Links 8/9/19

DOT says Delta’s ban on pit bulls as service animals is not allowed Atlanta Journal-Constitution (J-LS)

Washington woman sent to hospital after posing with octopus on face Boston 25 News (J-LS). Darwin Award wannabe.

Endangered Killer Whale Pods Lose Three More Members Courthouse News (furzy)

Climate Crisis May Be Increasing Jet Stream Turbulence, Study Finds Guardian

Company Uses NASA Tech to Make Healthy Food ‘Out of Thin Air’ Using Only CO2, Water, and Solar Electricity Good News Network (Chuck L)

China?

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says alliance needs to address the rise of China South China Morning Post. Kevin W: “‘This is not about moving NATO into the Pacific’ said NATO’s Secretary General while in Australia.”

US Holds Off On Huawei Licenses As China Halts Crop-Buying Bloomberg

Japan steps back from South Korean trade war Asia Times (Kevin W)

Berlin’s Popular Shopping Streets Will Go Car-Free CityLab

The South Asian women trafficked to Kenya’s Bollywood-style bars Al Jazeera (resilc)

Kashmir

In Kashmir, Clampdown on Movement and Communication Fuels Anxieties The Wire (J-LS)

No policy change on Kashmir, says U.S. The Hindu (J-LS)

To Stave off Potential Global Concern, India Accuses Pakistan of Being ‘Alarmist’ The Wire (J-LS)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook Loses Facial Recognition Technology Appeal, Must Face Class Action Euronews

Imperial Collapse Watch

Mom Of Four Goes To SERE School, Gets Amazing Sleep Duffle Blog (Kevin W)

U.S. Foreign Policy: This Is Us LobeLog (resilc)

Trump Transition

Trump: El Paso shooting patients being treated at hospital ‘refused to meet with president’ Independent. Resilc: “I would have met with him so I could have spit on him, but that’s me, retired US diplomat.”

Trump plays the victim while visiting victims MSNBC (furzy)

Trump Hurt, Confused Over Insufficient Praise For El Paso Trip Vanity Fair. Resilc: “IF he loses we’ll have a 24/7 shadow president burning up the twitterverse all day, every day with a review of the next president’s daily actions. It only stops when he’s dead.”

Andrew McCabe sues FBI over firing, alleges plot by Trump to oust those disloyal to the president MSN (furzy)

The Persistent Myth That Trump Opposes War Caitlin Johnstone

Trump Hamptons Fundraisers Put Donors Like Stephen Ross in Bind Bloomberg (Kevin W)

Six charts on the immigrants who call the US home BBC (resilc)

“Don’t Look Away”: Videos and Images of Weeping Children and Loved Ones Spread as ICE Arrests 680 in Mississippi Common Dreams (Kevin W)

US immigration: ICE releases 300 people after Mississippi raids BBC

A Navarro Recession? Wall Street Journal and White House economic adviser calls Wall Street Journal a communist paper after it names next recession for him Raw Story (furzy). Accountability is Communist?

Ivanka Trump’s mask slips: What her Chicago canard reveals Salon (furzy)

Why New Laws Against White Supremacist Violence Are Not the Answer Intercept. Resilc: “You can bet if they were black guys killing white golfers at a Trump course they would be ISIS-like terrorists.”

A Term of Change on the Supreme Court National Conference of State Legislatures (UserFriendly)

Police State Watch

An Open Invitation to Tyranny Paul Craig Roberts. Pre-crime is here.

2020

Joe Biden Is Coming for Your Legal Weed Vice

Black Injustice Tipping Point

How a criminal investigation in Georgia set an ominous tone for African-American voters Yahoo (UserFriendly)

Gunz

Global Human Rights Movement Issues Travel Warning for the U.S. Due to Rampant Gun Violence – Amnesty International USA (J-LS)

What Americas gun fanatics wont tell you MarketWatch (David L)

Document Shows NRA Money Helped Its Chief Search for a Personal Mansion ProPublica (UserFriendly)

Domestic Terrorism and the Trump Defense Vanity Fair. (resilc)

Our Fabulously Free Press

An offer they can’t refuse? Facebook offers mainstream news millions in licensing fees RT (Kevin W). As we’ve said, if your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business.

The Harvard Professor Scam Gets Even Weirder New York Magazine (J-LS)

The Worst Is Still To Come In Energy Markets OilPrice (Kevin W)

Uber Investors Expected to Shrug Off Estimated $5 Billion Loss Bloomberg. Um, so much for that take….

Uber lost over $5 billion in one quarter, but don’t worry, it gets worse The Verge (David L)

Exponential growth is a pipe dream Financial Times (David L). Ya think?

Class Warfare

‘It’s crazy’: Chase Bank forgiving all debt owed by its Canadian credit card customers CBC (resilc)

Can’t Afford a Vacation? Get Another Credit Card! FAIR (UserFriendly)

Amazon Under Fire Again as China Factory Hires Teenage Interns Bloomberg (UserFriendly)

Antidote du jour (furzy):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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147 comments

  1. mle in detroit

    Re ICE raids in Mississippi, has a count been released of the number of officers and executives of the employing corporations who were arrested?

    Reply
    1. TMoney

      An excellent question. Criminal employers are a better target. Undocumented workers can not use the law to address bad working conditions, with certain predictable results. Criminal employers drive honest businesses out of the market because they can’t compete. They also drive down wages (surely a coincidence). Working class people know this, and are anti immigrant as a result. However, the criminal employers (Federal Crime under Title 8, Section 1324a don’t seem to attract the same attention. It hardly ever gets reported as ICE raids 7 criminal organizations and arrests mob bosses and their underlings. I wonder if these mob bosses are big donors to political types ?

      Reply
      1. DorothyT

        Some analysts regarding this question about employers said that the employers become immune from prosecution when they assist ICE and/or Homeland Security by providing documentation before the raids about the workers’ status.

        A local former elected official said that Mississippi has a low immigrant population, that there is no local clamor for these menial jobs, which — not incidentally — are held by workers who pay taxes, including Social Security, which benefits they will never receive. At the very least, until immigration laws can be addressed, why not confer guest worker status on these workers.

        This ICE show was strictly political. Look into the financial benefits of each state’s impact by undocumented workers — the state and federal tax revenues at the very least. It’s always positive. Immigration reform is a moral need. Watching the sobbing children whose parents were swept up in that raid with no thought for them by ICE/Homeland Security should register with each of us whose citizenship had so much to do with luck.

        Reply
        1. tegnost

          So common to read/hear this…
          “there is no local clamor for these menial jobs”
          conveniently leaving out this. Labor is a market, and if you can’t get workers it means you’re not paying enough.

          Reply
          1. EricT

            That’s why employers should go to jail for paying any person to work for them less than minimum wage. Its wage theft, regardless if the person is an immigrant or a citizen.

