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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Today is former President Carter's 90th Birthday on: Today at 08:09:26 pm
Happy birthday to Jimmy.  90 is a long time; I hope I'm still as spry if I live to be 90.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many detentions and suspensions did you get in high school? on: Today at 02:31:36 pm
At least five.  I've lost count. 

The way it worked in my school is that we were sent to the Student Assignment Center (SAC).  We say, "I got the sac, man" or "I got sacked."  SAC was horrible.  Normally school went from 8:30 till about 3:00, but SAC ran from 8:00 till 3:00.  It was so hard to get there on time, and tardiness added a day extra in SAC.  Also, there was no smoking in SAC.  Remember I grew up before there was a "smoking age."  I've been buying cigarettes since I was old enough to reach the counter, and back in those days high schools commonly allowed smoking.  It was not uncommon to see students smoking at school.  At my school, smoking was allowed outdoors at any time between classes or during lunch, as well as before and after school.  SAC had a strict no smoking policy, and any violation resulted in two days being added to the assignment. 

Typically a student would be assigned to one day in SAC for a small offense such as excessive tardiness to class, three days for cutting class, five days for engaging in fisticuffs, and ten or more days for serious offenses such as smoking weed on campus.  A perfect disciplinary record at SAC meant that a student's assignment was halved.  Ten days, for example, meant that you'd get out after five days if you were really well-behaved.  That never happened to me.  In fact, often a three-day SAC assignment would end up being a 14- or 15-day stay in that hellhole.  It was in a seedy part of town and it was populated by thugs and roughians.  Good students who made one mistake would end up in SAC, being influenced by some pretty unruly elements.  On any day there might be 20 to 30 students there ranging from 9th to 12th grade, and for the most part they were a wild bunch.

Teachers would send the daily assignments via courier to SAC.  For things like music and sports, there'd be no assignment.  You just missed out on practice.  For a chemistry lab, you might be assigned to write a report on that subject.  I put all sorts garbage in them it to see if he actually read them.  For example, once my chemistry teacher had me write a five-page report on Michael Faraday.  I wrote that he was a Satanist who practiced masochism and sadism.  In another report I wrote that Robert Boyle had been abducted by aliens and it caused him to develop a drinking habit.  Got an A on that one, and on all the rest of them.  I'm guessing he didn't read them.  Punk. 

Academically advanced students were expected to assist others once they finished their work.  I was always expected to do this.  I had to constantly tutor some excruciatingly dumb students.  It was very frustrating, but it did have its rewards.  Mr. Davos, who ran the place, always kept a bottle of Jim Beam in his office.  Because I was doing extra work I often had access to his office, and to his Jim Beam.  I was careful never to take too much so he wouldn't notice.  Also, Mr. Davos and his teachers, Mrs. Fullbright, Mrs. Shapiro, and Mrs. Sanchez, often sent me out to get their lunch.  Sometimes it was sandwiches from the local deli, sometimes it was barbeque or fast food or pizza .  On those trips, it was understood that I was allowed to eat there if I had finished my own work and could get back quickly.  Those trips were very much treasured, as they afforded me the opportunity to torch up a blunt on the way, so that I might relax and enjoy my time in SAC. 

I don't think my school used the words "detention" and "suspension" but I got plenty of SAC.  Overall, it was a horrible experience, but no so horrible as to be a deterrent to delinquency and misbehavior, apparently, as I was sent there a number of times during my high school years.  I voted 5 or more.
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: Today at 01:25:02 pm

Like Angus, I can testify that someone inviting someone up for a drink does not always lead to sex and does not have to mean that.

