morning 01.31.17

This post is no fun at all. With each story, a very nasty narrative unfolds. Paranoia and despair abound.

Hill staffers secretly worked on Trump’s immigration order. They signed NDAs  before Trump became president and their bosses in Congress didn’t know a thing. Compromise and implicate everyone. Divide and conquer. Steve Bannon is making sure there is no paper trail at the White House. Nope. Not ominous. Erik Prince is advising Trump. Almost ancient news now, but in context with this weird truck convoy sighted near Louisville, Kentucky, it seems more sinister. A DSA guy who says he’s former SOF says that it doesn’t look like surplus equipment to him, too new and too modded. He thought it looked like SOF, but if it’s new, fancy, and has no markings, mercenaries sounds more like it. Hm. That’s… deeply fucking unnerving. With Bannon on the NSC and the Joints Chief of Staff and the head of CIA out, it feels weirder. It’s coming out that Jared Kushner is largely cut out of the loop (in part because of his observation of Shabbath) and is furious. Bannon has outmanuveured Kushner. Add this little horrifying meditation on this past weekend, and it’s terrifying. This was written before the acting head of the DoJ was fired, then very under-reported news of the firing of the acting head of ICE.

Bannon is not a master manipulator super-genius, but he doesn’t have to be. Everyone is playing the old game and haven’t come to terms that what’s happening is not the usual ritual in the United States.

I’m fucking terrified. Trump will fail. Eventually. History will remember him and his allies as monsters, fools, and fascists. However, the amount of damage between now and that future is impossible to estimate. How long will this last? How far will it go? Things feel very bleak.

This morning the Intercept unloaded a massive series documenting hidden powers of the FBI. I’ve just browsed the titles of the articles in the overview. Nauseating. Off to work.

Blogging every day about someone who died is not productive, but someone posted this today in memory of the passing of John Wetton. I love me some Larks Tongue in Aspic and especially this song. I hate Asia, but Wetton sang for my favorite King Crimson era.

morning 01.30.17

Trump is wearing me down. It’s hard to do anything in news intake than figure out what’s unfolding with his clusterfuck of a presidency.

Pre-organization DSA stuff has been a pleasant experience. That’s been another avenue of focus, but it feels satisfying. I regret not going to a meeting of Bernie Democrats last week, but helping some Louisiana DSA and unaligned socialists coalesce online is definitely better than simply absorbing news passively.

Ancient Mayan Superhighways Found in the Guatemala Jungle. 600 BC.

5,000 year old Egyptian beads made from meteoric iron.

3,500 year old jewelry workshop on island of Failaka off Kuwait’s coast.

Meet the woman who put 50 million stolen articles online so you can read them for free. Article almost a year old, but I was unfamiliar with Alexandra Elbakyan. Kinda radical & definitely illegal, but I’m very much a supporter of open source resource. Her actions definitely take on more context in the age of Trump.

Two English authors ‘engineered start of Spanish civil war’, claims new book. Aha. Of course two upper-class Englishmen would help drive the rise of fascism. It looks very much like they were part of something bigger in British government IMO. There’s a slight Aleister Crowley connection in there too.

A detail from this Intercept article about Trump’s Muslim ban:

“More disturbing, in some cases the individuals were allowed to board flights for the United States not knowing their visas had been terminated. They were only informed when they attempted to use their visas to seek admission and were denied. Even though they were ignorant of the termination, they were still charged with violating U.S. immigration law and given a five-year ban to future admission.”

Entrapment. Denial of due process.

So…

Interesting. This Hunter Morgan chap must very quite ideologically pure.

morning 01.27.17

Organisms created with synthetic DNA pave way for entirely new life forms. Huh. I thought this was old news from 2014,1 but the process has been improved. The immune system of the organisms (E. coli obviously) have been tweaked so that all DNA not containing the synthetic bases is destroyed. Hm. Okay.

A Four Planet System in Orbit, Directly Imaged. HR 8799. 129 light years distant in constellation Pegasus. The star is 60 million years old.

It’s the Drummer That Matters. A review of a memoir by Laurie Lindeen of Zuzu’s Petals. Petal Pusher. Damn. I forgot that Zuzu’s Petals existed. They sound far better than I recall. (Totally ignorant of the Paul Westerberg and Replacements connection.) Yes- the best rock memoirs are by people who remained on the periphery. My fave’s Julian Cope’s Head On/ Repossessed but we’ve covered that dozens of times.

