Archive for May, 2010

>Wells Fargo donating bank building for community center

May 12, 2010

>

From al.com (actually from the Birmingham News, and not posted on al.com yet, but probably will be).
Wells Fargo will donate the former Wachovia Branch on the Bessemer Super Highway where two tellers were murdered to Lawson State Community College to be used as a community center.

The college will use the building as a center offering financial planning, wellness programs and health-care outreach.

In May 2007 a gunman entered the bank and shot and killed Eva Hudson and Sheila Prevo. Anita Gordon and LaToya Freeman were wounded.

Today at a ceremony Wells Fargo will formally present the branch to Lawson State. A bronze plaque will be installed that will read, in part, “Sheila and Eva will forever live in the hearts of their families, friends and co-workers of Wachovia Bank.”

>Tim James….Swords

May 10, 2010

>Swords comedy, a two person (most of the time) Brooklyn improv featuring Bradford Jordan and Lucas Kavner.

Tim James, our bigoted goober (natorial) candidate, made an impression.

Laugh at this.

And please don’t let it happen.

>It doesn’t matter, stop whispering

May 10, 2010

>President Obama has nominated Solicitor General and former Harvard Law School Dean, Elena Kagan to replace liberal Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court.

(Lions and tigers and bears, oh my)

There have been whispers about her sexual orientation, and remarks range from Ben Domenich, “I have to correct my text here to say that Kagan is apparently still closeted — odd, because her female partner is rather well known in Harvard circles,” to Sam Stein writing “The White House reacted strongly to the assertion, relaying that Kagan is, in fact, straight.”

(Lions and tigers and bears, oh my)

More important than her sexual orientation are her views on sexual orientation. The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement, saying “The U.S. Supreme Court decides cases that intimately affect the lives of all Americans. We are confident that Elena Kagan has a demonstrated understanding and commitment to protecting the liberty and equality of all Americans, including LGBT Americans.”

Some progressives are saying she is not far enough to the left, that her confirmation will move the court further to the right, especially on the issues of executive (presidential) power and (Bush-Cheney view of) war.

My view is that Obama knows her views on the issues and that during the vetting process he determined that she has beliefs similar to his. One cannot expect a president to nominate someone who has views greatly dissimilar to their own (although they sometimes do).

People for the American Way just released a statement and said “We look forward to finding out more about this nominee and sharing our take with you.”

I look forward to learning more about her too. And you can be assured that I will share my take with you also.

Here’s a little song by Vertigo Smyth, “Comfort Me.”

>LCpl Thomas Rivers, Jr

May 7, 2010

>I was just joking with the “God Hates Shrimp” suggestion the other day.

But this “God Hates Fags” thing, this is no joke.

Whether they show up or not, the members of Westboro Baptist Hate Group Church have made their feeling known and the threat of their protest has spurred good hearted folks to action.

Lance Corporal Thomas E. Rivers, Jr., USMC is being laid to rest today, having been killed due to enemy action on April 28, 2010, in Afghanistan.

Westboro Baptist members (who use title God Hates Fags in their web site) protest at funerals of fallen soldiers as well as memorial services for gay people with their misguided message that God hates America because of America’s acceptance (somewhat debatable) of homosexuality.

That is all I am going to say about them, they do not even deserve that much attention on this blog.

LCpl. Rivers was an honorable man and from listening to his friends and others talk about him on the radio yesterday he deserves a dignified and respectful burial. His family deserves to not have their last moments with him disrupted by haters.

The family has asked the Patriot Guard Riders to participate today. This is posted on their web site.

Confirmed Mission:LCPL Thomas E. Rivers , Jr United States Marine Corps KIA ,
OEF (Afghanistan)6 , 7 MAY 10Birmingham AL

It is with a very sad heart that Alabama has lost another Hero.
Marine LCPL Thomas E. Rivers, Jr. of Birmingham, AL died while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.This was LCPL Rivers second tour in the Middle East, as He previously served a tour in Iraq . The parents have invited the Patriot Guard Riders to stand in silent honor of their Hero.

Since Westboro Baptist’s message is anti-gay, Equality Alabama has issued the following statement about the funeral and protest. This was also reported on Examiner.com.

Equality Alabama has learned that Lance Corporal Thomas E. Rivers, Jr. will
be laid to rest on Friday, May 7. We are deeply saddened by the loss of
this brave soldier who has fought so that we all may live in a country that
values freedom. We respect this family in their time of grief and deplore
any attempt to disrupt this ceremony or draw the attention of the family away
from their loved one and the celebrated life that he led.

Lance Corporal Rivers gave his heart to his faith and his life for our
country. We remember his bravery and the selfless act he performed for us
and the rest of our country. He died so that we may all be free. Members of the LGBT community look forward to the day that these freedoms are
enjoyed by all of us.

In the meantime we admonish the hateful message and the disrespectful
actions of the Westboro Baptist Church as they have announced plans to protest
at the funeral of Lance Corporal Rivers.

Equality Alabama is also asking the gay community to refrain from counter-protesting at the funeral, as this would only add fuel to the fire and please the haters.

Beyond the funeral for this man, let’s just reject hatred. Hatred keeps our focus off the important issues. There are so many issues that need our attention in this nation, the most obvious is the disaster in the Gulf, but let’s not forget the situation in Nashville, which seems to have been overlooked by the mainstream media.

to be continued…

>Saints and Sinners Literary Festival

May 6, 2010

>Saints and Sinners Literary Festival 2010 will be next weekend in New Orleans and I will on the program.


