Friday, September 30, 2011

The TGIF Spindown

Good bye September, hello October and welcome to the final quarter of 2011. Just where has it all gone is any body's guess but COP 24/7 burst back on the scene months back, ready to pull out all the tricks of the trade. It's been a bustling, rapid fire, out of the box return which we hope will propel us into 2012. If you are not a subscriber, follower or otherwise engaged, we welcome you to do so. This forum was designed with you in mind and we want  you on board to be in the loop of what's really going on in the Arkansas' LGBTQ community and beyond. Come join us, won't you? Do it TODAY!!!

Building Bridges: Clinton Style

Today, former President Clinton, current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and family were present of the opening of the Clinton Bridge project within the Clinton Presidential complex. The family crossed the Rock Island Bridge as onlookers awaited their arrival in true "Clintonesque style" just a bit fashionably "late." A trait that we've affectionately come to just expect whenever the former President makes an appearance or is slated to do so. In other words, we've become accustom to this situation, because it's "Clinton being Clinton." His appearance was to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of his Presidential announcement that was sorta recreated at the Old State House on Saturday.  His brief remarks which came after other notable locals such as Gov. Bebee, Mayor Stodala and NLR Mayor Hayes, Clinton beamed with pride as he cited the "home folks" in the audience and spoke to the importance of those who helped him with campaigns throughout his career. It's all about building bridges both personally as well as communally came the sage advice from the former president. He emphasized that "connections" are so vital not only in our everyday lives but nurturing those links while cultivating lasting relationships are so essential to reaching common ground or possible consensus on issues. I couldn't agree more and have often "preached" this concept more often than I can remember although often it has fallen on deaf ears. Within the LGBTQ context, the true core of creating a ground swell of support in any cause, issue, project or event takes outreach and embracing those who may or may not be apart of your organizational profile. I've spoken about "The Politics of Hello," which simply comprises of just that, "saying hello to a visitor, stranger or possibly someone who just needs to be acknowledge."  Yet, I continue to see and hear that folks are being overlooked or sized up using parameters that often will not allow you  to make the connection. Clinton was on point when he said that we can't continue to allow our differences to be the most defining part of our nature. But rather we must find or build a common bridge utilizing our unique abilities, talents and strengths. Even though a tad late, President Clinton never fails to deliver and his short remarks spoke volumes to not only my senses but hopefully to the sensibilities of all who had a chance to hear.   

The Mystique, Magic and Madness of MJ

The coverage of the Michael Jackson trial involving his physician Dr. Conrad Murrary and the spectacle that it has become is unfortunately befitting of the entire carnival of life that Jackson led. It's filled with drama, intrigue, cast of characters, mystery and mayhem that has been described with laser like precision by prosecutors. The power point presentation rolled out last week was jaw dropping produced complete with an audio presentation featuring the fallen pop star sounding lethargic and sadly drugged in to an oblivion of his own creating. I couldn't help but watch the CNN coverage as it coming, one more slide after another, the pile on, the evidence, the time lines, in-depth descriptions and finally a lifeless, immobile and striking finale of a deceased Michael Jackson lying on a hospital gurney. I can't imagine the agony Mrs. Jackson must have been feeling not to mention his family who were apart of the gallery of onlookers. So much rushed through my mind during the presentation especially as to how could a talent with so much not only to live for but had accomplished could subscribe to pursuing this course of living. Could his life had been so "out of whack" that only substances could cause him peace of mind. Was it necessary to continue to strive for the next big concert, the next spotlight, the next roar of the crowd so enticing that it allowed Jackson to intoxicate himself with a cadre of drugs that eventually brought the circus tent down for the final time. As week two unfolds, Dr. Murray appears to have an uphill battle to defend his actions, motivation and reasoning for his part in this serious medical debacle. I'm sure that his defense attorneys are ready to discover any reasonable doubt but from this point of the game, it ain't looking good for the good doctor. And you can see  it all of his face and then some. Let the games continue....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 715 and Counting

Its all about 715. What is 715 you ask? This is the seven hundred fifthteeth posting on CorneliusOnpoint. Yes my friends, foes and followers there have been 715 items posted in this forum covering everything from soup to nuts. If we believed that it was of interest to you our readers, we moved to cover it, uncover it, share it, emphasize it and damn near call out it for all to see. Its been our pleasure to keep bringing you our special brand of news and views of the LGBTQ community and beyond. There's much that's going on in the world that reverberates through and throughout the gay community that directly affects you, you and yes my reader you too. If you have not been a reader, then we welcome you to become a follower, subscriber and certainly a fan of Arkansas' only daily updating online forum. If you've been thinking about it, then most likely COP 24/7 is ready to talk about it!!  And now the 715....

The Number Games

Did we scoop the local press or was this just not "newsy" enough for those hugnry local news hounds? Well, I'm not sure but I'm begining to wonder why there is only health news when its bad news. You know, foodborne outbreaks in spinach, meat that the latest, cataloupe. Then we have those statistical information that causes most folks eyes go into the "deer in a head light" mode. Of course, it would seem that money news would be so much easy and perhaps a sort of feel good type of news that anyone would want to report. However, not only is that not taking place but I'm concerned that the health beat reporters are asleep at the wheel. Earlier this week there was news that HHS (Health and Human Servivces) announced that Arkanasas would be granted $8.3 million in HIV/AIDS funding from the recent funding cycle. According to ADH's Associated Branch Cheif Cathy Flanagin, this includes supplemental ADAP funding to address possible waiting list issues that are plaguing many jurisdictions across the country. So who would know? Where's the news conference? Where's the coverage? Where's the ADH Press Release or Media Advisory? Nobody got nothin to say about it?  Wouldn't this news at least be a beacon to consumers that there is still continuing funding in the pipeline for services while demonstrating that this funding is not adequate now or will be in addressing the  ebbing and flowing of this health delimma. Certainly this is of issue in lieu of the recent 3 city HIV Testing tour which tested upwards of 300 folks alone with possibilities of discovering postives yet undetermined. There in lies the "care paradox." Let's do the math shall we. You take over 4000 not in care,  times continued testing, with the square root of Governmental flat funding and divided by no state funding is the reason this equation will forcefully impact AIDS in Arkansas.

And Now a Political Minute from Joyce Elliot

Poltical stalwart and LGBTQ ally Joyce Elliot is running for State Senate is needing all of our help as she makes a bid for the that seat. Ms. Elliot has been visible as well as vocal on numerous issues related to the gay community and beyond. Her frankness and passion is unmatched when she takes a postion on an issue ranging from education, taxes and HIV issues. Her hard slog against to gain a U.S. Senate seat against Tim Griffin was a testament to her grit to take it to the next level as a solid represenative for the people of Arkansas. Even though that race wasn't realized, Ms. Elliot should be supported by the LGBTQ community as she will continue to be a force to be reckond with in the future. Check her out at  Don't forget that if you can't speak yourself, your dollars can speak for you louder!

Dear Friend,

Since I decided to run for re-election to the Arkansas State Senate, I have made it clear that I do not take my re-election for granted. I have worked hard for the constituents in my district, and I have continued to fight for the people of the state of Arkansas. My job is too important to me to sit by and hope that I do not draw an opponent. That is why I'm reaching out to you now to ask for your early support in my 2012 campaign.

The financial reporting deadline for the 2011 3rd quarter is September 30, and I would be so grateful for your contribution of $25, $100, or whatever you can afford up to the maximum of $2,000 per election. Your early support in this campaign will show any potential opponents that I am serious about working hard to seek re-election to the Arkansas Senate.
My willingness to work with all members of the Legislature while standing strong for what I believe in are important characteristics that make me an effective legislature. I will continue to dedicate my life to public service in our state and continue to work together to improve the lives of all Arkansans.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to working with you on this campaign.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Swirl Wednesday

We're breaking fast in the last week of October 2011 with updates, opinion, observations and more interesting items concerning the LGBTQ community and beyond. If its being talked about, most likely we're listening and ready to pass it on to our readers. Are you ready? If not, get ready... Let's go get em.

