aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Busted by Miami police for taking their picture
Thomas Hawk is following the story:
Carlos Miller is a Miami based journalist who was recently arrested after, according to Miller, he was told not to photograph the police who were investigating a “private matter” and asked to move along.
Rather than comply with the police, Miller instead continued taking photographs of them, a crime for which he asserts he was arrested. In the end Miller spent 16 hours in a Miami Dade jail and now faces nine counts over the incident. You can read Miller’s take of what happened at this story here. The Miami Herald is also reporting on it here. [...]
I guess I’m just not buying the cop’s story here. To me it seems like overkill to put Carlos through what he was put through. It doesn’t all add up. I can envision a scenario where what really happened was a photographer was taking photos of cops who didn’t want to be photographed. They asked him not to photograph them and he continued, so they used their power to teach him a lesson. The problem is that the cops should not be telling anyone not to photograph them. If they want to be in a job where they won’t be photographed public service is probably not for them. Also regardless of whether Carlos “identified” himself as a journalist or not, this is not relevant. We are all citizen journalists and as an actual journalist Carlos holds no special rights over any of the rest of us.
I hope that this matter is investigated and that if Carlos indeed was unjustly arrested that the cops in question lose their jobs at a minimum. I hope that his story gets the attention that it deserves and that police everywhere and photographers everywhere are better educated about our respective rights.
Fired for sex change
Last week James Joyner found the story of the Florida official undergoing a sex change operation “[not] particularly noteworthy in this day and age.” The juxtaposition of advertisement and photos made the story mildly amusing and earned it an Outside the Beltway post.
This week we learn that the Largo citizenry and commissioners were hardly amused:
“His brain is the same today as it was last week,” Commissioner Gay Gentry said. “He may be even able to be a better city manager. But I sense that he’s lost his standing as a leader among the employees of the city.”
Commissioners voted 5-2, with Mayor Pat Gerard and Commissioner Rodney Woods in dissent, to place Stanton on paid leave while his departure is made final. [...]
Before the vote, Stanton, 48, described the dismay of watching his reputation disintegrate in just seven days.
Until last week, he had served 14 years as the city manager, generally to good reviews. Last fall, commissioners raised his salary nearly 9 percent to $140,234 a year.
But on Feb. 21, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Stanton was undergoing hormone therapy in preparation for gender-reassignment surgery - a plan known only to a small circle of people, including his wife, medical team and a few top officials at City Hall.
Stanton and his friends had written an eight-page plan to help make his decision known in June, when he said his 13-year-old son could be out of town and shielded from the publicity.
Instead, the news came out before he told his son. Outraged residents swarmed commissioners, demanding he be ousted.
“It’s just real painful to know that seven days ago I was a good guy and now I have no integrity, I have no trust and most painful, I have no followers,” Stanton said.
Read the story. Tragic and sad.
Gay bosses are better
It must be true, I read it in Details:
In The G Quotient: Why Gay Executives Are Excelling as Leaders . . . and What Every Manager Needs to Know, author and USC business-school professor Kirk Snyder argues that gay bosses embody a style of personalized attention that allows high-maintenance Gen Xers and Yers to maximize their performance. “Gay executives tend to look at how each individual brings unique abilities, and they see their job as figuring out how best to take advantage of those skills,” he says.
In fact, during Snyder’s five-year study of American executives, he stumbled on some startling findings: Gay male bosses produce 35 to 60 percent higher levels of employee engagement, satisfaction, and morale than straight bosses. This is no small achievement: According to human-resources consulting firm Towers Perrin, only a measly 14 percent of the global corporate workforce are fully engaged by their jobs. And the Saratoga Institute, a group that measures the effectiveness of HR departments, found that in a study of 20,000 workers who had quit their jobs, the primary motivator for jumping ship was their supervisors’ behavior.
