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    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

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    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

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    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

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Entries in republicans (2)

Thursday
Oct102013

The Connection Between Cats and Politics

Mimi & Kiki, my mom's cats. Images from @bradtastic on Instagram.

I have a bit of a feline allergy, but whenever I visit my parents, I can't help but play with these two, too cute furballs. Maybe I have toxoplasmosis. Pictures of cats always make me smile. Everything cute, really... baby-anythings — especially puppies and kittens. Tiny humans are adorable also, but a little less so.

My mom's cats really like hanging out in small boxes. It's a cat thing, like catnip — although the gray one, Mimi, likes eating it, while Kiki likes rolling around in it.

My Instagram is basically a collection of cat pictures and snapshots of my view of Oakland's skyline, with miscellaneous shots in between. It's a relaxing pastime.

Life gets a little chaotic and painful, and recent events have caused a fair amount of stress and anger.

I think that reading and writing about American politics is important — occasionally it's invigorating, learning about, discussing and debating serious, life-changing issues. It feels right... but it never really feels fun. Maybe it's not supposed to — that thought troubles me.

Video games are fun, writing about games is fun (at least for me)... politics is practically the opposite.

Both can be very time-consuming, but dealing with serious social issues takes a lot of energy and patience that I often don't have.

Perhaps the largest hinderance is hate; discussing politics draws a lot of strong emotions, spiteful remarks, blatant racism and prejudice. Opinions aren't always welcome, and free speech is often pricy. Friends lost — or rather, acquaintances — personal attacks, slander and ridicule... it's such a shame.

Often, it seems that people are incapable of even hearing a different or dissenting thought, irregardless of facts or evidence. People spend most of their time surrounded by like-minded men and women, constantly reinforcing their world view.

Political beliefs are often so deeply ingrained that challenging people infuriates and blinds them, creating a nearly insurmountable obstacle to honest, polite debate.

With few exceptions, each side hates the other, and the lack of civil dialogue creates more misconceptions and increased intolerance. So sometimes, I like to look at cute things, like cats.

Wednesday
Jul242013

Why we can't agree on what we can't agree about

Last night, I decided on a few minutes with an interesting distraction. Poker Night 2 for iOS (universal $4.99) by Telltale Games — creators of Walking Dead: The Game. Here's why.

 

So recently, I've been so frustrated with things. People who fervently tried to convince me to change my beliefs and vote for Barack Obama in 2012 are now unwilling to discuss politics. Many outright ignore it. To fundamentally disagree with them is incomprehensible to them, and they become outraged and hostile at the mere suggestion of it.

Sometimes, the religion card is played. It's not that I'm a right-wing ideologue, it's the conservative Christian social beliefs that have clouded everything in front of me. Never mind the basic inaccuracies in the statement and the underlying assumption that isn't correct — when liberals call Christian Conservatives crazy for their Christian beliefs, why aren't they calling Obama crazy, too? Doesn't he profess to believe in Jesus Christ? Maybe nobody's mad about Barack's so-called beliefs because no one believes that he actually believes those things. And no, I'm not trying to call him a Muslim. I'm calling him unprincipled. Conveniently principled. He does and says what's politically expedient, whether that's saying he believes in Christ and that "marriage is between a man and a woman" in 2008, or that he's anti-gun and pro-gay marriage now.

But everything flung in my personal direction is meaningless compared to the hate-filled flak fired at George Zimmerman, the jury that acquitted him, and anyone who openly supports the not guilty verdict. They don't want to hear about the content of George Zimmerman's character or his background — or that he's as white as Obama. (When calling him a "White Hispanic," you might as well refer to the President as White African American — but wait, that would be considered racist.) If you mention the character of Trayvon Martin; his disciplinary trouble in the months prior to his death, his autopsy report revealing liver damage consistent with drug use, his suspensions from school, or the burglary tool and jewelry recovered from his school locker — that's speculation and attacking the victim. Or racism — racial profiling. Or both.

If you mention that no one who personally knew George Zimmerman thought he was racist, or bring up his past defense of African Americans, or that he was behavioral profiling and not racially profiling Trayvon Martin — well, then you obviously haven't seen all of the protestors signs. THE PEOPLE SAY GUILTY.

Now, if you happen to think some of these unpopular things about George Zimmerman and you're black — well, you are in for a fiery shitstorm of hate and a special kind of racism. A segment of the African American population wants street justice since the racist white court system failed to deliver it to them, the new Black Panther Party going so far as to offer a $10K reward for Zimmerman. Because George Zimmerman is a racist, cowardly murdererand they want his head on a spike for all of the other racist cowards to see (think Game of Thrones, only real). Anyone who won't jump on the race-baiting, hate-spewing bandwagon is an ignorant, bigoted animal deserving of the same decapitation-murder-execution they want for Zimmerman — although if you're a juror who acquitted him, that is, a woman, they want to rape you first, and then kill you in your home. African Americans such as P. Diddy and Jay-Z, publicly boycotting Florida, are black heroes — others like Lupe Fiasco, Charles Barkley and Bill Cosby are called blackface wearing, Uncle Tom niggers. They are called these things primarily by angry African Americans who believe that these Oreo crackers are race-traitors.

