Editor’s note: Guest authorÂ James Robinson lives in Huntsville, Alabama. He is Executive Director and founder ofÂ GLBTÂ AdvocacyÂ &Â Youth Services, Inc.
As I began a journey of recovery from addiction to crystal methamphetamine, I needed to understand why I had experienced the pain which contributed to my addiction. I began to understand that a large part of my pain stemmed from hiding my sexual orientation. Due to the dominant conservative political and religious traditions in the South I did not feel I would be accepted living publicly as a gay man.
The lies associated with hiding my sexual orientation ate away at my spirit and I found myself very unhappy. Without realizing what I was doing I began looking for ways to feel more accepted. This led to a second hidden life, one consumed with the self-destructive behaviors associated with addiction.
There is a saying, â€œThe closet kills.â€ I believe many members of our community kill themselves through addiction because of the pain they feel from not being free to be themselves. Segments of the gay community are deeply entrenched in this lifestyle. I was fortunate to survive this period in my life while many do not. Many lives are lost because people do not feel free to be themselves.
The addiction and self-destruction I experienced were very selfish behaviors. I decided to stop focusing on myself and to create opportunities for others that will help them avoid the pain and terrible choices I experienced.
With the support of friends I began a non-profit organization to serve the GLBT community in Alabama. When I began GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, Inc. there were almost no services available to our community in this region. I am happy to say that because of this agency there are now a number of support groups and other activities.
GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services strives to provide support services and raise awareness about issues specific to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth. This mission is accomplished through the administration of peer support groups, use of social media, and by cultivating a united voice on issues such as bullying, AIDS/HIV infection, drug abuse, suicide, homelessness, and the sexual exploitation of youth.
I have seen hope given and I have witnessed it being taken away. We share a message of love and acceptance with a community that fears rejection, violence, and oppression if their sexual orientation or gender identity is known publicly. We strive to give hope where it has been lost.
GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services has been nominated for two Classy Awards:
James Robinson lives in Huntsville, Alabama. He is Executive Director and founder of GLBT Advocacy & Youth Services, Inc. He is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Following a career as a Special Education teacher he is now an advocate for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in Alabama and elsewhere.
In March 2011, he was named one of five people transforming five communities by Civic Venturesâ€™ Encore Careers Launch Pad contest.
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Watch: Republican Wrongly Tells Constituents ‘Of Course’ Inflation Is 40% in Ad Shopping, Complaining About Prices
A sitting U.S. Congresswoman who may have violated a federal conflict of interest law by incorrectly reporting receipt of $500,000 in stocks took a page out of Dr. Oz’s playbook Wednesday, cutting an ad showing her shopping – not for crudité, but for back-to-school supplies as she complains about prices while falsely claiming U.S. inflation is 40%.
Rep. María Elvira Salazar, Republican of Florida, who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, recorded the ad (below) in Spanish with English subtitles inside a Target and posted it to her personal Twitter account.
In it she falsely states the rate of inflation. Current U.S. inflation is 8.5% annually. For the month of July it was at zero percent, which caused the annual rate to drop from 9.1% in June to 8.5%.
Many other countries have much higher inflation. The UK’s annual rate just jumped to 10.1%, a quarter of what she claimed the U.S. inflation rate is. Inflation is highest in Venezuela at 1198%. Sudan is at 340%. Argentina is at 51.2%, and Turkey is at 36.1%.
Congresswoman Salazar voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, as did every House and Senate Republican. Defensively, after she posted her video, on Twitter she wrote: “Let me be clear: the Inflation Reduction Act will do NOTHING to reduce inflation. Instead, it’s going to raise your taxes, send American jobs overseas, and weaponize the IRS to come for your hard-earned dollars.” All of which is false for the vast majority of Americans.
In a press release targeting Rep. Salazar the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced the House passed “the Inflation Reduction Act, broadly popular legislation that will lower the cost of prescription drugs, health insurance, and everyday energy costs — all while reducing the deficit and carbon emissions, by making the wealthiest corporations finally pay their fair share.”
According to reported Insider, Salazar “appears to have violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law by improperly disclosing a 6-figure stock trade.”
“On June 10, Salazar disclosed in a congressional financial filing that, on February 14, she had received up to $500,000 worth of publicly traded stock in Cano Health Inc., a company that provides health care services for seniors.”
Watch Rep. Salazar’s video below or at this link:
Hoy es el primer día de clases en Miami-Dade y los precios de los útiles escolares están por las nubes. El aumento de la inflación en Miami es el resultado directo de las malas decisiones tomadas en Washington… ¡Los padres no pueden pagar esto!
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) August 17, 2022
Weisselberg Expected to ‘Criminally Implicate’ Trump Organization in Plea Deal Admitting to 15 Felonies: Reports
Allen Weisselberg, the ex-Trump Organization CFO who has worked for the former president’s family since 1970, is expected to plead guilty to 15 felonies and “criminally implicate” the real estate empire.
