Friday, February 28, 2014

Round UP COP 24/7

COP 24/7: Rocking it Out 10 Years Strong

Whew! What a week! What a month and by golly we are heading into March. Seems like the days and nights are dashing from one month to the next. As I move to produce and monitor this digital town square, I do my best to get whatever the latest "breaking news" scheduled to be posted. Fortunately, this platform does offer a variety of gadgets that assist me in keeping it hot and fresh on a daily basis. Just so you know, putting COP 24/7 together can be a demanding feat as well as time consuming. It can take up to 20 hours a week with some research, verifications, images, follow up, cross references, editing and formatting. I'm not a total perfectionist but I like at least getting it just right. Let me add that to this 20 hour mash up there's turns on Facebook, Twitter, and other promotions in search of those important subscribers and readers.

Yeah anyone can just "cut and paste" whatever to a page or throw a bunch of pictures or video's up as content, but this baby gets my full on attention and then some. Recently I read about a blogger who was sued for defamation due to her sloppy and unverifiable sources on a post that cause an individual harm. I make considerable effort to fact check and re-check the facts if I find that a post might be controversial or need clarified details to be on point.

I take my ten year "citizen journalism" seriously and all that comes with it including the good, bad and ugly. Producing Corneliusonpoint has been a most amazing cyber legacy to leave as my very own time capsule for future generations to discover what was really going on in my neck of the woods! Thanks for checking us out and checking in! And hey don't forget to subscribe, RSS feed or e-mail listserv our site. Do it today!!!

LGBTQ Newspaper Rumblings?

Even though COP 24/7 the bar tabloid, OnTrack have been making their mark digitally. Over the years, there has been a lot of lip service being given to why the city or state doesn't have its own "newspaper" designated with LGBTQ content.

Just for the record let's not forget that there actually have been such media pieces such as Arkansas Gay Writes, Gayzette, The Advisor, and Pink Triangle to name a few. There have also been other regionals that have come and gone with most folks having no recollection of them ever existing.

COP 24/7 toyed with the idea of taking our digital form into a hard copy version and has not totally abandoned that idea. However, it seems that the idea is being mulled over to determined its viability. As a media producer I certainly welcome any competition, with hopes that this project gets the necessary advertising support and community input required to make it the news outlet that many in the LGBTQ community keep waxing on about. Unfortunately COP 24/7 has survived based on its own devices and creativity. No benefactors, no significant donations or actual notable revenues from our targeted Goggle ads or affiliate relations. Coming soon, I will add a Paypal button to support new branded  products that readers can purchase to support our efforts.

This platforms even made an attempt to offer itself as a model for a proposed online news source that got the attention of the Latino Commission on AIDS of New York (www.latinoaids.org ) whom sent project advisors Mr. Aunsha Hall and Ms. L. Cherfas to Arkansas in 2012 to research such a possibility. The project was presented as a "CBA" ( Capacity Building Assistance) program that was suppose address community assessed needs.

Despite considerable resources extended on airfares, accommodations, a statewide focus group approach and additional follow up the project literally died on the vine. Another good possible idea lost on the heap of lost opportunities that many other communities have leveraged to make an impact in their areas. One can't help but wonder, why does Arkansas not get with the high impact trends that are so embraced by other metro areas. In the meantime, as more details unfold about this impending venture COP 24/7 will be among the first to break the news! Stay tuned...

Southern WOW Arrives

Its seems that just when you think that all angles have been covered then you learn that wait there's more!

Enter Southern WOW ( Women on Women) which is a support group for "women who love women." according to the groups organizers at The Living Affected Corporation. (www.livingaffected.org ) The organization has been serving the area for six years while addressing health disparities, social determinants, and providing sexual health information and interventions. Currently the organization also continues to provide direct Affordable Care Act education and enrollment session designed for the LGBTQ community. Contact 349-7777 to schedule a group or individual appointment to enroll before March 31, 2014.

The now weekly meetings feature female driven topical conversations to recently initiated "girls night out" at The New Six Ten and a signature event Super Sister Saturday scheduled March 8, 12-5 at the First Presbyterian Church, 401 North Maple Street, North Little Rock. Call 349-7776 for sponsorship and additional information. This event is Free, Lunch provided and Smoke Free! 





 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Doing A COP 24/7 360

The Gay Bar: Gasping for Life in the Age of Equality

It was the place that most folks couldn't wait to visit. The spot where the beautiful people, trendsetters, bawdy and worldly men and women went to be. Mysterious, complex, and often
times with "Oz" like atmosphere in which you could be almost anyone you wanted to be especially gay. I was spurred to create this post in reference to not only the impending closing of MK's later this week, but also recent chatter concerning "all things gay bar."

Just for the record, I've always loved going to the various local haunts such as 70's The French Quarter where it all begin through the "Crisco Disco," days of Memphis's mainstay George's up to later venues such as Discovery among too many more now defunct. I don't consider them the good ole days since I'm glad to still be around, hence all days for myself are the good old days! Unfortunately for today's young set, they are not aware of so much history surrounding the "bar" as they evolved from off the beaten path, dimly lit and yes even segregated with the Drummer's Club demarcation line with Black's on one side and White's on the other side of the room.

Believe it or not, gay bars have not always been bastions of "equality" not only in Little Rock but distinct racist policies existed as cited by The National Association of Black and White Men Together ground breaking 1980's Bar Discrimination project. The report highlighted wide spread discriminatory practices from multiple carding to employment including not just in the hiring phase but also in wage disputes similar to the recent local circumstances of former bar employees demanding and achieving a reported resolution to unpaid wages. Even though the bar scene was to be a gathering place or hub to mobilize, often times these very places have often demonstrated the greatest affront to the equality that we now seek from the mainstream.

