7 things for Saturday (10.5)

7 things for Saturday (10.5) October 5, 2013

1. Just a reminder that Mark Kessler — the racist, conspiracy-theorist gun nut who was fired as police chief of Gilberton, Pa., after posting profanity laced videos in which he threatened to overthrow the county government — remains a member in good standing of the North Schuylkill Board of Education.

See America: Visit the National Parks (as soon as the hostage-takers agree to do their job and end the government shutdown).

2. Christianists pissing on trees to mark their territory, Example No. 13,578.

3. Sen. Ted Cruz is upset because he thinks Democrats see him as the “root of all evil in the world.” Cruz is mistaken. Democrats do not regard him as the root of evil — only as it’s willing toady and servant.

Evil preceded Ted Cruz and it will continue to thrive without him long after it’s done with him. He is not its root or even its branch. He’s just one of its many millions of reliable, interchangeable and disposable lackeys.

4. Here’s the SparkNotes summary of James McGrath’s take on SparkNotes:

If you think that reading the SparkNotes is an adequate substitute for actual reading of literature, then you have completely misunderstood why you are at university. You (or your parents) are spending an enormous sum of money that is essentially being thrown away, since you don’t understand what it is paying for.

… Would you forego a study abroad experience, because you can read someone else’s description of the country and the culture, and even their experience of visiting it?

5. Jay Lake on the efforts to defund/repeal/obstruct and otherwise sabotage Obamacare:

As for me personally, without the ACA I would be bankrupt or dead by now. Likely both. One of the first provisions of the ACA to come into effect was a ban on the lifetime spending caps most health insurance policies historically enforced. As a long-term cancer patient, I’m now about 25 percent over the spending cap my own insurance policy used to have. Without the ACA, my last year and more of treatment would have been completely uncovered. This would have required me to spend about $250,000 out of pocket, or go without treatment.

So opposition to the ACA is quite literally saying to me, “Go ahead and die already.”

… In all the angry conservative rhetoric about the ACA, I have never seen any proposals that would keep me personally alive.

6. That personal testimony is a vividly specific illustration of this argument, from earlier this year:

The notion is simply that those 30 million people, or the 150 million who are benefiting from the other aspects of affordable care, will be better off without it. That’s their assertion, not backed by fact, not backed by any evidence.

It’s just become an ideological fixation.

7. The gesture in the video below is considered rude. The actual policy illustrated by that gesture is considered a principled moral stand, worth shutting down the government to defend. The former is not obscene. The latter is.

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