Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Crimea River


Russian aggression in the Ukraine is as bad as it appears. This is an invasion of one sovereign state by another. The ethnic Russian speaking Ukrainians living in Crimea are not in physical danger from the Ukrainian government, so Russian "explanation" that their actions are justified to ensure the safety of those citizens should not be taken seriously. Imagine if Mexico invaded southern California to "protect" the Spanish speakers from the evil Californian government. Imagine Quebec invading Maine to "protect" American francophones. It makes absolutely no sense. Russia has no legitimate justification for what they have done, other than pursue their own greedy desire to control that strategic area in the Northern Black Sea.



Russia is making our European allies feel nervous. Just as the United States has military bases in foreign countries, so do Russia, United Kingdon, Turkey, France, Japan, India and a handful of othersRussians have have a Navy in the Black Sea for decades, and have even had Navy basis in the Ukraine for just as long. It appears that recently they have been over stepping their limits since the Ukrainian president was given the heave-ho. 

Only someone living in an episode of Dr Who would support a strong military response to Russia for doing something that makes our European allies nervous. The Russian military is too strong. Russia is too rich. Crimea is too far away.The US military are still licking our wounds from military action in Iraq and Afghanistan. After the Iraq War, Afghanistan, Sudan - and all the crap we pull to ensure control of our oil supplies, US credibility lives in the mind of Republican think tanks, not in the real world.


BACKGROUND ACCORDING TO NAOMI


Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union only five years after the catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear disaster.  Under the authority of the former Soviet Union, the Russians covered up the large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, poisoning thousands of Ukrainians. This fact probably has nothing to do with the current Ukrainian crisis, but certainly gives us one of many reasons why resentment lingers, and predominately Western Ukrainians do not trust Russians. 


Ukrainian presidents tend to come into two groups: those who back relationship with Russia and those who back relationship with Europe. File that fact in the back of your mind as it will be useful later.


Ukrainian economy is one of the most repressed in Europe because they cannot easily export their goods to Europe. The inefficient legal framework remains highly vulnerable to political interference, and corruption further undermines the fragile rule of law. Ukrainian  economic freedom score is 49.3, making its economy the 155th freest in the 2014 Index. Ukraine is ranked last out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is lower than the world average. In other words, it really sucks to be a Ukrainian. 

Submarine Cables

 The Ukranian government is trying to borrow $4 billion in international capital markets, in part to help service $3 billion owed to the International Monetary Fund and $2 billion owed to Russia’s VTO Bank. It also has allowed Chevron and Shell to prospect for gas in the Black Sea. Ukraine has well-developed agricultural and industrial sectors, but dependence on steel and steel-product exports makes it vulnerable to global financial turmoil and Russian pressure. Its geo-strategic location provides a vital energy transit route from Russia to Western Europe. The Ukraine appears to have access to submarine cables. The important thing to know is that Russia is an economic powerhouse. They supply oil and gas to most of Europe. Russia controls pipelines traversing the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Serbia and then to European refineries. Russian oil companies like Lukoil and Gazprom roll in the big rubles.





Ukranian president Victor Yanukovych was in office from 2010 until he flew the coop to Russia. Last year, Yanukovych promised to sign a A comprehensive free trade area between Ukraine and the European Union, which will be formed as part of the Association Agreement, will help open the European market for Ukrainian goods within the first year of the agreement taking effect, Ukrainian prime minister Mykola Azarov said.



"The average rate of customs duties in Ukraine will halve for goods from the EU, from 4.95 percent to 2.42 percent, whereas the customs rate on Ukrainian goods in the EU market will shrink by 16 times, from 7.6 percent to 0.5 percent," the Prime Minister said at a Cabinet of Ministers meeting on September 18, 2013.
Azarov said that 90 percent of Ukrainian goods would be subject to the changes within the first year of the agreement coming into effect.

November 21, 2013,  CNN reported Yankovych suspended talks with the European Union.

December 12, 2013 USA Today reported Yanukovych promised to sign the agreement with the European Union. Yanukovych was scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss a potential strategic partnership on that date. In a major "fuck you" to his countrymen, the president decided not to sign the deal. The European partnership would have improved the economy and made it easier for Ukrainians to sell their goods. The little thing Putin doesn't like is that the deal would have created closer political ties with Western Europe. Putin wants the Ukraine to be closer to Russia than Europe. Needless to say, the Ukrainians are pissed off.


ANTI PROTEST LAW - CENSORSHIP


In an attempt to soften the Ukrainian people Yanukovych flew to Moscow, where he and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia would buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and slash the price Kiev pays for its gas. It is as if these two groups think that only slavs can or "should" solve slavic problems. Russia is committed to fighting in every way to retain influence in its post-Soviet periphery. Crimea represents a broader vision of Russian interests and national security, one that it is demonstrably not respectful of the national sovereignty and self-determination. The fact is - Ukraine is a sovereign nation. 


