: Cyberspace is buzzing with anticipation about the proposed October release date of Noah's Arc: Jumpin the Broom movie. It's the wrap up of the wildly and affectionately embraced TV show of the same name on LOGO. The show was canceled but it lives on in various DVD collections. I got a chance to see the actual show on LOGO before it's demise and later revisited it courtesy of Netflix's on DVD. In case you've been living in Queer As Folk land and not hip to this show, it's about the life and love's of Noah, as portrayed by Daryl Stephens. As an L.A. screenwriter and his colorful cast of friends and circumstances. As far as the movie, there's much "spin" out there and various sites are listing tentative release dates. Yet I can't determine who will be distributing this product and I assume that only the major makets will be choosen first. I discovered that there's suppose to be a "soundtrack" that's been cut, which is also being release simultaneously to the movie. Now for the $64,000 questions. Will it play in Little Rock? Well, only if there's a market demand and a theatre willing to take the plunge. If this happens, maybe, just maybe the Market Cinema might be the taker. What do we do to get some momentum for this product? You can start here, by letting us know that Central Arkansas has a firm fan base for Noah's Arc. O.K. I've spoken, and I'm waiting on your voices to make the next move. I'm ready, are you? Make it known in the comment section TODAY!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Manic Monday

It'another "manic monday" here at COP 24/7 and we are back in the saddle bringing you more of what you've been looking for in updates, commentary,updates, links and just plain ole stuff. Are you ready to get this post started? Well, let's go get em....

White Trash in the City: I stopped in for the White Trash Party at Sidetracks, 9.6.08 to check out exactly what trash was blowing through. And they didn't let me down either. The crowd was varied as well as dressed in a assortement of "white trash" attire ranging from overalls to other bizzare outfits that were suppose to nod to the occassion. Club event coordinator, J.D. once again put out a great buffet while serving as the official host. The guys at Sidetracks just keep on bringing it to it's patrons in all forms and fashion. If you missed it then you should'nt have. But never fear, there's always something going on, so check their website, http://www.sidetracksnlr.com/ for more info.

OH Harry!: Speaking of faces in the place, I was pleasantly surprise to see local weatherman, Harry Bounds out and about at Sidetracks for the White Trash Party. I had already gotten heads up about Mr. B, while I was in St.Louis in july from a delegate from the Seattle area who gave me the 411 about the dapper weather guy. Unfortunately, I did'nt get a chance to make my way over to greet him due to being distracted by other well wishers in the crowd, but hopefully we will get up close and personal soon. So, from the COP 24/7, welcome to the community!

Shows for U: I trekked over to Backstreet on Sunday for the Raven St. James show and for a moment, thought that it would be a command performance for me and my partner, JCM. The reason being was that there were only two other faces in the place at the time. That time being 10 p.m.! This was way past my bed time, but I thought that I would venture out to see what was kicking and was kicking it on a Sunday night. However, what I found was that not many were kicking it, except the folks whom I'd seen on the north shore earlier in the evening. Ultimately, ther were about 30 people, yes I counted them, in the place at the height of the show. What's up with that? Your guess is good as mine, but it's so sad that the performers put all they have into this for only a few audience members. Kudos's for their hutzpa and desire to perform for who ever may be in the place.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Oh say can you see Friday!!

TGIF! Thank God it's Friday and it's stop raining for God's sake! Here we are soaked to the bone, but with power thank you and we're getting ready for another weekend. Whew, is it all too much or what? I hope that everyone stayed dry or at least drying out from the deluge of Gustav's fury. Today is a two monitor day for me. A two monitor day you ask? Yes, that's when COP: 24/7 is in overdrive with both desk top and laptop blazing with updates and around 100 E-blast to catch up on. While the power was doing it's thing, I kept trying to do that thing that I do, but often had to shut down to recharge. It's was challenging to say the least, and damn it, just like McCain said last evening, "Americans just don't give up..." Yeah buddy, and I'm in that mindset with no doubts. Are you with me..I certainly hope so. Because we are Arkansas' only daily online blog for Arkansas GLBTQ community and beyond!

