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#1518228 Nick is okay, 50+ are not, Orlando mass shooting

Posted Nick on 13 June 2016 - 09:53 AM

Hey guys, apologies for not thinking to post here until now, but thank you for letting everyone know I'm okay--I realize not all of you are on Facebook or friends with me there.

Yes, I'm "fine," I was nowhere near Pulse on Saturday night.  Although, I used to live less than 2 miles away from it & drove past it every day on my way to work.  Former roommates bartended there, many friends went there regularly, I myself had been there on many occasions in years past.  I haven't been there personally in several years, but many friends and coworkers went there regularly.  I don't mean to make this about me in the slightest, just trying to express how surreal it is that something like this can happen in actual reality so close to home and involve people I know.  Orlando is not a big city.

Pulse attracted a particularly young crowd among the bars in Orlando, and it was also a popular place for not just GLBT folks, but it welcomed all people.  There really aren't that many clubs in town where people go to dance, gay or otherwise.  The victims are not exclusively gay and this is not a GLBT tragedy, but has impacted all of us.

We're in the headlines twice in as many days for senseless acts of murder.  Christina Grimmie's murder Friday night happened at the Plaza Live, just a few miles away from Pulse.  Both were people who just wanted to hurt people they've never even met.  I can't wrap my brain around it.

#1510769 Finally.......

Posted Lover of Purple on 24 September 2015 - 10:10 PM

After almost five years at Lowe's I have finally moved into the position I wanted, Pro Service Specialist. It is what I have been doing but without the position/title or pay (until now). My days are filled with contacting potential and current business customers, making calls, solving issues that arise a well as helping customers in the store. Keeping very busy but enjoying it immensely.Great change from five years ago, for those of you that remember

I mostly stopped in to explain my absence and let everyone know that I may not bet here often but I will keep ExIsle going as long as you enjoy it.

#1456439 Physicist, Claims Teaching Creationism Is Child Abuse

Posted Balthamos on 19 February 2013 - 01:03 PM

Teaching creationism in place of science is called lying. Teaching creationism as a religious viewpoint is called education. There is nothing wrong with teaching children about different religious theories. Dressing it up as an evidence based investigation is also lying. Teaching children to ignore the evidence because "god planted it there" is the opposite of science and therefore should not be in a science class.

If you want to teach different PoVs on the creation of the universe in one class room then pick a class room and teach the science parts as science and the religious views as religion. Explain as honestly as possible where each viewpoint comes from and let children make an informed decision or discuss it with someone they trust.

#1447551 Obama Wins Handily

Posted Themis on 08 November 2012 - 08:03 AM


Ohio really did go to President Obama. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately, President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make Conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing Math. And Climate Change is Real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And Evolution is a Thing. And Benghazi was an attack ON us, it was not a scandal BY us. And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually, and Saddam Hussein did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps, and UN Election Observers are not taking over Texas, and moderate reforms on the regulations in the insurance industry in this country are not the same things as Communism…[but] if the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement and the Conservative Media are stuck in a vacuum-sealed, door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems. Last night, the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them in real, humiliating time, not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to secede, they are going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, I’m sure. But it will be good for the whole country, left, right and center. You guys, we’re counting on you. Wake up. There are real problems in the world. There are real, knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those, and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there.
-- Rachel Maddow, 11/07/12

#1433681 You didn't build that, sez Obama

Posted Dev F on 19 July 2012 - 09:39 AM

View Postscherzo, on 19 July 2012 - 08:33 AM, said:

When Obama goes off prompter his natural affinity for Marx has a tendency to surface. I was FURIOUS when I heard his comments dismissing the efforts of entrepreneurs, but was pleasantly surprised that he actually ended up taking heat for it.
That would be the quote where the president pointed out that business owners don't build the bridges and roads and other infrastructure elements they need  to thrive, and Fox News and company took it out of context to imply that they didn't build their own businesses? Why, that crazy socialist bastard!

#1515710 Trump's first Amendment right violated

Posted Cait on 13 March 2016 - 09:12 PM

On a just as serious a note, no one has talked about what our allies and the rest of the word will do if Trump becomes President.  Deportation, banning muslims, fighting China?  Do you think the rest of the world will stand by why Trump takes us into trade wars?  Or worse? Trump as President will invite attacks on US bases around the world, citizens, and maybe even here at home.  He will upset the entire diplomatic world.  He'll do it because it will create even more fear here at home, and we'll give him even more power to protect us.  it's how it works.

