1. image: Download

    Here’s a redistricting proposal I came up with for Tennessee’s congressional seats. It took me about 45 minutes and I wasn’t even really paying that much attention. They are all roughly equivalent in population (between 700,000-720,000) and follow preexisting county borders whenever possible. It’s obviously just a rough sketch, but with a little bit of effort and some minor tweaks here and there, it could actually work.
I’m not sure what this is more an indictment of… my own wonkiness or the corruption and incompetence that went into creating our current districts.

    Here’s a redistricting proposal I came up with for Tennessee’s congressional seats. It took me about 45 minutes and I wasn’t even really paying that much attention. They are all roughly equivalent in population (between 700,000-720,000) and follow preexisting county borders whenever possible. It’s obviously just a rough sketch, but with a little bit of effort and some minor tweaks here and there, it could actually work.

    I’m not sure what this is more an indictment of… my own wonkiness or the corruption and incompetence that went into creating our current districts.

     
  2. Much like Batkid, Hawaii has found its own superhero. Except that instead of protecting the powerless from harm, he roams the streets with a sledgehammer and looks for homeless people in order to literally smash their possessions.

    Remarkably, this vigilante isn’t just some random Hawaiian, but five-term State Rep. Tom Brower (D).

     
  3. 60 people died in 12 separate terrorist attacks on US diplomatic facilities during the Bush administration.

    After every attack, the general Beltway consensus was that these were unfortunate tragedies that are, sadly, all too common in the war-torn regions where the U.S. diplomatic corps often operates. There was no political grandstanding about “demanding answers” or threats of impeachment.

    So what makes Benghazi different from those previous attacks? Nothing, really. It’s just another example of the violence and bloodshed that results from the sorts of unnecessary foreign entanglements that Washington warned about in his farewell address. It’s a symptom of nearly a century of American meddling in the Middle East.

    Look, I’m not saying Obama is blameless in this situation. As much as I think his administration has done a lot of things right, it’s basically just continued America’s tradition of a myopic, self-centered Middle East policy. So there’s definitely room for legitimate criticism here… but that’s not what the Right is engaging in. They are just so desperate to pin something negative on Obama, they’ll latch on to the slightest hint of scandal. They want to turn him into some nefarious Bond villain, and they absolutely refuse to give him the basic respect due the office of the presidency.

    Why? It’s like there’s something that makes him different from the 42 men who held office before him… I just wonder what it could be…

     
  4. This really appeals to my political science + tabletop game nerddom.

     
  5. 10:41 23rd Oct 2013

    Notes: 90

    Reblogged from vicemag

    Tags: anarchismpolitics

    image: Download

    vicemag:

Is Vahid Brown an Agent of the State, or Are Portland Anarchists on a Witch Hunt?
A link was posted on my Facebook wall a few weeks back warning that a man I knew from Reed College was “an agent of the state.”


"Vahid Brown was or is an FBI instructor at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, who has recently been attempting to integrate himself into radical and activist scenes in Portland," according to the dossier posted on the website of the Committee Against Political Repression, an anarchist group in Portland, Oregon.

 As such, he is “a threat and should not be tolerated.”
Brown, however, has never worked for the FBI. He taught classes on political Islam to FBI agents at West Point while he was a scholar at the university’s Combating Terrorism Center think tank.
The post has gone viral amongst radical leftists, and has been shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook. In Portland, this amounts to a lot of people. Brown is now “anxious in public space because of this hostility,” he told me recently when I spoke to him in a series of Facebook messages, and then by phone. 


