Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Prayers for Bobby"

I definitely tune in for this Lifetime Original:

"You’re Likable Enough, Gay People"

"You’re Likable Enough, Gay People" by Frank Rich was published in print today and online yesterday by The New York Times. The article is making its rounds on Facebook, Myspace, and everywhere else; however, I want it in my blog:

You’re Likable Enough, Gay People
by: Frank Rich

IN his first press conference after his re-election in 2004, President Bush memorably declared, “I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it.” We all know how that turned out.

Barack Obama has little in common with George W. Bush, thank God, his obsessive workouts and message control notwithstanding. At a time when very few Americans feel very good about very much, Obama is generating huge hopes even before he takes office. So much so that his name and face, affixed to any product, may be the last commodity left in the marketplace that can still move Americans to shop.

I share these high hopes. But for the first time a faint tinge of Bush crept into my Obama reveries this month.

As we saw during primary season, our president-elect is not free of his own brand of hubris and arrogance, and sometimes it comes before a fall: “You’re likable enough, Hillary” was the prelude to his defeat in New Hampshire. He has hit this same note again by assigning the invocation at his inauguration to the Rev. Rick Warren, the Orange County, Calif., megachurch preacher who has likened committed gay relationships to incest, polygamy and “an older guy marrying a child.” Bestowing this honor on Warren was a conscious — and glib — decision by Obama to spend political capital. It was made with the certitude that a leader with a mandate can do no wrong.

In this case, the capital spent is small change. Most Americans who have an opinion about Warren like him and his best-selling self-help tome, “The Purpose Driven Life.” His good deeds are plentiful on issues like human suffering in Africa, poverty and climate change. He is opposed to same-sex marriage, but so is almost every top-tier national politician, including Obama. Unlike such family-values ayatollahs as James Dobson and Tony Perkins, Warren is not obsessed with homosexuality and abortion. He was vociferously attacked by the Phyllis Schlafly gang when he invited Obama to speak about AIDS at his Saddleback Church two years ago.

There’s no reason why Obama shouldn’t return the favor by inviting him to Washington. But there’s a difference between including Warren among the cacophony of voices weighing in on policy and anointing him as the inaugural’s de facto pope. You can’t blame V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and an early Obama booster, for feeling as if he’d been slapped in the face. “I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table,” he told The Times, but “we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most-watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.”

Warren, whose ego is no less than Obama’s, likes to advertise his “commitment to model civility in America.” But as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC reminded her audience, “comparing gay relationships to child abuse” is a “strange model of civility.” Less strange but equally hard to take is Warren’s defensive insistence that some of his best friends are the gays: His boasts of having “eaten dinner in gay homes” and loving Melissa Etheridge records will not protect any gay families’ civil rights.

Equally lame is the argument mounted by an Obama spokeswoman, Linda Douglass, who talks of how Warren has fought for “people who have H.I.V./AIDS.” Shouldn’t that be the default position of any religious leader? Fighting AIDS is not a get-out-of-homophobia-free card. That Bush finally joined Bono in doing the right thing about AIDS in Africa does not mitigate the gay-baiting of his 2004 campaign, let alone his silence and utter inaction when the epidemic was killing Texans by the thousands, many of them gay men, during his term as governor.

Unlike Bush, Obama has been the vocal advocate of gay civil rights he claims to be. It is over the top to assert, as a gay writer at Time did, that the president-elect is “a very tolerant, very rational-sounding sort of bigot.” Much more to the point is the astute criticism leveled by the gay Democratic congressman Barney Frank, who, in dissenting from the Warren choice, said of Obama, “I think he overestimates his ability to get people to put aside fundamental differences.” That’s a polite way of describing the Obama cockiness. It will take more than the force of the new president’s personality and eloquence to turn our nation into the United States of America he and we all want it to be.

Obama may not only overestimate his ability to bridge some of our fundamental differences but also underestimate how persistent some of those differences are. The exhilaration of his decisive election victory and the deserved applause that has greeted his mostly glitch-free transition can’t entirely mask the tensions underneath. Before there is profound social change, there is always high anxiety.

The success of Proposition 8 in California was a serious shock to gay Americans and to all the rest of us who believe that all marriages should be equal under the law. The roles played by African-Americans (who voted 70 percent in favor of Proposition 8) and by white Mormons (who were accused of bankrolling the anti-same-sex-marriage campaign) only added to the morning-after recriminations. And that was in blue California. In Arkansas, voters went so far as to approve a measure forbidding gay couples to adopt.

There is comparable anger and fear on the right. David Brody, a political correspondent with the Christian Broadcasting Network, was flooded with e-mails from religious conservatives chastising Warren for accepting the invitation to the inaugural. They vilified Obama as “pro-death” and worse because of his support for abortion rights.

Stoking this rage, no doubt, is the dawning realization that the old religious right is crumbling — in part because Warren’s new generation of leaders departs from the Falwell-Robertson brand of zealots who have had a stranglehold on the G.O.P. It’s a sign of the old establishment’s panic that the Rev. Richard Cizik, known for his leadership in addressing global warming, was pushed out of his executive post at the National Association of Evangelicals this month. Cizik’s sin was to tell Terry Gross of NPR that he was starting to shift in favor of civil unions for gay couples.

Cizik’s ouster won’t halt the new wave he represents. As he also told Gross, young evangelicals care less and less about the old wedge issues and aren’t as likely to base their votes on them. On gay rights in particular, polls show that young evangelicals are moving in Cizik’s (and the country’s) direction and away from what John McCain once rightly called “the agents of intolerance.” It’s not a coincidence that Dobson’s Focus on the Family, which spent more than $500,000 promoting Proposition 8, has now had to lay off 20 percent of its work force in Colorado Springs.

But we’re not there yet. Warren’s defamation of gay people illustrates why, as does our president-elect’s rationalization of it. When Obama defends Warren’s words by calling them an example of the “wide range of viewpoints” in a “diverse and noisy and opinionated” America, he is being too cute by half. He knows full well that a “viewpoint” defaming any minority group by linking it to sexual crimes like pedophilia is unacceptable.

It is even more toxic in a year when that group has been marginalized and stripped of its rights by ballot initiatives fomenting precisely such fears. “You’ve got to give them hope” was the refrain of the pioneering 1970s gay politician Harvey Milk, so stunningly brought back to life by Sean Penn on screen this winter. Milk reminds us that hope has to mean action, not just words.

