Ezra’s two minute on wealth inequality

Good stuff.  Watch.


NRA Nation

Great piece from Digby at Salon on this crazy idea among the gun nuts of “exercising our constitutional rights” by ostentatiously carrying guns around in public:

Imagine you’re sitting in a restaurant and a loud group of armed men come through the door. They are ostentatiously displaying their weapons, making sure that everyone notices them. Would you feel safe or would you feel in danger? Would you feel comfortable confronting them? If you owned the restaurant could you ask them to leave? These are questions that are facing more and more Americans in their everyday lives as “open carry” enthusiasts descend on public places ostensibly for the sole purpose of exercising their constitutional right to do it. It just makes them feel good, apparently.  

For instance, in the wake of the new Georgia law that pretty much makes it legal to carry deadly weapons at all times in all places, parents were alarmed when an armed man showed up at the park where their kids were playing little league baseball and waved his gun around shouting, “Look at my gun!” and “There’s nothing you can do about it.” The police were called and when they arrived they found the man had broken no laws and was perfectly within his rights to do what he did. That was small consolation to the parents, however. Common sense tells anyone that a man waving a gun around in public is dangerous so the parents had no choice but to leave the park.  Freedom for the man with the gun trumps freedom for the parents of kids who feel endangered by him. [emphasis mine]…

So this fine fellow believes he is doing this to protect the public. And while they don’t wear uniforms so you can’t identify them, have no specialized training in the law, are not bound by police protocols or answer to the authority of the democratic system of government of the people, they have taken it upon themselves to look after all of us because the police are busy. (And presumably, unless you are wearing a hoodie and they think you look suspicious, you probably won’t get shot dead by mistake.) We used to have a name for this. It was called vigilantism.

Meanwhile, in Montana upon being notified by a security system that someone was in his garage, a man just pulled out his shotgun and blasted away–sweeping the garage– without even seeing who or what he was shooting at.  Naturally, he’s claiming self defense and has plenty of supporters.  No, teenagers should not go into open garages to steal beer, etc., but it sure should not be a capital sentence.

You can’t unsee this

Loved this piece in the Atlantic about how what we know influences what we see.  I actually used to use some of these images– primarily this one below– when I explained top-down cognitive processing to my students.  Definitely check this one out.

Photo of the day

From the National Geographic Tumblr:

A wrecked Zeppelin sits ashore in Mison, France, 1918.Photograph by Paul Thompson, National Geographic

A wrecked Zeppelin sits ashore in Mison, France, 1918.PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL THOMPSON, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Chart of the day

Apparently yesterday was Teacher Appreciation day.  Yglesias takes the opportunity to argue that perhaps if we value teachers so much, we should pay them more.  (And lawyers less, for that matter).  I happen to agree.


%d bloggers like this: