The friendliest place on the web for anyone that follows U2.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
I promise we're not all gun-toting lunatics here.

That being said, however, fucking hell, when is this going to stop? What in the world has to happen in order for our country to go, "Hey, you know the whole thing about how not everyone should have a gun? Maybe we should try that once."

I know that, of course. Most Americans I've met have been awesome people, and that goes out to people on this forum, too. It's just the gun culture around the whole country, the power of the NRA, and people being too afraid to do anything even after these mass shootings that terrifies me. It's the fact that they're allowed to happen so much as that they do happen.
^yep, and that played on my mind the entire five weeks I went to the States, even though I didn't even see a gun the entire time. Wish I'd been able to block it out more! I guess that's nearly all we hear about the US here...
I find it interesting that they are keeping so tight lipped about the shooter. Apparently they are holding a news conference today and will reveal his name.

tight lipped?

why not wait a until they get the correct information

often times wrong information gets out. perhaps they are trying to determine if he had any help, where is the urgency? the guy is dead.
deep said:
tight lipped?

why not wait a until they get the correct information

often times wrong information gets out. perhaps they are trying to determine if he had any help, where is the urgency? the guy is dead.

My point is that in today's need it now media we usually have some sort of description, name, speculation, etc at the arrival of the first article. Just think back 2 weeks ago. I found it interesting in a good way that most outlets were practicing restraint in stating anything.
We are in agreement. This need to know immediately has gotten out of hand.
I was channel flipping last night, and I think it was CNN that went wall to wall with it. They got some Sikh spokesperson they kept going to, there was nothing to report. It reminded me of one of those high speed chases that local channels run for two hours and the public just watches like a cat following a light beam on the wall.
JOPLIN, Mo. — A mosque in southwest Missouri burned to the ground early Monday in the second fire to hit the Islamic center in little more than a month, officials said.

Joplin mosque razed in fire; 2nd blaze this summer �| ajc.com


In a better world the local Christian and other religious denominations would band together and rebuild this building out of brick and cement.
^ I'm sure several of them will help out; other local places of worship are usually the first to step forward and offer assistance when something like this happens.

I don't think most Americans have any idea how deeply incidents like both the above unsettle members of ethnoreligious minority communities.
Oh, wonderful, 'cause Joplin hasn't been through nearly enough over the last year or so. Sheesh. That's horrible.

I know that, of course. Most Americans I've met have been awesome people, and that goes out to people on this forum, too. It's just the gun culture around the whole country, the power of the NRA, and people being too afraid to do anything even after these mass shootings that terrifies me. It's the fact that they're allowed to happen so much as that they do happen.

Oh, yeah, I know you know that. I just think it's really sad that that's often the first reaction among so many from other parts of the world when they hear of a shooting here.

What really gets me is, for all our "pro-life"/"think of the children!" attitudes we have in this country, apparently mass shootings that endanger or kill children STILL don't even seem to be enough of a wakeup call for us to change things.

So far there's been debate over whether it's a hate crime or an act of domestic terrorism, this shooting. Which is...unsettling, to say the least.
What the HELL?

By NBC News staff

PRAGUE, Okla. – An Oklahoma high school valedictorian who was denied her diploma because she used the world “hell” in her commencement speech doesn’t plan to apologize for her choice of words, her father says.

David Nootbaar said he is furious that Prague High School is withholding his daughter Kaitlin's diploma because of her use of the word during the graduation speech in May. “She has worked so hard to stay at the top of her class and this is not right,” he said. “She earned that diploma. In four years she has never made a B. She got straight A’s and had a 4.0 the whole way through."

School officials declined to comment. "This matter is confidential and we cannot publicly say anything about it," Prague schools Superintendent Rick Martin said in a statement to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City.

David Nootbaar said his daughter was inspired by the movie “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" when she wrote the speech. “Her quote was, ‘When she first started school she wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian and now that she was getting closer to graduation, people would ask her, what do you want to do and she said ‘How the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times,’” he said.

He said in the written script she gave to the school she wrote “heck,” but in the moment she said “hell” instead.

During the ceremony, Nootbaar said the audience laughed and she finished her speech to warm applause. She didn’t know there was a problem, he said.

But trouble surfaced when she went to school to pick up her graduation certificate last week, her father said.

“We went to the office and asked for the diploma and the principal said ‘Your diploma is right here but you’re not getting it. Close the door we have a problem,'" Nootbaar said.

He said the principal told Kaitlin she would have to write an apology letter before he would release the diploma.

Kaitlin doesn’t plan on writing an apology letter because she doesn’t feel she did anything wrong, her father said. He said her family stands behind her decision.

Kaitlin starts classes at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in a few days on a full scholarship.
There's a thread floating around the archives somewhere about blasphemy laws, but I know there's not that much interest in the issue, so I'll just post the latest story to attract Western media attention here.