HIV Testing Tour 2011

We posted earlier this week about the Black AIDS Institute/ Arkansas Testing Tour that took place last Thursday,( 9.22.11) through Saturday ( 9.23.11) with a 3 city stop of Conway, West Memphis and Texarkana. In that post we offered a snapshot of the event which as any event may have and sometimes does, had a few planning snafus resulting in some "ouch" moments. Despite those bumps in the road, the tour did prove to have its merits and there were many who turned out for testing as well as results. For that effort the tour gets a "gold" star, but I hope that a closer examination of this approach gets a good dose of reflection including that $50,000 budget allocation which I'd be interested in taking a gander at.  Of course, as I've stated many times before that putting together anything should encompass the strengths of experts if you can get them. Arkansas Department Health personnel are in fact not "event planners or producers." They are health care professional who provide the "medical expertise" that support these efforts.  In this case, putting together a 3 city tour with a many moving parts including remote locales that have not been site tested or actual logistics mapped is nothing more than a recipe for possible discomforts or the unexpected across the board. So heads up ADH and Black AIDS Institute of LA! Before this process begins, if it does for 2012 surely there's got to be some true event experts brought in to keep it all in prospective. Think about it....   

The Number Game

Its all about the numbers as they say and they really do count when it comes to almost everything these days. Case in point was yesterday's Health and Human Service Press Release concerning impending HIV/AIDS funding for states and cities. Alright for many of you this is not stimulating reading or perhaps not of interest to you personally but believe me its important stuff. Why you ask, because HIV/AIDS funding for Arkansas relies on the formulas and determinations from the Federal Government not Arkansas which has "no" budgeted dollars to address HIV/AIDS in this state. So why is that important? Well in case you didn't know and most likely you don't, its not like we have a wealth of congressional champions or highly paid lobbyist assuring that this state is not left out of the money stream on this health dilemma. What we have is dutiful advocates and activitst who make every attempt to be engaged as lookout and monitiors to the ever shifting HIV/AIDS dollars. Even more surprising and should be even more alarming is that this HHS press release was not heralded by local officials in any manner as yet nor was there any local news coverage of the information that Arkansas was entitled to- get ready for it- a Supplemental of $8.3 Million smackers from the $1.89 Billion pile! And get this, Ironically Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (pictured) who heads up the agency is in this very city TODAY at Philander Smith College for a Health Fair! Hello is anyone making any connections with this? Sounds like a perfectly good photo op and outreach opportunity to me for someone to assure the HIV/AIDS community that indeed you are in the loop of "what 's really going," or at least attempting to be in the know. Since Gov. Bebee is always ready to make financial announcements, where's his recognition of these most needed dollars. If not Bebee, how about ADH's Dr., Halverson? Anyone?  Of course theres a flip side to this whole news from HHS and the Ryan White mash up of funding and the Arkansas nexus that needs some explaining, but lets just simmer on this bit of good news for now before we begin asking more pointed questions about other decisions. 

Sixth Annual "Friends of the Community" Awards Banquet (Brunch)
 The Arkansas Stonewall Democratic Caucus are honoring State Senator David Johnson and State Representative David "Bubba" Powers, Ocotber 1, Universalist Church, 11:00 p.m. -1 p.m. 1818 Reservoir Road in west Little Rock.

Senator David Johnson was first elected to the House in 2004. In 2008, he was elected to the AR Senate. Sen. Johnson has sponsored and supported progressive causes and consumer issues. Johnson represents part of central and western Pulaski County, and serves as Vice President of the Arkansas Community Foundation. Johnson served as lead sponsor on the recently enacted anti-bullying bill.

Rep. David "Bubba" Powers represents Hope and part of Hempstead County. Powers was elected in 2006, and serves as Vice Chair of Aging, Children, Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs and Majority Whip. Powers has led the fight for juvenile justice reform, and served as House sponsor of the anti bullying bill. Powers is a Juvenile Court Officer in the 8th Judicial District.

WHY IS STONEWALL HONORING THEM: Both Senator Johnson and Representative Powers co-sponsored and worked hard to get the recent anti-bullying legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender identity into the anti-bullying statues.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO BE THERE: We must show our Straight Allies that the LGBT community will be there to support them when they stand up for what is right even if it may cost them their seats.

Tickets are $25.....please RSVP to Jada Walker at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Open Lenses in a COP 24/7

The REPEAL HIV Discrimination Bill Is Introduced

Today, at the “HIV Criminalization: Why it Should Matter to You” panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation conference, Oscar Mairena, Staff Assistant to Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), announced that Representative Lee would introduce the REPEAL (Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal) HIV Discrimination Act this afternoon. The bill will require the US Attorneys General, Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Defense to work with State Attorney Generals, public health officials and people living with HIV to review laws, policies and court cases to determine ways to create nondiscriminatory policies surrounding people with HIV/AIDS in criminal cases. They would also be responsible for monitoring state laws to ensure new policies are being properly implemented
As explained at the panel, 34 states and 2 U.S. territories currently have laws on the books that criminalize the perceived exposure of HIV, many of which date to the early or late 1990s. Unfortunately, these laws represent outdated and misconceived notions that people living with HIV don’t act responsibility when, in reality, the majority of people living with HIV practice safer sex. As a result, the laws have created genuine discrimination in the prosecution of people living with HIV. For example, there have been instances when people living with HIV have been prosecuted for an act that has no risk of HIV transmission such as spitting or biting. In Michigan a prosecutor attempted to charge a man who bit his neighbor during a fight over the neighbor’s gay-baiting and name calling with bioterrorism.
Essentially, current policies discriminate against people living with HIV/AIDS for having consensual sex, something that would be legal for a person not living with HIV/AIDS. State laws often have the potential to punish people with no intent to transmit HIV as severely as the vanishingly few people who actually intend to transmit the disease. These laws also run counter to public health messaging because their main criteria is often simply that a person knows their status. As a result it discourages people from getting tested and disclosing their status for fear of criminal prosecution. These laws put an additional burden on people living with HIV since their status could lead to criminal charges regardless of their intent or actual transmission.
AIDS United supports the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act and encourages all to call their representatives and tell them to co-sponsor the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act.

Alternative Programming Please?

COP 24/7 has been apart a dialouge about safe spaces and alternative programming available locally and to what extent that programming fills a niche need in the city. After a few conversations, I'm happy to report that even though gay bars have been the bation of activity in the past, there are numerous "non-bar" outlets that are now poised to outreach to gay youth to the mature population. Local venue New Beginnings Church of Central Arkansas offeres Friday movie nights with popular titles such as the "Kids are Alright" offer insights and perspectives that could make for good after movie discussion. This option is free and they suggest to bring snacks and beverages to share plus your own lawn chair. The Diamond State Rodeo Association has been prompting the forming of bowling teams with most likely pursuits to creating a mini-league. DSRA sponsors a number of non-bar oriented outings including camping trips and dine outs at area restaurants. If intersted contact DSRA at  Center for Artistic Revolution also has advertised that their organization is supporting Adult Community Space for those in the LGBTQ community and beyond. Within the space is a forming Adult oriented library, areas for meetings, community projects, potlucks or art opportunities. To make the connection to this space contact them at 244-9690 or  Community Based Organization, The Living Affected Corporation has secured office space that is available for small meetings or group activity that could use a place for a working on a project. Located in the Argenta Presbyterian Church, LA Corp offers some testing at the site, AIDS 101 training and is comtemplating offering a north shore "drop in" center in the near future. At this time, hours are being revamped and a new schedule will be released shortly. If interested in the LACorp space contact, or 877-902-7HIV.  We've also learned that local water holds are also following the trend of creating community space whether their doors are open to the public or not. Both Sidetracks in North Little Rock and 610 on Center have been courting local groups to use their facilities for special events, meetings and organizational activities.These venues could be a low cost - no cost option for your next fundraising or group meeting. Contact each entity directly for detailed information and don't forget to tell the you heard about it here!

