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Current Topic: Society

'God' responds to legislator's lawsuit
Topic: Society 11:24 pm EDT, Sep 20, 2007

A legislator who filed a lawsuit against God has gotten something he might not have expected: a response.

'God' responds to legislator's lawsuit

Topic: Society 11:33 am EDT, Sep 20, 2007

Viacom today launched a new social networking site under the MTV name, with the distinctive characteristic of being devoted to youth activism. today moved out of beta and is open to the public. Though it may be tough to compete against giants like Facebook and Myspace, MTV is taking a different approach to set itself apart from the basic friend-connecting style of the existing sites.

ThinkMTV will be a place for users to meet and discuss political and economic issues. MTV's "Think" brand is used to promote awareness for things like the power of the youth vote.

At its core, will be a social networking platform just like countless other sites. MTV hopes its core message will be heard, though, and will bring something different to the table.

"The Think platform creates an umbrella to be able to talk about a number of issues at a time," said MTV president Christina Norman in a Reuters interview. has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Case Foundation (set up by AOL founder Steve Case), and a couple other charitable groups.

The new site launches in the middle of the most widely discussed early presidential campaign in history. The elections will be a major part of the site, according to MTV.


Topic: Society 10:35 pm EDT, Aug 12, 2007

Yelp is...

...the ultimate city guide that taps into the community's voice and reveals honest and current insights on local businesses and services on everything from martinis to mechanics.

Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great (and not so great) in your world. You already know that asking friends is the best way to find restaurants, dentists, hairstylists, and anything local. Yelp makes it fast and easy by collecting and organizing your friends' recommendations in one convenient place.

I have several friends that swear by this site


Things I wish I’d known when I was younger
Topic: Society 10:23 am EDT, Jul 29, 2007

A sampling:

Most of it doesn’t matter.

Waiting to do something until you can be sure of doing it exactly right means waiting for ever.

Trying to please other people is largely a futile activity.

Everything takes twice as long as you plan for and produces results about half as good as you hoped.

See also Augustine's Laws.

So true

Things I wish I’d known when I was younger

Substitute Teacher Granted New Trial in Porn Case - Security Fix
Topic: Society 12:18 am EDT, Jun  7, 2007

Decius wrote:
There is a lot tied up in the Amero case. I think it really represents frustration over the excesses of the moral panic involving children and the Internet coming to a head.

I whole heartedly agree. It is not just panic over what the children are exposed to it is the risk that you will be held liable for what they see by society imposing an unrealistic expectation of your power over their viewing capabilities.

Jack Malone, a state lawmaker representing Connecticut's 47th assembly district, which includes Norwich, called the case an embarrassment for the state. "I don't know how it ever got this far," he told Security Fix.

Malone added that his office has received dozens of e-mails from people around the world who expressed exasperation and disbelief at the outcome of the trial.

"The overriding sentiment of those e-mails is 'How could you possibly prosecute someone for this kind of error?' Frankly, it makes us look like real hard-liners on the social issues, and I think most folks would agree that stands in contrast to the kind of state we are and the kind of philosophy we have here."

Walt LeBaron, a former educator from New York, said that under the circumstances, it would not be unreasonable for teachers in Connecticut to just turn off their computers, refuse to use them, and leave them off until they get proper training.

State Rep. Malone echoed that sentiment, adding that he, too, is worried about the long-term effects of the case.

"I envision some teacher is going to walk into their classroom and say, 'Nope, not me. Open your books and turn off the computers. These are dangerous things, and I'm not losing my career over it.'"

Substitute Teacher Granted New Trial in Porn Case - Security Fix

Public Service Announcement - Innocent Kids Use Jar Jar Dolls As Masturbation Toys!
Topic: Society 9:34 pm EDT, Jun  6, 2007

When Mrs. Tawny Huxton opened her son Timmy's bedroom door, she was shocked to see his innocent white hiney nestled into the new 7ft Jar Jar Binks doll she had bought him for his birthday. Lately, many Americans have suffered similar incidents. Young children are being seduced by the character of George Lucas' latest Star Wars Movie. Jar Jar's soothing voice, and timid childlike manners, seem to lure young teens into a world of lustful abandon. Unsuspecting parents purchase the popular life-size doll, only to find out later that it is being used by the child as a masturbation toy.

Under the guise of family entertainment, Lucas' "Star Wars" prequel has contaminated America's youth with subliminal sexual innuendo. Pastor Ebeneezer Smith of the Landover Baptist Church commented, "The demonic characteristics of the Jar Jar binks creature become obvious when one pays close attention. His forked tongue, his lapping, his malignant features, are all too noticeable to the Christ centered man." Experts who have examined the life-sized doll that has become the favorite 'toy' of 12-14 year old children, say that the evidence is overwhelming. The doll was created for the sole purpose of masturbation. It has four openings, and three extrusions, making it compatible for male or female pleasure.

Members of The Landover Baptist Church are outraged at the Satanic subtlety in which marketing geniuses have moved this horrific abomination into the homes of America's youth. "One Mother was concerned that her young daughter was not interested in boys," a Pastor noted, "she asked her little girl, 'why don't you talk about the cute boys at school?' Her daughter replied, 'oh momma, nobody I know is cuter than Jar Jar Binks.' The mother was horrified."

Landover Baptist Church finds that the only way to resolve this problem is to ban not only life sized Jar Jar Binks dolls from American homes, but to ban any life sized doll. "Any child that has seen this movie is finding that their natural attraction to members of the opposite sex is being replaced with an attraction to a 7ft devil with elephant feet, a 25 inch tongue, polka dot skin, a fish snout, and two phallic eyes that jut out like hard erotic pokers. For the Love of God! If you've got this devil in your house, remove it as soon as possible!

