Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fast, Furious and Fabu in Cyberbland, Again

Aisle 1 here at COP:24/7 and there's no waiting. That's right, not waiting for the latest updates, commentary, links and more. Why wait around for those other guys, when you can get it here first. Let's go get em...

SHE's BACKKK!: The unsinkable and often time terse, Ms. Rosie O Donnell is back in our faces with a new prime time mash up this Wednesday night, 11.26.08. It's a "re-working" of the variety show format that went with Donny and Marie as well as many others decades ago. But, those crazy folks who want us to think that they know what we want to watch, found some bodies disposable cash to bring this thingy to life. Obviously, these creative folks missed that OMG disastrous day time Megan( Will & Grace) Mullally outing that went right into the abyss.

I don't know for the life of me why, but it seems that RO has a determined fan base that believes that every thing comes up "Rosie" in their entertainment world. I admire ODonnell for her determination and gutsy attitude, but sometimes it's all just a bit much. She has that "take no prisoner" persona with those public feuds with Barbra Walters, Elizabeth Hasslebeck, DT as in Trump, those scalawags who torpedoed her ill fated attempt at publishing a few years back and how can anybody forget that Broadway show bomb featuring gender bender Boy George. Of course Rosie, once deemed the "Queen of Nice" has no problem put it all out their, including her marriage to partner Kelly, her kids and all of her opinions via web cam. I guess that small screen scene just wouldn't do. She had to bring her bigger that life "everything" back to the boob tube for one more round of rose colored glasses entertainment. If you dare, check you local listings.

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL: The HIV/AIDS Prevention Coalition will hold a candlelight vigil on the grounds of the State Capitol at 4PM on Monday, December 1, 2008. This event is one of several events including the unfolding of panels of the AIDS Quilt on the Clinton Presidential grounds. In Arkansas, 1,882 people have died as a result of HIV/AIDS. The AHA Coalition will have a red rose for each person and remember their lives as we recommit ourselves to the fight against AIDS. They need 188 people to carry 10 roses so we can honor the 1,882 Arkansans that we have lost. For more info or If you would like to stand up and honor those who continue to fight this disease by attending the vigil and releasing balloons, please RSVP by emailing Include your full name and cell number. For info on the AIDS Quilt activities you can access it by calling 748.0419 or email If you can participate at any of these activites, and you should, tell them that you heard about here at COP:24/7

Monday, November 24, 2008

Speaking from the Big Chair

Are you counting? If not, this forum has been on several count downs. Let's see, there's about 60 days to 1.20.09. That's inaugural day. Meanwhile there is the Nightmare Clock that's been going in reverse counting down the last day's of the Bush debacle. Apparently they are still counting votes all over the place, not to mention the 2012 Campaign shigty has started. Then's there's, 2.17.09 day when TV goes digital. O.K. that's enough of that. But in the meantime as the counting goes on, we are in info mode with our continuing special brand of news, updates, links, podcast and commentary. Here we go, again....

Arkansas in Action: It came and went. The March for the repeal of Act 1, speareheaded by Center for Artistic Revolution. The entire event which got good coverage from local media and in some online blogs, also has created a simmering ground swell of activism. The cast net was a good mix of the electorate ranging from tweens to twilight whom descended on the capitol steps to rally the issue, meanwhile demand legislative attention. Somewhat surprising and eye opening was the participation of former judge Wendell Griffen who believes that the measure could be repealed with direct legislative involvement. The outspoken Griffen is not only a former Supreme Court Judge but also a Baptist minister whom I've known for some time. However, his outspokenness on this matter has sorta kinda broadsided me. Since I've never really actually heard him articulate a position on any other GLBTQ related issues. Especially during any of those fiery sermons I've been subjected too over the years. I wonder how the congregation is going to be reacting to this one on Sunday morning or those other bible thumpers in the ministral alliance. We'll have to stay tuned on this one...

Voices Carry: As many of you know, I'm always welcoming and waiting for those so inclined to join me either here in this forum or where ever they land. Enter, Noiranarkie from the creative mind of Eric Reece. His blog can be access at NoirAnarkie. ( In full disclosure, I've know ER for several years and we've had wonderful, thoughtful as well as insightful conversations just about everything but the kitchen sink. He's got an unique perspective that I love listening too and debating. If you get a chance, after you've read me first, then you can check him out.

