Recent reads.

library4Dead babies near oil drilling sites raise questions for researchers. Lofholm, N., The Denver Post (Oct. 2014). (“numbers show an upward four-year trend in infant deaths: One in every 95.5 burials in Uintah County in 2010 was a baby, according to Young. In 2011 it was one in every 53. In 2012, one in every 39.7. And in 2013 the number jumped to one in every 15.”)

The American Dream Is Leaving America. Kristof, N., The New York Times (Oct. 2014). [From the headline we thought this piece was about how we all want to get the fuck out of this corrupt right-wing fracked-up shithole of a country—but no, it's actually about our dismal education system, once the envy of the world. -Ed.]

Whistleblowers: IRS officials behind ‘fraudulent’ multi-billion dollar corporate tax giveaways. Ahmed, N., Raw Story (Oct. 2014). (“‘IRS officials have ‘intentionally undermined the authority of the IRS Whistleblower Office’ to avoid taking action ‘in cases involving billions in corporate taxes due.’ The IRS also refuses to enforce laws for ‘large corporate taxpayers,’ resulting in giveaways of further billions, despite applying the same laws with ‘draconian strictness to small business, the self-employed, and wage-earning individuals.’”) [Sounds about right. -Ed.]

4 Illegal Drugs that Could Safely Treat Depression. Derbyshire, D., The Guardian via AlterNet (Oct. 2014). (“Science continues to show how cannabis and psychedelics can work psychological wonders.”)

Ending a Pregnancy Is a Common, Normal Event in Women’s Lives—Let’s Talk About It That Way. Pollitt, K., excerpted from Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights (Picador USA, 2014) via AlterNet (Oct. 2014). [h/t SJ]

Illustration to be Handed Out at Public Schools: Human Bible Sexually Assaulting Woman. Hughes. B.M., CNS News (Oct. 2014). [They report this like it's a bad thing. Huh. -Ed.]

A Hispanic man delivers absentee ballots, and now conservatives want him dead. Kaufman. S., Raw Story (Oct. 2014). [They seem nice. -Ed.]

A Pair of Entrepreneurs Want to Make Sure Every Woman Is Able to Orgasm. Bianco, M., Mic (Oct. 2014) (with VIDEO). [No argument here. -Ed.]

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NOTE: Acquisition of links and/or bon mots for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual.

Palace Zoo welcomes Black Rain Frog.

amphibiansThe Palace is pleased to announce the addition of a Black Rain Frog (Breviceps fuscus) to the Amphibian collection in our world-renowned zoo. Because OMG FACE!

blackrainfrogPhoto: ©2004 Robert C. Drewes (with kind permission).

This species was brought to our attention via an article in The Dodo entitled Meet the World’s Grumpiest Frog, which contains several closeup portraits of the little critter making a bunch of frowny faces. But it turns out that this frog is not particularly grumpy at all, neither in temperament nor, in our opinion, facial cues. Like many animals do when they’re frightened or under attack, the black rain frog will puff itself up in size in an attempt to ward off its enemies, rendering it actually quite adorable:

blackrainfrog2Photo: Beneke74 via iSpot.

The black rain frog is native to the Southern coasts of Africa, where it hangs out in temperate forests among shrubby vegetation. The species burrows into the forest floor and make tunnels as deep as 6 inches (150 mm) underground. The male stays there to guard developing offspring—hey, that’s a nice trick you have there, female B.fuscus! (These feminist frogs would obviously make terrible Baptists.) Unlike most frog species, black rain froglets grow to maturity without a water-dwelling phase. And the ladyfrogs have another trick: adhesive amplexus. What the hell is “adhesive amplexus,” you ask? Well, during mating season the female secretes from specialized glands on her back a sticky substance that keeps the male from slipping off of her during intercourse. Until she is damn good and ready, and decides she has had enough. Hahaha. Awesome.

Mostly nocturnal ground dwellers well-adapted to living in underground burrows, black rain frogs fill a unique niche in their environment and thus do not compete extensively with other species in the forest ecosystem. They are threatened by habitat loss, although fortunately, not urgently so.

amphibianslbl

Reading.

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Wrinkles in Spacetime: The Warped Astrophysics of Interstellar. Rogers, A., Wired (Oct. 2014). (“Most Interstellar viewers will see these images—the wormhole, the black hole, the weird light—and think, ‘Whoa. That’s beautiful.’ Thorne looks at them and thinks, ‘Whoa. That’s true.’”)

World’s Longest Snake Has Virgin Birth—First Recorded in Species: An 11-year-old reticulated python produced six babies without mating. Qui, L., National Geographic (Oct. 2014).

School Shooter Identified as Freshman Football Player. The Wall Street Journal via Associated Press (Oct. 2014).

