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D.J. and Angela Ross were not supposed to end up together, according to their families.

“Actually my grandma on both sides used to tell me, ‘Boy, you better leave those white girls alone or else we’re going to come find you hanging from a tree,’ ” says D.J., 35, who is black and grew up in southern Virginia.

Angela, 40, who is white and was also raised in Virginia, remembers being warned: “You can have friends with black people, and that’s fine. But don’t ever marry a black man.”

But on Valentine’s Day 2008, Angela tied the knot with D.J. in their home state. More than 50 years ago, their marriage would have broken a Virginia law. Designed to “preserve racial integrity,” it allowed a white person to only marry people who had “no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian” or who fell under what was known as the “Pocahontas Exception” for having “one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American Indian” and “no other non-Caucasic blood.”

In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving were thrown in jail and later banished from Virginia for breaking that law. He was white, and she once described herself as “part negro and part indian.”

After receiving a marriage license in Washington, D.C., the Lovings returned home to Central Point, Va., where weeks later, police burst into their bedroom late one night to arrest them. That ultimately led to a legal battle against Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court almost a decade later.

Interracial Marriages Face Pushback 50 Years After Loving

Photos: Hansi Lo Wang/NPR and Bettman Archive/Getty Images

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1988. In Battle There Is No Law!

is the debut album by band Bolt Thrower.  It was released in June 12 and re-released in 1992, with a different album sleeve. The album was again re-released in 2005 with the old album sleeve restored.

Bolt Thrower were formed in September 1986 as a thrash/punk band, influenced largely by bands such as Slayer, Crass and Discharge. The band was founded by bassist Gavin Ward and guitarist Barry Thomson in a Coventry pub toilet during a hardcore punk gig. Shortly thereafter Andrew Whale and Alan West joined on drums and vocals respectively. In April 1987 the In Battle There Is No Law demo was recorded with this line-up.

Bolt Thrower are widely regarded as a legendary death metal band that incorporated the lyrical theme war to produce some of the genres greatest ever albums and tracks ever to be released and gained a good following due to artwork that was of the influence of the computer game “Warhammer”. In their first album “In Battle There Is No Law” they incorporated the lyrical theme ‘war’ but the style they played in this album is different to their other albums.

This album proves that Bolt Thrower were innovators from the beginning. Their raw beginnings are very interesting, especially in the context of their career.

Karl Willetts    Gavin Ward    Barry Thompson    Andrew Whale    Jo Bench

I don’t disagree that D&D‘s nine-point alignment system has issues, but I think it’s interesting to look at how those issues are a direct consequence of how the framework of alignment has developed over the course of the game’s history.

Folks tend to think of D&D as being based on epic, good-versus-evil fantasy in the mode of J R R Tolkien - which is totally understandable, given that many highly visible elements of the game, like having elves, dwarves and hobbits as playable races, are clearly lifted directly from Lord of the Rings. However, in terms of its actual storytelling conventions, the game owes a much larger debt to swords-and-sorcery fantasy and weird fiction - especially authors like Jack Vance, Robert Howard and Michael Moorcock.

One of the common features of these genres - and of Moorcock in particular - is the notion of an eternal battle between cosmic forces of Order and Chaos. These forces are characterised as vast, inhuman and largely alien to conventional morality. Early versions of D&D followed suit and included not the more familiar nine-point alignment system, but a three-point system: Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic. Though player characters weren’t necessarily expected to take an active role in this cosmic battle, it was assumed that most would be notionally aligned with one of these forces. (Indeed, this is why it’s called “alignment”!)

Trouble is, folks who weren’t familiar with the source material tended to  assume that “Lawful” was a code-word for “good”, and “Chaotic” for “evil”. (Or possibly the other way ‘round, depending on their political bent.) Subsequent versions of the game attempted to clarify the matter by adding the Good/Evil axis to complement the Law/Chaos axis. The idea was to emphasise that the universe didn’t particularly care if you were a good or bad person, as long as you served the appropriate cause. As far as the monstrously inhuman gods were concerned, the most virtuous saint and the most brutal tyrant were morally equivalent, as they were equal in their commitment to cosmic Order. Likewise, a heroic freedom fighter and a cannibalistic serial killer were equally good exemplars of cosmic Chaos.

Of course, that was a really weird perspective, so a lot of players continued to ignore the whole “cosmic battle between Order and Chaos” thing and simply treated “Lawful Good” as “Extra Good”, and similarly, “Chaotic Evil” as “Extra Evil”. Compounding the issue, while later iterations of the game still included the notion of Law and Chaos as cosmic forces, they de-emphasised the battle between Law and Chaos in favour of foregrounding more accessible Good-versus-Evil conflicts, and discarded the notion that player characters would be actively aligned with those cosmic forces - yet they retained the nine-point alignment grid as a legacy feature.

With the nine-point grid still in place, but its original rationale now downplayed or absent, it was necessary to find alternative justifications for it. The Law/Chaos axis gradually shifted from being described in terms of cosmic principles to being described in terms of social conventions: a Lawful character was now merely one who believed in a well-ordered society and was inclined to respect and obey legal authority. This is where awkward questions like “how does a Lawful Good character react to unjust laws?” rear their ugly heads; note that this question wouldn’t even be on the radar in earlier versions of the alignment framework, since human laws don’t necessarily serve the cause of cosmic Order (and may well serve Chaos).

And that’s basically where we are now: the nine-point alignment grid is a semi-successful patch job on a feature designed to give rules-based weight to an aspect of the game’s default/assumed setting that no longer exists, subsequently kept around as a legacy feature. It’s not really surprising that its conceptual basis is full of glitches and weird edge cases - really, it’s kind of amazing that it works at all!

Disabled people can be parents too.

I grew up with 2 disabled moms.

My bio mom was chronically ill, neurodivergent, and an addict. She wasnt a good parent because of these things, and it made my childhood hard. I became her mom for a while. I cleaned up drunken benders, staved off severe panic attacks and psychosis, I collected my mom from the police when they brought her home. I stayed in the hospital through blood clots and transplants. She had a good heart, but it was clouded by how ill she was. When she passed away, it wasnt a surprise, it was inevitable.

My adopted mom is legally blind, If you ask her if this is a disability, she would say absolutely not. She’s always adapted to things very quickly and fought hard to get what she deserved. She uses all the technology she has available to her. Sure i might have had to do things differently sometimes, like point out stuff or read subtitles. But i always knew she was my mom. I asked her if anyone had ever questioned her ability to parent because of her vision, she said no. 

However, its not uncommon for that to happen to disabled parents. They are 3x as likely to have their children taken away by CPS, they are more likely to be deemed unfit, and they are more likely to lose their children in a custody battle. 

Most states do not have laws that prevent discrimination of this nature based on disability. 

I personally know people who have had their children removed for months because they were disabled and therefore unfit parents. 

Disabled people, like my moms, like my friends, and like me, are perfectly capable of raising children. 

Happy mothers day to all disabled moms out there, keep fighting for your right to parent. 

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Bolt Thrower – In Battle There Is No Law

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Bolt Thrower - In Battle There Is No Law

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a darkly comic drama from Academy Award winner Martin McDonagh (In Bruges). After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, Mildred Hayes (Academy Award winner Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson), the town’s revered chief of police. When his second-in-command Officer Dixon (Sam Rockwell), an immature mother’s boy with a penchant for violence, gets involved, the battle between Mildred and Ebbing’s law enforcement is only exacerbated.

Directed by:   Martin McDonagh

Starring:   Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, John Hawkes, Abbie Cornish, Caleb Landry Jones, Zeljko Ivanek, Nick Searcy, Clarke Peters, Lucas Hedges

Release date:   2017

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Check out several of the many indie titles coming to Nintendo Switch in 2017 and 2018!

0:11 - Super Meat Boy Forever Nintendo Switch Trailer

2:26 - Nindies@Night at MoPOP Announcement

3:19 - Shovel Knight King of Cards

4:07 - Mom Hid My Game

4:43 - Golf Story

5:39 - Floor Kids

7:17 - Wulverblade

7:50 - Poly Bridge

8:30 - Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition

10:01 - Earth Atlantis

10:36 - Next Up Hero

11:35 - SteamWorld Dig 2

12:33 - Mulaka

14:06 - Yono and the Celestial Elephants

14:36 - Dragon Marked For Death

15:18 - Battle Chef Brigade

16:05 - Morphies Law

17:31 - Sausage Sports Club

17:58 - Light Fingers

18:26 - Nine Parchments

19:14 - Travis Strikes Again

21:45 - Damon Baker’s Sign Off