Do you think video games cause violence? If so, I have a bridge to sell you.
Cultural and social conservatives in the United States still like to blame video games for gun violence, despite the fact that some of the most outlandishly violent video games are developed in Japan, whose rates of interpersonal violence aren't comparable to those of the United States. They do this despite statistics compiled by the US Department of Justice which show a correlation between decreasing rates of violence during the same time period in which games became more realistic and more violent.
Why do conservatives do this? I think they do it because they can.
The kids who grew up with the NES and the Sega Master System are now adults in their thirties, and I'm one of them. However, gaming is still not wholly respectable. Because gaming isn't as respectable as (for example) sitting on one's ass and watching Monday Night Football, politicians can slander gamers with impunity.
However, I have an alternative hypothesis for you. I think video games prevent violence. They don't do it by teaching non-violent means of conflict resolution, and I'd laugh at anybody who claims otherwise. Instead, I think games prevent real-world violence by giving angry, violent people a means of indulging their violent urges in a manner which doesn't result in violations of individual rights or property damage.
Why do I say this? Because I'm one of those angry, violent people. Rather than try to repress my nerd rage, I found a safe outlet. I'm a gamer. I'm a rights-respecting American citizen. I pay taxes, I vote, and I say that any politician who blames violence on video games is a liar and a demagogue.
If you paid any attention at all to recent events, and didn't skip over reporting on the rape trials in Steubenville, Ohio, then you may have encountered the phrase "rape culture". If you're a man, you might have dismissed the phrase while rolling your eyes.
This is a mistake. Rape culture is everywhere, if you know how to spot it. According to Wikipedia, it's "a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence."
At it's rotten heart, rape culture is the notion that the end justifies the means, applied to individual social interactions. Rape culture permits people to dehumanize other people and use them for their own gratification.
If that doesn't explain it, try these concrete examples. Rape culture is when...
* Candy Crowley on CNN laments the ruined prospects of a couple of high school jocks convicted on rape charges.
* A woman who presents herself the wrong way is called a "slut", and blamed when men fail to act like civilized adults around her.
* Women who drink too much are assumed to be "asking for it".
* People compare being cheated on a transaction, or beaten in a competition, to being raped.
* People joke about men being raped in prison, as if that were a legitimate punishment for any sort of crime.
* Women are told to dress, act, and look a certain way because men can't control themselves.
The last example should concern you, if you're a man, but I can understand why it might not bother you. The term "rape culture" originated in academic feminism, and is mainly a feminist concern. Men's Rights activists (the closest we have to a complementary masculism movement), assume that the very notion of rape culture is rank misandry, and a myth promoted by feminists to justify the oppression of men.
Rape culture is indeed misandric, by which I mean hateful towards men as men, but not for the reasons offered by MRA activists like Paul Elam. Rape culture is misandry because it assumes men cannot control themselves, or channel their sexuality in a manner respectful to themselves and those around them.
You probably know better than to stare at women who dress in a manner which turns you on because they want to, and not necessarily because they want to turn you on. You probably know better than to use women incapacitated by drink, drugs, or sleep for sex. You probably know that no means no, and that any response other than an enthusiastic 'yes' probably means no. You probably know that nobody asks for rape, no matter what they're wearing, where they are, or how drunk they got.
Rape culture assumes you're not civilized enough to know these things, men, and that should enrage you. However, rape culture contains a contradiction at its heart. Let me illustrate it for you...
Today is my eighth wedding anniversary with +Catherine Graybosch. Yes, we got married on #Halloween . We were a bit pressed for time due to her being in the US on a K1 visa, and we figured, "If we do it on Halloween, we won't have an excuse to forget." We've known each other for twelve years, however; we met on a Yahoo! writers' board in May 2000. I was living alone in a third-floor walkup in a rough neighborhood, and had dialup net access for about a month. She had made some interesting comments about imagination, and we ended up having an exchange based on her comments. I then asked her, via email, if she'd like to exchange stories.
We continued our conversation, and agreed to meet in July 2002. I flew to Australia to meet her, spent six days together, and did not want to leave. We developed a (rather expensive without VOIP!) habit of nightly phone calls and long chats over IM, until after year I broke down and asked her to marry me.
I repeated the question the next morning, after a night's sleep. We spent a year preparing, and dealing with immigration authorities in both the US and Australia; I was willing to go there, but I had the better job at the time, and she wanted to come to the US. The end of August 2004 saw me waiting outside the international arrivals entrance at Newark Airport with an bouquet and an engagement ring. I proposed to her as soon as she came out.
It hasn't always been easy, and I've probably made it harder than it needed to be, but I have no regrets. She says the same; I ask her every year. We laugh, however, whenever somebody complains about the difficulties of a "long-distance relationship" where the separation is a town, a state, or even the width of the continent. We kept it up with both the breadth of North America and the entire Pacific Ocean between us for four years.
I was able to cast my vote before coming to work, even though I've said that I'd most likely sit this one out. I voted for a straight Democratic ticket, even though I think Barack Obama has abused his power as President by the following:
* Signing into law a bill he knows will authorize indefinite detention ( #NDAA ). * Failing to overcome Republican opposition and shut down Guantanamo Bay. * Continuing the use of warrantless wiretaps. * Continuing the War on (Some) Drugs. * Using drone strikes to kill American citizens without due process. * Continuing the occupation of Afghanistan. * Murdering Osama Bin Laden instead of capturing the son of a bitch, dragging him back to the US, and putting him on trial. (Now that pigfucker is a martyr to his cause.) * Preventing the over-the-counter availability of emergency contraceptive pills to young women under the age of 16 when we know damned well that women as young as 12 go through puberty and become sexually active (not necessarily by their own choice). * Not putting bankers on trial for causing the economic crash of 2008. * Holding whistleblower Bradley Manning in solitary confinement without trial.
Most progressives prefer to turn a blind eye to these failures on President Obama's part, but I'm not a progressive. I'm a libertarian with progressive sympathies. For me, individual rights come first and foremost, and I'm not convinced that Obama's record shows much respect for individual rights on his part.
With these objections in mind, it's reasonable to ask why I would vote a straight Democratic ticket instead of voting for +Jill Stein or +Gary Johnson, and voting for Green or Libertarian candidates in other offices where available.
My answer is that while I consider Obama an oathbreaker who has forgotten his duty to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States, the probable alternative is worse.
