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Facebook bias? Conservative sites censored.

Facebook bias? Conservative sites censored.

Facebook’s censorship of conservative news stories, including prohibiting them from attaining  top spots on the ‘Trending’ feed, is presently a hot topic in right-wing circles. If the accusations are true, will the gentle nudging of Facebook users towards left leaning news sources leave a mark on the political landscape? Is this all just a vast right-wing conspiracy theory?

As it turns out, I have been a victim of this censorship multiple times. It did not shock me at all to find out it could be happening on a massive scale. On at least two occasions I have posted a conservative article to my personal Facebook account and proceeded to engage in lengthy, friendly debate with some of my more liberal friends. These debates typically happen at night and eventually my need to sleep overtakes my need to win, so we put things on ‘pause’ until morning. Twice I have woken up to return to the battlefield, only to find out that the article itself along with the dozens of comments have simply vanished.

There were no notifications from Facebook about any violations of the terms of service agreement. There was nothing to indicate that I had been reported for anything (my friends wouldn’t do that anyway). The posts just disappeared. Without my consent. These instances that I know happened makes me wonder how many articles I have shared, but did not spark enough discussion that I would look back on them later, were deleted without me noticing? How often do we really go back and read our own feeds? Who can remember everything they have posted/shared to realize something is amiss?

Facebook is a private company, free to promote or rally against any set of values it wishes. They shouldn’t be able to do it under the guise of being unbiased though if they’re going to promote one agenda and suppress another. It’s not an unreasonable request for users to be assured that what they stick on their wall stays stuck for as long as they wish, so long as you’re not breaking any rules. This controversy is just another strike against a company that seems to be morphing more and more into a well-oiled Orwellian machine.

-Jeremy Hobbs

 

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Politics, Social

 

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Potty Problems, Troublesome Tinkling (Edited 5/14)

Potty Problems, Troublesome Tinkling (Edited 5/14)

The topic dominating Facebook debates recently has been the issue of transgender individual’s rights to use the public bathrooms of their choice. States are debating whether it is lawful to allow those who identify as transgender to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with or the one that matches their birth certificate. Supporters and opponents steadfastly hold their ground on the social media battlefield (where there aren’t any bathrooms at all, ironically) as a whirlwind of digital smoke and debris sweeps up friendly relationships in its wake.

Some men simply do not want their wives and daughters sharing a bathroom with other penises lurking, away from his protection. They argue that a flimsy particle board door is not enough protection from a predatory man dressed in drag who is abusing the new laws. Likewise, many women aren’t thrilled with this dynamic either.

Those who follow this conservative line of thinking are being labeled as hate-filled bigots by those with more progressive trains of thought. They claim that transgender individuals pose no more threat than any other woman. Many refuse to address the concerns of the potential of a cis man taking advantage of the system. The law enforcement community is sweeping this concern under the rug as well.

Transgender individuals without a doubt need a safe restroom to use and few will deny that a solution to this problem is long overdue. Trans women particularly are at risk of violence while using a men’s room. Horror stories can be found in not only pro-trans publications but mainstream news sources. There is little doubt that a men’s room is one of the most dangerous places a transgender person can be, and that isn’t acceptable. However, allowing men explicit, unquestioned access to lady’s rooms could mean giving the truly deviant easy access to many defenseless women and girls. This isn’t acceptable either.

men-women-accessible-restroom-sign-se-5780

So what is acceptable? Single-stall family restrooms seem to be the safest solution. Those outside the transgender community could be better served if more single-stall restrooms existed too.  Changing tables are a rare find in men’s rooms, so fathers out with their kids would have a comfortable spot to change their young children. Disabled individuals who require assistance from their partner would have a gender-neutral place to use the restroom. And yes, transgender men and women can freely use these restrooms without fear of harassment or violence.

To solve this problem, we need to have open discussions (not arguments) and think about what is best for the trans community and the safety of all who using the restroom. While  there is no resolution that will suit everyone, single-stall restrooms seem to offer the best solution while catering to other beneficiaries as well. People may cite the infamous Jim Crow case when hearing this idea, but reasonable people willing to work together to resolve the concerns presented by both sides can still win the day. American’s willing to show mutual respect and camaraderie will no doubt find the best solution for all.

-Jeremy Hobbs

 

(Edit 5/14) Obama is not a fan of this compromise stating in his recent ultimatum delivered to public school systems that ‘single-stall bathrooms when other students aren’t required to do the same.’ So much for working for the good of everyone.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2016 in Social

 

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Blue Angels

Blue Angels

It has really been a rough couple of weeks for the brave men and women that patrol our neighborhoods. Execution style murders are happening almost daily, and they are the targets. For the foreseeable future it would appear that no police officer in uniform is safe. They cannot let their guard down, even while performing mundane tasks like refueling their patrol cars. They must never lose their focus.

Just for a moment, imagine the fear of the unknown. You have just done your job, and pulled over a car with expired plates. How terrified are you to walk up to that car and tap on the window? Will this person accept their ticket and go? Will they be angry, looking for a fight? Is a gun pointed at you, just outside of view from your position? My prayers go out to each and every one of the thousands that lived through this this today and will try to do so again tomorrow.

Prayers also for those that did not live through that, or a similar scenario. Blue Angels. As I sit here and read about these new widows, these recently fatherless children, it makes me feel ill. As a child I lost a parent via natural causes. That was tough to handle even though I had time beforehand to prepare and ‘get used’ to the idea. These officer’s families did not get that. They had knocks on their doors, and there stood a chaplain and his or her escorts where their Daddy should have been. Where their husband should have been. I cannot imagine the horrific shock.

