aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Obama’s hopeless mess
Yesterday Obama added a gay pastor to his South Carolina gospel tour. He’s white:
This move is sure to piss off almost everybody, except HRC, who apparently brokered the deal. Obama won’t win any new black votes by getting a white gay guy to speak at a black event. Especially when there are plenty of black straight people, black gay people, families of black gay people, and friends of black gay people who could have been chosen to speak.
I have been following the reaction in the black gay community, and many but not all of the commenters are outraged by the decision. It was bad enough that McClurkin was invited in the first place, but it only adds insult to injury to ignore the longstanding concerns of the black gay community by not talking to people in the black gay community themselves. And if someone had to be invited, why not invite someone in the black gay community? Or why not invite a black mother of a gay or lesbian child? Or a local black pastor who supports the full inclusion of gays and lesbians?
Today the Obama campaign released an open letter from supporters from the African American religious community and the gay community:
First, Pastor McClurkin believes and has stated things about sexual orientation that are deeply hurtful and offensive to many Americans, most especially to gay Americans. This cannot and should not be denied.
At the same time, a great many African Americans share Pastor McClurkin’s beliefs. This also cannot be ignored.
John Aravosis responds, Keep digging, Senator:
I simply don’t believe that Obama would have the same reaction, be just as welcoming, if we were talking about racists or anti-Semites. He wouldn’t say that we’re all one big tent. He would kick the racist or the anti-Semite to the curb. Not to mention, “the big tent” concept traditionally means people who have differing political views, even differing political loyalties (Republican and Democrat). I’ve never heard a politician invoke the big tent to mean racists and their victims. This is new. And it’s terribly unnerving.
It’s probably about time for the candidate to speak; and for a campaign shakeup.
RELATED: We had to know this was coming; perhaps McClurkin isn’t so “ex-gay” after all.
Poor Sonny Perdue. Pushed out of the news cycle by California wildfires. I’m in the Katrina in slow motion camp; decidedly unimpressed with anything I’m hearing from Georgia government.
Just like the folks in South Georgia:
Gov. Sonny Perdue’s temper tantrums against the Army Corps of Engineers, the state of Florida and anyone else associated with not giving into his demands continued through the weekend, with meetings at Lake Lanier and declaring northern Georgia a disaster area Saturday to further enforce what everyone else has long known - Atlanta is a greedy, poorly designed behomoth of a city incapable of hearing the word “no” and dealing with it.
The wasteful ways of Atlantans continued through the past decade of severe drought in the state. The water restrictions meant little to them “up there” as they had plenty of water at the time, while rural Georgia and farmers were watching their crops burn in their fields, listening as Atlanta politicians who apparently do think their food originates in a grocery store passed policies designed to prevent them from accessing the water literally beneath their feet.
These same politicians can’t bring themselves to tell their greedy constituents complaining about the low flows in their toilets this week that perhaps if they didn’t have six bathrooms, it might ease the situation a bit. That watering your lawn isn’t as important as watering crops. Or that their greedy overbuilding has taxed their supplies of natural resources beyond their capabilities.
However, all of that requires a degree of common sense and we’ve seen precious little of it from any politician in this state this year. So South Georgia, watch out. What Atlanta wants, Atlanta gets, and right now, they want our water. If our legislative delegation wakes up, perhaps they can have the state agree to at least let us keep what falls from the sky, even while they suck our ground, and our pockets, dry.
Here come the Georgia-Florida-Alabama water wars!
Teachers need Fair Use training
Here's how bad it is: not a single teacher interviewed for a recent study on copyright reported receiving any training on fair use.
Copyright confusion is running rampant in American schools, and not just among the students. The teachers don't know what the hell is going on, either, and media literacy is now being "compromised by unnecessary copyright restrictions and lack of understanding about copyright law."
That's the conclusion of a new report from the Center for Social Media at American University. Researchers wanted to know if confusion over using copyrighted material in the classroom was affecting teachers' attempts to train students to be critical of media. The answer was an unequivocal "yes." [...]
Researchers found that teachers may not understand the law (or may understand it to be unduly restrictive), but that they deal with their confusion in three different ways. Teachers can “see no evil” by refusing to even educate themselves about copyright, on the thinking that it can’t be wrong if they don’t know it’s wrong. Others simply “close the door” and do whatever they want within the classroom, while a third group attempts to “hyper-comply” with the law (or what they perceive the law to be).
The biggest one for me is #4, as everything I’ve read suggested the DA mishandled the situation and inflamed passions. I was previously aware of 1, 2, 3, 8, 10 & 11.
So far it has not fundamentally changed my take. The media behaves the way the media behaves - the blogosphere, too - and eye-witness testimony is known to be prone to errors. We’re not ever going to know the whole truth.
I’ll say more later.
Bush is the biggest spender since LBJ
George W. Bush, despite all his recent bravado about being an apostle of small government and budget-slashing, is the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson. In fact, he’s arguably an even bigger spender than LBJ. [...]
Take almost any yardstick and Bush generally exceeds the spending of his predecessors.
When adjusted for inflation, discretionary spending - or budget items that Congress and the president can control, including defense and domestic programs, but not entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare - shot up at an average annual rate of 5.3 percent during Bush’s first six years, Slivinski calculates.
That tops the 4.6 percent annual rate Johnson logged during his 1963-69 presidency. By these standards, Ronald Reagan was a tightwad; discretionary spending grew by only 1.9 percent a year on his watch.