The Republican Party, fielding Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as their candidates for President and Vice President, are a greater threat to individual rights than four more years under Barack Obama. Obama doesn't seem to care about individual rights. The Republicans have proven themselves to be utterly inimical to individual rights under George W. Bush for the following reasons:
* Under George W. Bush, the US government resorted to torture. * Under George W. Bush, the US government began using the TSA to inflict mass violations of air travelers' Fourth Amendment rights in the name of "preventing terrorism". * Under George W. Bush, the US government ramped up efforts to spy on Americans en masse and without warrants. * Under George W. Bush, the US government committed the nation to perpetual war against "terrorism". * Under George W. Bush, the US government either scrapped regulations intended to curb the natural tendency of American corporations to pursue profits regardless of human or environmental cost, or permitted regulatory capture. * Under George W. Bush, the US government started two land wars in Asia, skyrocketing the national debt and blackening the country's name around the world.
The fact that the Republican Party gave us George W. Bush for a President, a dude ranch reject surrounded by fascists and neoconservatives (is there any substantial difference between the two?), is reason enough to seek the party's utter eradication. But there's more.
The Republican Party continues to give a voice to Christian reactionaries who insist upon imposing their narrow-minded understanding of Scripture upon the United States as law.
The Republican Party countenances men like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, who justify rape.
The Republican Party insists upon the right to decide which relationships between consenting adults are legitimate and which are not, and insists upon the right to punish women for having sex without their permission. The Republican Party is against any form of fertility control for women.
The Republican Party, beholden to its corporate donors, continues to deny any science suggesting that human CO2 emissions, the bulk of which result from corporate industry, play any role in driving climate change.
Under no circumstance would I ever have considered myself a Democrat. I was, in fact, a registered Republican who voted in primaries to try to turn the party away from plutocracy and theocracy and back towards principles of equality under law, respect for individual rights, and limits upon the government's authority.
However, the Republican Party is no longer the party of Lincoln, of Theodore Roosevelt, or of Dwight D. Eisenhower. It is a party of Bible thumpers who wear brown shirts under white sheets. It is a party of sexism, of homophobia, of racism, of fascism, and of kleptocracy. The Republican Party is a threat to everything I was taught to value as an American, and it must be utterly destroyed.
I cannot help to accomplish the destruction of the Republican Party by voting Libertarian or Green. For that reason alone I have voted Democratic. Once the Republican Party is dead and buried, I can turn my attention to destroying the Democrats.
What the hell is President Obama thinking? It's bad enough when a President hides behind executive privilege to avoid being held accountable for his abuses of power. To permit attorney general Eric Holder to pull a Nixon is unforgivable.
This little girl is lucky to have parents who care enough about her and are sufficiently open-minded to observe the actual and individual effects of gaming on their daughter, instead of listening to self-appointed experts' blanket statements.
I think it's fitting that I would hand over my draft of Without Bloodshed, part 1 of +Starbreaker, to +Curiosity Quills Press to start the editing/publication process on April 15th. I do, after all, depict a society in which taxation is considered extortion, and punished accordingly.
If anybody cares, the word count when I sent the draft was 115,273 words.
I finally have some work of my own up on the +Curiosity Quills Press website. Young men are dying in a small village in the Allegheny Mountains, and it is up to Naomi Bradleigh to investigate. It isn't her first case as an Adversary, but it may prove her strangest.
Fiction writers are programmers. Their target platform is the human imagination.
As both a writer and a programmer, I’ve noticed dozens of similarities between the two, though many who do one or the other might insist that writing code and writing text are two different and incompatible processes.
It’s a bold claim, and I stand by it for the following reasons:
1. Contradictions are deadly to both fiction and software. 2. Prose directs imagination, as code directs computer hardware. 3. Both require abstract thought. 4. Perfection is impossible. 5. Don’t worry about perfection. 6. You won’t please everybody. 7. You will embarrass yourself. 8. Other people will offer unsolicited advice. 9. You have to concentrate. 10. Concentration is hard.
I elaborate on this reasons on my new website, matthewgraybosch.com. Take a look, and share if you enjoyed the article.
RESHARE: I'm sharing this shit not because I agree with it, but because I think slut-shaming attitudes like this need to be exposed and confronted. +Usman Haseeb might not have been one of the bullies/slut shamers who hounded Amanda Todd to suicide, but he sure as shit is one of the enablers.
Guys show their dicks on webcams all the time, to the point where sites like ChatRoulette are all penis, all the time, but nobody bullies them for it. But if some naive girl flashes her tits or helps some asshole cheat on his girlfriend, it's OK to spend the next three years abusing her for it, because she "had it coming"? No. I refuse to accept that. You don't get to condemn people for being sexual.
Reshared text: Amanda Todd had it coming. She went nude on a webcam and people bullied her for that. For every action there is an opposing reaction. People need to be careful of what they did. Newtons third law of action relation! But I hope she rests in peace because no one deserves to die.
As far as I'm concerned, an online sales tax is just another way for the richest among us to screw everybody else. I wrote letters and sent emails to my representatives in Congress opposing a nationwide sales tax on the net, and I recommend you do so too.
Until the richest among us pay taxes proportional to their disproportionate share of the United States' wealth, the rest of us should fight every attempt to impose more taxes on us.
I'm pleased to announced that I've signed a contract with MGM to adapt +Starbreaker for film as a sci-fi romantic comedy starring Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in the lead roles. Woody Allen will direct, and Ridley Scott and Mel Brooks are the executive producers.
I just received word that Freddy Mercury has somehow risen from the dead to reunite with Queen and do the soundtrack.
You didn't get raped. You just suck at video games. Does comparing a competitive loss to rape trivialize rape?
One of the benefits to having gamers like +Rowan Cota, +Brenda Holloway, +Christine Paluch, and +Elin Dalstål in my circles is that their thoughts on the intersection between rape culture and male-dominated online gaming culture tend to crystallize my own discomfort with online gaming.
For example, entirely too many gamers compare getting their asses thoroughly kicked in a video game to being raped. It's a bogus comparison, and not only does it demean the millions of women and men who have experienced actual rape, but it's a sign of poor sportsmanship on the part of the person making the complaint.
That's right, nerds, I said 'sportsmanship'. I know it's a jock concept, and I don't give a damn. If you want respect as gamers, it's time you renewed your acquaintance with the notion. At it's core, sportsmanship is the understanding that everybody playing the game is there for the game. If you complain about losing, you're a sore loser. If you go out of your way to rub your dominance in the faces of your fellow gamers, you're a poor winner.
Either way, you're an asshole and you make gaming suck for everybody else. If you lose, don't compare it to rape. Don't say anything. Channel your anger into your efforts to get better and win the next match.
I'm not surprised that a rabbi would defend circumcision. I say let the Jews keep it, as long as it is done to consenting adult males under anesthesia by trained surgeons using properly sterilized tools. As somebody who was cut without his consent, I say it should not be done to anybody who cannot give informed consent -- such as babies.
We don't tolerate the surgical modification of girls' genitals, but instead condemn the practice as barbaric and misogynistic. Why tolerate infant male circumcision instead of condemning it as barbarism and misandry?
RESHARE: +Charles A. Anaman, Dawkins' reason for opposing religion is more than sufficient, but the history and doctrines of organized religion throughout human history offer a surfeit of justifications for rejecting religious faith and treating its most devout adherents as if they were mentally ill.
So, now that I've handed over Without Bloodshed to +Curiosity Quills Press, +Jade Hart needs me to come up with a cover. Because Boston's City Hall is a primary location in the story, I thought the cover for Without Bloodshed should feature protagonists Morgan Stormrider and Naomi Bradleigh standing in front of the building, in uniform, but unarmed to symbolize their commitment to resolving the novel's main central conflict without killing anybody.
+Rebecca Blain and +John Ward, I've been thinking about going into business for myself. Given my tendency to over-think my own work and other people's writing, and that I occasionally offer writing advice other people find useful, I thought I might do reasonably well as an independent editor for writers looking to self-publish.
However, I'm not sure where to start. I don't have a portfolio or references, and I'm not even sure how much to charge. I thought you guys might know, but if anybody else wants to weigh in, please do so.
Is it time for a Nerd's Manifesto? Am I the man to write it? Do any of you have the will or the power to stop me from doing so?
I am a nerd. I might be a "high functioning" nerd who can hide the fact that he had to learn his social skills at a later age instead of picking them up in childhood, but I am a nerd.
I am a nerd. I can be obsessive about my interests. I can, will, and have spent hours absorbed in a book, or coding, or playing a game. I have done this while ignoring people who are less interesting to me than what I'm currently doing.
I am a nerd. To be a nerd is to be selfish. I am selfish with my time and attention, and I am not willing to give much of either without getting something of value to me in return.
I am a nerd. I don't need your culture, because I have made my own. Why should I care if the Yankees won the playoffs again when you don't care about the Doctor? Why should I pretend Lady Gaga matters when you've never heard of Annie Haslam or Sharon Den Adel? Why should I read Dan Brown or Jodi Picoult when you refuse to read Michael Moorcock or Ursula K LeGuin?
I am a nerd. You need me as much as I need you, because you depend on knowledge, and I chose knowledge, or was chosen by it, at the expense of the ability to easily connect with others. You don't have to like my attitude, but don't expect me to care about your feelings. You see, I'm none too thrilled with your attitude, either.
I am a nerd. You've been content to ignore me unless you have a use for me. I've gotten used to it, and I'm not too bitter about it. But don't be shocked if I don't want to talk to you about the things that matter to me. I refrain from talking about my passions as one of the few courtesies I am willing to extend to people who have shown through their actions that they don't understand people like me, and don't want to.
I am a nerd. The reason I want to attend your funeral when you tell me to "get a life" is that I already have one. It involves art, science, literature, music, games, movies, martial arts, technology, philosophy, and people who have taken the time to understand me and earn my trust. If you want to know why my life doesn't involve you, I suggest you start by finding a mirror.
I am a nerd, and I've spent my childhood apologizing for it and trying to hide it. But boys become men, and as a man I have learned that I don't owe you an apology for being a nerd. I owe you nothing, but I will offer you fair warning as a courtesy. I am a nerd, and proud of it.
Since I no longer have a job to lose, I think I can afford to publicly support occupywallst.org. Let me tell you why.
Why are we occupying Wall St., in person or in spirit? We have our reasons.
We're tired of living in fear.
We're tired of living in fear of not being able to make ends meet. We're tired of living in fear of not being able to pay our debts. We're tired of living in fear of getting sick. We're tired of living in fear of not being able to find a job. We're tired of living in fear of being poisoned by the food we eat. We're tired of living in fear of not being able to provide for our families.
We're tired of being used by the government.
We're tired of being used by the government to provide taxes. We're tired of being used by the government to provide warm bodies to throw into the meat grinder of endless foreign war. We're tired of being used to perpetuate an American Empire that oppresses people at home and abroad. We're tired of being played against each other and manipulated by politicians who care only about their own ambitions.
We're tired of being used by business.
We're tired of working ever harder and getting less. We're tired of being treated like "human resources". We're tired of being downsized to make the quarterly numbers look better. We're tired of unpaid overtime. We're tired of having to consider a week's vacation a privilege when people in Europe are guaranteed a month off or more by law. We're tired of business sacrificing people for profit.
We're tired of FASCISM!
We're tired of corporations ruling us by funding electoral campaigns. We're tired of the government subsidizing corporations that ruin the environment and our health. We're tired of being taxed into poverty to bail out corporations whose executives' incompetence and greed have not only prevented our economy from evolving along sustainable lines, but have crashed the economy and created a Second Great Depression. We're tired of voting in elections rigged by Wall Street so that no matter which party wins, Wall Street continues to bleed us dry with impunity. We're tired of the government permitting corporations to merge until only monopolies remain. We're tired of our constitutional rights being trampled by government agencies.
We will not be stopped.
We are tired. We are angry. We are done being good little Americans who do everything we're told and ask nothing in return. John F. Kennedy told us that we should ask not what America can do for us, but what we can do for our country. The best thing we can do for our country is ask, "What has Corporate America done for ME lately?" We have come to occupy Wall Street and ask that question until it is answered.
We will not forgive the manner in which we were betrayed by the richest among us. We made America's prosperity possible, and we have come to claim our rightful due!
We will NEVER stop occupying Wall Street. We will not be placated. We will not be bought off. We will not be intimidated. We will not be stopped.
Our demands as the 99% of the American People who make American prosperity possible
What do we want? We want what we were promised. We want to be able to work hard and prosper as a result of our work. We want our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We want equal justice under law. We want a republic, not an empire. We want one nation, indivisible, with LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!
RESHARE: For some reason, a lot of guys think this will happen to them. So what? You still had the privilege of knowing her. If she leaves, say thanks for the memories and move on. If you have trouble getting over her, just get drunk and listen to Queensryche.
RESHARE: I lost interest in this question a long time ago, to be honest, but +Deborah Teramis Christian's post might prove useful to people who don't share my attitude, can be expressed as follows: Hate me and be damned, if your only reason for hating me is that I neither share your beliefs nor apologize for not doing so. I don't need your permission to be an atheist, and I don't need you to like me, either.
Reshared text: A little didactic and the psychology described is simplified, but interesting food for thought. (Just pointing to the vid, not really here to have a god/no-god discussion, so comments are disabled on this post.)
At what point do we decide enough is enough, take control of the internet down to the physical cables, and tell the corporations and governments of the world that, "The internet is sovereign, and we will not answer to or cater to any government or corporation. If you give us a semblance of just cause, we will cut off your access." At what point do we put an end to the bullshit?
I'm torn about this article. On one hand, we have Hugo Schwyzer telling men how to be men, and I don't take kindly to the Masculinity Police. When people tell women how to be women, women rightly object. I bristle when men tell me how to be a man, for the same reason.
On the other hand, I don't see the point of trying to date women much younger than me. If I was single again, it would be unpleasant enough to compete with men my own age for feminine attention. I don't need to make things harder for myself by competing with younger men.
I might not be a good man, but I still know my limitations.
Besides, as I once told +Giselle Minoli, I want a partner, not a pet. A woman several years (or decades) younger than me is not my equal in experience, or (hopefully) in wisdom. How can a mutually fulfilling relationship exist between unequal participants?
RESHARE: At risk of being the sort of self-promoter who's ruining social media, I thought I'd mention that I have an article up on +Media Tapper concerning the Facebook IPO. I don't think the stock can go anywhere but down, considering that they depend on the same business model which is slowly failing broadcast television.
Reshared text: +Matthew Graybosch writes for +Media Tapper with a detailed look at the Facebook IPO, what went wrong, and why the SEC is taking a look at it. I've been hoping to have Matthew write for us for some time now, he brings an intelligent, passionate view to his posts. Anyone that follows him knows he's not shy in his opinions and he certainly isn't here. #facebookipo
I didn't become an atheist because I was abused by a clergyman. I didn't become an atheist because bad shit happened to me as a kid. I didn't become an atheist because I lost my faith. I didn't become an atheist because Satan tempted me away from the "true path". I didn't become an atheist because I wanted to live a hedonistic lifestyle. I didn't become an atheist to rebel.
I didn't become an atheist. I WAS BORN ATHEIST, AND SO WERE YOU. There are no Christian babies, or Muslim babies, or Jewish babies, or Zoroastrian babies, or pagan babies. There are just babies, who are taught to believe different kinds of bullshit by their parents. Religious belief is a learned behavior. To claim that babies are born believing in God makes as much sense as claiming that babies are born believing in Santa Claus or the Great Blumpkin.
Reshared text: Just like before...I just wanted to remind you!
+Starbreaker is an epic science fantasy series inspired by the best of American and British speculative fiction, heavy metal and progressive rock music, and nineteenth-century Romanticism. Originally intended to be a single stand-alone novel, I re-imagined the story as a tetralogy (a quartet of novels) upon my publisher’s request.
WHAT ARE THE BOOKS CALLED?
Unlike many fantasy writers who don’t necessarily know how their series will end, or what titles they’ll use for each of their novels, I know exactly how the story will end, and I can tell you the title of each book. Here they are, in order:
* Without Bloodshed * The Blackened Phoenix * Proscribed Construct * A Tyranny of Demons
WHAT MAKES THIS SCIENCE FANTASY?
+Starbreaker is set on an alternate Earth less than a century into the future. After a collapse remembered by the survivors as Nationfall, humanity rebuilt their civilization and sparked a Second Renaissance. The resurgent human population lives and works with human-level artificial intelligence, settlements on Luna and Mars debate whether and how to preserve the landing sites of pre-Nationfall spacecraft, and an elite corps of Adversaries watch over businesses and governments to root out corruption and abuse.
However, a millennia-old conspiracy uses subterfuge and magic to maintain its control of the world. A threat to humanity’s survival and that of a race which lived among humanity since the dawn of human civilization waits to break free of its underground prison. The person best suited to face this threat doesn’t know he’s not human, but a living, thinking bioweapon.
WHERE CAN I GET STARBREAKER?
The first book in the series, Without Bloodshed, is in preparation for imminent release, and will be available in both print and electronic editions. +1, comment, or reshare this post to be added to a special "fans" circle who will be notified once the book is released.
I've got one last thing to say about the Sandy Hook massacre. I'm sick of hearing about fucking massacres.
If a dog gets rabies and bites people before it is put down, we don't call the dog evil. Instead, we heal the survivors and use the incident as a lesson in the importance of ensuring that our pets are immunized against rabies.
If a mentally ill man runs amok with firearms, however, we insist that he is "evil", blame movies or music or video games for giving him ideas, and give him "fifteen minutes" of often posthumous fame by splashing his name and crimes all over the news, thus showing that the way for other people to become famous is not through greatness -- which requires years of effort with no hope or guarantee of reward -- but atrocity.
We can't immunize against mental illness as we do against rabies. We can, however, learn to recognize the symptoms, and get people the help we need. We can learn to accept that mental illness is just that: an illness which we as human beings have a responsibility to better understand so that we can better treat the illness in a humane and effective manner.
We can ensure that mentally ill people who don't get help are at least limited in terms of potential harm by banning the possession by civilians of all types of semi-automatic firearms (yes, this means the police have to turn in their Glocks and AR-15s). If you're not serving in the armed forces, then revolvers, bolt-action rifles, and pump-action shotguns should be good enough for you. If you're worried about running out of ammo while defending yourself, work on your aim.
RESHARE: FUCK DAMMIT! The sons of bitches who permitted an eleven year old boy with muscular dystrophy to be bullied to the point of suicide should be made to DIE SCREAMING for their negligence. This is fucking unforgivable!
+mandy stewart is right. Bullying doesn't toughen kids up or have any good effects. Do you want to know what bullying does? I'll tell you right now.
Bullying makes people like me: heartless, cynical, vengeful, paranoid, and without any loyalty to society or a sense of community. Kids who are bullied learn that authority figures don't care about them, and may well be their worst enemies. They learn that violence is not only an acceptable way to settle disputes, it's often the only one that works. They learn that they can't trust other people, and that they're better off relying only on themselves whenever possible because nobody else gives a damn.
If that's what you want kids learning, then by all means continue to permit bullying. But if you don't want to see children grow up to be angry men like me, then fucking do something about child abuse by children in public schools. Because that is what bullying is. It's child abuse.
RESHARE: I used to make money by collecting cans and bottles to recycle as a kid. I don't know why Coked-up Cola is being so recalcitrant about this, aside from the possibility that they're doing it just because they can.
Reshared text: In a nutshell Coke are scum who see a penny refundable charge allowing people to get a penny back on each bottle returned for recycling it as a bad thing. Doesn't matter what country you are in, reshare, tell the world. Companies like Coke don't have the right to do this, no matter what they think. It's rare to see a Government doing something right for once, so let them know what's right and wrong here.
Remember, kids: the UK doesn't have a First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of of (offensive) speech. Now, I can see why Sean Duffy was convicted, but I can't muster much sympathy for their families. When you expose your life to the internet, you have to expect trolls.
"Moreover, the person who wishes to live this way, to maintain order at universal gunpoint, has an absolute trust in his own ability to use weapons wisely and well: he never for a moment asks whether he can be trusted with a gun. Of course he can!"
I only buy into the notion of order at universal gunpoint when I'm drunk, but I have asked myself if I should be trusted with firearms. For years my answer was, "No. I'm nearsighted and short-tempered." These days my answer is, "I'm still nearsighted, but not as short-tempered as I was as a younger man. I should be able to handle a .22 rifle, but nothing more powerful than that."