JANUARY 28, 1014  Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych left the country. Tuesday, amid a political crisis fired by violent protests on the country's streets. Parliament overturned all of the anti-protest laws pasted by Yanukovych. Right now the Ukrainian government have control of the Ukraine, except for one problem - the Russians invaded them.

Meanwhile...in the United States Republicans like Mike Rogers is quick to seek out any way of blaming Obama for Putin's actions. When it comes to Republicans, they never fail to find a way to blame Obama. While they are at it, they may as well blame Obama for the Chernobyl disaster as well. 


Wednesday, March 5th, a United Nations special envoy was forced to abandon a mission in Crimea by masked Russians. As time ticks, the situation continues to worsen.


SOLUTION - THERE ISN'T ONE
Few Americans know this, but the Russians have had a permanent Navy outlet in Crimea for many years. Just like the Americans have their military bases in Germany, South Korea and other countries - Russia also has their military bases. It is called the Black Sea Fleet. Believed to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783, with its principal base, the city of Sevastopol,Ukraine. The major shipyard is located in Mykolaiv (today in Ukraine). The Black Sea Fleet defeated the Turks in 1790, fought the Ottomans during World War I, the Romanians during World War II, and Georgia during the 2008 South Ossetia war. The division of the fleet in 1997 became the basis of the Ukrainian Navy. When the US was talking about striking Syria for chemical warfare, Russia sent ships from Sevastopol, Ukraine into Syrian waters. Their purpose was to intimidate the US from taking any action on Syria, and encourage Syria to solve their own problems internally. 


The US and several other nations propose an embargo on Russia. These are good ideas, worth doing, but are not likely to stop Russian leaders from doing what they want in Crimea.The problem with economic embargo is that we must rely upon European nations to cooperate in order to make it effective. Europe has a huge trade with Russia, as such, sanctions will not hurt the Russians that much. Remember ladies and gents, it's all a game of chess. 

Additionally, while the US should do things like refuse to send a high level delegation to the upcoming Paralympics in Sochi and even expel Russia from the G8, this amounts to little more than kicking Russia out of our country club. In case anyone didn't get the 411 - Putin doesn't give a shit. 


Neither US credibility nor US security is at stake in Ukraine. The fact is, the only threat Russia poses to us is that they make our allies feel insecure. We might not like what they are doing, but we are not directly hurt by it. 



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Stoner Bowl

I love my home city of Seattle! I am especially excited the Seahawks beat our nemesis San Fransisco, and are taking us to this year's superbowl. It is noted that this year's Super Bowl will be played by teams from the only two states that have legalized marijuana.
The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will face each other in two weeks, representing residents in Colorado and Washington, respectively, who can legally buy and smoke pot recreationally.
As the match was set late Sunday night, the realization dawned on Twitter, which had something — OK, a lot — to say about it: #stonerbowl 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Belief in the Unfalsifiable



I           INTRODUCTION

What would you think if I told you there is an ugly, self-sustaining, omnipotent invisible force that explains everything. It frames every argument, structures language, and every element of human experience. It is like the air we breath, most of the time we do not think about it or know it is there. It has an amazing ability to control the brains of women and men, framing every belief, value and cultural norm human beings experience since the dawn of time. It's barnacles are entirely invisible. You cannot touch it, feel it, taste it, or even smell it. It has no shape, color, form, or mass. As scientists, forget about trying to use the scientific method to study it because it cannot be studied.  Imagine something so powerful, omnipotent and invisible that it is able to inundate every single collective achievement made by humanity since the day we jumped down from the African trees and started walking on two feet.

This impressive thing explains everything. However, as it cannot be quantified or studied in any empirical manner, one must construct auxiliary hypothesis answering questions that cannot be answered in a research facility. When we start to question it, when we ask "how can this one thing explain everything?" they become angry, defensive, and create safe, exclusive groups. Behind the walls of these exclusive groups, believers congratulate each other on their intelligence, wisdom, and berate those who are just too blind to 'get it.'

People believe in my invisible, all powerful thing because they selectively notice information that is consistent with its existence, and ignore whilst undervaluing/ignoring information that is not consistent with its existence. Within their exclusive groups, they pander anecdotal stories proving the omnipotent invisible force is real. They feel victimized when anyone questions the existence of the invisible thing. Most of you probably think that I am talking about God.  But you know what. I am not writing about god at all, I am writing the social theory of patriarchy.

