1. says

    Here’s an interesting development: Secretary of State John Kerry announced that, as a diplomatic mission, the USA will be sending real scientists to Uganda to counter the disastrous results of evangelical USA idiots claiming to be scientists pushing an anti-gay agenda in Uganda for the last five years.

    Rachel Maddow covers the history, the current anti-gay law just passed, and the fake science that was exported to Uganda in the past. This looks like a great story to follow. Can’t wait to see which real scientists are sent to meet with the Ugandan president.

  2. says

    Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal joins Georgia in getting almost everything wrong when it comes to providing healthcare for citizens of his state. And while he is getting it all wrong, he takes a swipe at Obamacare, a swipe that is based on total falsehoods.

    […] according to the Republican governor [Jindal], to support Medicaid expansion for low-income families is to support discriminating against Americans with disabilities, The problem, as Dylan Scott explained, is that Jindal’s claims are patently false.

    [The Affordable Care Act] actually sets up new demonstrations to help improve care for the disabled enrolled in Medicaid – and Jindal should know that because his state has participated in several of them. […]

    The theory starts with the fact that Obamacare offers enhanced federal funding, 100 percent for the first three years and never less than 90 percent after that, for states to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level…. Jindal argues that because the law provides such generous funding, more generous than the traditional Medicaid program, to cover childless adults, it “prioritizes” that population over the disabled, many of whom are enrolled in the traditional Medicaid program.


    Third, and perhaps most devastatingly to Jindal’s theory, Obamacare actually expands programs and funding for so-called “long-term services and supports” under Medicaid – the kind of long-term care that the disabled would utilize. What’s most puzzling is Jindal should know this because, according to Kaiser’s tracking, his state has participated in three of the demonstrations authorized by the law.

    I can appreciate why Jindal is feeling defensive. After all, the governor, for reasons that remain unclear, is singlehandedly denying health care coverage to nearly a quarter of a million struggling Louisianans. It hurts those personally affected; it undermines state finances; and it’s awful for state hospitals. The governor needs some kind of defense for this, especially as he cultivates his national ambitions.

    But what does it tell us about the merits of his argument when Jindal’s central claim is exposed as a ridiculous falsehood?[…]

  3. rq says

    re: your kitty links
    1) Heh, the article mentions chin scratches, but I still think it would be far more dangerous to attempt a belly-scratch on a sabre-tooth.
    2) The first picture got me. UNSEND!UNSEND!UNSEND!

  4. Crudely Wrott says

    I usually avoid links to infowars dot com but in the spirit of spirited feminism, (polishes newly aware fingernails on vest) but hthis, precociously titled “10 Ways True Feminism Is Under Attack”, is worthy of some serious bite-back. Here is the opening paragraph and Way #1″:
    [emphasis is mine]

    Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
    March 19, 2014

    Image: WW2 Propaganda Poster.

    Feminism is a top down social movement controlled by the political class which is exploited to promote cultural marxism, confuse gender roles, denigrate men and mislead women – all while completely ignoring genuine women’s rights issues. Here are ten ways in which true feminism is under attack.

    1) Feminism Was Hijacked by the Political Class to Exploit Women

    When the average person thinks of feminism, they don’t differentiate between first wave feminism and second wave feminism. First wave feminism was primarily centered around giving women the right to vote and the right to own property. No one would argue with first wave feminism being a noble cause. However, second wave feminism was quickly hijacked the the elite as a tool for social engineering and has little to do with women’s rights. A quote often attributed to Adolf Hitler is, “First you get the women, then you’ve got the children, so follow the men.” By hijacking feminism and making it about subjugating men, the establishment succeeded to a great extent in making women more dependent on the state.

    Is anyone surprised by the breathlessly early Godwin? No? Nor I.

    Infowars is Alex Jone’s pet place to whine and fuss about his bruised ego and his besieged faith. His site does allow comments although they are no doubt obsessively moderated. Perhaps some of the silver tongued among the Loungelings can deliver stealth, er, corrections?

  5. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Portia – *pouncehug with chocolate* I’m happy to hear your paralegal is awesome.

    rq – *pouncehug with chocolate*


    At the moment, nothing is hurting.

    Happy, happy to hear this! It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.

    At the moment, I’m hurting more than usual because they are changing my pain medication, and I need to gradually decrease the old medication before I can start the new–and we then need to determine the correct maintenance dosage for the new one.

    Crudely Wrott – *pouncehug with lots of chocolate* I wish I had time and the brain power today to deliver stealth corrections.

  6. cicely says

    Hekuni Cat, I hope your medication changeover goes well.
    *careful liqueur-infused hugs*

  7. rq says

    If it can’t be found with a cursory look in the evidence room, it’s lost for all eternity. This is my conclusion and I’m sticking to it. (Besides, who wants to go digging through all that stuff in the evidence room? I mean really.)


    Hope your pain-free-ness continues, as do the positive temperatures (a link?), because feeling one’s toes is, indeed, loverly.

    Hekuni Cat
    I had a special kitty pouncehug gif all saved up for you, but lo and behold, I’m at work, suckety suck, so I can’t link it for you. :( But it was awesomely pouncey!!
    In the meantime, have these regular *hugs* and also a set of *pain-resistant hugs*, too – hey, if the anti-migraine kind worked, maybe these will ease some of your pain during the transition! Here’s to better pain management at the end of the road.

  8. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hi Horde,

    Can I have permission to whine? Today I feel like old cold crap. I feel like I’ve been run over by a speeding 18-wheeler. Did anybody get the number on that rig?

    Truly, I have myriad maladies and every damned one of them is screaming at me today. And I got no sleep last night. I used to take piles of pills to control things, but addiction is my middle name so now I mostly just bear it and gripe occasionally.

    So today is a gripe day.

    Information tidbit: Did you know that for some people stimulants are excellent pain relievers?

    Be well.

    Apologies if this posts twice. Evidently my original contained a forbidden word.

  9. Portia says

    Hekuni Cat:

    Thanks for the hugs- return pouncehug, with extra pain reliever.

    I got a package from rq upon my return from court just now!!! I’m so excited!!!

    Awesome paralegal said “Man, you have the best friends! First flowers, now a package, sheesh, you have it made!” I do. I do have awesome friends. :D :D

  10. Portia says

    Remind me – how long ago did you put it in the mail? I’m curious what qualifies as fast :)

  11. rq says

    I believe it was last week, Monday or Tuesday – which would make it about a week in transit, and that’s pretty darn good (things coming from Canada can take a month, easily, so there’s some weird mail circuitous routes out there). There should be a date-stamp on the envelope, if you want to be sure. :)

  12. Portia says

    I just checked the date stamp (derpy derp, duh ;) ) and it says “10 03 2014” and my first reaction was “It came from the future?!” but then I remembered that the US is pretty much the only derp that derps up the order of Day Month Year :D

  13. rq says

    HAHAHA. I send packages from the future. I have other superpowers too, but I choose not to reveal them to you at this time. :)

  14. Portia says

    I just ate my third donut of the day. I could make excuses, but fuck counting calories. I ate’em ’cause I wanted ’em, and I ain’t sorry!

    /revolutionary : p

  15. Portia says

    I’m happy to observe one superpower at a time – otherwise my mind would just be blown :D

  16. Crudely Wrott says

    *analgesic hugs* for Hekuni Cat and for morgan.
    From our How Much Have You Thought About The Inevitable desk comes this (too) short article from Foster’s Daily Democrat, the very first newspaper that I ever read with regularity.

    (The Daily Democrat is published in Dover, New Hampshire and references a forum held at the University of New Hampshire just up the road in Durham. I attended elementary and high school in both school districts and used to enjoy the many amenities that were publicly available at UNH. Mostly the library (wow!) and the student union facility.)

    Concerning the substance of the forum which is, in case you didn’t follow the linky, is green funerals. From the article:

    In her presentation, she dug into the legality of home funerals and burials; the health and safety concerns; proper care of your loved ones; and the socio-ecological benefits of a home funerals and green burials.

    Home funerals, which are legal in 41 states, provide a financially responsible and environmentally friendly alternative to standard funeral home practices, Webster said.

    While performing end-of-life care at home cuts the cost by a significant amount, Webster stressed the act of involving family, friends and the community in the end-of-life care of a person as most important. “It’s their privilege to care for their loved ones — how that happens is a choice,” said Webster.

    Long ago I determined that I would like to be recycled naturally. I’m heartened that the opportunity to do so is becoming more accepted and more widely available.

    I will ask that some native wildflowers be planted above me along with a sapling oak, or sugar maple of blue spruce. Monument enough since I’ll be in them!!


  17. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Wife texted me today and told me I had books. Which made me happy as I have been awaiting Gould’s Wonderful Life. I know that it much of his conclusions have been superseded (I have Cambrian Explosion and another one focusing on the Burgess Shale fauna, so it’ll be interesting to see how things have changed in a couple of decades). I get home and there are two books. I wondered what was going on, as I ordered three books and had gotten two. The third book was Pratchett’s Making Steam. I had forgotten it was coming out in mid-March.


