Recent Palace Library acquisitions.

We spend an inordinate amount of time reading and researching issues online, capturing many links for our library along the way. If you are looking for reading on subjects of interest ’round here, see below for some of our recent acquisitions (in no particular order).

PLEASE NOTE: Linking to something does not imply the Palace’s 100% endorsement of any content.

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You can now pay someone’s delinquent Detroit water bill online. Freelon, K., Washington Post (Jul. 2014).

Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children From Religious and Nonreligious Backgrounds. Corriveau, K., et al., Cognitive Science (Jul. 2014). (“exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”) (paywall – for a story on the findings see here.)

Worldwide female genital mutilation ban sought at UN-backed ‘Girl Summit.’ Agence France-Presse via Raw Story (Jul. 2014).

Facts All US Citizens Need to Know About Israel and Palestine. Barsocchini, R.,
Washington’s Blog (Jul. 2014).

17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Boys About Sex. Ross, J., Everyday Feminism (Jul. 2014).

Americans Killed by Cops Now Outnumber Americans Killed in Iraq War. Filming Cops. (Nov. 2013).

Eric Garner’s Death and the Exasperation With Police Violence. Smith, M.D., The Nation (Jul. 2014).

The Great Wall of Vagina. “Changing female body perception through art.” (NSFW)

Americans have lost out on $6.6 trillion: The inability to maintain 2000-level prosperity has cost us all. Johnston, D.C., Aljazeera America (Jul. 2014).

Church sign tragedy turns to triumph!

Loyal Readers™ will recall the Palace’s ongoing mission to extract $82 billion in benefits from the Religion-Industrial-Complex on behalf of U.S. taxpayers, on account of our $82 billion yearly taxpayer subsidies to same. One of the ways we accomplish this is amusing ourselves by regularly mocking a particular church sign in the small town where my mother lives.

The lazy church sign person(s) left the same sign up for weeks after our last report until only recently: it now reads “SIGN GUY ON VACATION. MESSAGE INSIDE,” with an arrow pointing to the church. Much as we love mocking these people, there is no fucking way we are going inside that massive monument to ignorance just for some easy blog fodder. Not even for you, our beloved Many Tens of Loyal Readers™.

But all is not lost! As if he could sense across the many miles that separate us our aching disappointment in Trinity United Methodist Church for its unconscionable failure to entertain us, Loyal Subject™ SJ sent us a picture of a different church sign. And the best part? It had already been mocked.

evolutionlieEVOLUTION IS A LIE.

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The mocker(s) affixed a sign of their own:

IF YOU HAVE EVIDENCE
TO DISPROVE
EVOLUTION…
THEN WRITE IT DOWN,
GET IT PEER REVIEWED
& COLLECT YOUR
NOBEL PRIZE.

We could not have mocked it better ourselves. Bravo.

UNDRESS ME.

No, I didn’t accidentally post this blog title instead of texting My Amazing Lover™ at the office. UNDRESS ME is the title of a new short film. Director Tatia PIlieva asked 20 strangers to “undress each other and get in bed. Nothing else. No rules.” (The film was made in collaboration with Showtime for their series Masters of Sex.) The result is oddly engaging, charming and captivating.

You might also enjoy PIlieva’s film FIRST KISS (this one was an ad for clothing company WREN), wherein 20 strangers are asked to kiss for the first time.

Sexy stuff.

I missed it?

Okay so there was apparently some big sporting competition for d00ds called the “Word Cup” or somesuch, to which I of course paid absolutely no attention whatsoever. (This is no small feat in New York City, let me tell you.) But now I’m totally sorry I missed it! As it turns out it, was awesomely fabulous as well as fabulously awesome:

Priest: World Cup Is A Homosexual Abomination Because Players Wear Gay Shoes

A Russian Orthodox Priest has claimed that the World Cup is an abomination because players wear brightly-coloured shoes.