By the historical standards of presidential hubris, Obama’s disingenuous defense of his tone-deaf invitation to Warren is nonetheless a relatively tiny infraction. It’s no Bay of Pigs. But it does add an asterisk to the joyous inaugural of our first black president. It’s bizarre that Obama, of all people, would allow himself to be on the wrong side of this history.

Since he’s not about to rescind the invitation, what happens next? For perspective, I asked Timothy McCarthy, a historian who teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an unabashed Obama enthusiast who served on his campaign’s National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council. He responded via e-mail on Christmas Eve.

After noting that Warren’s role at the inauguration is, in the end, symbolic, McCarthy concluded that “it’s now time to move from symbol to substance.” This means Warren should “recant his previous statements about gays and lesbians, and start acting like a Christian.”

McCarthy added that it’s also time “for President-elect Obama to start acting on the promises he made to the LGBT community during his campaign so that he doesn’t go down in history as another Bill Clinton, a sweet-talking swindler who would throw us under the bus for the sake of political expediency.” And “for LGBT folks to choose their battles wisely, to judge Obama on the content of his policy-making, not on the character of his ministers.”

Amen. Here’s to humility and equanimity everywhere in America, starting at the top, as we negotiate the fierce rapids of change awaiting us in the New Year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Canadian Border Patrol

On Christmas, my nephew showed me the laughter that is Canadian Border Patrol:

Best of 2008!

It is time to vote for your favorite participant in the Why Do I Write series as well as the Sunday Eye Candy series.

You will find a poll for each series on the left of the blog.


Friday, December 26, 2008

RIP: Harold & Eartha

Tribute to Harold Pinter (10/30/30 - 12/24/08):


There is a dark sound
Which grows on the hill
You turn from the light
Which lights the black wall.

Black shadows are running
Across the pink hill
They grin as they sweat
They beat the black bell.

You suck the wet light
Flooding the cell
And smell the lust of the lusty
Flicking its tail.

For the lust of the lusty
Throws a dark sound on the wall
And the lust of the lusty
- its sweet black will -
Is caressing you still.

~ Harold Pinter


Nobel Lecture by Harold Pinter

Tribute to Eartha Kitt (1/17/27 - 12/25/08):

Eartha Kitt, sultry 'Santa Baby' singer, dies
The Purrrfect Diva
British Playwright Harold Pinter, 78

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

Each year, I select a quote to include in my Christmas/Holiday/Whatever-You-Want-to-Call-Them Cards. Finding the right quote is like finding the right Christmas tree; it can be time consuming. Since I don't put a Christmas tree my quote serves as my tree, and I look forward to sharing a quote each year as I hope the words might inspire at least one person.

The master in the art of living makes little distinction
between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure,
his mind and his body, his information and his recreation,
his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which.
He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does,
leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
To him he's always doing both.
~ James A. Michener

Merry Christmas!

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas: "Taking Down the Tree" by Jane Kenyon

Taking Down the Tree

"Give me some light!" cries Hamlet's
uncle midway through the murder
of Gonzago. "Light! Light!" cry scattering
courtesans. Here, as in Denmark,
it's dark at four, and even the moon
shines with only half a heart.

The ornaments go down into the box:
the silver spaniel, My Darling
on its collar, from Mother's childhood
in Illinois; the balsa jumping jack
my brother and I fought over,
pulling limb from limb. Mother
drew it together again with thread
while I watched, feeling depraved
at the age of ten.

With something more than caution
I handle them, and the lights, with their
tin star-shaped reflectors, brought along
from house to house, their pasteboard
toy suitcases increasingly flimsy.
Tick, tick, the desiccated needles drop.

By suppertime all that remains is the scent
of balsam fir. If it's darkness
we're having, let it be extravagant.

~ Jane Kenyon

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Where Are The Stars Pristine" by Alice Fulton

Where Are The Stars Pristine

Everyone's spending Christmas Eve adrift
in the corporal skirmish, mixing
up the darks with the lights, fending
with elbows and dirty
looks. Wet wool and down
crowd the air. Where are the stars, pristine
as great ideas? Behind clouds
the heavens saturate
with luminous dust, shuttles wearing halos
of earthdirt, light pollution
from jets fired to keep things
on course. Boys rickrack a ball off
floor and ceiling past the table
tree bubbling with giveaway
ornaments from Burger King and lights
that manage an occasional
lackadaisical flash. Showstoppers: everyone

looks every time and keeps looking
to make sure it happened.
The double frontloaders are going
like abstract TVs. And the program is important:
all about the boggling sullied
lives we'd like to hide.
But this is no place
to do so, where known
and unknown perverts come
to pirate underpants and the innocent
clutch their Cheer and Shout.
The rules are posted: only the toughest
habiliments, the superego
of raiment can take such agitation.
And only the poor are invited to endure
the sneezy powders and clean resentment.

Imagine a museum installation—
200 hypnotic washers stuffed with somersaulting
cloth. Critics could rise to the challenge,
their statements settling like coats
of gold and silver
chain mail over each machine:
"These Speed Queen pieces thrust ahead of art-
for-art's sake to confront us
with a realism of socio-political
magnitude. The vortex-like movement
of pattern, color, and texture infuses
these works with an abundance of unconscious
bliss. The soft forms
circulate with vigor
across the screens. The viewer
is not privy
to the cause of dirt
though one is witness to the dirt's
ablutions. The point is
we are not impeccable."

Everyone would be happy
to know that! And so we're forced to
scoop and pour
a fine white empathy over
the hairy flannels, snaggy nylons,
the glass front that gives
forth this light
industry, the silly tree
and jingles about blue and white
Christmases, chestnuts, sleighbells,
just as snow settles
on every unsequestered thing:

from blistered gum -
ball machines, clumsy bumpers,
crepuscular theaters with sticky floors,
to ramshackle mansions
choked with smiling
china animals where light shakes itself out
from TVs and old women
frail as walking sticks
sweep their stoops at eight a.m.
Just as snow makes the less than impeccable
classical, stroking the merely
drab or passing, quickly or slowly,
so we can count only on its
leaving, teaching
to what seems solid.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bryan Thomas for DNA's Mate of the Year

The sexy specimen of man you see above is Bryan Thomas, I am proud to say he was Sunday Eye Candy back in May of this year

Bryan needs our help!

