Just After The Golden Age Of Slavery

(Click the image to read the full story at CNN.com)

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How Civilization Ended On Mars

My people, we have a quandary upon us, or with us, or in us or however quandaries relate to us, but nonetheless we know they are most intractable and bad and we must do something.

As you all know, several months ago our high priest proclaimed that some “unclean” acts were committed within the great temple of Narx, and some of you are now tainted while others of us, who obviously were nowhere near the temple when the unclean acts were done, are not tainted. He further said the Gods would “guide the hands of the Great Jeddak and his wife The Queen in selecting those who will live and those who must die!” which was all just a bit dramatic, I thought, but anyway my wife and I made our lists and when we went to put them together there are a lot of names on my list that are not on hers, and vice-versa. So we didn’t know what to do: do we just merge the two lists and take only one among the duplicates and then have them all burned to death over at the High Priest’s temple where, I noticed, they had a lot of extra beer and wine delivered this weekend – you just try to get a mug of beer anywhere in the district for any price, but anyway, back to the quandary, you see, I was at quite a loss how I was supposed to guess who is tainted and who is not, and my quite Excellent and Perspicacious wife was likewise mystified as to how she should know anything about any major party in the birthing pools of the Temple last week when the moons were away as they must be to reduce the chance of procreation, or so the priests of Narx tell us, but we notice the priests are all down at the waterfront when the moons are full spending their ducats in the exact same places, just as if they had nothing to fear when the Moon is near to bursting! Anyways back to our little problem: so here we have these two lists and some people are duplicated on them and some are not, so does that mean that ones who are on both lists are tainted and therefore doomed, and that the “bachelors and bachelorettes” so-to-speak aren’t tainted and therefore aren’t doomed? Or is it like we just merge it into one list like I said, but yes – yes- you’re right that’s not very popular, is it. So, where are we then? Well we also noticed there are quite a lot of people not just here in the City of Narx, but all over the hither and nether and yonder lands, and they aren’t on either list! What happens there I ask you? My wife and I can’t vouch for every farmer and goat herder in the realm! We don’t know if they were at the Temple or not, or at least we didn’t see them if they were! I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I keep straying from the point, don’t I? Well, the point is who lives and who dies, what? You see some persons are on my list and not on my wife’s list, and some are on her list and not on mine, for instance I’m on my wife’s list but not on mine! So, I called upon the court astrologers and logicians and told them to decide what to do, and they came up with: everyone who isn’t on my list is safe and I’m not on my list so I’m safe and anyone who disagrees will go on my list. Everyone else can shift for himself – I understand my wife likes the definition: everyone who isn’t on her list is not tainted and everyone who is, is tainted and she’s not on her list and she damn-well doesn’t want to be on mine! We’ve been wrestling back-and-forth in negotiations about how to solve this quandary of who lives and who doesn’t for days, and the closest we can come to agreement on is that anyone who isn’t on either list should be condemned and doomed for not taking more of an interest in their homeland! Except for me not being on her list! But then I suppose I should put myself on my list to balance things out?

Well anyway, good to address you all one last time before you go off into the Great Temple of Narx to die! The Mrs. Appreciates it too! Sorry about the floods not being up to snuff this year and the wheat crop being so meager, but you know those are the breaks when you live near a river!

Good Riddance 2016!

About this time last year we were all mentioning how fucked-up 2015 was, and it was just a hint of how truly ass-fucked 2016 was.

Get used to this trend. And while doing so, go to ProPublica.org for some pretty-good journalism. We’re going to need it.

These Things Must Be Tested-Out Sometime

(Click the image to read the full story at ArsTechnica.com)

(Click the image to read the full story at ArsTechnica.com)

I like to think these people, primitive as they were, took some pride in the craftsmanship shown by their weapons and tools.

I choose to believe that Og who was good at making points but not at making shafts traded with Grf who made great shafts but lousy points: for a certain amount of the passage of the Bright Thing from when it returns Og will sharpen Grf’s points, while in turn Grf will straighten Og’s shafts.

Then they contract with some distributor tribe to offer their sharpened sticks to outliers in return for colorful, glowy seashells they say they get from giants like anyone would buy that.

The Outliers are obviously in league with the bad spirits who cause babies to die and take life from the Old Ones. Some day Og and Grf will stop selling them spears and they’ll invade their land with new, improved spears tipped with sharpened bits of the seashells they get from them. Then they’ll control the seashell supply and no one else will get any weaponized seashell products.

These people weren’t just savages in competition for the meager resources they could find lying about – these people were entrepreneurs, dammit!

Happy Commie Day

The word “mayday”, famously used in distress calls from ships at sea, is actually a mangling of the French word “m’aidez”, or “help me”.

Also May Day is, since about 1880 or-so, International Workers’ Day – so kiss a comrade today.

And it’s the anniversary of the Haymarket Massacre when police in Chicago killed 4 marchers in a peaceful protest. And that is, I’m pretty sure, the reason for it being International Workers’ Day.

But “May Day”, or something similar at this time of year, has been celebrated in religious traditions for probably thousands of years, originally simply to mark the end of winter. In the colonies that became the U.S. “freethinkers” celebrated May Day with maypole dances along with Native Americans (in the early years before real estate values went up).

And May Day is a reminder that it is only three days until May The Fourth Be With You day.

And only four days until Cinco de Mayo, celebrating Mexican Independence Mexico’s defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

All of which makes me think the 1st through the 5th of May should be a national holiday – or whichever five weekdays fall closest. We don’t want to get cheated with weekends being included.

Maybe He Did And Maybe He Didn’t

“When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson

What he actually said was the above, plus:

“Unless the government has tanks and planes and missiles and satellites and billions of dollars – then you’re fucked no matter how much you like to pretend you’re Rambo.”

Is Jimmy Hoffa Buried Under A House In Detroit?

Police will begin excavation around a suburban Detroit home after getting a tip that a body was buried there in 1975. This is the best indication yet that police will jump at almost anything, no matter how tenuous or far-fetched, in order to retrieve Hoffa’s body and hide evidence they were involved in his disappearance.