Iris the Idiot’s Kitchen: Samantha Irby FTW.

Samantha Irby, proprietress of the gut-bustingly (literally) hilarious bitches gotta eat, is a chef after my own heart. Also: she is a much better person than I am, because she licenses her work under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-ND 3.0). This means I am perfectly free to steal her latest for the Palace and its Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ to enjoy. Thanks, Sam!

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easy human meals to make in your tiny joke kitchen.

samanthakitchenyesterday morning i had a lunchable for breakfast. don’t worry, it was the bologna and cheese kind so it was v v healthy. here’s the thing, though: I REALLY LIKE TO COOK. the problem is that 1 cooking for myself is kind of boring and 2 it kind of sucks when you threaten to knock mixing bowls and shit off the counters of your miniscule galley kitchen every time you turn a goddamned hip. i used to housesit all the time for wealthy people and their snooty purebred dogs and the best part of that life, hands down, was spending a week or two in a big ass top chef kitchen. i’m talking: gleaming pasta makers, towering walk-in pantries, every tool to be found in the sur la table catalog. it was like living in a tv show, but without a red-faced british dude yelling about what a donkey i am because i accidentally double-dipped my tasting spoon. (lol “accidentally.”) THIS IS MY WEALTH OF COUNTER SPACE, Y’ALL. well, half of it. the other half is across from it and has a dish drain and all my tax documents and shit i gotta return to zappos and boxes from nutrisystem piled on top of it. i don’t have room to make a goddamned thing. except for a mess.

i keep trying, though. ugh it’s still kind of the beginning of a new year, which means we all gotta pretend we care about ourselves until it’s warm enough to wear a bathing suit in public then realize it’s not worth it anyway and go back to eating cheetos for dinner because fuck it. and nothing goes with a brand new maybe this is the year i get skinny gym membership like trying to cook your own balanced meals. at the end of every december i start feeling bad about having spent the eleven months prior getting 99% of my calories from carbohydrates, and this guilt propels me into relatively-healthy eating for at least the first three months of the year. but 1 i’m kind of lazy 2 i hate grocery shopping and 3 i work all the goddamn time and just want to watch tv with my water-logged ankles propped up on a wedge pillow when i get home, not burn calories chopping vegetables for a wholesome dinner. but in case i drop dead i want whoever finds my body to know that sometimes i go to whole foods. i mean, they’ll have to kick a lot of dusty slim-fast boxes out of the way first, but once they do? EXEMPLAR OF HEALTH.

so every now and again some humorless drone is all WHY YOU AIN’T GOT NO FOOD ON A BLOG ABOUT BITCHES EATING and i’m like, uh well i sometimes do? but it’s more about the jokes and stuff? and then we stand around awkwardly shifting feet without making eye contact while trying to figure out a way to gracefully end this painful interaction, after which i go crawl into a guilty little hole to rethink my life choices. so this is a post about food. all made in my tiny-ass kitchen while i texted fools and kept leaving the room to watch tv.

nutritious, grownup ramen-type bowl.
cooking oriental foods is always terrifying to me because, other than a couple raggedy old packets of soy sauce left over from delicious takeout meals, i don’t keep a lot of asian spices and shit around the casa. occasionally i’ll buy calrose rice in case i throw together a ghetto stir fry or whatever, but i don’t regularly have turmeric or kaffir leaves just lying around in case i all of a sudden become inspired. i have a general idea of how much basil is too much basil or when to lay off the cumin, but i don’t really know shit about star anise. (wtf is that even.) this noodle pot is an easy way to feel learned and cultured without the danger of seriously fucking your tastebuds up if you measure incorrectly or fall asleep while the shit is cooking.

you need:
miso paste
tom yum paste
chili paste
solid chicken bouillon paste
soy sauce
sriracha
noodles of your choosing (i use medium-sized flat noodles)
assorted vegetables (i used pre-cut trader joe’s broccoli carrot slaw and pea shoots because i’m fucking careless and don’t want shaved-off bits of my fingertips in my broth. you could also use shelled edamame, napa cabbage, baby corn, spinach, or whatever you have the patience for.)
tiny frozen shrimp (or: cooked shredded chicken, cooked sliced sausage, fried tofu, whatevs)

here’s what to do with it:
bring some water to a boil in a both a saucepan and a kettle.
while you wait, scoop a teaspoon of each of the pastes+bouillon+soy sauce+sriracha into a little bowl, add a splash of hot water and mix it together with a little whisk.
the pot noodles i use cook in two minutes, so i drop them into the water once it’s boiling, hover impatiently while shifting anxiously from foot to foot, then dump them out under cold water and drain them. once they’re mostly dry i put the noodles in a mason jar BECAUSE I AM ADORABLE, add my defrosted shrimp (to defrost: rinse under cold water until rubbery then pat dry), pour over the paste/soy sauce mix, and top with vegetables. then i pour water from the kettle i set to boil at the beginning of this whole thing (remember that?) over all of it, stir a couple times, then let it sit for a few minutes with the lid on before maxing all the noodles and meat then getting mad at myself when all i have left is salty broth and bits of cabbage.

egg muffins.
i don’t always love eggs? but they’re cheap and they last for-fucking-ever and you can’t make cookie dough to eat straight from the mixing bowl without them, so i always have a couple hanging out in the back of my refrigerator. breakfast for me is always the hardest because i need to leave my crib at 645, IN THE FUCKING MORNING, and i can barely get a stretch and a shower in between the alarm clock and the train which means i definitely am not cooking shit before work. i envy you coffee and newspaper in the comfort of your own home people. the last time i ate breakfast in my own crib was never. when i still had the taurus i was that bitch trying to smash a bowl of milk and cereal at every red light, but now with no ride i have to, like, be prepared. or spend $17 every day at starbucks.

so these aren’t really muffins as much as they are portable egg clumps with cheese and shit in them, but they are easy and delicious and you make them in a muffin tin so whatever. i just throw in whatever old meats, cheeses, and vegetables i have dying a slow death in my produce drawer, then bake and freeze them. and since you make a bunch in advance you have ready to go breakfast options all week.

