The Internet Archive is hosting a symposium on John Perry Barlow on April 7 (and I'm emceeing)

EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow died last month, and though his death had been long coming, it's left a hole in the hearts of the people who loved him and whom he inspired. Read the rest

Arlington National Cemetery is the only monument we need to Robert E. Lee

I was surprised to hear people suggest that removing statues of Confederate traitors would somehow lead to us tearing down the Jefferson Memorial. That is patent bullshit.

Arguments attempting to equate slave owning founding fathers of the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and their resultant memorials, with statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that are currently being removed across the nation are ridiculous. This fantastic article at Smithsonian.com describes how Arlington National Cemetery came to be, and why it is the perfect monument to the traitorous general who led an invasion of Pennsylvania in an attempt to preserve slavery on American soil.

While the Lees worked to reclaim Arlington, Meigs urged Edwin Stanton in early 1866 to make sure the government had sound title to the cemetery. The land had been consecrated by the remains buried there and could not be given back to the Lees, he insisted, striking a refrain he would repeat in the years ahead. Yet the Lees clung to the hope that Arlington might be returned to the family—if not to Mrs. Lee, then to one of their sons. The former general was quietly pursuing this objective when he met with his lawyers for the last time, in July 1870. "The prospect does not look promising," he reported to Mary. The question of Arlington's ownership was still unresolved when Lee died, at 63, in Lexington, on October 12, 1870.

His widow continued to obsess over the loss of her home. Within weeks, Mary Lee petitioned Congress to examine the federal claim to Arlington and estimate the costs of removing the bodies buried there.

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Dead poker player sits down for his last game

Henry Rosario Martinez died at the age of 31. He loved poker, so his friends played one last game with him by propping up his corpse and giving him a large pile of chips. Despite Martinez's remarkable poker face, he didn't win.

From UPI:

Wakes featuring the remains of deceased arranged in lifelike poses are becoming increasingly common in Puerto Rico, with recent examples including a paramedic posed in the back of an ambulance and a man posed at a table playing dominoes.

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Auschwitz installs mist showers that (duh) remind visitors of Holocaust gas chambers

Poland's Auschwitz Memorial installed mist showers to cool down visitors at the former site of the Nazi's largest concentration camp. Somehow, management was surprised that some people found this insensitive. Read the rest

Historic win for police torture survivors in Chicago

Earlier this year I shared the story of a group of police torture survivors and their supporters who have been fighting for reparations from the City of Chicago. Read the rest

An obituary for Harry Stamps

Who is Harry Stamps? Excellent question. He was the dean of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, but, as his excellently written and tear-inducing obituary explains, he was also "a ladies’ man, foodie, natty dresser, and accomplished traveler" who held the secrets of the world's greatest BLT sandwich and went to his deathbed despising Daylight Savings Time (aka The Devil's Time). A man after my own heart. Read the rest