In 2007, Entrepreneur magazine put gay bars on its list of businesses facing extinction, along with record stores and pay phones. And it's not just that gays are hanging out in straight bars; some are eschewing bars altogether and finding partners online or via location-based smartphone apps like Grindr, Qrushr, and Scruff. Between 2005 and 2011, the number of gay and lesbian bars and clubs in gay-travel-guide publisher Damron's database decreased by 12.5 percent, from 1,605 to 1,405. Could the double whammy of mainstreaming and technology mean that gay bars are doomed?

I'm not so sure that either of those barometers are most significant on the local front. What I have surmised is that the city's gay community has often been taken for granted with the mindset of "love it or leave it." As a bar patron and observer, what I continue to hear and witness is a dizzying fruit loop mash up of poor customer service when bartenders are most absorbed by smart phones, television sets or oblivious to patrons. I've chided a couple of folks that "I am not a drink. I am a person who would like to be acknowledge."

The complaints, aggravations, and down right disgust has become "topic A" in many circles including Facebook where folks simply don't mind putting it out there about there "thumb's down" to low to no beverages, cleanliness, and other negative perceptions that just exacerbate the whole hot mess. Of course I realize that there are two sides to every story. There's there side, customer's view and then there's the truth of the matter that we've had better and deserve it.

At this time, It seems that The New Six Ten has become favored due to it welcoming nature, trendy atmosphere and at least for now you can enjoy what ever your drinking pleasure. Also the venue has moved forward with food options including recently adding some different choices at reasonable prices. Across town late night venue, Trinity continues to plug away with its 18 and up crowd that seem to be pleased with what's being offered in dancing and shows. Late night grand dame Discovery continues its long running trek to embrace new alternative audiences while adding named entertainers to its entertainment mix.

All in all, for those who don't do bars anymore for a variety of reasons, that's just fine, but for those of us who still find some usefulness to them, our patronage should not been seen as passing fancy but rather solid patrons that now have more choices than ever and its very evident that many are making that choice very clear. Here's a salute to all those bars long gone as we prepare to see MK's fade to black this Friday.


Save the Date for Southern WOW goes Supernova!

In honor of National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day, March 10, the group Southern WoW ( Women on Women) will recognize the day with a March 8th event featuring an array of speakers on topics directly targeting women's issues from faith based to women's reproductive rights. For more information call 379-8203 or check out their Facebook page for updates. The event is Free!





 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

From the COP 24/7 Clouds 2.0

Arkansas House skips Tuesday vote on private option

After four unsuccessful votes, our legislative body simply wimped out and according to Speaker of the House Davy Carter (R-Cabot) said that, while reaching a conclusion on the private-option Medicaid budget is important, the House has “moved on” to other matters for the time being. Moved On? Really?

According to online media accounts, Carter continued by explaining that “There [are] a whole lot of other things we have to focus on,” Carter said. “We have to set the budget for the state of Arkansas
and we need to do that in the next week-to-10 days. So we’re going to get through that and I still think we’re going to work our way through this situation.”  Carter has stated that it is his goal to end the fiscal session next week, cigar or no cigar.

All of this flies in the face of  Monday's Medicaid expansion rally which included a range of local labor union and community based organizations. From the groups Facebook page The People Speak For the Private Option there were over 115 had checked in as "going," however this was not the case. So what happened to all these folks who purposefully took the time to make that commitment? Did they forget? Lose interest? Or is this par for the case in our city where folks continue to be complacent while abdicating their civic duty to engage those who make policy. I find this disturbing as individuals keep talking about "equality" and human rights in Arkansas. If you don't
stand for something, you will get whatever is decided for you!

Columnist John Brummett  also quipped from the National Governors meeting that "all eye's are on Arkansas. Republicans and Democrats can't believe that we'd create and destroy a national model."  In the meantime, this three ring circus bumbles along with all manner of sideshows that continue to make this a must watch situation as these politico's play politics with over the now 105,561 enrolled in the private option.

Side show 1: As preparations were being concluded for the rally, COP 24/7 learned that March of Dimes lobbyist Tina Long chimed to CBO LA Corp that the scheduled rally should be called off due to her inside skinny including close ties to the Governor that the needed votes had been secured and that the rally might negatively incite legislators.

Long called the organization prior to Monday while allegedly understanding that somehow the organization was at the nexus of organizing the event. Why is this important? Because this is the former inept and failed HIV- Hep C Section Chief of the Arkansas Department of Health whom lacked leadership abilities or needed acumen to firmly address the challenges of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas. After unceremoniously resigning she left a F5 tornado size swath of administrative wreckage that is still being cleaned up to this day. Boy was this wannabe shot caller absolutely wrong on all accounts!!

Side Show 2: As COP 24/7 speculated, there was mucho back room arm twisting and wrangling including that insipid Amendment from Rep. Nate Bell, R-Mena  that would defund all advertisement about the expansion. In our opinion this makes no sense but was thrown in to make the deal. It seems that despite those negotiations which included all parties involved, the needed legislators were actually Cheshire Shit Eating Cat's who later reneged on their commitments. Talk about whimps!

Let's be crystal clear, this is a moving target that could have vital consequences for the DHS Budget and all the people ready to access affordable health and dental care in Arkansas. COP 24/7 urges it readership to not take your eye's off this one and stay locked and loaded to this forum for the latest. You can catch up with all the going's on at  http://arkansas-house.granicus.com

New Anthology Project Announces Updates


The Co-Chairs of The Bush Mallon Institute for Social Justice announced a grant award to local group STRILITE in its effort to produce a new anthology project to further explore the intersections of social justice, racism, imagery and HIV and AIDS.  "We are so please to be apart of this
continuing work in Arkansas," said Michael Ross. "I look forward to seeing this good work continued and supported by the BMI and National Association of Black and White Men Together, he concluded.