you need:
assorted chopped vegetables. i am partial to: spinach, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, corn, green onions, and broccoli. but for real you can use whatever tastes good to you.
chopped tomatoes
grated or crumbled cheese, whatever you got
green chilies or jalapenos
fresh coriander, whatever herbal shit you’re into
you can add chicken or other lean meats or tofu
6 eggs beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste

here’s what to do with it:
preheat the oven to 400 and grease your goddamned muffin tin. (i use pam, the coconut oil kind) add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose, and why wouldn’t you?) to each cup, then pour the beaten egg mixture into each cup.

place the muffin pan on the center rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set. let those bitches cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan. loosen gently with a butter knife if they seem to be sticking. eat immediately or let cool completely before storing them in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. they can be reheated in the oven or microwave and eaten in the shower while trying to catch another depressing weather report on the morning news. or so i’ve heard.

curried tofu.
i adapted this one from the homie martha stewart. i don’t like to cook a lot of meat at home because it’s messy and a ton of work, also because achieving the perfect sear on an expensive cut of grass-fed beef is not what i want to come home and do on a random fucking wednesday. there are basically fifty-eight minutes between the time i peel off my eight layers of winter outwear and the time empire starts, and i refuse to spend a single one of them tying up a fucking chicken.

you need:
1 container (14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon curry powder
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 box (10 ounces) frozen green beans, defrosted
4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (3 cups)
cooked calrose rice, for serving (optional)

here’s what to do with it:
halve tofu horizontally; then crosswise. (GOD I HATE GEOMETRY; also, you should have 4 equal squares). cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. arrange tofu in one layer on a baking sheet lined with 3 layers of paper towels; cover with three more layers. place another baking sheet and a bottle of wine or something heavy on top. let tofu drain until towels are soaked, about 20 minutes. so this part is kind of irritating on paper but it really isn’t as hard as it looks. you can slice your onions and mince your garlic while the tofu is draining to save time.

heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. add tofu and cook, turning once, until golden-brown, maybe 10 minutes. remove from pan to a plate then reduce heat to medium. add remaining tablespoon oil, onion, and curry powder. season generously with salt and pepper. cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

reduce heat to medium-low. add coconut milk and 1/2 cup water; bring to a gentle simmer. return tofu to skillet. add green beans and tomatoes, cover, and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. serve over rice if desired. (true story: i always desire the rice.)

sausage and kale stew.
soup is kind of depressing to me. like if i order a cheeseburger at a restaurant and my companion across the table orders a bowl of soup for dinner it’s like, “bro…? are you sick or something? should we leave? why aren’t you getting any goddamned food!?” and then you gotta sit there and watch that motherfucker eat SOUP, one of the least appealing to foods to watch being consumed. insult to injury: pretending that that gross, wet slurping isn’t killing you a little bit on the inside. especially since most soups taste like the flu. but at home you can make stew, which is the perfect remedy to both bullshit ass weather and the gaping hole of starvation left in your gut when you try to pass off soup as a real goddamned meal.

you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 box of low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces
kosher salt and black pepper

here’s what you do with it:
heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. add the sausage and cook, stirring once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. stir in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. try not to eat handfuls of sausage directly from the pot.

add the beans, broth, and tomatoes (including the liquid) and bring to a boil. then lower the heat and add the kale and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. THEN IT’S DONE. super quick, right? i like to eat mine in a bowl the size of a cauldron with a heap of shaved parmesan on top, but i am a human with minimal self-control. seriously, every time i make this i can barely get it all cooked before i start “tasting” the hell out of it. eat yours how you see fit. i wouldn’t judge you if you just got in bed with the pot.

!!!BONUS!!!
i get rul tired of people talking to me about water. snoozapalooza. it’s boring and it tastes like crushed dreams, but bitches is always trying to tell me about their supple, luminous skin and hydrated muscles and healthy kidneys. YAWN. but i will drink it if there’s vegetables and fancy grass floating in the shit. bottle of evian? no thank you. glass of filthy tap water with a withered sprig of mint and half of a decrepit old lime? JESUS GOD MORE PLEASE. every time i take a sip of water my dry ass hair whispers “thank you” while praying for rain, yet i only drink it because michelle obama told me to. and even then there better be some dandelions floating in it.

here are some delicious flavor combinations you can try, according to people who get paid to think about that kind of thing:
strawberry, basil, and lemon.
blackberry and sage.
pineapple orange and mint.
grapefruit and rosemary.
pear and ginger.

i am on day three of the 96oz of water a day challenge. i cannot stop peeing. my skin looks the goddamned same.

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Recent reads.

library4DOJ Ferguson Report: How Elected Officials Used Racism To Generate Millions In Revenue. Morrison, A., International Business Times (Mar. 2015).

Justice Department Finds Bias In Ferguson But Clears Darren Wilson. India, L., UPTOWN Magazine (Mar. 2015).

U.S. millennials post ‘abysmal’ scores in tech skills test, lag behind foreign peers. Frankel, T.C., The Washington Post (Mar. 2015).

Sh*tting on the Israeli Flag: The Art of Natali Cohen Vaxbergyoutube (Feb. 2015).  (“a short documentary film about provocative Israeli playwright, actress and internet celebrity.”)

Why Does the FBI Have to Manufacture its Own Plots if Terrorism and ISIS Are Such Grave Threats? Greenwald, G., The Intercept (Feb. 2015). [To ask the question is to answer it. -Ed.]

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Long History of Crying Wolf About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons. The Intercept (Mar. 2015). (“The Israeli Prime Minister is expected to warn the U.S. Congress an Iranian bomb is imminent — just as he warned in 1992, 1995, 2002, 2009, and 2012.”)

How a Mid-Sized Tennessee Town Took on Comcast, Revived Its Economy and Did it With Socialism. Gibson, C., Nation of Change (Mar. 2015). (“Since its launch, the EPB’s network has proven to be 50 times faster than the average American’s internet connection.”) [But…but…the Free Market™ is superior and more efficient! Also, BOOTSTRAPS!!! -Ed.]

