Category Archives: Hackenblog

She who blogs is a damned fool.

“In tribute to the memory of George Floyd, who died at the hands of the Minneapolis police, and in support of the worldwide outcry over his death, PW’s comics editors have compiled a list of graphic titles about African American life and history. The titles listed here are primarily nonfiction graphic works that address topics including the Civil Rights Movement, hip-hop, gentrification, white supremacy, the criminal justice system, police brutality, and the lives of black women. In addition the list also offers several works of fiction that offer insights into similar topics via their settings and skillful characterizations. We welcome suggestions for other titles to add to our list.”
An Anti-Racist Graphic Novel Reading List, by PW Staff, 11 June 2020
Continue reading She who blogs is a damned fool.

Blogging is nothing but a chance to remember better.

“In a surprising development in the direct market comics shop channel, DC is ending its 25-year relationship with Diamond Comic Distributors, the dominant distributor of comics periodicals in North America. Beginning June 8, comics shop retailers must order comics periodicals and graphic novels from Lunar Distribution or from UCS Comic Book Distributors; book trade retailers can continue to order DC graphic novels from Penguin Random House Publisher Services.”
DC Ends Comics Distribution Pact with Diamond, by Calvin Reed, PW, 8 June 2020
Continue reading Blogging is nothing but a chance to remember better.

For every minute you blog, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind

“The now prophetic words could be found buried at the end of a research paper published in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews in October of 2007: ‘The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic animals in southern China, is a time bomb.’ The warning — made nearly 13 years ago and more than four years after a worrying first wave of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, killed nearly 800 people globally — was among the earliest to predict the emergence of something like SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the current pandemic of Covid-19.”
For Experts Who Study Coronaviruses, a Grim Vindication, by Charles Schmidt, Undark, 8 June 2020
Continue reading For every minute you blog, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind

If you never read any other blog post here…

“…overview of the Posse Comitatus Act, which restricts the participation of the (US) military in domestic law enforcement activities under many circumstances.”
Overview of the Posse Comitatu Act, by RAND, pdf

“…restricts the participation of the (US) military in domestic law enforcement activities under many circumstances.” As in ALL circumstances, possibly excepting a foreign military invasion, as in circumstances especially restricted to misuse the US Military in a presidential election stunt. Honestly, I’m starting to wonder if America can recover from this presidency. And, no, that’s not an invitation for a military coup, please, we’ve been very lucky, if not blessed, for a very long time. Let’s try very much to keep it that way, thanks.

“‘We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.'” General James N. Mattis, USCM (Ret.)
James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution, by Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, 3 June, 2020

“It is an attack on civil society and democratic accountability.”
The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It., by Jamele Bouie, NYT, 5 June 2020

Norman Mailer had things to say about police riots in “Miami and the Siege of Chicago (NYT on the reissue). Mailer’s book is worth reading if only to understand some of the reasons why we’re where we are today, alas.

Also, cities and whatnot, really need to teach their law enforcement to police themselves. In my city, the majority of the LAPD are decent people like you and me; let’s find a way for them to safely and effectively stop the few sociopaths in their own ranks. This is the police’s job in society, and now it must be their job in their job, alas.

“One might imagine that there were appropriate checks and balances in place to establish guidelines and guardrails for this militarizing of US law enforcement. Yet the culture at the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, which for years were impossible to audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), appears antagonistic to oversight. It’s hard to keep a publicly-funded program like 1033 accountable to the public if citizens are unaware of the program—and the Pentagon has largely succeeded at fending off auditing: there have only been two, in 2018 and 2019, and the agency failed both of them on compliance, inventory accuracy, and accounting issues. According to a survey by the Pentagon-affiliated think tank, the RAND Corporation, roughly half of respondents, or 48 percent, are unaware of programs that provide law enforcement agencies with surplus military equipment. In an effort to keep the 1033 program accountable, the GAO went so far as to initiate in 2017 an undercover sting operation, creating a fake law enforcement agency that was able to acquire more than a million dollars’ worth of military equipment. Aside from the waste, fraud, and abuse this exposed, the episode showed how low the barriers are and how serious the lack of accountability is with the Pentagon program’s supply of matériel to the thousands of law enforcement agencies across America.”
How Police Became Paramilitaries, by Michael Shank, NY Review of Books, 3 June 2020

“…fake law enforcement agency that was able to acquire more than a million dollars’ worth of military equipment.” And if the GAO can do that, what clever criminal organizations might be doing that, too? Perhaps the US Military should get out of the arms business, y’know, as a vendor, completely OUT OF IT, thanks. I wonder how long the US Military has been an arms dealer; the North Hollywood Shoot-Out was in 1997.

