Links 5/30/2020

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Arizona Humane Society Removes 2 Pounds Of Matted Fur From Fluffer The Cat, She Gets Adopted 2 Days Later Bored Panda. This feline was a distant cousin of those sheep that go feral and grow so much wool that they look like mini-busses.

Captain Cook and the Colonial Paradox Quillette (Chuck L)

Climate change: ‘Stunning’ seafloor ridges record Antarctic retreat BBC (Kevin W)

Trees are Getting Shorter and Younger Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Eye-Catching Advances in Some AI Fields Are Not Real Science. Tell me it ain’t so!


Performance Anxiety: Will the Adult Film Industry Survive the Pandemic? Capital and Main (Ian H)


Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans ScienceDaily

Biosensors May Hold the Key to Mass Coronavirus Testing SpectrumIEEE (David L)


New Zealand has no new coronavirus cases and just discharged its last hospital patient. Here are the secrets to the country’s success. Business Insider


DIY: Virus lockdown forces Brits to become own dentists RTL Today (resilc)


Supreme Court sides with California on coronavirus worship service rules Axios (David L)

Unlike NASA, sheriff asks people to come to Brevard to see historic space launch Florida Today. Dan K: “Better federal subsidies would have reduced some of the economic pressure communities and businesses feel from the health restrictions.”

Alabama reopens and the coronavirus hits harder CNBC

Political Responses

Trump announces US to sever all ties with WHO Guardian (Kevin W)

Germany’s Merkel rejects Trump invite to attend G7 summit in Washington: Politico Reuters (resilc). Not good at all, but entirely logical given Trump’s rudeness and china-breaking. Coordination to deal with Covid-19 economic damage is na ga happen. After the financial crisis, some responses were cooperative, and the G-7 and G-20 were significant venues for that.


The collapse of coal: pandemic accelerates Appalachia job losses Guardian (resilc)

Amazon in talks for new Dublin office – Bloomberg RTE. PlutoniumKun:

I found this interesting – Amazon are building data centres as fast as they can in Ireland (I know this through one of their contractors), on the basis – presumably – that they see a huge increase in data demand due to home working. But they are also increasing their staffing by 750 in Dublin (Amazon don’t use Ireland as a tax shelter or warehousing base, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are I believe their favoured locations).

The office is probably one of the most expensive, high value locations in Dublin, so it certainly isn’t back office work. And it’s not in a location they can use for leveraging tax breaks or other scams.


Trump to revoke Hong Kong’s special trade privileges Financial Times

Trump’s China Response Leaves Room to De-Escalate Tensions Bloomberg

Hong Kong offered a democratic lifeline Asia Times

Trump to end special treatment for Hong Kong The Hill

China exporters look inwards as virus hits overseas markets Agence France-Presse

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Drug dealers turn corporate by selling customer databases for more than $180,000 MarketWatch (resilc)

Google Sued by Arizona Over Location Data and Alleged Consumer Fraud CNET

Imperial Collapse Watch

The ‘Liberal World Order’ Was Built With Blood New York Times


Trump Transition

From Where I Sit, The Trump Era Began In 2014 FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Senator Ted Cruz Calls For Criminal Investigation of Twitter Axios

Joe Biden Doesn’t Like Trump’s Twitter Order, But Still Wants To Revoke Section 230 The Verge

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Green New Deal “Leaves the Door Open” for Nuclear Energy Energy Central (Kevin W)


Dan K:

The film is a free item on Amazon, 1h 46min, 2017. The section on election manipulation is ~15 min at the beginning.

The rest is a thorough history of Siegelman’s political persecution, which is not new but pretty awful especially when collected like this. The current Trumpian context is not mentioned in this 2017 film, but the tactic of using prosecutorial power for political ends is certainly relevant to current events. Rogue’s gallery of fixers features Jack Abramoff, Karl Rove, and Eric Holder. Much of the outrage is voiced by Republicans.

In light of this material, Holder’s May 5 endorsement and defense (regarding Reede) of Biden has some darker implications. It’s also notable that the Trump crew has kept some distance the GOP wing of this far-flung and diverse political power cartel.

But the mechanics of the election manipulation can be understood outside to the larger context, just from the first 15:20 section.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Donald Trump puts Army on four hour notice to deploy to US streets for first time since LA riots in 1992 as Minneapolis erupts for fourth night and George Floyd violence sweeps the country Daily Mail. Daily Mail has excellent coverage: story on Chavin’s divorce-seeking wife (I don’t mean to sound prejudiced, but former beauty queens usually marry up) and the dodgy autopsy findings which have led the family to get their own pathology report.

Seven Reasons Police Brutality Is Systemic, Not Anecdotal American Conservative

People Can Only Bear So Much Injustice Before Lashing Out Nation (resilc)

Border Patrol Flies Anti-Terrorism Drone Over Minneapolis Protestors ars technica

Bus Driver Unions Nationwide Refusing to Work With Police Mike Elk

Trudeau: Canadians watching US unrest and police violence in ‘shock and horror’ Guardian. Resilc: “Maybe Canada can invade USA USA for a regime change.”

In case you missed Lambert’s coverage in Water Cooler yesterday. See debate in replies to the tweet:

Before you think that is paranoid:

Amazon Sellers Are Marking Products As ‘Collectible’ To Get Around Price Gouging Rules The Verge

Class Warfare

SCOTT GALLOWAY: Top US colleges’ insistence on keeping tuition costs high and offering fall classes in-person shows that they care only about money, not the public good Business Insider (David L). Wellie, now we have that clear.

Replaced by Prison Labor, NOLA Garbage Workers Form Union to Fightback Mike Elk

Antidote du jour. Krystyn Podgajski: “This is Moe, my friend’s cat, who I have know for all his 19 years of life. When a dogs walk by his house he greets them like a compassionate old sage.”

And a bonus from guurst. Before you question this crow’s motives, the hedgehog is way too big to be prey. The crow is either being helpful or being a covid jerk (they are pranksters) but he’s not trying to snag a meal.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Amfortas the hippie

      He’s one of my very favorite people.
      got all his books in my Library.
      the recent documentary, “I am not your negro” is well worth the time. currently on Prime, fwiw.

  1. Ignacio

    RE: Evolution of pandemic coronavirus outlines path from animals to humans ScienceDaily

    This article buys the theorethical reshuffling between a Pangolin and a Bat CoV but still there is no proof this was really the path for SARS CoV 2 evolution. In fact I regret articles like this (i mean, the original scientific paper) that don’t add anything new but claim to have a a clue. Rather than speculating again and again on the very same data that has already been analysed by others, probably with better knowledge on CoV evolution, new data should be collected from many other animal species including more bats plus some many other mammal species if we really want to have an idea on the initial events leading to this pandemic. Chinese scientists still seem reluctant to do so. This doesn’t suffice. I really don’t buy the results from the recombination software tools used in that paper. This is not to say that recombination didn’t play a role on SARS CoV 2, it probably did, but nobody has identified neither of the parental strains possibly involved and the host where this event might have occured.

      1. Ignacio

        This is, again and again a massaging of “old data” Bat RaTG13 and SARS CoV 2 may share an ancestor several or many years ago. Does not give any clue on how the pandemic started.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “A large group of us have expressed concern about The Lancet HCQ/CQ study”

    That Allen Cheng who tweeted out that Lancet Open Letter is not just some random dude. He is Dr. Allen Cheng and is on the List of Signatories on that open letter and he has one helluva biography-

    But to repeat a comment that I made yesterday, by publishing that observation of studies, Lancet has put themselves on the same level as Stanford and have done themselves immense reputational damages. And it will be deserved.

    1. td

      From an examination of some of the data behind the Lancet study, it is quite clear that whoever made up the data was quite naive about how to make credible fake data. The individual patient information was far too complete and the distribution of the sub-data was far too narrow. It is incredible that the percentage of people with high blood pressure, who smoked and so on only varied by a few points between nations and continents.

      I have found it to be a mystery why organizations like WHO and various national health officers felt it necessary to wage campaigns against mask-wearing, aerosol spread of the disease and hydroxychloroquine. Now that we suddenly want people to wear masks, it is in the face of having convinced many that masks are a bad idea. They don’t do everything, but masks are useful and that was too hard an idea to get behind.

      I fear the appearance of subsequent pandemics, because the credibility of many official sources is shot to heck. They are not in a position to fight against the politicization of related issues and to maintain focus on public health.

      Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make insane.

      1. flora

        I know this comparison is a bit of a reach;

        A supposed scientific outfit Dr. Cheng and others have never heard of comes up with data they can’t verify, refuses to give independent auditors access to , and make claims based on this hidden data that confirms the wishes of the anti-HCQ forces …

        …sounds a lot like the WaPo’s Prop-or-not play to discredit progressive web sites after the 2016 election. ‘oh, we have data, you can’t see it, we can’t provide it or publicly verify it, but our analysis shows x is true’. right…

        1. Lambert Strether

          Obviously, the incentives to knock an off-patent low-cost treatment out of the box are huge. (“Will nobody rid me of this turbulent cheap treatment”?) Of course, incentives to action don’t necessarily mean action.

          Another field to watch for skullduggery is covid-sniffing medical dogs, since they would destroy a lucrative and fast-growing testing industry.

          We have already seen that 19th century methods like hand-washing, plenty of air and sun, masking, social distancing, and contact tracing/quarantine can bring results, separately or combined.

          As a heuristic, it would would not surprise me that old-fashioned methods like sniffing dogs and off-label uses of already-approved drugs proved preferable to glitzy gene therapies from Big Pharma. (Fauci hyping Gilead like a penny stock was really shocking to me.)

      2. Ignacio

        This Surgisphere company that supplied the data should be investigated. Regarding The Lancet, like many other outlets publishing anything on Covid-19 or SARS CoV 2 it is possible to notice that the preference is publishing as fast as possible while peer reviewing is left to comments after publication. It is amazing to see so many articles with close to nothing in originality, experimental work etc. The standards for publication were much tougher not so long ago.

        1. Winston Smith

          I think to anyone who has been involved in research and publishing their work, it is obvious that the system of peer review is not adapted to get reliable information out quickly to the public-indeed that is not really its goal. However, we presently have a deafening cacophony of contradictory and misleading information whizzing around social media and the internet. HCQ (with or without supplements) is a case in point. I have yet to see a sober assessment of its possible efficacy vs COVID that everyone can nod their head to without going ballistic one way or another. I believe there are rigorous trials going on now that will yield more definitive answers later. I would be indebted if someone could point out a reliable summary of what we know so far…including what we don’t know

          1. Ignacio

            Yes. trials are going on but because Covid cases have been reduced by much in European countries at least it is dificult to complete them since it is more difficult to include new patients. Then there is an article like this that doesn’t help. As far as I know trials are still going on in some countries, at least France, Italy, Belgium and Spain.

      3. rd

        I think the mask question is the easier one. I think it is largely due to the confusion about wearing a maks to protect the wearer vs. protectiong others from the wearer.

        The shortage of N95 masks for legitimate protection of the wearer, especially medical workers and first responders led many health organizations to recommend against wearing masks by regular folks who don’t know how to wear them to avoid contaminating themselves when taking them off or re-using them and haven’t been fit-tested. At that point, the volume of asymptomatic people wasn’t clear. But it was clear that there was a massive shortage of N95 masks.

