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 »

Marilyn Mosby is a sociopath and the Baltimore Police Department is literally a drug-dealing gang that happens to wear badges and has committed more murders than it has solved. So when the Ravens put out a cool tweet like this, it’s INSTANTLY undermined by a city that treats its citizens like shit and a governor that treats that city like it’s fucking Baghdad.

Ah, Why Your Team Sucks, I’ve missed you. I paid $80 and subscribed to Defector yesterday because all the other blogs I used to like suck now; good stuff costs money.

Date posted: September 22, 2020 | Filed under entertainment, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

This is one of the most well-written obituaries of an incredible life ever published. Rick Rescorla was English by birth, fought in the Vietnam War for the U.S. Army in a pivotal early battle, and later became a writer and lawyer. He was the chief of security for Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center on September 11, and died getting his personnel out of the building. Recommended reading: We Were Soldiers Once…And Young.

Date posted: September 12, 2020 | Filed under books, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

So there’s a International World Games of Lacrosse happening in 2020, and somehow the Iroquois Nation’s team, having qualified to play based on World Cup play held in 2018, were deemed ineligible to compete because they were not a sovereign nation. The Irish national team decided this was not fair and gave up their place in the tournament to allow the Iroquois to play.

Date posted: September 8, 2020 | Filed under shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Dammit. After 81 episodes and 16 years, The Venture Brothers has been cancelled by Adult Swim. I’ve spoken previously about my love for this show; Adult Swim is now saying they’re in talks to keep things going somehow.

Date posted: September 8, 2020 | Filed under entertainment, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

The short version of the story is, I started writing Soul Coughing music again. I called up Soul Coughing and said, “Do you want to do this?” I got back a hot plate of crazy.

Huh. Mike Doughty has spent the last 20 years slagging Soul Coughing and is now releasing an album that was supposed to be the follow-up to Ruby Vroom, from 1994.

Date posted: September 1, 2020 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I know everybody thinks the music they loved when they were 18 changed the world, but it really did feel like something different was happening in those years.

Jesus. Nothing’s Shocking turns 30 this year.

Date posted: August 23, 2020 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I’ve mentioned many times before how much of a LEGO geek I was back in the day; this article on the UX of LEGO panels activates about seventeen different parts of my brain. I always had a collection of “special” parts that were key to any build with a minifig, and these were at the top of the list.

Date posted: August 5, 2020 | Filed under design, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Interesting: most of the staff of the dearly departed Deadspin have started up their own new site, called Defector, coming in September. They’re doing a subscription plan, and for $69/yr. I’d consider it.

Date posted: July 28, 2020 | Filed under entertainment, shortlinks | 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 »