Paper suggesting another archaic human population introgressed into the San people, A complex history of archaic admixture in modern humans. I screwed up, thinking this was a different study than the one showing Melanesians have evidence of this. The possibility of admixture in Africa, prior to migration, is pretty awesome.
Élisée Reclus. Stumbling around blind on Wikipedia articles at work often pays off. French anarchist who developed concept of bioregionalism. I think I’d stumbled across him before in an unsuccessful attempt to understand the Paris Commune. It’s extremely interesting that his time in Louisiana in 1853 cemented his belief that capitalism is monstrous, as well as making him anti-slavery and anti-racist. Fucking Louisiana.
Increasing tornado outbreaks—is climate change responsible? I wasn’t entirely sure if this was true or that I was noticing more tornado watches & warnings because of the alerts from carrying a smart phone these past few years. Now the suspicion is confirmed.
Trump’s Breezy Calls to World Leaders Leave Diplomats Aghast. Reading this article makes me… excited? I’m more terrified than excited, but there is more. Trump is awful, but so are a lot of people who run American foreign policy. Trump is rushing to buddy up with every totalitarian dictator that the U.S. partners with. He’s discarding the etiquette that masks how shady American foreign policy really is. It’s impossible to see where this goes… probably somewhere worse. I probably shouldn’t be encouraged by how appalled our deep state apparatus are at Trump’s boorishness.
Trump names Gen James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as defence secretary. It could be worse? It seemed that everyone considered was going to push war with Iran. Mattis is no different, another deep in pocket of Sunni interests. The weird thing is that he seems the least pro-Israel of the people Trump considered, an advocate of two-state solution. OTO, he’s a literal war criminal. All of his purported advocacy of cultural sensitivity doesn’t absolve him of that mistake. However, Mattis is a fucking saint compared to that shitheel Tom Cotton.
It bums me out that a museum cannot find more information on Jean-Pierre Serrier. His granddaughter posted on the blog 9 years ago, but the site she created dedicated to him has disappeared. Damned internet.
How Stable Are Democracies? ‘Warning Signs Are Flashing Red’. Everyone is loving the idea of governments run by military more and more. That’s not healthy.
Harbor at Wadi el-Jarf in Egypt is 4,600 years old. Good photos. Connect to Kingdom of Punt stories.
Frost/Christman: Paranoia and 1970s Cinema. Transcript of their podcast. The audio quality was shit.
I Was a Teenage Nazi Wannabe. I knew some Nazi wannabes back in the ’80s… friends with a couple of them even. They were a ragtag bunch of rednecks, Radio Shack nerds, and thrash metalheads. Most of them committed various property crimes that would have put them in for considerable jail time if they had been caught and not white. They grew out of outright Nazi worship, but most remained hard right.
Donald Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Could Face His Own Conflict-of-Interest Questions. This shit about Kushner having a financial interest in a program that sells green cards when Trump is throwing around his nativist rhetoric is pure gold.
Trump’s little tweet about making flag-burning a crime worthy of a year in prison or being stripped of citizenship (!) isn’t exactly a smokescreen or pure distraction. It’s flanking. His supporters love this nonsense and if ignored for something more “substantial,” Trump and his allies might figure out a way to go through with something this insane. Nothing is impossible anymore. Nothing can be ignored. Constant vigilance is the best response.
“The Democratic Party chairman in Youngstown, Ohio, wrote to Hillary Clinton’s advisers in May warning she needed to put a jobs-focused message at the heart of her White House campaign.” Hillary and her campaign never responded. Seriously. Fuck Hillary. No matter how many photos are posted of her in the woods or bookstores finally showing some warmth and humanity, she is an incompetent piece of shit who ran for office on what was essentially a personality cult.
Is Jared Kushner on the Verge of Becoming Donald Trump’s ‘De Facto President’? Ehhhhhh…. who knows? Pence is the one receiving the intelligence reports. Trump seems more interested in making a quick buck than preparing to run the country. Pence benefited from Kushner’s vendetta against Christie, but it’ll be worth watching to see if a rift develops there.
The Philosopher of Failure: Emil Cioran’s Heights of Despair. We’ve been sneaking in Cioran quotes onto the Inspirational Quote whiteboard at work. It’s shameful that I enjoy the aphorisms of someone who eagerly embraced fascism and Hitler in his youth. What a funny little monster he was. Bradatan’s Dying for Ideas: The Dangerous Lives of the Philosophers is added to the list of books to read eventually. (Nice Critchley blurb.) A review of that book.
