Happy birthday PZ!

pz2016It is once again the time to mark the joyous occasion of The Great Tentacled One’s completion of another orbit around our sun. Longtime readers of mine may recall that in February of 2011, PZ Myers published my little screed In Defense of Mockery on Pharyngula. At the time I was a fledgling blogger, and hardly knew whether I might be any good at this writing stuff. That boost of confidence—and the readers I gained that day—meant the world to me then, and now. By 2013 when PZ posted Casualties of War, I had come a long way in a short time, thanks in no small part to his generosity and encouragement. But this past year? He brought some serious next-level shit, man: he invited me to write for Freethought Blogs (!!!). For all of this and more, PZ has my undying affection and appreciation.

Today I will be celebrating the good professor by imbibing squid ink cocktails and copious amounts of calamari.

Happy birthday, my friend.

Long may we mock.

squidinkcocktailBarchetta’s Spezia cocktail.
vodka, caper brine and squid ink, whole caperberry garnish

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Now normally on these sacred occasions, I’d post some of PZ’s more trenchant blurbs, culled from his writings over the previous year. Just a sentence or two that strike me, like this one (perhaps my all time favorite):

[I]magine the culture we would live in now if, instead of a dead corpse on an instrument of torture, our signifier was a child staring in wonder at the stars. –PZ Myers

But in the past year the world has changed. For example, US government policy is now orchestrated by a madman via 140 character tweets in the middle of the night (Eastern Standard Time). So in keeping with the zeitgeist, please enjoy these pithy bon mots from the master:

Fuck you, Grandma. –PZ Myers

I could be quite happy with an octopus arm transplant. –PZ Myers

Stop me before I #ChristianMingle. –PZ Myers

So fuck the police. –PZ Myers

I’ll smack hope a few more times with a ball peen hammer and see if I can’t get it under control. –PZ Myers

OK, motherfucker, then do it. –PZ Myers

Stoned fish are so much more cooperative. –PZ Myers

I’ve made it on to the list! I feel so appreciated. –PZ Myers

Hate is a strong word, but not strong enough for my feelings.-PZ Myers

Go fuck yourself. –PZ Myers

Hear, hear.

Happy birthday PZ Myers.

pz2016It is once again the time to mark the joyous occasion of The Great Tentacled One’s completion of another orbit around our sun. Longtime readers will recall that in February of 2011, PZ Myers published our screed In Defense of Mockery on his blog Pharyngula. At the time, Your Humble Monarch™ was a fledgling blogger, and didn’t know whether she would be any good at this, you know, writing stuff, and find her own voice in the wilderness of Internet denizens. That boost of confidence—and the Many Tens of Loyal Readers™—we gained the day we were first published on one of our all-time favorite blogs meant the world to us then, and still does. In 2013 PZ posted our Casualties of War; by that time perhaps we had indeed found our voice, thanks in no small part to the encouragement of PZ. He will always have our undying appreciation and affection.

Thus we have duly decorated the Palace’s shrine to PZ, where squid ink cocktails and calamari will be served all day. Please join us in toasting the Patron Saint of Perry Street Palace.

Happy birthday, PZ.

Long may we mock.

squidinkcocktailBarchetta’s Spezia cocktail.
vodka, caper brine and squid ink, whole caperberry garnish

__________

Some quotes to enjoy:

Supernatural explanations of natural phenomena are no longer outside the realm of nature, and are therefore subject to scientific inquiry. Just saying that your explanation for something is supernatural is not a get-out-of-science-free card. –PZ Myers

Most of what we believe isn’t derived from the pure and perfect reasoning power of our flawless brains — it’s learned by trial and error by brains that are often afflicted with stubbornly bad ideas. Like believing in gods, for instance. –PZ Myers

I like science, too, I know humans evolved, and I think logic is an excellent tool. It’s just that I also appreciate other ways of seeing the world (they’re inevitable, since we’re not robot clones), see evolution as a chaotic clusterfuck of chance with a ribbon of selection providing multiple ways forward, and also know that logic is a great tool for false rationalizations. –PZ Myers

Yes, we have a tribe. Only our tribe is interested in expanding and becoming more inclusive. Their tribe wants to close ranks and maintain the status quo, perpetuating inequities (and even denying the existence of those inequities). –PZ Myers

Religion is on the wrong side of history on far too many issues, and it’s entirely reasonable to point out when someone else is completely wrong, even if they’re going to interpret that as you being arrogant. –PZ Myers

 Cheers to that.

