This fantasy fan has seen enough "sexposition" and gratuitous Targaryen breast-baring for one lifetime.
Shaved head, fits of rage, and downright bizarre behavior. Actress Amanda Bynes has been a staple in magazines, newspapers and web sites since her spiral of wigs, odd tweets and strange photos. With speculation that she has a mental illness, the question that has presented itself is this: Are we enabling the troubled starlet’s bad behavior by writing about her? On May 30, Bynes took to Twitter to share some choice words she had for blogger Perez Hilton after he published an alleged photo of her bouncing on a trampoline at SkyZone in Buffalo, NY.
Imran Firasat, a Pakistani Muslim-turned-Christian, has, to put it lightly, endured quite a bit for exercising his right of freedom of expression, namely his right to speak out against Islam. Firasat, who converted to Christianity in 2004, said the reason he left Islam was because he “realized that what I was following for 26 years of my life is not a religion but in reality is a political dictatorship which persecutes and teaches to persecute through the orders and teaching of a self-proclaimed prophet (Muhammad).”
Every semester throughout my four years of college I was laughed out of the financial aid office for requesting assistance from the government. I resorted to applying for student loans and gratefully accepted them when they were approved. Now, after spending countless thousands on my higher education, I find myself struggling to embrace New York’s latest tuition assistance program for undocumented students, the New York State DREAM Act, or the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. While tolerant of President Barack Obama’s recent attempts to give illegal immigrants in the United States amnesty, the DREAM Act -- which aims to help undocumented residents gain financial aid and scholarships at in-state colleges -- crosses the line of political responsibility.
On March 14, Fannie Mae stock was floundering around 50 cents per share. On March 15, the fuse was lit on shares of FNMA as housing legislation rumors swirled around the digisphere. By March 16, the stock jumped 20 percent, and by the end of the next day it hit 75 cents per share -- a 50 percent spike in a week on pure rumors. Not bad. A week later, Fannie Mae stock tripled, then lost all of the value it gained in the same day. Does anybody else see a serious problem with this? I do. Originally, I wanted to buy Fannie Mae stock, thinking it sounded like a lucrative idea. The line of thought went something like: The better the housing market does, the better the stock will do, right?
Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday she won't seek re-election for her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In a video message, Bachmann, who ran for the Republican presidential nominations last year, emphasized that her standing down didn't have anything to do with the investigation into the activities of her presidential campaign staff, or concerns she would be defeated for the Minnesota seat in 2014. And for the Tea Party Patriots, or TPP, the country's largest tea party organization, she will be sorely missed.
For those who believe Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pushing a religious agenda, Friday’s passing of legislation banning the advertising of alcohol, and the time it can be purchased, has provided more fodder. Passed through Turkish Parliament as a measure to reduce the harm of booze on young people, the ban, as Haaretz wrote, thereby restricts the sale to adults, too. Clause 58 of the Turkish Constitution, as Erdogan cited, says that “the state will take the steps necessary to protect its youth from addiction to alcohol, drugs, crime and gambling.”
The world-renowned Turkish pianist, Fazil Say, who was given a 10-month suspended prison sentence in April for insulting Islam in a series of tweets, is still talking out. In a video viewed by the International Federation for Human Rights, or FIDH, in Istanbul on May 23, Say expressed concerns for freedom of speech in his country. "We have been going through a harsh period in Turkey, as those trying to gain power through the exploitation of religion oppresses the people. It is worrisome for all of us as a particularly powerful ruling party makes politics over the religions and sets aside the people," he said.
International trade within Africa is sorely lacking, and that's an arena where the African Union can make a real difference.
Over the weekend, Electric Daisy Carnival took over Citi Field in Queens, New York, bringing some of the most popular electronic dance music DJs and artists to the Big Apple for a crazy, flower-filled, beat-dropping experience. I didn’t attend, though apparently EDC was a blast, and I am thoroughly jealous. But not everyone shares my sentiments on electronic dance music, or EDM, festivals, raves and rave music, in general. Jim Farber of the New York Daily News recently published a preview of New York's summer music festivals, expressing a particularly biased critique of the aforementioned Electric Daisy Carnival. Farber described EDC as a drug-fueled showcase of “repetitive and often lyric-free” music by a few “unphotogenic” headliner DJs “plus zillions of lesser spinners.” To be equally biased, I'll say he's not only painfully showing his age, but also that he completely misses the point of EDM culture.
One sound is burned into my memory having grown up in Oklahoma City: tornado alarms. They were, and still are, tested every Saturday at noon. Dozens of sirens scattered throughout the city moan their alarms designed to give people precious minutes to pile into their storm shelters, huddle in their bathtubs or otherwise seek more fortified shelter. Like many residents of the state located in the heart of Tornado Alley, I had my share of close encounters. Tornadoes in the spring, and the chance of having everything you own wiped away, are part of the reality of life on the Southern Plains.