Ladies, no. Bryan doesn't need a back rub. Gays, no. Put your shower cap back because Bryan doesn't need his back washed. Bryan can use our vote since he is up for DNA's Mate of the Year. Go ahead, lick your computer screen... touch yourself.. do whatever you need to do as long as you click here and vote!

*Note* You can vote once every 24 hours!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Secrets to Brighter, Whiter Teeth

100% Snatched from WedMd

Some people still prefer the age-old home remedy of baking soda and a toothbrush to gently whiten teeth at home. Also, some foods such as celery, apples, pears and carrots trigger lots of saliva -- which helps to scrub away stains on your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum also triggers saliva, which help eliminate teeth stains. A bonus from all that saliva: It neutralizes acid that causes tooth decay. With teeth, more saliva is better all around.

Click here to see the slideshow of all ten secrets.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

LIMP WRIST Pushcart Nom: Jeremy Glazier

Here is another poem nominated from Limp Wrist:

Circuit Party

Beautiful boys with glistening skin,
their eyes aglaze with ecstasy,
wait for the night to come full circuit,
bare—-chested and thrusting to a rhythm.

If their eyes are aglaze with ecstasy,
their hearts and minds are ablaze with love,
bare—-chested and thrusting to a rhythm
they won't remember in the morning.

Their hearts and minds indeed blaze with love,
or what they think of as love.
But they won't remember in the morning
the things they whisper to one another.

What they think of as love
is the pulse they feel beneath the music.
The things they whisper to one another
on the dance floor shimmer just out of reach.

What is that pulse they feel beneath the music?
Something primitive, that keeps them moving.
On the dance floor, shimmering just out of reach,
they somehow understand what is to come.

Something primitive keeps us moving,
like beautiful boys with glistening skin.
Somehow we too understand what is. Come.
Wait for the night to come full circuit.

~ Jeremy Glazier

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Woman Gang-Raped in East Bay

I was browsing MSNBC for an article on Palin's daughter's soon to be mom-in-law being busted on drug charges when I came across an article on a lesbian who was gang-raped in East Bay. (Click here for the article.)

Whenever I read or hear the word rape I become nauseated. I read the article and cried. My heart and soul go out to this victim.

I want to hold her hand.

I want to hug her and tell she isn't alone.

I want to tell her it will be OK, but I know it will be a long time before it will be OK. And, even when you start to think it is OK, that you dealt with most of the demons, something small will happen that makes you realize you haven't.

I want to tell here there will be times of sadness, anger, and depression. Do not bottle them. Let them out.

I want to tell her there will be nightmares. There will be nights that she won't want to go to sleep because sleep is the one place you think you can escape, so be prepared.

I want to tell her to never think: "What could I have done differently?" Those words formed together to make that sentence have no place in her mind because it implies she had control, and she didn't. She was was robbed of control among other things.

And, when the time comes, and it might be years, I beg her to speak out because she will be able to help others who've been in her shoes.

I want to end with a poem I wrote last week. I'll probably end up taking the poem down in a few days, or maybe I'll leave it. Who cares if an editor doesn't want it because it was in my blog. This issue is bigger than publication.


I like to see the the rapist slammed
against the interrogation room wall,
to stand before the judge
and receive a hefty sentence.
My thoughts transcend the show:
Will the rapist be raped in prison?
Will he finally know how it hurts?

I watch to see the bad guy persecuted,
not for the episodes with open endings,
that's how it happened with me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

LIMP WRIST Pushcart Nom: Kurt Brown

Here is another poem nominated from Limp Wrist:


It was not my fault. I had no say in the matter. From the beginning, my parents conspired to
subvert my ambition to be a poet: "No juicy material for him," they agreed. Like Roberto
Benigni's son in "Life is Beautiful", or little Gautama Buddha safe in the enclosure of his father's
castle walls, all ugliness and pain were kept from me. Death and the ephemeral were not my
playmates. When a puppy died, or a toy lay broken on the living room floor, my eyes were
blindfolded and I was whisked away and told that all would be well. And when the blindfold
was removed: it was! There stood a new puppy, and a shining toy, resurrected and whole, as
good as the original. Even better. I thought it was the original, that all things healed themselves
instantly, and from within. It was a joyous world, Eden without sin, without a fall, and I—its
little Adam-strutting around ignorant of apples, and sexless.

There were no clocks in my childhood, and mirrors were banished. In autumn, I was kept
indoors. When I went outside, it was always summer. The sun stood in the middle of the sky, and
before it went down I was brought back inside where lights burned merrily. And when I slept,
even my dreams were monitored, so when I whimpered or cried out someone caressed my brow
and woke me, only to rock me back to sleep again, singing. What had I to dream about! Morning
was a flood of light in which I basked, and I was fed with utensils made of pure gold. This could
go on forever, without tears or blood.

And then suddenly one day-when no one was looking-I wrote my first poem.

~Kurt Brown

Sunday, December 14, 2008

LIMP WRIST Pushcart Nom: Jessica Hand

Over the next few weeks, I am going to post the poems from Limp Wrist that have been nominated for the Pushcart.

Here is the first I will share:


The live wire writhed: a Pentecostal copperhead
sinking fangs into my ulnar nerve—dendrites convulsed
in the Spirit and passed out, synapses crashed
like stalactites loosened from God's cavernous mouth,
and for the first genuine time I spoke in another tongue.
Can I get an amen? Can I get a man who doesn't mind
my arm throwing spaghetti and calling for revival?
My right arm contracts and gives birth to a new baby Jesus
once each minute, and He's got a holy set of lungs screaming.
This arm awakens and dances at night when He gathers
his loincloth for a jig. God is boogie-woogie electric,
and my arm knows it, knows there's a pulsing, painful
purgatory, has met eternity and returned tap-dancing.
O, right arm, won't you tell me what you know?
My body's on fire, my body's one big coal bed
for God's enormous iron poker, but I can't see
past all the smoke. My stubborn mouth could never swallow
the embers of God's language. My pagan feet fire-walk,
my left arm makes the sign of the cross,
and the backs of my knees refuse to believe in anything
so my body becomes a war zone. Somewhere God
discos through the carnage, and all I can do is follow
when my right arm stiffens into a divining rod
and bows down.

~ Jessica Hand


Limp Wrist Issue 2 is live!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bonnie Hunt Parodies "Real Housewives of Atlanta"

People & Their Os

Amy with her "O" stickers.

Mongtomery Maxton has an "O" sticker on his car.