Krogering in the Theatre: I recently got an e-blurb concerning the current show Southern Baptist Sisses, currently playing at the Weekend Theater. I've heard that it's great and I hope to catch it before it's last performance, 9.6.08. But just in case you miss it, the groups website has several ways you can still support the organization. I found this interesting due to the fact that I'm always talking about "doing things outside of the box." Especially the local GLBTQ groups that are in need of fresh ideas to fund their future projects and such. Therefore, If you are so inclined, you can help The Weekend Theater year round by purchasing a Kroger Gift Card and then using it when you purchase your groceries at Kroger. Of course, I'm always using their in-house Kroger Card for purchases that yield points to get a gas discount. Here's how it works. 1. Purchase a $5.00 Kroger Gift Card from The Weekend Theater for $5.00. There is already $5.00 preloaded on the card to spend so the card costs you nothing! Each gift card is specifically coded for The Weekend Theater. 2. Visit the Customer Service desk to reload your card prior to shopping. 3. Use your card every time you shop at Kroger to pay for groceries, prescriptions, and at Kroger gas stations by using your card like a credit/debit card. Your receipt at checkout will show you the balance on your card.4. For every dollar loaded onto your card, The Weekend Theater receives 5% from Kroger! You may purchase the card the next time you're at the theater (ask at the intermission bar) or by sending $5.00 check or money order made out to 'The Weekend Theater' to: The Weekend Theater PO Box 251130 Little Rock, AR 72225 Include your name and mailing address and we will send your card to start using. Thanks for supporting The Weekend Theater!

Zia Bear Cash Dash: The Diamond State Bear's will be hosting a fundraiser, September 20 for Zia D'Yor in his quest to represent Arkansas at the Miss Gay America contest in St.Louis next month. The DSRA clubhouse is the venue for the evening featuring a variety of entertainers including live performances and "male"performers. ( what this means, I'm not sure.) If you need more, you can catch Zia at the Spa cities Jesters, 9.13.08 for another outing of entertainment. As I've mentioned before, being an spotlight entertainer is not cheap. But I do wonder if Camp Zia did a fundraiser while in attendance at this years' Southern Decadence in New Orleans. Seems like to me that would've been a perfect place to gather some Benjamin's for this crown pursuit while enjoying the usual debauchery and everything goes atmosphere. Afterall, I guess you've got to get this all under your belt, before anyone starts questioning your integrity or moral fiber. For more info on this or upcoming activites, click it to: http://www.diamondstatebears.com/

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Twisting and Turning in the Big Chair

And They're Off: The Grand Old Party shifted gears last evening, doing a Texas two step as Gustav continued to swirled inland dumping sheets of rain and wind on the mid-south and beyond. Earlier in the week President Bush didn't let party go on without the Commander in Chief, checking in via satellite with his Mc Cain salvo of praise and confidence. I thought to myself, ain't American political grandstanding something to be hold. During the heat of battle, you can Swift boat, character crash, Dumpster dive, or just plain old misrepresent what the other guy represents to win, then claim that it's just part of the game. In other words, "I didn't really mean all those things I said about you, but I was just trying to win this damn thing." Gosh dern, what a country! I realize that both conventions are "party productions" with most of it pre-scripted and pre-packaged, and at times pre-determined. But I survived it! Including the droning on of former presidential candidate Fred Thompson which was better than any sleeping pill. Why were these folks so excited about his possibility of being their nominee. Yet the main attractions under this big tent lapapalooza in the twin cities, was John McCain walking in the spotlight to deliver his "change" is coming speech. Excuse me, Mr. Maverick did you say "Change." I thought that was the mantra of that other team. Meanwhile it's all said and done in a balloon drop. If you've been watching this weeks coverage, what your take on this mash up? Let us know in the comment section!

Obama on the Brain: Here's a fist bump to Democratic nominee Obama for staying above the fray as well as keepin his attack team back off of Gov. Palin's internal family drama. Let's not forget that he's always felt that wives and children should be left in the afterglow and out of the hot white light of big time politics. Like Nelly says' "it's getting hot in here...," and how! Since the announcement of Gov. Palin as the VP on the McCain ticket, I've heard everything being said about this women, from "is this a Harriet Myers debacle in the making, Mrs. Bush, Laura not Barbara, throwing out the sexism card to other bloodhounds parsing and trolling Mrs. P on any and every levels that's possible. She may have been a barracuda basket ball player, beauty pageant contestant, sports journalist or other incarnations but taking this step in to the blood sport of national politics will require a Viking breast plate and your best horn helmet. I imagine that Team Obama is wondering how's all this family drama is going to play in Peoria. Not to mention the those upcoming VP debates with it's gun slinging and possible loose cannon VP, Sen. Joe Biden waiting in the wings. Well now, are we ready for the games to begin. You betcha, because things are about to get real interesting. Ladies and Gentlemen it's 60 days and counting. Are you ready to vote!

