alpharaposa: (carpetnap)
This morning, the biggest outrage on my mind was Hillary pretending not to know what "wiping a server" meant, when discussing her email and national security.

Boy, did that change.

The latest video about Planned Parenthood is out.

Cut tagged. No graphic images, just discussion of a difficult subject. )

God have mercy.

Please, have some links:
"There Is No Pro-Life Case for Planned Parenthood" - http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/there-is-no-pro-life-case-for-planned-parenthood/?_r=0
"Why the States Did Not Prosecute Women for Abortion Before Roe v. Wade" - http://www.aul.org/2010/04/why-the-states-did-not-prosecute-women-for-abortion-before-roe-v-wade/
A Map of health clinics that could take the place of Planned Parenthood - http://dailysignal.com/2015/08/17/planned-parenthood-loses-government-funding-heres-map-health-clinics-take-place/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=thftwitter
Mourning and Forgiveness for women who have had abortions and suffered - http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421624/planned-parenthood-brutal-pain
A clinic that focuses on understanding a woman's body, not just covering up symptoms - http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422607/FEMM-womens-health-care-goes-green
alpharaposa: (micahicon)
I suspect that just about anybody who might read this is already familiar with the people forced to bake cakes and take pictures for gay marriages, and the bills in Kansas and Arkansas designed to prevent that kind of coercion in those states.

I find it sad that our country has come to this. Several of the colonies that later became the United States were started by religious folk who wanted to practice their religion without dealing with the (rather strict) rules governing it in Great Britain at the time.

The political part aside, though, there is a theological issue to consider. Would it be sinful to perform your calling in service to an event like a gay wedding ceremony? Is it participation? Endorsement? This is a different question from whether secular law requires it or not.

Today, it occurred to me that there may be a Biblical answer to that question.

Read more... )
alpharaposa: (carpetnap)
A lot of pop psychology has taught us that if you think a "bad" thought, then you are a bad person, no matter how you act. That the fact that you don't act out every one of your thoughts is a kind of psychosis, a self-delusion.

Imagine! Does that mean that any person who doesn't throw themselves off a high place when the idea flickers in their mind is delusional?

The brain is full of possibilities. Part of being human is that I can choose which ones I act upon. To say that any dark thought is who I really am as opposed to the light acts done is to deny any element of choice, any free will or agency in humanity.

We can act one way until it becomes a habit, thus retraining ourselves to a new mode. We can even train our thoughts, so that we no longer linger on dark or disturbing ones. A lot of therapy focuses on such techniques to derail unhelpful cycles. Does that mean I am a hypocrite when I am earnestly persuing new thoughts and training myself to new actions? Is it best that I stick with the old habits or thoughts that were harming myself or others?

Why are restraint and courtesy no longer considered virtues?
alpharaposa: (Default)
http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2011/06/08/a-brief-history-of-the-corporation-1600-to-2100/print/

The article is an interesting read, because of some of the ideas it posits. The main one I'm looking at is near the end: Peak Attention. Similar to Peak Oil, the theory goes that there's only so much Attention out there, and it gets harder and harder to capture pockets of such Attention (with advertising, for example).

What we're talking about is the limits of time. We've reached a point where, if a TV show is to be successful, it must wrangle eyeballs away from other TV shows, internet entertainments, work schedules, play time with families, etc, etc. If it doesn't, well, Comcast is forcing Syfy to cancel Eureka because it doesn't generate enough ad revenue to support the cost of the special effects.

This explains a lot about things like why Borders went out of business. Borders no longer offered enough incentive to capture enough Attention to stay in business. Barnes & Noble is staying in the game by offering toys, games, movies, music, a decent web store online, and an ereader. In the absence of an easily captured pool, B&N solved the problem by casting the nets wider, into multiple pools.

It's a fascinating way to think about the current market.
alpharaposa: (Default)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/opinion/25douthat.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

If choices do not have consequences; if all choices lead to the same result, then we are not truly free to choose.
alpharaposa: (marvin angry)
http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-arvada-police-arrest-11yearold-over-inappropriate-stick-figure-drawing-20110221,0,7099823.story

The link says it - 11 year old boy taken away in handcuffs for drawing stick figures in class.

Episodes like this are cruel to the kids and their parents, and create distrust of police and teachers.

The idiot persuaded to press charges and the idiot who called and persuaded them should both be fired.
alpharaposa: (Default)
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/257422/shrink-think-after-tucson-michael-knox-beran?page=1

I found the three items he links to also fairly interesting, with his thoughts about art in the public square.p
alpharaposa: (Default)
Hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar for this one: http://www.ergofiction.com/2010/07/surveying-webfiction-feedback/

One of the commenters on the article (oh, irony, that I link to it but do not comment there!) mentioned a writer that uses buttons on the bottom of their posts for quick feedback. Others mention that they receive emails.

