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: or 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:

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