    New Pratchett!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. says

    Yes, the midterm 2014 elections in the USA are important. You may not have the excitement of a Presidential vote, but there’s plenty of bad news coming down the pike if Republicans clean up (as they usually do in low-voter-turnout elections). Here’s just one example:

    […] if Republicans take the Senate majority for the first time since 2006, the party will put one of the nation’s most prominent climate deniers in charge of the Senate panel responsible for environmental policy. […]

    Cold weather tends to bring out the climate change deniers – in the Senate, that would be Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). On Monday, Inhofe pointed to freezing temperatures across the country to explain climate change science is both “laughable” and rigged. […]

    So, yeah, drag yourself to the voting booth and don’t make it easy for Republicans to take over the Senate.

  19. opposablethumbs says

    Oh yay, Ogvorbis – Wonderful Life is a wonderful read, superseded bits and all. It was the first book of this kind I ever read, passed on to me by my mother (she was a scientist and loved few things better than reading about scientific fields outside her own (well, she loved Mozart a lot too (and she was a bit partial to her kids))). Gould was such an excellent writer. It sort of makes me wish he might have done a new edition years later, incorporating new knowledge … I wish he were still alive, it ain’t fair. Raising Steam is a great treat to look forward to too!

    Huge pile of assorted hugs to the Horde (with analgesics to taste). I seem to have been hanging out more in Thunderdome; unheard-of for me.

  20. says

    In the recent past, long-time Pharyngulite, Walton, has posted quite a few comments and links associated with prison systems, abuse within those systems, and even more abuse within immigrant detainee facilities. Here’s one article that focuses not just on abuse at the Otay detention facility in San Diego, but at a new effort by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to muzzle reporters and/or to bury reports written about abuse. Not cool, ICE.

    The muzzling tactics are also negatively affecting volunteers who help the detainees. ICE is engaging in a form of abuse, throttling free speech, revoking visiting privileges, making people sign questionable legal documents, and generally fighting oversight of any kind.

  21. says

    “I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first,” Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.

    “God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she said. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

    That’s Illinois congressional candidate Susanne Atanus speaking. Now for the bad news … she won her primary.

    Please don’t vote her in. Please, pretty please, oh Illinois voters, do not vote this woman in.

    Also, how the fuck did she with the primary? Even Republicans were appalled by her.

  22. Crudely Wrott says

    Oggie, you will enjoy Wonderful Life, I am quite sure. I certainly did.

    It’s packed full of illustrations and Gould’s singularly incisive and evocative prose. For me, it opened up a long lost world for my greater understanding, appreciation and astonishment.

    Sad that he is not around to write of the new Cambrian fossil site recently found not far from the Burgess. I hope that there is someone who can offer a similar exposition in time to come.

    Oh, yes; you remind me how remiss I’ve been in my Pratchett reading. An embarrassing omission that I really need to tend to.

    Hope you are well, fully engaged and knowing happiness. Go well, friend.

  23. rq says

    *hugs* for you too, if you accept them.
    I hope that 18-wheeler does a reverse and puts you back together again.

    Also, Portia, three donuts? Weakling. I ate a package of cookies at work fine, I only ate nine out of twelve cookies, but still…). Hah!

    Good night, everyone. Hopefully the rain will stop by tomorrow. (Get it together, weather!)

  24. Crudely Wrott says

    For any Hordelings who may be in the New Hampshire Seacoast area or nearby, another link to Fosters Daily Democrat.

    In what appears to be an historical/dramatic presentation, a portrayal of the life of a slave:

    Oney Judge Staines, according to the Constitution, was only three-fifths of a person. To her masters, George and Martha Washington, she was merely “the girl.”

    All she wanted was the freedom to control her own actions, but her account of escaping the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia, fleeing north and establishing a life in New Hampshire, is not a typical runaway story.

    Go here for details.

  25. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    All hugs and virtual analgesics gratefully accepted.

    It is a soup night tonight.

  26. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Finally adding the potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and cabbage not used as flavoring to the crockpots. I will probably need to cook more veggies later, as I don’t have enough space to make the full recipe left in the crockpots. The Redhead often cooked a bunch of veggies in a 20 qt pot, especially if she had 5 pieces of meat cooking.

  27. Portia says

    Wow, all my pharyngu-mail showed up in one day.

    Tony: Thank you thank you – you are so sweet. I will return the favor, in the imminent future. I think I’ll be able to tomorrow. Thank you for your patience, friend.

    Hekuni Cat! Thank you! Your contribution (and rq’s) will be forwarded to JAL hopefully tomorrow.

    And I will email you as well – thank you for the lovely note.


    need moar malbec.

  28. cicely says

    *liqueur-infused hugs* for morgan?!, as well. I’m sorry your day is/has been so sucky.

    Ogvorbis: I has an envy—we are still anxiously awaiting our New Pratchett.

  29. Portia says

    Oh, and happy tiny thing of the day: I helped prevent someone’s risk of deportation from being heightened. So that was a feel-good moment.

  30. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    cicely – *careful liqueur-infused hugs* are awesome and greatly appreciated.

    rq – *pain-resistant hugs* are very welcome, and I’m looking forward to the awesomely pouncey specially kitty pouncehug gif. It’s always good to have something to look forward to. :D

  31. chigau (違う) says

    catch up later
    At 6:30 PM petrol at the pump was 1.124 CDN per litre.
    At 9:30 PM petrol at the pump was 1.209 CDN per litre.

  32. chigau (違う) says

    Not much of a catch-up.
    *rum equivalents*
    for all.

    Are we expecting another turd-dump tonight?

  33. Crudely Wrott says

    I drove past a nom-denominational church today in an old, run down and dreary part of town. On their curb-side marquee was this:
    Obedience Today
    Unspeakable Happiness Tomorrow

    I reflected that it must be pretty hard to describe that kind of happiness. So I wondered, do they have charades for sermons in that church?

    *o_O . . . I know . . . I’ll get my hat.*

  34. chigau (違う) says

    Crudely Wrott
    charades in church
    y’know I may have stayed longer…
    ***sounds like***

  35. rq says

    Hekuni Cat
    Here it is – *pouncehug*!!!

    Also, carlie was in my dream last night. She told me her entire family looked like courgettes. And that every morning, when they woke up, her husband and three giant dogs (you apparently have three giant dogs, carlie!) would stare at their elderly white cat for half an hour in wonder and awe.


    Child-free by choice, with all the annoying comments that comes with it. :P

    It seems the Australian government is learning about freedom of speech from certain parties in America…

    Sometimes, you just have to do it yourself – even against the best advice of your parents. :D

    New York art exhibit. Bacon warning.

    More musical replacement. Tee hee.

  36. opposablethumbs says

    @ Crudely

    a nom-denominational church

    sounds like it might almost be a church worth its salt ;-)
    I bet they have great feast-days … and cake is a sacrament, of course!

    rq your first link goes to the kitten-pounce gif so I expect you meant it to go somewhere else?

    I just can’t write lately … but I’m reading you all and really really appreciating and being glad that you are.

  37. rq says

    Uh… Yes, that first link should be this. I mean, obviously those two kitties can keep having fun and not have kids by choice, too. But that wasn’t the point. :)
    Thanks for pointing out the borklink, opposablethumbs! Here, may I share this apple cake with you? It has ginger.

  38. rq says

    And that “have to do it yourself” link is obviously a detailed description of the nom-denominational church’s most sacred sacrament of all: eating all the Entire Cake!!

  39. Portia says

    good morning, coffee anyone?

    opposablethumbs: *hugs* I’ve been impressed with your contributions to the Dome rumble these last few days. Hope you’re well. (Don’t feel obligated to respond if you’re not up for it or have time or whatever right now).

    rq: *hugs*

  40. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @rq & Portia:

    Two of my favorite people, right here at almost the same time I finally find myself with access to the internet and a chance to rest after a long drive.


    As for Australia & free speech: The Aussi constitution has no positive constitutional law on free speech, did you know that? Free speech has been interpreted as being protected indirectly by the constitutional right to participation in the political process. Thus the more political your speech is, the more it is protected. (although the disparity has been somewhat minimized by the effects of international treaties)

    They really, IMNSHO, need better free speech protections. I totally understand why one would be extremely wary of an effort to repeal [marginalized group adjective, in this case “racial”] vilification laws, but what good is it if it’s fine to use a racial slur to say, “I would never vote for a _____”? It’s exactly when power is at issue that the marginalized are most at risk. Though a big stink was raised over a conservative white guy being affected by the law, and though it stinks worse that as soon as aboriginal people start using the law to their advantage white folk move to repeal the provision, I was of the opinion that better, clearer, more direct, and more consistent speech protections were needed in Aussi anyway.

    I don’t know if it would go down any better for aboriginal people in Australia, but if the Liberal MPs halted the repeal effort and just bent their minds to a good constitutional amendment on expressive rights, everyone would probably be better off.

  41. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Thanks for that information. I have a pile of cousins in Australia, and they’re all horrified by Abbott’s politics. I wonder if there’s no actual free speech protection in Australia because it seems too obvious to have – and judging from the reaction to this law (and its repeal), I doubt any constitutional amendments would make good ground currently. Sadly. But I’m not in Australia myself, I just get all their facebook posts, so I suppose I shouldn’t judge.
    This bit:

    Thus the more political your speech is, the more it is protected.

    is actually really interesting. I’m really trying to wrap my head around that, and I’m not seeing any way that could possibly end well. Like, how do you define what is political speech? Is it political when it mentions elections? A specific law? Is expressed by a politician? Cites a politician? It just seems like such a random designation…

    Anyway, I hope your long drive was a productive and successful one in all the ways that it was meant to be, and perhaps just a little bit of fun, as well.
    Oh, and

    Two of my favorite people

    yeah, *blush* I’ve been missing you around, too.

