Still out of it. Last night was last close of week. Again, these have been absurdly easy shifts otherwise, but my internal clocked is so fucked up. I squirreled away some books at work so they didn’t get voided out on last day of scans. I found some books I forgot I ordered speciafially for me on the shelves, which I felt obliged to buy, Joe Sacco’s Journalism and that book on Russia, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible (a pleasant surprise because I thought it never came in. Both our warehouse and Amazon now say it’s unavailable.) Then I wound up checking out yet another book altogether that I know I damned well have no time to read, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. At least it won’t get voided while I’m off today.
That piss circus Tuesday night on Twitter was hilarious, but last night’s vote-a-rama in the Senate demonstrates the real horror unfolding. Combined with this column, Republicans Have No Good Reason Not To Impeach Donald Trump. it’ll be nothing but doom. If Trump is removed from office, monstrous legislation will only get streamlined. Meanwhile the Democrats are awful, especially Cory Booker, with 14 joining Republicans to vote against importing Canadian drugs. Goddamned Ted Cruz and John Kennedy voted for the bill.
Case of ‘fattened’ Jorge Luis Borges story heads to court in Argentina. Naturally I’m pro Pablo Katchadjian and against María Kodama.
Hubble Spies Exocomets Diving into Young Star. HD 172555. Gravitational stirring.
Scientists pinpoint the exact age of the Moon — and it’s older than we thought. Analysis of rocks collected on the Apollo 14 mission pinpoint the Moon’s creation to 4.51 billion years ago. Lutetium and hafnium ratios
Aboriginal Australians co-existed with the megafauna for at least 17,000 years. Zygomaturus trilobus specifically, a wombat-like creature the size of a large cow.
Scientists just discovered a massive pool of carbon in central Africa that nobody knew was there. Peat in the Cuvette Centrale in the Congo Basin.
Democrats can’t win until they recognize how bad Obama’s financial policies were. Stoller mostly focuses on monopolization and Obama’s presiding over one of the greatest redistributions of wealth to the already rich in history in this piece.
Leftover fragments of a post from night and early morning. When I get on a long string of closing shifts, the kid misses me more. The windows of sneaking internet time to dither about reading are minuscule.
This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization.
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General, Is a Fierce Opponent of Civil Rights. Jeff Sessions is garbage who should be completely marginalized from human society. Also:
Yeah, that’s not going to be an anti-porn thing. It’s going to be an anti-gay and anti-black thing. That’s guaranteed. Sessions will be pursuing anti-sodomy laws and regulating language in rap lyrics with his Christian fundamentalism. His sense of propriety only extends as far as he can use it to abuse minorities.
Freddie Gray case: Judge allows malicious prosecution lawsuit against Mosby to proceed. This is some fascist bullshit and an abortion of justice.
Chicago 1969: When Black Panthers aligned with Confederate-flag-wielding, working-class whites. This story gets passed around often, but it’s a shame that it wasn’t repeatedly thrown in the faces of the Clinton supporters who wrote off the white working class as racist last spring and summer. If they tried to talk shit about the Black Panthers, flank with Saint Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime show. Yet another lost opportunity.
Oldest Evidence of Silk Found in 8,500-Year-Old Tombs. Jiahu in the middle of Henan Province in central China. Revealed by chemical analysis of silk proteins. The previous oldest silk was 5,000 years old.
The wild, extinct supercow returning to Europe. Yeah! Bring back the aurochs! Tauros programme using selective breeding on the Maronesa cow.
“Alien megastructure” signal may be due to star eating a planet. How pedestrian.
The Search for Aliens Has Become a Grassroots Movement for Billionaires. The usual suspects: Yuri Milner, Elon Musk, Robert Bigelow. I need to create alerts to keep up with these guys and their space junk. Milner is the one I miss the most news on. In all of the election turmoil, I’d missed this altogether: China Powers Up World’s Largest Radio Telescope To Begin Search For Alien Life. Five Hundred Metre Aperture Spherical Telescope. (FAST.) Three years just to calibrate? Damn.
Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada. Humans occupied the site as early as 24,000 ago. “The results offer archaeological support for the ‘Beringian standstill hypothesis’, which proposes that a genetically isolated human population persisted in Beringia during the LGM and dispersed from there to North and South America during the post-LGM period.”
Kurt Eichenwald is a creepy nut and no one should listen to him. Sadly, he might be an excellent example of cancer that has devoured the Democratic Party. Neoliberalism hollowed the party out to leave broken creatures like Eichenwald with outsized presences.