B.B. King, RIP.

bbkinglearning“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”
-B.B. King
(1925-2015.)

B.B. King was a beautiful person: his music touched so many, but really it was his very being that people so adored. Here are some quotes from a great, great man.

“I tried to connect my singing voice to my guitar an’ my guitar to my singing voice. Like the two was talking to one another.” (They was talkin’to me, B.B.)

“If there was no ladies, I wouldn’t wanna be on the planet. Ladies, friends, and music – without those three, I wouldn’t wanna be here.” (I feel the same way about great singers.)

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die to get there!” (Funny, that.)

“When people treat you mean, you dislike them for that, but not because of their person, who they are. I was born and raised in a segregated society, but when I left there, I had nobody I disliked other than the people that’d mistreated me, and that only lasted for as long as they were mistreating me.” (Whereas I dislike everyone who has ever mistreated me, since I’m fairly certain they’d do it again if given the opportunity.)

“I’ve been married twice. Most women would rather not be married to a traveling blues singer.” (Or to any traveling musician, frankly.)

“What don’t I want to learn? I have how-to books, history, nature. Ain’t nobody here saying, ‘You’d better learn this.’ But I still think I’ve got a head on my shoulders, and it pleases me.” (Words to live by.)

“When I do eventually drop, I pray to God that it’ll happen in one of three ways. Firstly, on stage or leaving the stage, then secondly in my sleep. And the third way? You’ll have to figure that out for yourself!” (OMG I wonder what it could be???)

“If T-Bone Walker had been a woman, I would have asked him to marry me.” (I would have totally crashed that wedding.)

“Touring a segregated America – forever being stopped and harassed by white cops hurt you most ‘cos you don’t realise the damage. You hold it in. You feel empty, like someone reached in and pulled out your guts. You feel hurt and dirty, less than a person.” (Shame on them. You were more of a person than any racist white cop will ever be.)

“I call myself a blues singer, but you ain’t never heard me call myself a blues guitar man.” (Well, I’m callin’ you a blues guitar man. Rest in peace, good man.)

Reads ‘n stuff.

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[NOTE: All links related to the uprising in Baltimore can be found here. I am especially heartened to see so much serious pushback against mainstream media coverage.]

Austerity has been an unmitigated disaster, and this proves it. O’Brien, M., The Washington Post (Apr. 2015). [OMFG WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED. –Ed.]

The jobs most likely to make you drink. Ingraham, C., The Washington Post (Apr. 2015). [Ooh! Ooh! I think I know this one! Is it…lefty blogger? –Ed.]

Ocean energy plus cybernetics can supply a quarter of the US’s power. Kishore, S., The Ecologist (Apr. 2015). [Yes We Can’t! –Ed.]

Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party. Muder, D., The Weekly Sift (Aug. 2014). (“Here’s what my teachers’ should have told me: ‘Reconstruction was the second phase of the Civil War. It lasted until 1877, when the Confederates won.'”) [h/t PZ] [FIVE STARS. If you click on only one link here today, make it this one. –Ed.]

Trailer for Black Mass starring Johnny Depp as Boston gangster and FBI informant Whitey Bulger:

OMFG I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THIS MOVIE.

5 Ways It’s Become a Crime to Be Poor in America, Punishable by Further Impoverishment: New report details perverse policies that are driving more people into hopeless, inescapable poverty. Starr, T.J., AlterNet (Apr. 2015). [Because bootstraps. Or something. –Ed.]

Countries free of religion are the most socially advanced, data show. Epiphenom, Patheos (Apr. 2015). [GTFO. –Ed.]

Sexism in science: Peer editor tells female researchers their study needs a male author. Feltman, R., The Washington Post (Apr. 2015). [I mean, is there anything that a d00d cannot improve? –Ed.]

The US Carried Out 674 Military Operations in Africa Last Year. Did You Hear About Any of Them? Turse, N., The Nation (Apr. 2015). [Nope. –Ed.]

