morning 05.17.17

Trump revealing classified material to Russia regarding ISIS was unsurprising. He has dementia after all, and is so stupid, arrogant, and insecure he would have done it even before his decline. Hillary’s private email server still matters incidentally. Trump’s fuck-up is now more important, but if we’d admitted no one is above the rule of law when she committed perjury and obstruction and justice, the 2016 election would have been very different. This is where we arrive when laws are selectively enforced according to how powerful people are. Now we’re in a full-blown constitutional crisis and even if Trump is removed, it’s a line of right-wing zealots who will succeed him.

It looks like Pence will be president in a few months. I take absolutely no comfort in that. We are so fucked.

By the way, I’m no law and order person if that’s not apparent. My hang-up on rule of law is that it’s pretty fucking clear that it only matters when crushing the dissenters and the disenfranchised. The architects of the 2003 Iraq War were never prosecuted. The architects of the 2008 financial crisis were never charged with any crimes. This is where that path led inevitably.

…and i wrote that yesterday morning- never getting around to posting because my folks came over with a mower to help with the grass. Now Comey has revealed he has notes of Trump pushing him to shut down the Flynn investigation.

This morning the Republicans seem to be holding fast against starting impeachment. Good. I worry that impeachment would blow up in the idiot Democrats’ faces. Pence would put a more polite face on the exact same evil shit Trump is doing. The Democrats would run around patting themselves on the back for Trump’s removal and not push any domestic policy that helps anyone. 2018: the angry Trump voters would be further mobilized and hold Congress for the Republicans.

Hillary Clinton officially launches ‘resistance’ outside group. Oh, do fuck off, Hillary. I have to concede that Indivisible has done some great work with packing the town hall with disgruntled voters with legitimate questions and the former Clinton staffers in these other organizations could be some sincere people. However, how many fucking times has it been demonstrated- do not give money to a Clinton. Eve Peyser (one of those anomalous good Vice people) lists organizations to donate to instead of Onward Together.

Larry Krasner wins Democratic primary for Philadelphia District Attorney. If only New Orleans can shed itself of Leon Cannizarro…

NASA Has Detected Hundreds of Unexpected Flashes Reflecting Off Our Planet. Atmospheric ice crystals. It’s almost too obvious now that it’s figured out.

These Cave Carson covers by Mike Oeming, Matt Wagner and Bill Sienkiewicz are cool.

morning 05.15.17

Well-traveled tool shows early humans covered vast distances. Obsidian tool found in Syria’s Sifta Valley dating from 30 to 40 thousand years ago originated from a volcano in central Turkey 700 km away.

This is what emboldened white supremacists look like. Part of me felt that some of the nonsense about what is going down in New Orleans over the Confederate monuments is over-the-top. Not anymore. What happened in Charlottesville, North Carolina is pretty fucked up. As many pointed out, when black activists march with their hands up to protest being gunned down indiscriminately, they’re tear-gassed and shot. When a bunch of white nationalists show up wielding torches in direct homage to the Ku Klux Klan, cops keep anyone from getting near them. Be vigilant.

The Fascist and the Preacher: Gerald L. K. Smith and Francis Parker Yockey in Cold War–Era Los Angeles. Yockeyism has been throw around a lot through the years. I’ve read about Yockey before. It’s insane this shit has almost made it mainstream now.

The Autocrat’s Language. Masha Gessen. Trump isn’t the first to do this obviously, nor is Gessen making that argument. It’s how corporations talk though. When a company starts talking about its culture and throwing around buzzwords, you know you’re about to have the rug pulled out from under you.

The crushing idiocy of Donald Trump. I like the piece and completely agree- but… this tsunami of brutal stupidity serves an agenda that obscenely rich and powerful people support. Even the Democratic leaders are for the most part on board, only quibbling that they’re not getting their desired share of the booty and how gauche and obvious the actions look.

Kill All Normies Is About the Alt-Right But the Left Ends Up Looking Worse. I’ve been looking forward to Angela Nagle’s book, but this review makes a peculiar assertion. It plucks a single tweet with an asshole gloating at the death of Mark Fisher, to pivot to an indictment of the left. That’s a curious thing to do. Nearly every reaction I read online in reaction to the death of Mark Fisher was sincere mourning and urging everyone to read his writings. Maybe it’s just a shitty editor making a traffic grabbing headline, because the actual point made by Nagle & Kiberd in the article isn’t unfair.

Still Not an Activist. Someone on Twitter remarked that the Resistance as a bipartisan, capitalist movement is nothing anyone who desires justice and equity should want to join.