The project will be edited by Executive Producer of COP 24/7, Cornelius Mabin and will include a wide scope of original content ranging from prose to essay concerning personal lived experiences in relation to all aspects of an individual's life. Under the working title of "Reflections of A Shattered Mirror," the project will further explore the impact of social determinants from both  historical perspectives to current trends.

Submission information for the project will be announce March 1 on the projects new Facebook page. Additional information and updates will be posted to this site and other social media platforms. The 34th Annual National Association of Black and White Men Together convention will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 8-12, 2014.  Host Hotel: Doubletree Hilton Downtown, Milwaukee, 800-222-TREE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 800-222-TREE FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting or, 414-273-2950 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 414-273-2950


COP 24/7 Zip Stream Announcement




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

From the Clouds of COP 24/7

COP 24/7 Special
Still Killing All the Right People: Uganda Presidents Signs Anti-Gay Bill

Its seems so surreal that they are at it again!. COP 24/7 shared Rachel Maddow's coverage about a dastardly Anti-gay bill that was first proposed in October 2009 by Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati. Maddow was among the few who delved into the story with supportive information from Jeff Sharlet in an effort to alert the world and spotlight the underbelly of the situation rooted in the U.S.

As then and now COP 24/7 believes that such repugnant and dehumanizing laws should get a full on blast approach from our lawmakers and any and all foreign aid stymied from these governments. It is imperative that our readers become aware of these activities and show your support through comments not only on this page but directly to lawmakers as well.

Photo - FILE - In this Monday, Aug. 22, 2011, file photo U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., gives a speech at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial & Museum, in Oklahoma City. Quarterly campaign reports for U.S. House and Senate candidates are due Monday, giving an early glimpse at the financial footing of Oklahoma's incumbents and names of possible challengers. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Mr. Sharlet wrote the book, "The Family" which took an in depth look at an shadowy evangelical group with Washington D.C. "C Street" connections which is a story in itself. His account includes its promotion of the National Prayer Breakfast both in the U.S. and has had ties to a similar event in Uganda.

But in his reporting, he also finds streams of interconnections within both of those entities and our over $400 Million dollars in foreign aid delivered to Uganda. President Obama has raised the ante with his statements that warned Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday that enacting an anti-gay law would complicate U.S. relations with Uganda and would be a "step backward for all Ugandans."

Let me be clear, trying to connect all the dots can be quite challenging. In fact those dots connected to "The Family" may also have ties to other U.S. Capitol Hill embeds such as Oklahoma Senator Inhofe (R) who has made numerous trips to Uganda and who has a long relationship with the president of Uganda, said that he hopes the country abandons “harsh” legislation to establish prison sentences for homosexual activity.

The sentences prescribe jail terms including a 7year term for promoting homosexuality, a 14-year prison sentence for first-time offenders and life sentences for repeat offenders found guilty
of  something described as“aggravated homosexuality.” Uganda lawmakers have stated that "homosexuality" is a disease born from the United States.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said in a statement to The Oklahoman, “I certainly disagree with the controversial legislation that Uganda may enact in the coming days, and it is my hope that the country will abandon this unjust and harsh legislation.”

Inhofe traveled to Uganda last month with other members of Congress and met with President Yoweri Museveni, according to an Inhofe press aide. However, Donelle Harder said Inhofe did not raise the matter of the anti-gay bill.

Even more glaring in this hot mess is fact Museveni and supporters are attempting to use "science based facts" that they learned from visiting U.S. evangelicals who have ties to "The Family," as well as other U.S. organizations such as National Organization for Marriage. To not be outdone by Uganda, six weeks prior to this legislation Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a ban on homosexuality that imposes 14-year prison terms for anyone entering a same-sex union. It also sets 10-year prison sentences for those who run gay clubs or organizations. The legislation triggered an outbreak of anti-gay attacks in parts of Nigeria. This forum will continue to monitor and post on this most disturbing move on the African Continent

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spining The COP 24/7 Big Wheel

AIDS Foundation Names Leadership Change

Although it seems that there has not been an official press release from AAF nor any formal updates to the organizations website, COP 24/7 is always on the hunt to break news to the LGBTQ community about what's really going on. So what's new?

Well it seems that Miss Portia Cheatham has assumed the duties of Executive Director of the
Arkansas AIDS Foundation upon the departure of Dr. Michael Cannon. Cheatham had served in the capacity of HOPWA ( Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS) Program Administrator and Board Member for the past several years.

Hailing from Camden and now residing in Conway, Cheatham was also featured as well as COP 24/7 Executive Producer C. Mabin on yesterday's AETN Minority Matters program (www.aetn.org/programs )  in a round table
discussion on Arkansans living with HIV. According to Cheatham, she is seeking to revitalize the organization with future planning and has moved to discover new board members to fill vacancies.

The Arkansas AIDS Foundation / Consortia-Care of Arkansas provides HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS) rental and/or utility assistance for individuals infected with HIV/AIDS, who meet HOPWA HUD assistance guidelines and criteria. The AAF also provides clients with referrals for many other services within the community.

The HOPWA program services span six (6) counties for active clients: Pulaski, Saline, Grant, Perry, Conway and Faulkner counties.

COP 24/7 congratulates Miss Cheatham on accepting the helm of this challenging position with well wishes that she receives an outpouring of support and capacity building in her pursuit to move the foundation forward. We will pursue a full interview in the coming weeks.


