Links 5/5/19

‘His Legacy Lives On’: Pete Seeger Remembered on What Would Have Been 100th Birthday Common Dreams

May 4, 1970: 49 years later at Kent State (The Rev Kev). Cleveland 19 News

Camille Paglia Can’t Say That Atlantic

White Sands, New Mexico: Mesmerizing Landscape Photography by Navid Baraty Protogrist (david l)

A WAR REPORTER COVERS “THE END OF ICE” — AND IT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT CLIMATE CATASTROPHE The Intercept (david l)

SpaceX confirms crew capsule destroyed in April test accident Reuters

More bald eagles found dead on Maryland’s Eastern Shore as authorities struggle to solve ‘systemic’ poisonings Baltimore Sun

Right to Repair Bill Killed After Big Tech Lobbying In Ontario Motherboard

Britain’s legacy is not benign – the Cambridge slavery inquiry will show we have plenty to feel guilty for Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

In the Netflix Era, Hollywood Wants to Know: What’s a Movie, Anyway? Vanity Fair

Brexit

Anger grows at May-Corbyn bid to stitch up Brexit deal Guardian (The Rev Kev)

Brexit: negativity EUReferendum.com

Northern Ireland local elections: smaller parties make gains Guardian (The Rev Kev)

Measles

As measles cases spread, the tinder for more outbreaks is growing Stat

2020

2020 betting odds: Joe Biden new Democratic frontrunner, Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke nosedive San Francisco Chronicle

What to Make of Warren’s Policy Blitz Jacobin

Biden Thinks Trump Is the Problem, Not All Republicans. Other Democrats Disagree. NYT. re Silc: “beyond stupid.”

Labor’s Old Guard Struggles to Turn Out for Biden in Pittsburgh Payday Report (martha r)

Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results NYT

Roaming Charges: Biden in Plain Sight Counterpunch (re Silc)

Washington Post mocked for embarking on Bernie Sanders Soviet Union ‘honeymoon’ smear… again RT (The Rev Kev)

Democrats preview post-Trump plan: Executive orders Politico

Nobody Wants to Run for Senate Slate (re Silc)

EXCLUSIVE: ‘This stings!’ How Obama saw Trump’s victory as a ‘personal insult,’ watched the movie Dr. Strange to distract himself from election results and blamed Hillary for the loss because of her ‘scripted, soulless campaign’ Daily Mail. Of course, it had absolutely nothing to do with foreclosures or the continuing decline in American living standards during his presidency – and his failure to do anything about it.

MMT

(chuck l)

Class Warfare

Uber Wants to Be the Uber of Everything—But Can It Make a Profit? WSJ. The Journal notices.

The Economy We Need Project Syndicate  Project Syndicate. Joseph Stiglitz

Brain Drain and the Polarization of America American Conservative

How to Rebuild America’s Economic Foundations Project Syndicate. Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson.

Uber Sued By 6,000 Australian Taxi Drivers For ‘Illegal Operations’ International Business Times

Jacksonville Passengers Recount Harrowing Plane Landing That Felt ‘Like an Explosion’ NYT (Jerry B). Another Boeing “mishap” – 737, but not MAX.

China?

Huawei Phone Buyers Don’t Share Trump’s Concerns Bloomberg. re Silc: “”why is china any worse than the nsa, apple, google or amazon???”

The West Finally Has Its Huawei Smoking Gun Bloomberg (furzy)

We’re all actors in the New Silk Road play Asia Times. Pepe Escobar.

China Cashes in on the Cannabis Boom NYT. re Silc: “i would guess sprayed with wacky chems too”. Moi: They already supply the cheap garlic to my neighbourhood bodega; why not cannabis too?

India

India election 2019: The killer air no one’s talking about BBC

The Woman Standing Between Modi and a Majority Bloomberg

India: the WhatsApp election FT

Will India soon see a malaria vaccine? Health Issues India. Filing this here as it’s from an Indian source and the piece is written from an Indian perspective. The vaccine is actually first being tested in Malawi.

US approves controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia Straits Times. Dengue killed a dear friend of mine last year, and I know several other people who have been afflicted. Nonetheless it makes me uneasy that the FDA is approving this vaccine just after the Philippines banned it in 2016, citing safety concerns, and is pursuing criminal charges against Sanofi. The company “admitted the vaccine was not suitable for people who had not previously been infected with the virus”. Glad we can trust the FDA . Oh, wait.

Syraqistan

Note to Washington: Hands Off the ‘New’ Arab Spring Truthdig Maj. Danny Sjursen

Israeli Law Silences and Punishes Critics and Human Rights Workers TruthOut (RMR)
Gaza conflict: Rocket barrage and Israeli strikes intensify BBC

Trump Transition

Democrats Must Make an Example of Bill Barr New Republic (re Silc)

Venezuela

Venezuela: Establishment Talking Points Translation Key Caitlin Johnstone (The Rev Kev)

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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191 comments

  1. divadab

    Re: Attempts to shut down Camille Paglia – wow the Atlantic is actually on the right side of this, albeit in a tepid way. I think it’s very bad when institutions which are supposed to protect the free exchange of ideas are now in the SJW world supposed to protect the fragile snowflake minds of students FROM ideas.

    It seems decadent to the max to me. I saw the same thing in the UK in the late seventies when socialists and Trotskyite students shut down right-wing speakers on campus. And what was the result? Flipping Margaret Thatcher, whose policies and privatisations and contempt for society led directly to the divisive Brexit mess we see today.

    When you suppress ideas it gives them more power. And they come out in weird ways. Sort of like when you suppress the sexual urge – it comes out, it must come out, and making it furtive and disapproved-of guarantees it will come out with some level of pathology.

    Reply
    1. marieann

      A story about university students fighting against free speech, right below the story about university students dying to protect free speech.

      Changed days Archie!

      Reply
      1. Cal2

        It’s going to be hilarious when these “Sniveling Little Maniacs” leave college and have to enter the real world and work in an office, because there are just not enough non-profits out there willing to hire them.

        Many will be so brainwashed and embittered, that they will never be able to work in a competitive and disciplined environment with a boss who will not put up with their constant victim status.

        At least we know where the next round of America’s blue haired females are coming from.
        [reference to the Goldwater, John Birch Society Blue Haired Ladies of yore, although they were lockstep conservative.]
        Future baristas, bakers and house cleaners of America.
        At least they will be able to read instructions.

        Reply
        1. norm de plume

          Oh, I don’t know. I think most of them will thrive in the shark pool, having sharpened their fangs at college. They will face challenges transferring their governing ideology from identitarian liberal to corporate neoliberal but they will cope.

          Reply
    2. Clive

      Just finished reading the Atlantic piece and I agree.

      It is symptomatic of the ills which afflict discussion in our modern culture. It’s not just, as with Paglia, study of and arguments about gender, sexuality and male-to-female or female-to-male aggression. Politics is also a casualty. It’s been unpalatable and unproductive to watch mainstream media outlets grapple, here in the U.K., with Brexit. After three years, it’s merely degenerated into two mutually opposing screeching echo chambers. You’ve got, say, for example, the Guardian and the Financial Times where the comments sections are patrolled by a self-appointed Remain Thought Police who have not particularly broad variations on the single theme of “Brexit, it’s awful, I know that, and I can prove it is true because of the very good reason that I don’t like it”. For Leave, well, look no further than the Daily Express or the Telegraph where the unwitting reader is assailed by a constant refrain of “Treachery! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me!”.

      Now, this sort of cosy comfortable intellectual group self pleasing is undoubtedly satisfying a market. One does, however, get the sense recently that readers and participants are slowly coming to the realisation that while it’s a guilty pleasure in the short to medium term, like a diet comprised nothing but eating cream cakes, it’s not really in the long term particularly good for your intellectual health and nutritional balance.

      Fortunately, it does seem to be a self-limiting phenomena. Like giving up ideological fundamentalism for Lent, I have noticed that after the Easter break which served as a recess, fewer and fewer readers seemed inclined to pick up their rhetorical cudgels again and take up where they left off. The reasons might be two-fold. As with Camille Paglia’s critics, trying to cut off dissenting voices simply makes the subject of the dissent more intriguing. And, once debate resumes, the places where it’s shut down and shouted down can continue to exist. But they inevitably find the debate still happens, flourishes even. Just not in places where they are. And no-one wants to eat at a restaurant with an empty car park.

      Reply
      1. dcblogger

        I sympathize with the students. I am aghast that a pro-rape art critic, and that is what her writing is, has a position like that. Ideas have consequences and women will never be safe as long as the Paglias of this world hold positions of respectability.

        Reply
        1. divadab

          You say Paglia is a “pro-rape art critic” – where does she say that she is in favor of rape? Not in evidence except in your own comment.

          You propose that she, in punishment for your invented caricature of her views, no longer hold a position “of respectability”. SO you propose to make her an unperson, an object of hatred and contempt for her sin which you made up. What a jolly sensible and nice person you must be, dcblogger!