Babes Do DSRA Toyland: With all this marching and rallying stuff going down, I did get a chance to catch the annual Babes in Toyland funder for AAF held at DSRA last saturday. This affair which originated at the now defunct The Factory club and believe it or not I was one of the first participants, has ebbed and flowed as a fundraiser for the ASO. Hosted by Cherity, the evening featured a variety of local entertainers whom gave of themselves for the cause. Even though the house was not SRO, there were notables among the attendees such as current MGAA Stephanie Richards, former MGAA Megan Michaels, Mr, DSRA, D. Scott and Gay Pride 09 chairperson, Ari. Chagoya. The fundraiser which netted about $500 will go to offer AAF clients a holiday dinner during the season. If you have not had the chance to get a feel for DSRA, then you don't know what you may be missing. I've never been disappointed and may you will not either.

Link Updates: In a past post, I mentioned that some links to certain sites, seem to be bouncing. As you know, in cyberspace, things are always on the move or being updated. So, while I was out and about, LRCP chairperson, Ari Chagoya didn't pass up a chance to remind me as well as the DSRA crowd about Capital Pride, coming June 7, 2009. Also she did another smart move by distributing business size card reminder to that fact. Kudos to you AC. It's always about marketing, especially when you are trying to reach folks who are in the midst of merry making. Furthermore, more hat's off to Ari for making the rounds and trying to meet and greet any one who she can. Now, I'm not sure if all this community touching is translating into the all important demonination of CASH. I noticed that there have been "fundraisers" at both Club Good Times and Jester's in Hot Springs. But viola, no tally report or perhaps at least a summary seems to be published anywhere, not even on the website. And speaking of that website, the passionate reminder by a former board member is just like I like it, On Point! You can check it for yourself at

Friday, November 21, 2008

Is this Thing On..?, Part Two

Hello... anybody out there. Is this thing on? Yeah I think so, because a few of you have left your comments and observations, but certainly not enough. I'm sending out a clarion call to the entire rainbow community to tune into our special brand of news, links, commentary, and breaking news. This site is Arkansas' only daily updating weblog with what's really going on in the midsouth. We've been here live and in living color for 4 years and counting! All the while, always staying on point! Tell a friend, become a follower of this blog, forward an article, share your thoughts, bookmark us, but if nothing else stay locked in to COP 24/7!

Action Arkansas: The scheduled march co-sponsored by various local groups in on track to step off from McArthur Park at 4 p.m. The color is Black and the message is in definance of ACT 1 that was passed in the November elections. The initiative won 57 % of ballots cast despite polls and offensive campaigns which felt they had a good chance of defeating it. If you plan to participate, dress warm. It's suppose to be chilly. Check back for updates.
Calling in Gay?: I'm a management veteran, and I've heard almost every excuse under the sun for not showing for a shift. But "Calling in Gay? is certainly new one on me. However, this December 10th political action method entitled, "A Day without a Gay," will be in support of International Human Rights Day. According to the website, Join the Impact which has evolved as a protest central, the day will demonstrate the signifcance of the those lavender dollars in the economy and beyond. If recall their was a similar action by the immigrant community which highlighted the bedrock of their workforce. JTI gives a listing of ideas for individuals to follow to help with marking this event. You can find their suggestions at But not to be outdone, I have my own unsciencetific list of items that you might want to consider. Here we go...

1. Instead of Calling in Gay, develop the Rainbow Flu. Talking about ramping up curiosity. But if you must go and who doesn't, give em the silent treatment. It simply drives folks nuts when you don't speak.

2. Go to the Bank and ask for your change in your next transaction to be given in $2.00 bills.

3. Drink only non-caffeine beverages on a day long fast until dusk.

4. Tune up and then Tune out. No cell phone usage, texting, IM's or gadgetry. Let your friends and family know that you will be signing off for the day.

5. Gather some friends and spend at least 1 hour in meditation publically or privately.

6. Find time to volunteer at an GLBTQ organization or allies which support human rights.

7. Spend your $2.00 bills at only GLBTQ businesses exclusively. This forum does qualify for this action. We will have our motivation widget up with hopes that some of you will show us your pride with a love offering.

8. Display the rainbow colors in your own special way. Flags, buttons, pins or quilts.

9. Enlist the support of extended allies or partners in this action.

10. Send us your videos, music, stories or other content letting us know how you celebrated a Day without a Gay.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is this Thing ON..part 2

I said that it would be a fast and furious week and damn it I mean it. There are so many angles to events happening that I going to try to get them all in some how. So, let's not even waste time.