GM’s hit and run: How a lawyer, mechanic, and engineer blew open the worst auto scandal in history. Penenberg, A.L., Pando Daily (Oct. 2014).

S4E7 – #GamerGate. Olson, D., Chez Apocalypse (Oct. 2014). (“A look at Base Assumptions as a critical tool as applied to the GamerGate movement.”) (VIDEO) (FIVE STARS. -Ed.)

Palestine2Ferguson Contingent Shows Power of Unity. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (Oct. 2014).

There’s a surprisingly strong link between climate change and violence. Mooney, C., The Washington Post (Oct. 2014). (“Bottom line: In an ever warming world, expect more wars, civil unrest, and strife, and also more violent crime in general.”)

Easter Islanders also made voyages to the New World. Graham, K., Digital Journal (Oct. 2014). (“Rapa Nui people met with early South Americans, well before Europeans came visiting.”)

Entitlement Culture War. Thibeault, J., FreeThoughtBlogs (Oct. 2014).

You already have bed bugs. Now get ready to deal with rat mites. Holmes, D., Pando Daily (Oct. 2014). (Jeezus. -Ed.)

Which Foods are the Worst for the Environment? Berger, M., The Weather Channel (Oct. 2014).

20 Things New Yorkers Older Than 40 Did. And will never do again. It was a great time to be a New Yorker. copyranter, BuzzFeed (Jul. 2013). [h/t Josephine.]

Houston Man Charged with Raping Teen, Toddler, Both of Whom Now Have HIV. Edwards, B., The Root (Oct. 2014). [TRIGGER WARNING: rape, child sexual assault.]

Evo Morales: A Bolivian idol. Bolivia’s president talks about the country’s ongoing socio-economic transformation and his third term in officeAl Jazeera (Oct. 2014).

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For the Quote collection:

I have no regrets – in fact, I am pleased to have expelled the US ambassador, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and to have closed the US military base in Bolivia. Now, without a US ambassador, there is less conspiracy, and more political stability and social stability. Without the International Monetary Fund, we are better off economically. -Evo Morales, Bolivian President

When the United States was in control of counternarcotics, the US governments used drug trafficking for purely geopolitical purposes …. The US uses drug trafficking and terrorism for political control …. We have nationalised the fight against drug trafficking. -Evo Morales, Bolivian President

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

The issues are too important to be left for the voters. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” … But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations (Meeting of the “40 Committee” on covert action in Chile 27 June 1970)

Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

The war is just when the intention that causes it to be undertaken is just. The will is therefore the principle element that must be considered, not the means… He who intends to kill the guilty sometimes faultlessly shed the blood of the innocents…In short, the end justifies the means. -Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

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NOTE: Acquisition of links and/or bon mots for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual.

‘Swut I been sayin.

Conservative Bruce Bartlett has a recent piece in the conservative magazine The American Conservative:

Obama Is a Republican
He’s the heir to Richard Nixon, not Saul Alinsky.

Longtime Loyal Readers™ will hardly be astounded by the headline, which at this point should be a self-evident fact. It’s the source that makes it worthy of attention. Bruce Bartlett served as a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and as a Treasury official under George H. W. Bush as a champion of “trickle-down economics“—or, as I like to call it “piss all over the 99% economics”—the dismal legacy of which is with us today in the form of record poverty, soaring inequality, rotting infrastructure and, not coincidentally, unprecedented power and profits for America’s Owners. For conservatives, of course, this is a right and just state of affairs. And Bruce Bartlett makes a pretty airtight case that Obama is one of his tribe.

I was going to quote Bartlett at some length here, but fuck it. You should just go read the whole thing. If you can stomach it.

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One more thing we feel we should note. We debuted this snazzy, slick, state-of-the-art graphic in July of 2011:

obamarepublicanFort the image accompanying the Bartlett article, The American Conservative has seen fit to create an obvious rip-off of our copyrighted intellectual property—and with no attribution! Worse, they apparently hired some hack who clearly knows nothing about snazzy, slick, state-of-the-art graphics to produce it:

obamaelephantThis is an outrage, people. Write your congresscritters today.

Reads 4 U.

 

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Now the UN is intervening in Detroit’s water conflict. Could thirsty cities riot? Burns, R., The Guardian (Oct. 2014). (“Angry protests over water provision have shaken cities around the world, and may determine whether access to clean drinking water is a taxable municipal service – or a basic human right.”)

George Will Confirms Nixon’s Vietnam Treason. Fitrakis, B. and Wasserman, H., Common Dreams (Aug. 2014). (“Kissinger was given the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the same settlement he helped sabotage in 1968.“)

IT HAPPENED TO ME: I’ve Been Forced Out Of My Home And Am Living In Constant Fear Because Of Relentless Death Threats From Gamergate. Wu, B., XOJane (Oct. 2014).