          Reply
            1. Yves Smith

              Milton Friedman has done vastly more harm than Paglia ever could or did. And your position seems to be that her views are offensive. I find Friedman offensive, And how about Richard Hernstein, one of the co-authors of The Bell Curve? Even if you want to take offense at (arguably) bad ideas in academia, there are plenty of targets, none of whom have been subjected to remotely the level of abuse that has been directed at Paglia.

              Reply
          1. flora

            I agree. What’s happened on US college campuses over the past 15-20 years is a slow tranformation from expecting students to be exposed to and grapple with ideas they disagree with, and gain the intellectual developement to question and challenge (or accept) the ideas.

            Now uni’s are creating “ideological safe spaces” for students where they are sheltered from any idea they find currently offensive or disagreeable. It shocks me to think some college students – young adults, not children – demand suppressing speech they disagree with. It shocks me more to see college administrations giving into this childishness.

            Reply
          2. Craig H.

            > incoherent gibberish with some grains of truth thrown in at random amongst a Tourette’s-like self publicising narcissism

            It is not difficult to find a critique of C. P.’s work which ain’t utter rubbish.

            If you google on (new york times book review sexual personae) from my browser this is the first result:

            Siding With the Men By TERRY TEACHOUT JULY 22, 1990

            Reply
        2. lyman alpha blob

          All Paglia is doing is telling people to stand up for themselves rather than acting like Victorians with the vapors. That’s the essence of it at least, despite her somewhat harsh delivery. I see nothing wrong with that.

          Reply
        3. Chris

          No…actions have consequences. Ideas that are not acted upon result in nothing. What specific instance are referring to that marks Dr. Paglia as pro-rape? Seems like that kind of a statement demands a citation of some sort.

          Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      That’s what I love so much about the students and professors in this article – their belief in diversity. In the world that they are trying to create, they are making a place for all whether they are gay, black, transgender, asian, muslim, latino, female, disabled, sharia followers, LGBT, anybody.
      Diversity in beliefs not so much.

      Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        Imagine reading this article, then going back to 2015 and being in the room when the Clinton braintrust decided “identity” was their best path to victory?

        I have never seen any kind of political movment more alien or hostile to the actual winning of elections, which, in a duopoly, demands you build coalitions.

        Reply
      2. Carolinian

        People who feel they have to be protected from speech are primed for Big Brother who will be more than happy to control all speech including theirs. Which is to say that the crusade against so called hate speech is an essentially right wing impulse that seeks to limit a right that is important and historically proven in favor of injury claims that are often unprovable except by taking the word of the claimed victims. There are already limits on speech including libel and slander laws and a long body of legal precedent. Trying to invent new limits in the name of “liberalism” is quite likely to usher in the fascism that they claim to fear. Above all else attacks on freedom of thought are profoundly anti-intellectual. It’s questionable whether those who feel that way should even be in university–a place where you are supposed to gain some intellectual rigor and not just socially network.

        Reply
        1. nycTerrierist

          “Above all else attacks on freedom of thought are profoundly anti-intellectual. It’s questionable whether those who feel that way should even be in university–a place where you are supposed to gain some intellectual rigor and not just socially network.”

          All good points. But these days the university markets itself as a status brand. Its main mission: to keep the customers (tuition-payers) paying tuition, and hopefully down the line, donating $ to alma mater.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Gore Vidal said it’s a pincer movement. On the one hand are the SJWs and those who think their ideas are superior and so other ideas should not be spoken. On the other hand there’s the flow of corporate dollars to universities: wouldn’t want the version of history being taught at the school to identify or conflict with the lust for war and empire.

            Q: if your idea is so right and so powerful why can it not stand on its own merits in opposition to all other ideas?

            Oh. Because somebody’s feelings might get hurt. So we’re in the Quartier Latin in the 15th and 16th century and ideas that might hurt the Church’s feelings should be banned. The Enlightenment? Nah, skip that. The idea that Science should be allowed to emerge as a counter-idea to the received wisdom of The Scriptures might hurt the feelings of some priests.

            Reply
    4. Chris Cosmos

      I think Paglia’s case illustrates the extraordinary rise in tribalism and conformity in American society which seems to wax and wane over time. George Carlin, Hunter Thompson, and many other figures of the past simply would not be tolerated today where every phrase of any celebrity, politician, talking head is carefully examined for “correct” speech. While there is no central ideological authority like the Communist Party in the USSR in the USA a virtual one is emerging. Authoritarianism and fascism is now more of a left-wing than right-wing thing. If fascism were truly to come to America which, for me, there’s a strong chance, it will likely come from the left not the right.

      Reply
      1. Clive

        The dilemma of progressives since, oh, I don’t know, the dawn of time.

        To welcome everyone and anyone into our big wide tent — but inevitably be subject to both external and internal arguments about “divisions” and “chaos” hampering the movement? Or to crack down hard on anything which isn’t “true” progressive ideas and policy — but then inevitably mirror the tribalism and the hard-line (and hard unyielding imposition of) ideology of neoliberalism or free-market fundamentalists?

        Reply
        1. Chris Cosmos

          The left until recent years was generally anti-war and anti- the security services. The left has changed dramatically in my lifetime. I think books like Hedges’ Death of the Liberal Class and Frank’s Listen Liberal has covered this pretty well.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Rachel Maddow’s paean to John Bolton today is a particularly fine example. First we had the mellifluous melanoderm (Saint O) telling us that Bush’s Third Term was really cool and “progressive”, now we have Joy Behar and Rachel to tell us that corporo-fascism and Permanent War are really good, no, no, really people

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              Wait, Rachel Maddow was praising John Bolton?!? An honest to God warmongering “conservative” Republican apparatchik who has been trying to start wars since the Reagan Administration? IIRC the man was seriously disliked by people in the elder Bush’s administration because he is a loudmouth bully. As a diplomat he has threatened people in the UN.

              I am tempted to see the clip, but then I might start hurling.

              Reply
          2. WJ

            Historically and theoretically, Left politics is always class-based and seeks to build overlapping coalitions of otherwise very different groups on that basis.

            Corporate media and reactionaries love to talk about loyal-opposition liberals and identity-politic SJWs as though they were “leftists,” because doing so simultaneously delegitimizes the appeal of a truly Left politics for the vast majority of Americans and covers over the fact that the institutions that dominate the regular political process in America function to occlude from popular consciousness the possibilities represented by a truly Left politics.

            This was true in 1914, in 1932, and in 1968, and it remains true today.

            Reply
          3. jrs

            No you mean Dems may have used to be these things. But I don’t know were they ever really? They were better on economics than they are now, but maybe that’s all. The left is smaller and is anti-war and anti-security services.

            Reply
      2. Cal2

        Chris,

        Here’s an appropriate Classical reference,

        “Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.” Aristotle

        The word “last” is more akin to “nail in the coffin” than to “ultimate.”

        “First they came for the professors…”

        Reply
    5. Craig H.

      In Paglia’s first book, Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence From Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, she describes sex and nature as “brutal, daemonic” forces, “criticizes feminists for sentimentality or wishful thinking about the causes of rape, violence, and poor relations between the sexes,” and roots sex differences in biology. Seven publishers rejected the book before Yale University Press bought it in 1990; Sexual Personae was then savaged by feminist critics on the way to becoming an unexpected, 700-page best seller. And it sparked a national debate about art, history, gender, ideas that offend, free inquiry, and political correctness.

      My favorite Camile Paglia story: she was being interviewed somewhere a long time ago and she went off on a lengthy diatribe about the publisher of Sexual Personae who insisted she trim four precious chapters to get the thing down to 700 pages. The book is a popularization of her PhD thesis and it is fascinating in stretches but it is repetitious. If she hadn’t gotten distracted writing all the stuff about Madonna and Michael Jackson she might have been the greatest American think-writer of her generation. It is pretty interesting watching the interview Jordan Peterson did with her. He has a totally different personality when intimidated by somebody he knows is far smarter.

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        Oh, that interview is ‘interesting’ because it’s two idiots talking past each other for a hundred minutes.

        Reply
        1. MyFunnyIdeas

          IIRC you smear professor Jordan Peterson with an ad hominem smear everytime his name is mentioned in the NC comments. You now also have the gall to include Paglia in your smears. I would suggest you debate the ideas, that’s a sign of intellectual maturity.

          Reply
          1. Plenue

            Peterson is a moron. The ‘post-modern cultural Marxism’ that he’s constantly ranting about literally isn’t a thing. In fact, the very term and concept is impossible gibberish, since post-modernism is in direct opposition to the dialectical materialism that forms a core part of Marxist theory. There’s an amusing part in the Zizek-Peterson debate where Zizek asks Peterson to name some of the ‘post-modern marxists’ he hates so much. Peterson can’t. Because they don’t exist.

            And ‘ad hominem’? Good for you, you know about logical fallacies. Here are a couple more for you: argument from authority and false authority. You invoke both when you talk about ‘Professor’ Peterson. He’s a professor of psychology, and utterly out of his field and depth on the issues he spends most of his time blathering on about.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU1LhcEh8Ms

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8AcmzqFdPM

            Here are a couple of things to start you on the reality of how much of an idiot charlatan Peterson is.

