Google Fights National Security Letters, Civil Rights Commission to Investigate Stand Your Ground Laws, France Bans Smoking E-Cigarettes in Public: P.M. Links

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  • liberté, égalité, fraternité, contrôle
    leonardrodriguez/foter.com

    A federal judge has rejected Google's argument that national security letters demanding the hand over of personal data are illegal, ordering the company to comply with them.

  • The federal government can demand information on certain bulk weapons sales by gun stores in border states, a federal appeals court ruled, approving of a tactic adopted in 2011.
  • The U.S. Civil Rights Commission will investigate whether "Stand Your Ground" laws have a racial bias.
  • NATO will hold a summit in 2014 on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 2014. It's in sight, the alliance's chief says.
  • UN investigators have concluded that while the atrocities committed by the Assad regime have been worse than the ones attributed to rebels, few insurgents are actually interested in freedom or democracy.
  • The Nigerian military says it found a weapons cache in the northern city of Kano and arrested three Lebanese nationals linked to Hezbollah.
  • France is banning the smoking of e-cigarettes in public places.

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  1. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission will investigate whether “Stand Your Ground” laws have a racial bias.

    Irrelevant in the Zimmerman trial but knock yourselves out.

    1. Of *course* there’s a racial bias! Just name one white person killed in a SYG-type incident!

      /sarc

    2. SYG laws are in practice anti-racist, if you think that racial bias is an issue. All states allow self-defense as a defense in some form. If racial bias is a problem, then police, prosecutors, judges, and juries will be more likely to let off well-off whites (or whoever you think is advantaged) than the discriminated against, given equal circumstances. (And more likely to let them off when defending against blacks, etc.)

      SYG laws provide an absolute defense. In fact, many prosecutors and sheriffs hate them because the laws prevent them from just arresting and charging whoever survives after gang members fight it out.

      Same reason why if you think that institutional bias is an issue, you might support “shall issue” gun permits, or support speed cameras over cops pulling people over with radar detectors, etc.

      1. Shh, don’t use logic!

      2. Ossian Sweet anybody?

      3. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission will investigate whether “Stand Your Ground” laws have racial bias.

        Are they investigating the racial bias in drug laws? Or are they down with that bias?

    3. “We’re going to take our own cut at it, go down, dig through records at the district attorney, police level and other things, and start going through … to see whether or not, as some people suspect, that there is bias in the assertion or the denial of Stand Your Ground, depending on the race of the victim or the race of the person asserting the defense,” [Democratic Commissioner Michael Yaki] said.

      This is why silver-tongue Mike pulls down the big bucks.

      1. Hey, I wonder if they’ll do this for all the other laws too. I bet, sad as it is, that a black man accused of murder is more likely to be convicted than a white man accused of murder. Clearly laws against murder are racist (if not in principle, in application), and should therefore be banned. We’ll never work past our sorry history of race relations until we legalize murder and explain to everyone it was necessary because of civil rights and equality.

  2. Respect her authority, you horrible microagressors!

    This is textbook intersectionality. Given my age, race, gender/sex and location I find myself in a conundrum when it happens, wondering if, for example, this assumed informality is based on me being not much older than my students, or because I am one of the “cool” professors. Or is it because I am a (black) woman who is not much older than my students and “cool as hell”? I can’t dissect the reasoning and I can’t help but think about how black women have historically been seen as not worthy of particular social etiquette or respect simply because they were black (for example, back in the day while white women were referred to as m’am, black women were called by their first names by white children, even if they were elders?it was a social allowance to reinforce, perpetually, that black women were given no more respect or regard than a child). I think about these things, and wonder if/when I am called “Robin” instead of “Dr. B(oylorn),” if it is a slight, a mistake, or simply a cultural/social miscue.

    There are politics in naming, and as a black woman with a Ph.D. (which is no small feat) who juggles racial microaggressions and various forms of slight and disrespect every single day of my life, I don’t want to wonder what is meant when informality is assumed.

    1. as a black woman with a Ph.D. (which is no small feat)

      What? What kind of fucking rube thinks a PhD is impressive?

      1. Ph.D. in Communication Studies, 2009, University of South Florida.
        ?M.A. in Speech Communication, 2003, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

        GAZE AT HER CREDENTIALS YOU RACIST!

        1. Well, there are hard PhDs. Then there are the many bullshit PhDs. I deem these degrees. . .bullshit.

          I went to law school with a black guy who was insanely oversensitive about race (nice guy, otherwise, so I’m not saying anything beyond this point). His mother was a judge, and his dad was a neurosurgeon or something like that. Yeah, he knew want and oppression.

          1. I have several friends from college who are damned brilliant and have PHDs and can’t get a sniff at a tenured faculty position and are working one post doc after another. Every time I see some black woman or man tell the world how hard they have it as a tenured faculty member despite being self admitted bad students, I want to vomit.

          2. Ph.D. in Communication Studies

            Why, I’ll wager she knows Shannon’s “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” forward and backward.

            1. I don’t know, but I’ll bet if you apply Shannon’s theories to that writing you’ll get a total information content of zero bits.

              1. No, I think one bit. You could reasonably model her as a binary digit indicating whether she’s indignant or not.

                1. Why not just assume that state is zero and only send a bit if she isn’t?

            2. Why, I’ll wager she knows Shannon’s “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” forward and backward.

              Well she seems to have a grasp on the noise part anyway

              1. I was curious so I looked up her dissertation.
                http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/1869/

                Southern black women: Their lived realities
                Focusing on the lived experiences of ten rural black women in a familial community in central North Carolina, this project documents the mundane and extraordinary events of their lives and how they create meaningful lives through storytelling. Theoretically grounded in black feminist thought, intersectionality theory and muted group theory the investigation calls for the use of storytelling and poetry to understand how rural black women experience, live, and communicate their lives. Merging the experiences of participants with the researcher, the study also considers the ethical implications of being an insider-outsider and offers suggestions for engaging in creative scholarship. The author uses a combination of various qualitative methods, including ethnography, participant observation, interactive interviewing and autoethnography, to better understand her experiences as a rural black woman. The author combines archival research about the community, personal reflections, field notes and interview transcripts, translating the data into stories about rural black women’s lives. The study shows how the stories rural black women share, the secrets they hold, and the activities of their daily lives offer a window for understanding concrete lived experiences as communication experiences.

                1. Keywords
                  African American communication, Storytelling, Autoethnography, Poetry, Rural communities

                  THE FUCK? Having done ethnographic research I can say, you don’t get to do a dissertation by writing about yourself! That is unless you injected yourself with mutagenic fly DNA and are recording the results.

                  1. It’s a definite sign of the decline in academic standards, isn’t it? What superbly useless nonsense.

                2. Well, she fails for not using the key terms “hermeneutics,” “transformative,” “deconstruct,” and, above all, “hegemony.”

                  However, I do commend her use of the term, “autoethnography.” That’s just lovely. For those who don’t know, “Autoethnography is ‘an autobiographical genre of writing that displays multiple layers of consciousness, connecting the personal to the cultural.'” I’m not clear on this, but I think it’s a form of ethnic masturbation.

                  1. I googled “ethnic masturbation” and did not get PhD-quality results.

                  2. Here’s the thing: I would be very interested to read a thoughtful, well-written, non-trite “autoethnography” or, as I like to call them, memoir.

                    Just don’t try to pass that shit off as scholarship!

                    It’s like trying to pass your symphony try-out by putting on a CD.

                3. Sounds like a Tyler Perry movie.

                4. It must be remembered that in [Robin]’s mind hardly one rag of noble thought, either Christian or Pagan, had a secure lodging. [Her] education had been neither scientific nor classical — merely “Modern”. The severities both of abstraction and of high human tradition had passed [her] by: and [s]he had neither peasant shrewdness nor aristocratic honour to help [her]. [She] was a [wo]man of straw, a glib examinee in subjects that require no exact knowledge…

                  — That Hideous Strength
                  C. S. Lewis

                  1. Reminds me of a passage from James Stockdale’s The World of Epictetus.

                  2. The first was the redneck Marine sergeant from Tennessee who had an eighth- grade education. He would get in that interrogation room and they would say that the Spanish-American War was started by the bomb within the Maine, which might be true, and he would answer, “B.S.” They would show him something about racial unrest in Detroit. “B.S.” There was no way they could get to him; his mind was made up. He was a straight guy, red, white, and blue, and everything else was B.S.! He didn’t give it a second thought. Not much of a historian, perhaps, but a good security risk.
                    In the next category were the sophisticates. They were the fellows who could be told these same things about the horrors of American history and our social problems, but had heard it all before, knew both sides of every story, and thought we were on the right track. They weren’t ashamed that we had robber barons at a certain time in our history; they were aware of the skeletons in most civilizations’ closets. They could not be emotionally involved and so they were good security risks.
                    The ones who were in trouble were the high school graduates who had enough sense to pick up the innuendo, and yet not enough education to accommodate it properly. Not many of them fell, but most of the men that got entangled started from that background. The psychologist’s point is possibly oversimplistic, but I think his message has some validity. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

                  3. Clearly CS Lewis was sexist.

        2. I’d say those degrees are worth about 2 years of engineering school. So no, don’t get upset when the kiddies don’t call you professor.

          1. It’s not that there are no hard PhD programs in the liberal arts, but few are these days in comparison to more mathematically intense/technical degrees.

            It shows how effed up academia has become. At some schools, in some times, a philosophy PhD could be frigging impossible. Now, of course, it’s increasingly dominated by bullshit of the highest order.

            1. Not all humanities are that easy, but communications is about as easy as it gets. That’s the shit they put troglodyte athletes in so that they can get a miracle C.

              And I’d never argue that a philosophy phd is an easy thing to get.

              1. Classics or religion are pretty hard. Anything that involves mastering a dead language is difficult. I would take learning linear algebra over ancient Greek or Sanskrit any day.

                1. Ancient Greek of Sanskrit? Those, at least, are Indo-European languages. Try something hard, like Etruscan.

                2. Linear algebra isn’t that hard, you just can’t bullshit your way through it. That’s the thing about science and math, there’s no way to convince a lazy professor that you know it without doing the work. Humanities aren’t any easier, it’s just that for a professor to figure out if you know the material takes a lot more work. Most assignments will get a B for being turned in and having the correct number of pages and typeset, and A just takes being a bit better than all the B’s.

                  If you take a math test and don’t know what you’re doing another student with a B would be able to tell that you’re lost, let alone a TA or professor.

                  1. Languages are the same way GBN. You can’t bullshit your way through translating a Platonic dialog. You either understand the language or you don’t. There is no way to finesse that. In that sense, language is like math and science.

                    1. You can’t bullshit your way through translating a Platonic dialog.

                      Heh. You should have seen me in my undergrad days…..

                    2. I definitely made some shit up translating Greek. Standards for classics are definitely not what they were 100 years ago. I did end up being able to read Plato and Sophocles and easy stuff like that in 2 years, but when you look at what people used to do in secondary school, I feel kind of ashamed that I got the grades I did.

                    3. I’m pretty sure that my Euthyphro translation is more-or-less indistinguishable from some of the less bourgeois scenes from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

                    4. I dunno. In undergrad I got A’s in Japanese and Mandarin but don’t feel that I had nearly the same level of understanding of the material as the engineering courses I made A’s in.

              2. Some PhDs that sound easy can be a bear, too, depending on where you get them. Though I think we can all sneer at PhDs in education. In fact, let’s all pause a moment to do so.

                1. Though I think we can all sneer at PhDs in education. In fact, let’s all pause a moment to do so.

                  You sneer all you like, because there is no such thing. One gets a Ed.D, you unread yokel!

                  1. This is inaccurate. For instance, there are PhDs in Art Education.

                    1. “Art Education,” “Music Education” and the like are not “Education”. The former are how to teach a particular subject, the latter studies pedagogy and education/schooling as an institution…well, it should, but most colleges of Education are more content to be mere indoctrination centers.

                    2. I find your explanation lacking any compelling reason for me to recant or recast my previous statement.

                    3. You would Sneery McSneerberg.

                      Besides, Ph.Ds in Education are nothing more than a libertarian-Kochtopus-racist plot, assuming that Education, as a discpline, is not deserving of its own doctorate, eventhough the Ed.D was granted first.

                    4. Sweet Jesus: “To improve the ability to analyze current social, economic, political, and ethical issues and concerns in their relationship to various educational and community situations and activities.”

                      WTF? I thought education was about learnin’ the younguns.

                    5. Well, pedagogy is, yes; but education policy is another large component of Education as a discipline.

                    6. It shouldn’t fucking be.

                    7. Why not? Pedagogy and educational policy are intertwined. The best arguments for policy reforms, like school choice, curricular standards, etc. are grounded in the data gleaned from pedagogical research. Likewise, pedagogical methodology is shaped by educational policy decisions made by school administrators, school boards, and other politicians.

                    8. You joke but The Eeevil Waltons with their “Always Low Prices” and “Poor people can shop here” have their own Department of Education Reform

                    9. Would it be wrong to sneer at them without pausing a moment, PL?

                    10. No, you can sneer all the way through.

      2. Or that being a black woman makes it harder to get one. Seriously, it is bad enough that these people benefit from affirmative action. But could they at least stop pretending that things were harder for them? Yeah lady, I am quite sure some Korean dude with a 900 SAT and a bottom 25% GRE score would have been well on his way to a PHD and tenured faculty position.

        1. Who are you calling “these people” ?

          /Tropic Thunder

      3. Jesus, Warty, are you a black woman? I didn’t think so. Now shut up.

        1. Parts of him are black female.

          1. I don’t think having a necrotic vagina counts as being a “black female”

            1. necrotic vagina

              Nice band name.

              1. it’s more of an album title, no?

          2. No, no, no, ProL; he has parts of black females. (And white, Asian, Inuit: he’s not choosy.)

            Big difference.

    2. Oh this is an easy one – when you started the school year you were too familiar and friendly with your students. This gave them the idea that they could be informal in their interactions with you (I know strange huh).

      If you want the “respect” you feel is due to your position at the head of the classroom then you’re going to need to keep that whole formal “I’m the teacher and you’re the student” social dynamic going. You don’t address your students familiarly and not expect them to reciprocate yah daft bint.

      1. Oh, and if you ain’t got an MD after your name then you really don’t get to expect anyone except the students *actually in your class* to call you doctor.

        Nobody calls the priest with a doctorate of divinity, doctor. Nobody calls a guy with an engineering doctorate or a law doctorate, doctor, except in a formal educational setting.

        And if you want that then *you* have to set that example.

        1. Nobody calls the priest with a doctorate of divinity, doctor.

          Dr. Martin Luther King was a gynecologist, of course.

          1. I am old enough to know that when MLK was still alive, they didn’t call him doctor, just reverend. The Doctor thing came later.