What is going through activists’ minds while this is unfolding? I am certain most of the #BlackLivesMatter participants are peaceful individuals looking for positive change in their communities. Still, do you feel even a little bit guilty? Just a little tinge of responsibility when this news breaks? Are you ashamed of the people holding your signs and banners chanting for even more dead cops? Horrified that you’ve lent your time, your name, to a hate group? Are you proud? ‘Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.’

For the sake of argument I’ll go ahead and say that #BlackLivesMatter started with the best, most noble goals. A few bad apples have ruined the whole bunch though, and the entire movement is another dead cop or two away from being labeled a terrorist organization, and rightfully so. I call on everyone, from the milkiest white person to the darkest black person, and every color in between to publicly condemn these murders. Publicly come out against the corrupting influence of the hate group #BlackLivesMatter.

-Jeremy Hobbs

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Social

 

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Stars and Bars

Stars and Bars

It has never bothered me seeing it fly by government buildings. I have studied it’s origins. I know people who fly it, for both factual reasons, and also for the later adopted racist reasons. I really don’t think it means what blacks/the Left/White Supremacists demonize it as, but I get their point about it being a symbol of a time best forgotten. I understand why the Confederate flag draws negative reactions. I see no reason for it to be displayed on public property.

Still, everyone should be allowed to fly whatever they like in their yard as long as the US flag isn’t below it. Private property flag flying serves a purpose. It is a wonderful indicator of character of the person/people who live on said property. It’s best for everyone to know exactly where they’re treading. Are you flying an ISIS flag? If so, I probably won’t be knocking on your door to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Unless I’m packing heat and looking for trouble.

I bought a Confederate flag today, mostly on principle. Personally, mine will sit nicely folded with the flags of some passed veterans safely inside my home. Also I wanted to call ‘BS!’ on eBay for saying they would no longer sell the ‘Stars and Bars.’ I just don’t believe in limiting the right to freedom of speech, and the mad rush to ban something like a flag is encroaching on that freedom. Funny thing is, as soon as someone or a group of politicians try to use oppressive action in America, the people push back. First it was tea. Recently it has been stockpiling guns and ammunition. Today, according to the eBay store I bought from, folks are now stockpiling a flag. Many of the thousands of ‘Rebel’ flags being bought today will be flying as soon as China ships them out. Mine will not ever see sunshine again. In reality, probably 10,000 Confederate flags will go up into the air soon for every one that the government pulls down. Simple rebellion with no true cause. More black folks will feel the sting of discrimination, and more white folks that actually knew their roots will feel like they’re being erased from America’s cultural history. Neither side has won this battle and I just pray it didn’t start a war.

-Jeremy Hobbs

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Politics, Social

 

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By Example

By Example

9 murders, 28 others attempted in Baltimore on a day of mourning for those that died honorable deaths. This has to stop people, you’re turning the world upside down. It can be fixed in a generation.

If you make a kid together, raise it together.
Don’t allow ultra violent stimulation into your home.
Promote education and lead by example.
Promote charitable labor, lead by example.
Promote earning a living and not taking handouts, and lead by example.
Promote respecting everyone, and lead by example.

If we all do these things we’ll be in a better place. Don’t have unprotected sex with someone you are not ready to raise a kid with. Let’s go back a few decades when first dates ended with (at best) a kiss good night, versus a sleep over. Also ladies, waiting for marriage is a moral protection for you, so you can know your guy is the real deal and not just looking for sex. The sexual revolution hurt more women than it helped, as guys have as much restraint when it comes to sex as a fox in a hen house. Sad but true. Though should you find the real deal that loves you for being you while being ignorant of your bedroom skills, you have found a keeper.

Stop allowing non-cartoon/superhero violence and ideas to reach the eyes and ears of your kids, and do yourself a favor by cutting it out of your own lives. If our kids aren’t watching and listening to glorified commercials about slinging drugs, pimping, and selling themselves on the streets it won’t be seen as an option. Same with gang violence. Rule your house with a firm but loving hand and eliminate these toxic influences.

If kids start doing part time work and saving before graduating high school, community college at the very least will be an option even for struggling students. Exceptional effort can make up for nearly any short comings. Working at an early age promotes time management skills, fiscal responsibility, and most often team work. All skills that if ingrained early enough in life will help them survive until they are called Home.

Working hand to hand beside your fellow man in an effort to ease the lives of some of the most unfortunate in society is the quickest and most effective way to ease racial tension in anyone’s heart. Racism and phobias exist on many sides. Yet it’s hard to hold hatred for someone that has your back while you’re working toward a common unifying goal. If your kids are too young to work, have them out there passing out water and getting exposure to different types of people they may not see every day.

Work hard, go above and beyond in everything you do. Regardless of the job, dress as professionally as possible within dress code. Speak as properly and with as much respect as you can, regardless if you’re part time minimum wage, or full-time six figures with great benefits. There’s always room to improve your position, so present yourself like you’re already prepared to make the step up. If you only do the minimum, you should expect the bare minimum.

Respect every person you come across. Even on the sidewalk; if you make eye contact, smile, nod, or wish them a good day. It will be frustrating as it will rarely be returned. Remember, you’re not doing it just for them. You’re doing it equally as much for yourself. Don’t allow your heart to be hardened because we’re living through a rough period. Stay warm in your soul, spread it as best you possibly can, Teach these ways to your kids, in earnest, and you can help change things for the better.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Social

 

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