This article will examine Patriarchy as a theory that is beyond falsifiability. I will make no value judgement for or against patriarchy as a legitimate social system. I will consider the fact that it is real and not real, has power over human behavior and little power over human behavior. As a person who values fairness, I will treat patriarchy with as much fairness as I can muster. For now, my personal beliefs about patriarchy are irrelevant, and will be discussed in the End Notes, after the conclusion of this blog. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sleepless in Austin: the other side

Today I watched Critical G's video about Sleepless in Austin. I thought it would be funny to copy and past his exact post and only change a few words. I changed: girl to boy, man to woman, and a few other things to make it all sound like I am reversing the gender.

I posted it on Craigslist and am waiting patiently to see if any dude is willing to date me.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tools To Transform Our Thinking (Part One)

Knowledge: Justified True Belief

Epistemology is a big word, don't be intimidated by the term. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that concerns itself with the search for a theory of knowledge. There is always a theory behind how we approach these things, anytime one is questioning "how do I know what I know" they are questioning their own theory of knowledge. If one stops and thinks about it, it is a fascinating set of questions. We make knowledge claims all the time. Everybody does. It is something we do every day. We are consistently claiming to know things. How do we know them?

Epistemology is my favorite branch of philosophy because I find most people are not actively aware of their own thought processes. We are notorious for NOT being reflective of our methodology. We all need to think more self consciously about the tools we use and how we use them. If only people would stop and think about their thinking, we would solve many social problems, big and small. Family problems, fights, disagreements - you name it. Just getting people to perform a little meta-cognition now and again would make the world a happier place. 

On the flip side, I found that going too deep into epistemology can take a lot of fun out of life. Epistemology is a dangerous thing to study because the more you study it, the more you realize that you do not know a damn thing. You will find yourself questioning everything from the air you breath to the earth you stand on. Going deeply into epistemology can drive one into a very destabilizing life. If you just so happen to be the kind of person that likes to live in a comforting delusion, then epistemology is not for you. 

I do not subscribe to any one theory of knowledge, yet I actively reject several theories. I reject the theory that something can be known through faith and intuition. Neither authority nor spiritual revelation provide any reliable path to knowledge. I accept empiricism, but only in the science lab, yet recognize that things can be true without experiencing them. Reason is the best guide to have knowledge of anything in the world. There are many layers to epistemology. No matter what area you like, one thing is certain, studying it will certainly make you a smarter person. 

On another note, what about credibility? The concept that one can be trusted? Credibility does belong to the study of epistemology only to the degree that one "knows" a person's word to be good because they "perceive" the opposing party to be untruthful. The idea that John Doe is truthful because we perceive Jane Doe as being untruthful is completely absurd. How do we know we can take John's word over Jane without empirical evidence to support such claims. The problem is - we can't. 

The idea of credibility is a tough one for me because credibility tends to be right, yet when it is wrong it is disastrously wrong. When credibility fails us, in philosophy we call this a Flaw of Inductive Logic. Allow me to explain. Credibility presumes that past behavior (all based upon perception) is a good indication of future behavior. When the system fails, and John Doe's behavior does not turn out to be what we thought it would,  the whole system (theory of knowledge) must be thrown out and recycled for a new one because it probably means, that credibility never existed in the first place. 

                                                       **************************
In common discussion, a "statement of belief" is an expression of a person's faith or trust in something. When someone believes something, it only means that they accept as true a certain cognitive content. Beliefs are not all true, all true things can be beliefs. Many beliefs are false. The goal is to have as many true beliefs as possible and as few false beliefs as possible. 

If something is known, then it cannot be false. This area confuses people because they do not know what it is to know something, and they do not know how to show their epistemology. For example, if a person believes a bridge is safe enough to support him, and attempts to cross it, but the bridge collapses, it  could be said that he believed the bridge was safe but his belief was mistaken. It would not be accurate to say that he knew the bridge was safe, as it obviously was not safe. Lets say that the bridge was safe, then the man can say he had believed that the bridge was safe, whereas now, after testing it by crossing it, he knows it to be safe. 


One of the mistakes people often make is that they use belief and know interchangeably. The words are not the same thing. When we think about what we know to be true, often times, we are thinking about beliefs and not knowledge. 


Knowledge has standards, it must be tested, verified, and and subject to falsification. Beliefs are cheap. They are a dime a dozen. Anyone can have a belief like anyone can have an opinion. Beliefs have no value until they are put to the test.

--------------------- Enjoy the Video --------------------------


Friday, November 29, 2013

The Book of Mormom

The Mormons have been coming to my house lately. To be frank, I do not mind at all. They are nice boys, very polite, and kind. I was honest with them that I am an atheist, and do not take anything on faith.

After reading the first book of Mormon, I have to wonder - how is it seemingly intelligent human beings are not aware that this is completely made up? I am to believe that 2300 years ago, men built a vessel capable of transporting people from Israel across the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, all the way to the Americas?