FM 102.3 WBAB and the fifth-grade version of myself have two things in common. No. 1: We think Led Zeppelin is a good band. No. 2: We think “gay” is a synonym for bad, lame, unmanly, etc. The Long Island-based rock station airs a weekly morning show segment called “Gay Court,” in which the lovable everyman duo of shock jockeys, Roger & J.P., assess the apparent “gayness” of such things as wrestling tournaments or sharing a spoon with your buddy.
After being chosen to grace the cover of one of America’s most feminist magazines, “Ms.,” Beyoncé is facing a new controversy. The 42-year-old magazine is already earning mixed reviews for their cover story, titled "Beyoncé’s Fierce Feminism." And some outraged readers are already taking to Facebook to air their complaints. “If she’s wearing stripper outfits, dancing like a stripper for men, and calling women bit--es, she’s not a feminist. Despite what the so-called ‘third wave feminists’ are claiming, feminism is NOT whatever the hell you want it to be,” one person said.
Gawker’s “Rob Ford Crackstarter” campaign is a great idea in the way that sporks or reality TV were great ideas. That is, it’s great that someone was creative enough to think of it, but in the long run, we’d all be better off if it failed. Not only does the campaign attempt to dress up old-fashioned checkbook journalism as some noble equalizer of valuable information, but it also drags the good-will principles of crowd-funding even deeper into the mud than they already are -- and just when websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo looked as if they might recover from the Great Zach Braff Scandal of four weeks ago.
On Tuesday, the New York Times published a story on Steve Wilhite -- the creator of the GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format -- being honored for his role in creating the ubiquitous file format back in 1987. Its role on the Internet literally added color to the web, as previous web image formats were predominantly black and white. The GIF was responsible for the number of “under construction” animated images, and early Internet memes such as “Dancing Baby” that dotted the early World Wide Web. The GIF is perhaps most known for its modern resurgence -- the capturing of brief moments and reactions, such as Jennifer Lawrence’s sarcastic okay and thumbs up during a “Hunger Games” cast appearance, producing innumerable Internet memes. Despite the GIF’s pervasive presence on the Internet, an on-going debate still hasn’t settled down on one important thing: Is GIF pronounced “gif” or “jif?”
As a few in the Twitter world have noted, when the New York Times editorial board writes a piece blasting President Barack Obama’s administration, and supports Fox News, you know you’ve done something wrong. Citing the FBI’s specific targeting of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a 2009 leak investigation, NYT wrote: “With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible ‘co-conspirator’ in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.”
Discrimination, as it becomes less obvious, becomes a more difficult problem to root out. It becomes less about the obvious repression and more about the way past discrimination is still deeply embedded in the social fabric. We often generally espouse views of equality and respect, but individual actions and views, unbeknownst to ourselves, don't align. To start with the niceties, I do think Warren Buffett has his heart in the right place. I do think he wants women to be equally represented in the workplace. Unfortunately, you can't get equality when you lead with victim blaming.
Kaitlyn Hunt is a Florida high school senior who has emerged as the face of a massive social media campaign after she was expelled from high school, arrested, and charged with two felonies as a result of a sexual relationship she had with a 15-year-old female classmate. More than 107,000 people have signed a petition asking for prosecutors to drop the case against Hunt, and more than 30,000 people have joined a Facebook group called "Free Kate" in support of the young woman. Hunt, 18, is facing two counts of felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child between the ages of 12 and 16, for which she could face 15 years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender, according to the New York Daily News.
The issue is not about paying taxes. The division of the IRS that investigates the legitimacy of an application for tax-exempt status of an organization (called Exempt Organizations Division) is charged with either approving, disapproving or, in the case of these numerous applicants -- mostly tea party and "patriots" groups -- investigating the real activities in which they were supposed to be involved. These groups flourished after the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United -- regarding political organizations where the donors need not be disclosed. They also flourished in anticipation of the last presidential election.
The New York Daily News and various other media outlets recently reported on how Kevin Williamson, a columnist for the National Review and theater critic, became so annoyed by the chattering of a woman on her cell phone during a performance of a musical in New York that he grabbed her phone and threw it across the room. According to accounts, Williamson initially complained about the woman to theater ushers to no avail. So out of desperation, he took matters into his own hands. Literally. For that, he received a slap in face. The lady then stalked off to try to find her phone, threatening to file charges along the way; Williamson apparently has not been arrested for anything yet.