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Sep 12, 2015 quidnunc commented on Survivor of Homeschooling Moved By Joel's Story.
I'm one of those liberal non-religious homeschooling parents who pulled my daughter out of a small-town public school that was literally boring her to tears. She went from second-grade readers in school to Shakespeare and Socrates at home, and was exuberant about the change. We weren't wealthy, but could make ends meet with me working part-time. She had tons of kid-activities with neighbors and the chance to go to theater camps, sports activities, travel, and more. She ended up getting a scholarship to an independent private high school and going to an ivy league college.

I'm completely undecided about how to deal with abusive fundamentalist home-schooling parents. I LOVED the fact that there was no curriculum oversight on what we studied; it gave us both a sense of the most wonderful freedom. On the other hand, I'm infuriated by the power that tyrannical parents have, to isolate their children from society.

I want there to be a way for the public to protect the rights of those children of toxic fundamentalists, and I also want parents like me to still be able to design our own curricula. Having your child participate in choosing what to study is a deeply exhilarating experience. Maybe the idea of checking up on kids' social and emotional wellbeing would be good -- I would have been perfectly fine with having a social worker interview my daughter at intervals, or visit our house and check out the scene.
Jul 6, 2015 quidnunc commented on Indiana Man Will Spend the Rest of His Life on Sex-Offender Registry for Having Sex with a Teenager When He Was a Teenager.
Last summer, several families in my neighborhood had teenage relatives visiting at the same time. One girl, age 13, set her sights on a couple of boys, 18 and 19. It took a fair bit of effort to rein in the girl (who was sneaking out, swiping beer and offering it to the boys) while also clarifying to the boys that the girl was THIRTEEN! and preventing them all from socializing together. It was an unstable brew, in which hormones regularly trumped common sense. There were no villains and no predators. Just summer and night-time and opportunities -- not to mention that everyone was connecting via text all the time. Because there were enough of us parent-types around, nothing happened -- but it could have.

And sure, with sober investigation, a 19-year-old could probably suss out the difference between a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old. But sober investigation isn't really on the menu when teens meet -- just goofy texting and hanging out and fooling around.

I've raised two daughters to adulthood. If one of them at age 14 had managed to have sex with a 19-year-old guy, I would have read the young man the riot act and chased him the hell away -- and I'd try and give the 14-year-old a crash course in common sense and personal wellbeing. But what I would NOT do is call the cops. The whole rhetoric about statutory rape is overblown when everyone involved is a teenager. And putting Zach Anderson on a Predators List is appalling and inexcusable.
Jun 15, 2015 quidnunc commented on A Friendly Reminder That Dogs Are Not People and Bringing Them to the Grocery Store Is Disgusting and Repulsive.
All the preoccupation with hygiene seems bizarre to me. I'm not a dog owner, but it doesn't seem like a sanitation problem to have nice, coddled pet ones allowed into grocery stores. It's not like the stores are overrun with feral dog packs covered with open sores, fighting and shitting in the aisles. The pet dogs aren't taking bites out of the food on the shelves, and they won't have excretion accidents any more often than small kids do.The only grocery items that aren't wrapped up is the produce, and dogs really aren't interested in fruits and vegetables. It's probably a whole lot less sanitary to have a bunch of customers handling the produce -- maybe all the "dogs are filthy" contingent here should ask your stores to provide patrons with sterile gloves in order to touch the produce. Jeez. It makes me happy to see dogs in stores and gives the whole place a better vibe.
May 28, 2015 quidnunc commented on Savage Love.
Regarding NNFS' letter: I'm not sure why she cares about labels, but I do identify with her situation. As a woman of 60, I'm now happily and completely free of sexual desire. I had an adventurous sex life up til 5 years ago or so: plenty of men, a few women, a few three-somes, as well as creating some interesting art and photo erotica. A couple husbands. Children. It was variously intense and amusing, difficult and gorgeous.

And now I'm single and the freedom from intimacy is profoundly liberating. I have more energy for creative work than ever before, and being alone in my body seems to let my thoughts run deeper and farther. I have friends and community engagements, so I'm not a hermit. But I just want to respond to the "Oh, you must need help" crowd and say -- No. Being free of sexuality can actually feel like a blessing. Also, it never occurs to me to masturbate. I will say that even if I were feeling lonely, though, I would not place or answer personal ads or go out on dates. It just doesn't seem fair to men to arrange such personal meetings if one isn't willing to offer intimacy.
Feb 26, 2014 quidnunc commented on Not Everybody Has a Smartphone and a Credit Card!.
"Not Everybody Has a Smartphone and a Credit Card!"

Yes, that's true. And many people who are disabled or elderly or non-English-speaking just can't or won't deal with TNCs. But if those people are stuck with taxis, don't they deserve a GOOD taxi service? They shouldn't be relegated to the rude, disinterested crappy experience that is the current norm for all taxis.

Why do you think taxi drivers and dispatchers treat their customers like shit? It's because they've had a monopoly forever. And the more you protect them, the freer they are to be unreliable, unsafe and unpleasant. Which actually ends up causing the most problems for the people who can't easily switch to TNCs.

