LadyBoss Macaque: Long May She Reign!


Photo of face of Japanese macaque monkey Yakei, a rare alpha female.Empress Yakei, Alpha Japanese Macaque
(Macaca fuscata a.k.a. Snow Monkey)

(image: Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden)

(via New York Times email briefing):

Yakei, a female Japanese snow monkey who lives in a nature reserve, violently overthrew a trio of high-ranking males (and her own mother) to move up the ranks and become the first female leader in the reserve’s 70-year history. Yakei’s ascent to alpha status surprised both scientists and reserve workers, who are now closely observing her reign.

[Read more…]

MLK Day 2022: A Different Voice.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, a federal holiday.

As longtime readers may recall, it has long been my tradition to post one of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s lesser-known speeches: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. He spoke these words at Manhattan’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, a year to the day before he was assassinated at the age of 39. If you are not familiar with it, you can read the speech here, along with some of my thoughts on why it is so important, and still very relevant today.

Go ahead. I’ll wait here…

Oh good! You’re back! (I love you people. )

This year, I thought I’d do something different. I would like to post instead some of the words of Bernice Albertine King.

Bernice A. King, Chief Executive Officer of the King Center and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, in Austin, Texas on April 9, 2014. She is pictured reading a quote from her father, before remarks by former President Bill Clinton.Bernice A. King, lawyer, minister, CEO of The King Center in Atlanta and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
She is pictured here reading a quote from her father before remarks by former President Bill Clinton, in Austin, Texas on April 9, 2014.
(Photo: Eric Draper, via LBJ Foundation under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

Bernice King is the youngest child of the Reverend Doctor and Coretta Scott King. She was 5 years old when her father was killed. Her activism has followed in the footsteps of both of her formidable.

Bernice King is a Christian minister, like her father. Also like her father, she tethers the religious ideas in her speeches to secular ideas of justice, compassion and love. And as I’ve noted before, this practice functions to bolster arguments for the religious-minded, but it neither negates nor replaces secular ones.

Speaking as a die-hard atheist, I believe without a doubt that I have more in common with the values of Beatrice King than I do with many prominent atheists. (If you’re a regular reader on this network, as especially if you’re a longtime fan of PZ’s, you know likely know exactly who I’m talking about. And if you don’t, consider yourself fortunate.) I also believe in the critical importance of boosting Black voices, particularly Black women’s voices.

See if you don’t agree that Bernice King’s voice speaks as powerfully to the Social Justice Warrior in you as it does to me.

[Read more…]

Happy 2022!

Hahaha I’m just kidding. We all know 2022 is going to suck at least as much as 2021 and 2020 did.

Nevertheless, my sincere hope is that you will be more fierce and courageous than ever in your anger and activism toward injustice. wherever you may encounter it, and also that you will find joy and laughter – somehow, somewhere – every single day. Otherwise, the terrorists win white supremacist capitalist patriarchy wins.

On a personal note, I still find myself on the long, slow journey to healing from cancer and its barbaric treatments. [Read more…]

White supremacists and white nationalists are having a bad day.

Wahington Post banner logo

Spencer, Kessler, Cantwell and other white supremacists found liable in deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville

The jury did not reach a verdict on two federal conspiracy charges, but did find that every defendant was liable for civil conspiracy under Virginia law. The jury then awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against all 12 individual defendants, and $1 million against five white nationalist organizations on that conspiracy count. Other damages followed on further counts.

Read More (Washington Post)


Of course, due to some inexplicable random glitch The System™ did not work as intended, as it did in the Rittenhouse case. That’s why we have appeals courts, I suppose.

Still, I just wanted to spread a little sunshine. You all know me – I’m all Suzie Sunshine up in here!

dancing snoopy


Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. If the Rittenhouse verdict was not a traumatic enough reminder for you that Murrikkka is The Greatest Country in the World™, today we mourn 46 trans or gender non-conforming people who were killed this year. That makes 2021 the deadliest year on record for anti-trans murder.


Tyianna Alexander, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, siblings Jeffrey “JJ” Bright and Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond Kyree Sanders, Rayanna Pardo, Jaida Peterson, Dominique Lucious, Remy Fennell, Tiara Banks, Natalia Smut, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, Keri Washington, Jahaira DeAlto, Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, Sophie Vásquez, Danika “Danny” Henson, Serenity Hollis, Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, Thomas Hardin, Poe Black, EJ Boykin, Taya Ashton, Shai Vanderpump, Tierramarie Lewis, Miss CoCo, Pooh Johnson, Disaya Monaee, Briana Hamilton, Kiér Laprí Kartier, Mel Groves, Royal Poetical Starz, Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez, Jo Acker, Jessi Hart, Rikkey Outumuro, Marquiisha Lawrence, and Jenny De Leon.

I also think about Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, and their legacies. If you don’t know who they were, you can start at those links.

My heart breaks. Again.

Happy Halloween!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Last year I contributed some photos I took around my neighborhood to Affinity‘s “Hallowe’en Photo Festival of Fun and Fundraising,” including this one reserved for their Grand Finale:

Pile of hay bales and large pumpkins, with a skeleton on top appearing to give the middle finger.

I called it “Happy fuckin’ Halloween from New York fuckin’ City,” and it was taken at Abingdon Square Park near my home. I may have enhanced it a little, by removing several fingers. (I mean from the image, not from the actual skeleton. I’m not a monster!)

This year, the same setting looks like this:

[Read more…]

Sunday funnies.

Three men seated at a table. Left: a dark-skinned man in a t-shirt, with no plate in front of him. Center: An older white man in a suit and tie, with a plate in front of him stacked with a mountain of cookies. Right: a white man in a hard hat and a safety vest, with a plate in front of him containing one cookie. The man in the center points at the dark-skinned man and tells the white working man, "Careful. That immigrant wants your cookie!"

If you like dark humor (is there any other kind?) there sure is much to snort about in this cartoon. Of course by “cookies,” I think it’s safe to assume the cartoonist is referring to special treats like nourishing food, a secure home, unpolluted water and air, access to education limited only by one’s abilities and aspirations, and no fear of police, of bullets, of medical bankruptcy, or of indentured servitude to predatory financial institutions, among many other “cookies.”

However, …the artist apparently “forgot” to draw women and people of minority identities other than Dark Immigrant Man kneeling and crouched on the floor all around the table, waiting and hoping for cookie crumbs to fall. You know, like dogs.

[Read more…]