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Susan Stone has been at 1 events

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Ole Olson53,498It has come to light that Google has started funding and supporting some of the most vile right wing extremist collectives and corporate front groups in America. Join us by changing your avatar and boycotting every single Google service for one day in protest.  *On Wednesday, December 11th make a serious attempt to not use anything Google.* No Google Searches. No Google+. No gmail. No Youtube. No Google Calendar. No Blogger. No Google Maps. No Google Photos. No Google translate. No Google reverse image search. No Google Play. No Google Drive. No Google Books. No Google Shopping. Nothing.  (Android is immune since it is Open Source).  If nothing else, just think of this as a challenge to see if you are able to spend a day on the internet without using a single Google product or service or just take the day off and enjoy the real world for a change.  _Google, many of us are your most loyal users, and we love the technical direction everything is heading by rolling all services into Google+_ but it must be understood in no uncertain terms that we vehemently disagree with your decision to start to fund proto-fascist, right wing extremist, anti-environmental, anti-worker, and anti-science shock fronts like: •ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) •American Conservative Union •Americans for Tax Reform •CATO Institute •Federalist Society •George Mason University Law School Law and Economics Center •Heritage Action •Mercatus Center •National Taxpayers Union •R Street Institute •Texas Public Policy Foundation ________________________________________________ *More information:* Don’t Be Evil? Google Funding a Slew of Right-Wing Groups http://billmoyers.com/2013/12/04/dont-be-evil-google-funding-a-slew-of-right-wing-groups/ Tell Google CEO Larry Page to Cut Ties with ALEC http://org.salsalabs.com/o/632/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14651 Tell Google: Don't Be Evil With ALEC http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=8648 #ShameOnGoogle  #Google    #DontBeEvil  One Day Boycott of ALL Google Products2013-12-11 07:00:00159  

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Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 37

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2015-07-04 04:50:02 (37 comments, 6 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

quote: All English-speaking democracies share certain characteristics in common. Compared to continental European and East Asian democracies, the Anglophone nations tend to be more market-oriented and less statist, with somewhat lower levels of social spending and weaker bureaucracies. We might even speak of “Anglosphere exceptionalism.”


But even by the standards of the English-speaking world, the U.S. appears as an extreme outlier, in areas ranging from religiosity to violence to anti-government attitudes. As we learned after the slaughter last month in Charleston, S.C., some deluded Southerners still pine for secession from the Union. Yet no doubt there are also more than a few liberal Northerners who would be happy to see them go.
Minus the South, the rest of the U.S. probably would be more like Canada or Australia or Britain or New Zealand—more secular,more ... more »

Most reshares: 11

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2015-07-04 01:29:33 (4 comments, 11 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Most plusones: 36

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2015-07-04 04:50:02 (37 comments, 6 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

quote: All English-speaking democracies share certain characteristics in common. Compared to continental European and East Asian democracies, the Anglophone nations tend to be more market-oriented and less statist, with somewhat lower levels of social spending and weaker bureaucracies. We might even speak of “Anglosphere exceptionalism.”


But even by the standards of the English-speaking world, the U.S. appears as an extreme outlier, in areas ranging from religiosity to violence to anti-government attitudes. As we learned after the slaughter last month in Charleston, S.C., some deluded Southerners still pine for secession from the Union. Yet no doubt there are also more than a few liberal Northerners who would be happy to see them go.
Minus the South, the rest of the U.S. probably would be more like Canada or Australia or Britain or New Zealand—more secular,more ... more »

Latest 50 posts

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2015-07-04 05:58:10 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-04 04:50:02 (37 comments, 6 reshares, 36 +1s)Open 

quote: All English-speaking democracies share certain characteristics in common. Compared to continental European and East Asian democracies, the Anglophone nations tend to be more market-oriented and less statist, with somewhat lower levels of social spending and weaker bureaucracies. We might even speak of “Anglosphere exceptionalism.”


But even by the standards of the English-speaking world, the U.S. appears as an extreme outlier, in areas ranging from religiosity to violence to anti-government attitudes. As we learned after the slaughter last month in Charleston, S.C., some deluded Southerners still pine for secession from the Union. Yet no doubt there are also more than a few liberal Northerners who would be happy to see them go.
Minus the South, the rest of the U.S. probably would be more like Canada or Australia or Britain or New Zealand—more secular,more ... more »

quote: All English-speaking democracies share certain characteristics in common. Compared to continental European and East Asian democracies, the Anglophone nations tend to be more market-oriented and less statist, with somewhat lower levels of social spending and weaker bureaucracies. We might even speak of “Anglosphere exceptionalism.”


But even by the standards of the English-speaking world, the U.S. appears as an extreme outlier, in areas ranging from religiosity to violence to anti-government attitudes. As we learned after the slaughter last month in Charleston, S.C., some deluded Southerners still pine for secession from the Union. Yet no doubt there are also more than a few liberal Northerners who would be happy to see them go.
Minus the South, the rest of the U.S. probably would be more like Canada or Australia or Britain or New Zealand—more secular, more socially liberal, more moderate in the tone of its politics and somewhat more generous in social policy. And it would not be as centralized as France or as social democratic as Sweden.

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2015-07-04 02:39:22 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-04 02:32:00 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 15 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-04 01:29:33 (4 comments, 11 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 23:37:16 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 23:28:10 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

another opinion on the guac wars....I kind of agree with him.  If it tastes good, eat it.

another opinion on the guac wars....I kind of agree with him.  If it tastes good, eat it.___

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2015-07-03 22:01:07 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 21:56:40 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 20:13:50 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

One of the highlights: — Wisconsin would be the first state in the country to allow anyone with relevant experience, including high school dropouts, to be licensed to teach non-core academic subjects in grades six through 12. Anyone with a bachelor's degree could be licensed to teach in core subjects of English, math, social studies or science. The decision on whether to hire someone with the alternative certification would be up to the school district, including private schools that accept voucher students and independent charter schools. Republicans were expected to change this before final passage to require at least a high school degree to teach, and limit them to part-time only.

One of the highlights: — Wisconsin would be the first state in the country to allow anyone with relevant experience, including high school dropouts, to be licensed to teach non-core academic subjects in grades six through 12. Anyone with a bachelor's degree could be licensed to teach in core subjects of English, math, social studies or science. The decision on whether to hire someone with the alternative certification would be up to the school district, including private schools that accept voucher students and independent charter schools. Republicans were expected to change this before final passage to require at least a high school degree to teach, and limit them to part-time only.___

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2015-07-03 20:08:26 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 19:57:23 (10 comments, 5 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 19:55:55 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

While somehow deciding that secular marriage interferes with religion, they can say “At the same time, in order for the United States to function at its best, the people who represent the citizens in government must reflect a strong Judeo-Christian ethic in all we do, including having a solid, unmovable moral basis in our laws."

I am confused.  Nobody's making churches do anything about gay marriage.  But they are trying to make their flavor of religion the backbone of American politics? No religious tests, first Amendment, Freedom of Religion not being restricted to Judeo-Christian faiths....

While somehow deciding that secular marriage interferes with religion, they can say “At the same time, in order for the United States to function at its best, the people who represent the citizens in government must reflect a strong Judeo-Christian ethic in all we do, including having a solid, unmovable moral basis in our laws."

I am confused.  Nobody's making churches do anything about gay marriage.  But they are trying to make their flavor of religion the backbone of American politics? No religious tests, first Amendment, Freedom of Religion not being restricted to Judeo-Christian faiths....___

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2015-07-03 19:42:47 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 19:37:44 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Next time you hear someone complain that we can't afford, as a nation to do something in the common good, think about the military budget, and how little, in comparison, even our worst enemies spend....

Now you know why.

Next time you hear someone complain that we can't afford, as a nation to do something in the common good, think about the military budget, and how little, in comparison, even our worst enemies spend....

Now you know why.___

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2015-07-03 19:35:24 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 19:25:12 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Please see blog post for relevant links. Copy pasted for your convenience.

There has been quite a bit of news about Amazon lately. Some of it has been good. Some of it hasn’t been so good. While I’m absolutely loving the changes to Amazon’s exclusive program, the rumors of changes to their reviewing platform (leaked by top 500 reviewers from a message sent by amazon) has me absolutely hating what they’re up to.

It’s hard enough to get honest, legitimate reviews. Sure, in theory, honest retailers (and authors) should have an easier time having their products seen. However, there are two substantial issues with this, in my opinion.

Non-verified reviews (IE, ARC copies) will be given a negative modifier.
Older reviews will be given a negative modifier.
On the flip side, there are benefits to this:

Helpful reviews will have more weight (positivemodifier.... more »

Please see blog post for relevant links. Copy pasted for your convenience.