Borgesian Cinema. There’s a wealth of films I’ve never seen here.
#PROJECTLOCI. Yeah, I’ll buy this. BTW, Moore’s Jerusalem is still untouched on the bookshelf. (I am reading Sontag though.) Warren Ellis also pointed the way to this book, Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure. It looks kinda cool, but Ellis worries me these days. He’s hanging out with Crabapple again. I enjoyed Drawing Blood well enough last year, but I’m more convinced than ever than she’s an operative for some agency.
Thanksgiving isn’t crazy sociopolitical war with relatives for me. My folks and I agree on most issues. The only tricky part is when they constantly remind me that they’re old, that most of this shit won’t matter to them in the long run because they’ll be dead anyway.
Everybody Hates Cornel West. I love Cornel West, and Connor does too.
The piece made me wonder what Simon Critchley is up to. I cannot get engaged in his New York Times column The Stone for some reason. It almost seems he’s more famous for his adoration of David Bowie these days. His most recent column, On Election Eve, a Brexistential Dread, is painfully prescient.
Thinking about some of the many topics I got wrong, as well as the flashpoints of 9/11, the 2003 Iraq War, the 2008 election, and Occupy Wall Street, it’s not quite clear when I figured out I’m not a liberal and probably never was. Economics has never been a strong point for me. My background is biology (long atrophying) and books, both literature and pulp, with an unhealthy obsession with late 20th century pop music. Any consideration of money makes me feel awkward and suspicious. Still wrestling with how and when the transition and/or realization happened.
Blaming Clinton’s Base for Her Loss Is the Ultimate Insult. Rebecca Traister is at it again. I forgot she was the person who tried to make “Obama Boys” a thing, something recycled in the Democratic primary for Bernie Sanders voters. Jamelle Bouie hyped the article. Some nobody named for a character in When Harry Met Sally jumped earlier with a long tweetstorm bashing the Left. Joan Walsh and a host of others spent hours parsing a single tweet by Bernie Sanders that used but instead of and. It’s clear that it was a concerted effort. The centrist Democrats are afraid that their strategy of atomizing different groups to keep them scrabbling for spots in the meritocracy might loosen their stranglehold on power in the party. As many with more sense observed, they’d rather lose to an extreme right wing party and keep control of their own party, than give up their positions to fight fascism.
I have higher hopes for Silence than I probably should have. Scorsese’s wrestling with his faith gives me a lot of entertainment. The Last Temptation of Christ is a favorite, warts and all. As soon as I saw the trailer yesterday, I texted a friend who works in a used media store to keep an eye out for a copy. He admitted that he sold one just a few days ago, to the same guy who he’d previously told me had been looking for Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. The man talked to my friend for ten minutes straight about The Last Temptation of Christ. My tastes aren’t all that rare, but it’s still a surprise to know someone else just miles away is on the hunt for the same movies at the same time.
Democrats’ Leadership Fight Pits West Wing Against Left Wing. Surprise! Obama’s people decided that they don’t want Ellison as DNC head. No, they want a “full-time” DNC head…. so they are considering pushing Thomas Perez, a pro-TPP guy considering running for governor of Maryland in 2018. Meanwhile, Obama has no problem leaving his assassination and drone programs completely intact for a half-wit lunatic like Trump. Obama really is an underhanded piece of shit.
Mark Cuban meets with Stephen Bannon. Power aligns with power. “Good billionaire.” Heh. Thanks again, Hillary. Trump also says he has no intention of pursuing any charges against Hillary. I’d like to believe that this will be a wedge with his supporters, but as soon as he sics Kobach and Sessions on minorities, they’ll have all of the blood and tears they thirst for.
Trump owes ethics exemption to George H.W. Bush. An ethics reform that failed. It’s amusing how Trump cannot grasp global climate change but that motherfucker had his people seize on this loophole instantly.
Yesterday I had a bizarre exchange on a local Democrat group on Facebook with a Hillary dead-ender. It was mostly typical but when I linked two articles explaining how Hillary lost the Rust Belt, one by her poor ground game and the other about her lack of a economic equity message depressed turnout. She repeatedly insisted that they were opinion pieces and demanded real journalism. It was fucking hopeless. She flat-out ignored a third piece on the Wikileaks Podesta email containing the memo with the Pied Piper strategy.
