CARNIVAL of CURIOSITY: Interview with Iris!

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WIN AN INTERVIEW WITH MEEEEE!

That’s right: you can interview me, or I will interview YOU for #deathtosquirrels – winner’s choice.

NO SUBJECT OFF LIMITS!

Promote yourself or your business! Make me embarrass myself – forever! On the goddamn internet! Either way I will post our interview here, and you can post it wherever you desire.

But before we get to that, I want to tell you a quick story about what “free” speech really costs.

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Labor Day in the USA.

My state’s governor Andrew Cuomo emails me every (non-holiday) weekday with a COVID-19 update. In Friday’s missive he mentioned that Labor Day, celebrated today in the United States, was first celebrated in New York City.

As is the governor’s practice, he included an “image of the day.” Here it is:

The bottom caption reads: NEW YORK CITY—GRAND DEMONSTRATION OF WORKINGMEN, SEPTEMBER 5th—THE PROCESSION PASSING THE VIEWING-STAND AT UNION SQUARE—From a Sketch by a Staff Artist—See Page 55 The side caption reads: September 16, 1882] FRANK LESLIE'S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER.In case it’s hard to discern in this format, the bottom caption reads:

NEW YORK CITY—GRAND DEMONSTRATION OF WORKINGMEN, SEPTEMBER 5th—THE PROCESSION PASSING THE VIEWING-STAND AT UNION SQUARE—From a Sketch by a Staff Artist—See Page 55

The left side caption reads:

September 16, 1882]  FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER.

Something that really resonates with me about this image is my own presence at Union Square countless times, including for  protests and political gatherings. (And the truly amazing greenmarket. And chemo and radiation and too many doctors appointments to keep track. And monitoring the Sciuridae menace.)

Long ago, there was a pavilion built specifically for protesting at Union Square; once upon a time, the city was actually required to construct spaces for public meetings and protest. (More Union Square history and some great historical pics at this link, including the immediate aftermath of an anarchist’s failed mass bombing of a socialists meeting in 1908, and a barbers strike in 1913.)

It’s both exhilarating and humbling to know I’ve walked the same paths – and for many of the same reasons – as so many before me.

Of course, it’s also very, very disheartening. Which brings me to the second thing that really strikes me about that image: the messaging on the signs.

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QUEASHA HARDY #SayHerName: Black Trans Lives Matter.

[CONTENT NOTE: murder of Black transwoman Queasha Hardy; murders of transgender people generally and related statistics; misgendering; deadnaming. Post below the fold, because despite what we atheists like to tell you, HELL IS REAL. It is right here, right now, for far too many of the wrong people, and far too often Made In Amerikkka® by members of our own species.]

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Petition to Manhattan DA: drop charges against Derrick Ingram, and hold NYPD accountable!

This is Derrick Ingram.

photo of Derrick IngramDerrick Ingram
Black Lives Matter Protester and Organizer
Co-Founder,Warriors in the Garden
(photo via Amnesty International USA)

On August 7, dozens of NYPD officers in riot gear swarmed his apartment’s hallways, his fire escape and surrounding locations. They had no warrant. They did have a helicopter hovering overhead, though. They also brought police dogs right to his door and threatened to break it down. They lied to him about his rights and tried to interrogate him without legal counsel.

This siege lasted FIVE HOURS. It ended only after Derrick started livestreaming the incident: in response, a large group of protesters showed up, along with some media types who started asking questions. That is when the NYPD Stormtrooper Squadron™ finally took their toys U.S. military surplus equipment and went home.

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Chadwick Boseman, Rest In Power. Also, I need you to lie for me.

Good afternoon, beloved readers. First, I want to tell you some things. Then I am going to ask you to lie for me, and to get every adult under age 50 you care about to lie their asses off for you, too.

My heart is heavy today. I awoke to news of the death of actor Chadwick Boseman, at age 43, from colon cancer.

FORTY THREE.

Chadwick BosemanChadwick Aaron Boseman
November 29, 1976 – August 28, 2020
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Whether or not you’re a fan of Black Panther and the Marvel Universe movies, or of Boseman’s portrayals of iconic Black historical figures like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown, this man – by all accounts a kind person and talented beyond measure – has left our world too soon. And he is gone because of a preventable disease.

And as you might imagine, beyond my sadness at this tragic loss lies a fair amount of…well, RAGE. If you or people you love happen to live in the U.S. today, you are living in a country where this is true:

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TAX THE EVIL.

Carl Icahn, billionaire investor, and his ilk have made hundreds of millions of dollars this year betting America’s malls would default on their loans.

WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED THAT AMERICA’S MALLS WOULD BE AFFECTED BY A HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS AND DEADLY VIRUS.

Oh right: anyone. Even me! Believe it or not, I could have totally predicted that! I am a professional psychic, after all. Yet strangely, I myself have NOT made hundreds of millions of dollars recently. WTF?

And hold on…my spirit guides are now telling me…that…

…millions of retail workers across the country, who were not exactly raking in the big bucks before COVID-19 and are now unemployed, somehow did not make hundreds of millions of dollars either. Huh.

I guess we can only conclude that Carl Icahn has worked hundreds of millions of times harder than those retail workers have. Simple. That’s how capitalism works, right? American Dream! Bootstraps, and all of that!

A system that generates profits for a tiny minority of elites from the misery, misfortune, death and destruction of others is inherently evil.

Health insurance companies.

“Defense” contractors.

Slumlords.

Fossil fuel exploiters.

Hedge funders.

This is hardly a complete list. But every single one of these industries should be re-incorporated as non-profits, with excess revenues going to programs that ameliorate the damage and carnage they so casually wreak.

BREAKING: Steve Bannon in Federal Custody! HAPPY DANCE EVERYONE!

Our good friends at The New York Daily News have just made my day:

BREAKING:

Steve Bannon, former Trump advisor, in federal custody on charges of defrauding donors in fundraising scheme: US Attorney SDNY

Stephen Bannon and three others “orchestrated a scheme” that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border according to charges contained in an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court.

Read the Latest

My “religion” requires me to find joy in every day. It turns out I never need to look very far for it, but some days it gets handed to me on a silver platter.

Of course Mr. “Breitbart” has more claims to infamy than “former Trump advisor. But right now, who even cares? Let’s dance!

   

Have a joyous day.

‘Twas Ever Thus: U.S. Women 100 Years Post-Suffrage.

Uh-oh! Must be a day that ends in Y! The New York Times is pissing me right off.*

Today’s email briefing starts with a splashy paean to the U.S. women’s suffrage movement. The 19th Amendment, which granted (some) women voting rights, was enacted on this date one hundred years ago.

The email piece naturally links to recent Times articles on women’s suffrage and related topics. As usual, their failure to connect the blazing red dots of our history – history they themselves reported – does a criminal disservice to readers. And as usual, what they don’t deliver is at least as damaging as the disinformation they do.

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BREAKING: Iris goes woo! Read my first psychic prediction!

Yes, friends, I hereby renounce my atheism, anti-theism, skepticism, anti-supernaturalism, all of it. I’ve gone all woo on you guys, and have hung out my own shingle as a Professional Psychic! My first Official Prediction: some peoples’ president, Donald Trump, will fire another federal watchdog very, very soon.*

And to be honest, I kinda get it: I’m not really much of a dog person myself. Anyway, YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!

That’ll be $300, please. CASH ONLY.

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*What? No! Of course not! My impressive psychic prediction has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this email alert I just got from the New York Daily News:

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