Livejournal is an excellent place for comments, but less so for buttons and emails. If I wanted to have the instant feedback, it'd have to be a new poll with every writing post. The question is, would you enjoy having the poll? Is that the sort of thing that you'd find fun or annoying?

What about emails?

[Poll #1597980]

From personal experience, my one serial project I was trying to write, [livejournal.com profile] rockworm, died from a lack of comments, due to the nature of the story. I was using the serial more for world-building than to focus on a particular narrative, and so the comments on the social and physical characteristics of the world were vital to me.

Unfortunately, this is a constant temptation in my writing. I love simply peeking into a "day in the life" for a character in order to look at an interesting place or people, but I often forget to have a conflict. Or if there is a conflict, I have no plans on how to resolve it and fall in love with the little details of the setting over the story itself. Without having an idea of where I'm going, I end up needing comments to steer me, or else I lose focus and find that I can't keep the story going.

If I do go forward with another serial (and I have ideas), then I would need to have a skeleton of a storyline ahead of time in order to avoid that pitfall. Or I'd need readers that answer polls or make comments to give me suggestions I can throw into the mix.
alpharaposa: (otaku)
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/15/online-shoppers-unknowingly-sold-souls/

That's what you get for always clicking through the agreements. >.>

Not that I'm much better at paying attention to these things
alpharaposa: (Default)
http://article.nationalreview.com/429884/getting-serious-about-pornography/anonymous

I have a bit of a grumble over the call for more government action at the end of this article.. but the point about the seriousness of porn use is the more important part. It frustrates me how many people think - and teach - that porn is normal and healthy.
alpharaposa: (Default)
I caught most of his statement during my morning break today. I thought it was very mature. He used no weasel words and owned up to his mistakes. He was very clear that he knew he'd done the wrong thing, and made no excuses for it. He apologized to those he wronged and those he disappointed, and said that from here forward, what was important was his actions with his family, not just words.

And I also approve of him chewing out the media for speculating about things without facts and for hounding his family.

At this point, I hope we can all get back to watching him play golf, and he can work things out with his family in private.
alpharaposa: (Default)
When I was a teenager, my dad was the Conference Scouting Coordinator and head of the local NAUMS chapter and all sorts of things Scouting related. This was still a pretty new thing, so he was building groups and coalitions and having lots of meetings with folks. I came along on a lot of these, as I've always loved Scouting as well, and I found a role in the melee.

One thing was that, while the Boy Scouts were officially the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the Girl Scouts were not the Girl Scouts of America (GSA). They were the Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA). Being a teenager, I found the distinction dumb, and I remarked on it to my dad.

He shrugged the question of how dumb it might be off. The important thing, he told me, is that this is all new to them, too. So, to show that we respect them and want to include them, it's important that we use the right name. We had a lot of Boy Scouts to whom BSA lingo was like breathing, but we needed to be able to show the Girl Scouts that we took them seriously and that they were important to us, too. So we had to learn and use the GSUSA lingo. To do otherwise would be rude, and would shut them out.

And we had to learn to speak Campfire Boys and Girls. And 4-H. Using the right names in the right places meant that they were welcome and important.

Now, I've twice in the past few months said something when somebody used the term 'antichoice', because those people are the sorts of people that I didn't think would want to be outright rude to others. I got nowhere in both conversations.

So, maybe this will explain. In this big social battle that goes on, using the preferred words and lingo used by the other side is like waving a flag of parley. It shows that you are interested in putting aside the fighting for a bit to discuss why we're here and what we expect to get out of this. We might not get anywhere in the discussion, but we can have it.

Using insider terms is like closing your visor and picking up your shield. Using an inflammatory term that is also used by trolls in internet fora is like picking up a sword. Both of these actions signal that you're not really interested in discussion, at least not with me.

And in that case, I'm don't want to fight in Livejournal or Twitter or Facebook or other such places. If fighting is what you want, I'll meet you at the voting booth and we can see which side prevails there.

And please don't make the mistake of thinking that because you don't mean it too horribly, it isn't rude. Imagine telling a room full of gay men that you only use 'fag' to refer to the really flamboyant gay men, and you don't mean the rest of them. You probably won't get a very good reaction from most of the room.

If you don't care about my opinions, that's fine, but be aware of the signals you send by the words you choose.
alpharaposa: (Default)
The Atlantic ran an article asking if Christianity caused the economic crash we've going through. Their treatment was, well, about as you might expect.

However, it elicited this response, which is worth reading and thinking over.
alpharaposa: (carpetnap)
When I was a little girl, TVs used to have spots showing starving kids in Africa with pleas for money to help them.

These days, I see spots showing starving and abused animals with pleas for money to help them.
alpharaposa: (Default)
Scientists create sperm in a test tube.

Abortion Parties

Life unworthy of life

The others are more alarming, but the "Abortion Party" is more saddening to me. The writer's only definition of male is "reactionary aggression"?

I see a lot of lost people in these stories. Some of them willingly so, some of them simply wandering.

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