I created Godwin’s Law in 1990, but it wasn’t a prediction – it was a warning

This happened on May 4 when it was announced that “CuriousGnu” – a blogger who shares with me an ongoing curiosity about numbers and statistical data –had blogged that “78% of Reddit Threads With 1000+ Comments Mention Nazis”.

via I created Godwin’s Law in 1990, but it wasn’t a prediction – it was a warning.

But the fact is, I designed Godwin’s Law not to be predictive, but to be “memetic” — not to show that debates would invariably become overheated but to spur debaters to invoke history mindfully, with deeper analysis rather than with glib allusion, because that’s the way for a speaker or writer to show that he or she is not taking the easy rhetorical path.

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Taking a Fence Down

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

via Taking a Fence Down.

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Close the federal loophole that lets cops go treasure hunting

Eh Wah is tour manager for a Christian rock band led by Marvellous that played in 19 U.S. cities, raising money from concerts to support an orphanage in Thailand and a Christian college in Burma. Worthy causes, no doubt. But when law enforcement found the cash during a routine traffic stop, a little-known legal process known as “civil asset forfeiture” allowed police officers to seize it, and whatever other property they wanted, without having to prove that Eh Wah was guilty of a crime.

via Close the federal loophole that lets cops go treasure hunting – LA Times.

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Video shows white cops performing roadside cavity search of black man

Pontoon then again tells the officers that they’re pushing on a hemorrhoid. One officer responds, “If that’s a hemorrhoid, that’s a hemorrhoid, all right? But that don’t feel like no hemorrhoid to me.”

The officers apparently continue to search Pontoon’s rectum for another three minutes.

via Video shows white cops performing roadside cavity search of black man – The Washington Post.

From: Rape and Civility

I don’t care if the Aiken police had twelve eyewitnesses and a video tape showing this man shoving drugs up his ass. If they bent him over on the side of their road and shoved their fingers into him looking for it, they’re rapists. I don’t care if the law says they can do it, it’s wrong. And I don’t care how many rape apologists like the Aiken Standard tut and shush and shrug. A society that says this is okay — a society that says it’s acceptable for armed agents of the government to rape a man on the side of the road in search of a golf-ball sized bag of drugs — deserves scorn.

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I wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in a Venmo memo and the feds detained my $42

Venmo wasn’t buying it. “Unfortunately,” wrote someone who signed the e-mail as Heather, “due to OFAC regulations, we are not allowed to give the funds back to you or issue a refund.”

via I wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in a Venmo memo and the feds detained my $42 | Ars Technica.

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