Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
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  • Any good dating sites in the U.S. you recommend for meeting great American guys?

    I think we made a love connection here on the board!
  • So where's that bald move dating site?

  • gun control

    I'm really moved by the March for our Lives and the kids who organized it. 
  • Post Your Dankest Memes

    This was my fave Easter one:

  • U.S. Politics Part 5: Same old Thread...Just New.

    When people say "the truth has a liberal bias," it makes me think of when I was teaching community college writing courses. One of the big goals in college writing courses is learning how to evaluate sources.

    I taught for just a few years, and it was before the whole social media/fake news era, but we had Google and Wikipedia to lead students astray, and I learned something.  If you expect students to take an intellectual/analytical approach to writing, as was expected in college, there are some topics they just can't write about, because there are no sources that are considered valid in that space.

    One obvious example was any argument based on religious faith. Faith wasn't the only theme when this happened, but it was the clearest one.You can't use a faith-based holy book to make an academic argument because academic arguments have to be based on evidence. You can't find evidence-based sources to prove the arguments because there are no evidence-based sources to prove matters of faith. It doesn't stop these things for being true for these people; it just teaches them they aren't considered true in the context of college English class.

    It was easy to deal with in class, because you can explain this to students if they propose a faith-based topic, give them a choice, and they will take one of two paths. Most will just avoid the conflict altogether and write about something more "academic." A brave few contrarians will decide to take you and the system on and try to make an evidence-based argument on matters of faith, and they will fail, because they are just two completely different systems of thought. I thought of these students differently than some of my colleagues who would snicker about them in the office, lecture down to them in class, and give them lists of banned topics; even though I'm an atheist, I have some respect for religious faith. Maybe because I came from a working-class Catholic family and went to community college myself, I know how isolating it can be and how much of a culture shock college can be if you come from certain communities.

    So- I would try to be real with them about it, I would counsel them and coach them on the difference between academic vs religious arguments, and if that didn't work, I would even go so far as to walk them through the process of trying to find evidence-based sources.  But there just aren't any academically evidence-based sources to back up ideas that are a matter of faith. All they could ever find was spurious kind of "fake science" or "fake history" articles that existed online at that time and I would have to reject as valid sources. They would get frustrated sometimes, but I never had a student get truly angry about this. They would eventually back down from their topic and pick one that had sources they could use, maybe because they realized what I was teaching them, maybe only for the practical reason of getting a better grade and using their time wisely. It's better not to die on the Freshman Comp hill when you are taking night classes as a single mom or whatever. Ten weeks would come and go, we'd get a new crop of them and start over and never really have to deal in depth with any of it. 

    But in the real world it's not so easy just to compartmentalize. I think we learned by Trump's election that there are lots of people out there who are willing to take him on as an act of faith, even if they have to hold their noses, when there is little evidence that he will be able to do anything he promised, or even wants to keep his promises, and much evidence to the contrary. I'm not necessarily talking about religious believers, but people who have some faith in him to be better than Obama or better than Hillary or whomever else they think is the liberal devil this week. Maybe they are just adherents to the religion of chaos and destruction, horrible racists and uneducated trolls. But maybe they believed in something they saw in him, something populist and anti-establishment and anti-academic. Sooner or later this faith became true enough to enough people to impact an election. We, with our academic "liberal" bias, know that they are being manipulated by Russian bots or whatever... Or we think so anyway. But what if they weren't? Maybe they just had a laugh at that stuff but actually hate Muslims and Mexicans (not that I am saying that's valid, but it's not fake news that Trump spoke against them). I think a lot of these voters love their money more than their fellow human, and a faith in tax breaks was a motivator, when we are now seeing that the tax breaks only really benefit Trump's rich cronies. Maybe they lost their factory job and have some kind of misplaced faith that Trump is going to work that out for them because he came and talked to them in person and all Hillary did was call them deplorable on TV. I happily voted for Hillary, but I do think she should have made more of an effort with those voters, because I actually think she would have been good for them, but how would they ever have known? There were lots of places Trump went that she didn't even try in, probably because someone in her campaign did some math and decided based on evidence that she couldn't win there. But everything they do plays out in a larger sense on TV and internet and I could see that being taken as an act of snobbery. 

    I don't really know what my point is here, all of this is just making me kind of think and remember this big divide in thinking that I saw when I was teaching. It's important to remember that people perceive and understand the world as real in one or the other of these spaces, even oftentimes both.

    I went on a cruise and I was eating breakfast like this all week. I'm super fat now.

  • Chat thread-Formerly known as Pizza- Strong Australian Vibes

    You're never going to get all that Vegemite out of that wood platter either.
  • U.S. Politics episode 4: A New Thread

    This is a legal investigation, not a political campaign. I know it's difficult for some people to tell the difference. But you can't just get an indictment because of who you support or do not support politically. If you could, Hillary Clinton would be rotting in jail for the next 400 years.
    This is a political campaign. We can show beyond reasonable doubt that two Clinton aids during an investigation of Clinton lied to Strzok and got immunity. Two trump aides lied to the same agent and ended up taking plea deals. There’s so many unregistered foreign lobbyists that don’t even get investigated, Manafort gets indicted (for lobbying work that occurred years before the Trump campaign and was completely unrelated, also only one trial conviction for FARA has ever occurred in history, I think Manafort will get acquitted, that’s pure statistical probability based on six trial with only one conviction in the history of the statute) we have partisan democrats who donated to the opponents campaign who constitute the majority of the investigative team. I don’t know anyone can claim there is no politics. If you enforce the law strictly against one political party, and largely ignore it against another, that is political,  no matter which way it’s dressed 
    I don't really know how to respond to this. This is just not how law enforcement works. Certainly there can be political influence or motivations but let's not get so far off track with reality that we think the FBI can do whatever they want just based on their feelings. Certainly there must be enough supporters of any particular political party or candidate that if that were the case, a lot of folks would be political prisoners right now.