Our voters might not remember what fascism can do to a country [world] but Germany and Italy sure remember.  England and France remember.  Israel remembers.  We're walking not only our country, but the world into WWIII.  And because you [Lots] think Trump's first amendments rights have been violated, you'd cast a vote for a man that would destroy our Republic and the rest of the world right along with it.

People who would vote for such a man think we live in some sort of a vacuum. The rest of the world watches every election year to see what might affect their world.  You cannot have a demagogue with the launch codes.  No country on the earth will sit still for that. While we laugh at "Godwinism" in our internet posts, the rest of the world remembers WWII and how Nazi Germany and Fascist italy spread across Europe and North Africa, leaving death behind them.  It's no laughing matter to Europe.

Europe, who will begin to feel uneasy at all the military bases we currently have around the world.  Meant at one time to be a defense for countries, but under a fascist demagogue will feel more like they've already been invaded.

Sound hysterical on my part.  I hope so.  that's how bad Trump is in the WH and with launch codes.  A narcissistic sociopath as commander of the largest armed forces in the world and has nukes.  Hitler will look like a school boy with a Napoleon complex.  

And, if you think Trump would not go there, he's got a taste for power now and he won't hesitate to use it.  he's already using it on the campaign trail.  He is inciting violence against the day's boogeyman.  He is outright telling them that he will pay their legal bills if they punch people out.  He is calling protestors the people who are ruining America.  This kind of Nationalism has a name, and a history.  

And you'd vote for him because somebody protested.  One day, and it may be sooner than you think, you'll be wishing a whole lot more people had protested.

#1513413 Trump: Ban all Muslims

Posted sierraleone on 12 December 2015 - 09:44 AM

How many times does it need to be pointed out that terrorists can get in the country much easier ways than to go through the many many months and many many steps that it takes for a refugee to be approved and placed?

View PostLord of the Sword, on 12 December 2015 - 12:10 AM, said:

And as for all those crying that we should bring in the refugees...If ISIS slips in a couple terrorists in those refugees, who then kill Americans...that blood is on YOUR hands as well as the terrorists. Hope those wanting the refugees in realize that, and are willing to tell the families of those killed: "Sorry about your loss, but your love one died so that we could be politically correct."

So, conversely, that would mean that if any refugees are denied and forced back towards Syria and end up dead at the hands of terrorists.... That blood is on the hands of people who's fear-mongering leads to refugees being denied?

No, not them, not their fault? You mean, that blood is only on the hands of the terrorists? Hmm. Funny how that isn't the case if the foreign terrorists manage an attack on our soil. Instead you blame the good people just trying to help refugee populations out of desperate situation. It is called humanitarian aid. It has NOTHING to do with people trying to be PC, and to imply it is is an insult.

#1494097 ExIsle's Rules

Posted RJDiogenes on 29 June 2014 - 12:06 PM

Is a Watchdog allowed to also participate in the thread?

While I like the idea of the discussion being limited to one thread-- that was one of the four suggestions I made-- I don't like the idea of members not being able to participate.  I understand that we're all guests here in somebody else's house and that if we're asked to take off our shoes, we should do that or not come in.  However, the flip side of that is that this is also a community and that the members of that community should be able to express their opinions on any internal matters that arise, just as they do on external matters. In fact, that is even more important.

One of the most fundamental problems with the recent incident that I observed, as somebody not directly involved, is that there is a lot of antagonism between the regular members and the staff.  Mods and members should not see each other as enemies. On a small scale, I was witnessing civil disobedience against a rigid authority.  Some of the citizens were certainly acting out in extreme ways, but some members of the staff were also intransigent and showed no sign of listening to the concerns of the members. Now, some of that was eventually reversed-- after the situation had gone too far to be completely reparable, apparently-- but I don't think the content or tone of the new rules really addresses that as a fundamental issue.

#1493025 How does this message board deal with racism?

Posted M.E. on 15 June 2014 - 02:15 PM

There seems to be this consensus that only a handful of members are paying attention to these threads.



What Yadda; Gode. Mark; LotS; Nonny; Baldy; SFG ... (because the ilst is too long) said.