            Reply
    6. Nakatomi Plaza

      “I think it’s very bad when institutions which are supposed to protect the free exchange of ideas are now in the SJW world supposed to protect the fragile snowflake minds of students FROM ideas.”

      It isn’t this simple. Students no longer come to academia as empty vessels seeking knowledge; they are customers now, and they’ve been empowered to see the university as an extension of themselves and a critical part of their identity. I can’t really blame them for this since they’re paying a fortune, and education is now a marketing exercise as much an intellectual commitment. You don’t tell your customers they’re wrong, and if you do you end up on the losing side of that argument no matter how stupidly your customer is behaving. The Atlantic article mentions adjuncts who acknowledge that they don’t feel free to contradict their students or stand up for academic integrity, and why would they? Would you expect the temp at your job to get into an argument with management? Paglia would have been fired years ago if she weren’t tenured. Neoliberal America wanted education to become a commodity, and it is; the only people who seem to be universally benefiting from this are administrators and student loan servicers.

      Reply
    7. John k

      I thought thatcher, for all her neolib faults, insisted on retaining the currency, which seems to be a good thing.

      Reply
    8. Plenue

      I personally couldn’t care less about Paglia and her nonsense. But countering her isn’t going to be done through censorship. The petition reads like a parody of safe space types; it literally says to replace her with ‘a queer person of color’. And that will change what, exactly? What if the new, shielded minority said the same types of things? Or is the ‘logic’ that it’s unlikely a minority would ever think such ‘heresy’? They’re literally not countering ideas, they’re just trying to have ones they don’t like pushed underground. Ludicrous.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘a queer person of color’? I had forgotten that term that they used. Hey – I’m not even gay but I find the use of the word ‘queer’ both offensive and pejorative. Are they implying that gay people are queer by nature? That is hate speech that!

        Reply
        1. Robert McGregor

          @The Rev Kev, Consult your “social sexual lexicon.” “Queer” has been the politically correct word of choice for at least 25 years to refer to homosexuals of both sexes—that is “gays” and “lesbians.”

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            @ Robert McGregor – Quite correct that and I have seen this term used for decades. However, look at the synonyms for this word-

            odd, strange, unusual, funny, peculiar, curious, bizarre, weird, outlandish, eccentric, unconventional, unorthodox, uncanny, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, anomalous, atypical, untypical, different

            That word has always had negative associations and was once a damning swear word whereas the term gay is pretty neutral. To my mind, the latter term just means that that person is just part of the human spectrum whereas the former has an implications of never belonging. I guess that it is a matter of personal interpretation here so that is just my thoughts on this term.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Rev, ever read Brendan Behan’s play “The Quare Fellow?” A 1950’s look at the same questions, with almost Universalist commentary.
              Worth reading.

              Reply
  2. dearieme

    2020 betting odds: Joe Biden new Democratic frontrunner, Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke nosedive

    I suppose some people prefer a hands-on chap like Joe to a supine person like Harris.

    I further suppose some people prefer an actual human like Joe to a hollowgram like O’Rourke.

    (Bleedin’ awful joke intended.)

    Reply
      1. ObjectiveFunction

        To borrow the Donald line that KOed the Bush dynasty: “He should be running.”

        I’d actually prefer Willie to the rest of them; Good honest graft. Very refreshing.

        Reply
  3. Isotope_C14

    A WAR REPORTER COVERS “THE END OF ICE” — AND IT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT CLIMATE CATASTROPHE The Intercept (david l)

    Dahr Jamail has an excellent talk here in Seattle:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35yts_iLz9M

    I’ve listened to it more times than I care to admit.

    We are in hospice, and we need to stop worrying about who is going to lead us off the cliff. I love the part of the talk where he has two questions for the audience. I hope to go to where I hear that song, for a week only sadly, and say goodbye to where I belong this summer.

    I saw some interesting speculation on r/collapse on reddit, that the jet stream might move in to a permanent dual-split situation, which might be just as bad as a blue ocean event because the crops would either always be flooded, or always be too hot and dry.

    Thanks again NC – for covering the sixth mass extinction event that is unfolding in front of us. Although I’m in a near constant state of borderline self immoltion/depression, the fact that you all keep it real makes things a bit better.

    Reply
    1. Robert Hahl

      Thanks. This was surprising: Even assuming no acceleration of species loss, there will be no more insects in one hundred years.

      Reply
      1. divadab

        Naw. Some will survive. They’ve been through the wringer several times before. As have we, kemo sabe.

        Remember – the living planet will survive us even if we nuke the place and utterly kill ourselves off. Life is a self-generating process.

        Reply
      2. lordkoos

        Cockroaches will inherit the earth… they were here before us and they’ll be here after we’re gone.

        Reply
    2. John Beech

      I’m in a near constant state of borderline self immoltion/depression

      Good grief, please get some counseling. Life is too good to be fretting all the time about things, which individually you have as much control over as of whether the sun comes up in the morning. My point is, this can’t be good for you, and fortunately, you recognize it. Act with alacrity!

      Reply
      1. Isotope_C14

        John, there’s a good chance that we’re going to end up starving to death as a species in under 10 years.

        I’m not sure what a counselor can do for that.

        Perhaps you didn’t understand that video?

        Reply
        1. divadab

          Naw. Not all humans will starve. The apocalypse is not imminent.

          But yes there are way too many people and reducing the human population to a sustainable level will not be pretty.

          Reply
          1. Isotope_C14

            “The apocalypse is not imminent.”

            3000X the weight of humans is bacteria. A large amount of them are pumping out gigatons of CO2/NO2/NOx, and CH4 while they eat the permafrost.

            I feel much better, thanks.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              Relax, Issac Newton thought the whole shooting works ends in 2060, and no offense, but he was more intelligent than you.

              Reply
              1. Oregoncharles

                2060? I don’t think that’s actually reassuring. I’ll be gone and probably you, too, but it would be nice if my grandson had a shot.

                Personally, I think it’s going to be quite unpleasant, to put it lightly, but survivable.

                Reply
                1. Wukchumni

                  Sorry, I underestimated the gravity of the situation.

                  We’re headed back to the future of uncertainty…

                  Reply
      2. Chris Cosmos

        Part of me is “depressed” about living in militantly post-rational historical moment and waiting for the end of the world I think that is healthy. The alternative is what I see around me, people living inside of fantasies supplied by sleazy purveyors of these strange and unbelievable stories and who are comforted. Things are, in a sense, hopeless if analyzed rationally. If we don’t deal with our environmental crisis (and we in the USA are resolutely NOT dealing with it) we’re heading for disaster. However, the fact culture, politics, economics, and so on are in the state they’re in offers us the only path forward–spirituality. The very hopelessness of the situation has made me more optimistic as I’ve learned the overwhelming importance of compassion and connection. As Hedges writes quoting Berrigan–“the good draws to itself the good” and this is, simply, the only path for us. Yes, we can support non-corrupt, non-fascist candidates for political office but the system is so systemically corrupt that there’s no rational way we can change things enough in the time we have left. We have to proceed through a “cloud of unknowing.”

        Reply
        1. Isotope_C14

          ‘As Hedges writes quoting Berrigan–“the good draws to itself the good” and this is, simply, the only path for us.’

          I enjoy that quote, but I don’t think it’s true. The good gets killed by sociopaths normally.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I guess I don’t see what we’re doing as anything extraordinary, we’re just a creature exploiting our ecological niche and it’s a perfectly natural process. A bump in evolutionary “truncated equilibrium” gave us a large brain function that happened to give us the ability to exploit very efficiently. So we’ll eat up all the food and breathe up all of the air, then there will be a collapse. We’ll end up as a particularly interesting geological layer for future cockroach scientists to study. And I’m OK with that. Maybe it’s my Buddhist upbringing: acceptance. Should we take radical action to slow the run to our total and absolutely inevitable complete demise and disappearance? Sure. But panic about our eventual disappearance? That would be like telling yourself you’re never going to die. Nature wins, she always does.

            Reply
            1. Sy Krass

              Just to remind you of your Buddhist philosophy about karma and reincarnation, we are those future cockroach scientists…

              Reply
            2. Massinissa

              “we’re just a creature exploiting our ecological niche and it’s a perfectly natural process.”

              Yes, but its not uncommon for that to be followed by mass die offs. Once a creature is too successful in its niche and its growth outstrips its own food supply, the creature has a population ‘correction’ that involves most of them dying off until a more sustainable population is reached.

              Not the end of the species, but that is an awful lot of death. And this playing out on a civilization scale will be far from pretty.

              Reply
            3. MichaelSF

              We’ll end up as a particularly interesting geological layer for future cockroach scientists to study.

              Let’s not forget the contribution to their study that will be provided by Keith Richards.

              Reply
    3. lyman alpha blob

      …the crops would either always be flooded, or always be too hot and dry.