Why? Because we were picked on in high school and came out of the closet:
So what makes gay bosses different? It may have to do with the way they survived high school. “Gay people are constantly having to dodge and weave and assess how and where they’re going as they grow up,” says Snyder. “And that manifests itself as three huge skills: adaptability, intuitive communications, and creative problem-solving.” In other words, your boss is cool with your leaving a little early one day a week to pick up your kid from school, or happy to offer a learning experience that helps you close a crucial deal.
Gay executives note that the reflection and candidness required for coming out mean that by the time they get to the workplace, gay men are often secure in their identity and don’t feel the need to abuse people in order to boost their ego. “It makes you really honest with yourself and everyone around you,” says Chris McCarthy, a vice president at MTV Networks who came out 10 years ago. He believes the experience has allowed him to tap into the individual needs of his seven team members, including two discontented employees whom he recently helped find new positions within the company. “I think it’s really important that you give people the opportunity to have self-respect, even if that means helping them leave a job in the way they want to,” he explains.
C-SPAN’s muscle means it’s time we build our own
Much as I like C-SPAN, I remember its roots.
I sold cable door to door in the early 1970s, or rather, cable sold itself. A region would come online and 6 out of 10 people would sign up, no questions asked. Cable franchising was in high gear and the public was ready for the broadcast monopoly to end. Commercial broadcasters, no dummies they, saw the cable industry as unwanted competition. They successfully used the threat that the rise of cable would mean an end to “free” TV to pressure Congress into supporting a block to further cable development through a freeze on new franchising activity.
The cable industry fought back. Among the arrows pulled from its quiver, along with the ever-popular “consumer choice” and “number of channels,” was the industry’s ability to produce programming and then show it on cable-only channels. In those days before broadcasters bought up and started multiplying cable networks (and before they were themselves, in turn, bought up) cable television had excess bandwidth. A cable-industry financed, non-profit public affairs programming network for televising sessions of the U.S. Congress was Brian Lamb’s stroke of genius.
C-SPAN launched in 1979 with an Al Gore speech. It receives no funding from any government source, has no contract with the government, and does not sell sponsorships or advertising. It strives for neutrality and a lack of bias in its public affairs programming. Still, I see it as born of - and in inherent service to - the cable industry’s congressional lobbying campaign. As cable and broadcasters fought on, cable would give in to city franchising authority pie-in-the-sky demands. Then once its monopoly was secured, successfully complain about how unreasonable those franchise provisions were.
But that’s another story. I’m telling the C-SPAN story today because of the recent Nancy Pelosi flap:
House Republicans recently complained in a press release that Nancy Pelosi was infringing on copyrights by posting video material from C-Span on The Gavel, the Speaker of the House’s web site. Turns out that all but one of the clips was actually public domain footage, and the release was retracted. But as a New York Times article points out, this raises further questions about C-Span’s role as a private company that purports to serve the public.
Ah, the tables have turned. C-SPAN has built up some muscle it now can flex:
“What I think a lot of people don’t understand - C-Span is a business, just like CNN is,” [C-SPAN corporate vice president and general counsel Bruce] Collins said. “If we don’t have a revenue stream, we wouldn’t have six crews ready to cover Congressional hearings.”
Without use of C-Span’s material, members of Congress will have to rely on government cameras to get their message out.
Of course, it was government cameras that enabled C-SPAN to build up its muscle. If now those cameras have atrophied, it’s time to build them up again and bring them back. Cory at Boing Boing::
The U.S. Congress provides webcasts for many of their hearings. In all cases, the hearings are streaming only, in many cases they are “live only” (no archive of the stream). In some cases, the committees even put a “copyright, all rights reserved” notice on the hearings!
This is really dumb. So, I’ve started ripping all congressional streams starting with the house and posting them in a nonproprietary format for download, tagging, review, and annotation at Google Video and another copy at the Internet Archive (just to prove this is a nondenominational issue .
This is a Tom Sawyer hack, a la “painting this fence is *loads* of fun!” I intend to prove to the Congressional webmasters that it is so much fun doing their web sites for them that they’ll want to do it themselves so that I go away. Until then, look for “Carl Malamud on behalf of the U.S. Congress” for official news.