If I was drunk enough, I could find a perverse amusement in the fervor with which today's Republicans cling to doctrines which were discredited a century or two ago, like the notion of Divine Right, or Social Darwinism. It's particularly amusing that Republicans pander to Creationists and reject what Darwin was really about while peddling a perversion of Darwin's work on evolution by natural selection created to justify and legitimatize the rule of the people by the richest 0.1%.
RESHARE: Holy crispy crap. Here's a fully-clothed, reasonably proportioned interpretation of Wonder Woman wearing armor which might actually protect her. No way DC would go for this.
Reshared text: Diana Of Themyscira Artwork
This is one bad ass interpretation of Wonder Woman and I'd love to see something like this in the comics. There are certain problems with the design from a physical point of view, but it's much more warrior like than anything DC has offered up.
I've been saying for years that politicians, especially Republicans, need to lay off the God talk. If they want to be good Christians in their private life, that's their business. However, a good Christian is not necessarily a good public official.
We elect officials to Federal office to govern in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, and to state office to govern in accordance with the constitutions of their respective states. To that end, we need people who know the law, in particular the Constitution and its amendments. We need people who are willing to consult with subject matter experts when drafting legislation pertaining to matters outside their own expertise. We need people capable of weighing and balancing the interests of thousands or millions of people.
These are not skills one learns from reading the Bible and going to church.
Why not? As +Gyan Gather pointed out earlier, the abuses for which I despised Bush and despise Obama will happen no matter who gets elected, because the vast majority of the American people are scared brainless for one of a number of reasons. Voting out of hope instead of pragmatism only threatens to make matters worse, so why not vote for maximum bad?
Just to clarify up front: I have a beef with the government of Israel, not the people. I have no dispute whatsoever with Jews in general or the people of Israel, unless they insist that their government can do no wrong.
No doubt many supporters of Israel will insist that the suggestion that Israel withdraw from the West Bank as they did from the Gaza Strip seven years ago is anti-Semitism, but if they think that's bad, I can top it. As far as I'm concerned, the manner in which the Israeli government has treated the Palestinians is reminiscent of the manner in which European Jews were treated prior to the Holocaust. The Jews were socially marginalized and forced to live in ghettos. They were subject to state-sanctioned pogroms. The Palestinian situation is entirely too similar for my taste.
Being an atheist, I can't even spare contempt for the notion that God promised that land to the Jews. You don't get to drive people from their homes just because your supernatural patron gives the OK.
Leaving aside the religious claim, was not Israel an ancestral homeland for the Palestinians living there when Britain handed over part of its protectorate so that the state of Israel could be founded anew? I'm not surprised that they've fought for so long.
RESHARE: Personally, I think women are being entirely too reasonable in the face of reactionary and invariably religious men displaying the effrontery to attempt to police a woman's body or her sex life. Ladies, you ought to be pulling a Lysistrata at the bare minimum.
If these assholes were trying to police my sex life, I'd be shopping for rifles and signing up for a NRA marksmanship course. Of course, a single angry man with a rifle isn't a revolution. You need at least 100,000 angry men with rifles.
Reshared text: Quote: This is a question of who has the right to debate what goes on in my uterus. And what saddens me is that it's not anyone that knows what having a uterus is like.
RESHARE: It's called the presumption of innocence. Everybody is entitled to it, even if they killed God on national television. It's also called the due process of law, and the right to a trial by jury.
You don't get to decide that somebody is "clearly" guilty. We have judges and juries for that. I wonder how +Dan Soto would replace trial by jury. Should we summarily execute people caught in the act, instead?
Reshared text: Allegedly
I hate the fact that media outlets have to use the word allegedly when reporting a crime that was clearly committed by an individual.
I'm not talking about OJ type scenarios where there weren't any witnesses but situations where a person is seen beating the crap out of someone and it's still an "alleged" crime.
Reshared text: These were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, hehehehe
________________________________________________ Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die. ________________________________________________
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? ( USA )
A:Depends how much you've been drinking. ________________________________________________
Q:I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water. ________________________________________________
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay ? ( UK )
A: What did your last slave die of? ________________________________________________
Q:Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? ( USA )
A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not ... Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked. ________________________________________________
Q:Which direction is North in Australia ? (USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions. _______________________________________________
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? ( UK ) A:Why? Just use your fingers like we do... ________________________________________________
Q:Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked. ________________________________________________
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK ) A: You are a British politician, right? ________________________________________________
Q:Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal. ________________________________________________
Q:Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets. ________________________________________________
Q:I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking. ________________________________________________
Q:I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? ( USA )
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather. ________________________________________________
Q:Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas. ________________________________________________
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
RESHARE: This is why I hate fundies and forced-birth advocates, and why I am profoundly disappointed in the Republican Party for pandering to such people. Abortion is a woman's issue, and it is nobody's business but that of the woman and her doctor. Nobody else, not even God Himself, is entitled to a say in the matter.
I am sick and tired of hearing from people like +Conor Friedersdorf about 'throwing away' or 'wasting' one's vote. If you vote for either head of the political Orthrus which has been savaging this country for the last fifty years, you're part of the problem. The Democrats and the Republicans alike are morally and intellectually bankrupt. Both parties are beholden to America's corporations, and depend on corporate money and corporate media to spread their propaganda. Both parties must be destroyed, but that won't happen as long as people either vote for these assholes, or don't vote at all.
Look, people. I don't care if you bring a pen and vote for +Alice Cooper on a write-in ballot, as long as you don't vote for either a Democrat or a Republican. Both Obama and Romney need to fuck off, along with all of their cronies. #ThrowTheBumsOut
RESHARE: The chemical reactions we identify with fire require oxygen. Nuclear fusion does not. In fact, nuclear fusion can produce oxygen. Furthermore, it is possible to fuse elements up to iron while still having energy left over to continue fusion. Once a star fuses its matter into iron, fusion ends.
RESHARE: +Cara Schulz is right. If martial law is necessary, then declare it through processes defined by law.
Reshared text: Undeclared martial law, dancing to terrorists' tune, ... and we applauded I think I'm one of the few people disturbed and unhappy by how the manhunt was run in Boston and by how few people even questioned if any of this was legal. Or what precedent we just set.
The media, who should have been loudest in questioning these actions, used the polite term "lockdown" to describe what was an undeclared martial law. When you shut down all transportation, close businesses, tell citizens they must remain inside their homes, and bring in the armored vehicles - that's martial law. When you search people's bags and demand their ID because they are walking on the street - that's martial law. When you "ask" people for "consent" to search their homes by sticking your foot in the door and using intimidation and fear - that's martial law. Taking a US citizen into custody and not reading him his rights and interrogating him without right to council AND planning to use what he says in court - is far past martial law.