        I watched some of the early briefings by the White House and otehrs and they were tripping over themselves to convince people not to rush out and buy masks that the emergency workers needed. The incredibly bad confused communications from various entities meant that the recommendations were generally incomprehensible unless you spended a lot of time tracking down the actual science, which most people have no idea how to even start doing.

        Once the magnitude of the spread became clear, then it switched to making masks to largely protect others from you in case you were asymptomatic. Now home-made cloth masks etc. make a lot of sense and we are back to the 1918-19 flu!

        Countries like Vietnam simply did things on their own ahead of anybody else and the citizens started wearing masks very early based on previous experience with SARS, MERS etc. They hit it hard on all fronts early (January-March) and were successful. The western counties simply opted for chaos.

        1. Darius

          The best masks I have found I made myself out of Swiffers, a stapler and hemp twine. Stout string will do, also. Swiffers are supremely breathable and trap fine particles by design. Just about perfect for the purpose. Just fold it over once. Fold the ends over the twine and staple them. You can make two loops with one strand of twine and tie it behind your neck. Very serviceable and comfortable.

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        Regarding the masks, sadly I think the reason was to discourage purchases by the general public because there wasn’t enough PPE for medical personnel to being with given pandemic demands.

        And similar logic may be behind the excessive effort v. hydroxychloroquinine. I’ve read people with autoimmune diseases are running into shortages due to the impact of Covid-19 demand.

    2. flora

      Thanks for the links.

      The Lancet also published Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s anti-vaccination paper, since debunked. The Lancet was slow to walk that back.

      Reputation already in jeopardy, and they publish this iffy paper.

    3. Bsoder

      As to the Lancet it has been around since 1823 and all things been equal as to levels is way above Standard, whose graduates seem mostly bent on the destruction of the human race, or encouraging magical blood testing machines. By the way, how’d work out? You actually talking Mordor central. Sadly, I attended Harvard, MIT, & UofMichigan. The world of academic papers is in a mess. This isn’t the first time or last time a paper of dubious merit will be pre-published.

  3. No Party

    Did anyone watch CNN’s Cuomo live coverage last night of protesters surrounding the Atlanta police in the lobby of CNN’s building? It was pretty intense, CNN obviously had live reporting from inside the lobby just behind the police line, with protesters right outside the lobby windows. Protesters had smashed one of the two main lobby windows, and a young white guy with a skateboard was trying to break the last window, while other protesters occasionally hurled objects (assuming bricks/rocks) at the line of police riot shields.

    It was pretty intense, and for a moment I thought the police were going to retaliate, as they were clearly outnumbered and backed into a small space without easy exits. Finally, someone threw a firecracker (or flash bang, live reporting was inconclusive) into the lobby right behind the police line, and the police called in reinforcements to spread the area with tear gas and disperse the protesters.

    What I found most shocking was how smug Cuomo was in his live commentary. Not only was he cutting off the CNN reporter on the ground so that he could showcase his superior knowledge of police tactics to the audience, but Cuomo breathlessly claimed that the protesters weren’t deliberately targeting the CNN building. How exactly is that Chris? You think the protesters just happened across the first building they found and decided to surround the police in the lobby, threatening to breach the lobby’s walls while the surging mass of protesters hurled objects inside?

    It’s so frustrating how big media refuses to acknowledge their role in life’s happenings so as to conveniently claim a position of objectivity. No Cuomo, the protesters were deliberately targeting your building in Atlanta, get a clue.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Those police were not there just looking for coffee & donuts. Apparently, Atlanta’s CNN building also houses Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 5 CNN Center Precinct. So by the rioters attacking that building, they were on a twofer as in slamming both CNN and a police precinct. As it was CNN, I am sure that Trump was shocked, shocked at such a tragedy.

    2. Off The Street

      More Cuomo follies, if you can stand it, or just want some schadenfreude. From that other semi-whatever source, The Daily Mail. Now I’ll need to sweep the computer for viruses. /s

    3. Billy

      More ironic since CNN had spent the last 48 hours suggesting the destruction of private property was a legitimate form of protest.

      1. Neophyte

        Germane. If Flora below comes to close to me for comfort (‘she looked unhealthy office and check out her ideas online;’) on her bike ride, should I knock her off, immobilise her property (‘in the interests of others your honor’ ) or give her a good talking to? (get me a segment on CNN, got mine™)

    4. flora

      I’m donning a tin foil hat here:

      This whole thing seems… odd. You have a set of cops in Minn murder/kill a black man in broad daylight with lots of people with camera phones around. You have what sure looks like cops acting as provacateurs, breaking window, etc. It seemed… coordinated. You have news network camera crews arrested or shot at by cops. And the predictable outrage erupts across cities. So… why kill a man in broad daylight, including allowing ‘beauty pics’ of the cops? Of course they knew they were being photo’ed. (can one still say ‘being filmed’? )

      (Pulls foil hat on tighter)
      A lot of noise about the looting of Main Street by Wall St. in the so-called pandemic bailouts has started to get traction. A lot of people are going to be unemployed and probably evicted soon. A lot of people may lose their homes in mortgage foreclosure, again. A lot of people are going to be very, very angry at DC and Wall St, if they aren’t already.

      (Pulls hat down so tight my head hurts.) Was this all set up to get people mad and in the streets to protest about a single event, in order to beat them down and take the fight out of them before the greater economic pain that’s coming starts to hit Main Street in full force? Much much shorter, is this Wall St./DC’s moment of “occupy Main Street” ? Or is this a “change the subject” in the media moment, change subject away from the economic crimes of the bailouts to something else and more visibly dramatic?

      (Takes foil bonnet off.) Apologies for this flight of fancy. Time for a bike ride.

      1. Jen

        If they are, I’m not sure it’s going to work. I’m seeing a remarkably consistent pattern in my various social media circles of people referring to the wall street bailouts as looting, and comparing the scale of their smash and grab to say, someone grabbing some food, liquor, or even a flat screen t.v.

        I think it’s far simpler, and worse: those in power have completely dropped the mask under the belief that they can do whatever they want with impunity.

        1. JBird4049

          Agreed. Left or right. Liberal or conservative. Communist or Libertarian.

          It does not matter much when people continue to see that the rich, the powerful, the connected are not only made whole, but are enriched, even when they are the ones causing most of the damage over the past forty years? And then we should get angry over some fools stealing some cheap junk?

          Somehow, I think that even many racists and law-and-order types are going to look at the deliberate murder by four policemen in broad daylight on the street of an unarmed, unresisting man over a bogus twenty as just wrong. It looks like a hit or assassination to me and that the police expected to get completely away with it.

          No. Most people, most of the time have a sense of justice, of right and wrong that will wake up regardless of the propaganda or the doublethink.

        2. JPS1950

          …“those in power have completely dropped the mask under the belief that they can do whatever they want with impunity.”

          They can do whatever they want with impunity.

      2. ShamanicFallout

        I usually lean toward the foily too (is it possible in this day and age to be too cynical?). Except in this case for some reason. Cops have been getting filmed doing this kind of stuff for a long, long time and… nothing. Always protected. This one happened right in the middle of the pandemic, quarantine, years of economic pain, general state of tension and it ignited. The cliche that it ‘takes on a life of its own’. What comes after, yes I think we can go back to the possible foily, and that there could be some orchestrating going on. Mainly of course in the utility of crises to take certain advantage benefitting the usual suspects.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Yes, this is the key point. The cops have immunity, or at least believe they do. And look at how the DA behaved. Took all sorts of time to arrest, presented the minimum murder charge, didn’t charge the others. And the official pathology results were BS too.

          Dirty cops know DAs are reluctant to prosecute aggressively because they depend on good relationships with the police.

          1. flora

            Yes. NYTimes has a good editorial today about the S.C. decisions that led to this.

            In 1967, the same year the police chief of Miami coined the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” to threaten civil rights demonstrators, the Supreme Court first articulated a notion of “qualified immunity.” In the case of police violence against a group of civil rights demonstrators in Mississippi, the court decided that police officers should not face legal liability for enforcing the law “in good faith and with probable cause.”

            That’s a high standard to meet. But what makes these cases nearly impossible for plaintiffs to win is the court’s requirement that any violation of rights be “clearly established” — that is, another court must have previously encountered a case with the same context and facts, and found there that the officer was not immune. This is a judge-made rule; the civil rights law itself says nothing about a “clearly established” requirement. ….


      3. workingclasshero

        The cop who killed the guy in minnesota is fired and probably going to prison,his partners were fired,also and rightfully how many days on and still rioting?the left and or anarcho/left and blm are politically clueless as usual as far as being able to discern future blowback in an election year.

        1. Big River Bandido

          Very few cases of police brutality ever reach a trial, and rare among those that do is the one where any justice is meted out.

          Further, this is not just about a single murder at the hands of the police. This is about a system of oppression supported by many of the very institutions whose property was damaged. This is about a “government” in which both parties have lost all moral authority. This is why there are riots — they are a response to a general breakdown of respect for authority. If banks and Congress can loot the public treasury, law means nothing.

          The so-called “looting” of a Wells Fargo bank machine is, at the very least, symbolic justice.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that it will be difficult to get a conviction of the Minneapolis cop. The laws are skewed in favor of police brutality. This is a very big reason why such brutality continues unchecked. The laws of various states protect cops to the point they are nearly untouchable.

        3. J.k.

          I think it could have played out differently if they had arrested atleast three of the four immediately. 4,5 days later , they arrest one ,on the minimum charge they could hit him with. C’mon man!

          I would add to the fact the first day most of the protests were peaceful and people were getting hit with rubber bullets, gas canisters, pepper sprayed and even what i would describe as assaulted by Leo. Plenty of fuel to fire up the protests.

          And please, lets not blame the possibility of Dems losing on these protests. For one , you are assuming that the most of these protesters are democrats. Lets keep in mind the large numbers who dont even vote.
          And you are giving too much credit to “the left and or anarcho/left and blm” , as if they are the ones really mobilizing people to come out. This is a genuine expression and venting of rage thats been building up against this kind of state violence, not just about this single case.

        4. anon in so cal

          I think there is continued outrage over the coroner’s report on George Floyd and the fact the murdering officer was only charged with 3rd degree murder. Truly, it appeared to be 2nd degree murder and the other three officers need harsher charges, also. Apparently (take this with a grain), the (apparent) medical examiner donated to Buttigieg; not that this matters, but it seems fitting somehow.

          1. Keith

            Outrage over the coroner’s report because they did not get the answer they wanted. Now the family is shopping around. The privately funded coroner will need to be paid. That comes from the lawsuit. Most of what is going on is be people profiting from event, dragging the family and public along for the right. Clear cut sign this is happening was the arrival of Sharpton and Jackson.

            1. ShamanicFallout

              Yes Keith! He clearly had pre-existing conditions and underlying health problems! That’s what did him in! I find it easier to live with myself by ignoring that George Floyd repeatedly told the cop “I can’t breathe” and basically begged for his life. And the cop (actually three of them) sat on him for nine minutes. Then they checked his pulse but the honorable Derek Chauvin kept sitting on him. For another three minutes.

