Feb. 28th, 2017

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Headcanon: Professor McGonagall has a muggle wife she never mentions to the students, because they never ask.

Four years after Harry’s left Hogwarts he visits McGonagall’s home to talk her out of retirement, and the door is opened by a woman he doesn’t recognise. Confused, he introduces himself and asks to see McGonagall. The woman recognises the name and invites him in, saying Minerva will be home soon. She then talks a mile a minute, but not about the war - about the stories she’s heard about the golden trio from their head of house. About how Harry stood up to Umbridge, and how clever Hermione was, and how Ron had been able to beat her chess game, and how PROUD Minerva was of them all.

By the time McGonagall does arrive, Harry and her wife are chatting like old friends. Minvera’s wife calls her things like “Darling” and “Pumpkin.” Harry cannot believe his ears.

Harry is invited to tea every Wednesday from then on. He always looks forward to it.

@anankinskywalker @lenvluthor @lvkes

@jimmyandthegiraffes @fishsupportgroup

Oh hellyeah headcanon accepted.

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Emerald City Comicon is this weekend! I’ll be there! I got lots of stuff to sell and also I’m going to be on a panel where I talk about how you can turn your weird obsessions into art! Come by and say hello!!

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Tennessee has declared war on same-sex families: Inside the legislation that would eradicate nearly all rights for LGBT couples:


Heather MacKenzie bought her wedding ring at Wal-Mart. MacKenzie, now 38, proposed to her wife, Charitey, by driving to the top of Tiger Hill in Murfreesboro, a town located near the couple’s Tennessee home. The hill, a favorite spot for preteen sledders during the winter, looks over the entire town, as well as the vast expanse of the surrounding area. This was where the MacKenzies had their first date.

The pair said “I do” in June 2015, just days after the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling legalized marriage between same-sex couples in their state. The MacKenzies were wed in Nashville in front of the courthouse under a magnolia tree.

Over a year later, the couple are expecting a child: Charitey is 12 weeks pregnant with a son. A trio of recently proposed laws, however, could jeopardize the future of their growing clan. This legislation seeks to erase any hint of legal recognition for LGBT couples in Tennessee, all but declaring war on the families of same-sex parents living in the state.

Filed by State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, House Bill 1406 would prevent a couple from listing on the birth certificate the second parent (the spouse not giving birth) after a woman becomes pregnant through artificial insemination. The legislation would nullify a provision of the Tennessee Code Annotated 68-3-306, which was issued as part of the Vital Records Act of 1977. The law states, “A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman’s husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife.”

If Weaver’s bill passes, Heather would not be considered the legal guardian of the child on the way. In order to gain that status, she would have to file for a second-parent adoption, a process that’s both costly and time intensive. The couple is raising a daughter the two adopted four years ago and it cost $6,500 for Heather and Chariety to gain her custody.

“It’s a lot of money, especially after you’re preparing for a newborn,” said Heather, who works as a supervisor for an automotive distribution center in Smyrna. “And now you have to go adopt your own child. We know a lot of couples who have waited until their kids are in elementary school because they waited to save up to do the adoption. If something happens in between that time, it could be really harmful to your family.”

If Charitey were to be in a car wreck, for instance, Heather could make legal decisions for her but not for their expected child. The  newborn would have no rights to Heather’s inheritance or her insurance — an added complication for the couple. If HB 1406 were to be passed, it would go into effect on July 1, three months before Charitey is expected to give birth. Heather receives health care benefits through her workplace, but if the new baby would not be longer eligible for that coverage, who would pay for the hospital costs?

The legislation leaves a terrifying number of unanswered questions, few of which have been answered by HB 1406’s authors. Although Weaver claimed in a Facebook post that the legislation is not intended to target same-sex families, she didn’t address the fact that her bill does exactly that.

The legislation, which was put forward this month, appears to have been introduced in response to a divorce case concerning a lesbian couple in Knoxville. The Republican lawmaker was one of 53 legislators who filed amicus briefs siding with the court’s decision in a case last year in which Erica Witt lobbied for custody of a daughter she had conceived while wed to her wife, Sabrina, prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage rights of same-sex couples. The judge decided that because Tennessee didn’t legally recognize relationships between two women in 2014, Erica had no visitation rights whatsoever.

