aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Cruise ain’t gay!
I’ve never been one to believe the rumors.
Canada’s Globe and Mail:
In its Dec. 3 issue, the National Enquirer is publishing this, its yearly tease about closeted “TV stars, movie stars, politicians and more!,” as a sort of index to the bigger news of celebrity biographer Andrew Morton’s forthcoming book about Tom Cruise (who is, conspicuously, not mentioned in the tabloid). Morton has, according to TMZ, spent the past several months interviewing a large number of Cruise’s associates about his “career, his religion and even his sexuality.” The biography is rumoured to be “explosive,” though it’s hard to say why.
Rumours about Cruise’s homosexuality have trailed him since the beginning of his career. Many of his films out him as well, through innuendo and a system of aesthetic clues (an extreme, if not prurient focus on the actor’s chunky, radiant physicality is a near-constant in these films). Yet surely this kind of speculation has become old hat, after his parsed-to-bits marriage to Katie Holmes, and almost three years after the infamous South Park episode about Cruise being Trapped in the Closet.
The Enquirer’s omission of Cruise may speak to its own exhaustion with the subject of this particular star, and to The Gay Rumors: FINALLY THE TRUTH “exclusive” by the Enquirer’s new rival, In Touch. (The story is couched as an interview with “porn-star-turned-private-investigatorÃ¢â‚¬Â� Paul Barresi, a.k.a. Joe Hammer.
Barresi claims to have conducted “an extensive investigation” of Cruise and to have turned his report over to Morton. The result? “Everything that I’ve found and everything I know points to Tom being heterosexual.”
Via Gay News Blog.
Facebook founder’s old friends now foes
Kara Swisher says, “Don’t miss this very thorough article by Luke O’Brien from 02138, an independent magazine aimed at Harvard University alumni, that looks very closely in its current issue at the controversy (and lawsuits) related to the founding of this year’s hot Silicon Valley start-up, Facebook.”
From the piece:
Mark Zuckerberg may not yet have the stage presence of, say, Steve Jobs, but give him time; he has plenty of ego and ambition, and he is quickly developing a mythology. A confluence of intelligence, naÃƒÂ¯vetÃƒÂ©, and hubris, Zuckerberg can be both brilliant and immature. A self-styled revolutionary who speaks often of “trying to make the world a more open place,” he is sometimes smug and often comes across as brash. He once handed out business cards that read: “I’m CEO Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ bitch.” [...]
It’s no surprise that Zuckerberg is increasingly compared to Gates, an earlier generation’s high-tech billionaire and Harvard dropout. But geek style and enormous net worth aren’t all that Zuckerberg has in common with Gates: Like the Microsoft co-founder, he has had to weather allegations that his greatest achievement is the result of ripping off the ideas of others. Now, Zuckerberg finds himself ensnared by several lawsuits, none more potentially damaging than that brought by three Harvard grads in the wake of Facebook’s 2004 launch. The recent graduates charged that Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them, and they have spent years in court trying to prove it.
The media have mostly glossed over ConnectU Inc. v. Facebook Inc., now unfolding in a Boston courthouse. Most articles depict the case as either a cash grab or a blip on Facebook’s march to global domination. But interviews with people familiar with the lawsuit, and a close examination of court records, suggest that, at the least, the case raises troubling questions about the ethics of this new billionaire.
The plaintiffs are three Harvard grads: Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, twin rowers currently training for the Beijing Olympics, and Divya Narendra, who since graduation has worked in finance in New York and Boston. In 2002, the three friends dreamed up an online social network called Harvard Connection (subsequently renamed ConnectU), later asking Zuckerberg to finish programming it. Instead of fulfilling his end of the bargain, the plaintiffs say, Zuckerberg stole their ideas and source code to build his own competing social network. “We got royally screwed,” Narendra says in a deposition.
At this moment 81% of the respondents to their weekly poll say that Zuckerberg is not telling the truth about the creation of Facebook. I’m one of them.
Sunstein on the 2nd Amendment
In it he examines the textualist and originalist positions and concludes that the Second Amendment probably does not create an individual right, because it was designed to protect state militias. But, in the end, he concludes:
Some people are drawn to judicial “minimalism,” and want to decide cases as narrowly as possible. (Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Breyer, and Ginsburg have shown minimalist tendencies.) Could we imagine Second Amendment minimalism? Even if it is agreed that the Second Amendment should be construed to protect individual rights, it does not follow that all, most, or many restrictions on gun ownership must be struck down. People have an individual right to free speech, but that right is not absolute. Courts allow governments to regulate obscenity, libel, bribery, criminal conspiracy, false commercial advertising, child pornography, and criminal solicitation. Even the minority report in the Pennsylvania ratification convention, much emphasized by advocates for gun rights, says that the right to bear arms can be overcome in the face of “real danger of public injury.”