  42. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    about, (rather than @) geraldo:

    Careful. Saying that in an elevator to a woman, if you have an xy chromosome means you’re an evil misogynist.

    Yeah, well, it’s a good thing there’s no such thing as an xy chromosome. Our daily morphist displays as much arrogance as ignorance. It’s amazing he has the chutzpah to even reference biology when he knows so little he thinks there is “an xy chromosome” in any human being.

    And then to come back, day after day? Certainly our Momentarily-Geraldo must read many of the responsive comments every day. It can’t be news that these drive-by comments are shredded. And yet the morpher is determined to come back tomorrow to say something equally ignorant. What kind of megalomania must it take to comment *yet again* after reading a complete dismantling of the closest thing one makes to an argument, the routine corrections of the most basic facts, and the common contempt for an apparent inability to make the shortest of posts without displaying both a lack of thinking and a lack of knowledge?

    It makes you wonder: is depression caused by a redistribution of positive aspects of self-assessment from some people who deserve better self-assessment to others who deserve worse?

    Because in that case, Momentarily-Geraldo is making Bristol-Myers Squibb a fortune.

  43. Portia says

    Two of my favorite people

    yeah, *blush*

    Ditto. Hope your rest is lovely.


    This bit:

    Thus the more political your speech is, the more it is protected.

    is actually really interesting. I’m really trying to wrap my head around that, and I’m not seeing any way that could possibly end well.

    That’s actually also how it works in the States. Highest level of protected speech is political speech. Of course, I can’t speak to how much different everything else is between here and there.

  44. rq says


    Highest level of protected speech is political speech.

    So what counts as political speech, though? Is that clearly defined?
    And can you say anything in a political speech, including racist and sexist stuff beyond the pale, and not be legally responsible for it? (Or at least without being penalized for it legally?)

  45. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    That story is simultaneously hilarious and revolting (because I kept expecting that ending, and ew, it happened). Thanks, I will never make a birthday cake again for anyone in my family. Until my own birthday, of course, which is coming up reasonably soon. ;)

  46. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Portia, #549:

    I don’t disagree that political expression is better protected in the USA in certain senses than certain other speech is protected in the USA in those same senses.

    But unless I’m wrong, that’s the practical outcome, not the theory. As I understand it, jurisprudence has found that there aren’t many compelling interests in censoring speech, and that fewer apply directly to political speech. They don’t actually apply a different standard of review (this I *do* know for fact). They simply tend to be a little more suspicious of government rationalizations for restricting quite a bit of political speech.

    But with all that said, in certain other senses political expression is not better protected – because the courts can simply find something [like registering people to vote in the communist party] to conduct or signing off, willfully blind, on “time, place, manner” restrictions that were actually enforced in an entirely biased manner. This is supposed to be banned under the line of cases going back to Yick Wo, but of course it still happens. Lukumi Babalu Aye (albeit religious expression and not political expression) is a recent example of the court doing the right thing and following Yick Wo (and, perhaps, the courts are more consistent in many areas now than they were before the Church Commission jump started a little more judicial skepticism). Yet, when we get the government labeling something “terrorism”, political speech protections go out the window pretty darn fast.

    Australia simply applies different standards and may be (i’ve read enough to form this opinion, but not enough to have any certainty at all) more consistent about the breadth of the “political expression” category, and certainly has a broader interpretation of the “political expression” category. So it’s still pretty different, despite the marginally heightened protection for political speech on a practical level.

    i could send you some good comparative stuff on expression protections in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and South Africa if you like.

  47. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    Could you send them to me, too? I’m suddenly interested in the subject (taar pinsh at hot mail dot com – remove spaces where appropriate, etc.).
    If not, I can ask Portia to forward them to me. ;)

  48. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    can you say anything in a political speech, including racist and sexist stuff beyond the pale, and not be legally responsible for it? (Or at least without being penalized for it legally?)

    No, you can’t say anything. You can’t say, for instance, “is there anyone in the crowd willing to assassinate the president, because I’m willing to put up the money for expenses along with a generous per diem until it gets done” unless the context pretty clearly renders it something other than solicitation to murder.

    But you can express almost any opinion on almost any issue without criminal liability. One can even advocate violence as long as one isn’t inciting imminent violence. If I was particularly self loathing, I could say such horrible things as “Jews are subhuman vermin, atheist Jews are subhuman vermin who turn on their own kind, and queer atheist jews are perverted subhuman vermin. They should all be taken out and shot.” You may notice that right wing radio host Austin Ruse said something effectively identical about “liberal professors” just a few days ago. He’s not facing any legal liability at all. Nor will he face any tort liability. Nor will the privately-owned stations that broadcast it face any sanctions from the FCC that regulates broadcasters, though they gave a TV network a huge fine for a shot of Janet Jackson’s nipple so brief no one got a decent look when it went out live (and thus without realistic possibility of editing the image in any way).

    Tiniest flash of a nipple done by someone you paid to sing and dance when it was on live TV with no warning to the broadcaster = broadcaster faces legal penalty, including the largest broadcaster fine ever for breach of content guidelines

    Advocating murder and describing a class of people as subhuman = no problem from the government’s point of view.

    yeah, it’s pretty sickening. Though I find the government’s outraged interest in JJ’s nipple far more sickening than government non-intervention when hatred is broadcast.

    But yeah, sickening.

  49. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @rq, 556:

    Sure. After Portia has a chance to weigh in about whether or not she wants the material, I’ll send it to you or to both as appropriate.

  50. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Crudely Wrott

    a nom-denominational church

    So they eat crackers?


    I cracked open Making Steam and made it about 1/4 of the way through. I’m impressed — only two possible incorrect phrases — one of which is only incorrect in context, the other would be correct for a specific spot in a boiler, but that spot is not where fusible plugs are located. Fun read so far.



    Does this constant morphing to evade a well-deserved ban give you the moral high ground?

  51. Portia says


    yes, please do send the links/docs/discussion. I’ll be interested to have a look. I’ve no doubt your analysis is spot-on, as usual. I may be misremembering my second-year Con Law, but I did think there was a different test (not different standard of review, though) for political speech. My money is definitely bet against my memory ^_^

  52. Portia says

    Boss just walked in my office on his way to his own and said ‘Early bird gets the worm, [Portia], and you are due for some worms.” :)

    (I share the bright spots in my days so that I’m not all negative during this rough patch, and so that I mentally store them and note them by talking about them. Thanks for listening, all : ) )

  53. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Awesomely useful, thanks!

    Are there any other classes that currently exist? Obviously “creationist” is useful for any particularly dim bulb, but just wondering.

  54. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    He was demonstrating MRA on his site…

    which is something like this (if all works!)


  55. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, rq, I’ll try, just to make sure that there wasn’t a typo in your code.

    Women should avoid trying to be funny altogether and stick to maximizing the return on their authentically valuable assets. That would be your tits, ass, face and pussy, in case you were wondering.

    Quote courtesy of manboobz mocking of Heartiste.

  56. rq says

    Personally, I think the new class function in blockquotes is just a way to make us bork them more often. It’s all a conspiracy. Because.

  57. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Personally, I think the new class function in blockquotes is just a way to make us bork them more often. It’s all a conspiracy. Because.

    Well, Borkquotia hasn’t been getting much homage recently. Too much of our genuflectionism has been going to Tpyos and Grammaticas. Borkquotia has been feeling real neglected, so PZ is just trying to even things up.

  58. rq says

    You’d think we’d manage on our own.
    But you must be correct, our constant improvement in the actual usage of blockquotes has rendered Borkquotia nearly obsolete. The poor thing!

  59. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    And I’m pretty sure it was inevitable that I would drop an homage to Borkquotia in my 571.

  60. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Naw. Pure serendipitous accident.

    I think PZed is putting in some sort of affirmative action on behalf of Borkquotia.

  61. opposablethumbs says

    Portia, lots and lots of thanks and hugs. That’s very kind of you to say, and very much appreciated.
    Nothing drastic going on, just sort of … a touch of the not managing to keep on keeping on and/or up, sort of thing. Coming here and reading you all makes a lot of difference!
    Apple cake with ginger, rq?!?!?!?!? Yes please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sounds absolutely delicious.

    Crip Dyke has been particularly on fire lately. And Tony! And Desert Son has been great too, in fact the Horde is in pretty fine fettle … you all are the best, really.

  62. David Wilford says

    Based on the excerpt, this looks like an interesting read:

    Science’s contributions to the spread of disbelief is the least controversial segment of the virtuous cycle for which I am arguing in seventeenth-century Europe. For science’s methods are clearly troublesome for religion. The devout, to begin with, are not wont to view their precepts merely as propositions to be controverted or confirmed. The orthodox, as a rule, are used to arguments being settled by authority, not experiment. The hope belief offers does not always stand up well to observation and experience: life sometimes works out okay; sometimes it doesn’t. Faith, particularly of the “certain-because-impossible” variety, and reason have long been tussling. Miracles are notoriously miserly with evidence. Revelation does not lend itself to experimental verification. And the mystical, by its nature, fails to produce facts.

