May. 16th, 2017

I am really tired and really frazzled and I don’t remember the last time I sat down and wrote something, and I’m not going to have time to for the forseeable future. I have a chapter update basically ready to go on Lost Kings that I literally just need to proofread and I spent literally all of last week in 2-5 minute increments trying to do so and failing. I am just. I. 

I need a vacation where I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything. Hell, I’d settle for a weekend.

Busy season’s starting. Ready, set, go! Who fucking knows when I’ll have a weekend again. 
Aw thank you. 

I think that series has the distinction of being… kind of the last of my poorly-organized fictional universes. I’ve been writing a long time, writing long things for a long time, and my compositional methods have always been irresponsibly slapdash– I get an idea and write until I’m tired of it, and then in the same document or in a nonsensically-titled one, I just get another idea and write until I’m tired, and then later I have to comb through and figure out how those things go together. Which works as long as I either write sequentially, or have no other projects ongoing. 

But the project after that was a half-finished original novel that remained small enough in scope not to be disorganized like that, and then the project after that was Home Out In The Wind, which whatever else i say about it, actually mostly was composed in coherent chunks that I kept organized in a combination of Google Docs and Scrivener, which I used to rigorously back up one to the other and now I don’t, so about half of it is only in one place or the other. whoops. BUT, it’s all in order and there are only a few fragments that I know I wrote but can’t in any way at all find. 

Which is all a roundabout way of saying that that verse is in so many broken pieces that I’m really not sure where I was going with most of it. But. It remains one of my favorites because I think I managed not just to hang my whole narrative on a slightly-woobied damaged Man, but actually to do reasonable credit to the woman whose story it was really meant to be, at least partly. 

So thank you for writing to me! :) And I’m sorry I haven’t finished it, just as I’m sorry about most of my WIPs. 
Next Lost Kings thing is up because I got sick of trying to proofread it. I also got tired of trying to figure out whether it should be a chapter or a standalone so it’s just on its own. Yes, I named it after the series in the Martha Wells murderbot novella, but only because the phrase got stuck in my head, there are no depressed television-addicted cyborgs in this one. 

Sanctuary Moon, featuring some Bail Organa, Dr. Kalonia from TFA as a sweet young folk-singing thing, Kes making the acquaintance of Yavin IV, Baby Poe’s head smelling like a baby’s head, and a bonus segment of Cassian Andor and Kes Dameron in a hot tub together being awkward. 

Dameron opened his eyes and looked over at Cassian. “Did you have sex with my father just the one time, or was it like, an ongoing thing?”

You definitely asked for that, Cassian thought, keeping his expression neutral.
via owns the country of Chad • r/collapse:


Interesting read:

Pop quiz. Do you know what country exports the most refined petroleum of any country in the world? Take a guess. The US? Nope, we’re 5th. Russia? Nope, 2nd.

Did you guess the Netherlands? Because surprisingly that is the actual answer:

Second question, what country gets the largest portion of Russia’s exports? Take a guess. China? Nope. Iran? Try again.

Again, very surprisingly (at least to me), it’s the Netherlands, and it’s all oil that needs refining:

So maybe the Russia/EU rivalry is not quite as hot as it seems going by the MSM? Maybe it is a bit for show and the two are quite dependent on each other?

However, The Netherlands is smart enough to diversify their income streams. Their economy is not too dependent on the single export of refined petroleum.

Here’s a treemap showing all their exports proportionally:

As you can see, it’s pretty diversified. However, you know what country isn’t diversified? Chad. Let’s look at Chad.

Here’s the same treemap of Chad’s exports:

Looks a bit different, doesn’t it? Eggs in one basket much? So the price of unrefined oil essentially determines Chad’s GDP for that year. Great.

Now, guess who owns the equipment to do all this oil extraction? If you read the title, I’m hoping you’re guessing Exxon, and you’d be right. 75% of the infrastructure to extract oil from Chad is owned by Exxon, and the other 25% was owned by Chevron, who sold it to the Chadian Government for $1.3 Billion dollars. In 2014.

Where did the Government of Chad get the money for that?! Why they got a huge loan, of course. Who did they get a loan from? Why none other than Glencore, the 14th largest company in the world, who also does extraction of oil and coal, as well as copper and zinc and already has some oil operations in southern Chad. What a coincidence. /s

Meanwhile through all of this, the GDP of Chad has increased from $1.3 Billion in 2001 to $11 Billion in 2015. Almost 10x in just 20 years. Pretty good!

Guess what the revenue of Exxon and Glencore was in 2015, for comparison? More or less than Chad? Exxon had revenue of $218 Billion, and Glencore had revenue of $152 Billion. That’s the yearly equivalent of 20 Chads and 14 Chads, respectively.