Circling the Waggons: That hastily organized demo on 11.15.08 here in Little Rock, seems to have been trumped by counterparts in Northwest Arkansas whom garnered some TV time to boot. What's wrong with this picture you ask? Thanks for asking. Even though there were at least 60 in the turn out, exactly what's the impact or outcome of that mash up. Let's face some facts. First up, one speaker made the observation at the lack of African Americans and latino's present. Oh really now. I've had qualms with my nubian brother's and sister's for their overt lack of visible participation in civil acts such as events of this type. For the record, by no means do I speak for the African American community, whether SGL or not. However, I've chided my people for their docile and disaffected attitude toward issues that could directly affect them. It's so ironic since the NAACP has been in the news for their part in California's Prop 8 fight. I realize that for some, other matters are now pressing especially during these economic times. But I'm not so convinced when the area night spot Club Good Times is filled to the gills with folks tripping the light fantastic which ultimately ends up in some type of violence. Yet, the owner "Angie" of CGT has attempted to offer some empowerment activities, although with some marginal outcomes, at least the attempt was made. Yet most of these activities are not front and center but sequestered in the confines of club darkness or sorta lackluster at best. Of course, the question that looms large is was any outreach to this community and what was the tone! Yes, my pretties, you've got to at least ask, sometimes cajole or begrudgingly beg them. Not only those minorities but by golly much of GLBTQ community which acts like deer in headlights on these issues. It's really simple people. Either put up or shut up. Enough said, at least for now...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Circling the Waggons

It's back! Another Monday to start this week's spin cycle and caravan post here at COP:24/7. It was a busy weekend all around and much of that news, updates and more will be covered this week. So, why wait...Let's go get em...

Rainbow Rallying: I got the e-blast about Arkansas' participation in the national Prop 8 demo that was held on the Capitol steps 11.15.08. About 60 people both gay and straight showed up to hear a variety of speakers exclaim their displeasure at the recent same sex marriage reversal in California as well as connect that movement with the passage of ACT 1 in Arkansas. The crowd braved the breezy cold to listen to personal stories, fiery testimonies, and mandates. Stonewall Democrat President, Joe La Fontaine made a passionate plea for all GLBTQ leaders statewide to form a reaction network to deal with issues that affect the community at large. Even though there was a lectern sound system offered, often it was inadequate which made hearing certain speakers extremely difficult. I was positioned down front and sometimes couldn't understand what was being said. However I noticed that their was at least two media outlets present, Fox 16 and a print reporter. Yet, when one speaker( I assumed he was an organizer) was asked if he was "gay," he replied that he would rather not say because he didn't think it mattered." I found that interesting since he had just made a throaty speech about pride and community involvement. Green Party candidate, Conrad Harvin was the only political face in the place whom spoke about his first such event 20 years ago. He quipped that no one today was wearing "paper bags or mask," as they had done during that time. Since I was present for that ditty and for clarity sake, that civil act was to symbolize the facelessness of the GLBTQ community not totally about hiding in plain sight. Unlike the big time politico's, Ms. Kathy Webb whom didn't make the event, also didn't have a surrogate to speak on her behalf, but much praise was bandied around. Alrighty now. The rallying cry was sounded, the flags unfurled, voices carried and now comes the hard part. Taking all that talking and turning it into some walking for change. Stay tuned...!

Prop 8 Cash Connection: Since I stood in the cold for that rally, I couldn't wait to get back to the warmth of my keyboard. Once I got going, I pondered several approaches in connecting the dots of Prop 8 and ACT 1. Viola, there's one big dot and it's cash. Yes my friends I discovered that there were 4, $5000.00 donors from the Natural State in support of Prop 8 in California. According to public campaign records, there were also notable Arkansas contributors who sent in donations ranging from $50.00 to $150.00 each respectively whom opposed the measure. But they were dwarfed by that $20,000 combination that was sent from the Benton area and North Arkansas. In case you didn't know, all initiatives take dollars and how. To date, to fight Prop 8 took a massive 40 million dollars and they lost. I was told that there was going to be a legal challenge to repeal ACT 1 coinciding with other activities. So be it, but if the Prop 8 folks had 40 Mil to throw around and couldn't do it, then some body better start passing the collection plate.

Friday, November 14, 2008

End Week- End Game

It's Here! Another TGIF as 2008 goes into express mode with only 47 days left in the year. Can you believe it? COP:24/7 doing it for another year from the Big Chair offering our unique brand of coverage from Central City to global happenings. Whew, where's the time gone! No matter, any how because as they say," we ain't through with you yet..." So gird your loins and let the chips fall where they may.

Singing for your Supper: They're at it again! DSRA is having another Karaoke round Saturday, 11.15.08. Doors open early and the warbling began around 9 p.m. If you've got talent or not, you are invited to share an evening of fun with the guys and gals of DSRA. As I understand prizes will be awarded, snacks,( they always have the good food) and those unbelievable drink specials. So what are you waiting for! You never know I just might drop in to take turn at the mic! See our web listing for a link or you can call them at 501.413.2008. Tell you heard it here!