Pity the sad legacy of Barack Obama. I still don’t regret Obama over Clinton then McCain in 2008, or Obama over Romney in 2012, but yeah, fuck Obama. What a pathetic squandering of 8 years that did absolutely nothing to prevent us falling into an abyss. Cornel West is almost too polite in this post-mortem of Obama’s failed presidency.
Bernie Sanders: Trump has to rescue Obamacare or admit he’s a liar. Bernie lays it on the line while Hillary bathes in standing ovations at musicals while she plans to attend Trump’s inauguration. Hold Trump accountable. Hold the failed leadership of the Democratic party accountable. Medicare for all.
Silicon Valley vs Civilization. So many fucking fascists. Ames linked this NYT piece to dovetail his article. Hm:
In 2016, what is normally a routine license renewal process was used to punish groups that have been critical of Mr. Modi or his policies.
That might become common here. The IRS will truly be weaponized. States will start screwing with permits and licenses.
Trump’s team wants everyone in National Nuclear Security Administration gone January 20th. This seems the same deal they wanted with the ambassadors. It seems they were signaling that confirmation be damned, the Senate is going to use the nuclear option for votes. Now it seems weirder and scarier, like a full purge. Trump’s people’s desire to use literal nukes tactical seems all too real. No one knows what the hell they’re up to or if there is any plan at all.
Hillary Clinton Received Multiple Ovations at The Color Purple. These people are fucking sick. No one should applaud her. Trump was her handpicked opponent and she failed the American people with her cynical, incompetent campaign. She has steadfastly refused to accept any responsibility for delivering the country into the hands of an idiot racist fascist. She and Bill are attending the Trump inauguration. Hillary should be pelted with shit and driven in shame from public life forever. The people who continue to prop up Hillary’s rotten corpse are degenerate and broken.
Abraham Riesman interviews Alfonso Cuarón about Children of Men. Cuarón’s early 21st Century reading list is fun. His dig at the real stakes of the 2016 American presidential election is painful. “There is no time for caution; there is only time for transformation,” is a damned great quote. “ne more time, the election of one person becomes more important than … All the media reports, and all the left, and all the liberals just focusing on what, in Sanskrit, is maya — an illusion.” Ouch. For all my concern of the radical redistribution of wealth to the ultra-rich, it truly comes down to concern for rapacious economic policies accelerating catastrophic global climate change, one that endangers humanity. Cuarón himself seems to have moved beyond the inevitable horror to ambivalent acceptance. Great interview.
Amazon’s store of the future has no cashiers, but humans are watching from behind the scenes. Gross. Universal Basic Income better be just around the corner, but this shopping while being constantly monitored by cameras is weird and disgusting. Shit like this makes me pray for another Carrington Event, regardless of the probable complete collapse of civilization.
Yesterday I was getting worked up about American special forces deploying to Baltic States. After reading this post on Tom’s Dispatch, the grim reality is that American special forces were deployed to 138 countries in 2016. Holy fuck.
Something is seriously amiss. It’ll probably come to nothing, but….
plus Fancy Bear ramping up infowar against Germany—and rest of West.
Remembering that person who wrote the recent Politico piece promoting a new Cold War against Putin is a former lobbyist for Georgia, and now Ukraine… it very much feels that countries in addition to Russia are manipulating the United States.
I’m less interested in proving Putin supported Trump than why we’re suddenly building up troops in Europe in the last month of Obama’s presidency. As terrifying as Trump is domestically, the establishment forces in opposition to him seem hellbent on some unthinkably awful foreign policy.
Fuck this fucking cold. It’s still lingering. It’s a chore to breathe. Almost skipped posting.
Kid is infatuated with Big Star this morning. He grabbed the album cover and ran around around the house shouting in excitement.
Genetic Study of Andaman Islanders Uncovers New Human Ancestor. Whoa. I missed this one. There was a recent study pointing towards introgression from another archaic human branch in Melanesia. This Andaman study was even in Nature of all places. Completely missed it.
Interview/profile of the volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer. His book Eruptions that Shook the World looks a little outside my budget for now. I’m now catching up on the Werner Herzog documentaries I skipped in recent years. I may have mentioned before than in the past ten years that I’ve watched the barest minimum of films.
Dust To Dust: Scientists Find DNA Of Human Ancestors In Cave Floor Dirt. Just a standard NPR profile.
Israeli diplomat caught on camera plotting to ‘take down’ UK MPs. This almost isn’t news, because it’s common knowledge that this is standard operating procedure for Israel. So why are we freaking out over Russia influencing American elections again? Israel has been doing for years in the U.S. without regard to any interest than their own. Israel isn’t as actively hostile as Russia in regard to the U.S. but there’s strong precedent for a foreign power meddling in our elections. There’s no need for war over this, just extreme caution.
