Social conservatives continue to lose their shit about the imaginary threat of trans women sexual predators

I have read this entire article and I still don’t get why social conservatives are wigging about the imaginary threat of transgender women using girls’ bathrooms.

Isn’t there enough stuff to worry about in the world without making stuff up? Perhaps if these people are running out of things to worry about they can borrow a couple of mine?

Statistically, little kids are far safer in the presence of transgender women than they are in the presence of cisgender men. And kids are certainly safer around transgender people than they are around Republican elected officials.

Adding an extra layer of weirdness to this, for me personally, is that on the very day the North Carolina law passed, I used a women’s restroom. Yes! It’s true! It wasn’t because I’m a sexual predator; it’s because I was at a tech conference, I’d had a LOT of coffee that morning and (this being a tech conference) the line for the men’s room was ridiculously long but there wasn’t any line at all for the women’s.

Minnie the archeologist

I have three wastebaskets in my office: One for recyclables, one for miscellaneous garbage, and one for soiled napkins and other trash that Minnie might like to shred. The third bin has a lid on it it to keep Minnie away from it.

But sometimes I put the wrong thing in the wrong trash and Minnie gets to it anyway.

The other day I discovered that Minnie had shredded a soiled napkin, a nametag from a conference I’d attended months ago, and a credit card receipt from Chipotle.

The last time we ate at Chipotle was 2009.



British exit from the EU – “Brexit” – would be a terrible idea, serving financial interests and no other

The European Union isn’t about economics. It’s about preventing war in Europe. And it works, says Charlie Stross.

And in the case of the EU … the EU isn’t really about mediating European arrest warrants or reciprocal rights of residence or setting standards for power consumption by vacuum cleaners. The EU is the current incarnation of an institution established in 1947 to ensure that never again would the nations of western Europe go to war with one another. And it has been staggeringly successful: no army has crossed the Rhine river in more than 70 years, and this is the longest period of peace on the Rhine since before the rise of the Roman Empire. This is the dog that doesn’t bark, and therefore doesn’t make the news. Some of you might point to NATO as being the instrument of peace, but I disagree: the existence of armies means that war is still possible, but it’s the EU that has largely removed the motives for war.

I submit that breaking the institution that has given Europe the longest period of peace in recorded history would be a mistake….

30 Years Ago: 1986 in photos

Includes the Challenger explosion, Hands Across America, young Ian McKellen and Bill Clinton, and more. Hell of a year.

I worked the swing shift then – afternoon to past midnight – and often got up at noon. I heard about the Challenger explosion on Howard Stern, which was an unusual place to receive news like that.

I covered Hands Across America for the daily newspaper I then worked for. I got on a school bus with a bunch of other adults and families, rode an hour or so to the point where the line was closest to our community, got in the line, held hands for a minute or so, broke handholding, then got back on the bus and went back home. I wrote a solemn article about how wonderful and spiritual the experience was for all participating, working together to stamp out … well, whatever it was that we were protesting against.

In reality, here’s what happened: I fell in with a group of layabouts on the bus and we had a hilarious time drinking on the way out. After the bus stopped, we found a bar near the Hands Across America route and drank some more. Then a couple of minutes before the event, we said oh fuck and ran out and held hands with the line and then went back into the bar and had a further hilarious time until it was time to get back on the bus and continue hilarious drinking from our mobile headquarters.

I should have written that story.

Tipping Is Coming to Uber, and It’s Going to Be Awkward

Drivers can now ask for tips, says Joshua Brustein at Bloomberg:

As part of the settlement with drivers in California and Massachusetts, Uber has agreed to notify customers more clearly that tips are not included in fares and give tacit approval for optional gratuity. Drivers can now solicit cash tips by asking passengers or posting signs in their vehicles.

A few weeks ago while Ubering around on a business trip I asked other Uber users, and one driver who’s a friend, whether they tipped, or in the case of the driver-friend, expected tips. About a third of the people said yes, most said no. But the third saying yes was enough for me to offer a tip on my next Uber ride (which happened to be the last one I’ve done since). The driver seemed confused a moment, obviously completely not expecting a tip.

A couple of people reacting to this article on social media said they hate the idea of tipping Uber drivers. The entire appeal, they said, was to just get out of the car and go and not deal with payment. For me, pulling a couple of singles out of my wallet and tucking it into my shirt pocket is no big deal. The inconvenience of payment isn’t the transaction itself, it’s the calculating tips, waiting for change or – more frequently – handing over the credit card, waiting for it to be swiped, and signing. Many cabs still have those old impression-style credit mechanical card readers, which further delays my departure. Absent all that inconvenience, I’m happy to give the drivers a couple of bucks, because I’m guessing their margins are slim. Many of them are actually losing money by working – not making enough by driving to pay for wear-and-tear on the car and other costs.

So I’m happy to tip. But I’d really rather the US goes the way of Europe, and eliminate tipping entirely. I never know when to tip, or how much. It’s awkward and unfair. Everybody should just make a good wage.