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Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 366

Good news! Comcast just announced a content package for people like you. Its called the "Elitist Combo."

It comes with the same content as the other packages, but includes picture-in-picture of a middle-aged Englishman wearing an Oxford, smoking a pipe, and drinking a microbrew while scoffing at whatever is on in the main window.

Comment Re:Hypocrisy of Arabic governments and our own (Score 1) 501

Same with Tunisia and Egypt, social media tools let people get spun up against injustices and that sparked the revolts, not Wikileaks.

Facebook, Twitter, etc. were the tools. It is surprising how much fanfare social media technology gets about this. Craftsman doesn't get kudos when people buy their tools to build houses to donate. The people revolting were the reason it happened and the reason it succeeded.

And yup, Wikileaks had absolutely nothing to do with these particular uprisings.

Comment Re:Same content, alt sites (Score 4, Insightful) 164

I think you forget you're talking about the same people who did not refuse to take part in a criminal war that caused the death of 100k civilians. I don't think it's unreasonable to question their ability to think of how their actions affect other people.

Note: I'm not BLAMING soldiers for going to Iraq. I'm just observing that they did not demonstrate an ability to think of others, especially not foreign civilians, at a time when this was badly needed. Whether they are or aren't at fault for this is an entirely different topic that I am not discussing here.

That's pretty insulting to anyone in the military that risked their lives in Iraq specifically to make it a better place. Most of the soldiers over there have done truly stunning, selfless acts risking their lives to help out the people over there. You may disagree with the reasons for going to war, but not everyone who disagrees with you is stupid, ignorant, or evil. To think of them that way just shows you as the one lacking empathy.

Comment Re:Related ideas on stopping bullying (Score 1) 417

"I just read the articles in this series, and I have to say most of it truely is terrible advice. It takes the mindset of blaming the victim. It puts the onus on the victim to resolve the issue, when time after time, we see that the victim has less control over the situation than any outsider that chooses to get involved. And then it gives the classic advice (paraphrasing) "stop getting upset and you'll stop being teased/bullied."'

You are just presenting the conventional wisdom on this. Izzy Kalman at Bullies to Buddies says the conventional wisdom is wrong about this (except in very rare cases where the bully is emotionally unstable or has a history of violence). He has many testimonials by school staff who say his approach is the only thing that really worked and a strategy based on the conventional wisdom just makes things worse. Where is your evidence that what you say will work well and not make the problem worse, both socially, and for the individual who may never be able to grow past seeing themselves as a needy victim?

I'm speaking from personal experience and from the experience of my wife and two friends I know from when they were young.

For me, I tried the "ignore them or laugh with them". It didn't work. The times when I could just brush it off, it didn't matter. The bullies get all they need from their friends laughing nearby. They don't really need a response from me. And those they want a reaction just get physical. When they trip me, its funny that I fall. When they kick or hit me, its funny that I wince. You can't really not fall when tripped or not react when someone hurts you. They got the response they wanted whether I wanted to give it to them or not. I know of all the others I've spoken to about it, every one has tried ignoring them, and no one has been successful with it.

As far as the victim mentality, bullied children ARE being victimized. I didn't feel like a victim after I got help from my parents. I didn't feel needy or like a failure. I felt proud of myself that I was brave enough to ask for help. I was proud of myself that I found a solution to my problem.

We don't ask kids to walk themselves to the hospital when they break a leg. We don't tell them to "suck it up" when they have a mental disorder. There's nothing needy about asking for help when you feel like you need it. It isn't somehow psychologically damaging to rely on others. If you can't solve a problem on your own, the logical solution isn't to live with the problem. Its to ask for help.

You know when I DID feel like a victim? When I was being bullied. That's why I asked for help. Twice. Once to my teacher, who didn't care or didn't know what to do. And once to my parents, who intervened with the principal and helped my solve my problem.

As far as conventional wisdom, "ignore them" is what I heard the entire time I was growing up. I'm very, very glad I didn't take that advice for long. As far as testimonials, it seems odd he would ever receive them from school staff. There's only four scenarios involving school staff I can think of: the child asked for help and was given help, the child asked for help and was not given help, the child didn't ask for help and was not given help, or the child didn't ask for help and was given help. It seems his theory could only get positive evidence with the second and third scenarios, and I sincerely hope school staff didn't just sit by after noticing bullying to see how it plays out.

Comment Re:Related ideas on stopping bullying (Score 1) 417

Thanks for posting this. The following rant is directed more towards the author than you. :-)

I just read the articles in this series, and I have to say most of it truely is terrible advice. It takes the mindset of blaming the victim. It puts the onus on the victim to resolve the issue, when time after time, we see that the victim has less control over the situation than any outsider that chooses to get involved. And then it gives the classic advice (paraphrasing) "stop getting upset and you'll stop being teased/bullied."