            Reply
            1. Katniss Everdeen

              It’s not only minimum wage laws, but overtime, OSHA workplace safety laws (a particular problem in this industry from what I understand), Workman’s Comp, Social Security employer match and, truly remarkable in 21st century america, child labor laws.

              From Kansas.com:

              ICE didn’t have much space to detain workers, even overnight, because the number of people in custody is hovering near all-time highs. The agency has been housing thousands more than its budgeted capacity of 45,274 people, largely because of an unprecedented surge of Central American families arriving at the Mexican border. Those released included 18 juveniles, with the youngest being 14 years old, said Jere Miles, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in New Orleans. Workers were assessed before they were released, including for whether they had any young children at home.

              https://www.kansas.com/news/business/article233693477.html

              The utility of this workforce is its exploitability which comes from its hiding-in-plain-sight “illegality.” If it ever was brought “from the shadows,” it would consist of the same workers who have guaranteed wage protections and can lodge legally actionable complaints or even unionize that it was originally recruited to replace.

              Reply
            2. praxis

              I think most immigrants are paid at or above minimum wage.

              The theft is legal. It was only ten years ago that the federal government mandated $7.25. Such a progressive place…the US.

              Reply
              1. pretzelattack

                how do you know, many work from streetcorners, sort of “job fairs” for employment by anybody that drives by and is willing to pay them.

                Reply
            3. Elspeth

              EricT – Not if you’re thinking like a lawyer, no wage theft, because that is a right reserved for a citizen or someone authorized to work here. The Supremes held that awhile ago.

              Reply
              1. RepubAnon

                Elspeth: I believe it’s illegal to hire folks without proper documentation, regardless of whether one pays them minimum wage. Plus, the Supreme Court’s ruling was apparently limited to the issue of back pay for an undocumented worker illegally fired for trying to unionize a workplace. See Fact Sheet #48: Application of U.S. Labor Laws to Immigrant Workers: Effect of Hoffman Plastics decision on laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division:

                The Supreme Court’s decision does not mean that undocumented workers do not have rights under other U.S. labor laws. In Hoffman Plastics, the Supreme Court interpreted only one law, the NLRA. The Department of Labor does not enforce that law. The Supreme Court did not address laws the Department of Labor enforces, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA), that provide core labor protections for vulnerable workers. The FLSA requires employers to pay covered employees a minimum wage and, in general, time and a half an employee’s regular rate of pay for overtime hours. The MSPA requires employers and farm labor contractors to pay the wages owed to migrant or seasonal agricultural workers when the payments are due.

                Of course, there’s nothing to stop an employer from calling ICE the day before payday… and I expect the Trump Administration could get talked into refusing to enforce the minimum wage laws (and other laws protecting workers) as “punishing” undocumented workers – even though it would motivate employers to hire undocumented workers for the very same reason.

                Reply
            4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              We have heard about boycotts.

              Per mle in detroit above regarding employing corporations.

              Can consumers make a difference here? Boycotting those employing corporations?

              Inquiring further, can we consumers be said to be ‘responsible?’

              Will some, in the future or even today, ask of us American consumers ‘How could they not know? Why didn’t the US consumers do something, like refusing to do business with them?”

              Maybe this question is a borderline question.

              Reply
        2. praxis

          Maybe pay more? The horror.

          The cheap alien labor is necessary trope is pure capitalist propaganda. Papered over by the unquestioned sanctimony of free trade agreements with countries that have no environment protections and no labor standards (relative to the US). If, for example, not for the continuous supply of abusable labor, our agribusiness’s wouldn’t be competitive (or so goes the argument).

          Reply
          1. Inode_buddha

            The only reason cheap labor is necessary is because of profiteering gluttons at the top. My experience is that they have a Rolodex full of excuses as to why this must be so — and yet these same gluttons will be all too happy to lecture us all on the nature of personal responsibility and “shared sacrifice”.

            Reply
            1. praxi

              From the article going from 11 to 18 dollars and hour.

              > “I knew it would help a little bit, but I had no idea that it would solve our labor problem,”

              Reply
            2. todde

              IF Trump were serious about saving American jobs, he would issue an executive order making E-Verify a condition for employers deducting employee pay from their business income for tax purposes.

              yep. the structure is already there to ensure compliance.

              Reply
      2. marym

        This link was shared in yesterday’s water cooler comments.
        https://www.democracynow.org/2019/8/8/headlines/ice_raids_targeted_company_whose_workers_won_discrimination_lawsuit

        Last year, Koch Foods paid out $3.75 million to settle an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission class-action suit charging the company with sexual harassment, national origin and race discrimination, and retaliation against Latino workers at one of its Mississippi plants.

        Here’s additional detail and links.

        https://thinkprogress.org/ice-raids-follow-massive-sexual-harassment-settlement-mississippi-plant-koch-foods-d95eb2720f67/

        The United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), which represents many of these plant workers, is concerned these ICE raids will discourage workers from reporting abuse or unsafe conditions.

        Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      I saw a request by the federal authorities to have them be notified if there are children that no longer have parents so that they can be taken into foster care. If I was one of those people in this area, I would be worried that any children taken might take years to get back again but more to the point, by claiming that these children too are illegal, they could easily end up in one of those chain-wire cages with nothing but a foil blanket and with hundreds of other like kids.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        Anybody that wants to can call it “tinfoil,” but what is really happening to the children?
        They really seem to want to keep the children. Chilling!!

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          There is another possibility and that is the fact that there is a shortage of children for families to adopt in the US. And that people that can afford to adopt have solid money behind them. One article I found said-

          ‘Some sources estimate that there are about 2 million couples currently waiting to adopt in the United States — which means there are as many as 36 waiting families for every one child who is placed for adoption.’

          If you want to get nasty about it, remember the 1973 CIA coup in Chile and the “Children of Silence”? How the babies of those arrested or disappeared were adopted by supporters of the regime? They are still coming to light-

          http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/12/children-stolen-by-chilean-dictatorship-finally-come-to-light/

          Reply
    3. DorothyT

      How could 300 of the 700 workers have been released so quickly if their employers weren’t receiving immunity (or a small fine) by providing employee records to ICE ahead of the raid?

      Reply
    4. wmkohler

      Not only were no officers or executives jailed, but the raids happened on the heels of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the workers against the company. Should this turn out to be more than mere coincidence, it would be remarkably clarifying as to the actual role of ICE — working on behalf of the bosses to keep undocumented employees in line, too scared of deportation to speak out about the illegal pay and labor conditions they endure.

      Reply
      1. Summer

        “the raids happened on the heels of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the workers against the company. Should this turn out to be more than mere coincidence…”

        So good reporting would be comparing raids to lawsuits….

