Day: 2016.01.25

Coffee

A coffee cup at Terra Vista.  Detail of photo by B. D. Hilling, 2013.

And then there is coffee.

Adda Bjarnadóttir considers the obvious question, and, yes, those of us who count coffee among staples ought to check in every once in a while:

You can expect to get around 95 mg of caffeine from an average cup of coffee.

However, this amount varies between different coffee drinks, and can range from almost zero to over 500 mg.

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Responsible Gun Ownership (#Benghazi!)

'Scuse me while I responsibly point this at you.

Ángel González of the Seattle Times landed the unfortunate duty of penning the article:

Dane Gallion, 29, told officers he took the gun to Regal Cinemas 14 at the Landing on Thursday night because he was “concerned about recent mass shootings in public places,” according to a police account in a probable-cause statement released Saturday.

That same anxiety prompted him to keep the gun unholstered in his waistband, the statement says.

This is one of those. Gravity. Downhill. Abyss of stupidity. Really, it only gets worse.

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Republican Governance (Aborted)

Corset - Detail of frame from 'Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt'.

This is pretty straightforward:

• In 2013, North Dakota Republicans passed into law a heartbeat abortion bill, which would have set the termination cutoff around six weeks.

• The law never went into effect, and was struck in federal court in April, 2014.

• In July, 2015 a federal appeals court affirmed that ruling; the North Dakota anti-abortion law that never went into effect remained struck.

• Today the Supreme Court said no to the Peace Garden (Roughrider? Flickertail?) State’s last appeal; the law remains dead.

This is the only catch: This was how it was supposed to go.

Republicans knew the law wouldn’t survive; Gov. Jack Dalrymple even said so when he signed the bill into law: “Although the likelihood of this measure surviving a court challenge remains in question, this bill is nevertheless a legitimate attempt by a state legislature to discover the boundaries of Roe v. Wade”. Apparently, the governor thought viability was an open question, which would of course be the reason Judge Daniel L. Hovland wrote, in the April, 2014 decision, that, “a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before viability has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court for more than forty years”, reminded that the highest court in the land “has clearly determined the dispositive issue presented in this lawsuit”, and even found himself explaining to North Dakota, “This court is not free to impose its own view of the law”.

So here’s the thing: When Republicans tell you government doesn’t work, what they mean is that government in their own hands does not work.

No, really, just think about it for a minute. (1) Pass a harsh bill that stands well outside accepted norms; (2) argue the new law is a “legitimate attempt” to “discover the boundaries”; (3) pretend in court the boundaries are unclear and need to be discovered; (4) get reminded quite the opposite; (5) appeal to the Supreme Court; (6) see your appeal denied.

This, according to Gov. Dalrymple, was apparently the plan.

No, really, think about the logic here: The Court says we can only go this far. But they didn’t explicitly say we couldn’t go farther. You might as well fault the speed limit signs for every possible velocity they do not explicitly reject: “It only says, ‘Speed Limit 55’; it doesn’t explicitly say, ‘Thou shalt not drive ninety miles per hour’!”

When Republicans tell us government does not work, it would behoove us to attend the threat.

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Alter, Charlotte. “North Dakota’s Strict Abortion Ban Overturned”. Time. 22 July 2015.

Hassan, Carma and Dana Ford. “Judge overturns North Dakota law banning most abortions”. CNN. 17 April 2014.

Williams, Pete. “US Supreme Court rejects plea to revive North Dakota abortion ban”. msnbc. 25 January 2016.

My Superstition (Anti-Prophet)

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin poses with a snow truck Saturday, 23 January 2016; the Republican governor posted the image to social media in order to show Bluegrass State residents how hard he was working on the snowstorm shortly before flying to New Hampshire for a campaign event. Detail of self-portrait by Matt Bevin.

This is a personal superstition:

Aside from the obvious, it’s worth noting that when governors go to New Hampshire to headline fundraisers, it often means they’re thinking about raising their visibility ahead of a national campaign. Bevin’s entire career in public office has only lasted a couple of months; is he already eyeing some kind of promotion?

Every once in a while a paragraph like this comes up, or some similar circumstance. One reads or hears something, and, you know, just … oh, come on.

And while it is easy enough to knock Steve Benen for sounding histrionic partisan alarms early, the truth of the matter is that I also scoffed, nearly three years ago, at the proposition of Ben Carson running for president.

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Unsettling

A Yoma feeds. (Detail of frame from 'Claymore the Series', episode 1, "Great Sword".)

“Most girls do not really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalise what they do.”

Anonymous

Be as horrified as you feel appropriate:

It is, of course, uncommon for people, mostly men, who take advantage of passed out roommates or routinely anally rape their wives to come out and give a no-holds-barred account of what they know to be a horrific act.

So when a reddit thread began in 2012 asking perpetrator of sexual assault to tell “their side of the story” — attracting more than a thousand responses — researchers pounced on the opportunity.

It’s the first time the viral social media site has been used as the basis for an academic study, and the results are as fascinating as they are disturbing.

The result, to the one, is about as morbid as we might expect; to the other, neither is it unfamiliar. This is what a rapist says:

The same respondent, who admitted to raping a woman while “extremely horny”, even after she “realised what was happening and tried to clamp her legs shut”, disturbingly describes how he plans to educate his own daughter about the dangers of men’s uncontrollable sexuality.

“When my daughter is old enough, I’m going to have a very frank conversation on male-female relations of the sort that I do not think most girls get,” he wrote.

“Most girls do not really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalise what they do.”

And it is not, by any measure, unfamiliar. Chicken or egg; art and life. Liz Burke notes that researchers “found the motivations the responses illustrated were consistent with what is commonly described as ‘rape culture'”; we ought not be surprised. The rapist is, after all, the living manifestation of rape culture.

Unsurprising, to be certain, but how can that familiarity not be unsettling?

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Burke, Liz. “Victim-blaming, hormones and objectification: Reddit-based study reveals why men rape”. News.com.au. 22 January 2016.