Obama Compares Progressive Opposition to Trade Deal to ‘Death Panels’ as the Left Ramps Up Opposition. Garcia, E., National Journal (Apr. 2015). [Ahh! Reminds me of the ol’ days when the Obama administration called me an ungrateful fucking retarded drug addict. GOOD TIMES. –Ed.]

Report from the Field: On (Not) Reporting Sexual Violence. Glaviano, A., VIDA (Apr. 2015).

The Anti-Surveillance State: Clothes and Gadgets Block Face Recognition Technology, Confuse Drones and Make You (Digitally) Invisible. Burns, J., AlterNet (Apr. 2015).

antisurveillancehair&makeup

 IRIS CAN TOTALLY ROCK THESE LOOKS. FYI.

Sick anti-vax trolls attack grieving mum. Hansen, J., The Sunday Telegraph (Apr. 2015). [I hate humans. SO HARD. –Ed.]

Tug of War: We’re on the verge of the greatest public health triumph of the 21st century. Palmer, B., Slate (Apr. 2015). [Also FYI: guinea worms are ginormous assholes, almost as bad as conservatives. –Ed.]

Missouri Satanist: 72-hour waiting period for abortions violates my ‘sincerely held religious beliefs’. Gettys, T., Raw Story (Apr. 2015). [#allhailsatan. –Ed.]

Making Sense of Nonsense: A MOOC About Climate Change Denial. Plait, P., Bad Astronomy via Slate (Apr. 2015).

This:

[h/t Tony] [♥ ♥ ♥ !!! –Ed.]

The Pentagon Has No Idea What Happened To Over $45 Billion In Afghan Reconstruction Funds. Argueta, S., Occupy Democrats (Apr. 2015). [I know I just hate it when I lose track of $45 billion. –Ed.]

What does gun violence really cost? Follman, N., et al, Mother Jones (Apr. 2014).

Taking Back Detroit: Portraits of the Motor City by Wayne Lawrence. National Geographic (Apr. 2015).

Women Are Improving This “Beach Body” Advert With Their Own Body-Positive Messages. Warren, R., Buzzfeed (Apr. 2015).

beachbodyreadyfuckoffMy sentiments exactly.

School Develops ‘Safety Plan’ For 12-Year-Old Rape Victim: No Revealing Clothes. Prager, J., Addicting Info (Apr. 2015). (“When the unnamed child reported the abuse to  school officials in January, no phone calls were made, no reports were filed, and the girl was certainly given no measure of comfort and support. Instead, she was told that she needs to take steps to avoid enticing men to rape her.”) [What the everloving fuck. –Ed.]

The Numbers Are Staggering: U.S. Is ‘World Leader’ in Child Poverty. Buchheit, P., AlterNet (Apr. 2015). (“The callousness of America’s political and business leaders is shocking once you start looking at the numbers.”) [“Shocking?” Not to me it isn’t. –Ed.]

lipprintRed Lipstick and Rape Culture. Steph, Grounded Parents (Apr. 2015). (“These microaggressions marginalize women and girls and make us feel uncomfortable and small. And worse, we unconsciously participate in them because we are conditioned to accept them as a norm. They seem small, but the cumulative impact is huge.”)

‘Screw ‘em’: Michigan man taunts neighbors with Confederate flag and nooses outside home. Gettys, T, Raw Story (Apr. 2015). [He seems nice. –Ed.]

Arizona hate preacher who tells women they deserve rape now harasses Mosque-goers. Jilani, Z., Raw Story (Apr. 2015). [He seems nice too. –Ed.]

Georgia Walmart Pharmacist Refused To Fill Woman’s Medication After Miscarriage. Gittleson, W., If You Only News (Apr. 2015). [Also nice! So many nice people! –Ed.]

Meet the Most Obnoxious Catcaller in New York City. McKay, T., Mic.com (Apr. 2015). (“‘How would you call a dog?’ Jones asks. ‘Same way,’ the man responds.”) [Meh. I’ve had worse. –Ed.]

Terrified ‘Tea Party Patriot’ realizes he could lose Obamacare if GOP wins in 2016. Edwards, D., Raw Story (Apr. 2015). (with VIDEO). [LOL. –Ed.]