A pair of terrorists do a heinous act and we oblige them with wall to wall 24 hour coverage. We magnify the effects of the act by forcing a major US city to completely shut down. We further do the terrorists job for them by spitting on the 4th and 5th, (and possibly 6th) amendments in the name of public safety. Hell, we didn't just dance to the terrorists' tune, we added an orchestra.
I have no problem with the police, FBI, SWAT officers. They, for the most part, were trying to be as polite and focused as possible. They put their lives on the line and one of them didn't make it. If there was a manhunt for a very violent criminal taking place in my area and the police showed up and politely asked if they could search my home for the suspect, I'd most likely let them. If authorities asked me to stay off the streets so they could more easily locate a dangerous criminal, I'd most likely comply. What I object to is how the city officials pretended to ask for voluntary actions on the part of citizens, but their actions made it plain it was anything but voluntary. I object to doing the terrorists' job for them by shutting down an entire city, causing more disruption and fear than the original act caused. I object to the passive way we now accept voiding our rights, as in Boston or at any airport or our online data (CISPA passed the House, did you know that?), because the government tells us that's what we must do to be safe. The Patriot Act, Kill Lists by our President, Drone attacks, suspension of Due Process ... and now martial law in our cities? Is this another step along the path of The New Normal?
Every citizen is protected under the constitution, no matter what they have done or what person the authorities are searching for, or we are no longer the United States of America. The terrorists won this round (again) and we helped them and then applauded.
And want to know the sad kicker to this string of events? The 19 year old suspect wasn't found through these illegal actions. He was found by a homeowner who went out to check his property after the undeclared martial law was lifted.
RESHARE: I see nothing wrong with this idea, but it doesn't go far enough. We won't have true transparency in government until we know what our elected officials and judges fantasize about when they masturbate.
If you hold public office, you have no right to privacy, because secrecy is the root of tyranny.
Please share this if you are a developer or know somebody in the trade. I'm a software developer whose most recent project was the Healthy Beginnings Data System for the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, Florida. I helped see the project through from the beginning of development all the way through the release of the version 1.0 production build to CSC. I have a total of twelve years of professional experience, and I am proficient with C#, ASP.NET, the .NET Framework, and LINQ. I am also capable of writing both ad hoc T-SQL queries and stored procedures for Microsoft SQL Server, and can work with design patterns. I have experience with Agile and test-driven development methodologies.
If you're looking to hire an experienced, reliable developer who will endure any hardship to complete a project that inspires him, please refer to my LinkedIn profile for a full overview of my professional experience. I can also furnish a resume in Word format upon request. If you don't have hiring authority, but work for a company who's looking for developers; or if you know somebody who needs a good developer, please send them my way. My salary requirements are reasonable, and I am willing to relocate to anywhere in the United States. I am also willing to relocate to Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Within a month of being hired by Computer Aid, Inc., I thought that this would be a good place to build a career. I thought to myself, "I wouldn't mind working here for ten or twenty years if they're willing to have me." I was committed to proving myself to these people and earning a place in the company. If they needed me to work overtime, I was there. If somebody needed help on a project outside my primary project, and I could help them, I did.
Instead, I've got another item on my resume and yet another job search looming ahead of me. My manager asked me to meet with her this morning and notified me that, due to a lack of available work, CAI would be letting me go. In fairness to CAI, they've offered me a week of severance pay in lieu of notice, and have promised to provide me with references and help me file for unemployment benefits. However, I am disappointed. I had hoped, after the year of faithful service I had provided, to have earned a place with the company.
Regardless of my feelings on the matter, I have to look for a new job. I'm a software developer whose most recent project was the Healthy Beginnings Data System for the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, Florida. I helped see the project through from the beginning of development all the way through the release of the version 1.0 production build to CSC. I have a total of twelve years of professional experience, and I am proficient with C#, ASP.NET, the .NET Framework, and LINQ. I am also capable of writing both ad hoc T-SQL queries and stored procedures for Microsoft SQL Server, and can work with design patterns. I have experience with Agile and test-driven development methodologies.
I also have some skill with open-source languages and systems such as Ruby and PHP on systems running GNU/Linux and Apache.
If you're looking to hire an experienced, reliable developer who will endure any hardship to complete a project that inspires him, please refer to my LinkedIn profile for a full overview of my professional experience. I can also furnish a resume in Word format upon request. If you don't have hiring authority, but work for a company who's looking for developers; or if you know somebody who needs a good developer, please send them my way. My salary requirements are reasonable, and I am willing to relocate to anywhere in the United States. I am also willing to relocate to Canada, the UK, and Australia.
Suck it, Republicans. You're going to have to win the White House and get a solid majority in both houses of Congress if you want to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Can you afford to do so?
Edit: Changing the link to theatlantic.com for better and live-updating coverage.
The most contentious aspect of the Affordable Care Act, the "individual mandate", is being upheld as a tax. Given that it's a somewhat regressive tax, being either a flat amount or up to a fixed percentage of income, one would think that the Republicans would be all for it. Those assholes love taxes that hit the poor and the middle classes harder than their true masters, the 0.1%.
Just so you know: I welcome disagreement, as long as it comes from people who have properly filled out their profiles and are willing to show their faces. If you can't do that, and you have the temerity to mock those who do, then I will amuse myself by seeing how many times I have to block and report you for hate speech before you finally realize that your presence is unwelcome. I will also mock you in the meantime.
RESHARE: This bill should be known as the "I want your children to suffer the way I had to" Act of 2013.
Reshared text: Whoa, here's a message to children: don't disappoint your state representatives by actually using a printer to print a thank-you note. Maybe you should just write the thing in your own blood to show you are sincere... I wonder after what age she will accept printed thank-you notes without insisting on cursive. quote Rep. Pat Hurley, R-Randolph, is the sponsor of House Bill 146, known as the "Back to Basics" bill. She said she filed the proposal after receiving a bunch of printed thank-you notes from a local fourth-grade class that visited her in Raleigh. And hey, don't forget the article in Inside Higher Ed about how students need to learn cursive so they CAN WRITE BLUE BOOK EXAMS in college. https://plus.google.com/111474406259561102151/posts/74DzryqEFoq Welcome to the 21st century, everybody!
RESHARE: I've never heard of a guy getting stoned and beating the shit out of his wife and kids. Stories of people getting drunk and inflicting violence on others, however, are entirely too common. #RepealProhibition.
I've got some good news to share concerning my job search. A lady named Heather Lockhart at TEK Systems had gotten in touch with me a couple of months ago in order to sound me out. I had told her, at the time, that I was happy working for Computer Aid, Inc. Yesterday, I emailed her to let her know that I had been laid off, and was looking for work again. She's already arranged two interviews for me. That's more than I expected, and sooner.
