MrFisk's Sift Talk Posts

Top Badge Achievers Should be 20 Deep

  (13 votes)
  (9 votes)
  (5 votes)

A total of 27 votes have been cast on this poll.

Rather than honor 20 Sifters for their dedication, we should acknowledge 40 Sifters.

Because our ranks have swelled, I propose we double the number of Sifters eligible for Top Badge recognition.

Rather than rate the top 20, we'll honor the top 40, and nothing else will change.

Should VideoSift Allow Full-Length Movies?

  (19 votes)
  (14 votes)
  (2 votes)

A total of 35 votes have been cast on this poll.

The current VidoeSift policy is to not allow full-length movies, television shows, etc. But this rule has never been overly enforced. And besides, copyright infringement laws are as unenforceable as the war on drugs. Should we allow members to embed links to full-length movies, television shows, etc.? A recent appellate court ruled that embedded videos aren't copyright infringement. What say the masses?

A New King in the Realm

After the death of King Robert Baratheon, the videosift realm has splintered into chaos. False kings and usurpers abound. And a new King, hailing from beyond the wall (Canada), has been crowned.
They call him geo321, and his legacy of hard-hitting, controversial, and informative videos have left a path of corpses that have fattened many crows. Let's pray his quest to illuminate lies, falsehoods, and idiocy continues.
All hail geo321, the latest crowned member to the sift.

Show some love and upvote his pq:

Unban choggie, blankfist and dft.

  (13 votes)
  (6 votes)
  (16 votes)
  (10 votes)
  (7 votes)

A total of 52 votes have been cast on this poll.

Videosifit is one of the best websites I've ever seen. But sometimes the intimacy amongst us, which is essential to community, unravels. It's the recipe for it's own undoing.
Some of you remember when I was almost banned for some sort of nonsense. I was the new kid in school, and the controversy that followed cost some members to disengage or just abondon interaction. I wholeheartedly believe this extremism is wrong. I'm willing to risk a personal ban to prove a point.
I believe more unique voices add, rather than detract, what makes videosift so awesome. In other words, I believe that convicted felons can still contribute to society. Exile is too extreme of a punishment for members who've contributed so much.
I don't know exactly what blankfist did. I don't really care. He and choggie are both assholes. But I like them. And each one of them has made videosift better--specifically with video submissions, which is the most essential aspect of videosift, in my opinion.
Therefore, I propose we deal with this issue more effectively. It's not going to be smooth or easy. It may not work. But I think we should try for the sake of us all. Perhaps we could limit their interaction video submissions, only? I don't know. But something isn't right. Let the voices be heard. Be warned. Alea iacta est, the die is cast.

Gay Rights Column

Now that the military finally has accepted gays, maybe it's time Nebraskans did, too.

Gay rights pit state and federal authority against moral values and freedom of autonomy.

In the late 1990s, two bills introduced in Nebraska -- one for gay rights, and one against -- were defeated.

Then in 2000, an overwhelming 70 percent of voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution that specified only a man and a woman could marry. Gay rights opponents reportedly outspent their rivals 10-to-1 with a barrage of television, radio, newspaper and direct mail ads.

In 2003, Attorney General Jon Bruning denied a bill meant to allow same-sex couples the right to make funeral arrangements for their deceased loved ones. The opinion was challenged on constitutional grounds. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state, saying the amendment was a simple and rational way to protect "traditional marriage."

But the amendment doesn't protect "traditional marriage" -- it just infringes on the rights of gays.

"Nebraska is one of the most extreme states when it comes to gay discrimination," according to Tyler Richard of the American Civil Liberties Union in Nebraska.

Article I, Section 29 of the Nebraska State Constitution not only bars gay couples from marriage but also employee benefits or inheritance, hospital visitation rights and divorce.

But wouldn't encouraging gay divorce be the ideal way to combat gay marriage?

Not according to District Judge Randall Rehmeier, who earlier this year refused to divorce a lesbian couple in Nebraska City, married in Vermont in 2003, because Nebraska doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. "Although the judge denied the divorce," according to the Nebraska City News-Press, "he did rule on issues of a parenting plan and child support" for the biological daughter of the plaintiff.

But the ruling doesn't benefit gay or lesbian couples seeking to adopt, because the Nebraska Department of Human and Health Services' policy considers them ineligible.

According to the NDHHS' website, "All children deserve to grow up in a good home," and adoptive parents "provide a child with the basic needs: legal status, social status and a family of their own."

Yet, foster children in Nebraska waiting to be adopted outnumber eligible parents waiting to adopt, according to Tyler Richard from the ACLU, in part because gays aren't considered.

Kyle Gibson, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah Department of Anthropology, who specializes in evolutionarily counterintuitive behaviors like adoption, said "gays wishing to adopt receive the same scrutiny and vetting from adoption agencies as everyone else."

"Adoption is usually a long, taxing and expensive process," he said, "and people who adopt are highly motivated to parent."