The day I bought steak with my food stamps. Fisher, S., Patheos (Apr. 2015).

The pathological legacy of the Oklahoma City bombing. Blair, C.P., Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Apr. 2015).

Forget Shorter Showers. Jensen, D., Orion Magazine (Apr. 2015).

 

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For the Quote collection:

“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 [h/t Llewellyn]

“We can follow the example of those who remembered that the role of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much integrity as possible, but rather to confront and take down those systems.” –Derrick Jensen [h/t SJ]

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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.

Reads.

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10 Situations Where Christian Bakers Should Refuse To Bake Wedding Cakes. Corey, B.L., Patheos (Mar. 2015). (“we need to have the courage to radically expand our discrimination as we apply the Bible to everyone but ourselves.”) [No cake for you! Or you! You either! –Ed.]

CIA Torture Whistleblower: Wake Up America, You’re Next. Abby Martin interview of John Kiriakou, Media Roots (Mar. 2015). (VIDEO)

Costa Rica is now running completely on renewable energy. Epstein, A., Quartz (Mar. 2015). [Yes we can’t! -Ed.]

Starbuck’s CEO Just Made A Shocking Announcement That Has Christians Standing Up For Their Faith. Rachel, Q Political (Mar. 2015). [Shocking. LOL –Ed.]

Forget terrorists — be terrified of Harperites. Siddiqui, H., The Star (Mar. 2015). (“Stephen Harper’s government wants us to be terrified of terrorists, niqabis, criminals, thieves, etc. But it’s the Conservatives we should be scared of.)

Women on 20s. (“It’s our mission to generate an overwhelming people’s mandate for a new $20 bill, to be issued in time for the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.”) [What are you doing lounging around the Palace? Go vote! -Ed.]

“You Grow Up Wanting to be Luke Skywalker, Then Realize You’ve Become a Stormtrooper for the Empire”. Crimmins, D. via Garret, Upriser (undated). [An amazing piece of writing from an Iraq veteran. -Ed.]

Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories. Ferdman, R.A., The Washington Post (Mar. 2015).

France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panelAgence France-Presse via The Guardian (Mar. 2015).

If Motivational Posters Were For People Who Hate People. Bailey, L., BuzzFeed (Feb. 2015). [I hate people, and I can attest that these posters are totally for me! -Ed.]

everyoneistheworstEven in nursing, no equal pay for women. Rapaport, L., Reuters (Mar. 2015).

Virtual reality is coming to sex, sports and Facebook. della Cava, M., USA Today (Mar. 2015). [h/t SJ]

Big Bank’s Analyst Worries That Iran Deal Could Depress Weapons Sales. Fang, L., The Intercept (Mar. 2015). [OH NOEZ!!! –Ed.]

Amazon’s trees removed nearly a third less carbon in last decade – study. Mathiesen, K., The Guardian (Mar. 2015). (“Fall in amount of carbon absorbed by rainforest means even greater cuts to manmade emissions are needed to combat climate change, warn scientists.”) [Today in We Are So Fucked. –Ed.]

Mother-Daughter Duo’s Photo Project Features 5-Year-Old as Iconic Black Women. Gilchrist, T., For Harriet (Mar. 2015). [Amazing and adorable. -Ed.]

If Purvi Patel delivered in hospital she could have declined neonatal care, but she delivered at home so faces jail. Gunter, J., Dr. Jen Gunter (Mar. 2015). (“So to be clear, had Ms. Patel delivered in a hospital she could have declined neonatal care had her baby been born alive. But because she delivered at home she is a criminal. Now tell me this wasn’t a reproductive witch hunt designed to both test the limits of Indiana law in curtailing reproductive rights and score points with pro-life donors and voters.”)

This Woman Says She Had A Miscarriage. Now She Could Face 70 Years In Prison. Culp-Ressler, T., Think Progress (Mar. 2015). (“Critics say there are a lot of issues with the way Patel’s case has unfolded over the past two years. For instance, Patel was first questioned in her hospital bed without a lawyer present. Expert witnesses could not come to consensus about the gestational age of her fetus. The prosecution relied on a highly unscientific method to try to determine whether her fetus was born dead or alive.”) [UPDATE: Purvi Patel was just sentenced to 30 years, with 10 suspended. -Ed.]