HB 1406 isn’t the only bill, however, that would make lives more difficult for same-sex couples in the state. Republican state Rep. Mark Pody has refiled House Bill 892, also known as the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act. Voted down by the General Assembly last year, the legislation seeks to override the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex unions in favor of the state’s definition — or lack thereof. In 2006, 81 percent of voters cast a ballot saying that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

In addition, there’s also House Bill 33. Sponsored by state Reps. Janice Bowling and John Ragan, the bill would “[require] that the words ‘husband,’ ‘wife,’ ‘mother,’ and ‘father’ be given their natural and ordinary meaning” in any legal or legislative context.

According to The Tennessean, HB 33 could have extreme, sweeping effects on same-sex couples in the state, erasing the rights and benefits afforded to their relationships at every turn. The newspaper has reported that the word “mother” appears more 110 times in local laws, including everything from marriage rights to divorce and even filing your taxes. In addition, “father” popped up 68 times in a search of state and local legislation, while “wife” showed up on 55 different occasions.

Beth Littrell, the staff counsel for Lambda Legal, called these bills a “mean-spirited waste of time that would be struck down by the first federal court to hear the challenge.”

But even if these three discriminatory pieces of legislation are unconstitutional, it “could take years before they are overturned,” as Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign’s legal director, explained. In the interim, they could do enormous damage to the lives of LGBT families. For instance, HB 33 would stipulate that if one member of a same-sex couple dies, he or she doesn’t have to be treated as a legal spouse possessing the same property rights granted heterosexual couples. And because he or she wouldn’t be recognized under the traditional definitions of “husband” or “wife,” the surviving partner could be forced out of the home they shared.

“The real victims will be the children of same-sex couples and of all couples who are conceived by means of fertility clinics,” Littrell said, noting that the artificial insemination bill would also affect opposite-sex parents. “It seems awfully counterproductive.”

Chris Sanders, the executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, noted that bills like HB 1046 are bad for all couples. For instance, in cases of artificial insemination if there’s no longer the presumption that the second parent should be listed on a birth certificate, a husband may be forced to go to court to lobby for parental rights in relation to his child. That legal process would have the unfortunate side effect of outing infertile mothers who may not want to advertise to family and friends that they are not able to conceive children without the help of medical professionals.

“It gets rid of your privacy,” Sanders said. “It’s suddenly a public process and everyone knows your business.”

But while these bills hurt everyone, they are part of a targeted legislative push to make LGBT Tennesseans feel unwelcome and unsafe in their own state. This trinity of anti-marriage legislation coincides with the re-introduction of a bathroom bill intended to prevent trans people from using the public restroom that corresponds with their gender identity that was filed by Rep. Pody and state Sen. Mae Beavers. A similar law was considered last year but tabled following overwhelming backlash — much like the controversy that has followed North Carolina’s House Bill 2.

While LGBT people in the South have been fighting against right-wing bigotry for decades, Melissa Snarr said it feels “brutally personal” this time.

“We’re used to that sort of thing in Tennessee, but after the election, it’s become even more brutal,” said Snarr, who teaches at Vanderbilt University’s School of Divinity. “I woke up with my son at 5:45 this morning and did all the normal things to make him feel safe and loved, but there’s no sense of me as a person. We’ve become an issue. We’re not actually people. It feels like a choice by the legislature to erase our lives.”

Snarr, 46, who is raising a 6-month-old son with her wife, Kelley Francis, said that same-sex couples will continue to fight to gain the same legal recognition as heterosexual families. It’s what they’ve been doing for decades. The Snarrs married three years ago, prior to the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, and secured attorneys to help them navigate estate rights and put together a living will. But unfortunately, far too few lawyers intimately understand that process for same-sex couples, meaning many people — especially low-income families — will be back to square one.

But for Heather MacKenzie, the fight is not just about the financial and legal burden that these bills would place on same-sex couples. It’s about ensuring that members of her family are treated as equals.

“It was amazing for me to be able to be added to my first child’s birth certificate,” MacKenzie said. “For me, it’s more than a piece of paper. To me, it’s a sign we’ve made it. We’re being recognized as a family. This child will be very loved, and for somebody to try to pass a bill to take that away from us — and we’ve made it this far — it’s ridiculous.”