              In other news, I suspect that that “coroner” who “wrote” that “autopsy” is very nervous right now

              1. J.k

                Yeah, reminds me of that fellow in texas whose three daughters died in a fire. The state of texas used some bunk forensic science to charge the father with arson and secured a guilty judgement and proceeded to execute him.
                Of course now years later its clear the state corrupted the science for its ends. Im sure that doesnt happen anymore.

      4. diptherio

        That’s a chapter out of Jack London’s The Iron Heel. A depressingly relevant book at the moment…

        1. ambrit

          Next comes “It Can’t Happen Here.”
          Will “Keeper of the Flame” be far behind?

        2. Robert Gray

          I (re-)read The Iron Heel a year or two ago for the first time since the ’60s. Very powerful indeed. I do re-read Nineteen Eighty-four every few years and every time I am struck by how scary it is. The term ‘Orwellian’ has unfortunately become trite. Of course, most people who use the term have never read Orwell in the first place.

      5. rd

        “Qualified immunity” means the police aren’t too worried about the video cameras. Until the Supreme Court really tightens up what qualified immunity applies to, it will continue to be very difficult to prosecute the police.

        However, police officers are starting to be fired over these incidents, so that might wake them up.

        1. JBird4049

          Many, if not most police, are rehired at other police departments. Being fired really means nothing.

          1. jr

            And their contracts often stipulate their past employment records are sealed so that bad behavior is “disappeared” when moving between departments…

            (Looked for supporting link but failed!)

      6. The Rev Kev

        Didn’t the American Revolution start as a simple British exercise to confiscate guns at the tiny villages of Concord and Lexington? Some things take on a life of their own once started,

        1. J.k.

          Sitting here in chicago, just got an alert on the phone. They just declared a curfew from 9p-6a, essential workers exempt.

        2. JBird4049

          This is also an example of bad things unplanned happening for everyone.

          British military intelligence got some information that IIRC gunpowder and artillery were being stored at Concord. So they planned a quick raid to capture or destroy it. The colonial militia got word of that and made preparations to just remove the supplies. The British thought it would be a big surprise, but no…

          the Lexington community had time for a meeting, debate, voting, and planning for the walk through of the army. The colonials were just going to stand in formation for a bit and then leave, certainly not to fight. Just a show of “this our home and we’re watching.”

          The British commander did not want a fight and said so. He was to confiscate some military supplies and not start a war. However, the leading unit was of light infantry. Soldiers trained and expected to think and act independently because, well they were usually the scouts and vanguard, separated from the main force. Regular soldiers generally would not fired unless ordered to.

          The light infantry got into formation on their own… somebody, and nobody knows who really, fired a shot, then the infantry fired and who also changed without orders, then the really surprised American militia fired and ran. Oops.

          The enraged militia (those evil Redcoats killing without cause!) in and around Concord Bridge formed up at the one place the British had to cross and fought. Of course, by the time that the British broke through into Concord pretty much all the supplies were gone and then they had a long running ambush on the way back. A professional running battle as many, or most, of the militia members were veterans of the last war fighting for the British in the Seven Years War.

          So the war was on. At a time and place neither side planned on. Just a simple, very quick raid to be met with a few moments of silent protest on the way, which weren’t. The American Revolution is a fascinating study of how to create the conditions for and start a war nobody really wanted or planned for. It just got out of control.

      7. freedomny

        Maybe George Floyd’s death is much bigger than people realize. Maybe it’s symbolic. Not only was his murder the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of BLM…..the support from the white community is pretty strong. The visual of a white man kneeling on a black mans neck while he says “Please, I can’t breathe” is having a triggering effect on many people…like a metaphor….how many people feel that the current system is like a knee on their neck and it’s killing them.

      8. Bsoder

        The human mind is always trying to create pattens in the observance of reality. Mostly there are not there. Here’s what is there, people are angry, people who before Covid-19 were Just barely getting by. Now whatever dreams they had for a decent life are in reality gone. Some have heavy hearts. Some are broken. The cops shot and killed 1009 people last year. 900+ the prior 5 years. Killed others in other ways. It’s all too much. Thing have changed and are going to change much more. I strongly warn people off of trying to understand any of this by such concepts of: class – tired/worn out; Id-intersectional politics- made-up by stuff layered on top of human biology and history that says we ‘should be’ one thing but in reality for at least 250k years we have been the same. There’s only 3 types of people: no money, rich, & billionaires. Start with that.

        1. JBird4049

          I would add the roughly 200 killed each year by choking, tasing, and beatings as well. Let’s not forget that even with shootings most people survive. There is at least a 2-1 ratio of injuries to fatalities with them. So we have three thousand or more men, women, and children get shot every year. Who knows how many people were choked, tased, pepper sprayed, and beaten? Often for no real justification?

          When you add the bit that of those shot, roughly 15% are completely unarmed with any weapons including rocks, sticks, golf clubs, multi tools, and cookware (they all have been used to justify shootings) and many others had their (often legal) weapon holstered or stored in a drawer/storage space. Then add that a large number of times the police are in plainclothes or don’t identify themselves even in those predawn no-knock raids.

          So being a minority, or poor, or American, or even breathing are all reasons for the police to hurt or kill you.

          1. flora

            One interesting change over the past 10-12 years that I’ve seen: the older, white, well employed, middle and upper middle class people I know who once thought of police as officer McFriendly started quietly saying things like ‘Never call the police. They’re too dangerous.’ Really. These are the last people in the world you’d imagine saying this.

        2. ambrit

          I’ll observe that your “..three types of people..” actually are divided by the essential neo-liberal class marker; the quantified possession of money.
          Secondly, for political purposes, some sort of easily understood identification method must be available. What you denigrate are used, and abused, identification systems.
          Finally, what else is human consciousness but a pattern recognition and manipulation system?

        3. Lambert Strether

          > I strongly warn people off of trying to understand any of this by such concepts of: class

          > There’s only 3 types of people: no money, rich, & billionaires

          Make up your mind (wealth being a proxy for the social relations that enable the creation of wealth)

        4. jr

          “There’s only 3 types of people: no money, rich, & billionaires. Start with that.”

          But those are class formations, no? And my experience is that id-pol is used to distract attention from class based analysis, not complement it…

  4. Toshiro_Mifune

    Bus Driver Unions Nationwide Refusing to Work With Police
    That’s a good sign. This is exactly the sort of action that has been needed from unions for a long time but has been lacking. I don’t know if the mechanics that service the Minneapolis PD cruisers are union, but if they are go on strike. It is vital that organized labor remember that they have power and that it needs to be used.

    1. Billy

      Two word version: “Palliative vs Cure”

      Analogy: Vitamin C prevents you getting a cold, but doesn’t cure it once if you do.

      1. Massinissa

        Same thing with HCQ. HCQ only works as a prophylactic, either before you get corona or maybe within a couple days of getting corona. If its advanced, HCQ won’t do shit, so giving it to someone on a ventilator is a complete waste of time. Its good for healthcare workers and the like who have to be exposed to large loads of the virus. Media just talks shit about HCQ because Trump said it might help.

  5. Redlife2017

    I’ve been getting annoyed that I can find out what the hospitalization numbers are for like New York rather easily so I thought I should find them for the UK.

    I had to do a bit of searching, but figured out where the weekly report from Public Health England is. It is quite the document and what I find odd is that nobody is discussing the numbers in there from this week. We’ve had a spike of hospitalizations in London in the past week(ish). It’s on page 17. Which aligns with Johnson making non-office bound people go back to work about 2ish weeks ago.

    On page 18 of the weekly report you can see how many people have been admitted to hospital (in the lower level of care) over the prior week: 8,754. And people admitted over the week to ICU/HDU? 4,127.

    Now those numbers are vastly higher than I’ve seen for France and Italy. We are no where near ready to end the lockdown and certainly NOT without a proper local test, trace, isolate system.

    It makes a lot of sense that senior SAGE members are starting to freak out in public about it. They do not want to be blamed for this.

    Need a drink…

    1. Ignacio

      FWIW, in Spain, weekly Covid-19 hospitalizations have been 286 the week ending in 28th May (12 to ICU). It has somehow increased since the reopening started from the 256 weekly recorded 5 days ago. The UK is lingering with relatively high hospitalizations.

  6. allan

    If you take the age out of message, you get mess:

    Pete Buttigieg @PeteButtigieg
    Black lives depend on whether America can be what we want to believe it is. What we need it to be.
    What it could be. Systemic racism is so woven into the fabric of this country, facing it will take action, honesty, listening, and deep, deep change. And for many of us, humility.
    6:34 PM · May 29, 2020

    Abrams/Butttigieg 2024: Action, Honesty and Listening for Deep, Deep Change™.

    1. flora

      baffle, gabble, bliffle, blah de blah. /s (Ask South Bend about Pete’s deep concern for the black community there.)

    2. a different chris

      >And for many of us, humility.

      I hate that word, “humility”. What it means is “I am in charge, I will always be in charge because I am special and you are not, but hey I’m actually giving your perspective some thought as I continue to make all the important decisions”.

      If you had real humility, Pete, you would disappear from public life.

    3. Bs

      Forget about changing people’s minds. Change their behavior the mind will follow. To change behavior one needs show the thousand examples of racism that they never thought were racism. It very obvious in the data, so why then isn’t public policy changed so that what’s in the data goes away. Covid-19 is An excellent example – a ton of resources should have been deployed in black communities & people. Health, PPE, food, money, all of it the entire safety net. And more as was needed. Not doing so was is and will remain racism, not of hate, but of not taking care of our fellow citizens. To me it’s compassion & love. It’s what you gotta do. And man, blacks in prison let them out. Latino’s in those awful camps let them. Provide for them. None of this has to be this way. It could all stop tomorrow because everyday we have choices to make. Racism is about saying yes to evil ideas. Prayers to an evil god. I’d go one step further it’s not enough not to be racist, you got to do some good, even if it hurts.

    1. Off The Street

      Which police departments around the country have civilian oversight, and how effective is it?

      There are probably many lessons to share from the experiences of departments like LAPD that had consent decrees or other administrative or judicial mandates to shape up. The civilian oversight boards aren’t panaceas or sufficient, but appear to be at least necessary conditions to ensure greater chances of success. One measure of that success includes the consent, or input, of the governed, or policed. Without that, troubles, unrest, discrimination and injuries are far more likely, and the journey is longer without much hope of recognizing, let alone reaching, a destination.

      1. Aumua

        I don’t believe that statement is the truth. I invite you to support it, and try to change my mind.

        1. Old Badger

          I have an anecdote. It is only an anecdote … but it is a good one.

          In the olden days, I had a number of courses with Harvey Goldberg in Madison. Harvey was the greatest academic lecturer I have ever heard (and I am pushing 70). Not only was he splendidly erudite but his oratory held packed lecture halls spellbound. Anyway, one semester he was talking about the ‘June Days’ of Paris, 1848. He told us of his own research in the French national archives, where in the papers of some element of what today would be called the ‘security services’ he found a dossier pertaining to a revolutionary cell that was under surveillance. There was a folder containing reports about one particular clandestine meeting of this cell, where there were seven people in attendance. The file contained four first-person accounts of this meeting.