HIV sentencing reform bill passes Senate hurdle


A bill aimed at reforming Iowa's HIV criminalization law has passed a major hurdle in the Iowa Senate. And why is this news in Arkansas? Well for several reasons, one being that the Arkansas HIV Planning Group Community Co- Chair, Cornelius Mabin had been slated  last week to attend a meeting with his counterparts of Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates Network at the Iowa Department of Health who had planned capacity building activities and a lobby day at their state Capitol concerning decriminalizing HIV and AIDS.

However, due to some extreme sketchy and nebulous explanations, Mabin was excluded from representing despite the fact that Arkansas has the same type of law on its books. Did you get that?  Yes, one of the key stakeholders needed that would have expertise in understanding the issues on behalf of the HIV/ AIDS community got passed over for other ADH personnel that had limited connection to the issue and no connection to the very community needing updates and clarifications for which part of the planning group was devised to do.

Hello, is anybody getting this? Does any of this make any sense? Can anyone really with a straight face explain any of this? Well they've tried and let's just say the Co-Chair is not amused or convinced to any of it. Especially since as Co-Chair Mabin will be attending AIDS Watch , April 26-28 in Washington D.C. without the financial support of AHPG but with limited support from AIDS United in an effort to continue to lobby Arkansas Capitol Hill delegation on health disparity issues. Stay tuned for more back talk on all of this coming this week.
Meanwhile the good news from Iowa is the fact that Senate Study Bill 3196 passed a Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon with unanimous support.

The bill looks to make changes to the current HIV law, including introducing a tiered sentencing system, and no longer being HIV-specific.

The bill, which was first introduced Monday by Senator Rob Hogg, received bipartisan support in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and now moves onto a vote in the full Senate before going to the House.
"We are so grateful for Senator Rob Hogg's leadership on getting this bill through committee," says Tami Haught, an organizer with Community HIV/Hepatitis Advocates of Iowa Network (CHAIN). "To have this bill pass through committee with bipartisan support is a testament that Iowa is ready to move away from its current draconian law." Congrats to CHAIN on a job well done and making it clear that building relationships and staying focused on the issues can make a difference. Well keep monitoring their progress.

COP 24/7 Trending Zip Line



  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fallout to the Weekend

Medicaid Expansion Fight Continues

The Arkansas House has not budged in its effort to passing necessary legislation to keep the private option often referred to as Medicaid expansion of the Affordable Care Act funded. This action
warrants and requires a civil discourse action from not only stakeholders but all the states citizen's whom believe that a healthy state is a prosperous one. Community collaborators will spearhead a rally on the steps of the State Capitol, Monday (2/24/14), 11- 1pm on the steps of the Capitol. (500 Woodlane Drive in downtown Little Rock).

COP 24/7 urges everyone to attend to demonstrate your support that this measure will serve over 100,000 citizens who deserve access to healthcare via this program. As we post, there is much horse trading and most likely many back room deals being floated as the House prepares to vote again Tuesday (2/25/14). It is vital that the voice of the people be peacefully but forcefully heard. Social media is on fire with activist and advocates keeping followers updated down to the second. Even as the fight wages on, there is still information and enrollment assistance at 501.349-7777.  In the meantime, currently there are two stalwarts who need to hear from us all they are:
 
Rep. Les Carnine - 479-636-2619 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 479-636-2619 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Rep. Mary Lou Slinkard - 479-616-2010 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 479-616-2010 FREE  
 
 
 
end_of_the_skype_highlighti
 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Mighty Swirl Continues: Citizen ROAR and Rage!

Medicaid Expansion A Go-Go: The Call to Action

 
It happened it again. Another disappointing "NO" vote in the latest round of balloting for the
embattled Medicaid Expansion measure. An additional two more supporters were lost from that magic number of 75 needed to get this passed. So what to do? Its time for do what other "mad as hell and we are not going take it anymore" citizen should do...march on the capitol to let what has become known as the "cruelty caucus" that we are the boss of them! It's going down, Monday (2/24/14), 11- 1pm on the steps of the Capitol. (500 Woodlane Drive in downtown Little Rock)

In the meantime, let's make sure you understand what's at stake. Arkansas was the first state given federal approval to use Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance for the newly eligible under the health law. More than 87,000 people in Arkansas have been enrolled in the program, and several other states are pursuing or exploring similar plans. If there is no reauthorization not only will this basically leave a gapping hole of some $87 Million dollars in the states budget but will cripple the Department of Human Services. In a nut shell, folks be damned, go find you some insurance you can afford or health care access if you can. Ain't nobody got time for that!

COP 24/7 has no doubt that there will be some back room dealing as already taking place with Sen. Jane English, who had voted against the private option last year, announced that she would support the program's funding in exchange for changes to the state's workforce training program. She got her way, now who's next and what else will have to be placed on the alter to make this thing work. No matter the wheeling and dealing of politico's playing politics with individuals lives, here's what you can do:

1. Share this post and subscribe to CorneliusOnpoint!

2. Carpool with others from your area or offer gift cards, mileage reimbursement or donate cash.

3. Call and email the Senate Nine!

4. Volunteer to tell your story by contacting one of the hosts of this event.

5. Bring your signs! (no sticks are allowed on Capitol grounds.)

6. Express your discontent with these NINE!

7. Encourage folks to participate on all levels.

If these are your elected officials, reach out and touch these naysayers and often!