Unlike most of Left Twitter, I don’t doubt that voting machines were manipulated and the election was possibly stolen. (IMO, Clinton might have been victim to some local shenanigans, in addition to the rampant voter suppression (the real culprit) but still truly lost.) It’s happened before (2004 presidential election obviously) and it can happen again. No, it wasn’t Putin. If it happened, it was because of the states are controlled by Republican governor and/or legislatures. The whole system is rotten. It’s a little surprising that the drumbeat grows louder for an audit, because it’s probable that the same shit happened in a few states (Arizona) in the Democratic primaries.
Silica deposits on Mars with features resembling hot spring biosignatures at El Tatio in Chile.
New Orleans’ French Quarter Gangster Past Getting TV Treatment From Vermilion & Rubicon. This is probably going to be awful, isn’t it? It’s rich material though. Hopefully it isn’t squandered.
Little Barron Trump is on his way to becoming a manga icon. Creepy, inevitable, and pretty funny. Anime Nazis will have him on their crusty pillows soon enough. Poor kid. He never had a chance.
Trump isn’t subtle about his use of the presidency to negotiate for his business interests. The article covers Japan, India, and Argentina, and doesn’t even touch Trump’s new effort to stop wind turbines near his golf course in Scotland. The liberals who keep huffing about Hillary would never have done such things cannot get it through their skulls that these business dealings are essentially what the Clinton Foundation laundered. Trump is just lazy and crass, not to be bothered with the obfuscation that previous administrations used.
Trump called a bunch of television executives and anchors into a meeting yesterday, only to spend 20 minutes spewing about how unfairly they have treated him. For the moment, all of these people are bristling in rage at Trump’s audacity, but knowing what a bunch of simpering assholes they really are, they’ll be discarding that anger to gain access, instead of moving to a truly adversarial relationship (which would be healthier.) The press should have had a properly adversarial relationship with Hillary too, or that rotten corpse wouldn’t have been propped up for so long. This morning Trump is fucking around with the New York Times, pretending that they are reneging on terms of a meeting.
McCain and Graham plan to fight Trump’s Russia thaw. Hm. We’ll see. All of those Deep State assholes want that war with Russia, be it through Syria or Ukraine. It’ll be weird to see how that goes. It’ll be very fucking sad if this is what it takes to block Trump and not a more important fight, like putting a stop to the plans to privatize Medicare and Social Security. Then again, Hillary almost certainly was going to pull some “entitlement reform” bullshit out too and too many Democrats are bellicose about Russia.
EmDrive paper passes peer review. It’s still unclear how it actually works. It just produces thrust. “…a lightweight engine could one day send a spacecraft to Mars in just 70 days.”
Code hidden in Stone Age art may be the root of human writing. Genevieve von Petzinger again. 32 symbols. Her research pops up every so often. It’ll be cool to see a breakthrough.
Long shifts at work. Some were customer service intensive. Some were labor intensive. All broke me down. I’ve yet to get my shit together on DSA. I’ve reached out to local friends, but they’re also waiting for someone else to make a move. The labor intensive shifts while the store was closed allowed me to dive into more podcasts. Delete Your Account and Street Fight are now favorites. I’d tried out Street Fight before, but from a bad starting point. It was they were shooting shit about signal stations from info gleaned from Wikipedia. I get it now.
Many in Milwaukee Neighborhood Didn’t Vote — and Don’t Regret It. This is why Hillary lost. She offered them nothing. She elevated Trump to force them to choose her or the abyss. They shrugged it off, knowing their situation is hopeless.
Extreme Center Goes After Anti-Trump Protesters. What a bunch of uninspired milquetoasts.
Harry Potter and the Death of the West. As a longtime chain bookstore worker, I’ve never had a problem with Harry Potter. I even liked it. For many years, it was a genuine thrill to witness so many children excited about reading. It’s painful to see just how fucking stunted many of these people became.
Saturn devours his young: President Trump. Doom.
How my father, JG Ballard, foresaw our strange present. My teens were spent devouring Philip K. Dick. I might be better prepared for our present and future had I had access to J.G. Ballard.
It’s longer. My first site was on SLU’s server in 1995, but that was mostly music. The 2000 election seemed when I began throwing politics and current events into a website, but recently some old files turned up on Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
Thinking about what I was wrong about in the past year hasn’t been enough. I need to make the time to dig through 17 years of blog posts to figure out what else I fucked up. Some are easy to think of:
- It seemed obvious Cheney was moving to null the 2008 election. It was conspiracy theory insanity. Part of my insanity tells me that when the financial system began its meltdown in 2007, that he and his cabal decided it wasn’t worth it.
- Imminent war with Iran during the second term of Bush. That was pretty much on the nose. It’s more of a mystery why it didn’t happen.