    When it is employed, the scientific method, consequently, has a way of uncovering information that is inconvenient for religion. Conflicts are inevitable with ancient holy books—most of which do end up proclaiming something or other on “how” the earth works or “heaven goes.” Scientists in these centuries diverged from Scripture at their peril. Galileo learned that. But in the end the greater cost would be borne by the holy books. Catholic leaders did indeed have reason to fear that, in taking Copernicus’ theory seriously, Galileo might encourage people to take the Bible less seriously.

    Consider, for another example, the questions reason and experience were, cautiously, raising in Europe at this time about the account of Noah’s flood in Genesis: From whence did all that water—enough to cover “all the highest mountains everywhere”—come? Where did it go after those “forty days and forty nights” ended? How could one ark (Genesis specifies its dimensions) hold so many pairs of creatures? Were fish or birds on board? Observations led to more questions: what about all those new animals being discovered in America?

    IMO, science has done more for atheism than atheism has done for science, in that pursuing the former leads to the latter.

  63. says

    Kroos Control says something stupid

    Brought to you by the redundant departement of redundancy…

    Urgh, everything is horribly exhausting at the moment. I go to my internship, I come home, I take a nap and at 10 pm I fall asleep again and sleep like a child. (Why do people say stuff like “sleeps like a baby”? Have they never cared for a baby?)

    Hugs to cicely for no pain and morgan and hekuni cat for hopefully soon no pain.

    Also: How come some vegetarians think that omnivores are carnivores? This internship is in a team, and the other two women are vegetarians. Today we decided to go to my place after school (because it’s 5 minutes from school), have lunch and work on our joint report. Discussing lunch we agreed on couscous with veggies and suddenly they both started to explain how you cook couscous and how veggies and what veggies and so on.
    I was like “wait, I’ve been cooking for 20 years now, I know more than just how to fry a steak (which I actually don’t know)”.
    I mean, they weren’t raised as vegetarians, they must have cooked omnivorous dishes before, so presumably they knew something about vegetables and stuff before…
    And it’s not the first time this is happening to me.

  64. rq says

    Maybe they just thought it would be fun to bond over couscous recipes.

    Exactly which quote marks? Since I put in quote marks… Though I didn’t use the ‘creationist’ class, that must be it.

    1 + 1 + 1 = 1, just like a clover leaf!

  65. opposablethumbs says

    Y I can not haz gumbies …. :-(

    I did write the coded stuff just like PZ said … (copy-pasted it, actually).

    Y?!?! O Y?!?!?!

    stupidness text goes here …

    Not workin for me, nope, zilch rien niente res :-((((

  66. chigau (違う) says

    I changed the curly quote marks to straight ones.
    I don’t understand computers.
    ‘ ‘ “

  67. opposablethumbs says

    chigau, I can’t see the difference between your two sets of inverted commas. Could you explain?

  68. opposablethumbs says

    testing …

    stupidness text goes here

    oohh, I think this might work.
    Thank you chigau! :-))))

  69. says

    Yes, the deck is stacked against you, unless you are rich. If you are rich, the deck is stacked so that you will get richer even if you fail. In fact, you are protected from the usual effects of failure, you are cushioned with golden cushions. Salon link. Excerpts below.

    Number Two at Yahoo! gets $109 million for 15 months of failure. […]

    Former Google CEO is reportedly worth $8 billion (and change).

    How did executive worth get so inflated in Silicon Valley? Consider this: de Castro’s (and Mayer’s) former boss Eric Schmidt is reportedly worth $8 billion after serving as Google’s CEO for a number of years. Schmidt famously earned a $1 salary and negligible bonuses while he was CEO, but clearly he was being compensated more than fairly.

    In his current, more nebulous position as “executive chairman,” Schmidt has twice been awarded $100 million in stock. Last month he was also given $6 million in cash.

    Schmidt’s a bright guy. But $8 billion and change in net worth? Why, exactly? Schmidt didn’t invent Google. Sergey Brin and Larry Page did. He ran it reasonably well, and deserved to make money for that. But $8 billion? For 10 years’ work?

    On the “teacher scale” (and with a little estimating for inflation), that’s more than 15,000 times what the average teacher would have made over the same 10-year period. […]

    Hedge funders bet against companies’ success at least as much as they bet for them. Their profession has contributed to the explosive growth of non-productive financial transactions as a percentage of corporate profits, a trend that has robbed the economy of jobs and growth. […] Hedge funder Steve Cohen made $2.3 billion last year. Since that’s just one year’s income, it didn’t hurt him too much when he paid $1.8 billion to settle criminal insider trading charges. In fact, he came out half a billion ahead last year.[…]

  70. says

    More anti-democratic shit is likely to soon be piled on top of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling:

    Sometime in the next three months – perhaps as early as next week – the Supreme Court will issue its next big campaign finance decision, a ruling that reformers worry will further open floodgates of one-percenter campaign cash. The case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, concerns a challenge by the RNC and conservative CEO Shaun McCutcheon to the federal laws restricting how much one person can donate to candidates and party committees each cycle.

    “Really what’s at stake here is whether there’s just a few hundred or a few thousand people who can dominate the entire election process in the U.S.,” warned attorney Adam Lioz […]


  71. rq says

    It ain’t the quotes for me, those don’t make a difference in my case, but I tried class = “mra” because Jason had that example on his blog, and that one doesn’t work yet, apparently. Sadly.

    Or maaaybe it dooooes?

  72. Pteryxx says

    Links from the legislatures of the sex-is-icky South:

    Louisiana rep says lack of sex ed is a form of child abuse

    Rep Smith has introduced her comprehensive sex-ed bill for the last four years, while Louisiana continues to be a case study of abstinence-only and teen pregnancy.

    The associate director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, Rob Tasman, said his group has a strong interest in the bill because most students who are Catholic attend public schools.

    Tasman said sex education instruction in public schools “can lead to moral relativism, teaching the topic purely from a naturalistic perspective or something that bolsters the contraceptive mentality.”


    Last week, Mississippi sent its religious discrimination bill back for “further study” after public pressure:

    “We need to further study this issue,” Gipson said. “This issue is too important to let this bill die.”

    Instead of stripping away all of the religious freedom language and making it only a bill to change the state seal, GOP leadership sought to placate conservatives on the religious right who backed the discriminatory aspect of the bill.

    SB 2681 returns to the Senate, where the Senate can either kill it, agree with it, or seek to negotiate a reconciliation between it and the version it passed in February.


    However Mississippi did find time to pass a 20-week, now 18-week, abortion ban:

    But both versions of the 20-week ban are equally unconstitutional, Amanda Allen, state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told RH Reality Check. And because the state’s only abortion clinic already doesn’t perform the procedure after 16 weeks (later abortions for medical reasons are performed in hospitals), Allen called the bill “cynical and cruel, and doubly so because it will have little impact in the state.”

    The bill contains exceptions for severe health threats to the pregnant woman or severe fetal abnormalities, but not for rape or incest, and an amendment to create exceptions for rape or incest was defeated.

  73. vaiyt says

    However Mississippi did find time to pass a 20-week, now 18-week, abortion ban:

    Soon it will be 16, and 14… just feeling the care Kroos’ ilk has for women already.

  74. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    My ‘nym probably has a shittonne of mentions. Not even going to check, though.

  75. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, Kroos’ co-religionists really respect women’s rights. They fight for women’s rights to be enshrined in law – in the US, in Ireland, in Argentina, Italy and Spain … practically all of christendom (with a few honourable exceptions) is singing Kroos’ tune.

    If you keep your eyes shut while you pray you’ll never have to see the blood on your hands.

    The laws you and those like you support kill women, Kroos. Not even counting the lives you help to blight – the living toddlers and teenagers who suffer greater deprivation than before or who lose their mother, the fathers who lose their co-parent, the women whose health is harmed – those are real people who die because of these laws. I’m sure you’d never think so, or at least never admit to it even to yourself, but it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that that’s what people like you actually want.

  76. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, bollocks, bollocks and buggeration. Um, you can probably guess where that was meant to be posted …. argh.

    xcuse plz.

  77. opposablethumbs says

    ‘pologies for the xpost, going to post it where I meant to and try to remember henceforth which tab is which …

  78. says

    Re Pteryxx @596: Not much rebranding of the Republican Party going on, eh? It’s all culture war, black and brown people shouldn’t vote, keep women down, religiously-motivated squandering of time, and a side helping of poor-people-or-jobless-people-are-icky as well.

    Fiery, independent and easily confused Republican women.

    A new low in the Republican war on voting rights.

    Republicans reject a bipartisan plan to restore jobless aid.

    Mitch McConnell pushes a 20-week abortion ban that would be nationwide.

  79. says

    More on the Michigan law that would ban insurance companies from offering coverage that would cover abortion even in cases of rape, (a woman would have to buy a separate rider, rape insurance):

    According to an anti-choice group in Michigan, one of the state’s lawmakers has staked out his position on reproductive rights purely because he wants to make sure that abortion remains “accessible and cheap for his daughters.”

    Oh, for fuck’s sake.