 Lucie's Place Board announces

Organizers for the Lucie Place Project has been steadfast in their efforts to pull together the nuts and bolts of the long range planning for the planned facilitiy to offer housing options for displaced LGBTQ youth in Arkansas.
They will be having a HUGE Rummage Sale October 14th & 15th 8AM - ?PM at Pulaski Heights Christian Church and encourages everyone to be there! PHCC can be found at 4724 Hillcrest Avenue in Little Rock and more information can be found on the Facebook Event page, here:

According to P.Poppers, If you have anything you would like to donate, please contact the group for directions or insturctions on the process. The group has decided to put a hold on the community meetings until further notice. They are still hard at work preparing to file for incorporation and apply for tax-exempt status. While this is a very important step for Lucie's Place, they felt that it wasn't interesting for the general public, so for now all updates will be via the Internet.  Penelope also noted that they will do a better job sending out these updates to ensure transparency. Please let them know if you ever have any questions, comments or concerns!

The group reports that they have already started getting calls from young adults who are either currently facing homeless or are near homeless. Board conversations have resulted about how to handle these calls. At this time they are still figuring out the logistics of a few solutions, however would like to launch a community call to action. If you know of any hotel or motel in Central Arkansas that is either known to be friendly to LGBTQ people, or LGBTQ owned, please let them know or you can share it with this forum. They would appreciate it if you asked around your network to see if anyone you know has any ideas, prospects, in-kind offerings or sponsorships.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Rainbow Fringe and More

Yet another weekend has popped off and I almost clicked out before it got started. This ain't about no stinking violins playing the Whiner Symphony but sometimes beating a path to events, happenings and what have you in my hectic schedule does take it toll. However, even though I'm so fortunate to have health coverage including a PCP, when many do not.  I've got some reservations about the Medicaid train that has left the station due to arrive in 2014 that may have my head spining when trying to see the doctor. But I can't even think about that right because it's a damn shame that often when I need my own physician she's not available right now! Yet when it comes to me keeping my daily pace I'm usually not deterred to get some NP, MD or Voodoo Priest to get me back in the swing of things before my next scheduled round of events! Who the hell has time be sick?  Anyway I digress. Its Monday as COP 24/7 is fully medicated with our hand on the throttle to bring you what we've seen, who was who and what's really going on in case you missed it all. Let's go for it...!

Comedian Richardson Speaks
Every now and then COP 24/7 discovers nuggets that just have to make the cut in this forum. Sometimes I have to think about them twice, but usually if it strikes me just right I can call it from the jump. Enter, "" from local self styled comic slash entrepreneur, slash promoter, slash political commentator. Ladies and Gents and all those who haven't decided welcome to the world and mindset of Angie Richardson of Club Goodtimes fame. When this video clip and website crossed my radar, I was simply taken aback with the bravado and swagger that fills the content on the site although some of its actual information is rather dated to say the least. According to Richardson she's opened for comics such as Lavelle Crawford, Eddie Griffen and Rickey Smiley. What's missing from that pronouncement is the fact that she doesn't really say where, when or why she was particularly chosen for those shows. Furthermore she also touts herself as "Arkansas most gifted writer" as she proclaims to have exposed her life's experiences in her narrative, "I Have A Story to Tell." I didn't find this listed on and don't think it made any body's bestselling list, but of course "angie said that" and I assume we will have to take her word on this. Is there any book club that has read or is reading this bio? If so contact me, I'd love a peek at that story. Also she cites that "she's the host and creator of "Gay Pride" held annually in her hometown of Little Rock. Really? What I think she means to assert is her version of "gay pride" which occurs within the confines of her west end joint and outbound to other local TBD destinations of her choosing. I know that there's been skating parties, pageants and picnics of some sort. But I ponder the thought if there are references to the Stonewall riots or if Harvey Milk is ever mentioned during any of this "pride." Not to mention notable Black Gay pioneers such as Bayard Rustin, Lorraine Hansberry, Barbra Jordan or maybe Mandy Carter who should be highly profiled. Just sayin. Its been sometime since COP 24/7 has visited this haunt for various circumstances that we can't even began to explain, nevertheless it seems that despite it all "good times" continue to be had by all who embrace this atmosphere. In case you haven't checked out CGT, you have to at least once just to say that you can mark it off your bucket list. In the meantime check out this clip from  (Editors note: it's unedited, altered or censored. You can find so much more on )

HIV Tour 2011 A- Go-Go

This forum had intended to post information on the recent annual HIV Testing Tour that stepped off last Thursday thru Saturday commencing in Conway and ending in Texarkana. However, all the necessary info has not percolated or been sifted from onlookers, participants or organizers from those sites.  But COP 24/7 was on the scene during the UCA campus visit before the stormy skies blew in and over the site as at least 40 plus folks stood in the rain to be tested in the Jefferson mobile unit while others made a break for an inside destination. These were the remainder of what looked liked almost 100 plus people standing line to be registered prior to the wash out. In the meantime, the event came on the heels of another courtyard event that was scheduled to end at 2 pm giving Testing Tour participants a minimal set up time to prepare for a slated 2:30 pm begin time. Ouch! There was a DJ, performance artist, Frat steppers and other schedules activities scrambling to get it together amidst the infamous "flying by the seat of your pants or go with the flow" model that usually doesn't give one a good vibe about what's to take place. Of course with every good plan there will be something that goes awry and this first tour stop faced several challenges ranging from a separate testing unit unprepared for the road trip and sidetracked with "flat tires" an hour and half away from the site. To the chagrin of organizers, that mobile unit contained back up testing kits, incentives, other promotional  materials and most striking was beverages for the event who were treated to grilled hot dogs or burgers. Double Ouch! Oh did we say that it began raining but not raining men yet gave pause to the DJ and bringing everything else to an abrupt halt. However, some how folks stayed orderly in line to get tested and await results. I guess since they live on campus maybe they had nothing else to do on a rainy Thursday afternoon.  For just a bit of background, this event was apart of a collaboration with the Black AIDS Institute of LA among other entities whom through an association and 50 G's in funding from the Arkansas Health Department. The event is themed from their PR campaign, Greater Than AIDS, which is being used in other tours around the country. Folks from "LA" were on hand and were amazed at the testing response and what appeared to be our resilience to put it on despite it all, including the rain that just added to that feeling "you had to be their." As we sort through the details, pictures and back stories we will update all this week. Stay tuned because I'm sure there's more interesting items to share. A big shout out to Mr.JDL and JCM for keeping the CCI crew rocking and rolling during the tour and sticking it out even the rain. Big props to the team effort and mucho thanks!

Arkansas Minority Health Promotes

It happened again. The Arkansa Minority Health Commission went "concert" on us again September 16 featuring jazz stylist, Najee. AMHC was presenting this effort as a "fundraiser" for the Friends of The Mosiac Templars. Wow how does that work I wondered. Anyway, as reported by talk misstress, Helaine Willimans of the Democrat Gazette the evening appeared to be cute with folks dressed in their after five mixing and noshing on hors d'oeuvres from RSVP catering, sipping adult beverages from Glazer Distributors and Coca Cola for those designated drivers or those who don't endulge. The item didn't really state why this fundraiser was being held or was I to presume it was a support nod to semi-embattled Executive Director H.L Mc Gill who was almost booted from the post by internal haters who cited his tardiness in processing a "very important grant" all the while not being "very multi-tasking" oriented with answering those pesky "all important e-mails" sent from superiors. If I recall correctly, Gov. Bebee had to intervein in the dust up and paved the way for Mr. Mc Gill to get a mulligan and resume his duties. Even though Najee's performance surely soared throughout the evening as onlookers were filled with civic pride and "feeling healthy" as well. Again It seems that AMHC seems to be creating a niche for the organization with gospel concerts, comic shows, performance artist and now this jazz outing. So if they can "fund raise" for this entity, can they "fund raise" for other worthy CBO's NGO's or ASO's that could use a boost in their coffers as well? How about a evening with Wanda Sykes? No?  Hey I hear Tonex gives a rousing performance? No? Jenifer "Dreamgirl" Holiday is still available for about $10,000 and limited autographs? Crystal Waters is still touring or Rapper Tim'm West, he's got CD's, is from Little Rock and would love to show some civic pride complete with a savvy resume in tow. Anybody got any ideas? I think it would be just nifty to use some of those precious tobacco dollars that keep on giving in the LGBTQ community. Let the brainstorming begin because we are all ears for your opinions although AMHC may not be ready to step to the plate on this option.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