Senator Missy Irvin (R)
870-269-2703 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 870-269-2703 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Missy.Irvin@senate.ar.gov



 Senator Alan Clark (R)
501-262-3360 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 501-262-3360 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
alan.clark@senate.ar.gov

Senator Cecile Bledsoe (R)
479-636-2115 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 479-636-2115 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Cecile.Bledsoe@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jane English (R)
501-257-7670 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 501-257-7670 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
jane.english@senate.ar.gov

Senator Jim Hendren (R)
479-787-6222 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 479-787-6222 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
jim.hendren@senate.ar.gov

Senator Bart Hester (R)
479-531-4176 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 479-531-4176 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
bart.hester@senate.ar.gov

Senator Bryan King (R)
870-438-4565 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 870-438-4565 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
bryan.king@senate.ar.gov

Senator Gary Stubblefield (R)
479-635-4314 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 479-635-4314 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
gary.stubblefield@senate.ar.gov

Senator John Cooper (R)
870-761-0130 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 870-761-0130 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting
john.cooper@senate.ar.gov
 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

COP 24/7 Mighty Swirl Part 2

Private Option A-Go-Go: Next Steps

As I prepared this post, the news broke that a faction of Arkansas' legislature had prevailed with defeating funding the state's Medicaid expansion portion of the Affordable Care Act mandate. What this means is the fact that if this measure is not successfully defended and implemented, all those who were to be served by the expansion will simply loose their coverage. The measure fell short of five votes of the needed 75 necessary to reauthorize the private option that would utilize federal dollar to purchase private insurance products. Let's hope that we don't have to hit the "We're Crazy" button again!

This state move to forefront of  he nation with this innovative funding option in which many other governing bodies across the country seeking to follow our led, however it now seems that a few legislators intend play politics with the lives of more than a 100,000 who could be enrolled. The idea mindset's and explanations are stuff that you just can't make up. For instance, Rep. Nate Bell, an
outspoken critic of Obamacare and the private option—wrote one of the amendments to the original plan, which prohibits state funds from going to outreach or promotion of any part of the health care law. Yes this lawmaker wanted to make sure that anyone interested would not get educated about it or hear about it?

He goes further by saying, "I believe it's important as a conservative that we recognize the situation we're in," he said. "When we can defeat bad policy, we should do so. When we can't defeat bad policy, it's our responsibility to do everything we can to influence it and make it as closely aligned with our philosophy and policy as we can." This is where COP 24/7 would like to know is that philosophy to keep ER rooms full and other's out of care or without access?
 
The private option is beholden to annual reauthorization, as part of the state's budget for Department of Human Services, which runs Medicaid. Bell warns against reaching a budget standstill, and argues that the Legislature is at an "impasse" without enough votes on either side to approve or kill the private option without changes. Just to clear, there's been talk of holding up various agencies including DHS's budget to defeat the expansion.
 
Arkansas's high vote threshold for spending bills makes the annual renewal of funding a persistent challenge: The state requires a three-quarters approval for passage—75 votes out of 100 in the House and 27 out of 35 in the Senate. Because of the razor-thin margin the first time around, the shift of just a few legislators in the Senate last month brought the future of the program into question ahead of this week's votes.
 
Ladies and Gentlemen and all those who haven't decided, this is you Call to Action if you believe that Arkansan's deserve to get access to affordable care and every effort should be made to keep Medicaid Expansion moving forward.


HUMANA OFFERING NEW FINANCIAL BENEFIT ON MISSISSIPPI EXCHANGE

Humana intends to offer a new incentive for Obamacare exchange enrollees in Mississippi who see a doctor by the end of June. The company will waive copays for any non-preventive doctor visit in the first few months of coverage, a nod to the state’s high rate of health problems and an attempt to get previously uninsured people engaged in their health care — often for the first time.

It’s unclear if Humana’s only competitor on Mississippi’s exchange, Magnolia, intends to offer a similar benefits. But it’s part of a concerted campaign to drive up Mississippi’s enrollment numbers by the March 31 sign-up deadline. http://politi.co/1bLxsDP  In full disclosure, I have a Humana Insurance product and although I encourage individuals to do their do diligence when choosing a plan, I have enjoyed the benefit of getting my selection of gift card incentives in order to keep my health goals and make targeted appointments.

Although this practice has been used in the HIV testing arena, but the component is becoming a fast growing trend in the tool box of prevention as treatment. My Humana experience has not only included those great incentives, but also has provided me with...are you ready? A house call from a real Doctor! I was totally overwhelmed when my own visiting M.D. showed up at my door, white coat and all. He told me that he wanted to add an additional layer of understanding my health needs, outlooks and possible shortfalls in my overall coverage.

Wow, I thought, as we proceeded with basic health questions, blood pressure check and summary of our visit. If that was not enough, my coverage also includes access to Urgent Care at my local Concentra Care Center. I've used this facility recently in a fluke situation that require some quick action from the presiding physician. While in their care, I got "one stop" shopping for my needs including x-rays', labs, prescription services and an appointment for follow up if needed.

And get this, they called a few day later to make sure that the services I had received met my expectations. Talk about customer service when you need it. Plus as an added value item, I also added some dental coverage to round out my medical package to keep my ticking even when I give myself a tough licking of a schedule.  So, as the back and forth about accessing health care goes on, I'll do what I can to keep my Humana with hopes that all will have suitable insurance coverage that they find affordable. Keep up the good work Humana!


Save the Date!!



 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Take Out

Private Option A-Go-Go!

I know that for many of you, just trying to get the correct "skinny" on just what the hell is that insurance thing all about and why in the heck are they asking me to "get in." has been challenging.
Yes, I've listened to many of you wax on about its not affordable for you, didn't see nothing that you liked, or how you will succumb to this latest Obama driven socialist plot.  I got it already.