10 Tricks To Appear Smarter In Meetings. Bradford, H., Huffington Post (Mar. 2015). [LOL. -Ed.]

Two headlines perfectly sum up everything wrong with American drug policy. Ingraham, C., The Washington Post (Mar. 2015). [SPOILER ALERT! the headlines are “Colorado sold 17 tons of retail marijuana in first legal year” and “Life in Prison for Selling $20 of Weed“, both of which are well worth reading. -Ed.]

Out of Trouble, but Criminal Records Keep Men Out of Work. Appelbaum, B., The New York Times (Feb. 2015).

Bayes’ Theorem with Lego. Count Bayesie (Feb. 2015).

Petraeus reaches deal to plead guilty to misdemeanor; likely won’t face prison. Goldman, A. and Horwitz, S., The Washington Post (Mar. 2015).

At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege From the Inside. Spencer, K., The New York Times (Feb. 2015). [h/t Sunshine]

Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 240 Million Undocumented Whites. City World News (Jan. 2015). (“They all need to be deported back to Europe,” John Dakota from True Americans said. “They came here illegally and took a giant crap on our land. They brought disease and alcoholism, stole everything we have because they were too lazy to improve and develop their own countries.”) [Hahaha. Perfect. -Ed.]

Schizophrenic Brains Not Fooled by Optical Illusion. Buchen, L., Wired (Apr. 2009).

5 Women Cut from Pop Culture History for Being Too Important. Sargent, J.F., Cracked (Feb. 2015).

The Inside Story Of How A For-Profit College Hoodwinked Students And Got Away With It. Pyke, A., Think Progress (Feb. 2015).

Bush White House’s Repeated Torture Denials Led CIA Torturers to Seek Repeated Reassurances. Froomkin, D., The Intercept (Mar. 2015). [War criminals in the Bush administration lied?! GTFO. -Ed.]

War On Christianity? FBI Hate Crime Statistics Utterly Destroy Fox News Lies. Morris, R., Addicting Info (Feb. 2015). (“in far more cases than not, right wing Christians are the instigators or even the perpetrators of a very large majority of the hate crimes committed in the US… In 2013 there were 7,242 hate crimes committed in the US. In total, crimes against protestant Christians amounted to .0051 percent, a tiny fraction of a percentage point.”)

The cost of getting an abortion is higher if you’re poor. Dusenbery, M., Feministing (Feb. 2015). (“the process of obtaining an abortion could total up to $1,380 for a low-income single mother saddled with charges related to gas, a hotel stay, childcare, and taking time off work. For a middle-income woman living comfortably in a city with no children and public transit options to the clinic, meanwhile, those fees dropped to $593.”…”The idea that it is somehow not a serious burden for someone who is living paycheck to paycheck to be forced to — suddenly and entirely unexpectedly — come up with more than a month’s wages is absurd.”)

Drink In Style At Dear Irving, The Most Gorgeous Bar In Manhattan. Carlson, J., Gothamist (Mar. 2015). [h/t Vanina]

‘Is College Bad for Girls?’ cautionary pamphlet from 1905. Jardin, X., Boing Boing (Mar. 2015). [At least according to this pamphlet, college is absolutely fucking awesome for girls! -Ed.]

Nothing Is Wrong With Your Sex Drive. Nagoski, E., The New York Times (Feb. 2015). [The Palace’s favorite sex nerd and Your Humble Monarch™’s longtime correspondent not only has her first Op-Ed in the NYT, she also has a new book out: Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life. YAY EMILY! -Ed.]

How to Be the Perfect Welfare RecipientFeminace (Mar. 2015). (“where the fuck do people get off trying to talk about welfare while knowing fuck all about it?…allow me to tackle some of those shit excuses for arguments here, where I can be an uncivil as I please.”) [FIVE STARS. -Ed.]

The word-hoard: Robert Macfarlane on rewilding our language of landscape. Macfarlane, R. The Guardian (Feb. 2015). [h/t Chris Clarke] [Gorgeous essay! If you love words and good writing, stop whatever you are doing and read this right fucking now. -Ed.]

Pioneering Women of PhysicsPerimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Feb. 2015).(“They discovered pulsars, found the first evidence of dark matter, pioneered mathematics, radioactivity, nuclear fission, elasticity, and computer programming, and have even stopped light.”)

Coalition of Police Officers Heads to D.C. to Demand the Broken and Brutal Police System Be Fixed. Syrmopoulos, J., The Free Thought Project (Feb. 2015).

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For the Palace Quote collection:

If your different-sex marriage isn’t special or “sacred” or whatthefuckever just because more people are allowed to do it, then that’s not a problem with the law; that’s a problem with your marriage. -Melissa McEwan

From Frida Kahlo:

FridaKahloFrida Kahlo
Mexican painter
(1907-1954)

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody.

I paint flowers so they will not die.

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.

Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.

I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return.

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.

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PLZ 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.

With liberty and justice for some.

Well well well. What have we here?

Lawyers for David H. Petraeus have reached an agreement with federal prosecutors for the retired general and former CIA director to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge for mishandling classified materials, a deal that brings an end to a lengthy investigation that kept him largely out of public view for more than two years.

The deal, if approved by a judge, will spare Petraeus a prison sentence and allow him to avoid a trial that probably would have revealed details of his relationship with his former mistress and biographer, who had been provided the highly sensitive documents.

He also lied to the FBI investigators.

Meanwhile, former CIA analyst and case officer John Kiriakou got 30 months in prison for blowing the whistle on CIA torture by providing classified information to a journalist.

Ahem.

Church sign confirms: Jeezus is an @$$hole.

