Sunday, March 25, 2012

Last Call

And Colonel Mustard goes there on the Trayvon Martin shooting.

With the evidence not seeming to be as conclusive as public opinion in the Martin case, this is being set up for a major blow-up, in which expectations and agitation confront the legal rights of the accused.

We know what happens when there is no outlet, when a case has been so used for racial politics that a portion of the public will not accept anything less than a conviction, and where tempers have been so inflamed that flames are the result.

We may not be there yet, but if we allow the narrative to continue as it has, with the racial agitators leading the way, we may get there.

Responsible Democratic and Republican leaders should — as many have done – demand a thorough investigation in which the outcome is not prejudged, and should have the guts to stand up to the Al Sharptons of the world.

Because in the end, us darkies are nothing more than thuggish, grunting beasts who will destroy the country and kill your loved ones, folks.  Best we sweep Trayvon's body under the rug before Obama and his race-hate merchants raise an army against the God-fearing whites of this great nation.

You know Jacobson here was firmly in the blowhard overpaid "legal expert" comic relief section of the Wingersphere up until now, but this is pretty much a foray into outright racist asshole territory, and he deserves to be called out on it.  If an unarmed white teenager had been shot by an older black man and then claimed "Stand Your Ground" and wasn't arrested for it, it would still be an awful, senseless death, the Stand Your Ground law in Florida would still be completely ludicrous, and the crime would still be tragic in the extreme.

The difference would be that Jacobson and his buddies would be calling for the death penalty, and that the dead white teenager should have been allowed to carry his own gun, because what we really need to introduce here is easier deadly force in America.

For a man worried about rioting, that seems an odd position to take.  Unless of course Jacobson is suggesting that white America needs to arm themselves more than ever.

Meanwhile, I offer this segment of Sunday's Melissa Harris-Perry Show on Stand Your Ground.

This is what we should be talking about.  Not riots.  Ass.  And please, show where Rev. Al here is fomenting racial violence, please.

Splitting The Coalition

"Blacks and Latinos killed same-sex marriage in California" is one of the nastiest lies out of 2008, and it's been held against those groups by some in the left now for years.  It's still being held against blacks in particular when it comes to President Obama's "refusal" to fully embrace same-sex marriage as a right.  It's one of the most egregious wedges being driven into the Obama coalition, and the mistruths surrounding that are still on display today, as National Journal's Josh Kraushaar goes after the President's "evolution" by saying "black voters won't support him" is the reason he won't come out for same-sex marriage.  This black voter disagrees.

Public opinion on gay marriage is pretty straightforward.  There's a huge generational divide - with older voters solidly opposed, and younger voters solidly supportive.  Over time, support for gay marriage should increase.  And if Obama came out in support of gay marriage, he would probably excite and inspire many college-aged Democrats to show up at the polls and support him -- not to mention winning back some socially-moderate independents who have been disenchanted with the president over the economy.

But college-aged voters are only part of the president's coalition.  The bigger element consists of African-American voters, who are solidly opposed to gay marriage. California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage passed in 2008 thanks to overwhelming black support; 70 percent backed it, according to exit polls.  Recent gay marriage legislation in Maryland drew opposition from leading Democratic African-American legislators in the state.  The same ministers organizing get-out-the-vote efforts in black churches for Obama are also railing against gay marriage.

Obama can't afford to even risk losing the deep enthusiasm black voters have towards him.  They gave Obama a whopping 95 percent of the vote against John McCain last year and turned out at historic levels.  He should get similar levels of support this year, but with the down economy disproportionately affecting the black community, he's not at all assured that they'll turn out at the same level as 2008.  Backing gay marriage would virtually guarantee that some would stay home - perhaps enough to tip the balance in states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Ohio.

My main problem with this is the assumption that African-Americans are being singled out for this, because according to Krausharr, we're homophobic bigots.  That "70% of black voters backing Prop 8" in California has been thrown at blacks relentlessly over the last three years as well.  The reality is more complex and more detailed.

Since the passage of Proposition 8, much has been said about the supposed dramatic opposition to marriage equality among African Americans, fueled by National Election Pool (NEP) figures based on sampling in only a few precincts that erroneously indicated 70 percent of California’s African Americans supported Proposition 8. The study found that when religious service attendance was factored out, however, there was no significant difference between African Americans and other groups.

In other words, people of all races and ethnicities who worship at least once a week overwhelmingly supported Proposition 8, with support among white, Asian and Latino frequent churchgoers actually being greater than among African Americans

There's also the rather inconvenient fact that anti gay marriage votes in states with tiny black populations also passed, states like Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and South Dakota.  It certainly wasn't black voters who made the difference there.  And note what the unifying factor is in opposition to same-sex marriage among all races seems to be:  religion.  Specifically, devout evangelical Christianity in the Southern US.  Where do the majority of African-Americans live in the United States?  The Southern US.  Yes, black pastors in Maryland did oppose same-sex marriage.  So did white pastors.  And the bill passed anyway.