- Obama. Or not. My original attachment to Obama was that he wasn’t a Clinton. I even turned on him in January 2008 because he was already pulling that centrist, mushy middle shit. That held up. I just hoped for more. Between all of the surveillance and drones, it was obvious we would all be fucked in the next administration. Obama’s only real legacy will be how he cemented Bush’s unitary executive theory bullshit. Meh.
- Samantha Power wasn’t a piece of shit. This only comes to mind because Chapo Trap House talked about her. It doesn’t seem that I was the only one who had higher hopes for her. Ugh. She’s awful.
- Howard Dean. Christ. I really liked Howard Dean in 2004. This brings great shame now. Maybe it was Universal Health Care and his Iraq War stance. Kucinich should have been my guy but electability… Edwards is too damned Southern and he reeked of flim-flam that set off my particular senses.
- Ukraine. In my defense, it was an attempt to understand what was happening. The anti-Russian faction seemed better to root for, as if either side needed to have cheerleaders. To see how fascist the anti-Russian faction wound up being is chilling.
- Arab Spring. Honestly, I wasn’t blogging much then, in part because Ukraine weighed on my mind, in part because of work and school, and in part just old-fashioned depression.
Need to edit this list and link to all of these fuck-ups.
The Clinton Campaign Was Undone By Its Own Neglect And A Touch Of Arrogance, Staffers Say. Hillary Clinton is absolutely horrible. As someone who obsessed over the private email server, even I knew those letters by Comey were a ploy to undermine Hillary. However, her failure remains entirely on her. Comey’s game never would have worked if her campaign hadn’t dicked around as it did in the Midwest.
It’s hard for me to hold her accountable for her lack of appearances in those states in a way. Hillary is sicker than they wanted to admit. Her collapse at the 9/11 memorial was no joke. Her health wasn’t up to more campaign rallies than she gave. The counter to that is that she never should have fucking run for president.
Oh, and Trump is not a healthy man. That greedy motherfucker doesn’t know what he signed up for. Even that empty-headed moron Bush was sucked to a dry husk by the demands of office.
Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray. So much fun here. Christie and his people were removed from the team because Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner harbors a grudge that Christie put his dad in jail. Apparently that’s what took slight saner than many in Trumpland Mike Rogers down too. Also:
In another delay, Mr. Pence did not sign legally required paperwork to allow his team to begin collaborating with Mr. Obama’s aides until Tuesday evening, a transition spokesman said. Mr. Christie on Election Day signed a memorandum of understanding to put the process into motion as soon as the outcome was determined, but once he was ousted from the job, Mr. Pence had to sign a new agreement.
The paperwork serves as a nondisclosure agreement for both sides, ensuring that members of the president-elect’s team do not divulge information about the inner workings of the government.
Pence possibly didn’t want to sign that agreement because he’s currently embroiled in a lawsuit trying to keep his email secret. This Salon article explains what Pence is trying to hide better. This is the kind of material that should have been hammered home in the campaign, but Hillary couldn’t use it because this is exactly the shit she was doing in her own email scandal, avoiding transparency.
Rand Paul: ‘I’ll do whatever it takes’ to stop Bolton from being secretary of state. He also said Giuliani gives him pause. Let’s see how long this lasts. Trump and Paul are not friendly. Paul seemed to have some genuine reservations about our drone war and assassination program, but let’s see how long that lasts.
No Second Reagan. Reagan was shit. Let’s not make the mistake of pretending otherwise. Definitely never Reaganize Trump.
Obama will not restrict drone strike ‘playbook’ before Trump takes office. Obama is a useless asshole more intent on preserving power than preserving human rights. If there is a future, I’ll make sure to teach my kid that Obama was a charismatic face on a cruel, inhumane system. At the moment, it seems Giuliani will be Secretery of State. Odds are that lazy fuck Trump will dump all of the extra-judiciary killing power to that ghoul.
Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown looks for common ground with President-elect Donald Trump. Good luck with that, Sherrod.
The diets of organisms can affect the DNA sequences of their genes. “We found that different levels of nitrogen in a parasite’s diet contributed to changes in its DNA. Specifically, parasites with low-nitrogen, high-sugar diets had DNA sequences that used less nitrogen than parasites with nitrogen-rich, high-protein diets.”
Widespread evidence of prehistoric dairying discovered along the Mediterranean coast. Lipids in pottery are the evidence. “Professor Oliver Craig, from the University of York, said the findings were particularly relevant as much of the population in that region today can’t digest milk.” Hm.