Mike Davis explains why the LAPD is militarized, only partly due to the war on drugs, but mostly due to Parker and Gates deforming it because they were sentimental about their Marine days, well, Parker at least and Gates was at his feet for his entire career. Also David Graeber discusses the NYPD’s militarization after 9/11 in “The Democracy Project,” his book on Occupy Wall Street. Anyone remember Occupy Wall Street?
Continue reading If you never read any other blog post here…

Every blog I meet is in some way my superior.

“‘The early picture has been turbulent and bracing, with physical sell-in for all manga publishers down by half or more,’ says Ben Applegate, Penguin Random House’s director of publishing services. ‘That’s significantly worse than graphic novels overall. Before Covid-19, online sales had been gaining ground, but brick-and-mortar stores—Barnes & Noble in particular—still represented a relatively high share of physical manga sales. In-store browsing is important for manga, and consumers tend to be young people or teenagers. As the pandemic shuttered stores, juvenile and middle grade graphic novels were insulated from the impact thanks to parents buying online to entertain their kids, but my sense is that more manga are purchased by teens for themselves. With B&N seemingly not in a hurry to reopen, it may take a while to reconnect with that audience in print.'”
Manga Publishers Are Holding Steady—For Now, by Deb Aoki, PW, 29 May 2020

Ben Applegate in the news!
Continue reading Every blog I meet is in some way my superior.

Good news for young people. The rest of us can pound sand or something.

“Two years later, in 2017, I wrote an article for Leader’s Edge predicting the climax to a crisis sometime between 2019 and 2021. It’s not magic, and I’m not a futurist. My predictions come from an understanding of the cycles of history. Over the past four centuries, America has repeated the same four distinct periods, or “turnings,” over an 80- to 90-year time span: a High, an Awakening, an Unraveling, and finally, a Crisis. Each turning is about 20 years, and they mimic the four seasons. The high of spring brings rebirth and renewal. The awakening of summer brings prosperity and abundance. The unraveling of fall brings cold, portending air. And the crisis of winter freezes life all together. Right now we are in the winter of history—the fourth turning of a crisis. It started with the Great Recession of 2007-09 and is likely to last toward the end of the decade—between 2027-2030, which means we are not out of the woods after the coronavirus. If history repeats itself, as it has for the last three centuries, we still have a bumpy road for the next several years.”
The Fourth Turning Is Here, by Warren Wright, Leaders’ Edge, 31 May 2020

So there is something to look forward to.

Although reading this on an insurance industry blog seems odd to me, I’ll take good news (even for young people) wherever I can find it.
Continue reading Good news for young people. The rest of us can pound sand or something.

You better slow that blogging down

“The big adult fiction title of this past fall was Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. The sequel to the author’s 1985 bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale was unveiled with a 500,000-copy first printing. At the time, The Handmaid’s Tale was benefiting from a surge of interest in its wildly popular TV adaptation on Hulu, and from a renewed interest in dystopian tales following the election of Donald Trump. Now, with the globe seized by a pandemic and millions of Americans hunkered down because of shelter-at-home orders, editors say they are interested in lighter fare—mostly.”
In Pandemic, Dystopian Fiction Loses Its Luster for Editors, by Rachel Deahl, PW, 15 May 2020
Continue reading You better slow that blogging down

Tour de Cybor

“Behind the scenes a local group is hoping to buy the 183-year-old newspaper in an attempt to free the Sun from further downsizing and cement its future. The Baltimore Sun is owned by Tribune Publishing. Alden Global Capital, a New York-based hedge fund infamous for purchasing, then gutting, newspapers across the US, owns a 32% stake in Tribune Publishing.”
Baltimore Sun looks to non-profit status to stay afloat amid coronavirus threat, by Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian, 12 May 2020
Continue reading Tour de Cybor

Cyberspace is a profound pleasure

“The popular conception of Jerry Brown’s spirituality was formed in the 1970s, and was realized in the nickname, Moonbeam. It’s an unfair nickname, I think. It was also the wrong time to take the full measure of him. He was 38 years old, and he’s lived a whole political lifetime since then. His search for a belief system was taken too lightly and was conflated in this idea that California itself was not to be taken seriously. He kind of got mixed in this stew of hippies and the Summer of Love, none of which really applied to Jerry.”
Why Jerry Brown’s Biographer Thinks ‘Moonbeam’ Is Unfair, by Jill Cowan and Conor Dougherty, NYT, 12 May 2020

That’s Governor Moombeam to you, bud.
Continue reading Cyberspace is a profound pleasure