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1521  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Looking for thoughts on an MP3 player on: December 29, 2004, 04:02:16 PM
If you need more than 5 gigs, you're also welcome to borrow my 15 gig iPod. The neat thing is that since it syncs to a computer, you can plug it into your PC, it'll wipe away my music and sync on yours, and when you give it back, the reverse'll happen when I connect it to my Mac.
1522  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / I'm convinced Steve Martin is no longer funny on: December 28, 2004, 06:11:57 PM
Parenthood is a classically well-written film. It was one of the key examples we used in my screenwriting courses to analyze proper cinematic storytelling. Great movie.
1523  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / trivia for fans of LOST on: December 28, 2004, 05:06:14 PM
Lost is on ABC...
1524  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / I'm convinced Steve Martin is no longer funny on: December 28, 2004, 05:04:56 PM
Steve Martin's choice in scripts of late has been terrible. He's fallen into that Nice Guy Syndrome that killed my respect for Robin Williams. Way too much sentimentallity, way too clean. I hate family films, but I really hate to see people who I know can be great cynical comics lowering themselves to do family films.

He's still funny in every single other venue, from his essays to his novels to his hosting of the Oscars. In fact, he's the only decent Oscar host we've had this century. Chris Rock will suck. God, will he suck.

I'd like to see Martin play another grouch, another character who could go off on a tirade of profanity like his character in Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Stop being the sappy nice guy, Steve.
1525  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / There oughta be a test on: December 27, 2004, 07:24:20 PM
On a global scale the large family/rampant poverty ratio is even worse. A lot of it has to do with religion, specifically Catholicism (before anyone lights a flamethrower, I'm Catholic). Many of the poorest regions of the world are predominantly Catholic (the two facts have next to nothing to do with each other, aside from which areas were colonized by majority-Catholic Empires like the Spanish, which collapsed in a very bad way). The bans on birth control which the Church promotes are often made law in many of these countries, cutting off any access to simple means of family planning, producing a tragic situation of large families growing larger as the economy continues to drift of slide, creating an almost inescapable poverty cycle.

In the United States, there appears to be a correlation of education/prosperity to family size that has no basis in religion. Condoms aren't exactly cheap (about $1 a pop or so, right?), but they're hardly so expensive to be out of reach. So I would really like to see a study on why these birthrate trends might be the way they are.

It does scare me that the people I respect the most amongst my peers are the very ones who either don't want children, only want to have one child, can't have children or are gay. But then, I'm not going to have kids, so I guess I'm not helping the situation, either.
1526  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / GMail Invite search on: December 20, 2004, 07:04:39 PM
I have five invites if anyone would like them.
1527  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / War of the Worlds - Cool! on: December 10, 2004, 05:25:39 PM
Okay, the trailer got to me. Using an updated take on the opening paragraph of the novel, and the literary sort of typeface they're employing for the logo, I'll admit that it's gave me shivers.

I'm no longer vowing to hate this movie.

But I still don't know if I'll like it.

I think I'll reread the book. It's public domain, so it's free on the Web. Yay.
1528  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / War of the Worlds - Cool! on: December 04, 2004, 05:37:19 AM
I'd be excited if this was going to be a movie actually based on the book. But it's just going to be another modern day alien invasion movie. Nothing special there.

Tripod machines with heat cannons burning down 1890s London? That would be worth seeing on the big screen. This movie, I have little hope for.

EDIT: Also, judging by the poster, this movie is more a remake of the 1940s flick. The hand with three fingers is from the movie. In the book, the aliens were octopus-like lumps with lots of tentacles.
1529  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Harvard Law to Bar Military Recruiters on: December 01, 2004, 07:50:43 PM
A local community college, not being a private organization, may be less free than Harvard to bar government officials such as recruiters from acting on campus.
1530  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [R] Again with the Intelligent Design! on: December 01, 2004, 07:44:22 PM
Evolution is a fact, there is no denying that. There is no true debate over this among the informed.

