December 31, 2009

Best of Louisville: 2009

Here's Curt's Best of Louisville: 2009. As that bald guy says on 41, "...these are my points of view, yours may be different. If so, let us know!" I even tried to put them in order, sort of.

For me...the year started off ironically with a protest of Congressman John Yarmuth and President Barack Obama for appearing to do nothing to Repeal DoMA. Ironic because Congressman Yarmuth has grown on me since the healthcare debate, but in January I was upset with him for not being a strong advocate of repealing DoMA. Several good people joined me in letting him know how we felt about his silence...For those of you that said I wasn't giving them enough time, hopefully...now a year has gone by, you see how this works. You have to stand up to make something happen. Lobbyist can't give you civil rights. You have to put your body into it. (End Rant)

The Fairness Campaign hires Chris Hartman to be it's first Executive Director, and he goes on to do so many incredible things in 11 months that I can't list them here. My favorite was his appearance in opposition to SB68 on Kentucky Tonight. I like to call this affectionately: "you been served, bigot."

I got to join Fairness folk from all over Kentucky in Frankfort the "Kentuckians Value Fairness" Rally in February. It was awesome. I fell in gay love with Senator Kathy Stein and Rep. Tom Birch. If these people need anything...I mean anything...I will be there for them. Kudo's to the Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Fairness Alliance, et al for putting it together. S.B. 68 was defeated.
After discovering that Senator Mitch McConnell was chosen to speak at the U of L Law School Graduation, I joined a few friends in organizing a protest of the graduation speaker that you wouldn't know about unless you were there, because the media didn't show up, and U of L affectionately had a Cargo truck block the entrance of the Brown Theater so we couldn't be seen interacting with the guest of the graduation, that were mostly with us by the way.

After a week of helping photographer Jarrett Horvath carry his heavy camera shit around in the rain- backside at Churchill Downs, the winner of the Oaks, Rachel Alexandra somehow out-shined the winner of the Derby. Anyone that saw that horse work-out knew she was going to win days before the race. I think I put $300 on her and made $4.50 or something like that. Anyway, Jarrett caught the picture and did the layout for the Down's site. Someday Kentucky will do something fabulous, and by damn we shall name it Rachel Alexandra.


Following the Kentucky Derby, Travis Lay and Renn Scheuerman (with lots of help)- hosted one of the best fundraisers for the Wings Clinic and the Louisville AIDS WALK in the history of time. They called it Down and Derby, and it was the first of an annual gig, we all hope!

President Obama appointing Anne Northup to a position that seems to be a good fit.

Louisville had it's own March for Economic Human Rights, and I got to March in it. This was a non-permitted March-and it was awesome. Cars along Broadway honked because they were with us, thumbs up. News stations spun it with helicopter coverage that we were harrassing motorist. Ha.

Mayor Jerry Abramson's decision not to seek re-election. Good call.

Ed Springston's efforts to hold Banker Jim King and Judge Katie King to the same laws the rest of us abide by. Actually, Ed Springston and Ed Martin's radio show, My View Matters, is pretty cool itself considering how much I disagree with these guys. They're the kinda guys you can disagree with and still be friends afterward. That's cool.

I uncover where Banker Jim King's company kinda didn't pass an audit by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). http://louisvillecourant.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-king-audit-is-relevant.html An Audit that it appears Mr. King took a year to respond to...but bloggers and mainstream media ignore story, as it's confusing and kinda boring. If only I had a picture of a butt tattoo or a fancy graphic to go with it...

Adam Hall with 5th/3rd Bank joined the bank's Louisville AIDS WALK Team with our Keller Williams Team and we put on the most successful car wash I've been involved with since high school!


Attorney GeneralJack Conway announces his bid for the Senate seat soon to be vacated by Senator Jim Bunning, and despite doing everything he can to piss me off since, still has my support because he's being opposed only by loons.

A diverse circle of people that barely know each other, come together in their common recognition that Tyler Allen will make the BEST NEXT MAYOR our city could ever hope for. Also, I realize I'm fat and go on a diet. And pledge never to wear teal again.
We immediately blitz Old Louisville with a ton of yard signs and I get to help Tyler personally meet eleventy-million visitors to St. James. I get the flu but it was worth it.

There was a spotting of Bigfoot in Fairdale. Soon after being spotted, he begins twittering under the name: twitter.com/fairdalebigfoot and of course has more followers than me. (As of now, but I'm working on that.)

Candidate for 41st District, Mike Slaton's, first full campaign speech. This kid has a future. I'm about starstruck to be around him now.

I was there when the Metro Council finally approved the AHTB. Wait a minute, didn't that mean Mayor Jerry had 90- days to appoint the Board...Oct, Nov, Dec...Dec. 22nd? Did I miss something-someone fill me in if this happened and I missed it?

Kyle Riggs, with the Fairness Campaign not only convinced the Board to send a bus to D.C.for the National Equality March- he nearly organized the whole thing (with help from volunteers of course). Anyway I skipped Lady Gaga, but was lucky enough to be a few feet from David Mixner when he demanded that Obama end DADT by cutting off funding to prosecute gay servicemembers. Which, Obama, you have not done, and yeah, it's been a year. But kudo's to Kyle and Fairness for putting this trip together.
(Also, I change my facebook middle name to Curtis Equality Morrison- and this somehow pisses off lots of people.)

Dr. Gilles Meloche's resignation at Metro Animal Services despite his professed relationship akin to "gay love' with the Mayor. Wonder how he likes "gay-everything you own is in a box to the left?"

More stuff happened but I need to get my drink on. Kudo's virtual world 2009!

Kuumba

Today's the 6th Day of Kwanzaa:
Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
What does that have to do with Kentucky? Well, It's my hope that at least one of the 4 Senate hopefuls (Jack Conway, Dan Mongiardo, Trey Grayson, Rand Paul) wonders upon this post today, or maybe just a staffer- that's okay too, and ponders for just a 30 seconds- how burning coal fits in with the principle of Kuumba. Wouldn't that be neat?

Holding Kentucky politicians accountable to the principles of Kwannza? Yeah, I admit- I'm cutting edge. And that was just Curt 2009. Just wait.

December 30, 2009

Waterfront Park Update

Photo by Curtis Morrison, All rights reserved.
Click on it and it gets bigger.

Remember the part of Phase III of Waterfront Park that we're still waiting for? The the Big 4 Pedestrian & Bicycle Bridge- which may end up serving as our only way to get from Louisville to Southern Indiana once our existing ONLY 3 bridges fall down...Anyway, looks like it's coming along right nice, and I was so excited, I snapped this picture while driving North on the Kennedy Bridge over the weekend. (Don't try this on your own.)

Waterfront Park is one of the coolest things Louisville has ever done. Just imagine... what it would be like if spaghetti junction wasn't widened to the proposed 23 lanes of elevated concrete...Now, go to 8664.org and learn more. Then, check out 8664 founder, Tyler Allen's bid for Louisville Mayor, and sign up to stay informed, and give him money. Working together, this city can only get better.

December 28, 2009

Lady Gaga FAIL


My poor Cincinnati friends. What kind of diva schedules a concert in one city and then switches the location at the last minute?

Miss Gaga, I appreciate you helping us out at the National Equality March, so I'm conflicted now that you have done gone and hurt my friends feelings. He was all excited about getting the tickets for Christmas and now he can't go. How cruel. Watch out- he's started a facebook group! You really should make this right...

December 27, 2009

Rand Paul on Science


Read the last scary line:
"This legislation would define life at conception in law, as a scientific statement."

I just want to take a moment to remind everyone that Rand Paul is for amending the U.S. Constitution to define scientific facts. Politicians determining science. That's a real winner, eh?

December 23, 2009

I'm watching.


If I had a newspaper, I would totally use kewl graphics to go with letters in the opinion section, but I know the CJ is doing the best it can. Here's the text from my letter in yesterday's paper before the Gannett machine makes the link inaccessible:

Support family act

The federal Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act (H.R. 2132) was introduced way back in April, but it's just sitting in some silly committee doing nothing. Sad because it's badly needed legislation that extends existing laws that allow employees to take leave to care for a spouse who suffers from a serious health condition to a same-sex spouse, a domestic partner, a parent-in-law, an adult child, a sibling or a grandparent.

Did I mention ... no co-sponsors from Kentucky?

I expect better. Yes, I'm talking to you, Rep. John Yarmuth. I know I only gave you $100 but, geez, what's so radical about this bill that you were afraid to join the co-sponsors? It's not about gay marriage; it's about people being able to care for the ones they love. The 112th Congress will be an opportunity for you to do better.

I'm watching.

CURTIS MORRISON
Louisville 40205

December 17, 2009

King would want a clean race

Listening to WFPL's Gabe Bullard's excellent interview this morning with Louisville council members regarding the mayor race, I had to chuckle at this observation. Seriously, I don't need to write an entry here, take my title, and fill in the facts that you already know, and I'm done.

