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.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Tonight, I saw a prescreening of MILK-- the movie based on part of Gay Rights Activist Harvey Milk's life.


Thought provoking.

Yes, I cried.

Yes, I felt the need to be more of an activist.

And now, I am plotting a couple of poems. I think I have room to be more political with my poems, and I think now is good time to do so. I feel one of the poems will be dedicated to the former orange juice queen Anita Bryant.

Paulson: Troubled assets will not be purchased

Paulson: Troubled assets will not be purchased
'Market ... has for all practical purposes ground to a halt,' he says

WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday the $700 billion government rescue program will not be used to purchase troubled assets as originally planned.

Paulson said the administration will continue to use $250 billion of the program to purchase stock in banks as a way to bolster their balance sheets and encourage them to resume more normal lending.

He announced a new goal for the program to support financial markets, which supply consumer credit in such areas as credit card debt, auto loans and student loans.
Paulson said that 40 percent of U.S. consumer credit is provided through selling securities that are backed by pools of auto loans and other such debt. He said these markets need support.

“This market, which is vital for lending and growth, has for all practical purposes ground to a halt,” Paulson said.

The administration decided that using billions of dollars to buy troubled assets of financial institutions at the current time was “not the most effective way” to use the $700 billion bailout package, he said.

The announcement marked a major shift for the administration which had talked only about purchasing troubled assets as it lobbied Congress to pass the massive bailout bill.

Paulson said the administration is exploring other options, including possibly injecting more capital into banks on a matching basis, in which government funds would be supplied to banks that were able to raise money on their own.

The bailout money also should be used to support efforts to keep mortgage borrowers from losing their homes because of soaring default levels, he said.

Click here for the complete article.

Thanks MSNBC!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama Transition Announces Rules for Lobbyists in Transition

All of the below is from

During a briefing today at the Presidential Transition Team headquarters, Obama Transition Co-Chair John Podesta announced the strictest, and most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history. The rules are:

~ Federal Lobbyists cannot contribute financially to the transition.

~ Federal lobbyists are prohibited from any lobbying during their work with the transition.

~ If someone has lobbied in the last 12 months, they are prohibited from working in the fields of policy on which they lobbied.

~ If someone becomes a lobbyist after working on the Transition, they are prohibited from lobbying the Administration for 12 months on matters on which they worked.

~A gift ban that is aggressive in reducing the influence of special interests.

Statement of Thomas Mann
Brookings Institution

"The ethical guidelines released today for the Obama transition are tough and unequivocal. They will prevent some honorable people with rich experience from serving in the transition. That is a real cost but it is more than balanced by the strong signal sent by the President-elect. He aspires to attract to government able individuals whose highest priority is to serve the public interest. This is a very constructive step in that direction."

Statement of Norm Ornstein
American Enterprise Institute

"Restoring trust in government is a prerequisite to enacting good policy and the tough choices the country needs. This ethics policy for the transition is a far-reaching, bold and constructive step to do just that. The policy may exclude some good people with deep experience in their fields, but it will also exclude those who see government service as a springboard to financial success, or who are more intent on pleasing future potential employers or clients than making tough choices in the public interest. As much as anything, this ethics policy is a statement about the tone and tenor of the Obama administration. It is a good sign."

Statement of John Podesta
Co-Chair of President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden's Transition Team

"President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to change the way Washington works and curb the influence of lobbyists. During the campaign, federal lobbyists could not contribute to or raise money for the campaign. Today, the President-elect is taking those commitments even further by announcing the strictest, and most far reaching ethics rules of any transition team in history."

The Annual GLBT Tree Lighting

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Submit a Theme for the 2009 Atlanta Pride Festival



DECEMBER 6, 2008


JANUARY 3, 2009



2009 Atlanta PRIDE Theme Guidelines
• The theme should be short and to the point, no more than roughly 4-8 words.
• The theme may embody a “call to action”
• The Theme should lend it self to being illustrated via simple graphic design.
• The theme should be able to be translated into floats and costumes for the parade.
• The theme may use a secondary clarifier or "tag line" if necessary and appropriate.
• The theme must harmonize with the tag line of “2009 Atlanta PRIDE Celebration” or “2009 Atlanta PRIDE Festival’.
• Please include your name, address and phone number for verification purposes

O ~ our president

I created a bumper sticker in honor of the new President. However, the font you are seeing is Arial while the actual sticker's font is Goudy Bookletter. I ordered the stickers on Friday, so I should have them by the end of the week. Once I receive them, I'll snap a picture and post.

