Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The COP Handbasket & More Part 2

Oh Queen Martha!

Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner look sort of weather beaten as she weaved and wobbled her way through questioning from the Legislative Audit folks who seemed to swirling around like sharks smelling blood in the water. Shoffner is on the hot seat for her offices alleged miss handling or shuffling or at least maybe incapable of "splaining" what had happen to some investments that were "reinvested" resulting in some questionable or again for all appearances sake, "losses." Ultimately the committee cited that, the committee's audit, which was made public Friday, found that Shoffner's office sold bonds from its investment portfolio before they had matured and purchased similar bonds from the same brokers, resulting in a net loss of $58,172. At this point I'm pondering exactly what fiscal experience does this former real estate agent have and exactly what "financial" experience does one have to have to be the state money person? Obviously not much, since Shoffner seems to have an ongoing history of lackluster performances. Not to mention those past pesky taxes she was forced to pay her $40,000 state owned Tahoe.
 However, as we continually learn, it seems that there's lots of "money speak" involved in whether a "loss is actually a loss or a downturn or any of that other financial assumption gobbly gook." Furthermore, as politics rears its ugly head in this matter, one can't help but wonder the connections of Shoffner's campaign coffers being filled by those in the securities business and how she use those contributions. Plus exactly what checks and balances are overseeing the performances of the investment instruments or practices used to support the public dole probably need checking or at least a look through. I'm sure that its not over and if the committee has anything to do with it, the hot glare of the spotlight is just starting. Just what these politicos are thinking is just beyond me...

Latino AIDS Commission Seeks Focus in Arkansas
The Latino AIDS Commission of New York City and will be collaborating with local community based organization, The Living Affected Corporation (www.livingaffected.blogspot.com) as well as with additional area groups in a capacity building effort utilizing focus groups. The exercises will be surveying the use of social media among Black MSM statewide. The Deadline to participate is September 21, 2012. The groups are slated to meet in the Central Arkansas area September 25- 26. The focus groups will be used as a further community discovery process as a conduit to disseminating future HIV/ AIDS risk reduction messages and themes. "We felt that it was a timely collaboration  since Hispanic Heritage Month was recognized September 15," said organization CEO, Diedra Levi. She continued, " its vital that we continue to outreach into our states changing demographics and shifting needs to address health disparities." For more information contact: willie.rhodes@arkansas.gov or info@lacorponline.org

Lesbian Authors on Alcoholism, Abuse, and Acceptance

Marianne K. Martin, author of The Indelible Heart, and Joan Opyr, author of Shaken and Stirred, reflect on the power of humor in overcoming life's tragedies.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

Marianne K. Martin, left, and Joan Opyr.
Marianne K. Martin and Joan Opyr come from very different backgrounds, and write very different books. But an uncanny ability to temper the tragic with humor unites the two lesbian authors. Martin shares her memories of a chosen family of fellow lesbians in her home-state of Michigan, recalling that such community informs her novels, including her most recent, The Indelible Heart. Martin also coached both high school and collegiate championship basketball and softball teams, and in 1973 won a landmark legal case establishing equal pay for women coaches.

Opyr, on the other hand, comes from a Southern Baptist household, and is all too familiar with the sense of isolation that comes from growing up in an antigay environment. Her latest novel — written between classes and working on her Ph.D. dissertation — takes a page from her own upbringing in a family that struggled with alcoholism and abuse. Shaken and Stirred finds the humor in tragic moments, as the Idaho wife and mother of two shares in the following conversation.
Joan Opyr: Though you and I write very different kinds of books, we're both pretty damned funny. Do you ever find yourself laughing at your own jokes as you're typing? Or is that just my own bad habit?
Marianne K. Martin: I do, indeed, especially if the story has been particularly emotional or heavy. I need to laugh or to find a way to relieve the tension, so I let one of my characters jump that line and do it for me. But your humor has an innate quality to it. Where does that come from?
Opyr: Life. Life is ludicrous. That's the foundation of all humor. Bugs Bunny, happily tunneling across the countryside, pops up through a random hole and meets Elmer Fudd and his shotgun. Of all the holes in all the world, why did Bugs pick that one? It's a mystery with potentially tragic consequences — for Bugs, it's hassenpfeffer! In the face of death and destruction and despair, some of us fall to pieces. That's tragedy. Others of us think, I should have taken that left turn at Albuquerque. That's comedy. We laugh to defuse tragedy but also to understand it. (excerpted from www.advocate.com  to read more click it to this site.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd have to go along with with you one this subject. Which is not something I usually do! I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!