      That sounds like my garden. In the Northeast with its short growing season, for the last few years it’s been too much cold and rain in the spring to the point where plants get a late start, and then no moisture at all starting in July for the rest of the season – hot, windy weather with very little rain at all. That’s a problem when even in good weather you don’t plant your garden until Memorial day.

      Anecdotal to be sure, but I look at my garden as a canary in a coal mine. Sure some plants are more fickle than others but last year I couldn’t even get lettuce to grow which has never happened.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Doing ok here in the PNW … the lettuce this Spring is growing Great ! .. In fact Everything is doing quite nice, so I would say that it really depends on geography to a large extent. Here, we benefit from the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean ..

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Are you sure it’s wise to let that particular cat out of the bag, Mr. polecat? Granted, we’re all friends here, but still…

          More seriously, you’re right: the effects of climate catastrophe are highly local. Of course, that wind off the ocean also brings us the radiation from Fukushima.

          Reply
          1. Isotope_C14

            I saw some data that showed that post-Fukushima California wines had a marked increase in radioactive cesium, making this a unique marker to confirm a wines provenance.

            I don’t see too many on the shelf here in the EU, perhaps they are above the radioactive limit for wine?

            Reply
  4. timbers

    Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results NYT

    Well that’s a relief. Staying in the Center has worked so well for Pelosi personally. But did anyone ask Nancy if we need to worry about Republicans using FISA to spy on their political opponents? Bernie is so in love with Putin he did his honeymoon in Russia and Gabbard is so close to Russia AND China she could probably see both outside her window on a clear day.

    Do not get dragged into a protracted impeachment bid that will ultimately get crushed in the Republican-controlled Senate

    (Pelosi)

    Very smart. Instead, Dems dragged us into a protracted Russia!Russia! which worked out great. That’s why she no longer needs to worry about HER next election.

    “Our passions were for health care, bigger paychecks, cleaner government — a simple message,” Ms. Pelosi said of the 40-seat Democratic pickup last year that resulted in her second ascent to the speakership. “We did not engage in some of the other exuberances that exist in our party”

    (Pelosi)

    I guess Democrat’s passions for healthcare and bigger paychecks got drowned out because Republicans kept changing the subject to Russia!Russia! Can’t win them all.

    Nearly five months into her second speakership, Ms. Pelosi appears to be embracing her role as the only Democrat with the power to oppose Mr. Trump.

    That’s why – because Nancy Pelosi – Trump has failed to start any wars or change domestic polices like getting huge tax cuts for the rich and corporations, gutting regulations, or getting bad judges on the bench. If only Obama and Hillary had been this successful, Trump wouldn’t be President today.

    Reply
    1. voteforno6

      I think her comments are far worse than that. She’s too wily to come out and say it explicitly, but her message is essentially that she won’t be the one that would accept any election results that have a leftist winning. If we actually had a healthy, functioning democracy, members of her caucus would already be calling for her resignation.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My guess is there are two sets of donors who are getting antsy. True believer types. They really want to see subpoenas and committee hearings. They are lazy intellectually, but they are starting to notice Pelosi seems to be repeating her previous stint in power. Why should they give money?

        Republican minded donors who were making bets on demographics. What if Pelosi and her ilk don’t hold sway over voters and can’t deliver what Republicans can? Why not just donate to Trump? Yes, many Bush family loyalists are ticked, but why would donors care if Michelle Obama’s BFF likes a GOP operative or not.

        AOC is generating headlines and energy, so Team blue elites are screaming about all the centrists that were elected. I don’t remember the 2018 centrist campaign, and I suspect very few voters remember this campaign either. It was an anti-Trump campaign. When Team Blue saw ACA wasn’t turning into a political winner, did they praise it’s centrist nature? They promised it needed time to work, to fix it later, or swore it was the best that could be done. Pelosi is far too old to reinvent herself because as a Speaker she was there. With her token status, she won’t be ignored the way Tom Foley is ignored.

        Reply
        1. Pookah Harvey

          Has anyone noticed that AOC is not in the headlines lately?
          Is this because of typical cyclic MSM coverage or have orders come down from above to ignore her?

          Reply
          1. Robert Valiant

            Is she selling advertising? I don’t know the answer, but I reckon it’s a large part of whether she’s covered or not. I’m pretty convinced that the system is largely on autopilot.

            Reply
          2. Massinissa

            I’ve noticed it too. I can’t think of why. It’s possible that its because she isn’t doing or saying anything new, but then, without reporting on her, how can we know that for sure?

            Reply
            1. GF

              I would guess that the reason is that she is not running and can’t run for president. The other 22 Dems running are sucking all the oxygen out of the room.

              Reply
          3. jonhoops

            I think congress was on recess for most of April, so less news from DC in general. I seem to also notice news fatigue even with Trumps antics , maybe I’m just tuning it all out.

            Reply
          4. The Rev Kev

            That’s OK. Gabbard is being ignored as well. The same way that they tried to ignore Sanders as much as possible back in 2016.

            Reply
        1. Cal2

          This native San Franciscan would vote for him

          He should loose the man-bun though, voters outside of the city would take him more seriously.

          —–
          Well that didn’t work out as planned…

          The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee tweeted out a simple poll to its 107,000 followers:

          “Do you want more Supreme Court justices like Ruth Ginsburg or do you want more justices like Brett Kavanaugh?”
          — Senate Democrats (@dscc) May 3, 2019

          The results – as of 1330ET 5/3/19 – were that with over 200,000 votes already counted, RBG is losing to her arch-nemesis by 30-70% of the vote…

          https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-05/senate-dems-shocked-their-own-poll-showing-70-prefer-kavanaugh-over-rbg

          Another good reason to vote for Bernie, unless you want Trump to pick her immanent replacement.

          https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/ruth-bader-ginsburg-has-malignant-growths-removed-lungs-n950916

          Reply
    2. Carolinian

      Remember when Dems claimed Trump would likely not accept an inevitable Hillary victory and then turned around and did that very thing (refusing to accept) when Trump won? Or how they accused Russia of meddling in an election that the party itself did everything in its power to manipulate? I believe he shrinks call this projection.

      In the Counterpunch link St. Clair, like Ian Welsh, says Biden is the inevitable Dem nominee because his superficiality and empty posturing are exactly what the party is about. One fears he is right. Biden may serve the same role as Hillary did last time and forestall more reform minded candidates.

      Reply
      1. Chris Cosmos

        I don’t think Biden will be the candidate–someone better will win in my view Sanders or someone close to his POV. With this many candidates and a less powerful hold on the party mechanisms by the Democratic “machine” may insure mainly honest primaries. Biden is about as obvious a jerk as you can find in American politics and he lacks Trump’s charisma. Trump appeared “real” in the context of all the fakers on the debate stage–Biden will appear fake in the face of several good candidates out there who are, like Trump, “real” not scripted. The only chance Biden has is if the machine cheats voters.

        The only reason he’s ahead now is because of nostalgia and the utterly absurd argument that he can beat Trump. He would lose. I would vote for Trump before I’d vote for Biden. More likely I would vote for anyone like them and I suspect I’d be joined by many others.

        Reply
        1. Cal2

          The best way to improve the Democratic Party is to elect Trump again. I’m felling your pain.

          Bernie with Tulsi as Vice President would be unstoppable.

          Any other Democratic candidate will lose to Trump.

          Tulsi was just endorsed by Ron Paul.

          Reply
        2. lordkoos

          I’m not convinced the Biden is actual front-runner, I think it’s propaganda. Anecdotally, Sanders has a lot more support.

          Reply
      2. Lynne

        Yes, and I also remember how when Trump’s campaign totally botched the 2016 Colorado primary, Democrats and media were snickering that they hoped Trump ended up on top of the ticket because winning against Trump would be a slam dunk. Their reason was that if the trump people were too stupid and disorganized to handle the CO primary, they’d be completely flummoxed by the electoral college. Oh, the irony.

        Reply
        1. cm

          Wouldn’t the world be a better place if media pundits were required to disclose their 2016 advice?

          I am SO SICK of hearing media pundits either declaring

          a) what Trump *should* do
          b) the “obvious” D strategy to counter Trump

          when, if we go back to 2016, they were confident of a Clinton victory.

          Imagine if we could remove ignorant media blowhards who completely misread the 2016 election from the airswaves!!!

          Reply
          1. Chris Cosmos

            The media blowhards are immune from criticism–the more wrong they are the better their careers. We live in an era where the US has adopted the Soviet system only much more robust because the people are willing to pull the wool over their own eyes.

            Reply
      3. richard

        St. Clair also took a dumb potshot at bernie, saying the only thing he learned from marching with mlk was how to exploit it in an ad.
        That is pretty lame, jeffrey. Marching with the (too) sainted doctor is a legitimate part of one’s political cv, if one can claim it. So is getting arrested at a civil rights protest. I’d rather hear about that than the endless iterations of lineage and upbringing, of family and identity virtue.
        Now most of all I’d like to hear policy I can pin you to. But bernie doesn’t disappoint there. I know st.clair has some solid criticisms of bernie, but this wasn’t one imho

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          Counterpunch has always been fairly anti-Sanders going back at least to when Sanders went along with 90s Serbia bombing.