New York Times, Aug. 20
ISLAMABAD -- The arrest and imprisonment of a Christian girl accused of violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws stoked a public furor on Monday, renewing international scrutiny of growing intolerance toward minorities in the country. The police jailed the girl, Rimsha Masih, and her mother on Friday after hundreds of Muslim protesters surrounded the police station here where they were being held, demanding that Ms. Masih face charges under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. A local cleric had said Ms. Masih had burned pages of the Noorani Qaida, a religious textbook used to teach the Koran to children. By Monday night, as Pakistani Muslims celebrated the feast of Id al-Fitr, Ms. Masih and her mother were being held in Adiala jail, a grim facility in nearby Rawalpindi, awaiting their fate. Meanwhile, a number of the girl’s Christian neighbors had fled their homes, fearing for their lives, human rights workers said.

Senior government and police officials agreed with Christian leaders that the accusations against Ms. Masih were baseless and predicted that the case would ultimately be dropped. Still, the case has already grabbed global headlines and inspired a hail of Twitter posts, even though several details are in dispute.

Christian, and some Muslim, neighbors said Ms. Masih was 11 years old and had Down syndrome. Senior police officers dismissed those claims; one described her as 16 and “100% mentally fit.” Whatever the truth, experts said Ms. Masih’s plight highlighted a wider problem. “This case exemplifies the absurdity and tragedy of the blasphemy law, which is an instrument of abuse against the most vulnerable in society,” said Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch.
Ever since the governor of Punjab Province, Salmaan Taseer, was gunned down by his own bodyguard in January 2011 for his support of blasphemy reforms, the space for public debate has narrowed in Pakistan. Violent mobs led by clerics have framed the argument, as appears to have happened in Ms. Masih’s case...The Pakistani police often are forced to register blasphemy cases against their wishes, human rights campaigners say, either to save the accused blasphemer or their own officers from attack.

...Even if Ms. Masih avoids blasphemy charges, her family is unlikely to ever return home. Although nobody has been executed under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, even suspected blasphemers are in danger for the rest of their lives. Several have been killed by vigilantes; others have been forced to flee Pakistan.
One could argue that frankly this is the least of Pakistan's problems, and that besides numerous other countries do an even worse job of upholding whatever individual rights their constitutions nominally protect. But I think part of the reason why I find this particular human rights violation so disturbing is how reminiscent the workings of Pakistan's blasphemy laws are of the way rape laws worked in the US South under Jim Crow: ostensibly, those laws existed to protect women, "morals," and "values," but in practice they functioned to reinforce white supremacy and destroy all pretense of equality before the law by providing a no-questions-asked pretext for the imprisonment and/or lynching of black men. If you've ever read a human rights report about "blasphemy" prosecutions in Pakistan, or follow these stories in the South Asian press (they happen, on average, about twice a month), it's blatantly obvious that most of the charges are total fabrications, that local police and courts are either in cahoots with the complainants or have been (quite literally) terrorized into compliance with them, and that the true flashpoint underlying the "blasphemy" charge is almost invariably some conflict over property, money, resource access and/or someone from the designated lower orders of society getting uppity. The present case clearly leans towards the latter category--the Masih ("Messiah," a surname signaling the bearer's Christianity) are broadly synonymous both by descent and continuing occupation with the caste formerly known as chura: sewer and latrine cleaners, street sweepers and scavengers, who remain widely perceived as "filthy" and unfit to share social space with their neighboring "betters," in this case Muslim fellow-slumdwellers who work by day as domestic servants in the homes of the wealthy (quite possibly with an admixture of Taliban from former refugee camps, given the locally notorious neighborhood where this occurred).

The number of prominent Pakistani public figures who've gone on record criticizing this incident does suggest that this girl stands a better-than-average chance of getting charges dropped early, and it seems the international attention her story's received helped significantly with that. I do wish Western governments would be more consistently proactive about applying diplomatic pressure (and offering asylum) concerning Pakistani blasphemy cases in general--as it is, it seems that only cases involving Christians (about 12% of total cases, on average) ever make news here, but the fact is that the great majority of "blasphemy" defendants come from highly vulnerable social groups (by caste, tribe, subsect, combination thereof etc.), whether Muslim or not. Of course, the counter to that is that too much pressure risks feeding perceptions at the other end that "human rights concerns" are just another pretext for Western meddling and intervention, and worse, that local organizations expressing such concerns are therefore traitorous subversives. :slant: In any case, watching the country's continued spiral towards effective mob rule and the steady erosion of the state's ability to assert monopoly on legitimate force in defense of the constitution is terrifying.
I fully agree with you that these "blasphemy" accusations are bullshit coverups. I do think some people in countries where they have much tighter laws on that stuff do actually get genuinely offended by such displays, but yeah, no question that they'll use anything as an excuse to attack people.

I also agree that it's tough regarding support from the West on this issue. Certainly this girl has my support, and I hope everything works out for the best for her. And this reassures me, too:

The number of prominent Pakistani public figures who've gone on record criticizing this incident does suggest that this girl stands a better-than-average chance of getting charges dropped early, and it seems the international attention her story's received helped significantly with that.