#1492980 Mark shouldn't have got booted from 2 threads, for comments in one

Posted Godeskian on 15 June 2014 - 03:25 AM

I've sent you a PM FarscapeOne

View PostFarscapeOne, on 14 June 2014 - 09:14 PM, said:

Along that line of reasoning, it might behoove everyone, especially the health of this board, to just have everyone back off for a short time.  Cooler heads will likely prevail, because I can see that both sides of each of the arguments that are going on have a lot of truth and good points to them.  But NO ONE is going to see that unless people chill.

While I agree with the sentiment, as long as people keep getting booted from threads in the fashion they have, I don't see it happening. I've detailed the reasons and my concerns in the PM.

I for one do not intend to let this get swept under the bridge. I will continue to post calmly, rationally, and with respect to everyone involved, but I believe the staff might have been over zealous in this case, and I'd like to find out what preceded this sudden glut of bootings.

#1492324 LoTS should not have been banned from that thread

Posted Spectacles on 09 June 2014 - 05:37 AM

Very short version:

Thread bootings, if they must continue, should happen immediately or not at all. The aim of a thread boot is to eject a disruptive poster from a conversation, not to punish someone for saying something in the conversation that upset others.

Upsets are going to happen when people discuss things. We're adults here. Let us deal with our own upsets--as we did in that thread.

#1490200 39% of people who think Benghazi is biggest scandal ever don't kno

Posted Spectacles on 07 May 2014 - 06:59 AM

OK, so here is a pretty good guide to the GOP's Benghazi b.s.--and why it's b.s.:



What exactly are the Republican accusations regarding Benghazi?

The main Republican critique appears to be that the White House and State Department politicized talking points given to U.N Ambassador Susan Rice, who spoke about the attacks on American TV five days later. Republicans argue the White House deliberately downplayed the involvement of al Qaeda and played up the spontaneous nature of the protests as a reaction to an anti-Islam video, to avoid tarnishing President Obama's national security record in advance of the 2012 presidential election. This, despite the fact that the White House talking points matched those produced by the CIA.

Republicans also have criticized the Obama administration for not responding to the attacks more aggressively when they happened, though a bipartisan Senate investigation found that military resources simply weren't in position to help. Similarly, Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican most aggressively pressing Benghazi accusations, says he has "suspicions" that Hillary Clinton gave "stand down" orders to stop military resources from deploying to Benghazi even though a Republican report to the Armed Services Committee says that no such "stand down" order was issued.

In addition, Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for not doing more to prevent the attacks, such as beefing up consular security. Yet it was the same House Republicans who initially denied the Obama administration's request for additional embassy security funding.

The GOP has cynically used the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi to try to score political points. And Issa has flat-out lied. But GOP lies are apparently less serious than Democratic lies.

#1488063 A rant about common core standards

Posted Spectacles on 06 April 2014 - 09:01 AM

I just now skimmed Daily Kos and found yet another diary bemoaning the implementation of common core standards in America's public schools.

You can read about Common Core here: http://en.wikipedia....ards_Initiative


The Common Core State Standards Initiative is an education initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent education standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or enter the workforce.[1]

Teachers are taking to the Internet and airwaves to condemn this imposition of standards that all students and their teachers should aspire to meet. And whether students meet the standards will be measured in tests.

I had to quit reading the DK diary this morning because in this one, to my horror, the teacher compared high standards and "high stakes testing" to child labor. A teacher.

Many teachers claim that being required to teach their students a certain set of information and skills each grade-level--and testing their students to see if they succeeded-- is ruining their creativity, innovation, enthusiasm, blah blah blah.

Here's an example from the WaPo, 2012:


I disagree with everything this person writes.

I am appalled that some of my fellow educators seem to be so lacking in the creativity and innovation they claim to treasure that they cannot see that teaching to high standards--and assessing students' performance with regard to those standards--does NOT mean there's no room in the classroom for critical thinking and creativity. Or fun.

The opponents of common core standards set up a false (and ridiculously distorted) dichotomy. Either schools are wellsprings of creativity and discovery and enthusiastic critical thinking OR they are factories of stressful, hard work.

I am extremely suspicious of these teachers who are doing the loudest protesting.

I've taught for going on 35 years. I taught high school students in the country in Alabama for a couple of years, and I've taught community college students for the past thirty.

