Minneapolis 2014 Primary Sample Ballot

This Tuesday is a primary election in Minneapolis, and following my usual pattern, I’m posting my choices and reasoning publicly. Voting in the primary here is done on a single-party basis. You don’t have to be registered to a party to vote, but you can only vote for one party’s candidates on the partisan portion of the ballot, which covers everything but school board and the judiciary this year. I’m voting in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor category.

To find out where you vote and what will be on your ballot, go to the Secretary of State’s elections website. Give them your address, and they’ll show you who is running for all offices you’re eligible to vote on. Under the candidates will be one link to see a sample ballot (which may be easier to read) and one link for your polling place.

As always, I put my reasoning for my votes online for people who don’t have the resources or time to do their own. If my reasoning doesn’t match yours, at least you have some background. If you want to provide additional background in the comments, feel free. [Read more...]

The Reading List, 8/10/2014

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

Around FtB

The Wider Web

Within One Year

California Code of Civil Procedure section 340(c).

340. Within one year:

(c) An action for libel, slander, false imprisonment, seduction of a person below the age of legal consent, or by a depositor against a bank for the payment of a forged or raised check, or a check that bears a forged or unauthorized endorsement, or against any person who boards or feeds an animal or fowl or who engages in the practice of veterinary medicine as defined in Section 4826 of the Business and Professions Code, for that person’s neglect resulting in injury or death to an animal or fowl in the course of boarding or feeding the animal or fowl or in the course of the practice of veterinary medicine on that animal or fowl.

We wouldn’t necessarily know yet, but one way or another, it’s done.

Saturday Storytime: Between Sea and Shore

I don’t remember who it was that said ennui is nostalgia for a place one has never been. The idea has stuck with me, but the source hasn’t. I was reminded of it again as I read this story by Vanessa Fogg.

I was playing alone on the beach. I was perhaps four years old. It was the cool time of evening when families gather to enjoy the reprieve from the heat; children splash and run in the sea as their mothers sit weaving baskets and the men mend nets or clean out traps for the next day’s fishing. The fishing boats have been dragged ashore, and their painted eyes and charms glint in the day’s last light.

I had wandered far from my friends and from any adult. Orange streaks from the falling sun lit the sky, but my feet seemed to be moving in a separate world of darkness. I watched my own feet splashing through the dimming water; I followed them, fascinated, as though I were following the appendages of some mysterious creature. And I was singing a lullaby as I went, something my mother would sometimes sing to me, a song from her own inland village.

Kirri, kirri sing the little birds.

They call for you in the dawn.

Mik, mik calls the mouse in the field.

He misses your shadow passing by.

I was singing, and was there an echo I heard, a second voice tracing those words? I sang louder and it seemed that the waves were growing stronger. That second voice sang with me, a half-beat behind, and I could hear the curiosity in its uncertain refrain. The current sucked at my legs . . .

And my mother was screaming my name, running at me; she grabbed me and swung me away from the water, up into her arms. “Don’t,” she cried. “Don’t ever sing that song, don’t sing here at night, don’t you know–”

She shook me, she was so angry, and I saw the tears glinting on her cheeks. I burst into sobs.

Keep reading.

“Accessible Philosophy for Everyone”, Dan Fincke on Atheists Talk

Philosophy is a process of thinking critically that has been used by humans since before the Greeks used it to try to figure out how the world works and how best to live within it. It is the foundation of science, morality, and ethics and a means to satisfy our curiosity in a logical fashion. Recently a few well-known physicists have said that philosophy is unnecessary because now we have the means in our technological age to answer questions that metaphysicists attempted to resolve without fancy tools. Philosophy and science, however, are mutually dependent on each other.

Dan Fincke is a professor who has moved out of the university setting to teach philosophy online through Hangouts, making the vast field accessible to busy and curious and yearning people worldwide. He joins us to talk about all the whys and hows of his classes.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to [email protected] during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

TBT: True Geek

Someone remembered for me, back in July 2008, when I posted this. We were talking about the station in Babylon 5.

Something seemed wrong.

We were at the Irish Well. The band was taking a break, but it was still loud. I wasn’t sure I’d heard him right. “How many tons of steel in the station?”

He told me again.

“How long?”

I was skeptical.

“And how fast does it rotate?”

“One full rotation a day. Earth gravity. Earth day.”

“That can’t be right, can it?” [Read more...]