RESHARE: I don't care if people pray for me. I just don't want to hear about it. I think prayer is best done in private, because I don't want to eavesdrop on people's conversations with their gods. It's rude, and it's not like I work for the FBI, CIA, or NSA.
RESHARE: I see the point that +Lourdes C is trying to make, but it wouldn't have been compelling to me as a young man finishing high school and looking forward to the prospect of never having to set foot in a classroom again, and it isn't all that compelling now, as an older man whose childhood scars only occasionally ache.
We all have to find a balance between altruism and egoism, between looking out for others and looking our for ourselves. If we place absolute self-sacrifice at one end of a spectrum, and absolute selfishness without sacrificing others at the other, I tend to be more egoistic than altruistic. When told that I should do something, the first question that comes to mind (and to my lips if I can't figure it out on my own) is "What's in it for me?"
In the case of college, I was able to find my own reason. I had a vocation, writing, and was realistic enough to know that I should learn a trade of some kind so that I could support myself until I was a good enough writer to make a living at it. More importantly, I was able to hope that after going to college, and taking on debt, I would be able to find work in my field and pay off that debt. If I was 17 today, I wouldn't have that hope. I would probably say "fuck it" and join the Navy instead.
You can tell me about the species all you want. You can tell other people about the species and future generations. But first, give them a reason to believe that the sacrifice will be worth it in their lifetime. Talk of going to college for the sake of future generations is no different from talk about the importance of suffering poverty for the sake of earning a place in Heaven. Either way, it's religious talk, and it doesn't help.
Reshared text: In It For The Species in which the authoress spells out why you damn well better get your kids to college
Its been bothering me for a while now that I am seeing kids, parents, pundits, and prognosticators all standing around debating whether or not they or their children, need to go to college... specifically, whether it is worth going into debt to become educated with almost zero probability of getting a job in their major'ed field when they graduate.
Let me say that that is a valuable conversation to have in this day and in this age and, most especially, in this economy.
But let me tell you right now, parents, friends, pundits, parents who have kids with these questions coming over to their houses to hang out with their kids, what the end of this conversation must be.
"I understand your position, and I understand your concerns and it is a heck of alot of money, but you need to understand, *insert child name here;
We're in it for the species, boys and girls.
To that end, it is your goal, your duty to your family, your peers, your country, your planet and to your species to get an education that will allow you to think for yourself and execute your plans for your future on your own terms.
Now I'm not going to tell you that you can't get that without a $57,000/year stint of college debt for four to eight years but I can tell you this. If you don't go, we will, all of us, regret it.
We will regret it because, a few generations down the line, not one of you will understand how to get to the moon. Not one of you will understand how advanced mathematics opens up the universe to you. Not one of you will be able to see manipulation when it is visited upon you by those who wish to control you.
If YOU don't go to college, insert child name here, then your children may not go. If their children don't go, and the opinion becomes that only those who can really afford it can go, then only a select few will go.
AND THEY WILL BE YOUR LORDS AND MASTERS and you will thank them for the crumbs they give you. You will thank them for keeping you in your pens, safe and secure against the big bad world.
Kiss the universe goodbye, because our species will never EVER leave this planet and spread out into space because not a damn one of us will be smart enough to figure out how to build the ships to go.
Forget about future advancement in medicine, because doctors will become little more than first aid technicians because really, there are 7 Billion of you so far and you are all cattle to your masters...and replaceable.
...not that you or your children or their children insert child name here will ever realize it.
Forget about deep space probes. Forget about science. Your children, their children and your children's children, will be in a pen of your making and mine because the powers that be wanted you there and so you didn't get that higher education and I didn't put the boot up your ass to get you there.
But I don't want you or your children or their children to be financial slaves either. So while you are at college (and by the Lords of Kobol you *are going to college*) it is your duty and mine to fight tooth and nail and street by street and represesentative to representative (regardless of their party) that you're education and the education of your children down through the ages to come, will be a responsibility, executed and funded by we the people today and you the people of tommorrow.
And if you don't get your ass insert child name here back to your desk and fill out every form and every bit of paperwork for that financial aid to help us help you, then you are letting down yourself and the rest of the entire species of hominid we call Homo-Sapien, from the person who first discovered fire, to the child who was just born in the hospital half a world away.
You have a responsibility to your species. And you're damn well gonna make good on it. Why? Because we're in it for the species and don't you ever forget it."
Here's the deal from now on, ladies and gentlemen (not to mention bitches and bastards). You are not obligated to explain yourself to anybody. If anybody asks you why you aren't dating, don't have children, aren't married, aren't buying a house, don't own a car, etc, the only answer you need give is the following: "Because fuck you. That's why." It isn't the answer they deserve, but I doubt you could convince most juries that summary execution is appropriate punishment for the meddlesome and the excessively inquisitive.
RESHARE: Even if #RonPaul or +Gary Johnson aren't the right candidates for President in 2012, every word of this campaign ad is true. We need to end this national psychosis which drives us to occupy other nations and kill and maim their inhabitants for no better reason than to ensure "cheap" oil that has not gotten any cheaper, even if you account for inflation. We are murdering our own people by sending them off to war. We are murdering other people by sending our people off to war. We are making of our own ideals a depraved joke.
We're Americans. We're supposed to be better than this. We're supposed to be the example of liberty, justice, and prosperity for all to which other nations are supposed to aspire.
And we are none of these things. Without our ideals, we are not Americans. Without our principles, we are not a nation. If we are not Americans, then we're nothing but every other country's outcasts and criminals, or their descendants.
Which would you prefer? To be an American, or to be human garbage?
RESHARE: A cent for every dollar in the Federal budget isn't even close to being enough, but it'll be a good start. Ideally, the #DOD would get NASA's current budget, and #NASA would get the 20% currently allocated to the military (before accounting for the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan).
Scientists discover habitable planet orbiting a star only 12 light years away from us !
In celestial terms, just around the corner.
The system is called Tau ceti. There are 5 planets known to be orbiting this star and one of them is habitable. And it looks like there may also be a second planet that has conditions conducive to life !
Image credit: J. Pinfield of the RoPACS network at the University of Hertfordshire.
Steve Vogt, Professor at the University of California at Sant Cruz, gives an interview with +ABC News
RESHARE: I lost patience with the notion that a man can either be friends with a woman, or want her for a lover, but not both. I see no reason why a man can't be friends with a woman, but still acknowledge in his private thoughts that he finds her attractive. I've had friendships and professional relationships with women where I've thought, "I'm willing if she is", but I've always kept such thoughts to myself. It's up to her to indicate interest first.
Reshared text: I’m sure you guys are now sitting there saying to yourself, “I don’t do that”. Heterosexual males cannot help themselves. It is innate to their beings. They look at women as potential mates and part of the territory they would like to claim. Even if she is not your type, if you spend enough time with a female and get along with her, you will have a fleeting second or two of hmmmmm’ pass through that mind of yours. Tell me I’m wrong.