The voyage would have been impossible.  Faith is believing in things when common sense tells one not to. This leads me to think that common sense is so rare these days, that when it does appear it should be considered a superhuman power.







Davis Aurini is stalking me.

Davis BJ Aurini has been up to his typical weird shenanigans. Over the last year or so, time permitting, I take a look at the content Aurini puts online. Perhaps it I just have a morbid fascination with his self-victim hood, or his gynophobic rants.

Aurini simply does not understand why I disprove of his arguments. Instead of reading my blogs, and arguing the issues brought up therein, he attempts to invalidate my claims saying I must have a great big lesbian crush on him. Or perhaps I am menstruating.

Then he writes something about me driving across the country for pics of someones home? WTF is this dude talking about? I lived in Manhattan 6 years, and in Europe. I have not driven a car in YEARS!

Then he goes on to claim that I am in love with his skeevy bald butt. (actually, I find that funny) And, claims that I read his blog. In fact, I never read his blog.

Lets give BJ Aurini a lesson in technology. (Apparently, only men are supposed to know this stuff). Take a look at the images below:



This images shows us that in one day, 64 people read my blog about how BJ Aurini was caught doing something .... Well, he knows what he did.







Real Time Geolocation tracker of current blog hits. A feature available on all blogger pages.

Notice that CANADA is the only country showing in dark green.








 I embed a code into each of my blogs, which allows me to view all IP addresses, nation of origin etc. I have to corroborate the information I get from this service with the information I get from blogger.

When I click on Canada, I know when and where my blog was viewed. Then I compare it with what blogger reports, from that I know for
a fact that Aurini reads my blog A LOT. He spends a lot of time on my blog too.




Conclusion: I have Aurini's IP address. The dude is a little stalker and loves reading my blog. What really strikes me is the amount of time he keeps my blog open. I mean....WOW. I was not expecting that.


With that, I have to thank Aurini. I am very complimented. :-)


Friday, November 22, 2013

"Restoring the Virtue of Women" - Davis BJ Aurini's hatred at the world

"Men, it's not your fault that 2/3rd of divorces are brought due to frivolous claims on a woman's behalf." - Davis BJ Aurini

Dear Reader,

It is no secret that Davis BJ Aurini makes my skin crawl. He is a disgusting little dude, angry he is not surrounded by giddy, insipid women in poodle skirts and pink sweater sets. He dreams of a life where everyone is pleasant, and everything is black and white. In his video - "Restoring the Virtue of Women," Aurini makes more comments so retarded that they cannot be ignored by his dear, sweet nemesis.

He claims that 2/3 of divorces are initiated by women who make frivolous claims.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bound2 is an epic fail


Kanye West released an epic piece of shit video, Bound2, featuring himself (of course) and the very naked Kim Kardashian. As we see from the image below, the video clearly depicts these two egocentric clowns engaging in shaky motorcycle sex in the middle of a sky desert.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Graduate - An Analysis

I just watched The Graduate (1967). After 45 years, what can we say about this movie? - plenty. My first impression of The Graduate was that it was funny. Everything about the seduction scene just made me laugh. Benjamin's response to the titillating seduction of an older woman is just - funny. All of that, "Mrs Robinson, this conversation is getting really weird," was just hilarious. I was shocked to discover how many times the The Graduate was referenced in other movies.

The Graduate has many enigmatic, long still shots of Benjamin's face, a kind of over-intellectual 1970's cinematography including were lengthy shots of Benjamin's stoic face whilst stared up at the sky in deep contemplation from the family swimming pool. The film was youth-centric, everything from the Simon and Garfunkle soundtrack, to the cinematography to the pop culture shock was all about the young people. The cinematography really encapsulated the distinct spirit of the late 1960's without getting too much into the weird 1970's intellectualism.





Monday, August 5, 2013

My Favorite Clips

I have often asked myself, what is the point of knowing a word when I cannot use that word to communicate with another person. If you ever have the answer to that question, please clue me in.

Below I include a list of some of my favorite movie clips. Before each clip, I explain why the clip makes the list.

1. Breaking Bad: This clip shows us how the protagonist becomes the antagonist.




2. Devils Advocate: Al Pacino's Speech is not the lecture of a devil, it is the lecture of a nihilist. I like the lecture because, as an atheist who believes neither in god nor the devil, agree completely with his argument.



3. Forrest Gump: If it is true that stupid is as stupid does, then Forrest is a genius because he has done a lot in his life.



5. The Color Purple: This clip is wonderful as Celie comes into her own. After years of humiliation and abuse, she finds her voice.



6. Girl Interrupted: Angelina Jolie is truly frightening. There is something frightening about a person who tells the truth.