NW Kudos: The Northwest Arkansas GLBTQ community center will be hosting upcoming events that are of interest to those in the area. On 11.16.2008 a NWA Pride meeting at 2 p.m., Buddy Show Night at the Walton Arts Center, 12.6.08 and their Annual Holiday Potluck, 12.7.08 at the Jones Center (room 136) at 2 p.m. The event will also feature a Jackpot Drawing and entrees from those attending. In other news, the organization also has been seeking additional members through their ongoing membership drive as they try to improve . The website, has donation links, contact and other updated info. It's not easy keeping it current, but you got to, in order to stay on point! Congrats to all!!

Counting Heads: With all the economic news, subsequent layoffs and such. If you are looking for a gig, enter the Census 2010. The U.S. Government is preparing to count the households in America and they will need boots on the ground to do so. Need a Job or at least interested, then call them up at 1.866.861.2010 for more info. We'll update as more info comes around.

Impacting USA: It's gonna be a busy weekend for those in protest mode or community organizing. According to Join the Impact website, there are demonstrations slated for LR & Fayetteville in solidarity for Prop 8. The marriage measure that was overturned in California, but another similar measure solidly passed in Arkansas. Anyway, organizer Jason Young, states that it's all going down this Saturday (11.15.08) at 12:30 p.m. on the Capitol Steps. Also, the Face Book group dealing with ACT 1 will meet at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Church. Even though there are no listed co-sponsors for this effort, I sure that allies from the ACT 1 camp might be present. Nevertheless, there's some folks talking out loud and we've got to hear what they have to say. Reach out and touch him but tell em you heard it here!! 870.313.2951 In the meantime, don't meet me there, beat me there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hello...Is This Thing On!...

Hello...Hello...Is this thing on? I hope so because I'm not quite through with offering you the our distinct brand of news, commentary, updates, links and so much more. In all honesty I do hear from a few of you, especially those "anonymous" shadow people who whisper their thoughts and then sorta vanish back into cyberspace. However, this space is very welcoming of those who don't mind sharing their "tudes" or slams about what I produce in this forum. So, with all that said, let's go get em, Excuse me is this thing on!?...

New HIV/AIDS Funding Data

As we rapidly approach World AIDS Day 2008, I am reaffirming my mission to offering the latest stats involving this health crisis. It's important to know that as we question those figureheads in charge of dispensing funds that there's a portal to keep track of where the dollars emit from and how they are divided. If you want to know then check out, which has posted new data on federal funding streams for HIV/AIDS. Collected in partnership with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), these data for Federal Fiscal Year 2007 are available by state and for the nation, and represent the latest available state-level data on all major federal funding streams for HIV/AIDS in the U.S.
Updated data include HIV/AIDS funding by state from the Ryan White Program, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, and the Office of Minority Health (OMH).
View a list of all recent updates.

Rallying AIDS: A unique local coalition of supporters named, The Arkansas AIDS/HIV Prevention Coalition are preparing a World AIDS Day event taking place 11.22.08 with a youth rally, 11.30. 08 Compassion Sunday and WAD, 12.1.08 with a vigil. The members of this group include Jubliee Chirstian Center, JCCSI, AAF, ST. Mark Baptist Church, AMHC, Arkansas Department of Health, Center for Healing Hearts and others. The newly minted Arkansas HIV/ AIDS Task force is also apart of this entity of which I've got a few questions. First of all, I'm not sure who speaks for them, exactly how this co-op developed or the dimensions of their agenda. I wonder how many of these coalition member actively supported ACT 1. I've become a bit cynical about these mash up groups that start popping out of the box around World AIDS Day, HIV Testing Day, Black AIDS this or that Day and then move on til next year. We will keep an eye out for updates and keep asking the questions that some folks will not. Stay tuned for what we may or may not find out....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Raging the Machine Onward and Upward

It's a mid-week fast tracked edition of COP:24/7 totally filled with what's really going in Central City and beyond. There's no need for doodling around, let's launch this puppy....

