- Buy a copy of my father’s book about a journalistic, humanitarian, muckraking adventure in the Jim Crow South. Ray Sprigle is a forgotten great of journalism, and he made a Black Like Me trip in 1948, before just about anyone was bothering to do anything about the country’s race problem, and when “enlightened” people thought the best solution was to keep things separate, but be more polite and “equal” about it. 30 Days a Black Man: The Forgotten Story that Exposed the Jim Crow South tells the tale of Sprigle, his guide John Wesley Dobbs, and other amazing, and sadly-forgotten characters. Read it!
Donate money so that my beloved friend Alexis can see! It’s the transhumanist future, baby, and legally blind people like Alexis can be helped by devices such as eSite. She needs to raise $15,000 and I promise, she’s worth it. (I mean, not to rank people or anything, but I have a pro-Alexis bias.)
- One gasmask from World War I, crumbling
- One child-sized modern gasmask
- Five American Civil Defense manuals from before 1970 relating to surviving nukes and/or fallout
- One Soviet equivalent
- Signed copy of The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel addressed “To Suzy”
- Copy of The Federal Siege at Ruby Ridge by Randy and Sara Weaver, signed “Mark Laursen, Freedom at any Cost! Randy Weaver”
- Black and white photograph of people in a market with their backs to the camera, captioned “Empty shelves, Moscow”
- Three World War I soldier postcards, one of which has a cartoon of a Tommy in oversized uniform and the words “Wanted: five minutes with the guy who said it’s clothes make the man.”
- Two ’78s: “When They Found The Atomic Power” and “When the Atom Bomb Fell”
- A painfully racist postcard from 1907, with a cartoon of a black man being stung by bees
- A fascinatingly racist bumper sticker with the confederate flag over the White House, and the words “I have a dream.”
- A confederate flag bumper sticker with the words “Dead Yankees don’t lie!” written on it.
- A Chairman Mao magnet from China
- Four or five Soviet pins from the 1980s
- A button that says “Nixon: now more than ever”
- A black and white picture of Jesus from about the ’50s, and Jesus waves his arm if you shake it
- An entire photo album of a family of strangers from the teens into the ’20s
- Numerous SWAT Playmobils
- Two WWII ration books from my Grandmother
- A 10,000 Reichsmark bill from 1923
- An Outline of Abnormal Psychology, 1929
- A blue and an orange wind-up, plastic chattery teeth with feet
- Sixty-year-old face powder in a pink box
- I wrote a thing about Harley Quinn (or Harleys Quinn, considering her different origins) for Bounding Into Comics. Be gentle, boys, it’s my first time writing about comics (even if I am mostly writing about a cartoon).
- Fascinating B.K. Marcus piece on — among other things — the etymology of “Nazi” and what “national socialism” is or isn’t.
- Tom Cotton is the worst, and someday he will be president.
- Joan Walsh is joyfully voting H. Clinton, in spite of her “wonder[ing] whether she’ll be more hawkish on foreign policy than is advised in these dangerous times.” (That is the single sentence devoted to the issue in a long, luxurious piece about how feminism and something something glass ceiling.)
- The author of a new (for the US) bio of Raoul Wallenberg is convinced he was indeed executed in 1947, and did not die of a heart attack as the Russians still claim. (There were wild rumors of Wallenberg alive into the ’70s, which are arguably more horrifying than if he had just been killed in ’47.)
- Someone needs to tell the Christian Science Monitor that Vicki Weaver was shot in the head by an FBI sniper, and did not die in a “shootout.” They should also mention 80 Branch Davidians did not die by gunfire. I wrote my thesis on this, AND I know how to Google.
- Today in 1967, the Apollo 1 capsule caught fire during a test. Gizmodo has an interesting, short piece on how that influenced NASA safety (including inspiring them to make Snoopy a mascot, which explains the names that came later).
- RIP Concepcion Picciotto, who you may have passed outside of the White House once or twice.
- Well, the Guillotine is more humane for the death penalty, but also the governor of Maine is nuts.
- Several people I like and whose work I follow came out of or have written for Wonkette, and God damn do they make Gawker look sincere and serious sometimes.
- Possibly the Onion might chill with Hillary Clinton.
Today’s video reminds us that if they weren’t so amusing, Flight of the Conchords could have done more of a Milk Carton Kids thing (well, except that the one dude in the Milk Carton Kids is hilarious, so never mind):
- I recently discovered the adsorbing Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog. Its author, an academic, invented various incarnations of a NukeMap, in which you can use Google maps (or Google Earth, for those not saddled with a Chromebook) to see the effects of various atomic bombs — from Hiroshima to the full, unused iteration of the Tsar Bomba — on various cities.
- The author also wrote a “Why Nagasaki” post yesterday, which is soft on the whole thing, but is enlightening as to the debated motivations of those involved in nuking the shit out of that bonus city.
- The Onion said it best on Nagaski.
