1. In Havana last spring in the rolling beauty of Spanish, how I'd miss the sound of Usahn English, like the sound of an axe splitting wood.
2. Words like 'hack' & 'leak.'
3. Such mixed pleasure to hear those two these days.
4. Day 80 of the bardo, Day 151 since the election, almost half a year. 49 years this week since who killed Martin.
5. & who bombed Syria out in the open Thursday night. They? We?
6. The missiles called 'Tomahawk,' the ships they're launched from 'destroyers,' whose tomahawks, who are the destroyers.
7. 'Greed' doesn't seem to capture it, that unslakeable thirst that drives you to destroy & then dance in the costumes of those you've destroyed.
8. They've? We've? You've?
9. Then pass out & get up erased & do it again.
10. The flint patient precision of Rosa Parks's voice: "I want to make very certain that it is understood that I had not taken a seat in the white section, as has been reported in many cases."
11. How she was arrested in what she called the colored section, which the white passengers took over once there was no other room.
12. A word for that sound one childhood summer in Scituate, stepping out into the yard, as the unbalancing of the balanced protections opened the way to plague, the wrong light blazing through the stripped oak branches & the sound of the gypsy moth larvae jaws working.
13. Someone brought them from France in the 19th century, hoping to make money interbreeding them with silk worms, & set them loose in Medford.
14. Lymantria dispar, 'Lymantria' as in 'destroyer.'
15. Travel guide: Eat the World NYC.
16. How the phrase 'climate change' is starting to wear on me, would you say "When I threw the glass on the floor it changed."
17. As in 'regime change,' aka 'Lymantria democratiae.'
18. Forgot to notice Day 108 since the election, Saturday February 25. Just looked back at my journal: "The work of warning about the danger coming & what does it shift to when the danger is here."
19. Reading about the 108 steps to escape the mind's labyrinth, above the Starbuck's ad that says Bring Home The Iced Coffee You Love.
20. Woven into one of the old definitions of 'hack': confusions re money & love.
a : a person who works solely for mercenary reasons : a hireling, as in a party hack. See hired gun.
b : a writer who works on order; also : a writer who aims solely for commercial success.
21. The versions of love leaking through the composures of the tv announcer last night, swooning under the arc of imperial fire behind him, even before he said, "I am tempted to quote the great Leonard Cohen: 'I am guided by the beauty of our weapons.'"
21a. --a companion of the version of love in Curtis Mayfield's voice when he sings, "I'm your pusherman."
22. CNN's retired Lieutenant General Expert repeating the talking points, 3 times, word for word, "to reinforce what we all know": "this was a bold, tactical strike."
22a. @adamjohnsonNYC : "good thing we don't have govt-controlled media in this country."
22b. What a Cuban friend says to a Usahn friend she argues with: "The difference is that I know my press is controlled by the government, & you don't."
23. Right-wing Twitter upset last night, Who's going to pay for domestic institutionalized racism if we're spending all this money on missiles?
23a. @Gr8KublaiKahn : "wow, he just went full bush. Unbelievable."
24. & Thomas Friedman recommended bombing & partition, because that worked out so well last time.
24b. Guardian July 2005, re the $8.8 billion that disappeared: So, Mr Bremer, Where Did All the Money Go? #Loot
25. Al-Monitor journalist Laura Rozen in Birdland the night before: "hear third hand US mil intel community working up targets inside Syria."
26. Daniel Trubman in Birdland: "Wouldn't mind some regular disclosure of which military-industrial complex companies these generals work for; would save me some googling."
27. @BBassem7: "Six years of Syrian war, and the winner is? @Raytheon : manufacturer of weapons systems such as TOWs, heavily used by rebels. Stock tripled."
28. Right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham: "Pres. Trump just said this is in the 'vital natl security interests of the U.S.'"
Twitter account named after the first white girl born in the colony of Virginia: "No one believes this."
29. --as Richard Fontaine of the Center for a New American Security said that one of the key questions was whether the "punitive strike" was a first step toward ousting Assad or a "humanitarian gesture."
30. Blake Hounshell: "Senators in both parties seem to be supporting the airstrikes." Glenn Greenwald: "Evergreen tweet."
31. Raytheon up at the bell this morning, as they say. "Leads premarket gainers."
32. That clip from the 1991 Times Business section I saved for years, with a picture of a wheelchair & the question, Now That There's War, What Are The Pure Plays?