I was thinking about this last night.  One time, long before I was married (I was probably about 30, living in Boston) a couple of friends and I went to a bar--a drinking bar, not a dance club--where one of the guys recognized some women he knew.  One of them is from Italy, a couple of years younger than I, and very attractive.  We went over to them and started chatting them up.  Very soon I was getting on well with the Italian chick.  Soon enough it became clear that we were going home together.  We indicated to our friends that we'd be leaving, and we went on our way.  She said we could go to her place, and the mood was good.  We were swapping spit and rubbing noses all the way back to her place.  She had two roomies, but we only spent about a microsecond getting acquainted with them, after which she led me into her room, closed the door and plopped on the bed.  I had no doubt she wanted me to do her.  She kept putting my hand up there on her beautiful woman breasts during the obligatory tongue-wrestling contest, and giving me the eyes-wide-open "C'mon already.  Is this happening or what?" stare. 

But I wouldn't.  Or I didn't. 

All the way back to her place, on the subway, I started thinking more and more about how I'd hang out for a while but politely refuse.  She was very attractive--pretty face, nice build, smart, and lively--and under most circumstances I'd have been a sporting fellow, but as it turns out I had a huge hemmorhoid on my ass.  It had grown to about the size of my pinkie finger.  I've only had 5 of those in my life, and this was the biggest and most painful one I'd ever had, and because of it I had very little desire to let my pants down.  It would have been awkward and painful at best, and at worst totally freaked her out if the stress caused a bleeding rupture.  No doubt I was thinking that a week or so later, after my embarrassing condition had subsided, I'd instigate a rendezvous with the intention of getting more intimately acquainted with her. 

Eventually, after about an hour in her room, enjoying her company, and unceremoniously changing the subject during her more aggressive advances, I told her that I need to leave, indicating that I'd call her (we had previously exchanged telephone numbers.)  As you might imagine, she never returned my calls.  I don't think I'd have returned them either.  In fact, when I've been in similar situations--having brought a woman to my bed and been rejected at the last minute--I generally don't call back either.  Who needs that frustration?  Who needs the hurt feelings?  Ah, a bigger man would have been honest about the situation.  People develop minor, non-communicable illnesses all the time, after all.  Perhaps she'd have been understanding about it and suggested we wait a week, or that I simply lie back, close my eyes, relax, and receive a thorough undercarriage waxing sure to ease my pain.  Well, I'll never know.  After that episode I become more understanding upon being rejected at the last minute, even so far as to start call the woman a couple of days later to schedule.  In many cases, those follow-up appointments worked out very well. 

Anyway, the point is that I can relate to the person who comes home with someone, even knowing that the person is horny and ready, but with no intention of going all the way.  Probably we all can.  Something similar has happened to you, maybe.  I say this for Mortimer's benefit:  It isn't coy to follow someone home even if you're not determined to have sex with that person.  There are a million reasons why one might not go all the way, and one must realize that it's not necessarily a slight or a tease or a game. 

4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: bananas on: September 30, 2014, 10:58:45 pm
True, and peanuts are neither peas nor nuts.  

5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 10:42:59 pm
It doesn't always work like that.  Sometimes you invite someone up for a drink and you both drink so much that neither of you are into it.  Sometimes you invite someone up for a drink and you drink too much and even though she's horny, you're only able to produce something resembling an elevator button, even with a good attitude.  Sometimes you invite someone up for a drink and maybe you're horny but she's really not into it.  (maybe she's not into you in that way; maybe she's just not into it at the moment; either way she makes it clear that she's not into it.)  These are all things that normally happen.  They have all happened to me. at one time or another.  I assume that one day they will all happen to most of the posters here once they grow up.

I've been hit on by straight women and by gay men.  Also, I have hit on women, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much.  I have been invited up for a drink and I have invited others up for a drink.  Usually one of us was trying to get the other one into the sack--on that point I'll agree--but as a person who has said "no" (and I'm more into the No means No mentality than the Yes means Yes groupthink), I can attest that accepting an offer for a drink isn't tantamount to accepting an offer of being invaginated or to stand it up on command.

You are buying into too many assumptions, and your arguments are not helping to point out the inherent inefficiency and potential pitfalls of this unnecessary bill.
6  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 10:18:07 pm

Why don't you shout a little louder?  I don't think that we quite understand that rape is a crime.  Perhaps between your shouting and your state's legislature legislating foreplay conversations, people may be made to understand that rape is a crime.  
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 09:08:02 pm
I don't think women deserve to get raped.