In Survivor Mode: The lights finally came back on late Thursday evening. Do we ever wonder how did those home on the range survived without their local power company. Kudos and much love to all those power crews who were out their in the elements trying to make sure that we returned to the comfort zones that we've all become accustomed too. Yet, while I was powerless to the kilowatt god, I found time to thank the supreme being for my health, life, as well as, the many daily blessings surrounding me daily. Also, I reflected upon the plight of many in the world who are not or sometimes have never been as fortunate as myself. I'm pledging to do a random act of kindness and I encourage all of you to take stock of your circumstances and act accordingly.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Stormy Weather COP:24/7

Water, Water! Water every where. Yes, my readers hurricane Gustva blew ashore in the gulf and swept upward to the Natural State. When I mentioned that this month was a month for preparing for disasters, I didn't know that I would get a trial run so soon. But, in true survivor mode, I did it, yet still realizing that my readiness still needs some tweaking. Meanwhile the rains came and then the power went bye-bye. With all this going on, I'm back in the big chair with my sites on making up lost ground in fast breaking fashion. Let's go....

Dyanmic RNC Duo: Are you wondering did I still check in on the Republican National Convention while I was in the dark? You betcha. I got out my trusty pocket radio and tuned into one of my radio favs, NPR ( National Public Radio) which offered clear and uninterrupted coverage of the event. While the wind and rain poured, I sat in my vehicle listening, all the while charging my lab top with my portable AC charge pack. Talk about determination to keep this forum going! Could I make it on Survivor? I'm not sure, but I know that I can rise to the occasion in awkward circumstances. In the meantime, I did catch that much touted Gov. Palin speech in which she step into the national spotlight as the Mc Cain VP choice. Well, Well, some body got a pretty good speech writer for the Hockey Mom who states that the difference between a pit bull and a HM is "lipstick." Alrighty then, Mrs. P. Is she ready to be the VP, or is this another "I'm going to Washington with plain straight talk," storyline that Americans so love. Her speech was certainly filled that rhetoric "red meat" that many of the delegates desired, especially when they thought that the mash-up was going to be a Gustva wash out. Sarah Palin has broken from the pack, featured on magazine covers, popping up on radars worldwide and people wondering "who's that girl!" I heard lots of bullet points during the speech on how she faced down Alaska party bigwigs, others with big pockets and sold off the in house jet on E-bay. Yet as she spouted off this laundry list of accomplished task, there are still many questions that need fact checking vs. the spin miesters behind the TelePrompter. On the surface, Barracuda Palin seems just what the doctor ordered to energize the GOP but the white hot light of the media, public opinion, talking heads, soothsayers and the swift boaters to come, will enlighten us in the coming days. Good Speech, Sarah! Good Luck as I'll be watching from the stands of the bloodsport known as electing an American President. Let the games begin! ( The logo above was designed by Ethan Demme of "My McCain Blog" it was re posted here with presumed permission of the Draft Sarah Plain for VP Blog site.)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Speaking Volumes, Again & Outloud...

120 days or so until the fat lady sings us into 2009 . Oh joy! Certainly by that time we will have a newly elected leader of the free world and hopefully, rocking and rolling our way into the 21st century with a glimmer of hope. Ya damn skippy, because I'm "in it to win it," no matter who cometh or challenge me as the online destination for commentary, updates, links, and just plain old stuff for the GLBTQ community and beyond! Now let's get this shigity started...