Two Cops Arrested for Beating 3-Month-Old Into Vegetative State; Baby Not Expected to Recover. Fairbanks, C., The Free Thought Project (Mar. 2015). [h/t Tony] [I can’t even. –Ed.]

Black Woman Locked In Psych Ward For 8 Days Because Cops Couldn’t Believe She’s A Businesswoman. Kerry-Anne, Addicting Info (Mar. 2015). [I. CAN’T. EVEN. –Ed.]

One Model Tried On 10 Different Pairs Of Size 16 Jeans And This Is What They Looked Like. Ospina, M.S., BuzzFeed (Jan. 2015).

This Photo Was Removed By Instagram. The Owner Writes A Powerful Open Letter In Response. Rupi Kaur via Chaudhary, S., Scoop Whoop (Mar. 2015).

Trillion Dollar Fraudsters. Krugman, P., The New York Times (Mar. 2015).

Shakespearean Insulter. [“Thou clouted fly-bitten boar-pig!” Hahaha. -Ed.]

Stunning Photos Reveal Beauty in Medicine. Live Science (Mar. 2015).

She’s back! Arizona legislator suggests church attendance should be mandatory. Mother Mags, Daily Kos (Mar. 2015). [Okay, player. –Ed.]

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For the Quote Collection:

I think America has the best assholes in the world. I defy the Belgians or the Japanese to produce something like a Donald Trump. –Matt Taibbi

Women have always been an equal part of the past. They just haven’t been part of history. –Gloria Steinem

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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.

Happy Birthday PZ Myers!

pzbdayshrine As we do every year on this occasion, we have duly decorated the Palace’s hallowed shrine to PZ Myers, Patron Saint of Perry Street Palace, to celebrate The Great Tentacled One’s successful completion of yet another orbit around our sun. Longtime Loyal Readers will recall that in February of 2011, PZ generously published our silly little screed In Defense of Mockery on his Pharyngula blog—an all-time favorite of ours. The Palace gained Many Tens of Loyal Readers™ that day, for which PZ will always have our undying appreciation and affection. Since then he has continued to be amazingly supportive: PZ cross-posted our Casualties of War; and just this past year he signal boosted Dear Friend: Words Have Meanings—and goaded those pestilent apes of the Forced Birth Brigades to dare come over to the Palace and read it. And Christ, did they ever. Fortunately PZ’s infamous Horde followed, and did what they always do: expertly deployed the heavy artillery in the battles that ensued.

This was also a year that saw PZ finally break ties with longtime BFF Richard Dawkins, though not before a lot of hand-holding, patient explanation and hopeful optimism that in the end proved to be utterly futile and entirely undeserved. It is an extraordinarily difficult thing to write off people you have long admired and with whom you have invested time in a shared purpose. Hell, The Dawk broke my heart; I can only imagine the sting for someone who also considered him a friend. But it mattered, to me at least, that PZ ultimately stood on principle, and did so in the face of an onslaught of petty and nasty attacks from the Great Horsedouche himself and his many misogynist minions.

This is what being an ally looks like.

It has also become our tradition to offer up a smattering of quotes from the Overlord, and here are a few we collected over the last twelve months. Please enjoy, and stick around for the traditional Red Velvet cake & beer celebration.

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I don’t target particular religions for bad conclusions — I detest them all for having bad methodologies. –PZ Myers

We try. We really try. But no matter how progressive the state might be, we’re still afflicted with horrible, demented people who run for office. Fortunately, there’s a tell: they always join the Republican party. –PZ Myers

I could do this all day, inventing pseudo-scientific evo-psych rationalizations for why particular stone age tasks shaped brains in a sex-specific manner, but at least I wouldn’t be doing it to somehow magically always fit 21st century Western cultural expectations. But I can’t, because it’s stupid. –PZ Myers

I won’t dignify religious rules with the word “morality”. A true human morality has to be founded on our obligations to one another, rather than to an imaginary figurehead. –PZ Myers

