Wednesday, 12 February 2003

TABOR amendment legislation in Tennessee

Bill Hobbs is reporting that several state legislators have introduced legislation calling for a constitutional convention to propose a Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment to the Tennessee constitution.

As Bill notes, it's the first step in a long battle — but an important one. Tennesseans should encourage their state representatives and senators to support this legislation; while it may not pass this year, with sufficient support it could pass eventually.

Working on metadata

David Janes, of Janes' Blogosphere fame, is working on some specifications for weblog metadata to improve the life of aggregators and others who are trying to get useful information out of weblogs' content.

Silly meta-question

At Critical Mass, Erin O'Connor reports on yet another blackface incident, this time at the University of Texas. Leaving aside the legal questions (I tend to agree with critics like O'Connor who think the real harm in these incidents is often vastly overstated), the larger question is: why do fraternities seem to choose this particular meme? I've never had the urge to go out in blackface, and I honestly can't say I understand the appeal. Surely one can make social commentary about rappers, or even African Americans in general, without covering one's face with shoe polish. Plus, you'd think after the publicity surrounding other fraternities getting in trouble for it (not only with public university administrators, where there's a clear First Amendment issue, but also with national fraternity officials, where there normally isn't one), eventually frats would get the message that doing stuff in blackface is just asking for trouble.