 

 

[CONTENT NOTE: vulgarity & blasphemy—2 great tastes that taste great together!]

houses&shopsThe town where my mother lives is a Maryland historic site, a tiny storybook village of mostly clapboard homes dating to the 1830s and housing adorable shops, charming inns and a handful of surprisingly good restaurants. Most of the structures look to be in good repair, but looks can be deceiving: poor insulation, termite damage, antique electrical wiring and problems with ancient pipes are compounded by the local historic commission’s refusal to allow modern materials to be used for exterior restoration. Wood windows and doors shrink and swell with the seasons, and leaky roofs are a year-round worry.

IMG_0356

Look at these fucking icicles.

Since our last report barely two weeks ago on the town’s infamous church sign, the sky gods have been dumping nearly unprecedented amounts of snow, sleet and freezing rain here—over 10 inches of snow in February alone. Like New York City, the temperatures have been plunging into the single digits, and bouncing back just long enough to melt a fraction of the apparently permanent piles of hard-packed snow and dirty ice, only to refreeze it. Many sidewalks and street crossings are treacherous, and residents have been experiencing an alarming number of freezing and bursting pipes. As I write, there is presently a winter storm warning in effect for snow, sleet and freezing rain from 10 AM today until 4 AM tomorrow. 1-3 more inches of snow are expected, along with ice accumulations of a quarter to a third of an inch. Travel is expected to be “very hazardous or impossible.” From the dining room window I can see the snow falling already.

And what, pray tell, is our favorite church sign’s inspirational message today?

jesuslovesyousnowmuchJESUS LOVES YOU
SNOW MUCH!

What. The everloving. Fuck.

Loyal Readers™ will recall my recently pointing out that this Jeezus is undeniably an unrepentant asshole. If these Christian types are to be believed, his positions on social issues are grotesque (virulently misogynist, racist, homophobic, anti-democratic and otherwise downright inhumane), and his economic policies are all about screwing over poor and working people in order to further enrichen the obscenely rich. If all of that weren’t bad enough—and it is—he keeps on telling epic doucheweasels like Dubya, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Scott Walker to run for office. He is not even an American citizen, and has no business interfering in our electoral politics. Unbelievable.

But this snow thing? Well this should put an end to all doubts that he is anything other than a sadistic monster who enjoys creating misery for us and then making fucking jokes about it. Talk about punching down! If this keeps up, it will become exceedingly more difficult to complete our mission of extracting $82 billion worth of amusement we are owed from the Religion-Industrial-Complex every year by mocking that church sign.

Meanwhile, here’s a sign of my own:

palacefuckyouFUCK YOU, JEEZUS.

Your days are numbered. The goddess Ostara arrives to kick your ass in less than three weeks.

BREAKING: Kansas government officials enter Palace Abattoir en mass.

[TRIGGER WARNING: vicious misogyny, senseless deaths of pregnant people, and extreme hostility to bodily autonomy, consent and agency.]

Oh dear, Kansas. What is to be done with you? You, along with your BFFs Oklahoma and Mississippi, lead the nation in having enacted since 2011 fourteen separate abortion restrictions each. These “pro-life” policies have a body count—and it is rapidly increasing. You see, states with more abortion restrictions also have skyrocketing maternal death rates:

Globally, only a few countries have seen a rise in the rate of maternal deaths in recent years. Those include Afghanistan, El Salvador, South Sudan and the United States of America.

Afghanistan, y’all. South Sudan.

While at one [time] the US had all but eliminated deaths associated with childbirth, things have changed in recent years, with maternal death rates climbing from 14.5 per 100,000 to 17.8 per 100,000 between 2007 and 2011. As of 2014, the number of women who die during pregnancy and childbirth in the US has risen to 28 deaths per 100,000.

According to my ladymath, that means the number of pregnancy- and birth-related deaths here has nearly doubled in the last four years.

For purposes of comparison, the maternal death rate in nearly all wealthy, developed nations is a single digit number. As of 2014, the US maternal death rate is 7 times higher than that of Austria, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden, all nation’s which have a maternal mortality rate of just 4 deaths per 100,000.

The US maternal death rate is now 14 times higher than Israel’s—a country with very liberal access to abortion and a government that subsidies it. And here’s the real kicker: states with more abortion restrictions not only have higher maternal death rates, they also have higher infant and child death rates.

“Pro-life,” everyone.

Anyway, apparently no longer content to share its embarrassing status with Mississippi and Oklahoma, Kansas is now enacting a law that will for all practical purposes prohibit all abortions after 14 weeks, by completely outlawing the safest and most effective surgical technique for abortions performed after that. The procedure is called dilatation and evacuation, or D&E for short. But not in Kansas, it isn’t. There, it is imaginatively called “dismemberment abortion,” defined in the statute by the use of “clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments” to remove the contents of a uterus. (Read more about D&E here.)

Perhaps it’s worth remembering why abortions are delayed. Under the Roe framework, the procedure is generally legal up to the time of fetal viability, or about 24 weeks. The number one reason given for seeking abortions after 16 weeks is “did not recognize the pregnancy” (71%), followed by “difficulty making arrangements for abortion” (48%). That difficulty is by design: onerous and deceitful in-person counseling requirements, waiting periods, expensive and medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds, draconian restrictions on public funding, and waves of clinic closings over vast swaths of the country have left many abortion seekers scrambling to gather funds, arrange for childcare, escape controlling families or abusive partners, and risking employment and social ostracism (or worse) in order to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest facility—sometimes twice. It’s also worth noting that poor women are disproportionally overrepresented among abortion-seekers, as are Blacks and Hispanics. That disproportionate impact is also by design: overwhelmingly lily-white lawmakers know that should the need arise, they and their partners can always jet up to Canada for a quick, safe procedure. (And don’t think for one second they would have any qualms about that.)

A D&E can be performed safely on an outpatient basis well into the second trimester, but medication abortions are generally only available up to about 9 weeks. This is not because medication abortions after this point are dangerous per se; although they may be more painful and have a higher risk of adverse events, they are relatively safe up to 24 weeks. The problem is that later medication abortions are inpatient procedures, requiring administration of precise doses at strict intervals over the course of multiple days. As you might imagine, this compounds that “difficulty making arrangements.” And that’s to say nothing of the added cost.