Values? It seems to me that the churches have always been far behind the enlightened members of society, changing only in response to fairly intense pressure to accommodate — see anything to do with race or sex for examples of religion failing and humanist ideals having to first flatten the religious bullshit to get through to people. –PZ Myers

If religion were really about human wellbeing, then the churches would be at the forefront of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, for instance; they’d all be citing the scriptures that say that all human beings are equally deserving of happiness, and that you shouldn’t oppress or harm people for not behaving in private the way you want them to. The problem is that there are no scriptures like that. –PZ Myers

We don’t need love for an invisible man to motivate us; how about instead being motivated by love for the very real human beings around us? How about redirecting that natural desire for service to helping people who need it, rather than trying to please an imaginary creature? Especially when that imaginary creature, by your own holy books, will not be satisfied with anything less than an eternity of servile worship. –PZ Myers

I’m going to have to write off Richard Dawkins now. He’s been eaten by the brain parasites. –PZ Myers

And for good measure:

Fuck you, Sam Harris, you incompetent amoral hack, smug apologist for monsters. –PZ Myers

Thank you, PZ. And happy, happy birthday. Long may you mock.

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.

Recent reads.

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NYC Cops Prove They Aren’t Really Needed. Lindorff, D., The Greanville Post (Jan. 2015). (“If this job action keeps up, and the city doesn’t descend into a spasm of crime and mayhem, maybe Mayor deBlasio should live up to his early billing as a former radical activist and start sacking the protesting cops.”) [Good luck with that. –Ed.]

46 examples of Muslim outrage about Paris shooting that Fox News can’t seem to find. Halper, K., Raw Story (Jan. 2015).

Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter. Editors, The Frederick News-Post (background: Delauter to The News-Post: Don’t use my name without permission. Jones, P.) (Jan. 2014). [h/t Kel] [OMFG LOL. –Ed.]

FBI says target in Colorado Springs bombing unclear. Loveless, C., KRDO.com (Jan. 2015).

Linda Tirado: ‘It was insane. I got 20,000 emails in a week’: The author of Hand to Mouth on the shock of going viral online, being vilified by critics, and now being able to afford to have her teeth fixed. Cooke, R., The Guardian (Jan. 2014).

Study: White people see “black” Americans as less competent than “African Americans”. Lopez, G., Vox (Jan. 2015). [Behold the power of words. –Ed.]

Charlie Hebdo, Bill Donohue, and the freedom of thought. Seidel, A.L., Freedom From Religion Foundation (Jan. 2015).

-and-

Coward Donohue doesn’t understand liberty. Seidel, A.L., Freedom From Religion Foundation (Jan. 2015).

[IRIS FFRF’s ANDREW SEIDEL. –Ed.]

As #LeelahAlcorn’s mom talks to CNN, Leelah’s Reddit posts come back to haunt her. Williams, C., Transadvocate (Jan. 2015). (“there is an effort to swamp trans-specific helpline call centers [STRONG TW] with bogus calls on the off-chance it will prevent a trans person from accessing help and result in their suicide”) [TRIGGER WARNING: death threats, dehumanization, epic assholery, abuse—especially at the embedded link.]

Anti-vaccination update: How the measles crisis struck Disneyland. Hiltzik, M., The Los Angeles Times (Jan. 2015). (“Disney isn’t at fault in this outbreak–heedless parents leaving their children unvaccinated are.”)

palacefuckyou[Fuck you, anti-vaxxers. –Ed.]

Guys Need Pap Tests, Too: A Trans Man’s Guide to Visiting the Gyno. Kellaway, M., Everyday Feminism (Jan. 2015).

A Drone Flew Over A Pig Farm To Discover It’s Not Really A Farm. It’s Something Much More Disturbing. Berman, R., Upworthy (Dec. 2014) (with VIDEO: “Spy Drones Expose Smithfield Foods Factory Farms” by Mark Devries.). [h/t Don Ardell]

I’ll Bet You’ve Put Yourself In A Really Bad Position Without Even Knowing It At Least Once. Willard, L., Upworthy (Oct. 2014). (with VIDEO: “Lost in the Fine Print,” narrated by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, created by Alliance for Justice.) [h/t SJ]

The U.S. has more jails than colleges. Here’s a map of where those prisoners live. Ingraham, C., The Washington Post (Jan. 2015). [#priorities –Ed.]