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Pair gets 35 years for terrorizing party with Confederate flags – Knowledge:


Jose Torres and Kayla Norton were convicted earlier this month under a street gang terrorism law for harassment in Douglassville, Ga.

One person is heard shouting the n-word, while witnesses said that another had a gun sand said “he was gonna kill the n—–s.”

Superior Court Judge William McClain said that Torres, 26, and Norton, 25, had committed a hate crime, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


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Kakapo are so stupid and funny

They’re these absolutely useless flightless parrots that emerge once every two years or so wanting to bonk and one of them tried to bonk Stephen Fry’s co-host on a nature show, Mark Carwardine, and it was too freaking funny because that about sums up this foolish endangered bird with no brains or defences.

@copperbadge I think you need to add a kakapo to the menagerie

I would, but Bruce isn’t actually a big bird fan, and Pepper has put her foot down and said two and a half exotics is enough for one Tower. 

(Potato the Potoo only counts as a half because he’s only there part time and except for attacking supervillains he pretty much just sits around looking like a freak.) 

Please don’t ! We need all the Kakapo for breeding efforts because the big lugs are too stupid to avoid extinction on their own

Well, this would be a fictional menagerie, no actual Kakapo harmed in the making of, but your point is well taken.

Now I’m picturing Bruce with a pair of Kakapos yelling “Mate, damn you!” as he tries to help rescue the breed from extinction. One of them wanders off to try and mate with Lovelace, the other one just wants to nest in Bruce’s lab coat. 

… how does Lovelace respond to the Kakapos courtship?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Oh, the heaping scorn and disdain of Lovelace for her Kakapo suitor. It’d be tragic how she spurned him if he was aware enough to notice. As it is, it’s just incredibly funny. You’ve never seen an owl so filled with disdain. 

How did you know I loved parrot jokes.  Holy crap.

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I heard cursive is dying. I want to see who still uses it.

I can’t write in blocked letters ( however people will accurately say I can’t write at all ).

Oh, I can - you just can’t read it.  I’m told it’s pretty, though. 

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i dont understand half of the words here but god if this isn’t the funniest thing i’ve ever read

I understand it, and I want to see it in action.  *stares*
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why is this goat so pretty?? it’s like a fairy? what kind of goat is this???

It’s called a Gulabi, and if you want to see something even better, the adults look like this.  

Guillermo del Toro designed this goat

Realistic goat Pokemon, you has it.
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hey can we please stop citing the aclu as a like, a good organization 

Alright y’all, actual lawblr here to jump in and tell you that the ACLU is, like, a good organization.

The right to free speech is enshrined in our Constitution.  That means that everyone, everyone, has that right.  It is a cornerstone of Constitutional Law that you cannot, cannot, CANNOT pass a law banning someone from speaking based on their viewpoint.  This means that the right to free speech protects that which we find disagreeable, or even reprehensible.

If you would actually, idk, read those links, it would say that the ACLU used the exact same legal arguments defending neo-nazis that it did defending pro-civil rights protestors during the civil rights era.  These are also the same legal arguments that protect all protestors currently around the country.

You cannot, cannot, cannot support your right to free speech and protest but not someone else’s.  

Protest against them, call them assholes, do whatever you want, but everyone has that right.

The American Civil Liberties Union is committed to defending that right to free speech, that civil liberty, no matter who is speaking.

In order to uphold the right to free speech for everybody, somebody somewhere had to take a bullet to their reputation and defend neo-nazis.  If the law prohibiting neo-nazis from speaking were allowed to stand, that would set a legal precedent that would allow laws prohibiting any other protestors based on their viewpoint.  The ACLU stepped up because they saw the BIG PICTURE.

Here’s a list of arguably gross things the Supreme Court has said you can do because of the right to free speech:

Wear a shirt that says “fuck the draft” in a government building, Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).

Burn the American flag, Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).

Actually Imma stop there because you can just google “free speech cases” yourfuckingselves.

The same laws that say you can burn flags and tell the government to fuck itself protect neo-nazis, and in order to protect the line of cases that say you can burn flags and tell the government to fuck itself, somebody had to defend the neo-nazis.  The ACLU took that bullet.

I leave you with Justice Kennedy’s beautiful and famous concurring opinion from Texas v. Johnson where he joined the court in striking down a ban on flag burning, which was something he personally found gross:

The case before us illustrates better than most that the judicial power is often difficult in its exercise. We cannot here ask another Branch to share responsibility, as when the argument is made that a statute is flawed or incomplete. For we are presented with a clear and simple statute to be judged against a pure command of the Constitution. The outcome can be laid at no door but ours.