7. Pulp Fiction: "Mmmm, this is a tasty burger". I like this scene because I think it is good acting



8. Elizabeth I - I love this scene because Cate Blanchette accurately prortrays the strength of Queen Elizabeth I. Elizabeth was one of the best rules England had ever known (and she kicked Spain's ass)




8. Breakfast Club: The 1985 movie is about how five students from different cliques, meet in detention where they discover how they have more in common than they may have thought. This scene is meaningful to me because we see how Bender has a horrible home life.




9. Mildred Pierce: I like this scene because Mildred (Joan Crawford) finally lifts the wool over her eyes and see's her daughter for what she is, a manipulating snake in the grass. I think Joan Crawford is a fantastic actress.



Friday, July 26, 2013

Why is it so hard to just ignore these people?



Another Trayvon-Martin-esque case sprung from the bowels of Florida once again. November 23rd 2012 Seventeen year old Jordan Davis was shot to death whilst sitting in the back of a vehicle. The shooter was 45 year old Michael Dunn. He drove a black Jetta. Below is the CNN video. If the link does not work, click here: LINK




Forward to 1:24 of the CNN video. "Police say what happened was a verbal altercation between Dunn sitting in his car and the other teens sitting in theirs." According to Dunn, one of the teens was trying to escalate the confrontation threatening to kill him.

At the 2:00 mark, Dunn explains that he said to the teens, "excuse me, but are you talking about me?" According to Dunn one of the teens said, "kill that bitch." Then the boy allegedly reached down and grabbed something. 

When confrontations happen, egos hijack common sense. People need to learn to take the high road and walk away. Speaking only for myself, I went to an awful inner city high school in Seattle. There were some gang-bangers and many bratty kids who started problems. My solution was simply to ignore them. They are morons. They are retarded people making retarded choices. As such, they do not deserve my attention or my words. 

Some would argue that Dunn should not have to move his car, the teens should have been decent human beings. The fact that the teens were acting like a bunch of hood rats is doubtless. However, this is an example of that situation where one must be the bigger person and walk away. It is not about "accepting defeat", it is about being smart. 

If a fight or argument ensued, my job was to stand up, gather my belongings and walk away. One time, a black kid (they type with his pants hanging halfway down his ass) actually came out yelling at me because I ignored him. "You ain't deaf!" As much as I wanted to say, "Ain't is not a word, please learn the English language if you want to address me." I remained silent and continued to ignore him. We never spoke to each other and that is exactly how I like it. 

The kid with his pants hanging down his ass is not the only one I ignored. There were also a group of trailer trash girls that I would also ignore. 

I had a small circle of friends: two white females, one black female, two Hispanic and a few Vietnamese girls. That was it. I had some male friends as well, they too were from different racial backgrounds. The point is, do not be so politically correct that you fail to identify the people in this world who are not any more valuable than a stinking pile of shit. Shit people start fights. Shit people actively seek out things to be upset about. Shit people are never happy. Shit people are crabs in a bucket. Shit people rarely amount to anything in this world. Identify the shit people and ignore them. 

So what is the point of all this. Some shit punks will play their radio loud. Some will verbally accost you, and many will do it particularly because you are white. I was targeted many times because I am white.  Be the bigger person and ignore it. 

Some people are not worth the air consumed to speak their name. Some people are not worth your time or your words. These are the low class people who have nothing positive to contribute to society. 

Some people deserve to be ignored until they are ready to enter civilized society. Just look at the video below. Why would you consider even speaking to these people? There are millions of people in this world far better than this. The fact that any person would even engage in this activity and not walk away from it shows their true value to society. 


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Common Trial Objections



COMMON TRIAL OBJECTIONS

Logic is a wonderful thing. Logic brought me to my default position of agnostic, atheism. Logic brought me to a place of default skepticism about any proposition one asks me to accept. When we are growing up, we tend to be credulous about things people tell us: parents, authority figures, politicians, television, YouTube and the internet. Without a solid foundation in logic (philosophy) we are gullible apes. 

We cannot change the fact that we are apes, but the gullible part we can change. 

Logic has two realms. The first realm: how do we reason? Which mode of reasoning is valid and/or fallacious  For example, we know that there are flaws of inductive logic, because when a person's behavior does not match our expected outcome, we realize that our entire system of thinking must be recycled and replaced. Studying modes of thought is not easy, but it is something we must do if we are to become smarter, more rational people. 

The second realm of logic questions what we do with valid reasoning. So before we begin with the substance of this essay, which is, trial objections and the logic behind them, lets first watch Michael Shermer Bullshit Detector Kit to refresh our  understanding as to, why being a rational thinker is very important. 




