this n that

I keep trying to warp my mind around it, and I keep failing. I know it’s because they are hate based if not actually designated as hate groups, but how on earth anyone or any organization calling itself “Christian” can possibly consider anti-bullying efforts as wrong is just utterly beyond me. Completely and utterly. The messages in the Christian Bible are absolutely unambiguous about loving one another, extending charity toward all, the merits of non-violence and so on and so on. And yet, people and organizations routinely pull it off: UTAH: GOP State Sen. Chris Buttars Wants To Repeal Anti-Bullying Rules.

On urban gardening: Garden Party. The real utility? Not so much in actually being able to grow food — not like anyone in a city will starve or be unable to get food, by and large. But, it allows people to creatively reimagine ways to design and engineer urban landscapes — which is very likely to become increasingly important in the future.

Why am I not too terribly surprised about this? After Promising To ‘Repeal And Replace’ Obama’s Health Law, Republicans Have No Replacement. In fact this whole thing sounds like political kabuki just to make their followers think they’re trying to do stuff (but being foiled by the Democrats, curse it all!). This is pretty cynical.

Showcasing the complexity of bullying: Oakhurst school incident puts focus on bullying. I see a couple of issues here, such as the appropriate time to intervene — we are still crap at that, if the father’s allegations are true. In addition, bullies have probably themselves been bullied — if not by their families, quite possibly at school when much younger. (Although to be honest, I have to keep in mind that the father is perhaps trying to borrow language from the bullied to defend his son.)

The debate on whether one space or two after the end of a sentence may seem silly, and certainly there are respected experts on both sides of the issue, but this article really breaks it down for me — of course it’s a programmer’s viewpoint which I’ll be more likely to be sympathetic with. But broadly put — if a sentence is followed with two spaces, you have semantic marking within the document to unambiguously demarcate sentences (and if you think about it, there’s quite a few ways to conclude a sentence with assorted punctuation marks and what have you that make almost any other way impossible to accurately deconstruct). If the program reading your material can accurately parse out the sentences, then it can display them properly in any way you choose regardless of the display format (fixed font or not and so on): everyone has a right to their beliefs.

AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH. This seems to be slipping past everyone’s radar? We are finally at a point where provisions of the Patriot act are finally reaching sunset. So of course there’s a proposed bill to extend them Congress quietly prepares to renew Patriot Act. *headdesk*. The key point here may be that Russ Feingold, the largest detractor we had to the Patriot Act, is no longer a Senator.

Geek Girl Con looks pretty interesting (h/t BlagHag).

Who knows? Maybe this is finally going to come about? Seems like I’ve heard rumblings of this sort for decades, of course. (And while I see very little point to war and would like to see the world’s military overall reduced significantly, all people serving in the military should have equal chances at, well, serving.) Military commission: Lift ban, allow women in combat. I guess the thinking is if gays are OK, then why the hell not women? Which will make the fundies squawk even more, of course, and try hard to stop or repeal DADT and so on ad nauseum.

A thoughtful post-Tucson piece. Because, yeah, I remember Oklahoma City, but it seems like few do anymore. Will We Remember Tucson? Was It Enough? Is Anything?

Boondoggle cancelled. Why are all these things such expensive fiascoes? (Because it earns money for the companies that get to rake it in trying to develop or bring the boggle about.) I’d say the TSA backscatter machines are exactly an example of this too. At least this one is being abandoned, though someone has clearly made out like a bandit in the meantime: Homeland Security Cancels ‘Virtual Fence’ After $1 Billion Is Spent.

This looks pretty interesting, though they are uncaptioned, so I have no idea. Even so… Techno Panics From Forty Years Ago… Narrated By Orson Welles.

Good food for thought here: What makes feminist porn feminist?. There really are two aspects of this — how it is produced (which is surely important, and the primary reason (IMO) to listen closely to sex workers for ways to improve working conditions). The other aspect is what is produced. I know I tend to focus on the latter, because so much porn produced is not only clearly not catering to my tastes at all, it features and showcases content that has potential negative consequences for me as opposed to being merely neutral cause it ain’t my cuppa. The two aspects are probably interwined — given a work force that can be safer about negotiating their spaces and the ability to work on projects of interest to them, we might get more variety in commercially produced porn. (Though my suspicion is that one of the eventual ways around this will be “amateur” porn — collectively and self produced porn distributed on the Internet or even via events such as HUMP — that will be the actual game-changer.

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