What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Monday, May 4, 2015

Linkee-poo seen the lights go out on Broadway, I saw the ruins at my feet

Free e-books don't help poor kids. A great article on why free ebooks won't really help the kids these publishers think (and tout in their press releases and shareholder meetings) they will. This is what's known as "middle-class-to-rich people not understanding the lives being lived all around them." (Note, not all "publishers" are "rich", and most certainly not all people involved with publishing are rich or even middle-class). (Grokked from Terri Windling)

"Ak Ohum Oktay Weez, Barsoom." (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

Well, there's a bunch of URL shorteners (bit.ly, etc) that can help you post things to Twitter, or to simplify long URLs. But how about a service that can make those URLs look menacing and dodgy? (Grokked from John)

Sepsis, it's a killer.

"The woman who was arrested for tearing down a holiday display set up by the Satanic Temple in Florida has launched a crowdfunding campaign so that she may continue to wage her Earthly war to 'keep Satan out of our Capitols and out of our schools.'" Here's the thing, if "christians" weren't so hell bent on putting Jesus in schools, the Satanists wouldn't have a chance, but that's irony for you. And obviously irony is dead. Oh, and "GoFundMe has become a hotbed for Christians who feel they are being persecuted…" I guess it's not just me who noticed that. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

And in other Satanic news… "The Satanic Temple… is seeking a religious exemption from Missouri’s 72-hour abortion waiting period on the grounds that the law violates their sincerely held beliefs about bodily autonomy." Yea, I'm starting to like these people. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

When "reporters" forget what their job is. A Fox News reporter "said that he and his news crew witnessed what he described as a 'young, black male' being shot by a police officer in Baltimore while running away on Monday afternoon." That isn't a mistake, that's making shit up. This wasn't a "I think someone has been shot, OMG there's a guy on a stretcher…", that's a mistake. "I saw" could be marked up to "eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable", except that this is coming from someone who (supposedly) is a professional with training. If I were cynical I would say they were trying to "make news" by ginning up emotions, fanning the flames, and then pointing people at each other. But that would be cynical of me.

What should come as a surprise to those "haul yourself up by the bootstraps" people, "In two new studies, Harvard economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues found that where poor kids grow up has a huge effect on how much money they earn as adults." Actually they're reexamining an old study that gave some people vouchers to live in better neighborhoods and left some people in "projects." The initial results published said that there was no difference where poor people lived (for the adults or the kids), and solidified a perception of "it's just their fault." Well, when new researchers looked at the data, they discovered that there actually was a difference in the earning potential of the kids who moved to better neighborhoods. The transcript for the story is very poor (and isn't the story that was broadcast), I suggest listening to the actual story. When poverty isn't concentrated, the poor have a better chance of moving up the economic ladder. Nurture is a better predictor than nature.

Ted Cruz first rejects, then endorses, Mitt Romney's "47%" comment. He also rehashes the 90s conservative mantra, "Hispanics (like everyone else) supports conservative ideas, but don't vote that way for some (weak minded) reasons." Well, at least he's upgrade to the 90s.

I'm developing a theory that the reason why conservatives can readily accept that FEMA re-education camps, UN soldiers in black helicopters, and that Jade Helm 15 is a conspiracy to attack and subdue the South (and all the righteous conservatives who live there) is that they themselves want to use the government to coerce people to agree with them and jail those who are recalcitrant to embrace conservative "values." It's a psychosis called "displacement" IIRC.

There was this time in college that I played flag football. One night, a team on the next field over was playing the Black Student Union team. A skirmish broke out. I didn't see the start of it, (I heard that the white fraternity was playing dirty the the BSU students got tired of it), but I saw the end of it. The president of the fraternity was being chased by a large, black student. The white guy turned and started shouting, "What are you gonna go about it, hit me? I dare you to hit me. Hit me, dammit!" So, the black guy laid him out with a single punch. I'm pretty sure the white guy lost consciousness. The campus police investigated and when they asked me I said I missed seeing what actually happened after the white guy was cussing and daring the black student to hit him, but I assumed the white guy tripped on and fell over his ginormous ass all by himself. The cop laughed and said that was pretty much what everyone else was telling him. Moral of the story, don't pick a fight and then get all pissy and play the victim when a fight comes your way. This wasn't a "free-speech" event, this "cartooning contest" was a provocation. This is about as close as you can get to shouting "fire" in a theater. And they knew it. This is fundamentally different from what Charlie-Hebdo and Kurt Westergaard did (satire and political commentary). That was the moral equivalent of "Draw 'Clippy' And Go to Hate School." If conservatives back this narrative of the "free-speech is under attack", then they don't get to defund the National Endowment for the Arts because of Serrano's "Piss Christ."

Okay, Chuck Norris, get in the fuckin' sack.

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