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In fairness, the bill did a few other things, most notably, it replaced an earlier law that outlawed, "Crimes Against Nature" that also was the infamous anti-"sodomy" law used to shame homosexuality, that was ruled unconstitutional in 2003. So lawmakers who voted against this bill can arguably claim they're not necessarily as much in favor of animal sex as they are homophobic assholes.
Computer/console games continue to become more advanced, graphical and intense, now resembling mini-operas of realism and, in many cases, blood and gore.
But are they going too far? The latest version of the popular Far Cry series, called "Far Cry 5" seems to alternatively criticize and glorify the rise of right wing, religious extremists in what some might consider a very realistic manner. But nowhere does this become more creepy and weird when you examine you choice of the game's three possible ending cinematic sequences. See for yourself...
**SPOILER ALERT** If you're not interested in playing through the games 14+ hour run time to see where it goes, continue to read this article..
Before we show you the endings, let's set the stage for this game for those who don't know.
Basically, the setting is rural Montana. A very David-Koresh-like doomsday religious cult leader is charged with kidnapping and the local sheriff is tasked to arrest him... this process causes the cult to activate into a paramilitary group, that takes over three regions on the game map, that you're tasked with liberating. The group also is cultivating some kind of drug that is used to control and brainwash people.
You play one of the "good" guys, who is with the local law enforcement, but at some point you're captured, given drugs and brainwashed into being a killing machine that is activated by a certain song.
The game is composed of a variety of missions where you wander around the map killing everything in sight, including tons of wild animals that apparently have all become rabid due to foraging on these cult drug flowers.
Far Cry 5 is one of those GTA-like games where you can wander around on the map and explore, and there's much to see and do and the terrain is quite beautiful. You complete missions to earn things and become stronger and more powerful. You collect weapons and various items as is common in these games.
Throughout the game though, there are cut scenes and narratives weaving into the open gameplay, teaching you about the purpose (and obsessive nature) of the religious group. For anyone familiar with the history of many protestant factions of Christianity, this "fictional lore" is a little too realistic, and for this reason, it's not out of the realm of possibility for certain factions of people to identify with the supposed "bad guys" in the game. In fact, that's what many may end up doing, which becomes obvious when you examine the endings...
The question is, how far can you go in these games before it might be worthwhile to argue over the value of certain narratives being promoted? You can decide... In an age where we have rampant domestic terrorism that seems similarly modeled after the ideology of characters in this series, it has to make you wonder what the developers were thinking?
Let's set up the three endings...
There are 3 endings in the video below.. the first and the third happen at the end of the game. The middle one happens at the beginning of the game.
1. At the end of the game, after liberating 2 of the 3 regions, you confront the head of the cult. He gives you a chance to walk away like he did in the beginning. You can choose to walk away or resist.
2. At the end of the game, you choose to continue to resist the cult leader.
3. A the beginning of the game, you can end the game in the first few minutes by choosing not to arrest the cult leader. If you walk away, the credits roll... this ironically, is the most moral and socially palatable ending of the three.
The second option is the most likely, and it shows you a rather bizarre outcome that ultimately has to make you wonder, WTF is up with the developers?
Records posted Tuesday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation following a freedom of information lawsuit filed last year reveal that federal agents would pay Geek Squad managers who pass on information about illegal materials on devices sent in by customers for repairs.
The relationship goes back at least ten years, according to documents released as a result of the lawsuit.
The aim of the FBI's Louisville division was to maintain a "close liaison" with Geek Squad management to "glean case initiations and to support the division's Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime programs," the documents say.
According to the EFF's analysis of the documents, FBI agents would "show up, review the images or video and determine whether they believe they are illegal content" and seize the device so an additional analysis could be carried out at a local FBI field office.
That's when, in some cases, agents would try to obtain a search warrant to justify the access.
The EFF's lawsuit was filed in response to a report that a Geek Squad employee was used as an informant by the FBI in the prosecution of a case involving child abuse imagery.
One released document showed a $500 payment by the FBI to a "confidential human source" whose name was redacted that the EFF said was the same amount as a payment made in the prosecution of Mark Rettenmaier, a California physician and surgeon who was charged with possessing child abuse imagery, found after he sent in his computer to Best Buy for repairs.
The documents show that the FBI would regularly use Geek Squad employees as confidential human sources -- the agency's term for informants -- by taking calls from employees when they found something suspect.
But that relationship and data handover could violate Americans' constitutional rights to protections from unwarranted searches and seizures, the privacy group charges.
