Washington Post: 33 Women Who Should Be On the 10$ Bill

As always, I’ve cut some material out of these quotes. Feel free to read the full article, or just to rest assured that I haven’t left out anything significant.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that a woman will be featured on a new $10 bill rolling out in 2020. Ultimately, it’s up to the Treasury Department to decide which woman should be the first to grace U.S. paper currency. Their only requirements are that 1) that the candidate is a woman 2) who is dead and 3) resembles the bill’s theme of “democracy.”
To be fair, we decided on our monetary representatives quite a long time ago. It’s entirely possible that there are people more worthy of being enshrined in our currency. And so long as the person is as deserving, I don’t see why a woman shouldn’t be on our money! Though, not sure why we’re focusing on females specifically, but whatever-let’s see our worthy candidates!
The good thing is, the Obama administration says it will listen to our ideas for which woman should go on the $10 bill. We took that as a cue to give them ours, pulled from a viral campaign this spring, a Washington Post reader poll, and from our own brains. We hereby formally submit them to the Treasury for consideration.There are three iconic women who automatically top anyone’s list

Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous abolitionists of her time for her journeys on the Underground Railroad. She won the Women on the $20 campaign nomination.
Rosa Parks‎, the iconic civil rights activist
Susan B. Anthony‎, women’s suffrage movement leader who was on the $1 coin until 1981

I was going to do a bit where I was shocked, but I’m not. I mean, Harriet Tubman freed a grand total of 70 slaves! Which sounds good, until you consider that Abraham Lincoln freed…uh, 4 million? Abraham Lincoln had help, but so did Harriet Tubman-the Underground Railroad was a system of secret pathways and safe houses, and was mapped and made by…uh, Not Harriet Tubman. Various counts estimate that it moved thousands of slaves a year, so Harriet wasn’t the only one fighting the good fight, and wasn’t even necessarily the best conductor of the underground railroad (as it were)
Rosa Parks did a cool thing and some civil rights organizing, but she wasn’t the only one to protest on buses; she just happened to be in the right time and the right place. Good for her, but 1 small act, even as a flashpoint, is just not that impressive.
Susan B. Anthony is the most plausible candidate, but she never really accomplished anything truly significant; rather, she built up a movement which essentially did. Her, I might be willing to hear arguments for, but these would be heated arguments and I would need to look very deeply into her before entering these.
But there are plenty of other civil rights activists and women suffrage leaders who should also be consideredElizabeth Cady Stanton‎, an early women’s rights activist and abolitionist
Sojourner Truth‎, a black women’s rights activist and abolitionist
Fannie Lou Hamer, suffrage and civil rights activist
Alice Paul‎, suffrage leader

Eh. Again, arguable, and I’ve never heard of some of these. But let’s move on-the real madness begins.
And how about these pioneering scientistsSally Ride, the first American woman in space
Annie Jump Cannon, who created a system to classify stars that astronomers use today
Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

And here’s where everything begins to crumble.
Sally Ride is not more deserving than, say, Neil Armstrong. Amelia Earhart is not more deserving than, say, Charles Lindbergh. Annie Jump Cannon is not more deserving than, say, Mendeleev (inventor of the periodic table, a system to classify elements that everyone uses today). Sure, it may have been somewhat harder for the women, due to sexism, but has anyone ever suggested that Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong, or Mendeleev should be on the money? And keep in mind that the first two proved something was possible, period (flying across the Atlantic, flying to the moon), which the women didn’t. ‘First Woman to X’ is moronic.

These are America’s first ladies who should make the short list

Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights activist and wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She is leading in a Wonkblog reader poll for the honor.
Betty Ford, the wife of Gerald Ford whose honesty about her addictions helped make drug treatment more socially acceptable
Abigail Adams, the nation’s second first lady, was really the first to take an active role in politics and policy

Why not the husbands of these ladies? Are we meant to believe they contributed less? Eleanor is somewhat viable, but again…Franklin Roosevelt? 3 terms, the New Deal, WWII?

