Category Archives: Opinion

Lying To Our Children: What Are “Bad Words”?

It’s a parent’s responsibility to teach kids right from wrong. Of course, that includes informing them about the evils of using foul language and what “foul language” entails. Children are told that “Hell” and “damn” are only to be used in religious contexts to illustrate the anger of a chosen deity, while uttering the likes of “ass” and “bitch” would garner an instant soap-to-the-mouth experience. But sometimes, parents lie to their children! They lie to them about foul language!

Growing up in the 1990’s, many students were taught that the likes of “butt”, “zit”, “sex”, “foxy”, “swear”, “fart”, etc. were all bad words. Hearing someone utter one of these words caused the entire classroom to gasp in horror like someone had just dropped the f-bomb. If a cartoon character said any of these terms, a sense of adrenaline began rushing through you, as you quickly looked around the room to make sure your mother had not heard the utterance, lest she turn off your television for “watching filth”.

These teachings were to the extent that one time my kindergarten teacher used the phrase “No ifs, ands, or buts”, and several members of my class became upset at this tragic homonym mix-up. A little boy tried arguing with her about it, and when she said, “I said ‘buts’ not ‘butts’!” he argued that now she had said it multiple times and he would be telling his mother. One little girl actually cried that her teacher could be such a bad person.

All over the word “butt”.

You said “butt”! You’re going straight to Hell, mister!!

Similar events occurred in third grade, when one little girl decided to read the opening flap of her textbook–the part that lists the author information, copyright, and publisher–saw the word “sex” (referencing not discriminating based on sex) in the disclaimer, and was instantly upset that her arithmetic book had a bad word in it. Did she know what “sex” meant, whether in regards to biology or to intimate acts? Not in the slightest. She had just been taught that “sex was bad!” That same little girl, months later, accidentally said to her friends “I promise! I swear!” and instantly looked horrified and began praying to God, as she had been told never to swear.

She grew up and became a nun. Not even kidding.

Two decades later–I know, right?!–, many of these “nineties’ kids” are wondering why our parents lied to us. Why did they tell us that these were bad words, when by the fifth grade everyone know what the real bad words were. As my generation begins to have children of our own, many of us are reluctant to pass along these symbolic mistruths to them. We would rather teach them not to say what really constitutes as foul language, rather than nit-picking over other words that are completely fine to say in a PG-rated movie. At the same time, we don’t want our children to be known as “those foul-mouthed kids” for nonchalantly saying “My big sister has a bit zit” on the school bus one morning.

Does anyone even continue this trend, or is this just a baby-boomer faux-pas?

“We still teach the preschoolers in the school I work at that those words are ‘bad’,” admits Jillian Meinze of Louisville, Kentucky. “My reasoning behind it is that when they learn those words and what they mean, they think its funny. So they repeat it and make it into things inappropriate. For example: a little boy the other day was running around my classroom singing, ‘Booty butts, booty butts’ and slapping his butt as he did so.”

“Kids are always going to do and say inappropriate things,” counters Linda White, also of Louisville, Kentucky. “It’s part of being a kid. Take away their ability to be silly and say ‘fart’ at random times, and they’re going to find something else to take its place. That’s no reason to unfairly impact their vocabulary.”

Mommy, she has a bad word on her face!!

It’s the debate between pee and urine all over again.

But is it fair to eliminate certain connotations from our children’s minds just to “protect them” or to save our own faces? What happens when they grow up and realize that those words really aren’t bad words after all? What will they think about the other values we have taught them? Won’t they question those, too?

This is one of those tricky issues that has no concrete answer. No one likes being told how to parent their children, but odd parenting styles can negatively impact a child later on in life.

Weigh in below. Should we eschew telling our children that “butt” and “zit” are bad words?

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Testing The Miracle Pins

Pinterest has leapt on to the social networking scene, and exploded to unpredictable popularity. Along with intricate recipes and DIYs that the average person would struggle for days to complete, Pinterest also boasts a wealth of simple solutions and quick fixes. Often, these quick fixes pertain to health and beauty, or a recipe that involves sticking two premade things together and calling it baking.

The almighty Pinterest, which has become one of the top social media websites throughout the course of 2012.

I was not convinced about the effectiveness of some of these miracle answers. So, I asked a few friends about some things they would like to see done, and put one such solution to the test. The task seemed simple enough. All I needed was a lemon and some honey, and I could instantly have my blackheads erased. According to the description of the task, one simply had to put three to four drops of honey on a halved lemon, and exfoliate the face using the fruit. After letting the mixture sit on your face for five minutes, you rinse with cold water and voila- blackheads gone.

The idea was that the honey would moisturize your face while the citric acid killed the bacteria clogging your pores and bleached the blackheads that had already formed. Going into this activity with an open mind and entertained roommates, I sincerely expected to rinse off the very fragrant goo and see a noticeable difference with my skin. So after five minutes of smelling bitter and sweet, and being the joke of my roommates, I rinsed off the concoction.

The result? Nothing. My skin just burned because of the acid and felt gross because of the honey. My blackheads were no less visible, and if anything, the honey made my pores seemed more clogged in the following days. I repeated the same process a few days later and reached the same conclusion.

Boo. Hiss.

Usually, if something seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. After my bad experience with the lemon, I’m going to be testing these with a bit more skepticism. There are thousands of “solutions” circulating that, if proved to be true, could be beneficial, especially to students when they tend to be described as “powerful and cheap.” You can either take the risk of a little bit of embarrassment and test them for yourself, or use your friends as guinea pigs. Really, it’s a win-win situation. If it works, you’ve found an awesome means of self-improvement. If it doesn’t work, well, you’ve made a memory.

Your 5-Year-Old Has A Smartphone??

These days, it is almost a shock to see someone pull a mobile phone out of their pocket that is not one of the popular smartphones we all know and love—iPhones, Androids, and Blackberries are a common sight. Issues arise when it comes down to young children possessing these smartphones and their equivalents (i.e. iPod Touches, iPads, and Android Tablets). While some adults have no problem handing over the latest in modern technology to the next generation, others are crying foul at the sight of elementary school students owning more than the standard Nokia.

The main purpose for having any sort of mobile phone is for communication. Pay phones have become as scarce as a snowflake during a Louisville winter, meaning that one must have their own means of communication while out of the home. This holds true for both adults and children, and studies have shown that two out of three parents agree their child needs to own a cell phone by the age of thirteen—or when that child begins going on outings without their parents present.

That being said, any mobile phone has the basic talk and text capabilities needed to adequately provide this sort of communication. Why so many smartphones for the youths then? According to a recent survey, 70% of parents who purchased a smartphone for a child under twelve over a standard cell phone admitted to doing so solely to prevent their child from being teased by classmates, similarly to how kids will often make fun of those not wearing name brand clothing items. They are being used more as a fashion accessory for popularity than as a communications tool for safety.

Why? WHY?? I’m asking you WHY?!?!

“It’s crazy,” agrees Spencer Byrnes, a 22-year-old Louisville resident who only got his first smartphone last year. “I work with kids, and for this one little girl’s 7th birthday, her parents got her an iPhone. Another kid asked me why my phone had buttons on it.”

“It angers me to see kindergarteners texting on a Blackberry,” admits Emilia Rodriguez, who did not get a smartphone until she could afford her own bill and contract until age 19. “When I was their age, I had to use Styrofoam cups strung together on a string and pretend it was a landline connection. They have absolutely no use for a smartphone.”

The abundance of smartphones amongst young children may actually be exacerbating the bullying problem found in many schools. With the rise of “cyberbulling” on popular social media websites and web forums, smartphones increase the ease of access to these sites. Theoretically, cyberbulling could become a day-or-night affair if all of those involved have access to smartphones or similar variants.