The community of the potentially mockable. Salty Current, Butterflies & Wheels / Freethought Blogs (Jan. 2015).

In the Wake of Charlie Hebdo, Free Speech Does Not Mean Freedom From Criticism. Canfield, J., The Hooded Utilitarian (Jan. 2015).

What Stalled the Gender Revolution? Child Care That Costs More Than College Tuition. Straus, T., California Magazine (Winter 2014).

Sheets: Christians Must Take Back Government In 2015 Because ‘We Are God’s Governing Force On The Earth’. Mantyla, K., Right Wing Watch (Jan. 2015). [If this is the kind of ape it wants in charge, wow this god is a huuuuuge asshole. –Ed.]

The right-wing domestic terror plot you didn’t hear about this week. Jilani, Z., Raw Story via AlterNet (Jan. 2015).

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Quotes:

I find that the biggest fans of imperialism are the folks who thought of it first.
Kent F. Hell-Dweller

Ugh “what if you aborted the person who’d have cured cancer?”
“No, what if you made her raise a baby at 15 instead of going to med school?”
-Beatrice (@MissObdurate) via Sally Strange

I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable.
Janelle Monáe

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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. See, e.g., the linked pieces by J. Canfield and Salty Current regarding Charlie Hebdo: both are thoughtful, provocative and persuasive—and utterly irreconcilable.

Recent reads.

library4Emails and Racist Chats Show How Cops and GOP Are Teaming Up to Undermine de Blasio. Blumenthal, M., AlterNet (Dec. 2014).

The NYPD’s ‘Work Stoppage’ Is Surreal. Taibbi, M., Rolling Stone (Dec. 2014). (“In an alternate universe, the New York Police might have just solved the national community-policing controversy.”)

How Low Income New Yorkers Are Benefiting From The NYPD’s Work Stoppage. Lerner, K. & Volsky, I., Think Progress (Jan. 2015). [I got yer silver linings right here. –Ed.]

When New York City Police Walk Off the Job. Editorial Board, The New York Times (Dec. 2014).

When History Knocks. Gindin, S., Jacobin (Dec. 2014). (“Naomi Klein rightly blames capitalism for climate change. But she doesn’t go far enough.”) [Well to be fair, who does? –Ed.]

I’m trying not to hate men. Bogart, L., Salon (Dec. 2014). (“After a year when misogyny and male violence dominated headlines, I want to find a way out of fear and bitterness.”) [TW: physical and emotional abuse including child abuse, child sexual assault.]

British couple faces $200,000 hospital bill after son born prematurely in New York City. The Guardian via Raw Story (Jan. 2015).

Robots are starting to break the law and nobody knows what to do about it. Rivero, D., Fusion (Jan. 2015). [h/t Angie] [BAD ROBOTS! Hahaha. –Ed.]

MIT professor explains: The real oppression is having to learn to talk to women. Marcotte, A., Raw Story (Dec. 2014). [Marcotte at her best. LOL. –Ed.]

Agates – Time Compiled. Prudence, P., Dataisnature (Nov. 2014). [Ooooh. Pretty. –Ed.]

Ancient Trees: Woman Spends 14 Years Photographing World’s Oldest Trees. Julija K., Bored Panda (Dec. 2014). (“Beth Moon, a photographer based in San Francisco, has been searching for the world’s oldest trees for the past 14 years. She has traveled all around the globe to capture the most magnificent trees that grow in remote locations and look as old as the world itself.”) [h/t SJ]

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For the fabulous Quote Collection:

I persist in preferring philosophers to rabbis, priests, imams, ayatollahs, and mullahs. Rather than trust their theological hocus-pocus, I prefer to draw on alternatives to the dominant philosophical historiography: the laughers, materialists, radicals, cynics, hedonists, atheists, sensualists, voluptuaries. They know that there is only one world, and that promotion of an afterlife deprives us of the enjoyment and benefit of the only one there is. A genuinely deadly sin. –Michel Onfray

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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.