Based on model legislation drafted by the National Right to Life [sic] Committee, under this law a physician who performs a D&E is guilty of a class A misdemeanor; a second or subsequent conviction is a felony. The law also provides for civil damages against the physician. Either the person who has the D&E, a husband, or a parent if the patient is under 18 can sue the physician for:

(1) money damages for all injuries, psychological and physical, occasioned by the dismemberment abortion;
(2) statutory damages equal to three times the cost of the dismemberment abortion;
(3) injunctive relief; and
(4) reasonable attorney fees

Now at this point you would be forgiven for thinking these lawmakers are sadistic motherfuckers who need to to slither back into whatever cave or medieval era from whence they came, but no! In their wisdom and mercy, they provided an exception for medical emergencies! This means the D&E procedure is permitted in cases of imminent death or “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.” You can ask Savita Halappanavar about how this policy works in practice OH WAIT NO YOU CAN’T BECAUSE SHE’S DEAD. Her doctors feared her impending death just wasn’t quite imminent enough to lawfully end her pregnancy. Oops.

There’s also another little caveat:

No condition shall be deemed a medical emergency if based on a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct which would result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

Translation: anyone who would commit suicide or maim themselves with a coat hanger rather than remain pregnant is, sadly, shit out of luck.

In an exclusive interview with the Palace, longtime activist and abortion doula-in-training Niki M said it sounded as though they were using an “argument from ew” to ban a perfectly safe procedure. When we inquired about possible alternatives to get around a D&E ban, Niki replied, “There’s inducing birth, but what sort of shitweasel would force someone to endure labor to expel a fetus? Oh wait. Nevermind.”

Loyal Readers™ will be unsurprised to learn that Kansas state senators will immediately be joining similar-minded colleagues in the Palace Abattoir, which houses our groundbreaking, life-saving involuntary organ extraction program for donors who feel so very strongly about forced organ donation by other people. Because of the specific provisions of SB95, we will be performing these extractions without regard to the safest and most effective surgical techniques, without regard to less painful and less risky alternatives or increased cost, and of course without the use of “clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments.” Coat hangers will be the preferred surgical implement, although we fully expect our extraction teams to get creative. Perhaps knitting needles?

abattoir2Extraction team in one of our state-of-the-art surgical suites.

angels&cowboysrose

???

SB95 has a companion bill pending in the lower house; with a 97-28 Republican majority it is expected to pass easily. The Governor, Sam Brownback (R-etrograde), is quite eager to sign it. So I’m just tossing all Kansas Republicans into the Abattoir, with the notable exception of Senator Vicki Schmidt, the only Republican to vote against SB95. However, because I am feeling unusually beneficent at the moment for some reason (???), I hereby magnanimously agree to release from Palace custody any Kansas Republican house member who votes against the bill.

Laura Gilkey, coordinator of Sarasota, Florida-based nonprofit The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, said:

“Today’s mothers are twice as likely to die of pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes than their mothers were. There is no reason, given our vast resources, knowledge and technology, why we should be going backwards in this area.”

I beg to differ. There are indeed reasons. And a whole bunch of them are now locked up in the Palace Abattoir.

Recent reading.

library4The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’. Ackerman, S., The Guardian (Feb. 2015). (“‘The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,’ Siska said. ‘They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.'”) [Gosh, who could have predicted this? -Ed.]

Dear Patricia Arquette: Blacks and gays owe white women nothing. Telusma, B., The Grio (Feb. 2015).

Room for Improvement: Clean up cities. Give the homeless a place to live. And save money too? The shockingly simple, surprisingly cost-effective solution that won over a bunch of conservatives in Utah. Carrier, S., Mother Jones (Feb. 2015). (“You actually need housing to achieve sobriety and stability, not the other way around…giving people supportive housing cost the system about half as much as leaving the homeless to live on the street.”)

The school to prison pipeline, explained. Nelson, L. and Lind, D., Vox (Feb. 2015).

Ax-wielding hair designer burns down Michigan adult store to please God. Kaufman, S., Raw Story (Feb. 2015). [Ugh, this god is THE WORST. -Ed.]

Gazi Kodzo. (youtube channel). [Brilliant, hilarious and scathing. -Ed.]

Abused, isolated and offered for a $25,000 arranged marriage: The extraordinary upbringing and daring escape of a victim of America’s homeschooling fundamentalists. Gould, M., The Daily Mail (Feb. 2015). [WHAT. THE. FUCK. -Ed.]

U.S. Geological Survey: Fracking waste is the primary cause of the dramatic rise in earthquakes. Hayden, J., Daily Kos (Feb. 2015).

8 Things Some A$$#ole Says in Every Debate About Sexism. McKinney, L., Cracked (Feb. 2015). [D00d nails it. -Ed.]

Ending the Neoliberal Neopatriarchy. Campbell, B., iai news (Feb. 2015). (“Global capitalism works with patriarchal principles, institutions, cultures and psyches. So, our liberation from this tragedy is inconceivable − it is, literally, unthinkable − without feminism.”) [h/t Vanina] [Meet the new patriarchy. Same as the old patriarchy. -Ed.]

Feminist writers are so besieged by online abuse that some have begun to retire. Goldberg, M., Washington Post (Feb. 2015). [Huh. -Ed.]

Why are women leaving the tech industry in droves? Lien, T., The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 2015). [Huh. -Ed.]

Thaddeus Murphy arrested for January Colorado Springs NAACP bombing. King, S., Daily Kos (Feb. 2015). (“Murphy claims he wasn’t trying to harm the NAACP office, but a local tax office connected to it.”) [Or maybe it was the abortion clinic. Or the sex toy store. Po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to. -Ed.]

How our microbes make us who we are. Knight, R., TED Talks via youtube (Feb. 2015). [VIDEO] [h/t SJ] [Amazing. -Ed.]