However the real fact of the matter is that this is a law that was created several years ago and it would behoove you to make sure you understand what's really going on. Case in point, if you have actually moved forward as a recipient of the Medicaid expansion portion, you need to listen up as policy makers are back in town with a cross hair on the back of the private option.

Just as a refresher, the private option, which provides federally funded private health insurance for roughly 100,000 Arkansans, narrowly won legislative approval in 2013, the year it was created. This was the "expansion" of the ACA in which many of the current lawmakers are just not too keen on allowing adults with incomes of up to 138 percent of the poverty level - $15,860 for an individual or $32,500 for a family of four to maintain any insurance access. Did you get that?

In the meantime, there's all kind of big crazy talk going on up at the Capitol such as two compromise amendments to the private-option bill, one that would eliminate spending on advertising, and one that would eliminate the private-option program on Feb. 1, 2015, if the federal government does not approve several waivers.

I realize that this insurance thing has some folks foot stomping mad, but for those who haven't seen doctors in years, need to deal with pre-existing conditions or may need to deal with that chronic disease, COP 24/7 high urges you to take notice of your policy maker and make haste to let them know how you feel about the situation. If you need direct enrollment assistance or additional information feel free to contact 349-7777 to get the latest updated information.

NBJC Seeks Emerging Leaders

The National Black Justice Coalition, in partnership with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign, invites individuals to participate in the Black LGBT Emerging Leaders Day on Friday, February 21, 2014. This is an opportunity to participate in facilitated conversations led by federal public policy experts in designated subject matter areas such as: economic security and justice; health and wellness; youth empowerment; education; and veterans' affairs. Join us to learn more about the White House's commitment to equal rights for all Americans and the important steps President Obama's administration has taken to ensure health, well-being, security, justice and equality for LGBT Americans, especially people of color.
 
At this briefing, you will have the opportunity to Bring VoiceBuild Networks and Take Action:
  • Interact directly with public policy experts and senior Obama Administration officials who will discuss important LGBT public policy updates related to criminal justice, health and wellness, and recent landmark judicial cases;
  • Identify opportunities to collaborate with LGBT organizations in breakout sessions;
  • Participate in a listening session with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs);
  • Provide candid and constructive feedback to White House and federal agency staff; and
  • Get engaged with upcoming White House outreach efforts to black, LGBT, youth and faith-based communities.
Priority will be given to emerging leaders, ages 18-30, to attend.
 
If you are interested in attending or sponsoring an emerging leader to attend this event, CLICK HERE as spots are limited.  
 
For questions, comments or concerns contact us at events@nbjc.org.  
 
 
 
 

Monday, February 17, 2014

The MIghty Swirl of COP 24/7

Keeping it Onpoint from A to Z

"Neither rain nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night shall stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," is the U.S. Postman creed that they live by and from what the last 72 hours have dealt, I wasn't sure if this forum could live up to that standard. However, as circumstances would have it, you just can't keep a brother down when there's simply too much going on that demands his attention.

With that said, this post which is our 1186 since our inception will dive head first into the "mighty swirl" of e-mails, websites, Facebook postings and all three rings of the information circus loop. I never know what will make the cut, but I do know that you just can't make this stuff up! Are you ready, let's dive in...!


Strange Fruit 2014


Like everyone else, I waited with baited breathe as the latest verdict would be announced in the "Loud Music" murder trail came in. I learned that my friend Wyatt Evans was actually do a "play by play" live feed post on Facebook not to mention the "breaking news" across the TV spectrum.

It was the CNN coverage helmed by Don Lemmon that broke the news that "The jury in the case of Michael Dunn found him guilty on four charges, including three of attempted second-degree murder, but they couldn't reach a verdict on the most significant charge -- first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The decision came on the eve of what would have been Davis' 19th birthday. What? A hung jury!? No way, right!?

Although astonished at this news, its apparent this young man joined a long list of Black individuals who have become the "strange fruit" of our day as recollected by Mr. Kevin Dedner whom made mention of the Billie Holiday tune that spoke to the "strange fruit" of Black men hanging from trees in the south without justice.

According to a 2002 story by Peter Daniels on the World Socialist Web Site, "There were, by conservative estimates, at least 4,000 lynchings in the half century before 1940, the vast majority in the South, with most of the victims black. There was little outcry over these pogrom-like activities. Socialists and communists were in the forefront of the struggle against lynchings."

Even though most of that activity was soundly condemned at that time, we can't help but ponder the "strange fruit" in the guise of  much more recent expressions of racist brutality, such as the attack on Abner Louima in Brooklyn, and the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Trayvon Martin and now Jordan Davis.

As violence continues in our society, what should we think about the "strange fruit," of the countless transgender women of color including local personality Alexis Fairchild who were murdered without resolve or arrest.

We can't forget Matthew Shepard, the victim of an anti-gay lynching in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998; of Jasper, Texas, the scene of the brutal killing of James Byrd by racists; and of a sign that were brazenly displayed in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, declaring “Kill Muslims Now.” 

Are we to believe that Black youth 13-24 dealing with dual infections of Syphilis and HIV are among this same "strange fruit," that will be apart of the harvest that will be left untreated, not valued and left to rot in the fields.

There's so much more to all of this and one post just can't cover it all. In the coming weeks we will continue to explore the who, why and what will it take to demand more comprehensive action instead of knee jerk reaction. Your observations, comments and solutions are encouraged to be apart of this spirited dialog.
 

Friday, February 14, 2014

The VD Post

New Anthology Project Planned

A new anthology project is in the drawing board stream which will seek original content ranging from prose to essay concerning personal lived experiences in relation to all aspects of an individuals LGBTQI
journey.