33. John Aravosis, "an American Democratic political consultant, journalist, civil rights advocate & blogger," tweet from last May: "Serious question: Does everyone remember if they were for or against the Iraq war in 2003 AT THE TIME. I honestly don't."
33a. & last night's reply from @ArmyStrang : "Hey @aravosis, be sure you write it down this time."
34. The tone of that exchange that didn't exist in 1991 when the bombing of Baghdad started, because now there is an internet.
35. When I was first in Havana, smiling at hearing again the sound of a dial-up modem, which I first heard with my 3-year-old daughter climbing on my head
36. & how the pops & hisses reminded me of the first times I made transAtlantic phone calls, in 1981, when friends were traveling in Europe, & I'd wait until weekends when no one was in offices so I could go to pay phones & ask the operator to charge the calls to the Moral Majority or the Trilateral Commission.
37. Note from my journal: "I am about to step into cyberspace, courtesy of Sarah Lawrence & the new laptop." September 11, 1997
38. How the day I bought the modem adapter I also went to Gotham Books & bought Wallace Stevens & Derek Walcott poems on cassette tapes.
39. How if I live to be 72 I'll have passed my life half in the world where some roads lead to cyberspace & half where all roads led to what by 1995 cyberpunks were already calling 'meatspace,' aka the body's world.
40. cyberpunk. a subgenre of futuristic science fiction the first took shape in the early 80s, featuring advanced technological & scientific achievements, juxtaposed with breakdown or radical change in the social order. "Cyberpunk's protagonists are hackers, rockers & other cultural rebels, clinging to a cult of individualism in a culture characterized by corporate control & mass conformity."
41. "Bladerunner," 1982, Harrison Ford's voice: "A blade runner's job is to hunt down replicants: manufactured humans you can't tell from the real thing." How they're made by a corporation that articulates its goal in one word: Commerce. "More human than human."
42. The news last week that a Swedish company is implanting chips in employees' hands, so they can swipe in with a wave.
43. How with every year that passes soldiers & police officers look more like machines.
44. The places in the world where the American assassin is a machine.
45. The beginning of "Blade Runner," "Los Angeles. November 2019," & that first flash that looks like a helicopter lifting off in a city in the rain, as seen by someone under it.
46. So much depends upon where you're standing in relation to the helicopter.
47. Assad interviewed by Yahoo: "I've been in the presidential palace. Not the prison." [Laughing]
48. Rumsfeld note on a 2002 memo: "I stand for 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to four hours?"
49. How the door to Harrison Ford's captain's office has a panel of clouded glass with his name stenciled on it
50. --like the one my beloved Ruth's son Elijah put in my hands last month after Ruth's memorial in Cambridge, the glass panel from Ruth's parents' dermatology office in Vienna, which they brought with them in 1938 when fascism came & they ran.
51. Ruth to the CBC in 2010, on machines that claim to make pre-natal genetic predictions: "This is all being done for profit. There is money to be made at every step. Once you have a machine that gives you these statistics or predictions, you amortize the cost of having bought it by using it."
52. Cost of the Raytheon missiles dropped on a mostly empty Syrian airfield Thursday night: $88.5 million.
53. What Harrison Ford's captain says re the replicant assassin pursuing him: "You could learn from this guy. He's a damn one-man slaughterhouse."
54. Louis-Ferdinand Céline re one road to fascism, via the war the US entered 100 years ago this week:
"I’m giving you a dreamy passage here, then maybe you can show a bit of the Meuse countryside, that’s where I began in the war, by the way, a bit of Flanders, good, fine, you just need to look at it, it’s very evocative, and then very softly you begin to let the rumbling of the guns rise up. What you knew the war by, what the people of ’14 knew it by, was the gunfire, from both sides. It was a rolling blom belolom belom, it was a mill, grinding our epoch down."
55. Reverend Walter Fauntroy, who served on the House Select Assassinations Committee in the 1970s, under cross-examination in the civil trial in Memphis in 1999, Coretta Scott King et al. v former police officer Lloyd Jowers et al., in which 12 jurors reached a unanimous verdict that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy:
Q. You mentioned about the hatred of the FBI for Dr. King. What do you recall about that statement from them?
A. Well, I do remember something that very much disturbed me, and I was director of the Washington bureau [of the SCLC] so I got most of the information. There were cartoons done after Dr. King's speech on April the 4th, 1967--a year to the day before he was killed. There were editorials. There were cartoons suggesting that Dr. King was a danger to the American way, that he was an ally of the communists, that something needed to be done about him. It was on the basis of those kinds of articles that were crafted in the FBI in their offices and then fed out to a network of stations and newspapers.
