aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sonny Perdue: “We acknowledge our wastefulness.” Rome doesn’t.
In his prayer, the Rev. Gil Watson, pastor of Northside United Methodist Church, said this:
“We have not been good stewards of our land. We have not been good stewards of our water,” he said.
And Gov. Sonny Perdue said this:
“We acknowledge our wastefulness. We acknowledge that we haven’t done the things we need to do. Father, forgive us and lead us to honor you as you honor us with the showers of blessing.”
You can spin some of the people all of the time, and you can spin all of the people some of the time. But you don’t dare spin God.
In Atlanta they pray; in decadent Rome they’re aghast at the thought of raising water prices:
The City of Rome may not be able to pay their bills if it abides by the 10% cut in water consumption asked for by Governor Perdue. Rome has spent the last three years updating its water treatment plant. This process racked up 40 million dollars worth of debt, which is paid in most part, by citizen’s water bills. To scale back 10% is about a million gallons of water the city won’t make money on.
The Director of Rome’s Water and Sewer Department, Lee Ross, says something has to give.
“We would not be able to meet our fixed costs and our debt payment with out making some severe changes to the way we operate or to our rate structure.”
So raise prices! Our Republican state wants the fed to declare us a disaster area to bail us out of our drought but we can’t even contemplate a price hike. Pathetic.
RIAA v Georgian who was 13 or 14 at time of infringement
We have just learned of a case being prosecuted in Columbus, Georgia, in which the RIAA is pursuing an 18-year-old girl based on infringements she apparently committed when she was 13 and 14, Elektra v. McDowell.
The RIAA moved for summary judgment.
The Court granted the motion to the extent that it sought an injunction against further infringement, but denied the motion as to damages, holding that there were factual issues concerning the defendant’s defense of innocent infringement.
RIAA’s Statement of Material Facts*
Defendant’s Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment*
November 6, 2007, Order, Granting in Part, and Denying in Part, RIAA’s Motion for Summary Judgment*
* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation
Youth Radio on Genarlow Wilson
I asked my friend Alix Joslyn, who is a high school senior in Atlanta, what she thinks about Genarlow Wilson having been prosecuted as a sex offender.
JOSLYN (On Tape)
I just think that it’s one of the most absurd things in the world.
I asked Alix because a few years ago, Alix herself had been a 15 year-old dating an 18-year-old guy at her high school. Alix doesn’t think that Wilson’s sexual partner was a victimÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
JOSLYN (On Tape)
It’s not like she hadn’t consented to this. It’s not like he took advantage of her. And it’s not like she was young enough to not understand what she was doing. You know they were both youngÃ¢â‚¬Â¦and it’s ridiculous to think he is in any way a criminal at all.
Genarlow nemesis Eric Johnson is interviewed:
Many of my peers complain that legal age limits seem to be randomly assigned. Eric Johnson is Republican president pro tem of the Georgia Senate. He admits that age limits are arbitrary, but says that they have to be set somewhereÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
SENATOR (On Tape)
Some 13-year olds may be perfectly capable of driving a car and some 40 year-olds probably ought to be banned from the roads, but we can’t do that when we create laws. We have to establish at what point is the community standard for making certain decisions.
Senator Johnson says laws need to apply to everyone. Age of consent statutes are designed to protect those who are physically but not emotionally ready for sex, from being manipulated by people who are older and more experienced.
SENATOR (On Tape)
A young female may feel, well, if I want this football player to be my boyfriend I’m gonna have to do something to keep him. She may not have the ability to make that informed decision of what the risks are of having sex, what the long-term effect on her psyche is just like drinking and smoking. I mean sex is far more dangerous than some of those other things.
That Johnson quote says it all. Sex is dangerous. Period. And so it must be outlawed. Those of us on the other side of the issue believe teens must be educated and the laws must be changed.
- William Saletan writing in Slate distinguishes between physical, cognitive and emotional maturity and offers up a thoughtful starting point for changing statutory rape laws.
- the Midwest Teen Sex Show creates a safe space for frank discussion of all things related to teen sexuality.
- In March Youth Radio did an excellent piece on the need for parents to talk to kids about sex.
For people like Johnson it’s easier to make kids into outlaws when it looks to me like the problem is the parents and we’re blaming the kids. They need us. Talk to your kids!
What liberal Wal-Mart critics are missing (again)
I’ve been meaning to fume about liberal entitlement to poor/working class rural voters, most recently embodied by Matt Stoller’s Bush Dogs Voting Against Their Districts? post. Much as I like and admire Matt, when was the last time he was anywhere near Macon, GA?
Everyone likes to rail against our two Bush Dog Dems (Marshall and Barrow), but it is my observation that they are about as good as we’re going to get around here and the way to move them in the direction both me and Matt want (Tondee and DownWithTyranny!, too) is to get into their districts, understand the people and their issues here, and demonstrate to the voters how liberal policies are in their own best interest.