El-P’s Fantastic Damage turns 15 today—too bad you can’t find it anywhere. I didn’t have a clue. I thought it was okay at the time but was far more into Cannibal Ox The Cold Vein. A few weeks ago I threw it on after revisiting Company Flow, which I’d previously brushed off altogether. Odd.

morning 05.12.17

Jeff Sessions Rolls Back Obama-Era Drug Sentencing Reforms. “Moral & just.” Sessions is a real sack of shit. Part of why I’m on board with Comey firing shitfest for the moment is that I want to see Sessions burn. I hate every member of the administration with a passion, but seeing that hateful shit disgraced and ousted is a little dream of mine.

No, I don’t miss Eric Holder. Fuck that guy too. Had he taken down the banks for their crimes, there would likely have been far less chance of a Trump presidency. Fuck his weak response to Ferguson and all of his other less than aggressive actions on civil rights.

Zeynel Bey Mausoleum has been moved to higher ground from Hasankeyf. It bums me the fuck out that this is still happening. I’d lost track of the Ilisu Dam project in the chaos of the past few years.

Turkish police confiscate 2,170 books from Belge Publishing House. Ongoing war on the Left in Turkey.

Fossils from Ancient Hot Springs Suggest Life May Have Evolved on Land. Hot spring pools really. Western Australia.

Never saw this video before. Completely forgot the song until this morning. It’s been ages since I put on Crushed Velvet Apocalypse. I forgot just how Barrett ran through them. Sitting in the dark drinking shitty wine out of a box in a rotting house full of rats, snakes, and black mold- this was part of the soundtrack.

morning 05.11.17

Comey infuriated Trump with refusal to preview Senate testimony. My feeling is that Trump himself ain’t covering up shit. He’s a dumb. petty man with dementia. Probably someone else vulnerable to an investigation on Russian ties, Sessions possibly, took advantage of Trump’s vengeful stupidity. Trump himself probably thinks he’s invulnerable.

Let’s All Celebrate These College Graduates Raining Boos Upon Betsy DeVos. Heroes. Civility is a tool to oppress. No one should treat anyone in the Trump administration with an iota of respect. It was insulting DeVos was invited to speak, no matter if Trump walked back his comment about black universities.

More secrets of human ancestry emerge from South African caves. John Hawks on the new Homo naledi discoveries.

Tegan O’Neil on Star Wars. I reckon I need to go back to read the eight previous installments. Tegan is far more into the prequels than I ever could be- but her closing argument is persuasive, much in line to my own affection for the series. I’m not proud.

The Dirtbag Left at Harvard: An Interview with Chapo Trap House. Slow to take off, but there are a few gems further in. Brendan gets in a good bit:

If there’s one spirit we’re raging against, it’s the Aaron Sorkin mindset, that politics is about rationality, and debate, and decorum. Any anger that’s in that type of art or metaphor is a false anger, an anger out of people not being nice enough or rational enough. It’s not anger that actually comes from your gut, that’s concerned with humanity.

Slowdive was never one of my bands. The new stuff sounds quite good, but dream pop and shoegaze were for other people. It’s weird to think back to a friend who had a radio show on KSLU in the late ’90s who played almost exclusively bands like Slowdive, but even then, he seemed a man out of time. (Our interests intersected on Spacemen 3.) OTOH my wife is probably going to love Dead Oceans. She’s been a big fan of the Horrors in recent years.

The new LCD Soundsystem songs aren’t blowing me away either. I’m grateful they exist and eager for more, but they’re not fulfilling at this time.

 

morning 05.10.17

Trump firing Comey. Nope. I didn’t see that coming.

What the Russia shit has to do with it, I cannot imagine. Mitch McConnell hasn’t said shit yet. The Senate cannot and will not do anything without him. McConnell is probably going to quash whatever majority cobbled together for an investigation or prosecutor. Bringing down Trump over collusion with the Russians isn’t going to save us regardless. It’s a weird fixation many people have. That’s why I’m more concerned with inadequacies of the Democratic Party. The extreme right holds a hegemony on most levers of government now. Bringing down Trump accomplishes very little in reality.

Whoever is the new FBI director will be someone more sympathetic to crazy, evil shit that Jeff Sessions is cooking up. Whatever descendant of COINTELPRO that’s running now will be replaced with something far more aggressive. Using the FBI to target and intimidate judges who are ruling against Trump’s executive orders may be a far higher priority than quashing any investigation.

