aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, September 29, 2007
From Obama’s Howard University speech Friday:
I commend those of you at Howard that have spoken out on Jena Six or traveled to the rally in Louisiana. I commend those of you who have spoken out on the Genarlow Wilson case. I know it can be lonely protesting this kind of injustice. I know there’s not a lot of glamour in it. Because when I was a state senator in Illinois we have a death penalty system that had sent 13 innocent people to their death--13 innocent men that we know. I wanted to reform the system, and I was told by almost everyone that it was not possible, that I wouldn’t be able to get police officers and civil rights activists to work together, Democrats and Republicans to agree that we should videotape confessions to make sure they weren’t coerced. Folks told me that there was too much political risk involved, and it would come to haunt me later, when I ran for higher office. But I believed that it was too risky not to act. And after a while people with opposing views came together and started listening. And we ended up reforming that death penalty system, and we did the same when I passed the law to expose racial profiling.
So don’t let anyone tell you that change is not possible. Don’t let them tell you that standing out and speaking up about injustice is too risky. What’s too risky is keeping quiet. What’s too risky is looking the other way. I don’t want to be here standing and talking about another Jena four years from now because we didn’t have the courage to act today. I don’t want this to be another issue that ends up being ignored when the cameras are turned off and the headlines disappear. It’s time to seek a new dawn of justice in America.
From the day I take office as President of the United States--has a ring to it, doesn’t it? From the day I take office as President America will have a Justice Department that is truly dedicated to justice, the work it began in the days after Little Rock. I will rid the department of idealogues and political cronies, and for the first time in eight years the civil rights division will actually be staffed with civil rights lawyers who prosecute civil rights violations, and employment discrimination and hate crimes.
Andrew Sullivan has the text of the full text. Says he:
A strikingly expansive speech, a reminder of what Obama can deliver when he wants to. My sense is that he is holding back, or rather has been holding back. He is very, very careful not to get too angry as a black candidate. Perhaps too careful for his core message: real change. What he needs to do is find a way to explain how serious he is about change while explaining that he alone can overcome the boomer polarization that has prevented it. And that’s true on the race issue as well. Yesterday, the message got sharper.
RELATED: Newsweek has polling on the Iowa caucuses, Obama 28, Clinton 24, Edwards 22.
Newt’s decided: he won’t run
Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday decided against running for president in 2008, less than a day after the Republican indicated publicly that he would spend the next month exploring the viability of a White House bid.
Gingrich said the last-minute change of heart, which came as aides readied the NewtNow.org Web site and prepared to file campaign papers, was the result of legal advice that running for president would require stepping down as chairman of his nonprofit organization, American Solutions. [...]
Gingrich has spent the better part of a year teasing the media and his supporters with the idea that he might run for president. He has condemned the political process that requires candidates to start campaigning years ahead of the election and to raise tens of millions of dollars.
Doug digs “Timeframe” at Telfair. Again.
We thoroughly enjoyed the three interactive video works by Daniel Shiffman at Savannah’s Jepson Center for the Arts. Shiffman describes Timeframe:
In the late 19th century, Englishman Eadweard Muybridge photographed progressions of animal and human movements, capturing the beauty of motion imperceptible to the human eye. Timeframe takes inspiration from Muybridge’s work, unlocking the frozen frames of his motion studies with live video. The viewer is invited to witness him or herself inside a grid of one thousand and twenty four frames of video, his or her movements rippling across and around the screen.
It’s time to abandon the myth of the “age of consent”
In Georgia, 21-year-old Genarlow Wilson is serving a mandatory 10-year jail sentence for aggravated child molestation. His crime: When he was 17, he had oral sex with a 15-year-old girl. In Utah, polygamist leader Warren Jeffs has been convicted as an accomplice to rape for orchestrating a sexually coercive marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old cousin. In Michigan, a 53-year-old prosecutor is in custody on charges of entering the state to have sex with a 5-year-old girl.
This is the reality of sex with minors: The ages of the parties vary widely from case to case. For more than a century, states and countries have been raising and standardizing the legal age of consent. Horny teenagers are being thrown in with pedophiles. The point of this crackdown was to lock up perverts and protect incompetent minors. But the rationales and the numbers don’t match up. The age of majority and the age of competence are coming apart. The age of competence is fracturing, and the age of female puberty is declining. It’s time to abandon the myth of the “age of consent” and lower the threshold for legal sex. [READ ON]
A self portrait of me by Daniel Shiffman. Again
Kos: we work with pols who fit the people in their districts
Still ticked at the strategy of Bush Dog attacks - I argue we should work to develop those of us who live within Marshall and Barrow’s districts to let them know there are liberals inside and to clear the way so that they actually could vote the way we want and still get re-elected - I point again to Kos who was most articulate on Meet the Press when he said:
“We started pushing Democrats to be proud to be Democrats. This had nothing to do with being centrist or liberal or conservative. It had to do with standing tall for core progressive principles. In fact, one of the first people we, we supported was Stephanie Herseth in South Dakota, who is now a Blue Dog. Ben Chandler in, in, in Kentucky. So we, and in their districts, and help them sort of get over this hump. [...] So it doesn’t matter who I think is liberal enough or conservative enough. I don’t make those value judgments. I don’t--I’m not there--arrogant to think that I should be making those decisions.”
Analogously, I would prefer presidential candidates who support marriage equality. None of the leading candidates do; I don’t expect the nominee will. I will still work for a Democrat; I won’t sit out.
In the state of Georgia today, my take is that Jim Marshall and John Barrow are as good as we’re going to get. Point me to anyone arguing that a more liberal candidate will win here.
Schaller and his crowd may like the notion of a “soft partition” of these United States that in effect writes off the South. I, emphatically, do not.
Recruiting Republican challengers in GA
One of them is our own John Barrow. The NRCC is saying now that it expects a wave of recruits:
The committee is expecting recruits to emerge soon against Reps. Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), David Loebsack (D-Iowa) and Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), who are all without major committee-recruited GOP challengers. All but Barrow are freshmen.
The NRCC is meeting with potential candidates against Murphy and Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), another freshman without a major opponent.
Meanwhile, Indiana Republicans have been anxiously awaiting word from former Rep. Mike Sodrel (R), who is rumored to be in for a fourth straight match-up with Hill. And Iraq veteran Wayne Mosley, an orthopedic surgeon, has been mentioned as a potential challenger to Barrow.
Comments Singer, “it’s not terribly likely that just by talking about such a surge they’re going to create one.”
SEE ALSO: John Barrow’s challenge.
Off to the Jepson Arts Cent
I’m an architecture fan. This building is fan-tastic:
Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, whose Salt Lake City Public Library and Peabody Essex Museum commissions opened to much acclaim in 2003, the Jepson Center for the Arts features two large galleries for major traveling exhibitions; galleries for African American art, Southern art, photography and works-on-paper; a community gallery; a 3,500-sq. ft. hands-on gallery for young people; two outdoor sculpture terraces, education studios, a 200-seat auditorium, cafÃƒÂ©, and store.
Some of my photos: