Category Archives: Opinion Writing

Stay Safe on Facebook

I get Facebook friend requests a lot from people I’m already friends with. The victims of these so-called “hackers” are usually older people. We call them “hackers,” but a lot of them aren’t actually hackers. They don’t take over your profile, they just try to copy what they can see. These jerks often target older people for the same reason as those guys who show up at your door and tell you (to your complete surprise) that you badly need a new roof. They assure you they’ll give you a great deal, but then they disappear with your money. These jerks assume that older people know less about social media than younger people, so they make easier targets. It’s really frustrating.

To understand what they are doing and why, it helps to know a few things about Facebook. Regardless of your privacy settings, your name and profile picture (if you have one) are totally visible to the public. Your profile picture can be easily downloaded from your profile, and then uploaded onto a new profile that one of these jerks created. So now, they have your name, and they have a picture of you. That fact itself is not really a big deal. The problem is that your friends list is probably visible to them, too. After these jerks copy your profile, they send messages to your friends, maybe to ask them for money or to get access to their profiles and personal information. Making sure your friends list is private will protect you and your friends.  The PDF below has step by step instructions.

stay-facebook-safe

Protest

By Karen Petree
I don’t really take part in protests, probably for the same reasons I refuse to do the wave at ball games. I love them though. I love being there as an observer, the way it feels when a huge mass of people come together with a common energy. It’s kind of like a rock concert for those of us fascinated by politics.

Continue reading

In the Shadow of the Confederate Flag

By Karen Petree

The Confederate Flag is an undeniable part of my heritage. It’s one of the six flags that have flown over my home state of Texas, where I sit to write this. It waves over theme parks I visited as a child, and the more well-known battle flag peppers old cemeteries where fallen soldiers rest. Under the shadow of this flag is a part of my heritage I once ignored or overlooked. Under the shadow of this flag I’ve locked my doors at red lights or moved to the other side of the street. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve averted my eyes and feigned an uncomfortable obliviousness to racial euphemisms. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve avoided close relationships with African-Americans, discomforted by the glare of privilege their observable experience mirrored back at my whiteness.

Continue reading

Law Will Let Texas Teachers Use Deadly Force against Students

By Karen Petree

opinion

classroomA newly introduced Texas law would allow teachers to kill their students.

Texas Republican state representative Dan Flynn submitted HB 868, The Teacher Protection Act, to the state legislature on January 22.  “An educator is justified in using force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event in defense of students of the school that employs the educator if, under the circumstances as the educator reasonably believes them to be, the educator would be justified under Section 9.31, 9.32 or 9.33, Penal Code, in using force of deadly force, as applicable, in defense of the educator or students.”

Continue reading