Terrifying French children’s books

Are there books like this in English? Do the French just really like scaring their kids? Anyway, it’s pretty entertaining to see what the French consider appropriate for their kids (naturally, this comes to us via the Brits at the Guardian).  Here’s a sample:

Koala

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The GOP’s parallel (white) universe

GOP Congressmen (and they are almost all white men) simply live in a different America than most of us.  While the rest of America is becoming more diverse, GOP congressional districts are actually becoming more white (via Charlie Cook):

By drawing themselves into safe, lily-white strongholds, have Republicans inadvertently boxed themselves into an alternate universe that bears little resemblance to the rest of the country?

Fresh 2010 census data by congressional district, compiled by The Cook Political Report’s House editor, David Wasserman, provides some numerical food for thought. Between 2000 and 2010, the non-Hispanic white share of the population fell from 69 percent to 64 percent, closely tracking the 5-point drop in the white share of the electorate measured by exit polls between 2004 and 2012. But after the post-census redistricting and the 2012 elections, the non-Hispanic white share of the average Republican House district jumped from 73 percent to 75 percent, and the average Democratic House district declined from 52 percent white to 51 percent white. In other words, while the country continues to grow more racially diverse, the average Republican district continues to get even whiter.  (emphasis mine)

As Congress has become more polarized along party lines, it’s become more racially polarized, too. In 2000, House Republicans represented 59 percent of all white U.S. residents and 40 percent of all nonwhite residents. But today, they represent 63 percent of all whites and just 38 percent of all nonwhites. In 2012 alone, Republicans lost 11.2 million constituents to Democrats (a consequence of not only the party’s loss of a net eight House seats but also the fact GOP districts had grown faster in the previous decade and needed to shed more population during redistricting). Of the 11.2 million people Republicans no longer represent, 6.6 million, or 59 percent, are minorities.

I happen to know and love some great white people.  But being the white people’s party is not exactly a recipe for actually representing a changing America.

Photo of the day

From the N&O day’s best.  Here’s a crazy view to have from inside:

A duck swims by a window, viewed from inside Anderson Eye Care at the Riverfront Plaza Building in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., as The Grand River crests on Monday, April 22, 2013, at an all time high of 21.85 feet, a full 2.2 feet above the record set in 1985, in downtown Grand Rapids. Previous water levels can be seen marked on the wall. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Cory Morse) CORY MORSE — AP

Republican or insane person?

Well, this is just fun.  Guess who said the quote– a Republican or genuine insane person (though, honestly, I really don’t think it’s fair to leave Michelle Bachmann out of the latter category.  Here’s a bit:

1) “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them money, I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

A) Republican
B) Insane Person

2) “I can’t judge you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.”

A) Republican
B) Insane Person

3) “Feminism is about victimization.  Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.”

A) Republican
B) Insane Person

4) “Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong and as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may not be as strong and as capable as men.”

A) Republican
B) Insane Person

Are ex-felons citizens?

Or, when you commit a crime, should you lose your status as a “citizen” for life.  There’s nothing more fundamental to citizenship in a democracy than the right to vote.  Seems reasonable enough that while individuals are serving time in prison or finishing their sentences on parole, that they do not have the right to vote.  They are still being punished for their crimes.  But once their punishment is over, they should absolutely, positively have the right to vote, damnit.  Alas, not if NC Republicans have their way:

RALEIGH — People convicted of felonies who have paid their debts to society in North Carolina would no longer automatically get back the right to vote under the Senate’s version of the voter ID bill.

The bill would require people convicted of felony crimes to wait five years upon the completion of their sentence, probation or parole before they could attempt to re-register to vote. First, though, they would have to get affidavits from two registered voters attesting to their “upstanding moral character” and get the unanimous approval of their local board of elections.

The bill’s primary sponsor, E.S. “Buck” Newton of Wilson, said he considers the measure a compromise.

“The long and short of it is the vast majority of people I have spoken to regarding election laws think convicted felons should not be able to vote at all,” said Newton, a Republican who represents Wilson, Nash and Johnston counties. “I think a person can make a mistake, get their lives together and show themselves to be upstanding citizens. A five-year time frame is a reasonable period to show that.”

Just so wrong.  Among other things, I want to know who all these people Newton talks to are.  Among people I talk to, there’s a belief that once you have paid for your crime, you should be able to vote.  This idea of an affidavit vouching for your character is just so absurd.  Heck, I’ll vouch for the fact that Newton is of poor moral character and should not be voting.  And, the poor guy, is shocked! shocked! that anybody might suggest any racial implications.  It’s just a complete coincidence that ex-felons are more likely to be minorities and minorities are more like to be Democrats.  More of Newton’s incoherent “logic”:

Newton said the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld other states’ denial of citizenship rights as “within the bounds of the Constitution.” He said that even after a person completes a prison sentence and probation, they aren’t necessarily deserving of their rights.

“It’s not a question of paying a debt to society,” he said. “We’re talking about the restoration of voter rights. That’s a serious civic responsibility.”

I’ll accept this as soon as Newton starts requiring every 18-year old to not only produce an ID, but evidence that they have the “upstanding moral character” necessary to engage in this “serious civic responsibility.”  What an absolute joke.  Alas, it’s no laughing matter.

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