It's appalling that children in Nebraska -- a fervent anti-abortion state -- languish as wards of the state while good homes are available.

"We are overlooking a great pool of loving, compassionate people who would make great parents," said the Rev. Stephen Griffith, minister to the Community at Saint Paul United Methodist Church.

Nevertheless, anti-gay rights groups disagree. Critics argue homosexuality is unnatural, or that the Bible forbids it. Others simply find homosexuality repugnant.

Most religions have even failed to openly take gays into their fold.

Despite the Rev. Griffith's support of gay rights, he said, "My denomination says we will not conduct same-sex marriage even if it's legal in the state." He did, however, add that there are many clergy advocating rethinking the church's policy toward gay marriage.

It's as if the Ten Commandments (which advise how people ought to behave) are being entangled with the Bill of Rights (which tells how our government ought to treat its citizens).

The Rev. Griffith said marriage licenses are issued by the state, and religious leaders are granted authority to oversee the state's position.

And while marriage is a legal matter between the citizen and the state, many believe marriage is a contract between two people and God.

But the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to privacy, and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment guarantees that national rights outweigh the rights of the state. Nevertheless, Nebraska voters have successfully imposed their values into civic matters.

Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of protecting "traditional marriage" ignore the privacy rights of gays pursuing happiness -- and the actual families they should be protecting.

Read more:

Evidence Piles Up On Failure of Drug War

Dear VideoSift,

I'd like to share a link to a column that I wrote for the Lincoln Journal Star about the failed war on drugs. Please feel free to comment in the forum, mail a letter to the editor, or contact me with any questions.
Thank you for your time,


Last month marked the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon launching the "war on drugs."

Nobody celebrated or reminisced about milestones achieved, victories won or battles fought. Rather, a rising chorus pleaded for an end to the war.

"The global war on drugs has failed," the Global Commission on Drug Policy said last month in a scathing report. The commission comprises such political heavyweights as current and former leaders of five countries, the former United Nations secretary-general and the former chairman of the Federal Reserve. The report urged "fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies" and treating drug addiction as a health issue, rather than a criminal one.

Furthermore, two U.S. government reports condemned the waste of tax dollars on the drug war, according to a Los Angeles Times article. The reports said billions had been misused in no-bid contracts with no oversight of whether the money was well spent.

"The U.S. can't justify its drug war spending," according to reports, which criticized the hiring of U.S. contractors -- paid more than $3 billion in taxpayer money -- during the past five years.

Also last month, poet Javier Sicilia -- who lost his son in the violence plaguing Mexico that has killed nearly 35,000 people -- led a protest through Mexico and into El Paso, Texas. The goal, Sicilia said, was to bring attention to the violence in Mexico and remind Americans of their role in the drug war. He called for an end to the Merida Initiative, a program that's slated to cost taxpayers more than $400 million to train and support South and Central American governments combating drug trafficking.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy advised countries to consider decriminalization and legalization to thwart violence and curb demand.

Opponents argue increased availability leads to higher use. But, as Texas Rep. Ron Paul pointed out during a Republican debate in South Carolina, "How many people here would use heroin if it were legal?" He added, to laughter and applause, "Oh, yeah, I need the government to take care of me."

The Obama administration disagrees and has vowed to trudge along like a battered boxer against the ropes, stalwart in its futility. "Obama administration officials strongly deny that U.S. efforts have failed to reduce drug production or smuggling in Latin America," according to the L.A. Times article.

Yet, according to the global commission's report, the drug war has failed to significantly curb the supply or demand of drugs.

So far, the drug war has led to an exorbitant rise in the number of prisons, prison sentences and prisoners. One in 31 adults in the United States is in jail or prison, on probation or parole, which costs more than $68 billion annually for incarceration alone, according to the commission.

Perhaps the most egregious example of the failure of the drug war is that drugs are in prisons. According to Win Barber, Nebraska Penitentiary public information officer, the combined use of an in-house drug-sniffing dog, daily random searches and random urine analyses have failed to eradicate illegal drug use in prison. (In spite of these measures, 1.77 percent of inmates tested positive last month for drug use.)

If the government can't abolish drug use on the inside, how can it possibly stop it on the outside? Prisons should be used only to house murderers, corporate shysters and violent and sexual offenders.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy says keeping prices artificially high helps keep drugs away from children. In reality, high prices only boost the black market.

According to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the drug war has cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion. Arrests for drug trafficking on Interstate 80 happen almost weekly. Last month, Lincoln resident Nghia Nguyen was sentenced to 10 years in prison for growing marijuana.

While it's unlikely Nebraska will be the first state to decriminalize cocaine or heroin, a petition to have a measure on the ballot to legalize and tax marijuana is circulating. This is a step closer to the policies recommended by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

Rather than continuing to squander money on a failed policy, it's time we demanded reason from our elected officials. Or we can allow them to continue, as Socrates said, to "inflict many more imprisonments, confiscations, deaths, frightening us like children with hobgoblin terrors."