          1. Procopius

            The running joke during The McCarthy Years was that if all the paid FBI informants stopped paying their dues, the CPUSA would be broke in a week.

            I’m convinced antifa is infiltrated by cops, although I don’t know if they have much real organization. I’m even more certain The Black Bloc is infiltrated by cops. I have no evidence to show you, and I don’t care if you change your mind or not. I also have come to believe most of the violence at the protests is initiated by cops, either as undercover agents provocateur or just by attacking peaceful groups.

        1. J.k.

          I believe he means antifa is infiltrated by leo, and. Leo sending out agent provocateurs as antifa.

    1. Trent

      Wow what a pair huh? Macho aggressive crazy cop, beauty queen house seller. Should do a version of american gothic with them

  7. Alex

    While Turkey has achieved some tactical successes in Libya, I wonder if they will be able to achieve their long-term goals there, having antagonised nearly all of their neighbours: Russia (by supporting Syrian rebels), Cyprus (by the occupation of the north of the island and now also gas), Egypt (by supporting the Muslim brothers), Israel (Gaza), Greece (pipelines and immigration).

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      My suspicion is Erdogan doesn’t have sound long term goals. Rather, he is just bouncing around hoping to find somewhere where he can plant the flag and make himself emperor. He hasn’t grasped he is dealing with nation-states for the most part, and Libya is too distant and far too close to other NATO countries for him to really set up an empire.

      I suspect he’s too deluded.

      1. Susan the other

        Unless you subscribe to Erdogan being a wild card or a mercenary it’s all about as clear as mud. Helmer’s translated details of the Russian analysis was interesting, but nutty,really. That nonsense about the continental shelves of Turkey and Libya abutting each other and thus are a basis for exclusive cooperation in order to exclude maritime traffic from Greece, Cyprus and Israel is so dumb, pointless and unenforceable I wonder if all international operations are based on stuff just that idiotic. Erdogan really doesn’t have the money to mount this new offensive so he’s gotta be getting his money from somebody else. I really do think he is just a mercenary. We can only watch to see who benefits.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          My gut is Turkey is too large to manage as a mercenary. Though Erdogan may see the world the same way Hussein saw it where he could be the U.S.’s strong man and auditions for the part, the U.S. doesn’t want a mercenary that large. I don’t think anyone else would either. Israel is much more manageable.

          He was making a mess of Iraq when Shrub was President.

  8. Mikel

    Re: Biosensors / Coronavirus testing

    A prick of the finger, small amount of blood, small device?
    Ok, they don’t seem to be talking about wide range diagnostic test, but anybody else wondering whatever happened to that Elizabeth Holmes trial?

    1. Billy

      Covert DNA analysis and data retention and “harmonizing” with patient’s info?
      When congress passes a law banning this, I would be more comfortable giving up bodily fluids.

  9. fresno dan

    Seven Reasons Police Brutality Is Systemic, Not Anecdotal American Conservative

    The special deference police are widely given in American culture feeds this inconsistency of standards, producing something of a legal Wild West.
    A good case could be made that many, if not most sheriffs and marshals of the wild west were themselves criminals of one degree or another.
    But my real point is that the US establishment believes in “law and order” as defined in a peculiar way which is law for some and not for others. The police are given almost carte blanche to enforce “The Law” with impunity. When I lived in Maryland, a law was passed, “The Police Bill of Rights” that meant a police officer being investigated could only be interrogated with a plethora of extra rights not afforded non police (apparently to give him time to get his story straight) and a whole slew of other stuff.
    It really should be entitled “the Maryland police non conviction law”

    And finally, the “liberal” media portrays police authority not only in a positive light 99% of the time, but in a heroic manner. It is part of the plan that just as all soldiers are heroic, all police are heroic, and to equate any criticism of police policy as criticism of police heroes. As well as the only solution is a violent solution….

    1. fresno dan

      And one other point. Law is full of interpretation and where you stand depends on where you sit.
      The charging of the police officer with “third degree murder” shows how an attorney can take an obvious action, and through the use of a bunch of high highfalutin words, reach a totally specious conclusion.

      The police officer is question knew what he was going to do – the fact that he didn’t have a particular black person in mind is analogous to a rapist who doesn’t know which woman he will rape, but only that any woman he catches in circumstances conducive to the crime will be a victim. The perpetrator may kill with what ever means are handy. But no prosecutor would charge such a crime as 3rd degree murder.
      The history of this particular police officer is analogous to a serial rapist – every opportunity he gets he acts criminally.
      I am old enough to remember when the crime of rape really wasn’t taken that seriously* – there had to be a lot of fundamental changes in the law (general prohibition of sexual history of the victim). But this was all dependent upon society as a whole seeing a great wrong and doing something about it.

      * there is still a lot to be done – there is a tremendous backlog of rape test kits that have not been processed and that is an outrage.

      1. fresno dan


        As I told Rich, I believe Chauvin should have been arrested days ago, if not immediately. The claim that the prosecutor had to wait to authorize an arrest until the investigators nailed down all the evidence is nonsense — notwithstanding that County Attorney Freeman repeated it in his press conference this afternoon.
        It is standard practice for police who witness a violent crime, or who are reliably informed of facts that would support arrest for one, to place a person in custody. That virtually never means the case is ready, there and then, to go to trial.
        What it boils down to is, unless the populous of the area is outraged, the crime gets ignored…

        1. Keith

          Or since this is such a high profile case, he wants his ducks in a row. Once arrested, the clock starts ticking for charges to be filed. Also, police unions usual have rules about charging an officer while carrying out his duties.

    2. David Carl Grimes

      This article is from 2014. Didn’t the militarization of the police start in 9/11?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It picked up. But the Seattle in 1999 was fairly militarized, and my memory is the militarization jumped after the Rodney King protests. The wiki indicates a key event was a shootout in 1997 in Hollywood between cops and well armed bank robbers with AKs. My guess is the police just saw it as an opportunity to intimidate.

  10. urblintz

    on CNN just now (I watch so you don’t have to) the Dem Gov of MN just blamed the riots on “terrorists” and “international elements trying to undermine our democracy”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      (I watch so you don’t have to)

      Its times like this I wish I was a believer because you have really earned a sainthood. Have you performed any miracles?

      The Democrats have to thread the needle as they try to avoid offending the white flight republicans they covet and black voters they absolutely depend on. They know the “law and order” monstrosities was about appealing to Karen who are fine with distant black celebrities but cringe when they might run into an actual black person.

      Given their strategy is to win White Flight Republicans and not organize, the messaging will be absolutely insane, and Obama won’t be there to make empty promises anymore or drink water someone labeled as Flint water and tell us how refreshing it is.

    2. Mikel

      If he’s talking about the T word agent provacateurs cpatured at the Auto Zone and by Bloomenthal and the T word murderers (PLURAL) of G.F., I would agree.

      Slime all of them.

      1. urblintz

        Well if he was he could have said so but made no mention of undercover cop agents provacateurs… an I agree that the white-power violence is terrorism and should be called out clearly and without equivocation…

        his reference to “foreign elements” is something entirely different…

        I’m sure I saw Putin at every one of the protests in every city across the nation… he’s omnipresent!

      2. urblintz

        and now Marc Morial, head on Urban league and former mayor of New Orleans… “if it is… Russians!…” then went on to repeat how “Russians” penetrated the Black community w/ propaganda and upended the 2016 election…

        it will never stop…

          1. urblintz

            yes, I saw that last night and West was not only explicit in condemning the corrupt ideologies of both political parties, he was not at all upbeat or happy about it – which is usually his preferred demeanor. It’s clear he wanted to make a point which he knows has been ignored by the partisan MSM and which he considers most important. Cooper listened well enough but his response ignored West’s criticism of the “neo-liberal” Democrat agenda.

    3. Carolinian

      international elements


      CNN center is in the heart of downtown Atlanta and right next to a large space that was once the Olympic park. It may have been attacked just because it was there and not because protestors finally decided they’d had enough of Wolf Blitzer.

      In a more innocent time the building was called the Omni and the CNN space was occupied by The World of Sid and Marty Kroft.

      1. rowlf

        Putin has a history of going after Georgia. Remember when John McCain was always going on about Columns Of Russian Tanks in Georgia? I kept looking around but I never saw any.

        I did notice the Atlanta leadership used the Russian technique of offering to let people work with either Sergey or Sergey.

      2. Procopius

        It may have been attacked just because it was there and not because protestors finally decided they’d had enough of Wolf Blitzer.

        I saw a post somewhere that the Atlanta Police Fifth Precinct headquarters is in that same building. Don’t know how to fact check that assertion.

    4. dk

      From this thread from @JoyAnnReid:

      Mayor Carter said EVERY person arrested last night during the protests was from out of state. The governor said it is at least 80 percent, and that they will begin releasing the names. Dept of Safety Commissioner John Harrington says they are contract-tracing arrestees:

      Gov. Walls acknowledged the legitimate “rage and anger” over the police-involved killing but “last night was a mockery of pretending it’s about George Floyd’s death or about disparities.”

      This pressure just gets more remarkable. Mayor Frey says on Tuesday the protests were very different. He says the masks worn by the protests after they morphed were about disguise, not covid safety.

      Mayor Carter says they saw mayhem starters throw incendiary devices and then run behind legit protesters and “use them as a human shield.” He says being out after curfew allows yourself to be used.

      This is now a story not just about grief, anger, protest, George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, it’s about infiltration and deliberate mayhem inflicted on the very communities that are hurting — both because of police brutality, and due to cove—per the mayor 1,000 deaths to date.

      This tallies with reports about a Thursday protest here in Albuquerque, NM, where the vocal but peaceful daytime protesters were “co-opted by a few disruptors,” to quote ABQ’s Mayor Tim Keller. After 9:30pm, shots were fired in a side street and the police investigation was harassed by a crowd.

      Deputy Chief Harold Medina thanked the initial group of individuals who participated in the peaceful demonstration. “I want to start by first thanking the first group of individuals that went out. This group of individuals went out and they peacefully demonstrated and they were a good example of what it means to be an American and exercise your first amendment right,” said Medina.

      A second group of individuals were in the area of Wyoming and Central around 9:30 p.m. and were causing a disturbance. Geier stated that a female sergeant was approached by individuals and her vehicle was damaged. “One of our female officers, a Sergeant, was driving in the area. A group surrounded her car, attacked the car. Actually broke the windows and caused some damage to the car,” said Geier.

      1. urblintz

        I don’t think my comment denied, in any way, the presence of outside actors and agree that, more precisely id’ed as white supremecists, “terrorists” is appropriate. So too for undercover cops in costume as
        “anarchists.” I was responding to an ambiguous comment which included reference to “foreign” influence and the MN gov was not talking about out-of staters, imho. In the next segment Marc Morial, Head of Urban league and former Dem mayor of New Orleans. specifically mentioned Russians.

        CNN has yet to report on the possibility of undercover cops in costume and it won’t. According to a comment below, Blumenthal’s tweet has been removed.