Donna kissing the big "O"!

Donna doing what needs to be done.

Shef striking a pose with her "O" sticker.

Tony has good taste; it is evident by that "O" in his hand.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Voting Starts on 12/8/08

The Atlanta Pride Committee wants feedback, so take a moment to vote on the theme for 2009 Atlanta Pride Festival. As seen above, your options:
Stonewall to Atlanta: Our Story Continues
Become The Impact
Pride Begins With You

I am casting my vote for Become The Impact because it is versatile (no jokes from the peanut gallery).

Become The Impact can be political-- write your elected officials, so they know how you feel about the issue. Or, simply make an impact by voting. It can be non-political--- Become the Impact by volunteering or making a donation to a nonprofit. Become the Impact by simply coming out to someone who has been in the dark about your sexual orientation. Become The Impact by recycling and/or buying green friendly products.

There so many ways we can Become The Impact.

Tomorrow, visit to vote!

****UPDATE-- Change in voting-- it will begin on 12/10/08.****

Quarrel Has Been Updated Again!

Revision of Andrew's "Drinking Song" is up at Quarrel.

Duhamel in Ducts


My father walks through the scrub, a shortcut, to get to Walmart
where he meets up with his friends for coffee on Friday afternoons.
He says teenagers are always hanging around back there, barbequing
something. I’m assuming my father has never smelled pot
and that’s what he’s smelling now, so I say, Dad, stick to the streets,
because I am afraid for him, even though these kids
are probably mellow from weed. My father, 80, says
there are too many zooming cars on the road, and besides,
he likes the pond, the wildflowers that will probably be gone
when the plaza expands to a Super Walmart next year.
I want to make sure the teenagers don’t rob my father for his two dollars,
the way they robbed my father-in-law right in the Albertson’s bathroom,
pushing him into the white tiled wall while he was at the urinal,
then fleeing with his wallet. It took my father-in-law a long time to get up
and regain his balance. It took him a long time to replace
his credit cards and ID. He was 90 by then. My husband said,
Can’t you catch these kids on the surveillance camera?
The manager was lazy and said the supermarket wasn’t responsible.
My husband said, No one is saying the supermarket is responsible—
we just want an arrest so these kids can’t mug anyone else.
My father-in-law filled out a police report,
his provisions idle in the silver cart.
When the supermarket wanted my father to retire,
they sent him to get the carts in the rain. Though there was a union
to protect wages, employees had no fixed assignments.
Having meat men suddenly clean bathrooms or produce men
suddenly wash floors was one way management
could humiliate older workers enough to make them leave.
A grown man doing the work a teenager could.
A grown man working 40 hours a week, eating up
the supermarket’s profits with his benefits. A teenager was warm inside,
part-time, bagging, flirting with the cashier, maybe laughing
at my father because my father wasn’t the teenager’s father.
That would have been a different story all together.

~ Denise Duhamel, taken from Ducts

Don't forget you can win an autographed copy of Denise's new book, KA-CHING!, which is due out spring '09. Click here for the details.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Charles Jensen

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Charles Jensen

Let’s get to the bottom of this:

1. What do I write?
I tend to write poems, although what is and isn’t a poem is often a source of rich inner monologue for me. I don’t consider most writing to be poetry, and I don’t even consider all of what I write to be poetry. In some ways, I continue writing in search of a definition of what exactly it is I’m writing. Is it prose? Is it nonfiction? Is it subjective? Is it genre? Does a line break make it a poem?

2. Who do I write?
I once admitted that although my work tends to be about other people (real or imagined), it is often also as much about my life or my experience as it is theirs. Or, to be glib, poetry is a kind of drag. I wear the clothes, hair, and make up of various voices and I mouth their lines as if they were my own. And sometimes, we’re saying the same things.

3. Where do I write?
I write mostly hunched over at my desk. When my desk had its own room, I wrote often. When my desk had its own loft in a light-filled apartment, I wrote constantly. When my desk shares room with a Nintendo (aka “Nofriendo”), a television, a cable box, and an internet connection, it feels neglected. I am only human.

I have also written an entire sequence of poems in bed. They were about a murder. These things are unrelated. For that reason, where I write rarely influences what I write or who it’s about.

In my college years, I filled about seven blank notebooks with notes and poems while sitting in a coffee shop smoking cigarette after cigarette, drinking mochas—I truly was that guy.

4. When do I write?
Not often enough! My current circumstances should allow for some forgiveness, however. For instance, I am writing right now. This counts for something. I attempt to blog every day. Creative work, though, is more fleeting of late, although I do tend to write in spurts rather than an even smattering of work over time. Once an obsession, a voice, an imagining captures me (or, as I like to suggest, chooses me), I’ll write poem upon poem until I’ve exhausted all the fuel. And then the quiet time returns, when I’m doing the other work of the writer: living. And sometimes reading.

5. How do I write?
I like to take Aaron Shurin’s advice: “Get out of the way.” I try to let the poem do its business without much interference or anticipation from me. Later, I’ll come in with my delete key and my nimble fingers and I’ll begin shaping the poem into where I think it should be headed. I edit primarily by subtraction.

6. Why do I write?
In other lives and careers, I learned that forming a question with the word “Why” puts the receiver on the defensive because it demands justification. For that reason, when you argue with your lover, you should phrase things with “How come” instead; it’s less confrontational. Dustin, if you’re seeking my justification for writing, I simply don’t have one. If you are asking a variation of this: what prompts me to write, what is my writing goal, who am I trying to please? Those questions are answerable. If there’s a hope for why I write, it’s simply this: I believe I have the potential to write something in a unique way that will, ultimately, transform my reader somehow. It doesn’t happen every time. And I’ll feel good if it even happens once. I keep writing.

All Kinds of Stars ~ Prop 8 The Musical

Yesterday, after discovering Prop 8 The Musical from the blog of the delightful Christopher Hennessy, I quickly posted it to my Facebook page. Now, it is time to bring to my blog. Christopher, you're my hero for exposing me to this video:

Kathy Najimy + Allison Janney + Jennifer Lewis + Margaret Cho = One of my gay dreams.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fundraising Announcement & The Tree

Before I write about the night I want to make an announcement. From 12/5/08 to 12/31/08, I am going to donate $1 from every "O" bumper sticker purchased directly from me to the Atlanta Pride Committee. Buy a stocking stuffer and help Atlanta Pride at the same time. This is definitely a win-win situation.