Some parents argue that smartphones are an acceptable device for elementary and middle school students because they provide children with fun games to play, such as Angry Birds and The Oregon Trail. There are also many educational games to help students with math and science concerns. This, too, has met with opposition.

“The Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP exist for a reason,” argues Mike Nicholson, father of 2 elementary-age sons who do not own smartphones. “It’s true that there are child-friendly games on smartphone networks, but there are sturdier and cheaper devices that provide plenty of both fun and educational games for all ages without the need for contracts and data plans.”

The Nintendo 3DS, providing you with more games for less cost…and without the easy-to-shatter screen!

Many parents have gotten around mobile phones all-together with simpler variations like the LG Migo. The LG Migo features four buttons, each of which is pre-programmed with a phone number. This allows a child to be able to contact four pre-specified people to give parents and guardians a peace-of-mind, while also limiting texting and web use to family and emergency calls only.

In the past five years, smartphones have become commonplace, rather than just a tool for the elite. This shift in the mainstream is only naturally causing a shift in what is acceptable for our youths as well. As such, we are entering an era where parents need to understand the best need for each of their children before handing out iPhones and Androids like they are chocolate chip cookies.

Stoplight Activities

Stoplights are a daily nuisance.

You’re running late for wherever you had to be three minutes ago, only to see the light you’re rapidly approaching turn to yellow. Pressing down on the gas pedal, the light suddenly turns to red, and you screech your tires to a stop right before entering the intersection.

At this point, some people grumble and wait impatiently for the light to turn green once again, glaring at the light box like it’s suddenly going to become scared and change colors just for you. However, many people see stoplights—no matter how inconvenient—as an opportunity to relax or accomplish things that they did not have time to do previously. Oftentimes, people begin to bank on getting stopped at a stoplight in order to accomplish morning activities, and they become frustrated on days where every light remains green on their journey.

“Wheee, a yellow light! Now, I can blow my nose!”

I put on my socks at stoplights. Every morning, I grab a clean pair of socks and stuff them into my pocket before heading out the door. At the first stoplight I come to, I slip my foot out of my shoe, pull on one sock, and wiggle my foot back into my shoe. At the next stoplight, I put on the other sock. It is very frustrating when I arrive at either school or work with only one sock on, although doing so generally means that I am finally on time for something. Luckily, I am not the only one who has learned to take advantage of these mandatory pauses in my daily commute.

Many people like to daydream at stoplights, especially writers and musicians. What better a time to work on a new plot twist or new lyrics for your hit single than while stuck at a stoplight? You’re all alone with nothing else to do. That time might as well be spent for creative purposes.

Other people enjoy making their fellow drivers feel uncomfortable. “I like to stare at the people in the cars next to me!” reports Andy Brill. People-watching is a favorite pastime of many, especially since drivers seem to think they are invisible while in the confines of their car. How many people have you seen doing socially inappropriate behaviors—like picking their nose—while seated in their car? Most statisticians would bet that a high number of people have been caught in the act.

Still, there are some people who aren’t bothered by other drivers staring at them while engaged in any action other than staring straight ahead at the road. “I like to blast songs like ‘I Will Survive’ and sing along to them dramatically with all of the windows down!” admits Bryan Trujillo. “True story. There is a video of it on Facebook!”

Get down with yo’ bad self!

Some are more concerned about mechanical issues while waiting for the light to change. “I try not to stall or burn out when the light turns green,” says Stefan Spaeth. “I drive a stick shift.” Similarly, Nathan Stholer’s manual vehicle plays a crucial role in waiting at stoplights, only he uses his as a boredom-killer rather than as a worry.

“I use the clutch to rock myself back and forth because I am impatient,” Stholer confesses.