          I think one can question some of Sanders’ judgments without questioning his integrity which is what BAR and St. Clair flirt with. But then I’m from way down south–don’t know much about Vermont (I have been there). In other words Sanders’ pledging the Dem ticket may simply be Trump phobia the way St. Clair seems to have Putin phobia.

          Reply
  5. Wukchumni

    From The End of Ice link:

    “Well, it’s Western colonial society. It essentially trains us to be disconnected from the planet. It doesn’t predispose us to go and live directly in relationship with the Earth. We don’t have to go to a stream to go get our water. We don’t have to go hunt or grow our food if we don’t want to. It’s the opposite of indigenous lifestyle, traditionally. So that’s why I believe the fundamental cause of climate disruption is our inherent disconnect from the planet. “Our” being those of us living, most of us living in Western industrialized society. And the solution is first, we have to start with reconnecting. And I think that’s why we don’t see climate disruption in the headlines on a regular basis because so many of us are living in big cities, getting our food from grocery stores; our water, turn on the tap. There’s your water.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This is the crux of the issue, the great disconnect from our roots of just about everybody being a farmer in some guise, which worked for many millennia and by no means a sure thing, failure was always lurking.

    I’m glad we don’t have to rely on the fruit from our orchard if things went to shit all of the sudden, as not only does it take 7-10 years for things to come a cropper, but it also turns out that all of Mother Nature’s clients are only too happy to indulge in the buffet spread i’ve laid out, and I didn’t even send out an RSVP, how rude of them.

    Some of the trees will have issues with chill hours being reduced in the winter as climate change kicks in, which could lead to less or no fruit on given trees, relegating them to ornamental status casting shade, so its not all bad, but figuring out how things will transpire is tricky.

    I planted 2 Gala apple trees 5 years ago, one here in the foothills of the Sierra, and another @ 7,000 feet in Mineral King, and the higher altitude Gala looks more like the tree I planted all those years ago albeit it’s 50% bigger, heck, it’s never even blossomed, whereas the the Gala in the lower climes is 10 feet tall & wanted to have around 200 offspring, and I had to cull it down to 50 potential orbs.

    We’ve visited the headwaters for the 5 rivers here over many decades, and know where dozens of natural springs are higher up, including some that are naturally carbonated. (bring lemonade powder & a Nalgene bottle-presto! lemonade soda)

    You wonder though, if the taps stopped working in the cities and people were at the end of their rope, would they figure out what those thin blue ribbons on the map mean?

    Reply
    1. davidgmillsatty

      Only about 2 billion people have their clothes washed in a washing machine. For those of us who have this drudgery done by a machine, how many of us would be willing like to go back to cleaning our clothes in a dirty stream or river just to “save the planet”? For the rest of the planet, who no longer want to wash their clothes this way, who are we to tell them they must continue on without one?

      https://youtu.be/6sqnptxlCcw

      Reply
      1. jef

        With less than 1 billion people consuming more than half the worlds resources who are we to tell them to consume less.

        Reply
        1. davidgmillsatty

          This is a machine for the first world not the third world. This assumes you have some clean water to start with. Also it does take some detergent so you need a full sanitation system.

          Reply
      2. Robert Valiant

        I think my great grandparents were at least as happy as I am, and they didn’t have washing machines or even indoor plumbing. I think future generations (if they exist) are looking back at my life and wondering why I bothered to live at all.

        I think progress, convenience, and luxury, and especially happiness, are matters of perspective.

        Reply
        1. davidgmillsatty

          One of the main points of the TED talk was how much time women around the world spend each week cleaning clothes and the drudgery of it and once freed of the drudgery actually have time to educate themselves and their children. It is easy for you to say that the people who spent their lives in this environment lived a blissful existence. You didn’t live it.

          Reply
          1. Robert Valiant

            Won’t future generations say the same thing about our lives, how full of comparative drudgery they were? Does imaging that make you less happy right now? What I think is too easy is to assume that if someone has a disability, in this case, a life of comparative drudgery, then they must necessarily be less happy than one who is more complete, in this case in terms of luxury and convenience.

            Am I trying to make a hard existentialist argument that happiness is fully a choice available to everyone? No, because suffering is real and sometimes completely external in origin.

            Finally, I didn’t say anything about a “blissful existence,” that’s plain misrepresentation on your part.

            Have a nice evening.

            Reply
          2. lordkoos

            Yeah, most women now have the freedom to work 40 hours a week (or more), in addition raising the kids. Maybe not that great of a trade-off. And there is no reason men can’t take a turn with that kind of work. And speaking of kids, we need to stop having them for awhile…

            Reply
            1. jrs

              I suspect that the housework women did took far longer than 40 hours a week, the amount of hours women “worked” (paid or not) has always clocked way over 40.

              Reply
      3. lordkoos

        If people had only 3 or 4 sets of clothes (many if not most people in the world probably have that number), hand washing wouldn’t be that big of a deal, although I’m sure that prospect sends chills to the more fashion conscious folks.

        Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        One of the first apple trees I planted was a 4-in-1 (Fuji-Mutsu-Jonathon-Gala) model, and decided thereafter not to do that again, as we have the room for individual varieties (if I had the energy we could have 100 different varieties instead of the near 50 now) and part of the fun is eating heretofore forbidden fruit* previously never having passed through my mouth.

        * a Ghost apple tree is blossoming for the first time, it features a white skin.

        Reply
  6. pjay

    Re: ‘Democrats Must Make an Example of Bill Barr’

    Typical. Barr has a life full of important cover-ups — BCCI, Iraqgate, Iran-Contra pardons, etc. Yet TNR chooses to “make an example” of his “cover-up” of Mueller’s heroic effort to uncover the Truth about Trump and Russia! The Saint Mueller crusade continues in our wonderful media. I’m sure the Trump campaign couldn’t be happier.

    Reply
    1. Brian (another one they call)

      Thanks Wuk, you are consistently bringing up the real world and it is refreshing. I keep looking for a spring because it may be the last place to live with the natural world. If we can’t solve our water crisis, we won’t need to solve any others.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Water is fascinating stuff, and fun to figure out from whence it came.

        “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.”

        That bible passage sounds similar to a spring we found way off trail on the Kern river side of Pants Pass in Sequoia NP. I could hear water underfoot only just barely, and then started shedding talus on top of the sound, getting to perhaps the sweetest spring water imaginable, about 2 feet down.

        Was up in Mineral King this morning & afternoon, and in real world news, the previously mentioned Gala & McIntosh apple trees got squashed into expensive firewood from the crazy snow lode this winter, i’m giving up on that experiment and concentrating on the lower tranches, where we get giddy when it dumps an inch and a half of frozen white stuff overnight once every three years, and the town rejoices and revels in it while you can, as it’s melted off by 10 am, 11 am tops.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          There is something very special about springs. It’s always exciting to find one. For instance, the Deschutes River on the east side of the Cascades rises from a gigantic spring – must be 50 feet across. Beyond that, the sides of the river are lined with springs, bringing water down from the mountains. A magical place.

          And a fictional evocation: the Jean de Florette/Manon of the Spring series (French, 1987) of films. Both are built around a spring. I finally realized that Manon evokes a nymph of the spring, a very classical allusion that drives the second film.

          And of course, many garden water features are designed specifically to resemble a spring.

          Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Lol i clicked on the link, then switched tv input to the Raptors/76rs NBA game.

      Heres what played a couple songs after Hey Sandy- Camouflage by Stan Ridges. Wow GREAT AMERICAN WAR PROPAGANDA!!

      Have to admit Camouflage affected me (a former Army PFC) more than Hey Sandy.

      FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO!!!!!!

      Reply
  7. stefan

    Promptly beginning impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Barr is a very good idea. That idea is called accountability.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      And who, pray tell, is going to be held accountable for the past two years of Russiagate that has been causing chaos in American life and politics? Whose origin was the result of a Clinton effort to get dirt on Trump and whose Russiagate campaign was laid out in her book “Shattered”. And what about all those actors from the FBI, the CIA, Obama himself and British intelligence to make up out of whole-cloth a bs story of a President guilty of treason and deserving of sending to Leavenworth? And who in the media will be accountable for all the lies peddled over the past two years pushing this story – people like Rachel Maddow – that has been libelous in the extreme. Well I would like to extend to all these actors my congratulations. Through their efforts, they have likely helped Trump to be in position to win a second term. I hope that they are proud of themselves.

      Reply
      1. John Zelnicker

        @The Rev Kev
        May 5, 2019 at 9:52 am
        ——-

        Well said, Rev.

        Seems to me like we’re reaping the whirlwind now.

        Reply
    2. Eureka Springs

      Mueller and Barr were always fox tasked with protecting their hen house from scrutiny of the soft coup. With a lot of help from Democrats and media they have done an excellent job.