Speaking of politics, these women were the first of their kinds

Frances Perkins‎, FDR’s secretary of labor and the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet
Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress
Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to the House of Representatives, and the first Asian American elected to Congress
Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman elected to both chambers of Congress
Shirley Chisholm‎, the first African-American woman elected to Congress
Barbara Jordan‎, a politician who was the first black woman in the South to be elected to the House of Representatives
Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of Cherokee Nation

Hehe, Wilma Mankiller. Yeah, that’s all I have to say for this ridiculous list – first woman X is irrelevant, always and forever.
And outside of Washington, there are some pretty amazing women we’d like to draw the government’s attention toEmma Lazarus, the author of the poem on the Statue of Liberty
Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts
Jane Addams, a Nobel Prize winner and an important figure in the “settlement house” movement that gave rise to the country’s social safety net
Clara Barton‎, the founder of the American Red Cross
Betsy Ross, who made the first American flag in 1776
Hellen Keller, the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor’s degree. Keller is on the 2003 Alabama quarter.
Sacagawea, a key figure in the Lewis and Clark expedition who also had a stint on the $1 coin

I’ve never heard of that poem, and I doubt it’s relevant. There’s not that much proof that Betsy sewed the flag, and she definitely didn’t design it. Hellen Keller is an inspiring story and an incredible accomplishment, but there are few deaf-blind people and they are unlikely to contribute much to society, so there is that. Clara Barton…is actually respectable. Also, no one has considered the founder of the Boy Scouts, any male Nobel Prize winner, or Lewis / Clarke for the money, so there’s that.
These authors and playwrights are awesome tooMaya Angelou (AP Photo/Press-Register)
Betty Friedan‎, feminist author of the Feminine Mystique
Rachel Carson‎, a marine biologist who wrote the hugely influential environmental book Silent Spring
Maya Angelou, famed poet and civil rights activists
Alice Childress, an award-winning African-American playwright

And here are some more outside-the-box picks we think should be consideredAyn Rand (AP Photo)
Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged who retains huge influence on the modern-day libertarian movement
Margaret Sanger‎, who opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. and is considered the founder of Planned Parenthood

Never heard of any man writing an influential book getting nominated for the money, ever.
Edit: Also, why is Margaret Sanger so consistently represented sans information about her being a nazi-style eugenicist?
Look, I wouldn’t mind a general re-evaluation of who we put on our money. I think it’s important to retain our old standards, which are more geared towards people who changed the course of our country for the better, rather than individual acts of heroism, because those are so varied, and while awesome, are ultimately not that influential. And sure, women worked harder and set an example for the women that come after. But those factors need to be taken at the level they deserve to be-i.e. medium-to-small importance. A suffragette, or Clara Barton? Maybe. ‘First woman to X’? Get out. If we believe that putting a woman on the money would send a message to women, let’s be careful that the message we send isn’t ‘Women’s achievements matter more, just because’.
Washington Post: 33 Women Who Should Be On the 10$ Bill

Gun Control Idiocy

To begin; I’m in favor of a few gun-control ideas (check the bottom if that’s what you’re here for :]). However, as usual, the rhetoric on display is astonishing in its stupidity.

To start with; The Five Extra Words That Can Fix The Second Amendment , by the Washington Post. As usual, I cut to maintain clarity and sanity, not to remove meaning, and the above link provides easy proof.

John Paul Stevens served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1975 to 2010. 

OK, I know I’m supposed to respect this guy as a constitutional expert or such. But seriously, when you read what follows, you’ll see that he doesn’t deserve your respect at all.

Each year, more than 30,000 people die in the United States in firearm-related incidents. Many of those deaths involve handguns. The adoption of rules that will lessen the number of those incidents should be a matter of primary concern to both federal and state legislators. It is those legislators, rather than federal judges, who should make the decisions that will determine what kinds of firearms should be available to private citizens, and when and how they may be used. Constitutional provisions that curtail the legislative power to govern in this area unquestionably do more harm than good.

So far as I can understand, the whole point of a constitutional right is to be kept regardless of what legislators think, unless they can get a massive majority together. That’s because these rights; the right to speak, to be private, and to defend yourself, are integral to maintaining a free democracy, and therefore shouldn’t be mortgaged by the whims of a short-sighted public.

the Second Amendment provides that “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment (military use of arms only), and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.