56. Republican Representative Louis Gohmert of Texas last January, to “Fox & Friends,” re fired Attorney General Sally Yates : “A good book once said and still says you can’t serve two masters and apparently we had an acting attorney general that was still serving the Obama administration. She showed herself to be a political hack and hacks have to be jacked and she’s been jacked and she is gone.”
57. Attorney William Schaap testifying at the 1999 civil trial:
"But most people didn't realize the extent of the intelligence media organization. It's fairly incredible. They sort of brag about it. When you read the books about the history of the CIA, one of the heroes was the first man in charge of media operations, a man named Frank Wisner. And they referred to his organization as the Mighty Wurlitzer. And there's this image of this guy sitting at one of those giant organs, you know, with seventeen keyboards and you're playing this--sort of like The Phantom of the Opera in that scene, and there was the guy running the CIA media operations all around the world. And he really was because every single city of any size on earth, he had some employee who was--supposedly worked for a newspaper or a magazine or a radio station or a wire service, and they could get stories anywhere."
58. US News & World Report, August 5, 1963: Is US Giving Up In The Arms Race?
& August 12: If Peace Does Come--What Happens To Business? : "This question once again is being raised: If peace does come, what happens to business? Will the bottom drop out if defense spending is cut?"
59. Attorney William Pepper in the 1999 civil suit, representing the plaintiff--
"You’ve heard evidence of a very reputable forty-year-in-business store owner sit up there and tell you that he always bought--every Thursday he went to Frank Liberto’s warehouse, that was his last stop before he went back to Somerville, and on that Thursday, April 4, he heard the owner of that place take the telephone and scream into it, 'Shoot the son-of-a-bitch when he comes on the balcony,' amongst other things. That is the first indication of the involvement of a Mr. Frank Liberto, which information was given to the police and the FBI and forgotten about.
"Then you’ve heard two other independent witnesses testify at different ends of the trial, one called as a witness by the defense, Mrs. Lavada Addison, who had this conversation with Mr. Liberto in her cafe when Liberto leaned over the table at a time when the Select Committee hearings were on, apparently something came on the television, and whispered to Mrs. Addison, 'I arranged to have Martin Luther King killed.'”
"You heard Earl Caldwell say he was sent to Memphis by his national editor, New York Times national editor, Claude Sitton at the time, and told to go to Memphis and his words were 'Nail Dr. King.' Nail Dr. King. That is what he said he was told was his mission here in Memphis as a New York Times reporter."
"Beyond this, there is evidence that you’ve heard that this clearly couldn’t have been the murder weapon because the defendant told a taxi driver, James McCraw, to get rid of the murder weapon, and he did so. McCraw, being a close friend of Jowers, a confidant of Jowers, took the actual murder weapon and threw it off the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge. So it is laying at the bottom of the Mississippi River for over thirty-one years. The real murder weapon is at the bottom of that river."
"But it goes beyond Mr. Liberto in terms of the Mob side, because you’ve heard from witness Nathan Whitlock how he used to push a fruit cart in New Orleans with Mr. Carlos Marcello, and that he then has this relationship and this awareness of Marcello and Marcello activities. Carlos Marcello has been the Mob kingpin, was the Mob leader in this part of the country, for a long, long time.
"So any contract, any Mob contract, on Martin Luther King’s life, would come from Marcello through Liberto into the local infrastructure that Marcello had here in Memphis. Marcello himself was involved in gun running. Part of the evidence in terms of the military involvement is contained in a lengthy article that we put into evidence that appears in March of 1993 in the Commercial Appeal by Steve Tomkins, and that article indicated that there was a high-ranking general who had been charged and imprisoned for aiding and abetting the trading in stolen weapons. That deal meant what he was involved in was the theft of guns from arsenals, armories and camps, like Camp Shelby in Mississippi, the theft of weapons from those places that went to--were trucked to a Marcello property in New Orleans, and from the Marcello property in New Orleans were shipped around the coast into Houston, Texas, where they were taken off. And that is where Raoul and his crowd came into the receipt of those weapons before they went into Latin and South America.
"But, you see, already there is a relationship between organized crime and the military in the receipt of those weapons and in the ongoing sale of them."