What The Atlantic Left Out About ISIS According To Their Own Expert. Jenkins, J., Think Progress (Feb. 2015).

30 Signs Of Emotional Abuse In A Relationship. Davenport, B., Live Bold & Bloom (Nov. 2014).

Letter to My Rapist, Jailed for Raping Women Who Are More Respectable Than I Am: I’m writing to you to tell you that we’re both human. Burns, T., AlterNet (Feb. 2015).

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For the Quote collection:

No institution in modern civilization is so tyrannical and so unjust to woman as is the Christian Church. It demands everything from her and gives her nothing in return. -Josephine K. Henry (1897)

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PLZ 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.

The end is near!

Loyal Readers™, I am very sorry to have to break this to you, but the cephalopocalypse is finally upon us. Watch a terrifying preview of what is clearly the imminent land invasion by our intellectual and military superior, the octopus:

But Iris, you’re probably thinking, that’s just a fookin’ crab. ?

Don’t you see?! That’s what they want us to think! The truth is, they are just getting warmed up with crabs. Next up: rats, then dogs, then human infants, then farm animals, then…well, I think you get the picture. Eventually we all go the way of that crab—overwhelmed by powerful tentacles, and unceremoniously dragged down into a watery grave.

!!!

Suddenly I am very, VERY sorry that I have consumed so many of them. (So, so many!) Perhaps I can curry some personal favor by sucking up to their overlord, PZ Myers.

pzmyersenthronedPZ Myers, Cephalopod Overlord. Obviously.

Which reminds me: don’t forget to stop by the Palace for the birthday bash we throw for PZ every year on March 9. That is, if we have not all been dragged out of our beds and into the sea by then.

We will NOT be serving calamari.

Recent reads.

library4FOIA Documents Reveal Massive DEA Program to Record American’s Whereabouts With License Plate Readers. Stein, B., ACLU (Jan. 2015).

DHS intelligence report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat. Perez, E. and Bruer, W., CNN (Feb. 2015). [h/t SJ] (“Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups”) [No shit. -Ed.]

Editor of major newspaper says he planted stories for CIA. Lopez, R., Digital Journal (Jan. 2015). [Quelle surprise. -Ed.]

The U.S. Media and the 13-Year-Old Yemeni Boy Burned to Death Last Month by a U.S. Drone. Greenwald, G., The Intercept (Feb. 2015). (“Most Americans, by design, will have no idea that their government just burned a 13-year-old boy to death and then claimed he was a Terrorist.”)

Obama administration to allow sales of armed drones to allies. Ryan, M., The Washington Post (Feb. 2015). [Finally! Now other countries can enjoy burning 13-year-olds to death too! -Ed.]

1 In 3 College Men In Survey Say They Would Rape A Woman If They Could Get Away With It. Culp-Ressler, T., Think Progress (Jan. 2015). [ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME. -Ed.]

How Israeli High-Tech Firms Are Turning the U.S.-Mexico Border into a New Kind of Hell. Miller, T. and Schivone, G., TomDispatch via AlterNet (Jan. 2015).

The Great SIM Heist: How Spies Stole the Keys to the Encryption Castle. Scahill, J. and Begley, J., The Intercept (Feb. 2015). (“The hack…gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.”)

To the Parent of the Unvaccinated Child Who Exposed My Family to Measles. Jacks, T., Mother Jones (Feb. 2015). (“When your child gets sick, others are endangered—including my daughter with cancer.”) [To the parent of that unvaccinated child from Perry Street Palace: FUCK YOU. -Ed.]

What Not To Wear After 50. Combs, C., Better After 50 (Feb. 2015). (“Resting bitch face. Hahahahaha. Just kidding. Wear that one all you want.”)

I’m Brianna Wu, And I’m Risking My Life Standing Up To Gamergate. Wu, B., Bustle (Feb. 2015).

Natural Deception: Conned By the World Congress of Families. Parke, C., Political Research Associates (Jan. 2015). (“the organization is leading a global legislative and public relations campaign against LGBTQ and reproductive rights.”) [They seem nice. -Ed.]

Jeb ‘Put Me Through Hell’. Kruse, M., Politico Magazine (Jan. 2015). (“Michael Schiavo knows as well as anyone what Jeb Bush can do with executive power. He thinks you ought to know too.”)

Here Are 25 Jokes That Only Nerds Will Understand. If You Laugh Then Yep, You’re A Nerd! Boredom Therapy (Jul. 2014).

The Anti-Vaccine Movement Should Be Ridiculed, Because Shame Works. Novak, M., Gizmodo (Feb. 2015). [Hear, hear! He must be reading my blog! This d00d disagrees, though, and says “People who are told their deeply held beliefs are stupid tend to withdraw from the conversation.” Um, perhaps someone can ‘splain to me why getting these assholes to shut the fuck up would be a bad thing? I mean, there is a reason unvaccinated children with measles are found in clusters, and that reason is anti-vaxxers spreading their deeply held beliefs deadly bad ideas to others. -Ed.]

FBI monitored and critiqued African American writers for decades. Flood, A., The Guardian (Feb. 2015).

Policing Our Girls. Hutchinson, S., blackfemlens (Feb. 2015).

Gay People Posting Photos Of Gay People On Facebook Is Persecuting Christians Says Perkins. Badash, D., The New Civil Rights Movement (Jan. 2015). [To all mah gay peeps: go forth and persecute. -Ed.]

Something Really, Really Terrible Is About to Happen to Our Coral. Philpott, T., Mother Jones (Jan. 2015). [I hate people. Have I mentioned that I hate people? Well, I hate people. -Ed.]

How secular family values stack up. Zuckerman, P., The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 2015). (“Far from being dysfunctional, nihilistic and rudderless without the security and rectitude of religion, secular households provide a sound and solid foundation for children”) [h/t SJ]

Why science is so hard to believe. Achenbach, J., Washington Post (Feb. 2015).