December 15, 2009

HRC: Spoiled Brats


This isn't related to Louisville, except of course, that it could happen here.

With DC legalizing gay marriage, the Catholic Church has threatened to pull out funding for social services to DC. Maybe they should, gays and lesbians (I admit I have been guilty of this)- don't always appreciate the good they do, and they do a lot! My friend Becki W. brings up another obvious point: They probably don't have the money and are using this as an excuse to pull out. So here's what we need to be addressing, the needs of the homeless of DC, but instead...well here's where things go real wrong, real quick...In an email (and text) I received this afternoon from Joe Solmonese, the President of the HRC- I was instructed to:

"Tell Archbishop Wuerl not to play politics with the less fortunate – ask him to continue Catholic Charities' city-supported social services." (and to)

"Please ask the Archbishop not to use marriage equality as an excuse to hurt thousands of homeless and needy people in Washington, D.C."

Um, Joe- it's their money, and we are in no position to tell them what to do with it. I tried to email you this back but my email was returned as you are not accepting email at the email address that you sent the friggin email from. This makes you stupid on two levels, btw.

If we as gay men and women want to win over the hearts and minds of Americans, maybe we shouldn't be acting like spoiled brats and we should step up to the plate and take the place of the soon to be irrelevant Catholic Church. If I had your job Joe (and btw, HRC board, I am available at the moment for that job) I would have mobilized a fund-raising effort to help the homeless people of DC- not a bullying campaign of the Catholic Church, you idiot! It's going to take a lot of organizing to take over the services of the good things that Catholic Church has been responsible for.

The sooner we start to organize those services, and stepping up to the plate as more than just gays, but gay Americans that care about problems and do something about them- we'll earn respect. No more being a whiny-ass-titty-baby, Joe. You're in DC- How about addressing the communities upcoming problems, and being a team player in the fight for social justice, and not just throwing rocks at people that could really make things worse?

What's your 2009 Word of the Year, Louisville?

Because if you don't call it in, I nominated "tea-bagging" and it might win. Fortunately, for history's sake, it's not too late for you to shape it. You can do it anonymously if you wish. Shape history, I mean. Not the teabagging. Well, actually, if your victim is asleep, I guess you could do that anonymously, too. Sort of.(See photo)

Laura Ellis, with WFPL, really needs people to come through for her with better words. Just call 502-814-6536 and leave YOUR pick for 2009's Word of the Year. You don't have to leave your name. Help her out because she would do it for you. No really. She would. (Twas totally on her facebook status message so must be true.)

December 14, 2009

HR2132


I'm talking about the "Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act"(H.R. 2132). It was introduced back in April 2009 by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and kudos from Kentucky- Congressman Carolyn! (Look me up at Derby and I'll hook you up with an Louisville-insider experience). So, it's this really cool legislation that would allow employees to take leave to care for a same-sex spouse, a domestic partner, a parent-in-law, an adult child, a sibling or a grandparent who suffers from a serious health condition.

So what's the status? According to the House website, it has 25 co-sponsors (none from Kentucky,errrr) the latest major action: 6/26/2009 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia.You know the drill, let your congress person know that you have a fetish for equality, and want him/her to support HR2132...
Senator Mitch McConnell, Representative John Yarmuth,Representative Ben Chandler , or Representative Geoff Davis
(I include McConnell, Chandler and Davis because I'm an optimist and I think all people are capable of change especially when faced with the inevitably of upcoming involuntary retirement.)

Mitch McConnell: Lied

Jim Pence just posted this video of his attempt to get video of Senator McConnell accepting a petition from 1,000 Kentuckians for health care reform including a public option. As you'll remember, Senator McConnell lied on the Senate floor last week when he claimed that he was not aware of a single Kentuckian that was for this bill.
If you aren't following Jim Pence on youtube, you should. When Mitch McConnell finally leaves the U.S. Senate, we'll all need to thank Jim for his years of hard work! Also, maybe this is a dumb question- Why can't someone bring a camera in to meet with Mitch McConnell? Join me in asking him this question, or ask him why he doesn't know anyone in Kentucky that supports the public option:
http://mcconnell.senate.gov/contact.cfm

Letter I just submitted:
"I understand from your remarks on the Senate floor that you don't know a single Kentuckian for health care reform.

Feel free to give me a ring, and I'd be happy to meet you up at Heine Brothers so you'd know one at least."

