GOP Moves Against Human Rights In DC

(Jim Young / Reuters)

“As quickly as marriage rights are sweeping the nation, Republicans are busy playing discrimination whack-a-mole. Once one civil rights victory is achieved, Republicans are there with at least two more ways to make LGBT people’s lives miserable.”

– Wendy Gittleson on Addicting Info

THE REPUBLICAN PARTY continuously invests itself in the goal of creating more barriers for the LBGT community and women in the United States. Most recently they are seeking to encroach on the rights of D.C. employees who seek to start a family and do not meet with the so-called “traditionalist” standards of the GOP.

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While the new Congress plays political schenanigans, in a standard move of expressing disdain for anything to do with Human Rights, the Obama White House is forging an Iranian nuke deal and been very proactive in combating the Islamic State with air strikes. The House GOP is likely only just getting started with this recent move in D.C.

On a lighter note Sen. Mitch McConnell is to be commended for crossing party lines and voting to approve U.S. District Attorney Loretta Lynch yesterday, along with nine of his fellow Senate Republicans.

Private Sector Says ‘No’ To Indiana Bigotry

Joe Skipper / AP )

Gov. Mike Pence (R) of Indiana has risked sending his state into a fiscal downfall with a recent decision to sign into law a pro-discrimination bill dressed up as Christianity. This bill was put forward by the corrupt, immoral people of Advance America who want to protect hatred for others over the protection of ideals like freedom and liberty.

In response to this extremely stupid and anti-gay bill the State of Indiana has already begun to suffer. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, canceled all programs that required travel to the state. The Gen Con gaming conference and the NCAA also both expressed publicly that this may cause a change in future venues within the state.

If these radical bigots don’t start accepting that their religious beliefs do not amount to an excuse to commit acts of discrimination against others they are welcome to be free of the boycott.

Otherwise … #BoycottIndiana!

My YouTube Podcasting Has Erupted

This is the first of the podcasts I’ve been cutting over the past few days.

It’s a lot of fun to switch gears as a broadcaster into new mediums.

Though it’s become clear to me that the fun part of doing the recordings is getting addictive versus the boring part of doing the editing.

These are going to get a bit … wild … in coming updates.

If you’re catching me here then consider linking up with me over on the YT as well.

Too Many Puppies

Eric in a Cowboy Hat

Geez, I made too many and started so many projects over the years.

Really nuts going through this blog stuff. 

Easily my biggest post is Kira’s Kingdom.

Starting doing minor podcasting with a voice recorder and discovered a nice little resource for my fellow Web creators to brush up on:

Digital Media Law Project: Fair Use

(URL: http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/fair-use)

Also have this always saved and ready to go now…

THIS PODCAST DOES NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF YOUTUBE, GOOGLE OR RESPECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS. THIS CONTENT IS USED IN THE FULL SPIRIT OF THE FAIR USE POLICIES AND PRACTICES.

 

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Follow @ Blogger:

 

http://ericlightborn.blogspot.com

 

Follow @ Twitter:

 

https://twitter.com/EricLightborn

My Life Right In This Very Moment

public-domain-books

That damn thing happened again. This uncontrollable entertainer slash wannabe author has exploded inside me again the moment I started the life hacking away from the catering, home repairs and yards — odds and ends bullshit — and back toward my old way of being a hardcore nine to fiver giving up every day off I could to squeeze every drop of green out of the whole deal. It’s a problem. In one mindset it is key at this job app’d up point to go do the face-time thing anywhere where it’s not just a “blah, whatever” type resume submission.

But instead I’m in the process of opening a Patreon centered on my writing and just finally bought a web-cam of merit to adhere to the “best practices” guidelines they provide. Probably a new YouTube channel before long too. The thinking here is that, as I have whined about before here into the blogs, there really isn’t any good reason for me to online-publish things like pieces of upcoming fictional works and poetry anthologies. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing this style of free-flowing Web content and this style of post would always show up on this blog.

