aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Friday, June 15, 2007
It won’t surprise you to learn that I’m no sports fan. And it doesn’t surprise me to learn that lifelong football players engaged in a head crunching “gluttony for combat” would be found to have brain injuries:
The discovery of a fourth player with chronic traumatic encephalopathy will most likely be discussed when N.F.L. officials and medical personnel meet in Chicago on Tuesday for an unprecedented conference regarding concussion management. The league and its players association have consistently played down findings on individual players like [the former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Justin] Strzelczyk as anecdotal, and widespread survey research of retired players with depression and early Alzheimer’s disease as of insufficient scientific rigor.
Uh, and smoking doesn’t cause cancer… I have to say I don’t quite get what a “concussion management conference” is going to accomplish. A quota on tackles?
It’s actually a very interesting story of players dying young and suffering from depression and other “significant psychological problems” that researchers are finding was caused by chronic head trauma. The researchers have set up a non-profit to “formalize the process of approaching families and conducting research.” Good for them for trying!
A gay mayor in Dallas?
Is a city closely associated with cowboys, family values and social conservatism ready to make history by electing a man who is openly gay as mayor?
Dallas voters will answer that question on Saturday as they choose between Democratic party-endorsed gay candidate Ed Oakley and nonpartisan Tom Leppert in a run-off race to replace outgoing mayor Laura Miller.
If Oakley wins, he would become the first openly gay man to be elected mayor of a major U.S. city, according to the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a Washington-based gay rights group.
The race is too close to call.
LATER: He lost, “Choosing a wealthy retired businessman over an openly gay City Council insider, voters elected Tom Leppert as Dallas mayor Saturday by a safe margin to lead the nation’s ninth-largest city.”
Simply put, widgets are the most recent embodiment of highly distributable Web media. Widgets permit users to separate the content from the Web page, permitting users to implant them on all types of pages, from personalized portal home pages to blogs to personal pages on social sites like MySpace or Facebook. I believe that over the next three years, widgets will change online advertising as we know it today. . . .
Are widgets the next search? I don’t think so. However, I do think that the concept of highly portable, object-oriented content that is personally and virally distributed will redefine how we think about Web pages, and how advertisers think about using the Web to communicate and interact with consumers.
He also rediscovered a related post he wrote two years ago: Feedthink meets Widgethink. “Most content is a feed and feeds can fill many widgets and that adds up to a new architecture for pages and content.” Cool!
Voter Fraud Ministry of Truth
Georgia and Texas are at the heart of the voter fraud story, with their dubious redistricting and onerous voter identification laws. Now that we know there is virtually no evidence that voter fraud ever existed, the voter fraud crowd is trying to rewrite history and erase the facts to hide its dubious intellectual underpinnings.
Richard L. Hasen is doing absolutely stupendous work, on display most recently at Slate, uncovering the foils and fudging of the voter fraud warriors:
In a recent Slate column, I noted the strange demise of the American Center for Voting Rights, an organization that sprouted up in the last few years to push the “voter fraud is a big problem” line at government hearings, conferences, and, most importantly, in the courts to defend strict new voter-ID laws. The brains behind ACVR is a St. Louis lawyer, Mark “Thor” Hearne, who has worked for the Bush-Cheney campaign and other Republican candidates for years. Oddly, the organization suddenly disbanded recently and yanked its Web site. Even more strangely, Hearne’s rÃƒÂ©sumÃƒÂ© at his law firm, Lathrop and Gage, was scrubbed of references to ACVR. Thanks to the Internet Wayback Machine and blogs like the Brad Blog, much of ACVR’s material still remains available, however. You just can’t erase stuff put out in cyberspace very easily.
But Hearne apparently wasn’t satisfied with just cleansing his rÃƒÂ©sumÃƒÂ©. Despite the Slate article and follow-up by NPR, National Journal, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Hearne, ACVR, and his possible connection to the U.S. attorneys’ scandal, someone is working hard to scrub Hearne’s paper trail. And now somebody is going into Hearne’s Wikipedia entry and trying to cleanse it of references to ACVR. (Just about anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, though the organizers have some methods of quality control.) Moreover, someone’s been trying to clean up Wikipedia’s entry on ACVR itself.
Who would do such a thing? Wikipedia keeps records of the user IDs or IP addresses of whoever changes its pages, and it turns out, astonishingly, that this cleansing was done by someone at one of the IP addresses of Hearne’s law firm.
It does raise a question: Just what is it about Hearne’s work for ACVR that he or someone else at his firm is trying to hide?
It’s time for a new, re-imagined Civil Rights movement
I have to agree with Jimmy Carter that race played a role in Genarlow Wilson’s prosecution. “There is some statistical evidence reported by various non-profit agencies in Georgia, leading me to believe that white minor defendants in the same circumstances as Mr. Wilson’s receive far lesser forms of punishment.”
Meanwhile, The Newsmax crowd got the quote it wanted from their favorite Martin Luther King Jr. family member. Former Georgia House representative and Coretta Scott King foe Alveda King said of Genarlow (and Paris Hilton), “I wouldn’t presume to comment on the details or merits...[but] a generation’s having grown up with legal abortion is a big reason for the consequence-free mindset that plagues our young”
With that repetition of our same-old same-old truths from, even, the same-old same-old players, I realize that it’s time for a new, re-imagined Civil Rights movement.
So what would a re-imagined Civil Rights movement look like? I don’t know, but the place I’ve heard the issue framed most articulately was in an interview with Melissa Harris-Lacewell on Bill Moyers’ Journal. I came away from it smitten; she said many things we all should listen to, but my favorite of her observations is that you can’t use a hammer on a nail:
“What I’m suggesting is we are experiencing a new form of racial inequality. We could think of Jim Crow as a nail. And the protest against Jim Crow were a hammer. And a hammer is an extremely effective tool when you’re dealing with a nail. Contemporary racial inequality is structural. It’s undercover. It is connected with also with sort of black achievement which is also going on at the same time. Contemporary racial inequality is a screw, and if you take a hammer and start pounding on a screw, you just end up with a mess which means we have to live with the fact that a new generation is going to have to innovate a screwdriver to deal with the new problem. And that screwdriver might not look anything like the hammer. And we can’t keep yelling at them to use a hammer for a new problem.”
RELATED: In response to Tom Schaller’s Whistling Past Dixie, I call on Big ‘D’ Democrats to redouble their efforts in the South.
LATER: Please don’t anyone think that this is what I’m talking about. Hutchins just looks like more of the same-old same-old to me.