There has been quite a bit of news about Amazon lately. Some of it has been good. Some of it hasn’t been so good. While I’m absolutely loving the changes to Amazon’s exclusive program, the rumors of changes to their reviewing platform (leaked by top 500 reviewers from a message sent by amazon) has me absolutely hating what they’re up to.

It’s hard enough to get honest, legitimate reviews. Sure, in theory, honest retailers (and authors) should have an easier time having their products seen. However, there are two substantial issues with this, in my opinion.

Non-verified reviews (IE, ARC copies) will be given a negative modifier.
Older reviews will be given a negative modifier.
On the flip side, there are benefits to this:

Helpful reviews will have more weight (positive modifier.)
Newer reviews will have more weight (positive modifier, current reviews of a product.)
However, there are some even bigger issues outside of this change that I feel will really, really hurt authors–a huge driving force of Amazon’s sales. I’m an honest author. If I acquire book reviews, they are a part of a blog-based book tour, where the reviewers are required to be honest by their touring groups. Many of these people are Vine reviewers–or have high amazon review rankings. These individuals don’t lie about how they feel about books.

I do not buy reviews, nor will I buy reviews.

However, this makes it very difficult to get reviews.

To set the scene for this post, I want to discuss Amazon’s current practices. Some of these rules will take you by surprise.

The Good:

Anyone can review. (Non-verified reviews.)

Five star ranking system. (I like five stars because it’s a good range, with a very obvious ‘middle ground.’) Even-numbered star review systems hurt me.

Flat algorithm; it’s easy to know why a book is ranked as it is, just by looking at the reviews.

The Bad:

Very easy to post abusive reviews and have them hold weight.
Anyone associated with the author can have their review yanked. Including fans.

Easy to buy reviews.

This is a very short list. I could come up with a lot more, but I feel these are the important ones. Now, before I pick up my pitchfork, I want to mention a few things.

The new system isn’t all bad. However, considering that fans who follow authors on Facebook have been having their reviews removed for ‘having an association with the author,’ there are substantial problems.

Authors rely on their fans to post reviews. I’m not different. It’s very hard to get reviews when you’re honest. You rely on your fans and readers to do it.

I don’t like chasing fans and readers for reviews. It’s not comfortable for me. I really hope my fans/readers love my books enough to want to leave a positive, honest review about what they loved.

Dishonest authors simply buy those reviews. I refuse to do this. Reviews help, but I simply won’t stoop to that level.

But with Amazon attempting to identify fans/readers and punishing them for following their favorite authors on Facebook, things are even harder.

I’ve had this happen to me before–not as the reviewer, but as the author. I’m adamantly against fans and readers who reach out to authors to connect being punished because they enjoy reading books.

Being an author requires a social media presence. Otherwise, all I’m doing is shooting in the dark and hoping I get lucky. I’m not lucky. We’ve established this!

How much of an Affect?
This is what we simply don’t know yet. We don’t know when the changes took place. So far, I haven’t noticed a huge change on my books–but I don’t buy reviews. (In theory, this is what should happen.) Unfortunately, I don’t know the numbers of any authors who bought reviews showcasing the before and after.

That’s a problem.

I can only hope that because I’m honest I won’t be hit hard by this.

Authors need you more than ever, Readers.
I’ve said it. Readers, authors like me are utterly reliant on you. Because you read, we eat. (And my cats eat, they really appreciate eating. They also appreciate the kitty toys we bring home for them. And the cat nip…)

If you love a book, please stop and take the time to review it. We need you.

If you love a book, please stop and take the time to mark reviews as helpful. We need you.

If you love a book, please share it with your friends. We need you.

If you love a book, please keep reading. We need you.

We need you now more than ever.

Thanks for reading.

Reading Material
I’ve compiled a short list of articles I’ve read about the changes to Amazon’s reviewing process. This is a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

1: Haden Interactive on Amazon’s Review Changes (Vine Reviewer)

2: Teleread Article (Industry Discussion)

3: Tech Investor News Article (Industry Study.)___

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2015-07-03 17:33:37 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 17:13:52 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

I was looking at the daily situation report about wildfires this morning, and discovered that Alaska has burned over 2.2 million acres so far this year.  That's a mindboggling amount.

I was looking at the daily situation report about wildfires this morning, and discovered that Alaska has burned over 2.2 million acres so far this year.  That's a mindboggling amount.___

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2015-07-03 17:06:37 (11 comments, 0 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 17:04:56 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

I shared for this quote, especially: Bryan Fischer, who thinks Muslims worship Satan, thinks we should ban all immigration from Muslim countries and thinks Muslims have no right to practice their religion, is suddenly very concerned that we are hurting the feelings of Muslims by letting gay people get married.

