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December 28, 2011

Reddit users behave like monstrous assholes and somehow atheists get blamed

So the thing is: A Reddit user who is a 15-year-old girl posted a thing on Reddit. She has Christian parents but is an atheist and posted that her folks gave her Carl Sagan's book "The Demon Haunted World," which is a lovely book by Sagan about scientific thinking and his life and so on. Great, right? Well, no. Because Reddit users are a bunch of howling asswolves they immediately start lamenting that the girl isn't of legal age to have sex with (because that is how Reddit treats women) which snowballs with great force into a parade of rape "jokes." Which then becomes an attack on women because this girl dared to post a picture of herself holding up the book, instead of just the book itself on an immaculate counter or something, proving that women are desperate for attention or something. It got bad, guys. Real bad. Reddit is not a nice place. It has its moments, sure, but the general tone tends towards rape, objectification, and a fervent belief that women don't belong on the internet. But what bothers me is that because this all took place in the sub-forum devoted to atheism, atheists get the blame. Because clearly it's impossible to join the subforum unless you prove that you're an atheist. Right? But also every story on this misses the fundamental point that this shit happens all across Reddit. It's not an atheist problem; it's a shitty Reddit community problem. Reddit Makes Me Hate Atheists - Skepchick

December 22, 2011

Mysterious benefactor pays off layaway costs for K-Mart shoppers in Laguna Beach

That's really sweet. The Consumerist has a list of other wealthy givers that have stepped up to anonymously help thousands of people this season. Not-So-Secret Santa Picks Up $16K For 1,000 Shoppers' Holiday Layaway Items - The Consumerist
Call it holiday cheer or call it the best bandwagon we've ever seen, but yet another kind-hearted consumer has plunked down cash to make the season a bit brighter for his fellow humans. A man in Laguna Beach, Calif. shelled out almost $16,000 of his own money to pay for layaway items of 1,000 Kmart shoppers. David called up the store last week and asked if they would kindly tally up the items on lawayay that cost less than $100, reports L.A.'s local CBS news. He proceeded to send a check to the store for $15,916.61 to pay for all of the gifts on that layaway list. The store manager had the fun job of calling up customers over the course of four days and revealing that their item was on layaway no more, thanks to the generosity of a stranger. Even more strangers joined in the giving, donating an additional $8,000 to the Kmart to pay for more layway items.

For the first time ever gay couple allowed to share Navy homecoming kiss

Historical Homecoming Kiss of the Day - The Daily What
For the first time in Navy history, a lesbian salior was picked to plant the traditional homecoming kiss on her significant other. Through a raffle held onboard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta won the right to be the first off the ship when Oak Hill docked in Virginia Beach after several months at sea. As part of a time-honored tradition, the first off the ship gets to share the first kiss with a loved one. 23-year-old Gaeta was greeted by her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, 22, and the two locked lips while the crowd gathered around them cheered. “It’s something new, that’s for sure,” Gaeta said after the historical smooch. “It’s nice to be able to be myself. It’s been a long time coming.”

December 21, 2011

Everyone needs to know about jury nullification

It's the most powerful tool jurors have. And a man was arrested just for telling people about it on a public street. Jurors Can Say No - NYTimes.com
IF you are ever on a jury in a marijuana case, I recommend that you vote “not guilty” — even if you think the defendant actually smoked pot, or sold it to another consenting adult. As a juror, you have this power under the Bill of Rights; if you exercise it, you become part of a proud tradition of American jurors who helped make our laws fairer. The information I have just provided — about a constitutional doctrine called “jury nullification” — is absolutely true. But if federal prosecutors in New York get their way, telling the truth to potential jurors could result in a six-month prison sentence. Earlier this year, prosecutors charged Julian P. Heicklen, a retired chemistry professor, with jury tampering because he stood outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan providing information about jury nullification to passers-by. Given that I have been recommending nullification for nonviolent drug cases since 1995 — in such forums as The Yale Law Journal, “60 Minutes” and YouTube — I guess I, too, have committed a crime. The prosecutors who charged Mr. Heicklen said that “advocacy of jury nullification, directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.” The prosecutors in this case are wrong. The First Amendment exists to protect speech like this — honest information that the government prefers citizens not know. . . .