The TGIF In the Streets Edition

We've been on a roll this week while trying to keep up with mail bag and those items that need to make the cut. O.K. we're not quite the Huffington Report with its fancy web page and legion of contributors or a savvy connected matriarch who recently "got paid" a hefty sum for her namesake entity. We are COP 24/7, on the prowl for the last 5 years and counting with hopes that we we've entertained, informed or empowered you as a reader some where along the way. If not, stay locked in with us as this forum keep hammering out everything from A to Z in the LGBTQ community and oh so beyond. Follow us, subscribe, e-mail connect or bookmark us to make sure that you are hearing about it first and foremost. Here's the challenge, this forum would like to get at least 50 followers within the next 30 days. Can we do it? Should we do it? Well, hell yes! Its so easy and allow us to make the case to possible advertisers that we got "eyeballs" too! Tell your friends that COP 24/7 needs everyone to check in and become followers or subscribers. Let's Do it Today!!

The Final Bow: Exit Stage Left

Alright a few of you felt that our "Final Bow" post was a bit lacking and I appreciate being reminded of other notable guidepost in being "Cassaundra Manchester." Thanks RW for the sound reminder that I had "emeritus" status as the one and only Miss Gay North Little Rock 2002-2003. As I look back on that "bittersweet" experience I learned numerous life lessons that have continued to mold me today. Talk about the surreal to a bowel full of unreal circumstances that marred the entire process which forced me to make choices and take stances that to this day I believe were correct. What probably bothered me the most was the lack of men in the state contest with "backbone" who in turn shared their thoughts with me personally but were cowards otherwise when it came to standing for what was "right" instead of what was being "produced." It all goes to what their mother should have told them, "you've got to stand for something or you will fall for anything." It takes big balls to be a real man. Thank you Mr. Mike F. for continuing to recount that magical evening each time you set eyes on me. When I hear "Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Gay NLR Emeritus..." I always know that you are in the house!!  Big shout out to ST for your support during my recent royalty reign and for just being a friend. I hope that I have returned the favor. I always know that you are just a phone call or e-mail away. Thanks to all of you who requested pictures, especially Alvin who proudly showcased my picture in his own "hall of fame." My gratitude to those of you who needed info on my erratic appearances and friends like James and Shawn who show up when they can.  And finally I would be remissed for not thanking my biggest fan ever, Mike  T. who traveled with me, carried bags, helped me get shoes on and shared private moments in my inner circle. You were always there from the beginning and have been a true loyal friend when the chips were down. You never let me walk alone and I thank you for that. And last but not least my life mate JCM who didn't really know about my alter ego, but embraced it fully and wildly applauded me not only because we shared a life together but because he always felt that I was really a true symbol of excellence no matter what any one thought or otherwise stated. So that should do it. There are so many other colorful characters that I could acknowledge but let's just say that I will always remember them especially every time I look to my remembrance wall in our home. Even though that entertainment era has ended, my schedule and body of work will continue to be a force to be reckoned with until the true final bow. Thanks for everything and Always be Loved!  


I was taken aback by many of you who said that you had not heard about the HIV Testing Tour that rolled out to Conway's UCA campus Thursday 9.22.11 through 9.24.11 ending up in Texarkana. Even though fliers and such were produced, for the life of me I just don't understand how these well produced announcement some how get marginal circulation or no circulation according to some. The problem of communicating with end users or consumers is a painstaking thorn that festers in the flesh of those producing these events. In case you did know and from all indications you don't, there's much taking place in the HIV/AIDS community from meetings to upcoming events. COP 24/7 was on the scene in Conway and we'll update you on Monday with the "in's and out's of this years motor testing in Arkansas. Stay tuned, you will not want to miss it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

GPS COP 24/7

Every time I check the stats on this forum, they continue to amazed, shock and bewilder me as I assess the who, when, what and where readers are coming from to read this platform and then I try to figure our the "why." Many of you have stated that certain information posted here have allowed you to be "more in the loop" due your remoteness or lack of other interactivity. I heard this especially from those of you whom live in outlying areas such as Mena, Round Pond, Star City, many points in Northwest Arkansas as well as the Ozarks. However even more surprising are stats that reveal our foreign visitors from France, Great Britain, Ireland, the Middle East and Taiwan. Yes my friends, CorneliusOnpoint seems to have an extended reach allowing us to be apart of the "global public square," ala CNN's Fareed Zakeera. When we speak of the world as "flat" it truly is as our special brand of news, updates, coverage and what have you gets notice in places and from people who may never visit our shores let alone this state. Therefore I say, "Hello World and thanks for checking out COP 24/7!" Come follow us and be apart of what's really going on stateside and otherwise. Welcome!!!!

Gamers Tackle AIDS Enzymes

It's never obvious where the next "frontier" will occur when it comes to HIV/AIDS. Within the last three decades there have been tremendous break through and possibilities that are allowing individuals to live longer and full filling lives. Now comes words that "gamers" are becoming the latest warriors in the battle to end HIV/ AIDS in the 21st Century. The Internet has been abuzz with the story that online gamers have achieved a feat beyond the realm of Second Life or Dungeons and Dragons: they have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade. The exploit is published on Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, where exceptionally in scientific publishing -- both gamers and researchers are honoured as co-authors.Their target was a monomeric protease enzyme, a cutting agent in the complex molecular tailoring of retroviruses, a family that includes HIV.Figuring out the structure of proteins is vital for understanding the causes of many diseases and developing drugs to block them. But a microscope gives only a flat image of what to the outsider looks like a plate of one dimensional scrunched-up spaghetti. Pharmacologists, though, need a 3-D picture that "unfolds"the molecule and rotates it in order to reveal potential targets for drugs.This is where Foldit comes in.

Developed in 2008 by the University of Washington, it is a fun-for-purpose video game in which gamers, divided into competing groups, compete to unfold chains of amino acids -- the building blocks of proteins -- using a set of online tools. To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks. Cracking the enzyme "provides new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs," says the study, referring to the lifeline medication against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is believed to be the first time that gamers have resolved a long-standing scientific problem. "We wanted to see if human intuition could succeed where automated methods had failed," Firas Khatib of the university's biochemistry lab said in a press release."The ingenuity of game players is a formidable force that, if properly directed, can be used to solve a wide range of scientific problems." One of Foldit's creators, Seth Cooper, explained why gamers had succeeded where computers had failed."People have spatial reasoning skills, something computers are not yet good at," he said. "Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week's paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before."

State of Identity: Saving the Date

Have you saved the date October 15, 1-3:30 PM  La, Quinta Inn & Suites, 415 Broadway in downtown Little Rock for the Strengthening Arkansas: State of Identity event?  If not, you should do so. This programming will run during the Fall Midland and National Board meeting weekend of The National Association of Black and White Men Together, Inc. If you've saved the date, then be prepared to come share your interpretations, observations, introspective and expressions of what' community means to you, how your place within it has affected you as well as your interactions within it. Jointly produced by The Living Affected Corporation and Southern Men's Alliance for Sexual Health, the event is being offered free as a community wide forum to determine what's important to those within the SGL/LGBTQ communities and beyond. Results from mini focus groups revealed that individuals have cited a "generational" void involving role models and mentors for gay youth. Organizers are seeking to explore "mirror mirror" questions as to how locals see themselves or others from their daily interactions or over the course of their lives. The afternoon session is designed to create an non-threatening space for participants to bring their issues to the "community table." Jamal Clue, Harvard Graduate student and N A Ringo Fellow is scheduled to facilitate the exercise in conjunction with other local CBO's. For more info click: or call 877-902-7HIV  Tell them you heard about it on COP 24/7! Where else are you going to hear about it?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jokers Wild Wednesday

It's a Joker's Wild Wednesday at COP 24/7 and anything and everything goes this outing. September has been a bust a move month with so many activities, events, birthday's and fundraisers that could make one almost breathless. So as October winds up and is ready to make it's entrance, the schedule looks like it's just as crazy! Get ready, get set and buckle up....