RESHARE: REASONS TO VOTE REPUBLICAN (You know I'm being sarcastic, right?)
1. I vote Republican because I want the government to tell me how to be a moral person. 2. I vote Republican because I'm too chickenshit to murder people who have done me and mine no harm with my own hands. 3. I vote Republican because I think that wealth confers the wisdom needed to rule over others. 4. I vote Republican because I want everybody else's sex life to be as boring and vanilla as my own -- especially those nasty queers. 5. I vote Republican because I know they'll keep people who aren't hard-working, decent, real Americans (you know, immigrants and black people and the like) in their proper place. 6. I vote Republican because I like having corporations lord it over me and mine. 7. I vote Republican because science cannot be allowed to challenge the truth of God's Literal Word. 8. I vote Republican because I fear and hate women. 9. I vote Republican because I don't trust God to judge people in the next world, and want to see them judged in this one. 10. I vote Republican because I am empty inside, and can't figure out how to live my own life without authority to tell me what to do.
Reshared text: REASONS TO VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT
1. I vote Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon of gas at 43% isn't. 2. I vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would. 3. I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it. 4. I vote Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves. 5. I vote Democrat because I believe that people who can't tell us if it will rain on Friday can tell us that the polar ice caps will melt away in ten years if I don't start driving a Prius. 6. I vote Democrat because I'm not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive. 7. I vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits. 8. I vote Democrat because I believe that business should not be allowed to make profits for themselves. They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrats see fit. 9. I vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit some fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters. 10. I vote Democrat because I think that it's better to pay billions to people who hate us for their oil, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle or gopher. 11. I vote Democrat because while we live in the greatest, most wonderful country in the world, I was promised "HOPE AND CHANGE". (actually I thought I was going to get free gas and a house).
(Come on now, some of your Dems surely have a list for the Republicans!)
RESHARE: I agree with +Laura Gibbs. Khan Academy is not the problem. At most, it's a symptom of the real problem. Let me explain it to you: we've allowed American K-12 education to be turned into a game whose object is to get the highest scores possible, by any means necessary. Blame NCLB (No Child Gets Ahead) if you must, but I remember lessons being interrupted to deal with state-mandated standardized tests when Ronald Reagan was still President.
School is a game because of standardized tests, and the object is to get the highest possible score. It is a game American children are compelled by law to play. To add insult to injury, children are made to cope with threats of poverty and menial labor should they not prove sufficiently dedicated to playing the game and getting the highest possible score, despite our economy being mired in a second Great Depression and the presence of millions of college graduates trying to pay off their loans by doing the very menial labor with which they were threatened should they not do well enough at school.
Every American student is Chell, compelled to traverse a series of increasingly difficult obstacles by an authority indifferent to their welfare, in exchange for the promise of cake should they succeed. However, the cake is a lie.
Since the school game is bullshit, and all that matters when playing is to get the right answers in order to get the highest possible score, why shouldn't kids use Khan Academy, if it gives them the right answers they need to get the high standardized test scores which have become the purpose of their lives?
No doubt teachers will find my advocacy of Khan Academy as objectionable as they find Khan Academy itself. Unfortunately for them, they have no authority over me, and will get no sympathy. America's teachers helped make Khan Academy necessary by not doing enough, as a profession with a politically powerful union, to resist the drive to reduce public schooling to an exercise in teaching to the test. Now they have the temerity to complain that Khan Academy does a better job of it than they can.
Reshared text: KHAN IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Lots of teachers here have shared the Washington Post article on Khan Academy (see below), the long article in mathalicious, etc. … It's all over the place in my stream. Well, I have to say that these attacks on Khan Academy strike me as misdirected at best, and self-righteous at worst. The Khan approach simply reflects the MULTIPLE-CHOICE STANDARDIZED TESTING REGIME which is destroying education in this country, in my opinion. It is those standardized tests which show students that the "right answer" is the only thing that matters, not a real understanding of math (or science or reading or writing). As long as we are paying test-makers like Pearson and ETS and the College Board BILLIONS OF DOLLARS for the privilege of destroying education in our country, then projects like Khan Academy are inevitable, catering to the needs of a test-driven system which we have inflicted on students and teachers alike. Have these teachers who are bashing Khan all decided to boycott multiple-choice standardized testing of their students? Now THAT would impress me. I teach writing, which, along with the creative arts, is a subject that has been even more poorly served by multiple-choice testing than math and reading. My students, college seniors mostly, have trouble writing meaningful sentences and paragraphs, much less longer forms of writing, but they are experts at taking quizzes and tests "about" writing… because that is what they did for years and years in school. If students cannot write well after 12 years of formal full-time schooling (or, in the case of college seniors, 15 years or more of formal full-time schooling), we have done something very wrong somewhere, and I would argue that the single most wrong thing we are doing is letting multiple-choice standardized tests drive the system. MULTIPLE-CHOICE TESTING is the problem in my opinion, not a sideshow like Khan Academy.
RESHARE: A black actor as James Bond means a black man engaging in the sort of sexism and violence our society condemns in black men but excuse in white men. However, he wouldn't be doing it because he's black, but because he's James Bond, and that's how the character rolls. I'd like to see it happen just to watch racists' heads explode.
I also think, on the basis of his portrayal of The Operative in Serenity, that Chiwetel Ejiofor might make a better bond than Idris Elba. :)
Reshared text: Could James Bond Ever Be Black?
Could the character of James Bond ever be played by a black actor? On another thread I have been discussing how great it would be to see Idris Elba in the role. It has also been brought up that some folks would have a cow over Bond being portrayed by a black actor, especially if the "Bond girl" is portrayed by a white actor. So, could the quintessential British super-spy be portrayed by a black guy? Would it matter?
Naomi Bradleigh: [backing away from a shotgun pointed at her from inside a round door] "I assume you're Michael Brubaker. Or have I perhaps disturbed Mr. Bilbo Baggins?"
Michael Brubaker: "Great. Another hobbit joke. I can't believe my father not only bought into this monolithic dome crap, but had to have round windows and cover everything with sod. What do I have to do to get people to take me seriously around here?"
Naomi Bradleigh: "Have you considered simply walking into Mordor?"
If you have a new book coming out, and want some exposure on my website, get in touch here, or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I have over 16,000 followers here on G+, and I want to expand my audience to improve my own eventual sales. I figure the best way to accomplish this is to help you.
I'll need a cover, a blurb, an author photo, an author bio, and links to your website/blog/social media accounts. I prefer a week's notice, but I can accommodate shorter notice within reason. All I ask in return is that you circle me, and link to my blog on yours.
If your book's especially interesting, I'll buy a copy and review it, or ask to do an interview.