            1. I see.

            2. Reverend Doctor?

              1. You do see that sometimes.

        2. I’ve been called “Doctor” a few times back when I was an academic, but only in letters written to me. It’s highly unusual in my profession, but some academics will give you your due for having a terminal degree. Especially a terminal degree where terminal has the life-ending meaning as well.

        3. Oh this is an easy one – when you started the school year you were too familiar and friendly with your students. This gave them the idea that they could be informal in their interactions with you (I know strange huh).

          HEY. Just because she has a PhD in communication doesn’t mean you can expect her to BWAHAHAHHA

      2. One of my favorite law school professors was a total tyrant and treated us like barely literate savages. Which we were, but that’s another issue.

      3. And it’s not as if there are not lots of professors who are fine with being familiar like that with students. Even white men! It’s not as if it’s something that only happens with black women.

    3. What the hell is intersectionality?

      1. It’s a euphemism for coitus.

        1. I was talking about my rug.

          1. It really brings the room together.

      2. Intersectionality is folding race, class, etc. issues into feminism, theoretically because the patriarchy is just a manifestation of a fundamentally oppressive society (or vice versa). Practically, though, it’s because second-wave feminists were criticize for all being white and relatively well-off.

        I hate myself for knowing that.

        1. I hate you for knowing that.

      3. It’s bullshit. You might as well learn about how to distinguish different species of Thetan or read a history on the changing theories on transubstantiation.

    4. There are politics in naming, and as a black woman with a Ph.D. (which is no small feat) who juggles racial microaggressions and various forms of slight and disrespect every single day of my life, I don’t want to wonder what is meant when informality is assumed.

      Choose to not give a shit whether other people are respecting you or not, and ta-da! You no longer have the burden of wonder.

      1. Wondering isn’t a burden. It’s a bludgeon. See how she’s swinging it?

      2. And just because someone uses a title to address you doesn’t mean they respect you.

      3. I’m a little late to the party, but is she earnestly suggesting that her students might be closeted bigots or simply unintentional racists?

        Either way, there’s a word for this sort of foil-hat conspiracy theorizing.

    5. “I think about these things”

      And there’s your problem, honey.

    6. If you’re running a classroom and someone says “Hey jesse,” you say “That’s Mr. in.mb to you.” and keep going. Students respond to what the expectations of a classroom are. If you let them get away with informality they will be informal.

      1. Yeah, if you’re gonna be the teacher that has everybody get in a circle to discuss things, and you drop swear words and pop culture references, then, sure, you’re gonna be addressed as one of the gang.

        1. I find it pathetic that she believes she is considered cool because she is black, when in truth, she doesn’t seem the least bit cool to me. Cold, definitely, but not cool.

      2. If they call you “Mr. Beach” you can pretend to hear it wrong and hammer them for being homophobic.

      3. If they call you “Mr. Beach” you can pretend to hear it wrong and hammer them for being homophobic.

    7. There are politics in naming, and as a black woman with a Ph.D. (which is no small feat) who juggles racial microaggressions and various forms of slight and disrespect every single day of my life, I don’t want to wonder what is meant when informality is assumed.

      So, basically this woman is bemoaning the fact that she doesn’t possess telepathy.

      1. This. Why do we assume that any instance of linguistic ambiguity implies authentic aggression? It’s ghoulish, alienating, disingenuous thinking, and more likely to foster genuine mutual antipathy than a blanket presumption of good faith.

      2. Anyone who doesn’t suffer regularly from various forms of slight and micro aggressions is not human. Maybe a puppy dog.

    8. I think about these things, and wonder if/when I am called “Robin” instead of “Dr. B(oylorn),” if it is a slight, a mistake, or simply a cultural/social miscue.

      Um…I have an idea…if/when that happens, hows about you grow a sac and correct the behavior on the spot and not worry why they did it?

      Just a thought.

    9. The fact that she’s reading textbooks that talk about “intersectionality” is part of the problem.

      I will, however, be careful of engaging in any microagressions, and be avoid informality when I say “shut your twat hole Doctor.”

    10. People that demand to be called “professor” or “Dr. …” need to take the stick out of their ass.

      1. Hey, some people didn’t go through 4 years of evil medical school to be called “mister.”

        1. You went through four years of medical school to learn a skill. If you thought you gained reality warping prestige in the process, you truly are a quack.

      2. This guy has a stick in his ass??

      3. You know who else demanded to be called Doctor?

        1. That time traveling poof?

          1. Well he is a German so you are close.

            1. Link was supposed to start you at 0:26.

    11. The saddest thing about that whole essay is that in the penultimate paragraph, she has a moment of lucidity:

      In terms of professional etiquette I believe that students should always be formal with their professors (those they work with and those they don’t know, both in person and in digital communications) unless and/or until they are given permission not to be. Being informal without permission can be interpreted as disrespectful, presumptuous and unprofessional (when coming from a student), especially for faculty who are sometimes so easily dismissed as an authority figure.

    12. “…as a black woman with a Ph.D. (which is no small feat)…”

      Good Lord, I think she just microaggressed herself!

  3. Higher education reform is just another plot to keep the black woman down!

    I was not a stellar student.

    So, when debates about the rigidity of traditional higher education are had I sympathize a great deal with the message. But there is something about the messenger that complicates the whole thing for me.

    And I had to ask myself, again, why is that?

    My enthusiasm for change is tempered by the reality of those who are doing the changing.

    Why are so many of them white?

    More specifically, why are so many privileged, white, upper middle class children born to wealth, access, and all of the goodies that buys you so hellbent on disrupting a system from which they disproportionately benefit?

    Why can’t I bring myself to trust that this homogenous group of disruptors isn’t thinking of me when they go about the business of disrupting?

    All of the personal enthusiasm I feel for solutions that would mesh so well with my preferred learning style and anti-authoritarian disposition is significantly tampered by the reality of my shared group position.

    No way around this: I am black.

    1. As I have argued before, the first step in all this disruption is the transfer of credentialing authority from institutions to individuals. Again, I chafe under authority. I dream of burning bureacracies to the ground. The individual me is thrilled by the promise of controlling my own data, shaping my curricula, designing my own intellectual tradition, rising and falling in the choppy waters of labor market competition based on merit and grit. I mean, that would be nothing short of the gotdamn American Dream. And I am an American, after all. How could I not want that?

      But the other me, that dual inner self so beautifully captured by WEB DuBois, that side of me can never forget what many who have never engaged systemic, institutional marginalization do not always realize: that this is no meritocracy. Some people are lucky and some people are more lucky than others. And those that are the most often lucky tend to have a lot in common with each other. In the American Dream I am an individual. In the American market I am my group.

      1. Hey, anti-credentialism is pretty libertarian. Wonder if she realizes that.

        1. Yeah, though I dunno how you can transfer “credentialing authority from institutions to individuals”. What’s the point of a credential without institutional backing?

          1. Great comment. I hereby grant you a Masters of Commentariat.

      2. So she really believes that no-one can be successful except by following the orders of these institutions.

        That no-one has ever successfully struck out on their own and succeeded beyond the expectations of society, even despite the interference of society, and that the only way up is through credentialing?

      3. But the other me, that dual inner self so beautifully captured by WEB DuBois

        IOW, a schizophrenic.

    2. It must really suck to be so thoroughly immersed in group think that you can no longer tell if your insecurities are really your own.

    3. She was “not a stellar student” yet still was given a PHD and a career in academics. If being a bad student isn’t an entry barrier to a career in academics, are there any entry barriers?

    4. More specifically, why are so many privileged, white, upper middle class children born to wealth, access, and all of the goodies that buys you so hellbent on disrupting a system from which they disproportionately benefit?