Well, shit.  Another egg on my face.

My sincere apologies to you as well, sir.  It seems that not only did I insult you by confusing you with another poster, but I also misrepresented your position.  

I'll come back in the morning after I have metabolized my scotch, because I'm sure that I think I have something intelligent to say about all this.  I'm quite certain that it is really, really bad legislation.  Give me 12 hours to prepare my case.  Forgive me if I don't use any of your arguments, because I think my case will be better represented without them.  Smiley

8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Free Wi Fi service? on: September 30, 2014, 09:01:44 pm
Good points also.  (This is why I'm the infamous moderate hero.)  That aside, isn't it fair to say that people should read what they agree to if reading what they agree to is reasonable?  If it is unreasonable, then can it be made reasonable?  That is, if Lil Kim steals my money because I'm a dumbass, then I'm out of luck, but if he comes to my door saying that I owe him one healthy, newborn human, then I should have some recourse in light of the fact that I clicked on "I agree" following a 97-page pdf that no one has ever read?
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 08:54:02 pm
Ah, yes, Famous Mortimer.

Mortimer.  Morden.  You can see how that might have happened.  My apologies, Mr. Morden.
10  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 08:52:31 pm
LOL.  other guy.  Frodo.  tweed.  Captain Picard.  Somebody.  It's all a blur at this point.  Don't make me go back and look at the thread and figure out who I might have been talking about.  

Sorry if that wasn't you.  No offense.   Smiley
11  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 08:49:31 pm
bedstuy, I don't know really, and neither does anyone else, but it is certain that it cannot be "inferred."  That much is clear.  There's a document that the state posted and I linked herein, but I think that US legislatures have a history of reacting proactively to avoid litigation, and I think this is one such case.  My main concerns are the precedents it will set, the burdens it will place on the student in the form of increased tuition, and the bureaucracy it will create for university administrators.  I find it very disheartening that so many otherwise well-adjusted posters are jumping on this bandwagon.  

MaxQue, it most certainly does.  The architects of the bill were clear on at least that point.  Also, rape is a crime.  It was already a crime.  This bill does nothing to change that.  I can see no good coming from this bill.
12  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 08:36:07 pm
I don't see the issue with "affirmative consent". It's already the case in many Western countries.


Man, I'm just not buying it.  I may be an old boring married guy but I wasn't always this way.  I've been laid in a number of "Western Countries."  I do not remember any conversations involving either of us asking the other for permission each step of the way.  This see,s really bizarre.  Is this the kind of conversation that young people have these days during foreplay?  Seriously?  I'm having trouble believing any of this.  It's a little embarrassing to have to paint a picture for you, but I sometimes think we may just have to do it.  Go back to the basics.  You people really ought to get offline once in a while and experience the world.  This sort of thinking isn't healthy.  You may agree with Ernest that all sex is bad sex, or you may agree with Mr. Morden that the nasty sluts had it coming, or you may agree with Leif that legislators legislating the conversation leading up to casual sex is normal and good.  I don't agree with any of those attitudes.  I seriously hope most of you don't either.

13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: bananas on: September 30, 2014, 08:29:26 pm
Got me some platanitos at the Mexican store tonight.  El Pueblito on President Avenue, just above Harrisburg Pike.  I bet some of you know it.  It's next door to that cheesy Ethiopian restaurant that doesn't even have Tej.  I stopped in to buy a pound of jalapeños and a can of Goya nectar de mango, and the woman at the counter asked me "¿tamales?"  I said no.  She said, "de pollo, y muy fresco" so I said, "okay, just one."  Then she pointed out the platanitos.  They're the tiny little sweet yellow bananas you always see in Guatemala and Mexico.  Lately I've been seeing them in the US as well.  They're marketed as "Minis" by some big US company.  Dole, I think.  Anyway, they had platanitos for 49 cents per pound so I bought some.  I really like those.  She's a pretty good salesman, apparently.  Anyway, the tamale was decent.  I poured El Yucateco salsa verde on half of it and Cholula on the other half and wolfed it down before heading to the gym for a few laps in the pool.  I'll have a couple of the platanitos after I finish my drink. 
14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Free Wi Fi service? on: September 30, 2014, 08:18:00 pm
There should be a law forcing them to write a short summary in plain language giving the broad lines.