- I am reminded of the time a few months back where I asked my would-be engineer friend to explain why nuclear stuff is measured by half-life. Drunk friend fluctuated between condescending over-explanation to poor, sweet liberal arts majors, and baffling science attacks (to poor, sweet liberal arts majors). Somehow it eventually made sense, but God knows I couldn’t explain it.
- Once-classified US government footage of rebuilding Hiroshima.
- Matt Novak’s sweet Paleofuture blog seems to have wandered over to Gizmodo.
- Cato’s Julian Sanchez was deliciously sassy on Chris Hayes on Friday, talking NSA and Obama press conferences. And The Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman was himself, and was therefore great. And Robert Gibbs said the word debate so. many. times. and it was terrible.
Five non-link tweets I have recently favorited, for your enjoyment:
Some ppl confuse–others intentionally conflate–secret ops & secret laws. Secret ops are compatible w/ a free society; secret laws are not.
— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) August 10, 2013
nothing’s more hilarious than liberals freaking out abt libertarians. it’s even funnier than conservatives freaking out abt libertarians.
— Andy Levy (@andylevy) August 10, 2013
@LucyStag Google translate gives me 'overseer' for Steiger. I'm guessing your ancestors kept the woodland critters in line with a firm lash.
— Joshua Trujillo (@yeshuatrujillo) August 11, 2013
Another episode of Fresh Prince, another instance in which Uncle Phil is *not* amused by Will's antics.
— Andrew Blake (@apblake) August 10, 2013
.@LucyStag ANARCHO-MONARCHISM FTW
— Alammus Drenim (@grannywithAIDS) August 11, 2013
- A disturbingly long list of signs you might be a terrorist.
- Reminder that Harry Browne was the best.
- Cracked writer gets fucked with by police, writes pretty good piece about it.
- Radley Balko, like all good libertarians, is thinking about incentives. Why not start a whistleblower’s prize? I suggest the first prize of Not Jail be given to Bradley Manning. Second prize can be Gets to Come Back to America Ever for Edward Snowden.
- Duh, prosecutors! Sometimes they get the money, too!
- I seriously appreciate that Fox often acknowledges that libertarians have a place at the table in debates. If they didn’t John Stossel, Andrew Napolitano, and numerous employees of Reason wouldn’t have such a strong presence on the networks. On the other hand, sometimes I wonder how far they can go — at least if they’re constantly on Fox.
- Heroic Lavabit declines to help government spy on us all. Silent Circle shuts down in case of such a request. How we gonna be secret now, y’all?
- Just kidding, asking that makes you a terrorist.
- “On this date in 1916, 19-year-old Durham Private William Nelson was shot for desertion by the British military.” So, boo to that.
- Jesse Walker is on Book TV on Sunday at 1:15 pm, so that is definitely worth checking out.
Willie Watson, the lamented and departed member of Old Crow Medicine Show, singing “High Dice Blues/Shooting High Dice” with guitar that sounds exactly like the Mississippi Sheiks version of the song. Check ’em both out:
I love the Mississipi Sheiks so much. But you would know that if you have been listening to my radio show, now tragically nearing its end.
My photographer friend Emily O’Donnell took this at my parents’ house over the weekend. The clothing was found in the basement, courtesy of my sister years ago, no doubt; the cabbage patch doll, the fake blood, and the World War I gas mask are mine. My mouth tasted like the Somme for several hours after wearing the thing.
Emily was taking the photo for class — the theme was ostensibly propaganda — but I got more of a “Parable of the Old Man and the Young” vibe, as I am wearing furs and am protected from the war, while the child suffers. Also an every God damned war ever vibe, to be fair.
- io9 on whether end of the world fiction is just a trend that has reached its saturation point. Still, always loved it way more than, say, vampires (the obligatory trend example in most such pieces).
- Hiroshima, USA.
- The top 15 nuclear war movies, according to someone. I am very behind.
- I am currently watching the disappointingly terrible Panic in Year Zero! over here. On the plus side, the helpful youtube user seems to have uploaded a stunning collection of truther, anti-Semitic, and JFK videos, plus other nuclear war movies like Threads (which I gotta finish one of these days), plus a bunch of…Little Rascals episodes. I love the internet.
- Also, this youtuber has uploaded a bunch of Cold War songs, which I will be bookmarking.
- This slideshow suggests the best ’80s songs about nuclear war. I don’t know most of them, but the exclusion of “99 Luft Balloons” is not acceptable.
- Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov wins the Dresden Award for not nuking the shit out of America in 1986, even when an error made things look like five nuclear missiles were heading for the USSR.
- This is terrible, particularly the headline — “War with Iran: Real, horrific costs, but what benefits?”
- Wendy McElroy rhetorically asks in a non-Alex Jones kind of way, “Should You Be Hoarding?”
- College professor thinks Stalin didn’t commit any crimes, the worst thing might be that half the students clap after his lunacy. Paging: Michael Moynihan, Michael Moynihan.
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