      Isn’t this exactly what people are supposed to want to do after they have properly checked their privilege?

      1. Makes you think maybe white upper middle class kids are not benefiting from the system. Maybe rich kids and minority upper middle class kids are the ones who are getting over. Just a thought.

    5. Education disruptors? Is that some sort of Romulan weapon?

  4. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission will investigate whether “Stand Your Ground” laws have a racial bias.

    They do, but in the way DAs prosecute not in the nature of the law itself.

    1. DISPARATE IMPACT!!!!!

      1. Starring Morgan Freeman and Tea Leoni. Inferior flick to Profilageddon, though.

        1. I cried when Tea died, because it was the end of the movie and not sooner.

          1. I thought John C. McGinley shined as the harried police commander.

    2. “Institutionalised Racism” – it doesn’t matter if anyone deliberately discriminated, it only matters if your action have a worse impact on a minority than a white.

  5. UN investigators have concluded that while the atrocities committed by the Assad regime have been worse than the ones attributed to rebels, few insurgents are actually interested in freedom or democracy.

    This obviously means we’re going to have to install a third option to rule Syria.

    1. Well if it isn’t going to be Shia Dictator or Sunni Rebels, can it be a Sufi Absolute Monarch?

      1. It’ll be a Shia Lebeof splinter faction.

        1. Imam Optimus Prime?

    2. We could just nuke them from orbit then let God, Allah, or whoever else wanted to get involved work out who the good and bad guys were

    3. It’s a sad day when insurgents are too dumb to tell the UN they want freedom and democracy. Don’t they realize that all they have to do is say you want it, that it’s the big item you’re striving for and will implement as soon as possible? It’s not like the UN will kick you out after your revolution if you don’t actually have freedom and democracy.

      1. I think you mean freedom OR democracy. You can’t have both, unless the majority of your voting citizens are libertarians.

  6. France is banning the smoking of e-cigarettes in public places.

    Not sexy enough.

  7. The federal government can demand information on certain bulk weapons sales by gun stores in border states…

    Can Congress demand that information from the Department of Justice?

    1. Yes. But whether they cough it up or not is another matter. Separation of powers.

      Now, once congress passes a law mandating that this info be made public, or turned over to congress…

      1. You know, this “separation of powers” thing seems an awful lot like “insider trading”.

    2. Sure, Eric Holder will produce the report, following his thorough investigation.

    3. The fun part is that you have to read deep into the article to find out that “bulk weapons sales” = two (2) rifles within 5 business days.

  8. “France is banning the smoking of e-cigarettes in public places.”

    do they allow regular cigs? If so that’s is pretty stupid, even if they don’t it seems like a questionable law. At least it’s only in public places.

    1. They find e-cigs to effete.

      1. s/to/too. Fucking o dodged out on me.

  9. Caught this while walking through one of our clinic waiting rooms today today. Looks like Chris Christie is getting the love he was obviously angling for with the Obama ass kissing. He’s going to LOVE the positive attention.

  10. http://www.timesdaily.com/news…..f1ff4.html

    This is a story about a CON board fiasco in my home region of Alabama.

    Revealing quote:

    Helen Keller officials contend the hospital planned by RegionalCare is larger than what is needed and larger than what is allowed by the Alabama State Health Plan.

    They argued that a 300-bed hospital would have a large detrimental impact on Sheffield-based Helen Keller Hospital…

    …Helen Keller CEO Doug Arnold said while it is difficult to wait for the ruling, the decision is not one that should be rushed.

    “We are all anxious to move on to focus just on taking care of our patients,” Arnold said Thursday night. “However, this is a very important opinion for the future of Helen Keller Hospital and is therefore worth careful consideration.”

    It’s strange because there’s absolutely no pretension of the CON being anything other than a rent-seeking body designed to benefit the established regional hospitals. They’re straight up admitting to their selfish motivations, and yet the CON is still allowed to exist.

    1. Since when has that ever stopped anything?

      1. No. But I’m more than a little disappointed that this story hasn’t led to a tar-and-feathering of the CON board.

    2. And yet people think we have a free market health care system.

    3. Ah, you too are discovering that healthcare in this country is a complete, deregulated capitalist wild-west free-for-all.

      1. Replace the warring families in A Fistful of Dollars with warring hospitals.

  11. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission will investigate whether “Stand Your Ground” laws have a racial bias.

    I can hardly wait to hear their conclusions.

    1. Well, it can’t be that America is racist, because we’re post-racism. I know, I read that multiple times about electing Obama.

    2. Isn’t that assuming that black people are more likely to be aggressors and criminals?

      1. More likely that their conclusion, regardless of the data, will be “It’s all whitey’s fault.”

      2. Well, the stated reason is that judges or juries will apply the law in a racist fashion. Which they will, but you can probably argue the same for lots of laws.

        The real motivation isn’t related to race at all, it’s just another angle the neofeudalist nobles are using to effect the disarmament of the serfs to more safely loot them.

  12. 8 adults arrested for brawl at Cleveland kindergarten graduation ceremony.

    Police were called when one participant pulled out a pipe and another a hammer.

    You know your city is poor when those are the only weapons you can afford.

    1. Gun control works!

    2. Michael R. White Elementary School

      In the abject ghetto, and named after the crooked ex-mayor who left office because his enemies were threatening to expose him and now runs a hobby alpaca farm in Tuscarawas County that he bought with the money he stole.

      1. In the abject ghetto, and named after the crooked ex-mayor

        Yup, that’s pretty much the biggest shithole in this shithole and named after a shithead. East Cleveland is so bad the fire stations have bullet proof bay doors.

    3. Every country has a city they make fun of. In America, they make fun of Cleveland. In Soviet Russia, we make fun of Cleveland.

      1. In glorious Soviet Union, Cleveland makes fun of you.

  13. So I just finished reading “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek. The explanation of the differences between individualist and collectivist moralities was fantastic. Anyway, does anyone have suggestions for some good classical liberal or libertarian reads?

    1. Why I Am Not A Conservative also by Hayek.

      His work is a big influence on us liberals.

      1. Having just read something by a real liberal, I don’t think you have a right to that word.

        1. Fuck you. Conservatives trash the word and I wear it proudly and always have.

          1. Not as much as liberals trash the word.

          2. You are fucking illiterate fascist twit. You couldn’t get through a single page of Hayak.

            1. He made it through the title and decided he got the gist of it.

          3. SHUT.THE. FUCK. UP. YOU. USELESS. CUNT.

          4. I smell urine. Oh, wait, it’s Shreeeeek’s pants.

        2. Careful. If you talk to it, it might think it’s people.

          1. The fact that people keep talking the Shriek is why this place reeks of urine.

      2. The Autobiography of Frederick Douglas

      3. And somehow in your mind that morphs to supporting a gargantuan regulatory police state.

      4. Or Hayek’s best work, The Constitution of Liberty.

    2. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

    3. Thomas Brookside, The Last Days of Jericho

    4. I have enjoyed reading economic sophisms by bastiat, although I’m more liberal than libertarian. It’s on google reader for free I believe.

      1. Hit & Run, by Commenters.

        1. I was under the impression that we were “Highly Attractive Commenters.” Or is that just Warty?

    5. Bastiat Collection Pocket Edition by Frederic Bastiat

      1. What Zack said.

    6. Bastiat. Available online.

    7. Our Enemy, The State by Nock.

    8. Envy

      H. Shoeck

      1. …NOT the Ben Stiller/Jack Black movie!

