Coup attempts have happened all over the world, and over half have failed. That’s because coups are hard to orchestrate. They are a violation of norms that require quick seizure of multiple levels of institutions with a claim that they are the rightful heir.

Coups tend to fail when government institutions (like elections) are trusted, there is an active citizenry and other nations are ready to become involved.

The role of citizenry is crucial. That’s because during the period right after a coup attempt— when the new government is claiming it is the “real” government — all the institutions have to decide who to listen to.

10 Things You Need to Know to Stop a Coup, from Waging Nonviolence (emphasis mine).

Date posted: September 25, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

The greenhouse is winding down from its peak this summer. I went out this morning and chopped most of the plants that are still producing way back and yanked four plants that have stopped producing out of their tubs. Most of the cherry plants are still producing fruit and some of it is reddening, but there’s a lot of green fruit out there that might not make it through the fall. My plan is to pull the plants out of the bins and hang them upside-down from the roof to send all the nutrients downward to the fruit before it gets too cold. There are two green heirlooms in the same situation; I’m hoping I can get those to ripen as well. Sadly it also means I’ve got to put the door back in place.

I donated to the Biden/Harris campaign last week, voluntarily opening the floodgates of spam campaign mail, and after hitting DONATE I realized I wanted to get a yard sign. Heading over to the store I saw that a 24″x18″ sign is $25, which is entirely too much money to spend on too small a sign. I had some 4×3′ plywood left over from the Chic Shack and I have an overhead projector, so I decided to make my own. It was easy to find a PDF of the campaign logo, and after I printed it on a transparency I busted out the projector and set it up in the living room facing the wall.

Once I had the stencil drawn, I cut it out on the production table and transfered it to the wood. I’d whitewashed the wood on Saturday so it was ready for paint. At Lowe’s I got two pint-sized samples of red and blue paint so I covered the red section and shot the blue through the stencil with the sprayer. When that had dried I masked off the red section with painter’s tape and brushed it on.

From there it was an easy matter of cutting some leftover wood down for yard spikes and pounding them into the lawn with a deadblow hammer. I have to go back out and straighten the west side sign a little bit, but overall I’m happy with the results. It’s right outside the office window so I get to see the neighborhood walk past every day.

Date posted: September 23, 2020 | Filed under greenhouse, politics | Leave a Comment »



Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,” the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral.

Again, Trump’s base are the same people who fly multiple POW/MIA flags on the back of their trucks; the knots they tie themselves in to defend the guy make no logical sense. The Atlantic goes in to detail about how Trump thinks Americans who died serving their country are “losers” and “suckers”. This quote is also telling:

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?”


Date posted: September 4, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

“Hello Pia, I’ve read about your story in the papers. You sound like a badass,” he wrote. “I am an artist from the UK and I’ve made some work about the migrant crisis, obviously I can’t keep the money. Could you use it to buy a new boat or something? Please let me know. Well done. Banksy.”

The UK artist Banksy bought a 90-foot former French customs vessel and gave it to a group rescuing migrants coming to Europe. On Thursday they rescued 89 people.

Date posted: August 28, 2020 | Filed under art/design, politics | Leave a Comment »

“There is broad and overwhelming agreement among public health leaders, education experts and parents that finding a way to begin safely returning children to classrooms must be a top priority,” Hogan said at a news conference Thursday.

Our Governor has decided that it’s OK to start sending the kids back to school two weeks before all of Maryland’s schools are set to begin remote learning plans they’ve been frantically assembling through the summer break, at a time when the United States is still one of the top three concentrations of COVID cases.

Maryland State Education Association President Cheryl Bost said that, “At a time when educators are focused on working hard to make the best of this year for students, the governor and superintendent are focused on throwing school communities under the bus.”

Thankfully, our superintendent has stated that virtual learning will proceed as planned.

Hogan has been getting a lot of press about being the rare Republican standing up to Trump. This feels like he woke up yesterday morning and just casually decided to shoot himself in the foot.

Date posted: August 28, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

This is worth playing and listening to in its entirety (transcript here). A moving tribute to a giant of a man, a message to the current fascist in charge, and a challenge presented to Biden if he can succeed in gaining the presidency.

Date posted: July 31, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

Damn. I don’t know what’s more amazing, the shitty no-apology Florida Man begrudgingly offered for accosting and attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or her incisive, excellent rebuttal.

Date posted: July 24, 2020 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

I wouldn’t trust the U.S. secretary of percussion to tell me how to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” if they had never sat behind a drum set, so why should any teacher trust Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to tell them how to teach, without her ever having sat at the head of a class? (Maybe she should switch to the drums.)

Dave Grohl writes in The Atlantic about how our nation’s teachers need a plan for for the fall semester, and they need it now.

Date posted: July 22, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I’ve never tried to link a Twitter thread here before, but let’s go: this is a bracket voting system for ranking America’s Worst Plutocratic Family. The Koch family already blew the Coors family out of the water, and right now it’s Trump vs. Walton. That’s a tough one: completely torpedoing the battered, uneven myth of America in a short 4 years or decades of eroding the social safety net, gutting small business, and selling cheap shit in search of profit. Do you take the global view or the local view?

Date posted: July 16, 2020 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »