aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Colbert: For Your Editing Pleasure
In the latest ode to fan culture from Stephen, he learns that Rahm Emanuel has told freshmen Democratic congressmen not to appear on his show. His response? An interview with Gwen Ifill. An interview with Gwen Ifill made specifically for fans to remix.
Hey Nation! There may be ice cream all over my face, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the Rahm Emanuel remix footage you just saw on Stephen’s show! Check it out.
Plus if you have the kind of computer that lets you take a file apart like a piece of crumbcake and put it back together like a double-decker Klondike bar, and then eat it, download the footage here and here! And send your remixes here! It’s just like a mini mall!
I’m always heartened by Colbert’s embrace of fan culture; all the more so now that, in the face of the Viacom YouTube suit, his guest was EFF’s John Perry Barlow to discuss MoveOn.org’s Fair Use claim against Viacom.
The gesture was a good one; here’s the Barlow interview.
Burger King shifts to “cage-free” animals
Say what you will about PETA, they’re effective. Burger King worked with PETA and the Humane Society on this:
In what animal welfare advocates are describing as a “historic advance,” Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, said yesterday that it would begin buying eggs and pork from suppliers that did not confine their animals in cages and crates.
The company said that it would also favor suppliers of chickens that use gas, or “controlled-atmospheric stunning,” rather than electric shocks to knock birds unconscious before slaughter. It is considered a more humane method, though only a handful of slaughterhouses use it.
The goal for the next few months, Burger King said is for 2 percent of its eggs to be “cage free,” and for 10 percent of its pork to come from farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates.
A reason for starting with such a small amount is lack of supply. Their commitment works to change that; they see the writing on the wall:
Burger King executives said the move was driven by their desire to stay ahead of consumer trends and to encourage farmers to move into more humane egg and meat production.
“We want to be doing things long before they become a concern for consumers,” Mr. Grover said. “Like a hockey player, we want to be there before the puck gets there.”
Genarlow Wilson sits in prison, Eric Johnson gloats
I missed this yesterday. Despicably wrong:
The issue before the Georgia General Assembly today is SB 37. It is not just about Genarlow Wilson; it is about excusing the predators and ignoring the victims.
The bill will allow defense attorneys to petition judges to re-open every case of a convicted sex offender who engaged in sodomy, child molestation, aggravated child molestation, or enticed a child for indecent purposes if the convicted sex offender and the minor victim are less than four years apart. The victims involved could be as young as 13.
I oppose any legislative effort to require the courts to revisit more than 1,100 cases like Wilson’s.
Let’s reiterate: * will * allow * defense * attorneys * to petition * judges. That is not “requiring” but if there are in fact “1,100 cases like Wilson’s” then lord please, yes, let’s revisit them!
Recently I quoted a documentary on racism and integration:
[T]he lesson, that racism fear and bigotry might be subdued by good leadership, rather than harnessed for political gain, is one we’re still waiting to learn.
Without commenting on the potentially racist implications of what’s going on in Wilson’s case, I lay blame squarely on the shoulders of
elected officials craven pols like Johnson for using the fear of sexual predators to turn our kids into criminals for political gain.
Leadership is sorely lacking.
Genarlow Wilson will stay in prison, where he may well be trained to become the criminal Eric Johnson believes him to be. Heaven help us.
RELATED: Johnson’s OpEd makes no new arguments. His same old arguments were effectively, and fairly, addressed by The Savannah Morning News.
Ben and Hell and the bloodthirsty God
[H]ell is a place where sinners burn in an everlasting fire.
God’s mercy and love are great, but those who reject him should know that hell “exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more,” the pontiff said, according to reports by the Catholic News Service and the London Times.
Thanks for the threatening reminder Ben; I feel the mercy. What it reminds me is that this brand of Christianity is not one I buy into. Much more reasonable and believable to me are the views explored by religion scholars Elaine Pagels and Karen King in their new book, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity:
Many Christians think that, you know--what does it mean to be a Christian? It means you believe that Jesus died for your sins, that God loves the world and sacrificed Jesus to show how much he loves the world. [The Judas Gospel author] is a Christian who says, `Well, what kind of God are you talking about then? I mean, are you saying that God wants to--God will not forgive sins unless his own son is tortured and killed in a horrible way? I mean, is this a bloodthirsty God like those gods that wanted human sacrifice like the Inca gods or something like that? So this author says that’s a horrible picture of God.