  80. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Also: How come some vegetarians think that omnivores are carnivores? This internship is in a team, and the other two women are vegetarians. Today we decided to go to my place after school (because it’s 5 minutes from school), have lunch and work on our joint report. Discussing lunch we agreed on couscous with veggies and suddenly they both started to explain how you cook couscous and how veggies and what veggies and so on.
    I was like “wait, I’ve been cooking for 20 years now, I know more than just how to fry a steak (which I actually don’t know)”.
    I mean, they weren’t raised as vegetarians, they must have cooked omnivorous dishes before, so presumably they knew something about vegetables and stuff before…
    And it’s not the first time this is happening to me.

    I dunno, logical inference from all the “HURR HURR RABBIT FOOD LOL” stuff floating around? Or are they smarter than that over there?

  81. says

    Uh-oh, “queer terrorists” are frightening the religious rightwing of the USA:

    Matt Barber’s BarbWire website today published yet another unhinged reaction to the fallout over the Boston and New York St. Patrick’s Day parades’ banning of LGBT groups. Jeff Allen writes on the site that the parades “have become the latest pawn in the homosexual hijacking of this country.”

    “As the militant homosexual activists aggressively sweep through our society in their hostage-taking enterprise, they trample on religious rights — and numerous other freedoms — leaving only debauchery in their wake,” he writes.

    Allen laments that corporations and universities are eager to “ride the ‘gay’ bandwagon on its path to perdition” and that “public officials cower in fear and cave to their every terrorist-like tactic.”

    “What the St. Patrick’s Day Parade organizers and every other religious group, cultural edifice or icon of morality need to do is implement a ‘we don’t negotiate with “queer” terrorists’ policy,” he concludes. “Or else all will be lost to the homosexual hijackers.”

  82. Pteryxx says

    re Lynna @604: was that new low on voting rights the citizenshi-

    In a U.S. District Court ruling Wednesday that could dramatically upend the voter registration process if it spreads across the country, a Kansas judge found that his state and Arizona can force new voters to show citizenship documents when registering to vote—as opposed to signing a legal oath on the federal voter registration form.

    *facetalon* Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    “State election officials maintain authority to determine voter eligibility,” wrote District Judge Eric Melgren, appointed by President George W. Bush, in a GOP-backed suit that went after an obscure agency, the Election Assistance Commission, which designs the federal voter form found in post offices and used in registration drives. “Arizona and Kansas have established that their state laws require their election officials to assess the eligibility of voters by examining proof of their U.S. citizenship beyond a mere oath.”

    The documentation, if upheld by higher courts, would mean that residents in these and other states with similar laws, like Georgia and Alabama, would have to present either a passport, birth certificate, naturalization or tribal papers to become a legal voter. A driver’s license, college ID, or signature given under penalty of perjury would no longer suffice.

    To clarify – “election officials” here means ordinary volunteers – like those running student voter registration drives on campuses, those who get women registered to vote at all those abortion rights rallies, those who help poor folks register – would have to be checking and/or sending in citizenship documentation along with the signed forms.

    The politics are transparent. Republicans know that people of color, college students, women and the poor—who are more likely to lack this form of ID—are more likely to support Democrats and vote at the polls. In contrast, the GOP typically focuses on absentee ballot campaigns, or voting by mail, for its party members where tougher voter ID standards do not apply.

    Soon after Prop. 200 passed, more than 31,000 Arizonans were rejected as voters, and voter applications from registration drives fell 44 percent in the state’s largest county, civil rights groups said in testimony submitted on January 25, 2014 to the Election Assistance Commission—which, until Wednesday’s ruling, refused to add the proof of citizenship requirement to the federal registration form.

    In Kansas, nearly 15,700 prospective voters have not been added to official voter rolls in 2014 because of proof-of-registration requirement, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

    Quote of the day: HuffPo source

    In Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne, another conservative Republican, said election officials learned they had more than 200 noncitizens on their rolls when court officials forwarded the names of people who sought exemptions from jury duty because they weren’t citizens. Arizona has 3.25 million registered voters.

    “There’s been a cover-up by the media of the extent to which voter fraud is a problem,” Horne said.

  83. Pteryxx says

    By the way, about that Michigan rape insurance law: what rape insurance?

    As reported by the Detroit Free Press, there are currently no insurance providers offering abortion riders to new customers on the private marketplace, meaning that people who purchases insurance as individuals will have zero access to coverage for abortion care, putting abortion financially out of reach for many in the state. […]

    Finding an insurer that offered coverage for abortion services was already a challenge in Michigan — as it is across much of the country — and stigma against the procedure compels many people seeking care to do so outside their insurance network, but the Michigan law stands to make a bad situation worse.

    So that leaves Medicaid coverage (denied because of the Hyde amendment) or employer-provided coverage (see: Hobby Lobby case, etc)… except for women rich enough to pay out of pocket on short notice when they need an abortion.

  84. rq says

    It’s definitely a good year to be visiting Canada. :/ With the whole family, just in case.

  85. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    I was looking at flights yesterday. . .

    Who are you planning to fight? Why? I am confused.

  86. Nutmeg says

    upthread a bit:

    cicely: Yay for a pain-free time. I hope it continues!

    morgan and Hekuni Cat: *gentle hugs if wanted* I hope you are both in less pain soon.

    Portia: Yay for small bits of good news!


    Friend is still being a clueless shithead, but whatever. I’m going to wait a few days until I’m cooled off a bit more, then try for a “You seem kind of off lately, what’s going on?” conversation, with a side of “If you’re acting like this because you’re depressed, let’s get you some help. If you’re fine and you’ve just developed bad interpersonal habits, you should know that it makes you look really inconsiderate. Get your act together.”


    On the good news front, a paper that I was a minor contributor to was accepted today! And I just submitted the revisions on my other paper. So I am feeling academically accomplished right now.

    Unfortunately, this means I need to move on to the next paper. But I should be able to do that at home in my PJs, at least.


    Oh, and I saw my first goose of the year on Tuesday. They may be flying vermin, but at least it’s a sign of spring.

  87. says

    Re Pteryxx @609, so a woman is supposed to buy rape insurance, but no one offers rape insurance. The unintended effect of no one but rich women being able to afford an abortion does not fit with the rightwing philosophy that white women should have more babies and that black/brown women should have fewer babies. Of course, their whole take on the abortion issue never did make sense.

    Re Pteryxx @608, hmmm, so about 200 Arizona voters, out of 3.25 million, voted illegally. Let’s see, that’s … a vanishingly small number. Raise the voter fraud banner! Sheesh. Meanwhile, they’ve succeeded in keeping all kinds of probable Democratic Party voters from voting.

    Meanwhile, Republicans are still banking on false health insurance stories, and the great Evil of Obamacare, to bring out their voters during the 2014 midterm elections.

    A few months ago, all anyone could talk about were the cancellation letters. Average Americans were receiving letters from their health insurers informing them that their coverage had been scrapped because of Obamacare, and they would be automatically enrolled in a new, far more expensive plan. The press, egged on by eager Republican operatives, ate it up – Obamacare, the controversial law upon which the president’s legacy rested, had failed in its promise to lower healthcare costs.

    The controversy was premised on the notion that health insurance companies were acting in good faith, and without self-interest. If they were raising rates, it was because they had to, and not simply because they could. And, as it turns out, the insurance companies were lying. Or at least omitting the truth. They were trying to squeeze what they could out of their customers, trusting that they would not shop the Obamacare marketplace for better deals.

    The episode offered a fine lesson for the press: when it comes to Obamacare, don’t take health insurers at their word. […]

    As you may have guessed, much of the press, including Fox News, did not learn a lesson from this at all. Not at all. They are currently pushing new lies. It makes me weary.

  88. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    heh, I read it as fight at first as well.

  89. opposablethumbs says

    Oh how I long for the blockquote class=”mra” …. (quote mra fuckwittery here) …/blockquote created by Jason Thibeault to be available here too ….

    It’s soooo irresistible.

    Pretty please, PZ?

  90. opposablethumbs says

    Not that I’d want to lose the only-just-restored and absolutely vital


    of course. I’m greedy – I wants both preciouses.

  91. blf says

    On the quote marks puzzle above: The problem is you need to use straight double-quotes (what is on yer keyboard) within HTML constructs, but stooopid WankersPee software being used for this blog converts all such quotes to the “fancier” curved quotes normally used in typeset prose. It doesn’t always get it right it you notice, sometimes using a left-curved when a right-curved would be correcter, or versa-visa.

    Anyways, they are three different characters (to a computer). Hence, when you copy-and-paste poopyhead’s example, you copy-and-pasted the fancy curved quotes, which is not what HTML groks, and so it does not work.

    For the pedants, a straight double-quote is “U+0022 QUOTATION MARK”, and the fancy curved quotes are (probably) “U+201C LEFT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK” and “U+201D RIGHT DOUBLE QUOTATION MARK”.

    And a test to see it is possible to render a genuine "U+022" in WankersPee (albeit that won’t work in HTML constructs, as far as I know) — in Preview it seems to be working…

  92. opposablethumbs says

    Tony! – you can’t post at all on any of the others? Or did you mean, post with the wonderful mra blockquote at other FTB blogs?

    Because if it’s the former, that’s a total pain – not to mention it’s their loss too. You are right up there with the most-worth-reading of all the posters in FTB-land.