        But those damn Russkies are everywhere, according to our Democratic spokesfolks…

        1. Carolinian

          Why do you assume that it was white supremacists? Why not Antifa (not that I am assuming that either). This seems closer to their modus operandi if it was indeed someone other than a cop.

          Plus just as arson is often committed by firebugs who do it for kicks, it’s quite possible that some like to riot for thrills with no political motive at all.

          1. Carolinian

            Just to add–another website which I can’t link has suggested that it is a mostly (but not exclusively) a white rightist group but with a motive that is libertarian–i.e. they too are afraid of the cops or at least claim to be..

            Still…that umbrella. What was that about?

          2. urblintz

            Actually, I don’t assume it was WS’s but I think they have been specifically referenced, as well as antifa, and agree the latter are quite capable of sowing, wrongly, destruction too. Agree completely that there are those who do what they do for kicks, not for political reasons.

        2. dk

          No I didn’t mean to imply disagreement with your comment, I share your concerns. I meant to add related detail reporting (such as it is) and expand on your remark.

          Local journalism is more complete than national coverage, compression effects alone account for this, even before conscious or unconscious selectivity and opinionated verbiage by national media, or higher level officials for that matter. That people still haven’t grasped this reflects decades of poor education in math and logic, focused on linear analysis, misstated theory, and casual dismissal of unknowns.

          I can’t even express my despair at the constant reversion to blaming Russia for everything. It’s thinly veiled left-baiting and gives cover to extremist right/supremacist movements, whose aggressive domestic activity on social media is almost entirely ignored by the mainstream press and commentary, not to mention other off-shore players like Israel and Saudi Arabia. And then there’s China, whose propaganda chops are of an entirely different order, eschewing crass direct media for commercial and academic influence.

          Anyway, your remarks are on point, and I should have made my agreement clear (a good custom here at NC).

      2. urblintz

        Blumenthal has retracted his assertion so I stand corrected on that point. It does not mitigate the “Russian” reference on CNN by Democratic mouthpieces.

    5. Lark

      Obviously this is broadly untrue, but there’s something going on. I live basically in the middle of the riots and have for many years. What I’m hearing from people around me and what I’ve observed:

      1. Businesses and places getting burned that locals would not have burned – and these are free-standing ones off the beaten path of the riots, so it’s not just that things were chaotic. The science fiction bookstore was set on fire – they saw someone break into it and start the fire from inside. This is an old, shabby place that’s been around for decades, not some sparkly crystal palace frequented by tech-bro gamers. A number of examples like this.

      2. Protesters busted four young white guys from WI – affluent-looking ones – for looting. People have been matching up photos of known white supremacist activists who have been seen here.

      3. Local people are having to protect their own apartment buildings and shops from rioters – and again, I’m not talking about rich white local people who live in fancy places. The first couple of nights, protesters were doing their best to avoid apartment buildings, independent and BIPOC-owned businesses and any place that it didn’t make any sense to attack. Of course some windows were going to get broken, etc, nothing can be controlled that way in a riot, but if there weren’t a substantial element of white opportunists and nazis, you wouldn’t see BIPOC saying they had to stand people off overnight, keep hosing down their apartment building, etc. AIM wouldn’t need to be running its own security patrol against protesters.

      “Outside agitators” didn’t start this or burn the police station, but matters are being enormously complicated on the ground by the presence of boogaloo boys and white opportunist looters and arsonists. This should not be obscured when people challenge the whole “but the good people of Minneapolis LOVE the cops, so this must be the Russians” narrative

    6. Massinissa

      I mean… The FBI back in the day baselessly thought the Black Panthers and the like were being backed by the soviets. They had 0% evidence for this, but to my understanding believed it. Ah, the cold war…

      Quite frankly, the idea of Soviets backing black uprising still makes more sense than Putin doing it. I mean just come on, man. He has neither the interest nor the capability of doing such a thing.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        But the Soviets backed the Black Panthers on “The Americans”.

        Great series, and that’s not a spoiler.

        1. Carolinian

          Great series

          Tastes vary. And whatever one thinks of the acting and plotting the idea that the Russians were going around in the eighties bumping off Americans strikes me as considerably less than plausible in the service of an agenda that is downright dubious.

      2. rowlf

        Why not have the Soviets back the John Birch Society and other right wing groups to muck with US policy? If you really want to tie your enemy’s shoe-laces together that would be my approach.

    1. Off The Street

      Rove’s relative absence from view after the W years was a relief. His reappearance has the trappings of a flashback to a bad experience. Some old pols should heed that advice about old soldiers and just fade away.

  11. Mikel

    The entire premise that vandalism is violence needs to be ended.

    Vandalism is done against property.
    Violence is done against people.

    Everyone needs to start pointing that out.

    And while the vandalism is unfortunate for some it in no way de-legitimizes the protests.

    1. LifelongLib

      So if someone breaks your windows or burns your books or tears up your garden they haven’t harmed you, only your property? Ridiculous.

      1. ambrit

        At least you’ll still be around to complain, and plot your revenge.
        Most State backed ‘actors’ would kill you and leave you out on the street for the terror value.
        I’m wondering when the “Domestic Death Squads,” like America trained and supported down in Central and South America, begin to appear here at home. Blowback to the Homeland is almost guaranteed from the deployment of destabilization strategies abroad.
        Never underestimate the depths to which “true believers” in this or that ideology will sink.
        We are entering very dangerous times.

        1. JBird4049

          When the Domestic Death Squads begin to appear here? I am not sure that they ever left although they may have taken a vacation after the 1970s.

          We know that a number of people were murdered by the police in the 1960s for political reasons. We also have evidence for this in the 1870s to the 1930s both by the police and private armed “detectives” and goon squads of not only political activists, civil rights activists, but also of union members.

          Also of the too successful non-white (Asians, Blacks, Latinos, probably Indian business owners) primarily in the Old South, the Southwest, and a few times in the Western States also into the 1930s.

          Today, there is the growing number of police homicides, the underreported deaths in jails, and the almost completely unreported deaths in prisons by police and guards with most of them resulting in no arrests. Some of the stories that I have read of these deaths in incarceration are just horrifying examples of deliberate(?) death by torture. Of course many people die by being deliberately denied medical care as well. Diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, infections, childbirth. and

          What with the many questionable encounters, arrests, assaults, deaths, and the common planting of evidence and even more of testilying, having some modest death squad activity is not that far fetched. Not everyone is as bold as officer Chauvin after all.

          1. ambrit

            I agree with your analysis, but I meant organized groups of para-military persons whose existence is dedicated to the ‘terminal’ liquidation of certain counter status quo individuals and groups. The police forces are multi-role groups. Some actually do traditional police work. “Death Squads” do death, professionally and exclusively. The knock on effects of ‘Death Squad’ actions can be counted as collateral effects above and beyond the deaths themselves. Many political murders double as terror actions. Such could be one aspect of the present policy of “extreme” policing actions. Scare the public into submission.
            There is credible evidence that the Pinkerton Detective Agency had killers on the payroll to murder Union activists during various strikes and other ‘actions’ back at the turn of the Twentieth Century.

            1. JBird4049

              The Pinkertons had assassins on the payroll? Interesting.

              I don’t think that organized death squads like those of the El Salvadoran political party AREANA or the Atlacatl Battalion. Not even something like the Argentine Dirty War. I could very, very wrong, but while I think that violence against, and murder of Americans, by the wealthy, and the American government, is as American as apple pie and has always been so, as a nation we have never quite gotten so focused as to have dedicated death squads; the possible exception are during the mostly successful efforts in the South and Appalachia to “deal” with the cross racial, often socialist, reformers and the unions especially the activists.

              Thinking on this while typing… the South has always been more hands on and organized its use of violence by its elites; since the national government is now dominated by the Southern political establishment again, as it was pre 1864, some of the same patterns of violence and counter-violence seems to be happening.

              The actual left and some of the old pre-neocon conservatives are getting tired of the economic, political and social violence being done to them. The neoliberal security state is allying itself with the alt-right racists of the modern “conservatives” to keep the dirty hippies, blacks, the poors, the deplorables, and any other problem causers in their place.

              Maybe we will see a homegrown Operation Condor after all.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                Re the Pinkertons, absolutely. They ran private armies in the 19th century, so killing was part of the service offerings.

    1. Carolinian

      Haven’t seen the vid but he was reportedly carrying an umbrella, bringing to mind those past HK protests. Some deliberate symbolism intended? Perhaps a freelance anarchist?

    2. Michael

      There was a vid from a white guy on the Daily Mail link I think. He was following this white dude with mask and asking questions like “are you a cop?” No I’m with CNN. Who are you with? “Are your friends in the car with CNN too?” Then he goes up to the car and asks the two white guys in it and they blow him off. He finishes on their license plate. So maybe we’ll find out.

      1. barefoot charley

        That’s the Max Blumenthal tweet where he thinks a provocateur is posing as a CNN reporter, but the reporter’s identified and Blumenthal takes back the story. Hmm, even reporters look like cops . . . my tinfoil’s tingling!

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I saw the vid which is now down. His surmise was not unreasonable.

          Fat middle aged white guy in protestor gear gets out of black SUV on a deserted block. It must be the only car on the block. Max asks why he is there, says he’s a local, asks if he’s a cop. Guy gets weird and evasive and finally say’s he’s with CNN.

          Max goes back to the SUV. Two guy sitting in front seat. Max asks why they are there. They are evasive. Max asks if they are cops. They say no. Max asks if they are with CNN. They say no. Max says the guy who just left the car said he was with CNN. They deny again and roll up the window.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “The chief of police in Atl is talking to everyone in the crowd at the protest”

    Now that is real police work in action. A master class in how to de-escalate a situation and not to take it to the next level with shouting and a show of weapons. She went out in normal uniform and no war gear at all. Her name is Erika Shields and she has an interesting background-

    1. LawnDart

      Agree that is how it should be done, and it shows that she has the courage to stand on more-or-less equal terms with the protesters as a person of authority, quite unlike the gang-bangers in blue who demand authoritarian compliance.

      Sadly, she’s a rare breed. A lot of USA cops have little education and lack emotional maturity.

    2. curlydan

      And for more master classes, I recommend watching about 25 episodes of the Andy Griffith Show. I’m being serious BTW. If police go in with no guns, you can bet they are going to get a lot better at de-escalation because their lives and others’ lives depends on it.

      And how can we protect police better in a situation where no or fewer guns are present? 1. The guns are always “back at the station”, but only broken out when absolutely needed and called in. 2. I always thought establishing free and extra “life insurance” for police killed in the line of duty would be a good idea. It acknowledges that policing is dangerous (though not the most dangerous occupation in the U.S.) and should be a public service, and if a tragedy happens, this officer’s family at least is “taken care of” in some respect.

      Getting rid of guns won’t help George Floyd of course since he had a knee to his neck, but at least it’s a start and a way to begin de-escalation and de-militarization.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Also Andy Griffith lived in Mayberry. There is room for corruption, but the federales can investigate and provide oversight. In the end, being a potential pariah when one goes home is a problem.

        I think we’ve crossed a point where the problems with long term police recruitment means we need to look at conscription and limiting times people can be in the police. I want to say this isn’t some argument for national service as much as we need to purge the police but still keep many of the activities. I do think professional careers in places with so much potential power leads otherwise “law abiding” citizens to look the other way when a career is on the line. It can’t be a career anymore.

      2. neo-realist

        Apples and Oranges. Not only was Mayberry a small peaceful town as opposed to an economically cut throat urban center, but the miscreants Andy had to deal with were rather tame. As if Otis the Drunk were some kind of violent felon with a chip on his shoulder from economic oppression and race discrimination! Contrived TV (un)reality that represented little of the tensions brewing in America at the time.

        1. magnolia culdesac

          I did love the show growing up and in syndication, despite its lack of cultural diversity, trivialization of domestic violence and alcoholism, etc. It’s funny to think that about a 30 minute drive south (on old blue highways) from the real Mount Airy was Greensboro, where major protests were going on simultaneously and tanks were rolling down Benjamin Parkway. Or that one of its most brilliant characters/depictions was by Rock Hudson’s life partner Jim Nabors. The show actually presented a few things about mid-20th century NC pretty accurately…maybe the most accurate was the complete erasure of the experience of anyone who fell outside the mainstream narrative.

          1. urblintz


            snopes says “false” about Hudson/Nabors with much detail… and adds:

            “Although rumors of Nabors’ homosexuality floated about for decades after the 1970s, they were not publicly confirmed until January 2013, when Nabors and his male partner of 38 years, Stan Cadwallader, traveled to Washington (a state which had just legalized same-sex marriage the previous month) to finally tie the knot.”

        2. Polar Donkey

          Do y’all remember the episode when the poor farmer Rafe Hollister refuses to get a tetanus shot? Barney and county nurse try to force him too. Rafe holes up in his house and starts shooting at people. Andy goes to Rafe’s house to calm him down. Rafe starts shooting at Andy. Andy gets mad and walks through yard and into house to get Rafe, all the while Rafe shoots at Andy 5 or 6 times. Everyones amazed at Andy’s courage. Andy knows Rafe, besides being poor and scared, he is the best singer and best shot in the county. If Rafe wanted to actually hurt anyone, he would have. Andy takes him to jail, tells him a story about what his death from tetanus would be like. Rafe takes the shot and Andy let’s him go. I guess the whole meaning of the Andy Griffith show is the value of community policing and lying to people to spare their emotions.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Germany’s Merkel rejects Trump invite to attend G7 summit in Washington: Politico”

    Angela Merkel is about 66 years old and has health issues such as having the shakes. To go to the States just so Trump can be made to look good when a video conference could do the same? That would be nuts that. She would be in contact with scores of people and the White House has already had Coronavirus breach it. If she got sick and died soon after returning home, would Trump even care? I am sure that Angela would. No wonder she said nein.

  14. allan

    Shorter Big Pharma: You will pry my patent rights out of my cold, dead hands.

    Don’t know if this was linked to before, but in case not:

    Pharma leaders shoot down WHO voluntary pool for patent rights on Covid-19 products [Stat News]

    The heads of some of the world’s largest drug makers expressed a mix of confusion and resistance to a World Health Organization voluntary pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing Covid-19 therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics.

    The WHO effort reflects mounting concern that some Covid-19 medical products may not be accessible for poorer populations. By establishing a voluntary mechanism under the auspices of the WHO, the goal is to establish a pathway that will attract numerous governments, as well as industry, universities and nonprofit organizations. But not every executive likes the idea.

    “At this point in time, I think it’s nonsense, and… it’s also dangerous,” said Pfizer (PFE) chief executive Albert Bourla in remarks at a forum Thursday organized by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations. Companies are “investing billions to find a solution and, keep in mind, if you have a discovery, we are going to take your (intellectual property), I think, is dangerous.” …

    But remember, We’re All in This Together™.

    1. Massinissa

      Spending 4 billion on a company that gets instantly annihilated… Lol. Will take him a lifetime to get a reasonable ROI on that company.

      1. eg

        Worse than AOL-Time Warner? I thought that remained the most epic-fail merger of all time?

  15. Pelham

    Wow. If I thought Biden would truly push to revoke Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, I might consider voting for him on that basis alone.

    Biden apparently thinks this would force the online mega-platforms to exercise more moderation/censorship. Maybe it would, although trusting hydra-headed corporations to govern freedom of speech strikes me as ominous. On the cheerier side, it might be impossible. Instead, it could serve to kill off the platforms. We’d lose a lot but gain more, in my estimation.

    Of course, I’m speaking as an embittered former journalist whose 32-year career was destroyed largely due to platforms’ Section 230 exemption from legal liability that has allowed them to thrive and nearly destroy the newspaper industry. Nothing would delight me more than to watch Facebook, Twitter et al nose over into a death spiral.

    1. Carolinian

      Zuckerberg has said that he opposes what Twitter did and he’s against such a revocation should it truly happen. Section 230 shields the platforms from legal liability for what people write or say on their space–at least that’s how I understand the crux. Once you start editing/censoring content then you become more like a newspaper where libel laws apply.

      When it was first suggested that Google was discriminating against some content I didn’t believe it because it seems so harmful to their business model. Presumably these platforms have now become so powerful that they see the government as more of a threat than disgruntled customers and therefore feel the need to either kowtow or openly oppose politicians who might hurt their interests.

      1. Pelham

        Thanks for the reply.

        I suppose it would be possible to have a platform that truly doesn’t edit content but does identify each participant, who in turn would be legally liable for whatever they post rather than the platform. Participants could even be anonymous unless they post something legally actionable, at which point the platform would turn their real identities over to the authorities. This would be a clear stipulation for each person’s participation.

        As for politicians, it actually amazes me that a Democrat would take the stand on Section 230 that Biden takes. Some Republicans are making noises in this direction, but their motivation appears to be all about flinging open the gates to more unvarnished right-wing content — which is fine but limited. The tech giants are all friends with the Dems, so I wonder whether Biden is quite aware of what he’s proposing.

      2. Acacia

        Why is it harmful to their business model?

        I would think it’s precisely the opposite. If Google didn’t discriminate, their search results would be full of pornography, hate, SEO scammers, link farm bullsh*t, and generally look a lot more like 4chan.

        Ergo, it is completely in line with their business model to discriminate and censor heavily, the goal being the Internet equivalent of “a clean, well-lighted place”.

        Note that I am not saying they should be discriminating and censoring, just that it directly serves their business interests to do so.

  16. Pelham

    Re AOC’s and the Green New Deal’s open door for nuclear: Personally, having gone back and forth on this over the past 40 years or so, I welcome AOC’s remark. But whether or not nuclear needs to be part of the green mix of energy resources (or, as I now think, it needs to be the dominant part), the issue can be endlessly debated. And that’s a big problem because we’re out of time.

    It’s a bit like the situation with COVID-19. The more one pays attention, the more confusing it all is, with death rates attributed to COVID either over- or understated and a variety of mostly unreliable tests confined to meaninglessly small population samples, etc. etc. The one straw I find possibly worthy of grasping in all this is the rate of excess deaths. Either you’re dead or not, and if deaths in a given time span in a given locality add up to a number significantly more than the average, it’s probably due to the virus.

    Similarly, how is the world doing on carbon emissions year to year? We’ve had decades of massive investment in wind and solar. How are we all doing? Well, emissions continue to climb (except during economic catastrophes). So it seems reasonable to conclude that wind and solar aren’t doing the job. We have just a few years left to fix this. Should we continue down this path?

    1. TXMama

      IIRC wind and solar compromise only about 10% of the energy produced in the US. So it seems like the increase in emissions is due more to the fact that such a low per centage of these are in use.

      1. TXMama

        Wikipedia (sorry) says “According to preliminary data from the US Energy Information Administration, renewable energy accounted for about 11% of total primary energy consumption and about 17% of the domestically produced electricity in the United States in 2018.”

        1. solarguy

          I’ve been working full time in the solar electricity field for 20 years.
          Here are the real numbers just for our electrical energy usage in the USA. 2019 numbers from EIA.
          63% is fossil fuel
          20% nuclear
          17% renewables: hydro 7%, wind 7%, biomass 1.5%, solar 1.5%

          So how much more solar would we need to install to replace that 63% of Fossil fuel?
          We used in 2019 about 4,000 billion kWh, 63% of that is 2,520 billion kWh. Solar using a super simplistic formula would take 2,500 billion watts. 1 watt of solar produces between 1 and 1.7 kWh per year, I’m using 1 kWh year because of production being lower in the winter.
          2,500,000,000,000 watts, or 2.5 trillion watts of solar.
          To get to all solar for just electricity, in 10 years will take 250 billion watts of PV per year. Last year we installed about 12 billion watts, up from about 10 billion watts in 2018, a fraction of what we need to install.

          I’m no fan of nuclear, but if you are afraid of global warming as I am, then we have to get as much non carbon based production as quickly as possible and that does include nuclear.

          1. a different chris

            Wait you mean we only need 25x what a young industry* produced in 2018? That’s not a real steep curve for a 10 year target. Most business plans are at least that optimistic. Of course they are crap, and I agree that is not an easy target…

            However they can’t build a nuclear power plant to save… well everybody’s life at this point. Let alone in 10 years.

            Also you said PV? That’s not the best way to get heat from the sun, of course.

            Negawatts, methinks. COVID-19 seems to think so too. The real problem is groaf.

            *yeah, I know it doesn’t seem so new to you…but I think there was about 10 years between the first home-built PC’s and the IBM PC. The world didn’t notice, then suddenly it did. You can be too close to see, is what I’m saying.

            1. Solarguy

              Interesting when you put like only 25x. Yes it’s possible to scale up, but only incremental growth is happening, too slow.
              As to heat, solar PV doesn’t use heat. Wind does however.

              Negawatts as Amory Lovens says is yes the first line of any energy supply chain reduction. However even he will say that will only get you so far.

              The idea of SMR, factory made, would allow for extremely fast production.

              It’s not any one carbon free energy source, it’s all of them, and now please.

    2. Billy

      Nuclear is not “green” except for the taxpayer cash flowing to all aspects of the industry, which is nothing more than an extension of the nuclear weapons producing complex.

      Nuclear power should give environmentalist a courtesy sales call after Fukushima and the surrounding area is 100% clean and Japanese government officials, or American nuclear engineers and their families, are willing to live in the nearby village.

    3. Adam Eran

      “Should we continue down this path?” is a question that assumes “Yes” is a possible answer. “Unsustainable” means “no” is the only answer. So here’s my 2¢ prediction: we’ll attempt to continue, ignoring climate, COVID-19, riots, extreme weather, etc. until a string of catastrophes results. I see no public appetite for anything else…as much as I’d like to be wrong.

      Some good news is that story linked in NC recently about a cheaper catalyst that can produce hydrogen, likely cheaper than the lithium ion batteries that are the best electricity storage now.

      1. D. Fuller

        These nuclear reactors could be used as a stopgap. Details of a safer design invented more than 50 years ago in The US. Blocked by the nuclear industry.

        As for thorium reactors, almost impossible to research in The US. Thorium also has its own issues such as requiring uranium as a neutron source and production of dangerous by-products.

        The nuclear industry wants to hold onto their old ways. They have guaranteed subsidies and revenue streams. Just like American factories that refused to upgrade their tooling, only to be overtaken by foreign competition who used more efficient, newer tooling.

    4. D. Fuller

      There are safer nuclear reactor designs. The nuclear industry has blocked those. The Nuclear Regulatory Agency acts as an arm of the private nuclear industry in blocking alternative designs. Thorium reactor research is almost impossible to research in The US thanks to private nuclear industry and their captured government agency.

      Remediation of nuclear waste has not been sufficiently developed.

      1. Acacia

        A system of remediating nuclear waste was attempted in Japan and has utterly failed. I invite you to read up on the Monju reactor, and what an utter boondoggle that proved to be.

    5. Portlander

      Molten Salt Thorium is the way to go: inherently stable, non-proliferation proof, short-half-life fission products. If Alvin Weinberg had been listened to (head of reactor design at Oak Ridge during WWII), rather than Rickover, Thorium based fission-electricity might well have been too cheap to meter. Even Edward Teller came around to advocating the Thorium fuel cycle. China is working on it.

  17. Lee

    Pandemic, economic desperation, explosive racial tensions, elites with their heads firmly planted up their asses: it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

  18. MRLost

    For the last couple of months I had wondered what would push COVID-19 off the front page. Now we know …

    What I had expected was something later in the summer, something coordinated with the planned Israeli annexation of the West Bank. Not that the Lamestream Media will pay much attention to the Israelis actions since (1) it won’t be “news” in the sense that everybody will already know what’s going to happen and (2) the Lamestream folks don’t cover Israeli war crimes much anyway. What I am / was looking for was for somebody – think Erdogan – to use the Israeli annexation as cover to do a little bit of annexing of their own: Turkey could really use a few oil wells.

    1. Massinissa

      I’m beginning to wonder if we aren’t going to see further violence over the course of the summer, as some kind of loose analogue to the the 1919 Spanish flu’s ‘Red Summer’.

      Who would be doing violence to whom in such a scenario, I don’t claim to know. Any way its sliced, I pray I am wrong.

      1. ambrit

        I regretfully agree with your analysis. The basic components for a “Long Hot Summer” are in place.
        Around here, the sharp uptick in simple property crimes hasn’t freaked out the self identified “middle class” yet. I’m rather fearful that someone eventually will embark on a program of home invasion style crimes. If the traditional Southern socio-economic divisions apply here, as they do elsewhere in the social matrix, expect to see a major surge in Race Based Vigilantism.
        “The sins of the fathers…etc.”

    1. urblintz

      of course it has… and now tptb will arrest him on specious charges… again… like the Venezuelan Embassy affair… I suspect if his dad wasn’t Sid he’d have been Assanged long ago…

      1. urblintz

        Blumenthal has corrected his tweet (see comment below) and I too stand corrected…

  19. jef

    “The ‘Liberal World Order’ Was Built With Blood”

    I have been harping on this for decades. I know, I know it gets old…just like another death from being black is getting old.

    There is a relatively tiny group of people who tell us that this is just how it is, how it has to be but it is pure bullshit.

    If we insist on standing up for the rights of some american but can not stand up for the rights of the millions of others around the world whom we are responsable for putting a knee on their necks then we are hypocrites.

  20. Cuibono

    That’s some apologia for Captain Cook and white colonialism. The lawyerly parsing is enough to make one sick to the stomach.

    1. The Rev Kev

      First Contact is always fraught with danger as well as opportunity. The British at the time may have not have thought about it in such terms but that is what it was. Huge areas of the maps were totally blank and nobody had any idea of what sort of people lived there. I sometimes think of the First Contact of the Roman Delegation that went to visit the Chinese Imperial Court. That would have been wild that.

      1. ambrit

        What might have happened if the Roman Delegation had traveled to China by sea? The two groups were aware of each other’s existence, in a vague, “There Be Monsters Here” sort of way. If one of the groups could have demonstrated a relatively quick and easy method of regular contact and exchange?

        1. The Rev Kev

          There was some sort of trade going with at least silk making its way to Rome but not much more than that from what I understand. I guess that the distances were too vast and the civilizations too different. Be interesting if there was regular contact by sea though they would have had to transship at Suez. Still, can you imagine a trip by horse from Rome to China? The merchants of the Silk Road would have had nothing on that trip.

    2. eg

      If you think the article itself is bad, do NOT enter the comments section without donning a cognitive haz-mat suit. Yeesh …

  21. farmboy

    1968 as analog, starting where leaving off yesterday.
    Apr4, MLK shot and killed, sparking riots in more than 100 cities inUS, 39 dead, 2600+ injured, 21,000 arrested
    Apr6, 90m shootout w/Black Panthers and Oakland police, police shoot Bobby Hutton as he surrenders
    Apr11, LBJ signs Fair Housing Act, last landmark civil rights law he signed
    Apr23, ColumbiaU students take over 5 bldgs, Apr30 1,000 officers arrest 700, 132 students injured,4faculty,12 police officers
    Apr29, Hair opens on Broadway, 1,700 performances, sex drugs rock n’roll draft resistance
    May6, Riot between police and 5,000 students in Paris, within a week workers are sympathy striking
    May10, US an NorthVietnam begin Paris peace talks
    May17, 9 antiwar activists, including a priest, enter the Selective Service in CatonsvilleMD, remove 400 files, burn in parking lot with homemade napalm. Jailed for 24-42months. 300 similar raids on draft boards over next4 yrs
    May27, SCOTUS rules burning draft card not free speech
    June3, Andy Warhol critically wounded, accused gets 3 yrs
    June4, RFK, shot and killed.
    I was 17, grief had already found me

  22. DJG

    I recommend the Daily Mail article about events in the U S of A: Dozens of photos and videos, quite unlike any domestic coverage. I had access to.

    Lee, upthread, mentions a long, hot summer: The U.S. political elites and business class had plenty of warning that the COVID outbreak in China was deadly serious. Yet they couldn’t be bothered: Impeachment was more fun, looking for hoaxes was more fun, saluting freedom fighter Guiadó was more fun, trolling for war in the Middle East is more fun, tearing up the speech was more fun.

    Now we have 25 percent unemployment, enormous numbers of freshly un-health-insured, no moratorium on housing payments, continued looting of the public purse, and “reopening” when the numbers in most states are still too high.

    Is anyone surprised? Yet I’m seeing people whose class interest calls for them to act surprised.

    One of the reasons for looking at the Daily Mail’s collection of photos is to see that the demonstrators are a mixture of races: This is the biggest fear of the Monoparty. Divide and conquer using race isn’t working according to plan. That was one of the reasons for razing Occupy Wall Street to the ground.

    I also note Carl Nyberg’s amazing tweet thread: Bernie Sanders was the compromise.

    Trump, the personification of the U.S. tendency to manage by chaos, is awaiting vicious dogs to protect him. Cerberus?

    I eagerly wait Hillary Clinton’s public appearances to calm the waters. I hope that she can tear herself away from yoga. Surely someone in the Democratic Party is more effective than Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden?

    Where’s Claire McCaskill when we need her?

    It is going to be a defining summer.

  23. dk

    Late update, Max Blumenthal has taken down his tweet alleging a person identifying themselves as a CNN reporter was an undercover ccop.

    A CNN staffer just wrote to claim guy getting out of a SUV was in fact @JayMcMichaelCNN. I asked his friends in the van – on a street blocked off to all traffic by police – if they were cops or CNN and they not only refused to identify themselves, they attempted to deceive me.

    I should not have been so definitive in the language I used in the above tweet but watch the prevarication and deception by the guys in the SUV on an otherwise empty street completely barricaded by police and judge their bizarre behavior for yourself.

    More here, including the footage of the interactions:

    Just sent this comment to CNN comms: I’ve updated w/ info CNN provided to me & have no intention to mislead anyone – as the two men in the vehicle on a street barricaded by DCPD clearly did with me. I asked them directly if they were CNN or police & they attempted to deceive me.

    I believe the info provided to me & therefore owe @JayMcMichaelCNN an apology. However, I wasn’t anywhere near an angry mob or even remotely threatening. I was on a street blocked off by police. There wasn’t much excuse for the personnel he was with flagrantly deceiving me.

    1. Harold

      It is odd that they are dressed in a sort of uniform — the sort typically identified with “anti-fa” — whatever that is. Let’s see what kind of coverage these CNN reporters provide, is my reaction.

    2. J.k.

      Yes , I saw the original video as well, and i too would have thought them leo from their behavior. Amazing that they are so afraid and or ashamed to admit they work for cnn! Why was the guy walking away comfortable admitting it but not the two guys sitting safely in their car? Maybe they are afraid of redheads.

      1. dk

        Reporters are at risk too these days, they might have worried that Blumenthal was the cop, or an unfriendly agitator (white guys y’know, what reputation we have left isn’t very good). Distrust points in all directions.

        Here are some police literally firing into the camera of a local news crew who wandered a bit.

  24. none

    Chavin’s divorce-seeking wife

    Apparently divorces like this (after the arrest but before the civil lawsuits can get underway) are routine in these events. They let the wife and kids hold onto assets after the cop is in bankruptcy. Source: reddit commenters, so take that for what it’s worth.

    1. curlydan

      So I see that ratio and the “Overall” symptomatic case fatality ratio estimate of 0.004. The CDC points out those are from 4/29/2020 BTW. But wouldn’t the “Overall” empirical symptomatic+asymptomatic case fatality ratio in the U.S. be .059 (or using the latest Johns Hopkins U.S. data I see of 103,389 deaths from 1.760M confirmed cases?

      1. Spoofs Desu

        re: ” wouldn’t the “Overall” empirical symptomatic+asymptomatic case fatality ratio in the U.S. be .059″

        I am not sure where the .059 came from. I don’t see it on the CDC link.

        I think the take away is that people (The WHO, John Hopkins, etc) are just making it up as they go and that the actually numbers don’t really matter that much in that the story is already in.

        That’s a good call out though, on the asymptomatic vs. symptomatic. If you include asymptomatic in the above mentioned .0005, I suspect the number goes to something not statistically different than 0.0 mortality rate.

        BTW, these CDC numbers are in line with the Standford and USC research done a month or so ago.

    2. Aleric

      The fatality rates seem extremely optimistic – the fields here don’t line up exactly but assuming that MN has been diligent in collecting data – the symptomatic/fatality ratio for 50 – 69 year olds is .03 instead of .002 to .006 like in the CDC report (which is 50 – 64 year olds, so not an exact comparison). Also arguable is CDC condition is symptomatic vs MN is case ratio. But no asymptomatic people are tested or become cases, right? MN COVID update

      As a 50-69 year old I would be much happier with 1/150 odds of premature suffocation instead of 1/30, and since the CDC report best case scenario has a r0 > 2, everyone is going to get it eventually.

    3. Cuibono

      Sure: this is the same CDC that reversed its stance on just about every aspect of this pandemic so far…
      most recently about choirs

      all politics all the time and not a trustworthy organization IMO

      Now IFR will be WAY LOWER than CFR for sure. Likely in the .5- 1% range when all settles out

      1. Spoofs Desu

        “All politics all the time”. Indeed.