“The Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer will admit to conspiring with the Trump Organization and Trump Payroll Corporation in a 15-year tax fraud scheme while head of the company’s finances at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing on Thursday,” the Daily News reports. “Allen Weisselberg is expected to criminally implicate Trump’s family real estate business when he pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud charges, a source familiar with the matter told The News on Wednesday.”
Weisselberg is also expected to agree to testify against the Trump companies, and agree to a five-month sentence at Rikers Island, the horrific New York City jail that is slated to be shut down by 2026.
The New York Times calls the impending plea deal “a serious blow to the company that could imperil its chances in an upcoming trial.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Dr. Oz Trounced in Newsmax Interview as Host Demands Explanation for ‘Wegner’s’ and ‘Crudité’ Ad
Republican Mehmet Oz is having a tough time in his entrance to Pennsylvania politics. The multi-millionaire celebrity TV doctor, running for a U.S. Senate seat, released a video which this week went viral with liberals – and his Democratic opponent, Lt. Governor John Fetterman – picking it apart.
In the video, an attack ad on President Joe Biden, who he is not running against, Dr. Oz says he’s shopping at “Wegner’s,” a grocery store that does not exist. Internet sleuths deduced he was shopping at Redner’s, although some believe he was at Wegmans — including a Newsmax TV host, who Oz did not correct.
Why did he get something as simple as the name of a beloved Pennsylvania grocery store wrong?
“I was exhausted,” Oz told Newsmax, after “campaigning 18 hours a day.”
He also admitted he gets the names of his children wrong.
Curiously, the 39-second video Oz recorded is from April, and it got criticized then, but he left it up – only for the Fetterman campaign to go after it again. Back in April it led to questions about his tremendous wealth, put at around $400 million, and calls of being a “carpetbagger,” as many say he actually lives in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania.
Inflation is hurting American families. Under Joe Biden, gas prices are skyrocketing and food prices are rising. We must stop the reckless spending. This is outrageous! Thanks a lot, Joe. pic.twitter.com/8kNil6upn8
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) April 6, 2022
Politico reports the Fetterman campaign “said it had raised more than $500,000 from the crudité video alone — including a sticker of the non-existent ‘Wegners.’ ‘Oz clearly has never been in a grocery store before. That’s why this is resonating with supporters across Pennsylvania,’ said Brendan McPhillips, Fetterman’s campaign manager.”
The Fetterman campaign appears to have created a “Wegner’s Groceries” account on Twitter, and is pounding Oz with snark.
First ad campaign pic.twitter.com/nzSGbr1mK1
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Mmmmm 😋 crudité pic.twitter.com/SVqQDGOKEd
— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) August 16, 2022
— T.J. Harley (@tj_harley) August 16, 2022
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania voters do not appear to be impressed with Oz.
One Republican poll shows Fetterman beating Oz by 18 points.
“New poll conducted by GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies for Pittsburgh Works Together shows big leads for Dems in the PA Senate and governors races. Fetterman up 18 points over Oz,” reports Politico’s Alex Isenstadt. The Democratic nominee for governor, Josh Shapiro is up 15 points over Republican Doug Mastriano, he adds.
Back over at Newsmax, here was host Shaun Kraisman hammering Oz:
Asked about mispronouncing ‘Wegmans,’ Mehmet Oz: “I was exhausted…I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth” pic.twitter.com/OZDjy0iN4d
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) August 17, 2022
“As you know, this video went viral,” Kraisman says, as Mediate reports. “You were at Wegmans going through the veggie aisle, essentially hitting on inflation and how things cost more, putting together a plate of crudité would cost you more than 20 bucks. You said that you were at Wegner’s – this is a very popular local grocery in this region called Wegmans.”
Kraisman later says, “I don’t mean to fixate on it, but just for those watching in Pennsylvania, you know how particular many people are about their groceries, what happened with Wegmans and Wegner’s? Can you explain that to them?”
“Yeah. I was exhausted. Well, you’re campaigning 18 hours a day. I’ve gotten my kids’ names wrong as well. I don’t think that’s a measure of someone’s ability to lead the Commonwealth.”
Kraisman also says, “it does get to the factor: Is Dr. Oz relatable to the everyday, hardworking American there in Pennsylvania?”
“We’ll do whatever we need to do to make sure the people of Pennsylvania respect what we’re about,” Oz replies, “and that we’re going to work as hard as we can to fix their problems. It’s what I’ve done my whole life. It’s what I’ll continue to do. I challenged my opponent. What have you done? Rolling your sleeves up in your own life to make life better for the people of Pennsylvania?”
Before he was elected Lt. Governor, Fetterman was elected mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, four times, and served for 13 years.
Oz concludes, “I’m the person who put us on the right track and addressed many of the challenges. Cost of living, crime, and our schools that afflict so many Pennsylvanians.”
Some have also questioned if Oz understands what job he’s running for.
U.S. Senators don’t have tremendous responsibility over their state’s cost of living, crime, and school issues. Nor do they “lead the Commonwealth,” as he said to the Newsmax host.
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