  93. Pteryxx says


    Re Pteryxx @608, hmmm, so about 200 Arizona voters, out of 3.25 million, voted illegally. Let’s see, that’s … a vanishingly small number. Raise the voter fraud banner! Sheesh.

    Not even that – about 200 Arizona residents were registered, but were ineligible to vote. Since THEY knew they weren’t citizens (barring a few that may have lied to get out of jury duty) I think it unlikely that those 200 actually attempted to vote.

    Meanwhile, more than 31,000 Arizona voters have attempted to register and been rejected.

  94. says

    Thank you.

    For the last 6 months or so I’ve been tossed in the spam trap automatically at every blog (that I’ve tried posting at, which includes B&W, Dispatches, Almost Diamonds, Lousy Canuk, Mano’s, and more) except for Pharyngula (and even here, PZ had to fish me out once). I’ve already spoken with Jason, and he was able fish my comments out of his blog, and both Ophelia and Stephanie have done the same. I was able to comment on their blogs for a short time before my comments disappeared into spam world again. I don’t want to bother them each time I try to leave a comment, so I’ve just kinda accepted that I won’t be able to post outside of here (oh and I’ve found that I can leave comments at Dispatches, though that’s not always the case).

  95. says

    Re curly and straight quotes: Curly quotes are called Typographers quotation marks in WORD and in InDesign. If you prepare your comments in a word processing application, as I think David M. does, for example, you can turn off typographer’s quotation marks in the application’s preferences.

    For pedants and editors:
    “ option, right bracket is the combo keystoke for left curly quotes on a MAC (don’t know about Windows)
    ” option, shift, right bracket is for right curly quotes on a MAC (don’t know about Windows)

    Some input on quote marks:
    Use straight quotation marks (” “) when you’re typing code. The rest of the time use curly quotation marks. In InDesign, you can change a preference setting to determine which quotation marks are used.

    Use the prime mark (′) to indicate feet, arcminutes, or minutes of time. It looks like a slanted apostrophe. Use the double prime mark (″) to indicate inches, arcseconds, or seconds of time. Some fonts include the prime and double prime marks. Use the Glyphs panel to insert these marks. If the font doesn’t have a prime or double prime mark, insert the straight quotation mark, and italicize it.

  96. says

    The default setting for most word processing applications is to have typographers quotation marks turned on. Most fonts have a curly quote or typographers quote in their package. A few do not, like Hattori_Hanzo. If you use Hattori_Hanzo, you will see straight quotes even if you have typographers quotation marks turned on in your application’s preferences.

  97. opposablethumbs says

    Tony! that’s so weird. Weird, and shitty. Have any of the computer-wrangling-type people around here hazarded a guess as to why?

    I am a computer klutz, something I regret.

    Nearly supper time in Blighty (jerk chicken and rice for us, if it all goes according to plan) … see you all later.

  98. rq says

    It must be the shoop in your ‘nym. You’re truly too awesome to be confined to pharyngula only… Or maybe that is PZ’s devious plan???

    Did you find anything you like? :)


    Introducing Kawehi. One-woman band like Kimbra, just different genre (Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails covers at the link).

  99. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, so I forget whom, but someone, and I’m almost certain it was rq or portia, left a link in TD to a list of insults that had been aimed at politicians.

    Thus I discovered the site “us vs them”. And there, I found something far more glorious:


    There’s one that didn’t make me laugh (#4, never seen the material that created the reference on which the joke must rely), and the one that they finish on wasn’t, in my opinion, anywhere near the strongest entry, but the thing as a whole had me cracking up. #6 was particularly brilliant.

  100. rq says

    Crip Dyke
    That was excellent. The claw sign really spoke to me, since when I was younger, when we’d take family walks in the forest (of varying gag levels, but hey), I always loved to pick up a random nicely-shaped stick, and name it the Claw of Death. It’s amazing how much more effort people put into avoiding being poked by you if you name your poking stick the Claw of Death. When it’s just a stick, it’s just a stick. But as the Claw of Death, aaaaah… I think it changes at the molecular level and acquires special powers upon naming, much like crackers in a priest’s hands turn into flesh.

  101. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @opposablethumbs, #577:

    What, me, really?

    Well, thanks! I’m not sure what I’ve done as Kroos and Derek both seem to ignore me (although Derek did suddenly and quite coincidentally discover that rights were based in law after I criticized him for making up his own definitions that comported with neither the law nor the theory of rights of bodily autonomy and integrity).

    It’s pretty amazing that Kroos bothers coming back, and I’m beginning to get a bit of a feeling like my attempts are getting to repeat themselves. Leading me to wonder if I am the hobgoblin of little minds. But then I realized that Nerd’s really the Olivier ( of if that’s mixing metaphors, is Andy Serkis close enough?) of that role.

    @Emily Litella, #614
    You crack me up.

  102. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    It’s amazing how much more effort people put into avoiding being poked by you if you name your poking stick the Claw of Death.

    words to cubefarm by.

  103. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    google emily litella and then read comment #614 again…

  104. David Marjanović says

    Aaaaaaand link dump.

    Article in German: The ethnic cleansing begins. Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars flee Ukraine because they’re being threatened.

    Our Message to Attorney General Eric Holder:

    The Justice Department’s own report has proven that the FBI placed mortgage fraud as its lowest priority, and that much of the data collected in prosecutions was not accurate.

    We demand that you take all necessary measures to make mortgage fraud a top priority, and to have the FBI prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

    “A misogynistic Republican radio host who argued that wives ‘ought to consent to at least some form of sexual relations as much as possible’ despite their ‘mood’ is hosting a $15,000-per-person fundraiser for Mitch McConnell today.

    This isn’t the first time that this host — Dennis Prager — has been outspoken against women’s rights. Take a look:

    • He said ‘women are not programmed to prefer a great career to a great man and a family’
    • He’s denounced feminism’s ‘awful legacy’ on women

    The worst part: Mitch McConnell is raking in boatloads of money from this misogynist TODAY despite his repulsive views. This huge influx of dirty cash could cost Democrat Alison Grimes the lead in this deadlocked Senate race.”

    Petition to someone to denounce McConnell.

  105. David Marjanović says

    Craziest person in Illinois wins Republican primary

    Mitch McConnell campaign bans reporter from their events. It isn’t going well.

    I’m not sure why Mitch McConnell’s team thinks it’s such a good idea to pick fights with reporters—even if you’re peeved about negative coverage, that seems an effective way to guarantee you’ll be getting more of it—but they seem committed to it. Specifically, they’ve decided to ban one specific reporter from even getting near McConnell events, apparently because they didn’t like what he was writing about their guy.”

    New York McDonald’s workers to get $500,000 wage theft settlement

  106. says

    Pteryxx @627:

    Re Pteryxx @608, hmmm, so about 200 Arizona voters, out of 3.25 million, voted illegally. Let’s see, that’s … a vanishingly small number. Raise the voter fraud banner! Sheesh.

    Not even that – about 200 Arizona residents were registered, but were ineligible to vote. Since THEY knew they weren’t citizens (barring a few that may have lied to get out of jury duty) I think it unlikely that those 200 actually attempted to vote. Meanwhile, more than 31,000 Arizona voters have attempted to register and been rejected.

    Ah, I see. I did not read your reference carefully enough. So, this makes the Republican war on voting rights in Arizona even worse than I thought it was. Why oh why don’t I just assume that’s it is always worse than we think it is?

    Sounds to me like the ones perpetrating a fraud on voters are the Republican-run states. 31,000 people who can’t vote in Arizona?!

  107. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @David M:

    Just making sure you didn’t miss this.

  108. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Tony!, just expressing some empathy here.

    Sorry for the Shermer crap and that I wasn’t around to tackle it. Glad he got handed his ass and I hope the flounce sticks.

  109. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Does anyone have cute animal pics?
    Something REEEEEAALLY squee worthy?

    Squee, all day everyday. Top post is a baby tiger bottle feeding and trying to wobble around. :)

  110. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    What happened? I’m catching up. “Shermer crap?”

  111. ajb47 says

    Tony @644:

    Does this count? It’s our Certified Pre-Owned Dog (Sarah) running. We were told she was a mother in a puppy mill and so despite being a yellow labrador retriever, she doesn’t really know how to play. The closest she comes is running across our yard at top speed.

  112. ajb47 says

    Hmmmm, I seem to have borked the bold. Oooh, a new band name? Or a new D&D character? Borked the Bold!

  113. ajb47 says

    Tony @655:

    I poked into the “Atheist can be Pro-Life by lying about the science” and the “underwear on your head” threads. I saw the first few posts in this current Lounge and then lost it off the page and didn’t go looking for it until now.

    I got myself stuck in that 2048 game for the last week. And the weather has finally been, if not exactly good, at least good enough for me to get my walks in.

  114. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says


    Holy jumping maude. Kroos is a loser, par excellence. Kudos and support to you Tony!. You really are a warrior, fighting the good fight.

    Be well.

  115. Portia says

    kinda rupt

    Did you find anything you like? :)

    I did. I think it might be affordable. Maybe. Not sure. Might see if mi madre wants to roadtrip instead.

    I have a whole armload of hugs for Tony.

    Craziest person in Illinois wins Republican primary

    AHEM. I wasn’t even on the ballot. Ergo, this is a scurrilous lie.

  116. rq says


    Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars flee Ukraine because they’re being threatened.