I'm normally not the litigious type, but I think I agree with that.  I don't take my phone anywhere--certainly not on vacation--but I always take at least one tablet and one laptop.  So many times I tapped into the hotel's "free Wi Fi" to enjoy the fruits of the great minds of our age, including the enlightened posters on the Atlas Forum.  Do I read the pages I click through when I sign on?  Does a bear shit on a toilet?  Why would anyone click on the "terms of agreement" button and download a 97-page document written in six-point, single-page font? 

Yes, it would be nice to know that "free" Wifi means free wifi, and a concise, one-page, normal-sized font document explaining the rules would be nice.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of algebra on: September 30, 2014, 07:58:24 pm
Torie has hit on one of the great problems in math education: how to anchor the abstract problems of algebra II in real world examples. I think that the solution lies in breaking down the artificial lines between arithmetic, algebra, geometry and trigonometry that appear in middle and high school. Replace them instead with math I, II, III, etc. and create separate tracks at each level.

I can see that as an approach that looks at math as a collection of tools to attack real problems rooted in numeric values. Each year in school one covers a range of topics, and each year the applications require more thought, new tools, and combining old tools in new ways. Those on a STEM track can get their math with examples that are preparation for the math needed in science and engineering. Others who are not so inclined would get applications in business and home finance - including just the sort of application Torie alluded to.

16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Discussion - Update and Women on: September 30, 2014, 07:55:47 pm
I still like the 700-year-old Ba'ku woman from the briar patch better than any of those.  She could teach Bushie a thing or two about chromosomes.

But yeah, if we're confining ourselves to real human women from the Update, then Allison probably will win my vote.  I think her enigmatic persona is precisely what makes her well-developed.  Our imaginations fill in the gaps.  To me, she's one of Picard's woman.  Well, to be honest she's more like one of Kirk's women, but it's probably a bit early in our relationship for me to go there. 

17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: The Godfather vs. The Shawshank Redemption on: September 30, 2014, 07:47:33 pm
Write-in: La Strada.

Now that is an excellent film.

A rare moment of agreement between us.  Actually, several of Fellini's films absorbed my interests for some time, but La Strada was particularly compelling.

18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of algebra on: September 30, 2014, 03:22:58 pm
Very useful.  Just yesterday I was using simple algebra to show my son some things.

Algebra was invented long ago by the Arabs but did not come into general use in Europe until the 17th Century.  Imagine how hard it was for the champion of Copernican heliocentrism, Galileo, to explain the motion of heavenly bodies using his dialogues and the geometry of the Greeks!  I shudder thinking of it.

I'm not sure how hard it is so I didn't vote, but I'm a big fan of mastering it.
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: 4/10 Americans now own a valid passport, up from 1/33 in 1989 on: September 30, 2014, 03:15:40 pm
Thoughts ?

Weird that only 3% of Americans had a passport 25 years ago.

Borders are much tighter now than they were 25 years ago.  The first few times I went to Canada and Mexico as a child no passport was required.  Daddy and Mama would show their driver's licenses.  The children just sat in the back seat and smiled.  Sometimes, grownups didn't even need a license.  I remember when Mama forgot hers one time and it was okay.  Also, people could go to Jamaica, Bermuda, Bahamas--come on pretty Mama--without a passport.  Nowadays you need a passport to visit those places.  