I am writing about common trail objections today, because I want to better understand the logic behind them. Bye that, there is a reasoning mode behind each one of them. One person objects because the other person is asking a logically unfair question. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

John The Other is one special guy :-)

There is something deeply wrong with John the Other. This man has no confidence in himself and some serious mental issues. I think that he suffers from a low self-esteem. Take the brief comment exchange above. For months ago, I politely asked him to explain a word he used. He waits FOUR MONTHS to post a response. As you can read, he completely ignored the question.

This man likes to string together words, "gender ideological characterization", to make himself sound smart. Then, when someone like me....(a female!) politely asks him to explain what that three-word term actually means, he calls me illiterate. Having read many of my blogs in the past, he knows that not only am I literate in English but I know a few other languages as well.

The truth is, John reminds me a lot of my father. In one sense, he is a smart guy who is trying too hard to be something he isn't. He tries to be part of a group he considers the 'intellectual elite'. I do not think that the intellectuals are any more valuable than the rest of us regular folk. It is sad when I think about it.

I hope he finds something in this world he is truly good at doing, and feels comfortable enough in himself to stop pretending to belong to a group that he does not belong to.


Monday, July 8, 2013

American Hysterics

American people also have short memories and an insatiable thirst for pop culture criminal courts. Public dialog about these pop-culture criminal courts became a hodgepodge of uniformed people, speculating about things that they clearly do not understand.

Minha Kim of Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul set out to study “whether or not objective reporting actually inhibits political participation.” Seventy students taking a course in news writing were divided into two groups. Half were given a “straight news” article about a 2008 controversy in Korea — the country’s importation of beef from the U.S. despite consumer protests that it wasn’t safe — and half were given an opinionated one.

The students who were politically knowledgeable “were immune to the agitating voice” of the opinionated article, Kim found. But nonobjective stories “exerted profound persuasive impact” on those who were not “sufficiently politically equipped to guide their judgments and actions by self-organized mature knowledge.” Those students were far more likely to attend a protest against the government importing American beef.

In addition, Kim found that the type of media that students consumed influenced their actions.

Traditional media such as newspapers and television did not significantly influence the subjects’ attitude toward the protest. It was the Internet and interpersonal communication that resulted in the subjects’ criticism of the Korean government policy to import U.S. beef. The more frequently subjects used the Internet; the more positive they were toward the protest.

If you accept that discussing political issues is an adequate measure of political engagement, then opinionated journalism was more influential for those who weren’t engaged. More-knowledgeable consumers valued fact-based reporting, whether they decided to go to the protest or not.

Who here remembers who Lizzie Borden was? Think about it before googling her name. She was the O.J. Simpson of the 19th century. The year was 1893. Lizzie Borden was an upper-class American woman accused of murdering her father and step mother with an axe Two days after her parent’s murder, papers began reporting evidence that thirty-three-year-old Lizzie Borden might have had something to do with her parents' murders. There was no evidence against her. A jury of twelve men could not see how a young female could possibly have committed such a heinous crime. The story hit newsstands across the country. Everyone had an opinion. It was a national obsession.

National obsessions used to hit every decade or so. The media choses one case, and sensationalizes it. As our attention span has become much shorter, and our memories much shorter, national obsessions are happening every few months instead of every decade.

I think back in our caveman days, we enjoyed village gossip. Knowing what others were up to was an important part of our ability to survive in a group. We are social animals.  Occasional, sometimes I am told something I wish I never heard. There have been many moments when I wanted to be ignorant. But the lives of other people, their movements, plots, deceptions, and crimes are as meaningful in our lives as any other natural force. Obsession with sensationalized new stories simply takes our natural interest in the lives of others to a larger scale.

From the Minha Kim of Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul study, we conclude most uninformed people are not qualified to form opinions. They uninformed are swayed by the agitated voice in reporting. In short, “rabble rabble (pitch fork) rabble rabble rabble.” For example, one guy on Facebook posted a comment stating that the only objective of the Trayvon Martin case was to prove that a seventeen year old black boy has the right to buy something at the store without being shot and killed.

This case is not about skittles, ice tea or the marijuana in Trayvons system. This case is not about whether or not Zimmerman was right/wrong for following the boy. Last I checked, following someone is not illegal.  (The following does not fit the definition of stalking)

The case is about this: was George Zimmerman defending himself, yes or no. That is it.

Paranoid people speculate that Zimmerman inflicted his own head wounds and broke his own nose. People who make speculations are in no position to provide legal opinions about any proposition.

Public dialog has become a hodgepodge of uniformed people, guessing about things that they clearly do not understand. Seriously, how many of these people have even taken a measly paralegal class at a community college, let alone opened up a copy of a legal dictionary?