December 11, 2009

Gay Louisville Needs Tyler

No, he's not gay. Jim Gray, however, who is running for Mayor of Lexington, is though, and that will give Lexington the opportunity to poke a hot stick in the eye of Louisville when he wins. Here's more skinny on that story by Trevor Ashley: UnitedWeStand.com

Remember when Tina Ward-Pugh said something like "women candidates are good" and the CJ's Joe Gerth and Leo's Phillip Bailey both spun the comment like "Tina's gonna bail on Tyler." Notice that not only is Tina still very loyal in her support for Tyler, but she listed it as one of the primary reasons why she's not seeking the Council-President position. That's loyalty. So us gays have to be cautious in Louisville about getting excited about Lexington's fortune in Jim Gray's candidacy, because in misguided haste, political writers might spin it like "Gays gonna bail on Tyler" That's something that's clearly not going to happen, even if Adam Lambert himself enters the race. (If Levi Johnston entered though, we may have a problem.)

Guess how many fancy homosexuals were in Jim Moore's living room the night we were first launching Tyler's website? 3. That's out of 10 pioneer supporters. 30%. Can Jim King, David Tandy, Chris Thieneman, Hal Heiner, or Greg Fischer claim they had any gays as pioneer supporters? Or even in their living room, ever, besides their decorators? Is it that they didn't know any or they are embarrassed to claim them? (I dunno of any, ask them.)

Did I ever tell you where I first met Tyler Allen's Presbyterian Minister Jud Hendrix? Yes, he was the guest preacher at a Service at Douglass Blvd Church following a January 2009 DoMA protest. The service was sponsored Ryan Kemp-Pappan of Douglass Blvd Christian Church in an effort of Louisville's faith-based community to reach out to the LGBT-community and seek as Ryan Kemp-Pappan says:"It is my hope that we as a church may offer reconciliation and love to our sisters and brothers for the atrocities perpetrated upon them in the name of God." That's the kind of spiritual advisers Tyler hangs with- ones that talks about reconciliation and love. Wow-eh?

Finally, 2009 Louisville AIDS WALK- Which candidate was actually walking in the WALK? Just ONE. That would be Tyler Allen. Yes, Jim King paid an army of bank employees to hand out fans, someone should look into that btw, but only Tyler Allen showed up to actually walk that day. Thanks Tyler, btw, for supporting the WALK.

So, I'm sure you're starting to see-Tyler Allen is clearly the gay-friendly option not only because where he stands on issues but because this is where he was before it started. Louisville gays need Tyler. We are fortunate to have a fairness ordinance, and fairness-minded citizens would be well-advised not to take it for granted. Yes, our sacred fairness ordinance could be repealed if we were to fall asleep at the wheel and let un-friendly leadership step in...it's happened in other many other cities across the nation. It recently happened close to home when Henderson's Ordinance was repealed. So I'm asking my LGBT-allies, please consider the value of our fairness ordinance when choosing your Louisville Mayoral Candidate. Thank you.

Oh- I almost forgot about facebook for a minute!:
Jim Gray for Mayor of Lexington
Tyler Allen for Mayor of Louisville

December 8, 2009

Coal Equals Death

Coal equals death. Nice ring for a jingle for the Senate race, don't you think? Will Dan Mongiardo have Halfway to Hazard record that anytime soon? Or will Rand Paul have his silly Crystal Gayle-wanna jump right on it with a youtube video? Mmmmmm. Probably not. Because they are advocates of global warming, black-lung disease and cancer. What? Listen to them:
Dr. Dan.

Dr. Rand. (Seriously, ck out what Rand says about coal)

But considering the authors of today's Lexington Herald-Leader Op-Ed included the accomplished musician, Ben Sollee, maybe we'll be hearing a tune soon with lyrics that don't make us sick, and music we'd actually want to listen to. Sollee, with the other co-authors of this bold editorial,Stephanie Pistello and Ben Evans, are co-founders of the Coal Free Future Project.
Here's a little piece of their lovin' BUT GO READ IT, TOO:
"Clean energy independence, not coal, will bring more sustainable jobs.
Wind, solar, hydropower and turbine manufacturing, along with weatherization, retrofitting appliances and homes, could create jobs. The Appalachian Regional Commission found that "energy-efficiency investments could result in an increase of 77,378 net jobs by 2030" in the region.
Commerce Lexington: It's time to imagine a coal-free future."
I just want to say I agree 100% with these kids. Jack Conway-Step away from the dark side and ignore the needs of big coal- You're our only hope! And hire these kids to run things, too.

Ben S. Bernanke's Speech-don't Impress me much

If you haven't got a chance, you might want to check out Ben Bernake's speech yesterday. (Thx for bringing this to my attn. Adam.)