Because the FBI uses Geek Squad as informants, the EFF says that any search should be seen as a warrantless search carried out by proxy, "and thus any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal searches should be thrown out of court."
Dallas sportscaster, Dale Hansen steps away from the sports desk to deliver an insightful yet scathing monologue on the country's current inability to address the increasing domestic terrorist problem.
While the mainstream media focuses on today's accused sexual harasser, are women overall losing the war? Are they being distracted and misdirected at low-hanging-fruit? A very insightful editorial published in the New York Times raises the question...
It would be easy to end 2017 with the impression that, whatever its afflictions, it was at least a game-changing year for feminism.
“The Female Revolution Is Here” and could “Smash Patriarchy at Its Core,” social and mainstream media headlines declared. “We are blowing the whistle on the prime directive of the master/slave relationship between women and men.” “This is the end of patriarchy” — this from Forbes! — “the male domination of humanity.” Twitter, the newsstand and the street concur: This year witnessed a transformational moment in American sexual politics.
Surely the results of the #MeToo phenomenon are worthy. It’s a seriously good thing Harvey Weinstein is gone and that the potential Harvey Weinsteins will think twice or thrice or a thousand times before harassing women whose fortunes they control. But “the end of patriarchy”? Look around.
This month, President Trump signed into law a tax bill that throws a bomb at women. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act systematically guts benefits that support women who need support the most: It means an end to personal and dependent exemptions (a disaster for minimum-wage workers, nearly two-thirds of whom are women). An expiration date for child-care tax credits and a denial of such credits for immigrant children without Social Security cards. An end to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. And, barely avoided, thanks to Democrats’ objections: an enshrinement of “fetal personhood” in the form of college savings accounts for unborn children, a sly grenade lobbed at legal abortion.
Not to mention that Republican congressmen plan to pay down the enormous federal deficit the bill will incur by slashing entitlements that, again, are critical to women: Medicaid (covering nearly half the births in the nation and 75 percent of family planning), Medicare (more than half of beneficiaries 65 and older — and two-thirds of those 85 and older — are women) and so on.
And that’s on top of all the other Trump administration insults: reviving the global gag rule on abortion, suspending tracking of the gender wage gap, deep-sixing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order and much more.
Which leads me to wonder, if we get rid of a handful of Harveys while losing essential rights and protections for millions of women, are we really winning this thing? How is this female calamity happening in the midst of the Female Revolution? An answer may lie in a schism that has haunted women’s protest for 150 years.
American women’s activism has historically taken two forms. One is an expression of direct anger at the ways individual men use and abuse us. It’s righteous outrage against the unambiguous enemy with a visible face, the male predator who feeds on our vulnerability and relishes our humiliation. Mr. Weinstein’s face is the devil’s face du jour, and the #MeToo campaign fits squarely in this camp. The other form is less spectacular but as essential: It’s fighting the ways the world is structurally engineered against women. Tied to that fight is the difficult and ambiguous labor of building an equitable system within which women have the wherewithal and power to lead full lives.
The clarion cry against individual male predation and the push for broader gender equality may seem part and parcel, especially now. When Donald Trump is the titular head of the machine, it’s tempting to imagine that the machine itself has orange hair — and that to defeat Harvey Weinstein is to win. But the patriarchy is bigger than the patriarch.
The two forms of women’s protest intersect, of course. Just ask generations of female workers at Ford Motor Company, who know that workplace sexual harassment undergirds a system of oppression. But fighting the patriarch and fighting the patriarchy are also distinct — and the former tends to be more popular than the latter. It’s easier to mobilize against a demon, as every military propagandist — and populist demagogue — knows. It’s harder, and less electrifying, to forge the terms of peace. Declaring war is thrilling. Nation building isn’t.
How this plays out in feminism has been evident since the 19th century, when American women started the “social purity” movement against prostitution and “white slavery” of girls. The most popular women’s mobilization of the 19th century wasn’t for suffrage — it was for Prohibition, a moral crusade against demon men drinking demon rum, blowing their paychecks at the saloon and coming home to beat and rape their wives. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union quickly became the nation’s largest women’s organization.
Did that war against men behaving badly feed into the larger battle for women’s equality? In many ways, yes: Susan B. Anthony herself began as a temperance organizer. But a good number of women who railed against alcohol’s evils shrank from women’s suffrage. Fighting against male drunkenness fell within the time-honored female purview of defending the family and the body; extending women’s rights into a new political realm felt more radical and less immediate. Frances Willard, the temperance union’s formidable second president, eventually brought the organization around to supporting the female franchise by redefining the women’s vote as a “home protection” issue: “citizen mothers,” as the morally superior sex, would purge social degeneracy from the domestic and public circle. But Willard’s attempt to further conjoin morality efforts with the second form of activism — her “Do Everything” campaign for a shorter workweek, a living wage, health care and prison reform, among other things — was snuffed out upon her death, as the union’s leadership abandoned its support for broader social reform.