10 Senate Ds Think Drillers Should Be Able to Inject Whatever the Frack They Want into Your Water. Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, Daily Kos (Jan. 2015). [In case you’re wondering who these motherfrackers are: Michael Bennet (D-CO), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Warner (D-VA). -Ed.]

Obama, Biden & Pelosi Lobbying Hard for TPP. Publius, G., Hullabaloo (Feb. 2015).

Source Code Similarities: Experts Unmask ‘Regin’ Trojan as NSA Tool. Rosenbach, M., Spiegel Online InternationaI (Jan. 2015).

Oklahoma Lawmakers Vote Overwhelmingly To Ban Advanced Placement U.S. History. Legum, J., ThinkProgress (Feb. 2015). [Christ. Doesn’t Oklahoma have enough problems already with all the earthquakes from fracking? -Ed.]

No good deed goes unpunished. Vermont Political Observer (Jan. 2015). (“What I did not anticipate was the vitriolic verbal assault from those who don’t know the difference between the Classics and illegal immigrants from South America.”) [D000000000d. Have you never been on the Internet? -Ed.]

Indisputable proof that prosecutors and politicians are penalized when they hold police accountable. King, S., Daily Kos (Jan. 2015).

Is the US the only country where more men are raped than women? Filipovic, J., The Guardian (Feb. 2015). [American exceptionalism, y’all. -Ed.]

5 Bizarre Realities of Being a Man Who Was Raped by a Woman. Anonymous, via Mannen, A., Cracked (Jan. 2015).

Pipeline explodes in West Virginia. Gardner, F., Daily Kos (Jan. 2013). (“This is the fourth major pipeline incident that’s occurred this month.”)

Hobby Lobby 2: Inside Republicans’ Plan to Kill America’s Most Effective Anti-Teen-Pregnancy Program. Baumann, N., Mother Jones (Feb. 2015). (“An innovative program has reduced the abortion rate and saved a state millions. Here’s why it’s doomed.”) [SPOILER ALERT! Because conservatives. -Ed.]

Black teens who commit a few crimes go to jail as often as white teens who commit dozens. Ehrenfreund, M., The Washington Post (Jan. 2015).

Here’s What It’s Like For A Woman To Send a Job Rejection To A Man. Creighton, J., Medium (Feb. 2015).

Liberal Racism: 25 Things I Learned After I Wrote About ISIS and White Racism at the Daily Kos. DeVega, C., Daily Kos (Feb. 2015).

Women Being Inexpertly Groped In Western Art History. Ortberg, M., The Toast (Feb. 2015). [NSFW] [Hahaha. -Ed.]

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PLZ 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: King weasel infests Palace inbox, craps all over the place.

Oh. No. He. Didn’t.

whitehousemastheadFrom: President Barack Obama <info@mail.whitehouse.gov>
To: Iris Vander Pluym
Subject: Writing the rules for 21st century trade
Date: February 18, 2015

My top priority as President is making sure more hardworking Americans have a chance to get ahead. That’s why we have to make sure the United States — and not countries like China — is the one writing this century’s rules for the world’s economy.

Trade has an important role to play in supporting good-paying, middle-class jobs in the United States. Unfortunately, past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype. That’s why I’ve made it clear that I won’t sign any agreement that doesn’t put American workers first.

But we also should recognize that 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders. Exports support more than 11 million jobs — and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. Failing to seize new opportunities would be devastating not just for our businesses, but for our workers too.

That’s why my Administration is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership — so we can benefit from trade that is not just free, but also fair.

Watch this video my team put together, and then share it with anyone who needs to know exactly what’s at stake.

We have the chance to open up more markets to goods and services backed by three proud words: Made in America. For the sake of our businesses, and American workers, it’s an opportunity we need to take.

But beyond greater access to the world’s fastest-growing region, the agreement will establish enforceable commitments to protect labor, environmental, and other crucial standards that Americans hold dear.

Right now, China wants to write the rules for commerce in Asia. If it succeeds, our competitors would be free to ignore basic environmental and labor standards, giving them an unfair advantage over American workers.

We can’t let that happen. We should write the rules, and level the playing field for our middle class. The first step is for Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority.

Watch the video, and then pass it along.

After years of shipping jobs overseas, our manufacturing sector is creating jobs at a pace not seen since the 1990s. Rather than outsourcing, more companies are insourcing and bringing jobs back home. Today, more than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re looking at bringing jobs back from China.

Let’s give them one more reason to get it done, by giving me the tools I need to grow our economy, boost exports for our businesses, and give more hardworking middle-class families a chance to get ahead.

Thanks,

President Barack Obama

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

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I have taken the liberty of highlighting only the most bald-faced, blatant lies. That bolded statement in red, however, is particularly weaselly: the problem the TPP addresses is not other countries being “free to ignore basic environmental and labor standards, giving them an unfair advantage over American workers.” The problem the TPP addresses is that, so far at least, U.S. corporations have not been entirely free to ignore basic environmental and labor standards themselves—though not for lack of trying. Also, the interests on whose behalf the TPP is being negotiated are literally the last people in the world to give a flying fuck about improving the fortunes of U.S. workers. Please.

For more on the depth of the Democratic president’s depravity here, please go (re-)read my post from November 2013. Among other things, I noted that upon ratification of the TPP (and its transatlantic doppelganger the TTIP), corporate control of governments around the world—including ours—will be complete. Since then, more information has leaked out of the TPP negotiations (see e.g. this Wikileaks press release and linked documents therein) but very few people have seen a draft of the whole thing. My BFF Congressman Alan Grayson is one of them, and he says flat out: “This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.”

Here is how it works. The TPP has a binding “proactive requirement” that participating countries conform their laws and regulations to the desires and whims of Big Business. In practice, this means gutting already weak environmental protections, labor laws, banking regulations, public safety rules, you name it: it eviscerates virtually any law or provision that can be construed as compromising profits in any way. Draconian, right? But it’s the enforcement mechanism that is the real coup for America’s Owners: investor-state dispute settlement. Corporations can sue noncompliant governments to recover the “loss” of anticipated future profits—and not in a court of law, either, but before a secret(!) panel of three corporate lawyers(!). There are no appeals from these rulings. If a government loses, taxpayers are on the hook to pay the lucky winning corporation.

