aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, August 31, 2006
the homophobe Laffey
If Laffey, a populist conservative, were to win the primary, all the polls and portents suggest that he would be whomped by Democratic nominee Sheldon Whitehouse, a former state attorney general.
The sign for a local business. Do you see what I see?
The Dog Whisperer
He’s a charming, one-man wrecking ball directed at 40 years of progress in understanding and shaping dog behavior and in developing nonpunitive, reward-based training programs, which have led to seeing each dog as an individual, to understand what motivates it, what frightens it and what its talents and limitations are. Building on strengths and working around and through weaknesses, these trainers and specialists in animal behavior often work wonders with their dogs, but it takes time.
I only saw the show once. I was unimpressed.
Mr. Millan builds his philosophy from a simplistic conception of the dog’s “natural” pack, controlled by a dominant alpha animal (usually male). In his scheme, that leader is the human, which leads to the conclusion that all behavior problems in dogs derive from the failure of the owner or owners to dominate. (Conveniently, by this logic, if Mr. Millan’s intervention doesn’t produce lasting results, it is the owner’s fault.)
Women are the worst offenders in his world. In one of the outtakes included in the four-DVD set of the first season of “Dog Whisperer,” Mr. Millan explains that a woman is “the only species that is wired different from the rest.” And a “woman always applies affection before discipline,” he says. “Man applies discipline then affection, so we’re more psychological than emotional. All animals follow dominant leaders; they don’t follow lovable leaders.”
America’s most wired city - Atlanta!
With most of the U.S. technology industry focused on the East and West coasts, you’d think the best place to get online would be San Francisco, or perhaps New York City. But Atlanta tops Forbes.com’s survey of America’s most wired cities.
While Georgia may be best known for hot weather, college football and peaches, Atlanta is no slouch when it comes to technology and the Internet. Home to telecommunications and Internet service providers BellSouth and EarthLink, as well as Cox Communications, the third-largest U.S. cable company, Atlanta beat several cities more closely associated with the Web, like San Francisco, Seattle and New York.
Our rankings factored in the percentage of Internet users with high-speed access, the range of service providers within a city and the availability of public wireless hot spots. Of the 30 cities we measured, Atlanta ranks highest in broadband access options, third in Wi-Fi access points and ninth in broadband adoption: In June, more than 80% of the city’s home Internet users accessed the Web via a high-speed connection.
Via Susan Crawford, “Don’t have Culver City access—that’s your challenge. Southern hospitality means (or should mean) an open, non-discriminatory, unfiltered network.” Given the mood here in Georgia these days, I’m not optimistic.
LATER, Om says:
[W]e checked with WiFi directory service, JiWire and found that San Francisco is the most “unwired” city and has 805 hotspots, including 375 free ones. New York is #2 with 669 hotspots, followed by Chicago with 551. Atlanta ranked at #8 with 372 hotspots, 94 of them free.
Who needs pharmacists anyway!
In the mind of pharmacist Jim Ramseth, there is a moral hierarchy when it comes to preventing pregnancy: Selling condoms and birth control pills is OK. But the emergency contraception known as Plan B is not, and Ramseth refuses to provide it.
In recent months, the genial 65-year-old owner of Covington Pharmacy has fought hard for the right to make professional choices guided by such personal views. And while his stand on the morning-after pill may be a minority opinion in Washington—where more than 2,000 women get Plan B directly from their pharmacists each month—many of Ramseth’s colleagues agree that they should not be forced to provide medication with which they have moral or ethical objections.
I pretty much stand by my own view of pharmacists from last year:
What pharmacists have become in our modern era is nothing more than computer jockeys who look up the med, phone the insurance company for approval, then pull the bottle from the shelf, stick it in a bag and send you off to be rung up? Who needs ‘em!
For a chuckle, take another look at Bill Mahr’s take on pharmacists, “take off your pretend doctor jacket and get another job.”
Stocking up for the War on Christmas
UPDATE: I waited too long to post this. Commenter Viri tried it and found that at the end of the process they now make you call. Anyone want to make that call and report back the results?
The Conservative Voice reported last week that Wal-Mart has already said no to Christmas - Again! And they’re reaching out to gays. This has those who believe that gay marriage is worse than child rape up in arms.
If you’d like to fight back, and satisfy a deeply juvenile impulse at the same time, Seattle’s The Stranger suggests:
Here’s how to do it:
1. Go to http://www.family.org and you will see their home page.
2. Once you’re at the home page, look for the “Resources” link in the blue bar on the left-hand side, right above the “Search” box, and click it.
3. Under the “Resource Category” menu on the left-hand side, you’ll notice categories such as “Homosexuality.” Go ahead and click that for shits and giggles.
4. It’s time to start shopping! Scroll down a little bit and feel the homophobia flow. How about a nice copy of A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality? Go ahead and click the “Add to Cart” button.
5. Now comes a tough decision: Do you have the book sent to yourself so you can sell it on eBay for cash (my personal favorite) or do you keep it on your mantel as a high-larious conversation piece to point at and laugh when your friends and family come over? Or do you send it to a jerk? I always opt for sending it to myself. Yes, you may end up on the Focus on the Family mailing list (though I’ve been doing this for some time and have never received anything beyond what I ordered), but reading Focus on the Family’s junk mail is a good way to keep tabs on their activities and it will cost them even more money in postage.
Please note: Focus on the Family won’t send you more than $100 worth of materials for free in any given shopping trip, so be sure to keep it reasonable and return often.
6. Select “Add New Shipping Address” and click “Proceed to Checkout.” Or, hell, continue to shop and pick up a box set of The Chronicles of Narnia on CD.
7. The next screen will ask you to sign up for an account and give your information. Don’t worry, they don’t ask for your credit-card number. Enter whatever name and address you like, because you won’t be paying. You might want to make up a phone number, too.
8. Once you’ve filled out all the required fields (you can also create a fake e-mail account if you’re super paranoid), click “Proceed to Checkout” one more time. You’ll now find yourself at the “Here Is Your Cart” field. Annoying thing alert: You may have to reenter your info again after this field to actually set up your account. But just keep going until you get to the “How Much Would You Like to Donate?” page.
9. So, how much would you like to donate? Zero dollars, obviously. Don’t be fooled by the field in the lower-right-hand corner that shows you the suggested donation amounts. Simply select “Enter other total amount” and enter 0.00 as the amount you would like to pay. (Don’t put in a dollar sign or it will ask you for credit-card information!) Proceed to checkout.
10. You’ll now be led to a screen that will try to make you feel guilty about the amount you haven’t donated. But don’t feel bad! Just proceed to checkout again.
11. Jesus! Here you are on the twelfth step and you still don’t have your self-hatred materials! And you thought preventing homosexuality was supposed to be easy! Click “Checkout Now” and you’re done.
You have just removed a few dollars from the coffers of a major anti-gay organization. You can further capitalize on your brief investment of time by selling the item/s on eBay. You’d be surprised how much money you can get—a friend of mine makes a few hundred extra dollars every few months on this perfectly legal activity.