You’ve heard of “company towns”, where the town is basically owned by one company? Well this is a “company nation” and it’s far from the only one.

So really what we are seeing in 2014 is Chevron effectively selling their 25% ownership of Chad to Glencore, and doing it through the Chadian government in a way so they’re on the hook for over a billion dollars of additional debt. Debt slavery, but on a national scale, to a whole government. They’re also contractually required to pay it off in just 4 years! I don’t think they’re going to make that payment schedule, which would end in 2018. I wonder what Glencore will demand in return for missed payments. What laws they will have the Chadian government make for them, in return for extending their debt deadlines.

Now on top of all this, in the most recent twist, as of November 2016 the Chadian Government is now suing Exxon for $74 Billion. That is 5x the GDP of Chad.

The government are in a sense biting the hand that feeds them, with Exxon being responsible for essentially 75% of Chad’s GDP. Exxon is unlikely to pay, because even though their insanely huge profit for 2015 (not revenue, but income profit) was a staggering $16 Billion dollars, that is still dwarfed by a $74 Billion lawsuit.

Will Chad settle for less than $74 Billion? Is this just a money grab and they won’t actually hold Exxon’s feet to the fire, and they just want a cut and will settle for a few hundred million? Perhaps. They do have that Glencore debt coming due in 2018, and the lawsuit may be their way to try and get money to pay that debt. A Hail Mary pass for sure.

If they don’t back down and neither does Exxon, will the Chadian government use the military and exile Exxon and take over the equipment when Exxon refuses to pay? Or going even more deeply, is this lawsuit perhaps essentially Glencore kicking out Exxon, to gain control of the Chadian market? It would be great to find information on who funded and created the lawsuit, but it seems this information is hard to come by.

This is where the story stands for now. I’ve searched, and there seems to be a moratorium of news about this since the announcement of the lawsuit 6 months ago. The last I saw, Exxon was “in talks” with the Government of Chad. We will have to wait and see what happens next, but it’s clear there’s a strong division forming between Exxon and the Government of Chad, possibly being pushed by Glencore.

It seems that Chad is merely a plaything in games played by companies that are 10x bigger than countries. Reminds me of the British East India company, and how they essentially owned India for 100 years before the British Government actually stepped in and took ownership. But this is happening in 2017, and it’s about oil.

This is called petro-imperialism. People often think of imperialism in the case of a nation conquering another nation with their army, but it also happens with companies. Companies that are even financially larger than nations, who hire mercenaries to defend their oil equipment and take over governments.


K so I’m not done.

This is the year 2017 and I’m still having to yell about how ridiculous Maya extinction myths are and tell people we are ‘Maya’ not ‘Mayan’. I’m not saying shame shame if anyone reads this and didn’t know. I’m so angry concerning how slowly these issues are being picked up by educational institutions, at how often I have to bring these things up to higher education professors.

We are a massive massive group of peoples. One of the largest Indigenous groups in the Americas. Wikipedia cites 7 million or so of us total but honestly that’s way off because that’s about how many Maya folks there are in Guatemala alone.

We’re not dead. The Maya did not ‘mysteriously disappear’. We did not ‘fall’. We did not fade into obscurity. We’ve led revolts and rebellions against colonial powers for hundreds of years. We’ve had a big hand in shaping legislative definitions and protections for Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

We haven’t lost our cultures. We’re constantly threatened and experience a lot of violence and have our resources stolen but we are still very much alive and our cultures have persisted.

And don’t even try me with the whole “Oh well we mean your CIVILIZATION disappeared, not you.” The structure of our societies and layout of our network changed and decentralized in many areas. That didn’t make us turn invisible. That didn’t make us not still be large in numbers with a relationship with our lands and lose influence in the areas we live. We still held power in large cities way after what people like to cite as “the fall of the Maya Civilization” (around 600-900 A.D. when we still had cities that we held power of until nearly 1700 when the last was “conquered” by Spain.)

Which brings me to the next issue. Being “conquered” or having a colonial government installed does not erase Indigenous societies or civilizations. That’s an extremely eurocentric way of thinking. We didn’t suddenly turn into Spaniards. We still had massive amounts of towns and villages with leaders. We still had our cultures, our trade, our networks, our influence, while Spain focused on putting up flags in our cities.

So yeah. All your history books have you all convinced that an extremely large group of people, with a greater population than more than half of the countries in Europe, all died out 1100 years ago.

Now try to imagine what kind of shit Indigenous Peoples with much less numbers and much lower access to resources go through.

This has gotten A LOT of attention so I figured I’d add a few links to some more recent Maya history:

Caste War of Yucatán

Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Maya Farmers & Beekeepers vs. Monsanto

Indigenous Textile Protection
Pierogis and beers. Oh, Buffalo, I could never really leave you. (at Ru’s Pierogi)



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