aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Obama wins Georgia
An interesting exit poll tidbit:
Asked which candidate they thought was most qualified to be commander-in-chief, regardless of whom they were voting for, voters in every state except two (Georgia and Illinois) picked Mrs. Clinton.
At the same time, they were asked who would be most likely to unite the country. Voters in every state except Tennessee picked Mr. Obama.
I sat at a table with 5 female students tonight. None voted for Hillary.
They favored Huckabee.
It’s a three-way race among the Republicans here. But my students are typical:
Huckabee appears to have won the youth vote pretty decisively, taking 41 percent of voters 18-29 and 37 percent among 30-44. Older voters are split between McCain and Romney.
Muhammad on Wikipedia criticized
An article about the Prophet Muhammad in the English-language Wikipedia has become the subject of an online protest in the last few weeks because of its representations of Muhammad, taken from medieval manuscripts.
In addition to numerous e-mail messages sent to Wikipedia.org, an online petition cites a prohibition in Islam on images of people. [...]
A Frequently Asked Questions page explains the site’s polite but firm refusal to remove the images: “Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with the goal of representing all topics from a neutral point of view, Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group.”
The notes left on the petition site come from all over the world. “It’s totally unacceptable to print the Prophet’s picture,” Saadia Bukhari from Pakistan wrote in a message. “It shows insensitivity towards Muslim feelings and should be removed immediately.”
The site considered but rejected a compromise that would allow visitors to choose whether to view the page with images.
Paul M. Cobb, who teaches Islamic history at Notre Dame, said, “Islamic teaching has traditionally discouraged representation of humans, particularly Muhammad, but that doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent.” He added, “Some of the most beautiful images in Islamic art are manuscript images of Muhammad.”
The idea of imposing a ban on all depictions of people, particularly Muhammad, dates to the 20th century, he said. With the Wikipedia entry, he added, “what you are dealing with is not medieval illustrations, you are dealing with modern media and getting a modern response.”
The entry is here.
Undergrad research: think twice before installing Facebook apps
More Facebook privacy concerns. The Chronicle:
Undergraduate researchers at the University of Virginia say that Facebook’s application platform, which allows anyone to create plug-ins that can be placed on personal pages of the popular social-networking service, sends far more personal information than is necessary to the plug-ins’ developers.
That means that an identity thief could develop an application to grab personal information using Facebook, says the study’s leader, Adrienne P. Felt, a senior majoring in computer science. [...]
To install an application to their profile, users must check a box that says: “Allow this application to know who I am and access my information.” The site further warns: “If you are not willing to grant access to your information, do not add this application.”
But Ms. Felt argues that many Facebook applications do not even need access to most of a user’s personal data to perform their functions (an application that lets users search a college library’s catalog, for instance, does not need to know a user’s birthday or who their friends are), and she is urging Facebook and other social-networking sites to fine-tune their settings to better guard user privacy.
In her study, Ms. Felt examined the 150 most popular third-party Facebook plug-ins to see whether they made use of private information on the users’ accounts.
“We found that 8.7 percent didn’t need any information; 82 percent used public data (name, network, list of friends); and only 9.3 percent needed private information (e.g., birthday),” Ms. Felt wrote on a Web site about the research.
In the aggregate it sure seems to me, Facebook protests not withstanding ("Obviously, privacy and security are a huge priority for Facebook,” indeed), they’re just plain sloppy about privacy and it’s not the priority it should be.
Congrats to the Virginia undergrads for a job well done.
Lapdogs of the corporate press
The Big Mo’
I find it ironic that I will be voting Hillary here, where Obama is expected to win handily; while most every friend I have in New York will be voting Obama, where Hillary is expected to win handily.
Obama’s got momentum that just won’t stop. I’ve said repeatedly that I think he will be our candidate. Yesterday Kos cautioned:
If [Hillary] can’t put this thing away tomorrow, and it’s hard to see how she could absent an unlikely rout, her fundraising will continue to suffer vis-a-vis Obama, and that would prove deadly in a protracted campaign. Her best ally at this point is the ridiculous expectations Obama supporters have for tomorrow. Clinton is going to win the day. The key is to limit her margin of victory and keep it close enough for Obama to catch up later in the month and into March and April. But if Obama supporters build themselves up to the point they actually think they can win tomorrow (by citing bogus polls by Zogby, for example, and cherry picking the best of the other polls), then anything but a victory will be a demoralizing letdown.
This isn’t about lowering expectations. It’s about the reality of the situation. Obama has been slowly building up, and has had to overcome huge advantages enjoyed by the Clintons. It’s about the calendar (see below [link]), and how it plays to Obama’s strengths later in the month. There’s no need to bet everything on tomorrow. It’s all about how well he loses. The narrower the loss, the bigger his actual victory.
Not that my cautions will have much of an effect. Irrational exuberance is running rampant, just like before New Hampshire. You’d think people would learn their lessonsâ€¦
Hillary Clinton: A Message To LGBT Americans
In a post on OurChart.com she says, I want to be your president:
My father was a conservative Republican, who held very traditional views for much of his life. Yet in his last years, it was a gay couple who lived next door who provided much of the compassion and comfort he and my mother needed as he grew ill. And it was that same neighbor who held his hand as he died. If my father can move, America can move.
To each and every LGBT American, I say this. You have done so much to help this country understand your lives by simply being open and honest about who you are and living your lives with dignity. Thank you for your courage. It is time that we recognize your hard work. I know that this country is ready for changes in the law that reflect the evolution in our hearts.
America deserves a President who appeals to the best in each of us, not the worst; a President who values and respects all Americans and treats all Americans equally no matter who they are or who they love. I want to be that President. I want to be your President.
She’s got my vote.