The plutocratist world pushed Zambia into enormous debts, so now it is selling everything to China.

Sooner or later, China will use that power to gain more power. I wonder whether there is a chance that Western governments will support debt relief for poor countries once the debts are in the hands of a strategic rival such as China.

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

*Calls grow for laws requiring firms to reveal links to deforestation.*

I am generally skeptical about systems which expect company A to make sure supplier B doesn't engage in practice C. The problem is, A has every incentive not to try very hard to stop B from doing C and covering it up.

I wonder if it might be more effective to impose on all possibly deforestation-related products an import tariff whose rate is based the fraction of deforestation in the country of production since a given base year. The tariff function could be 1/R - 1, where R is the fraction of the forest in the year 2000 which still survives. After 90% deforestation, the tariff would be 8 times the exporter's selling price.

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

Algeria is holding an election to choose between several establishment candidates. The opposition is inclined not to vote.

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

'Staggering' New Data Shows Income [after taxes] of Top 1% [in the US] Has Grown 100 Times Faster Than Bottom 50% Since 1970.

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

Ted Rall wrote in December, 2001, that the US had completely messed up by invading Afghanistan and would surely lose.

At that time, I thought that the US had basically won already. I didn't expect the Taliban to resurge. Ted Rall understood what I did not.

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:
Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

An influential MEP rejected the proposed trade treaty with parts of South America because its environmental provisions are too weak.

I expect that he's right, but I suspect that many other things are wrong with that business-supremacy treaty. For instance, does it have an ISDS provision ("I Sue Democratic States") that would allow businesses to sue countries for passing laws that diminish the businesses' profits? Would it interfere with cancelling fossil-fuel projects already agreed to?

More broadly, does it undermine the wage level of workers in Europe? Does it encourage concentration of business in various fields, or concentration of wealth in general?

I don't know any more facts about it, but I'd be amazed if it did not do these things.

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

A nativity scene in a church a couple of hours away from the border with Mexico depicts Jesus and his parents in separate cages.

This presents the side of Christianity that calls for compassion, especially for the poor and weak.

It contrasts with the repressive side of Christianity, which developed when one form of it was made the established, state-imposed religion of the Roman Empire. That side is visible in the Christians that support the bully.

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

US citizens: call on Pelosi to meet with Extinction Rebellion hunger strikers.

If you call, please spread the word!

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:

Today's youth display admirable and unusual maturity in campaigning now to cut greenhouse gas emissions, even though those are not likely to kill them until a few decades from now.

Climate emergency protest in Australia: "NSW is Burning, Sydney is Choking."

We should have acted before it became an emergency. Our response was blocked by corrupt leaders, starting with Dubya.

We should make it a crime to continue operating fossil fuel facilities, and hold companies' major owners responsible for the crime.

Instead of jailing the poor suspects because they can't afford bail and calling them "flight risks," let's jail the rich suspects because they might bribe someone, and call them "corruption risks."

Posted Thu Dec 12 00:00:00 2019 Tags:
Its presence is so subtle, and so pervasive, that we barely even noticed it was an attempt to kill the web.

For a closed system, those kinds of open connections are deeply dangerous. If anyone on Instagram can just link to any old store on the web, how can Instagram -- meaning Facebook, Instagram's increasingly-overbearing owner -- tightly control commerce on its platform? If Instagram users could post links willy-nilly, they might even be able to connect directly to their users, getting their email addresses or finding other ways to communicate with them. Links represent a threat to closed systems. [...]

But killing off links is a strategy. It may be presented as a cost-saving measure, or as a way of reducing the sharing of untrusted links. But it is a strategy, designed to keep people from the open web, the place where they can control how, and whether, someone makes money off of an audience. The web is where we can make sites that don't abuse data in the ways that Facebook properties do.

Links take us to places where we can make choices that Instagram never would.

I wrote basically this same article three months ago, and four years ago, so yeah, all of this.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Tue Dec 10 23:51:15 2019 Tags:
This Friday is the Hubba Hubba Revue Holiday Spectacular, and that reminds me of a story I don't think I've told here before.

You may be aware that most people in theatre say "break a leg" rather than "good luck". Well, here at DNA Lounge we say something else.

It is some time in the mid-oughts. One of the Hubba Hubba Revue performers is doing a bait-and-tackle show: she's doing an aerial routine where she is suspended by large meat-hooks stuck under the skin of her back. She does her routine, and as a finale, she pulls a knife out of her boot, reaches up and cuts the rope. She drops ten feet to the stage, and lays there. BOOM! Very dramatic!

Meanwhile, squatting down on the stairs to the right of the stage is the guy who was belaying her, holding the other end of the rope. Well... she never told him that this was how the act ended. So he thinks he did something wrong and now there's a dead girl on stage with her back ripped off. He's white as a sheet.

Someone goes over to him and asks if he's ok.

"I just shit my pants."
"You what??"
"I just shit my pants. I have to go."

Then he gets up, waddles out the front door, and gets in a taxi.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why we at DNA Lounge don't say "break a leg". We say "shit your pants".