And Here Comes Trouble

Ever since Oscar winning film maker and best selling author Michael Moore burst onto the world stage with Bowling for Columbine, I have been captured by his skew of the world as well as his "thumper" approach to our social order or lack thereof it. To date I believe that I've seen all his films and each of them have not only raised my conscience but offer me insights that I hadn't considered. As a member of his e-blast list, I usually get mail from Moore on various occasions ranging from when he's peeved about a current event or his latest project. Most recently the film maker has penned a Bio hybrid which is uniquely his own version of events in his life. According to a blurb on he shoots from the hip with
"I had an unusually large-sized head, though this was not uncommon for a baby in the Midwest. The craniums in our part of the country were designed to leave a little extra room for the brain to grow in case one day we found ourselves exposed to something we didn't understand, like a foreign language, or a salad."
Often touted as the nation's unofficial provocateur laureate Moore continues his romp across the landscape with this book by breaking the autobiographical mode, he presents twenty-four far-ranging, irreverent, and stranger-than-fiction vignettes from his own early life. One moment he's an eleven-year-old boy lost in the Senate and found by Bobby Kennedy; and in the next, he's inside the Bitburg cemetery with a dazed and confused Ronald Reagan. Fast-forwarding to 2003, he stuns the world by uttering the words "We live in fictitious times... with a fictitious president" in place of the expected "I'd like to thank the Academy.
Amazon continue that the book "captures the zeitgeist of the past fifty years, yet deeply personal and unflinchingly honest, HERE COMES TROUBLE takes readers on an unforgettable, take-no-prisoners ride through the life and times of Michael Moore. No one will come away from this book without a sense of surprise about the Michael Moore most of us didn't know. Alternately funny, eye-opening, and moving, it's a book he has been writing-and living-his entire life." I would hope that one day maybe all the antics that I've seen, been apart of and not to mention those that have affected my personal journey could be fodder for a book that someone would be interested in reading.

Rainbow Nuptials or Anniversary??

What's up with these weathermen these days! It's reported by AllVoices stringer, Marie123 that megawatt ABC network weather anchor, Sam Champion is "officially" off the market after sharing vows with his long time partner, Sean Bell. It appears that Champion who has not outed himself but has been the subject of others who make that their business has been rumored to have been "married" for some time. "They" being "those" such as Michael Musto who make it their business to know theses things, state that he being Champion shares a "Glass Closet" with  silver hair fox  Anderson Cooper who now brings his talents to daytime. Neither of these high profile professional have integrated their personal lives with their public image officially. Unlike MSNBC anchor diva, Rachel Maddow who has mentioned her girl friend by name and didn't blink while doing so. Let's not forget CNN's Don Lemon who put it all out their in his recent bio "Transparent." He's been off and running ever since without any disruptions or backlash. In the meantime, Champion has decided to go retail with his beau with a toney shop called Bellhaus in Wainscott, Long Island. While making the society rounds in the Hamptons with such notables as Kelly Rippa and husband Marc Consuelos among others who get that type of invite. So far it seems that COP 24/7's invite is MIA.  Champion and Bell have been together since 2006 and share domiciles on the Upper West Side in NYC as well as a getaway spot in Wilton, Connecticut. Congrats either for the current wedding bells or the impending anniversary. We're not sure since Champion is not actually confirming or denying too much "officially." 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Trending Tuesday

As Summer 2011 takes it final bow this week, this forum continues to go in search of updates, observations, breaking news and all things LGBTQ.  If its happening, most likely we're checking it out or throwing it down here. We're always on the move and then some...

The Bouncing O

3 years and counting. The Obama administration has been a battleship dealing with high seas and turbulent storms that have battered the hatches while making some of us sea sick. Through it all, Mr. Obama has been steadfast in trying to bridge both the political and social gaps that have caused his administration to become embattled to no ends. At every turn the opposition has placed road blocks, been uncooperative, obtrusive, overbearing and outrageous to boot. This week as Mr. Obama followed up on his recent jobs plan there were catcalls of "class warfare"and "revisions of wealth" uttering, all in an attempt to deride the legislation. Meanwhile stifling the President and any of his proposed policies to work on national issues.  What do we not know about how to fix our nations problem is not the problem but rather the "will" to do what really needs to be done. It obvious that our infrastructure needs attention across the land. We know that our tax laws need an overhaul including closing loop holes, securing unpaid taxes, discovering and spotlighting those using Off Shore Tax havens, confirming tax returns to avoid fraud and reviewing the corporate tax guidelines that needs a severe overhaul. Nothing should be off the table including all programs from defense spending to the Medicare/Social Security mash up. In my household when there needs to be a realignment of spending versus revenues, all elements are reviewed and the best course of action taken. Surely if we have the best economist, academics, financiers, actuaries, mathematicians and all those claiming to be the smartest folks in the room to get busy with determining what's working and what's not. Of course I realize that its not as simple as outlined here, but for goodness sake surely there's got to be someone who can make it as plain as Elizabeth Warren did during her turn at bat. Can we really afford to continue to be in the grips of a do nothing congress hell bent on ham stringing the Commander and Chief. Just as New York Mayor Bloomberg warned that people may be taking to the streets, it may time to do just that. Bring on the torches and pitch forks! 

Georgia Board of Pardons Rejects Clemency for Troy Davis
Troy Davis, whose death-row case ignited an international campaign to save his life, has lost what appeared to be his last attempt to avoid death by lethal injection on Wednesday.

Rejecting pleas by Mr. Davis’s lawyers that shaky witness testimony and a lack of physical evidence presented enough doubt about his guilt to spare him death, the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles ruled on Tuesday morning that Mr. Davis, 42, should die for killing Mark MacPhail, an off-duty police officer, in a Savannah parking lot in 1989. His case has gained global exposure including 36 Congressional Representatives, Former President Jimmy Carter, MSNBC Host Rev. Al Sharpton and The Vatican.

Read More:

correction:KTHV - Channel 11 will be doing a segment on the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Please bring signs and your smiling faces and let your fellow Arkansans see that EQUALITY matters to our lives.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5:45am - 6:45am
**Little Rock Air Force Base Main Gate
Jacksonville, Arkansas**

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breaking Forward

It came in a whirlwind but we road the winds with grace and focus as we navigated yet another weekend of neck braking activities and projects that fill the calendar. This forum is always stumped and damn near amazed at the consistent effort it takes to get folks "off the couch,  remove them from in front of screens, and out of the house to make these events pop. Surely we understand that economic conditions are playing havoc with many or any of that expendable cash flow, but goodness sake many events are free, no covers or what have you. Even more painful is the fact that so many folks keep chatting that "there's nothing going on in the city." Say what? Its really a two way street on this one, you've got to want to know what's going on then make some effort to get informed about the "who, what, when and where" for such events. This forum bust its ass to get it out there while trying to get it right the first time out. Note to community: there's much going on in the city, get involved, volunteer, make a donation, attend something, or at least do something. Of course it's still America and you're welcome to do nothing if you like but it would good if you are bored with life, it's up to you to do something about it. In the meantime, big props those who support the events as well as those who put together the activities created to inform, empower and educate.