The problem with singling out African-Americans as people who will jump ship as opposed to whites, evangelicals, or older Americans if President Obama comes out for gay marriage is that it isn't completely fair to do so.  We know what it's like to be second-class citizens.  This one in particular backs gay marriage as a right.

I'm hoping that President Obama will do the right thing sooner rather than later.  But let's not dump the entirely of the political cost he'll pay for doing so -- and there will be a political cost -- on African-Americans alone.  That's unfair and incorrect.

I Thought That Bucked Of Blood Looked Familiar...

So, they are remaking Carrie (the Stephen King classic).  It is still being cast, but it's a good time for this story to come back out to a fresh generation.  The theme of bullying, redemption, and some good old ass-kicking for being mean never goes out of style.  If they stay true to the story, the religious craziness was always the part that disturbed me the most.  Especially if you read the book and get full exposure to her mother's insanity.

Carrie always amazed me, that a young man could get into the head of a teenage girl and paint such a realistic person.  In his book On Writing, King admits he never liked Carrie White, he found himself as disgusted as the girls did.  I can understand.  The entire time I was hoping for better, I was still grossed out deeply by her, and through no fault of her own.  I actually felt guilty for not liking her, which was his purpose.

Burden Of Backing Up Data Is On The Owner

SEATTLE — When Faron Butler wanted to hear his daughter's voice, he went to the voice mails she left him before she died of cancer at the age of 14.

"If I had a bad day or week, I'd listen to her voice. I'd listen to it a couple of times a week," Butler said Friday from his home in Elma, Wash., holding back tears. "She'd be there, saying, `Daddy, I love you and I miss you.'"

But the voice mails are gone, erased in February when Butler joined a free trial of a messaging service offered by his cellphone carrier, T-Mobile, and he doesn't believe company officials when they say the company can't retrieve them.

The bad news is, I can confirm they cannot be retrieved. While I am not certain of the reason (besides an instant memory flush) I do know T-Mobile has made it clear to sales and support teams that once something like this happens, it's gone for good. It is a bit weird that a change that small would affect it, but it could. It always could.

Public service announcement #1: Any time you have information hosted with someone else, any account change can cause that to be reset. Changing rate plans, taking a promotion, changing billing information, all of those can cause information to be lost or altered. Even employees may not be aware that the requested actions will result in the reset.  As more information is moved to cloud-style storage, this will only become a bigger problem.

Which brings us to Public service announcement #2: If anything precious only exists in one place, find a way to make a backup.  Through speakerphone, recorders, MP3 converters, some visual voicemail apps, there are ways to have backed up this precious voicemail.  After my mother died, I found a draft of an email she was trying to send me on her old computer, and the content was extremely sentimental.  That email exists on dozens of different accounts, in case Yahoo! shuts down or Gmail decides to lose data.  It's important to understand that it is not fair to put a burden of eternal storage on a business, unless that business is data  storage.  Even in the digital world you have to operate on the assumption that shit happens, and think ahead.

I don't want to diminish this man's pain, but to encourage people to help loved ones think ahead and prevent unnecessary repeats of this misery.  There are enough geek forums and tech support choices to back up things we can't live without, please take full advantage of them.

The Big GOP Primary Thread: The Big Sleazy

Rick Santorum easily won the Louisiana GOP primary Saturday, with exit polls showing such a clear win that the race was called by all the major networks as soon as polls closed at 9 PM EDT.  By 11 PM he had about 50% of the vote and Romney was in danger of not even getting the 25% he needed to capture any delegates.

But it was the exit polls that showed the most interesting parts of the story.  75% of primary voters were 45 and older, 94% white.

The troubling news for Romney in the state:  Santorum won self-described conservatives as well as moderates and liberals.  Santorum won voters who said the economy was the most important issue by 13 points (and deficit voters by one point).  Romney did win by 23 points among those who said that a candidate who could defeat President Obama was the most important, but overall that was just 38% of the voters.  Santorum won overwhelmingly among those who were looking for moral or conservative candidates.  Romney didn't even get 10% of either category, and Santorum got 70% of them.  Combined, they made up 46% of the voters.

Here's the real shocker:  44% said Mitt Romney was the most likely candidate who could win.  27% of those folks voted for Santorum anyway, whereas of the third of the voters who said Santorum was the most likely candidate who could win in November, 94% of them indeed put their vote where their opinion was.

More people thought Newt Gingrich understood their problems better than Romney, 26-21%.  42% thought Santorum did.  Most important question, if only Romney and Santorum were on the ballot, Santorum would have won 59-37%.

Now, does any of this matter?  Will Gingrich finally get the hint?  Who knows?  Anyhow, a week from Tuesday brings us to Maryland and Wisconsin.  Will anything have changed by then?  Probably not.

We'll see.
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