It would not be difficult for judges to conclude that a “real danger of public injury” exists when those with criminal records seek to buy handguns, or when people get sawed-off shotguns, or when they do not agree to keep their guns in secure places at home. Judges who embrace minimalism would prefer to resolve Second Amendment cases in the following way: “We need not answer the disputed question of whether the Second Amendment confers individual rights at all. Nor need we specify the precise nature of any individual rights that might be conferred by that amendment. Even if the Second Amendment does confer individual rights, it is not violated by the restriction at hand. That restriction preserves the right to possess guns; it merely imposes a reasonable condition on the enjoyment of that right.”
An approach of this kind, now followed by many state courts under state constitutions that protect gun rights, would leave open the possibility that courts would invalidate the most draconian or severe restrictions on gun ownership, while also allowing the democratic process considerable room to maneuver. To be sure, some gun-control laws, including the law in the District of Columbia, are quite severe, and make a minimalist approach hard to implement. But even when confronting such laws, courts can rule in a way that leaves open many of the hardest questions.
Many people would like to reject a minimalist approach on the ground that...the legal materials, including the original understanding and the broader tradition, do not recognize an individual right at all. But whatever the founding generation may have thought, the Second Amendment has become a shorthand, or a rallying cry, for a deeply felt commitment on the part of tens of millions of Americans. There would be not merely prudence, but also a kind of charity and respect, in judicial decisions that uphold reasonable restrictions without rejecting that commitment, and without purporting to untangle the deepest mysteries about the meaning of the Constitution’s most mysterious provision.
I agree with that conclusion and recommend reading the whole piece.
Maybe the best rehab is to send prisoners to parties
So says Michael Moore:
Via Towleroad’s Guide to the Tube #201
Blog design inspiration
As I contemplate my design tweaks, I’m looking around for inspiration. Here’s some from Smashing Magazine:
It’s not hard to design a weblog, but it’s getting harder when you try to achieve a unique weblog design. It doesn’t matter what weblog-engine you are using — frequently used themes tend to become boring over time, and they also don’t necessarily reflect the unique identity of the blogger.
To create an original design you need fresh ideas and creative design solutions. However, you don’t need to go too far with your design experiments. Basically that’s a close attention to finest details which makes a weblog stand out and gives it a fresh flavour and soft touch visitors can recognize immediately.
We’ve selected some more of them — over 30 excellent weblog designs with unusual design approaches; these blogs don’t only have a unique voice, but they also pay close attention to the finest design details.
- You might find not all of the designs listed below beautiful; but that’s not what it’s about. They are beautiful in their own way as they are both well-structured and originally designed.
- you can find further blog designs in the post 45 Excellent Blog Designs we’ve published before;
- you can find even more designs in our Design Showcase section.
Michelle Bruce update. And gay Republican elected in GA.
The Riverdale City Council voted unanimously Monday to move forward with a runoff election despite a pending lawsuit asking a judge to halt the race.
But the real decision will be made Dec. 3 - a day before the election - when a Clayton County Superior Court judge will decide whether a transgender Riverdale City Council member lied to voters when she ran as a woman. That allegation, along with accusations of voting machine tampering and improper campaigning, could push the election back even further. [...]
Bruce says she became the first transgender elected official in the United States when she took her seat on the Riverdale council in 2003.
The National Center for Transgender Equality said they have seen gender disputes arise in custody battles and insurance claims, but never in an election.
“There is nothing to hide. She is who she is,” said Mara Keisling, the center’s executive director. “She has served for four years and never lied to the people.”
On Monday night, Bruce and the rest of the council voted to move forward with the Dec. 4 runoff election. Several residents and council members at the meeting encouraged citizens to support Bruce.
Also in today’s AJC, Georgia’s first openly gay Republican elected:
Brian Bates is a 36-year-old business owner in charge of Doraville’s annual Police Appreciation Day.
He’s active in his neighborhood association and staunchly supports popular police Chief John King, who became a major issue in elections earlier this month.
So Bates’ victory in a race for city council didn’t come as a major surprise in this town of about 10,000 residents. But, it was, in fact, groundbreaking.
Bates is now the state’s first openly gay Republican elected to office Ã¢â‚¬” a development that has gained the attention of politicos and pundits across the country.