commented on Video Catches Cop Threatening to Harass Me
@43: Quality concern trolling. A+.
@45: The time that the cops in Minnesota randomly decided that our drug-free car was actually smuggling drugs to Chicago (they called in drug dogs and everything), they demanded to know why I was shaking, too. I think they get off on it.
commented on State Republicans Try Repealing Seattle's Sick-Leave Law
Every time I read about something these assholes are doing it sounds more like something you'd find in a game in a political science class than something that's actually happening in the real world. They're not interested in the real world or whether something is practical because this is mostly a game and they're just trying to show off that they're better at this game than these stupid people who actually care about the outcome.
commented on Gun Ownership Is 21st Century America's "Peculiar Institution"
Way back when I was at a horrible conservative religious school I remember the discussion of Al Gore as a presidential candidate. One of my classmates said something about how he wanted to make the Constitution a living document. She was one of the smarter and better-informed among them, but she still spoke these words in tones of utter horror. Change the Constitution? But it's meant to stand as a light eternal!
To these people, the Constitution really is a sacred text. If it wasn't divinely inspired it was the next best thing. The pragmatists among them acknowledge that it got slavery wrong, but seem to believe that even at the framing of the Constitution they were already trying to grant rights to slaves--that the whole purpose for allowing amendments was so that eventually the institution of slavery could be overturned. And there is always the traditional apologist's fallback: "You're looking at it with modern eyes, and it wasn't written in modern times. You're ignoring the context." Suddenly in order to suggest that maybe slavery has always been wrong you have to write a dissertation on the entirety of Western culture in the eighteenth century, by which point your original point that maybe the Constitution isn't perfect will be lost in the details.
They will probably point at Prohibition as an example of the dangers of ever changing the Constitution (though they would happily amend it to ban gay marriage), even though it was done by the Constitution's laws. It is a religious document to them--if it's in the Constitution, it is justification enough for anything. And like most religious documents, the bulk of them don't even care what it says, so much as what they think it says (constitutional jurisprudence be damned).
Mar 15, 2012
commented on Woman Hit by Metro Bus
In December I saw a woman get hit by a Metro bus who decided that "stopping at the stop sign" was something that happened to other people. She was miraculously uninjured and I left my contact information as a witness. A month or so later I got a phone call from someone at Metro who was investigating the incident, and when he left a message on my cell phone he kept emphasizing the word "alleged" in a really sarcastic way whenever he mentioned the collision--like it was unthinkable that any Metro driver could ever be remotely lax in his duty to not kill people while a operating a lethal weapon on the streets.
Just one of many incidents I've witnessed of Metro drivers behaving like drunken idiots. Mercifully it's the only one that resulted in a collision and the woman was uninjured (apart from being clearly traumatized by almost getting killed by a bus).
Feb 23, 2012
commented on Etymology of the Day: "Snark" (or, Hello 2004!)
see, I've always read (and used) "snark" to refer to a specific tone--ironic, sarcastic, witty, irreverent, whatever--that I am actually particularly fond of. it's not just a word about criticism. people can be snarky, moods can be snarky. people who /complain/ about snark tend to be the sorts of people who insist that you take everything seriously (or worse, that if you are joking about something then you can't take it seriously), and who take offense if you don't.
really, snark is intended as a bulwark against those sorts of people. they tend to be pretty bad at telling when something is snarky or serious, so it occasionally lets you get away with making fun of something they love without them ever detecting the mockery in your tone. eventually they figure it out, and it tends to make them angry that they've been missing the point for so long. usually at this point they decide that if you're being snarky it's because you absolutely hate the thing you're being snarky about; they still haven't figured out the point, they just know that they've been missing it.