No snow or freezing rain here, although it’s in mid 20s now. The cold still has me laid low, but with two days off, there’s time to mend. The past three days of struggling into work, only to stumble home in the mid-afternoon has kept the cold hanging on.
With my current earthquake and volcano fetish, I used last night’s insomnia to jump into Werner Herzog’s Into the Inferno. (I wish I’d thought of it sooner last night.) Back on this film this morning. It dovetails perfectly into climate change and archaic hominids.
How Henry Kissinger Conspired Against a Sitting President. He helped obstruct the extradition of two men who assassinated a Chilean dissident on American soil. We have less than 13 days to charge this vile asshole with violation of the Logan Act. Make it happen.
I feel guilty that I tried repeatedly to get into Silkworm after their heyday, but it never took. Back in the day, I passed over them more times than I can count. There’s a documentary of them, Couldn’t You Wait? made a decade ago. This might be the key. Then again, I have a sneaking suspicion that I linked this documentary before.
I’m still laid low by illness. Work is hell. I’m not making it all of the way through shifts. Today will be rough too and it’ll end prepping for freezing rain that south Louisiana never has its shit together for.
Mexico Gas Protests, Looting Leave 2 Dead, 700 Arrested. The gas price was hike by at least 20%. This stems from the privatization of Pemex, the national oil monopoly. People didn’t like this result. Protests have been going on all week in Mexico State, Veracruz, Nuevo Leon, and Hidalgo. There’s been barely a hiccup of this on my various newsfeed.
U.S. envoys appointed by Obama asked to quit by Inauguration Day. There might not be replacements for months, because the confirmations would take months. I wonder if this signals that the Senate’s nuclear option will come into play immediately after the Trump inauguration.
These excavations in Burkina Faso could turn up something surprising. There’s mention of 1,300 year old mounds, as well as flint flakes from 50 to 15 thousand years old.
The reconstructed face of 9,500 year old Jericho Man. Hm. I reckon this would be one of the guys wearing the stone masks of Israel.
The Octopus with the Look of Silk: Pedro Leandro Ipuche, Isidore Ducasse, and Borges. This guy is amazing. He’s doing some great detective work connecting the dots. Maldoror woodcut.
vallejo nocturno has a great post up on Psychic Temple. I need more of this music.
‘The Venture Bros.’ Doesn’t Get Enough Respect For Redefining Adult Cartoons. Nope. It doesn’t. I wanna punch Archer fans in the face occasionally.
I left work early yesterday. I grabbed some Nyquil on way home. I read five pages of The Major Refutation, then passed out. I don’t know how I’ll make it through work today. We don’t get actual sick days.
Senators Threaten to Cut Worldwide Embassy Security If U.S. Doesn’t Move Its Israeli Embassy to Jerusalem. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Dean Heller introduced the bill cutting all embassy security by half until the embassy in Israel moves to Jerusalem. Can you say 100 more Benghazis? Shameless hypocrisy and kinda evil. Some of the same assholes who hounded Hillary over Benghazi shouldn’t even dare propose such legislation.
Turks questioning U.S.-led coalition presence at air base. The U.S. keeps coordinating with the Kurds and Turkey doesn’t like it. Combine that with Turkey’s recent summit with Russia and Iran. Turkey continues to drift away from the West.
Interview with Jim Jarmusch. I’ve honestly not watched one of his films in years. He talks more about the music than the actual movie. Heh.
‘Sicilian Stonehenge’ discovered by amateur archaeologists. This might be worth keeping an eye out for more news in coming years. Near the town of Gela. “The ‘Sicilian Stonehenge’ dates back to between 6,000 and 3,000 BC, and is located close to the prehistoric necropolises of Grotticelle, Ponte Olivo and Dessueri.”
I forgot that a few weeks ago that I finally read the third part of Charles Burns’ Last Look trilogy. Christ. That was awful and unsatisfying. It’s great piece of work. The imagery is extremely unsettling. I have a craving for disturbing dream logic, especially that which explores trauma. However, when the trauma is revealed, it’s incredibly disappointing in how obvious and pedestrian that conclusion is. Completely unsympathetic protagonists I can handle, but Doug’s dumbass mistake makes him so irredeemably hateable. The only question I’m left with after reading Last Look is why the fuck did I waste my time exploring this small piece of shit. The “tragedy” of the wounded male psyche is why I refuse to read most American literature. Cool art though.