I Believe You–It’s Not Your Fault

Lindy West was at Women in Secularism this year. I already knew she was funny, but meeting her confirmed it. Hearing her talk confirmed that she’s perceptive and thoughtful. Her new project, a blog called “I Believe You–It’s Not Your Fault” confirms that she is awesome.

The blog is already booked with stories for the next six months, but submit your story if you have one. She is particularly looking for stories that “nontraditional” abuse victims can recognize themselves in.

The Reading List, 8/6/2014

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

Around FtB

  • They are afraid–”It can be alarming and overwhelming to have a torrent of criticism dumped on you. Absolutely. But it still doesn’t tie you to a stake and set fire to a bunch of damp wood piled at your feet (damp to make it burn slowly and thus prolong the agony).”
  • Let’s sit down together and discuss that proposition itself–”I don’t think it’s excessively emotional to point out that there’s something blood-chilling about seeing people who are safe talk calmly detachedly and in the abstract about the risks or tragedies faced by people who aren’t like them.”
  • Please donate to support this blog – and help me speak at events–”The media industry has yet to settle on a way for bloggers to be paid – in fact, the increasing expectation that our work will be unpaid is undermining writing as a profession.”
  • Impeachment Talk Backfires on the GOP–”This started with your base and now it’s backfiring on you. Of course the Democrats are going to fundraise off it. But it’s your people who are demanding it.”
  • Hurray, Ugandan Court strikes down the Anti-LGBT Law!–”Although the law was overturned on a procedural technicality glitch and not on the basis that it violates human rights, it is still a big step forward for lgbt Ugandans and other African LGBTS.”

The Wider Web

  • 4 reasons you should never ask a woman why she’s single–”‘Why aren’t you working at an archeological dig in Argentina?’ ‘Why aren’t you eating a pizza right now?’ ‘Why do you have brown hair?’”
  • Sunda pangolin mum with her pangopup–”What an adorable family, walking around looking like two lovely pinecones come to life.”
  • Bad news and good news…–”With contributors from Gaza, it is sadly almost inevitable that the Palestinian poets and artists involved would be hit by the ongoing Israeli bombardment, shelling and invasion which has killed hundreds so far.”
  • Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Feminist–”I did all of this nonsense, mostly to fit in, mostly due to the need to belong. I spent most of my childhood being rejected, so when I was a young adult, well, I lashed out.”
  • Richard Dawkins and Rape Rape–”Not surprisingly, Dawkins is wrong—very wrong. By and large, the harmfulness of rape is in its violation of women’s consent. That violation is present whether or not a knife or stranger are involved.”
  • Twitter can fix its harassment problem, but why mess with success?–”Which is why the company gives so little attention to the now-routine harassment experienced by so many members of the service: It drives engagement.”
  • 8 Latina Feminists Who Deserve More Recognition–”During the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time when Stonewall riots were making the gay-rights movement mainstream, bisexual trans Latina activist Sylvia Rivera advocated for the queer and transgender people the movement had left out.”
  • The blatant sexism of lists about ‘attractive girls’–”And why does he think women should aspire to meet (only) his consideration of what constitutes attractiveness, instead of what makes them feel good in their own skin. I guess he thinks we’re not doing enough to make women ashamed of their bodies. Onward, brave soldier!”
  • The Guy Behind Confused Cats Against Feminism Is Sick of Mansplaining to Other Men–”‘[C]ats need a place where they can post pictures of themselves holding signs denouncing feminism for assorted weird reasons that don’t seem to have anything to do with what feminism is actually about.’”
  • #ASKCOSTOLO – an epic fail?–”‘and how not to hold or respond to an AMA #harassment #onlineabuse #PRstuntsgonebad #twitterdoesntgiveashitaboutitsuserssafety #needfordiversity #victimblaming’”
  • GeekGirlCon DIY Science Zone Fundraiser–”The zone is a hands-on, weekend-long extravaganza that makes science accessible to everyone, whether or not they have their own lab goggles at home.”
  • Radical reform for male prisoners not politically acceptable says UK expert–”According to the Professor, who is an expert in Law, Gender and Social Policy, the belief that reducing the number of people in prison puts society at risk may be more marked in relation to male prisoners.”
  • How Did the FBI Miss Over 1 Million Rapes?–”Yung’s analysis, which focused on cities with populations of more than 100,000, found that 22 percent of the 210 studied police departments demonstrated ‘substantial statistical irregularities in their rape data.’”
  • An Open Letter to the New York Times: Race and the Reproductive Rights Movement–”The fact that white-led organizations are now taking the credit for moving us away from pro-choice, when that charge has been led by women of color for decades, is just salt on an already long-standing open wound.”
  • Abuse on Twitter: Humans Can’t Always Just “Brush it Off”–”‘Too much abuse? Block, put it out of your mind, and decide not to be affected.’ It simply doesn’t work that way for human beings with feelings and memories and psychological baggage and hearts.”
  • Gambit – Best Worst Costume Ever–”It would seem, however, that Gambit’s creators were working in active conflict with each other. His costume not only fails to compliment his role, it actively opposes it.”
  • Design Diaries – Gambit–”There is a reason that the Gambit that showed up in the Wolverine movie looked nothing like the original. The original costume would look ludicrous on screen.”
  • Love Rocket Raccoon? Please consider donating to writer Bill Mantlo’s ongoing care!–”Tragically, as LifeHealthPro’s Bill Coffin documented in a tremendously moving article a few years ago, Mantlo was struck by a hit-and-run driver in 1992 and suffered traumatic brain injury.”
  • Food is NOT Medicine–”So I’d go on health food kicks where I really tried to nourish my body, get enough sleep, exercise…only to end up sicker than I had been before (at which point I would go back to the bland, simple foods I had been eating, because they were they only foods that didn’t make me feel awful).”