The idea that someone could even be a race-traitor is a racist one.

But I'm getting slightly off-track here.

I've been trying to understand the beliefs, mindsets and mentalities of people who passionately and vigorously disagree with me. Well, not me — people who share similar beliefs as me. Practically every time I've tried to discuss issues of society or politics with liberals, it lasts a few exchanges before a personal insult is hurled at me and all dialogue stops. Not because I stop, no. I'm willing to overlook it — it doesn't bother me that much anymore.

It stops because although these people want to share their opinions with others on social networks and blogs, and its worth their time to spread their beliefs, it's not worth their time to defend them. I'm only worthy as an audience if I agree with them.

So I lose so-called friends on Facebook. Such a shame.

Well, it would be, if I cared to be popular with my fellow young American, middle-class, high-school classmates. Most of them are college educated and consider themselves cultured intellectuals. Perhaps that's the problem: I'm not considered smart enough to join their club.

Though it likely has more to do with three letters: GOP. By identifying gop instead of pog — you know, those Hawaiian milk caps you flip over in stacks — (or virtually anything else) I've lost the popularity contest. I'd probably have more Facebook friends if I called myself a socialist or communist. I could probably list "Totalitarian Dictatorship" under political belief or affiliation and receive greater acceptance amongst fellow American twenty-somethings.

The two most important sticking points I've identified in this group are same-sex marriage (LGBT rights) and abortion. The antiquated conservative core loses their votes with those two things — right there. So-called moderate liberals say that they want debt reduction, lower taxes and a fiscally conservative government contributing to a sound, prosperous economy. It's just that they want gay marriage and abortion more.

Never mind that the two groups tend to talk about two different things without realizing it, or that abortion is a human right to life issue and not a social one. I'm pro-choice — in large part because I won't tell a woman what she has to do with her body (especially in cases of rape and incest), and I think that there are already (far) too many people on this planet (to be sustainable and prosperous for the majority).

Never mind the fact that they could vote Republican and have gay marriage and abortions.

Voting R>D would make them greedy, sexist, racist corporate stooges, and the social stigma would stain their underwear forever. They need to champion Obama irregardless of repercussions or irrationality. They must support Obama, even when the evidence points to him being wrong, because that's what cultured intellectuals do. After all, that's what their college professors do — and whom among us can claim to be more cultured or more intellectual than them? After all, Obama has the law degree and taught at a college. Cultured intellectual. Unlike those moronic red-state, Bible-toting, incestuous honey-crusted nut bars.

Barack Obama is also black! Well, White African American, anyway. So his skin color dictates full-cooperation and support from anyone with a skin color darker than alabaster. Even the fair-skinned amongst us must support Obama — because if you don't, you are a racist.

The African American community overwhelming supports Democrats, and they've elected and installed them in major cities across the country. Cities like Detroit. Chicago. Los Angeles. Cities with astonishing levels of poverty, homelessness and violence. Cities with the most black-on-black gun crime.

Not entirely surprising; this support has been fixed and paid for. Support for Democrats amongst African Americans is strong in spite of the Democrat party's long history of fucking with African Americans. Even though MLK was a Republican.

But it's not all bleak, the problems of these cities can be fixed. But they aren't going to like how.

People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get. — Frederick Douglass

To solve the gun violence gun problem, Eric Holder and Obama want to effectively rescind our second amendment. (The same Attorney General and President directly responsible for giving automatic weapons, guns used to murder over one hundred people, to Mexican criminals in an effort to track and catch them.)

They want to heavily restrict the types of guns that can be bought, sold and owned by law-abiding citizens (including retired-military, law enforcement and retired law enforcement), and have all registered gun owners in a publicly available database that they have to reregister for annually. They do this under the guise of our safety. Despite the fact that states with tougher gun laws have more gun crime, obviously, criminals will eventually follow these new laws... while breaking a bunch of others.

Though uncorrected, irresponsible spending and government expansion will bankrupt The United States of America within several decades. Though Obama has lied repeatedly from the beginning, about Guantanamo, to simple, effective healthcare reform, the military, fast and furious, Benghazi, the IRS and the NSA. Though caught red-handed in these lies, he still has the support of the media and their liberal fat-cat backers, and the people.

Because there's a sure-fire, cultured, intellectual response... a reply to whatever misdeeds Obama might do or may have done:

"All politicians do it, you can't single out Obama, and besides, Bush was way, way worse."

 

That just isn't anywhere near good enough an excuse for the flaws of the elected leader of the greatest nation and that the big problems with our government today stem from big problems in the thinking of some of the American people. Thinking that I don't fully, and am desperately trying to, understand.

I'm definitely not the only one with these beliefs and a willingness to attempt to articulate them to, and dialogue with, the other side. Check out my Twitter and follow my Facebook for links to videos and articles, check out PJTV, AlfonZo Rachel and a YouTuber named Vladimir Jaffe (a man who escaped from behind the USSR's Iron Curtain).