The project will continue to explore the multi layering of same gender loving men and women and the daily impact of such issues of coming out, homophobia, intimate partner violence, gender identity, long term partnership and assorted sub culture myths that are often languish in misinformation.

COP 24/7 has been approached to serve as Executive Editor of the as yet un-named project once additional funding details have been affirmed. This platforms is enthusiastic and excited at the forward motion of the project and will be updating as decision are concluded. Currently COP 24/7 will begin formulating submission criteria, coordinating subject matter areas and announcing deadlines. Please stay tuned to this platform as well as on our new Facebook page (www.facebook.com/corneliusonpoint ) Don't forget to "like" our page!


Partnering 101: So What does Love have to Do with It?

Its another Valentine's Day where folks are bouncing about among the various street vendors, flower shops and any other business caught up in the day love dash to show your affection or devotion to that special some one. Every year I watch this dizzying array of gift baskets, teddy bears and candy filled boxes paraded to offices and home door steps in that attempt to ultimately say "I Love You." Certainly I've done my share and had my share of this gift giving madness as part of my complex 17 year relationship.

Throughout your coupling you often find yourself equating the success of your relationship based on the premise of  you are suppose to or have to do all of this to prove your love. To be honest, I enjoyed it and have no actual problem with it, since it was the arrival of a vase with a dozen of red roses that started it all back in 1997.

I don't tend to go on about what I've achieved in the relation department but rather what I continue to hear from many of you who are from one extreme, "bitter party of one," "caught up in one night love affairs" or trying to mange that "he, she and me drama" that can be a total mother trifecta when there also kids involved.  What I had to learn and many often don't in trying to have a successful relationship is the fact that sharing your life space requires some serious work.

Personal Empowerment guru Iyanla Vanzant (www.iyanla.com ) counsels couples on her hit cable show on OWN, call "Iyanla: Fix My Life" in which boldly tells couples to "do your work!" I concur that I learned that before her prime time hit, but Vanzant demands that we fully understand that the "love" we seek begins within each of us "doing the work," before we can have a loving relationship.

Its important that you realize if you have not "fixed" yourself before your bring someone into your loving space and then try to "fix" them to suit your needs. Having an adult relationship requires much give and take, sacrifice, endurance, truth and accepting who you have chosen to share life as they are because they came that way when you decided to be a couple. If they are liars, cheaters, leeches or manipulators, then you can almost count on it that this leopard will not changes their spots! 

I find it interesting as I keep watching the calls for marriage equality that I witness so many relationship melt downs, weekly break-up's and "90 day anniversary's," with your latest love interest. Of course what has worked for me, may not be a solution for you, however, fully understanding all aspects of "making house" can be thoroughly challenging as well as gratifying. Consequently one must always know that you can "drop that zero and get you a hero."

On this V Day, it is my wish that those who decide to stop for love, find that special someone who will respect your spirit, soul and body. There's nothing more beautiful than discovering a partner who will be there in triumph and during tragedy. I have been extremely fortunate to have shared my life with a partner who has seen me at my personal best yet dealing with me when  being human was not always pretty.

As the years have passed, the flowers have stopped but we've concluded that having a budding relationship brings about the flowers that no florist can deliver. As you possibly await your door bell to ring or for something to show up at the office because you anticipate that they will follow through.  Don't forget that you have to "do your work" to get to that loving space that Vanzant states is being "at peace and not in pieces." Go forth and find love!
 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Eyes Open Wickedly Wide Part 2

Not Getting it Twisted: Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day 2014

I am my brother's and sister's keeper. That was the theme of the 14th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and the Know Now Reunion Reception took flight even as the forecasted "dusting" turned out to be more that we bargain for as well as the rest of the city for that matter.

 I fully appreciated those who came undeterred and open to recognizing the day where there were there were only a thimble full of other events scheduled to recognize the awareness day.

 In the meantime, as I moved forward with assisting the members of STRILITE in organizing, to our rancor and amazement the Arkansas Department of Health objected to the usage of the their Know Now campaign in regards to the event. This is where you should be saying, "say what?"

To my utter amazement and indignant rancor, I pointed out to these folks that this 2 year old, $150,000 dollar train wreck went from the original which featured "stock" photo's with little to no cultural sensitivity which got a rebuffed with a counter "Know Not" counter campaign from the members of STRILITE who felt that chosen images didn't resonate nor address that statistically this chronic disease was undeniably disproportionate among Black gay men 13-24. Nevertheless, it is fully understood HIV does not discriminate by race, class, locale or culture. Regardless of our race, many of us may know someone who is or was infected with HIV, especially considering that one in five Americans infected with HIV are unaware they have it. 

Furthermore there re-boot or second phase as they touted used local contacts of the STRILITE group to be featured as models. The significance of this is the fact that prior to this, no local men of color had been prominently featured in a campaign. Also the retained agency openly confirmed that they did not have "access" to such models and enlisted the help of the group.

Our premise was two fold, to reunite these models who were courageous enough to be used in such a campaign despite any possible stigma or homophobia that they might encounter. This milestone was simply overlooked by ADH although there was simple acknowledgement during a then Community Planning Group meeting. The models got no further recognition from ADH, no payment or incentive for their services and not even a framed copy of their respective poster. That's right folks, they got zip O!

However, ADH took exception with a Facebook event page despite the actual poster being disseminated for usage as part of their failed roll out that was to include a statewide distribution.
Even more glaring was the fact that they cited that using their material in relation to a bar was setting was inappropriate.

Yet I found evidence that the Know Now campaign was submitted for a 2013
NPH Excellence Award in which they clearly state not once but twice that the "campaign would be used in bars and bathhouses."  Yes, bathhouses in Little Rock?  That's a whole another story in itself.