In this season of giving, won't you support DNA Lounge by increasing your donation to our Patreon? You're not going to get local live entertainment like this with your Disney Plus subscription, I'll tell you that much for sure.

Posted Tue Dec 10 23:10:19 2019 Tags:
Harvesting the Blood of America's Poor

Blood now makes up well over 2 percent of total U.S. exports by value. To put that in perspective, Americans' blood is now worth more than all exported corn or soy products that cover vast areas of the country's heartland. The U.S. supplies fully 70 percent of the world's plasma, mainly because most other countries have banned the practice on ethical and medical grounds. [...]

"The people who show up are a mix of disabled, working poor, homeless, single parents, and college students. With the exception of the college students who are looking for booze money, this is probably the easiest and most reliable income they have. Your job may fire you at any time when you're on this level of society, but you always have blood. And selling your blood doesn't count as a job or income when it comes to determining disability benefits, food stamps, or unemployment eligibility so it's a source of money for the people who have absolutely nothing else." [...]

Desperate Americans are allowed to donate twice per week. But losing that much plasma could have serious health consequences, most of which have not been studied [...] Around 70 percent of donors experience health complications. Donors have a lower protein count in their blood, putting them at greater risk of infections and liver and kidney disorders. Many regulars suffer from near-permanent fatigue and are borderline anemic. All this for an average of $30 per visit.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sun Dec 8 20:36:00 2019 Tags:

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 210.

Posted Sun Dec 8 19:20:11 2019 Tags:
Apparently Facebook would prefer that nobody use their API, because they just rolled out rules that apparently mean I'm only allowed to load 200 URLs per hour. But it's even worse than that, because it's reporting:

X-App-Usage: {"call_count":58, "total_cputime":0, "total_time":152}

which means I only made 58% of the allowed calls, but because "total time" is over 100, now I'm locked out for some length of time that I am not allowed to know. I can't even tell what "total_time" means or how I can possibly be expected to adjust it.

What is happening and how do I make it stop?

I think maybe the same thing is happening with Instagram, but they just say "Oops, something went wrong" so who the fuck knows.

Previously, previously.

Posted Fri Dec 6 20:29:49 2019 Tags:
Vodka, Rum and Gin for now; Whiskey will be arriving next month. The labels are by our pal R. Black. Each of them is a custom blend, and we had a few of our bartenders do a taste test to pick the mix they liked best. Our drink specials for the next few months will be our staff experimenting with cocktails that compliment the new product, so check those out!

Here are some recent photos. I haven't posted a photo round-up in a while because I was waiting for the last batch of Halloween photos to come in (the ones actually on Halloween) but I think it's time to admit that I'm never going to get those. Photographers are a fickle lot, and sometimes it's just too much 'puter for them. So here are the Halloween Week photos that have surfaced:

So Stoked
Booootie
Death Guild
Turbo Drive
And some more photos from the last couple of months:

Sequence: Sullivan King
Bootie: '80s vs. Now
Hubba Hubba: Witchcraft
Non-Binary Burlesque
Kristeen Young + Vanessa Silberman

Eyehategod
Bootie: Madonnapocalypse
The Hammerbombs + Morrissey's Cock
Hubba Hubba: Video Games
Tnght + Kučka + EPROM
The Tnght show was a pretty odd event. It was thrown by these promoters from LA called Brownies & Lemonade who only rarely do shows in other cities. They sent out an announcement saying "We're doing a show in San Francisco, and we're not telling you who's performing or where." And then the sold a thousand tickets at $40 each, in like, a day.

What.

They didn't actually announce who was performing until the event was half over, but people seemed to get what they expected I guess? Kučka was awesome! They put a ton of production into it, and brought a huge, blinding light show. And here was something that I haven't seen before: they sent us a pre-visualization of the light show based on my 3d Sketchup model of the club!

Contrary to the above renderings, the performers were wearing pants.

Posted Fri Dec 6 20:06:17 2019 Tags:
This device showed up at the Central Subway loading platform on 4th last week. One part Calder, five parts Tomorrowland?

I assume this is the new hamster wheel powering the World's Slowest Game of Railroad Tycoon.

Apparently it's called Microcosmic.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Wed Nov 27 23:40:57 2019 Tags:

Long ago, I wrote git-subtree to work around some of my annoyances with git submodules. I've learned a lot since then, and the development ecosystem has improved a lot (shell scripts are no longer the best way to manipulate git repos? Whoa!).

Thus, I bring you: git-subtrac.

It's a bit like git-subtree, except it uses real git submodules. The difference from plain submodules is that, like git-subtree, it encourages you to put all the contents from all your submodules into your superproject repo, rather than scattering it around across multiple repositories (which might be owned by multiple people, randomly disappear or get rebased, etc).

As a result, it's easy to push, pull, fork, merge, and rebase your entire project no matter how many submodules you like to use. When someone does a 'fetch' of your repo, they get all the submodule repos as well.

I wrote a longer git-subtrac README describing how to use it and its internal workings. I think it's pretty cool. Feedback is welcome.

Posted Sun Nov 24 19:04:49 2019 Tags:

Planet Debian upstream is hosted by Branchable.