Religious nonsense has absolutely no place in science classes. Want to teach the Genesis story in a class about creation myths? Knock yourself out. But anyone who supports polluting our science classes with "intelligent design" or any other sort of bullcrap along those lines is precisely the sort of religious fanatic who is a tangible danger to this nation.
1531  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Movie Quote Game - Round 2 on: December 01, 2004, 07:48:09 AM
Better off Dead is the source, but I'm blanking on context.

Here's a new one: "How do you think we fund this little operation? We're not exactly the March of Dimes."
1532  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 07:19:04 PM
No, I work with the media as in "I regularly work with reporters of the Dallas Morning News and other publications" as part of my position within the Democratic Party.
1533  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 06:57:37 PM
Gryndyl, that's nonsense. I work closely with the media, and in an abstraction work within the media. "Government press releases" are not routinely just regurgitated. You malign millions with your petty ignorance.
1534  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 06:01:36 PM
Quote from: "AttAdude"
For me i find it much more sad, that the country decided to base thier votes on abortion and gay marriage.  I mean really lets pick the 2 lest important issues avalible to us, and route our countries future based on them.


In the final calculus, it seems unlikely that gay marriage and "moral values" actually provided the inertia behind Bush's victory. First, the "moral values" option was one of those provided to respondents, it wasn't one people offered themselves, and so you have to factor out some of that as "well, this is what I think should be important, so I should check this."

Voters who truly cited "moral values" as their number one issue were mostly non-persuadables. These are people Kerry could never have reached, who were going to vote anyway and who were going to vote for Bush almost regardless of other matters. There were equal numbers in other groups who were likewise locked in for Kerry.

The battleground group of persuadables was folks for whom terrorism was the number one issue. Kerry persuaded those who viewed the war on terror and the war against Iraq as two separate entities to vote for him -- but he didn't pass the defense bar for those who for some unfathomable reason see the two as sides of the same coin. And that's where he lost the election. In the end, terrorism was the final deciding factor.

Also, while moral issues undoubtedly helped Bush turn out his base, the fact is that the GOP was, in general, better at base politics this year. In the war between two distinctly different takes on the notion of base motivation, the GOP won big.
1535  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Why the hell would you take this stuff? on: November 30, 2004, 05:49:04 PM
I particularly enjoy the ad where the woman runs around carefree and happy that she has genital herpes. "I'm spreading a terrible disease, but thanks to Hypoglaximatacore my life is still so much fun! Watch as I water ski!"
1536  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Why the hell would you take this stuff? on: November 30, 2004, 05:11:22 PM
Pharmaceutical ads on television should be stopped. We don't need people pestering their doctors about whether or not they need drugs that they saw on television. And so many of the ads are totally unspecific as to what they treat or what the drugs do that anyone might think that they need the damn things.

Cancel the damn ads and roll the savings down to customers in the form of lower prices. Win-win all around.
1537  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 04:46:39 PM
Quote from: "Qbert"
I personally find others naive if they believe something is not so, simply because they don't have "proof".


I'm not asking for proof, I'm asking for credible evidence from the mainstream media before I throw into doubt an election in which the results were well within the predicted range of outcomes. That's not being naive, it's being incredulous.
1538  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 04:40:34 PM
Quote from: "Qbert"
I don't know why they waste their time with exit polling either.  It's a waste of man time considering that the results are known in a few hours anyway.


That's not what exit polls are for. Exit polls are used to examine questions regarding who voted for Bush or Kerry, why they voted for Bush or Kerry, what sort of issues made an impact in the election, what sort of candidate qualities drove voters to or from candidates, what sort of partisan trends are emerging, etc. They're not really for public consumption. They're for political scientist types like me to dig into and roll around in, to answer such questions as "how did Bush assemble his majority coalition?"