Writing in his column on Russian People’s Line, Priest Alexander Shumsky claimed that players are promoting a “gay rainbow” by wearing green, pink, yellow and blue shoes.
He said: “Wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women’s panties or a bra.

“The liberal ideology of globalism clearly wants to oppose Christianity with football. I’m sure of it.

“Therefore I am glad that the Russian players have failed and, by the grace of God, no longer participate in this homosexual abomination.”

Now I freely admit I am unfamiliar with Russian Orthodox dogma (as well as bright shoes, at least since the ’80s). Also: fútbol. “Soccer.” Whatever. But! I have lived in the West Village for many years, and I think it’s fair to say that I have at least a passing familiarity with “homosexual abominations.” (Why the fuck else would I live here, people? HELLO?!) Of course I cannot speak for my friends and neighbors, but I would be willing to go on record as saying that this whole Wad Cup dealio, whatever it is, would gain at least one loyal fan if players were free to—nay, encouraged to—wear women’s panties and/or bras.

On a much more serious note: if Father Shumsky is correct that globalism and Christianity are indeed at war with each other, how can I, as a concerned citizen, add fuel to that fire?

Wimmenz amirite?

I am sure readers will be as shocked as I am by the astonishing news coming out of Colorado:

After free contraception program, Colorado teen birth rate plummets.

A state health initiative to reduce teen birth rates by providing more than 30,000 contraceptive devices at low or no cost has led to a 40 percent drop in five years, [Colorado] Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday.

I. Am. Stunned. Next thing you know, some crackpot will be claiming contraception actually saves taxpayers money!

Wait, what?

Unintended pregnancy burdens Colorado’s health and economy, costing Colorado more than $160 million annually in Medicaid expenditures. Nationally, for every public dollar spent on family planning services, $3.74 is saved in Medicaid costs for pregnancy-related services and newborn care.

Huh. Well then, allow me just suggest that we could easily fix this “problem” by simply eliminating Medicaid! It’s about time these coddled newborns started pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps, is it not? It’s called PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, people. Look it up.

Meanwhile:

Companies With Female CEOs Beat The Stock Market.

Female CEOs at the country’s biggest companies oversee financial results, on average, that beat the stock market, according to Fortune Magazine’s analysis of data from Factset Research Systems.

Fortune 1000 companies with a woman in the top role saw an average return of 103.4 percent over the women’s tenures, compared to an average 69.5 percent return for the S&P 500 stock index over the same periods.

The companies with female CEOs also seem to generate an outsized amount of revenue compared to others.

According to my ladymath, 103.4% is, like, MORE than 69.5%!

Other studies have found that companies run by women outperform others. Hedge funds run by women had a 6 percent return between 2007 and 2013, beating both a global hedge fund index at the stock market.

Numerous studies have also found that companies with women on their boards of directors perform better than male-only ones.

The article states that “others” have “hinted” at the reason(s) for the superior performance of women CEOs and board members. One hypothesis is that women are “more likely to be cooperative in decision-making and to consider the rights of others, which leads to better company performance.” Another posits that women board members “tend to keep companies from paying more for acquiring other companies and reduce the number of acquisitions overall.” That all sounds pretty gender essentialist speculative to me. I personally think it’s because of the magical power of their vaginas, which as we all know work in mysterious ways to prevent rape, rapist baybeez and Lard only knows what else.

But it’s not exactly all good news for the ladybosses. Nope. For one thing, less than five percent of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO. For another:

despite their likelihood to produce better results, female executives are paid less than male ones. Median pay for the 11 highest-paid female CEOs is $1.6 million less than median pay for the top-paid men. Last year, female CEOs made less than 80 percent of what male ones made.

Of course we can chalk up the entirely mythical gender pay gap to differences in the “life choices” of men and women, such as “women tending to leave the workforce when they have children.” Come on, people: it may not be politically correct to say so, but it is simply a demonstrable fact that women are vastly overrepresented in the number of people who give birth to children. HELLO?!

