News Round Up, Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Random thought of the day: I need to find more news sources. After Huffington Post and Fark, most of the articles on CNN, MSNBC, and Yahoo! are repeats. Today I added a browse-through of BBC News and Discovery News. Maybe I’ll find somewhere with quirky news to add into the mix? Hmm…

Not-so-random question: Again, I’ll ask. Do you want to see summaries of these articles before my opinions? Or are you cool with just my opinion and a link? I’m trying not to bog things down if everyone’s happy with things as-is.


Trina McDonald, Military Rape Survivor, To Deliver 113,000 Petition Signatures To Congress

I think articles like this piss me off for one major reason: I swear there are good men out there. I promise! My dad, and the fathers of most of my friends growing up, where all miltary men with good families and steady heads/hearts. I didn’t see a lot of divorces, cheating, violence, or tension in their families. Now, in the civilian world, I see and interact with lots of awesome men. It is not a man’s natural state to be a rapist, or to be violent. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that, hearing about the regularity of violent behavior perpetrated by men in our first-world society.


E.W. Jackson: ‘I Don’t Have Anything To Rephrase Or To Apologize For’

Is abortion about to doom Republicans again?

I think men like Mr. Jackson fail to realize that everyone (both Republicans and Democrats) is tired of extremists. Voters want intelligent moderates, because it’s become clear that extremists get nothing done but showboating. We’ve started to realize collectively that electing conspiracy theorists to office is a really bad idea.


House GOP Budget Cuts Plan Moves Forward

I’m tired of politicians blocking progress! A group of people from both parties wanted to form a House-Senate panel to discuss the budget (which would still have to pass a vote in both sides of Congress after being created), and the creation of that panel was cockblocked in the Senate. Of course! Lord forbid we have the parties working together on something so important! I mean, work might actually get done, and we don’t want that.


John McCain, Susan Collins Oppose ‘Bizarre’ Rand Paul, Ted Cruz Demand

As time’s gone by, I’ve liked John McCain more and more. If I could choose between him and my current representatives (I’m in Texas, let me remind you… Ted Cruz is one of mine unfortunately), I’d definitely vote in John McCain. While I don’t agree with him on international politics and war decisions, he’s moderate enough that we could agree on many other points of interest. He’s a wise senator, and I like that he schooled his own peers on how laws happen, and on the irony of not trusting fellow Republicans to stay conservative.


Why I’m Not a Vegan

As a flexitarian myself, I like this article. Mark Bittman explains quite well how a normal person can choose to drop animal products for parts of their time. For example, my breakfast was vegetarian (not vegan, thanks to yogurt in my smoothie). My lunch is like my diet in high school; I’m having tuna, which once fit into my pescatarian (seafood-eating vegetarian) lifestyle. For dinner, we’ll probably cook up the leftover chicken we have to avoid wasting it, so that’ll be a normal meal. But tomorrow I might do vegan stir fried rice for lunch, and I’m more than happy to go vegetarian for any meal if I have access to the ingredients to do so. But, as Bittman says, people like me happen to like meat; I’d probably cry if I never got to taste a piece of crispy bacon ever again! Finding a balance that works for you is key.


Chick-Fil-A Gift Cards Donated To ‘Biblical Marriage’ Church Event

I feel sorry for Chick-Fil-A. You try to just let the drama die down over your gay marriage views, and BAM! a church tosses you back into the spotlight. What really sucks is not eating at Chick-Fil-A anymore; normally, I can ignore the politics of a company or chain and be a good little consumer (i.e. I don’t actively research how a company feels about anything), but I draw the line when those politics are rubbed in my face for months. You can’t un-know something once it’s out there.


An Open Letter to Facebook

On one hand, I agree with these women. Facebook doesn’t apply its own posting standards fairly or consistently. I believe they need to do so, which means removing a lot of violent and pornographic pages and posts (like Big Booty Hoes, which had a huge ass in a thong as its cover photo).

However, on the other hand, this is the internet. I don’t expect censorship to work, ever. That’s why I avoid certain sites, knowing they harbor a large community of negative people who would offend me. As I said, I’d like to see Facebook applying its standards consistently, but I accept that there will be “offensive” pages who can and will always make the cut.


Utah Mom Makes Bully Daughter Wear Thrift Store Clothes After Teasing Another Student

Normally, the public punishments parents use are things like having their kid stand in a public place with a sign about their misdeeds. I think this mom did something smarter. Making a bully dress in “embarassing” clothes that cover more of her body than most youth clothing these days has little damage potential (in my mind, at least). I’d go a step further, taking all of my daughters clothes away and not letting her wear normal clothes again until she showed real remorse. Then again, I’m really harsh on bullies and violence; if my kids make the mistake of falling into those behaviors, it’ll only happen once.


