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You Know My Name

Friday, Apr. 10, 2009 3:47 AM

A North Texas legislator is drawing fire for comments made during a hearing on voter identification legislation.

Rep. Betty Brown remarked, "Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese � I understand it�s a rather difficult language � do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?�

Brown was speaking to Ramey Ko, representing the local Chinese-American advocacy group.

In subsequent remarks, Brown added, "Can�t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that�s easier for Americans to deal with?�

First, the implication is that we're not Americans. Or not Americans with real names.

Then, there's the substantive point as far as voter identification goes - the ability or inability of a poll worker to pronounce my name is irrelevant. They already have my name. I'll tell them how to spell it. All they have to do is match the information on the registrar's list and verify my identity by checking my driver's license.

Creating a situation where the lists are suddenly full of 'Bob Smiths' would actually increase the likelihood of misidentification, which means you'll have to disqualify all the votes from Bob Smith - or perhaps, just the ones from Bob Smith's who happen to look or sound Chinese.

And then there's Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), who says he has a list of 17 Socialists in the House of Representatives.

Which, of course, he's going to keep secret for now.

I'm a bit miffed with the news organizations in the Bay Area, including the station I work for.

Thursday morning, there was a widespread outage of wireless services in the South Bay, caused by extensive vandalism to fiber optic lines in several locations.

But despite an AT&T Spokesman saying they have no information, despite police saying they're looking into all possibilities but not speculating, the headlines keep using the word 'sabotage,' which derives from workers damaging their employer's property by tossing their wooden shoes (sabots) into the machinery.

AT&T is currently in a contract dispute with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and I feel language that implies that the workers might be responsible is biased and should be used sparingly until more facts become available.

It's a rough way to start the season.

Angels' rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed the morning after his first game in the season in a hit-and-run accident. The suspect, who was later apprehended, was a repeat DUI offender and driving on a suspended license.

Condolences to the Angels organization and their fans.

Giants' reliever Joe Martinez got clocked by a line drive up the middle in last night's game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He was able to walk off the field, but is scheduled for an MRI/CAT scan as a precaution.

Now, when you hit a baseball, a portion of the speed of the bat is added to the speed of the ball. So depending on what was thrown, that can be quite a knock.

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