Recent reads.

library4Transgender teen commits suicide, cites Christian parents in blog. Stone, M., Patheos (Dec. 2014). [HEARTBREAKING. Anyone reading this who is trans* and struggling, or who knows someone who may need help:

Trans Lifeline
US: (877) 565-8860
Canada: (877) 330-6366
http://www.translifeline.org/

Ed.]

Christians More Supportive of Torture than Non-Religious Americans. Posner, S., Religion Dispatches (Dec. 2014). [And they worship a (fictional) torture victim. Nice people. –Ed.]

House Majority Whip Scalise confirms he spoke to white supremacists in 2002. O’Keefe, E., The Washington Post (Dec. 2014).

#BlackLivesMatter: More Than Just Shootings. Feminace, Seriously?!? (Dec. 2009).

Irony 101: Study Ethics with Legal Ace Who Sanctioned NSA Wiretapping, CIA Torture. Silverstein, K., The Intercept (Dec. 2014). [Heh. Hahaha. HAHAHA. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!Ed.]

The Price of Private Prison. Rosenblatt, S., Truthout (Dec. 2014). (webgraphic) [h/t SJ.]

How many days did the #TeaParty “cease protest activities” after their supporters Killed Cops? Walton, F.V., Daily Kos (Dec. 2014). [Remind me again? Oh. I see… –Ed.]

Police Chief’s Perfect Response: Respect Protestors, Keep an Open Mind. Hongo, H., Gawker (Dec. 2014). [Amazing. I looooove this d00d. We need many, MANY more like him. –Ed.]

The Buy Nothing Project.

On The Silencing of Trans Women of Color: A Response to Trans Glamour vs. Trans Activism. Ailith, L.J., Autostraddle (Dec. 2014).

Domestic Violence Is Violence: Mass killers often start by stalking or assaulting women. Leong, N., Slate (Dec. 2014).

Hell Yes, I’m a Feminist. Scalzi, J., Whatever (Dec. 2014). [h/t PZ] [See also: this superb piece of mockery—this is how it’s done, people. –Ed.]

The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege from L.L. Bean. Miller, J., McSweeney’s (Dec. 2014). [Brilliant. –Ed.]

The Year In (Peer) Review: Nine Great Moments for Women In STEM From 2014. And counting! Cox, C., The Mary Sue (Dec. 2014).

Kid who made good comes home and tells his parents he paid off their mortgage. McNulty, J., Happy Place (Dec. 2014). [What the hell is this…this…watery stuff on my face? –Ed.]

How to Stop Violence: Mentally ill people aren’t killers. Angry people are. Hayes, L.L., Slate (Apr. 2014).

White Wealth & the Cult of White Victimhood. Hutchinson, S., blackfemlens (Dec. 2014).

Billion Dollar Surveillance Blimp to Launch over Maryland. Froomkin, D., The Intercept (Dec. 2014). [I find this absolutely fucking hilarious. –Ed.]

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For the Quote collection, the first three courtesy of Loyal Reader™ PN.

Conservatives lie when they say they are for families, liberty, and religious freedom. What they really mean is that they want to control others’ families, take away others’ liberties, and foist their religion onto others. Religious freedom means that I can be free of the murderous fraud known as Christianity just as others are free to uncritically support it. –Don Baker

The most obvious way of reducing abortions is to increase contraceptive use and education, but Christians have worked overtime against these obvious and proven techniques. They have worked overtime to close down Planned Parenthood, an organization that has actually prevented more abortions than any Christian organization has ever done. –Don Baker

Do we require that parents donate their organs to their children if that’s the child’s only hope for life, even if the hope is most desperate or even truly hopeless? Do we prosecute parents who fail to rush into burning buildings to save their children, who may or may not have a chance of survival anyway? … So why the double standard for “children” not yet born? Since when does the “pre-born” have the right to jeopardize the woman’s life, to suck literally dry her very precious bodily fluids, when the “post-born” most certainly doesn’t?  Of course, the real answer has something to do with Exodus 20:17… –Ben Goren

[E]mpathy — not squishy self-serving conflict avoidance — is the hand-maiden, not the enemy, of reason and intellectual inquiry. –Ta-Nehisi Coates

Violence by those with mental illness is so small that even if you could somehow cure it all, 95 percent of violent crime would still exist. –Paolo del Vecchio, of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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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.