        Regarding “Now IFR will be WAY LOWER than CFR for sure. Likely in the .5- 1% range when all settles out”

        I am not sure what that number or range is based on but it is probably as good as any other number out there, statistically.

        The real problem is that nobody really know what the denominator is, while the numerator/deaths more readily obviates itself. However, you still have the comorbidity issues.

        The only studies I have seen that tries to measure the denominator are the stanford and ucs ones. These studies show that there is not much there there.

    1. ambrit

      That was fun. Now on to the Moon base.
      I would not be surprised to see the Russians and Chinese teaming up for a co-prosperity Lunar Sphere.

  25. J.k

    “Alabama opens and the coronavirus hits harder”.

    Like my old boy Trotsky used to say about war, “ you may not be interested in the coronavirus, but the coronavirus is interested in you.”

  26. Amfortas the hippie

    Paul Garner: Covid-19 and fatigue

    my, my. what a maroon.
    he “gets better” and goes on a yoga marathon, then tries to run a few miles?
    and wonders why he crashes and burns?
    my stepdad’s rule of thumb(paraplegic veitnam vet): for every day you spend in the bed, it takes three days to get over.
    in my long experience with terrible neck-down arthritis, I can attest to the accuracy and utility of that statement.
    it’s hard on you to just lay there…no matter the reason for it.
    after both hip operations, i had to learn to walk again…because even a week was enough for my body and brain to forget.
    μηδὲν ἄγαν, dude.

    1. JBird4049

      It’s not that bad for me, but having a two week bout of pneumonia, it took me over a month afterwards to completely recover. Same with my shredded knee except that took a few years.

      Still, I would not be that harsh as the ability to do the routine stuff comes back and you start feeling like you use to and don’t feel what you have lost. Also being unable to move for weeks drives me crazy so I feel compelled to just move. Walking (or hiking!) down the street now feels like walking down the street then and so your stupid brain thinks that you haven’t lost anything until your lungs or knee says differently.

  27. MIkerw0

    Here is what I am hoping for from NC. A well thought through analysis and commentary on the record amount of debt that has been issued in the last 1-1/2 months. We have an economic shambles on our hands and increased corporate leverage. Am I missing anything, or how can this work.

    Note: KKR, and others , are raising large, new credit funds. They are acting as though this is a replay of 2008-09, and the credit cycle will quickly turn in their favor and the Fed has their back. They aren’t stupid. What are they thinking.

    Note 2: both Roubini and Galbraith has appeared in NY Mag saying we are in depression and the latter actually calling for a dent jubilee, explaining why conventional Econ is wrong and their models don’t work, and MMT is essentially correct. Hmm.

    1. Lil’D

      I’m not going to give much substance but the government debt by itself is not the issue. What counts are real resources
      The current massive increase is only “good” or “bad” in context of where it’s going.
      In my opinion, bad, as it’s basically bailing out elite institutions
      It is not unreasonable to believe the fed put is at massive scale and thus downside risk is minimal but I just can’t stomach it…

  28. Basil Pesto

    it’s been mentioned above in passing in comments but I think it’s worth clarifying: Blumenthal deleted the tweet quoted above in the links, as the man he captured in the video was indeed a CNN reporter, not a cop. Blumenthal also offered an apology, and a somewhat mealy-mouthed one, it has to be said. A bad look for him.

    1. Aumua

      That’s what happens when you make bald faced statements about who’s a cop, when you really don’t know. I mean at least qualify your accusations.

        1. Aumua

          You can be suspicious and express your suspicions without claiming to know shit that you don’t know.

          1. richard

            Those 2 guys in the car ONE HUNDRED PERCENT looked, behaved and responded like cops, and even though the “protestor” turned out to be a CNN correspondent, I’m still not convinced from what I saw that the SUV crew were not cops or “law enforcement” or “security” of some kind. They refused to identify themselves.
            Rev Kev is right, imo. Blumenthal had every cause to be suspicious, to confront them and record the scene, and to voice his suspicions. I don’t give a shit if he got it wrong, or part of it wrong. He did the right thing. Stop blaming the victim, and considering Blumenthal’s past history with cops he gets to count as a victim too, despite his pale skin.

  29. Sam M

    Michael Hudson’s comment on the Dem party being a wedge between real change and the GOP continues to grow in relevance even beyond the financial sphere. If the dems were even half serious about winning and reform they would be siding with the protestors and creating alleys for them to vote. While also making voting easier, universal, and by mail. Here lies another opportunity for progressives to jump into action and seize the issue of police brutality and the underlying economic and social causes as one they can solve with dramatic policy changes, not sympathetic tweets.

  30. dcrane

    Re: New Zealand has no new coronavirus cases and just discharged its last hospital patient. Here are the secrets to the country’s success. Business Insider

    New Zealand brought its lockdown measures into force around the same time as countries like France and Germany, and about the same time as California. Not “early” in relation to the timing of the disease outbreak here. It may be that New Zealand and Australia have done better mainly because the virus was slower to establish here – we’re far away, a small economy, and travel options to get here are limited. (And yes, we’re pretty rural overall.) We had (iirc) only about 20 “clusters” nationwide in all, groups of ten or more infections linked to a common source. Many (most?) of our cases were people whose sickness was recognized as or soon after they returned from overseas, or their immediate family. The contact tracing app mentioned in the article only just appeared and is not widely used at all.

    So kudos to the government for doing the necessary job of calling for a lockdown (and the essay is correct that Kiwis are pretty cooperative as a nation). The question now is whether the govt overdid it (about a month and a half). And that to me depends on whether it is reasonably possible (and economically viable) that we can completely eliminate the virus and keep it away while we wait for a vaccine. If not, we should have reduced the financial and social impact of lockdown (e.g., 3 weeks or so rather than 6) and tried to manage with a lower incidence of the virus. This essay suggests that NZ has taken on a much larger financial burden than other countries.

    1. dcrane

      Second sentence in 2nd para added late and doesn’t make sense. NZ didn’t begin the lockdown early relative to the overall progress of the disease worldwide. (And we were late to close the border, like everyone else. Just a few weeks earlier and we probably could have avoided a lockdown entirely.) NZ and AUS had a bit more time to observe what was going on worldwide, so were able to impose lockdown earlier in progress of disease locally.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I have my doubts about that article as the business community wanted everything to open early in New Zealand which meant overseas tourists. Same here in Oz as business wants the whole country to open up and ignore those clusters of virus. They do not recognize that if not done right, you get a second wave and maybe a second lock-down. I heard that they want the return of overseas students and tourists again for the good of the economy. Some idiots in New Zealand tried to sue the government to open up because markets. Some people cannot help but think with their portfolio.

  31. fresno dan

    Such killings would likely not occur without the sense of impunity conferred on police in much of this nation. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a top contender for Vice President candidacy for Joe Biden, was the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County (including Minneapolis) from 1998 to 2006. Klobuchar, who was nicknamed “KloboCop” by detractors, “declined to bring charges in more than two dozen cases in which people were killed in encounters with police” while she “aggressively prosecuted smaller offenses” by private citizens, the Washington Post noted. Her record was aptly summarized by a headline early this year from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press: “Klobuchar ramped up prosecutions, except in cases against police.”
    Minnesota cops also benefit from their state’s so-called “police officer’s bill of rights,” which impede investigations into killings by police and other misconduct
    I already mentioned that Maryland has a police officer bill of rights (aka commit murder free card).
    Is there any state that doesn’t have a law designed to grant impunity to the police?
    Such killings would likely not occur without the sense of impunity conferred on police in much all of this nation.

    1. LifelongLib

      Posse Comitatus was originally passed to stop the U.S. Army from battling the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK at that time was a paramilitary force of ex-Confederates that easily overwhelmed civilian law enforcement. PC was a big part of what enabled the South to establish Jim Crow. It is not a protection of our freedoms.

          1. urblintz

            Did you? My point is that Jeh Johnson was wrong… again. It has nothing to do with the KKK or the origins of the PC act, however repugnant. Johnson said posse comitatus prevents the use of the US military for national emergencies… well, not anymore:

            “On January 11, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13528 (PDF)… that, among other things, establishes a Council of Governors, chosen by the President who… will rubber-stamp long-sought-after Pentagon contingency plans to seize control of state National Guard forces in the event of a ‘National Emergency.’

            The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 — which EO 13528 clearly subverts — bars the use of the military for civilian law enforcement. For years Bush tried to accomplish the same thing, especially after his administration’s criminal inactions during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster.”

            What isn’t clear about that?

  32. Aleric

    A block down from this front yard garden debacle came across an injured robin standing stunned in the road, head injury, blood dripping from beak. Couldn’t bring myself to finish it, used sticks to carry it to shady patch of grass, a better place to die at least. Auspices. We built this neo-liberal military industrial civilization, and sent it speeding down the road, our human element is just a bird fighting the wind, trying to stay aloft, and wham.

    1. deplorado

      Piercingly beautiful and sad…

      And the front yard community garden debacle…just sad. Ive been at community meetings where community gardens were opposed – there are nasty small-hearted people.

    2. JBird4049

      “Hypothetical cannabis,” street traffic, and “‘normalizing‘ the presence of community outsiders on front lawns” are the possible so-called problems of a community accessible vegetable garden on a front lawn? Okaaay. Maybe the neighbors just hate people?

  33. GettingTheBannedBack

    Has anyone else taken notice of exactly what tweet upset Twitter so much that Dorsey put a fact check on it? Most of what Trump tweets is half-true or entirely not true. And yet the one tweet that upset Dorsey is the one about something that is actually true.

    Mail-in ballots are ripe for fraud. In every which way. Fraud has been proven in some mail-in ballots.
    So his tweet actually was true and made sense. A first!

    Has Trump just belled the adorable cat looking at that fat bird? Because what if the DNC allies are working right now on the mail ballot redirection, loss and change plan? Peace of mind in a troubled world, cutting out any uncertainty as to who the next President will be. Not fraud at all. Just prudent corporate planning.

    And fwiw, I think that Biden will walk this election in. Even if Joe is polling 5% he will win in a canter. Bows to the voting machines and mail-in ballots on the way to the podium.

  34. anon in so cal

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has imposed an 8 pm – 5 am curfew.

    Protesters chanting “eat the rich.”

    This is more than George Floyd.

    “Garcetti didn’t protect blacks living in the Crenshaw Compton districts from COVID-19 …those areas got heavily slammed w the virus.

    But he’s ready to use the full force of the law and all resources to protect his precious white donor class in Beverly Hills from riot danger.”

    1. JBird4049

      Same nonsense happened with the 1992 Rodney King Riots. Beverly Hills gets the police protection while everyone else’s neighborhoods and businesses are on their own. Same old s***.

      1. JBird4049

        If I understand it correctly, you cannot leave your home, but the curfew does not say that you have to be inside.

        1. WJ

          I believe that is correct. The police used the phrase “light em up” before firing; this is a phrase US military personnel often use to describe attacking the enemy.

          Serve and protect indeed

  35. Lil’D

    Classic protest song
    “Pull the Tregroes”

    Watching the action on the tee vee with a Chardonnay among my pink pussyhat friends
    Remembering what it was like in the 60’s

    Wearing my “R-evolutionary” shirt.
    What do we want?
    Incremental change!
    When do we want it?

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