The Final Bow 2.0

It's over and done, the Weekend Royalty event took off with a candidate's reception on  Friday evening at Sidetracks with association members mixing and mingling with locals and visitors. The club served up a nice mini-buffet as attendees enjoyed music and networking prior to candidates introductions. After early Saturday interviews, the competition continued in the evening at Triniti as candidates showed off the western wear and talent before an enthusiastic crowd. I was glad to know that despite some bumpy roads, road blocks and pot holes, the event sailed smoothly to conclude with a new royalty team for the next two year term. As producer of any event, you are always glad when your show steps off without too many mis-steps and it's even more difficult when you're at the center of the madness. Yet, I was able to enjoy a special moment while receiving a Community Service Award from my cohort, Mr. DSRA Jerry Lum. It was nothing short of special as Jerry paid tribute to myself to an unsuspecting audience with descriptive words and accounts that many had not known. As he spoke I realized that I had done much of what he spoke about and that I done all of it without much fanfare and as he stated "an unrecognized and un-credited hero of today." Much flashed through my mind as he continued that," speaking up and speaking out for those who do not know how and are less fortunate." Well said Mr. Lum. Those of us who choose to advocate, engage our political process, ignite our activism and put our shoulders to the wheel often do it without spotlight or ballyhoo. Over the last five decades its been a total learning journey which has taken me in many directions and numerous levels. Some have had said that I was doing "God's work" to which I've given some credence. As we never know what God has planned for our lives nor when he will send or call us to fill a ministry of his choosing. I pray everyday that if this is his will, then continue to prepare me to be the best that I can. However as I stood looking over the audience, I couldn't help but wished that more of the folks whom I target in this work were present. I've heard them state that they don't see role models and individuals who are moving in a positive vein that they can relate too. So here I was being honored while standing proud not among those who most needed to see this but rather those who may or may not need or adhere my agenda. Later I keep asking myself, where were my brothers and sisters to celebrate with me. Even though I've championed on behalf of all of the LGBTQ community, it seems that my outreach to those living the life in the African American community seems stifled or marginalize thusly leaving me to discern why. I've tired to analyze the approach, reviewed my stance while boldly rejecting the premise that "I'm not Black enough."  All of this gives me much pause but nevertheless I move onward and upward.  Have I done everything right? Probably not. Was I true to wanting to affect change? Most definitely.  Is there more work and need in Arkansas? Without a doubt.  In closing, what grabbed my heartstrings the most was the fact that this gentleman has only known me for about 2 years and was so moved by my work that he single handily decided that I needed to be recognized in this manner. Even though I'm not all about accolades and send ups, I do appreciate his insightful and obviously appreciation for what has been known by many of you that claim to know me or think you know me as "that thing that you do." Big thanks J. D., I truly appreciate it and will cherish it always!  

DADT gets Unplugged

Please join CAR, HRC, and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network for a celebration of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 6:00pm! And find out more about the work being done here in Arkansas. COP 24/7 posted an incorrect time for this event and wanted to set the record straight. This forum will make every effort to have our face in the place for this historic marker for service people around the globe. There will be light refreshments will be served. Call (501) 244-9690 or email for more information.
According to their web blast they look forward to celebrating this incredible moment in history with our fellow members and allies in the community! You can RSVP via the DADT Repeal Day Celebration event page on Facebook:!/event.php?eid=160908750662030
If you are interested in showing the media your enthusiasm about this decision you can bring signs and your smiling faces and let your fellow Arkansans see that EQUALITY matters to our lives.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5:45am - 6:45am
U.S. Military Processing Station
1520 Riverfront Dr.
Little Rock‎ AR‎ 72202

If you've got personal introspectives, observations, opinions or editoral postions on this subject, COP 24/7 is ready to hear from you. This is an open forum for the LGBTQ community and beyond. Share it in our comment section.

A Call to Sign On

 The National Association of Black and White Men Together, Inc has signed on to the "Call to Action" from the Gay Men's Health Summit. The mission of the Summit being held July 20-21, 2011 in Washington D.C. on the campus of Geogre Washington University. Planning for the event is to address the continuing plight of HIV/AIDS while tackling a cadre of other health related dilemmas in the LGBTQ community and beyond. Nationally, gay health centers and clinics are seeking to offer more holistic approaches to health care for gay men, lesbians and transgenered persons. Groups locally such as the Arkansas HIV/AIDS Community Advocates and The Living Affected Corporation will also be signing on the online petition to support the programming the summit will offer and its linkage to the Internationl AIDS Conference also scheduled for the D.C. area. The steering committee is asking as many organizations sign on to this important venue seeking to coalesce around wellness and health. If you would like to sign on this letter, please use the following link.


Please sign on to the letter by Friday, September 30th.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chasing Cornelius

Fall breezes creeped into our spaces and just in time for that next Entergy billing cycle. Controlling the weather and all that comes with it is a favorite past time of many but I just try to roll with it as it comes. No mater if its too hot or too cold, I just adjust and dress accordingly. I've found that thought process also works well for me otherwise in my daily living. I have heard such adages as "take life as it comes or you never know what life will bring you," that have comforted me for the past five decades and hopefully into the future. And now we go Chasing Cornelius...

End of an Era: A Final Bow

I am a Carol Burnett fan for life and always loved how she ended her show with "I'm so glad that we had this time together," theme. It was a simple tune that not only had lots of heart but said so much in a few words. With that in mind, I am bidding farewell to my alter ego, Cassaundra Manchester who has tipped in and out my life for at least two decades and will take her final bow this Saturday as I conclude my reign as Miss Diamond State Rodeo Association. The art of female impersonation didn't cross my radar until I got wrangled into it via some then acquaintances. I thought at that time it would be a creative outlet and most likely harmless. After all, I wasn't a "drag queen" and this was to be a campy fun thing to do plus I didn't even own any costumes or wigs, not to mention no name. Viola, it happened and I was that years Miss Valentines complete with a $20 cash prize and box of chocolates. Little did I know that I was off and running with a new persona that would take me places, allow me to meet various people and engage the good, bad and ugly about being a performance artist. I haven't written a lot about this experience except a posting a couple of years ago. But the memories are still vibrant, often give me pause and other times are just a good reason to laugh out loud. I thank God that I was able to continue to navigate the highs and lows of that choice while continuing to move on with living my life. What a balancing act and I'm so proud of it even as I close the chapter on being "Cassaundra," I will always have a fondness that perhaps I entertained some you, made a few of you proud, raised dollars for charity and demonstrated that a true beacon of excellence never takes themselves too seriously. But rather shares the spotlight with others and discovers avenues to empower, educate and inform those who he touches. Being your "authentic self" is so important no matter if you are the performer type or just the person hanging out. No matter the slings and arrows that have come my way, I can say that I never stopped believing in "me" and trusting that no matter the circumstances I would survive. And so that time has arrived and I welcome it with open arms and will always remember what I've learned and uncovered as Cassaundra Manchester. Come check out the final bow, An Evening of Royalty and Charity, 9.17.11, Triniti, 9 p.m.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Onward and Upward Thursday

It continues to be fast and furious here at COP 24/7. The keyboard is literally almost in flames as we pump out the latest updates, breaking news, commotions and what have you that going on in the city and the world at large. How in the world can we get it all in is any body's guess, but we are firing all pistons then some to keep you in the know and loop of what's really going on. So let's dive in head first shall we...

HRC Bus Commeth

In an earlier post we served up the news that the Human Rights Campaign bus tour will be rolling through the city. However, we didn't realize how much rolling the bus will be doing in Little Rock this weekend. After reviewing the schedule, COP 24/7's eyes almost rolled back in our head with the dizzying array of activities that have been planned from one end of the city to the other. I applaud organizers for such a variety but I can't imagine trying to make them all or what it will take to find volunteers to facilitate, man  tables or any of those other things it takes for successful events. However, you can give a grand try. Below is the link to the listing with it's "reservation system". Check it out and let's show them that Little Rock is rocking with true diversity.

