Today’s conspiracy theory… 

That absurd sit-in for legislation barring people on the terror watch list and the no-fly list from buying guns is definitely theater, but it’s not simply theater about gun control. It’s not about preventing guns getting in the hands of dangerous people anyway. Real gun control likely isn’t happenng for some time. It’s normalizing the idea that a terror watch is a reasonable criteria. We know that it guts the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

It’s about expanding the toolbox for crushing dissent in the future Clinton administration.

The leftward drift of the electorate scares the shit out the establishment Democrats. Clinton is going to get right to work expanding the wars in Syria and Yemen and doing crappy things like privatizing social security or some other crooked shit. Clinton, the Democrats will certainly be able to pull together some bipartisan effort with Republicans for disturbing, unconstitutional law depriving people of rights other than gun ownership.

If the FBI investigation fizzles, Clinton will be eager to knock down any organizing to her left flank.

A couple of details on Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speech transcripts

The Guccifer 2.0 material isn’t anything I’ve had time to dig into personally. Several sites (linking Smoking Gun for now) were posting the proof that Clinton did indeed lie when she insisted the $225,000 she took from Goldman Sachs is what they offered. It was in her list of requirements for her appearance. Heh. Of course she lied. The slightly more interesting detail was the confirmation that transcripts of her speeches do exist, because a stenographer was required and Clinton retained possession of the transcript. Neither are incriminating by any means, but it establishes once again, Clinton lied and she retains control of the transcripts of her speeches.

These change nothing but they’re worth remembering while interacting with people hawking disinformation.

archaeology & anthropology links 06.21.16

Nearly One Hundred 1,000-Year-Old Manuscripts Discovered in Afghanistan. They’re written in many languages, but they’re mostly Jewish documents.

Canaanites Sacrificed Animals From Egypt 5,000 Years Ago. Isotopic analysis of livestock teeth reveal they were born and bred in the Nile Valley.

Archaeologists Discover Possible Homo Erectus Footprints in East Africa. 800,000 years ago along the shore of a dried-up lake in Eritrea. Danakil Desert.

Farming invented twice in Middle East, genomes study reveals. Southern Levant region and the Zagros Mountains in western Iran. Not in communication with each other. The population in the Zagros Mountains were more closely related to the hunter-gathers in the area previously.

the accelerating goodbye to the Fifth & Fourth Amendment

The Democratic Party is making it very difficult to want to remain in their damned party. I only stick around because I’d be shut out of voting in local primaries here in Louisiana. The shitty theatrics over their lame gun control bills yesterday are especially odious. Had they made one principled stand on banning assault weapons or universal background checks & waiting periods, it would easy to get on board.

No. The shitty bastards didn’t want to make any substantial effort on gun control. It was all theater.

What made it worse is the absolutely awful Feinstein bill. Party hacks and sycophants rended their shirts and howled how Republicans don’t care that gun could wind up in the hands of terrorists. What they ignored is that the terror watchlist is total shit. Unconstitutional as it violates Fifth Amendment, specifically the due process clause. We already went through this during Bush/Cheney and it’s quietly been amped up through the Obama administration. Since they see impending victory with Clinton, they’re seizing the moment to normalize the idea of suspension of due process with mainstream Democrats.

Even Bernie Sanders voted for this shitty bill. Gross.

Again, guns are silly and dangerous. The problem is setting a precedent to deprive people of guaranteed rights without due process. It won’t be just guns if they eventually push another bill like this.

Combine this goal to gut the Fifth Amendment with how the Supreme Court wrecked the Fourth Amendment in Utah v. Strieff yesterday. Now we can be stopped at any time for pretty much anything, likely a simple ID check. There are no citizens anymore.

midday 06.20.16

I got around to watching “The Big Short” this weekend. We’re still fucking doomed. I never read the Michael Lewis book, but was familiar with the dissections of the aftermath through other journalism. It agitates me that the movie was a critical and financial success, but apparently the lesson of the story didn’t connect with most people. Wall Street and the government colluded in taking the world economy to the brink of utter disaster yet got away with the loot, starting the cycle again. No one should be making a credible campaign on a continuation of Obama’s policies, especially not Clinton. We’re fucking doomed. Doomed. ((The cute celebrity cameos didn’t do much for me, but were used more sparingly than I expected. A relief.))

Now we have Wall Street rattling sabers at Clinton at the possibility of Warren as her VP pick. That too could be kabuki though. Everything at this stage seems to be theatrics. It’s too convenient. Wall Street won’t even boast what was in Clinton’s speeches. Why would they openly throw their weight around protesting Warren? Yeah, this is bullshit.

One thing I learned from the movie is Michael Burry is now focused on water as a commodity. That’s absolutely terrifying. Don’t forget that the Bushes bought a 98,840 acre ranch in Paraguay a decade ago, allegedly to grab a piece of the water rights of the Guarani Aquifer.

It’s painful to see how many science academics on Twitter support Clinton. When it washed over me that these are exactly the kind of professionals who value education over everything, who benefit most from the idea of meritocracy, it was a painful sensation. I admire these people and their work. They should be able to recognize rebranded Social Darwinism in the New Gilded Age.

10 Great, Old Concerts You Can (Legally) Stream in High Quality. Pitchfork’s right. I don’t use the Internet Archive nearly enough. That Brian Eno interview and the 1989 Robyn Hitchcock performance require coming back to in the immediate future.

