Leaving Facebook means this old dog needs to learn some new tricks

Facebook certainly has a dark side. Perhaps the darkest is its apparently indispensable nature.

For some folks, Facebook might just be indispensable.  Friends that I’ve talked to are actually flummoxed when asked what it would take for them to kick the habit. It’s their one stop shop. Believe me, I can see that. Days into the quit, and I’m feeling it.

Meanwhile, the blog must go on. While Facebook served up more than a heaping helping of suitable news every single day, I’ve got other resources, and I’m starting to add more.

Continue reading

How do you know the collector you’re paying really owns your debt?

You don’t.

Just in case you don’t have enough to worry about already, here’s just one more thing: debt collectors and the twisted games they play. Trust me, you’ll want to invest the few minutes it takes to read this article from The New York Times Magazine. Odds are good the plot twist will surprise you, maybe even leave you a bit more sleepless than you already are. And for good reason.

Sure, those of us who have mastered the art of living within our means *ahemcoughsplutter* will never know the joys of being contacted by debt collectors. More power to you. May you never have an unplanned misfortune that changes that state of affairs. For the rest of us, debt collectors are a reality. An ugly one.

Continue reading

Excerpt: A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier

The troops were stiled new levies, they were to go to New-York; and notwithstanding I was told that the British army at that place was reinforced by fifteen thousand men, it made no alteration in my mind; I did not care if there had been fifteen times fifteen thousand, I should have gone just as soon as if there had been but fifteen hundred. I never spent a thought about numbers, the Americans were invincible, in my opinion. If any thing affected me, it was a stronger desire to see them. p. 16

Ah, the courage of youth, backed with conviction and supplemented by a desire to be the equal of his peers, to say nothing of his yearning to get away from home.

Goodbye, Facebook. Supporting anti-gay marriage, anti-human rights candidate was finally too much.

After all Facebook has done, there’s only so much a person can take.

And kittehs. Can’t forget about the kittehs.

By now, anyone who has been paying attention is well aware of Facebook’s general user-unfriendly shenanigans, with the possible exception of Facebook’s support for net neutrality, to say nothing of all the minor aggravations users put up with on a daily basis…continually refreshing advertisements, live video popping up in the news feed, a news feed that doesn’t show you everything you mean to see, a newsfeed that occasionally reverts to Top Stories in spite of your every wish and command. Oh, but hey, there’s kittehs!

What kind of user-unfriendly shenanigans, one might wonder?

Continue reading

This is how militarized police act: Ferguson, MO edition

Sure, you might think this is fine now as long as it’s not your grievances, your friends, your neighbors, but how will you like them when they show up in your neighborhood to quell your unrest when you think things have gone too damned far?

The awkward thing about liberty…it’s for all of us or none of us.

From Jezebel:

Ferguson disgrace: police fire on unarmed crowds, attack news trucks

Where is Governor Nixon in the Ferguson nightmare?

When government won’t govern, the people need to lead

Step up or step out, Governor (so-called).

Business Insider reported on Wednesday:

While Ferguson Situation Goes Out Of Control, Missouri Governor Tweets About School Board Meeting

Oh, but aside from tweeting about 4H and the school board, Governor #WhereisJayNixon did make time Tuesday night, with prepared comments, to address a community meeting (see link in the above referenced article. How very gubernatorial of him. Okay, so he requested a DOJ investigation. That’s barely doing the job. Where is the leadership? Unless by leadership we’re to understand his hands-off approach to the St. Louis County PD as tacit approval, that is.

Here’s what I want to know. Continue reading

Are you entitled to your opinion? Am I?

Hell no.

From I Fucking Love Science:

No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

This. A million times this. With a capital E and a large integer times this.

If “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” just means no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true, but fairly trivial. No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven.


But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false. And this too is a distinction that tends to get blurred. [emphasis added]

This is why I leave myself amenable to correction when I have either run afoul of verifiable facts or when my logic is occasionally wanting. I might push back, but with good intentions. If the counter-argument is weak enough that a little pushback defeats it, maybe the counter isn’t so hot after all. So maybe my opinions aren’t exactly serious candidates for truth (truth be told, I don’t think much is, but I’m an epistemological wreck like that, if a punny one), but at least I tend to think they could be, else I wouldn’t bother you with them.