For years people in and out of the media have misused the exit polling data, trying to use it on election day to predict the looming winner. The data can be used for this purpose, but only when elections are not going to be close. Exit polling "problems" have only been an "issue" in 2000 and 2004 because since exit polling first came into wide use in the 1960s there's only been a few close elections -- 1968, 1976, 2000 and 2004 -- and it wasn't until the mid-80s that the media really made much out of these surveys.

I'm sure that the exit polls could be used to predict the winner in nearly every state in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. Those elections weren't close on any level. So when the data was misused to this end in those cycles, no one noticed any discrepancies. But in close elections, any poll, even an exit poll, is going to have trouble "calling" states correctly. The Ohio statewide exit poll predicted a Bush win with 51% over Kerry with 49% -- so on the state level the poll was, in fact, "right." But it could have easily predicted a 50% - 50% tie, or a 52% - 48% Bush win, or even a 51% - 49% Kerry win, and still have been "right" for the purpose of the poll itself.

Within the political science world we use these polls to analyze voter trends. In the next few months, rebalanced versions of the polls will roll out amongst academics where all data will have been reweighted to match the official results of the election, giving us a generally spot-on accurate portrait of the voting day electorate, and what motivated and enthused them in this cycle. That's what exit polls are for -- after-the-fact analysis.

They're a political science tool. That they were misused in the past during easy-win elections for one side or the other and could "predict" statewide results at that time doesn't mean that such misuse will always pan out. Clearly, it doesn't.
1539  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 04:29:46 PM
Quote from: "Qbert"
I'm sorry Fireball, I didn't know that I couldn't comment without official links to back up what I've heard on the news.


Oh, give me a break. You're calling me names because I don't froth at the mouth over all this so-called "fraud" and then can't even show any evidence of it. Pardon me for being incredulous. If you're going to try to call me on the carpet for something, you best be able to prove your allegations have some merit.

Quote
I'm sorry that I think that we are *gasp* capable of fraudualant behavior (heck, it happened before, but why would it happen again).


No one is arguing that Americans are somehow immune to fraudulent behavior. But being capable of it and it being likely are two different things. America in general and Ohio in particular have long histories of running clean elections.

Quote
I'm sorry that since exit polls in the past have proven near accurate, and this time they didn't (well, at least with the stations using the machines instead of paper ballots).


It doesn't matter if exit polls at the county level have been "accurate" in the past. They are still not representative at that level, and therefore cannot be used as a predictor for final results. There were 2,020 people polled for the 2004 Exit Poll in the entire state of Ohio. That's about as low of a sample as you can have and still have the results be representative. County level exit polls will not have a broad enough sample, numerically or geographically within a specific county, to be scientifically useful for predicting results at that level. You may as well argue that the results are suspicious because your Aunt Mabel lives in one of the counties in question and "she doesn't know ANYONE who voted for Bush." That'd be just as scientifically predictive of a survey as the county level numbers from the exit polls.

And that's putting aside for a moment that exit polls aren't even designed to be predictive regarding who will or won't win a state, much less a county. The exit poll is a statistical tool used to measure the reasons why people vote the way they do, not to predict the final outcome.

Is it possible that the Ohio results were brought about by fraud? Sure. It's also possible that George W. Bush will tomorrow come out in favor of gay marriage. But given the evidence I've encountered, I see no reason to believe either is remotely likely.
1540  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 04:11:06 PM
Quote from: "SuperHiro"
3) While I find that there has been a lot of just plain bizzare cases brought on by the left-wing groups... I find it troubling that many people (I'm not using this forum, I'm drawing from all sources) are using this election as some sort of vindication against a left-wing agenda.


Particularly when it was so close. Three percent does not a landslide, or even a real mandate, make. I think people believe this was a landslide for the right based on the Senate results, which are much more about regional repositioning that began 40 years ago than about the particular issues of the day today.

Quote
The way some people are talking, you'd think we were living under the oppression of universal health care and forced to have homosexual relations with multiple partners.


God, I wish.
1541  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 03:55:47 PM
Quote from: "Qbert"
Unfortunately, I don't have links because I don't care enough to keep track of everything that has been reported.


