Recent reading.


Afghanistan: MSF denounces blatant breach of International Humanitarian Law in Kunduz. Statement by Dr Joanne Liu, President, MSF International. Medecins Sans Frontieres (Oct. 2015).

On the night of the bombing, MSF staff working in the hospital heard what was later confirmed to be a US army plane circle around multiple times, releasing its bombs on the same building within the hospital compound at each pass.

The building targeted was the one housing the intensive care unit, emergency rooms and physiotherapy ward. Surrounding buildings in the compound were left largely untouched.

Despite MSF alerting both the Afghan and Coalition military leadership, the airstrike continued for at least another 30 minutes. The hospital was well-known and the GPS coordinates had been regularly shared with Coalition and Afghan military and civilian officials, as recently as Tuesday 29 September.

This attack cannot be brushed aside as a mere mistake or an inevitable consequence of war. Statements from the Afghanistan government have claimed that Taliban forces were using the hospital to fire on Coalition forces.

These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital, which amounts to an admission of a war crime.

Afghanistan: Kunduz bombing latest. Medecins Sans Frontieres (Oct. 2015).


Financial Crimes Perpetrated by Far-Right Extremists in the United States: 1990-2013. The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), Research Brief (Jun. 2015) (pdf).

The most prominent  affiliation is with sovereign citizens (40%), who believe they are freemen not subject to  governmental authority. Sovereign citizens either declare themselves to be entirely sovereign entities or members of a state republic, often creating their own common law court systems. An additional 5% were affiliated with militia or patriot groups, and 4% affiliated with white supremacists (KKK, neo-Nazi, Christian Identity, etc.). The remaining 23% of extremist individuals are tax protesters. Tax protesters use a wide array of frivolous anti-tax arguments to morally and legally justify not paying  taxes, arguing that taxes and other laws are unconstitutional, illegal, invalid, or voluntary.

10 Things I Discovered About Ayn Rand’s Addled Brain After Reading ‘Atlas Shrugged’. Lee, A., AlterNet (Oct. 2015) [h/t SJ]:

If you’ve ever voted for politicians who passed safety regulations or accepted any kind of loan or grant money from the government or criticized the excesses of capitalism or valued your own family more than rich strangers or done any of a hundred other seemingly innocuous things, then according to Ayn Rand, you too deserve to die. The number of people who’d meet her very strict criteria for worthiness to continue living is tiny — which is precisely the point.

[She seems nice. –Ed.]

Why Right-Wing Christian Leaders Are Often Indifferent to Needless Suffering. Tarico, V., AlterNet (Sep. 2015). [h/t SJ]

These political scientists may have just discovered why U.S. politics are a disaster. Swanson, A., The Washington Post (Oct. 2015):

This study offers evidence that inequality leads to political polarization. Though they have yet to produce definitive findings, the researchers also believe, as many others in their field do, that political polarization also in turn produces more inequality, creating a vicious feedback loop of inequality and polarized politics.

[NEWSFLASH: Hierarchy begets hierarchichal worldviews. You know, I could have saved these people the trouble of doing this study. But what do I know? I’M JUST THE WORLD’S LEADING EXPERT ON CONSERVATIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER, that’s all. –Ed.]


Exposed: Pro-Israel Modern Day McCarthyites Going to Extremes to Slime Human Rights Activists. Blumenthal, M. and Carmel J., AlterNet [Part 1 in an ongoing series] (Sep. 2015):

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a campaign against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that is spreading on American college campuses…It is inspiring an atmosphere of incitement and intimidation, and the FBI is now investigating violent threats made against BDS activists.

Netanyahu has created a special ministerial post for countering BDS, and the Israeli army recently announced its intention to monitor groups involved in boycott campaigns across the globe.

Flush With Cash, Right-Wing Extremists Train the Future Zealots of Pro-Israel Campus Activism. Blumenthal, M. and Carmel J., AlterNet [Part 2 in an ongoing series] (Oct. 2015).

Why Are Dianne Feinstein and Janet Napolitano Backing a McCarthyite Push Against Palestine Activists? Blumenthal, M. and Carmel J., AlterNet [Part 3 in an ongoing series] (Oct. 2015).

A New Report Shows That the Palestinian Movement is Under Attack in the US. Nevel, D., AlterNet (Oct. 2015).

The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the US. Palestine Legal (2015).


Maths palace built by calculus ‘rock star’ on sale for £11.4m. Bellos, A., The Guardian (Oct. 2015). [I can haz £11.4m na plz. kthx. –Ed.]

stewarthouse17 Satellite Photos Around the World that Will Change Your Perspective. Twisted Sifter (Jun. 2014).

central-park-new-york-city-from-above-aerial-satelliteCentral Park – New York City, USA
40°46’56″N; 73°57’55″W

Burning Man: The Portfolio. Trey Ratcliff, Stuck in Customs. [h/t SJ]

Burning-Man-Day-1 (1006 of 1210)-X3


If Pope Francis Really Wanted to Fight Climate Change, He’d Be a Feminist. Pollitt, K., The Nation (Sep. 2015). (“The world will never be healed of its ecological ills as long as women cannot control their fertility.”) [The world will never be healed of a whole lot of its ills as long as women cannot control their fertility. –Ed.]

USDA: We will not steer people away from meat to protect the environment. Whoriskey, P., The Washington Post (Oct. 2015). [This is your government on Democrats. –Ed.]


“Female Privilege” and Sexist Arguments. Poland, B., (Oct. 2015):

The concept of female privilege requires looking at a social outcome and deciding that it favors women, regardless of who had the power to make that decision or on what grounds the decision was made. If women appear to be favored, as in custody cases or “women and children first,” the reason for that choice is ignored; if women are left out, as in the draft, the basis for such exclusion is left unexamined. Key to arguing for “female privilege” is ignoring the actual beliefs about gender that inform the outcome, and simply blaming women for all of it.

Study: White people react to evidence of white privilege by claiming greater personal hardships. Edwards, D., Raw Story (Sep. 2015):

Researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have found that white people respond to evidence that they are privileged by their race by insisting that they face greater hardships in life.

denzel-door-slam[Jeezus fucking Christ get some fucking perspective, white people. –Ed.]
[h/t feminace for the gif.]


College Talk vs. “Girl Talk” at a Texas Elementary School. Marcotte, A., Slate (Oct. 2015).



Idaho teen threatened to ‘kill all the girls’ because cheerleaders wouldn’t send him any ‘freaking nudes’. Gettys, T., Raw Story (Oct. 2015):

“Because no one will give any to me,” the teen complained. “Every one hates me.”

[Good. I hate you too, d00d. –Ed.]

It’s Not Your Kids Holding Your Career Back. It’s Your Husband. Grose, J., Slate (Nov. 2014):

The authors found, definitively, that the “opt-out” explanation is a myth.

while millennial [Harvard Business School] grads are a little more egalitarian than their older peers, half of the youngest men still assume that their careers will take precedence, and two-thirds of them assume their spouses will do the majority of child care.


Study shows that countries with more generous welfare programs have more citizens motivated to work. Einenkel, W., Daily Kos (Sep. 2015).


PLZ NOTE: Acquisition of links for the fabulous Palace library does not imply 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization, source or individual.

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About Iris Vander Pluym

Iris Vander Pluym is an artist and activist in NYC (West Village), and an unapologetic, godless, feminist lefty. Raised to believe Nice Girls™ do not discuss politics, sex or religion, it turns out those are pretty much the only topics she ever wants to talk about.

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