Warren Hale is a news junkie studying journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Read more:

Linkedin Video Sift Group

Video Sift should create a group on the Linkedin website. I think this would, among other things, allow active members to combine their love for the sift with the networking and employment opportunities new media provides.

Crown Jewel Earns Bronze Star

JenniferBurger has earned her bronze star! More than two years ago I encouraged her to start an account here. And now she's earned the power of bronze. Her sifts are clever and often funny. Now congratulate her and upvote every video she posts. And don't skimp out on the things she's already posted either:

Should music videos integrate uniformity in their titles?

  (5 votes)
  (0 votes)
  (12 votes)
  (0 votes)
  (17 votes)

A total of 34 votes have been cast on this poll.

VideoSift has accumulated a lot music videos (check the hip hop channel). I think the titles should have a uniform standard. As is, the titles vary from sifter to sifter--some use a dash between the artist(s) and song title, others use a colon and even a few have quotation marks. Should we have a standard, or not?

I'd like to rewrite the FAQ

Hey, Dag,
I was looking at the FAQ and noticed this passe description:

"VideoSift is an online community and passionate about Web video. Members submit videos from the best video hosts from around the Net to be voted on by other Sifters with only the best being "sifted" up to the front page. VideoSift was started in February 2006. Since then, we have grown to be the best video aggregator on the Web. PC World magazine agrees."

I have a week off between classes and would like to electrify some of your texts. What do you think? Here is an example:

"VideoSift is a unique and growing online community incredibly sincere and passionate about Web videos. Our collection of members are extremely talented, global, and crucial to our continued success. On VideoSift, registered members submit their favorite videos from the ever-expanding World Wide Web with the goal of getting that video "sifted" - i.e., 10 positive votes and a video reaches the front page.
VideoSift premiered in early February 2006. Since then, PC World Magazine agrees that we have evolved into the best video aggregator on the Net".

This is a sample of how I would like to edit the VideoSift FAQ. I'll do it for free, however I plan on including this in my resume of edited works. Dag suggersted that I achieve the majority voice of the community. And so, here we are. Another option, would be to have wikik style on-going description that members could contribute too. My question is, what do you think? Furthermore, I'd enjoy the green light to update our antiquated description.

Should Brief Videos Be Considered Three Minutes or Less In Duration?

  (50 votes)
  (7 votes)
  (2 votes)
  (3 votes)

A total of 62 votes have been cast on this poll.

I propose that the brief tab be expanded to include all three-minutes-or-less-videos.

VideoSift 101: tags

I'd like to know, for myself and others, what are the most effective ways to use tags on VideoSift? Originally, I used capital letters and was precise. Now I use the title and incorporate lower-casing. So, what is the lowdown?

The meager information contained in FAQ follows:
What HTML tags are allowed in comments?
The following HTML tags are allowed in everyone's comments:
a, i, em, b, strong, blockquote, u, br, small, sup, sub, strike, s, ol, ul, li, code, kbd, tt, p
In addition any full URL (beginning with "http://") in comments are automatically converted into a hyperlink and any newlines will be saved.

New Channel: Controversy


–noun, plural -sies.
1. a prolonged public dispute, debate, or contention; disputation concerning a matter of opinion.
2. contention, strife, or argument.

A controversy is a dispute, argument, discussion or debate featuring strong disagreements and opposing, contrary, or sharply contrasting opinions about an idea, subject, group or person. A controversy can range in scope from private disputes between two individuals, such as claims to property, to large-scale disagreements between societies.

The term originates circa 1384 from Latin controversia, as a composite of controversus - "turned in an opposite direction," from contra - "against" - and vertere - to turn, or versus (see verse), hence, "to turn against."

A controversy is always the result of either ignorance (lack of sufficient true information), misinformation, misunderstandings, half-truths, distortions, bias or prejudice, deliberate lies or fabrications (disinformation), opposed underlying motives or purposes (sometimes masked or hidden), or a combination of these factors. - wiki

This is the channel for all things controversial; the more the better.

I am Diamond, hear me Channel

Another channel will be added soon, with my recent ascension in Siftopia's hallway of nerds. My inner demons howl for a *goat channel; all things goat. Also, a *budonkadunk channel would be... great. However, I have been seriously pondering a much needed *law channel. Of course, I clamor for a *crime channel, but I think *law would cover that and more. Your thoughts please.
(Note: All of your ideas will not sway me in the least.)

ZombieGuerilla Gains Gold Star

Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes, raids, etc.) to combat a larger and less mobile formal army. The guerrilla army uses ambush (stealth and surprise) and mobility (draw enemy forces to terrain unsuited to them) in attacking vulnerable targets in enemy territory.
This term means "little war" in Spanish and was created during the Peninsular War. The concept acknowledges a conflict between armed civilians against a powerful nation state army. This tactic was used by the Viet Cong and North Vietnam Army in the Vietnam War. Most factions of the Iraqi Insurgency and groups such as FARC are said to be engaged in some form of Guerrilla warfare. - wiki

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