The vast majority of people polled enjoy fiddling with their phones at stoplights. Sending text messages, creeping on Facebook and Twitter, checking e-mails, and playing Words With Friends are all fair game to help pass the time. “Why not send texts at stoplights?” laughs Miles Hockman. “The vehicle is stopped, so it’s not illegal. You’re just sitting there anyway.” Most people share Hockman’s sentiment, and I admit that I enjoy Tweeting at stoplights once my socks are firmly on my feet.

Interestingly enough, no one reported simply waiting for the light to change when asked on their individual stoplight behavior, perhaps lending credibility to the belief that adolescents and young adults have the inability to remain bored. Applying make-up, eating, meditating, and taking medication are all common ways to occupy one’s time when waiting at stoplight after stoplight.

The average American spends approximately one year waiting at stoplights over the course of their lifetime. It might as well be spent productively. So long as you are not harming anyone in the vehicles surrounding you—such as by exposing private areas of one’s body, drinking alcoholic beverages, or participating in any other criminal behavior that would get you arrested any other time—make stoplight time your time!

Cutting Board: Duke Nukem Forever!!

*Note, the views expressed in Cutting Board are those of Jason “Fidel” Carter and do not necessarily reflect those of Otaku Antics as a whole nor its associates. Viewer discretion is advised.

What’s it been, 15 years? Duke Nukem Forever is out for play! And what’s the verdict?! Well, to know that, we have to really look at this game, plus the originals, plus the development history. Duke started off as a wise-cracking dickhead from the late 80’s, early 90’s, and like every guy back then (and nowadays, aside from flaming homosexuals) was obsessed with sex, drugs, tobacco, and violence. This was back in a era where every main character could carry a pistol, machine gun, shot gun, rocket launcher, particle beam, freeze ray, shrink gun, mini gun, and so forth.

He’s baaaaaaack!!

Gamers had grown used to not asking questions like “Where do they keep all the guns?”, “Why are there alien pig cops?”, or even “Why can’t I see Duke’s feet?”. In all honesty, Duke paved the way for the wise-cracking heroes we have nowadays, all overly steroided-out, and with regenerative skills that would make Wolverine jealous. I mean, really, when has any soldier in the Middle East gotten shot, and where they normally yell, “MEDIC!” or “UGH!… *death*”, instead hide behind a wall, breathe for a bit, then go right back into the heat of battle? At least Left 4 Dead keeps you using health packs, and the characters make a shoddy attempt to heal you. But, I digress, Duke paved a path a blood, carnage, wise-cracks and one-liners, most from other movies, and an obsession with sex and female titties.

Then, one day, a game called Half-Life was made, then Remedy, suddenly after seeing it, decided that using the Half-Life engine would make for a great second coming for Duke. Then was announced the wonderful Duke Nukem Forever, which seemed like it would Forever be in development. Year after year we waited on the latest news, every now and then getting a trailer, screen shot, or even just hearing Remedy say, “We are still working on it.” After a while, we all lost interest and just kept it around as a joke, the greatest game that would Forever be made. Be honest, that is where Duke should have remained, in limbo.

A few years later, it finally happened: Remedy was shut down for not making any decent progress in the game or any headway. Gamers around the globe were saddened by the news that the King’s next big game was not only never going to be spoken of again, but would never see the light of day. Then Gearbox, a great developer that worked on the Half-Life expansions back in the day, as well as Borderlands, picked up Duke in order to bring the icon back into the gaming spotlight. I was thrilled not only to see Duke’s return on the Next Gen, but also that a decent developer could bring it to life.

Now for the reason you have been reading this: the review. So, I am going to start off by asking one simple question to everyone out there that has been bad mouthing the game, saying horrible things about it, and talking about how awful it is: “WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU EXPECT!?” I mean, really, people, its Duke fucking Nukem. Of course it’s not going to change the history video games, and much hasn’t changed since Duke Nukem 3D. He is a womanizing, alien-killing, monotoned jerk from the 90’s in a shooter! I mean, come on, people!