Dangerous Minds threw up a link to this 1993 BBC compilation of Late Show performances. (No Nirvana.) I hate that it makes me a little nostalgic, because I wasn’t even that fond of some of these bands. Still not.

Shit. I was driving around with Elijah to stumble onto Marnie Stern’s In Advance of the Broken Arm still on the iPod, long neglected. It’s disconcerting to accept that this album will be ten years old this year.

Samuel Beckett: Man of Letters. Review of a collection of his letters. No, I’ve read no Beckett yet, only seeing performances of plays.

The Multiple Multiverses May Be One and the Same. Causal patch is a nifty concept. That needs to be hung onto to. In my hazy readings back in the ’80s, I think I was exposed to the Hugh Everett explanation early without knowing exactly who he was,2 and never much paid attention to the individual big bangs idea, aside from some sci-fi and comic books.

 

  1. See! I can remember a few things! []
  2. The garbage can anecdote still lingers though. []

afternoon 01.26.17

Harry Mathews RIP.

Computers being used to decipher language of Indus Valley civilization.

Signs of Alien Air Herald a New Era of Exoplanet Discoveries. GJ 1132 b. 39 light-years away. Earth-sized and seems to have thick atmosphere containing water and methane.

Who Gains from Dow 20,000? Shitty greedy people?

The plunder of the American prison system. There’s another payoff to criminalizing everything. There are hundreds of visionaries Burl Cains out there ready to reap the profits. Angola was just a publicly funded laboratory for the future.

Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website. Inevitable.

The State Department’s entire senior management team just resigned. Trump team now insisting they were fired. Good luck with that.

Paul Ryan: U.S. Will ‘Front Money’ for Border Wall, Devise Plan to Make Mexico Pay Later. Yeah. Not going to happen. If the wall is built, the U.S. will be stuck with the bill. Mexico has troubles of its own right now. Trump probably wouldn’t be aware of that because Fox News and E! doesn’t cover that.

Interview with China Miéville. Need to get back to that novel.

morning 01.25.17

Nearly every paranoid suspicion I have seems to be coming true.

This fucking moron could invoke the Insurrection Act and Congress is reckless and corrupt enough to go along with it.

There’s likely no grand sinister plan. People figured out that Bill O’Reilly aired a segment on Fox News about the higher murder rate in Chicago an hour before this tweet and Trump reacted to it. All Trump does is watch television. Pretending that Trump has a master plan in which he isolates and crushes his opposition is fantasy. Trump’s a natural fascist operating purely from id.

Then again, Steve Bannon seems to have put that American carnage phrase in the inaugural address. Trump is a beast being goaded to certain actions. It’s unlikely that dumb fuck comprehends what he’s doing, but Bannon probably does. Sanctuary cities will likely be targeted. More Republican governors will pull the same shit Abbott is doing with Austin, withholding money. Combine this with new laws in eight states criminalizing protests. Ominous.

All anyone has to do is put the right segment on the right television show and Trump will do the rest. We are so fucked.

Robby Mook And Corey Lewandowski Team Up For Paid Speeches. These motherfuckers think we’re still in the age of Crossfire. No, that’s wrong- they are in the age of Crossfire. The Trump presidency is no big deal to them, just a lost opportunity for the bigger bucks. He’s Bill’s golfing buddy. They’ll be fine and they’ll adapt. Hillary and Bill don’t believe in anything traditionally believed to be the values of the Democratic party. That’s just branding for the rubes. Mook should be hounded out of politics forever for fucking up such an easy campaign. Instead he’s briefing Hillary on how to rebrand for investors and performing with a thug who assaulted journalist and protesters. The Clintons are evil, man, and they surround themselves with shitty people.

Liberals are talking about Gandhi again. Ouch. Tying his pacifism into his actual arguments that stem from his religious convictions make for some extremely awkward arguments. I’d only been sticking to the knowledge that Nazis cannot be shamed by the inhumanity of their acts.

The Case Against Unity. Centrism is a garbage stance for garbage people. If those assholes don’t let go of the reins, the Democratic Party is doomed. The “investors” aren’t going to keep pouring money into a losing brand. It’s difficult to find a reason to care.

Sources say Trump’s CIA visit made relations with intel community worse. Blah, blah, blah. CIA aren’t going to save us and they’re not the good guys.

Iraq is worried that Donald Trump says he may re-invade to take their oil. Despite the potential war crime,1 it might still happen. All Trump has to do is mutter something about ISIS operating in Western Iraq and it’s on.