I would like to again personally thank the management and crew of 610 lounge who expressed that they were unaware that Black HIV AIDS Day even existed and sought to embrace the idea from the word go. They added they had never seen the Know Now campaign and had no knowledge as to its meaning or use until being educated by myself.

Thank you event producer, Mr. Gregory May who called me after learning about the event and stated that he wanted to donate table linens and any other items needed because he was aware of my various collaborations around this health dilemma. Big shout out to Mr. John M. and O. C. whom expressed their pride in my taking a leadership role and how they felt connected despite their inability to be out front.

And finally thank you Mr. Shon D. who shared with me that I was his hero and has made himself a ready volunteer with aspirations to do more because he said "if you can then why can't I?"

Further I would like to thank the countless folks of all races who expressed to me how they feel I have impacted their lives from mentor to life coach using this work as a catalyst to decrease infection rates while increasing the information viral load of the community.  I can't tell you how your calls e-mail, personal interactions and even your Facebook "attaboy's" have touch me and often times fuel me to keep asking the hard questions while attempting to advocate on your behalf.

To the many who have shared with me your status, challenges, terrors and observations around the issues of HIV and AIDS, I applaud you and continue to encourage you to become empowered via updated information and not skewed facts or notions that somehow recognizing Black HIV Awareness Day is for Black people, it is not and never has, but rather simply a day in which I unapologetically believe must continue as a tool of the end game of HIV and AIDS in the Black community.

The work goes on, the struggles continues and celebrating our uniqueness or the diversity within it should not be a question but a deciding moment to be keenly aware that we are all are living affected by HIV and AIDS.
 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Dial UP and OUT Issues Post

Hofstra University Recruiting Gay Men and Women Living with HIV for Research Study

Hofstra University is recruiting study participants to be part of a research project that will help researchers expand the knowledge of how people living with HIV can utilize a variety of tools to
manage HIV disease. Previous studies have shown that managing HIV disease can greatly impact health outcomes. However, there have been few studies conducted in the US to understand how gay men and women living with HIV experience stress, access support, and interact with medical care from their point of view.

People living with HIV Eligibility Requirements:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Have access to Skype
  • English speaking
  • Willing to be interviewed for 30-45 minutes over Skype
  • Living in the US and its territories
  • Identify as a gay man or a woman

Upon study completion, you will receive an online gift card (e.g., to Amazon) worth $50. Steps will be taken to protect your confidentiality and the information you provide. If you have additional questions about the study, please contact the study team at (516) 463-5955 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (516) 463-5955 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting or healthculture235@gmail.com.






Don't forget that open enrollment continues until March 31! If you need direct assistance or updated information on the Affordable Care Act, call 349-7777! A licensed guide will be available to meet with you by appointment or via the internet! Do it today and don't get left out!
 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Eyes Open Wickedly Wide

COP 24/7 :Reaching Upward and Outward

In our effort to stay on the cutting edge of the ever bending tech curve, this post contains our first magazine link featuring content from HIV Plus magazine!

This link will allow readers to view content  directly from the online version of the publication. You can get a great interactive view issuu.com/heremedia/docs/hiv_plus_99_march_april_2014_opt?e=0/6606214

Most interesting is the cover feature of Carlton Wilborn, motivational speaker and teacher who shares
his journey from sexual abuse to big time touring with Madonna in his book "Front and Center, How I Learned to Live There."

In the article he also talks open as well as candidly about dealing with HIV and his mission to empower individuals through his various presentations to both NPO's and in corporate settings.

Wilborn offers not only the current book but several other books and recordings on the "mind, body, soul" connection which can be found on his portal at www.livingfrontandcenter.com

COP 24/7 is always proud to share those same gender loving individuals who are always on the move to take their lives to the next level. If you know a person who needs to be celebrated or showcased, hit us up with a notice in our comment section or e-mail box!

Renegades Raising Funds for Equality

Save the Date, Friday Feb. 21 as the raging Renegades for a Cause keep doing what they do best in engaging local charity causes while mobilizing area entertainment in the process. Most sentimental about this outing is the fact that this will be the last fund raiser in the MK venue which will take the last stage out of dodge supposedly March 1.

According to organizers, this effort is being mounted due to what they say is "it was not Arkansas' turn" to access those high powered equality dollars donated by national entities.

COP 24/7 had a WTF moment as again Arkansas continues to get dissed, sliced and diced by those gay politico's and other lavender glitterati know it all's who seem think that they know what's best for everyone else. This forum takes the position that "no one know what's best for us but us!"

 For too long, many of this ilk continue to roll into town with fancy thoughts and expense accounts to pat us Arkies on the head and tell us our place. Enough already! Please will someone close the borders and stop paying for any more "gay experts" to come to town. We have plenty of talented individuals who could use all the per Diem's, honorariums and mileage reimbursement that would have more impact than any more big dollar folk who don't have a damn clue as to the who or what the hell is going on in this state. With that off my considerable chest, I urge our local LGBTQ community, allies and supporters to mobilize around strategies to fund community based organizations and other entities including this platform that have been dedicated to answering the advocacy call.

It is paramount to understand that we are seriously lacking on infrastructure that is common place in other metro areas. Such as equality centers, gay oriented health clinics, political action committee's and venues where we can do what we damn well please without dealing with lots of bullshit. Either we drive the bus or watch the bus back over us. Think about it! If you can't make it out and then send your donation, volunteer your time or do whatever you can do to help make a different.


Come Follow the information leader by subscribing today! So what are you waiting for, do it now!



Need affordable insurance information call 349-7777 to get enrolled before March 31, 2014!  We are here to help!!