Anthropologist Jason Pine examines the transformative powers of meth in post-industrial America - on a population of workers left behind by work, as an industrial poison in a long series of industrial poisons in our environment, and a way to be alive under a system that doesn't care about killing us.
Jason is author of The Alchemy of Meth: A Decomposition from University of Minnesota Press.
Walter is author of Folding The Red Into The Black: Or, Developing A Viable Untopia For Human Survival In The 21st Century from OR Books.
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
Before I begin, I'd like to pre-amble on a personal note and say that, based on my experience the morning after, I don't think vegan pepperoni is any healthier for you than regular pepperoni.
In other news, the redundantly named Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (as opposed to the Massachusetts Supreme Arthurian Court, maybe?) has vacated charges of illegal possession of a firearm based partly on its findings that it's reasonable for a black man to run away from the Boston police. Yes. If you're black and you run away from the Boston police, your flight can't be considered probable cause or reasonable suspicion for the cops to stop you. Harassment of black citizens by Boston cops is so disproportionately frequent and abusive that the Supreme Court of Massachusetts deemed it completely sane, normal, non-suspicious behavior for said citizens to flee from them. It's like running away from a rattlesnake, a ticking time bomb, or any other possibly lethal nuisance.
Speaking of possibly lethal nuisance: Mike Pence, professional asshole, running mate of GOP presidential candidate and celebrity id Donald Johann Drumpf, tweeted recently about Skittles. He's suspicious of them. He seems to think three out of every 72-or-so Skittles is laced with cyanide. And he compares this with his feeling that three out of every 72-or-so Syrian refugees is a suicide bomber. And he believes we as a nation should make policy based on his candy paranoia, which is evidently rooted in a trauma-induced eating disorder he has yet to engage professional help in dealing with.
A similar calculation was attributed to Vice President and amoral ambulatory conflict of interest Dick "Dick" Cheney by journalist Ron Susskind in his book, The One Percent Doctrine, summarized in this slightly edited quotation from Cheney: "If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty. It’s not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of evidence.”
Not about evidence, just about what we want to feel about stuff and make others feel in order to get what we want. Susskind helped elucidate the difference between the reality-based community and the ideologically-driven petro-mafia wing of what was by then an already discredited Republican... read more
On this date in 1846 – (170 years ago) – After several days of bloody urban warfare in which some nine hundred combatants on both sides were killed or wounded, a US army of occupation led by General Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican forces in battle at Monterrey, northern Mexico. Taylor then negotiated a truce with Mexican General Pedro Ampudia that allowed the Mexican soldiers to give up the city and march away with their weapons. US President James K. Polk was infuriated when he learned of the deal, fuming that he had authorized no such agreement, and had simply ordered Taylor to kill Mexicans and take their territory. But Polk’s war was opposed by many in the United States—not only by such luminaries as Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson, but even by many of the soldiers and officers who fought in it. Ulysses S. Grant, who served as a second lieutenant under Taylor, later called the war “one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation... an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory.” As for Taylor, he later succeeded Polk to the US presidency, only to die after sixteen months in office.
Rotten History is written by Renaldo Migaldi
Alan is author of the book American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 from W.W. Norton.
Valérie is a public defender working the North of Quebec.
Sarah is a pediatrician, and one of the first pipeline resisters arrested in August.
Peter is author of Hard Sell: Work and Resistance in Retail Chains from ILR Press.
Thomas wrote "Permanent States of Exception: A Two-Tiered System of Criminal Justice Courtesy of the Double Government Wars on Crime, Drugs, & Terror" in Valparaiso University Law Review.
Not sure if he means the Ron Suskind book, or just a general doctrine of the One Percent. Probably the later. Understand the Skittles thing though.