Palin, Pregnecy, Oh MY: What's that you say? Presumptive VP nominee Gov. Sarah Palin has a pregnant daughter that's not married? OMG! Wait a minute what's this all about it and why is there so much coverage of it. Ah, the outrage, the condemnation, what a skelleton, bombshell? and what silliness this amount too. This whole dilemma has been happening since I was in Junior High, and boy was that a while ago. I thought then that it was something to see a young lady in the "family way." Because, back then before the flood, my father didn't allow us to say the word "pregnant," nor was the situation discussed. I remember those ill fated attempts to inform me about sex by telling me I should talk to the local pharmacist. Why you ask? I don't have the foggiest. Let's just say that his morality playbook was certainly skewed to say the least. But little did he know that I would shred that playbook into tiny pieces. Furthermore, I persevered to update that kind of thinking into the persona I am today, where even though I believe that teen pregnancy is problematic, it's not the scourge of the earth. God rest my father. I loved him and believe it or not, despite some of his antics, he was my hero. Consequently through it all, he became one of my biggest supporters. I wish everyone could have had the support that he later demonstrated, as I found my way to maturity while living my life out loud. Meanwhile, according to statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, "out of wedlock" births have been on the rise since the 1990's resulting in 4 out of 10 babies being born to unwed mothers. Most glaring of a recently published report was U.S. teen births are among the highest of all industrialized countries. Cmon people, this is a reality check-in on life. After all, I don't think the sky fell when Dick's Daughter, Mary Cheny and partner decided to have a child or Halle Berry, or the young lady and her at least 17 year old boyfriend that I saw yesterday in the checkout line trying to figure out how to use their WIC coupons. It's a sign of the times. Now let's get on with the real issues, leave the kids out of the mix and elect a President.

Can you hear me now: Hey! I know you are out their as well as reading my daily post of what's really going on Central City and the mid-south. However, I would like to hear from any of you! This is an interactive medium and your pariticaption is very welcomed. I'm searching for editorial comments from activist, feedback from scholars, or gab from personalities with a perspective. Got something to say, then say it here first! Are you ready to state your opinion on matters, then get those fingers tapping their way to COP:24/7! Cat got your tongues? I don't think so. Click the comment link and share what's on you mind. What you waitin for, Do it today! Below is a repost from our sister site on Myspace, posted by local activist and Executive Director of CAR ( Center for Artistic Revolution).

The Real Family Values Story
I am a lesbian raising my 16 year old granddaughter. My daughter has a chronic illness that has meant that I have raised her child for most of her life. Nowhere in the Constitution is sexual orientation cited as cause for the denial of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of personal happiness.

Nowhere on my tax forms is there a box for me to check for a reduced tax rate based on the lack of access to full rights and responsibilities. And despite being a taxpayer, I am consistently denied the full rights and responsibilities that are my birthright as an American citizen. I contribute financially to the state of Arkansas through my work. I generate funds from outside the state through grant writing that are then expended in the state.

I love my child and her child with all of my heart. This means that I've spent my fair share of time holding sweaty heads while they were sick, cleaning up dirty diapers and throw up, struggling through homework, having enough to pay the bills, will the car start every morning, will the checkbook balance, going to their school plays, worrying about financial access to college, plastering my refrigerator with their artwork, encouraging them to grow and learn even when they felt defeat, buying a new coat for one of them while mine was long past the time to be replaced, holding them while they cried when they were hurt or disappointed, loving them enough to keep working to resolve our differences and challenges no matter how hard they may be, teaching them ethics, respect and care for all living things, etc. In other words, all of the things that "straight people" are supposedly doing for their kids.

But wait, aren't the vast majority of the children in foster care, the juvenile justice system, and mental health facilities the product of heterosexual families? If this is really about the welfare of children then perhaps the initiated act should be about restricting heterosexual people from reproducing willy-nilly just because they can. Perhaps instead of vilifying LGBTQ families and homes there would be an investment in support for ALL of Arkansas' families that include; family counseling during difficult times, living wage jobs, access to equitable education, affordable healthcare, childcare, housing, food, fuel, etc.

This initiated act not only would ban unmarried LGBTQ and heterosexual couples from adopting or providing foster care it will also help these rightwing, Christian conservatives to further define by their religious beliefs regarding just WHO CAN BE A FAMILY in Arkansas. This means ALL Arkansans regardless of their sexual orientation.