However, when I look over my hard drive there is a lot of pieces on here that are better suited for a Patreon feed than just sheer live blogging potential future IPs so third-parties can just come in and give zero credit to the author while using a level of ads that is obviously excessive. People should get paid for their best work and art is work like any other. If I were to guess the objections some raise about this style of crowd-funding it’s that they don’t see writing, music, and art in general as something valid to pour money into unless it comes pre-packaged by the existing industry involved.

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What I think many are unaware of in this matter is that in the “old days” a writer of merit would receive an investment in the form of a large lump sum directly from the publisher then given a deadline to produce. This investment was expressly for living expenses, research materials, leisure time, and anything else that might enhance the final product. No going back from the Digital Era, obviously, so e-publishing is just a beast all serious writers have to tackle to ground or be eaten alive when you try and call yourself that in public. But there are many projects going on here and no time at all to finish all of them unless I do that thing where the heady stuff and the final draft prose is paying for itself.

Enough about that. My neighborhood was popping off a second ago. Live music from up the hill and little kids singing some pop song I don’t recognize from over the fence. Out here in the backyard after running around town a bit. This is Santa Cruz, CA by the way or “Surf City USA” or as I want to be known as the birthplace of NHS and Santa Cruz (Brand) Skateboards & Clothing. No I don’t work for them it’s more that you might have seen those stickers around and those are referring to my little surf / skate town here.

Think I liked San Francisco more but the housing costs are just stupid high so that’s off the table unless I could network that shit. Oh what else? All this poetry explosion going on in my head is probably because I’m in love again, which is nice but complicated when these new feelings are for a long time close friend who is keeping at a distance most days. Always been a fool for love but thanks to serious bumps in the road in my youth I can speak very openly and directly about these topics if people are comfortable enough with me to do so. Often the things left unsaid in romance can be sexier than spilling your guts twenty-four seven but oh doggies do things get complicated sometimes and the need for honest communication shifts into the foreground so strongly that it’s almost slapping you in the face.

Okay, that was a “rant” they call them in this box of digital expression that is linked to other boxes that occasionally do this creating unique ideas stuff. Peace, love and chicken grease.

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Eric Lightborn / Eruptide@YouTube out.

Randomly Dipping Into My YouTube Subs

Hey why not?


http://pirate-ninja-sayuri.deviantart.com/art/AlChestbreach-416210924

 

Follow me on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/EricLightborn

Chapel Hill Shooting: Atheists / Anti-theists Are Responsible?

Craig Hicks, charged with shooting death of 3 Muslims in N.C.

Some less than spectacular people out there on the Inter-webs are calling for vocal atheists and anti-theists to own up to the Chapel Hill Shooting being our version of the Charlie Hebdo Massacre. No, we won’t be doing that. At least not at this time. Should the available facts on record change, such as a confirmed manifesto being released, any reasonable person would adjust their views to include this. But what we have here is a horrible tragedy with no clear motives, nothing more. Charlie Hebdo was killing in the name of religion being held higher in importance than freedom of speech and human life; no comparison.

Standards of acceptance of evidence is probably the core difference between atheists and theists. For instance: I don’t see any evidence that is at all compelling for a historical Jesus of Nazareth nor for a God of Abraham. The commonly used “personal experience” routine is crap on multiple levels but mainly because people lie to further their own goals all the time and religious labels don’t instantly cure a person of unethical behaviors.

I’ve studied the Bible at length, researched non-canonical texts, applied the standards of historical veracity to both the Old and New Testaments and none of it amounts to the claims of “divinity” and “divine truth” made by Bible-believers. At the most, and this is being very generous, there was a Jewish rebel priest put to death by the Romans that had a chain of hearsay turn him into a demigod in the eyes of certain men who were all born around a hundred years after his execution.

Islam and the Quran are different in the sense that the central figure is much, much more so a verified historical figure but shares in the same issues of the Torah and the Bible where none of the claims to divinity and ultimate truth are any more compelling than when the Greeks, Egyptians or the Pagans wrote of their mastery of the ethos of life and contemplation. The endless contradictions anyone can find with enough time spent with almost any “holy book” placed to the side, the issue with any form of religious extremism boils down to dehumanizing those who will not conform to the point where an act of torture or murder upon them is not only acceptable but mandated from on high.

