commented on Two Assholes Nominated for Science Fiction Book Award
Can we agree that who people are and the value of their works are two very distinct things? Just as we shouldn't disregard someone's work because of their race/sexuality, we similarly shouldn't disregard it for personal opinions they have outside of their work.
I haven't read any of Beale's work, but I think we can all agree that some people who are very vocal on political topics that may not always align with mine can write great works. Ender's Game is a fantastic book and a truly classic piece of science fiction regardless of any of Orson Scott Card's other views. On the other end of the spectrum, Miles Davis was very vocal on topics of race to the point of being considered racist by some people. That's never stopped us from realizing that his music was amazing and hugely influential.
There are plenty of wonderful people who never create anything of substantial artistic value. There are a fair number of awful people who have created amazing things. As much as possible, we should try to judge and appreciate the two aspects separately. Disqualifying someone from an award for things they have said outside the context of their work is stupid.
commented on Kansas Wants to Return to the Good Old Days of Teachers Spanking Kids
To play devil's advocate here: What, exactly, ARE teachers supposed to do these days with problematic kids? You can't threaten to fail a kid, as that would affect graduation rates (and besides, the parents would complain and the principal would make you give them an A). You can't threaten to expel them for the same reason. You can't touch them or you'll get sued, and you can't just ignore them or you'll lose all control of the classroom. And don't say "kick them out of the room any time they cause trouble", as soon enough administration will say that it reflects poorly on your abilities as a teacher and you'll be fired.
I realize that in this magic liberal society we're all supposed to be polite and cultured, but it turns out quite a few kids aren't scared or influenced by being yelled at (and obviously can't be reasoned with) once they realize there's no real danger behind it.
Nov 26, 2013
commented on George Zimmerman Was Carrying an Arsenal When He Was Arrested
To add to what others have said here: Is Zimmerman nuts? Yes. Is this an arsenal? Hardly - anyone who enjoys shooting would presumably own at least several different weapons. A shotgun, a rifle, and a few pistols is entirely ordinary. And 100 rounds of ammunition? That's an hour at the range with a single pistol, very, very slowly. Quite literally nothing at all.
There are arguments to be made on both sides in the gun debate, but this is just fear rhetoric.
Oct 21, 2013
commented on Gun-Crazy Country: Teens Found With 70 Boxes of Bullets
While 70 may sound like a scary number, it's really not for a group of that size. By myself, at the range I can easily go through 2-3 50 round boxes an hour - and that's taking time to carefully aim each individual shot and not practicing any repeated shots. At that rate, 3 people going out for 4 hours would go through 36 boxes.
Now, if it's stolen, by all means, book them, but who needs the scary vocabulary?
Aug 22, 2013
commented on Today in the Surveillance State: The Virtues of Police Cameras
This post started out so reasonable and then went so crazy so fast. As others have said, no, we don't need feeds streaming live to the public. There are privacy issues for both citizens (seeing me get pulled over) and officers (they have to go to the restroom eventually), and if officers have the ability to turn the cameras off, well, what's the point? This is completely ignoring the technical problems here (video feeds aren't exactly small, particularly if you want enough resolution to actually see anything worth seeing). Wirelessly streaming that is a very tough (and expensive) problem. Storing all of that on a server is a very tough (and expensive) problem. Streaming it on the internet can be an expensive proposition as well. So no, no, no.
And to your last point......what IS it with the Stranger and the need to try and tie everything into guns? No, awful, awful decision. Congratulations, you now need to buy twice as many expensive cameras, have twice as much wireless streaming capacity and server space, rebuy and retrain all officers in holsters capable of holding guns with cameras strapped to them, and the guns become more unwieldy, tougher to aim, etc., etc., etc. This isn't even a technically feasible issue, and even if it were it would be a truly awful idea.
May 31, 2013
commented on Damsels in Distress: Put That Woman in a Fridge!
She selected a few tropes, but she missed the forest for the trees - the game industry (like the movie industry) simply rehashes the same plots again over and over. This isn't misogyny, it's just uncreative. They also torture/beat the shit out of/disempower male characters all the time.