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Exactly. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding the chain of command or some legal ramifications, but it seems to me the if the Democrats hired Mueller in the first place, and they simply can’t see the whole report because of the redactions, then why not just ask Mueller for an unredacted copy? And if some legal problem prevents Mueller from giving it to them after having turned it over to Barr, then why turn it over to Barr in the first place? In that case, it would seem that Mueller himself would be responsible for any coverup by turning his report over to a Trump ally.

        Reply
          1. lyman alpha blob

            Sure, but is it required by law that he present the report to Barr first rather than directly to Congress? And if it is, and there are things in it Mueller felt should not have been redacted by Barr, can he not say what those are or has he been struck dumb?

            Pretty sick of this stupid charade – if the Mueller report shows anything it’s that it’s time to investigate the Democrat party for their conspiracy to use the spooks to stop Trump’s campaign, a conspiracy for which there is quite a bit of evidence, unlike the whole Russia collusion nonsense.

            Reply
        1. Plenue

          I meant what is Barr supposed to be accountable for, to the Democrats?

          This just seems to be another step in an increasingly stupid dance. First it was ‘Trump is a traitor and Mueller will prove it’. Then Barr released a summary and it was ‘Barr is lying’ (‘Barr mis-summarizes famous stories’ was briefly a meme template). Then the redacted report came out and lo, no evidence, and the goalposts shifted to ‘show us the unredacted report, Barr is lying about how he chose redactions’.

          It looks like shoot the messanger more than anything. Yeah, the press conference he did was unprecedented. It’s also unprecedented for it to be mainstream politics to call the President a traitor and foreign agent (this is literally John Birch Society territory).

          Reply
  8. Eureka Springs

    After reading the WAPO article in which readers are led astray in more ways than I want to count my contempt for Speaker Pelosi and her party have attained new heights. She’s turned her promise of a blue wave into pond scum. Twice now as Speaker, she’s made Bush Jr. and Trump look better than almost anyone else could. Everything she claims to be passionate about in that article is in fact something she’s actively destroying… except centrism, which will never win as big as she says it needs to win. How she ever made it past S.F. City Council, says a lot about the so-called left who put her there and continue to vote for her to this day than perhaps anything else.

    I wonder if anyone sells brain bleach by the 55 gallon drum?

    Reply
  9. roadrider

    Re: Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results

    My advice to Democrats: stop taking advice from Nancy Pelosi.

    Let’s face it the Democrats are hopelessly corrupt and dysfunctional. They have not displaced an incumbent Republican president since GWHB and then only because Perot split the vote. In the Obama years that Team Blue pines over they lost the House, the Senate and a large majority of state houses and governor’s offices. Yet they don’t seem to be able to recognize that its their own failure to address the material concerns of average Americans that has led to those voters rejecting them at the polls. They rage over the phony Russia-gate “conspiracy” and assume that it was that and racism that caused Trump to win yet fail to notice how many Obama voters either voted for Trump or just stayed home (including a significant number of African-Americans). Yes, racism is still a serious problem in America but it beggars the imagination that the country that twice elected an African-American president suddenly became so much more racist that they preferred Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton for just that reason.

    Until the Democrats get over their myopia and lack of introspection they will continue to lose elections and become increasingly irrelevant as a political party.

    Reply
  10. ChrisAtRU

    #Biden

    “Last September, the union applied for approval from the federal government to cut the pension benefits of over 21,000 Teamsters members in Western PA. The union was only able to do that due to a law that Biden had helped to pass, allowing labor leaders in poorly managed union-run pension plans to cut benefits without the approval of their members. (A law which was opposed by progressives like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Teamsters for a Democratic Union activists.)”

    Wow … wow … wow

    Kleptocrats do well to keep a couple “moles” on the inside, don’t they? But Joe’s campaign should truly be #DOA based on stuff like this.

    Reply
    1. Brindle

      In Biden’s speech in Pittsburg last week there numerous instances of him slurring or mispronouncing words. Maybe he was having a bad day or maybe something else. His mental sharpness could become an issue.

      Reply
      1. Judith

        That could be why Biden’s staff blocked reporters from speaking to him earlier this week (discussed at the time on NC).

        Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “China Cashes in on the Cannabis Boom”

    That’s not all. I have heard a rumour that China is thinking about setting up a series of safe places in different countries where customers can partake of drugs in a pleasant environment. It will be modeled after the Starbucks chain of course and free Wi-fi will be available for all their customers. But it will not be cannabis on offer but opium instead sourced from Afghanistan – with a portion of the profits to be donated to veterans organizations in recognition of all their service in protecting these crops from Taliban tax-collectors. Some in the west have spitefully stated that the Chinese are merely recycling an old idea but the Chinese have stated that this time it will be different – because technology!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_den

    Reply
    1. Kurt Sperry

      When I was in high school in the seventies, we had Chinese exchange student. She told me that all the villages in her area had a small plot of cannabis that the elderly of the village used for making medicines and for smoking as well. She said the local word for Cannabis was “old person’s plant”. She said it was completely tolerated, the local authorities didn’t care in spite of the official ban that elderly were using the plant as a folk medicine. She also said that the young people had no interest in it.

      Reply
  12. Synoia

    Britain’s legacy is not benign – the Cambridge slavery inquiry will show we have plenty to feel guilty for Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

    I’ve been down this path before, and I don’t feel guilty.

    Yes, Britain did these things. I personally did none of them.

    Reply
    1. davidgmillsatty

      Why stop with our British ancestry? Why not feel guilty for what our Roman forbears did as well?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Because the Ancient Romans are no longer around to defend themselves. The fragmented remnants of the British Empire are.
        I used to tell the Sothrons we lived amongst here Down South when the issue of Carpetbaggery came up that: “I have ancestors who sold guns to both sides of that war.”

        Reply
    2. Monty

      I think the point is that some see race relations like a never ending game of Monopoly. “Our team” used force to award themselves all the property and masses of money at the start (which we inherited the benefits of). Now the other teams are expected to “be sporting” and play by the rules. That means paying rent to the beneficiaries and heirs of the cheats at every turn. They can only get ahead by landing on some really juicy chance cards.

      Reply
      1. Goyo Marquez

        Exactly.

        When President Obama normalized relations with Cuba I recall reading reports of several companies filing claims because their property had been expropriated by the Cuban communist government, and thinking wasn’t that like 60 years ago? Apparently it’s never too late for capitalists to be compensated for what was taken from them, but never the other way around.

        Reply
    3. Ember Burns

      “Yes, Britain did these things. I personally did none of them.”

      But you benefited from them.

      Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “In the Netflix Era, Hollywood Wants to Know: What’s a Movie, Anyway?”

    I reading this article, I was actually wondering if it would be so bad if all the big studios just went away. By that I mean 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures & Walt Disney Pictures thus only leaving mostly indie film producers. All those technicians, sound-men, cameramen would soon find work on smaller films though times may be tough for all the hanger-ons and parasites. Colossal earnings by a few select starts would be a thing of the past but would that be so bad either? Who cares if they could not buy a fourth mansion? What it might do is allow new and original ideas to be filmed without getting snuffed out by the Hollywood system. Have new relevant films about modern life instead of prequels, sequels, repeats, filmed TV series from the 60s and all the other stuff that studios come up with. How about films about college graduates trying to survive and having to take work as Uber drivers. The effects of towns dying in fly-over country. The problems of homeless people in large cities. You know – stuff that Americans can actually relate to just by what they see and hear?

    Reply
    1. Big River Bandido

      The major studios you mentioned have done nothing for 30 years but churn out crap. But their presence does help create a critical mass and an overall environment that independent artists need in order to work. If there were no film “industry”, would there be still companies that make the technology? Small producers are even more dependent upon technology than the majors — the widespread availability of technology and its relative thriftiness (compared to the ways movies were made 50 years ago) have made it possible for small producers to make top-quality films. If the “industry” were to die…the tech companies would have a smaller base to sell products to. Certainly the price would go up, but just as likely, innovation would be stifled.

      What about the talent — the actors, writers, directors, grips, gaffers, and crew? Sure, some of them would still have work, but with the majors gone, an element that helps those people thrive economically. The presence of the “industry” creates a space for people to learn and practice their craft while making a living.

      The inter-connected existence of all those things is somewhat of an artistic ecosystem; take out a chunk of it, no matter how uncreative and how unproductive it is, and some of the “infrastructure” required to produce great independent filmmakers gets destroyed. Even the creative artists who never play the commercial game have been hurt by the decline in the film and music industries — it means there’s less for them as well.

      Reply
      1. Montanamaven

        In David Graeber’s “Bullshit Jobs”, he makes the point that in the early days of the Studio System in the 1930s, there were very few “executives”. Majority of employed were actors and writers and then the other creatives such as costumes, makeup, builders, electrics…. Much like today’s University system, administrators now outnumber the teachers, today’s Hollywood has far too many VPs in charge of “development”. Louis Mayer, William Fox, Harry Warner talked directly to the writers. The old system was much better than this new version which has been crapified. And not looking towards Silicon Valley for salvation, but at least it’s been giving voice to a lot more diverse and innovative ways of spinning a good yarn.