Also, we're a more mobile people now than when I was a child.  I got my first passport when I was 7 years old, in 1974.  I needed that one to travel to Germany because my father was going to be working there for a year.  My son got his first passport when he was 4 years old.  He needed it to travel to China.  I wouldn't be surprised if it is not at all uncommon for someone of my son's generation to get a passport three years younger than someone of my generation.  Of course for places like China and Germany, a passport was always necessary, but this also suggests something about how our economic dependencies have shifted since I was a child.  My son is now 9 and has flown across the Pacific ocean several times, but has never flown across the Atlantic.  By the time I was nine years old we had flown across the Atlantic multiple times but not across the Pacific.  

20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 02:58:36 pm
The days of female sexuality being controlled by men are over, and thank Zeus for that.


Of all the gods in the pantheon you might thank for relinquishing male control of female sexuality, you pick one famous not only for seduction and rape, but also one famous for swallowing the only goddess child destined by the Titans to be more powerful than he.
21  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 11:26:24 am
let's not compare this to the War on Terror, that's hyperbole

hahaha.  I'm over it now, having been distracted by funny place names.  By the way, all three of those mentioned earlier, along with Puseyville and Paradise, are located in Lancaster County.  

Jugtown and Virginville are in nearby Berks county, not far from the state police manhunt.

Climax, PA is located out west, near Big Beaver, PA.  Grumps has probably visited those places.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 11:11:08 am
True, although in that case many young college men would be visiting another another village in Pennsylvania.  Luckily, there's always this village in Pennsylvania to help them out.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: California Adopts 'Yes Means Yes' Sexual Assault Rule on: September 30, 2014, 10:33:12 am
This bill does not make mention of criminal prosecution.  If you research the penal codes, you'll see that rape is already a criminal offense in California.  In Pennsylvania as well, for that matter.  Prosecution for the crime is allowed under existing statue.  

The "yes means yes" bill is a feel-good measure.  It says, among other things, that "In order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, the governing board of each community college district... shall adopt a policy concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, as defined in the federal Higher Education Act of 1965..."  It goes on to say that the policy must stipulate that consent doesn't arise from drunkenness, etc., and that the policy must specify how the investigations will be carried out.  Additionally it stipulates that these colleges and universities maintain a partnership with "community-based organizations, including rape crisis centers, to refer students for assistance or make services available to students, including counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, and legal assistance, and including resources for the accused..."

It really doesn't do much other than set up a culture of fear and rigidity in the minds of campus administrators and students.  You should read the text of the bill.  It seems to me that it was a reactionary response to the increased reporting of the so-called Rape Culture on campuses.  It was one of those "We have to do something" moments, such as that which existed right after September 11, 2001 when we decided to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, install the PATRIOT act, charge ourselves a terrorist fee for flying on airplanes, start spying on our neighbors, and treat anyone who "looks muslim" with suspicion.
As an added benefit, it creates more bureaucracy and adds costs to higher education, at a time when faculty are already burdened by unnecessary bureaucracy and students are already so burdened by increasing educational costs that they borrow beyond their ability to repay for the privilege of being educated.  All so a few men and women can help themselves to re-election.

24  Forum Community / Forum Community / bananas on: September 30, 2014, 10:23:37 am
Last week ALDI had a sale on bananas, buy one bunch and get one free.  I got it, but it didn't really make sense because 12 bananas is too much.  Bananas don't keep well, so I usually buy no more than five or six at a time.  I like them just yellow.  Not green, but no brown spots either.  I'm eating the last two of the 12 today, and they're mostly brown, with a bit of black at the flowering end.  They taste like a mixture of booze, sugar, and isopentyl acetate. 

Then I remembered a post-doc I knew, from India, who liked his bananas very ripe and very sweet.  Spotted even, like a giraffe.  And not like a Rothchild's giraffe or a Masai giraffe either, but more like a reticulated giraffe.  Lots of brown, very little yellow.  That's way over-ripe for my tastes.

How do you like yours?
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Cardinals most hated team in postseason on: September 30, 2014, 10:04:25 am
Excessive beards?
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