Monday, November 11, 2013

Druggies on Welfare?

I recently found a post on facebook thanking Florida, Kentucky and Missouri for passing laws requiring people to take a drug test when applying for welfare. Such legislation is highly controversial, as many people claim it interferes with personal freedom or is unconstitutional. I don't believe such a test can be labeled unconstitutional, as it is simply the group collecting relevant information about the subject before entering into the relationship with them; an employer has the right to drug test before entering a contract with its employees, so why not the government?

Honestly, the only reason why I'd say I'm opposed to this is because it ends up being a loss of money; the money we save from not giving money to these people is far outweighed by the cost of administering these tests. Also, sometimes you have to get drug tested for a job due to physical requirements, such as handling money or operating machinery, but with someone on welfare that is not a relevant topic. I think it sucks if someone is getting their meth money from welfare, but drug testing is honestly a token gesture that doesn't help balance the budget or bring about justice for the average person.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Video Responses vs. "Friends"

Just a random thought on YouTube: is there any point to "contacts" on YouTube anymore? I still get a couple of contact notifications a day, but they're all spammy and when I add them they don't seem to do anything. I guess video responses were too "worthless" to keep on the site, but apparently these contacts are really worth it.

Contact notifications used to be friend requests, like one would get on facebook or myspace. This was back when YouTube was still more of a social media outlet rather than simply a media publishing outlet. While Google was making these cosmetic changes to their site, they decided to remove the friend aspect, but for some bizarre reason I cannot begin to comprehend, they kept the option in existence as a contact. Only spam bots send out contact notifications anymore, making the function worthless and leaving it as a relic of how YouTube used to run. In my opinion, this comparison between video responses and "friend requests" is yet another example of YouTube not understanding the priorities of its users.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cheating: Who's to Blame for the Affair?

I recently read a post on the reddit page /r/offmychest where a married woman said she found out her husband had been sleeping with a seventeen year old girl. Obviously this is a demonstration of betrayal of trust, and she has every right to feel cheated by life.

However, I noticed something odd about the way this woman talked: she seemed to blame the girl for what happened, by calling her a home-wrecker, saying she was a slut, talking about how she'll be worthless and unloved in several years, and more.

I personally have always been bothered when someone cheats on you, and the person who was used in the cheating gets the blame for their actions. Here's why: let's say that Dick and Jane get into an intimate relationship, and during that relationship, they decide to be sexually and romantically exclusive. Now, Dick goes off with Susie instead of Jane. In this interaction, Jane will most likely get angry at Dick for breaking his promise and abusing her trust, but she may also get mad at Susie for facilitating this interaction.

There are two problems with blaming Susie though:

1) Susie didn't break anybody's word or trust. Unlike Dick, who promised not to do something and then did it, Susie has no obligations to Jane whatsoever. Some may argue that everyone has a duty to be a decent person to those around us and such a promise would include not having sex with a taken man. However, such an argument is not quite applicable, because in this case Dick is not breaking a promise made by society on his behalf, he is breaking his own promise, from his own mouth, utilizing the trust he built up with Jane. Susie didn't manipulate or abuse anyone's trust or close connection in order to achieve her goals. If you believe Susie is to blame in this situation, it would have to be in comparison to Dick at a 70:30 ratio or something.

2) You do not know how this situation played out from Susie's eyes. From Jane's perspective, she is Dick's "real", most likely longterm girlfriend, and Susie is just an "on-the-side" "slut". However, for all Jane knows Dick's been playing both of them for the same length of time, and Susie is as equally astonished by this revelation. In hearing that Dick and Susie were having sex that violated your relationship, she assumes Susie knew it was hers and took it from her, when in actuality Susie was as surprised as you.

I should also reaffirm that the "Susie" in our story was younger than eighteen, when the "Dick" was older than past his mid-twenties. While a teenager is somewhat of an adult, they do not have the same foresight or experience which allow them to make better decisions; saying the event was Susie's fault is like saying a three year old is at fault for touching the hot stove. The fully grown adult is more aware of their surroundings and thus has more culpability for their actions. If one is to claim that both of these individuals are on equal footing in terms of responsibility, you are most likely speaking out from a position of emotional bias.

Please, remember to keep interpersonal complications in perspective, life isn't always as obvious as it seems to be.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My computer and YouTube are not friends...

That's it, I give up. I've tried to edit my new video twice now! The second time I got about halfway through, but then my computer just closed out the program for no apparent reason.

Then, when I did try to upload a less edited, less perfect version, I had to wait 45 minutes for it to tell me my video uploaded to the wrong "channel", and it just quit.

Finally, I went to make a facebook post saying the video would be a bit late, but uploaded tonight nevertheless, and as I was typing out the message my computer froze, forcing me to restart it.

I guess there are some higher ups in the Golden Dawn who don't like me very much. Regardless, I'll try to upload tomorrow.

Also, I am experimenting with jumpcuts in this one, hopefully to cut down the time and make it more watchable. I sure hope it's worth all this extra hassle and effort!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Golden Dawn", the far right-wing party that emerged and began gaining popularity in Greece after the total economic collapse of the country, has slowly but surely fostered terror in the eyes of many Greek citizens. As a result, many people in power seem to support banning the party's presence. Although there has been no proposed legislation thus far, meaning nobody knows exactly what this would mean, I can only assume the Golden Dawn would no longer be allowed to exist and those who would act as open members of the group would be punished to some degree.

There seem to be two main reasons for banning the party in many people's minds:

1) Many of the ideas presented by the party are very scary in the eyes of the Greek population. Such propositions include a massive overhaul and control of the country's immigration system in an attempt to re-establish a "pure Athens". Such motives have been compared to Nazi standards and desires in the past, although Golden Dawn denies any connection or inspiration from Nazi ideals.

2) Although Golden Dawn functions as a political party, it also acts as a social movement which many people have attached themselves to. Followers of Golden Dawn ideology have been known to enact violence against those known to disagree with their ideologies. In fact, the recent murder of several socialist activists is what sparked the debate currently.

I am conflicted on how to feel about this situation. On the one hand, I find accepting the prohibition of ideas or public display of ideology to be difficult. Banning something for being too fascist seems somewhat ironic to me. On the other hand, many of the ideas promoted by the group may be deemed too dangerous to be accepted in civilized society; the idea of a potential holocaust of immigrant populations, especially the Turks, is very scary to me. I would also say that Golden Dawn has crossed the line from being "political" to being dangerous as it becomes to act more and more like a gang.

In the end, I cannot come up with a positive claim of what action is best. However, at the very least the government of Greece should take greater steps towards preventing these violent acts from acting in the future. Also, if the political party could be proven to have direct connections to any mass murders, it could be punished and stopped that way.