Here's what Chuck is reading to prepare for Saturday's show:
American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 - Alan Taylor [W.W. Norton]
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls - Government of Canada
Hard Sell: Work and Resistance in Retail Chains - Peter Ikeler [ILR Press]
Permanent States of Exception: A Two-Tiered System of Criminal Justice Courtesy of the Double Government Wars on Crime, Drugs, & Terror. - Thomas Durkin [Valparaiso University Law Review]
On this day in 456 – (1,560 years ago) – in the ancient Italian city of Ravenna, the army general Remistus, who had become one of the most powerful political figures in the Western Roman Empire under the emperor Avitus, was captured and assassinated by agents of his own subordinate, a lieutenant named Ricimer, who coveted his high position. It was just one of the many brutal power struggles so common in the late years of the empire. Only a month later, the emperor Avitus himself was also killed.
On this day in 1862 – (154 years ago) – more than 3,600 soldiers died in the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest single day of fighting in the American Civil War. Another 17,000 were wounded. Meanwhile, on that same afternoon — just outside Pittsburgh, about 140 miles away — more than 150 young women in the main building of the Allegheny Arsenal were working at top speed, hand-manufacturing rifle cartridges for Union troops. As a horse-drawn cart arrived at the arsenal with a new shipment of gunpowder, one of the horses apparently scratched its iron horseshoe against a curbstone or a metal wagon wheel. It created a spark that ignited loose gunpowder in the road, which in turn detonated the barrels of powder on the cart, creating a series of explosions that could be heard miles away. The blast and fire destroyed the arsenal building and killed seventy-eight women workers, many of whom were recent Irish immigrants. Today, the area is a public park that hosts 10K runs and outdoor movies. The actual site of the explosion is now a softball diamond.
On this day in 1908 – (108 years ago) – at Fort Myer, Virginia, a twenty-six-year-old US Army lieutenant named Thomas Selfridge became the first person in the world to die in an airplane accident. Selfridge was an aviation enthusiast who had flown dirigibles, human-carrying kites, and early experimental airplanes, so when Orville Wright came to Fort Myer to demonstrate his newest plane for the Army Signal Corps, Selfridge agreed to be his passenger. Wright and Selfridge were passing over the army post at an altitude of 150 feet when the right-hand propeller suddenly broke. Wright lost control; the plane went into a nosedive and crashed. While Wright was seriously injured with numerous broken bones, Selfridge suffered a broken skull and died a few hours later. Doctors concluded that he could have... read more
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
Like Paul Krugman, Matt Taibbi, and Garrison Keillor before me, I have arrived at the time I must write a think piece on Donald Trump, what he is and what he means in the context of our social and political evolution.
It's no secret that Donald Trump was born a wet wad of feces, rectal mucus, gravel, benzoate of soda, and minced twine. He emerged from Satan's anus, looked around, and declared himself a masterpiece. He then oozed, slug-like, across the linoleum of an abandoned, but haunted, state mental hospital toward the drain down which countless gallons of blood from tortured inmates had flowed. For the next twenty years he lived in the sewers of New Jersey among mutant fetuses who had somehow survived being flushed down toilets after back-alley abortions. He watched as they paraded along the excremental effluence on the backs of albino alligators similarly discarded, carrying torches fashioned from toilet plunger handles and used diapers.
Knowing he could never compete among the fetus creatures for mates, being many degrees uglier than even the most translucent and veiny of his cohort, he instinctively understood he would have to distinguish himself in some other way. He taught himself to communicate via fits of vomiting, a kind of Morse code of convulsive regurgitation of the very filth from which he was made. This he called "serenading," much as today he strives to label with pretty words such as "debate" and "speech" the putrid slurry of his various secretions.
It has been frequently reported that he is a physical abomination, and rightly so. To call the joints of his legs "knees" is to bestow upon them a compliment they in no way deserve. They are rotten tubers joining the vile armadillo sausages he has in place of thighs and calves. It would be remarkable that he has an anus where his mouth should be, if not for the fact that every orifice and aperture in his body is an anus as well. Disturbingly, Paul Krugman neglects to mention this. Light penetrates Trump's eye anuses like quickly melting suppositories. Sound enters his ear anuses the way Newt Gingrich's scaly erection violates the butthole of a shrieking piglet – a common enough occurrence, yet one we ought to be careful never to grow accustomed to. A minor tremor of revulsion, at the very least, is always... read more