"Then we move directly into the government of the United States, their agents themselves. We’ve learned that the 111th Military Intelligence Group based at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia, were here. They were in Memphis. They had Martin King under surveillance. Eli Arkin of the Memphis Police Department Intelligence Bureau, Intelligence Division, said they were in his office. He has admitted they were in his office.
"They were here."
"But then there is another group that is more sinister. They are not more sinister because of what they did, because they didn’t really do anything, but we know they had a presence. And that was a special eight-man sniper unit that was here in Memphis. They were all part of the 20th Special Forces Group. They were here and they were assigned and they were trained for an operation, for a mission, in Memphis. You heard testimony by a man who himself was a national security council operative who was very involved in Iran-Contra activities, who had been a long-standing operative, if you will, of the government of the United States and whose best friend was a member of that sniper team. There was no reason in the world for his best friend other than in a moment of whatever, anguish or burden, desire to relieve himself, to talk about this, this mission that he was on which he was assigned to in Memphis which was aborted, but he was assigned to it.
"Well, this man, as you’ve heard, was questioned by the police a couple of times that week. He was to give a statement the next day.
"He didn’t give a statement, did he? No, his body was found off the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge, supposedly thrown out of a speeding car. Now when we tried to find death certificates for this man, we couldn’t, either in Arkansas or in Tennessee. There is no death record at all. We found his phone number with that of his wife listed in 1967, 1966 and 1967, Betty and Paul Butler. This is all in evidence. The Polk Directory pages are there for you to look at. In 1968 it is Betty, brackets, widow, WID, of Paul, Betty widow, 1968 and 1969 she's a widow. Paul Butler was her deceased husband. He was, for him, in the wrong place at the wrong time."
& after more that at this moment my heart is too broken to repeat–
this : "When Martin King opposed the war, when he rallied people to oppose the war, he was threatening the bottom lines of some of the largest defense contractors in this country. This was about money.
"Forget about democracy, forget about any ideology. This opposition to Martin King, this growing enmity to him, was based on money and the loss of money."
60. @pdmcleod in Birdland: "Sen Lindsey Graham says he supports putting 5,000-7,000 American troops in the ground in Syria to help take down Assad." Sic.
61. Céline: "They send for us, we're brought up on deck. They put on their top hats and give us a big spiel like as follows: 'You no-good swine! We're at war! Those stinkers in Country No. 2! We're going to board them and cut their livers out! Let's go! Let's go! We've got everything we need on board! All together now! Let's hear you shout so the deck trembles: 'Long live Country No. 1!'"
62. William Schaap: "And there was a whole story in there [Life magazine] basically trying to give the line that the Vietnamese were glorifying the killing of Americans. And they thought it was so great to kill Americans that they were putting it on their postage stamps. The only thing that was later learned is that these were not North Vietnamese stamps. They were CIA forgeries. Had never been real stamps. And the CIA was able to have them appear on the cover of Life magazine as if they were the real thing."
& 62a. "If you see the history of how national security cases are covered and this is one, you will be amazed that some of the most liberal columnists, writers, respected journalists, Pulitzer Prize winners, who have all the liberal credentials, when it comes to this kind of case, they all of a sudden are totally with the government because national security cases are a different ball game."
63. Atlantic in February: "There Is No American 'Deep State'"
63a. @pwnallthethings : deep state n. Career govt officials whose advice is tainted by any actual experience or proficiency in the area they advise in
& @sboetcle replying : Kremlin is working OT to discredit IC. Neg perception of 'deep state' will be pushed to immunize DJT from coming leaks/info
& 63b. Zeynep Tufekci of Harvard's Berkman Center:
--I keep seeing 'deep state'--a concept from Turkey--used a lot in the US context. It doesn't work.
--In the Turkey case, that's not what it means. There was a shadowy, cross-institution occasionally *armed* network conducting killings etc.
--So, if people are going to call non electoral institutions stepping up leaking stuff, fine. But it is not 'deep state' like Turkey.
--atm I find comparing divergence between electoral and non-electoral institutions to be called a 'deep state' a la Turkey kinda...offensive.
--Look, if State Dept teams up with Tony Soprano to create a 'terror' attack to blame the administration for...That's a deep state a la Turkey.
63c. The Berkman Center which is funded by the State Department & USAID.
64. USAID Pakistan : #TogetherWeCan
64a. USAID Asia : "One day left to submit your ideas for data tools to help farmers in Nepal!"