A photo of Brown appears at the top of the post. In Portland, his beard and stylish attire fit in. For the Committee, this is a warning sign: “An agent of the state who has the same subcultural interests as you is still an agent of the state.”
Brown is a scholar of Islam, the author of Cracks in the Foundation: Leadership Schisms in al-Qa’ida from 1989-2006, which argues that the Iraq War “created a market for [the group’s] message.”
"I was not training law enforcement on how to do law enforcement," Brown said. "I was trying to educate these folks about these issues and directly address misconceptions and simplistic nonsense about ‘dangerous Muslims.’"
Continue

This is why the Left is such a joke in this country. We’d rather get involved in internecine conflicts over personal purity and how we define ourselves (shades of Life of Brian’s People’s Front of Judea vs. the Judean People’s Front) than actually do anything useful.
Call me what you like, but I think it’s a good thing that the FBI brought in an actual goddamn expert on the Middle East to speak to them about the War on Terror (whether or not they actually listened to what he had to say is different matter). Besides, if we’re going to hold scholars to that standard, I guess we have to dismiss Noam Chomsky for all the work he’s done for the Pentagon, right?
The lesson here from the armchair activists in Portland: don’t ever actually use your skills and expertise to try to solve problems. Maintain political purity above all else. 

    vicemag:

    Is Vahid Brown an Agent of the State, or Are Portland Anarchists on a Witch Hunt?

    A link was posted on my Facebook wall a few weeks back warning that a man I knew from Reed College was “an agent of the state.”



    "Vahid Brown was or is an FBI instructor at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, who has recently been attempting to integrate himself into radical and activist scenes in Portland," according to the dossier posted on the website of the Committee Against Political Repression, an anarchist group in Portland, Oregon.

 As such, he is “a threat and should not be tolerated.”

    Brown, however, has never worked for the FBI. He taught classes on political Islam to FBI agents at West Point while he was a scholar at the university’s Combating Terrorism Center think tank.

    The post has gone viral amongst radical leftists, and has been shared more than 1,000 times on Facebook. In Portland, this amounts to a lot of people. Brown is now “anxious in public space because of this hostility,” he told me recently when I spoke to him in a series of Facebook messages, and then by phone. 



    A photo of Brown appears at the top of the post. In Portland, his beard and stylish attire fit in. For the Committee, this is a warning sign: “An agent of the state who has the same subcultural interests as you is still an agent of the state.”

    Brown is a scholar of Islam, the author of Cracks in the Foundation: Leadership Schisms in al-Qa’ida from 1989-2006, which argues that the Iraq War “created a market for [the group’s] message.”

    "I was not training law enforcement on how to do law enforcement," Brown said. "I was trying to educate these folks about these issues and directly address misconceptions and simplistic nonsense about ‘dangerous Muslims.’"

    Continue

    This is why the Left is such a joke in this country. We’d rather get involved in internecine conflicts over personal purity and how we define ourselves (shades of Life of Brian’s People’s Front of Judea vs. the Judean People’s Front) than actually do anything useful.

    Call me what you like, but I think it’s a good thing that the FBI brought in an actual goddamn expert on the Middle East to speak to them about the War on Terror (whether or not they actually listened to what he had to say is different matter). Besides, if we’re going to hold scholars to that standard, I guess we have to dismiss Noam Chomsky for all the work he’s done for the Pentagon, right?

    The lesson here from the armchair activists in Portland: don’t ever actually use your skills and expertise to try to solve problems. Maintain political purity above all else. 

     
  6. That said, there’s definitely something worth criticizing about ineffectual hipsters who use revolutionary imagery as a shorthand for street cred…

    But that’s a separate issue, at least in my mind.

     
  7. Kuzmanich, for example, appeared on KATU Channel 2’s Your Voice, Your Vote on Oct. 6, where he told host Steve Dunn the forced budget austerity would help Americans return to “fiscal and personal responsibility.”

    Apparently “fiscal and personal responsibility” are for other people. He hasn’t made a mortgage payment in over three years. And the process servers can’t find him:

    Washington County court records show Kuzmanich is more than three years behind in mortgage payments on a Beaverton duplex. The lender, the Federal National Mortgage Association, better known as Fannie Mae, has gone to extraordinary lengths—unsuccessfully, so far—to find Kuzmanich and serve him with court papers.

     
  8. A brief list of socialists whose politics have been ignored in order to turn them into bland, inoffensive icons:

     
  9. motherjones:

GIF of the day
via Dorsey Shaw

The problem with American news media in a single gif.

    motherjones:

    GIF of the day

    via Dorsey Shaw

    The problem with American news media in a single gif.

     
  10. Rep. Randy Neugebauer doesn’t understand irony.