First off, the game isn’t THAT bad, but don’t get me wrong, it’s far from thrilling. Duke seems to have kept that massive ego to such a point where he now can hide behind a wall to regenerate him self, but he also regenerates his “ego” which doubles as a heath meter. However, despite how awesome his ego is, he is now downgraded to carrying two guns, like ever other game jerk out there. Look, I am all for two guns – makes more strategy, makes things more interesting – but in a game where the level design was clearly made for multiple weapons, WHY DID YOU JUST GIVE HIM TWO GUNS!?!? And why give him just enough ammo to run out!? I mean, really, we are playing Duke Nukem, not Call of Dime-a-dozen shooter! It doesn’t help that load times on the console are insanely long either… which is true.

Then, there is the ending, which Duke in fact says, “What the hell kind of ending was that?” Look, I get it, it’s a joke on the crappy endings video games give us nowadays. THAT’S NO EXCUSE! I swear, Gearbox, I should come to your studio and bitch-slap you for doing that to us! This kind of goes more into the humor, too. The game did, in fact, make me laugh several times, however, every time I did it was due to a pop culture reference or Duke making fun of other games. At one point, they straight ripped of Gears of War and then Halo back-to-back. It had no humor of it’s own, which, really, I’ve made funnier jokes that everyone could laugh about while I was drunk with friends.

However, with all this said and done, I am still okay with this game. So much, in fact, that I am going to keep it. Why? Because it’s Duke Nukem!

I shouldn’t need to say more.

Seriously, people, what did you expect, a new-age Duke with different humor? Even back then, he was riding the pop culture bus and talking about his dick and having sex with girls. I mean, really, get off your high horse and realize that it’s Duke Nukem. It seems like people can’t get into the right frame of mind before playing games like this anymore. If the game isn’t in your face in the first 20 minutes, you shy away, say it’s stupid and move on. However, no one seems to care about innovation when Call of Duty keeps pumping out new games and charging you 60 bucks for the same game with a few new guns and maybe a new toy here and there.

You know, PC did that a long time ago and charged you 20 bucks for the new stuff: it was called EXPANSIONS!!! They were cheaper and had double the content. Is it for everyone? HELL NO! It’s only for a few people, and it is not without flaws at all. It’s a decent game, with an all right campaign, and a decent amount of content. It isn’t dog poop, so shut up, lest I come to your home while you are sleeping, take a frying pan full of boiling crap, and smack you with it!

So, as nicely as I can say it, STOP WHINING!!!

The Sad State Of Parenting

I can’t be the only one who’s noticed how horrible parents have gotten in recent years? I mean, for the love of God, giving a kid a cookie just so they will shut the hell up?! This only proves that we should let people run with scissors just to weed out the dumbasses.

Seriously, this would be the best instance of Darwinism of all time.

When you and I were kids, if we acted out in public screaming and pulling stuff off shelves in the supermarket, we would’ve gotten our asses kicked in a heartbeat. Had we been
screaming at the top of our lungs at a sibling in the middle of a store ,we would’ve gotten our asses run over with the shopping cart!

Don’t get me wrong, I realize how shitty kids have gotten over the past few years; however, the way I see it, it’s not the kids themselves. It’s their parents.

No punishment. No spankings. Nothing. They sit there and try to negotiate with a 4-year-old hoping not to be judged as bad people by those surrounding them. You know what? If you let your little terror run around doing whatever the hell they want, you’re a horrible parent. I’m not sorry. Stop acting so pitiful, pick your kid up, and discipline them in some manner! It’ll be a world of kindness to both those around you and for your future sanity…no lie. It is the children of parents like these that make me want to puke, because these are the little idiots bringing children into this world while still children themselves. Their only focus is on being the “cool parent” whose child will love them.

Speaking of little idiots, I’m sick if seeing obese children walking through the mall holding a cookie! You wonder why they’re overweight? Because you feed them all the time to suppress their tears and don’t make them get off their butts to go outside and play!

You created this. Yes. I’m looking at YOU.

I can honestly say that I hate stupid people. There’s nothing more I want to do than to put parents and children into a rehab program for being nightmares.

I can also say I am scared for the rest of not only my generation but the future generations to come.

These are parts of the reason that I long for the zombie apocalypse.

-lee

P.S. STOP BEING STUPID!!!!

The Trouble With American Politics

As the 2012 Presidential Election draws ever-closer, the chaos between the Democrats and Republicans has reached an all-time high, coming to (possibly) a peak with Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s insensitive comments about rape babies. But while everyone fights and argues over pro-life vs. pro-choice politics, a very simple point seems to be getting avoided in the scuffle.

Richard Mourdock’s October 23rd comments relating to God, rape victims, and the resulting children have put the GOP on the defensive.

 

I’m pretty sure most of this political chaos could be avoided if we all agreed on this point: It’s okay to have opinions, but don’t restrict people’s freedoms by trying to make your opinions into laws.

If you would not get an abortion if you conceived during a rape, more power to you. But don’t force traumatized 11- and 12-year-old girls to give birth to a baby that they don’t want and are not even physically mature enough to carry. Likewise, if a doctor told you that carrying your child full-term would kill you and you wouldn’t abort, then you are a better person than most. But don’t force every woman in that position to get a death sentence just because it’s what you personally believe.

The same goes for all this other nonsense. Don’t like gay marriage? Don’t marry someone of the same sex then. Don’t believe in evolution? Teach your children creationism when they come home every day. Don’t support marijuana legalization? Then don’t smoke it. It’s that easy people. Live your life the way you want to live it, but don’t impede on others’ happiness and beliefs just because of your own superiority complex.

It’s in the constitution and all: there should be a separation of church and state. These government officials have gone through schooling and read enough political scripts to have seen that phrase infinite times. Yet, somehow, it all goes out the window once they open their mouths. Our nation of America is less than 80% Christian, and in that ~80% are many different types of Christians: evangelical, UCC, baptist, and more. So to say, “Well the Bible says it, so it must be a law” is breaking all sorts of ethical reasonings. No two minds are alike, so they really need to stop trying to fit everyone into one tiny, uniform bubble.

This guy marches to the beat of his own drum. Why try to silence him?

It just goes on and on. Don’t support interracial relationships? Then don’t start a romance with someone of a different race. Don’t like the religion of Islam? Then don’t become a Muslim. Don’t believe in giving your hard-earned money to those “evil, unemployed, lazy hobos”? Then don’t donate your money to those charities. Heck, I despise broccoli, but you don’t see me trying to convince people not to eat it (I know that last point seems satirical, but you get the picture).
If only more people would stop to realize this ever-growing fallacy of egotism, maybe elections and the resulting terms would be more productive. We could stop fighting over what God-given rights to give or take from our peers and focus on the things that we should be focusing on. Like how our economy is in the toilet. Or how half of the globe hates us for our ethnocentrism. Or even how we as a people are so gung-ho to help the people in non-Democratic countries “succeed and do better with their lives”, while we turn a blind eye to the starving people in our own country.
Just some food for thought.

FRIENDS…

What can you really say about friends?

They herp and derp a lot, but that’s the reason that we love them. Though we all may get in fights with our friends, at the end of the day we still love each other. Bullshit happens. You laugh when they fall down. But we all still love each other.

No matter what, friends are what make the world go round. Be they close to home or halfway around the world, every friend is important. Though we may lose some, we always pick up more along the way. That way, you have people to make everything better when you need someone to lean on.

Laughing and loving are two of the best things about friends and those things will never change.

Nothing is stronger than the bonds of true friendship.

This article is dedicated to the best friends a chick could have. To Angie, Kasie, Brandon, and everyone else who I love…You guys rock!!!

