a few more Panama Papers links 04.14.16

Panama Papers: Corporations Shifted A Half-Trillion Dollars To Offshore Tax Havens In 2012. Corporate inversions are bullshit.

Reports: Authorities raid Panama Papers law firm. Again. At first I thought they were looking for criminal wrongdoing from Mossack Fonseca or its clients. No…. they are IP investigators figuring out how the leak occurred.

Swiss banker whistleblower: CIA behind Panama Papers. So they’re not going to find much of anything. After the first few hours of the first news being published, the whole thing smelled sour. Too much of the information turned out to be too convenient for certain powers. It turned out Panama is not a good place for Americans desiring to conceal finances, but that’s also… convenient. Honeypot?

The whole matter has me disappointed, although it’s shaken the world. Justice and reform is what I want. Embarrassment for figures the American government finds irritating is boring.

morning 04.12.16

The Goon movie is still on track for development. Live action comic book movies aren’t really my thing, but animated ones? Yeah. It was a surprise to realize that the co-director who signed onto this project originally, Tim Miller, directed Deadpool and he’s still into The Goon.

US Appeals Court Rules Mississippi Can Resume Google Inquiry. This is bullshit. Use of a search engine is essentially the same as visiting a library. The librarians always saw this coming.

It’s fun to read this trashing of Rolling Stone’s lousy list of the best 40 punk albums. I’m in a poor position to criticize, as I regularly blend punk and post-punk together, but that list is drek.

Artificial Intelligence Sheds New Light on the Origins of the Bible. The concept reads like a Philip K Dick story. Recognizing the handwriting of individuals in ancient texts, figuring out the proportion of literate people, and creating a model of who wrote what.

two waves of pre-Columbian settlers in South America

Populations of early human settlers grew like an ‘invasive species,’ researchers find. Let’s see:

The researchers found strong evidence for two distinct phases of demographic growth in South America. The first phase, characterized by logistic growth, occurred between 14,000 and 5,500 years ago and began with a rapid spread of people and explosive population size throughout the continent.

Then, consistent with other invasive species, humans appear to have undergone an early population decline consistent with over-exploitation of their resources. This coincided with the last pulses of an extinction of big animals. Subsequent to the loss of these big animals, humans experienced a long period of constant population size across the continent. The second phase, from about 5,500 to 2,000 years ago, saw exponential population growth. This pattern is distinct from those seen in North America, Europe and Australia.

The dates come from radiocarbon dates from 1,100 sites. I still have the same old suspicion that there are more ancient sites that haven’t been identified or have been dated relatively conservatively. (Monte Verde, yo…) Those would alter the dates on the first wave quite a bit.

vestiges of an ancient port in Mamallapuram, India

Way back when, someone debunked a story of granite lions of Mahabalipuram being washed ashore by a 2004 tsunami in India. That might have turned out to be nonsense, but….

Millennium-old ‘sunken town’ found off Tamil Nadu. The people who spotted what they thought was a stone wall before the 2004 tsunami hit shore did indeed see exactly that. These structures appear to be 1,100 to 1,500 years old, although there appear to be more structures submerged.

morning 04.08.16

DC said made rumblings they were going to relaunch Vertigo recently, but that seemed like a bad idea. Some of their current titles aren’t that bad. Now the flagship for what would have been the Vertigo relaunch is getting its own imprint, Young Animal. Good. This is a better plan. Giving Gerard Way his own little corner to riff off Grant Morrison is better than forcing anything that doesn’t that mold out of Vertigo.

HIV overcomes CRISPR gene-editing attack. Well, damn. This is disappointing. The researchers were only surprised by the speed HIV could do this though.

Maybe John Podesta is scum but this amuses me. Clinton campaign chair: ‘The American people can handle the truth’ on UFOs. Then again, I wouldn’t trust a Clinton to tell the truth about anything.



Panama Papers

“2.6 terabyte leak of Panamanian shell company data reveals ‘how a global industry led by major banks, legal firms, and asset management companies secretly manages the estates of politicians, Fifa officials, fraudsters and drug smugglers, celebrities and professional athletes.'”

This is the fourth largest of its kind in hiding and laundering money. In understanding this, there are three larger companies doing the exact same things.

“In the past 12 months, around 400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations in over 80 countries have taken part in researching the documents.”

Adding to this as the evening and next few days unfolds:

noise rock ’86

Noise Rock in 1986. Hey- whaddaya know? Someone is talking about Big Black and Scratch Acid. And tah-dah, the Butthole Surfers, which is a band I cared for considerably more when I first got into that stuff. The writer mentions the video “A Blind Eye Sees All.” I never saw more than 15 minutes or so of the damned thing. Back in ’89 or ’90, there was a guy with a bootleg VHS of it who was more into Black Flag and Rush. (He absolutely lost his shit in joy a couple of years later when Roll the Bones came out.) Of course, Youtube has it.

There are all kinds of minor errors in that Quietus article. Gordon sang three songs on EVOL, not one. I’m not an expert. It was just fucking weird when the writer mentions “Star Power” (sic) but then goes on to say Gordon sang only on “Secret Girl.” Peculiar.

No matter. I’m grateful to be reminded of Killdozer’s “Cranberries.” There was some weirdos on KLSU and WTUL that kept playing Killdozer at odd hours on the air into the 21st Century.

Even more important was putting me onto Grong Grong. It seems like a band I should have run across a hundred times, but apparently never did. When I first began hanging out with Damien, he was deeply into the Birthday Party, but he still had a multitude of other influences, the musicians he played with at the time were almost exclusively into what I thought was hardcore at the time, but they called Pigfuck. It was years before I understood it was a term in general use, coined by Christgau himself. One of them is bound to have owned a tape of Grong Grong that Alternative Tentacles released.

This 1983 show of the first gig Grong Grong ever played looks very much like some shows I attended in Hammond several years later.