Early Meteorite Bits Reveal Clues About Solar System’s Evolution. Vesta. Flora Asteroid family. Chondrites. Damn. They’re looking for meteorites that fell to Earth prior to the collision 466 million years ago. They’re doing this by going to a river valley in Russia that used to be an ocean floor to find micrometeorites.

Are we ready for another massive volcanic eruption? No. Ironically though, it might buy humanity a chance to arrest the climbing global temperature. Just kidding. We’re all going to die.

Advanced geometry used by prehistoric architects in US Southwest. Not all that surprising, especially if one read all of that ancient astronaut and forbidden archaeology bullshit. The peoples of the Americas developed some sophisticated systems of mathematics. The Pueblo people just managed to do it without writing.

7,000 year old long house in Moldova. Linear Pottery Culture.

What if Uber kills off public transport rather than cars? Heh. “What if…” Man, that’s the plan.

I watched Hail, Caesar! the other night. A trifle. They had a lot of fun playing with the archaic style of making movies. The plot was merely an opportunity to connect a lot of set pieces that amused them. Good enough.

  1. even fucking Charles Krauthammer has voiced concern. []

morning 01.24.17

That one day of missing a post is still tripping me up.

NOAA’s GOES-16 Satellite Sends First Images to Earth.

Archaeologists uncover new clues to Maya collapse. the Classic Maya collapse in the 9th century and the the Preclassic Maya collapse in the 2nd century appear to follow same pattern, “with multiple waves of social instability, warfare and political crises leading to the rapid fall of many city centers.”

Trump 101: What he reads and watches. There’s nothing there. The illusion is the reality.

Doomsday Prep for the Super-rich. It doesn’t matter whether they’ll survive whatever apocalypse they’re prepping for. They’re too selfish and short-sighted to keep the species going. The important thing here is that they think that they can see the collapse of civilization coming and they’re changing none of their behaviors to prevent it. Only Robert A. Johnson in this piece seems to have a lick of common sense. It won’t be enough.

Tangled with someone on Facebook over that Tomi talking head Sunday night. The exchange was deleted before I even got in a good retort, but the weirdo (he reveres Tomi Lahren, Trump, and inexplicably, Malcolm X) was calling me immature for linking to a piece showing some of her tweets from 2013. To this young man, that’s ancient history that no one could be held accountable for.

In a completely separate exchange, a friend texted to ask whether I’d watched the documentary Winter on Fire yet. I admitted that I hadn’t, because I’m ashamed of how excited I was about the Orange Revolution, how much hope I had for that democracy. I don’t even know Winter on Fire‘s angle yet, but Ukraine is overrun with fascism now. It’d be difficult to watch whatever dream of justice and freedom that film might be pushing.

I dug into my 2013 tweets. Books, music, archaeology, and NSA. There aren’t even that many tweets.

The fall of 2008 is where the most embarrassing material seems to be. I was in peak liberalism, working as a volunteer for the Obama campaign and watching MSNBC. I’d almost forgiven Chris Matthews (which I quickly got over.) What a dumb, naive period.

Even the months of unemployment prior to that are less cringeworthy. Prior to that, my Twitter account was mostly grazing through books, whining about illness, and noting the comings and goings of hummingbirds.

How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul. The Watergate Babies were the worst. I only learned that that story about the ousting of Wright Patman from the Banking Committee in the past year. Embarrassing. From other articles I’ve read on this key incident, it seems unlikely the Watergate Babies “accidentally” overthrew anything. They got their desired result and didn’t think ahead. Greedheads. Now we’re speeding into fascism. Thanks, guys!

The Clintons are hatching a plan for their comeback.1 Burn the Democratic Party down. It’s not worth saving. I listened to most of Delete Your Account‘s interview with DSA representatives Emily and Larry. There’s been squabbling online about the DSA plan to change the Democratic Party from the inside, with some hard lefties I’ve learned to respect waving off the DSA as lame, sherdherding strays back into the Democratic Party. That’s not what Emily and Larry are saying. Based on the limited interactions I’ve had with DSA members, I’d rather follow where they’re going than stick around with a bunch of people writing slash fiction about Hillary and calling Obama their Daddy.2 If the Clintons show the slightest bit of interest in taking the reins of the Democratic Party, it will be nearly impossible to resist them. They’re entrenched and a significant number of Democrats are cannot accept that Clintonism led us to the abyss.