-love,

Lee

Let’s Make Life Harder For Animal Abusers

On nearly every news station, people are speaking out on almost a daily basis about abuse. Domestic abuse. Child abuse. Citizens all across America are calling for an end to the abuse of one another and stiffer penalties for those violating the policy. Unfortunately, little is ever said about animal abuse.

Animal abusers get their picture plastered on the local news, are forced to pay a fine, receive minimal amounts of jail time, and get to skip away to abuse more animals; meanwhile, human abusers are thrown in jail for years and ostracized from the community at large. Which–don’t get me wrong–they should be. But so should those who choose to abuse animals.

Abuse is abuse no matter the animal (and yes, human beings are a species of animal), and the discrepancy between the penalties for one form of abuse over another have many people ready to abuse the lawmakers determining the penalties for the crimes.

There are many campaigns and organizations out there geared towards ending animal abuse and stiffening penalties for those choosing to do so. Look up your local animal abuse laws and organizations and help fight for the cause!

We live in a world where celebrities like Michael Vick and Tripp Isenhour get a slap on the wrist for their monstrous misdoings. Their careers suffered only a minor hiccup although the lives of various animals they affected were forever lost. Part of the reason for this is that animals are considered “property” in a court of law. Not “life”. “Property”. This alone causes rage in the hearts of animal lovers.

“Animals are of much more value than a chair or a book,” insists Robyn Lamoreux of California, who has doctored a petition to increase the severity of animal abuse laws in her home state. “They are living creatures with a thinking process that allows them to feel emotions. They experience pain, grief, joy, hunger, and a lot of other feelings just as people experience.” This leads many to wonder why there is a difference in penalty when the emotions felt are the same for abuse victims regardless of species.

“Of course there is a difference in laws,” says Sandra Chung. “I’m not saying that I agree with animal abuse by any means, but humans are a much more intelligent species than dogs and cats. Because of that, the penalties range.” When asked why child abuse laws are stiff since toddlers and infants are not at their maximum intelligence, Chung added, “they become more intelligent as they age.”

Marianne Montgomery could not disagree with Chung more. “So essentially if an animal will never reach the intelligence of a normal human being, then we can abuse them and still be socially accepted?” she questions. “If that is the case, then why do we have stiff penalties for the abuse of the mentally handicapped? That logic is flawed, and it’s attitudes like that that are holding Americans back morally.”

Other people feel that part of the problem is that many of the people who seemingly disregard the well-being of animals are the very same individuals invoking the penalties. Keith Shephard, a federal police officer in Maryland, shot a domestic and leashed husky in an Annapolis neighborhood dog park during February 2011. He received a $1000 fine and probation for the act. Scott Fike, a 25-year veteran on the District of Columbia police force, threw a pit bull puppy down a flight of stairs and shot it during a crowded festival in September 2010 because it barked at him. Many people defended Fike because the animal’s breed, saying that the puppy was liable to attack the officer solely because it was a pit bull.

Scott Fike moments before he murdered the dog pictured in the photograph, who went by the name of Parrot. The incident occurred during an Adams Morgan Day celebration in September of 2010.

“I am tired of hearing people say that some dogs are naturally ‘mean’ like pit bulls,” rages Eric Dowdle, who has owned an assortment of dogs throughout his life. “They are wrong! There is no such thing! Meaning even if the dog was showing aggression, there is no justification for this use of force. It is unnecessary!”

Steps are being made to end this unfair treatment towards our furry brethren. According to a recent survey by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 41 percent of Americans are for increasing the severity of animal abuse laws and penalties, especially since 30 percent of those surveyed have witnessed animal abuse first-hand. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is also doing its best to help with its newly endorsed plan titled “Practical Guidance for the Effective Response by Veterinarians to Suspected Animal Cruelty, Abuse, and Neglect.” This guide establishes protocols for veterinarians on how to deal with suspected mistreatment by their patients.

“We’re just trying to acknowledge the concerns and difficulties cases of abuse and neglect present,” says the AVMA. “Getting everyone on the right page is the first step in the right direction to save lives.”