        Reply
  2. human

    “Andrew McCabe sues FBI over firing, alleges plot by Trump to oust those disloyal to the president”

    I thought Onion ’till I saw the cite. You just can’t make this stuff up fast enough.

    Reply
  3. Farragut

    I would have met with him so I could have spit on him, but that’s me….
    To be fair, that applies to virtually all US presidents in the modern age.

    Reply
  4. DK

    Fascinating to see how quickly Trump became a white supremacist as soon as it was no longer plausible to consider him a Russian agent.

    Reply
      1. DK

        I guess I should have been clearer. Both stories come from the same tired PR factory. Once one substanceless fairy-tale died another rose to take its place. Anything to avoid dealing with actual issues. I assume they’ll find something that sticks, eventually. Maybe in 2021.

        Reply
    1. Rhondda

      And how avidly the slavering propaganda consumers slurp the ever-so-obvious slop and howl for the few rights left standing to be taken away ‘for their own good’. That’s what’s sad.

      Reply
        1. Rhondda

          I’ve come to the conclusion that almost none of it is organic. And it makes me wonder — has it been like this all along and I just didn’t grok it? Yes, the more I read and the older I get, the more I think so. Social media just makes it more obvious and easier to see…for some. Most people I know are still eyes wide shut.

          Reply
      1. DK

        Decades. But now it’s gone from the lunatic fringe to the lunatic mainstream (the leading candidates), who think it will win them the next election if they just keep screaming ‘racist’ louder (than they’ve been screaming it until now). Or maybe they’ll pivot back to ‘sexist’ or ‘fascist’ or Putin’s boyfriend. At this point I honestly think it’s less dangerous to give Trump another term than to reward the Democrats for what has essentially been three years of loud, public, unrepentant mental illness. Soon to become four, since Pelosi’s the only one reluctant to double down on it (or triple, quadruple, whatever).

        Reply
        1. Off The Street

          Re Putin’s boyfriend aspect, Steve Colbert and others may hope for memory loss among potential viewers. There has been such outlandish and degrading commentary all around to make one nostalgic for more polite people. People used to be embarrassed at such outbursts and juvenile behaviors that have become commonplace. Genteel has been made to seem like a dirty word now. Hence the perennial quote about being the change that one wants to see in the world.

          Reply
      2. pjay

        True. But the point is that thinking him a Russian agent is not only BS but extremely detrimental to any useful discussion of foreign policy. Which, I believe, is the reason for promoting such a ridiculous narrative in the first place. Similarly, the “white supremacist” narrative will crowd out any meaningful discussion of economic issues, etc., (though he might deserve that label more).

        Reply
  5. Quanka

    Quote of the day in that Uber article, HH is going to feast on this quarterly report:

    Dara Khosrowshahi … called the company’s chronic lack of profitability “a meme that’s out there,”

    Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      There’s plenty of “free money” sloshing around to keep this thing going until it becomes something americans “can’t live without,” AND destroys its more traditional competition.

      It’s the amazon playbook–maximally subsidized “disruption” and “innovation” today, monopoly profitability tomorrow.

      It’s supposed to be “illegal” under existing antitrust legislation to sell at a loss in order to destroy your competition and take over a market. What a quaint notion. But once the “service” becomes “essential,” is anyone really concerned about the legality of how it got there? Ya just gotta have it.

      See also “healthcare” insurance for another example of how this works.

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Company Uses NASA Tech to Make Healthy Food ‘Out of Thin Air’ Using Only CO2, Water, and Solar Electricity”

    Of course this could bring up moral issues over time as has been noted in the literature. Suppose that you could do this artificial food production on a mass scale. Now you have a new profession – that of food taste designers. At first they would use regular tastes to infuse that artificial food with. Stuff like chicken and sugar and lobster and all the regular tastes. Then over time there would be more experimentation in more exotic tastes due to the demand for newer tastes. Tastes that have never existed before. Now what happens when one of these food taste designers, desperate for the “next best thing” in tastes, infuses food with the taste of long pig aka human flesh?

    Reply
    1. mpalomar

      “Now what happens when one of these food taste designers, desperate for the “next best thing” in tastes, infuses food with the taste of long pig aka human flesh?”
      – Win win situation, see A modest proposal -Swift

      Reply
    2. Bugs Bunny

      This is ridiculous. If you read their website it’s clear that they are using yeast fermentation to generate protein even though they use a word salad to obscure it. It’s not “air and water” by any means.

      People will believe anything.

      And apparently eat anything as well.

      Reply
    3. ewmayer

      Uh, plants have been doing this – with ‘solar electricity’ powering photosynthesis – for, oh, some years now. The article title reeks of “sponsored content”.

      I didn’t watch the silly “CEO mansplains the tech” video, but if what Bugs Bunny says below about the tech being based on glorified yeast fermentation is true, the “from CO2” part is a lie as well, because yeasts are eukaryotes (animals, not plants) and thus *producers* of net CO2, unlike plants.

      Reply
  7. Olga

    U.S. Foreign Policy: This Is Us LobeLog (resilc)
    Thoroughly depressing – almost wish I’d not read it. What does it say about a society’s ability to see itself clearly (and possibly change its ways), when even in a piece seemingly self-examining and about how “violence is us,” the author still manages to make a bunch of false statements? Statements that deflect responsibility for the violence this society inflicts on others.
    Take this: “In Libya, we took the invitation of the African Union and United Nations to protect Benghazi from a potential massacre…” An invitation from the UN? R you kidding me? Does this writer really not know the history of how the US pushed through a resolution, using all sorts of unsavoury tactics, providing for some action in Libya? And then turned around and sent in NATO to destroy the country (with the help of some EU nations, of course). Oh, but it was an invitation…
    And then there is the obligatory “Bashar al-Assad brutally murdered hundreds of thousands of Syrians” BS, which does not even merit getting upset over.
    If, as the author states “We must acknowledge who we are and who we have been. We need to ask ourselves, is this who we want to be?” is to be of any use and a path to change, I’d recommend brutal honesty as the starting point. Otherwise, all the author’s agonising is just a useless charade.

    For a good look at HK: https://thesaker.is/hong-kong-kashmir-a-tale-of-two-occupations/

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Thought much the same about this article and the guy that wrote it is supposed to be an expert – https://mitchellplitnick.com/about/
      A few points. Where he wrote “Trump is trying to create a nation where white makes right, where the poor increase in number and are increasingly unable to survive” what he should have written was “Trump is trying to create a nation where (might) makes right, where the poor increase in number and are increasingly unable to survive.”
      And where he says “At no time did we ever try to support the Syrian people, particularly in the early days when the opposition still represented the popular will of the Syrian people demanding democracy” I would point out that Syria had an election in 2014 in which the government overwhelmingly won as it became obvious by that stage that it was a choice between President Bashar al-Assad or a bunch of moderate head-choppers.
      Finally there is the classic line where he says “The genuine enmity between Iran and the U.S. goes back to 1979”. For the US that may be true but for the Iranians I am sure that it would actually be 1953. Still, I suppose that the people that pay him are happy with what he writes.