Tonight was the annual lighting of the LGBT Christmas Tree at Outwrite Bookstore and Coffee House, which is a fundraiser for the Atlanta Pride Committee. I want to give a huge thank you to Philip, the owner of the fagulous Outwrite. Philip does so much for the Atlanta LGBT community, so I hope the Atlanta LGBT community will remember Outwrite when it comes time to Christmas shop. Keep your eyes open over the next week or so because Outwrite is going to have a fan page coming soon!

There were great performances from Our Song and the Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus. And, Wild Cherry Sucrets in the form of Tony was an entertaining MC for the night. It was all around good times. Thanks to everyone who attended. If you didn't attend, don't worry because you can attend next year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meryl Streep + DOUBT = Oscar

I will do what needs to be done. You should understand that, or you will mistake me.

God, I'm falling in love with Meryl Streep all over again. I can't wait for Doubt to come out. I'm arranging a Gaggle (Gaggle = Group of Gays) to watch the movie and have a cocktail after in celebration of what I know is going to be a powerful and riveting performance by Streep. Email me if you want in---yes, a Gaggle can include heterosexuals. We need token heteros.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Marie Howe in Honor of World AIDS Day

In honor of World AIDS Day:

The Last Time

The last time we had dinner together in a restaurant
with white tablecloths, he leaned forward

and took my hands in his hands and said,
I'm going to die soon. I want you to know that.

And I said, I think I do know.
And he said, What surprises me is that you don't.

And I said, I do. And he said, What?
And I said, Know that you're going to die.

And he said, No, I mean know that you are.

Marie Howe

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Not In My Georgia-- Update 1

Reports on Benfield (HD-85), Cox (HD-102), & Everson (HD-106)

Miami judge rules against Florida gay adoption ban

Exciting news. Thanks to Rep Benfield and Mr. Ford for bringing sharing info on this triumph in Florida.

Miami judge rules against Florida gay adoption ban
By CURT ANDERSON – 17 hours ago

MIAMI (AP) — A judge on Tuesday overturned a strict Florida law that blocks gay people from adopting children, declaring there was no legal or scientific reason for sexual orientation alone to prohibit anyone from adopting.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the 31-year-old law violates equal protection rights for the children and their prospective gay parents, rejecting the state's arguments that there is "a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals and their children."

She noted that gay people are allowed to be foster parents in Florida. "There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting," she wrote in a 53-page ruling.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Erin Murphy

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Erin Murphy

Because writing is my dialysis and my crack and my church.

Because Laura Ingalls could have been Nellie.

Because Bill O’Reilly dipped girls’ pigtails in ink.

Because Bill Clinton should have done more with his pen and less with his penis.

Because life is not a Hallmark card.

Because we are never out of range but always out of touch.

Because besides Whac-a-Mole, writing is my only skill.

Because thought is the wind and writing is the wave.

Because unchanneled intelligence is a loaded gun.

Because Stringer Bell on “The Wire” was a genius and still died young.

Because my 3rd grade teacher told me never to start a sentence with “because.”

Because every fragment wants to be an independent clause.

Not In My Georgia

To keep from overloading I Was Born Doing Reference Work In Sin with project NOT IN MY GEORGIA, I created a blog to record all the correspondence with elected officials.

Add to NOT IN MY GEORGIA to your link list!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Contest Open to Facebook Peeps

If you are a member of the Fans of Denise Duhamel OR A Group of Duhamalites on Facebook, you can participate in a Duhamel Scavenger-Poetic-Hunt to earn a chance to win an autographed copy of KA-CHING!, which is due out Spring '09.

Below you'll find lines from four Duhamel poems. You have to identify the name of the poem the lines were taken from. You should notice a theme around the lines selected----Denise selected the lines in honor of KA-CHING!'s release.

You have to identify 3 out of the 4 correctly to earn a chance to win an autographed KA-CHING! All answers should be sent in the body of an email to with a subject line of "Denise Contest."

I feel drunk when I spend too much money.

After years of promoting glitzy consumerism,
Barbie decides to repent.

You could stuff envelopes, a penny apiece,
in the privacy of your own home.

but I wasn't sad that I wouldn't have the money to go to school tomorrow
or that my diet was shot and I actually remember feeling kind of rich

Happy Hunting!

Poet and Cover Boy!

Check out WHY DO I WRITE participant Matthew Hittinger on the cover of the latest issue of MiPOesias.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sometimes You Can't Listen

Today, I was thinking about the next entry for THE WHY DO I WRITE series, and I started thinking about an experience from high school, from my sophomore honor lit course. Each year, we had a project that was due toward the end of the semester. The project for our sophomore year was to write a paper on a career we wanted to pursue, and it was mandatory to include an interview with a person currently in the job you wanted.

We had to notify our teacher before we started the paper as to what job we selected. When I told my teacher I wanted to be a writer she reminded me about the interview portion of the paper. I guess I should mention I grew up in a very small town. The most exciting thing in town was the Super Wal-Mart, and since I worked in the Wal-Mart pharmacy, Wal-Mart held no excitement for me. I digress. Since we lived in a small town, I think my teacher thought it wouldn't be possible for me to interview an established writer. In fact, she recommended I change my topic from writer to journalist and interview someone from the local newspaper. (I think this might have been the first time I vomited a little in my mouth and had to swallow it because of something said to me.)

I don't remember how I finally avoided the situation and made her think I was going to write about being a journalist, but I did and immediately set to work at trying to reach a writer. At that time in my life I was obssessed with Oprah's book club selections. I was reading Pearl Cleage's What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, and I wanted an interview with Cleage. I stayed after school one day-- my high school journalism teacher/FBLA advisor/go to teacher let me use the department's phone to start my quest.

I was able to get in touch with someone at Harper who in return got in touch with someone in the Cleage camp. A couple of days later I spoke with Pearl Cleage, and I faxed her my questions. She mailed her responses back to me and autographed every page. I made an A+ on the paper, and I still have the interview stored away to this day.

You can't listen when someone tells you can't.

You can't listen when someone tells you to set your sights lower.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mark Doty ~ National Book Award Winner ~ Congratulations!

In honor of Mark Doty winning a National Book Award for poetry, I would like to share the podcast of Doty at the Key West Literary Seminar giving the John Hersey Memorial Address. I was at the festival, and I have to say, the clapping at the end of the speech was edited. The audience applauded for at least three to five minutes. I applauded until my hands were stinging.