Amazon launches Kindle Worlds publishing platform for fan fiction, will pay royalties to writers and rights holders

Now this is an interesting idea! Amazon is going to license out certain fiction worlds (like Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries) for fan fiction writers to make money off of, legally. I love this idea, and I hope they open up titles I actually read. It’d be great to see the world of Pern (via Anne and Todd McCaffrey) openned up to fan fiction on this level, or maybe the world of PC Cast’s House of Night.


Amy’s Baking Company co-owner faces deportation

The article’s title should read “Karma has a good laugh, let’s join in!” I really can’t stand this company, and I haven’t even seen the show they were on; instead, I’ve been privvy to their various (failed) attempts to not look like asses. Anyone who takes tips from servers needs to be removed from the business realm; they already make shit for pay as it is (even if you pay above the $2.14 minimum for tip earners, which I doubt they did before this shitstorm hit).

I don’t understand why Kitchen Nightmares bothered with their business; I assume they do some preliminary research into the backgrounds of the business AND the owners. I wouldn’t touch a possible deportation with a ten foot pole, just in case it caused that person further issues.


SourceFed News

Just a random fact, I like to watch my news on Youtube sometimes. SourceFed is one of my favorite sources, mostly because of the humor and personailities of the people involved in its production. The Philip DeFranco Show is also a favorite, starring the creator of SourceFed. They all go over some of the same news articles I read, and they make for some fun background noise while I’m working. I just thought I’d put that out there.


The technology that links taxonomy and Star Trek

I’d love to have a tricorder. The idea of being able to scan plants and know what’s edible, or to scan an animal and know if it’s dangerous (without touching it) is tantalizing. I’m a nature lover, but I’m not comfortable trying to learn wildcrafting (harvesting wild herbs and foods). I’m afraid I’ll poison myself by mistaking one plant for another. I’d love to see a tricorder eventually, at least to help scientists in their studies outside of a lab room.


That Xbox One Reveal Sure Was A Disaster, Huh?

Let me be honest: I’ve never been an XBox fan. I prefer the PS3 to the XBox360 for one reason: cost. I don’t like paying extra to access the wireless internet I’m already paying for. On the PS3, I can surf the web, watch Netflix, and play online games as long as I have wifi in my house; for the XBox360, I have to pay for a Live account just to access Netflix. Now, the XBox One wants me to pay a fee to play a used (or borrowed) game. What about rentals, huh?

I have a Wii, a PS3, and two XBox360s in my house thanks to four adults all living together. I don’t play console games often, so my preference is and will always been based on price. I’m hoping that one of the new consoles is a free-connecting genius with backward compatability; with the other gamers in the house, I’m sure we’ll be getting at least one upgraded system. For the moment, that’s NOT the XBox One.


Dogs Absorb Lawn Chemicals

This should be a duh, but it takes some thinking. When we apply chemicals to places we visit, we don’t often think of what happens to them later. You clean your stove with 409, then swipe up a blob of brownie batter with your finger off the same surface the next day. Ew!

I mostly clicked on this article for my close friends. I know people who like to poison dandelions and bug bomb their homes at the first sign of trouble. I’ll avoid debating the usefulness of dandelions (they’re a FOOD!!!), and instead say that maybe we all need to weigh the pros and cons before using any chemical pesticides and herbicides. They affect us, our children, our pets, and our environment. (Okay, I’ll climb off my hippy-dippy, vinegar-cleaner soapbox now. Sorry…)


Fake Forest Converts Sunlight Into Energy

I’d love to see us use more solar energy as a planet. The idea of creating these fake forests to harness energy is great, especially compared to doing nothing (our current method). The tech needs a lot more development to reach peak efficiency, but let’s keep our fingers crossed!


Buzzy Takes the Sting Out of Shots

As a kid (and adult) who hated getting shots, I would’ve liked this invention a couple decades ago. The idea of using vibration to distract nerves from pain seems so simple! I guess it’s one of those “why didn’t I think of that?!” things.


Trent Franks Uses Kermit Gosnell Case To Push 20-Week Abortion Bill

I have a plan! How about we copy France? Make abortion legal for everyone up to 12 weeks, then make doctor-approved abortions for later in gestation (i.e. health of the fetus or mother is in jeopardy). Nobody wins, nobody’s happy… but women who need help will get it from someone trained and reliable, especially if it isn’t so frickin’ hard to find a licensed practitioner in your state. You know, ANY doctor can technically perform an abortion for medical purposes; it’s not just the specialized clinics. So if we legalize it (for real) up to 12 weeks in all states, then we can take the fear of lawsuits off of all doctors. Tah-frickin-dah!

I’m sorry, but I get moody over abortion rights. While I’ve miscarried and wouldn’t want an abortion (other than for health purposes), I have no issue with a woman simply deciding that she doesn’t want to become a mother, no explanation necessary. Gosnell did appauling things, but people like him exist because of our fight against choice. Making something illegal just pushes it underground to continue unregulated and dangerously. (Look at Prohibition and the drug war for examples.)


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