Whites riot over pumpkins in NH and Twitter turns it into epic lesson about Ferguson. Kaufman, S., Raw Story (Oct. 2014). (This is Twitter being fucking awesome. -Ed.)

NYPD Assault Arrest Musician for Playing a Song Even After Verifying He Hadn’t Broken Any Laws. Rules, C., The Free Thought Project (Oct. 2014).

World’s First Urban Algae Canopy Produces the Oxygen Equivalent of Four Hectares of Woodland Every Day. Brooks, R., Inhabitat (Jun. 2014).

Against Carceral Feminism. Law, V., Jacobin (Oct. 2014).

Patriarchy’s Magic Trick: How Anything Perceived As Women’s Work Immediately Sheds Its Value. Leopard, Crates and Ribbons (Dec. 2013). (“women are not devalued in the job market because women’s work is seen to have little value. It is the other way round. Women’s work is devalued in the job market because women are seen to have little value.”)

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NOTE: Acquisition of links and/or bon mots for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual.

Reads.

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40,000 Voter-Registration Applications Submitted by Blacks and Hispanics Disappear in Ga. Eromosele, D.O., The Root (Oct. 2014).

James Comey, F.B.I. Director, Hints at Action as Cellphone Data Is Locked. Sanger, D.E. and Apuzzo, M., The New York Times (Oct. 2014).

Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash. Bernstein, J., Pro Publica (Sep. 2014). (“A confidential report and a fired examiner’s hidden recorder penetrate the cloistered world of Wall Street’s top regulator — and its history of deference to banks.”)

20 Vile Quotes Against Women By Religious Leaders From St. Augustine to Pat Robertson. Tarico, V., AlterNet (Oct. 2014).

US and Japan Lead Attack on Affordable Cancer Treatments. Assange, J. and Harrison, S., Wikileaks (Oct. 2014). Related: Updated Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – IP Chapter (second publication) [full bracketed text]; Press Release.

Feminist internet laws. Rational Wiki.

What ‘Democracy’ Really Means in U.S. and New York Times Jargon: Latin America Edition. Greenwald, G., The Intercept (Oct. 2014). (“The most tyrannical regimes are celebrated as long as they remain subservient, while the most popular and democratic governments are condemned as despots to the extent that they exercise independence.”)

This is what the legacy of ‘white privilege’ looks like in Bill O’Reilly’s hometown. Badger, E., The Washington Post (Oct. 2014).

Missing Malala’s Message of Peace: Drones Fuel Terrorism. Hart, P., FAIR (Oct. 2014).

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NOTE: Acquisition of links and/or bon mots for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual.

Conservatism kills.

A new video by some outfit called the Agenda Project Action Fund entitled Republican Cuts Kill is the kind of thing we’d like to see a lot more of. It takes the silly Ebola paranoia emanating from the right-wing cesspools of The Greatest Country EVAR and turns it on its head:

Of course as Loyal Readers™ well know, Republicans are hardly the entirety of the problem: conservative Democrats, including the Cutter-in-Chief, are equally worthy targets. Conservatism kills, regardless of who enacts conservative policies.

Relatedly:

ebolaGOP

“So far every case of Ebola in this country got it by helping people. So relax, Republicans, you’re in the clear.” -@TinaDupuy

I don’t know who this Tina Dupuy person is—but I like her style.

Recent reads.

library4The (Socialist) Malala Yousafzai the US Media Doesn’t Quote. Norton, B., bennorton.com via The Greanville Post (Oct. 2014). (“When the courageous activist speaks of the importance of education and nonviolence, the West shouts her words loudly from the media mountaintops. When that same activist criticizes predator drones and, that most sacrosanct entity of all, capitalism, the silence is deafening.”)

Feminist cancels USU talk after guns allowed despite death threat. Alberty, E., The Salt Lake Tribune (Oct. 2014).

After California decriminalized marijuana, teen arrest, overdose and dropout rates fell. Ingraham, C., The Washington Post (Oct. 2014). (“marijuana decriminalization in California has not resulted in harmful consequences for teenagers, such as increased crime, drug overdose, driving under the influence, or school dropout. In fact, California teenagers showed improvements in all risk areas after reform.”)

The Government War Against Reporter James Risen. Solomon, N. and Wheeler, M., The Nation (Oct. 2014). (“The vendetta against him and whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling reflects an antidemocratic goal: the uninformed consent of the governed.”)

DHS raids investigative journalist; seizes confidential list of whistleblowers. Police State USA (Oct. 2014). (“I never in my wildest dreams thought something like that could happen in this country.”)

5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men. Christina, C., AlterNet (Oct. 2014).

Meet the CIA’s 10 Favorite Drug Traffickers. Alexandrov, N., AlterNet via Substance.com (Oct. 2014). (“The agency has supported — even created — many of the world’s most notorious drug kingpins. Just as long as they serve U.S. foreign policy.”)

