Posts tagged politics

8 reasons to hate Columbus Day

On Monday, Americans across the country celebrate Columbus Day by remembering it exists, frantically trying to figure out if they have to go to work, and then being disappointed when they do. Literally no one uses Columbus Day for its intended purpose of remembering that Christopher Columbus exists. Not even the world’s greatest mattress sale could stop Columbus Day from being the worst federal holiday in America.

Here’s why:

Christopher Columbus was terrible

It’s become pretty cliché at this point to note, because it’s been done to great effect by everyone from famous historians like Howard Zinn and Eduardo Galeano to snarky digital natives like Gawker and The Oatmeal, but Christopher Columbus was a terrible human being.

After sailing to the new world, Columbus didn’t really seem to care very much about establishing trade routes or interacting with foreign cultures. Instead, he saw some of the natives wearing gold jewelery and made it his life’s mission to kill and enslave as many of them as possible to steal as much of it as possible. On his return trips to the Americas, Columbus forced the natives to continually bring him gold. When someone brought him gold, he gave the person a little pendant to wear around his or her neck, which exempted that person from needing to bring him more gold—at least for a little while. The freedom granted by that pendant would eventually expire and, if a native didn’t bring Columbus more gold, he’d cut off a hand and make the native wear it around his or her neck.

Columbus also hunted natives for sport. Totally a great person who should be held up on the same level as George Washington or Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The 3 apps you need to use your Android phone anonymously

How do you turn the enemy of privacy into an ally?

Smartphones have long been derided as an invader against digital privacy and anonymity. They watch you, hear you, and most likely know you better than any other device you own. Hackers, telephone companies, governments, and a variety of third parties gleen all sorts of personal data from your phone, often with little consent or knowledge from you.

“Cellphones are tracking devices that make phone calls,” software developer Jacob Appelbaum said in 2013.

That’s not good. Mobile devices like phones and tablets are the most popular, affordable, and fastest-selling devices on the planet. If we can’t figure out privacy for phones, anyone who cares about privacy is losing the battle.

John Oliver explains how police can basically just steal your stuff

Every week, people around the country have developed a ritual. On Sunday evenings, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver digs into a corrupt little corner of the world and spends about 15 minutes patiently and hilariously explaining why it should make right-thinking person explode with rage. Then, on Monday morning, that clip goes more viral than Fox News’ Ebola coverage.

This Sunday was no different. The topic drawing Oliver’s ire is one that’s been vexing civil libertarians for decades.

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The people in the “Republicans are people too” ads are actually stock photos.

Republicans are black. Republicans have tattoos. Republicans drive Priuses. 

This is the message of the recent “Republicans are people too” ad campaign: Republicans are not just the angry old white guys you see on TV. The ad shows various examples of supposedly non-stereotypical Republicans doing thing like recycling and “having tattoos and beards.” One problem: All of those examples turned out to be people from stock photos.

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GOP tries to court women by comparing candidates to wedding dresses

If any party is in touch with the needs of a young, 21st century female voter, it’s the GOP. After all, this is the party that wants to regulate a woman’s reproductive rights like it’s big oil, and what young lady isn’t excited by that prospect?

But for all you young female Florida voters that still remain undecided, the College Republican National Committee has created a commercial to sway you to vote for a gorgeous ivory empire waist wedding dress. Did we mention that dress is also Florida Gov. Rick Scott? He’s a man so gifted he can be both a politician and a chic mermaid silhouette gown.

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The first thing I thought was they killed my baby, and they’re going to kill my wife.
Ronel Lemos, describing the incident in which New York City cops slammed his pregnant wife, Sandra Amezquita, to the ground on her stomach as horrified onlookers watched.

British nationalists riot in Glasgow after Scotland’s independence vote

One day after Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom, British nationalists have taken to the streets of Glasgow to celebrate their victory.

The gathering began as a show of British national pride, but it quickly developed into what many witnesses are describing as a riot.

Protesters carrying U.K. flags and banners associated with the pro-Union Protestant Orange Order had to be separated from Scottish independence campaigners by Glasgow police.

One Vine video shows a young woman with a Scottish flag being dragged on the ground by a man holding a British Union flag. Some photos being shared on Twitter also seem to show pro-Union demonstrators performing the Nazi salute.

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Without clear rules upholding net neutrality, we face the possibility of an Internet divided by the interests of a powerful few at the expense of all else.
The Daily Dot Editorial Staff, Why we support net neutrality

Obama talks war, but all anyone cares about is his tan suit

President Barack Obama took questions from the White House press corps Thursday afternoon on a range of life-and-death issues including Syria, Iraq, Russia’s aggressions against Ukraine, and the ISIS takeover in the Middle East. But the only thing Twitter wanted to talk about was the commander-in-chief’s tan suit.

Here are just some of the many, many comments on the suit, an unusual choice for a president who almost always addresses the nation in a more traditional dark-colored attire.

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Congress banned from editing Wikipedia for transphobic revisions

The user changed the page for Orange is the New Black, which stars transgender woman Laverne Cox, so that, instead of saying that the series “contains the first ever women-in-prison narrative to be played by a real transgender woman,” it read, “Orange Is the New Black contains the first ever women-in-prison narrative to be played by a real man pretending to be a woman.” Whoever was behind the edit then cited an article from the conservative National Review with the headline “Laverne Cox Is Not a Woman” and the sub-headline “Facts are not subject to our feelings.”