Thing to remember here is some people believe in UFOs and anal probes but it’s rare to the point of being unheard of that one of them would go shoot up a skeptic conference in the name of being unhindered to spread the message of the coming alien overlords to the masses. But both radicalized Christians as well as Muslims, and even the heavily pacifist Buddhists, have done exactly these kinds of actions in both isolated and organized acts of violence. All this in recent decades and not even bothering to dredge out old history books citing violence over the centuries committed in the name of religious “purity.”

No respected atheist anywhere is advocating you solve your disputes with acts of murder or that the best way to silence an ideological opponent is to kill them in their home or place of business. But I could troll the right-wing radio Christian waves for awhile and bring back some moron who is doing exactly that and same with the nationalistic Islamic newsgroups and forums. This would not in turn implicate all Christians and all Muslims in those statements but only those who identify with the speaker’s views which is not an easy thing to assess unless someone declares it to be so.

Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

 

As always when I cover tragic stories my deepest condolences go out to the family members and friends of the victims of this horrible event.  I do not speak merely for myself when I say that this man should face the full force of the legal justice system and hopefully this will bring you some measure of peace.

I Don’t Blog As Much As I Used To

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I just don’t compose much that goes into blog format these days.  Sorry about that if were around back when I posted like wildfire. I do a lot of writing and have been plagiarized the times that I posted my best work. However, I’m leaving Web-impressions somewhere if not around here and I thought I might share a decent argument I wrote against the notion that God created the universe.

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I find it way harder to believe the universe always existed.That’s fine. Math and science have nothing to do with what you find acceptable. So big whoop. You have weird stances on logical deduction and sound reasoning. You’re hardly the first and won’t be the last.

Or the universe created itself, or popped out of nothing. All of these are absurd. Man the lengths people are willing to go to deny God.”

Again you just don’t understand the Big Bang Theory (sometimes called the “first event“) in any meaningful way. Nothing was “created” because that word implies an intelligence for which we have no evidence of. “Popped out of nothing” is just a poor way of expressing the concept. A better way to say it might be “exploded out of non-spacetime” or “expanded outward from highly condensed existing matter.”

I get that you think this is big exercise to disprove your God but in fact this is, like all valid science, just following where the facts lead us. The “God did it” explanation is one that is very easy and explains nothing to us about the how and why. Whereas the Big Bang model (which has many variations that I’m probably screwing up as a layperson) exactly addresses these issues in cosmology with real answers that form together like a symphony of knowledge of what we already understand to be true.

I feel the need to point out, however, that in cosmology a deistic god (very specifically not the Christian or Abrahamic god) is highly plausible while at the same time being completely unnecessary to the model. A deistic stance on the creation / formation of the universe doesn’t break down the models or change the level of logical accuracy. But it also adds nothing new into the equation either, making it this little weird caveat that some people like to throw in but others find repugnant because they are very rigid about their mathematics.

I myself am not so clear on that one, having had too much time to think about it. It’s also valid to talk about self affirmation in existence, in which I mean human time travelers started things not that we define our physical reality crap. Think about it if you’re still reading this whoever you are: a point in our future results in technology that allows to bend time backwards to the First Event (Big Bang) and we find nothing there, realizing that if we don’t detonate our vessel’s drive to trigger said event that all of existence will thereby fail to exist. Yeah, see this way more plausible than even the deistic logic let alone the theist’s stance on these matters. 

The Bible Reloaded on YouTube

biblereloaded

In my Internet wanderings I came upon a rather interesting YouTube channel
hosted by Jake & Hugo called The Bible Reloaded.”

They take a unique approach in how to use their channel in the ambitious
attempt to read the narrative of the entire Bible (NIV) on the Internet.
Not only this but most importantly they provide context for the topics
they raise and even have done a video outside of canonical texts to
provide further context still.

This ongoing project has caught my attention and is a worth a look.

Episode 1: Genesis

Anita Sarkeesian: Entrepreneur, Activist or Phony?