I'm going sell them for $3.50, which includes shipping. Hit me up if you're interested. Funds made will end up going to Georgia State University in the form of a tuition payment.

Prop 8 Link Time

Gay Writers Respond to Proposition 8’s Win in California

Kate Evans---poet, novelist, blogger, educator, and lovely lesbian-- writes on Prop 8.

Justin Evans-- poet, blogger, editor, educator, and hetero ally-- writes about Prop 8 and the Mormon influence.

Miguel Murphy-- poet, blogger, educator, and gay male-- writes about Prop 8.

Prop. 8 protesters target Mormon temple in Westwood

Mormons for Proposition 8

From Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish

Prop. 8 protests block S.F. streets

Thousands March Against Prop 8 in Silver Lake

Mormons face flak for backing Prop. 8

Horror is my Fave Movie Genre-- Friday the 13th

I'm excited about the remake; however, I hope it doesn't royally suck. The original is a classic.

My brother is ten years my senior, and he as most older brothers do, he loved to scare me from time to time. One of his favorites things to do was the "ch-ch-ch-ha-ha-ha" sound from Friday the 13th. And, since he only did it when it was dark, we were outside, and near the woods that neighbored our property, it never failed to scare me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Open Letter from Alice Walker to President Elect Barack Obama

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker

© 2008, Alice Walker

taken from The Root

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Georgia Voter

I left work around 4:25pm to go to my voting precinct. I toted; then I went to Kroger for popcorn and margarita mix. (I might need a margarita to celebrate or to drown my sorrows.) I arrived home around 5:25pm. I am quite happy that my voting experience took no more than ten minutes.

The BF is picking up pizza on his way home, so if nothing else, it will at least be a night of good company.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Short Interview w/ Chris Huttman

DB: First of all, thank you for agreeing to this email interview.

Rep Jill Chambers is doing her best to use your website titled Chris Is Hardcore against you. I think she is banking on the thought that most people won't research your site to see it is a political blog. She first initiated what I am calling Operation Hardcore via a mailer and now a commercial. What are your thoughts on these attacks?

CH: Chris is Hardcore might be a silly name, but the site that Jill repeatedly references in her fliers and television ad was a political site that appeared numerous times in the AJC, Slate, DailyKos and many other local and national political newspapers and blogs. Chambers is running the same old scare tactics she has used before when she hoped that no one would do their own research to determine whether prior opponents were alcoholics or convicted felons (they weren't). I know that a lot of voters are sick of the overly negative manner in which she runs her campaigns, and that a lot of other people have done their own research this year. It is worked in the past though, yet I remain hopeful that the clock has run out on this type of politics in DeKalb County.

DB: Rep Chambers has the same dog and pony trick each election year. She always jumps on how long someone has lived in District 81 and portrays it that her opposition has moved to District 81 for the sole of reason of wanting political power. This year was no different in regards to the Chambers's dog and pony trick. How do you respond to such accusations?

CH: I've lived either within or about 2 miles away from what is now District 81 for 27 of my 28 years being alive. I went to elementary school with many voters that now reside in the district and graduated from Chamblee High School in 1998 in the district. In 2003, I lived in what was then District 53 (Chambers was the incumbent) before the lines were changed by the court. At that point my house was across the street from the new District 81. In 2005, when I chose to purchase my first home I bought a condo in the Chamblee mid-city district, again being located in District 81. Yet I didn't run against Chambers in 2006 which makes her attack look silly. Most voters that I talk to are excited that younger people such as myself who grew up in the area choose to make it their home later in life. Jill knows her attack is untrue, yet again is counting on the voters not being smart enough to do their own research beyond her mail pieces. I've chosen to run my campaign in a different way which respects the intelligence of our voters by focusing on issues and Chambers's legislative record and what I would do differently, not the rental and ownership history of the other candidate over the past 10 years.