        Reply
        1. lordkoos

          The old studio system wasn’t so great for actors. Tied to seven year contracts and pretty much having to do what they were told as far as what projects they had to do, etc.

          Reply
      2. Pat

        As much as I might bemoan another live action version of an animated classic, the truth is that mainstream entertainment, popular entertainment allows a lot of those independent films to exist. And for the record there is a lot of crap there as well. Not only does it provide the funds for many Independents to get made because of the salaries and compensation artists make in major productions, the profits from “hits” offset unprofitable products. Which often are small more personal films picked upped for distribution by larger studios.Independents are many times done with little or no pay and promises of compensation if it makes a profit by everyone involved.

        I also want large media companies broken up but that has to do with their press ownership as much as anything. But never think that would mean a paradise of smaller and better films.

        Reply
        1. a different chris

          >As much as I might bemoan another live action version of an animated classic

          And versa-vice!! However, isn’t there a strong claim that there are only like 4 stories in the world? So what the heck.

          Reply
      3. Cal2

        The stranglehold on production was based on the hideous expense of negative film stock, answer work prints, separate sound recording mixing studios, lighting suites, cameras, props, editing suites, A and B rolls, negative conforming, making thousands of prints to be sent out to theaters, and of course, union work strangleholds.

        Technology and Wall Street helped destroyed the studio system. For ten grand, one can buy a super high quality video 4K video camera that takes unbelievable images, records sound and the output of which can be edited on a laptop. Essentially, total artistic freedom for pennies on the old dollars spent.

        IMHO, the easier something is, the less discipline and art there is in it however. What’s lacking of course, is the artistic discipline imposed by have to justify how dollars were spent in the past and the lack of classical, artistic and old world knowledge among today’s production staff.

        Distribution was the old stranglehold of the studio system. Streaming obviates that. There are marvelous things being made by and shown on Neflix, among the classics and regurgitated crap from the 80s and 90s etc.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          And there is also some shows where the waste of money and talent rivals anything put out by Disney.

          Streaming has some intrinsic financial problems as well.

          Netflix is not and cannot be the only answer.

          Reply
          1. Cal2

            Youtube is a partial answer to that, except for the censorship and the ads. Hopefully with cheaper processing, video sites will proliferate like text and image websites have.

            As of yesterday, Firefox has been crappified. None of the ad blockers work.

            I never realized how many ads there were are on this site, nor the rest of the web, as I never saw them, nor the ‘pauses’ and ads on Youtube.

            Reply
              1. Cal2

                The way I read other material from Mozilla is that you should do nothing, delete nothing and don’t gratuitously download anything, especially from a .com site. A fix will be in place by Monday.

                Look at this as an opportunity to appreciate what ad free sites look like, and laugh at some of those like the San Francisco Chronicle, which, without ad blockers is basically a cataract of unreadable ad-vomit with a few articles in place to tie the ads together.

                Surely Nigerian scammers have a fix up for you to click on and something to download.

                Wuk, Is that a movie, or has DeNiro really shot his wad?

                Reply
                1. Wukchumni

                  It was merely an idea for the remake of Taxi Driver updated to fit our hamster on a wheel lifestyle, but you don’t want to use that first word, as it’ll scare off the potential audience, most of whom the memory of taking a taxi is akin to me getting a telegram, as in it never happened.

                  Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      “Uber Driver”

      75 year old Robert De Niro can’t make ends meet and has in the mid 4 figures financially saved up for his retirement, so he moonlights as an Uber driver, hoping to game the system so he only takes peak hour fares. He bought a new car that he couldn’t afford, because the car dealership offered 0% financing, and besides having fresh wheels sets you apart from the competition, who can’t supply the sweet aroma of that new car smell.

      Reply
    3. ewmayer

      One of the local Disney-affiliate cable channels was running the obligatory “May the 4th be with you” Star Wars franchise marathon yesterday … happened to catch a bit of Rogue One, the made-just-a-few-years-ago prequel to the original “A New Hope” film, in which both Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher are CGI-replicated, I’m guessing they did a CGI overlay of a human actor’s movements. Now I can’t speak for the rather-recently-demised Ms. Fisher, but I’m guessing that neither Peter Cushing nor his estate ever permitted his likeness to be so used in perpetuity. Thus prompting the question “what is an actor, anyway?” Or a likeness? Or a voice?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Everything Disney touches now is “financialized” into the ground. I knew that when Lucas sold the “Star Wars” series to Disney, they would turn it into a “Franchise.”
        I’m beginning to visceraly appreciate that old Hollywood savant who used to describe most of the ‘Public Relations’ stunts as “Non Events.” Disney has made an industry out of doing exactly that to themes and plots.
        The essence of “designed by committee.”

        Reply
  14. John Beech

    Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results NYT

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
    – Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Wm. Shakespeare

    Reply
  15. Jason Boxman

    No, Orlando, FL has horrendous traffic and commutes. Try again. It also has more people that are rent burdened than even Boston, which blew my mind. (The bifurcated Orlando area economy plays a role in this.)

    From “How to Rebuild America’s Economic Foundations”:

    Our index of potential next-generation tech hubs identifies 102 places across the country that have large, highly educated populations, strong universities, relatively low housing costs, and easy commutes. These places are located in 36 states and are home to 80 million Americans. They included places like Rochester, New York (a natural new hub for research in photonics), Ames, Iowa (agricultural research), Huntsville, Alabama (aerospace), Orlando, Florida (computer simulation), and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (water and flood management).

    Reply
    1. nycTerrierist

      Is the co-author of this piece Jonathan Gruber ‘architect of Obama care’?

      I wouldn’t take advice from this guy:
       
      “An architect of the federal healthcare law said last year that a “lack of transparency” and the “stupidity of the American voter” helped Congress approve ObamaCare.

In a clip unearthed Sunday, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber appears on a panel and discusses how the reform earned enough votes to pass.

      He suggested that many lawmakers and voters didn’t know what was in the law or how its financing worked, and that this helped it win approval. 

      “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

      Gruber made the comment while discussing how the law was “written in a tortured way” to avoid a bad score from the Congressional Budget Office. He suggested that voters would have rejected ObamaCare if the penalties for going without health insurance were interpreted as taxes, either by budget analysts or the public. “

      https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/223578-obamacare-architect-lack-of-transparency-helped-law-pass

      Reply
  16. Ignim Brites

    “How to Rebuild America’s Economic Foundations” Dems better hope no one over at Fox gets a hold of this.

    Reply
    1. Altandmain

      If you note the direction that Tucker Carlson is going, that ship may have already sailed.

      He’s already supported universal healthcare and a few policies that the left have endorsed. Likewise, notice that Steve Bannon, for all his other controversies has an economically populist element too him.

      Reply
  17. Tom Stone

    Isn’t it odd that the massacre at Kent State is remembered as a tragedy while the killings at Jackson State are ignored?
    I’m sure there’s nothing racist about the coverage, it’s purely coincidental that the students at Kent State were nice middle class white kids and those murdered at Jackson State were African American…

    Obama’s reaction to the 2016 election was predictable, he is, after all, a narcissist.
    I watched the results at a campaign party for a local supervisor ( an underdog who won) and nearly gave myself a hernia laughing when it became clear Trump was winning.
    HRC did as good a job as a candidate as she did as Secretary of State.

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Same here. My parents were pissed and couldn’t understand my amusement. As a BERNIE BROCIALIST vindication never tasted so sweet.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        The differences in coverage was certainly partly due to racism; it might also be due to the multiple mass shootings by the violent Southern police forces, murders of activists, fire bombings, and so on, turned yet another mass shooting of Blacks in the South into “It’s Tuesday.” It’s not right. It is, however, reality.

        The Kent State shootings was done in the North during the day at random students and was covered by news photographers. The pictures not only countered much of the nonsense justifications for the murders, it also was an emotional gut punch. As the cliche says, a picture is worth a thousand words.

        Reply
  18. Edward

    What a surprise that polls are now claiming the establishment candidate, Biden, is the frontrunner. We saw how neutral those polls were in 2016.

    Reply
    1. cm

      I find it interesting that the sample size is less than 1100 (eleven hundred, not a typo). From that they are able to derive +/- 5% accuracy. While I see that the majority are from cell phones (I didn’t think that was legal), I have not so far been able to find age breakdowns in the top 2 polls.

      Also no mention if the polled were “likely voters” or just idiots who deigned to answer a call from an unknown number.

      I strongly suspect the adults in the room are completely ignoring the “poll” results and that the poll numbers are just used to define the “correct” way for the rubes to vote. Good thing the media understand their role is simply Goebbals-style propagandist.

      Reply
  19. Pookah Harvey

    Re: Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center

    From 1933 (beginning of New Deal) to 1993, 30 election cycles
    Democrats controlled both chambers…………. 23
    Republicans controlled both chambers………….2

    From 1993 (beginning of Clinton Third Way) to 2019, 13 election cycles
    Democrats controlled both chambers…………….3
    Republicans controlled both chambers…………..7

    See how well the center works.