 

  1. Someone compared them to Coen Bros characters. []
  2. OTOH, leftists mocking liberals for observing that Melania Trump shows the signs of domestic abuse is counterproductive. Praising the Obamas for their interactions with her are indeed pathetic and weird. []

morning 01.22.17 but not really

I forgot to slap this one up yesterday when I left for work. Adding the ominous felony riot link and moving on.

Trump Sought Military Equipment For Inauguration, Granted 20-Plane Flyover. The flyover was canceled Friday because of the poor weather conditions. Trump seriously wanted tanks and missile launches rolling down the streets. The military told him that the streets couldn’t support it. Yesterday Trump went to meet with some CIA people. In his speech there, he went on a little tangent telling them just how many people in the military voted for him. There’s something to his repeated mentions of his military support and his fetishization of their power that’s screaming something very horrifying is on the horizon.

Trump’s press secretary lashes out at press, calling crowd coverage ‘shameful and wrong’. This shit is insane. If it wasn’t enough to get under Trump’s skin that his inauguration had lackluster attendance1 , the Women’s Marches must have driven him over the brink. He had to drive through the DC one to get back to the White House from his CIA meeting.

‘Felony Riot’ Charges Against Inauguration Protesters. It’s possible they’ll receive ten year sentences. 230 people were grabbed up in mass arrests. Some seem to be journalists. The cops are doing fishy shit with all possessions other than wallets, likely to use all phones and digital devices as evidence. Aw, shit. This is bad. This shall be repeated on any protests that turn remotely violent that have turnout less than the Women’s March.

  1. In Trump’s defense, the weather was lousy, the actual residents of the city of DC are largely Democratic, and the disruption protests were extremely effective. However, he’s simply not very popular. []

dawn 01.21.17

What Happened to Paul Auster? A Decade Ago, He Was a Nobel Candidate. Ouch. Someone called the bookstore the other day excitedly asking about 4321. It was bewildering. I asked her what other Auster she’d read, because I’m a nosy bastard. She replied it would be the first Auster book she ever read. She’d read a review and she thinks it’ll be amazing. Ehhhh. Ok. I recommended The New York Trilogy and moved on.

Black diamonds of pessimism. Samuel Beckett.

Citing Martin Luther King, JR. may not be a good idea in scolding people for rioting and cheering at a Nazi getting punched. White supremacy is evil, but they liked slavery and Jim Crow laws- subjugation. We’re entering an era in which some people openly wish for the literal extermination of certain groups. Shaming them through peaceful resistance probably won’t be adequate. It’s terrifying. I don’t want to be part of any of this, but I refuse to cluck my tongue at disapproval for someone shutting down a pampered fascist on camera. The motherfucking media (Mother Jones) needs to stop talking to wormy, hateful fucks like that. The big fascist in the White House is obviously the one we really need to worry about though, not the little charlatan. There’s a reason why the WTO protests scared the fuck out of the establishment and the anti-war marches against the 2003 Iraq invasion didn’t. Violence is bad, but don’t start that “both sides!” centrist bullshit.

Hopefully the Women’s March today will go smoothly and peacefully, but I won’t huff self-righteously in indignation if it doesn’t.

Abbott: Governor’s office to cut funding for Travis County after immigration policy change. This is more immediately important. This is how sanctuary cities in red states will be treated. For all of that small government talk the Republicans have been pushing for decades, the only thing they mean by it is deregulation for corporate power and reduced taxes for the wealthy. Here is a governor immediately punishing financially a county for not directly cooperating with federal authority.

Trump Department of Justice Seeks and is Granted Postponement of Hearing on Texas Photo ID Case. Oh yeah. Good bye voting rights. More disfranchisement. States will be run as petty fiefdoms. Good luck getting those state houses back.

Trump’s America First Energy Plan. Irreversible catastrophic global climate change is already a given, but these crazy motherfuckers are going to make sure we die in a scorched and withered greenhouse. Combine this with Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue. The American West will be a vast strip mine.

Trump blocks Federal Housing Administration plan to cut mortgage fees. Tah dah. Fuck the poor. No housing for you.

Requiem for a Lightweight. Markos Moulitsas truly was a tool…. for the CIA, that is. Diverting hungry anti-Bush voters into his little schemes destroyed a lot of momentum that could have disrupted the Bush administration. No one like him should lead the charge against Trump.