Click here for an interview with Doty published on the National Book Foundation's website.

Congratulations Mark!

Click here to read what Doty has to say about his win.

Happy Birthday Mandy Steckelberg

Thanks to Christopher Hennessy, I stumbled across the work of Mandy Steckelberg, and I am excited that she has pledged to donate a couple of her CDs to a Limp Wrist fundraiser!

Today is Mandy's birthday. Please join me in sending a HAPPY BIRTHDAY wish to Mandy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama-Biden: Plan to Strengthen Civil Rights

Plan to Strengthen Civil Rights
"The teenagers and college students who left their homes to march in the streets of Birmingham and Montgomery; the mothers who walked instead of taking the bus after a long day of doing somebody else's laundry and cleaning somebody else's kitchen -- they didn't brave fire hoses and Billy clubs so that their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren would still wonder at the beginning of the 21st century whether their vote would be counted; whether their civil rights would be protected by their government; whether justice would be equal and opportunity would be theirs.... We have more work to do."
-- Barack Obama, Speech at Howard University, 9/7/07

The Obama-Biden Plan
Barack Obama has spent much of his career fighting to strengthen civil rights as a civil rights attorney, community organizer, Illinois State Senator and U.S. Senator. Whether promoting economic opportunity, working to improve our nation's education and health system, or protecting the right to vote, Obama has been a powerful advocate for our civil rights.

Combat Employment Discrimination: Obama and Biden will work to overturn the Supreme Court's recent ruling that curtails racial minorities' and women's ability to challenge pay discrimination. They will also pass the Fair Pay Act, to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: Obama and Biden will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation, expand hate crimes protection by passing the Matthew Shepard Act, and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice's Criminal Section.

End Deceptive Voting Practices: Obama will sign into law his legislation that establishes harsh penalties for those who have engaged in voter fraud and provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote.

End Racial Profiling: Obama and Biden will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice.

Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support: Obama and Biden will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society. Obama and Biden will also create a prison-to-work incentive program to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates.

Eliminate Sentencing Disparities: Obama and Biden believe the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.

Expand Use of Drug Courts: Obama and Biden will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.

Support for the LGBT Community
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
-- Barack Obama, 6/1/07

The Obama-Biden Plan
Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. Barack Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

Fight Workplace Discrimination: Barack Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees' domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. Obama also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: Barack Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: Barack Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

Expand Adoption Rights: Barack Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, Barack Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Obama will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. Obama also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS. He will continue to speak out on this issue as president.

Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. Barack Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Thanks Cain!.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fun News!

Tomorrow, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse
starts carrying the Obama bumper sticker I designed.


I am still selling as well. Hit me up if you're interested.

"A Myth of Devotion" ~ Louise Glück

A Myth of Devotion

When Hades decided he loved this girl
he built for her a duplicate of earth,
everything the same, down to the meadow,
but with a bed added.

Everything the same, including sunlight,
because it would be hard on a young girl
to go so quickly from bright light to utter darkness

Gradually, he thought, he'd introduce the night,
first as the shadows of fluttering leaves.
Then moon, then stars. Then no moon, no stars.
Let Persephone get used to it slowly.
In the end, he thought, she'd find it comforting.

A replica of earth
except there was love here.
Doesn't everyone want love?

He waited many years,
building a world, watching
Persephone in the meadow.
Persephone, a smeller, a taster.
If you have one appetite, he thought,
you have them all.

Doesn't everyone want to feel in the night
the beloved body, compass, polestar,
to hear the quiet breathing that says
I am alive, that means also
you are alive, because you hear me,
you are here with me. And when one turns,
the other turns—

That's what he felt, the lord of darkness,
looking at the world he had
constructed for Persephone. It never crossed his mind
that there'd be no more smelling here,
certainly no more eating.

Guilt? Terror? The fear of love?
These things he couldn't imagine;
no lover ever imagines them.

He dreams, he wonders what to call this place.
First he thinks: The New Hell. Then: The Garden.
In the end, he decides to name it
Persephone's Girlhood.

A soft light rising above the level meadow,
behind the bed. He takes her in his arms.
He wants to say I love you, nothing can hurt you

but he thinks
this is a lie, so he says in the end.
you're dead, nothing can hurt you
which seems to him
a more promising beginning, more true.

from Louise Glück's Averno

Monday, November 17, 2008

Know Your Enemy: Nancy Schaefer

State Senator Nancy Schaefer, District 50, is no friend to the LGBT community. Don't take my word for it. I'm sure if you email her and tell her you're a MO, she'll inform of you how your choice has placed you in danger of Hell's fires.

In a press release regarding the Georgia State Supreme Court reinstating Georgia's constitutional ban on homosexual marriage, Senator Schaefer wrote:
Governor Sonny Perdue was prepared to call a special session of the Georgia General Assembly in August if the Georgia State Supreme Court did not rule in favor of the Amendment. They did, and this is indeed a victory for Georgia families.

May we continue to protect and honor the institution of marriage as sacred and noble and defined as a union between a man and a woman.

I personally thank the Georgia State Supreme Court for their ruling to uphold the historical and moral definition of marriage.
Released: 7/7/06

I predict Senator Schaefer will sponsor a bill to keep gays from adopting in Georgia. It was rumored during the last General Assembly that she working on such a bill; however, I bet the success of the Arkansas ban will give Senator Schaefer the extra bit of courage go for it. We have to be ready to fight.

While searching for information, I stumbled on Senator Schaefer at her best. From The Hartwell Sun: Commenting on illegal immigration, Schaefer said 50 million abortions have been performed in this country, causing a shortage of cheap American labor. 'We could have used those people,' she said. (Click here for the complete article.)

Senator Schaefer even gave her two cents regarding the Terri Schiavo ordeal in the State Senate Chamber:
As the authorities said it was legal in the day of John the Baptist and legal in the day of Jesus Christ, authorities today say it is legal to starve a living, breathing women to death in Florida.

The whole world is watching America commit the murder on national TV of a young woman who was never offered the first moment of rehabilitation by her husband who clearly abandoned her 12 years ago.

Is not our authority today calling for the head of Terri Schiavo?

Would the authorities in Herod’s Day call for the head of Barabbas? Of course not.

Would the authorities today call for the starvation of a person on death row? Certainly not.

What is being done to Terri Schiavo would never be done to an animal.