      Reply
      1. Procopius

        … in the early days when the opposition still represented the popular will of the [some] Syrian people

        FIFY.

        I had to comment objecting to his claim that Trump caused Kim Jong Un’s decision to produce atomic weapons. That was done by John R. Bolton, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush when they tore up the agreement that Clinton had achieved.

        Reply
    2. jsn

      See the Paul Craig Roberts link today: it’s getting really hard to figure out what you can say without being tapped for surveillance!

      The shibboleths may be “pre-crime prophylactics” for an author lacking the tact and skill of a Fisk or Cockburn.

      Truth itself has become a conspiracy to defame the (self) righteous!

      Reply
      1. Summer

        RE: Paul Craig Roberts article

        It is also a blantant display of fear on the part of empire.

        Mockingbird mocks back…

        Reply
    3. DJG

      Olga and Rev Kev: I noted the same missteps in the article at Lobe Log. At least, though, Plitnick is trying to show a pattern–and it is a pattern of waste, calamity, and moral decline.

      Also, this article contrasts strongly with the Robert Kelley long tweet-o-mania above it, in which Kelley, a “moderate Republican” (which means Reagan fanboi) laments that Trump is ruining conservatism. The tell in that stream of nonsense from Kelley is his lamentations over the morality of the fundis and evangis, none of whom have ever seen an intervention overseas that was a problem with their theology. In fact, they then swarm in to convert the heathen natives (even, and especially, if the heathen natives are Roman Catholic).

      So the Lobe Log article is clearsighted compared to the “it all started with Trump” self-exoneration going on throughout this Great Land of Ourn–by both the Republican rightwing that found Reagan tasteful and Trump just a tad grabby in wrecking the economy and the safety net as well as Democrats who want the trough to continue to be filled for the looting.

      This is all worthy of Sinclair Lewis.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        I get your point – and the article is not w/o value… but I shall reiterate, unless the society gets to the point of evaluating itself, without shirking and deflecting responsibility for its ugly deeds, it cannot go forward with a straight face. A national reckoning is wwaayyy overdue (I am not holding my breath, though).

        Reply
    4. pjay

      Thank you for continuing to respond to this kind of supposedly enlightened liberal “humanitarianism.” Your “does not even merit getting upset over” comment hits home. After a while, the prevalence of this useful idiotism simply makes you want to give up. The author does not seem to recognize the partisan manipulation behind his commentary (or that which he is citing): relatively sane on the Iran agreement, ridiculous on Syria and Libya, etc. Typical. He may be legitimately well-meaning. Which does not make it any better.

      Reply
    5. JCC

      Ultimately it’s called Manifest Destiny. Maybe a better term would be “Justifiable Homicide”.

      The biggest point I got out of this article, with exceptions noted in other comments here, is that established politicians and media focus too much on Trump himself, like he is some sort of extreme aberration, when actually all he has done has been to obviously extend what this country has been doing for years, maybe even since its founding. Extreme avarice is one of the roots of this country’s existence.

      Manifest Destiny outside our borders hasn’t worked out well at all except for a very few at the very top. Except for the brief time after WWII for some of us that grew up in here in the US, it’s been almost as destructive internally to the majority of its own population as it has been externally to the “sub-human others”, from the Philippines and Caribbean in the 1890’s/1900’s to the ME and Central America.

      Reply
    6. Summer

      “Thoroughly depressing – almost wish I’d not read it. What does it say about a society’s ability to see itself clearly (and possibly change its ways), when even in a piece seemingly self-examining and about how “violence is us,” the author still manages to make a bunch of false statements? Statements that deflect responsibility for the violence this society inflicts on others.”

      You’re describing someone thoroughly indoctrinated in forms of logic that produce “statements that deflect responsibility for the violence this society inflicts on others.”

      Reply
    7. chuck roast

      Well, bad life

      Corporate city
      Lucky for some
      Richest island in the sun
      That’s life

      Name of the game
      It’s competition
      Top of the pile
      Not demolition

      This is what you want
      This is what you get

      Rotten/et. al.

      Reply
    1. hester

      And there’s a pic of him smiling while Melania is holding the 2 month old infant orphaned by the gunman. Are they really this bad? …………Yes, they are.

      Go to the Guardian site and search for this:

      Anger as grinning Trump gives thumbs-up while Melania holds El Paso orphan

      Reply
  8. efschumacher

    What American gun fanatics won’t tell you ….. Because part-time volunteer militia aka the National Guard won’t turn on the population.

    Wasn’t it the Ohio National Guard that turned on the students at Kent State? Although it could be argued that the local boys who make up the National Guard are not the same class of upwardly mobile person as the population of a University. Still and all, not the same class is a far cry from a howling phalanx of foreigners.

    Reply
  9. DorothyT

    Re: Berlin’s Popular Shopping Streets Will Go Car-Free

    New York City: It wasn’t surprising to see video of thousands of Times Square area pedestrians (mostly tourists?) last Tuesday night fleeing as they feared for their lives. It’s said a loud backfire of some sort, but not gunfire, was the source of the pandemonium. They even sought refuge in the theater where “To Kill a Mockingbird” was in progress, prompting the actors to flee the stage.

    El Paso, Dayton, Gilroy: the latest shootings that feed our national anxiety. However, NYC should take a look at the unbelievable congestion and designate much of the Times Square area only for pedestrians and car/taxi/truck-free. Tourists visiting NYC must think it’s a horrible place in which to live and visit if this is their destination. Why anyone thinks the Disney-fication of Times Square is an improvement hasn’t experienced the every day crushing crowds on the sidewalks and the anxiety any sentient person would feel.

    Pedestrian-only would be easier for NYPD deterrence, encourage shoppers, theater goers, those doing business there. Urban redevelopment is for the streets too — not only for those billionaires who “relocate” long time residents, tear down their apartment buildings, and build these obscene needle towers for the few. (How many of those owners are just parking money here?) To borrow Bill Black’s term “capture,” NYC has been experiencing “political capture” for some years as it’s easier for developers to hold sway than it is for less connected New Yorkers to hold landlords or city schools to even the minimum safety standards. Making Times Square safe is only one element of all this.

    Reply
  10. Summer

    “Exponential growth is a pipe dream” Financial Times

    It works because insanity has been redefined as “volatility.”
    Companies allegedly worth triple or quadruple digits today can be worth double or single digits tomorrow and then with no major development or new market can go back up again in a few weeks or months.

