News Round Up, Friday, May 31, 2013

Random thought of the day: The only time money makes me happy is when it forces someone to do good. By that, I mean things like Facebook agreeing to remove rape content because of upset investors or boycotts that successfully force change. Money is a means to an end, not an end itself. When I stopped being broke-as-shit and started living more comfortably (though still legally just above the poverty line), I started spending money to share time with friends who had little time to give, or to travel out for experiences. Money helps me get to the concert or convention, but it doesn’t make me happy; the experience of interacting with others and being enveloped in the energies of a place is what I seek out.

Random question of the day: Do you have favorite Youtube artists? I have probably a dozen different singers and songwriters that I watch and subscribe to, but I’m always willing to try out someone new. Meghan Tonjes is my newest find, thanks to a friend who posted her original song “Wolf” on Facebook. Check her out, and feel free to share anyone you like with me!


How Facebook Learned Rape is Bad for Business

I read feminist blogs for fun after all the news is done for the day. I’ve heard about the FBRape campaign, but I didn’t participate (since I have no Twitter and don’t enjoy reblogging). I’m glad that Facebook folded, and we’ll see if they stick to their word. If not, I’m sure they’ll regret it. Once you monetize a site, you have to keep the shareholders and investers happy; being associated with rape, child abuse, and violence isn’t the way to do so. And, having deleted people who post pictures from pages like “Big Booty Hoes” (thongs on large butts), I have little tolerance for stupidity or sexism. Save that crap for the unfiltered pieces of the internet where the trolls live.


Fans Outraged Over Chris Brown’s Poor Treatment Toward T-ara N4 in the US

In case you didn’t know, Christ Brown is a douche. I won’t get into the he-beat-Rihanna thing. Overall, though, he behaves like the ass he is in almost any situation he’s given. In this particular case, he interrupted a Korean pop group in the middle of a song to talk about his new single. The girls didn’t speak enough English to really understand what was going on, nor were they informed of any plans to stop their song mid-performance. I’d like to see someone do the same thing to Chris Brown in the middle of a song, just to watch him flip his shit (and probably do something violent, and get arrested… he has a temper, you know?).


Boy Scouts Nonprofit Status Stripped In California Legislation

Hmm… let’s play devil’s advocate. On one hand, we have the anti-discrimination ideas. The hope is that, in stripping away non-profit statuses from discriminatory groups, you can force them to accept equality or fund themselves while paying taxes on revenue. At first, I’m all for this… but think about it. If legislation passed through to take the non-profit status from any group with or without a certain belief, pagan groups could be stripped of their status for being different. Thankfully, this type of legislation usually targets groups who ban certain things (rather than groups who support certain ideals), but it wasn’t that long ago that people fought to ban non-Christian or non-traditional spiritual groups from getting non-profit statuses.

Keep in mind, I’m ALL for removing the tax exemptions from all churches (including those of pagan faiths). I think that, aside from helpers like the Red Cross, nobody should be tax exempt. And I’d even accept taxing them, if it meant that everyone who made money got taxed. I mean, sure, that would make your donations less effective… but it’s that the case already? The Red Cross has to spend money to advertise, keep a website, provide hotlines and workers. Those things don’t help victims in Moore, OK recover from their tornado. I’m all for taxing everything; maybe we’d balance out our budget if everybody paid to play the game of Life.


Stacey Thompson, Military Rape Victim, Says Retaliation Prevalent For Those Who Speak Out

Same shit, different day. I think the military needs their criminal investigation branch dissolved, and they need to report all crime via normal (i.e. civilian) channels. Without the connection of rank and hierarchy, maybe civilian authorities could actually investigate and prosecute crimes. I feel the same about the Fort Hood shooter who’s *still* not been to court due to military delay over a beard; he killed several people in 2009, but he’s still not officially guilty or discharged from the military. It’s ridiculous!


Japan Cancels GMO Wheat Order After Concerns Over U.S. Grain Developed By Monsanto

And so it begins! I wonder if the pressure of money (in this case, the loss via canceled exports) will cause more of a stir against GMOs than consumer protests?


Down With Toxic Cleaning Products

Random fact: I don’t allow cleaning products in my house. That’s mostly true. I should say I don’t allow toxic chemicals into my house. We use the things on the list at the bottom of this article, like vinegar and borax. I’m sad to say that switching to natural shampoos and soaps has been a harder battle due to availability. But we’re getting there!


Can Atheism Really Replace Religion?

Well, that was condescending. Nigel Barber is assuming that religion is only used to calm distress, that it goes out of style when comforts are met. He’s completely ignoring the push into “spiritual but not religious”, a category of religion that allows a comfortable person to still connect with some form of God or with the universe itself in a spiritual way.

I agree that traditional, hardline religions are fading as part of the natural process of growing safety and security in our societies, but there will always be the urge to be spiritual in some people, regardless of their comfort levels. There will also always be atheists, who I have no issue with outside of condescending or angry attitudes.

I’ve had a really, REALLY good life with very little distress, but I’m a very spiritual person who can’t (and won’t) separate my faith from my daily life. I believe in magic, not because I need a crutch, but because I believe in the interconnectivity of the cosmos and all energy. I watch science as it catches up, finding new ways to measure what was once “magic” as reality, and I accept both.


Florida Schools Scan Student Irises Without Parent Permission

I prefer fingerprints. They’re faster, and my allergies or a dirty machine from someone’s oily and sweaty forehead aren’t an issue. I honestly think it’d be smart to have finger swipes for attendance, actually. Just think, a teacher could have a finger swipe machine up by their desk, which would require every student to enter the class and “sign in” their own attendance. The teacher could monitor if they student swipes and tries to leave, editting the attendance accordingly. And since fingerprints are unique, you couldn’t have students signing their friends in.

In college, we had something similar in a couple classes involving our ID cards. We had a card reader up front in the huge room (250-300 student capacity), and we each swiped ourselves in. You had until 15 minutes after the start of class to swipe in; the professor started his lecture on time, but he allowed people to walk up and swipe in until he unplugged it. If you forgot your ID, though, you were screwed; that’s why I like the idea of fingerprints instead.

AND… I don’t believe in that “mark of the devil” crap. Nor do I think fingerprints are private, considering the DMV makes you turn them in when you get your license. Meh!


Could artificial sweetener CAUSE diabetes? Splenda ‘modifies way the body handles sugar’, increasing insulin production by 20%

Here’s another reason to avoid fake sugar replacements. I personally get a raging headache from all the fake sugars (so far). I need to test out some “natural” ones like Stevia, as I don’t know their chemical effects or how my body will react. That said, Splenda isn’t an issue in my house or life… but I’m concerned for friends and their families who use Splenda to avoid sugar and diabetes issues in the first place.


Whips, chains and full of life: BDSM practitioners ‘healthier and less neurotic’ than ‘vanilla’ peers

*Snicker snicker* More open to new ideas, less frustrated, more secure in themselves and their relationships… so, whips and chains are good for you? Awesome!


Set Phasers on ‘Hug’: Sir Patrick Stewart’s Kind Gesture

As always, I love Sir Patrick Stewart.

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