Every Time Travel Story Is A Ghost Story

Welcome to Lee Greenwood's Holy U.S.A. America Tabs.

Tabs was off yesterday for reasons that will have become necessary in the future due to a time travel incident that I’m told most of us will survive, so keep an eye out for that.

But if every time travel story is a ghost story1 and every ghost story is about endings2 except for the Easter story of Ghost Jesus from Lee Greenwood’s Holy U.S.A. America Bible then Maureen Tkacik’s ghost story in The American Prospect about the sudden and untimely end of Boeing whistleblower John “Swampy” Barnett looks like the beginning of the end of Boeing’s ability to cosplay as a reputable aerospace conglomerate.3

“It is worth noting here that Swampy’s former co-workers universally refuse to believe that their old colleague killed himself. One former co-worker who was terrified of speaking publicly went out of their way to tell me that they weren’t suicidal. ‘If I show up dead anytime soon, even if it’s a car accident or something, I’m a safe driver, please be on the lookout for foul play.’…

“Discussing Swampy’s death and the whistleblower lawsuit he left behind, the longtime former Boeing executive told me, ‘I don’t think one can be cynical enough when it comes to these guys.’ Did that mean he thought Boeing assassinated Swampy? ‘It’s a top-secret military contractor, remember; there are spies everywhere,’ he replied.”

Last Thursday was also the beginning of the end of Sam Bankman-Fried’s hopes of remaining out of prison, as our special boy was sentenced to twenty five big-boy birthdays indoors as a guest of Lee Greenwood’s Holy U.S.A. America criminal justice system. Liz Lopatto was there, and mused on SBF’s statement to the court: “Imagine standing up at your sentencing and saying, ‘Yeah, I’d do it again, your honor.’” Bankman-Fried told ABC News he’s “haunted, every day, by what was lost.” Five minutes after publication, astronauts on the International Space Station reported clear naked-eye terrestrial observations which appeared to read:


Making it a gold star double Lopatto day is Liz’s investigation into the “fucking clown show” that was Vice’s executive suite and the “fanfiction finance” it produced throughout the ill-fated media company’s ineptly managed life and ignominious collapse. In the middle of a piece of first class media business reporting, Liz also casually puts on a clinic in how not to do press relations:

“I then received emailed responses to my inquiries from Bergeson LLP, a law firm that has represented the Church of Scientology and which describes its media practice as influencing ‘potentially damaging media reports’ and ‘dealing with what is now known as ‘fake news.’’ Throughout the reporting process, I would email questions to Shane and receive responses from Bergeson LLP — but the firm asked that Vice’s responses be attributed to Sorzano, Vice’s director of global communications, a person with whom I never spoke directly.”

She then goes on to quote “Sorzano” ten more times in the piece, and it just keeps getting funnier.

Dan Mentos posted: “[last supper] Jesus: raising chalice let us sup Judas: what's sup? Jesus: Not much what's up with you lmao Judas: this is the last straw”

“…because a malicious user named Jia Tan played an extra-long game to get it in, spending more than two years contributing to xz and seemingly using a sock puppet to convince the maintainer to bring on an additional help. That sock puppet, using the name ‘Jigar Kumar,’ leveraged a public admission of mental health issues on the part of developer Lasse Collin to push him to bring in the additional assistance.”

Smith compares it to the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug, discovered almost exactly a decade ago. While not an intentional attack, Heartbleed remained unnoticed for years largely due to the organizational model of free software in which, as some genius wrote at the time, “large portions of the software infrastructure of the Internet are built and maintained by volunteers, who get little reward when their code works well but are blamed, and sometimes savagely derided, when it fails.” Damn that’s good stuff. I wonder what happened to that guy.

Anyway we know about this new xz compromise because it failed, but it was so carefully and patiently engineered and so haphazardly discovered that we have to assume something like it has already succeeded somewhere else, probably more than once. I’m told most of us will survive, so keep an eye out for that.

Standplaats Krakow posted a Venn diagram, where one circle is labeled “Drive-time DJs” and the other circle is labeled “Sisyphus” and their overlap is labeled “Bringing you the same great classic rock night after night.”

Beginnings: Donald Trump went public with an alleged company Matt Levine describes as “about as lucrative as a top Substack newsletter, but vastly more expensive to run.” The IPO made Trump billions richer and I beg you for your own sanity not to read any meaning into its stock price, now or ever. Big Hot Dog is beginning to lose its iron grip, with Defector’s Kelsey McKinney demanding that “Big Hot Dog Must Tell The Truth.” “Salvo is a new heavy metal publication from veteran music journalist Kim Kelly.” And chat platform Discord “plans to start showing advertisements” in a beginning that sure feels like an end.

Endings: Gwen C. Katz in Typebar Magazine: “Science Fiction And The Death Of The Sun.” Adam Kotsko: “One thing that jumps out at me about the current political scene is that people are killing and dying for things that do not matter.” Let’s let Becca Schuh mark the end of Grazie discourse, with her comprehensive analysis in idiots, continue. Small Press Distribution shut down suddenly, leaving at least some publishers unpaid for already sold books. And Edward Ongweso Jr.’s Baffler review of her new book should be the end of Kara Swisher’s mythology of herself as a brave truth-telling tech crusader, but definitely won’t be.

David Roth posted: “The Trump Media thing losing a quarter of its value after its annual report reveals that it exclusively exists so Dan Scavino and Devin Nunes can charge burgers on Seamless is funny. That its stock price is still higher than the New York Times' is also funny. I don't like any of it, but it is funny.”

Today’s Song: Magdalena Bay, “Top Dog”

Remember, waiting is just time travel at the speed of time. Don’t wait to become a paid subscriber, if you aren’t already. I can’t promise it will help you survive the troubles to come, but I can’t not promise you it won’t fail to help, if you know what I mean. I’m pretty sure David Foster Wallace said this.

Andy Wingo posted: “this logo. who is going to tell them” with an image of the Gnome Circle logo which is yet another accidental goatse.

1. I’m pretty sure David Foster Wallace said this.

2. Bear with me, unlike a 737-MAX this segue is eventually gonna land.

3. We made it.