        1. Nor the perfume by Gucci.

    9. The Man Versus The State by Herbert Spencer. Auberon Herbert, a fan of Spencer’s, also wrote some good stuff.

      David Hume’s Essays Moral, Political, Literary and his Enquiries Concerning Morals. (sorry, only 2 links allowed)

      And anything by Bastiat. The OLL has gigabytes of classical liberal works for free.

      1. I second the first and third of these.

        Spencer is sweet. Trivia: IIRC, his grave is right across the path from Marx’s, in Highgate cemetary.

        1. This is true. And it’s sad. Spencer has a simple, albeit marble, box.

          Marx’s features some sort of sculpted bust on a heroic scale and is constantly furnished with fresh flowers. He real is the Messiah of the Morons.

          (Although, like many fools, he occasionally says something smart. If you read treatise upon treatise of his, there are a few sentences that shine.)

          BTW, the indispensable Spencer book is Social Statics. It’s a beaut!

    10. Start with Eat The Rich by P.J. O’Rourke and work your way up to Anarchy,State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick.

    11. The Probability Broach, by L. Neil Smith.

      Or for a collection of the hard stuff, Lever Action.

  14. Megyn Kelly kicks ass of GOP pussy Erick Erickson:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm…..im-not-emo

    1. Megyn Kelly confirms that her husband is as useless as the other “stay-at-home” dads, gets all bitchy when some guy suggests her husband is as useless as other “stay-at-home” dads.

      Palin’s Buttwipe’s uterus falls down from all the excitement.

      1. Dude, fuck you. Stay at home dads aren’t useless. They’re fucking raising their children, which is a pretty big deal.

        1. OM must be one of those assholes MLG was talking about yesterday. But yeah, fuck you OM.

          1. OM gets perturbed anytime he sees someone choose to live their life differentely than depicted in his Dick and Jane books.

            It’s just part of his grumpatarian charm.

            1. *differently

              1. What’s the relationship between grumpatarian and yokeltarians?

                1. Kultur War instead of Race War?

      2. “What makes you dominant and me submissive?”

        Megyn honey, let’s wrestle for three minutes, and you’ll have your answer.

        1. You’re just looking for an excuse to wrestle Megyn Kelly.

    2. What is it with these Red State conservatives whining about breadwinning wives and mothers? This is the greatest thing since prostitution!

      Does anyone know how quickly the turn of wives and mothers into breadwinners will finally fix divorce law?

      Oh now it’s unfair that he gets half!

      Yeah… I can’t fucking wait.

      1. Does anyone know how quickly the turn of wives and mothers into breadwinners will finally fix divorce law?

        If anything fixes divorce law, it’s going to be gay marraige. It’s a lot harder for the judge to figure out who to leave financially destitute and estranged from the kids when the couple is two men or two women.

        1. Yep, most family law amounts to the judge smashing penises. Their heads are going to explode when they have a lesbian divorce and there are not any penises to smash.

    3. Erick Erickson? Wasn’t he the moron who chased the Ron Paul supporters of RedState.com, effectively dooming his site?

      1. Off, not of….

        I wrote a short screed in 2007 pointing out that Ron Paul was actually the most conservative candidate, on pretty much every issue except foreign policy. Giuliani wasn’t pro-life, Huckabee wasn’t fiscally conservative, McCain was pushing immigration amnesty, Romney was Romney, etc.

        Then I closed down my account and never visited the site again. Don’t know if they’re still around.

  15. This is textbook intersectionality gibberish.

    1. Did they use the proceeds to try to buy some ammo?

  16. Prudie makes me feel better about not being a shallow narcissist or a sex and self hating man.

    1. She’s not a narcissist, IMO. She realizes she has a higher value in the market then her mate. Better she thinks now then after a few years of marriage, IMO.

      Sex hating guy? I think he’s gay.

      I do like the girl who can’t wear a bra though. That’s funny.

      1. She’s not a narcissist
        Then she’s a terrible fucking business woman. Why invest so much of her time with prime looks in a dud? She’s fucking doing it wrong. OR, she’s a narcissist who believes that because she looks like all the other 23 year olds when she’s got makeup caked-on, she’s just one latte away from being Mrs. Paul McCartney v3.0 (4.0?)

        1. Well without pics we can’t really make a determination, that’s true.

          1. I heat to break this to you, but there are no pics because these stories are not real.

            1. So it’s the Penthouse Forum of feminism. I knew it.

        2. Regardless, I bet she will barley put out for the guy. Ten bucks says within ten years the guys does well, meets a woman who actually values him and puts out and runs off leaving this broad to do the cougar circuit.

          1. HAHAHAHAHAH

            No John, no. He will continue showering her with compliments and she will despise him more and more, finally cheating on him and leaving him for her lover, and cashing his alimony and child support while living in his house.

            Poor bastard.

            1. She did describe him as honest and genuine. So that means he is not nearly cynical enough for the world and hasn’t seen what a shallow bitch she is and won’t admit to himself how emotionally unfulfilling being with her is. So, he probably turns down the good woman who will try to steal him only to watch her dump him for someone with more money.

            2. ^THIS IS HOW A PUA ACTUALLY THINKS ALL RELATIONSHIPS WORK OUT!

              1. Oooh, speaking of, someone messaged me online to say “I often wonder, how do cute guys like you stay single?”

                Was I being negged, or was that just an awkward attempt at a compliment? I’ll probably respond “inveterate misanthropy” either way, but I’m curious what the assessment of the panel is.

                1. It was probably negging.

                2. Awkward attempt at a compliment, you stud you.

                3. Do some gay guys actually buy into that whole PUA scene? I would think it would be a completely different paradigm considering how much of PUA is about how to “exploit” how the genders think differently.

                4. jesse,

                  She might as well sent you a picture of her naked. Yeah, that is about as close to a “cum fuck me” message as you are going to get from a respectable girl.

                  1. HM: I don’t really know. I don’t spend a ton of time at clubs and bars, so I haven’t been on the front lines with this. I’m assuming it’s out there though. People are always looking for an edge in the dating world.

                    John: He may have been respectable, but was hardly a girl. I was a bit annoyed that there were no pictures. I’m a very visual person.

                    1. He may have been respectable, but was hardly a girl. I was a bit annoyed that there were no pictures.

                      At least you know it wasn’t Anthony Weiner.

                5. I don’t know, are you really cute?

                  I just assume all reason posters are ugly, 300lb old men posting from their mom’s basement.

                  1. are you really cute?

                    I’m decent looking. This is my gravatar. It’s an accurate picture of me.

                    1. I can’t tell, take off the ski mask.

                      Dude, is that track lighting? Talk about supporting a stereotype. 😉

                    2. Ha, I was about to compliment your taste in lighting, jesse. What’s the carby circle?

                    3. What’s the carby circle?

                      Hasn’t jesse told us his story about his gurlfriend crepe-machine-raping him for his birthday, like, 30 times?

                    4. I wanted to know if the photo was relevant documentation!

                  2. Fransisco, given that jesse is a self admitted bear, he may be 300lbs. Its just that gay dudes are into that sort of thing.

                    1. FdA: It’s not just the track lighting (although that was my [female] roommate’s call), I’m also holding up a crepe.

                      Goldwater: I’m not a bear. I just look remarkably like one, and tend to attract men who like bears.

                6. That was me. And I’m genuinely curious.

              2. Not all. But this one….I’d wager a hefty sum. She’s straight up saying she’s too pretty to be with him. Tell me please how that’s going to work out long term.