The hard fact is that sometimes we must make decisions we do not like. We make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result. And so great is our commitment to the process that, except in the rare case, we do not pause to express distaste for the result, perhaps for fear of undermining a valued principle that dictates the decision. This is one of those rare cases.


But whether or not he could appreciate the enormity of the offense he gave, the fact remains that his acts were speech, in both the technical and the fundamental meaning of the Constitution. So I agree with the Court that he must go free.

In conclusion, take your black-and-white, you-are-either-good-or-evil, they-did-something-bad-once-and-so-are-bad-forever attitude and GROW THE FUCK UP.


Beautifully put. And for those, who still take issue with the grey scale mentioned here, let me add this:

When you study law, there will inevitably come a day, when you have to ask yourself (or will be asked by a friend, acquaintance or relative), “But would you defend a rapist/paedophile/Hitler)?”

And when that day comes, you have to think very carefully, because our legal system has among it’s very basic tenets that EVERYONE has the right to legal representation when accused of wrongdoing. Because until a court or a jury has decided that a person is guilty, another tenet of our legal system provides that they will be assumed innocent.

And, like it or not, if someone is in a situation where they are accused of wrongdoing, they NEED access to a lawyer, because law is an ancient process that is conducted in a language and follows rules that most people do not fully understand or have access to. So, as I tend to tell my students, lawyers are translators as much as they are advocates.

But that right of legal presentation will be eroded to the point of non-existence, if there are no lawyers willing to represent those accused of rape/child abuse/hate crimes/[insert your own squick here]. And if we ask, or even allow, lawyers to say no to cases that offend their own or others’ sensibilities or if we condemn them for taking on those cases, we may as well do away with our courts and our justice system because we are essentially asking those lawyers to pre-judge someone’s guilt or innocence before they have even been tried.

So on that day in Law School when you or someone else asks you that question, you either answer “Yes. Yes I would!” or you get the fuck out of Law School and find another job.

There is no doubt that my profession has its fair - maybe even its disproportionately high - share of scumbags. People use their legal training and benefit from their unique knowledge in different ways and it’s not always pretty. But as someone, who has dodged that particular bullet by fleeing into teaching and research, I will never judge a practitioner for taking on a client, who is a accused of an action that is repulsive to other members of the public. Because they are making difficult decisions on a daily basis that I am so incredibly glad I don’t have to make but that I know NEED to be made to protect the system that protects all of us.

So in the same way that I believe that a system of human/fundamental/civil rights only works if those rights apply to ALL OF US - including the people I disagree with - I believe that the legal process needs to apply to everybody, lest we descend into mob rule.

And there is another reason to believe in “equality of process”. If a process is the same for everyone, then everyone will know when it is being violated. A violation of judicial process is a red flag in any legal system that shows us that something is going seriously wrong in our democracy and that the balance of power between the different branches of government is about to be skewed. And knowing about it, we can (try to) do something about it.

So, to take this into the current scenario, if it were true that individuals at US airports that are being detained under Trump’s Muslim ban order were being denied access to a lawyer, then we all know that this is an unjust and unlawful violation of an existing court order that is potentially the first sign that we are not just faced with a chaotic and incompetent new administration but with one that clearly has unconstitutional malignant intent. And we can react accordingly.

But if someone’s right to access to a lawyer could be conditional, based on whether or not a majority of the people believe that those people deserve a lawyer a in the first place, then the border guards could easily argue (as, it seems, some already do) that this is one of those cases in which an exception to the rule of legal representation applies,. And in that case none of us would be any the wiser if this means that those guards’ behaviour is still lawful or if we are watching the beginning of a full-blown fascist coup.

Or to put it another way, if we allow the idea to take root that civil rights and access to legal representation should be subject to conditions to be determined by the electorate and it elected representatives, then - in the current climate - those airport detainees as well as many of us, who are out there right now, protesting and resisting, could very quickly find ourselves in a position where conditions are put in place that deny those rights and that access to us, and where we could quickly be subject to an arbitrary legal system without anybody explaining its rules or fighting our corner.

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Feb. 28th, 2017 12:00 pm
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