aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, December 02, 2006
It sounds better than it is
As it happens, I completed a food survey for school today. They all but asked for recipes. AP:
Stung by decades of jokes about mystery meat and soggy sandwiches, college dining halls around the country are borrowing recipes from the ultimate authority on heartwarming meals: Mom. (And Dad, too.) [...]
“It’s a great connection with home for the students, and a way to de-institutionalize a college food service program,” said J. Michael Floyd, food service director at the University of Georgia, which pioneered the approach 20 years ago with its annual Taste of Home competition.
From hundreds of entries that are taste-tested each year, Georgia has selected such winners as eclair squares, poppy seed chicken and bulldog punch bowl cake.
Mom’s recipes lose a little something in the translation.
I subscribe to 129 RSS feeds (I’ll replace my blogroll with the list when I can figure out how… I’m still struggling to figure out how to get cloudnine to build me a weighted tag cloud in my sidebar!)
When I was a subscriber to a dozen or more print magazines (and the New York Times) I learned to accept that I would not read everything from anything. I don’t even aspire to. Ever.
With my subscription list increased tenfold, I now use Shrook to aggregate to my desktop. When I’m interested in something, most anything, I can drill down deeply then link out.
That’s what I enjoy most; the serendipity that comes from dipping into my own personally sculpted information flow, and using those sources as stepping out points.
This little riff comes in anticipation of reading What’s the future for news personalization? from Online Journalism Review. I wonder where it might take me…
Via Martin Stabe.
I think that eventually all traditional media companies will have to rely on some form of citizen reporting, partly motivated by financial reasons but also because of access. While the quality of reporting from the average citizen is typically of a lower ‘quality’, in the traditional sense, I think that this is offset by the timeliness and unfiltered nature of accounts offered by citizen media. Traditional journalism will always be a part of the equation, but a combination of new and old media coverage yields a flow of information from event to consumer that is greater than the sum of its parts. It is for this reason that we don’t take sides between traditional media and small media. I believe that consumers will benefit from a convergence of the two models, and that the long-sighted media companies will adapt accordingly.
Take the recent incident involving the UCLA student who was Tasered. Prior to the existence of video-enabled mobile phones and youtube.com, I think we, as consumers of news, would’ve been further from the truth and less affected by it. However, without the follow up research and reporting by professional journalists on the officer’s background, we would be left with an incomplete picture of what led up to the incident.
Currently, a good deal of the reporting done by citizens is largely incidental, a byproduct of proximity, chance and personal initiative. Moving forward, I think economics and consumer appetite will convince publishers to actively procure citizen reports on specific topics or events. Meantime, Newsvine’s base of contributors from around the world grows and improves continually, ready to meet that demand.
Soldiers and debt
The AP reports that debt is causing more soldiers to lose security clearances:
The number of soldiers who are losing their clearances because of financial problems has nearly doubled over last year but is still an extremely small percentage of the Army’s ranks.
The Associated Press reported in October that growing numbers of Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force troops are so deep in debt they are losing their security clearances. The Army refused to supply data at the time, but later complied with a Freedom of Information Act request from the AP.
Over the past five years, 400 Army soldiers have been stripped of their clearances for financial reasons; during that span, the Army granted 747,000 clearances. After hovering at around 70 revocations per year since 2002, the number jumped to 149 in the fiscal year that ended in September. [...]
Data supplied by the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force showed that the number of clearances denied for financial reasons rose every year between 2002 and 2005, climbing ninefold from 284 at the start of the period to 2,654 last year. More than 7,000 troops in the three branches have lost their clearances because of finances since 2002.
Gender identity rights: gaining ground
[A]s advocates gain ground for what they call gender-identity rights, evidenced most recently by New York City’s decision to let people alter the sex listed on their birth certificates, a major change is taking place among schools and families. Children as young as 5 who display predispositions to dress like the opposite sex are being supported by a growing number of young parents, educators and mental health professionals.
Doctors, some of them from the top pediatric hospitals, have begun to advise families to let these children be “who they are” to foster a sense of security and self-esteem. They are motivated, in part, by the high incidence of depression, suicidal feelings and self-mutilation that has been common in past generations of transgender children. Legal trends suggest that schools are now required to respect parents’ decisions.
[T]here was also a new guy in town, and the big news is that the guy will eventually be a gal. The Associated Press had promised that-in a first for network television-yesterday’s episode [of the ABC Soap All My Children] would introduce a storyline tracking a transgender character, a man who will become a woman, from the outset of his journey.
Bowers on Kilgore on Schaller
I agree. Consider, for example, how the conservative movement has consistently demonized the Northeast. The result has been a near-total wipeout for Republicans in the regions that will not be reversed anytime soon. Democrats now control 59 of the 74, or 80%, of House seats in New England, New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Almost every Republican in this region who is left in Congress is on the endangered list. Running against a region lost Republicans ten seats in the House in 2006 alone, and those seats are not coming back. This is a situation far worse than Democrats face anywhere in the nation, and I think that having the national Republican Party and the conservative movement demonize the region for years probably did not help the case of local Republican moderates all that much. Whatever short term backlash the conservative movement gained from their portrayal of the region, it has resulted in a major long-term disaster for the Republican Party I can’t imagine why Democrats would want to replicate that strategy in regards to the so-called Deep south..
The point is that we work together, don’t throw each other under the bus, and that we run against the conservative movement wherever it may reside. We do not run against demographics or regions, as the conservative movement has done for some time in its crusades against immigrants, northeasterners, San Francisco, Hollywood, Massachusetts, homosexuals, Muslims, and whoever else is on their target list at any given moment. Doing that may win you backlash votes in the short term, but over the long-term it builds strong loyalty for your opposition within the demographics you are demonizing. Thus, not only is it bad for the country and immoral, it is terrible political strategy…
I like Tom Schaller a lot, and think he is quite brilliant. I also think that his book is quite excellent, but for the one caveat: I think we should run against conservatism rather than the South. Further, I think that Ed Kilgore has also consistently shown that moderates and members of the DLC can be valuable members of the Democratic coalition as long as they do not insist on throwing the party’s left wing under the bus and portraying liberals in the same strawman terms as conservatives have done for decades (paging LieberDems). In a coalition dependent on overwhelming liberal support, that path can only lead to disaster… As long as we respect intra-party democracy, I believe that is one key way progressives and moderates alike can build a new governing consensus in an ever-diversifying nation. And I say this as someone who resides decidedly within the party’s left-wing.