From the speech he explains:
"...near term, elevated unemployment and stable inflation expectations should keep inflation subdued..."

I don't understand that part & also he says:
"...as the recovery strengthens, the time will come when it is appropriate to begin withdrawing the unprecedented monetary stimulus"

He's um, asking us to trust Goldman Sachs, err, oops His Royal Highness-to know the right time? I'm generally for the stimulus, especially the parts applied to trickle up, not trickle down- but this speech makes me nervous, as Shania Twain would say "it don't impress me much."

December 6, 2009

To rant or not to rant. that is the question.


My two faithful readers will recall that I added a counter a week ago, and in that week, 114 page views, with my url excluded. I know my mom doesn't read my blog because she's still nice to me. So I guess that means there are people are interested in my rants...Who knew?

Maybe I'll rant more. Or maybe someone will hire me to rant.
Or maybe it's time to sell out and see if Jim King will just pay me not to rant?

Actually, I probably just need to go get a job pumping gas and call it a day.

December 5, 2009

Louisville, KY Protest: Afghanistan Escalation

Looks like there are plenty of Louisvillians against this senseless war, according to Reporter Harold Adams in today's CJ Coverage

If you want to show up and join future demonstrations organized by the Louisville Peace Action Community, join their facebook group. I just did.

December 4, 2009

Quick question for JCTC & Mayor Abramson...

Martha Elson reported in today's CJ that State Sen. Tim Shaughnessy (D- Louisville) plans for JCTC to use imminent domain to take the old Holiday Inn Motel from Wayside Christian Mission if it has to. From the article:
"And if necessary, the college says, it would consider using its powers as a state institution to take the land by eminent domain."
Mayor Abramson's representative, Chris Poynter, says that the Mayor doesn't want to get involved because he doesn't want "to appear to be taking sides" between JCTC and Wayside. Well, that's a real profile in courage. He's not saying that he hasn't taken sides, just that he doesn't want there to be an image that he has. I'm really confused by all this...and I have a quick question for JCTC & Mayor Abramson...you have to watch the video to hear my question. I know, I'm mean. Anyone that has the answer, please comment.

December 2, 2009

Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act: Straight/ Gay- Should you care?

I sure ask good questions! (take good pictures too, eh?) Let me indulge you with my answer, and comment if you think I'm right or even if you think I'm off my rocker:
First, S. 1153 / H.R. 2625 are the bill numbers for the Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act/Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, respectively.
According the HRC, this Act would:
"end the taxation of benefits provided for domestic partners and other non-spouse beneficiaries under employers’ health plans...(and) This legislation does not mandate that employers provide coverage to non-spouse beneficiaries."

There are two reasons why I think you should care:
1) Whether your straight or gay, if your partner is receiving spousal/partner benefits from your employer, it makes no sense those benefits would be taxable to the employee with a same-sex partner, yet non-taxable to the employee with the opposite sex partner.
I mean really, even if you're a God-fearing, right-wing conservative, you have to admit, no where in the Bible does it say to actually tax homosexuals at a higher rate? (at least I don't think so, if it does let me know and I'll revise, I promise)
2) The current regulations on how employers are to administrate these benefits are causing a lot of unnecessary red tape. Employers don't want to treat one class of employees one way, and another set another. It's a headache for them, and it's one of those anti-business regulations that stifles businesses from having employees in the U.S.

It's important that we let our Congress folk know this is important to us ASAP because provisions of this bill have have the potential to be included as an amendment in a health care reform bill.
Kentuckians: Let Senator Mitch McConnell, Representative John Yarmuth,Representative Ben Chandler , or Representative Geoff Davis know how you feel by contacting them and letting them know:
I support the S. 1153 / H.R. 2625 Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and Health Plan Beneficiaries Act/Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act.
FYI: I've noticed Congress folk have been really good about replying to letters lately, too, which may be an indication they are listening to what we have to say. Crazy, eh?

December 1, 2009

ERROR: Couldn't find template for class=news

Frustrated that I couldn't find an article on World AIDS Day in today's edition of the Courier Journal, I scrolled to bottom of the page to click on "Contact" but then thought, well I should check around some more, and I clicked on "News" at the bottom of the page and this is the error message I got:

What a fitting metaphor, wouldn't you agree?

In related news, Jake Payne with pageonekentucky.com brought this month-old story in the Lexington-Herald to my attention this morning via a tweet: Click here.
Be sure to check it out, it's an update on where Kentucky stands with it's KADAP funding...basically, we have the longest waiting list for drugs for people living with HIV in the country, it's now over 100. Come on Frankfort, we can do better...