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For those not keeping up with the pulse of YouTube: a channel by the name of Feminist Frequency run by Anita Sarkeesian has recently gathered $160,000 via Kickstarter to produce what is currently a three part video series focused on sexism in videogames entitled “Damsel in Distress.” Originally she asked for $6,000 for this project and spoke of academic value as well as intense research involved in the final product.  But the videos about videogames are only the catalyst in a tale of Internet Infamy that begins with feminism and ends with pseudo-science.

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The dubiously high amount of money involved raised many eyebrows due to the fact that YouTube videos of this exact nature are produced on shoe string budgets every day. She refuses to allow comments or ratings which is a tactic looked down on by most Internet users for obvious reasons. Compounding this is some evidence to show she likely screen captured the videos of other YouTube users rather than recording original video from the games she supposedly bought for the research stage of the project. But I’ll return to that topic later. Whatever else may be true of Sarkeesian there’s no arguing that she has become extremely successful directly as a result of this Kickstarter project and is rumored to have entered the professional gaming industry as a consultant to EA Games on the title Mirror’s Edge 2.

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Which brings me to the first quandary: Is she a capitalist genius or just a case of luck combining with opportunity? I don’t think it’s as easy as some of her detractors would like to discount her as simply a “troll” (meaning intentional instigator) taking it to the next level. That’s one possibility but considering the nature of human greed I find it also likely she uses pop culture as a crutch to avoid the more scientific elements of social commentary all while appealing to her base, in this case hard-line feminists, to keep the donations coming with lots of red meat. All the benefits but none of the heavy lifting. As an example of this she doesn’t present any information to the viewer about learned and demonstrated behavior in the field of Child Development Psychology which would be the cornerstone of a hypothesis involved in linking external input like the themes and plot devices in videogames with outward attitudes toward the opposite gender.  Fancy way of saying she is obviously not doing an academic piece.

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One thing that occurred to me when I saw her first video was most of her arguments could be transplanted to rail against rap and hip hop music, or against the fringes of the artist community, or pretty much any extreme form of expression. But somehow I don’t imagine a young woman who wants to decry the evil rap music industry right next to figures like Bill O’Reilly and Pat Robertson would catch much traction on YouTube. Sarkeesian’s main point in summation, while it takes a different route to get there, is no different from the position of the religious right-wing: society is harmed by things I find offensive being popular.

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That brings me to my second quandary: Is she an earnest activist that is merely making amateur mistakes or is there intentional deception by stating her opinions as facts numerous times? Again I’m not entirely convinced the worst to be true. It’s not all that impossible most of what she has presented that has ruffled feathers is just us witnessing a slow learning curve on her part to avoid logical fallacy. I read some old political posts of mine and felt deep shame … because I wrote them prior to taking a college course on critical thinking and proper argumentation. So hey, total benefit of doubt thing going on here. But to ever buy this one in full I need to see her start basing factual statements in facts and come to see that if you decry a social injustice you perceive but provide no positive solutions then others who feel as you do are left feeling disempowered (common theme in her videos) instead of united in this common worldview.

laptop-thief

My final quandary: Are we being lead around by the nose here or not? The strongest point that leads me to think this a con artist at work is not so much the large pile of cash she got but rather what other users pointed out: she is almost certainly using footage of Let’s Play videos (someone voices what is essentially a podcast alongside a game they’re playing) to pad out her game footage shots and blatantly ignores or misrepresents the context within a story line she critiques. As a quick example of misleading viewers about the contextual story line within these games she references Fable 2 as a title that represented the “male revenge fantasy” overlooking the fact you can select to be female without affecting any element of the story and after the death of your sister you are mentored by a powerfully authoritative female character. As to the other point I’ve heard some users say she “stole” these clips of game footage but (1) not giving attribution is bad Web-etiquette but not stealing per se and (2) with the exception of the audio these Let’s Play videos are likely the sole property of the game makers or YouTube not the person who used a computer to mesh together game play and commentary. Find a copyright lawyer to really nail that down but in the case of potential plagiarism I’m near positive that unless they have a partnership with a gaming company thus a legal department behind them they can forget about this sort of thing being declared anything other than Free Use by YouTube. That said, it’s beyond suspicious to me that such a highly funded project would borrow footage in this way at all.