Finally:

A New Study Helps Explain Why Some People Get Enraged When Women Have Sex

…Overall, the more likely a given respondent believed women were economically dependent on men, the more likely they were to view female promiscuity as immoral. These were modest to medium effects, but they were statistically significant, even controlling for factors like religiosity and political conservatism.

In other words, the more dependent on men women are, the higher the reproductive stakes: If you get pregnant and can’t make a strong case that a given man was the father, you (and your child) could be in serious trouble.

I’m curious whether “serious trouble” is the technical term for pregnant women being at a disproportionate risk for domestic violence, and/or that risk increasing after delivery.

This is a pretty old-school way of looking at things, of course, but that’s the point: Not all aspects of human culture are caught up to modern life.

You don’t say.

Dear Governor Cuomo.

Can you imagine hundreds of earthquakes in and around New York City? It already lies on unstable faults. It’s bad enough my once-lovely home state of Pennsylvania is a fracked-up nightmare, and borders New York. I know the pressure on you to allow fracking must be enormously intense. But as more and more data pile up of the horrors associated with the industry, it won’t be long until even conservatives will understand the dangers. Please be on the right side of history and keep New York State frack-free.

Report: Sharp increase in central Oklahoma seismicity since 2008 induced by massive wastewater injection. Keranen et al., Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1255802 (Jul. 2014).

Happy 4th! Also, R.I.P. American Democracy.

flagdownIn the dizzying throes of my rage and mourning for my country in the wake of last week’s entirely expected and epically craptastic 5-4 Hobby Lobby decision, I naturally started drinking promptly and posted a bunch of hatey shit on Facebook. I also posted on my blog a job application to the Catholic d00ds on the Supreme Court and to the many for-profit companies suing the federal government to get out of the birth-control-is-basic-fucking-healthcare mandate of the ACA, and in lieu of my resumé I helpfully included a recent picture of the interior of my vagina. (For those readers who may not be 100% up to speed, for many fine employers vaginas are now the subject of unparalleled concern, interest and control.)

Now, I realize that ridicule and mockery of Supreme Court justices may not be to everyone’s taste, which is why I really cannot recommend highly enough going other places on the internet. And in a gesture of gracious magnanimity, to readers who prefer a more sobering (and certainly more sober!) analysis, I offer this eminently readable summary of the Hobby Lobby decision by Carmen Green of Georgetown University Law Center. But just FYI, I fully intend to continue drinking, cursing and ridiculing the “Supreme” Court, unless and until I feel it’s time to step away from the bar and go home.

In other words: don’t hold your breath.

It all began to unravel rather quickly with Citizens United, in which the activist Catholic shitweasel majority on the high court overturned a century of precedent and decades of campaign finance reform laws, essentially holding that corporations = people, and corporate cash = protected speech under the First Amendment. These twin delusions are massive affronts to democracy, logic and reality, so easily debunked even a young child could do it (unless of course she too suffered the mind-warping ravages of Conservative Personality Disorder).

‘Cause here’s the thing: corporations are not people.

CORPORATIONS. ARE. NOT. PEOPLE.

For one thing, unlike people, they can potentially live forever. That makes them immortal. You know, like vampires. Or possibly tardigrades. But definitely not like people. Perhaps most devastating to the surreal horror fiction unleashed by the court in Citizens United (and expounded upon in McCutcheon) is that unlike people, corporations cannot be put in prison for the crimes they commit:

prisonpopincrease[h/t Sally Strange via Cory Booker]

So these “people” are immortals who are never subject to the same rules of law and justice as everyone else. Is any of this starting to sound to you like a zombie movie yet? Because there’s more.

So, Hobby Lobby. The Catholic fascist men on the highest court in the land have now decided that not only are corporations people, they can now be religious people, they can be stupid, wrong and willfully ignorant religious people, they can force their stupid, wrong and willfully ignorant religious views on their employees, and they can simply ignore laws they don’t like.