Despite being my granddaughter's blood relative, this act would ban me from adopting her in the event (a real possibility) that my daughter was to pass away and I was in a cohabitating, sexual relationship with a partner. So, I am forced to choose between residing with a partner in a loving relationship or living alone with my granddaughter so that I can adopt her if that becomes the need. My daughter, granddaughter and me want me to adopt her if the unthinkable were to happen. So, for now I continue to live without a partner.

And why is it again that in Arkansas I'm a viable and valued parent as long as I don't cohabitate with a partner, but just let me set up a two parent same-sex household and now I'm not good enough? This act does in fact permit single lesbians, gays or heterosexuals to adopt and provide foster care.

NO Arkansas family should be told that they cannot leave their children to the guardians of their choice be they a lesbian, gay or straight, unmarried cohabitating couple. And just who determines if we cohabitate and have a sexual relationship? Who is going to be the bedroom police and how will these charges be applied? There will almost certainly be sexual orientation and marriage status profiling.

There simply are not enough homes for the children of Arkansas who require a safe and loving home. Why is it that the Family Council has not been able to generate enough homes through their church networks? If every family that signed that petition to put this act on the ballot had taken on a child or group of siblings, there'd be a surplus of homes. But they didn't and they won't. Many of the children in need of homes have been so damaged by their heterosexual parents that they require an exceptional amount of patience, fortitude, love and heartbreak to care for them.

This summer four children died while in foster care and two of the deaths have allegations of abuse cited. Outside the foster care system DHS has investigated the deaths of 11 children in Arkansas, all of who died from abuse. Again, the parents were ostensibly straight.

A safe, secure and loving home is not dictated by the sexual orientation or gender identity of its parent(s). Strong families and good homes are based in love. Love dictates the investment, responsibility and the commitment to keep a child safe, healthy, educated and above all, loved, loved, loved!

All of Arkansas' families are better served by supporting ALL families and ending the witch hunts against families who don't fit one group's religious perspective of what constitutes a family. Investigate all homes and potential parents who present themselves regardless of marital status or sexual orientation and if the home and parents are suitable, place the child or children. Continue with the appropriate prescribed monitoring of the homes. And above all, don't deny any child a safe and loving home based on religious bigotry.

If we are really about the children of Arkansas we will not allow a blanket ban that will exclude a significant pool of loving and competent couples from providing foster care or adopting.

Vote NO this fall against organized bigotry disguised as concern for children. Jerry Cox has said it himself, they are doing this to thawart that "gay agenda". And yes, we do have an agenda! My gay agenda is all about equality and making sure that my family is protected and that all children who need good, safe and loving homes have access to them!

Feel free to repost this, talk to your friends, family, and coworkers about this issue and urge them to vote NO!

Randi M. Romo
August 29, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Sounds of Summer

Say it ain't so. Another Labor Day weekend that signifies the end of the summer season. For heaven sakes, it's time to adjust our daily lifestyles in preparation for fall frockling and such. Even though I love warm weather days, I welcome those cool evenings as well as those winter nights to gather by the fireplace. Despite it all, Mother Nature continues to remind us who's the boss, whether we like it or not, especially as hurricane Gustva churns in the Gulf of Mexico. It's another one of those, "you've gotta be kidding me" doubletakes, as almost destroyed New Orleans is once again in the sights of another massive storm. I can't imagine the anxiety and surrealness of it all for those indivuals. But, as I send out prayers for the entire gulf coast area, I'll still be right here in the Big Chair, posting updates, breaking news, commentary, links, video and your comments about what's really going on in the GLBTQ community and beyond. O.K., let's get busy!...

