Only Trolls Use Anonymity? Myth Busted.

August 5, 2011 at 8:08 PM (Uncategorized) (, )

Everyone who writes something anonymously is a troll who is hiding something or harassing people. This could be solved by forcing people to use their real names online. Right?

When I was a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, I received a few serious death threats – as did the female sports columnist, who got more abuse and harassment than I ever did. The people that threatened me, and two that have gone on to harass and stalk me to this day, have done so with their real names proudly on display.

– Violet Blue

But you go on believing those old myths about anonymity if you want to.

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To the citizens and police of Bangor, Maine

July 6, 2011 at 3:05 AM (Uncategorized)

This was kind of dumb.

I get that you don’t want homeless people using your electricity. I’m sure this homeless guy doesn’t want to use your electricity either; he’d rather be using his own.

Here’s the thing: If he’s ever going to get off the street and buy his own electricity, he needs a job. To find a job, he needs to have a phone. For his phone to be of any use, the battery needs to be charged. Maybe I’m wrong, but the fact that he had the phone at all (two of them, for whatever reason) is a fairly good sign that he wants very much for this to happen.
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Elevatorgate – Because Not Enough People Have Written About It Yet

July 5, 2011 at 8:33 PM (Uncategorized)

A banker takes a minute out of his keynote address to tell conference attendees about an oblivious customer the day before who walked into his bank wearing a ski mask. The person wasn’t there to rob the bank; it was just a very cold day.

Still, you shouldn’t walk into a bank wearing a ski mask. It makes everyone in the bank nervous. Don’t do that.

He chuckles with his audience at the silliness of having to point out something so blatantly obvious, then moves on to give his hour-long keynote speech.

The next day, he awakes to find that the world of banker bloggers has erupted into outrage. How dare he compare some innocent person wearing a mask on a cold day to a bank robber? Not everyone wearing a mask is a criminal. MOST people wearing masks are not criminals. It’s COLD outside. Is it any wonder the person was wearing a mask?

How can you take anyone seriously when they whine about every silly little thing that makes them vaguely nervous?

Either you get why it’s bad to walk into a bank wearing a ski mask or you don’t. Either you get why this needs to be pointed out or you don’t.

If you are one of the people who can’t understand why it needs to be pointed out, you are the reason. You. Until your reaction to the story is “well duh,” you are the reason it needs to be pointed out.

Now, with this ridiculous, fictional story fresh in your mind, read about what happened to Rebecca Watson.
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Believing it doesn’t make it true

July 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM (Uncategorized)

The fact that a lot of people believe something is not necessarily a sign that it’s true; it’s just a sign that it’s been effectively marketed.

Cynthia Boaz (referring to Fox News Channel)

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Clarence Thomas: Portrait of Hypocrisy

June 13, 2011 at 4:55 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas today voted to uphold ethics rules that prevent public officials from voting on matters where they have a conflict of interest. Meanwhile, Clarence Thomas still refuses to recuse himself from Supreme Court cases where he stands to directly benefit from the results of the ruling.

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The people demanding Weiner resign need to sit down, shut up and pull their head out of their ass

June 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM (Uncategorized) (, , )

So, you think Anthony Weiner should resign, do you? You think what he did warrants calling for him to step down?

You do? Well then, you’re an idiot. What Weiner did was practically nothing compared to what goes on at Capitol Hill.
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What to Do When Police Tell You to Stop Taking Photos, Video (via Through the Viewfinder)

June 8, 2011 at 8:25 PM (Uncategorized)

I think it’s time for a federal law to crack down on this. Misuse the authority given by wearing a badge and spend a few months in prison thinking about the badge you no longer have the right to wear. It’s sickening.

What to Do When Police Tell You to Stop Taking Photos, Video A recent Gizmodo story, "Are Cameras the New Guns?," created quite a stir in journalism circles recently. Gizmodo found that there appears to be an increase in the number of citizens arrested for filming abuse by police, or just police in action: "In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty po … Read More

via Through the Viewfinder

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An Egyptian blogger asks “Is there a gay rights movement in #Egypt?” This is what happened.

June 7, 2011 at 6:50 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Sarrah Abdelrahman, an Egyptian activist, blogger, revolutionary, veteran of Tahrir Square and overthrower of dictators, asked a question on Twitter earlier today: “Is there a gay rights movement in #Egypt?

Some of the replies were what you would expect and probably sound familiar to any gay rights activist in America, such as (paraphrasing) “not that I know of,” “this is not the right time,” “there are more important issues,” “no, it would be used against us on other issues” and, inevitably, one guy who said “I’d support lesbian rights, I love to watch girl on girl!”

There were a few (a very, very few) responses I would say were positive.

Unfortunately, the mild responses were a tiny minority. The overwhelming majority of the replies to the question were truly cringe-worthy, at least to my eyes. I’ve compiled a list of some of the worst responses, along with a couple of the more positive responses.

Now just to be clear, you’d see the same sort of hate and bigotry from any random group of Americans on the subject of gay rights, although I would think there would be an equal or greater number of positive responses to balance it out. This is by no means a comprehensive survey of all Egyptians, just a small sampling of opinion from people all following the same person on Twitter. Still, considering the tone of these responses, I don’t think I’d want to live in Egypt right now if I were gay.

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The Most Pathetic Linux Bug

June 5, 2011 at 8:17 PM (Uncategorized)

I have just found what has to be one of the top 20 most pathetic, petty things I’ve ever seen.

Someone I follow on Twitter wrote that they had published a “Discordian Date” WordPress plugin. Not having a clue what a “Discordian calendar” is, I followed the link to Wikipedia to read about it.

While reading the entry, I found an odd sentence:

“it is included in nearly all Linux distributions, despite some resistance.[7]”

That piqued my curiosity, so I followed the citation which led to an old Debian Linux bug report. What I read there made me facepalm literally.
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This Is What Courage Looks Like

June 4, 2011 at 8:29 AM (Uncategorized) (, )



Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty


Photo taken by Jeff Widener, Associated Press

Photo taken by Jeff Widener, Associated Press

If I am ever faced with a life or death situation, I hope I prove to be half as courageous as the young man in this picture.

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