The 4 day festival was founded in 2001 as a new initiative designed as an innovative way to reach the community with information about HIV/AIDS, particularly disseminating prevention messages via the writers, thinkers and spokes-people of the GLBT community. It was also formed to bring the GLBT literary community together to celebrate the literary arts.

Now in its eighth year, the Festival has grown into an internationally-recognized event that brings together a who’s who of GLBT publishers, writers and readers from throughout the United States and beyond. The Festival, held over 4 days each Spring, feature panel discussions and master classes around literary topics that provide a forum for authors, editors and publishers to talk about their work for the benefit of emerging writers and the enjoyment of fans of LGBT literature.

One of my opportunities will be reading from my book, Those Others, about 10 minutes, to others who are taking part. Other authors who will be reading during the session are Peter Dube, Collin Kelley, Linda Kay Silva, Shawn Syms, and Chavisa Woods. Other authors will be reading in other sessions.

The other part of the program that I am involved in is a panel discussion.

WRITING OUR HISTORY: PAST AND PRESENT
Activist, historian, writer – or all three? What happens when authors capture aspects of GLBT history in their fictional works? And how can they use their writing to both tell a story and to help move beyond the stone walls of injustice? Join these notable GLBT authors as they discuss the importance of documenting social, political, and personal issues that impact Queer life. These panelists have written about the turmoil of identity politics in the 1960s, the struggle for gay rights abroad, and the
search and fight for acceptance.

Other aspects of the festival include writing competitions (fiction and playwriting), master classes regarding emotions, characters, writers block, epublishing, marketing, intimacy in writing and more.

If you are interested in literature, prose or poetry, make your way to New Orleans next weekend for this event. There will be good food and lots of LGBT New Orleans fun.

>Spill, Baby, Spill

May 5, 2010

>Not much originality in the title, but its amazing to me that people still don’t get it even though the Gulf of Mexico is turning into a sludge pool.

Big oil funded politicians are still calling for more offshore drilling.

I’ve been reluctant to comment on the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill, mainly because anything I write might not be relevant within hours of publishing because of changing conditions and predictions and such.

But then I heard Texas Governor Rick Perry say,”From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”

It’s no surprise to learn that the GOP (Gas, Oil, Petroleum) worships big oil, but to claim that probable negligence of man was actually caused by God is a bit ridiculous.

God, or his team of writers, did say this, however, in Leviticus11: 9-12.

9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

So maybe God is being vengeful because of all the Red Lobsters and Captain D’s springing up across the country. God hates shrimp. Just like he hates the gays.

No, God doesn’t work that way. Not in the 21st century, anyway.

Then Dana Perino chimed in with “I don’t want to introduce a conspiracy theory,” followed by “but was this deliberate?…Was it sabotage?”

Are these people nuts?

Here is something I don’t understand, from al.com.

With extra time to respond, BP officials said they were continuing efforts to block or contain three gushing leaks 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf.”

That followed a couple of paragraphs that concluded that no landfall of oil was likely for another three days.

I don’t see how conditions on the beach have anything to do with BP’s urgency to stop the flow of oil in the middle of the Gulf. There is no “extra time.” No extra time!

The problems on the beach and the problems on the ocean floor are not connected in the sense that oil not washing up on the beaches has nothing to do with the 210,000 gallons per day still leaking.

And then there is this statement by BP’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles yesterday in Mobile, who said he hoped one of the leaks would be blocked by late Tuesday.

“I don’t believe that will change the total amount of oil being leaked, but it does mean we’ll go from three leak points to two, which is progress.”

Think about that. Yes, it’s progress, in that if they stopped one, they can stop the others. But, he expects that 210,000 gallons of oil a day will still be leaking, even after a leak is stopped.

When do you expect all the leaking to stop? That is the question we want answered.

Watch Celine Dion sing “A New Day.” We need a new day, that’s for sure.

>Xenophobia – here and there

May 3, 2010

>Tim James and his teabaggin’ supporters think it’s great that he is being criticized by the New York Times.

I think it’s great, too. Let’s the world know that there are still phobic (xeno – in this case) people in our state. And helps educate the people who live here about things like this.

Some of the auto plant workers in our state speak Japanese, Korean and German (that’s the home countries of the auto industries that have located here, you know).

The state also offers tests in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Greek, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese and American Sign Language.

I personally want people who are seeking a driver’s license to be tested on how well they know the laws and how well they can drive, not on how well they can speak the English language.

Some people come to this country with full intentions of learning English and they need to be able to make a living while doing so. Being able to drive really is a necessity in our state if one wants to work because we refuse to provide decent public transportation in most (all) areas.

Xenophobia is a fear or hatred of anyone or anything foreign or unfamiliar. The result is a pandering to the far right group of voters that want Alabama to change from a red state to a white state.

Xenophobia is fueling the immigration debate surrounding the Arizona law also. Anyone with any knowledge of our nation’s history can see the parallels between this law and the actions in the 1920’s and ’30’s in Alabama and other southern states where blacks were picked up under suspicion of “loitering” and charged and convicted using racist laws. Then when they couldn’t pay the fines and court costs they were forced into labor with corporations that were in on the deal.

Many of these black men were never allowed to see their families again, just as many of the immigrants being targeted would be separated from their loved ones and may never see them again.

Hatred hurts. So does ignorance. When you combine the two, watch out.

Oh, another good thing resulting from Tim James’ ad is this parody by Dustin Timbrook. I’m not familiar with Three Happenin Guys, but I might go see them at Bottletree this month (May 28).