64b. USAID Southern Africa: "Like #soccer? You'll love this @GrassrootsSoccer #photo story! Pass it along on Int'l Day of Sport for Dev & Peace." #Pusherman
64c. USAID IRAQ
Democracy, Human Rights, & Governance
Economic Growth & Trade
Gender Equality & Women's Empowerment
Dollars To Results
"USAID has implemented activities designed to strengthen infrastructure, stabilize communities, foster economic & agricultural growth, & help the various levels of government better represent & respond to the needs of the Iraqi people." #Hmm
65. Céline: "From the North Sea to Switzerland there was a four-hundred-and-fifty-kilometer strip which never stopped chewing up men from one end to the other. Yes, oh, yes, whenever a guy got there he said, So this is where it happens, this is where the chopper is, eh. That was where we all slaughtered each other. No dreaming there! One million seven hundred thousand died just there."
& : "Those uniforms that people are beginning to find it hard to remember were the seeds of the present day, of something that is still growing and that won't become total shit for a while yet, but will in the long run."
66. The free software conference in Havana last spring & the white 00010100 across the back of keynote speaker Jacob Appelbaum's black t-shirt.
67. a desconferencia, an unconference: "There is no program...until the people attending make one."
* Whoever shows up is the right group.
* Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
* Whenever it starts is the right time.
69. cypherpunk. an activist advocating use of cryptography as a route to social & political change. From "A Cypherpunk's Manifesto," 1993: "We the Cypherpunks are dedicated to building anonymous systems." "Cypherpunks write code."
70. How by the time I got home from Havana Jacob Appelbaum had been kicked out of Tor after being charged with rape.
70a. The argument about sexual politics in Havana after one of the desconferencia keynotes, Hackeando al patriarcado, Hacking the Patriarchy.
71. How I'd thought Tor--an anonymous web browser--was something he & his compañeros had invented, until I learned that the Navy invented it, just about when I was hearing that dial-up modem sound for the first time.
72. How I first heard about Jake when Tor was proving useful to activists in Tunisia & Egypt
73. --right about when the Justice Department was subpoenaing Twitter for information about him as a US representative of Wikileaks, & he was being detained in airports & asked how he felt about Iraq & Afghanistan.
74. The pattern of trying to back someone into a prosecution corner to bribe them into working for you.
75. --the way the FBI did to Sabu who lived in the Jacob Riis projects, who became the exemplary informer who betrayed Jeremy Hammond, who, via vulnerabllity information Sabu provided, hacked the private intelligence firm Stratfor, "The world's leading geopolitical intelligence platform," whisperer to Raytheon, the DIA & the Marines, who tracked Bhopal environmental activists for Dow Chemical.
76. Jeremy who was detained for months in solitary confinement downtown, not far from Raytheon's happy bell at the Stock Exchange, then tried by a judge whose husband was a Stratfor subscriber, & is now serving ten years in a federal prison.
77. A hack as play, like the university botnet to get the internet-connected vending machines & light bulbs to compulsively search for seafood servers as a way of overwhelming the network
77a. --to interrupt 'the internet of things,' or as one Birdland account calls it, the Internet of Shit @internetofshit (Motto: "whatever, put a chip in it.")
--Yes, an internet connected dildo with a camera in it can be hacked to stream the inside of your vagina.
--When you can't get your billion dollar jet working, try Internet Explorer!
--Future of work: internet-connected overalls
[ One of the Swedish employees who agreed to be microchipped: "I want to be part of the future." ]
& her good voice in this video, which shows only Alexa the machine:
--Alexa, would you lie to me?
--I always try to tell the truth. I'm not always right, but I would never intentionally lie to you or anyone else.
--Alexa, what is the CIA?
--The United States Central Intelligence Agency, CIA.
--Alexa, are you connected to the CIA?
--Alexa, are you connected to the CIA?
77b. --or a hack as a weapon, like Jeremy Hammond's.
78. How the first email I opened in 1997 was from my brother's friend Mark, whose company run by a former aide to a senator had "a nice office on K Street & a powerful modem, to send persuasive correspondence to prospective clients who would often hire our firm to influence legislation on their behalf." "Hire us & maybe this won't pass!," via their mobilized phone bank, the bot network of its day.
78a. astroturfing. n. the practice of masking the sponsors of a message to make it appear as though it originates from & is supported by grassroots participants.
