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Reverend Tap
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Just your friendly neighborhood bisexual, anarchist, pagan Reverend.

Jul 7, 2014 Reverend Tap commented on Timothy Egan's Independents Daze.
I'm a registered independent millennial. I also tend to vote Democratic, because they tend to be the lesser of the two evils. I also tend to hold my nose when doing so, because voting for Eisenhower Republicans isn't something to be proud of no matter how big the "D's" next to their names are. If the right wing wasn't increasingly and terrifyingly insane, I would see little point in it at all.

Could I get involved and promote better candidates? Of course, at least in theory. In practice, I've grown up with a voting system that's gone from "broken" to "extremely broken" to "hilariously broken." I've watched it become abundantly clear that no candidate who comes close to representing me will ever be deemed even remotely electable, and the succession of politicians I've spent my adult life observing have left me firm in the conviction that, no matter who they may be or what ideas they may espouse, the fact that a person is willing to put forth the time, effort, and resources necessary to attain the personal power that is elected office says nothing good about that person's character.

I am atypical, but I am not as atypical as one may wish to believe. Independents like me will not represent a building groundswell of electoral support, but neither do we represent the indecisive or apathetic. Many of us simply do not have the enthusiasm to spare on a game whose apparent best outcome is "less evil."
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Oct 23, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on Asexuality Conquers Japan!.
Interesting points from refund (seriously, do register an account--almost all unregistered commenters here are blatant trolls like that Lad character), mostly ignorable stuff otherwise ("Japan so cray-cray LOL").

One thought that has not been mentioned that springs to mind: it could be a (partially) chemically-driven phenomenon. Estrogenic compounds (chemicals that mimic estrogen when introduced into the body) are becoming ubiquitous in the environment; hormones inadequately filtered from drinking water, common compounds in plastics, unfermented soy-based foods, etc. Excess estrogen (or estrogen-mimics) can reduce the effects of testosterone, one of the most notable of which is driving libido. I wonder if areas in which birth rates are declining (of which there are of course many worldwide) correspond at all to areas in which the average level of estrogenic compounds in people's bodies is higher. Probably take a hell of a wide-scale study to test, but it's worth reminding people that the physical and chemical ways we interact with our environment can have a huge impact on our mental function, attitudes, and behaviors.
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Sep 26, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on Dress Codes? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Dress Codes!.
Another thought: different people see different things when it comes to clothes. To some, clothes are a blank canvas for personal expression; to others, a uniform to signal group identity or social standing. Still others see nothing more than bits of fabric that they must wrap themselves in in order to leave the house without being arrested, and so on. Thing is, by and large humans assume that most people they meet are basically similar to them; in the absence of clear contrary evidence, most members of each group will assume eveyone around them is part of that same group. It's projection, just a basic part of human psychology. While some people will certainly be intentionally disruptive, I think a fair percentage of those who underdress not only don't care about clothes, they assume others don't either. Going at it from the other side, those who take great offence at an underdressed person seem to frequently do so from a place of assuming that the individual in question cares just as much about sartorial choices as they do and is hoping to offend. Obviously individual situations will vary, but it's something to think about.
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Sep 26, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on Dress Codes? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Dress Codes!.
Heh, quite a few good chuckles in this thread. I honestly can't recall ever having noticed what other restaurant patrons were wearing, much less cared enough to write passive-aggressive online diatribes about it. I suppose some people are just more sensitive to that sort of thing.

A quick note for the folks bemoaning the loss of formal attire among those attending theaters/operas/symphonies: stop. A great many of the artists, venues, and groups that put on those performances are actively pushing against the old formality. For quite some time, performing arts venues' main cash cow was the season ticket holder; generally older, well-heeled, and someone who regarded performances as elegant "high society" events to a greater or lesser extent. The artists' primary concern being "get butts in the seats," that's precisely what the performances became. However, the last generation to fit that mold in significant numbers is currently dying off, and a great many performing arts groups across the country are hurting because of the lost revenue. So, they do what any savvy business does: find new markets. Generally, today's audiences are younger, poorer, and much more casual; the performing arts are no longer considered the domain of wealthy patrons, so venues are in direct competition with cinemas, sports events, rock concerts, and so on. Accessibility for all and performing arts as entertainment are the primary concerns, and that is what may well save these art forms from falling off the cultural landscape altogether. The actors and musicians don't give half a crap if you come dressed in a t-shirt and flip-flops (hell, that's precisely what a lot of them change into as soon as the curtain comes down), they just want you there.
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Sep 17, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on SL Letter of the Day: Honorary Centaur Fetishist.
@23: That depends significantly on HOW he works out; maximizing bulk and maximizing strength are two very different animals, and the bodybuilders are generally not the strongest folks in the gym.
Sep 1, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on Raise the Minimum Wage.
@11: According to your logic, since there are people in the third world willing to do your job (literally whatever it may be) for pennies an hour, that is what you should be getting paid. Still think that's a good way to think about it?

In the case of McDonald's, the math has already been done. Literally doubling the pay of EVERY person working for the company, from the lowliest fry cook to the CEO, would require raising the prices on their menu items by less than a dollar. Your premise is right (raising costs necessitates raising prices), but your math is way off.

Sure, working at a fast food joint for minimum wage is SUPPOSED to be a temporary thing for young workers. Exactly how much of our economy do you suppose has been working like it's supposed to lately, though? Unemployment is high, real wages (that is, adjusted for inflation so as to be comparable to historical data) have been steadily declining for years, and a LOT of the jobs that used to be available for skilled and/or educated American workers have been outsourced to places where a buck or two an hour is really good pay.

Lastly, and this is important: all employment carries a minimum cost. That is the amount of money it takes to keep one employee alive and healthy enough to keep coming in to work. Every employer who pays below that cost is counting on someone else to make up the difference; in most cases, that someone is you and me. An incredible percentage of low-income workers are on various forms of public assistance; welfare, food stamps, etc. Your tax bill is going to paying the difference between what those people need to live and what their employers are giving them. Raise the minimum wage, and you give everyone a tax break when thousands upon thousands of workers no longer have to rely on public assistance programs just to survive.
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Aug 25, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on What She Said: Dahlia Lithwick on Antoinette Tuff.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is..."

Nothing.

There is no one solution, no cookie-cutter method of preventing violence all the time. The "all guns all the time" crowd is out in force right now, blathering on about how this doesn't matter because what Antoinette Tuff did wouldn't have worked in every situation (as though returning fire would have). It illustrates how they think pretty clearly; the high risk of failure (and even further aggravation of the problem) when ordinary people attempt to fight gunfire with gunfire is ignored in favor of a narrative that claims that owning and carrying a gun, and being ready to kill another human being at a moment's notice, is not only a one-way ticket to safetytown, but the ONLY way to get there. Which is of course, if you know anything about conflict resolution OR the nature of combat, a patent absurdity. But, that's the narrative, and the folks who cling to it will go in insisting that any other method of resolving conflicts is tenuous and unreliable at best. Ultimately, of course, that's why this story is attracting so much negative attention from that crowd; they love to harp on about their eternal question, "how often do good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns and we don't hear about it in the media?" Stories like this, much to their dismay, get folks asking the opposite question; "how often do people WITHOUT guns stop people with guns and we don't hear about it?" We can never know the answer, of course, because acts of violence that never happen don't get reported. It's an important part of changing our national narrative about gun violence, though.
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Aug 20, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on SL Letter of the Day: That Dick Has Sailed.
May not be the case with the letter writer, but I've encountered some women who assume there must be something terribly wrong if a guy ever goes limp, even if it's super-easy to get him standing tall again. Theory #2 is a very real thing, and guys CAN be super turned-on and still get soft in situations like that (and without a medical condition). It's really not that big a deal if you don't make it into one. If you do...well done; you've probably just introduced performance anxiety.

@4/11: Give it a few years. Once the whole "hormone storm" thing settles down, it'll get easier to not walk funny when there's a girl in the room.

@16: Fuck off. Not all guys are you, and different people like to act differently in the bedroom. If this is the biggest issue she's encountering in her sex life, then it sounds to me like she's doing a good deal better than quite a lot of people. Certainly better than folks who vehemently object to the idea of a woman *gasp* actually TELLING YOU what she wants.
Aug 7, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on This Is Probably Not the Effect Religious Conservatives Expected My New Book to Have On Kate (Or Other Readers).
@55: You utterly fell into exactly the same logic hole that Ophian was talking about. Looking at the inconsistencies and wrongs within Christianity and deciding, based upon that, that all religion is bunk, is not even remotely good reasoning. Even looking at all the Abrahamic faiths only encompasses a tiny sliver of the extraordinary range of beliefs that fall under the category of "religion" (particularly if, as most atheists do, you accept as genuine only the most fundamentalist, literalist interpretation of the faith possible, ignoring the fact that it is usually an exceedingly modern one). Yes, the vast majority of atheists in this country know quite a bit about ONE religion, but their arguments tend to come from an underlying assumption that the terms "religion" and "Christianity" (or, on a rare occasion, "the Abrahamic faiths") are interchangeable. They are not.
Aug 6, 2013 Reverend Tap commented on This Is Probably Not the Effect Religious Conservatives Expected My New Book to Have On Kate (Or Other Readers).
@25: Your line of reasoning fails for the same reason that patriotism still exists. Almost none of the religious people I have personally interacted with would deny that bad people, bad ideas, and bad actions have occurred within the confines of their chosen faith (or indeed, been caused by the church of that faith as an official entity itself). Those things occur in every large grouping of human beings, religious or secular. However, religious people don't view their own faith through the monolithic, ultra-simplified lens that militant atheists prefer; they are capable of acknowledging the existence of evil within the ranks of their faith without thinking it applies to the faith as a whole. This is no different from people seeing the evil actions historically perpetrated in the name of the USA, while yet retaining their identity as Americans and retaining faith in the idea of the country.
 

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