We are not talking about chump change here, either, nor are we talking about some imagined dystopian future. This is already in force in some countries, via NAFTA and other terrible trade agreements:

During its financial crisis, and in response to public anger over rocketing charges, Argentina imposed a freeze on people’s energy and water bills… It was sued by the international utility companies whose vast bills had prompted the government to act. For this and other such crimes, it has been forced to pay out over a billion dollars in compensation. In El Salvador, local communities managed at great cost (three campaigners were murdered) to persuade the government to refuse permission for a vast gold mine which threatened to contaminate their water supplies. A victory for democracy? Not for long, perhaps. The Canadian company which sought to dig the mine is now suing El Salvador for $315m – for the loss of its anticipated future profits.

In Canada, the courts revoked two patents owned by the American drugs firm Eli Lilly, on the grounds that the company had not produced enough evidence that they had the beneficial effects it claimed. Eli Lilly is now suing the Canadian government for $500m, and demanding that Canada’s patent laws are changed.

The TPP is “NAFTA on steroids.”

It’s not enough to stop this fast tracking bullshit the president wants, the TPP deal itself has to go down in flames. What are the chances of killing it? Well, just ponder for a moment what it means that it’s Barack Obama and Republicans who want the TPP deal fast-tracked—signed, sealed and delivered to America’s Owners a.s.a.p.

obamarepublicanLoyal Readers™ can attest that I am not particularly prone to hyperbolic hyperventilation. But that sound you just heard? Shhh. Listen carefully—it’s barely a whisper. Hear it? That is the sound of the last few tattered threads of democracy whizzing right past your head.

This webcomic provides excellent infotainment on the subject, and I really cannot recommend it highly enough. Well, except for one thing. The d00d serving the poison Kool-Aid is a piss-poor rendering of Barack Obama.

economixcomixThere is no scenario I can envision in which my fellow citizens and I are not forced to drink it.

Church sign off to a rip-roaring start in 2015.

Loyal Readers™ will no doubt recall the Palace’s ongoing mission to extract $82 billion worth of 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. Since our last report we may have missed out on one or two iterations, although I can tell you that over the holidays the sign only showed listings of times and dates for church services. But this weekend, we were served up a doozy:

churchsign022015GOD IS RICH,
BECAUSE HE SAVES!

Christ. Where to even begin.

At the outset it’s critical to note that this particular god d00d has a long-running scam whereby he “saves” people from himself. That’s right: he so despises his very own creations—humans—that he unleashes the most sadistic and unconscionable punishments imaginable on them (and on generations of their innocent descendants), just for doing exactly the things he knows in advance with 100% certainty they will do. I’m sorry but that is just not the behavior of any deity dignified enough to worship; that is the behavior of a spoiled toddler throwing a temper tantrum because he doesn’t get his way and then smashing all of his own toys. Now to be fair, I pretty much despise people too. But see, the difference is that I don’t go around torturing and murdering them with wild abandon, insisting they obey my every command, demanding they sacrifice their children to me, or prohibiting them from eating shrimp. Shrimp are fucking delicious, people.

shrimpcocktailJumbo shrimp cocktail
Even people I despise should feel free to enjoy this appetizer.

Worse, all of those hideous punishments were still not enough to satisfy this evil fucker. Can you believe it? Plagues, stonings, drownings, you name it, yet people still told him to fuck right off, and clearly for good reason. So he decided he had to come up with the most cruel and sadistic penalty ever devised: hell. For the “sin” of disobeying this capricious monster obsessed with sexual behavior that is nobody else’s business, violent conquests and wanton slaughter (and shrimp), you get to burn in a lake of fire—forever. Meanwhile, the only alternative to this unfortunate fate is spending eternity with the sick puppy himself, along with a whole bunch of shitty people who think he’s the bee’s knees. Oh, and the ticket to get into this perpetual shitshow? You have to actually believe that the creator of the entire universe sent his own son (who is also himself) to Earth to sacrifice himself to himself so that he could, finally, forgive humans for being exactly as disappointing to himself as he made them. WHAT. No wonder atheists take such great comfort in knowing that death is merely oblivion.

There’s a funny saying that goes: if you don’t sin, then Jeezus died in vain. Hahaha. Seriously though, I cannot swallow this whole story for numerous reasons, one of which is the same reason that the joke doesn’t really work: according his own autobiography, Jeezus did not die. He did not die for my sins, or for anyone else’s either. He had a really rough weekend, after which he strolled around for a while punking a bunch of people, and then flew up into the sky to become king (co-king?) of the entire universe forever and ever. That is the opposite of dying.

Anyway, back to this church sign. This god is rich? Really? Why would the omnipotent ruler of the universe need money, much less a fuckton of it? Maybe it’s a new ploy he’s trying to get everybody finally paying attention and worshiping him. After all, the American Dream Nightmare™ is based upon the principle that if anyone just works hard enough (bootstraps!) they too will become rich; and therefore, if they are indeed rich, they must be Super Special Bootstrappin’ Snowflakes who deserve to be rich, admired, sucked up to and emulated. It doesn’t matter that the bootstrap myth is utterly and demonstrably false—I mean, my fellow citizens are world renowned for believing in all manner of ridiculous nonsense, so the whole “I’m rich! do what I say!” thing is probably worth a shot.

And truth be told, a lot of rich people are ginormous assholes too, so saying “the Christian god is rich” sounds about right. See for yourself:

Donald Trump is rich
because his daddy created a real estate empire

The Koch Brothers are rich
because their daddy created an oil refining empire

The Walton family is rich
because their daddies created a retail empire

Dr. Oz is rich
because he sells snake oil and bad medical advice

Wall Street traders are rich
because they are more reckless and manipulative than incarcerated psychopaths

All of which is to say that if this god is rich, that’s probably one more excellent reason to stay far, far away from him.