If you can't back up allegations, then I don't see any value in discussing them.

Quote
As for exit polls, your wrong there, exit polls showed Kerry ahead in counties that Bush won.


At the county level, exit polls are not representative samples and therefore are worthless when it comes to determining who should win said county.
1542  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 02:52:43 PM
Got a New York Times article detailing this rash of problems? Washington Post? Hell, the LA Times? I've been moving and travelling a lot these last weeks, so I could have missed it.

And an error is harmless if it is caught and corrected by the people who are supposed to review the results immediately after the election, as the error that was widely reported was. Wheres your credible evidence of errors that have not been corrected?

Do not call me naive. I am a very cynical person. But just because I don't wear a tinfoil cap and go apeshit over stuff printed in weblog or by those should-be-dragged-out-and-shot embarassments at Democratic Underground doesn't make me unserious when it comes to protecting our election processes. I've been a vocal and early agitator against allowing Deibold to make voting machines and for requiring user-verified paper trails.

But based on the available polling data, both pre-election and exit polls, there is no firm reason to believe that the 2004 presidential election was stolen. And until a serious journalistic entity publishes compelling evidence of such malfeasance, I'm not going to find Internet ranting persuasive.
1543  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 30, 2004, 04:07:12 AM
Quote from: "Qbert"
Quote
I've yet to see a credible source detailing the so-called major voting discrepencies.


Have you not heard on the news (no, not blog websites…actual news), that there have been more votes in some counties than registered voters?  
No, your right, there’s nothing fishy going on.


Thanks for the condescension, it does wonders for your case.

I've read about the county where the voting was all out of whack, and caught by election workers the next day. It was a fairly harmless goof, and was quickly recognized. Such accidents happen in all voting systems. I suppose if I wanted to go hunting for conspiracies I could get all paranoid that the voting officials recognized and corrected an error.

When a credible print publication does a study that shows a systemic pattern of voting errors in areas that use electronic ballots, then I'll be all up in arms. For now, I think I'll play it cool.

Bush won. It's not the end of the world, it's just the end of an election.

We'll get them next time.
1544  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 29, 2004, 02:54:40 AM
I've yet to see a credible source detailing the so-called major voting discrepencies. As to the machines themselves, I support electronic voting, but only if confirmed paper receipts are printed and stored for all recount purposes. Elections are too important to leave in the hands of Microsoft Access (which Deibold machines use for tallying vote data).

We have in the country a crisis of legitimacy regarding our elections. This recent election helped that scenario a bit, but I don't think we'll truly be where we need to be until we have one national standard. The "Help Americans Vote Act" did little of the sort. We need a Federal standard for electronic voting machines, one which mandates openly available source code for the systems so that members of all parties can inspect it, and which also requires the creation and retention of user-verified paper trails. This will be costly, and clearly the only entity capable of picking up such a nationwide tab is the Federal Government. However, the legitimacy of our elections is the most critical element to the continuing of our democratic culture, so I think such money would be well spent.

It bothers me that Republicans seem so disinterested in this issue. I do not buy into conspiracy theories. But their nonchalance regarding the core of our democratic system is disturbing to say the least. One would hope that this could be a point of unity and bipartisanship upon which to build a less acrimonious governing situation in Washington. One would hope in vain, it seems.
1545  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is America going down the religous path to much on: November 28, 2004, 07:04:20 PM
Quote from: "whiteboyskim"
The country is becoming more conservative, but I wouldn't consider it any more religious than it normally is.


This isn't reflected in any data. On actual issue questions, which deterime the left/right lean of the public politically, Kerry beat Bush in every category but the war on terrorism and taxes. Kerry, the not-really-left-but-more-left-than-not candidate, won political independents and political moderates. The share of the electorate that is conservative rose in 2004, but because the GOP won the turnout ground war, not because of any major swaying of the electorates political leanings.