And, I'll close with a couple examples of Senator Schaefer at work for her fellow Georgians:
Senate Bill 66: Abortion; medical equipment for facilities; procedures (Primary Sponsor)

Senate Bill 335: State Agencies; designate English as official language; prohibit requiring employees to speak/learn any other languages for employment (Primary Sponsor)

Contact Info:
Senator Nancy Schaefer
50th District Office
P O Box 294
Turnerville, Georgia 30580
Phone: 706-754-1998
Fax: 706-754-1803


Senator Nancy Schaefer
Georgia State Capitol
302-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Phone: 404-463-1367
Fax: 404-657-3217

Couple of HRC Links

Organizational Contributors to the Yes on 8 Campaign

Buying for Equality

Can a Bone-Marrow Transplant Halt HIV?

Can a Bone-Marrow Transplant Halt HIV?
By Eben Harrell / London Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a pathogen so wily and protean that researchers rarely talk about curing infected patients, focusing instead on treatment and prevention. But in an announcement that caused a flutter of excitement and a wave of prudent skepticism, Berlin-based hematologist Gero Huetter claimed on Thursday that he has cured an HIV infection in a 42-year-old man through a bone-marrow transplant.

The patient, a U.S. citizen living in Germany, was suffering from advanced leukemia and HIV two years ago when Huetter treated the cancer with a bone-marrow transplant at Berlin's Charité hospital. As a side experiment, he inserted the bone marrow of a donor naturally resistant to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. (Researchers have long known that about 1% of Europeans carry a genetic mutation that makes their cells resistant to HIV infection.) Bone marrow produces the cells that HIV attacks. So, the thinking went, inserting marrow that produces HIV-resistant cells might endow the patient with a means to repel the infection. Twenty months after the transplant, Huetter says, the man shows no signs of carrying the virus. (See stories of people surviving with HIV.)

Is this a viable cure for HIV? Not by a long shot. Even Huetter says bone-marrow transplants, which kill about a third of patients, are so dangerous that "they can't be justified ethically" in anything other than desperate situations like late-stage leukemia. Nor is it clear that Huetter's claim to have cured his patient is yet justified. HIV has a frustrating ability to hide in hard-to-detect "reservoir" cells in various parts of the body. Current antiviral drugs, for example, can lower a patient's "viral load" to the point that HIV is undetectable in his or her bloodstream. But as soon as such patients are taken off antivirals, the virus comes storming back.

Huetter's patient has not received antivirals for two years and remains virus-free even in the known HIV hiding spots of brain and rectal tissue, according to Huetter's tests. But many researchers remain skeptical about whether these tests have been thorough enough. Dr. Andrew Badley, director of the HIV and immunology research lab at the Mayo Clinic, told the Associated Press, "A lot more scrutiny from a lot of different biological samples would be required to say it's not present."

But there might be a glimmer of hope in the case. If the transplant does prove to have been a success and can be replicated, researchers say gene therapists might one day be able to re-engineer a patient's cells to change their bone marrow the same way a transplant does, except without the dangers. Such a breakthrough, if it proves possible, would be "decades rather than years away," according to Ade Fakoya, a London-based clinician and senior adviser to the nonprofit Aids Alliance. The treatment would also likely prove too expensive to implement in developing countries where HIV rates are highest, although some proponents of gene therapy say it could eventually be done cheaply through an injection, as with vaccines. (Read a TIME cover story on AIDS.)

Rob Noble of the British AIDS charity Avert says recent setbacks for research into an AIDS vaccine, along with multiple false hopes in the search for a cure, have caused many in the HIV activism community to view Huetter's experiment warily. For many AIDS activists, bone-marrow transplantation is a loaded procedure that evokes a traumatic past: before antivirals were widely introduced in the 1990s, it was one of the aggressive and often fatal procedures doctors tried in their desperate effort to halt the epidemic; some of these transplants even used marrow harvested from baboons.

In light of that pessimism about curing HIV in patients, Huetter's announcement was barely discussed at a major international HIV conference in Glasgow today, according to Fakoya, who was attending the event. He said greater attention was paid to more prosaic methods of defense, such as early identification and testing programs. "I'm in the conservative camp — I don't think there will be a cure," he says. "But if you look at antiviral treatment, data was provided at this conference confirming that you can live 30 years on [antiviral-drug] therapy, especially if it's initiated soon after infection. We are getting to a stage where HIV can be managed as a chronic illness. Now, that's not great, but I have a feeling it's the best we can do for the foreseeable future."
(taken from Time)

Other Articles:
A Doctor, a Mutation and a Potential Cure for AIDS ~ Wall Street Journal
Bone marrow 'cures HIV patient' ~ BBC News
Bone marrow transplant suppresses AIDS in patient ~ Reuters

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day Without A Gay

Video from ATL Prop 8 Protest ~Rep Karla Drenner

First: A huge thank you to Justin for recording the speakers at the Prop 8 Protest at the Georgia Capitol.

In case you missed it: Yesterday, I posted pictures snapped with my trusty phone. Also, check out Collin Kelley's blog for more pictures.

The video below is of Representative Karla Drenner. Rep Drenner mentions something I have been fearing during the past couple of General Assembly sessions-- some of our elected officials will try to pull what I will tag Pulling An Arkansas. As Drenner says in the video, we need to wake up now. We need to have our game plan ready in December because we need to hit the ground running in January. You'll see more on this topic in my blog over the next couple of months.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Prop 8 Protest ~ Atlanta

Tomorrow, I will write a post regarding the Prop 8 Protest and the Candlelight Vigil. In the meantime, enjoy these pics:

Revisiting 2004: Calling Out Donors of GA's Amendment One

Later today I am protesting in two events regarding Gay Civil Rights; however, I can't help but think about the link posted by the lovely Kate Evans. The link is to the AntiGay Blacklist, which supplies the information of donors who stand against the LGBT community by supporting Prop 8 in California. While reading the list I couldn't help but think about how I didn't know any information regarding the donors supporting Georgia's Amendment One, which was approved by voters in 2004.

After playing Magnum PI, without the serious 80's stash, I discovered YES! MARRIAGE AMENDMENT ALLIANCE INC raised $75,115 while its cohort FOCUS ON THE FAMILY GEORGIA MARRIAGE AMENDMENT COMMITTEE raised $17,650, and from what I can tell, the $17,650 came from the institution itself.