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Finally, a little Nietzsche for our Quote collection. Yes that Nietzsche, who held some, *ahem*, problematic views. But the man also had some good ideas and expressed them so well:

There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings. -Friedrich Nietzsche

After coming into contact with a religious man, I always feel I must wash my hands. -Friedrich Nietzsche

Mystical explanations are considered deep; the truth is, they are not even shallow. -Friedrich Nietzsche

When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: Is it really possible! This, for a Jew, crucified two thousand years ago, who said he was God’s son? The proof of such a claim is lacking. Certainly the Christian religion is an antiquity projected into our times from remote prehistory; and the fact that the claim is believed — whereas one is otherwise so strict in examining pretensions — is perhaps the most ancient piece of this heritage. A god who begets children with a mortal woman; a sage who bids men work no more, have no more courts, but look for the signs of the impending end of the world; a justice that accepts the innocent as a vicarious sacrifice; someone who orders his disciples to drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god, atoned for by a god; fear of a beyond to which death is the portal; the form of the cross as a symbol in a time that no longer knows the function and ignominy of the cross — how ghoulishly all this touches us, as if from the tomb of a primeval past! Can one believe that such things are still believed? -Friedrich Nietzsche

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. -Friedrich Nietzsche

One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear. -Friedrich Nietzsche

When virtue has slept, she will get up more refreshed. -Friedrich Nietzsche

In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments. -Friedrich Nietzsche

The reasons and purposes for habits are always lies that are added only after some people begin to attack these habits and to ask for reasons and purposes. At this point the conservatives of all ages are thoroughly dishonest: they add lies. -Friedrich Nietzsche

God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. — And we — we still have to vanquish his shadow, too. -Friedrich Nietzsche

In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today or you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow. -Friedrich Nietzsche

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NOTE: Acquisition of links and/or bon mots for the Palace Library does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual.

BREAKING: Influx of involuntary organ donors from Louisiana.

abattoir2Extraction teams standing by.

A piece by Alana Semuels and Maria L. La Ganga in the LA Times this weekend documents the coat hanger lobby’s template in Louisiana, the same state-level strategy it has been using to successfully shutter abortion clinics across the nation, most recently and devastatingly in Texas. While the article will likely offer nothing new to Loyal Readers™ here, it does offer up a fresh slate of involuntary organ donors, i.e. those would happily force others to donate lifesaving organs without their consent. Since they feel so very strongly about this principle, it is of course only right and fair that they live (or die) by it. Just think of all the lives we will be saving by extracting a kidney and maybe some skin grafts from each of these principled Americans:

  1. Charmaine Yoest, president, Americans United for Life
    Qualification: says of the successful state-level strategy of forced childbirth, “There wasn’t much opportunity on the federal level, so pro-life [sic] Americans said, ‘We are going to make a statement with the government that’s nearest and closest to us.'”
  2. Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, Republican.
    Qualification: “has been so consistent in his opposition to abortion that the state is celebrated as the most ‘pro-life’ in the country by Americans United for Life.”
  3. Bill Shanks, anti-abortion protester and member of fundamentalist Christian group Operation Save America.
    Qualification: “This is like a victory celebration. Last time we came here, there were 10 free-standing abortion clinics. One by one, they’ve crumbled.”
  4. Benjamin Clapper, executive director, Louisiana Right to Life Federation.
    Qualification: well, he is the executive director of the Louisiana Right to Life [sic] Federation…
  5. Gene Mills, Christian pastor and head of the Louisiana Family Misogyny Forum (founded by fellow involuntary organ donor Tony Perkins).
    Qualification: publishes antiabortion scorecards on Louisiana legislators, distributes them to churches and encourages pastors to unconstitutionally speak out about elected officials in violation of their tax-exempt status: “We want to let [pastors] know that it is not the government’s right to limit your free speech even when you stand on the pulpit.”
  6. Katrina Jackson, Louisiana State Representative, Democrat.
    Qualification: Sponsor of Louisiana’s TRAP law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals: “I look forward to the day abortion is not legal in this country.”
  7. Warniesha Berry, garden variety asshole.
    Qualification: “if you close them down and there is no possible way to get an abortion, you’re going to think twice about having unprotected sex.” Hahaha nope.

Everyone, and that includes our new involuntary organ donors from Louisiana, knows these things:

coathangerAll of those who find themselves today unwilling participants in our groundbreaking involuntary organ donation program are well aware of these facts: these are features, not bugs, in their ideology and the laws spawned from it. Unlike our donors, we take no pleasure in enslaving and violently harming people. We do, however, take some small measure of satisfaction when justice is served fairly and equally to all people. Pregnant or not.

Welcome to the Abattoir, shitweasels.