aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Out and proud
I only hope it’s true:
A new census conducted annually by the School of Public Communications at Syracuse University suggests that 97-percent of gay Americans are out to their families, friends and at work.
That statistic, which some activists are suggesting seems unreasonably high, is partnered with several other percentages in the “Gay/Lesbian Consumer Census Online,” conducted in partnership with the media relations group OpusComm. [...]
Additional findings from the survey include:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 53% of females are partnered versus 42% of males with the largest percentage together between 4 - 7 years
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 32% of males and 66% of females plan on adding children to their family in the next 3 years
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 12% of males and 15% of females are employed by a government entity
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 57% of males and 45% of females live in cities
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 67% of males and 72% of females are registered Democrats
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 77% respondents feel legal recognition of same-sex marriage for tax, estate and insurance purposes extremely important in voting for a candidate
Apple saves the 99Ã‚Â¢ song
Apple Computer on Monday revealed it had renewed contracts with the four largest record companies to sell songs through its iTunes digital store at 99 cents each. The agreements came after months of bargaining, and were a defeat for music companies that had been pushing for a variable pricing model.
The music industry’s big four - Universal, Warner Music, EMI and Sony BMG - were not immediately available to comment.
Since iTunes’ launch three years ago, Apple has charged US consumers 99 cents for each track - a uniform price that Steve Jobs, its chief executive, favours because of its simplicity for consumers. [...]
ITunes accounts for about 80 per cent of the US digital music market at a time when the record companies are desperate to show shareholders they are replacing declining compact disc sales with new internet revenues. “The labels need Apple too much right now,Ã¢â‚¬Â� one record executive said.
The common wisdom, as reported in the FT article, is that variable pricing would lead prices to rise. I’m aware of the counter-argument - that with variable pricing prices might actually fall - and I accept it as true. I just think it too early.
The Circle of Crude
A NYTimes editorial today:
The public derision of Republicans’ idea for a $100 gasoline rebate has focused on the desperate political pandering embodied in the proposal. But there’s another view that makes it seem even worse. Consider the China angle.
With the nation already deeply in debt - and with Congress angling this week to cut taxes for affluent investors by more than $20 billion - lawmakers would need to borrow $10 billion to make the rebates happen. Since more than 80 percent of the immense borrowing of the Bush years has been from foreigners, it’s safe to assume that most of the rebates would be courtesy of foreign lenders, of which China has been one of the most willing.
It’s the circle of crude: China’s competition for the world’s oil is pushing up prices. Congress piles on more debt to calm angry consumers with a rebate. The increased debt is a prescription for a weaker dollar, which in turn would make imports, including oil, even more expensive.
For context I went back to Radio Open Source on Neo-Conservatism, the Last Throes with Niall Ferguson, Professor of History at Harvard and author, Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire and Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power:
[11:41] I think the big story of our time is the rise of China and I think that in many ways the global war on terror as we used to call has distracted American policymakers from the speed with which China is closing the gap - economically but also strategically - and there’s going to be a wake-up moment and I think it’s going to come quite soon when Americans realize they’re no longer in a position to become any kind of hegemon, benign or otherwise, because there’s a new empire on the block. And this empire really knows what it’s doing because it has a great deal more history of empire building to draw on.
And later he observes:
[45:48] There is an extraordinary imbalance at the moment. Global growth is fueled by American consumption and American consumption is based on accumulating debt overseas, particularly in Asia. We shouldn’t assume that that’s a stable arrangement. To become both the world’s greatest military power and its biggest debtor is an experiment I think which has no historical parallel and it’s hard to foresee its outcome.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Gay rights are good business…
More than 80 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 now ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Some 249 of the Fortune 500 offer health and other benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees. That’s up from just 28 a decade ago.
Last year, Wal-Mart, America’s biggest employer, agreed to support a network for its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) workers, joining such firms as Citigroup (Research), DuPont and IBM. All these trends are moving in one direction - towards more rights for gay and lesbian people.
This is remarkable, given the setbacks that gay rights have taken in the political arena, especially around the issue of gay marriage.
Even Wal-Mart! Now let’s compare statistics:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 80% of Fortune 500 companies ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 90% of states prohibit legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.
Is it any wonder I contemplate the concept of a benign corporate state?
There are so, so many examples, but I quote Diane Sawyer on GMA just now:
...The word “crisis” has now been officially attached to the rising gas prices in this country…
Say what? By who?
Ah, the Chief of Staff and Energy Secretary on yesterday’s Meet the Press. Oh, so now it’s a crisis. Diane’s “report” goes on to point to high gas prices in Europe. Golly, I’m really scared. So does this mean maybe we’ll get the 85 MPG car?
RELATED “LIBERAL MEDIA WATCH:” I note all the media showing video of the Bush double at the White House Press Corps dinner on Saturday night. I’ve yet to see Steve Colbert’s Bush roasting on a single network. (It did get plenty of coverage on liberal blogs.)
Leave them alone and they’ll come home…
Someone should tell this Dallas dad that you catch more bees with honey:
Ted Gambordella and his 17-year-old son, Teddy, don’t see eye to eye on politics. Mr. Gambordella says he won’t pay for Teddy’s college unless he becomes a Republican.
Not for the father and son duo of Ted and Teddy Gambordella.
Ted Gambordella dislikes the idea that his only son, a Highland Park High junior, is a Democrat. He loathes it so much that he has flat-out refused to pay for his son’s college education unless he becomes a Republican.
“Yeah, I’m serious,” said Mr. Gambordella, a 57-year-old martial arts expert. “He’s got to earn his own way.”
That suits Teddy just fine.
The 17-year-old said there’s no way he’ll switch to the GOP just to get his father’s financial backing. He recently started a Web site - onemillionreasonswhy .com - to raise money for college.
I’m trying to track down that recent study (from CBS?) on why we vote the way we do: habit and history. Can’t find it or I’d quote it.
Via Steve Gilliard.
Starbucks extends the brand
With barely one movie under its belt, Starbucks is moving aggressively toward expanding its involvement in the entertainment business, seeking movies and books to promote in the hope of duplicating the success it has had with music.
The retail coffee giant - which used its stores to promote “Akeelah and the Bee,” a Lionsgate movie that opened this weekend - is to announce Monday that it has signed an agreement with the William Morris Agency to find more movie and book projects to market. The aim is to have one book in Starbucks stores this year, and at least two or three movies to promote and sell on DVD next year, with more projects in years to come.
In the meantime, the company’s small entertainment staff will move from Seattle, where Starbucks is based, to Santa Monica, Calif., this year to be closer to the heart of the entertainment industry.