Quote
Bush is a guy that stands up for what he believes and follows through on what he says


Oh. What. Ever.  Bush has "flip flopped" on countless scores of issues during his presidency. Free trade. Education. The proper use of American military forces. Just this past week he switched positions on overhauling the intelligence system. Bush is at least as inconsistent as the caricature conservatives drew of Kerry was.
1546  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Soft water?! ARGGGHHHH! (New Apartment Woes) on: November 17, 2004, 10:07:17 PM
Mitch, I got your back.
1547  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Soft water?! ARGGGHHHH! (New Apartment Woes) on: November 17, 2004, 07:58:31 PM
The complex itself softens the water as it comes in. They filter it (I hope they're not also taking out the flouride, I like having strong teeth). It tastes funny out of the tap.

There's no resident's association, and I'm not sure if our lease allows us to set one up. In any case, the building is only 11% occupied so far (80% leased out, though), so there aren't many of us to go complainin' and I don't have many immediate neighbors.
1548  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Soft water?! ARGGGHHHH! (New Apartment Woes) on: November 17, 2004, 07:25:55 PM
If it comes out of a well it is almost certainly hard water.
1549  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Soft water?! ARGGGHHHH! (New Apartment Woes) on: November 17, 2004, 05:28:49 PM
I've lived in Dallas for most of my life, actually. But most of that was up in the (ahem) Park Cities. I used to live in the Village off of US 75. Now I'm down at 1001 Ross Avenue.

Yay, my swank new bed from Crate & Barrel just arrived. This makes me happy enough to ignore the limp water in this place for a few days. When in doubt, surround me with pretty new things.

And for the record, if you're a gay man complaining about soft water, don't describe the water you like as being "hot, hard and strong," because people will look at you funny.
1550  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Soft water?! ARGGGHHHH! (New Apartment Woes) on: November 17, 2004, 05:04:31 PM
The water in Lawrence, KS, is definitely soft.

Soft water is, basically, water that has a low levels of mineral content, while hard water includes more minerals. Hard water can dry out your skin (so it's bad for my exema), but it is also much better at getting things clean since it has a bit of "grit" to it. With soft water, I feel like I have to scrub to get soap off my body.
1551  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Soft water?! ARGGGHHHH! (New Apartment Woes) on: November 17, 2004, 03:55:39 PM
So I moved into my new apartment in downtown Dallas. I love the view. I love the new floor layout. I love that I'm the first person to live in my unit.

But I hate my bathroom. Not only is the bathtub too shallow to take a bath in (it's like sitting in a not-quite-waist-deep puddle), not only does water get EVERYWHERE when I shower (am I supposed to spend 15 minutes sopping up water every morning?), not only does water puddle up and not totally drain out of the tub -- but every day I've felt a bit less clean that I should after my shower.

And then last night I noticed that my clothes had a ... greasy ... feel when coming out of the washing machine.

And today I learned the truth: the bastards soften the water. They take Dallas' beautiful, hard, deliriously perfect water and ruin it by stripping it of its strength and vigor. The water in my apartment is a tepid, slimy mess. Soft water. I hated living in Kansas because of the soft water, and now I'm paying for the "luxury" of water that doesn't do the job.

I could put up with the structural inanities of the bathroom -- layer up towels on the flat surfaces, squeegee quickly, keep the water running while taking a bath -- but the soft water is unbearable. Had I known about this (I wish I had known to ask) I would never have signed a lease at this place. I love taking showers, or at least I did. But what good is a shower that doesn't really make you feel warm, doesn't really get you clean, and that leaves you feeling slimy?

My new place is fabulous. Beautiful. But I because of this, I wouldn't recommend the complex to anyone. Ever.
1552  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Anyone reading "Identity Crisis"? (SPOILERS FOR IS on: November 12, 2004, 02:41:53 AM
Yeah, it points to Atom. But the current thought is that it might not be Ray, but Jean. She did have access to all his patents. Perhaps her own exposure has given her sort of a complex about superhero family members, and she wants to punish the entire world she's tried to escape? Or something?