Acting Up 1: Apparently some people are ready to circle the waggons and start a fire about the recent ACT 1 ballot measure that was defeated on election day. I've heard from various factions that are peeved, steamed and ready to do what I'm not afraid to do, "call folks out" about their participation or lack of participation in issues that affect the GLBTQ community at large. A group call the "Face Book- Repeal Act 1", will meet at the Unitarian Church, November 15 at 3 p.m. and a subsequent silent march is being planned for 11.21.08 starting at MacArthur park ending at the State Capitol steps. All march participants are asked to wear "black" in support of this effort. Other groups involve include, PRISM at UCA, Unity GSA at Hendrix,The Alliance GSA at UALR and Center for Artistic Revolution. This forum will continue to cover the actions and reactions as they develop. For more info click it to:

Easy Over: The music ceased the last weekend in October for the embattled Easy Street Piano Bar and I was in the house for the final notes. The crowd was as usual but the mood was melancholy tinged with a bitter aftertaste. As I surveyed the attitudes, some felt that it was sorta a shame that the place would be changing hands while others mused that perhaps it may be for the better. Other's seemed unaffected and didn't appear to know that this was actually a wrap party for the place. I did get a sense that the "regulars" are so disenchanted by all this, that they will not be supportive of the new entity. Some sources told me that the deal wasn't done, but you know how some folks don't get it right because I did notice a ABC Beverage Notice in the window, therefore there's been some paper signed by someone since you have to let the permit Gods know where you will be serving the brew. It's been bandied around that both a new entertainment director and MC have been chosen. So I suspect and If I was going to raise this business from the dead, I would probably be ready for a New Eve's breakout. Sound like a good idea to me. We'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Out of the Gate Monday

The year 2008 is winding down after a metoric high last week and the impending holiday season that will lead us to 2009. Consequently, January will roll around taking us yet again into overdrive with the inaugural of President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden on January 20, 2009. Even as that event is in the making, COP: 24/7 will continue to bring you our savvy brand of news, updates, commentary, links and podcasting. It's been a journey for this forum and we will continue to give our best until....we will get back to ya on that one. Let's go inside!

Gays Ablaze on 8: In case you are disconnected for whatever reason, those brothers and sisters in Caly are not about to take the recent rescinding vote on gay marriage sitting down. Known as Prop 8 in the sunshine state has sent those folks into the streets in mass. Say what, people reacting? Queer Folk with placards and taking a full throated stance on a important issue. In the words of the "thrilla from Wasilla," Say it ain't so Joe! But, yes my readers, these individuals are fired up and making it known across California and nation. I've been getting all kinds of updates and press releases from out west and it's just invigorating to see all that people power at work. Especially since this state has done a double wammy on the rainbow community by passing two anti-gay initiatives without a hitch. Even though there were committed efforts, it pales to the outpouring of passion from those west coasters. And so it goes...

Lavender Ideas Adrift: Many post ago, I mentioned that there was an idea emerging about developing a local GLBTQ community center. I heard a brief blurb from those spinning this concept, but was wondering what's really going on. So I went in search and here's the update. After a lofty announcement on their newly minted website, back in Feb. 08, in which they stated their State incorporating, accounts set up's and all the other trappings of a NPO. It seems that the idea has been on a slow boat to china with much else except a workshop presentation in April. I checked the calender and it was filled with "old news" and bouncing links. As usual this forum which is Arkansas "only daily online blog" consistently dealing with GLBTQ issues is not even listed. Yikes! Say it ain't so Joe, again.! Hey guys, I'm still here doing it in cyberspace with or without ya. I will send out a SOS to these folks to say howdy do. Check back for the update.

Links Unplugged: Speaking of MIA,(missing in action) was the two links featured on the virtual community site were, Little Rock Pride and LR Capitol Pride respectfully. Each site has error messages attached thusly meaning perhaps they are "toast?" Each site served it function including a posting about my self on LRP, before they attempted to brand myself as some kind of "turncoat" by doing what I do best, "ask the hard questions, while not being afraid of pandering to those with thin skins. Ouch! It'a hard out here being a messenger pimp in cyberland. If it gets to hot in the kitchen the make a exit I say. However, those sites did serve a practical purpose and offered a choice for those in search of info. It would have been nice, if they were going be through with, that perhaps they could have directed their readership to this forum. What, make nice with that bastard at COP:24/7 and keep people connected with what's happening in the mid-south. Naaaah, that would be too much like right. Because we all know that some folks in this river town would rather you have "no pie, than some piece of the pie." Yeah, I said it. So, if LRP and LRCP are done, then RIP. If not, just like that motel motto,"we'll leave the light on..."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Spin Down Friday

What a week it's been and the nation is still basking in the afterglow of that significant "page turn" that resulted in that now historic vote. However, I believe that the honeymoon will short and sweet, as a rattled electorate is ready for that effusive "change" that was chanted from coast to coast. Brace yourselves, because when those wheels start turning or not turning, some body gonna have to do some splainin and pretty damn quick. O.K. Mr. President elect, all eyes are on you sir. With that said, I'm sitting tall in the big seat and ready to keep coming at ya with our special brand of commentary, updates, links, video and lot's of just stuff. Let's go....

