The Second and the Twenty-Fourth

You may have seen this meme floating about (h/t Mare):

Via Facebook/Join the Coffee Party Movement

Via Facebook/Join the Coffee Party Movement

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz both agree criminals and terrorists should not have to show an ID to buy an assault rifle because it is an infringement on their constitutional rights.

But Rand Paul and Ted Cruz both agree a 92 year old senior trying to vote without the proper ID is a threat to our democracy and could destroy our free election system.

Leaving aside the atrocious font, the argument still isn’t quite right. It offers sort of a caricatured summary of the argument in favor of voter ID laws, and doesn’t note the constitutional implications of requiring people to get an ID that they would not otherwise need solely for the purpose of voting. That’s pretty much a poll tax, which is pretty unambiguously unconstitutional. Anyway, here’s my own caricature of the usual response to this meme from the pro-voter-ID-law crowd: Continue reading

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Oh, British Nobility

Always behind the times.

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Monday Morning Cute: The Daily Visitor

“Every morning he visits for a glass of milk.”

Hosted on Imgur

Via undercovergiraffe on Imgur.

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Just a Reminder that Social Media Can Still Be Extremely Lowbrow

We bring you “Motorboating on Vine,” via Twitter. No part of that sentence would have made any sense just a few years ago.

(Somewhat NSFW, obviously.)

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Pit Bull Awareness Day 2014

This weekend, Love-A-Bull is celebrating Pit Bull Awareness Day with several events. You can learn more about them at their website.*

The main event is Sunday, October 26 at Republic Square Park in downtown Austin.

Here are some scenes from last year, including the always-effervescent Coco Puffin:

2013-10-27 11.48.35

2013-10-27 11.54.43 Continue reading

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At Long Last, Guys Who Play Video Games Have a Voice!!!

Lack of self-awareness at this level is just…….well, you can’t make this stuff up.

This is usually the part where most bloggers note that they haven’t written much about this GamerGate thing for one reason or another. I keep wanting to write about it, but then something new happens and it gets even stranger, and so far I’ve just ended up with an ever-growing list of links that I might one day make into an outline or history or something. The #NotYourScapegoat thing just seems too rich to pass up, though.

Here’s a bit of context, sort of:

For additional bits of awesomeness, see this Clickhole piece:

And this:

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What I’m Reading, October 21, 2014

Schadenfreude: Not Just For Winners Anymore, Bette Noir, Rumproast, October 16, 2014

Heads are exploding all over the Conserva-sphere, today. Mostly because the owners of those heads don’t read very carefully.

CJ Chivers broke a story, in The New York Times, exposing a Bush administration and Pentagon coverup of the fact that US military troops were, with some frequency, stumbling upon, and in some cases being wounded by, chemical agents while deployed in Iraq.

Just the media source and a little bit of introductory information were enough to get the Right cackling with glee and spewing out delirious Bush Vindication blurbs. They were not all that troubled by the fact that some US soldiers have been damaged for life by their exposure to chemicals, or that those soldiers were sent into harm’s way without adequate training and protection against what the military knew was there. They were just so danged delighted to be able to say “See! Libtards, this is your own lamestream media spilling the story that our princeling was right all along. So bite me!”

Interestingly, a few caught the irony and said “hmmmmm, what’s The Times up to, here.” They were the smarter ones.

Why, Despite the Incredibly Discouraging Crap That’s Been Going On in Recent Weeks and Months and Years, I Still Have Hope for Organized Atheism, Greta Christina, Greta Christina’s Blog, October 15, 2014

There are also lots more women and people of color on the speakers’ circuit. When local groups invite visiting speakers, it’s not overwhelmingly white men on the podiums anymore. And women and people of color aren’t just being invited to speak about gender and race and diversity — we’re being invited to speak about Biblical history, about handling criticism in social media, about coming out as an atheist. Our voices are being heard. When we speak about our experience of our marginalization, and when we speak about our experience and knowledge about atheism or science or history or organizing, we’re being heard.

More importantly: There’s a shift in the activities that these local groups are involved in. There are local atheist groups, both off-campus and student groups, doing fundraising for women seeking abortions. Teaching English as a new language. Organizing protests against the Hobby Lobby decision. Organizing events for parents and families. Organizing events for children. Founding a secular humanist soup kitchen. And I strongly suspect that this shift in activities is at least partly responsible for the demographic shift — and is partly a result of it as well. Like I say when I give talks on diversity: Inclusivity is a self-perpetuating cycle. The more diverse a group gets, the more likely it is that they’ll get involved in projects that matter to a wider variety of people — and as the group gets more involved in projects that matter to a wider variety of people, it draws a wider variety of people. I don’t know this for sure, I’m not even sure how you would test it — but when I ask group leaders, this is what they commonly say. Either they started taking on more diverse projects as their group got more diverse, or their group got more diverse as they started taking on more diverse projects — or both.

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What I’m Reading, October 20, 2014

Property Rights, Gin and Tacos, October 15, 2014

It’s equal parts intriguing and disturbing how often men treat women with respect – not invading their personal space or shouting things at them that they would prefer not to have shouted at them – not because they think women deserve to be treated with respect but because they are with a man. The inebriated young men didn’t refrain from making suggestive comments because they realized that it’s inappropriate; they refrained because I was next to her. Old creepers and “pickup artists” do not leave accompanied women alone at bars because they recognize that ignoring all the “please stop” signals is behavior that trends toward Rapey. They do it because the has a Sold tag on her and is already the property of some other man. And many men who would happily treat women with the utmost disrespect would recoil at the thought of disrespecting another man by hitting on his Property.

The right’s Lena Dunham delusion: Anger, misogyny and the dangers of business as usual, Katie McDonough, Salon, October 17, 2014 Continue reading

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Basic Market Economics

It seems like this ought to be obvious:

  1. Wage disparity grows.
  2. Most people make less and less money in real terms.
  3. People have to spend a higher percentage of their money on essentials like food and shelter.
  4. People have less discretionary income.
  5. People spend less money.
  6. Retail businesses suffer.

Any questions? (h/t BooMan)

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“Alien” Has Nothing on This

Nature can be a real asshole. This video is not for the squeamish:

I’m pretty sure this type of wasp partly inspired the birth cycle of the creatures in the Alien movies. Nature takes it farther, though, in terms of being horrifying, albeit with a certain sense of karma. The narrator notes: “One of the greatest dangers the larvae will face is being themselves impregnated by other species of parasitic wasp.”

Then there’s this: Continue reading

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