It’s Uncanny!

If you follow me on Twitter, you’re already well aware that my friends Lynne and Michael Thomas are running a Kickstarter to pay for the first year of their new magazine. Uncanny Magazine will pick up where they left off with Apex Magazine, only on a grander scale. A few authors who have pledged to contribute in the first year of the bi-monthly magazine:

  • Neil Gaiman (poetry)
  • Mary Robinette Kowal (fiction)
  • Kameron Hurley (essay)
  • Kat Howard (fiction)
  • Jim Hines (essay)
  • Emily Jiang (poetry)
  • Scott Lynch (fiction)
  • Ken Liu (fiction)
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts (essay)

In addition to that impressive (partial) list, Lynne and Michael have a very good track record of publishing new authors found through their unsolicited submissions (slush). That makes their magazine both somewhere you will be able to read old favorites and somewhere you can discover new ones.

If all that isn’t enough, this Kickstarter offers an array of rewards from the sublime to the silly. Would you like to name a space unicorn? How about just wear the patch of the space unicorn rangers (available at any pledge level)? Get poetry or art or a guided shopping trip through New York’s vintage shops or a writer’s retreat with multiple award-winning editors in residence? Or the Scary Ham Funeral Kit?

If you have just $5 you can spare for fiction, you can help support the writers whose work I link here week after week. Uncanny will pay pro rates for fiction. You’ll still be able to read the stories, though not as early as you would be able to if you could afford a full subscription. And more good writers get paid to produce more good stories.

If you like science fiction and fantasy, particularly of the sort I tend to highlight, check out the Uncanny Magazine Kickstarter. Find your level and chip in to make this happen.

 

Alcoholism and Personality Disorders

And this weekend in the annals of “You feminist women don’t get to organize and maintain spaces of your own”, we have this.

Screen capture of Twitter conversation. Relevant text in the post.

Travis Roy: The people I’m badmouthing and getting banned from meetings because I don’t like them are being mean to me! Out of the @SurlyAmy playbook.

Richard Murray: @Sc00ter @SurlyAmy you and your misogynistic micro aggressions, Travis. No more real jewelry for you.

D. J. Grothe: Maybe cut people some slack. Don’t underestimate the role of alcoholism and personality disorders.

Yes, that’s D. J. Grothe calling Surly Amy an alcoholic with a personality disorder. It’s almost cute that he’s decided this is just a thing people do, except, of course, that he’s just throwing the words at someone who is no longer useful to him. When I talked about the people who have suggested to me that Grothe is a psychopath–though I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention anywhere that a few of them also said they’d never seen him sober, so I don’t know where he picked that up–I was careful not to endorse the label.

Instead, I was specific about the pattern of Grothe’s problematic behavior that was behind the complaints of those people. That is not what Grothe did here. Instead he, entirely in line with the pattern of behavior I documented, flat out lied. [Read more...]