choo choo mfugguh
"Do you have the time?"
"Would you please sign a petition to support tougher clean-air rules?"
"Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and savior?"
"Excuse me, but could you help out a fellow American who's down on his luck?"
In many American cities, you can ask the first three of those questions on a public street without any trouble. But if you ask the fourth, you can be arrested and jailed.
Laws against panhandling have been around for decades. In case after case, courts have ruled them unconstitutional. But municipal leaders around the country keep looking for ways to impose them.
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals recently slapped down Henrico County, Virginia's ordinance. Until 2012 the county prohibited people who were standing in the road to distribute handbills, sell merchandise, or solicit contributions from motorists or passengers. So panhandlers asked for money sitting down. The county amended the ordinance to prohibit such activities outright, although it continued to permit, say, election volunteers to yell "Vote for Smith!" at passing motorists. Henrico claimed this was a distinction based on the "transactional" nature of soliciting and handbilling, which present greater safety issues.
Maybe so, said the court, but the county offered no evidence that this was a problem anywhere but a few select intersections. Besides, it offered no evidence that it tried to address the safety problem in other ways, but without success. For instance, it never prosecuted a panhandler for blocking traffic.
That decision followed by just a few days another in which Charlottesville, Virginia's panhandling ordinance also was struck down. The city had tried to keep beggars from a couple of locations on its Downtown Mall, using the same public-safety fig leaf Henrico used. Federal district judge Norman Moon didn't buy it.
"My examination of the record reflects that the City's focus was on panhandlers, and the City created an ordinance reflecting that focus," he wrote. What's more, "the City offers insufficient justification (much less a good explanation) for the fifty-foot measurement of the so-called buffer zone. There are other laws that permit the City to protect the public safety without burdening speech rights."
Both of those rulings leaned for support on the Supreme Court's ruling against buffer zones around abortion clinics in Massachusetts. Those zones allowed clinic personnel to counsel women on the street, but kept anti-abortion activists from doing the same—a flagrantly unconstitutional restriction based on the content of the speaker's message.
Anti-panhandling ordinances often amount to the same thing, especially when they exempt other sorts of speakers—street preachers, campaign volunteers, political protesters—from similar restraints. And everyone knows why: Panhandlers, who are usually homeless, often look like heck and smell even worse, and that's bad for business. As one Honolulu city councilman said regarding an anti-panhandling ordinance there, he wanted "to make sure tourists are comfortable visiting Hawaii and are not constantly accosted for money." In other words, he wanted to help Honolulu businesses rake in more money by ensuring Honolulu beggars raked in less. Nice.
Whether the laws are nice or not, however, is an ancillary issue. The principal question is whether begging constitutes free speech. Time after time, courts have ruled that it does. "There is no question that panhandling and solicitation of charitable contributions are protected speech," said the 4th Circuit last week. Two years ago, the 6th Circuit noted in a Michigan case that the Supreme Court has protected solicitation by groups, and—citing decisions in the Second, 11th, and 4th (the latter, again, concerning the Charlottesville ban)—held that individual "begging is a form of solicitation that the First Amendment protects" as well.
The Michigan case involved such appeals for help as signs reading "Cold and Hungry, God Bless" and "Need Job, God Bless," as well as the verbal appeal, "Can you spare a little change?" It's impossible to argue with a straight face that such communication is not speech—and, moreover, speech that harms no one.
Michigan claimed it wanted to prevent fraud (some homeless people use donations to buy booze and drugs, not food and shelter). In that case, the court said, the state should ban fraud. Banning all panhandling to prevent potential fraud is like banning all religious worship to prevent human sacrifice.
Of course, sometimes the people with their hands out can be downright menacing. They don't simply ask for your money, they rudely demand it. They tell you how much you have to pay. And then they threaten to make your life miserable if you don't comply.
We don't call them the panhandlers, though. We call them politicians.
Social Media Fail of the Day: ISIS Creates Social Network ‘Khelafabook,’ Anonymous Reportedly Takes It Offline
The Facebook clone claims it is independent and not actually sponsored by ISIS (even though it has ISIS logos all over its homepage). It says its goal is to show the world that they don’t only “live in caves” and “carry guns,” and they vow to “will rule the world by Allah’s permission.”
Khelafabook was set up by a man in Mosul, Iraq, according to The Independent, and is hosted in Egypt. There’s also an associated Twitter account which is linked to from the site.
The site first popped up last week, but has already been taken offline “to protect the info and details of its members,” according to a message on the page.
After it was taken down, Twitter accounts associated with Anonymous appeared to claim responsibility, as Vocativ points out.
For the the time being they’ll have to look elsewhere to share their terrorist pancake recipes.
— ̶̲̅͠м̶̲̅͠ª͕̲͗̅͠ĵ͕͗ (@CyberRog) March 8, 2015
— ̶̲̅͠м̶̲̅͠ª͕̲͗̅͠ĵ͕͗ (@CyberRog) March 9, 2015
Image Via: The Independent
New app analyses facial expressions, can tell if you're lying...
(Third column, 9th story, link)
starvation is awesome yo
High School Votes for “Communism-themed Prom” Children wasting the people’s resources on counter-revolutionary frivolities such as hairspray, breath mints, party dresses, limousines, their neighboring cities entire sugar ration and doing their bourgeois dances of exploitative decadence and imperialist oppression even though there is still so much work in the salt mines remains undone? How very capitalist of them.