Unlike, you know, actual people. Or, say, women.

Earlier this month, from the peaceful sanctity of their buffer-zone protected place of work, SCOTUS struck down a Massachusetts buffer zone law around women’s clinics. That decision was unanimous, thus rendering the entire Supreme Court not just laughably hypocritical @$$holes, but complicit in giving material support to terrorists.

scotusbarrier-500x598RIP American democracy. It was a great idea. Unfortunately, it simply could not survive the scourge of conservatism.

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To cheer you up, here’s a little something from Andy Borowitz:

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—By a 5–4 vote on Monday, the United States Supreme Court settled a dispute that Justice Samuel Alito said was “at its core about the rights of women versus the rights of people.”

Writing for the majority, Justice Alito wrote, “It is the duty of this Court, whenever it sees that the rights of people are being threatened, to do our best to safeguard those rights. In this case, it is clear that people’s rights were being threatened by women.”

Acknowledging that some women “might argue that they, too, have some claim to being people,” Justice Alito wrote, “That is an interesting question for another day.”

While the Court’s decision caused an uproar across the country, it received a big thumbs-up from one of the Justices who voted with the majority, Antonin Scalia.

“This has been a crappy year or so around here, what with all that gay-marriage stuff, but at least we finished strong,” he said.

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Perhaps you might also enjoy this little roundup of some Facebook highlights. (Iris haz awwsum FB frenz.)

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IRIS shared a link: Supreme Court sides with employers over birth control mandate.

FB FRIEND: Assholes.

IRIS: No, no, just vaginas…at least for now.

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corps__________

FB FRIEND2: I hope someone messes with your subsidized Viagra and you all die of horribly painful heart attacks while standing on Legos, sporting those four hour boners that no one will ever touch again.

IRIS: I hate conservatives. They taught me to hate, by hating me.

FB FRIEND3: ^but but but someone somewhere has nice conservative friends and might be offended by that sentiment! no hyperbole allowed when referring to the Right!

IRIS: “Nice conservative” is an oxymoron.

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FB FRIEND4: So, in short:
1) I no longer have religious freedom
2) I no longer have the right to privacy
3) “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” does not apply to women
4) I have lost my bodily autonomy and reproductive rights

I am literally in tears right now. Not just for myself (but believe me, I am scared as hell), but how the fuck can I raise a daughter in a society where she has less rights than her mother and grandmother did?

FB FRIEND5: Yes. How can I look my daughter in the eye and tell her she’s as valuable as her little brother? Clearly our society is intent on proving otherwise as often as possible.

IRIS: Passing the ERA would be a start. Then we could demand mens reproductive healthcare be subject to the same employer whims. As it stands, no dice. We are NOT equal under the constitution.

FB FRIEND6: Where is hobby lobby hq? I’m gonna look on Google.

FB FRIEND7: Inside the SCOTUS buffer zone.

FB FRIEND6: I’m gonna punch SCOTUS’ buffer zone in the taint.

FB FRIEND6: That was a joke, NSA.

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FB FRIEND8: I’m still at work but do any of my Facebook friends want to explain what’s wrong with this? A friend posted it on my wall:

I think you should read this, Dave. I would argue that your concept of this situation and the assumptions you bring into it are actually more harmful to women and society as a whole than Hobby Lobby’s attempt to protect its freedoms and interests.

Hobby Lobby operates with a philosophy that actually honors and respects a woman’s sexuality and encourages women to respect their own sexuality and be responsible adults with what naturally results from that sexuality. You are the one who would rather treat them as “second class citizens”, like animals with no inherent dignity or honor, like detached individuals with no responsibility to society but to create national headlines out of their supposedly “private” business in bed. I have to put this bluntly because, as I cannot convey to you just how much damage to human dignity you are furthering and feeding.”

- Jared Caspari

http://themattwalshblog.com/…/want-birth-control-go-buy/2/

IRIS: Everything. Like, literally every single thing is wrong with this.

