Jan. 29th, 2013 12:33 am
ed_rex: (The Droz Report)
[personal profile] ed_rex

Divorced lesbian new Premier of Ontario!

Kathleen Wynne (left) is congratulated by runner-up Sandra Pupatello on Saturday.

And something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

— Bob Dylan, "Ballad of a Thin Man"

Early Sunday morning on Facebook, I posted a knee-jerk response to the selection of Kathleen Wynne as the Liberal Party of Ontario's new leader — and thus, the province's new Premier. Wynne won on the third ballot, edging out Sandra Pupatello. The women had been the front-runners right from the start. (Entirely coincidentally, but most serendipitously, Wynne's victory came only two days before the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision declaring that women have a fundamental right to control their own bodies.)

I wrote:

Those of you who think that nothing changes, please take note. In some very important ways, the world *is* getting better and it's important we remember that. A divorced, gay, woman is now Premier of Ontario.

Woman. Gay. Divorced. 30 years ago (or less!) any *one* of those facts would have automatically disqualified her.

That's a sea change, ladies and gentleman. A fucking sea change.

There is more to it than that, of course, and finding myself living in a country in which six of its 14 First Ministers are women does not mean we have reached Utopia.

But it is significant.

So significant that it deserves not just an emphasized paragraph all of its own, but consideration at some length. The perfumes of change.

Well? Is a politicians sex, sexual orientation or even skin colour important? Or am I just being distracted by the superficial while the welfare state sinks like the Titanic?

hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
[personal profile] hatman
Is it right, wise, and morally correct to use ad blocking software?

(Pardon me for not presenting this in a rigorous manner. I haven't had formal debate training.)

On the one hand:

Internet ads are a pervasive nuisance. Many use loud colors, distracting blinking, noises, and/or other annoying tactics to gain your attention. All to try to sell you something that you probably don't want. Generally without actual substantive reasons for buying whatever it is.

You shouldn't have to deal with that if you don't want to. You should be able to control what appears on your own computer screen. If there's a simple, popular, well-known way to do that... why not?

On the other hand:

Websites depend on ad revenue. They need that money to pay for webhosting, etc. They need it to at least help turn a profit. Whether you pay attention to the ads on the screen or not, they depend on you actually having them on screen. If you block the ads from loading, you're using the site's resources while cutting off at least part of their revenue stream. In a way, it's tantamount to stealing - taking advantage of their services without "paying."

Furthermore, in the bigger picture, cutting off their revenue (especially while making use of their resources) harms the site's ability to stay in business. If everyone blocks ads while using bandwidth, server time, etc., the site will lose money and may have to shut down.

Beyond that, ad blocking software has become locked in an ever-escalating contest with ad hosting software, leading to advertisers adopting ever more insidious techniques.

What say you?
robynebr: (Default)
[personal profile] robynebr
Resolved: that U.S. Senator for Alaska Mark Begich, actress Janine Turner, actress Denise Richards and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin should live together and start a commune.

Argument against:

Mark and Sarah would insist the commune be located in his home state of Alaska, and Janine would agree as it would remind her of her faded glory on Northern Exposure. Denise would stomp her feet and whine about how seldom she could wear her skin-baring dresses.

Mark and Sarah would spend all of their time arguing about Alaskan politics and not get anything useful accomplished.

Denise would want the TV cameras following her every move, which would lead Mark and Janine to duct-tape a bag over her head and subsequently get arrested for bashing the cameras to the ground. Sarah would be busy trying to upstage Denise.

Sarah and Janine would attempt to school Denise in the proper methods of single motherhood, whereupon Denise would swear at them and go pour herself a drink.

The commune would eventually fall under investigation for accusations of tax evasion, treason, and poor Nielson ratings.

New Seed

May. 1st, 2009 07:34 pm
adalger: Earthrise as seen from the moon, captured on camera by the crew of Apollo 16 (Default)
[personal profile] adalger
I believe I made the seed last week something that too many people agree with here to get much debate going. This week, something silly, and hopefully easier to get some discussion going.

Resolved: that Mark, Janine, Denise, and Sarah should live together and start a commune.


Apr. 25th, 2009 10:55 am
adalger: Earthrise as seen from the moon, captured on camera by the crew of Apollo 16 (Default)
[personal profile] adalger
The term "marriage" has been strongly claimed by Christians to denote a particular relationship between a man and a woman, defined in the Bible, ordained by God, and inapplicable to other types of relationship. Because the United States was founded by Christians, whose cultural beliefs embraced centuries of this usage, the term was incorporated into government usage with the same meaning. Currently, however, other people who wish to engage in a substantially equivalent relationship are denied use of the term, to the detriment of their civil liberties and rights under the law to have legal sanction for this relationship in the way Christian marriages are sanctioned.

My solution )

Topic seed

Apr. 25th, 2009 10:41 am
adalger: Earthrise as seen from the moon, captured on camera by the crew of Apollo 16 (Default)
[personal profile] adalger
I'm going to borrow from the practice of the body governing debate as an extracurricular activity in high school, where I first learned how to debate. I'm going to post a general resolution, and invite people to make specific cases for implementation of that resolution as applied to more narrowly focused topics. This is not meant to preclude other topics, simply to give people a starting point if they'd like to come up with something but are having trouble thinking of debatable questions. If people respond well to this, I'll continue the practice.

That said, here's my first seed:

Resolved: That the usage of the term "marriage" by the government of the United States and the governments of the several states should be standardized.

Comments to this post are disabled, as this is not a debate in itself. Anyone wishing to debate this resolution is invited to present a specific way in which the term "marriage" should be standardized, indicating the specific problems this standardization is intended to solve and showing how it would solve them.
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
[personal profile] hatman
New debate topic:

Should Europe be considered a continent?

I'm taking the negative position.

A continent is a continuous distinct landmass (with the addition of nearby islands) of particularly large size.

Europe is separated from Asia by the Ural mountains, not an ocean. Furthermore, the area of Europe is only 18% of the Eurasian landmass. It's roughly equivalent to that of the United States - big as countries go, but certainly not a continent unto itself.

Yes, it's had a disproportionate effect on Western history, but that's no excuse to go rewriting geography.

(As a side note, it's appalling to me that North and South America have to share one of the five Olympic rings, whereas Europe gets its own. The Americas are two distinct landmasses. Barely connected even before the Panama Canal cut them apart.)
adalger: Earthrise as seen from the moon, captured on camera by the crew of Apollo 16 (Default)
[personal profile] adalger
1. I went through the list of members today to find interests to add to the community journal. I mostly picked out likely subjects for civilized debate, but if you have an interest you think has a lot of room for debatable topics that you think I missed, feel free to comment here.

2. I'm going to try to keep up with tagging debates and posts. The tag NAD should be added to any post that isn't a debate, to let people know it's not a debate. If you post a debate question, please tag it with one or more community interests or applicable subjects.

5. Three, sire.

Er ... 3. Don't be shy, jump right in! More topics means more fun! :)
adalger: Earthrise as seen from the moon, captured on camera by the crew of Apollo 16 (Default)
[personal profile] adalger
So, now that we have some members, here's a topic:

Is "multiculturalism" truly beneficial?

I'll start off by taking the negative position.

Multiculturalism is a tool used by the establishment to prevent the unification of Americans into one common culture. It perpetuates inter-cultural tension by emphasizing the differences between Americans who come from different cultural heritages. The only true path to peace and unity is to abandon this continued segmentation to fulfill the promise of the Melting Pot.

Discuss. :)


Arguing 101

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