The challenge today is the one faced by Anthony and Willard: how to bring the outrage over male malfeasance to bear on the more far-reaching campaign for women’s equality. Too often, the world’s attention seems to have room for only the first.
A few weeks ago on a chilly morning in Pittsburgh, two women named Chelsey Engel and Lindsey Disler chained themselves to the entrance of the building that houses Senator Pat Toomey’s local office to protest the tax bill. “The situation is so catastrophic and so dire,” Ms. Disler said, her scarf-swathed torso shackled to the doors. “Something has to be done.” She delivered her words to two dozen onlookers and a few police officers, who, by 8:30 a.m., had sent the two women packing. Their protest barely registered outside a few area news outlets, on a day when the media was aflutter with reports of the latest celebrity accused of harassment, Peter Martins, director of New York City Ballet.
The two forms of female protest can even be positioned against each other. In the 1980s, the “War on Pornography” campaign set off the damaging “sex wars” within the women’s movement itself, at the very moment when a backlash against women’s equality was amassing its forces and Ronald Reagan’s administration was formulating policies that would disproportionately hurt half the country. The “sex-positive” feminists who worried about restrictions on free speech and questioned the condemnation of all pornographic material found themselves labeled, by anti-pornography feminists, as shills and pimps for the industry. Today we’re already seeing the long knives come out for sister travelers who have called for some due process and proportionality in confronting male harassers.
A similar quarrel surfaced in Hillary Clinton’s defeat last year. Some feminist-minded women deemed her an unacceptable choice to pursue the art of dealing and compromising necessary to running the state — and running it to the greater benefit of women — because she’d already compromised herself by staying with, and defending, Bill Clinton.
The forces behind this divide are so intractable in part because they are so psychological. To fight the devil is to be on the side of the angels, to assume the mantle of virtue and purity. The political arena, by contrast, is no place for angels, and its victories are slow and often incomplete. Without gainsaying the courage of “silence breakers,” one can note the flip side: that their words, especially now, can generate instant, and dramatic, response — and more immediate gratification than one gets from protesting economic and legal structures.
- By SUSAN FALUDIDEC. 28, 2017, New York Times Editorial Page
Noted economist, Robert Reich outlines his "Big picture" of what's happened to America over the last 80+ years and where we're going. A simple, yet powerful outline of the path and trajectory our country has been headed..
It's rare when we at BSAlert call attention to a corporate ad campaign on a positive note, but the latest commercial from the most unlikely of sources, Burger King, actually tugs on the heartstrings as well as the mind of consumers in a very creative way, and it's worth sharing...
It's also amusing to note that this is from the same company that several years ago launched an ad campaign that stated, "un-friend 10 people on Facebook and get a free whopper" at which point Burger King contacted each of the un-friended friends letting them know their friendship wasn't stronger than a free Whopper... so while we're not apt to completely forgive Burger King, we can appreciate their new turn... for now.
As corporations become more powerful and influential in our society, it becomes important to note advertisers have a choice of how they want to motivate consumers. Traditionally selfishness has been a pivotal factor in consumerism. We're happy to see that benevolence, empathy and concern for others being explored and promoted. Burger King does this in a very poignant way, not only promoting a concept but making people aware of how their choices need adjustment.
According to Burger King:
Scrawny. Short. Ugly. Fat. Weird. 30% of school kids worldwide are bullied each year and bullying is the #1 act of violence against young people in America today (Source: nobully.org). The BURGER KING® brand is known for putting the crown on everyone’s head and allowing people to have it their way. Bullying is the exact opposite of that. So the BURGER KING® brand is speaking up against bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month.
In the BURGER KING® brand Bullying Jr. experiment, more people stood up for a bullied WHOPPER JR.® than a bullied high school Jr. Visit NoBully.org to learn how you can take a stand against bullying.
I can relate to what the author is saying, but while he crystallizes everyone's frustrations, he also epitomizes the cause of the problem: helplessness and detachment.
"It’s already begun. As I’m writing this, over 50 people are dead in Vegas and already the fruitless cycle has started. There are liberals like me begging for gun control that will never come to pass (I can only look back at this post and laugh bitterly)"
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Yet this is what people do, over and over again.