Does it matter Zimmerman was following Martin? – No! The behavior was within his rights, and does not qualify as stalking. Following someone is not a criminal offense. It is not even a misdemeanor. It is creepy, and it certainly offended Martin. I would be offended too. But it is not a crime, as such, it is not relevant in the deliberation room.

Trayvoon Martin does not have just cause attacking Zimmerman just because he was following him. I have been followed by men plenty of times. (I am a woman and have a lot more to fear). I have never attacked anyone following me. Men have even followed me off the freeway. Did I attack them? No - I didn't. 

What I find amazing is that people with no legal training get so emotionally offended and caught up in a case spoon fed to them by the media. 



One person wrote, “well, the dispatcher said do not follow him.” That is true. The dispatcher did say that. However, I know of no law that says we have to listen to a dispatcher. Still – no law was broken. Being upset that you are being followed is not cause to attacking someone. As I said before, I am female and I have been followed many, many, many times by men. Never once did I attack someone following me. I am surprised people are unable to see this clear logic. 

My prediction about the George Zimmerman case is that the jury will find reasonable doubt. The injuries he sustained indicate a physical altercation. He will be found not guilty, and we will probably see some riots. Eventually, it will all blow over and everyone will forget about it.


In no time at all, Nancy Grace will be on TV all pissed off that some white woman is missing, and the Martin case will be a distant memory. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Avvo: the place to go for Fake legal advice

Do you know what Avvo is? If you do not know what it is, carefully read the following weblink:



Avvo is supposed to be a place where we get 'free legal advice'. Most of the attorneys who use the forum are unable to perform that basic function - provide free legal advice.  Avvo is a place for pretend legal advice, this is particularly true when pro se litigants post questions seeking legal advice. A vast majority of lawyers on Avvo are not doing what the site claims they are supposed to do, they only thing they are really doing is advertising their lawyer services.  Their function is to provide pretend legal advice. 


In the last year I have been posting a variety of legal questions. I can honestly say that the number of lawyers who actually posted informative comments are less than ten percent (10%). In many instances, if you reply to their comment, simply explaining that they completely neglected to answer the question posed, they respond with some sarcastic remark. 

Not only are they providing 'fake' legal advice, but they are rude to suffering people at the same time. 

I am all for using social networks to advertise. That is not what these people are doing. Avvo claims to offer actual free legal advice, when in truth, most of the lawyers posting comments are not there to help anyone but themselves.  


Avvo is the guilty agent. They should not be promoting this website with 'free legal advice' when 9 out of 10 lawyers are not doing that. It is completely dishonest. 



---------------------------

In the last year, I had the distinct pleasure of posting many questions. Each time I post a question, I cross my fingers, say a little prayer to that non-existent god and say, "hmm, I wonder if anyone will actually ANSWER the question this time." 

I have the distinct impression that avoo-advertising lawyers believe they belong to a coveted club. Obtaining legal knowledge from them is as easy as solving the riddle of the Sphinx. In fact, most pro se litigants will have better luck pulling out one of their own permanent teeth with a rusty pair of pliers than getting an actual legal question answered. 


The best analogy that I can give for this scenario comes from the cartoon, The Incredibles. Remember when that little old lady on a fixed income tried to make an insurance claim, and Mr. Incredible gave her "secret" inside advice? When I post questions on Avvo, I am hoping that I might find a Mr. Incredible who will answer the question - and not the horrible Gilbert Godfrey manager that tries to keep knowledge secret.


Friday, June 7, 2013

This is not acceptable

When I uploaded my video today, I noticed on the right hand side of my upload there were some odd YouTube recommendations. The one that made me laugh was this one:

Wat to and not to do wen somebody has a birth defect



The video was made by one Lisa Conner.

Lets take a look at the title of this video again, I want to make sure you all took a good, long look.

I made a promise to be a nicer person, but.... AHHHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHH

Dear Lisa, let me help you for a moment. 

Every time you write a video title or provide a Facebook status update, you are providing something for the world to see.  I am prompted to write this blog because I cannot believe how much unintelligible garbage, including your use of the monosyllabic grunts - "wat" and "wen" are put on on public display. This is not an abbreviated word for a twitter update, there is more than enough space in a YouTube Title Box to properly spell out the title of your video. 

Next, lets work on the grammar, it is not necessary to write "to and not to". It is repetitive. Proper spelling is an indication of both education and intelligence. There is a correlation between people who are stupid and people who cannot spell. I am not calling you stupid, but if you are young and misguided then you simply will not understand the importance of putting the right foot forward.  

American English is standard. There is no such thing as "white English", "Asian English" or "black English". It is okay to have an accent, but it is NOT okay to misspell elementary words or write like you have never passed a second grade spelling test.  

Have standards: if you want to command respect in this world then you must respect your audience as well. Speak properly, employ good grammar and for the love of Zeus - if you cannot spell it then DO NOT write it. 