    The age of the unicorn was predetermined within such mindlessness.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Well, we should be clear on what is growing. The real economy that produces actual things has limits to growth, as there are limits to the consumption of renewable and nonrenewable resources and limits as far as how many pollutants can be thrown into ecosystems, at least if we want to avoid collapse. But, there is no limit to the growth of debt or the financial sector. Since GDP is the value of goods and services produced in a given year, GDP too can grow forever, even if there is stagnation in the real economy. It seems to make this problem even more complex, as we not only have to operate within sustainable limits as far as consumption of natural resources and pollution generation, but we at the same time have to control the growth in the financial and monetary sectors. How, without comprehensive economic planning, is that at all realistic possible?

      The ecological economists think of the human economy as being a subsystem of the larger system, which is the ecosystem. They say that the subsystem can get too large, relative to the larger system, which it obviously can. But, if we are to shrink the size of the subsystem relative to the larger system, whose consumption will be reduced (especially in a society as inequitable as ours)? Who will be forced to pollute less, not only directly but in regards to pollutants embodied in the stuff they buy? And if people really like free markets and hate planning, how realistic is it to expect that to occur in some wild west capitalist system? How can I really know if aggregate consumption is declining based on my own consumption if I have no data on what everyone else is doing, and even if that data existed, how up to date and accurate would it be, and how could I as a consumer get that data? Would I have the time to consider these factors as a consumer with every product I buy? Will I support the reduction in my own consumption if the rich can continue to consume as they do? Will poor people stand by if basic necessities are cut back (housing, food, education, etc.) while the rich continue to consume so many natural resources and cause so much pollution with the luxury goods they like? Again, without democratic and comprehensive economic planning, this situation is set to implode. Having said that, even if we admit that planning is needed, what type of planning? As Pigou said, there are many types of planned economies and we shouldn’t assume that when the elites realize the need for far more comprehensive planning that they will allow that planning to be democratic.

      Reply
      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Ah, that word “value.” I think where we get hung up is:
        1. we have allowed this word to get monetized – value is now only “exchange-value,” no longer “use-value”,
        2. all economies are mixed economies – where some goods are priced in (state-governed) “markets” (i.e. no such thing as “free markets”) but many others are priced administratively or by convention or at one remove from market prices (think of symphonies or universities where “highly-skilled” workers are paid based not on their “productivity” but (loosely) on what others of comparable skill earn),
        3. and modern economies are monetary economies – so that prices (exchange-values) are a function of all of material processes, government and other “non-market” processes, and monetary processes…
        and so we are completely confused about this whole idea of value
        4. … and we have a whole communities of self-styled experts (economists, Wall Street, etc.) telling us “what it really means.”

        Climate change is going to do us in because our experts on value cannot conceive of a way to make a case for addressing climate change without admitting that doing so will make life “worse” for many or most people DESPITE the fact that most people would be completely willing to have an existential purpose in life (“fixing” or “repairing” the planet) that they currently do not have, and would not view it as making life worse at all.

        So we have a situation in which what we want and what we need are the same thing and it won’t come about because our experts think it is impossible.
        How, without comprehensive economic planning, is that at all realistic possible?
        It’s not. But we already have comprehensive economic planning. It’s just not good. Time to change experts.

        Reply
        1. Grant

          I agree with a lot of what you said (well said too), but I would dispute that we have planning on anything near the scale needed. I am talking about a much, much more socialized and planned economic system. I would also add that ecological economists today, and those that influenced them in decades past (Otto Neurath and Karl William Kapp) have developed notions of value that do not reduce everything to market values. But ecological economics, like Sraffian, MMT, and Kalecki-influenced economics and other heterodox schools have been shunned by the neoclassical priesthood, and the neoclassical typrs have little to add to this problem. Their solution is to expand markets to cover non market impacts. It is not possible, the means they use are all horribly flawed, and even if they could, if we could put a price tag on all direct and indirect non market environmental and social impacts, how much would the prices of everything explode? And then what? We are then back in the same position; radical changes are needed and most in power have little to offer in regards to solutions.

          Reply
          1. Left in Wisconsin

            I agree, though I would say “of the type needed” as opposed to “near the scale needed” – because it is hard to think about WTO and intl trade, TARP and QE, tax law, defense, local pre-emption, etc. etc. and not conclude we already have a massively planned economy, though I wouldn’t deny that addressing climate might require even more overt planning.

            Reply
        2. Briny

          Something I’ve always wondered about, being as I survive on (not very much) VA disability, is what solution is proposed for COLA on benefits and in contracts should, say, a carbon tax be put in place if the specific intent is to reduce consumption. Definitely at cross-purposes.

          Reply
          1. Left in Wisconsin

            I believe most carbon tax plans anticipate some kind of rebate program so that people with lower incomes are not made worse off, but I’m no expert on the details.

            Reply
  11. UserFriendly

    Trump plays the victim while visiting victims MSNBC (furzy)

    at 4:25 the OH politicians get asked if they think the first responders conduct was acceptable…
    context for that: Trump put out some PR pictures of him looking a little too happy with some first responders and #resistance twitter formed a lynch mob.
    https://twitter.com/4everNeverTrump/status/1159593063758495745

    Heaven forbid people up to their elbows in blood and guts for days laugh at a joke.

    Reply
  12. Olga

    A funny (sort of) take on Moscow’s protests
    https://thesaker.is/the-dialectic-of-the-moscow-protests-hoax/

    And this should really be compulsory reading for all who want to understand how regime change operations work. In a 1979 interview, Mr. Kermit Roosevelt obliged with a very clear and detailed explanation:
    http://www.mohammadmossadegh.com/biography/kermit-roosevelt/iran-how-the-mess-came-about/

    (The original 1979 interview disappeared from the web; glad to find at least a shorter version.)

    Also, this has a lot of info:
    https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB468/

    Reply
  13. Summer

    “Exponential growth is a pipe dream” Financial Times.

    More:

    Think about it. Students of math and physics develop formulas, which serves a dual purpose of giving the impression that the entire trading scheme has a basis in reason and checks and balances…meamwhile all the action is ruled by rumor, emotion, personal realtionships, and political policy.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      “it is basically paying people to borrow money”

      No. What it is doing is punishing savers and rewarding speculators. That is not a sign of a healthy economy.

      Reply
      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Speculators looking to be rewarded beware – read Yves’ “Why I Hate Houses,’ and maybe the 1986 film ‘The Money Pit,’ with Shelley Long and Tom Hanks.

        Perhaps, those speculators will be punished as well.

        Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Why Berlin’s Approach to Car Bans Is a Little Different”

    This article is just talking about Berlin but I saw how most German cities had pedestrian streets in them and I am here to say that they were great. You were no longer squeezed between traffic and storefronts but could wander to your heart’s content without being worried about being knocked down by a car. The open spaces lent themselves easily to markets and displays and public gatherings. It may be in the long term that the stores there did more business as people could pause longer without being pushed by the streams of human traffic. A quick search on Google images for Germany pedestrian streets came back with the following-

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=germany+pedestrian+streets&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjwhIuy8vXjAhWS8XMBHZf2DtcQ_AUIECgB

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      In the future, there will be more than cars with which (human) pedestrians have to negotiate.

      Try not to get run over by a 300 lb robot will be an issue as well, especially if you have a small kid with you.

      Reply
  15. Craig H.

    > DOT says Delta’s ban on pit bulls as service animals is not allowed

    Tried but could not find photo of the poor sod who had to have the support of two pit bulls before he could get onto a flight. Did find a short Atlanta local television news clip where they said that someone wanted to take a support-peacock on-board.

    I really want to see a Saturday Night Live skit where Rudy Giuliani sits down in his first class seat and there is some fragile person sitting next to him with a support ferret and he goes berserk.

    Reply
    1. nippersmom

      The point is, Delta cannot use breed-specific policies to decide whether to allow support animals on board a flight. The fact that they tried this shady practice is, for me, one more reason to avoid Delta.

      Reply
    2. ewmayer

      If the pit bulls are *genuine* service animals, having undergone the lengthy and rigorous training such animals do, fine – it’s the BS “emotional support animals” blurring of the distinction between service animals and neurotic-persons’ pets that is the problem.

      Reply
    3. Oregoncharles

      Since ferrets will travel quite happily in a bag, large pocket or inside a shirt, it’s much more practical than you think. They usually want their head out, though. I once walked into a bank with a ferret’s head protruding from my shirt. I explained to the teller that, no, it isn’t a rat, and she said she didn’t think it was – the nose is wrong – more like a cat or dog. Then there are the fangs that hang out of their mouth, but those weren’t so visible. They’re charming animals, actually, with what amounts to a sense of humor.

      It would be a pain to recover once it got loose on a plane, though; they like to be under things.

      Reply
  16. Stormcrow

    Nagasaki, 9 August 1945
    Many Democrats are currently resisting a call for no first use. To her credit Warren is not among them.

    The Danger of A Nuclear Catastrophe Is Greater Than During the Cold War

    This week marks the seventy-fourth anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. strikes against Japan, the only time nuclear weapons have been used in warfare, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. “And the bomb they dropped on Hiroshima was basically a hand grenade with a bad attitude compared to what they have today,” added Hallinan.

    “I think there are as many people say, two existential threats to the survival of humanity. One is climate change, and the other is nuclear war. And certainly, the sword of Damocles that has been held over the heads of human beings ever since 1945 continues to be there,” concluded Wittner.

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/danger-nuclear-catastrophe-greater-during-cold-war-72061

    Reply
      1. Stormcrow

        Yes, good point. And Kim Dotcom adds Artificial Intelligence to the list.

        Kim Dotcom, Aug. 7:

        The country that wins the AI race will become the world’s first megapower, for a brief moment, until AI takes the logical step, without emotion, to eliminate its biggest threat. The birth of true AI will be the beginning of the end of humanity. We may witness it in our lifetime.

        Reply
  17. bassmule

    Goldman teams up with Apple for some sub-prime lending:

    “From the start, Apple wanted its bank partner to create a technology platform that would approve as many of its 100 million-plus U.S. iPhone users as possible, within the bounds of regulations and responsible lending, according to the people. That’s in line with the tech giant’s desire to provide a good user experience for its customers.

    For Goldman, a 150-year-old investment bank that counts corporations and the ultrawealthy as its clients, the move heightens the risks it faces launching a card during the latter stages of a decade-long U.S. expansion.”

    Goldman Sachs, bank of the rich and powerful, is dipping into subprime lending with Apple Card

    Reply
  18. ChiGal in Carolina

    wow, is today’s link to Caitlin Johnstone a reality check for those who think Trump’s silver lining is a disinclination to wage war.

    the link to the St Pete’s list alone is an excellent resource for keeping it real.

    highly recommended

    Reply
  19. Deschain

    I spewed sparkling water all over my keyboard when Robert Kelly said he is a center-right Republican

    Q: Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, a center-right Republican, and Donald Trump are all approaching an intersection from different directions. There is a $10 bill in the intersection. Who will pick it up? A: Donald Trump, because the other three don’t exist

    Reply
  20. Carey

    TAC- ‘When Free Speech Clashes With Trans Power’:

    “..Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was ejected from her position on an LGBTQ advocacy group because she questioned whether or not male-bodied persons should compete in women’s athletics. Maya Forstater, a senior researcher at the think tank Centre for Global Development, lost her job for saying men aren’t women. The leader of Girl Guides, the U.K.’s answer to the Girl Scouts, was “expelled for objecting to boys who identify as female joining.” Activist Julie Bindel was attacked for giving a gender critical talk. The experience of detransitioners have been largely ignored.
    Advertisement

    Journalist and women’s rights activist Meghan Murphy is one of these women. She has been banned on Twitter for misgendering Jessica Yaniv, the notorious trans woman who is litigating before British Columbia’s Human Rights Tribunal demanding that aestheticians who specialize in waxing women wax her private parts as well. Murphy has been protested, mobbed, and deplatformed. She has no qualms about speaking her mind, and while her views on pornography, sex work, and women’s issues used to be de rigeur in the feminist movement, they are now vilified. Murphy was the thorn in the paw of the VPL that caused their exclusion from the Pride Parade. But it was VPL’s dedication to upholding free speech in its community that was the real issue..”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/when-free-speech-clashes-with-trans-power/

    follow the money

    Reply
  21. edmondo

    Joe Biden Is Coming for Your Legal Weed Vice

    I can’t wait to hear Biden’s acceptance speech at the Dem convention in Milwaukee: “Gimme a break! You kids need to stop buying that “Reefer Madness” so you can have more money to pay on your student loans.” Hunter appears on stage with white powder around his nostrils.

    Trump in a landslide.

    Reply
    1. prodigalson

      I’ve be very surprised if uncle Joe’s campaign doesn’t belly flop the same way Jeb!’s did on the (R) side well before the dem nominee finally gets crowned. He could win it but he’s a whole lotta nothing in a suit, trotting out conventional wisdom that was stale a decade ago.

      Reply
    2. Partyless Poster

      How the Dems can even pretend to be trying to win with a policy like that is mind blowing.
      Even a majority of Republicans are for legal weed.
      Its as if they are trying to figure out more ways to lose.