Organizations such as the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and mounted a vigorous campaign claiming that federal regulation of the use of firearms severely curtailed Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

In recent years, the Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment protects a civilian’s right to keep a handgun in his home for purposes of self-defense, and the court decided that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment limits the power of the city of Chicago to outlaw the possession of handguns by private citizens. I dissented in both of those cases and remain convinced that both decisions misinterpreted the law and were profoundly unwise.

In my dissent in the McDonald case, I pointed out that “this is a quintessential area in which federalism ought to be allowed to flourish without this Court’s meddling. Across the Nation, States and localities vary significantly in the patterns and problems of gun violence they face, as well as in the traditions and cultures of lawful gun use. . . . The city of Chicago, for example, faces a pressing challenge in combating criminal street gangs. Most rural areas do not.”

Well, that was long. Here comes the good bit.

the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated,” has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

So, just to clarify, you want the second amendment to say: “Active Soldiers in the Army are Allowed to Have Guns”.

What government in the history of the world has ever purposely deprived its soldiers of its most effective weapons? At most, there have been cost issues, but this amendment doesn’t require the government to buy any kind of weapon, so that’s not a solution. It’s laughable to suggest that the government would try to do this; doubly so that the Founding Fathers would be so frightened of this unlikely eventuality that they devoted one of their ten amendments to preventing it.

Looking at the court cases mentioned, the main one was against a sawed-off shotgun. Which, I mean, is that really a weapon for self-defense? It seems like that fits the definition of ‘assault weapon’ to a tee, and is therefore something that I would be fine on clamping down on in any case. In short, I am not convinced that anyone believes that this is a fair interpretation of the amendment; rather, I think they want to limit guns and are willing to say whatever they can to do so. Well, argue honestly or not at all.

Other stupidities:

Slate top comment: “Does anyone believe that if we sold 100 million hand grenades to civilians that hand grenade homicides wouldn’t dramtically increase?”

Imagine the following scenario. I am a godlike figure who can read minds. Whenever someone plots a murder, I swoop down and hand them a couple of frag grenades. Would this increase grenade murder rates? Sure. Would it increase total murder rates? Well…let’s get into that.

Providing more effective weaoonry arguably increases chance of succeeding, and may empower more people to make attempts. But this is something that would show up in higher total murder rates, so the argument still holds-show me an increase in total murders.

I see this non-understanding all the time; in fact, one Vox article I recently read noted that suicides and gun suicides both increased, but suspiciously failed to mention in the same article total homicides when talking about gun homicides. Anyways, be on the lookout for this deceitful dodge.

Finally, Hillary belly (flip)flops with both feet in her mouth;“Allow victims to sue gun manufacturers”

I mean, the second that car manufacturers realize that this law creates a precedent that could be used to hit them with a few million lawsuits, they will leave the country en masse. But hey, maybe if their unions had donated more to Hillary, they would have been spared…too bad, auto workers.

Even if you argue that car accidents shouldn’t be actionable, what about drunk drivers? What about people whose preferred method of suicide is piping in the car’s exhaust? What about the few people who actually do use a car as a murder weapon?

Now : solutions.

Gun-show loophole is just private individuals selling each other their private property; the ATF automatically classifies someone who sells a significant amount as a gun dealer already. The solution? Get together a kickass team to develop an amazing app which allows people within states (or even between them, although I know this can get sticky), to sell each other weapons. Delete any information generated after the sale is made, like Snapchat. Meanwhile, collate all the various data that could relate to a background check in an easy-to-use government database; essentially pull it all together and automatically mark people as a yes or no (maybe have an option that says ‘heavy psych eval’ as a midground?). Then, after about a year, ban selling guns outside of the government app, which hopefully everyone is pretty hooked on regardless. Then, have the app run on the background check system as well. This also functions as an easy way to get every state running background checks.

Frankly, another important thing is to teach parents how to deal with mental un-health. As much as I enjoy occasionally browsing 4chan, any regular poster under the age of 21 probably could do with a bit more of a, how you say, life. Not saying 4chan drove Mercer to it or anything, just saying his activity was proof that he might have needed some kind of help.

Gun Control Idiocy