    So they are being allowed to leave. Last I heard, there were efforts being made to block their exit from the state. Country. Annex. Appendix. Province. Thing of Indeterminate Legal Status. Temporarily Occupied Territory.

    *many hugs*
    I’ll have something cute in a moment, haven’t been out to see my Facebook yet.
    (Though all the other contributions are going to make me perma-squee all day today.)

  117. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    anyone have experience playing the mandolin?

    Would you have any recommendations for a person who already plays stringed instruments, but is looking to branch out into mandolin for the first time? Brands, models, things to watch out for, anything like that is helpful. Thanks.

  118. A. Noyd says

    rq (#664)

    I also found myself a new skill to learn.

    Wow. That dude is like, “Hey, gravity? Fuck you! LOL!”

  119. rq says

    A. Noyd
    I like the bit where it looks like he’s turning it with his mind. Freeeeeakyyy!! And then, yeah, then he goes rolling around. Whee!

  120. opposablethumbs says

    Dalillama #654, that’s a bit on the irresistible side :-)
    I wonder if you and L might like this:
    I am, as I may have mentioned earlier, a total computer klutz so tell me if I messed up – that’s meant to take you to a private-on-youtube clip which I am very fond of. The dachshund is called Fubuki (“blizzard”?), its owner is a really nice person and they have both now left Blighty and gone home to the other side of the world leaving this indelible memory behind them … :-D (if any of the Horde want to see “no mission too small… agility for the bold at heart” please tell me if you liked it!)

  121. rq says

    I love the sweater on that pup, and some excellent work by both pup and trainer. I liked the video!!

  122. Portia says

    heeeeheheh wrong book.


    but…physics….wait…physics is why he’s doing that…but…how…

    thanks for sharing rq: )

  123. bassmike says

    Hello everyone.

    I’m dropping in to let you know that my father died yesterday. He went as so many cancer patients do: swindling slowly away. The body that was left bore little resemblance to the man I knew as my dad. Cancer is remorseless and indiscriminate in it’s attack on the human body. In the end it was release for him and my mum who has been suffering along with him throughout his illness. There was not a day that she wasn’t with him and providing any comfort that she could. Now she will have to rebuild her life, which is going to be hard, but me and my brother are there to help as much as we can.

    Dad adored my daughter and was delighted to have a grand-daughter after waiting patiently for one of us to have a child. I’m sad that he won’t get to see her grow up. But I am gratified that the last time he smiled was when I showed him the latest video of her playing.

    There is as yet no date for the funeral it will be at least a week.

    The vicarious support that I have received through the lounge has been of great comfort. So thank you all again. The lounge is a wonderful place, which is why I find it very frustrating when people come in and treat it the same as other Pharyngula thread and dump rubbish here. It’s a thoughtless violation of our communal space.

    Small rant off.

  124. rq says

    *giant hugs* I’m so, so sorry. Cancer sucks.
    Condolences to the whole family.

  125. ajb47 says


    Sorry for your loss. Cancer is horrible in the way it takes the person and then the body.

  126. opposablethumbs says

    bassmike, all my condolences. I’m glad your father got to see and take pleasure from that video – thinking of family I’ve lost, I know that kind of thing means so so much. Hope you and your brother are able to support each other too, and that you all have the backup you need from family and friends.

    You and people like you are what make the Lounge what it is too. I’ve seen more thoughtfulness and kindness here than in most places I can think of, and you are most certainly a part of that. {{{all the hugs}}

  127. Desert Son, OM says

    bassmike at #671:

    Condolences to you and your family during this time, with wishes of support for you all.

    Still learning,


  128. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Condolences to bassmike. I hope you and yours find healing.

    Kevin, how does Fiancée feel about her father not coming?

  129. Desert Son, OM says

    Going back aways:

    cicely at #403:

    Thank you for the kind note.


    Nerd at #415:

    Good news about The Redhead feeling connected through her telephoning. Here’s hoping for more opportunities for that in her future, and more calls from her friends. Hope the cooking and food distribution to neighbors went well, and that you are also doing alright.


    Crip Dyke at #431 and additional:

    Thanks for the kitten story. It was a fun read. Thanks also for your other insightful posts herein. Your writing always makes a great read, in content and form alike. Hope this finds you well.


    JAL at #457:

    Congratulations to He in the new job, and to improving financial circumstances! Three cheers!


    Avo at #465:

    A hearty “Hey!” in return. Thanks for your recent comments in Thunderdome, and hope things are well with you.


    chigau at #469:

    Here’s to spring moving weather conditions in a direction you find more amenable!


    Portia at 486 and additional:

    Great news about having a good coworker. Hope the weekend arrives with goodness for both work and family.


    morgan ?! at #508:

    Hope this finds you feeling a little better than a couple of days ago.


    Ogvorbis at #518:

    Here’s to good times spent with good books!


    Nutmeg at #613:

    Congratulations on publication and paper work!


    Tony! at #618:

    I feel like I’m cheating on the Lounge with the Thunderdome.

    Thank you for your work over there. Hope this finds you well and a bit bolstered with images of endearing animals humorously and lovingly rendered.


    Kevin at #677 and additional:

    Wishes for reduction in wedding-related stress for you, your fiancee, and the family in general.


    Unequivocal equinoxian encouragement entailing embraces evenly embossed especially to everyone! May there be a surprise that makes you laugh today, and a good, welcomed rest when tiredness comes calling.

    Still learning,


  130. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    Hugs to you and yours. Cancer sucks.


    That sucks. I hope things work out.

  131. ChasCPeterson says

    I play some mandolin. My advice if just starting out is to go cheap. Something like this ($15 cheaper when I bought one several years ago) sounds good (esp. after a string-change) and is great for practice and learning. And if you get good and want to invest in a better instrument, you have a spare beater for camping.
    If price is not an object, of the sub-pro models I’ve played in guitar stores, I really like the Ibanez mandolins.

  132. Crudely Wrott says

    My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family, bassmike.

    May your love sustain you all.

  133. says

    Another coal ash disaster: link.

    North Carolina regulators say that Duke Energy, the company responsible for dumping 35 million gallons of toxic coal ash waste into the Dan River, are responsible for another 61 million gallon spill into another river. And this time, they did it on purpose.

    LA Times coverage.

  134. Crudely Wrott says

    Public Radio East here in North Carolina has a really great inducement during this year’s spring pledge drive.

    For each pledge made through today, 100 striped bass will be raised to eight inches and then released into local estuaries.

    Very smooth move, innit?


  135. says

    Early voting takes a big hit, and Republicans win another battle to restrict voting rights:

    State lawmakers in Wisconsin had to scramble last night, tackling pending bills at the last minute before the clock ran out on the legislative session. And for the most part, the Republican majority did what it wanted to do — including cracking down on early-voting opportunities for Wisconsin residents.

    The debate on ending weekend voting in the run-up to elections contained some of the most heated exchanges of the day. Democrats decried the limits on early voting as the latest effort by the GOP to make it harder for minorities, veterans, the elderly and students to vote.

    “Democrats want to fix problems. Republicans want to fix elections,” an array of Democrats said in speech after speech.

    The measure was approved along party lines and is now headed for Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) desk. It is widely assumed he’ll sign the bill into law.

    In January, a bipartisan White House commission, led in part by the Romney/Ryan campaign’s chief counsel, urged state policymakers to expand early voting in order to reduce waiting times and make elections more accessible. Wisconsin Republicans have chosen to do the exact opposite — this new bill eliminates weekend voting altogether, and will limit early voting to weekdays between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. […]

  136. says

    Just how bad are the Koch brothers? And just how detrimental is their interference in politics and in policy matters? It’s worse than you thought.

    As [Americans for Prosperity] emerges as a dominant force in the 2014 midterm elections, spending up to 10 times as much as any major outside Democratic group so far, officials of the organization say their effort is not confined to hammering away at President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. They are also trying to present the law as a case study in government ineptitude to change the way voters think about the role of government for years to come.

    “We have a broader cautionary tale,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity. “The president’s out there touting billions of dollars on climate change. We want Americans to think about what they promised with the last social welfare boondoggle and look at what the actual result is.”

    Leaders of the effort say it has great appeal to the businessmen and businesswomen who finance the operation and who believe that excess regulation and taxation are harming their enterprises and threatening the future of the country. The Kochs, with billions in holdings in energy, transportation and manufacturing, have a significant interest in seeing that future government regulation is limited.[…]

    The Koch brothers are attacking government itself. One reason for this attack is that the Koch brothers own a shitload of tar sands in Canada, and they don’t want no stinkin’ regulations.

    Wonkblog reported just yesterday that a Koch Industries subsidiary is the biggest lease owner in Canada’s tar sands, covering an area of 1.1 million acres. The piece added, “Separately, industry sources familiar with oil sands leases said Koch’s lease holdings could be closer to 2 million acres.” […]

    David Vitter thinks the Koch brothers are fighting for freedom, but what they are really fighting for is plutocracy.

  137. says

    Ray Jasper was executed in Texas on March 19.

    Ray Jasper was convicted of participating in the 1998 robbery and murder of recording studio owner David Alejandro. A teenager at the time of the crime, Jasper was sentenced to death. He wrote to us once before, as part of our Letters from Death Row series. That letter was remarkable for its calmness, clarity, and insight into life as a prisoner who will never see freedom. We wrote back and invited him to share any other thoughts he might have. Today, we received the letter below. Everyone should read it.