      Reply
  22. ChiGal in Carolina

    maybe this was discussed yesterday; if so, apologies, lately I mostly only have time to scan.

    not sure about that travel advisory focusing as it does on the mass shootings that only account for 1% of gun deaths in this country.

    telling travelers to stay away from large public spaces seems a bit like virtue signalling when urban dwellers in neighborhoods where tourists are unlikely to loiter account for far more gun deaths.

    maybe the travel advisory most appropriately should be issued to suicidal travelers from abroad, since those gun deaths are the greatest number of all.

    not saying I don’t like seeing our gun culture shamed internationally in this way, but erasing those most in harm’s way from the equation is a missed opportunity.

    Reply
    1. JohnnyGL

      The gap in attention between mass shootings vs. the murder rate in Chicago (great job Rahm Emanuel!) is a really telling one.

      Mass shootings are a kind of perverse democratization of gun violence where now even white upper income households feel vulnerable. America was and is happy to ignore a horrible wave of violence across a string of cities like New Orleans, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, and recently Nashville.

      Reply
    2. Inode_buddha

      What bothers me is the hypocrisy at every level and all around. You don’t hear much of anything about the military, whose sole purpose it is to kill, or “regime change” for a few dollars more, but you’ll hear all kinds of horror stories on the 6 o’clock news because its happening right here in your town.

      Until they find a way to change human nature, I am not going to trust *any* government, or business leaders for that matter.

      Reply
      1. rowlf

        “When we’re done with you, you’ll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men.” Daniel Dravot, “The Man Who Would Be King” (1975)

        There does seem to be a lot of media acceptance of drone strikes within other countries’ sovereign airspace… I’ve oftened wondered if the current US president authorized drone strikes along the US-Mexico border would the MSM turn into cheerleaders?

        Perhaps the 6 o’clock news serves to market fear.

        Reply
  23. Summer

    Re:” White House economic adviser calls Wall Street Journal a communist paper after it names next recession for him Raw Story (furzy). Accountability is Communist?”

    “Accountability is Communist?”

    Along with criticizing corporations. It’s why when people’s minds are filled with criticisms or complaints, they stay quiet. Wouldn’t want to be called a “commie.” It’s a total BS way of thinking that has poisoned discourse for over 100 years.

    Reply
  24. JohnnyGL

    https://www.thenation.com/article/baltimore-freddie-gray-elijah-cummings/

    For those wondering about the origins of AOC’s ‘white supremacy virus’ that she went on about at length the other day….I submit the above link.

    The US govt, at various levels, state, local and federal, created the environment which cultivated white supremacy. Ideology never pops up in a vacuum. White supremacy is an adaptation by working and middle class white people to an environment where to be in close proximity to large numbers of black people is to go against your own economic self-interest.

    To be part of the white middle and working class in America there is an unstated fear of falling into the abject despair of black poverty. Yes, there are white people who fall into that poverty, too. They’re there to put the fear of god into the rest of the white people.

    That black poverty also doesn’t appear in a vacuum. It’s created and cultivated by the government. The government did this through slavery, then through Jim Crow, convict leasing, the drug war, mass incarceration, the FHA and redlining, and through bad public housing policies which warehoused poor people into isolated, toxic environments. You don’t think the government accomplished its goals of creating white wealth on the back of black poverty? The numbers on wealth (not income) disparity tell a different story. The racial wealth gap between white and black households is something like 10-1.

    You want to kill white supremacy? Fix black poverty.

    Yes, the Sanders agenda would help, but I don’t think it goes far enough.

    Reply
  25. Summer

    RE: “The Harvard Professor Scam Gets Even Weirder” New York Magazine (J-LS)

    The men should have a legal case.

    But wow…it’s also quite a tale of two very broken women. They think they are empowered, but so broken…

    Reply
  26. Carey

    ‘I’m a journalist. Monsanto built a step-by-step strategy to destroy my reputation’- Carey Gillam

    “As a journalist who has covered corporate America for more than 30 years, very little shocks me about the propaganda tactics companies often deploy. I know the pressure companies can and do bring to bear when trying to effect positive coverage and limit reporting they deem negative about their business practices and products.

    But when I recently received close to 50 pages of internal Monsanto communications about the company’s plans to target me and my reputation, I was shocked..”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/08/monsanto-roundup-journalist-documents

    Reply
    1. pjay

      “I’m a journalist. Several governments and intelligence agencies, led by the US, built a step-by-step strategy to destroy my reputation.” – Julian Assange

      I’m waiting for this story to appear in the Guardian. I guess some acts of journalism are more worthy than others.

      Reply
    1. Robert McGregor

      That kind of argues that $16.2b would have been better spent on public transit projects. Too bad we have a system that gives priority to the interests of squillionaires and sovereign money funds (Saudi Arabia) over the well-being of society as a whole.

      Reply
  27. JohnH

    Joe Biden, unlikely deconstructor of privilege discourse. If people have to ask themselves if “black” and “poor” are the same thing – certainly, they are not – then what’s the next question that might lead them to ask?

    Reply
  28. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says alliance needs to address the rise of China South China Morning Post. Kevin W: “‘This is not about moving NATO into the Pacific’ said NATO’s Secretary General while in Australia.”

    —-

    From googling:

    Tall trees catch much wind. – Chinese translation – bab.la English …
    https://en.bab.la/dictionary/english-chinese/tall-trees-catch-much-wind
    … wind.’ in the free English-Chinese dictionary and many other Chinese translations. … in Chinese. volume_up. Tall trees catch much wind. [proverb]. CN. 树大招风。 … Similar translations for “Tall trees catch much wind.” in Chinese. tall noun.

    It’s bettter to keep a low profile, according to this traditional Chinese thought.

    And skip the Sino-Russian Heartland Alliance altogether.

    Remember, Xi’an (or Rome) was not built in one night. Patience is a virtue.

    Reply
  29. Phacops

    With Solein (Company Making Food out of Thin Air) can Soylent Green be far behind? Why then we can get rid of all those nasty plants and animals taking up space on an earth meant for humans.

    There is no shortage of stupid “green” solutions meant to distract us from, as Walt Kelly said, “we have met the enemy and he is us.”

    Reply
  30. semiconscious

    Trump Hurt, Confused Over Insufficient Praise For El Paso Trip Vanity Fair. Resilc: “IF he loses we’ll have a 24/7 shadow president burning up the twitterverse all day, every day with a review of the next president’s daily actions. It only stops when he’s dead.

    as though nothing similar has been happening for most of the last 3 years…

    Reply
  31. Summer

    Re: Uber / Verge article

    “The problem, Sherman says, is that Uber and Lyft don’t get any runoff benefits. They can’t tax the bars and nightclubs that stay open until 2AM because they know Uber and Lyft will safely transport their passengers home.”