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The sad part is no matter what Sarkeesian holds as her true intentions the focus on tired clichés being overused in gaming and how these plot devices, or tropes, are used to enforce unfair gender stereotypes is an opinionated stand to take but it’s just a simple fact that the professional gaming industry is predominately male and could greatly benefit from say a youthful female voice on YouTube encouraging women to strike out toward careers in gaming design and development. I have no doubt the gaming industry as a whole would welcome a more gender balanced input when it comes to design and development. The number of female gamers in the market keeps rising and they often bring different tastes and expectations to a videogame than male gamers do.

But instead of that sort of encouragement, so far anyway, we have three videos that contain contradictions and have yet to succeed in proving or even attempting to prove the central premise that fictional fantasies lead to negative attitudes and beliefs about others. We already beat that horse to death with the whole violence in the media causes violence in real life bullshit that was debunked over and over again.

Correlation is not causation, Anita.

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More Video Links:

More than a Damsel in a Dress: A Response” by KiteTales

Three Simple Questions for Anita Sarkeesian” by IWALVG

Female Game Developer’s response to Tropes vs Women” by dolldivine

Damsel Trek…” by Triox45

GAME OVER: Anita Sarkeesian has won” by MundaneMatt

America in 2011 (Occupy Wall Street)

This is America in 2011: citizens protesting the social injustices of the financial sector upon the middle class and working poor are being brutalized by police and subject to a blackout by the mainstream media that is slowly being lifted.

It’s an unfortunate truth that the Occupy Wall Street movement(s) are revealing before us today: scream about the evils of government health care or murdered fetuses and they will grab the news cameras, scream about the evils of corporate monopolies or the corrupt practices of Wall Street and they will grab the pepper spray.

 

One Year After The BP Spill


April 20th, 2011, marks the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

I mark the BP Spill as a point in time which it became even more clear to me that the United States government is invested in protecting corporations and industry over protecting its citizens from harm.

The reckless disregard for both human life and the environment of BP and Transocean has not met with any criminal prosecution. Serving as an example that a company is free to cause death and mayhem without any consequences but an individual who caused the death of eleven workers and poisoned the Gulf for decades to come would receive no such special treatment.

America continues to be a cowardly nation when it comes to holding the people responsible for the industrial homicide that took place one year ago.

Add atop all this that the government lied to the public regarding the location and magnitude of the spill on multiple occasions and approved a toxic dispersant that has been banned in the U.K. to be sprayed into the environment in quantities previously unheard of for use in an oil spill clean up.

Considering all this I don’t trust the EPA or the federal government when they proclaim the seafood as safe as the Gulf as non-toxic. The health and safety of the public is secondary to promoting the needs of the private sector industry forces, so if the feds and the EPA have to lie and cause a few people to get sick as a direct result then that is exactly what they will do.


As a single solitary citizen there is not much I can do to bring the inhuman monsters responsible for this to justice nor can I hope to see those in the EPA and the federal government who would lie to public be fired and replaced with people who would actually do their jobs rather than bend knee to the oil industry. Beyond voicing myself on a blog the only avenue I have to act upon is this: boycott BP forever.

A corrupt government we can change, though I don’t see it as an easy road it is entirely possible if people only stand together in a common cause. But changing a multinational corporation is much more difficult than changing a government and in all reality corporations are beyond all laws and beyond taking responsibility for the death and destruction they bring about in their narrow, greedy quest for ever-increasing profits. When faced with such a power the only recourse of a ordinary person is to not contribute to the empire of death with everyday purchases like gas or food.

When every former BP station has rebranded itself and the company is treated like the pariah they are in the United States then I might consider reviewing their corporate policies and considering putting an end to the calls for  boycott, but not a moment before.

If consumers continue to reward corporations guilty of industrial homicide with business then there shall never be any hope of a private sector that doesn’t cause these horrific disasters in the first place.