ACT 1 Shut Out: In my last post I gave a brief assessment of that ill conceived measure entitled ACT 1, which wanted to prohibit cohabiting adults from adopting or acting as foster parents. This thinly veil issue sponsored by those Family Council folks, actually was another swipe at keeping GLBTQ individuals from being considered for participating in such endeavors as well as another initiative to disenfranchise. However, this forum reported earlier this year on several occasions of the dissent and ongoing power struggle that was taking place among those who were planning the offensive campaign. And now, since this measure has passed. I need to remind you dear readers that all that messiness and cattiness not only caused this debacle but again calls into question much about the local GLBTQ community and it's supposedly allies. Let's flashback a few post shall we. Various sources shared with me about the infighting involving towering egos, hurt feelings, accusations with racial overtones, hidden agendas and stealth activities culminating in members of the Center for Artistic group literally being "asked out" of the campaign process, with additional activist bewildered and befuddled. Furthermore, I didn't mind naming names, such as Rep. Kathy Webb and Jay Barth, whom allegedly were prominent figures in the brouhaha. So, what does all this mean? Folks it sounds like all is not kosher in river city. Especially when issues are being haphazardly handled, certain allies with limited GLBTQ "comfort zones" and last but not least much of the SGL community that's content with apathetic complacency. Boy, doesn't seem like much of that "change" stuff is trickling this way...

Rainbow Money101: In these economic times, we all need a little primer about subjects that will eventually be apart of our construct. I enjoy reading such items and hopefully you will too...

The Four Essentials of a Sound Estate Plan for GLBT Individuals

From Timothy Mahoney, HRC's Director of Estate Planning:
When it comes to Life and Estate Planning, GLBT Americans face a greater challenge, as we do in so much of our lives. By failing to make informed choices, the legal system instead will choose for us. The law will always intervene if we do not plan for ourselves, and the law is written primarily and almost exclusively for non-gay, married couples and traditional families. These choices, if made under existing state law, generally do not reflect the wishes of most GLBT individuals. We will continue instead to see our relationships dishonored, our needs unstated, our desires unmet and our precious savings dedicated to causes we do not support or to federal and state taxes that might well be avoided.
So what can you do to protect yourself, your relationship and your family? There are four documents that every individual should have as part of a sound estate plan. Depending on the state in which you live, numbers two and three may be combined into one document.
1. Last Will and Testament2. Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare/Healthcare Surrogate3. Living Will/Advanced Directive4. Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
If you are in a relationship, you might also consider a Domestic Partnership Agreement. And, if you or your partner have minor children, you should have a Co-Parenting Agreement and a Trust that benefits your child(ren). The co-parenting agreement is especially important if one of you is a biological parent and the other is not, and you live in an area that does not allow second-parent adoptions..
Another document that can be extremely beneficial is a Living Trust. While not needed by everyone, a Living Trust should be discussed with your estate planning professional to see if it is beneficial to your needs.
So let’s get into some of the details of how these estate planning tools work and what they accomplish. More detailed information about each can be found by following the links.
Last Will and Testament
• Names a personal representative/executor and a successor.• Pays your debts and taxes.• Distributes your property and assets through outright gifts, contingent gifts, and residual gifts.• Can establish a Trust.
Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare/Healthcare Surrogate
• States “triggering event” that allows your agent to make decisions on your behalf.• Names a person to act as your agent and a successor agent.• Agent is given first priority to visit you in the hospital and decides who else can visit.• Authorize or decline medical treatment and surgical procedures on your behalf.• Receive your personal property recovered by any hospital or police agency at the time of your incapacitation.
Living Will / Advanced Directive
• Your direction for your own medical care and your right to decide.• Outlines the level of medical care; pain management; and nutrition & hydration.• Works “hand-in-hand” with the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances
• States a “triggering event”• Names an agent/personal representative and a successor agent to act in your name• States what powers are granted to agent in your name:• Open and close accounts; buy and sell assets; collect rent; sign checks; etc.
You can see that these documents are critical to protecting your intentions and desires. Even people who are legally married should have a sound estate plan in place. Remember, if you do not make the decisions in advance, each state has laws in place that will make those decisions for you. Decisions that might often run counter to your intentions, desires or wishes. It is extremely important to consult with a local estate planning professional about your individual needs. This is not something you want to do yourself!
For more information about estate planning, please visit