The Islamic Roots Of Science Fiction. Nifty article by Charlie Jane Anders. Most of the material is familiar when I was on an Arabian Nights tangent/binge, but I never followed the threads further. I also keep toying with picking up Anders’ novel. The premise doesn’t grab me but I dug her Io9 articles.

anthropology links 06.20.16

Some of these stories have been sitting in drafts for months, even years. Still dozens more to dredge up too.

That story on the 11,500 year old “twins” in Alaska got on my nerves, so it stayed stuck in draft. The single wave of migration story just feels wrong. It was quickly followed by a new study of a 500 year old Incan mummy found in Argentina that belonged to the lineage Cb1 that is proposed to exist in the Americas for 18,000 years and this mummy possesses a variant that arose in the Andes 14,000 years ago, C1bi. 

3,300 year old storm god temple in Israel. Either dedicated to Baal the Canaanite storm god or to Anat, the goddess of war. Fragments of two large masks were recovered, as well as jars that are being analyzed for residue, in hopes that will reveal more of the nature of the temple.

Early farmers exploited beehive products at least 8,500 years ago. “This study has gathered together evidence for the presence of beeswax in the pottery vessels of the first farmers of Europe by investigating chemical components trapped in the clay fabric of more than 6,000 potsherds from over 150 Old World archaeological sites.” A site in Turkey that has revealed the oldest use of beeswax by Neolithic farmers for now.

How the origin of the KhoiSan tells us that ‘race’ has no place in human ancestry. To this day, it sticks in my craw that I never spoke up and questioned a professor of mine back in the early ’90s that said some extremely weird, nonsensical, racist things about the peoples of Africa. It’s over 20 years later and I’m still angry with myself. This fuels a lot of the peculiar fixation I have on how early people moved around considerably more than was conventionally accepted many years.

morning 06.19.16

Tabby Boyajian’s Kickstarter for $100,000 to pursue the study of KIC 8462852 has been fully funded! I think I donated.

Iranian Archaeologists Uncover Palaeolithic Stone Tools On Qeshm Island. Bam-e Qeshm. 40,000 years old. I’m holding out for hope that something older might turn up on future expeditions because coastal migration. These sites could likely be underwater.

Fish may have evolved to live on land more than 30 times. Yay evolution. It’s always great to see an adaptation, trait, behavior, ect. arise multiple times because it’s key in persuading Intelligent Design people that none of this is by design.

Chapo Trap House has been entertaining me for the past couple of days. These guys had been popping up on my Twitter feed for awhile. I didn’t follow them as closely because they delight more in shit-talking than the kind of stuff Billmon posts. I love shit-talking, but tend to use Twitter more as a newsfeed with commentary, as opposed to clowning dipshits. I give up. I need Chapo Trap House in my life now. Binging on the old episodes has been bracing me for this shitshow the Clinton administration will be, because they’re further along the curve on acceptance of that absurd horror than I have.1 Connor Kilpatrick of Jacobin eased me into rooting for Hillary as an accelerationist strategy. The Justified riff with Boyd Crowder as a Bernie supporter & Woke Raylan Givens is fucking genius.

  1. I’m still hung up on the FBI investigation of the private email server, probably a dead end. []

Midday 06.17.16

No additional piece of the Antikythera Mechanism have been found at shipwreck survey. Well, that sucks. Here’s to future expeditions. It’s still mystifying that it’s a singular object, with no evidence of its design being widespread.

Primordial Galaxy Has Farthest Oxygen Ever Detected in the Universe. 13.1 billion light-years distant. Galaxy SXDF-NB1006-2.

Small Asteroid Is Earth’s Constant Companion. 2016 HO3. This is nifty. It’s only a couple hundred feet in size. It should be sticking with us for a few centuries.

Asteroid 2016 HO3 has an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth

morning 06.17.16

Remainder: Tom McCarthy and Omer Fast’s avant-garde explosion. Oh, a film adaptation of Remainder has been made. That seems unnecessary, but it could be interesting. “a redoubling of the redoubling of the redoubling.”

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Never fucking mind. I’ll be watching the shit out of that. It still pains me not to have seen the adaptation of Ballard’s High-Rise

The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife. Speaking of redoubling, I love a good historical fraud, but this is something else. It’s a shame Umberto Eco isn’t around to see this story to unfold.

LIGO Does It Again: A Second Robust Binary Black Hole Coalescence Observed. More evidence of gravitational waves. GW151226: The Boxing Day event. Observing Run 2 starts Fall of 2016.

How the Homo floresiensis kept their tools as they shrank into island life. They retained tool use but the technology didn’t advance. I was ignorant how Mata Menge looks now. Surprising.

 The FBI is not particular about who it classifies as a terrorist

This terrorist watch list argument for denying people access to guns is dangerous. Guns aren’t anything I feel strongly about. Banning them seems reasonable and logical, but I have too many friends who are inordinately fond of their guns. The Second Amendment is archaic and misapplied, but so it goes. With the Democrats filibustering yesterday to expand that power to deny guns to people on the watchlist, it’s obvious who is really on that watchlist… not just a bunch of Al-Qaeda and ISIS operatives:

Are you opposed to fracking? Then you might just be a terrorist.

Activists cry foul over FBI probe.

Maryland Police Put Activists’ Names On Terror Lists.

The Six FBI Reports Treating Merton Center Anti-War Activism as Terrorism.

It’s not just about the ability to buy guns and the No-Fly List. What other rights can be suspended by being placed on a terror watch list for being against fracking? For being an antiwar activist? For being a socialist labor organizer? We know of the

There’s a disturbing pattern here and it’s not about about guarding innocent Americans from being murdered.