Reporter arrested at Capitol after trying to ask U.S. health secretary Tom Price questions. Dan Heyman asked repeatedly asked question about AHCA, whether domestic violence is classified as a pre-existing condition. The Secret Service was used to arrest Heyman and used a West Virginia state code to charge him with a misdemeanor:

“If any person willfully interrupts or molests the orderly and peaceful process of any department, division, agency or branch of state government or of its political subdivisions, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Retail funk: Stores face biggest challenges since recession. Scary data and some very dumb analyses & anecdotes. The only one talking sense in this article is Badillo, “The economic effects tend to reinforce the widening income equality and redistribution that favor ‘haves’ over ‘have nots’, professional class over the working class and urban over rural.” Prices keep rising in stores and the wages of retail employees remain stagnant. People getting laid off are becoming unemployed or finding new jobs in retail with fewer hours & probably lower pay because they lost seniority. Talking about the turn to online shopping is fucking technocratic delusion. Yes- please quote some app-happy consumer in San Francisco shopping for overpriced clothes online, you morons. Collapse is coming.

Tunnel collapse at Hanford Nuclear site, emergency declared. A friend pointed out that this is the same site where one of the LIGO observatories is located.

The UAE Drops More Clues About Its Mysterious Plan to Colonize Mars. Colony on Mars by 2117. Pft. Should we survive so long as a species…

Homo naledi’s surprisingly young age opens up more questions on where we come from. The paper revealing more fossils from the Rising Star Cave that are younger has finally been published.

I read the first few pages of VanderMeer’s Borne Monday evening. Titanic flying bear dominates city with humans combing through its hair while it sleeps for food and salvage. VanderMeer’s gonna VanderMeer. It sounds fucking preposterous, but I’m already invested in it. Planning to buy it this Friday. I woulda grabbed it sooner, but money is pretty tight yet again.

Reading Perlstein’s Nixonland this week anyway. The parish library is largely shit, with their political section being loaded to capacity with exclusively reactionary right scam screeds, but their history section is tiny but passable. Invisible Bridge is there too.

Huh. I’d pretty much given on Melville House after their publication of that deranged Susan Bordo book, but this Ian Dreiblatt post on John McDonnell offsets that somewhat. This Curtis White  Socialist Survivalism series isn’t bad either. I was wrong. They haven’t placed their entire future in the hands of publishing increasingly oblivious & desperate neoliberals.

morning 05.09.17

Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate. I’ve no idea what’s really going on here, but suspect that it has less to do with “forwarded emails” to Anthony Weiner than the nature of how that private email server was backing up some data in multiple places. Remember Platte River Networks and Datto, Inc. Also remember that a laptop full of email was lost. Comey needs to shut the fuck up. I’ve no doubt that Hillary and her gang should have been prosecuted and barred from the Democratic nomination, but now the issue is on Trump firing Sally Yates, possibly not for her opposition to the travel ban, but for revealing to White House counsel McGahn the evidence of Flynn’s Russian problems. It was the same day, January 30th. Odd.

How the Aztecs Predicted the Apocalypse. Sam Kriss.

The Fake News Liberals Don’t Want to Talk About. Eve Peyser starting a column , Evesplaining, on subject that needs documenting, liberal derangement. The Colbert & FCC story was so easily explained1, yet people kept passing it around as if Trump was directly retaliating. I fell for “rape as a pre-existing condition” for about 30 seconds honestly.

How TV Became Respectable Without Getting Better. Ah, so that’s what Matt meant. He explodes every so often on Chapo about how prestige television is bullshit, but it’s always a digression from the discussion. The others use his grudge to needle. Reading his whole argument, I find absolutely nothing controversial or contrarian about it. Yep- film is still more diverse and adventurous than tv and the angsty white male protagonist is ultra-dominant in what passes for prestige tv.2 It’s his last paragraph that deserves expanding:

One of the bitterest of the many bitter ironies of the digital age is that the explosion of television options and web-based platforms featuring cultural writing has led not to a flowering of creativity and a golden age of critical insight, but an all-consuming monoculture. A cargo cult where the trappings of a few groundbreaking cable shows from early in the millennium have hardened into tropes that power a legion of inferior imitators. Even more disturbingly, dozens of writers at dozens of outlets that depend on clicks and engagement have forged a hive-mind of positivity about the whole thing, assuring their audience that a diet of cultural junk food is just as healthy as balanced meals, because television is the medium best suited to the lives of internet-addicted office drones. Hopefully, as the Golden Age of the Golden Age of Television recedes farther into memory, and as viewers’ working conditions grow more and more intolerable, there will be a collective realization that we deserve better than Prestige TV.

  1. BTW Matt Pearce is awesome. I picked up on him during Ferguson and he never disappoints []
  2. However, I am significantly older and remember what tv was like before prestige tv came along. I genuinely like Deadwood and The Wire. I never watched The Sopranos, didn’t give a shit about Mad Men, got exasperated with Breaking Bad, and found Westworld to be a semi-fun exercise in bloated nonsense. []

noon 05.08.17

Trumpism: It’s Coming From the Suburbs. “Always and everywhere, this sort of petit bourgeois constitutes the core of fascism.” Hillary’s still trying to woo these shitheads. Recall her recent “snarky” comment about how the people who voted for Trump don’t even live in areas with good cell phone reception.