He's right. This does appear to be a characteristic of the new America, but it's not merely related to gun violence. There seems to be an ever-waning sense of personal responsibility the populace feels regarding everything bad that happens. We toss our arms up in the air and flail every now and then, but we really aren't willing to do much more than that. And every now and then we poke our heads up and get angered that the world has not changed for us like we wanted.
"Because by now, I don't know what I can do to change the fundamental anatomy of America"
Comments like the above can be maddening, because in reality, this guy, like all of us have been wearing the ruby slippers all along. We're more accustomed to complaining about problems than solving them, but the answers are there, right in front of us if you want to pay attention...
I would submit the first step in this process is to give America an MRI.
Examine at its core how it works.
You don't like the laws?
Rather than scream that laws need to be changed, take a good look at how laws are made, the process, by whom, how those people get in power, and develop a plan to address it?
Wouldn't that be better than barking orders into cyberspace?
The tea party went from nobody to completely running every branch of the government in less than 20 years.
The left sat by while they took over, wallowing in their helplessness.
And still, they don't want to acknowledge how brilliant their plan was?
The left could follow the same pattern and win.
Start local. Stay issue-oriented. Maintain solidarity with those on your side. Don't try to re-invent the wheel - pick the dominant political party you're closest aligned with and take it over - from the inside.Little by litte, one piece at a time.
This is how the tea party took control. They didn't immediately demand the Bill of Rights be amended. They planted their seeds locally and nurtured them.
This "outsider coming in to save us" plan continually fails. Stop doing it.
The left tried this a little bit, but then gave up when everything didn't work perfectly.
The right, kept going, trying, and they won. This is why they run everything now.
And still, the left want to throw their arms up in the air and say "This is America. We're screwed."
25% of the country took over the other 75% and the 75% are "screwed?" Awww, poor majority of Americans. WTF happened? Not our fault! Waaaaah!
That's a shame. It's crazy that the smarter half of the country is so clueless.
We just watched the biggest group of idiots ever in the history of America take over the country right in front of our eyes and we're like, "Durrrrrrr How could this happen?"
Right now, the tea party people know exactly who they're going to vote for in the next election. They've been building local coalitions for years.
The liberals.. they have no idea. They can't even name anybody who's planning to run against the republicans. But darned if they're not awesome in re-posting condemning tripe about Trump every five minutes on Facebook.
Come the midterm elections next year, the right will have everything lined up to maintain power. The left will poke their heads away from their iPhones for about 10 minutes and say, "We have no chance to win. We're in a red state. Waaaaaa" and pen a few more whiny facebook posts lamenting how much everything sucks."
Social media is full of temporary directors of the movie called, "America." They always appear just after a tragedy, barf out their simple solution for fixing things, and then retreat back into posting pictures of their lunch, cats or fridge artwork.
"Ban guns now!" "Repeal the second amendment!" Sounds great in theory, but how are you going to do it in practice? If the voice of reason appears within these threads it's attacked for being arrogant, dismissive and condescending. Yea, I'm part of the problem, having the audacity to ask how you're going to repeal the second amendment when you can't get a law passed that says it's a bad idea to shoot someone dead for looking at you funny.
I often ask what's going on? Do people really want change, or do they just want to vent? Because these arbitrarily, reactive demands appear toothless and unrealistic.
It's reminiscent of children playing in a playground saying to each other, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I want to be a cowboy!"
"I want to be a princess!"
"I want to repeal the 2nd amendment!"
That's amusing and poignant when you're 5 years old, but if you're 35 and you're still harping, "I want to be a princess!" Perhaps you do deserve some eye-rolls?
Hey, I'm not saying don't dream big. But if you're going to demand big change, have a big plan. I'd like holodecks and faster-than-light space travel, but posting that on Facebook, unfortunately, probably doesn't get us even a millimeter closer to that goal.
You say you want gun control? Great. How? Oh you live in a red state and don't want to get off your ass to campaign because you think it's futile? How conveeeeenient! Oh you think it's impossible to de-throne the republican incumbant in your district? Despite the fact that probably only 15% of the eligible voters actually voted for him? And you want to convince us you're serious and worth paying attention to when you bark out orders, but aren't willing to really work to make these things real?
Perhaps one day, we as a people will accept responsibility and recognize that true change takes time, and happens in little bits? And it requires focus and dedication. If you get butthurt because someone, on your own side, on social media doesn't find your arbitrary dictate on society realistic, how are you going to deal with true adversity?