The $75,115 from YES! MARRIAGE AMENDMENT ALLIANCE INC was collected from:
Capital Research Advisors, LLC--- $25,000 Donated
Kevin M. Stipe--- $12,500 Donated
Robert W. Reagan--- $12,500 Donated
Richard D. Gaby--- $25,000 Donated

In my web research, the only information I can find on Capital Research Advisors, LLC is here. Ken Graves is listed as the contact person, so I will try to reach him next weekend for answers.

Kevin Snipe and Robert Reagan are both CPCUs with Reagan Consulting. Robert Reagan "brings more than three decades of insurance industry experience to the company that bears his name. Bobby's expertise and integrity have ensured his reputation as a true authority within the insurance industry. He has consulted with many of the country's most successful insurance agents and brokers, and worked with many leading financial institutions on their insurance initiatives."

Kevin Snipe "has been with Reagan since 1991, and became a partner in 1995. He offers our clientele expertise in financial consulting in Mergers & Acquisitions (representing both buyers and sellers), agency valuation, value enhancement strategies, ownership perpetuation planning, and strategic planning."

I saved Richard D. Gaby for last because he has recently made the news. I do not want you to forget his $25,000 donation to manipulate the Georgia Constitution against LGBT Georgians. I find it interesting that his individual donations during this past two-year election cycle violate the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, better known as McCain-Feingold. McCain-Feingold places a cap of $108,200 on individual contributions in a two-year cycle, and Gaby has donated $130,200. (Click here to read the article on Mr. Richard D. Gaby in the AJC.) You are probably wondering who employs Richard D. Gaby? The answer to the question is easy; Gaby is the powers that be at Peter Island Resort.

Yes, Georgians,it has been four years since the Georgia Constitution was amended; however, I hope you are just as angry today as you were four years ago. Be angry for us. Be angry for California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas.

Protest! Voice your opinion any and every way you know how!


Remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr---- Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Now, you know their names. You know where they work. Boycott them. Boycott their places of employment.

If our rights are not important to them, well, neither should our money.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Commencement Address" by Dean Young

Commencement Address

I love you for shattering.
Someone has to. Just as someone
has to announce inadvertently
the end of grief or spring's
splurge even as the bureaucracy's
spittoon overflows. Someone has to come out
the other end of the labyrinth
saying, What's the big deal?
Someone has to spend all day staring
at the data from outer space
or separating the receipts
or changing sheets in sour room after room.
I like it when the end of the toilet paper
is folded into a point.
I like napkins folded into swans
because I like wiping my mouth on swans.
Matriculates, come back from the dance floor
to sip at the lacrimal glands of chaos,
a god could be forgiven
for eating you, you've been such angels
just not very good ones.
You've put your tongue
into the peanut canister
of your best friend's girlfriend's mom.
You've taken a brown bag lunch
on which was writ another's name.
All night it snows a blue snow
like the crystallized confessions
you've wrung from phantoms
even though it is you wearing the filched necklace,
your rages splitting the concrete like dandelions.
All that destruction from a ball of fluff!
There's nothing left but hope.

~ Dean Young
from the May/June issue of APR

Obama Bumper Stickers Have Arrived!

Above is a picture of one of the Obama bumper sticker I created. The stickers are 4x4 and $3.50 each (includes shipping). If you are interested in purchasing a bumper sticker or three, send me an email at

I told a friend of mine people are stimulating the economy when they purchase a bumper sticker. He looked at like I was being silly and gave me a whatever. I responded, "Well, someone made the stickers. Someone at FedEx had to deliver the sticker. I'm going to buy envelopes to mail the stickers, so Target will get business. The USPS will receive my business for shipping purposes. And, I am going to use the money I make to pay for classes at Georgia State University." He didn't have anything to say.

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Dorianne Laux

WHY DO I WRITE ~ Dorianne Laux

I have recently begun to think of writing as what Susan Sontag calls “a wisdom project” in her forward to Another Beauty, a collection of autobiographical essays by the great Polish poet Adam Zagajewski.

“...autobiography is an occasion to purge oneself of vanity, while advancing the project of self understanding—call it the wisdom project—which is never completed, however long the life.”

I am still hard at work on this project of the self. The solitary self, as well as the self in relation to the world and the unknown universe we swirl around in, uncertain of our purpose or future. When I wrote the poems that would become my first book, I didn’t think of it as a book, but rather as a need to understand the basic questions that all human beings ask: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? What is beauty? Why is there suffering? Where is truth? These questions would arise in me in the form of poems, and in making the poems into a collection, I tried to arrange them in a shape, find a path for them to travel to make clearer those questions. I write to know the questions.

Poem after poem, book after book, the ante is upped. I think this could be why it takes so long between books. The poet is working harder each time to go deeper, farther, layering on or stripping away to find the exact color or texture, the core or the root, the frail light or the watery dark. I write to work things out. I write to concentrate, to feel a sense of purpose rise up in me. I enjoy the struggle of making a new object to present to the world, a gift made from scratch-- whole, unique, edible as bread. And I want that gift to travel well, packed into an old boat on calm water or hidden inside a greased body diving into a blue pool, a sleek arrow that leaves a feathered silence and wonder in its wake. I like moving, word by word, toward a sense of discovery, toward an awareness of self-- a curious, energetic, intelligent, sacred, baffling, depthful, heartful self. I work to find my subject, something I can sink my teeth into. I live for that flaring up of language, when the words actually carry me, envelope me, grip me. And all the above is why I read poetry, to hear the truth, spoken harshly or whispered into my ear, to see more clearly the world's beauty and sadness, to be lifted up and torn down, to be remade, by language, to become larger, swollen with life.

I write to add my voice to the sum of voices, to be part of the choir. I write to be one sequin among the shimmering others, hanging by a thread from the evening gown of the world. I write to remember. I write to forget myself, to be so completely immersed in the will of the poem that when I look up from the page I can still smell the smoke from the house burning in my brain. I write to destroy the blank page, unravel the ink, use up what I’ve been given and give it away. I write to make the trees shiver at the sliver of sun slipping down the axe blade's silver lip. I write to hurt myself again, to dip my fingertip into the encrusted pool of the wound. I write to become someone else, that better, smarter self that lives inside my dumbstruck twin. I write to invite the voices in, to watch the angel wrestle, to feel the devil gather on its haunches and rise. I write to hear myself breathing. I write to be doing something while I wait to be called to my appointment with death. I write to be done writing. I write because writing is fun.