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Audists and Audism

I have always loved the discovery of new words and ideas. I am also forever curious about the genesis of words and how they came into popular being in a culture. I learned two new words last week that are interrelated: “Audists” and “Audism” and the concept of those words has been around since 1977 and used in print in a scholarly book in 1992. “Audists” are Deaf or Hearing people who think they are superior to others with lesser hearing and that process of a climbing supremacy on the backs of the audibly disabled is called “Audism.” Here are some examples of Audism in action:

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Do You Trust Gmail?

Are you concerned about Gmail violating your privacy? Do you have a method for routinely backing up your Gmail account?  Do you trust Gmail?

Gmail logo

When Gmail started two years ago I thought the idea of having a free, giant, email account was divine and I paid someone on eBay $40 to get one of the first Gmail invitations.

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Mandatory Organ Donation

There are some ethicists who believe all organ donations must be mandatory and the option to opt out of the program should only be granted in limited conditions concerning religious beliefs or impaired mental state of the donor at the time of death.
The assumption upon death should be the organs of the deceased belong to the corpus of humanity and — as a matter of believing in each other — those organs must be recycled to keep the ill alive. 

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Are Students Getting Stupider?

In yesterday’s The New York Times an editorial asked if search engines, and Google in particular, are making students stupider because they acquiesce critical thinking for clicking on search return links and then copying the information they find without providing any sort of analysis:

In December, the National Center for Education Statistics published a report on adult literacy revealing that the number of college graduates able to interpret complex texts proficiently had dropped since 1992 from 40 percent to 31 percent.

I certainly agree high school and college students have no idea how to employ effective Online Research Methods that will result in a properly cited and “thought about” term paper.

When one creates an argument for a term paper, one must not start with the returns of a search result. One starts with a larger question in search of an answer.

Then that answer must be attacked in a methodical cycle of consequences that will shape and form an argument.
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Men and Abortion

The South Dakota abortion ban and the issue of male reproductive fetal rights suggests we may soon be back into the Wire Coat Hanger debate as a nation. Morality is a personal choice that cannot be legislated from the courthouse or controlled from the pulpit. The abortion issue is, has, and shall always be, a force that rips apart families and pits men against women and governments against its citizens and churches against its believers.

When it comes to that kind of irrevocable change I prefer to turn inward for the intimate enlightening experience. About 18 years ago when I was 18, I dated a “good Catholic girl” who had five sisters and four brothers. Her church and family did not believe in birth control. She was sexually curious and active and the old, awful, chestnut that if you wanted to fool around as a horny young man, you only needed to find a sexually repressed Catholic girl and you each would find a pleasurable release together. I was not her first but she was mine.

I wore a condom during penetration but there were other times playing around naked when, we thought, no sort of protection was necessary. We dated for about a year and then broke up. Three months after the split she was back at my doorstep telling me she thought she was pregnant. I had no idea if I was the responsible party or not but her timeline seemed to mesh when we were supposedly exclusively dating — we broke up because of her infidelity — and I asked her if she had taken a pregnancy test.

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Cultural Revulsion

The 2006 midterm elections are our nearest hope for relief from the constrictive conservative religious agenda that is wrenching our freedoms against us and returning us to a time when things were perceived as better and morally old-fashioned.

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