Damn those "marketing geniuses!! Heed thier warnings...This is no prank....It is, "A True Christian Perspective on Local, National, and World News."

Public Service Announcement - Innocent Kids Use Jar Jar Dolls As Masturbation Toys!

Wishful thinking?
Topic: Society 8:32 am EDT, May 19, 2007

One presumes the CNN International employee who typed this title *meant* to say, "Blair resigns," but perhaps they know something the rest of us do not.

I wonder how many calls/email they got and if this guy got in trouble? Supposedly it ran at about midnight eastern time.

Wishful thinking?

Republican Presidential Candiates on Torture
Topic: Society 11:22 pm EDT, May 16, 2007

Here is my selected exerpt, with some content cut and some emphasis added...

How aggressively would you interrogate those being held at Guantanamo Bay for information about where the next attack might be?

SEN. MCCAIN: The use of torture -- we could never gain as much we would gain from that torture as we lose in world opinion. We do not torture people.

When I was in Vietnam, one of the things that sustained us, as we went -- underwent torture ourselves, is the knowledge that if we had our positions reversed and we were the captors, we would not impose that kind of treatment on them.

It's not about the terrorists, it's about us. It's about what kind of country we are. And a fact: The more physical pain you inflict on someone, the more they're going to tell you what they think you want to know.

MR. GIULIANI: In the hypothetical that you gave me, which assumes that we know there's going to be another attack and these people know about it, I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of. It shouldn't be torture, but every method they can think of --

MR. HUME: Water-boarding?

MR. GIULIANI: -- and I would -- and I would -- well, I'd say every method they could think of, and I would support them in doing that because I've seen what -- (interrupted by applause) -- I've seen what can happen when you make a mistake about this, and I don't want to see another 3,000 people dead in New York or any place else.

MR. HUME: Governor Romney, I'd like to draw you out on this.

MR. ROMNEY: Now we're going to -- you said the person's going to be in Guantanamo. I'm glad they're at Guantanamo. I don't want them on our soil. I want them on Guantanamo, where they don't get the access to lawyers they get when they're on our soil. I don't want them in our prisons. I want them there.

Some people have said, we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is, we ought to double Guantanamo. We ought to make sure that the terrorists -- (applause) -- and there's no question but that in a setting like that where you have a ticking bomb that the president of the United States -- not the CIA interrogator, the president of the United States -- has to make the call. And enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used -- not torture but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes.

REP. PAUL: I think it's interesting talking about torture here in that it's become enhanced interrogation technique. It sounds like Newspeak.

REP. TANCREDO: Well, let me just say that it's almost unbelievable to listen to this in a way. We're talking about -- we're talking about it in such a theoretical fashion. You say that -- that nuclear devices have gone off in the United States, more are planned, and we're wondering about whether waterboarding would be a -- a bad thing to do? I'm looking for "Jack Bauer" at that time, let me tell you. (Laughter, applause.)

And -- and there is -- there is nothing -- if you are talking about -- I mean, we are the last best hope of Western civilization. And so all of the theories that go behind our activities subsequent to these nuclear attacks going off in the United States, they go out the window because when -- when we go under, Western civilization goes under. So you better take that into account, and you better do every single thing you can as president of the United States to make sure, number one, it doesn't happen -- that's right -- but number two, you better respond in a way that makes them fearful of you because otherwise you guarantee something like this will happen.

Rep. Tancredo, the reason western civilization looks hopefully upon you is the sort of values that Sen. McCain mentioned. If your perspective triumphs, you've already gone under. Its over.

Republican Presidential Candiates on Torture

Topic: Society 11:22 am EDT, Apr 14, 2007

Many groups such as Scenic America have complained that billboards on highways cause too much clearing of trees and intrude on the surrounding landscape, with billboards' bright colors, lights and large fonts making it hard to focus on anything else. Other groups believe that billboards and advertising in general contribute negatively to the mental climate of a culture by promoting products as providing feelings of completeness, wellness and popularity to motivate purchase. One focal point for this sentiment would be the magazine AdBusters, which will often showcase politically motivated billboard and other advertising vandalism, called culture jamming.

This bit is thanks to The Animal Liberation Front


Democrats Work
Topic: Society 10:57 pm EDT, Apr 11, 2007

The mission of Democrats Work is to mobilize grassroots Democrats to perform community service projects . . . as Democrats. DW connects Democratic volunteers with visible, tangible service projects in their communities – cleaning up parks, painting schools, building houses, sponsoring soccer tournaments, helping at church bake sales. With DW, for the first time, Democrats have a sustainable infrastructure to keep our volunteers and supporters visible and active during the "off season."

All DW activities advance four main goals:

1. Make tangible contributions to increase the visibility of Democrats at the local level.

2. Engage the grassroots during non-election time to keep folks active and involved. Instead of asking people to get involved every two or four years, we tap into that energy year-round and “keep the band together.”

3. Reach out to people who might not otherwise get involved in purely “political” activities, but share our values. Not everyone wants to hand out campaign literature or phone bank or even wants to work for a particular candidate, but they are willing to paint a school or clean up a park with their friends.

4. Build a unified stable of motivated and easily mobilized volunteers who can help candidates win elections.

In the short term, DW seeks to foster the civic participation of Democrats in their communities. In the long term, DW aims to transform our nation’s politics: instead of money, we offer work; instead of message, we offer action. In the end, DW envisions a new type of politics: a politics of service.

I was talking to a friend about the community around our school and getting involved in the local areas and she was telling me about a meeting she recently went to where Jimmy Carter's grandson suggested this group so I figured I would put it out there

Democrats Work

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