                1. Long term…she won’t be very pretty anymore.

      2. Considering he used completely gender neutral terms like “partner” and “their” I’d assume you’re right. He could either be in some kind of limbo where he’s dating women because he hasn’t come to terms with it or dating men, but feel deeply guilty about it. That would’ve been pertinent info for his letter though.

        1. My thinking as well. I’m straight and if I had to have sex with a guy, I’d feel exactly as he does having sex with a woman. He needs to try sucking a dick.

    2. Dear Prudie,

      I am so pretty. I always thought I could be a whore and make my fortune on my back. Should I give that up and marry for love instead of money?

      1. I mean, he’ll only be a great father to our future children and give us a solid middle class income. Is that really enough in life?

    3. Here’s the but about him: He makes no money. He has ambitions, and he’s smart, but will likely only bring a middle-class income at best.

      So it’s true, women really are only about the money? God this whole thing is so fucking confusing.

    4. Oh dear fucking god:

      I feel like a complete oddity, but I am a male who hates sex. I feel dirty and gross during and after the process. When I’m with a partner I do my best to help satisfy their needs and desires, but I almost always have to rush to the shower afterward. Some times I simply can’t even be touched without jerking away and having a panic attack. But I do love going on dates, making dinner together, snuggling while watching movies.

      We call this “gay”.

      1. Yeah. Either that or he is straight and somehow convinced himself he is gay and is now repulsed by being with his boyfriends.

      2. It’s not gay. The guy hates sex. He likes girls, he just doesn’t like the nasty fluids etc.

        Interestingly, people lose a signficant portion of their ability to be disgusted when sexually aroused. That inhibitory system is probably malfunctioning with this poor guy, and so touching his girlfriend’s genitals is as horrific as the prospect of touching some homeless woman’s lady parts.

        1. So, I guess oral is out of the question.

          1. Forget anal.

        2. But I do love going on dates, making dinner together, snuggling while watching movies.

          tarran, he’s gay.

          If I completely erased my desire for sex, I wouldn’t suddenly enjoy the above.

          1. I enjoy the above, and I am extremely hetero and love sex.

            He might be gay, but my money is on a fucked up bit of wiring in his brain.

            1. Hang on a minute, I enjoy the above too, I just don’t need another person there interfering with my thoughts to do it with.

              I too love going on dates, making dinner together and snuggling while watching movies… alone.

          2. I think it’s at least possible that he’s actually outlining his experiences with men, not women. He uses third-person-plural (i.e., gender-neutral) pronouns throughout.

            1. Yeah, he’s playing the pronoun thing, gay, just like I said here.

            2. Dang! How did I miss that?!?

              Good point!

            3. Yeah. Maybe he’s just been straight this whole time.

              Although I think tarran may be on to something. I could see severe OCD manifesting as a disgust at the process of sex, with all those fluids and such.

              1. Yes, jesse, I did see you posted that first, but bitches weren’t paying attention.

                I didn’t actually know that, tarran, about disgust inhibition, but it’s very interesting. I’m pretty OCD and grossed out by humans in many, many contexts, to the point where I’ve often though it was weird that I was able to be into sex.

                1. I’m pretty OCD and grossed out by humans in many, many contexts, to the point where I’ve often though it was weird that I was able to be into sex.

                  Have children, your level of disgust about unwanted body fluids will evaporate like two-day-old pee on a toilet seat, and your desire for sex will be sapped by crying babies.

                  1. I’m actually pretty severely disgusted by pregnancy, let alone everything that comes after. I think a better solution is to move to the country with my man and not have children.

                    1. I thought you were TTC.

                      You know you’re probably going to shit yourself in front of the hospital staff as the baby comes out, right?

                    2. I’m not. But yes, I know that happens.

  17. Study suggests that increased CO2 in the atmosphere has a fertilizing effect on arid desert regions.

    After his California earthquake scheme was foiled, Lex Luthor quickly concocted global warming to make his desert land valuable.

    1. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself if it turns out that increased CO2 is a good thing for Gaea.

      1. Exhale?

        1. Yes, I will continue to contribute my little bit.

      2. Fall in love with Global Cooling all over again?

    2. Not surprising, since previous pre-SUV bouts of global warming coincided with bumper crops in agriculture and widespread human flourishing.

  18. Dude tries to electrocute self with toaster in bathtub, comes away with fucked up EEG and “walking corpse syndrome”.

    1. walking corpse syndrome

      Nice band name.

      1. The whole republican party was shocked in a bathtub?

      2. Nice band name.

        And all they play is David Bowie covers.

    2. And so it begins… the zombie apocalypse…

  19. Pigs and Florida, a good news story.

    1. Bacon that delivers itself?

  20. A federal judge has rejected Google’s argument that national security letters demanding the hand over of personal data are illegal, ordering the company to comply with them.

    The judge seemed to have a problem mostly with the way Google presented their case.

    1. As a sponsored link?

  21. A federal judge has rejected Google’s argument that national security letters demanding the hand over of personal data are illegal, ordering the company to comply with them.

    Ohhh, I smell another milestone SCOTUS decision!

    Anybody wants to wager on how the Pillsbury Doughboy or the Wise Latina would decide on this one?

    1. How would they know if Google were to replace the actual recipients with the email accounts of random federal agents?

      1. How would they know if Google were to replace the actual recipients with the email accounts of random federal agents?

        I will switch immediately, and pay for the service to any company who promises this.

    2. The way Obama wants them to. He didn’t appoint them for their looks.

    3. Um…I’m pretty sure it’s black and white. But, of course, that’s only if you go by the constitution. So anybody’s guess is as good as mine.

  22. Five Early Warning Signs You are Dating a Narcissist.

    Can anyone think of a prominent public figure that meets the five criteria?

    1. What politicians aren’t sociopathic narcissists?

      1. Ron Paul, but then, he’s retired.

  23. If you guys can believe it, I have a piece even dumber than the other 2 I posted up.

    So I sat and ate corned beef and cabbage and cake with laughter, with love. To be welcomed in, to be offered refuge and conversation, to be cared for is a radical act, but I worry about the capacity for the ongoingness of welcome, of hospitality, in our neoliberal world.

    I wonder when these modes of sharing, when radical acts of hospitality, will likewise become criminalized. From at least this author’s standpoint, the importance of the narratives recorded about Jesus lay not in his gruesome, untimely death but in the way he lived, the way he was able to abide with and be open to strangers. It is from this vantage that I think Marx’s communism was not a threat because it made him known as a sometimey great writer who could persuade others with his elegant phrasing, but he was a threat because his wife Jenny von Westphalen’s radical acts of love and transgressions against the decorum of her aristocratic parentage made possible ? were the very material conditions through which ? communistic thought was theorized, were performed.

    1. This was the middle bit that I couldn’t fit:

      So no, I am not surprised to hear, within this ever increasingly neoliberal moment in which we exist, that Assata Shakur is the newest face of domestic terrorism. The FBI site states, “She may wear her hair in a variety of styles and dress in African tribal clothing,” and it is this concern about “African tribal clothing” that stood out to me, the way material cloth ? the accouterments that are presumed to carry culture ? that I find odd and a bit worrisome. Noting that none of the others listed on the site have sartorial stylings imagined as a means to identification, we should ask how seeing “African tribal clothing” works in tandem with the identification of working-class youth who “sag” jeans, both producing the capacity to be criminal. Sagging jeans and tribal clothing are stylings of dissent, are means to display on the body difference. Resulting is the criminalization of dissent itself, all the way down to the level of clothing, and Assata Shakur seems to be the face, the image, of such criminalization…

      …So then, Cuba. Cuba, as a place of refuge, is an open table, allowing for exile and, we hope, a bit of reprieve. I care about Assata’s well being and I wonder about the communities of care that ensured her safe travels there. But more, I wonder what strangers invited, and still do ask, her to join them for meals against the normative assumptions about who deserves care and concern

      1. Why do you torture yourself with that blather, Goldie?

      2. It is actually too nonsensical to even be called wrong. Wrong would imply that it made some kind of a point. It doesn’t even do that. These people really are incapable of thinking rationally.