Saturday mornings in the 1980s were a magical time for the lucky kids who got to see their favorite toys, video games and live action TV shows get a toon makeover while eating a bowl of cereal featuring some of the same licensed characters.
These ten animated TV shows from the 1980s may be a bit strange compared to their better known Saturday Morning Cartoon siblings, but that's what makes them all so memorable!
1. Rubik the Amazing Cube (1983-84)-
It's the frustrating color matching cube that became an iconic symbol of the 80s, it's Rubik the Amazing Cube! Give that colorful little cube a pair of blocky legs, a cute little elfy voice, Mickey Rooney's face and a theme song by Menudo and you've got the makings of a mighty odd cartoon show.
2. Punky Brewster (1985-86)-
Punky and her dog Brandon discover a magical village at the end of a rainbow where they meet a gopher-leprechaun hybrid named Glomer.
Glomer has the magical ability to send Punky and her friends anywhere on Earth, but he's constantly bungling spells and landing Punky's crew in hot water, which is instantly forgiven because he's so darn cute!
Turbo-Teen tells the tale of a young man who crashes his red sports car into a secret government laboratory and gets zapped by a molecular beam that fuses kid and car together to form Turbo-Teen!
He's like a crime fighting were-car, except his transformation is triggered by heat, and he solves mysteries with help from his reporter friend Patti, his dog Rusty and his mechanic buddy Alex, who keeps TT running smoothly.
4. Kidd Video (1984-85)-
Jem and the Holograms definitely made girls want to start a band, but Kidd Video made all 80s kids want to band together and make sweet music, because they were the hippest teen band on TV! Kidd and his band Kidd Video are kidnapped by the evil Master Blaster and transported to his dark homeworld The Flipside, where music and mayhem rule.
Kidd Video featured music from popular artists of the day, a fairy who looks like she came straight from Jazzercise class, and an awareness of their toonification, which they often used against the evil Master Blaster. Kidd Video was tailor made to appeal to 80s kids, which is probably why it has yet to make its way onto DVD.
5. Meatballs & Spaghetti (1982-83)-
Meatballs & Spaghetti was an understated little show about a traveling husband and wife band who stumbled into adventures as they toured the country in their mobile home.
The show played with television tropes in a way that even adults could appreciate, and featured a cast that seemed familiar to all cartoon lovers, because they were the grown up equivalent of a group of meddling kids! So what's the strangest bit on the show? How about their dog Woofer on drums...
6. Beverly Hills Teens (1987)-
Richie Rich was the first rich kid on the block to make young viewers long for the good life, and the Beverly Hills Teens were the spoiled brats who made kids happy they didn't hang out with rich kids.
Created as a response to the violent action shows sweeping the airwaves in the 1980s, Beverly Hills Teens taught kids important lessons like money cures boredom and makes you cool, and if you have enough money you can get away with anything!
7. The Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour (1981)-
Laverne & Shirley joined the likes of Fonzie and Mork & Mindy in getting their own animated TV show for a short while in the early 80s. The girls were teamed up with teenage versions of Mork & Mindy for an hour of animated television that epitomized the "animate everything" trend taking place in the 80s.
Laverne & Shirley In The Army was based on a two part episode of their live action TV show, and since Fonzi was the link between Laverne & Shirley and the crew from Happy Days he came along for the animated ride. The coolest part about this hour of animated TV? Fonzi's dog Mr. Cool, who was a great source of comic relief.
8. Potato Head Kids (1986-87)-
What's a Mister and Misses Potato Head without a bunch of spuds running around the potato patch? The Potato Head Kids were cute yet a bit creepy looking, and stylistically they totally could have been BFFs with the Fry Guys and McNuggets from McDonaldland!
They were just ordinary vegetable kids having imaginative adventures and trying to keep their heads out of the fryers, but they never appealed to kids quite like their beloved potato parents.
I hope this totally radical cartoon trip has brought back some good memories for those of you who grew up in the 80s, and for the rest I hope it inspires you to seek out and explore all the animated goodness the 80s had to offer!
Best mugshot I've seen in my area. I assumed at first he was arrested for tying damsels to railroad tracks.
all I need is the streaming Link one for $50.
Coming in November
Although the first batch of Steam Machines is expected in November, some manufacturers have already announced their own versions and Valve has now added a full list of Steam Machines, including specifications and prices, over at its Steam site.
Listed at the official Steam store, the list of Steam Machines includes a total of fifteen different manufacturers, from Alienware and its Alpha Steam Machine announced back in June last year, to Zotac's recently announced SN970 Steam Machine.
The cheapest one is the iBuyPower SBX, which starts at US $459.99 and some Steam Machines are priced at US $4,999, like Falcon Northwest Tiki Steam Machine which goes from US $1,999.99 to US $4,999.99, or Origin's Omega Steam Machine starting at US $899.99 and going up to US $4,999.99.
There will obviously plenty of Steam Machines to choose from, including some coming from favorite retailers/e-tailers like Alternate and Scan Computers, as well as recognizable hardware manufacturers like Asus and Gigabyte.
According to Valve's Steam Machine site, each Steam Machine will be running on Steam OS and ship with a Steam Controller.