The Tax Vote Recap

Now that the all the precincts have reported and the final tallys have been totaled, its being reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette that the "affluent" carried the measures to a Tuesday victory. Its all in the data gathered and assessed by those who do that type of bean counting and have determined that those living above I-630 turned out to the polls to vote for the tax while folks in Ward 2 and communities south of the interstate nixed the idea of an increased sales tax. When reviewing the numbers one could spin out many theories and conspiracies if you wanted to, however the bottom line is the fact that a vote has occurred and a new tax will arrive come 2012. Ward 2 Director Ken Richardson, speaking to the ADG stated that he felt that people in his ward were not supportive of linking what they perceived as non-essential items to essentials such as fire, police and infrastructure. So what I find puzzling about this ward and other wards in that area that had only 10 to 20 percent turnout. What should be alarming the electorate in that ward is the fact 80 percent of the voters in the area didn't bother to make the effort. We can only speculate at the rhyme and reasons for this lack of engagement. Meanwhile even though this area failed the measures they will still benefit from a proposed Mid-town police station and other items such as updating an 27 year old communications system. How appropriate in Emergency Preparedness Month. Let's face it, the city has needs and with needs comes those who must assists with funding those coffers to full fill those needs. Its not always pretty but its the reality of trying to keep a city progressive while safe.  

Beyond A Shadow of Doubt

Georgia's Troy Davis case which has gained international attention through Amnesty International, Former President Jimmy Carter, U.S.Congressional delegation, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and even the Vatican have rallied to the defense of Mr. Davis. At the core of the controversy is the use of the death penalty and the issue of capital punishment in general. But what fuels organizers of his defense is the fact of a lack of physical evidence connecting him to the crime as well as witness who have recanted their testimonies. Mr. Davis 41 is charged with the 1989 killing an off duty police officer in Savannah.
The Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous will lead a 6 p.m. march from Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta to Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. There, they will pray and hear from death row exonerees, former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, and folk duo the Indigo Girls, among others. Other rallies are also taking place in New York, San Francisco, Austin and points across the globe. COP 24/7 couldn't find any such activities being coordinated locally.
Davis is to be executed Wednesday. This week, Amnesty International said it delivered more than 500,000 signatures to the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, which will hold a clemency hearing for Davis on Monday. In a report from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, as of 2008 there were roughly 846,000 black men in prison in this country. Author Michelle Alexander said in a speech recently that “more African-American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.”
Obviously stats from 1850 are not very accurate, and there are many more black men in the United States today than in 1850, but the comparison illustrates the immense toll our drugs laws are taking on the black community; especially marijuana laws.
The parole board declined to grant Davis clemency at a hearing in 2008. (Picture/content credit: /

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Overdrive

What can we say here at COP 24/7. It's fast and furious as we racked them up and bust out another mash up of the latest goings on in the world around us. The inbox is overflowing with this and that and a whatchama call it e-mail that might or might not make the cut. But, nevertheless we're doing our damnest to get it all out there and a kitchen sink too if we can. So, no time for small talk, let's go get em...

To Tax or Not to Tax

It seems that as the votes tallied up and the smoke cleared, the mobilized tax brigade has pulled out the recent citywide tax increase with a sizable 54 percent to 46 percent margin over those who opposed the effort. The two measures will set in motion a local 1 percent sales tax increase that according to all those materials that stuff my mailbox with options of new CAT routes, expanded Little Rock Port, 36 new firefighters, 52 new Police officers, increased code enforcement, replace a 25 year old emergency communications system and all types of other promised city goodies. Also included in the laundry list of needs will be those new sidewalks that Director Walker has kept front and center even before there was a mention of a vote. When I went to my local polling place, there was no line and no fuss in getting in and out to do my civic duty which I value. As a citizen its each and every one's "duty" to cast your vote on the issues of the day. Even though some 22,000 voted, the official numbers had not been released at posts time. However, when I asked around in an informal lavender poll, I was taken aback that many of you out and about who seemed to be clueless to this vote. Was I surprised? Not hardly, since it appears that matters of this nature or perhaps its sad to say that any significant issue doesn't ring the "Pavlov" bell for many of the LGBTQ set. In the meantime, this 3/8ths for Capital improvements and 5/8th for City Operations is in place and will began in 2012 with the coffers getting a boost around the end of the first quarter. I guess that all those Annie Abrams commericals asking  folks for one "penny" worked while all those "X" defaced signs in my neighborhood didn't make a difference but sure took someone one hell time to do them all. Now come get them and let's move on with our supposedly "safer neighborhoods and more jobs." We'll be watching and waiting for all of these promised projects to roll out with those collected pennies.

DADT in the City

Next week the "Don't Ask- Don't Tell," better known as DADT is suppose become a thing of the past. President Obama and cohorts signed off back in June while enduring  the addition of that quirky 90 day observation period to make further determinations on whether there would be "disruptions of some sort." All the way to the point that Thursday, October 20 will finally end DADT . The Service Members Legal Defense Fund has a listing of all the activities taking place across the country including a listed event here in Little Rock hosted by the Center for Artistic Revolution, 11 am to 1 pm, 800 Scott Street. Emily Sussman is the point person listed as organizing the "Celebrating the end of DADT."  SMLD has served as a entity to support enlisted service people who have been subjected to the archaic rule and offers services including legal advice. According to its website, there is an advisory to all service people to not disclosed their preferences until after the official deadline has transpired. The site has a listing of gala, rallies and all means of celebration around the end of this policy. For more info hit em up at  (1.800.538.7418)  or if you want to get in on the local planning call those what appear to be busy folks at CAR: 501. 244.960.    

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rainbow Trending

Human Rights Campaign Bus Tour Rolls into Arkansas

The HRC Bus Tour will roll through the state this weekend September 16-18 with stops in Eureka Springs and Little Rock. According to circulated press items"On the Road to Equality" is HRC's nationwide bus tour to spread the message of equality over 12 weeks, 17 cities in 11 states and D.C., with particular emphasis on the Midwest and South. In actuality, Eureka Springs was not scheduled for a stop but as COP 24/7 learned of an eleventh hour a e-mail out reach campaign was launched by locals to demand that Eureka be considered for a stop. Reports in the Gayly, a Oklahoma based publication cited comments from LGBT community leader Michael Walsh who quipped that "it was unthinkable that the Equality Bus would bypass the only city in Arkansas that has over the last five years achieved some of HRC's most important objectives, setting historic state-wide precedents along the way." So what were these badges of courage you ask? Well, organizers cite the city's Non-discrimination Employment Policy of 2006, Domestic Partnership Registry which has attracted more than 500 couples since 2007, a Family Leave Law enacted in 2010 which allows city workers to take time off to care for their domestic partners or children and a health insurance for domestic partners of municipal workers. Eureka folks were quick to tout to HRC that they have a disproportionately large LGBT population with an assortment of gay owned businesses plus home to Diversity Weekends in order to influence the organization to make it a stop on the tour. Well now, certainly COP 24/7 likes to applaud, salute and hand out attaboys for break through and mash ups of public policy and certainly it seems that Eureka fills the bill. However as we bask in that feel good report from Eureka, I couldn't help but recall my visits to this north Arkansas hamlet where I didn't sense all of this gay Utopian goodness. During several of their Diversity Weekends that I've attended, I personally saw very little to no true "diversity." In other words in the true sense of "diversity" there was not even a tea cup of folks who looked like me, African American. In all the shops I saw no "cultural diversity" but I did see lots of high priced artwork and pieces that didn't resonate with me. I had never been overly "carded" for my age so much in my entire life until going to these events. Each haunt that I rolled through wanted my I.D. to enter and a couple of restaurants asked for I.D. to use my credit card while others in the place were not asked? Coincidence or was I subjected to a "racial profile," since there wasn't more folks like me in the place. I saw a few people of color anywhere or even being employed anywhere. This is where I enter a silly "just sayin," meaningless phrase.  Of course that was then, but recently I viewed an ad for Eureka Springs in that aforementioned Gayly, (9.2011) it was full page, full color advertisement with the tag line, "Our Secret is Out!." Featuring two white "lipstick Lesbians" and other images of smiling gay white men with toothy smiles and styled hair embracing their vision of diversity. Now really Eureka is this really culturally sensitive or merely the definitive truth of your "secret." Congratulations Eureka on being a stop for the HRC tour, you guys deserve it. In the meantime, COP 24/7 will continue to call it like we see it and don't think that we're all done with "diversity" in the Ozarks. ( ( )