79. Mark's firm a privatized version of the legislative branch, & Stratfor a privatized version of which? the executive?
80. In February 2001 was running for a train in Grand Central & stopped stunned in front of the kiosk downstairs, to see the fist logo on the cover of the Economist, The Awakening / A Special Briefing On the Arab World After Mubarak
(80a. How the cover caught my eye first as a boxer, because of the odd positioning of the fingers in the drawing: if you used that fist it would break.)
81. & much later learned about Serbian Srdja Popovic's Otpor! Resist! with its logo of a fist, & his group called CANVAS, Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, & their Blueprint for Revolution, connected to Serb nationalists & Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy & USAID.
82. Jake at the Havana conference last spring : "To tell you about surveillance capitalism, I have to tell you about the time the CIA tried to recruit me to come to Cuba, through Freedom House."
83. Adolfo Franco (now 'Republican Strategist') on USAID plans for Cuba: "The program began in 1996 with a small grant to Freedom House."
84. The generations-long persistence & resourcefulness of the replicants devoted to standing by the river of your longing with a siphon & a check.
85. Sticker on someone's laptop at the free software conference in Havana: The Revolution Will Not Be Available in the App Store
86. Oxford's Project on Computational Propaganda, percentage of Hillary Clinton's Twitter activity (likes, follows, retweets) that came from bots: 50-55%, which it says is typical for high-profile public figures. Trump's: 80%.
86b. In last debate, bots accounted for 1 of every 4 tweets. & pro-Trump vs. pro-Clinton outnumbered 7 to 1.
86c. Wired: "there are many vendors that sell them cheaply by the thousands to any buyer who wants to set them loose."
86d. The rest of the world weighing current possibilities of international cybermalevolence against the weight of the meat encyclopedia our 'IC' has compiled since 1947 re what we'd now call hacking an election.
87. The word 'leak' in the air when I was thirteen, the year Nixon was forced to resign, although no one knew then that Deep Throat's name was Mark Felt or that he worked for the FBI.
88. Martin Luther King remonstrating with the young men among the Memphis garbage strike demonstrators who broke things that March 28, young men placed & paid by the FBI.
88a. House Select Committee on Assassinations, 1976: "The committee found evidence that some members of the Invaders, resorting to inflammatory rhetoric and acts of violence, encouraged the disturbances that marred the sanitation workers march."
88b. How the young Memphis group named themselves the Invaders after a television show in which visitors arrive from another planet.
88c. The FBI memos sent to the press re the march disruptions, from the Racial Intelligence Section.
88d. Guardian, April 4: "NYPD officers accessed Black Lives Matter activists' texts, documents show."
88e. At the end of last month someone leaking the multiple civilian violence complaints against the cops who killed Ramarley Graham & Eric Garner. "The leaker who gave us this document was fired last week, after ThinkProgress published Officer Daniel Pantaleo's records."
88f. Erica Garner: They aren't reporting police involved shootings anymore because the fucking Russians...This is the crack we need to FORCE REAL CHANGE.
"Fuck all this marching and begging. This is how we make change. I got a gang of rich ass folk on my time line. Support this leaker!"
88g. What the unbioteched earth knows & tries to teach us: what's buried grows.
89. A hack, a leak: 2 attempts to make the invisible hand visible.
90. These days like walking in a version of the black rain the Hiroshima survivors described. An invisible hand between the rain drop's departure & its arrival. What's meant to thirst-slake & clean arriving as little bits of poison, the city they've just killed in front of you coming back to half-life as a plague that lasts generations, as spots on your shirt.
91. To think the unthinkable, & to say the unspeakable, as you breathe, as a pathway through the bardo to the other side.
92. Sandra Bland's mother last April: "You all are among the walking dead. And I am so glad that I have come out from among you."
"I was walking dead. Just like you," she said, until her daughter was taken.
93. In a car with my daughter listening to Hamilton, goof-revising "Yo I'm just like my country, I'm young, scrappy & hungry, & I'm not throwing away my. shot.," to "Yo I'm just like my country, Strung out twenty ways till Sunday, and I'm not throwing away my. stuff."
93a. How we love looking away even more than the stuff maybe.
94. The democracy sentences I learned as a child repeating like sample fragments over the black rain's beat. "I pledge allegiance." "Sweet land of liberty." "Give me liberty or give me death." "I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet."
95. The 7-year-old boy whose his family lived in the hills above Hiroshima in 1945 become the man who still farms there. How he cuts the cucumbers & eggplants to gather them & thanks the plants as he goes.