I keep waiting for the losing team to start paying attention to how and why they're getting their asses kicked, but they seem to primarily enjoy wallowing and complaining. We can have change, if people care enough to work. Focus on small, incremental wins and move forward that way. I apologize if I'm too snarky and not more diplomatic, but it's very frustrating to hear concerned citizens rail on about social problems, but never gain any ground. There is a way. There is an alternative to endless complaints if you're serious.
What is Net Neutrality and why should people care about it?
In a nutshell, NN is the idea that the Internet is a shared, global network that should not be tampered with at its base level. If you want to be part of the network, you have to respect the network. This means, if you want your sites to be accessible to everybody else, then you have to make sure your customers have access to the entirety of the Internet. You can't break it into pieces and show either prejudice or favoritism in determining which content can be accessed over your system.
Simple as that. You want in? All or nothing. Play FAIR. Treat others the way you like to be treated.
Beyond this, it's important to note that before the Internet came around, there were plenty of private networks created and run by private companies. They could do what they wanted. But the Internet was created by taxpayer money and made wide open to anybody because it was a public resource. Because nobody "owned" the Internet, it prospered and eventually became the default network.
Now private companies want to take control of it and slice it into pieces and charge extra for parts, or deny you access to parts of it if the content isn't something they agree with. That's really bad.
Net Neutrality opponents argue that Net Neutrality is anti-freedom-of-speech, but they are lying. What they really mean, is that they believe they should have the freedom to deny you access to content over their network, and if you don't allow it, you're denying them their rights. It's a bizarro, irrational argument.
Why do some companies want Net Neutrality abolished?
Simple. They can make more money charging their customers for access. They can shut down competitive Internet services so they're the only game in town. The abolishment of Net Neutrality will cost consumers more and offer them less choices.
The Net Neutrality fight is split clearly along party lines.
The Republicans and the Libertarian parties are in favor of abolishing Net Neutrality. Their corporate benefactors have paid them well to push a variety of narratives convincing people it's a good thing to get rid of. To them, it's about money and control. Their idea of "freedom of speech" is refusing to carry anyone else's traffic on their network if they can't monetize it the way they want.
The Democrats have been the only party to consistently fight to protect the neutrality of the Internet. If you care about this issue, there is a party you can vote for that will protect it. Remember this in 2018. It's really important if you want full access to information, news and everything else.
It's quite popular to say, "both parties are the same" and they both are pawns to special interests, but not all parties are equally beholden to special interests, and the Net Neutrality issue is another clear example of this. If you care about the Internet, protest, contact your representatives. If you don't want to have to keep doing this over and over, vote for people who have a clear respect for the Internet. Pay attention to which parties are easier to reach and more attentive to your needs.
Some corporations are being deceitful.
You may on occasion hear that AT&T or Verizon is in favor of Net Neutrality. In reality, they and other large providers have spent millions to shut it down. Now they're muddying the waters trying to re-define what Net Neutrality means. If they can't get it abolished, then they'll write their own series of bills that re-defines what NN is, and includes the loopholes they want to filter and control traffic on their network. No matter what they say, the large providers are not friends of Net Neutrality. Beware of ANY legislation they propose which supposedly "protects" the sanctity of the Internet.
Within days of the controversial Ten Commandments monument erected on the courthouse grounds in Arkansas, it was destroyed by an irate citizen. Beyond the obvious controversy of the state endorsing a particular flavor of religion, what seems to be going on with municipalities continuing to put up these displays when there's overwhelming evidence they will be rules unconstitutional and taken down?
Filed public documents in the Akansas case make it very clear: This is a thinly-veiled attempt to funnel taxpayer money to select private religious legal groups...
In the Arkansas case, legislation was enacted in 2015 proposing the erection of the monument. But what's interesting, is in the legislation, a dictate is made to designate an outside, third party legal team, the "Liberty Legal Institute."
The monument under this subsection shall be exempt
14 from §§ 22-3-301 et seq. and 22-3-501 et seq.
15 (c) In the event that the legality or constitutionality of the
16 monument under subsection (b) of this section is challenged in a court of
17 law, the Attorney General may:
18 (1) Prepare and present a legal defense of the monument; or
19 (2)(A) Request that Liberty Legal Institute prepare and present
20 a legal defense of the monument.
21 (B) A request that Liberty Legal Institute prepare and
22 present a legal defense of the monument shall not be subject to § 25-16-702.
23 (d) The placement of the monument under this section shall not be
24 construed to mean that the State of Arkansas favors any particular religion
25 or denomination over others.
In the end, the state loses in court, but the Liberty Legal Institute wins and gets paid well. It's safe to assume that same organization probably also contributes to various politicians election campaign efforts.
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