That is fantastic. But of course, like you noted, we don't have the greatest track record of involvement in that area of the world, and our biases and lack of proper understanding of that area definitely hurt as well and can make things worse. It's so frustrating, because we should be on board with supporting this girl, and to be fair I think many would agree that she doesn't deserve what she's going through.

I would also like to note as well that the next time I hear religious people in the States complain about being "persecuted" for their beliefs simply because someone dares to suggest our country's laws shouldn't be decided by one specific religion, they should think about stories like this.
I'm not disgusted with this, but definitely find this to be very weird.

Wedding photographers are being invited to an unusual kind of afterparty.
Brides and grooms — who already often obsessively document their first kiss, first cake slice and first dance — are adding yet another first to their wedding photographer’s list: the morning after.
Sexy shoots featuring rumpled beds and steamy showers are a hot new trend within the wedding business. As the seating charts and floral arrangements fade into memory, these intimate photo shoots take place in newlyweds’ bedrooms or even the hotels where they’ve spent their first night as husband and wife.

“As the day progressed, we established this fantastic chemistry with her," said Shamis, who later posted the racy photos on Facebook and intends to someday share them with her kids.
“I wouldn’t show this to them at the age of 10,” Shamis said. “But when they’re older and can understand it. It’s their parents looking artistic … not at all pornography.”

Whoa, talk about TMI! What kid wants to see pics of their parents' wedding night? Every kid's worst nightmare is to see their parents doing anything sexual. Also, I feel there is something narcissistic about this.
why the hell not

if this is where we are going


why not have this picture of where we began :up:


( sorry Pearl, I edited after looking at the article )
Some of these people are already posting the photos on FB.

But yeah, videotaping their wedding night will definitely be next on the list.

But if you want to photograph and film your wedding night, fine. But do it yourself and keep it between you and your spouse - not show your kids and allow a total stranger to do the photography or filming!
Also, I feel there is something narcissistic about this.

Ya think? People seem to be running out of new ways to overshare. They must spend hours thinking them up (not as much time left for sex..hmmm, quandary). Yeah, photos of the actual sex will probably be the next thing, the final frontier. Post them on Facebook too.

What do you do with those photos when the marriage falls apart?

For me personally intimacy like that is just special, well it's supposed to be. And when you overshare it it just loses that. Not just talking about sexual intimacy either. If you spent all that time of the photos and sharing them, etc on the actual intimacy, it would probably be off the charts amazing.
Yes, because we need to have additional pressure on the day.

You must get married!
You must have a perfect wedding!
You must have mind-blowing sex on your wedding night!
You must look fantastic in your morning-after picture!
Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused the Taliban on Monday of beheading 17 villagers, including two women, in volatile Helmand province, in a gruesome attack recalling the dark days of the hardline group's rule before their 2001 overthrow.

The killings, in a district where U.S. Marines have long battled with a resilient Taliban, could be a sign the Islamist group is reasserting itself before the planned pull-out of most NATO combat troops in 2014.

Karzai ordered a full investigation into the "mass killing", which a local official said was punishment meted out to revellers attending a party with music and mixed-sex dancing.

"Such actions show that there are desperate members among the Taliban," Karzai said in a statement.

The Taliban denied involvement in the attack, which Karzai's office said took place in the province's Kajaki district.

Afghanistan: Taliban Insurgents Behead 17 Afghans As Punishment For Attending Party, Dancing

In regards to that "trendy" morning-after wedding shoot, turns out it is not a trend at all.

So the concept of "morning after" shoots is nothing new -- it's the sexy part that is. But Jonné seems to be the only photographer offering this service. So does one person equal a trend? We don't think so.

'Morning After' Photos: Sexy New Wedding Photography Trend?

Should've looked into the article more, but then again the content was shocking. Based on what HuffPo wrote here, it sounds like a press release for this one photographer that the media picked up as actual news. That, or sensationalism has ruined journalism once again. :tsk:
Sixteen-year-old Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas is having a busy year, what with the gold medals and the Corn Flakes box and the interview with Oprah. But while most of the news regarding the bubbly teen is good, some of it remains negative. And in a piece by Buzz Bissinger for the October issue of Vanity Fair, Gabby again opens up about how she was treated while training at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach. Once, she left her clothes by her locker, only to come back and find them gone — she had no shirt wear to leave the locker room, and "other gymnasts started laughing at her." Then there was, as previously discussed, the "she's our slave" comment. But, according to Bissinger:

Even more painful was an incident several years ago at a party where Gabby says an Excalibur staff member told her she might want to consider reconstructive surgery on her nose because of its flatness. Some other gymnasts had teased Gabby about her appearance, and she found the nose comment "very hurtful."

Excalibur President and CEO Gustavo Moure has denied that anyone in the gym was ever "knowingly involved in any type of bullying or racist treatment".
Top Bottom