US AIR STRIKES HIT DAMASCUS - Trump announces Syria air strikes in response to chemical attack

President Donald Trump appeared on television tonight to announce that the United States military is now striking 'chemical weapons sites' in Syria by air, with coordination from the military forces of France and Britain. Read the rest

This man is capturing the memories of World War II veterans while he still can

The Second World War came to an end 73 years ago. The men and women who served during the war are rapidly succumbing to the ravages of old age. Read the rest

Piketty, Capital, and the World Wars: does government policy make a difference in wealth concentration?

I'm halfway through Thomas Piketty's magisterial Capital in the Twenty First Century, a vital, incredibly influential, brilliantly researched history of wealth concentration stretching back through several centuries and spanning the globe. Read the rest

For transgender US military personnel, the rule is still 'don't tell.'

From a Washington Post profile of trans servicemen and women:

More than two years after the repeal of the law that barred gay men and lesbians from serving in the military openly, transgender service members can still be dismissed from the force without question, the result of a decades-old policy that dates back to an era when gender nonconformity was widely seen as a mental illness....

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Syria's lethal Facebook checkpoints

An anonymous tip from a highly reliable source: "There are checkpoints in Syria where your Facebook is checked for affiliation with the rebellious groups or individuals aligned with the rebellion. Read the rest

Donald Rumsfeld, unconvicted war criminal, is upset with the IRS

Noted horrible shitbag Donald Rumsfeld has one thing in common with you and I, dear reader: he is not happy with the IRS, and wishes he hadn't spent so much money preparing and filing his taxes. Read the rest

Putin launches Russian invasion of Ukraine; UN security council meets

One week after Ukrainian strongman Viktor Yanukovuych fled Kiev and the government snipers who'd murdered dozens of protesters ran for the hills, Vladimir Putin has received approval from the Russian Parliament to invade the country. Read the rest

Venezuela: 15 Years of Solitude

"The democratic Venezuela that so often received exiles from neighboring countries and gave asylum to political refugees fleeing military governments is once again alone." Maruja Tarre, a Venezuelan journalist, reflects on the violent situation in her home country. Previously: "Snowden and Venezuela: My bizarre experience in the surveillance state," an essay on Boing Boing by her daughter Isabel Lara, about the experience of being spied upon in Venezuela.

Will US condemn UK for using terrorism laws to suppress journalism?

In a disturbing ruling for democracy, a lower court in United Kingdom announced today that the detainment of journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda was lawful under the Terrorism Act, despite the fact that the UK government knew Miranda never was a terrorist. Read the rest

Mercury Waltz, a sequel to Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy

It's been nearly four years since Kathe Koja's amazing novel "Under the Poppy" was published, plunging readers into a dark world of eros, war, and puppetry (seriously). Read the rest

Somali Al Qaeda affiliate orders Internet shutdown

Al-Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-affiliated faction in Somalia, has ordered the nation's ISPs to shut off the Internet, or else. The Somali government has ordered the ISPs not to shut down. Read the rest

DMZ: the deluxe edition volume 1

When Brian Wood's brilliant America-at-war comic DMZ completed its six-year run in 2012, I wished for Vertigo to bring out a single edition collecting the whole series. Read the rest

Spooks and American Exceptionalism

Ex-CIA agent Philip Giraldi takes a stab at explaining how his fellow retired spooks -- Democrat and Republican -- can be so comfortable with a president who has given himself the power to order assassinations and a regime where the constitution has been effectively suspended. Read the rest

Interview with Sol Yurick, author of The Warriors

Geoff from BLDGBLOG sez, "A few years ago, I interviewed novelist Sol Yurick, author of The Warriors, for BLDGBLOG -- but a variety of circumstances meant it just sat in my hard drive for the past four years. Read the rest

DIY Drone Shadow Handbook: how to create accurate drone-shadow street art

James Bridle has released a CC-licensed DIY Drone Shadows handbook (PDF), which explains, in detail, how to make accurate drone-shadow street art in your town/neighborhood. It's part of a larger project around Dirty Wars, a documentary on drone warfare currently touring the UK. Read the rest

Excerpt from forthcoming Joe Haldeman novel "Work Done For Hire"

Tor.com has an excerpt from Work Done For Hire, a new thriller from Joe Haldeman, forthcoming in January. Haldeman is the author of numerous science fiction classics, including The Forever War, and is a titan in the field. Read the rest

The secret twin of Stuxnet

"The real program to sabotage Iran's nuclear facilities was far more sophisticated than anyone realized," writes Ralph Langner in Foreign Policy Magazine.

Three years after it was discovered, Stuxnet, the first publicly disclosed cyberweapon, continues to baffle military strategists, computer security experts, political decision-makers, and the general public.

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