        1. The point seems to be that Obama’s FBI is a big meanie for going after Assata Shakur and this means he hates black people. Oh, and treating someone with hospitality is a radical act that the evil capitalists want to ban… or something.

          1. And describing how a wanted person dresses is just racist or something.

          2. In 1972, Shakur was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after the FBI alleged that she was the “revolutionary mother hen” of a Black Liberation Army cell that had conducted a “series of cold-blooded murders of New York City police officers,” including the “execution style murders” of New York Police Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones on May 21, 1971 and Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie on January 28, 1972. Shakur was alleged to have been directly involved with the Foster and Laurie murders, and involved with the Piagentini and Jones murders. Some sources go further, identifying Shakur as the de facto leader and the “soul of the Black Liberation Army” after the arrest of co-founder Dhoruba Moore. Robert Daley, Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police, for example, described Shakur as “the final wanted fugitive, the soul of the gang, the mother hen who kept them together, kept them moving, kept them shooting.”

            Forgive me for being a bit skeptical of the FBI and NYPD’s accusations.

            1. A black radical murdering people in the early 70s? Forgive me for not giving her the benefit of the doubt.

              1. If you read the wiki bio, you’ll see that she was either acquitted or had the charges dismissed for everything except contempt of cop.

                1. I mean, it sounds dubious as hell, but the point he tries to extrapolate from it is… retarded as fucking hell.

            2. Wasn’t she Tupac’s mom?

      3. This is obviously the work of some bot. Well, no, because the bot would do better work.

      4. If English is that writer’s first language…well, y’all know what I’m thinking.

        1. Aphasia?

          1. Seriously, this is terrible. Even something that should be totally innocuous and easy to say is just fucking terrible.

            Something about being able to decide what one wants on one’s tongue, what flavors one decides to savor, is something I hold in high esteem.

            “Something…is something I hold in high esteem.” Re-read, people. Re-read.

            1. In her defense, she did badly in school. She probably can’t do math at all; she struggles to write; and she can’t think rigorously.

              She’s an academic who sucks with respect to any of the skill-sets associated with academia. Her self loathing should be enough to power a hotel in Las Vegas or a small town in MA.

              1. Different writer than the first one. In fact, all three are different.

                This is from a dude.

                1. OK

                  In his defense, he did badly in school. He probably can’t do math at all; he struggles to write; and he can’t think rigorously.

                  He’s an academic who sucks with respect to any of the skill-sets associated with academia. His self loathing should be enough to power a hotel in Las Vegas or a small town in MA.

        2. Well, the writer is a doctor of speech communication….

    2. So I sat and ate corned beef and cabbage and cake with laughter, with love.

      STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!

  24. to be cared for is a radical act

    The fuck?

    1. I had to stop reading at that point for at least an hour before I could resume. The only thought going through my brain was, “How is it possible to be so utterly and completely wrong?”

      Seriously, there are churches ladling soup out to the homeless every damn day in America.

      1. It has to be some sort of code for being so very very brave that you allow other people to care for you, at which point you are OBLIGATED to care for them too. Like “Charles Manson bummed me a smoke once, so now I have to love him no matter what. I was brave enough to take that risk. Like Jesus. Yes, I’m just like Jesus because I bummed a smoke from the guy. Where’s my peace prize?”

        1. Is it any wonder that people like Jim Jones found followers and admirers among the Left? Jones wasn’t in Alabama getting people to buy his bullshit. He was in San Fransisco.

        2. No, your first sentence is right, but your conclusion is off. One of the truly “radical” changes this society needs to have is for everyone to take care of each other. Because we all belong to each other. This whole idea of individuality is just silly and regressive. The truly radical act is to create a state that takes care of you cradle to grave.

          1. Oh, so it’s code for “I’m a socialist dipshit.”

  25. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission will investigate whether “Stand Your Ground” laws have a racial bias.

    What… the fuck…

  26. You can’t make this shit up: How Liberals Saved California!

    Contrary to the Great Man theory of politics from Brown’s hagiographers, liberal organizations led California’s comeback, by taking away the tools empowering minority Republicans. The initiative allowing Democrats to approve a budget by majority vote passed in 2010, before Brown’s term began. Online voter registration rules and a massive campaign to engage low-frequency voters led to a sweep of the 2012 elections. Democrats passed a sorely needed tax measure to balance the budget, and attained an overwhelming majority in the Legislature. Success has unsurprisingly flowed from the removal of ideological gridlock.

    They saved California by stamping out the powerful California GOP!

    1. This is no less stupid than the concept that Obama needed a second term to undo the damage he caused or did nothing about in his first term.

      1. We need to see his legacy through!

    2. I love how pushing off bankruptcy for a couple of years now counts as “saving California”. The 25% unemployment in many areas of the state, the population decline, the horrible schools, the deteriorating infrastructure, the brain drain, are all just bad luck I guess.

      1. What do you mean, John? California was on a path to freedom before Brown became governor. Well, not really. Even the first time. But I don’t think Reagan salted the earth in the Imperial valley before moving on to sow blood in the nation as a whole.

        1. Actually, by cutting off the water supply, the progtards have effectively salted the earth in the Imperial Valley. One of the most productive spots on earth reduced to a desert in less than a generation.

          1. California has always been a desert: the rainfall rates are below the desert threshold. /pedant

            1. While we have deserts, California is more in line with a Mediterranean climate, until you get north and it becomes temperate rain forest.

              /mega-pedant.

          2. One of the most productive spots on earth reduced to a desert in less than a generation.

            The Imperial Valley was always a desert. If it wasn’t for the Bureau of Reclamation’s water projects, their primary crop would be cacti.

            1. Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.

      2. Shit, there “surplus” barely even begins to cover the massive unfunded liabilities in the CalPERS system, let alone the various city pensions.

        And the fucking liberals want to blow it this year.

        1. If it wasn’t such a national tragedy, it would be funny watching liberals convince themselves that California really is going to be okay.

    3. No mention, of course, that a big reason they’re projecting a surplus is due to budget cuts.

      1. And the biggest reason is wealthy people pulling income into 2012 to avoid Obama tax hikes in 2013.

  27. No one has complained that you don’t smoke an ecig?

    1. In france you’re only cool if you smoke real cigarettes. And those smokers don’t want to be reminded of a cancer-free way to do it.

  28. The U.S. Civil Rights Commission will investigate whether “Stand Your Ground” laws have a racial bias.

    Not unlike studying if the sun is cold or if there are plants that stare at you with heart-piercing hatred.

  29. radical acts of hospitality

    STFU

    1. But they offered him, a humble feminist academic (yeah, it’s a dude), corned beef and cabbage in Halifax. And, even though he normally doesn’t eat beef, he did anyway, out of kindness for their folksy ways.

      See, this is the kind of radical, transformative act that our neoliberal moment discourages with its emphasis on exploitative capitalism and the increasing marginalization of radical, transformative, queer vocies!