Competition from TNCs might just constitute the kick in the butt that the taxi industry needs, so that it will change its evil ways and start providing an actually good service to the customer base who still needs them.
Feb 23, 2014 quidnunc commented on City May Cap the Popular Rideshares That Compete with Cabs.
@53 Goldy - Your comments about rideshare drivers who "choose to earn a little extra money part-time" show a total blindness (uncharacteristic of you) to today's economic reality. That phrasing is offensive to the legions of us who manage to avoid flat-out homelessness by scraping together independent contract jobs.

People who drive for rideshare companies are not "earning a little extra money part-time" anymore than are the workers at McDonalds. You sound exactly like the people who say that fast-food workers aren't really part of the grownup workforce... that they are all teenagers who just choose to take fast-food jobs to get pocket money for designer shoes.

It's time you and others who enjoy the privilege of having official employment became aware of the vast and struggling masses of us who find ways to make ends meet by doing contract work. Have you ever heard of Leapforce, Lionbridge, Butler Hill? E-lance, Textbroker, WriterAccess? Task Rabbit? Have you spent time on Craigslist "Gigs" lately? Or checked out places like "ratracerebellion"?

Somehow the powers that be remain oblivious to the fact that a huge sector of the economy literally survives by patching together odd jobs. There is nothing different about a taxicab driver paying their rent and a rideshare driver paying their rent. Except, you know what? The rideshare driver is probably hungrier and has less income security, so in a competitive marketplace they are motivated to be friendlier, more accessible and more prompt.

Feb 23, 2014 quidnunc commented on City May Cap the Popular Rideshares That Compete with Cabs.
I'm outraged by the cab companies' sense of institutionalized entitlement, as if they have permanent ownership of all paid car rides.

The last time I took a cab, I had arranged the pickup with the dispatch the night before. I said it was to take me to the airport to catch a flight. The cab was half an hour late. I called dispatch twice during that half hour wait and they were rude and disinterested. When the driver showed up he never bothered to acknowledge the lateness or even say hello. If I had not built in an extra hour (because I knew cabs are like this) I would have missed my plane. This is what happens when a service has no competition.

Also, arguments about safety are always trotted out to scare people about peer-sharing innovations. I agree with @49, the star-rating systems are effective at pushing bad drivers out of the system. I've been in yellow cabs whose drivers did terrifying things in traffic. The Lyft drivers I've ridden with drive a lot more conservatively. And I'm not really that worried about serial killers signing up with Lyft in order to have access to victims.

And why all the tears shed over cab drivers needing to earn an income -- as if the rideshare drivers are doing it for a smile? My friend drives for Lyft, and that's what puts food on her table sometimes. People drive for Lyft because they need the money, not because it's their hobby.

Surge pricing can be dealt with by NOT having a cap, so that more rideshare drivers will make themselves available where the need is higher.

Times are changing and cab companies don't own the fucking streets.
Feb 4, 2014 quidnunc commented on Tomorrow Morning, The Stranger Goes to Court to Fight for Government Transparency.
I so appreciate your doing this. Keep us posted.
Jan 29, 2014 quidnunc commented on SL Letter of the Day: Fuck the Boss?.
Oh, Dan. Do you do this every so often just to keep your fans from believing you walk on water? Or to get a whole bunch of us to come out of the woodwork and scream NO NO NO in the comment column?

One of the Basic Rules for Being a Grownup: NEVER DATE, FUCK OR PURSUE YOUR BOSS OR SUBORDINATE. So maybe it works out fine 1 or 2% of the time, as a few commenters have mentioned ... are you so mindlessly lust-driven that you're willing to risk the 98% chance that this will ruin your dream job or your boss's career? You're probably not old enough to remember Bill Clinton and someone named Monica Lewinsky... you might want to look it up and see how well it worked out for them.

If you've got your dream job at 25, after "re-entering the workforce," it came without much sacrifice. So you probably haven't lived enough to realize that dream jobs aren't just hanging there like fruit to be picked. Even if you're ready to jeopardize your own livelihood for the sake of an orgasm and a little ego-stroking, is your sexual pleasure really worth trashing your boss's career? You just dodged a bullet. Put your head down, work hard, be ultra-professional. And go pick one of the other gazillion guys who are NOT your boss to be your fuckbuddy.

And, Dan - you've been hanging out at The Stranger for way too long. Texting something like that to the boss? In what universe do you imagine that could turn out well?

Apr 29, 2013 quidnunc commented on SL Letter of the Day: They Make Vibrating Hairbrushes?.
@6, I know, right? For chrissake, what parent would imagine it was even remotely appropriate or acceptable to assist their 14-year-old to acquire sex toys? I can't think of anything that would horrify or gross out or alienate a 14-year-old faster than that kind of extreme intrusiveness.

If the aunt (in the linked Savage Love column letter) were young and cool enough to go shopping with her niece for sex toys, she wouldn't have asked the mother's permission.

Any fourteen-year-old who's old enough to be interested in sex toys is old enough to figure out how to shop for them. Without involving Mom or Auntie.

Furthermore, experimenting with a plastic banana sounds WAY better to me than the prospect of being given a dildo or even a spider-eyed vibrating hairbrush by an older family member. Ick!