Memo to liberal media: New Orleans hasn’t just ‘joined’ movement against white supremacy. C.W. Cannon. Nearly every bit of the pro-monument shit about history is utterly ahistorical.

Prosecuted by her legal counterpart: ‘It destroyed my life in so many ways’. Leon Cannizzaro needs to be removed from office. Between these direct attacks on public defenders and the fake subpoenas, there’s no way that this is

Swimming under cemeteries. Review of a new Leonora Carrington biography.

morning 05.08.17

Air Force’s X-37B Space Plane Lands in Florida After Record-Breaking Secret Mission. OTV-4. Almost two years. Next one goes up later this year.

It wasn’t surprising to see that Nola.com tried to pull some bullshit by pretending that the fighting at Lee Circle was a clash between pro-monument and anti-monument forces with ambiguous reporting. It is still worth remembering how sleazy it is. The fighting broke out between two right wing, pro-monument factions- an alt-right guy versus some old school redneck Neo-Confederates. All three who were arrested were right wing men. The videos of Lee Circle also demonstrate that history doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with it. Most of the people who came to protest against the monuments being taken down were howling crazy racist shit about white genocide. History is not their concern. Maintaining symbols of white supremacy is.

Take ‘Em Down NOLA did a great job organizing the march. New Orleans Advocate reports that 500 came out to march for taking the monuments down and less than a 100 to protest against. The ratio looks a lot higher in favor of anti-monument when photographers weren’t trying to balance the shots. That the anti-monument protesters had the second line and the pro-monument did not says everything one needs to know about whether those monuments belong in New Orleans.

Universal Harvester was fine. It’s good that Darnielle has a talent for writing novels and has an audience for it. I’m not one of them. It just wasn’t anything that I connected with. Mortality and loss I get. Midwestern wholesomeness, not a whit. I only stuck with it only affection for Darnielle.

morning 05.07.17

An Unkempt Jeremiad. This new book The People’s Police by Norman Spinrad looks so head-spinning bad, but it also looks amazingly inventive and fun. One book like this is worth a hundred “middle-aged academic has a crisis” novels. A police strike in New Orleans against home foreclosures. Ha! Why the fuck not? I love fantasy. Then again, one of my local DSA brethren dismissed the fact that I know of Orleans Parish deputies who apparently smoke a lot of weed recreationally. Good for them.

Mindhorn review – Julian Barratt’s arresting spoof sleuth. Shit. I’m way behind on his work. I still haven’t been able to see Flowers.

Why does the Russian revolution matter? China Miéville.

I’d love to see Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District dismantled. I’m not wise or smart enough to know the proper way to do it demographically. However, slapping Kenner, Plaquemines, ect. into same district as the rest of New Orleans, then putting a significant portion of the River Road parishes into a Baton Rouge district, seems fairer. I’ve no idea what to do with the Florida Parishes, but I’m permanently enraged that I’m lumped into the same district as Bastrop, LA. I’ve nothing against the people of that town, but about a four hour drive away. Something’s wrong there. Lump everything except Baton Rouge into a new District 1 perhaps. My vote itself doesn’t matter. It would just be fun to see how the notoriously shitty candidates of District 1 (Livingston, Jindal, and Scalise in recent years) would have to adjust without Metairie and Kenner. It would likely stay solidly Republican, but possibly not +24 Republican if the northern parts of Florida Parishes currently exiled to District 5 were included.

dawn 06.06.17

i don’t even want to comment on this shit but gotta get back in habit when better stuff turns up again.

Oil company Santos admits business plan is based on 4C temperature rise. Dismantle the oil companies. Fuck it- destroy them. They are an existential threat to humanity. Planning how to make a profit in global catastrophe when you’re a primary cause for the catastrophe means that they are incapable of making rational choices. Fuck these idiot monsters.

Trump transition raised flags about Flynn Russia contacts. I don’t care about the Russia shit. I just fucking don’t. It’s the removal of the SCIF material by the Trump team. A journalist pointed out that detail last night and it got under my skin that the #StillWithHer crowd jumped on that with their pathetic “But her emails” meme. Hillary also had issues with SCIF material. That’s why her emails were a problem. They still don’t grasp how much Hillary fucked up and the FBI let slide because Loretta Lynch’s DOJ wouldn’t prosecute her and her staff. Thank Hillary for using the Bush administration as a measuring stick. It’s about setting precedents. “Laws are for little people.” Anyway- of course the Trump administration is even more reckless about following protocol on classified material and now we can do fuck all about it.

The emails matter because Hillary never should have been allowed to run. The end.