aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Toodleloo Tucker (at long last)
Insiders tell TVNewser Tucker Carlson‘s 6pmET show Tucker is getting the axe, but Carlson stays on as a political contributor to all MSNBC shows at least through the 2008 election. The official announcement, expected tomorrow, will include details about who will replace Tucker at 6pmET as well as other political programming additions. Sources say the network is going to beef up its schedule with more NBC News talent.
In recent days, Jossip, as well as other blogs, ratcheted up the talk that Tucker would be replaced “for a new project.” In its 33-month run, Carlson’s show has had two names, four time slots and multiple formats. At 6pmET, it builds on its Harbdall lead-in on some days, but loses audience on others.
Carlson is expected to host the show through next week, with his new role and title to take effect March 17. We’re told he’ll also be reporting from the campaign trail.
Tucker earned my unyielding enmity for his August claim that he was “bothered” in a public restroom so he got a friend, went back and “hit him” before getting the cops to come arrest the guy. A claim he later backed down from that to me reached Imus-like levels of offense. I was appalled that he was allowed to get away with.
That’s what passes for journalism on cable these days, I know, so we’ll have Tucker to deal with for a long, long time to come. For now I’m just glad to see him go.
Get enough sleep. If not, nap!
Doug’s napping now. I slept in and made up for the lost hour. When I got up I watched a report on sleep on CBS Sunday Morning.
Adults need 7â€“9 hours of sleep. In 1960 we got 8-and-a-half hours of sleep a night; today we get six hours and forty minutes.
We always hear that naps are a good idea. I’m not a big napper, but I am very glad to get this key piece of information on the science of how long to nap:
Researchers have found, though, that there’s a science to naps.
20 to 40 minutes is enough to revitalize you. But after forty minutes, you fall into a deeper sleep. Waking up during that period could actually leave you feeling MORE groggy.
A two-hour nap will allow you to doze through a complete sleep cycle - so that you feel REALLY refreshed.
My take-away is nap 20 to 40 minutes or the full two hours but nothing in between. Maybe the reason I’ve failed at napping is I’ve tried an hour!
And for you parents and teachers, there’s this, “it turns out that teenagers’ body clocks naturally turn them into night-owls, making it difficult for them to get out of bed early.”
So that sleepy-headed kid is doing as God intended. And maybe we ought to do like the Kentucky school in the report and stop blaming the kids and instead start rethinking the school day clock!
OK state pol: gays bigger threat than terrorism
Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern apparently didn’t know that she was being recorded in a meeting when she shared some choice insight about her gay and lesbian constituents. Someone was listening. We all should hear.
I honestly think it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.
They want to get them into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them.
...They are going after our young children, as young as two years of age, to try to teach them that the homosexual lifestyle is an acceptable lifestyle.
You know, gays are infiltrating city councils...did you know that the city council of Eureka Springs is now controlled by gays—they are winning elections.
One of my colleagues said We don’t have a gay problem in our community...well you know what, that is so dumb. If you have cancer in your little toe, do you just say that I’m going to forget about it since the rest of you is fine? It spreads! This stuff is deadly and it is spreading. It will destroy our young people and it will destroy this nation.
Local media as some local reaction.
Age of consent: young love as sex crime
Frank and Nikki Rodriguez are married with four children. He is on the Texas State Sex Offender registry because the couple had sex when he was 19 and she was 15, below the age of consent in the state. [...]
Twelve years ago, Frank Rodriguez pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a child.
Faced with two to 20 years in prison on the charge, he signed a plea bargain that gave him seven years probation. He was told he must never be near children. That meant he couldn’t be any place where children gather, like playgrounds or parks, which made it tough to find work.
It’s a story we’ve heard all too many times before. What’s the crime here? Still, he’s a registered sex offender for life. And still, the lawmaker defends the law saying, “it’s the law.” As if that’s some kind of rational justification when we know the laws don’t work, residency restrictions don’t work, judges need leeway in teen sex cases, and parents need to start talking to their kids about sex.
What’s particularly striking about the Texas case highlighted in the 20/20 piece is that the girl’s mom knew about the boy, took the girl to the birth control clinic, then brought in the police. She regrets that now:
“If I would have known that the seriousness of what I was doing I would not have filed charges,” she said. “I love Frank and he is good to my grandbabies and he is good to my daughter, and it just breaks my heart that for the rest of his life he’s gonna be labeled a sex offender.”
I am struck that people think the police are there to be the enforcers of their private disputes. I have my nephew living with me now. His parents divorced when he was very young and throughout his life both his mother and his father would call the police on one another to try to enforce this or that provision of their animosity on the other. My nephew now wants to act that out in my home. I fight against it.
The law is a blunt force instrument of last resort; a fuse that once lit can’t be stopped. All of us are too quick to use it. These are difficult problems that we don’t know how to handle so it’s easier to hand them off to someone else. Unfortunately, it seems elected officials are all too happy to go there (cops, on the other had, are put in the uncomfortable situation of having to walk into the middle of it and deal).
If the legal solutions are bad—and to date, they have been—those we have seen from the media are even worse (Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” is just one egregious example). So into that now 20/20 weighs in with a viewer poll asking how old we think the age of consent should be. They promise a follow up next week.
Much as I might hope they’d shed some light, I’m not optimistic. The question, as phrased, is too simplistic for the age we live in as I learned from William Saletan who writes for Slate in this piece on rethinking the age of consent.
He begins by walking us through some history—“The original age of consent, codified in English common law and later adopted by the American colonies, ranged from 10 to 12”—and then points out that as the age of consent has gone up, the age of puberty has gone down:
Having sex at 12 is a bad idea. But if you’re pubescent, it might be, in part, your bad idea. Conversely, having sex with a 12-year-old, when you’re 20, is scummy. But it doesn’t necessarily make you the kind of predator who has to be locked up. A guy who goes after 5-year-old girls is deeply pathological. A guy who goes after a womanly body that happens to be 13 years old is failing to regulate a natural attraction. That doesn’t excuse him. But it does justify treating him differently.
He looks at research that finds differences in the age of physical, cognitive and emotional readiness and in that finds the beginnings of a logical scheme for regulating teen sex:
First comes the age at which your brain wants sex and your body signals to others that you’re ready for it. Then comes the age of cognitive competence. Then comes the age of emotional competence. Each of these thresholds should affect our expectations, and the expectations should apply to the older party in a relationship as well as to the younger one. The older you get, the higher the standard to which you should be held responsible.
The lowest standard is whether the partner you’re targeting is sexually developed as an object. If her body is childlike, you’re seriously twisted. But if it’s womanly, and you’re too young to think straight, maybe we’ll cut you some slack.
The next standard is whether your target is intellectually developed as a subject. We’re not talking about her body anymore; we’re talking about her mind. When you were younger, we cut you slack for thinking only about boobs. But now we expect you to think about whether she’s old enough to judge the physical and emotional risks of messing around. The same standards apply, in reverse, if you’re a woman.
It’s possible that you’ll think about these things but fail to restrain yourself. If you’re emotionally immature, we’ll take that into consideration. But once you cross the third line, the age of self-regulatory competence, we’ll throw the book at you.
I sent the piece to the 20/20 producers. Let’s see what they come up with next week.