Monday, June 3, 2013

Noble Death or Darwin Award?

Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young were storm chasers employed by The Weather Channel. News were all killed while chasing tornadoes near El Reno Oklahoma. With the news of their deaths infiltrating social media, many people around the world are sharing their grief. At first, I thought they were a bunch of adrenaline junkie morons who, for the pursuit of photographs, got themselves killed. I was wrong.  I had to throw away about eighty percent of what I wrote, and start anew.  I used to think that these people were just stupid for putting their lives in danger. Not anymore. 


Katia and Maurice Krafft

In 1991, French volcanologists  Katia and Maurice Krafft were killed while filming eruptions at Mount Unzen. They died when a pyroclastic flow suddenly swept onto their ridge. They were killed instantly. Their provided some of the most amazing footage and photographs to the National Geographic.



Dian Fossey was a respected Zoologist living and studying gorillas in the mountain forests of Rwanda  She was found dead. There was a successful Hollywood movie made about her life, Gorillas in the Mist.

Ocbober 2003, Tim Treadwell was eaten alive by an Alaskan Grisly bear. The audio portion of his death was recorded by his video camera. He had lived among the bears for nearly a decade. A documentary film Grizzly Man came out a few years following his death.


Over the last few days I have been thinking about whether or not these people deserve the Darwin Award. At first I thought - yes, then I changed my mind. Then I wrestled with the question, what does  it mean to die a noble death? Is death for the pursuit of science noble? 

Dian Fossey's death was a tragedy. She was a respected zoologist studying the ecology and behavior of our fellow primates.  Katia and Maurice Krafft also made great contributions to science. These people brought the world some of the first and most amazing photographs of primates and volcanoes.

Tim was a an odd man, but if he did not live with the bears he would have lived as a shadow of himself. I value authenticity in myself, and would be nothing short of a hypocrite if I did not value Tim's authenticity. Granted, I still think that life is more important, and should never be risked, but if he feels differently so be it. If we have the right to choose how we live, where we live, what we will eat then surely we have the right to chose how we will end our lives. 

I am genuinely sad for the storm chasers. I cannot imaging the pain Ms. Samaras must be enduring at this moment, having lost her husband and her son. Yet, I know these unnecessary deaths will inspire us to ask more philosophical questions about how to live authentically and what it means to die a noble death. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Abdullah Mohammed Daoud

Saudi Sheik, Abdullah M. Daoud, claimes twenty six percent of Saudi children between the ages of 6 and 10 were victims of child abuse. Shocking number, isn't it? He proposed a fatwa that babies and children should be veiled right out of the hospital. I know - lunacy, right?
First, let's try to figure out where did he get that numbers. Saudi Arabia does not report incidences of rape, molestation and other acts of violence to the UN, let alone to their own people. Islamic countries like to pretend their crime rates are very low, and Islam gets credit for those low crime rates. So the statistics are coming from where?
I have heard Saudi's also claim that most American women do not even know who the father of their babies are. Where do they get that fact from? Oh...that's right... the same place Daoud got his facts. These people think that the entire world is stupid, and completely unaware that the make up their own "statistics" according to whatever propaganda they are pushing at the moment. 

I do not doubt that children are molested and abused in Saudi Arabia. However, I think that their rates of child abuse is relatively on par with the rest of planet earth. 
"Sheikh Mohammad al-Jzlana, a former Saudi judge and Islamic cleric told Al-Arabiya that such a fatwa could only come from a pervert. He added that people like Abdullah Daoud were denigrating to Islam and Shariah and made Muslims look bad. He also said that he felt sad he saw families walking around with a veiled baby, describing that as injustice to children." -worldcrunch.com
I have to ask myself, is his fatwa really denigrating to Islam? Islam has done a very good job of denigrating itself. Islam does not need Daoud's help looking ridiculous. 
His entire fatwa is based upon the idea that if a baby is in a veil, some pervert will not be tempted to molest it. Daoud clearly has no real understanding how the mind of a pedophile works. A pedophile will usually have access to a child regardless if the child is in a veil or not. A pedophile is usually a trusted family friend or relative. The baby-burka will do nothing to protect the child. 
The entire idea that a veil prevents rape in the first place is beyond my understanding. Women should be free to wear what ever they want to wear, drink what ever they want to drink, pass out where ever they want to pass out without having to worry about a man forcing himself on her. These people think that men are primitive beasts that cannot help themselves when they see someone they want to penetrate, be it a woman or an infant. If I was a man - I would be insulted. 
The answer to this problem is not with focusing on the victim, covering the victim, or blaming the victim. The answer to this lives in focusing the entire conversation on the perpetrator. 
For more reading, check out Les Cinq Fatwa Plus Idiots