Macon airport: everything’s relative
On the local news just now:
More passengers, more airlines, and more money. That’s what Macon city council members say they need, to turn the Middle Georgia Regional Airport around.
On Tuesday, a company called TBI Airport Management, Incorporated told council members it can do all those things, but its services won’t come cheap.
The offer on the table is a ten-year contract between the city of Macon and TBI. The company would manage the Middle Georgia Regional Airport and the Herbert Smart Airport for $135,000 a year, for the next ten years.
Doug and I look at each other. And laugh.
Won’t come cheap? Too much money? $135,000 isn’t even one executive salary!
And that’s for two airports! Someone please tell these people that you get what you pay for.
10 DAYS LATER - it looks like they have a long history of skimping:
Macon Mayor Jack Ellis said today that the city has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to waive a $99,000 fine for violations at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport, or to at least reduce the figure to a more reasonable amount.
In a December letter to city officials, the FAA outlined 23 violations of federal regulations at the airport that occurred between mid-2004 and late 2006. Most of those violations were uncovered in late 2005 and led to the replacement of airport management.
The problems have since been fixed, Ellis said at a City Hall news conference. But the FAA did not get around to formally notifying the city of fines until the letter arrived in December. After a few months of telephone and e-mail negotiations, he said city officials made a recent trip to Atlanta to meet with FAA officials in person and plead Macon’s case.
When parents go to prison
A letter in Salon from a woman whose father-in-law faces serious criminal charges. She asks, What do I tell my 5-year-old daughter?
March 28, 2007 | Dear Cary,
My upstanding, sweet husband just found out that my father-in-law is probably off to prison because a previously molested teen zeroed in on him, and he made some horrible decisions thereafter. Our daughter is 5, and knows this man as a doting grandpa she sees monthly (always in our presence, by the way) who has never harmed her.
Pending trial, he can’t have any contact with kids, and his future looks bleak. What the heck do I say to my 5-year-old? I don’t believe in huge, dark family secrets, but what version of the truth is appropriate to explain she probably will not see her grandpa again or even receive cards?
A Mom Recently Moved to Surreality
Dear Mom Moved to Surreality,
Your child, at the age of 5, is not capable of understanding sexual abuse in an adult way. As she matures, her capacity for understanding the facts will increase. But so will her ability to express preferences about how much she wants to hear. It is likely that even when she is intellectually capable of grasping the facts, she will wish to be spared some of the details. Those details do not have to become dark family secrets, however. Their nondisclosure can be a matter of privacy and choice.
One thing is clear: A significant emotional trauma has occurred in your family. It won’t just go away. But you can deal with it.
I can’t tell you exactly what to say to her. I can urge you to learn how others have dealt with similar situations and decide on an approach that is best for you. To that end I have included some links at the end of this piece that may help you begin this process..
Here’s the list of links:
From a 2004 article by M. Deborah Corley and Jennifer P. Schneider in the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity. Although the article deals specifically with how sex-addicted parents disclose to their children, it may help you think about the issue. It is rich with personal accounts of how people told their children, and it includes a good general discussion of how repressed trauma affects family dynamics:
“The challenge for parents is to consider carefully the context of the disclosure, its contents, timing, who should be present, and how to deal with the emotional responses of the children.
“What kids do want to know depends on their age. It is not necessary or appropriate to disclose to very young children. Preschool children (ages 3-5) ... want to know: Are you going to die or leave me? Am I in trouble? Do you love me? They also need guidelines about their genital touching and curiosity about the bodies, a subject about which sex-addicted families often worry.”
Books for children with a parent in prison. Though you don’t want to confuse her, such age-appropriate books might help her to imagine where her grandfather is. Here, and also these Australian books for children 4 to 9 here.
See also this site for children of parents in prison.
Children of Incarcerated Parents, a study written by Claire A. Walker, Ph.D., executive director of the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation, March 2005.