aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Uncle Sam misses the target
Turns out these days Uncle Sam’s about as popular as detention on American high school campuses. For the third straight month the U.S. Army failed to reach its recruiting goals.
“As of April 30 the Army had achieved only 85% of its target for the first five months of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1,” according to the Associated Press. “Opinion surveys have indicated that a growing number of young people and their parents are wary of the Army’s recruiting pitch at a time when soldiers in Iraq are killed and wounded virtually every day. Spring is typically one of the more difficult periods of the year for military recruiters.”
The shortfall is not only an embarrassment for the Pentagon, but it puts real strain on the armed forces as it’s stretched around the world, particularly in the Gulf region. Some experts have fretted that if the military continues to come up short on recruits, and U.S. troops remain committed to Iraq for years on end, that the possibility looms that a draft may be needed. Politically, it’s highly unlikely. But as recruiting numbers continue to sag, the option cannot be ruled out.
End the background briefing
Washington bureau chiefs have launched a new effort to stop off-the-record and background-only White House press briefings with a campaign aimed at getting fellow D.C. journalists to demand that more briefings be on the record.
Among other efforts, they pressed the demand with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on Friday. “We tried to make the point that readers are sick to death of unnamed sources,” said Ron Hutcheson, a White House correspondent for Knight Ridder. “Scott listened and he said he would chew on it for a few weeks, but everybody felt like he would give it consideration.”
Jay Rosen’s retort in a Romenesko Letter:
Strupp reports his piece in a state of make believe, as if the bureau chiefs are pressing for changes that others ultimately have to make. But the chiefs and their reporters are co-producers of the “background” ritual. It takes two sides-- briefers, briefees… Joe Strupp and the bureau chiefs want us to think that such artless methods as “hang up the phone” and “answer e-mail instead of attending” are some high stakes confrontation. “None of those involved were ready to boycott such background briefings,” Strupp tells us. Boycott? No. The point would be to stop.
A new bible for Joe
The guy who registered the Pope’s [domain] name wrote a bible himself. From Movable Type news:
Most people who know and use Movable Type are extremely web savvy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still want to sit down with a good book sometimes. We’ve rounded up a few books that would be of interest for almost any Movable Type user, from newbies to experts.
One of the most popular titles is Rogers Cadenhead’s Movable Type Bible Desktop Edition. Though Rogers has gained some fame from having registered the new Pope’s name as a domain name, he’s been tasteful enough to refrain from promoting the fact that he’s written a bible himself. Aside from the restraint he’s shown, the book is great for its in-depth coverage of the best ways to use Movable Type’s features, covering best practices in addition to technical features. You can check out the first chapter of the book on Rogers’ site.
Amazon.com is the next stop for me ("ships within 24 hours").
More people are killed by pigs than by sharks
Very often I hear people from administration saying, “Our policies are working because in the two-and-a-half years since 9/11, nothing else has happened,” and I think about it and say, “Well, nothing happened two-and-a-half years before 9/11 either. You did not have any policies. What does that prove?”
What it proves is that terrorist attacks are very, very rare and that we’re spending a lot of money on something that hardly ever happens. Now, we can decide to do that. We as a nation tend to worry about spectacular and rare events rather than common events, like spouse abuse, automobile crashes, things that kill lots and lots of people every year, and we tend to focus on the spectacular and rare, but we should realize we’re doing that.
Focus on the Family yes, United Church of Christ no
During the May 2 season finale of the ABC reality series Supernanny, James C. Dobson’s Christian ministry Focus on the Family plans to air a nationwide commercial promoting the organization’s toll-free phone number and its Focus On Your Child parenting website. In December 2004, ABC reportedly refused to air a commercial on its broadcast network from the United Church of Christ promoting its inclusive policy towards gays, racial minorities, and people with disabilities. While the ABC Family cable channel ran the commercial, according to a United Methodist Church press release, ABC’s broadcast network (which airs Supernanny) joined broadcasters such as CBS, NBC, and UPN in rejecting the ad as “too controversial.”
Focus on the Family was a co-sponsor of “Justice Sunday,” the April 24 event designed to rally support for President Bush’s contentious judicial nominees to which Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) gave a videotaped address and Dobson declared that “the biggest holocaust in world history came out of the Supreme Court” in its Roe v. Wade decision. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Dobson endorsed Bush while Focus on the Family organized a massive voter drive urging Americans to vote for candidates who oppose abortion rights and who support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. At a political rally on October 22, 2004, Dobson stated his belief that homosexuals “want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth.”