Night Moves in the City Continues

Just as I thought, the "Cummings affair" is not going gently into the night. Arkansas Businness.Com's online platform added to its coverage along with all of us "media type" folks with some speculation as to how the story involving former KARK employee Brett Cummings was handled or the lack of handling. Each media outlet that responded to the article cited that they were "mindful" while not racing to expose all the details especially since their was an acutal death that had occurred. As the story broke last Tuesday, it seems that KATV was poised to give a full throttle report with video and interviews of family and friends but moved with caution not to disclosed Cummings name or station affiliation until after KARK stepped up to do so around 5 pm on its website. They choose to do this despite having an official police report naming Cummings as party to the incident. Meanwhile KTHV took the online route then busted out the news as it's lead on it's 6pm newscast with Cummings being named. They asserted that he was a prominent public figure while pinpointing that the "public has the right to know who was involved and as many circumstances as possible." COP 24/7 can't agree more and believes that none of the individuals involved have been "flamed or defamed" in the reporting even as some on social media sites have commented. It's a story that meets the criteria of "news" regardless of the players but very important due to the unfortuante circumstances of Mr. Williams untimely death. In order to make sure that COP 24/7 was aware of the facts, this forum tracked down the actual police report courtesy of  and decided to make it available to our readers for information purposes. Stay locked and loaded, most likely there's more to come....
Brett Cummins Police Report

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Day After

It's the day after the tidal wave of remembrance activities and inescapable television deluge of "all things 9/11." The tenth anniversary of that tragic day in our history garnered so many different angles and aspects that at some point it was just too much to take. Nothing was left unturned, underplayed or unspoken about from the usual talking heads of the airwaves such as Brian Williams to movie icon Martin Scorsese with his documentary which aired on CBS. Through it all I was bold over by a front page item from Tom Engelhardt ( in the Perspectives section of the Arkansas Democrat entitled, "Let's Cancel 9/11." His approach was most stirring and somewhat offered a bitch slap into another realm of reality. Stark paragraphs such as "Ask yourself this: ten years into the post 9/11 era, haven't we had enough of ourselves? If we have any respect for history or humanity or decency left, isn't it time to rip the Band-Aid off the wound, to remove 9/11 from our collective consciousness? No more invocations of those attacks to explain otherwise inexplicable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our oh-so-global war on terror." Ouch.  He goes on to emphasis,"Isn't it finally time to go cold turkey? To let go of the dead? Why keep repeating our 9/11 mantra as if it were some kind of old-time religion, when we've proven that we, as a nation, can't handle it-and  worse yet, that we don't deserve it?" Double Ouch. Engelhardt doesn't let up or let's anyone off the hook in this point-counterpoint rant where he unabashedly calls into question "American Hubris,"wrapped in war mongering and fear tactics gone amok. I applaud the Democrat Gazette for offering a host of viewpoints on 911 and it's ongoing societal impact. If you didn't get a chance to check it out, do so for a robust reality check. With that send off, let's go to the boards for the latest on what's really going on!

Night Moves in the City

I don't get a chance to read my Sunday paper with great detail often, but I made a point of reading Linda Caillouet's Paper Trails column headlines, "KARK: Censoring the story?" In case you've been out of the loop for the past week, this is item is another angle to the recent incident involving KARK's then Meteorologist Brett Cummings and the untimely death Mr. D. Williams in a bathroom hot tub during a Labor Day visit to a Maumelle home. Caillouet called into question the fact that KARK seemed to offer "soft ball" reporting versus the police report version reported elsewhere. She cites that KARK left out bits and pieces such as no mention of the silver chain which she stated was consistent with a dog collar while stating that Mr. Cummings was "at the home at the time of the death and we felt we should share this with our viewers," position. What's wrong with this picture you ask, well it seems that their version lacked the punch that usually they give most of their news stories. Caillouet pressed News Director Bob Heverling on the issue of whether they really covered the story and he replied that they knew "it was a story and it was important to at least cover the story." Caillouet balked at the tepid response and its not playing well with COP 24/7 as well.  After all, KARK is the "hot button" affiliate that brought the camera's to a local restaurant to witness local officials seeking those dastardly tax dollar dodgers and let's not forget that their Investigative reporters who don't mind knocking on trailer doors or calling out folks before the cameras for comment. It's called the "hot white light" of the media that's ready to pounce at a moments notice. However, it seems that the wattage was turned down some notches when it came to one of their own. Of course this entire matter is just terrible for everyone involved especially as the investigation continues and autopsy reports are released. Late last week Cummings made a statement to CNN citing his state of remorse prior to his attorney's Friday statement of his resignation from KARK. COP 24/7 spoke to Mr. Barbour concerning the incident which he described as one of the "worst things to ever happen in my life." It was Barbour who discovered Williams body with Cummings asleep next to him.  At this post time still no charges have been filed and the investigation continues. Stay tuned, it ain't over...

To TAX or NOT to Tax?

I'm torn about this Tax thingy for the city of Little Rock. Especially when we've learned that many and we do many local businesses have not ponied up to meet their own tax obligations. You've seen the stories and the aforementioned of KARK's video of tax collectors at Dizzy's Bistro trying to get paid. Now, I'm all for that approach, especially if I've got to come out of my pocket for any more spare change. But I'm still torn as I listen to local icon Annie Abrams decree that "it's only a penny" that will make the difference for parks, infrastructure and other stuff. Then there's shot caller Pulaski County Circuit Judge and LGBT ally Wendell Griffen who is staunchly opposed to giving this tax any chance not to mention a penny. In radio ads he states that low to moderate income folks just can't afford it. But City Board Representative Doris Wright believes that it will help Seniors in her Ward and from meetings that I've watched on LRTV, she hopes there will be some dollars for sidewalks in her area as well. So what do we do? First I say collect those damn tax dollars from all those businesses that have not stepped to the plate to share this responsibility. Secondly, let's not let up on collecting those property taxes that take up so many pages in the local paper and last but not least go to the polls and make your decision on if you want to give a penny for the cause or tell em that you don't give a damn. I'll make up my mind on the way to the polls. Hopefully I'll see you their!

Dixie Flying in the LGBTQ

You never know when the next flashpoint or raised eyebrow event will take place in this city. It's no secret that sometimes Gay sensibilities can go awry, off the rails or over the top. Such was the case at last weekends White Trash party held at the Northside haunt Sidetracks. So what got folks a bit stirred? Was it the assorted underwear, bras, panties or other sundry laundry hanging in the place? No.
Was it the campy couch and chair set with knick nacks? No. Was it the Trash Can punch which I heard had a hell of punch? NO. So what the hell was it. Well apparently organizers wanted to be as "authentic" to the theme by displaying a Dixie flag drapped behind the bar. Say what?  Apparently a few patrons were not amused and some expressed their displeasure at the sight of this racially tinged relic. I was certainly taken aback and stated to managenent that " we must be extremely careful about the symbols we embrace or choose to display." I was told that there was nothing meant by the flag and that it was being used as a prop for the event. However, I retorted that no matter its intended usage, that intention may not translate to a possible first time visitor or as I observed even sone regulars who found it off putting. I even heard one patron whom asked the question," where's your hood?" The idea was floated that maybe it should be removed if most found it offensive, but I remarked that "taking it down for the sake of being comfortable is not the answer. Let it stay but be prepared to defend your choice to do so. It was my hope that a teachable moment could be achieved not only for management but for customers as well." Personally I've always found the"white trash" or "Pimp and Ho's concepts a bit unsettling yet it seems others relish whatever value they can get from it.  We must learn that we can't expect the greater society to be "culturally compentent" of the LGBTQ lifestyle if we continue to be less competent to the symbols that have negative legacies. What's next flying Swatikas?