  30. Amanda Marcotte says something reasonable.

    Andy: It’s OK to strip people naked in your imagination, as long as you respect their right to not know that’s what you’re doing. This is accomplished by not gawking, ogling, and drooling, but rather learning to be discreet. Nearly all women and a healthy percentage of men manage to do this every day.

    She is responding to this castrati’s piece in Slate yesterday.

    1. This can only mean one thing.

      The REAL Amanda Marcotte has been kidnapped!

      1. No, it just means she’s willing to excuse any behavior she also engages in. She wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression that she has a lot of hang ups about things, you know.

        1. Clearly you haven’t seen her or others talk about THE MALE GAZE and how ogling is different when women do it.

          1. You are correct. I have managed to avoid that. And I appreciate that you’ve reminded me why.

    2. At heart, Amanda just wants to meet a nice man, get laid and push a pram on the upper East Side or maybe Park Slope.

      1. Is Amanda Marcotte the one who bragged that when she pulls her pants down, her lover feels confronted by the Unabomber?

        1. “I dunno about the other two, but that guy in the middle is a dead ringer for Willie Nelson”

      2. Too bad she has a face like a bulldog licking piss off of a needle.

        1. Seriously, she’s painful to look at.

  31. The Male Body: Repulsive, or Beautiful?

    I remember one night when I was still in high school that I had sex with a much older man. He was maybe 40, and I couldn’t get enough of the way he looked at me. I felt a rush of elation and relief so great it made me cry. The sex I had with him was not based on my desire for him; rather, I wanted to make him feel good out of my own colossal gratitude for how he had made me feel with his words and his gaze. As we lay on a motel bed, this man ran his fingers across every inch of my body, murmuring flattery of the kind I had never heard from a woman’s lips.

    “You’re so hot, you make me want to come.”

    I was floored. How different those words were from my ex-girlfriend’s “Hugo, you make me feel so good.” While she had praised my technique, this stranger praised my body’s desirability. And I realized how hungry I was for exactly that kind of affirmation. I needed something to counter that old certainty that my male body was disgusting.

    Heh.

    1. Is this the same Hugo who tried to kill his ex? Or am I thinking of someone else?

      I wanted to make him feel good out of my own colossal gratitude for how he had made me feel with his words and his gaze.

      MALE GAZE!

      …wait…

      MALE GAYS!

      I cracked the code!

      1. Oh my god it is Hug Schwyzer. WHERE IS SUGARFREE HE NEEDS TO SEE THIS!

        1. Is this the same guy that claimed to like big, strong athletic women and that he totally wasn’t gay or anything for that?

          1. Yes!

          2. Big, strong women who left him for other women.

        2. It’s hard to crow too much, but I totally called this.

          And yes, General. To the point that he married one lesbian, and his current wife is pretty damn mannish.

          1. You’re fapping furiously in victory under your desk right now, aren’t you?

            1. What’s a desk?

      2. …BEES!?

      3. Holy shit this is funny.

        Clearly that time he tried to kill his ex was only because of the suffering he was going through that resulted from being so closeted. /progsplanation

    2. Hugo being gay explains so goddamn much.

      1. He’s not gay, he’s bi-curious!

    1. I was wondering when that would happen. That dump is infamous.

  32. Seriously, why do you people assume that the same stupid person wrote all three of my articles?

    No single human being is THAT stupid.

    1. What do you mean, ‘you people’?

    2. It’s both hilarious and annoying.

      1. The composite character that emerges is fairly hilarious.

    3. Amanda Marcotte begs to differ.

  33. Florida man who fatally shot his wife’s lover in the middle of the act found not guilty.

    1. This is an oft-cited example of justifiable homicide that was supposedly enshrined in Texas statute for a while. I’ve never been able to find that statute. However, it doesn’t surprise me that given any sort of excuse a jury votes not to convict a person who shoots their spouse’s lover in their own bed.

      1. This was always the example used when I was in law school.

      2. Here’s some info from Volokh on relevant former statutes in three states, plus another state’s common law.

        1. Thanks. I always thought it was urban myth, but I’m wrong.

  34. “I hate talking about race so much that I will write an entire article condescending to white people about race”

    I don’t think I am able to write about race.

    It’s not that I don’t know anything about it. I was on a social media site and I was looking at the post one of my friends shared. He was lamenting the fact that PSYCHOLOGY TODAY had printed an article saying that black women are “objectively” less attractive than other women. Others of his friends posted on his “wall,” saying that attractiveness was relative and that it was based on symmetry of features and the like. I posted a “sigh” and said that it was sickmaking, in 2011, that someone would even create a study to investigate humans in such a way, that the creation of the study was evidence of a bias, and the notion that peoples’ “tastes” and “preferences” are not affected by 300+ years of racialized bias was ignorant. Also, I have been told that black people are somehow deficient for most of my 48 years and that PSYCHOLOGY TODAY was passing this crap off as research was sad.

    1. *shrugs* I didn’t get a condescending vibe at all.

      Tom, I have never, not once, thought of you as white. I think of you as a father, a husband, a brilliant businessman, a feminist, a Quaker, and most of all as a friend. You have never treated me as whiteness demands that you treat me. I don’t want to talk about race because if I do, I stop being an artist, an educator, a godfather, a gay man, and most of all, human.

      So I appreciate the offer, Tom, I really do. I just don’t think I can write about it. I can write about art if you like. I know a lot about that.

      Love to Elena and the kids, and to you, my man.

      I think that’s a great sentiment.

      1. It’d have been better if he hadn’t preceded that statement by telling his friend that he will never understand “blackness” due to the intrinsic privilege that “whiteness” brings and telling his friend to read a whole list of books rather than simply proffering an opinion on the subject.

        1. Maybe I’m reading it too quickly, but I don’t see where he writes that a White person can never understand “Blackness”. Also, the list of books was for the guy he was arguing with on Facebook, not the Tom he’s addressing the article to.

          1. I think the argument that anyone who uses the term “white” is embracing a socially constructed, oppressive construct and thus will never understand what “blackness” is speaks for itself.

            And posting a list of books for you to read instead of offering an opinion on a subject is a pretty good way to shut down debate.

    2. Others of his friends posted on his “wall,” saying that attractiveness was relative and that it was based on symmetry of features and the like. I posted a “sigh” and said that it was sickmaking

      Sickmaking? Fucking sickmaking? The word ‘sickening’ exists for a goddamn reason.

      Blood is probably streaming from Nicole’s ears over that atrocious neologism.

      1. It’s totes sickmaking, Irish!

        1. Don’t be cray-cray, nicole, you’re just jellie that you didn’t think to use sickmaking.

        2. I’ve been sickmade in ways I never thought possible.

      2. I heard a new one today…

        Emo Liberal

        WTF?

    3. I already recommended it earlier, but Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters is a great demolition of this socially-constructed nonsense.

      1. And by “great demolition” you mean it proves that evo psych is pseudoscience and that Satoshi Kanazawa is a fraud and a hack.

    4. What bothers me here is that someone doesn’t know what the hell the word objectively means. I hope it doesn’t go the way of “literally”.

  35. “France to ban electronic cigarettes in public”

    Okay, I’ve said it before but THIS TIME I REALLY MEAN IT. We have reached the End Times!

    1. No. There’s always room for more stupid.

    2. It amazes me how quickly Europe has gone from everyone smoking everywhere, all the time to strict bans and silly stuff like this. They’ve had high taxes for a long time in a lot of places, but there really weren’t many restrictions on where you could smoke until pretty recently compared to a lot of places in the US. I suppose the surprising thing is that they didn’t do it sooner, but it’s still quite a dramatic shift.

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