In these years, I've had the misfortune of having more than a few colleagues who are prima donnas--and dons--who seem to think that by merely sharing their presence with students, they are teaching them something profound. At the heart of this narcissism is usually a fear of getting found out as a fraud. Their students may like them (in the teachers' minds, at least--but many students see through them), but their students often don't learn much from them.

When teachers who are lazy, tired, and/or delusional are the sole assessors of their students' work, they have plenty room in which to slack off.

Over the years almost every colleague I've known who resists community standards and assessments throws out the same old buzzwords: creativity, critical thinking, innovation, not cookie-cutters, blah blah. And almost every one who does is one who their colleagues roll their eyes at for their frequent entitled behavior and the gap between their reports of their students' performance and the actual results--which their colleagues see when these students subsequently land in the next level of composition, without the skills.

I have one colleague who goes apeshit if you say writing is a skill. "It is so much more than that! It is languaging one's perception of/creation of reality! And who are we to judge how one frames one's reality!" I'm serious. This is a young, "creative" professor whose students think his composition class is a joke because it shows them nothing about how to write college essays--which is a skill. There are certain "moves" you need to know how to make, ways of organizing ideas so that assertions are supported, etc. Yeah, it's hard and sometimes (not always) less fun than sitting around bullshitting about ideas that interest the professor. But it is valuable: academic writing is important to students' success in college and in their professions.

In a community college, many students are aware they were gypped in high school and they'd like to learn what they should know by now had anyone bothered to expect much from them.

This is what I've seen in my decades of teaching. This is why I support making teachers actually teach stuff that their students need to know.

I'm sure there are some flaws in the curriculum and the testing. But this is the biggest step in the right direction I've seen public education take. If we could improve the quality of education to the point that a high school diploma actually signifies a graduate has the reading, writing, and math skills necessary to either secure an entry-level office job or enter college without having to take a semester or two of remedial courses, that would be wonderful.

Leaving high school prepared for work or college would level the playing field between the working-class kids and those from professional-class families.

And, based on my experience, when students know that they actually MUST learn something they will--and if it's challenging, they will get a rush of pride when they master it. Then they're hooked on learning. And discipline problems vanish when students realize "hey, we're learning something here--and if I don't get it the teacher won't pass me on my cuteness."

So to my colleagues: please shut up and teach. Yes, you'll have to work harder and if you really do care about Johnny and Jane, you'll have to find a way to teach them this hard stuff.  It will no longer work to patronizingly bail them out with "extra credit" which allows them to avoid learning and pull their fannies out of the fire at the last minute by handing in something they probably took the time to plagiarize off the Internet.

Long rant, I know. Whoever read through it, thanks for indulging me. :)

#1493605 Mark shouldn't have got booted from 2 threads, for comments in one

Posted Sci-Fi Girl on 24 June 2014 - 10:28 AM

View PostMikoto, on 24 June 2014 - 10:07 AM, said:

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 24 June 2014 - 09:47 AM, said:

^ Now that's just not fair.  It's not fair to LoP, It's not fair to Rae, and it's not fair to those of us who protested.

You made a call, which you believe was right.  Others disagreed.  I would like to think that LoP reviewed the case presented by both sides, then reviewed the posts and actions in question, and ultimately made a different call than you did.  But that is only a guess on my part.

It is all a little vague and second hand though.  I assume LoP will be along at some point to make an official statement?

Humbly (I hope),

You'll get your statement when LoP gets there eventually.

And of course you'd claim my post is unfair. You get what you want. He caved in to your demands among others. Of course you're happy.

I stand by what I said. My post is entirely fair and true.

You make it sound like I'm being selfish, just because I disagree with you.  No, I'm not happy.  I'm not happy that friendships have been lost, that people have left, and that trusts have been broken (on both sides apparently?).

You seem to think that anyone who disagrees with you is both wrong, and selfishly trying to win just for the sake of winning, like a bunch of spoiled brats.  Think what you want, but that is not a fair way to categorize the membership.  We are smart people, we all have opinions, and it is perfectly normal for smart people to have differing opinions from time to time.  Disagreeing with you doesn't automatically make someone wrong.

And now I am truly out of this thread, because you are apparently attacking me just for opening my mouth.  You are upset with a decision, please try not to take it out on everyone.