The MAC is Back: John "Maverick" Mc Cain has done a "in your face" move by nominating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his VP choice. Did someone order some change? After all, the talking heads and pundits said that, Mr. M will run the campaign his way and he's not letting them down by any means. As for me, in my post last week I predicted that JM would play the gender card. This makes me two for two sorta on cyber quarterbacking/handicapping the VP race of the titans. I don't need to give Mrs.Palin's resume because most likely it's going to play and replay so much that we are all going to be sick of hearing it. So far we know that she's a newby to the bloody arena of big time national politics and that "experience" catchall phrase is already in play. But I believe that this self anointed "Hockey Mom," may not be a Hillary Ball buster, but she ain't no push over either. In the meantime, it's time for the GOP to put their big tent in Minneapolis/ St. Paul, in an effort to sell that" in their own words," tainted Republican brand to anyone who might think they've been better off in the last 8 years. However, it's being reported by other news sources that if Gustav barrels into gulf area with devastating blow, the convention may be delayed or slightly postponed. At post time President Bush The Republicans don't want to be reminded of the keystone Cop routine of Team Bush. Will I be watching, I wouldn't miss it. I'm an equal opportunity convention watcher and believe that we always need to know who's saying what just over the fence. Hey Mr. McCain, I'll give it too ya, you've got hutzpa it's all about, "no guts, no glory." Your choice of Mrs. Palin is a game changer if you ask me. What say you Arkansas Log Cabin Repubicans?

Disaster Preparedness Month: Not since those Irwin Allen disaster flicks of long ago, have we be bombarded with GYST ( get your shit together) messages in the face of possibly going into disaster mode. Now, enter hurricane season 2008, Arthur Bertha Cristobal Dolly Edouard Fay and now a monster at sea name Gustav has at least a million people seeking higher ground. Let me be clear, this is no joking matter and I'm taking it very seriously even though I don't live in the storm zone. I'm still gather a disaster kit as suggested and boning up on survival tactics if something ominous comes lurking from no where. Here's just a snapshot of some of my GYST plan. I've gathered bottle water, assorted medical supplies, flashlights, walkie talkies, and plans for what my household should do if necessary. Why you ask? I watched that hurricane response 3 years ago in awe and shock. Realizing that waiting on "them" to help may not be in my best interest but instead being proactive for myself. Are you ready for a disaster? Think about it.. Take a moment to check it at: http://www.ready.gov/ or www.littlerock.org What's in your disaster kit? Tell us all about it in our comments section.

Arkansas Firms are "SO" compliant: Since it's Labor Day, there's got to be a labor day post don't you think? As I was watching my e-box, I discovered a press release that I found not only interesting but encouraging from Equality Forum. As a GLBTQ organization, Equality Forum is a national and international GLBT civil rights organization with an educational focus. Equality Forum coordinates GLBT History Month, produces documentary films, undertakes high impact initiatives and presents the largest annual international GLBT civil rights forum yearly. Their report illuminated that 471 (94.2%) of the 2008 FORTUNE 500 companies voluntarily include sexual orientation in their employment nondiscrimination policies. The good news was that of those companies reporting, Arkansas' listed F5 firms were all compliant in listing sexual orientation as a recognized caveat in their employment nondiscrimination policies. Those with Arkansas ties are Alltell, Dillards, Murphy Oil, Tyson Foods and Wal Mart stores respectively. Are you aware of your companies nondiscrimination policy? Although the firm that I work for is "union phobic," sexual orientation is addressed by policy and for the most part is adhered too as well. This is an important factor as Arkansas is a "right to work" state where employment is considered at will. If you are not clear about what all this means, I encourage you to get in the know and stay in the know on labor laws.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Equality Forum's FORTUNE 500 project, which is a collaboration with Professor Louis Thomas, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Ian Ayres, William K. Townsend Professor, Yale Law School. "The FORTUNE 500 have overwhelmingly decided that including sexual orientation is in the best corporate interest and helps communicate corporate values to the estimated $660 billion annual domestic GLBT consumer market," stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum. According to Gallup's May 2008 Values and Beliefs Poll, 89% of U.S. citizens believe gays and lesbians should have equal rights in job opportunities. There is currently no federal workplace protection based on sexual orientation. Twenty states include sexual orientation nondiscrimination in their workplace statutes. Senator Obama favors and Senator McCain opposes including sexual orientation in the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). In 2007, the House of Representatives voted 235 to 184 to amend ENDA to add sexual orientation. Thirty-five Republicans voted for the amendment.

Labor Day 08: Seven unions and six million workers united in Change to Win to build a new movement of working people equipped to meet the challenges of the global economy and restore the American Dream in the 21st century: a paycheck that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure retirement and dignity on the job. The seven partner unions are: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers' International Union of North America, Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, United Farm Workers of America, and United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. For more information click it to: http://www.changetowin.org/