Wednesday Morning Open Thread: “The Love Always Outweighs the Hate”


Even if that’s not statistically verifiable, isn’t it a better way to live?

(Matt Davies via

Friday Morning Open Thread: Who’s Going to #MarchforOurLives?

I was never much of a marcher; age and bad joints haven’t exactly increased my inclination to communal protest. But I know some of you are making plans to join the marches in your area, if anybody wants to leave a comment below and maybe attempt to get together…

Also, in case it’s helpful, reason #2,387,451 I’m glad I decided against having kids:

“Fellow parents of smallish kids: Are you planning to take your families to the March for our Lives?” wrote an acquaintance on Facebook earlier this week. Her children are in fifth and second grade. “Anyone else have concerns about the event raising fears in our kids’ minds? My kids know about Parkland, but have not (yet) asked, ‘Could that happen here?’ “

And that is a good question. For many parents, it is the question right now.

How young is too young to join in a protest or a march?

There is a lot to consider for those thinking of taking younger kids to the March for Our Lives on March 24 in Washington. The logistics alone can be a major issue: thousands of people, scattered bathrooms, hours of standing.

But more than that, this march is about kids being shot to death in schools. So the images and messages at the event will certainly be concerning for children who may be too young to process (aren’t we all?) the horror.

Will a march or protest send their anxieties into a freefall? Or can it empower them and make them feel as if they have some control or ability to change things?…

And this makes me feel more hopeful about the event —

— because, naming no names, the last thing we need right now are a bunch of aging politicos &general attention-hunters trying to score another fifteen seconds of ‘virality’ at the expense of these kids. Let ’em make their own experience, just like we did, back in the day.

Monday Morning Open Thread: “Never Forget, You Can Be Someone’s Champion”


What’s on the agenda, as we gear up for a fresh week?

Monday Morning Open Thread: LIKE A QUEEN!

Sometimes the internet doesn’t suck. Per the Washington Post

Parker Curry, age 2, was not being cooperative.

Standing in front of the new painting of former first lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, Parker ignored her mother’s pleas to turn around for a photo.

“All I wanted was just one pic,” Parker’s mother, Jessica Curry, said Sunday. “She was just so fixated on the portrait and wouldn’t turn away from it.”

Curry, a lifelong District resident, was so fixated on her daughter being fixated on the portrait that she didn’t see a man to the side taking a cellphone photo of the moment — Parker in utter awe, her mouth agape.

The next morning, Curry said, her phone “blew up.”

The man to the side — ­37-year-old Ben Hines of Alexandria — posted the photo on Facebook. It went really, really viral. And suddenly, little Parker went from being a little difficult to being more than a little famous.

The photo, taken Thursday, has been shared, liked, tweeted, retweeted and Instagrammed thousands of times around the world. Obama reacted with not one but three heart-eye emoji…

Parker, in her less than 36 months alive, has become a big admirer of the former first lady. She especially enjoyed seeing Obama dance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” After seeing the portrait, Parker thinks Obama is a “queen.”

(Curry is not certain her daughter knows that Michelle’s husband is former president Barack Obama or that he even ­exists.)…

Buzzfeed has a quote from the artist, Amy Sherald:

When I look at this picture I think back to my first field trip in elementary school to a museum. I had only seen paintings in encyclopedias up to that point in my life. There was a show up of work by painter @thebobartlett whose work still inspires me to this day. There was a painting of a black man standing in front of a house. I don’t remember a lot about my childhood, but I do have a few emotional memories etched into my mind forever and seeing that painting of a man that looked like he could be my father stopped me dead in my tracks… I knew I wanted to be an artist already, but seeing that painting made me realize that I could. What dreams may come?… #representationmatters

I don’t know if Parker will actually remember the moment in this photo, but I can attest that some of my very earliest memories are of specific museum exhibits (an Egyptian lion-headed sculpture at the Metropolitan, a tiny perfect Peruvian silver llama at the Heyes) — and, of course, she’s got this picture to remind her now.

