aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, May 13, 2005
Missed it in New York and Atlanta; finally saw it last night in Greensboro, NC: Good friends. Good seats. Good fun.
Graduation road trip
Doug the doctor graduates on Thursday so we’re hitting the road for a 5 city 10 day road trip.
To my loyal and ever-so-appreciated readers, please understand that postings may be sparse. I have my trusty laptop and cables for every contingency (and a quickie free AOL account), but I will be in places with limited connectivity. And Doug asks that I please vacation some. (Hey, I find posting relaxing!)
I’ve asked my guest blogger Jen to try to post more in my absence.
More on Target v Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is starting to lose its edge over more upscale rival Target, if recent stock trends are any indication...Since moving to Northern Virginia, which has the worst Wal-Mart stores I’ve seen in years, I’ve avoided Wal-Mart and shopped at Target whenever possible. While its prices are slightly higher, its better customer service, convenience, and pleasant atmosphere are worth the trade-off.
Still, Target is not going to surpass Wal-Mart anytime soon. Target stores are not nearly as ubiquitous. Wal-Mart has pursued a business strategy of putting Super Center stores even in smallish communities, such as Jacksonville, Alabama, where my parents live. Indeed, there are three Super Centers within 25 miles of their house.
Wal-Mart built its business up from small rural communities (and started out southern). We’ve got one Super Center and another being built 15 miles up the road here in a sparsely populated rural area.
I expect Wal-Mart’s past its prime and like GM will die a slow death of its own weight. But as I’ve said before the culture of Wal-Mart is totally entrenched here and Target won’t be coming here anytime soon.
Another example of why we need an architecture of freedom:
I manage the campus computer labs. We recently switched to a card swipe entry system; students swipe their IDs for access. It’s a new semester and we find that many are denied access. Why? They’ve yet to pay their fees.
There is a grace period to pay those fees, but the computer says no fee no services. And between semesters? Or Juniors who will be Seniors not attending but here during the summer? There used to be access, but now with a swipe access is denied.
We do allow them in and will come up with a policy where before there was none. The technology has raised the question, giving us a means of control where before there was none. You know that some will be tempted to use it.
A war on moderates?
Mr. Specter is in a particularly tight spot. He is trying to remain neutral, but as Judiciary Committee chairman is expected to advocate for the nominees. John Breaux, a centrist Democrat who was in the Senate until last year, said defying party leaders could be especially risky for a committee chairman.
“They can put an awful lot of pressure on you,” he said of the leaders. “They say, ‘Look, you’re a chairman because your party is in control, and you’ve got to be with the party.’ So when you break with them, you have to be fast on foot to explain it.”
Ms. Collins, chairwoman of the domestic security committee, is also taking that risk. Along with Ms. Snowe, she has expressed reservations about the rules change, as well as the Social Security plan. Last week, the two returned to Maine to find themselves the targets of an advertising campaign on the judicial nominees, a campaign that had the endorsement of Dr. Frist.
Armando comments, “Can you believe that the Senate Majority Leader has approved running ads against Senators from his OWN Party?”
What would Joe Gandelman say?