    Lots of good info in this article. But statements like the one above are actually part of the problem. 2AM has been the cut-off time for many bars long before Uber. Maybe he meant more bars staying open until after 2AM, I don’t know. But the attribution of things happening because of new tech that have already been happening for the longest goes a long way toward the myth making.

    Reply
  32. Pelham

    Re that thing about gun enthusiasts misinterpreting the 2nd Amendment: This is an argument that gets trotted out quite often, to the effect that the amendment guarantees the right to gun ownership only to those belonging to a “well ordered militia,” such as the National Guard.

    But that’s not what the amendment says. Here it is: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The militia part is descriptive, not restrictive.

    Also, it doesn’t say “… the right of MILITIAMEN to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Or think of it this way. What if the amendment weren’t about guns but about, say, the study of physics. It might read: “Highly trained physicists, being necessary to the future and prosperity of a free State, the right of the people to study the sciences, shall not be infringed.” I doubt anyone would be confused by that.

    It appears the founders wanted a broad population familiar with guns so that, as necessity dictated, they could quickly be recruited to form a militia. We can argue the merits of that idea today, especially when arms are much more lethal than the muzzle-loaders common in the 18th century. But these constant attempts to narrow down the intent of the 2nd Amendment — especially by liberal scholars who (correctly) apply the broadest possible interpretation to all the other provisions in the Bill of Rights — just isn’t an honest way to go about addressing gun control.

    Reply
    1. DJG

      Nice try, Pelham, but as always, it would be handy just to read what the amendment says.

      The condition is “A well-regulated Militia [a specific body], being necessary to the security of a free state.” This is a condition based on a definition. Otherwise, the amendment could have read: The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

      You’ll notice that the first amendment doesn’t posture about well-regulated newspapers or orderly attendance at church services. It simply states that Congress shall make no law.

      Your counterexample conflates physicists, who may be people of all kinds, with a militia, which has a specific purpose and structure–which is not the study of subatomic particles. Further, the study of physics doesn’t entail Arms. Now, maybe you if promised every physics student a calculator and particle accelerator.

      The reason that the peculiar definition of militia is in the second amendment has to do to who and what it extends to. In the fifth amendment, the founders refer to Grand Juries, also as a condition. So they understood the structure of government and its mechanisms.

      Reply
      1. Pelham

        Again, the clause is descriptive, not prescriptive. You’re simply repeating the error. And the wording clearly says “the right of the PEOPLE.” That’s as broad as one can get. As for my counterexample, OK, if it isn’t clear enough, make it read “Ph.D-credentialed physicists, being necessary …” Does that help?

        Finally I’ll say this: The amendment appears to favor the types of arms commonly used in militias. In the 18th century, these were muzzleloaders hardly suitable for mass shootings or even gangland usage. After the Civil War, the amendment would have applied to lever-action rifles and revolvers. In the early 20th century, bolt-action rifles and semi-automatic sidearms.

        Today it refers to general-issue weapons — assault rifles and semi-automatic sidearms, or handguns. There’s a strong argument to be made that we’ve gone through a kind of phase change here with the latest weapons, that assault rifles are one weapon too far. On that basis you could say there’s a good case for repealing the 2nd amendment. Or restricting gun ownership to muzzleloaders (which may seem silly but would actually allow great scope for hunters to continue hunting).

        I’m generally pro-2nd Amendment, but I might support repeal if an honest argument were made. And a weapon ban would have to include handguns, which are used in far, far more homicides than assault-style rifles.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          It would make sense to ban handguns alone, since they have little military or hunting use. I believe cowboys carried them against snakes; I wonder how many shots it would take to hit such a narrow target?

          However, in that event we should disarm the police, as well.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            The physics of killing rattlesnakes is simple. The old revolvers used black powder propellant in the cartridges up until the introduction of smokeless powders in the middle 1890’s. Black powder burns slower than smokeless and projects the bullet at a slower velocity than do the smokeless powders. So, older black powder revolvers were ‘slower.’ The theory is that the bullet from the black powder charge traveled slowly enough for the snake to sense it and strike at it, thus killing itself!
            Whether it’s an ex-urban myth or not, it makes a good story.

            Reply
        2. davidgmillsatty

          I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis.

          All people have a right to keep and bear arms so that a well regulated militia can rapidly materialize when needed.

          Hamilton thought that it would be impractical for all people to have to train yearly to constantly keep a militia well trained (which is the meaning of well-regulated). He thought it made more sense for people to do their own training should the need for a militia arise. Hamilton seemed to think that enough people would train on their own that a well trained militia would not take long to materialize when a militia was needed. Many founding fathers shared this view.

          This amendment was written at a time when the founding fathers believed that a standing army was not necessary. Madison clearly thought that as a founding father, but the war of 1812 made him change his mind when he was President, because he could not get militias to materialize and adequately defend the country. After the war of 1812 we have always had a standing army.

          Reply
          1. Pelham

            Good points, and thanks for the history.

            I wonder whether this preparedness also had something to do with the muzzleloaders of the time. They required a lot of attention, having to be cleaned with each shot and the users basically putting together their ammunition with each load. Plus, an owner would probably have to know quite a bit about the mechanism to maintain the gun and have a good deal of practice to be able to get off a decent number of shots in a given time as well as hit a target, a doubly crucial requirement with the slow rate of fire.

            That said, the situation today is markedly different. Personally, I’d still like to keep the 2nd Amendment — admittedly for a variety of reasons not directly relevant to the founders’ reasons. But I can understand the other side. I just wish they’d be honest and stop trying to futz with some pretty clear wording to distort the founders’ intentions.

            Reply
    2. Oregoncharles

      there’s a plausible argument that that provision was intentionally ambiguous, because it was controversial even then.

      Reply
    1. Phacops

      I distrust Moore as time goes by ever since his paen to Hillary. I sorta understand why he may have done that, but supporting dems who only promise to hurt us a little less than repubs is to ensure that nothing changes for ordinary Americans.

      Reply
  33. ambrit

    I herewith suggest an elevator pitch for a film about Epstein’s “Lolita Express.” Since “Lolita” is already used for a book and several films, let’s get creative and call the opus, “Snakes on a Plane.”
    Of course, it would have to be an ‘Undie’ production.

    Reply
  34. bruce

    Uh-oh. I done said a bad thing, apparently, and my last comment didn’t survive moderation. Commentary can be too fearless now for anyone in America. Because I hold no “bitterness, rancor or hate” [from the comment], I’ll just tip my hat and be moving along. It was fun talking to you.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      It’s a learning curve. Moderation is done with a fairly small cohort of people. That moderated comment can languish in ‘Moderation Purgatory’ for some time. Don’t worry or get upset. We are merely fallible fiends after all, commenters and moderators alike.
      Also, it helps, to check your ego at the door.

      Reply

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