Canadians traveling to Women’s March denied US entry after sharing their plans. Unsurprising because there were literally hundreds of incidents like this during the Bush years, but also kinda early and heavy-handed. Pretty fascist.

Davos Dares to Wonder If Populism Could Even Help Global Growth. Pst. In this context, “populism” means fascism. It’s happening a lot in articles like this. Big buzzword.

dawn 01.20.17

“Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.” It was too late for Rosa Luxemburg and it’s probably too late for us.

Today’s the day that we hit the accelerator to plunge into the abyss. I’m going to work as usual, because I don’t get to call in unless it’s very, very serious shit. My schedule was already locked in to help out a coworker who managed to get into a trade school, because for the moment she can only work nights. Even if I could go to march and wave some signs around, I’d probably spend it with my kid at home anyway. I hate being in crowds. My heart’s with those people who make the effort though. It’s going to take a lot of discipline to get my shit together to organize with others in person to change or stop some of the shitty legislation and executive orders currently planned.

Anyway, Bread and Roses:

As we go marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”

As we go marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread but give us roses!

As we go marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for – but we fight for roses, too!

As we go marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler – ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories – Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

Little good is in our immediate future. The righteous outrage I had at the dawn of the Bush era is gone. It burned out when Obama never prosecuted anyone significant from the 2008 financial crash, then proceeded to pursue overwhelming surveillance powers and reckless extrajudicial assassinations by drones and JSOC. I hoped Hillary would win, but knew she wouldn’t lead the nation anywhere good. Now it feels that we’ve skipped to the end of the experiment, with looting and pillaging by the biggest and meanest rats. I’ve rarely had any clear vision of our future. Things could be worse, but it looks very grim for humanity now. Catastrophic climate change alone could sweep away all other imminent dooms.

Fuck.

Were JG Ballard’s billboards actually coded Salvador Dalí paintings? Project for a New Novel. It’s a hell of a theory and it makes an awful lot of sense.

I forgot to mention that I watched the film adaptation of High-Rise the night before. It’s quite beautiful mess. It never engaged convincingly enough, too cool and distant even at its most grotesque barbarity, like watching an ant farm go wrong. There needed to be more effort to connect to the current moment. The costuming and brutal retro-modernist decor were fucking amazing to the point of distraction. A worthwhile flawed film. Definitely not a waste of time and effort, but kinda ham-handed.

A Possible Planet Hidden in the Data. Jupiter sized planet moving through a gas and dust disk around a young star, TW Hydrae.

Flat-Earthers Have a Wild New Theory About Forests. This has been immediately shared with my ancap friend who may or may not be an actual flat-earther. Ah, this fallen world!1

Military Mind Control? Psychic Army Division Revealed in CIA Files. Oh, good- some Stargate material is in the declassified CIA files. “To establish a program using psychoenergetics for intelligence applications.” Unfortunately, this particular article has little more than some Uri Geller boilerplate and doesn’t even mention “remote viewing” by name.

Indiana bill would allow police to shut down protests ‘by any means necessary’. SB 285. This bill would empower cops to execute protesters for blocking traffic. This is fucking insane. I would say it’s blatantly unconstitutional, but Trump is picking the next Supreme Court justice. All is lost if shit like this gets passed.

Yesterday I finally remember to watch Bitter Lake. There were no new revelations in this one. Discovering the work of Adam Curtis has put some things into context that I’ve been clueless about or not made the connection between two events/concepts. However, Bitter Lake is exactly what I’ve been reading since the U.S. ramped up its adventurism in Central Asia post 9/11.2

BTW, the #AddHerName people on Twitter are absolutely dreadful. If they want to march for Hillary Clinton, they absolutely should do that. It’s pretty shitty to browbeat the people who organized the Women’s March into embracing someone who so completely failed and betrayed the American people with her complacent, arrogant entitlement. It’s amazing that they can look at this list of people and think, “Hillary Clinton absolutely fits in with these women.” One can respect Hillary Clinton as a politician who broke new barriers for women, but do they not grasp the theme here?3

  1. Kriss hipped me to a new world, hylothanatism. []
  2. This is the first time Curtis used a song I found jarring. David Bowie’s “The Bewlay Brothers” kicked me completely out of the trance. Am I wrong in noting that he cuts the song right before the King of Oblivion line? []
  3. Eleanor Roosevelt, a more interesting and transformational First Lady, is not on there. Neither is Hattie Caraway, probably for a very, very good reason. []