Apr 282018

I have met so many wonderful new people since I took up arms in the war against human trafficking.

One of my new friends is Jessica Neely. Jessica friended me on Facebook soon after I joined the North Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force and began identifying publicly as a human trafficking warrior. She is an anti-pornography activist from Denver. She grew up a preacher’s daughter and was headed for a life of ministry herself.

She’s also an escapee from “the life”; a pornography survivor. We were connected for a while before I put that together. And then it was another little while before I realized that she was a major star.

You don’t have to investigate human trafficking very deeply before you realize that pornography is another head of the monster. That we have essentially normalized the way this industry treats young women is a tragedy that actively propagates the notion that people are a commodity to be sold.

We certainly want to identify and rescue victims, but if we are really fighting this war, we must also strike meaningfully at demand. And pornography fuels demand.

Jessica doesn’t want you to feel sorry for her, but she does want you to understand—really understand—what happened to her, because it’s happening all over again every day to thousands of young women. She is blessed (and cursed, depending on your perspective) with self-awareness and writing talent sufficient to transport you to that world with terrifying fidelity.

Most anyone who knows anything at all about me knows that I have a strong libertarian bent. And my attitude toward pornography has generally been that as long as it’s consenting adults who aren’t hurting anyone else, it’s not a governmental concern (though I have tiptoed into sociocultural concern before). Now all of my ideology is on the table. This is an important front in this war, and wherever exactly I ultimately come down, I’m confident that looking the other way is indefensible.

 Posted by at 6:28 pm
Apr 272018

Bill Cosby was convicted of three counts of indecent aggravated assault yesterday.

His attorney vows an aggressive appeal, of course. The reality is there’s a good chance William H. Cosby, Jr. has lived his last day as a free man. The justice done yesterday may be incomplete and imperfect, but it is justice nonetheless, and I welcome it.

I’m sad for his victims. I’m sad for our disillusionment with the man—the cultural icon—we thought he was. (I had a word or two to say before about the foolishness of projecting onto celebrities.) I’m sad for those close to him, particularly his wife Camille. She’s certainly carried her share of water for him, but she’s also trying to hold together the only reality she’s known for the past 54 years. She deserves pity, not derision.

I am not sad for him. He is apparently wholly without remorse, and his profane outburst yesterday tells me he fully expected to avoid significant consequences for the rest of his days. I find his crimes of taking by force and deception that which should only be freely offered and shared absolutely despicable, and though he, like each of us, is ultimately God’s to deal with, I don’t have to like him.

And I don’t.

Mr. Cosby, I think the rest of the world struggles with your shattered legacy much more than you do. And frankly, if you’re not to a point of genuine introspection yet, such may elude you indefinitely.

So do the world a favor and just be quiet for the rest of your life.

 Posted by at 9:56 am
Apr 262018
  • There are three different high school classes I care about. I attended an especially tight-knit private school first through fourth grade, a different school in which I hit puberty and marched in the band, and then finally, my alma mater, at which I was the new kid in the eleventh grade. Best I can tell, only one of the three is having a 30-year reunion. The end of the class reunion may well be Facebook’s ultimate legacy.
  • Not a lot new in this Greatest Leaders profile in Fortune, but let it serve as another underscore. Alabama is on a ridiculous, unprecedented run that, frankly, ought not be possible. I am now confident that history will remember Nick Saban as the greatest college football coach of all time. Eventually it will have no choice.
  • I’ve watched Undone with interest to see if they’d hang around and become a genuine player, and I believe they have. This full custom diver option intrigues me. I’m thinking about what I might do with such.
  • For the first time ever, I have Linux installed on a laptop that is only two years old (i.e., reasonably performant hardware). I’m going to use it as a test mule for my next desktop. How long is the list of things I can do with a Windows box that I can’t do with a Linux box?
  • I am a big fan of this little book light I purchased on Amazon recently. I can’t speak to longevity yet, but its performance is excellent, and it seems robustly constructed. If you need a book light, I think it’d be tough to find a better value.
  • There are now lemon Nilla Wafers. Do not bring these items into your home. They are of the devil.
  • I need another drama/thriller for the treadmill. The third season of Better Call Saul has made the minutes melt away again, but I only have two more episodes. Ozark did too. The Wire wasn’t good for it; had to pay too much attention for the conditions. (Mostly a noise and 10″ screen thing.) Maybe I’ll try Mindhunter.
 Posted by at 12:56 pm
Apr 242018

I just wrote a piece for Rocket City Mom’s Offbeat Hobbies series about the Rocket City Rebels—our own hometown children’s roller derby team.

The more I learned about it, the more I thought “wow, this is really neat!” Then I thought about how much I might have liked to try it as a child (which is really pretty comical given my ceaselessly pitiful roller skating ability, but never mind).

If you want something for your child (boys or girls 8-18; all body types) that’s a bit off the beaten path, or your child hasn’t really fit into other organized sports, or both, go read that article.

 Posted by at 2:31 pm
Apr 182018

Well, some of you called it. Though my feelings about the chronic traumatic encephalopathy epidemic remain strong, I will not be altogether saying goodbye to football this fall.

For one thing, I’m physically going to football games for at least four more years. You see, it seems they play football before and after my sons perform with the Pride of East Limestone Marching Band. I can’t see myself only taking my seat during halftime. I watched the game as a band kid, and I’m going to watch the game as a band parent.

For another, all of my financial support for college and professional football is incremental and indirect—cable and Internet charges, for example. I didn’t purchase gear or admission last year. I have no plans to this year. So if someone starts throwing the term “blood money” around or something, I’m reasonably and demonstrably protected from it.

(And, despite the impressive and incalculable influence BoWilliams.com wields across the country and around the world, my disapproval of the current state of things hasn’t had any discernible financial effect on the ongoing proceedings of the sport.)

So I can’t see that there’s much to accomplish just declaring myself a non-fan. I was a more subdued fan last year, and I see that continuing. I paid much more attention to CTE news last year, and I see that continuing.

And maybe that’s my ultimate compensation here—to remain a good source of CTE information, commentary on the issues, and so forth. If you know it’s a topic of discussion but you aren’t sure about much else, this study was my tipping point.

 Posted by at 12:14 pm
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