Thursday, November 06, 2008

One Nation under Obama

There you have it my fellow Americans. The decision has been soundly cast that Mr. Obama will be the 44th President of these United States of America. Come this next January 20, 2009, all of us will continue to witness a momentous page turn in the history of this nation. As well as a bold global statement that has the entire world waiting with baited breathe. As all the pomp and circumstance goes into overdrive, Team O starts the 77 day trek of gathering their cast of characters, the special interest waggons began circling, and expectations soar. For me election cycle 2008 has many lesson learned and experiences that have forced me to further understand the process. Ultimately, as this history in the making continues to reveal itself, I'm clear eyed and confident that as the President Elected stated, "there's some gonna be some rough days ahead, but as a people we will get there..." Yes, I believe that but the election of Mr. O is not the end of the story by a long shot. Systemic racism and all that eminates from it has not been eradicated. This was abundantly clear as the electoral college map unfolded, not to mention some of the musings that I heard from indviduals in the GLBTQ community and beyond. Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm bursting with pride, but keeping a close watch with the light on...

ACT 1 Shut Out: It's obvious that a campagin of fear, misinformation, specualtion and gay baiting has again prevailed in the mindset of voters whom believed that ACT 1 was in the best interest of the children. Unfortunately, the coalition of groups that were gathered to off set this measure were not able to overcome the "noise" of Family Council figurehead Cox and troops who blanketed the state with rhetroic mired in scare tactics. I saw some Soulforce members on Chenal, participating in the "minding the children" set up promoted by CAR and the emotionally charged commercials featuring affected children. However, I'm concerned that even though polls stated that the issue wouldn't pass, I'm suspect that those in the polling booth didn't quite understand the options. Even though there were community forums, I don't think the message was totally branded as it could have been. Also, as we continue to live and learn, it's all about the Benjamins that often can help make the case. Congrats to those who worked tiredlessly to help defeat this madness and vigilant supporters.

Health INFO:Just a reminder that the Health Dept will be offering flu shots at each local health unit on 11/6 from 8:00 to 5:00. ADH accepts Medicaid. Otherwise, the shot is FREE that day only (the charge is $20 any other day).

The local health units across the state use this occasion to practice their mass immunization drills in case they ever need to respond to an emergency. As a result, there are plenty of shot-givers and there is usually no wait. Some clinics offer *drive-by shootings* where you don't even have to get out of your car!!

There are 4 locations in Pulaski County:

3000 N. 1st Street in Jacksonville
2800 W. Willow Street in NLR and two in Little Rock--
3915 W. 8th Street &
4918 Baseline Road Suite 1

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

V- DAY in the Land

Here we are finally. It's here, election day, 11.04.08 and there's a spirit of change in the air. Can you feel it. Can you sense it? Are we ready for it? You damn right. It's all over but the shouting to come as all those, apparently about 140 million of ya, who haven't cast their ballots, need to be prepared for an onslaught of participation today. Even though I feel there will be malfunctions and misinformation in abundance. I'm hopeful that come Wednesday morning, it will truly be "morning in America." As we ponder, wait, and wonder, let's go inside another COP:24/7

COOL Cometh: As foodie, in case you don't know what that's all about. It'a person who is really into food on many levels. With that said, especially as a new administration will be faced with this issue and more. A new law called COOL (Country Of Origin Labeling) has just gone into effect — and not a moment too soon. Especially given the recent scary and appalling news about melamine being added to foods in China, including baby formula (apparently melamine makes a product look like it contains more protein). With COOL, we’ll all be able to see where everyday food comes from, including raw meat, wild and farmed fish, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, peanuts, pecans, macadamias, and whole ginseng (the goal was to label high-volume items, apparently). Of course, many fresh foods already had U.S.-grown labels (such as Vidalia onions and Florida grapefruit), so those won’t change; and of course, not all imports are bad. But it’s new power for the consumer to know what they’re buying and where it’s from, and to choose local whenever possible. Even though proudcers have taken a harsh stance about such a law, I believe that it's imperative that we know where our food stuffs are coming from, thusly giving us the choice to buy or not. If you get a chance, look at the label of your next purchase and just see where it's coming from. You may be surprised!

Maddow in the House: She's super smart. Oh so quick witted and a certain rising thorn in many of her impending interviews or exposes. Who's that girl? It's Rachel Maddow by golly! In case you've not seen or heard Ms. M, then you are in for a treat. According to a MSNBC blurb, Rachel Maddow hosts MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” featuring Maddow’s take on the biggest stories of the day, political and otherwise, including lively debate with guests from all sides of the issues, in-depth analysis and stories no other shows in cable news will cover. Maddow also continues to host “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Air America. I usually tune in to the TV version for her fast paced, let's let them have reporting for my newsy fix. However, Ms. Maddow is not of the Nancy Grace ilk, but putting her own stamp on the news industry. She can do a sly news item and then go for the jugular in a hard news item. If you get the chance, catch her in action nightly on MSNBC, Check you local listings for times or go to I like her. You go girl!