Wednesday Morning Positive Projects Open Thread

Four months ago, when 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured in a shooting in Las Vegas, a plurality of respondents told pollsters that government and society were essentially powerless to stop these incidents.

Today, however, 64 percent of Americans say that “government and society can take action that will be effective in preventing shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida from happening again.” Just 32 percent say shootings like Parkland “will happen again regardless of what action is taken by government and society.”…


And good people just go on, being good…

Late Night Open Thread: Don’t Get Our Hopes Up

Excellent link:

Mr. President, our plea to you is simple: Do NOT do this. We absolutely do not want you to pull ICE out of California, where the agency recently arrested more than 100 immigrants. It would totally embarrass us, and make you more popular and beloved among the millions of Real Americans who hate us and love you, if you did this. We love ICE and think it is good, even though we pretend to hate it (fake news).

I think I’ve talked to, if not 100% of the members of the liberal media, at least 97% of them by now, and we’re all in agreement: This would suck really hard… We would be forced to take to Twitter and plead with you, your supporters and your allies in the media, probably by posting thoroughly embarrassing crying selfies of ourselves—bring back ICE, Mr. Strong President, we’d plead…

Gun Safety Open Thread: Nudging the Persuadable


Reasonable argument, with a side of humor — “F*ck You, I Like My Guns”:

I always find it interesting that when I was in the Army, and part of my job was to be incredibly proficient with this exact weapon, I never carried one at any point in garrison other than at the range. Our rifles lived in the arms room, cleaned and oiled, ready for the next range day or deployment. We didn’t carry them around just because we liked them. We didn’t bluster on about barracks defense and our second amendment rights. We tucked our rifles away in the arms room until the next time we needed them, just as it had been done since the Army’s inception. The military police protected us from threats in garrison. They had 9 mm Berettas to carry. They were the only soldiers who carry weapons in garrison. We trusted them to protect us, and they delivered. With notably rare exceptions, this system has worked well. There are fewer shootings on Army posts than in society in general, probably because soldiers are actively discouraged from walking around with rifles, despite being impeccably well trained with them. Perchance, we could have the largely untrained civilian population take a page from that book?

I understand that people want to be able to own guns. That’s ok. We just need to really think about how we’re managing this. Yes, we have to manage it, just as we manage car ownership. People have to get a license to operate a car, and if you operate a car without a license, you’re going to get in trouble for that. We manage all things in society that can pose a danger to other people by their misuse. In addition to cars, we manage drugs, alcohol, exotic animals (there are certain zip codes where you can’t own Serval cats, for example), and fireworks, among other things. We restrict what types of businesses can operate in which zones of the city or county. We have a whole system of permitting for just about any activity a person wants to conduct since those activities could affect others, and we realize, as a society, that we need to try to minimize the risk to other people that comes from the chosen activities of those around them in which they have no say. Gun ownership is the one thing our country collectively refuses to manage, and the result is a lot of dead people.

Let’s be honest. You just want a cool toy, and for the vast majority of people, that’s all an AR-15 is. It’s something fun to take to the range and put some really wicked holes in a piece of paper. Good for you. I know how enjoyable that is. I’m sure for a certain percentage of people, they might not kill anyone driving a Formula One car down the freeway, or owning a Cheetah as a pet, or setting off professional grade fireworks without a permit. Some people are good with this stuff, and some people are lucky, but those cases don’t negate the overall rule. Military style rifles have been the choice du jour in the incidents that have made our country the mass shootings capitol of the world. Formula One cars aren’t good for commuting. Cheetahs are bitey. Professional grade fireworks will probably take your hand off. All but one of these are common sense to the average American. Let’s fix that. Be honest, you don’t need that AR-15. Nobody does. Society needs them gone, no matter how good you may be with yours. Kids are dying, and it’s time to stop fucking around.