For all the money poured into attack ads here, I don’t see a whole lot of insight into how the people here see things. With that intro, I am re-posting in its entirety my post, What liberal Wal-Mart critics are missing, from last April...
In his New Yorker piece, Selling Wal-Mart, Jeffrey Goldberg does a fine job of generally skewering the company and in the process demonstrating why, as he phrases it, “there is great mistrust of the press at Wal-Mart headquarters.” Morbo offers a good bullet point list of the piece’s complaints, though I’d say that its larger theme is to wonder how any Democrat, most particularly a liberal Democrat, could, ethically and in good conscience, work at Wal-Mart.
The embodiment of that wonder, held up for ridicule to fine effect, is Leslie Dach, who worked for liberal pols Kennedy and Dukakis (Goldberg helpfully reminds us of the tank ride; Dach, communications director, “...was thousands of miles away in my office at that famous moment” ) and the green non-profit National Audubon Society and Environmental Defense Fund. Here’s the last paragraph of the nearly 6,000 word piece:
“It was very smart of Wal-Mart to appoint him to this job,” Kenneth Adelman, the former Reagan Administration arms-control official and one of Dach’s former colleagues at Edelman, said. “He’s brilliant at what he does. He’s a great advocate for Democratic causes.” Each election year, Adelman recalled, he and Dach would stage a mock debate before employees in the Edelman office. “It would always start out seriously, and then get funny,” he said. “I would argue the Republican line, and Leslie played the part of the Democrat.”
Emphasis mine (though it was hardly needed). The fun passage that I, myself, had picked out to highlight for ridicule comes from Wal-Mart’s chief spokeswoman Mona Williams, “a former A. T. & T. executive:”
Wal-Mart’s executives are angry about Democratic attacks on the company. Tovar’s boss, Mona Williams, told me, “Wal-Mart is taking care of the people the Democratic Party says it represents-the poor, the middle class. The Democrats are not taking care of them. We’re like Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.”
A less stingy health plan for Wal-Mart employees
Speaking of Wal-Mart, their new health plan made the Business Section of the NYTimes yesterday:
For much of the last decade, the retailing behemoth Wal-Mart Stores has been associated with stingy health care as much as low prices.
Across the country, politicians and labor groups derided the company’s health plans for their high expense and bare-bones coverage. Two states, California and Maryland, even passed laws demanding, in effect, that the company spend more on employee health benefits.
“We want this giant to behave itself,” one Maryland legislator, Anne Healey, said at the time.
The giant, it turns out, was listening. All the criticism was hurting its reputation and its ability to expand. So now, after spending two years seeking advice from everyone from Bill Clinton to executives at Starbucks, Wal-Mart is overhauling its health plans.
The company, according to data available for the first time, is offering better coverage to a greater number of workers. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, provides insurance to 100,000 more workers than it did just three years ago - and it is now easier for many to sign up for health care at Wal-Mart than at its rival, Target, whose reputation glows in comparison.
One Laptop Per Child sale
it looks like the early results of putting Linux in front of Middle America are overwhelmingly positive—Wal-Mart’s online warehouse has already sold out of the cheapo Linux box, and users both savvy and new are filing enthusiastic reviews. Of course, it’s still early and we can’t imagine anyone getting too down on a $200 computer, but it certainly looks like Team Ubuntu is making a strong play to shift the balance in those OS wars.
So maybe you should consider an XO from OLPC:
The mission of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) is to empower the children of developing countries to learn by providing one connected laptop to every school-age child. In order to accomplish our goal, we need people who believe in what we’re doing and want to help make education for the world’s children a priority, not a privilege. Between November 12 and November 26, OLPC is offering a Give One Get One program in the United States and Canada. During this time, you can donate the revolutionary XO laptop to a child in a developing nation, and also receive one for the child in your life in recognition of your contribution.
For a bunch of good reasons why this computer is a dazzling piece of ingenuity, here’s David Pogue’s review.
No TV a trend? (continued)
Peter Wilson, who heads up Google’s 400-person engineering office in Seattle, just wrapped up speaking before a group of business leaders here. “I haven’t watched TV since ‘99,” he said. When asked about the last show he watched, Wilson added, “I remember Seinfeld was very popular.” If that wasn’t enough to confound the TV folks in the crowd, Wilson went on to explain how “most innovations and product definitions (at Google) come from the bottom up.” They hire smart engineers, empower them, provide a little structure around the edges, and let the chaotic process feed innovation. A little different than media companies, eh?
By the way, Seattle’s technology scene is rapidly expanding. Besides Google’s aggressive ramp-up in the area (they’ve built offices in two neighborhoods here), Yahoo is building an office complex for as many as 700 employees and Microsoft has kicked off a massive campus expansion with a potential capacity for 12,000 new employees. Whew.
Seattle, here I come! Er, well, maybe one day…