I dunno, but I can't wait until issue 7!
1553  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Balance vs. Bias in the Media on: November 11, 2004, 09:10:51 PM
Yeah, this nonsense notion of "balance" which is let Side A have their say and then let Side B have their say is entirely why (television, mostly) journalism in modern America is so problematic. The news media SHOULD have a bias -- a bias towards empirically verifiable truths. The print media still does a pretty good job of this, particularly more thoughtful publications like the New Republic.

But treating "Intelligent Design" and evolution as if they were equally potentially valid and equally deserving of consideration is absurd. One is science, the other is religion dressed up in a funny outfit.

We need to find away to re-instill a passion for the truth for the sake of truth, right for the sake of being right and a desire to tear down those who lie and mislead in our media. People who try to support such absurd notions as creationism/ID, geocentricism and the like should be TERRIFIED of the media, for the media should be all about tearing apart arguments and showing who's right, not just reporting what talkingheads have to say.
1554  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Anyone reading "Identity Crisis"? (SPOILERS FOR IS on: November 11, 2004, 08:09:42 PM
Well, that's actually the thrust of this story, the secondary characters, whose identities are often more public and who are often a lot more "human" than Superman or Batman. The writer does a very good job of getting you up to speed. I had never met the Elongated Man's wife before issue 1, but I was able to follow the story and understand that she played a role in an earlier incarnation of the JLA back in the day.
1555  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Anyone reading "Identity Crisis"? (SPOILERS FOR IS on: November 11, 2004, 07:26:39 PM
I don't know if there are any other comic book fans around these parts, but if there are I'd love to discuss this series. I've been phenomenally impressed with this story -- the pacing, the interaction between the characters, the giving of due to minor and background characters, the emotion raised by some of the deaths. And now, the incredible climax of the next-to-last issue -- little bitty footprints, huh?

DC typically reserves the word "CRISIS" for really big events nowadays, and I think this series has lived up to that. But I'm always interested in what other people think. The moral issues being raised in the series (the JLA has been systemically erasing events from the memories of villains... and other members... for years) and the changes it's going to bring to the wider DCU (Jack Drake is dead, Elongated Man's a widower, the Atom may be... no, surely not... but still... little bitty footprints...). Comics are a mythology in and of themselves, and I find them interesting to consider from that perspective, as something that reflects back on the wider culture.

So, I may be wasting my typing here, but if anyone has any thoughts on this series, I'd love to get a conversation going...
1556  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 11, 2004, 05:50:17 PM
Unless the Republicans can whip together another 15 GOP Senators in the next couple years (not bloody likely), the Federal Marriage Amendment will never pass. You've got anywhere between 3 and 7 Republicans who won't vote for it, and after this election only one Democrat, maybe, who will. 55-3+1 is not 67.

The odds are equally long in the House of Representatives.

State Constitutional amendments are more problematic because they are generally passed by votes of the people and it is always -- ALWAYS -- dangerous (and evil) to put the rights of a misunderstood and widely maligned minority group up for a vote. If you had put interracial marriage up for a vote in 1955, it would have failed across the nation, and in many places states would have voted 90%+ in favor of banning it. Even today, gay marriage bans aren't getting that sort of support.

And as the most anti-gay members of our population age and die off (there is a large age-based cleavage on this issue), they're going to start to fail, and then start to get overturned.
1557  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 11, 2004, 04:42:02 PM
Quote from: "Butterknife"
farley -- I learned the same thing you did.  But democracy, and voting, is a "will of the majority" system.  If they didn't want the majority to make the decisions, they shouldn't have allowed people to vote.

The Bill of Rights is there to counterbalance the system (checks and balances, remember).  It protects the minorities from the will of the majority.  Note, though, that certain things people think are their rights are not specifically stated in our laws as a right, and so therefore are not actually protected from the will of the majority.  Marriage is one of these things.


