Say what?

Noted Elsewhere as a response to someone’s rebuttal argument about something that I’m quite certain was positively earth-shattering in its importance, was this gem:

“Wait, what’s that? None of these claims can be supported by actual facts and evidence, or even make sense? WELL FUQ YOU, THIS IS MY OPINION, AND OPINIONS DON’T NEED FACTS TO VALIDATE THEM. IT IS IN THE FIRST AMENDMENT THAT I GET TO SAY WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT AND NO ONE CAN EVER DISAGREE WITH ME OR ELSE THEY’RE UNAMERICAN, SLUTTY TERRORISTS.”

Sad to say that this opinion is held by more than a few people, and only the part about opinions not needing facts to validate them is accurate.

The first amendment doesn’t have a damned thing to do with opinions – yours, mine or otherwise – and if our educational system wasn’t so fucked by a lack of funding, the factual amendment might actually still be taught in school.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

That’s what it actually says.

There have been many discussions over the centuries (we are working on the third one for this country) about exactly what ‘freedom of speech’ means, and while more than a few restrictions have been placed on aspects of speech, but you know, the ability to disagree with someone, even on the internet, still exists.

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‘Tis the Reason for the Season…

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Happy 23° 26′.

in other news, Beloved Spouse and I braved the massed idiots and attempted to do some late shopping. As my hips were bothering me gratly, I opted for the use of the motorized scooter that many fine establisments provide for their patrons.

I sincerely wish that every store would have the department managers get in these things and attempt to navigate their department. Aisles blocked by endcaps (or just simply blocked by support columns), aisles too narrow to get the cart in to actually look at what is on that aisle – or if you can get *in* to the aisle, you cannot step off the scooter to look at anything that isn’t at head height – higher or lower. I finally called for a manager and ranted at him for a few moments about just how non-ADA-complaint his store was. He, of course, mumbled a generic apology and had no real clue what I was complaining about.

Then there are the other shoppers. By the time we left the first store, I had nearly hit a dozen who were not watching where they were walking – and came close to deliberatly hitting a couple who sort-of were as they were constantly taking a few steps and stopping again to look at something else, and not moving over to either side so that anyone could walk around them.

Getting off the elevator was a fun experience as well: you know how people like to line up and block the door in hopes of getting on before anyone can get off? They can’t do that when you have a scooter blocking the entrance to the elevator AND they all have to back up and mover out of the way so you can get off. That was about the only up side to the day.

Not having a scooter available at the next store meant walking with my cane, and people were no more observant there, either. I was run in too, nearly knocked over and literally shoved out of one person’s way. The only one who apologized with the preteen who was backing up while attempting to not get stepped on by someone several times their size. The rest have no clue just how close they came to getting smacked by a grumpy old man with his cane.

So, folks, when you are out and about, please do maintain awareness of your personal space and just where you are in relation to others – otheriwse, I might give in to these long-standing urges and haul off and smack you p the side of the head!

Happy holidays!

Grouply.com: Savior or AntiChrist?

I received the fllowing in emai, and went looking for more information:

Hey, folks, just a warning that the website Grouply.com, claiming to manage all your yahoo groups, is suspect for identity theft and for spreading malicious content to those that share your groups. Please, for your safety and ours, if you get a message about grouply, delete it!! I’ve seen it happen on two of my yahoogroups already, and I’d hate to see any more get hurt by this website.

The caution appears to be worth heeding, although the site is certified by TRUSTe, and on the surface the idea looks good.

However, as noted in Grouply.com: cool free service or evil data miner?, the idea of linking so much personal information into the hands of anyone else is a bad idea…

In order for the service to work, you have to give them your Yahoo!ID and password. All of a sudden, visions of address-book spammers like Quechup come racing to mind, but we’re not talking here about a service using your address book to grow their business. No, it’s a potentially a LOT worse than that. To be honest, I’m not sure the founders of Grouply have thought this through very well.Consider for a moment what information is controlled by your Yahoo! credentials … like all your Flickr photos; your Yahoo!Finance account information; your Yahoo! Security Key; all your Yahoo! profiles and identities; your OpenID key; your home address and telephone number; your Yahoo!Wallet information, even your Yahoo!Auctions account.