Oh really? Stop getting upset? Is anyone who ever went through being bullied seriously able to simply shut off your emotions when you're being tripped, pushed, insulted, laughed at, teased, hit and threatened every single fucking day? Its scary, its frustrating, and it makes you feel like a failure. You were abused yesterday, you were abused today, and you KNOW you're going to be abused tomorrow. But then we should just be able to shrug it off, right? Would you advice the same to victims of child abuse from adults, too?

You know what advice I would give?

I'm sorry you're being bullied. Its not your fault. There is nothing you did or didn't do that caused this person to target you. They wanted to bully someone, and unfortunately your number came up. There are many of us out there that were bullied, and even if you think things are completely hopeless, it does get better. There are some things I am going to be honest about that may help, so keep reading.

When an adult treats a child the way your bully treats you, adults call it child abuse. Unfortunately, many adults still don't see children bullying other children as child abuse. But some adults do see it as child abuse. Some adults want to help you and will if you ask them. The important thing is that if you ask for help from an adult and they don't help you, it doesn't mean no one can. It means they don't know how or are unwilling to help you. Ask a different adult. And keep asking for help as long as you can. Its very hard to ask for help. Its even scarier than being bullied. But there is help out there. If talking to your teachers or your parents doesn't help, talk to the principal. Talk to the police. Talk to anyone that will listen.

It is ok if you are too afraid to ask for help. Being bullied is very scary. Try to ask for help when you can, but if you never ask for help, just remember that the bullying does end. Sometimes bullies grow up and stop being bullies. Sometimes you move away or go to a different school where the bully can't get to you. But the bullying always, ALWAYS ends. Keep that in mind and don't give up hope.

As an aside, it seems like there are a ton of resources out there now for LGBT bullying, but so much less for any other kind. That's rather disappointing. I was hoping to find a site I could link to for a helpline, but all the ones I could find were LGBT.

Comment Re:Weird decision (Score 1) 249

These are the other evil men and women that fight for corporate rights above the rights of the people of the united states.

Evil being people who disagree with you? Also see: "not a real American"

Taking the most well known of the bunch, you seriously believe Al Franken is bought and paid for by corporations? Have you looked at any other issues he's voted or spoken out on?

Different people can have legitimate disagreements about public policy without being evil, corrupt, or ignorant. To call them such just shows your intolerance.

Comment Re:No surprise (Score 1) 195

Problem is that games without DRM get pirated just as bad. The main motivation for pirates is to avoid payment. I think the only solution is to move more of the game online. Publishers seem to agree as seen by all the MMOs that are being funded.

Single player games are still essentially always cracked, even with an online component. Developers need to add a value in connecting to the server that makes it much less entertaining to play without, otherwise you end up pissing off your customers by making it harder for them to play than the pirates.

Comment Re:If you are at work (Score 4, Insightful) 377

If it's your union, then it is part of your work.

did you mean that if it's your union its your collective bargaining group built to screw employers out of more money than the employees are worth and healthcare purchase group? Cuz then I'd agree with you, BUT I don't see how any of that has anything to do with the mechanics of performing your job.

As opposed to the employers, who want to screw employees and pay them less than they're worth?

Comment Re:Such negative backlash... (Score 1) 515

Because the stats so far say it does. Or does your honest thoughts trump the measured results?

Incorrect. The stats say that the tracking devices, combined with...

The students are also assigned an adult coach who calls them at least three times a week to see how they are doing and help them find effective ways to make sure they get to class on time.

get them to class more often. Mentors by themselves have been shown to dramatically decrease truancy. These tracking devices have not.

And why do you feel the need to be sarcastic? It seems to be an epidemic around here I just don't understand.

Comment Re:Such negative backlash... (Score 2) 515

How many of you guys are actually teachers? As an educator, I actually this is a great idea. Students under 16 are required to be in school, so if they are truant we have to spend resources to sends truancy officer after them, then the kids have to show up in court, etc. This seems it would reduce those costs, both financial and educational.

It would only reduce costs if the child complies with the terms of the tracking or it causes the child to attend school instead of skipping. I honestly can't see why it would. If the threat of going to juvie didn't stop the kid from cutting in the first place, why would it stop them from not using their tracker?

Comment Re:Big Brother (Score 2) 515

Threatening someone with jail time or fines if they don't volunteer is like saying there is a mandatory donation required to attend a free event.

So should they also scrap community service and probation options and stick everyone with pure jail-time instead? If you've done something you can be jailed for but they think you'll reform with some minimal oversight I don't see the issue with offering it as an option.

He didn't say that. He's just pointing out, correctly, that "volunteering" means there is little to no incentive to do something, but you do it anyways. Convicted criminals don't "volunteer" to accept community service or probation, they choose it as an alternative to options they consider worse. Just like I don't "volunteer" to go to work every day.

These kids are the same. To call it voluntary is a joke.

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