Monday, November 03, 2008

On point, Stayin ahead of the Curve and History in the making...

It's been 21 months in the making and now it's come down to one day on the time clock to history in the making. If you haven't made a decision, then you only have 1440 minutes until the polling places swing open to cast your vote. I hope that most of you have done so by now and will take a few moments to check out our latest posting. As we prepare to turn the page in leadership, it's important that we continue to understand our personal responsibility in making our lives better. In the words of Super money guru, Suzie Orman,"'s people first, then money, then things..."

Turning Spenders into Savers: The benefits of Paying in Cash

by Andrea Cecile
From our online partner, Queercents, I found this interesting article which supports a concept that I'm slowly adopting. It's all about chainging your spending habits by using an "all cash" mindset. In a nut shell, if you don't have the cash to spend then perhaps maybe you should rethink that purchase. Read on and take this another teachable moment....

It features a lunch room cafeteria in full swing, with dozens of people ordering, cooking, walking and paying – all perfectly synchronized. While busy, cheery music plays in the background, the whole cafeteria is engaging in this well-coordinated routine; seen from above it looks like a Busby Berkeley number. All is well until the dreaded cash guy arrives. While everyone else swipes their Visa Check Card for payment, the cash guy has to pull out his wallet, count out bills, and accept change. The music slows, and the perfect routine implodes, with people bumping into one another, drinks spilling, etc. The tag line implies that using cash will just slow you down. In many ways, that is true and I actually think it is inadvertently a great endorsement for using cash. Little does Visa know!
Think about it: with a credit/debit card, you are much more blinded to the total cost of your purchase than with cash. Surely debit/credit cards are faster than cash, but in our current economic situation maybe what we need to adopt is a slower, more conscientious approach to spending? I know my personal transition from using credit/debit cards to cash helped guide me toward being a better saver. Sometimes, slower IS better. Here are 4 reasons why using cash is better for your wallet.
1. Pre-set limits to spending: Especially for smaller purchases, cash gives you a level of control that is difficult for spenders to instill themselves with a credit/debit card. For example, I used to use my debit card to pay for work-week lunches. Often I would find myself at the register with a $15 charge, and once, at Whole Foods (FYI: the Whole Foods cafeteria is amazing, but pay-per-pound, so also confusing and expensive!) my bowl of food rang up to $23! Since I was using my debit card to pay, a couple of extra dollars never made much of a difference. But now I cap myself at $10 per lunch, and only take that amount in cash with me. This caused me to be more aware of prices as I’m going along, and forces me to stick to my budget. Some people can do this without using cash, but using cash and leaving all other methods of payment at home gives a spender like me the willpower I don’t normally have.
2. Counting out bills makes it harder to spend them: It is a proven fact that counting out bills to spend always results in less spending. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m willing to guess that when we actually see how much money those new boots are costing us, we’re much more likely to re-consider our purchase. Using cash gives you a better sense of what you are spending and puts prices into real terms, giving us a much needed perspective on cost.
3. Saving the change: Some new-fangled check cards do this now, but there is really nothing more satisfying than carrying a years’ worth of change to the bank in exchange for enough cash to go out to dinner. Using cash for all your purchases allows you put aside this “extra” money without much sacrifice. Just by saving your coins for a couple of months, you can build up a nice rainy-day fund. If you save your coins for years, like my brother does, you can even go on vacation using only spare change! One of the easiest ways to go from being a spender to a saver is to start saving your change. And the best way to get more change is to start using cash!
4. Using cash allows you to take advantage of hidden discounts: Did you know that stores and restaurants have to pay a fee to the credit card companies every time they process a credit card transaction? This is why many smaller stores and restaurants are cash-only, or have minimums for credit-card purchases. By frequenting cash-only places you are taking advantage of lower prices across the board, because of lower operating costs. Similarly, you can also take advantage of cash “discounts” at places that have credit card minimums. How many times did I get suckered into buy something I didn’t need or want in order to make a credit card minimum? By using cash you can bypass the need to purchase something for no reason, and short-circuit your spender impulses.
Using cash for the majority of my purchases has certainly slowed me down a bit, but that’s what I wanted. I am no longer as impulsive or careless when I make purchases. Having to be deliberate and thoughtful because I was using cash made me more aware of my spending habits. It was a major step in turning this spender into a saver! Do you find using cash is better for you too? What are some tips you have about when to use/not use cash?