I shared for this quote, especially: Bryan Fischer, who thinks Muslims worship Satan, thinks we should ban all immigration from Muslim countries and thinks Muslims have no right to practice their religion, is suddenly very concerned that we are hurting the feelings of Muslims by letting gay people get married.___

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2015-07-03 16:56:43 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Picture of the guy at the link

Picture of the guy at the link___

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2015-07-03 16:54:54 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 16:51:38 (7 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 16:47:11 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 16:34:37 (2 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 15:50:43 (7 comments, 3 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 15:44:59 (4 comments, 8 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 15:23:21 (5 comments, 2 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 15:19:22 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 15:18:06 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 15:16:49 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

I always wonder about people who pick out an old thread that's been inactive for days to post a troll comment on.     Practice to see how people will react?  Unwillingness to hit a current piece because of reasons?  Training? Using search to discover stuff?  Or are they paid trolls, padding their account? Questions, questions....

I always wonder about people who pick out an old thread that's been inactive for days to post a troll comment on.     Practice to see how people will react?  Unwillingness to hit a current piece because of reasons?  Training? Using search to discover stuff?  Or are they paid trolls, padding their account? Questions, questions....___

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2015-07-03 15:08:20 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

quote: First, let's make clear what the decision does not do. It does not require religious ministers to perform same-sex marriages, nor does it forbid them from speaking out against gay marriage. These rights are protected by the First Amendment. The court has also made clear that a church has complete freedom in hiring and firing ministers for any reason.

The legal status of gay marriage is similar to that of remarriage after divorce. Divorce and remarriage is legal in every state of the union, but if a church is against remarriage after divorce, its ministers are not required to perform such weddings, and its preachers can continue to denounce divorce from the pulpit. If a minister gets divorced, his church can fire him or her.

The divorce analogy is apt. The bishops would do well to look at the record of their predecessors who opposed legalizing divorce but lost. These bishops... more »

quote: First, let's make clear what the decision does not do. It does not require religious ministers to perform same-sex marriages, nor does it forbid them from speaking out against gay marriage. These rights are protected by the First Amendment. The court has also made clear that a church has complete freedom in hiring and firing ministers for any reason.

The legal status of gay marriage is similar to that of remarriage after divorce. Divorce and remarriage is legal in every state of the union, but if a church is against remarriage after divorce, its ministers are not required to perform such weddings, and its preachers can continue to denounce divorce from the pulpit. If a minister gets divorced, his church can fire him or her.

The divorce analogy is apt. The bishops would do well to look at the record of their predecessors who opposed legalizing divorce but lost. These bishops eventually accepted divorce as the law of the land while not permitting remarriage without an annulment in their churches.___

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2015-07-03 15:06:32 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

The important thing to understand with the current gay rights battle is that the proponents of the “religious freedom” argument aren’t actually talking about “protecting” religious freedom — they’re talking about expanding the definition of what can be considered an expression of religious faith. When Ted Cruz and Ken Paxton argue that county clerks can refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of the Supreme Court, they’re essentially saying that the act of doing one’s government job is an act of faith and should be protected as such. That argument “is not justified in either well-established constitutional law or in statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion,” Columbia Law’s Katherine Franke wrote in response to Paxton’s memo. “Religious freedom,” according to Cruz et al., allows the faithful to deny other people their legal rights, and allowsfor government employees to i... more »

The important thing to understand with the current gay rights battle is that the proponents of the “religious freedom” argument aren’t actually talking about “protecting” religious freedom — they’re talking about expanding the definition of what can be considered an expression of religious faith. When Ted Cruz and Ken Paxton argue that county clerks can refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of the Supreme Court, they’re essentially saying that the act of doing one’s government job is an act of faith and should be protected as such. That argument “is not justified in either well-established constitutional law or in statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion,” Columbia Law’s Katherine Franke wrote in response to Paxton’s memo. “Religious freedom,” according to Cruz et al., allows the faithful to deny other people their legal rights, and allows for government employees to impose their religious beliefs on others. That’s an insane perversion of the First Amendment. endquote___

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2015-07-03 15:02:01 (2 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

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2015-07-03 14:16:33 (6 comments, 3 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

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