96. Vannevar Bush, who worked on the Manhattan Project, founded Raytheon, served as dean of MIT's School of Engineering, & wrote an essay in 1945 called "As We May Think":
"The owner of the memex let us say, is interested in the origin and properties of the bow and arrow. Specifically he is studying why the short Turkish bow was apparently superior to the English long bow in the skirmishes of the Crusades...he builds a trail of his interest through the maze of materials available to him."
97. Jacob Appelbaum describing coaching University of Washington cyberwarriors in the Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense competition, in a game vs the Navy Red Team: "You just get a bunch of computers & you have to protect them, & they break in & they take over the systems. It's like a kids' version of Capture the Flag...
"There was a guy there named Charlie--Charlie from the CIA--& he was explaining that if you want to come & join the CIA this is a great opportunity to work in the real world.
"But it was interesting the way the whole thing was framed was in terms of war, so they would say, 'Hey, we want to hear your war whoop.' It's like, 'I'm sorry, what?'"
98. Dionne Brand, "Inventory": "We believed in nothing."
99. Kate Crawford in Birdland: "We need to talk about ethics more. Because developers will be asked to do some seriously awful things in the next 4 years.
--The tech industry already builds tools for predictive policing, criminal justice risk scores, and tracking refugees.
--Will you build the Muslim registry? Or work on locating undocumented workers? Or deploy facial recognition to identify protesters?
100. How Ruth told the story of Jim Watson the DNA man caught in a bad current in the Woods Hole gut & she & George helped him out, "Or it all could have gone quite differently!," she said laughing.
101. Ruth to the CBC: "The chemists! have lived in this world forever. Forever, I mean, since Haber, let's say, & World War 1, when they really hit it big, IG Farben, whatever. And the physicists hit it big in World War 2, with all the toys that they produced, including the bomb. Biologists had the privilege of living in the age of innocence for a much longer time--so that when i started, there wasn't that much money there.
"We were not in the big time. Biology got in the big time with recombinant DNA."
102. Dionne Brand: "and the light turnings to stone,/inside and out,/we arrived spectacular, tendering/our own bodies into dreamery,/as meat, as mask, as burden"
103. Jacob Appelbaum in Havana: "These people are surveillance capitalists. Of course Google is the big one. They want to extract information," he said, making a gesture like dislocating a shoulder.
103a. How the fascists celebrated on election night at the Gaslight up the street in what's now mostly a tourist version of the meatpacking district, across from what's now the Apple Store--the walk west along 15th, from the old Port Authority building that's Google's now, flying its big American flags, to the Chelsea Market with more flags over the NYPD Intelligence Division, to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force & the Level 3 colocation center, out to Pier 57 where they detained 2004 Republican Convention protesters in the old MTA bus repair depot, was Jeremy Hammond there, to the river, relative of the one from which, from whom, Natalie said yesterday afternoon that in her Mojave language, being is inseparable.
103b. Adrienne, 5 years gone now, 6 years before she died: "This ongoing future, written off over & over, is still within view. All over the world its paths are being rediscovered and reinvented through collective action, through many kinds of art. Its elementary condition is the recovery and redistribution of the world's resources that have been extracted from the many by the few."
103c. Berta Cáceres family lawyer Víctor Fernández via the Intercept: "Cáceres was killed because she was confronting the extractive model."
104. Ruth to the CBC: "I don't like the word ethics. It's politics that I really mean. Yeah, i mean the politics has to come first. And unless the politics comes first, if you're for sale, you're gonna be bought."
105. Something Elijah sent, from George: "Looking through my father's notebooks, found the notation: 'How to write an abstract--the inscriptions on the gravestones of Amos Fortune and his wife Violate in the churchyard in West Jaffrey.'"
(106. That line of Carolyn's poem "Return" I read when I was still drinking, what an older activist told her when she came back from 80s El Salvador & thought her heart might be broken beyond mending: "It is / not your right to feel powerless. Better / people than you were powerless.")
107. Dionne Brand: "I have nothing soothing to tell you,/that's not my job,/my job is to revise and revise this bristling list,/hourly."
108. Finishing this at dawn, the birds & the light beginning, the branch shadows rougher with the buds blurring them. Heard out my window as I worked:
All right let me speak with my CFO & get back to you.
Okay if we're drunk enough we'll end up at karaoke.
You gotta go through transition, you gotta go through pain. But you know that's a good pain.
Here's my hand! I'm offering it to you!