    Reply
  20. a different chris

    So while surfing around CommonDreams I read about “felon voting” and well, it was fine. But it reminded me, as so many things do when it comes to left – and I mean left, not liberal- framing, and that is of an old fake but useful story about auto salesmanship. The story goes basically one manufacture asked people what they would look for in a car, and the other manufacturer asked about what their neighbors would come home with. The first manufacturer got a lot of practical, useful suggestions and the second got stories about scads of chrome and overpowered engines and useless gadgets.

    The second, of course, outsold the first by a mile. So I present this as an example of the “left” being the first manufacturer. Everybody nods their heads. Nothing changes.

    Justifications offered now regarding disenfranchisement ignore the undeniable fact that the practice in America is clearly connected to an attempt to deny Blacks full rights as citizens. We cannot change what happened in the past, but we are better than that now — we can fix it now.

    Here’s what I would do: “The felons are gonna get the vote, and they will vote because they have nothing better to do*, so you better get yourself, your family, your friends neighbors and co-workers out to vote to counteract them”.

    Now maybe people will get the vote that should have anyway, or maybe not, but certainly now I’ve given our poor turnout a good kick in the butt. And it’s free for the candidates, because as long as the leftish ones shut their mouths beyond “it’s a Constitutional issue that the courts will decide, I can’t do anything about it but anyway here’s my plan for your potholes….” things will be good.

    *and work in, while they are listening, a push for Election Day to be declared a holiday…

    Reply
    1. Rod

      America needs some simple, impactful quick fixes for participation in electing representatives, and you suggest two.
      Here’s what I would do: “The felons are gonna get the vote, and they will vote because they have nothing better to do*, so you better get yourself, your family, your friends neighbors and co-workers out to vote to counteract them”.
      and work in, while they are listening, a push for Election Day to be declared a holiday…

      I really didn’t consider voting rights reinstatement a critical issue until working in a 2016 campaign and being stunned at how many folks I talked to claimed disenfranchisement by criminal record–even though re-enfranchisement is codified in our SC State Laws(with stipulations).
      I have always felt Election Day(or weekend) should be a National Holiday(reflecting the importance with tone)

      Reply
    2. rd

      I am utterly baffled that, given all of the issues in this country, somehow the Democrats are turning felons voting from prison into an issue. Are the Democrats trying to commit electoral suicide?

      Reply
    3. jrs

      a holiday so we can adjust our budget for losing another day of pay. gee thanks or something I guess. not everyone has paid holidays even for xmas and the 4th of july.

      Reply
  21. Altandmain

    The union endorsement of Biden and before that Clinton is why even many union members themselves no longer trust the unions they belong in. My bet is money exchanged hands behind closed doors. Let me say this much, I’ve been represented before by collective agreements and have worked with workers who have myself. There is a lot of corruption on top sometimes. There is another issue.

    Unions themselves are absolutely needed because without them, management tends to get hyper aggressive in kicking down the workers. We’ve got to have good leadership that is honest though. Otherwise they become another obstacle for workers trying to achieve their fair share of the fruits of their labor.

    I’m alarmed at the actions of students towards Camille Paglia and I don’t even agree with a lot of what she says. It feels like they are trying to censor anything that slightly deviates from their point of view. It’s highly authoritarian and not compatible at all with the ideals of freedom of speech.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Not to worry. These fine Institutions will eventually find themselves bereft of enough of a student body to remain open .. as new intitutions of learning sprout forth, offering curricula that actually meets students, and greater society’s needs for real inquiry, and vocational instruction, rather than acting as nothing more than a sugar-coated grift engine .. all the more so if the country slips into a state of ‘dis-incorporation’ …

      Reply
  22. Anon

    RE: Brain Gain article

    These “brain gain” states are like an elite club whose members trade among themselves. For example, California draws the greatest share of its highly educated entrants from other brain gain states: New York, Illinois, and Texas,. . .

    California is a “brain gain” state because it has the largest state funded research/higher education system in the world! Out-of-state students (and their higher tuition) make up some 20% of student enrollment at the elite schools. Where do you move to after going to school at UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, UC San Diego? I guarantee, not Cleveland.

    The comments below the article pretty much debunk the “brain gain” premise.

    Reply
    1. Svante Arrhenius

      Well, some of the comments seem to be cognizant of varied perspective? Seems like Manhattan is suddenly emptying-out and Bay Area, well… of sane people, perhaps? Seems like the exodus began with ex-yuppie boomers heading exactly where media told them to retire, only to realize they still needed jobs. Meanwhile, you had blog-aggregators telling indentured post graduates to rejuvinating Rust Belt cities, to AI-away the few remaining deplorable jobs and train drone swarms with facial recognition to hunt down us terrorists, jagoffs and deliver summons? It reminds one of colonial period Cleveland, where real estate ads forgot to mention pissed off Wyandotte and Seneca warriors? Won’t smart, affluent people EVER learn?

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/amazon-owned-ring-wants-report-crime-news/588394

      Reply
  23. cuibono

    Dengue is a tough nut to crack. This wont be the first time that vaccine approaches fail badly. Because there are multiple serotypes, and because ones second infection is almost always more dangerous that the first (this is when hemorrhagic fever occurs for the most part), unless you can block all serotypes WELL, you run the risk of increasing harm in those who are seronegative. And the tests to find out if you are are not widely available in the developing world and add cost as well as being far from highly accurate.

    Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that that cat is using the butter-churner as a scratching post which makes sense when you think about it. Probably a common sight in a medieval house which is why the artist depicted it. Shtove’s medieval cat images link should be in the next Links as it is so cool.

          Reply
  24. ewmayer

    o Huawei Phone Buyers Don’t Share Trump’s Concerns Bloomberg. re Silc: “why is china any worse than the nsa, apple, google or amazon???” — ‘Cause they’re from outta state, obviously!

    Reply
  25. ewmayer

    o Venezuela: Establishment Talking Points Translation Key Caitlin Johnstone — Note that on this day in 1954 was the military coup in Paraguay led by general Alfredo Stroessner — Wikipedia tells the familiar tale: “A staunch anti-communist, Stroessner had the backing of the United States for most of his time in power. His supporters packed the legislature and ran the courts, and he ruthlessly suppressed all opposition. He kept his country in what he called a constant “state of siege” that overruled civil liberties, enforced a cult of personality, and tortured and killed political opponents … The United States played a “critical supporting role” in the domestic affairs of Stoessner’s Paraguay. Between 1962 and 1975 the US provided $146 million to Paraguay’s military government and Paraguayan officers were trained at the US Army School of the Americas.”

    Reply
  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    I only have three minutes before the Public Library computer times me out. So my insta-driveby comment-of-the-moment on the Camille Paglia piece is this: what have we come to that a faculty member cannot even spell “amok”? ( Amok is spelled “amok”, not “amuck”.)

    Reply
    1. polecat

      Because muck is about all we have left to work with .. its’ like the Anti-Force, and it’s Everywhere !

      Reply
  27. The Rev Kev

    “How to Rebuild America’s Economic Foundations”

    There is a quote in there that I would like to mention here. “The most productive and highest-impact use of federal infrastructure dollars would be to focus building (and rebuilding) on strong local pockets of technology development and smart people.” So lets get past the fact that some exclusive areas would be designated as winners and the rest of the country as economic losers. You know what this approach gets you? It gets you this map at the top-

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1/30/1627319/-Daily-Kos-Elections-presents-the-2016-presidential-election-results-by-congressional-district

    Reply
    1. Adam Eran

      For those interested in singers of Seeger’s ilk, I recommend the Woody Guthrie Museum in downtown Tulsa, OK. A terrific museum that had a Pete Seeger exhibit when I visited.

      One thing I found out from that visit: Seeger married a Japanese woman at roughly the same time as World War II. What tremendous courage!

      Also worth a visit, if you’re in the vicinity: The Will Rogers Memorial Museum, in Claremore, OK. Among other things, you can see The Ropin’ Fool…an unbelievable demonstration of Rogers’ roping virtuosity.

      Reply
  28. The Rev Kev

    And in news that you can use-

    “Donald Trump missed the chance to woo Venezuela generals when he refused a senior official’s request for a visa for his three-year-old son to get brain surgery in Boston, US official reveals” at-

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6994571/Donald-Trump-missed-chance-woo-Venezuela-generals-rejecting-generals-visa-request.html

    So by being a cruel ratbag, Trump screwed up a chance to win in Venezuela down the track. How is that for blowback.

    Reply
  29. Heraclitus

    So Patrick Cockburn seems to imply that the Cockburns carry some sort of virtue gene; you can see it seven generations back in his ancestor, James Ramsey, whose writings he initially read for genealogical reasons. Clearly those with the virtue gene should lecture to the rest of us. For our sins.

    ‘Conditions endured on the slave plantations of the Caribbean and the American South were very similar to those suffered by the Yazidis.’

    Did anyone else think this was a stretch? Also, why is Cockburn unaware that there was also slavery in the North? Was Northern slavery so benign that it hardly merits mentioning?

    Reply

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