“We are people, and free people at that. As the Founders understood, our freedoms do not flow from the government. They were not given to us, to be taken away at the will of the State; they are inherently ours. In the same way, the government’s appointed purpose is not to threaten or undermine our freedoms, but to safeguard them.”—The Absurd, Bureaucratic Hell That Is the American Police State
“That ethos — that size, ferocity and dominance justify themselves — is one that free market ideology has embraced with an alarming zeal. It colors the love of dinosaurs that Koch and his fellow billionaires share. And if it seems reminiscent of another evolutionary philosophy — social Darwinism — that’s not an accident.”—The right’s dinosaur fetish: Why the Koch brothers are obsessed with paleontology
“As southern whites have moved to the right, Democrats have been forced to cobble together a coalition of minority voters. Feldman recommends as a goal winning just 30 percent of the white vote while working to increase turnout among African Americans and Latinos. So while Jews, Asians, and gays are characterized as potential “fundraisers,” African Americans and Hispanics are the ones the campaign needs to get to the polls in historic numbers, the document makes clear.”—Michelle Nunn’s Campaign Plan
“I don’t travel in circles where people say, ‘I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith.’ That’s just a long-winded religious way to say, ‘Shut up.’”—Penn Jillette (via moralanarchism)
“Disgraced former Wayne County Circuit Judge Wade McCree, who had an affair with a woman while presiding over her child custody case, got some good news from a federal appeals court this week: He can’t be sued by the child’s father. That’s what the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded in a 24-page decision Monday, stating that while McCree’s actions were “often reprehensible,” he is immune from lawsuits under the long-held doctrine of judicial immunity.”—6th Circuit Court: Ex-Judge Wade McCree’s conduct ‘reprehensible’ but immune from lawsuit
“If you enroll students who later go bankrupt, you take over the payments. The consequences would be dramatic. Instead of trying to recruit any warm body who can use government loans to cover the tuition, schools would have to think about each student’s academic ability and future prospects. Those who can scarcely read and show no evidence of interest in learning anything of value would be risky to admit.”—Let Students Discharge College Debts In Bankruptcy? Yes, But… (via snowden-knox2016)
Vital background left out is that Ontario charges a fat 13% VAT on prepared foods and that the tax code includes arcane definitions of on-premises vs. take-out, with the possibility of the business excluding some of the latter sales from reporting as taxable.
“The Wolfowitz Doctrine commits the United States, its peoples, Washington’s gullible EU allies and those peoples to war with Russia and China. Unless Russia and China surrender, the world will be destroyed. The destruction of the world is what the idiot EU governments and the presstitute Western media are fostering by their enablement of Washington’s lies and aggression.”—» The World Is Doomed By Western Insouciance
As an atheist what I find fascinating is that the ernest evangelism of Evangelicals is held in greater disdain among respondents than the murderous tribalism of large chunks of Islam and Judaism (with absurd dietary edicts along for the bloody ride) and is even less popular than the serial swindle that is Mormonism despite its very own brand of evangelism. From this I deduce that atheism in America remains primarily a rejection of cultural markers held to be unsophisticated and illiberal and not the systematic and consistent application of reason and logic to the challenges of civil society.
“Brett Ratner is the pubic hair of modern directors. We all keep meaning to cut him off, but we’re simply too lazy. This movie could have been directed by a guy off the street, yawning and breaking for lunch even when it was breakfast time.”—Reviewing Hercules the Movie starring Dwayne Johnson
“On a Friday in February 2013, Gov. Rick Scott stepped aboard a Texas-bound plane to take part in a secret ritual for Florida’s power elite. As other politicians had done before and would do after, Scott was departing for historic King Ranch, one of North America’s premier hunting grounds. The trips, records indicate, were financed all or in part with contributions from Florida’s sugar industry, right down to the hunting licenses.”—Why won’t Florida GOP leaders talk about hunting trips to King Ranch in Texas?
“The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide direct analytic and technical support” to the Saudis on “internal security” matters.”—The NSA’s New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia’s Brutal State Police
“Such services also enable jerks like me to steal your keys any time they get a moment alone with them. Leave your ring of cut-brass secrets unattended on your desk at work, at a bar table while you buy another round, or in a hotel room, and any stranger—or friend—can upload your keys to their online collection. The trick is far easier than having them copied at a hardware store.”—The App I Used to Break Into My Neighbor’s Home