For more information, please visit The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website!

Why Aren’t These Women Wearing Pants??

Many women have experienced the joy of leggings. Available in all colors and designs, leggings are a popular clothing choice, especially during the cooler months. They have a way of making dresses, skirts, and long Tee-shirts seem more professional and miles more appropriate than wearing the item with bare legs alone, and they are generally warmer than tights. Occasionally, however, you see a young woman wearing a Britney Spears-esque crop top with leggings on her lower half. Therein lies the issue that often arises with young women today.

Ladies…leggings are not pants. They are a fashion accessory. If you would not walk around wearing only your tights or stockings, then you should not walk around wearing only leggings.

We write because we care! And we are concerned with the amount of young women unable to properly dress themselves in business environments 😦

While it is true that they attract the attention of fellow women and of the opposite sex, this attention is normally of the negative variety. Leggings often accentuate parts of a woman’s body that is best left in the privacy of herself and her significant other. On top of that, wearing leggings and a simple Tee-shirt together gives off the air of unprofessionalism to on-lookers.

Some girls—who enjoy wearing their leggings on a daily basis—have become hostile with the number of Facebook groups and statuses related to this topic. “There is nothing wrong with liking your body and showing it off,” argues Leah Riley. “Sorry if you don’t exercise and are jealous of women who can pull them off!”

“They are leggings!” counters Betsy Brown. “If they were supposed to be pants, then they would be called ‘pants’!”

“It’s not even about weight!” says Theresa Cantu. “I don’t care how skinny or fat the girl is; it just looks freaking stupid. It looks like you forgot to finish getting dressed. Leggings are only okay with a skirt, a dress, or a blouse that covers your butt. The end.”

As time passes, the misuse of leggings seems to be growing in a frightening direction. The arrival of “nude leggings”—which are sheer and appear to show bare legs from a distance—onto department store shelves are bringing a new meaning to indecent exposure. There have been reported cases from around various college campuses and outlet malls of young women walking around with these nude leggings on sans skirt. The culprits argue that since they are wearing cloth on their legs—regardless of how it is perceived from afar—that they are appropriately dressed.

Part of being a young woman is learning how to have self-respect. Wearing something as provocative as skin-tight fabric that makes you appear nude is no different than wearing a bra with no blouse or walking around with your panties on full display. If layers aren’t your thing, grab a pair of jeans or even yoga pants. You can also wear a skirt of appropriate length to avoid layering up.

…And you thought we were kidding about the whole “nude leggings” thing…

“Leggings don’t make your butt look good,” says Laura Hoffman, who enjoys wearing leggings and tights but only under appropriate circumstances. “Girls who have lots of clothes go to their closet, and out of everything they own that’s what they put on. I just think that a pair of cheap-cloth leggings is not the best means of covering yourself. Guys don’t like it, and no one wants to look at you like that.”

Ty Hardin, as well as many other men, agree with Hoffman’s perspective. “Perhaps on a thin woman, they might not look terrible,” says Hardin, “but that is rarely the case. Your body shouldn’t look like dough wrapped in twine. Cover yourselves!”

Leggings are an amazing fashion accessory…when worn properly. Yes, the 1980’s are trying to make a comeback, but it remains a fact that leggings are not pants. While it is okay to wear leggings and a Tee-shirt during instances like dance practices and in the confines of one’s own home, the consensus shows that wearing leggings in public without proper covering is one fashion faux-pas that needs to end. It is the opposite of classy. Leggings are a thin layer of spandex and cotton, so you might as well have walked out the front door naked.

“I am so sick of all of the people who walk around with their full behind showing, thinking it is okay because they have leggings on,” rages Mohammad Joudeh. “I am here to say that is it not okay, and that you should go get some pants. Please.”

To see if you are wearing pants, use the helpful guide below!

Are YOU wearing pants? Let’s find out!