Rights need not be specifically enumerated in the text of the Constitution in order to exist and be recognized. Marriage is a recognized inalienable right of adults in our society -- read Loving v. Virginia.
1558  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 11, 2004, 04:40:47 PM
Quote from: "Butterknife"
No more bigoted than making a law against murder.


Murder hurts other people. The fact that I'm gay doesn't hurt anyone. The fact that my gay friends Han & Luke (names changed to protect the not present) live together, have a life together, own property and function as a couple together, does not hurt anyone.

However, the bigotry of people who voted for these Hate Amendments does hurt me. And it does hurt my friends. A few years ago, Luke was deathly ill. The hospital refused to recognize Han's power of attorney in such situations, and wouldn't even let him go back and visit Luke, much less make medical decisions for him. They had to track down Luke's aunt, and then they were shocked... shocked I tell you... that the aunt reamed them out for not listening to Han.

Bigotry and malice is clearly present in this debate, but the good, moral, law abiding gay Americans are the victims of it, not the Christians and other fanatics who are seeking to impose their way of life on everyone around them.
1559  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ban on Gay Marriage a winner in 11 states. on: November 11, 2004, 04:37:56 PM
Quote from: "Laner"
Because the gay lobby has already shown they will not settle for "civil union".  They want to redefine marriage to mean whatever the heck they like... to the point of it meaning absolutely nothing.  Which is the ultimate goal.


DO NOT ASCRIBE SUCH MOTIVATIONS TO ALL GAY PEOPLE. The gays I know, including me, do not want to see marriage become "absolutely nothing," we want it to endure and grow to become more than it is today. We support marriage. We do not seek to destroy marriage. We wish to be married because it is an institution that we value, because we hold the same wishes, dreams and goals as any other Americans -- to find a person we love, build a life together (and marriage is designed to make it possible for two people to build one stable life together) and to be a family (with or without children, just like straight people).

Are there some gays who would like to see all vestiges of the current marital culture destroyed? Certainly. But there are also scores of virulently anti-marriage straight people, and in terms of sheer numbers undoubtedly far more of them.

There is no single "gay lobby," just as there is no "gay lifestyle." I think you'll find that most of us would gladly settle for "civil unions" if it means having access to a societal framework which legally supports our relationships.

We want to be able to visit our loved ones in the hospital, which is often reserved only to family members.

We want to be protected from being forced to divulge the contents of our most private conversations in court, just as husbands and wives are protected.

We want to be able to pass on our belongings to the person we've built our life with tax free upon death, just as spouses can, so that the life we build can endure for our loved ones (including children) should tragedy befall us.

We want to be legal next of kin, with unquestioned ability to make decisions legal, medical and otherwise for each other should one partner become incapacitated or gravely ill. Some would say "set up powers of attorney," but those do not provide a guarantee, and when it comes to gay couples there is a history of such arrangements being broadly ignored.

We want second parent rights for each other's children, for the same reasons.


Mainstream gay people are just like the rest of you. We're not perverts, we're not fundamentally immoral, we're not evil. We do not prey on children, we do not "recruit," for that's just simply impossible. We cannot make ourselves "not gay," if that were possible we all would have back in our teens -- but we also now recognize that we're just as valid, just as moral and just as deserving as anyone else of full societal recognition and protection. We're not hiding anymore, we're not going to be ashamed anymore, and you can't bludgeon us back into the closet with condemnation and bigotry.

We work in your offices. We go to your churches. We have kids in your schools... and we also teach your kids in the schools. We live on your block. We pay our taxes. We serve in the military. We love our country just as much as any heterosexual. We are, by and large, just like you.

We're not the drug addled, sex crazed misogynistic predators our enemies make us out to be, and perhaps that's what scares them the most.
1560  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / iPod Photo Ad Campaign (May Not Be Work Safe) on: October 27, 2004, 06:47:44 AM
Apple's getting a bit risque. ;-)




Yes, yes, straight porn would be more appropriate. But... ummm... I don't have any.[/img]
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