DB: People have the impression that it is a battle of Democrats vs. Republicans under the dome. While that is true to an extent, I gathered during the short time I worked with Rep Chambers, that the battle is more between Metro-Atlanta Reps and Non Metro-Atlanta Reps. Are you going to cross the the party aisle as well as the geographic aisle, and how do you plan to do it?

CH: Yes. One of the contentions that I make in my campaign is that people like Jill Chambers sing a moderate story in the district but for the most part go along with the much more conservative leadership on 9 out of 10 issues when they are in the Capitol. I feel like if I am able to win, that would send a message to the other moderate Republicans in the legislature from metro Atlanta that it is time to actually stand up for the moderate part of that equation and stand down to the party when they are wrong. If elected, I plan on working across party lines to build coalitions so that the work of the General Assembly can focus on the problems this state has regardless of region, but I also believe that metro Atlanta's problems are neglected much more than the rest of the state and so a neutral approach would actually benefit places like District 81.

DB: The rumor mill says in '09 a bill will introduced to deny gay couples the right to adopt in Georgia. What are your thoughts on such a bill? If such a bill is introduced, can the LGBT community count on you to vote against it?

CH: I'd be 100% against the bill and would also work to build coalitions across party lines to fight it. The bill is un-necessary and another example of the majority Republicans defaulting to divisive social issues to distract the voters in the state from their failure at managing state government.

DB: And because I am curious, who are your political role models?

CH: I am a big fan of former Gov. Roy Barnes, who I believe was a little before his time for our state. Growing up I admired the way that Bill Clinton put aside partisanship and ideology in how he governed and took more of a reasoned approach that looked at issues using facts and the counsel of experts to make governing decisions. I'm hopeful that a President Obama would act in the same way so that one day almost any Democrat can say he's a political role model for them as well.

DB:A few months ago, I emailed Rep Chambers with an invite to a blog-project. I never received a response from her, so I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview, and I hope if you're elected, you'll still stay connected with the citizens of District 81.

CH: Thanks, if elected I plan on doing a lot of communication with constituents and blogger/journalists through the internet.

Sunday Eye Candy ~ Preston Lee

Jill "Bully" Chambers Wants to Be Re-Elected

Dearest Blogosphere,

On Wednesday of last week, I wrote a blog post about Rep Jill Chambers, and I told myself it would only one post to get everything out of my system. However, I was flipping through the channels last night and caught the end of a Chambers's commercial, and I noticed it was a new one. I stayed on the channel until the commercial played again only to become even more frustrated with Rep Jill "Bully" Chambers.

In her latest commercial, Chambers says- and forgive me if I have a word or two off--"Chris Huttman calls me unethical. This is the same Chris Huttman who is known on the internet as Chris is hardcore." Chris Huttman does have a website with an address of I encourage you to visit the website. Feel free to visit at work as it is a work friendly/safe site. And here is the issue, Rep Chambers is trying to play on the word HARDCORE. I think the average person associates hardcore with porn or bad, and Rep Chambers is counting on this correlation. Don't fall prey to Rep Chambers's suggestive politics. Yes, Chris is hardcore-- hardcore about holding elected officials accountable. He is hardcore about wanting the best for District 81. And, well, Rep Chambers, in this instance, there isn't a negative thing about being hardcore.

If the hardcore bologna wasn't enough, Rep Chambers comments that Huttman calls Vernon Jones a great CEO. Now, she is trying to drown by political association. However, Rep Chambers forgot to mention she has accepted donations for her campaign from Vernon Jones. Now wait, that doesn't make sense, Rep Chambers doesn't like Jones, but I guess she likes his money. Don't take my word for it-- see the image below, which can also be found via the Secretary of State's website.

District 81, it is time for us to take a stand and elect a politician who isn't a bully but will still fight with determination for the best for our District. It is time to fire Rep Jill "Bully" Chambers from the GA House of Representatives.

hoping you'll vote,

I'm going to email Chris Huttman to see if he'll do an interview via email.

Interesting Site

Yes, it might be true.... I might be in love with FactCheck.Org:

McCain Issues:
Right Change Is Wrong

Obama Issues:
Obama's Stem Cell Spinning
Obama's Trade Trickery

FactChecking Debate No. 3
FactChecking Debate No. 2
FactChecking Biden-Palin Debate
FactChecking Debate No. 1