    I think ’empathy’ is one of the most powerful words in this world that is expressed in all cultures. This is my underlining theme. I do not own a dictionary, so I can’t give you the Oxford or Webster definition of the word, but in my own words, empathy means ‘putting the shoe on the other foot.’

    Empathy. A rich man would look at a poor man, not with sympathy, feeling sorrow for the unfortunate poverty, but also not with contempt, feeling disdain for the man’s poverish state, but with empathy, which means the rich man would put himself in the poor man’s shoes, feel what the poor man is feeling, and understand what it is to be the poor man.

    Empathy breeds proper judgement. Sympathy breeds sorrow. Contempt breeds arrogance. Neither are proper judgements because they’re based on emotions. That’s why two people can look at the same situation and have totally different views. We all feel differently about a lot of things. Empathy gives you an inside view. It doesn’t say ‘If that was me…’, empathy says, ‘That is me.’


    I don’t agree with the death penalty. It’s a very Southern practice from that old lynching mentality. Almost all executions take place in the South with a few exceptions here and there. Texas is the leading State by far. I’m not from Texas. I was raised in California. Coming from the West Coast to the South was like going back in time. I didn’t even think real cowboys existed. Texas is a very ‘country’ state, aside a few major cities. There are still small towns that a black person would not be welcomed. California is more of a melting pot. I grew up in the Bay Area where its very diverse.

    The death penalty needs to be abolished. Life without parole is still a death sentence. The only difference is time. To say you need to kill a person in a shorter amount of time is just seeking revenge on that person.

    If the death penalty must exist, I think it should only be for cases where more than one person is killed like these rampant shootings that have taken place around the country the last few years. Also, in a situation of terrorism.

    If you’re not giving the death penalty for murder, then the government is already saying that the taking of one’s life is not worth the death penalty. Capital murder is if you take someone’s life and commit another felony at the same time. That’s Texas law. That makes a person eligible for the death penalty The problem is, you’re not getting the death penalty for murder, you’re actually getting it for the other felony. That doesn’t make common sense. You can kill a man but you will not get the death penalty……if you kill a man and take money out his wallet, now you can get the death penalty.

    I’m on death row and yet I didn’t commit the act of murder. I was convicted under the law of parties. When people read about the case, they assume I killed the victim, but the facts are undisputed that I did not kill the victim. The one who killed him plead guilty to capital murder for a life sentence. He admitted to the murder and has never denied it. Under the Texas law of parties, they say it doesn’t matter whether I killed the victim or not, I’m criminally responsible for someone else’s conduct. But I was the only one given the death penalty.

    The law of parties is a very controversial law in Texas. Most Democrats stand against it. It allows the state to execute someone who did not commit the actual act of murder. There are around 50 guys on death row in Texas who didn’t kill anybody, but were convicted as a party.

    A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed
    There’s more at the link. The letter is well worth reading.
    And yes, the death penalty should be abolished.

  138. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    My condolences to you and your family, bassmike.

  139. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I was very lucky not to lose family members close to me as a child – not even grandparents, just great-grandparents that I had barely known.

    Now I’ve lost grandparents to death and a father to coming out I have a little better understanding of what might be involved. Yet still, my father is out there, alive. He could come around at any time. The finality of the death of a parent is something I’ve not had to endure. The likely consequences beggar my imagination, but not my empathy.

    You have all my empathy, and I’m uploading over 1 mega-hug per second.

  140. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Thanks so much for that letter. Interesting that you posted it as I was writing to Bassmike offering my empathy – specifically because I have a similar view on empathy vs. sympathy.

  141. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    It’s funny* how in nearly all humorous* emails that people** occasionally spam the work mailing list with, women are the joke.
    It’s really interesting. Someone should study this strange phenomenon.

    * no, not really
    ** people who happen to be men. How… surprising*.

  142. rq says


    people who happen to be men

    That’s just redundant. Everyone knows women aren’t people. [/snark]

    And yeah, I’ve noticed something similar. Weird.

  143. cicely says

    Stupid gall bladder has resumed being stupid.

    *hugs* and condolences for bassmike and family.
    Fuck Cancer.

    *hugs & calming manatees* for Kevin, to help off-set the wedding-related stresses.

  144. blf says

    Stupid gall bladder has resumed being stupid.

    You were having intellectual discussions with someone’s gall bladder?

  145. rq says

    Suddenly, talking gall bladders made from kimchi (kimchee?) are inextricably linked in my mind.

  146. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Careful hugs to Cicely. Wife went through that. Got it removed. Fun was had by all.


    You were having intellectual discussions with someone’s gall bladder?

    No. Kroos Control.

    The gall bother would be much more entertaining.

  147. says

    Oh, dear, the “I’m too good looking to be a rapist” defense may have worked in one case.

    […] Last year, a Georgia judge declared a mistrial in the case when 11 members of the jury voted to convict but one holdout believed the defense’s argument that the incident had been consensual. As Time reports, the defense continues to maintain that the alleged victim “was taken with Mathis’s good looks and sparkling personality.” As local news KIROV reports, Mathis says “she became so infatuated with his good looks and wanted to buy drugs from him, she wanted to take him for a ride.” […]

    Rapists don’t rape because they’re too ugly to find people to willingly have sex with them. They rape because want to rape. Life isn’t a fairy tale where ugly people are bad and beautiful people are virtuous. Nobody is “too handsome” to be a criminal. And not all monsters look like monsters.</blockquote.

  148. says

    Even wilder theories about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, this time from Fox News guest and WorldNetDaily commentator Erik Rush.


    the US took control of the plane, landed it on Diego Garcia in order to interrogate technicians aboard who wanted to “abscond to China,” and then had everyone on the flight “murdered.” […]

    The CIA went into action, in concert with the DOD and Boeing engineers. They commandeered Flight 370 en route, digitally, without the foreknowledge of the pilots or crew, diverting it to Diego Garcia. I imagine that’s where the aircraft made that now-infamous and mysterious turn just northeast of Malaysia. […]

    Flight 370’s pilots (one of whom being the pro-Islamist Zaharie Ahmad Shah) may have been afforded the opportunity to continue on to another Muslim country, blend in and take on a new identity, given the sentiments of those in the current administration.[…]

    Right Wing Watch link.

    Obama did it, or rather, Obama ordered his minions to do it. Sheesh. What a load of bull picky.

  149. chigau (違う) says

    re: Flight 370
    Isn’t it a shame that Sylvia Browne is no longer with us?

  150. says

    In the USA black and brown preschool children are suspended at a much greater rate than are white children. First, can I just say, “Suspending preschoolers? WTF?” And next, way to start discrimination early. That’s depressing as hell.

    […] Trymaine Lee’s report included this remarkable statistic: “While black children represent only 18% of preschool enrollment nationally, they make up 42% of students suspended once and nearly half of students who are suspended more than once.” […]

  151. Crudely Wrott says

    From our Ooops . . . Oh, Shit, How’d That Happen? desk comes this encouraging and amusing news out of Turkey:

    Turkey’s attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption allegations against him and his government.

    Turkey’s telecommunications authority said it had blocked access to the social media network hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “rip out the roots” of the website. Tweets have proliferated with links to recordings that appear to incriminate him and other top officials in corruption.

    This news item has a very large “tee hee heeee” factor. Power to the people!

    Behold the mighty
    And learn, my child.
    In their minds they rise high.
    Patience, my child,
    And you will see
    How far they do fall
    With your very own eye.

    Here’s the link to the AP story via myway dot com*.
    *”No banners, no popups, no kidding” goes their tag line. This is my go to source for your average, everyday, “what everybody else is learning today” headline news. Multiple (well known, pedestrian) news sources, reasonably broad range of topics, not a memory hog, no self running media un-necessities and, thank His Noodly Appendage, NO COMMERCIALS!!!!

    I recommend it even though I get no kick back for doing so (sniff). ‘At’s OK. What I do get is in the previous paragraph. Plus news and very fast page loads and news.

  152. says

    Once more the idea that majority rule should trump civil rights gets a swift kick in the ass.

    In a historic ruling that provided a huge morale boost to the gay-rights movement, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman today struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage, making it the 18th state in the nation to allow gays and lesbians to join in matrimony, just like their heterosexual counterparts.

    The state has long argued that it is, and that the will of 2.7 million voters – who in 2004 decided that marriage is only to be between a man and a woman – should not be drowned out by a single judge.

    Detroit Free Press link.

  153. Crudely Wrott says

    Lynna, as you know (and thank you sincerely for tirelessly pointing this out) a judge does not have a right to drown the voice of the majority or the minority.

    A judge has a responsibility, a commission, to interpret the law of the land. Full stop.

    That responsibility is independent of whim, whimsey, popularity and, most importantly, independent of common sense, common wisdom, fashion and tribal or revelatory tradition.

    Because of this, no one (ideally no one; I acknowledge that ideals are mostly in our eyes and are the usual source of disagreement and claims of privilege) has prior claim on benefiting from or claiming pain due to, the equal application of law.

    It’s a hard thing, but so are our heads. Without the law and its equitable application civilization would itself remain an ideal instead of trembling, as it does, on the knife edge of actuality.