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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 zimmerman (4)

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).

 

Saturday
Jul202013

Orwellian America State of Decay

George Zimmerman verdict; society doesn't like it. They protest in Oakland, it's happening in my backyard and makes me think of a different time, place... George. These rallies take precedence in the media and by the public... what of new, horrible crimes? And child molesters? Many child molesters still on the loose, but the media focuses on Trayvon Martin and public enemy number one.

Some replies like this one from NBA legend Charles Barkley, unheard or ignored, will soon be lost and forgotten.

Dissent is dismissed; opinions against the mainstream — against the Party, against the President — are considered ignorant vitriolic slander, and are tossed like garbage after anger and hate is spewed at the originator.

Enraged and enflamed, mobs demand a street justice solution — the same kind of vigilantism they decry and claim ended Trayvon Martin and began this sad saga in America. New crimes, given token consideration, are quickly forgiven by the media and masses as if these events are expected, a logical consequence of perceived injustice. Excuses made for ridiculous, pathetic violence against bystanders by protestors. Juror threatened after speaking about the Zimmerman trial verdict.

This isn't science fiction. This isn't a new screenplay.

 

This is hate. This is ignorance. This is tragic.

 

This is America.

 

This is our future.

 

Sunday
Jul142013

George Zimmerman: Innocent AND found Not Guilty

I wonder how many of the people upset over the Zimmerman acquittal actually know the facts of the case and watched the trial each day.

Glancing at some of the comments on Facebook, I’m disgusted.

Some people are angry that George Zimmerman’s injuries weren’t altogether too severe, as if that’s evidence that he committed murder by shooting Trayvon Martin. Although the law regarding self-defense doesn’t require ANY injuries, I suppose they’d be more sympathetic if Zimmerman waited until his face was caved in and let his skull get cracked open before shooting.

The evidence and testimony is quite clear, as clear as it is that charges were filed (1.5 months after the incident) for political reasons — and only after people protested and elected officials’ jobs were threatened.

It’s as disgusting as the race-baiting that accompanied the early reports of Martin’s tragic death—that a “white man” shot a “black kid.” (Without questioning or even caring to look at Zimmerman’s photo, the press and our populace ran with it while screaming “racial profiling” and “hate crime.”) And to add fuel to the divisive, racist, hate-filled fires, our President Obama decided to add his color commentary; that if he had a son, he’d (his son would) look like Trayvon.

Perhaps instead of having trials with evidence, attorneys, a judge and jury, we should simply vote: “guilty” or “not guilty.”

As a nation, we could decide the fate of men and women accused of crimes in the same way we elect our officials. I don’t want that, but a lot of people aren’t satisfied with our admittedly imperfect legal system and seem to think that they know better.

Yes, Trayvon Martin’s death is tragic. There are probably many things that George could’ve done differently that would’ve resulted on both men carrying on with their lives in relative peace. We don’t know for sure who started the fight.

We do know that Trayvon Martin had had disciplinary problems and was suspended from school multiple times (for things that he would’ve likely been arrested for in a different county) — and had a bad attitude about being followed that night. His school records and the testimony of Rachel Jeantel confirm this. Though the Martin family and the prosecution claimed that his past is irrelevant because Zimmerman couldn’t have known about it, it does give some insight into the likelihood of Zimmerman’s account of events.

Nothing in George Zimmerman’s non-emergency police call or his past makes him seem irrational or criminal; and there were crimes in his neighborhood, reported break-ins and an attempted rape, no one caught.

Though Trayvon Martin had no obligation to, when he confronted the “creepy-ass cracker” and was asked “what are you doing here,” he could have replied that he was going home, and that could have been the end of it. (The altercation took place not far from the residence where he was staying.) Instead, a fight occurred and at some point, Trayvon Martin was on top of George Zimmerman, attacking him — eyewitness testimony and Zimmerman’s injuries confirm this. Someone cried for help, it’s unclear but recorded on a 911 call. Moments later, Trayvon Martin was shot while on top of George Zimmerman.

Unfortunately, the Zimmerman trial has been less about self-defense or second-degree murder, and more about politicking, prejudice, (news and social) media mania, pain and anger.

 

Many people don’t care about the facts; they’re mad and want George to pay. There are protests in Oakland right now; I can hear and see the helicopters, sirens and some screams. News coverage has shown a fire, broken windows, a trashed police car… people get to be mad about something, and the news gets to talk about and show it. Attorneys, activists and politicians get to make or enhance their careers over these cases and verdicts.

It’s sad. This whole thing is sad.

Lastly, please — let’s stop comparing the shooting death of Trayvon Martin to that of Oscar Grant. If people could look at facts and beyond skin color, they’d see two very different cases. (Fruitvale Station is playing at Grand Lake Theater. Supposed to be pretty good.)

Thursday
Jul112013

Caught in the wake

Hey everyone! I'm hoping to have the energy to update this weekend; I'll mention it via Twitter (@bradtastic) and Says Brad Facebook if I do. Despite being my personal blog, (for reasons unbeknownst to me) I'm compelled to be more formal and diligent with these updates. My personal fb is much more casual and inelegant — and as such, updated regularly.

I've also been working on my pinning skills, curating my Pinterest board and Instagram with interesting things (My Instagram is mostly Oakland views). Also, trying to figure out what to do with my Says Brad Tumblr — I don't use it as much as posting from iOS isn't that convenient, and frankly, I'm not sure what to do with it. Mostly, it's spillover for art and links, YouTube videos that I think are neat and reposts from some amazing illustrators and photographers.

Details

I've been very concerned about US politics and current events — gun control, IRS & Obamacare, Stolen Valor, GMOs, George Zimmerman trial, Edward Snowden & the NSA, spying and the Espionage Act, our Constitution and Amendments under attack, foreign relations and military spending. Liberals may disagree with my political views (economically conservative Republican/Libertarian hybrid), but their concerns should be the same as mine — are our freedoms being stripped away under the guise of security and protecting the lower and middle-class?

I try to stay informed and objective by taking in news from various sources, from MSNBC, NYTimes and Huffington Post, Washington Post to New York Post, Human Events and FOX. Somewhere inbetween lies the truth. It isn't so simple with always-online, push notification 24/7 news plus Twitter feeds and Facebook memes. I don't think that many people adequately (if at all) fact check the memes they share and retweet.

It might seem strange that I, with my blog and public posts with name attached, would be so concerned about NSA (Prism + who-knows-what-else) surveillance and monitoring. Many likely see the reports and claims as paranoia, Infowars, conspiracy theories (like with former Navy SEAL UDT Governor Jesse Ventura), but the NSA has the capability and the motivations. What we post publicly is a choice — selected content — but whatever else we view or read, for the most part, should remain private. Out of context, many things can seem incriminating and dangerous.

I'm trying to sort my opinions on all of these matters so I can share my thoughts in a (somewhat) orderly fashion. Though disagreeable, dissenting views are important — the fabric and foundation of our nation, of our first amendment — through controversy and debate, we become better and stronger.

Hostility and ignorance fosters mistrust and segregation — each side thinks the other inferior. But is there truly only one right way to live? Only one right way to think? Should we lose the freedom to choose differently?

 

Clouded and consumed by these ideas and questions, it seems far to easy to slip into depression and get crushed by the magnitude of our problems. Like Millenium math problems, there's no simple solution. Perhaps there is one unified equation of everything — unfortunately, it might take forever to figure it.