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FB FRIEND9: Today might be a good day to ask “pro-life” anti-abortion atheists what they think of the ruling.

IRIS: It’s never a good day for that.

FB FRIEND9: Today *especially* is good for that I think. I already tagged them and they are not responding.

IRIS: Maybe it’s because they’re confused by the word “think”?

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FB FRIEND10: Come home to cat shit on my bed.
Why, Morgan, why?

IRIS: Cat hates SCOTUS too?

FB STRANGER: Damn. Someone beat me to the SCOTUS joke.

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IRIS: Just so I have this straight: not only are corporations people, not only are they religious people, they can force employees to follow their religious beliefs – and never, ever go to prison. That’s it. I’m incorporating.

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FB FRIEND7: But ‪#‎HobbyLobby‬ sincerely believes this lie, so they get to enforce their belief in a lie on people like me.

IRIS: I sincerely believe that male Catholic Supreme Court justices should be impeached. How ’bout we enforce my sincerely held belief?

FB FRIEND11: Have you incorporated yet, Iris ?

IRIS: Yes, of course! Iris Inc.’s legal department is already working on the impeachment action. Or so they tell me, anyway. I’m out drinking.

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Enclosed please find my application for employment.

Dear Catholic d00ds on the U.S. Supreme Court:

I am presently looking for work. Please see attached my highlights of the relevant qualifications that appear to be of utmost concern and interest to you in the conduct of your important day-to-day business:

iriscervix2104Iris’s cervix and vaginal walls.
May 28, 2014.

Rest assured that should you hire me, I shall continue to keep you informed of any and all developments concerning my female reproductive organs.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,
-Iris Vander Pluym
Vagina-American

cc: Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.
Geneva College
Seneca Hardwood
WLH Enterprises
O’Brien Industrial Holding
Hercules Industries Inc.
Newlands
Weingartz Supply Company
Legatus
Triune Health Group
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.
Mardel
Tonn and Blank Construction
Tyndale House
Autocam Corporation
Korte & Luitjohan Contractors
American Pulverizer Co.
Springfield Iron and Metal, LLC
American Pulverizer Company, Hustler Conveyor Company
City Welding
Grote Industries
Annex Medical Inc.
Sacred Heart Medical
Stuart Lind
Tom Janas
Habile Holdings
Venture North Properties
Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation
Domino’s Farms Corporation
Sharpe Holdings Inc.
Ozark National Life Insurance Company
N.I.S. Financial Services
CNS Corporation
Sioux Chief MFG. Co.
Gilardi
Freshway Foods
Freshway Logistics
Briscoe
Continuum Health Partnership
Conessione
Reverend Gregory Hall
American Mfg Company
Lindsay, Rappaport and Postel LLC
Armstrong
Cherry Creek Mortgage Co.
Beckwith Electric Co.
Beckwith Electric Co.
Bick Holdings Inc.
Bick Properties Inc.
SEALCO LLC.
Eden Foods Inc.
Eden Foods
Mersino Management Company
Mersino Enterprises
Mersino Dewatering
Global Pump Co.
Mersino South-West.
Hartenbowers
Hart Electric LLC
H.I. Cable.
MK Chambers Company
Johnson Welded Products
Ozinga Bros. Inc.
SMA LLC
Holland Chevrolet
The QC Group Inc
Willis & Willis PLC
Trijicon Inc.
Barron Industries Inc.
Midwest Fastener Corp.
Feltl & Co. Inc.
Randy Reed Automotive
Randy Reed Buick GMC
Randy Reed Nissan
Randy Reed Chevrolet
C.W. Zumbiel, Co.
Zumbiel Packaging
Electrolock Inc.
Stone River Management Co.
Dunstone Co.
Doboszenski & Sons Inc.
Encompass Develop, Design & Construct, LLC
Hastings Automotive
Hastings Ford
Hastings Chrysler Center
Catholic Benefits Association
Catholic Insurance Company.
M&N Plastics