“Supporting the Troops,” everyone.

The Los Angeles Times ran a piece over the weekend revealing efforts by the California National Guard to claw back reenlistment bonuses and student loan payments from 9,700 soldiers it has determined were ineligible for these incentives. According to California Guard official Col. Michael S. Piazzoni, “The system paid everybody up front, and then we spent the next five years figuring out if they were eligible.”

“‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.'”

“‘Stuff and nonsense,’ said Alice Iris loudly.”

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The beginning of the end of police violence?

Talk is notoriously cheap of course, and at particularly cut-rate discount when it comes from the mouths of government officials. But this sounds really, really good to me.

U.S. police chiefs group apologizes for ‘historical mistreatment’ of minorities

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#muschniwogdowis of the day: Your liberal media.

Today’s report in Most US Citizens Have No Idea What Our Government Does Or Who It Serves (#muschniwogdowis) follows.

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”Carl Sagan

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WORLD EXCLUSIVE! Interview with Cyber Squirrel 1.

Well, now I’ve gone and done it. As my Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ know, I normally write non-fiction, satire, or some ungodly mashup of both. But lately I’ve found an interesting space to inhabit that bridges the real world with an imagined one. And…well, I wrote a short story. Go read it! Or, you know, don’t.

Either way, have a nice day.


And now for something completely different.

Behold, and be mesmerized:

Interested in documenting one of the oldest animals on Earth, Barcelona-based production company myLapse set to capture the minimal movements of brightly colored coral, recording actions rarely seen by the human eye. The short film took nearly 25,000 individual images of the marine invertebrates to compose, and photography of species, such as the Acanthophyllia, Trachyphyllia, Heteropsammia cochlea, Physogyra, took over a year.

The production team hopes the film attracts attention to the Great Barrier Reef, encouraging watchers to take a deeper interest in one of the natural wonders of the world that is being rapidly bleached due to climate change. You can see more up-close images of the coral species featured in this film on Flickr. (via Sploid)

Tell me again what religions have to offer that comes anywhere close to the majesty and deep beauty on offer in our natural world.

[h/t Caine]

My friend Niki died today.

My friend Niki Massey died today.

Readers may know her; I have written of her here, several times.

I fucking LOVED her. And I know I made her smile, at least once in a while. I know that because she told me. And I am so very grateful for that in this moment.

Niki was a fucking badass. An original, one-of-a-kind, force of nature. A Social Justice Warrior of the fiercest, finest kind (she preferred “Social Justice Daemon.” Hahaha.)

Niki taught me many things: to be a better writer, a better activist, a better friend, a better human being.

I am devastated beyond words.


REST IN POWER, my friend. This world is a better place for having you in it, however briefly.

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All proceeds to fund smashing the status quo, subverting the patriarchy, dismantling white supremacy, waging war on warmongers, obliterating the oligarchy, sustaining struggling friends, monitoring the squirrel menace, mocking conservatives and/or cat food.


I recognize that many people do not have the bucks to spare, and in any event no one should feel obligated to contribute to my cat food fund. Particularly when they’re thisclose to eating cat food themselves.

Thank you, my beloved Loyal Readers™, for all of your support.

Perhaps a hint at why right-wingers hate academia.

Yesterday I read about a new study—I cannot read the actual paper itself of course because it is behind a fucking paywall—that examined non-academic characteristics of a sample of incoming freshman to see which factors might predict their success or failure at college. High school grades are the single best predictor of college grades, but they still only account for about 20 percent of the difference between students’ ending up with good or bad college GPAs. The new research focused on outliers: the “thrivers” and “divers” who did much better or much worse in college, respectively, than would be expected based on their high school grades. Continue reading

GUEST POST: No supermen.

Please enjoy once again the beautifully expressed thoughts of my friend Ian. (Posted with permission.)


We often quickly forget – perhaps because history focuses on the individual, rather than the conditions of a culture and society at any point in time and space – that no singular individual has themselves actually threatened the stability of of a country, or single handedly destroyed the moral and ethical fabric of a government.

This has never occurred in all of human history. We have no “supermen.”

Instead it has always been the hundreds of millions that stand behind a demagogue, and willingly do his bidding; willingly imprison, marginalize, institutionally enslave and murder the innocent.

Mobs of psychopaths; throngs of the fearful that turn as quickly as the undead into mindless monsters that violently consume anyone unwilling to submit to their narrow and bigoted view of existence; vast gangs of greedy, self-righteous insanely uneducated or willfully cognitively dissonant and yet mindful monsters that would be kings…. So many angry and poisonous weeds growing and choking out the splendor of human kindness…

It has never been just one man,… And if your only goal is preventing one man from becoming president while ignoring the hordes at his back….

I feel sad for you and the day you realize how short-sighted you were.

Fascism doesn’t knock at the door… It is a disease that you can’t see until half the body politik is coughing up blood.