Links 5/31/2020

Historical city travel guide: Athens, 5th century BC The British Museum Blog

Wartime for Wodehouse New Yorker

Black Injustice Tipping Point

George Floyd riots spiral out of control: Chaos in 25 cities from New York to LA as protesters torch cop cars, burn down buildings and clash with riot police on a fifth night of violence with hundreds of arrests and injuries Daily Mail

Before George Floyd’s Death, Minneapolis Police Failed to Adopt Reform, Remove Bad Officers Marshall Project

Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, And Police Infiltration Of US Protests Caitlin Johnstone

George Floyd protests: Secret Service agents in riot gear tackle protesters who burst through White House barricades on night of chaos Independent

‘Insanity Outside the White House’: After Trump Stokes Tensions, Fresh Clashes Between Police and Protesters in US Capitol Common Dreams

Cops Kill Because We Gave Them The Legal Framework To Do It American Conservative

Why Did It Take So Long to Arrest Derek Chauvin? National Review

Cornel West Says ‘Neo-Fascist Gangster’ Trump and Neoliberal Democrats Expose America as ‘Failed Social Experiment’ Common Dreams

How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country WaPo

The Plague of Racist Cop Murders: Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and the COVID-19 Pandemic Counterpunch

Class Warfare

Who Exactly Is Doing the Looting, and Who’s Being Looted? Jacobin. David Sirota.

Everyone’s ordering delivery, but apps aren’t making money Ars Technico

Overdose Deaths Have Skyrocketed in Chicago, and the Coronavirus Pandemic May Be Making It Worse ProPublica

PRIMARY SNAPSHOTS: PANDEMIC SPOTLIGHTS PENNSYLVANIA’S DISPARITIES Capital & Main

#COVID-19

The safety problem for restaurants isn’t the dining room. It’s the kitchen. WaPo

Masks Are Here to Stay, Even After Covid Goes Away  BloombergQuint

Cut air pollution to help avoid second coronavirus peak, MPs urge Guardian

“We Managed to Stop a Pandemic Wave with Relatively Mild Measures” Der Spiegel

Safely through corona crisis? Go on, take my used mask Qantara

Experts warn of dire global health consequences if U.S. withdraws from the World Health Organization Stat

Science/Medicine

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe and the US BioRxiv

Dogs can sniff out COVID-19 Deutsche Welle

The Finnish COVID dogs’ nose knows! University of Helsinki

Coronavirus: The mystery of ‘silent spreaders’ BBC

Grief, lockdown and coronavirus: a looming mental health crisis FT

Food Security

5am starts, poverty wages and no running water—the grim reality of “picking for Britain” Prospect

US food prices see historic jump and are likely to stay high AP

China?

From keep fit craze to online dating boom: how coronavirus could change Chinese people’s lifestyles SCMP

China Rules Out Animal Market and Lab as Coronavirus Origin WSJ (Davd L)

India

Bharat’s lockdown diet is boiled rice, salt Livemint

The Pillage of India New York Review of Books. Review of William Dalrymple’s latest, his East India Company book, which I’m currently reading, alongside Sudeep Chakrvwarty’s Plassey – also excellent, and well worth your attention.

The Rich Love India’s Lockdown. For the Poor It’s Another Story. NYT

India coronavirus: Why is India reopening amid a spike in cases? BBC

How Cyclone Amphan wrecked Kolkata: Six personal diaries LiveMint

Trump Transition

The exhausting playbook behind Trump’s battle with Twitter MIT Technology Review
Think Outside the Box, Jack NYT, MoDo.
Beijing sees Trump’s hand and won’t fold Asia Times. Pepe Escobar.

An Embattled Trump Unveils A New China Policy American Conservative

Trump postpones G7 summit, seeks to expand invitation list Al Jazeera

Republicans are pressuring judges to retire so they can pack the courts with extremists American Independent (Dan K). Hmm. Not sure there will be many takers, as being a federal judge is a great job and sitting jurists tend to leave feet first – and there’s little pressure that may be brought to bear to accelerate the process.

Trump Given False Credit For Bush- And Obama-Era Space Program Forbes

Syraqistan

Iran’s new parliament speaker says talks with US ‘futile‘ Agence France Presse

Given the vacuum of moral responsibility across the Middle East, who can trivialise the trial of Benjamin Netanyahu? Independent Robert Fisk

Julian Assange

Exclusive images from inside British court expose Assange’s un-democratic treatment, physical deterioration Grayzone

Antidote du Jour (whimbrel as seen near mudflats, Anchorage, AK, 21 May 2020 ~ mgl):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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262 comments

  1. Altandmain

    I was on a call with an acquaintance from Missouri the other day.

    He mentioned that the Democratic Party, because he was a big Bernie Sanders supporter, has been pushing hard for his group to support Biden.

    Apparently back in 2018, the Party put huge pressure on the left in Missouri to vote for Claire McCaskill, who would later lose to Josh Hawley.

    The issue he says is that Hawley in many ways has been for the left a better Senator than McCaskill ever was. We now have a situation, he notes, where the Republican Party is well to the left on economic issues than the Democratic Party is. Hawley of course is no leftie, but the reason why is because the Establishment Democratic Party has been so right wing on many economic issues that it is more of a party of the upper middle class, the top 10%ers than the bottom 90%.

    The issue here is that he says that when he looks at Hawley, he says he sees no reason to stand up for politicians like Biden.

    —-

    Actually there is a bigger thing I’ve noticed. Hawley isn’t the only one. Steve Bannon, Tucker Carlson, and even Trump himself when he campaigned against free trade are now to the left of Democrats on certain economic issues. Another might be the SALT deductions, which mostly benefit the upper 10%ers that the Democratic Party is fighting hard to get rid of the SALT deductions.

    After this discussion with that person, I think that a working class coalition might be the only option between economically left social liberals and economically left social conservatives. It was never a perfect deal, but a repeat might be the only chance to stand up against the rich. It may very well be that the top 10%ers, as I’ve said before, overwhelmingly feel their class interests are with the top 1% and not the bottom 90%. Certainly, the efforts to undermine the Sanders campaign suggest that.

    The “economic despair” base of the Republican Party certainly has something in common with the typical Sanders supporter – the rich have destroyed their futures to make themselves richer, whereas the top 10% have not been as affected.

    As far as Missouri, that person noted that some of the communications from the Democrats are increasingly angry, and there is a lot of blame extending from the party that somehow ordinary people are to blame for the state going from “purple to red”. At this point, he is not convinced that the party is worth supporting nor that he would get a better living standard for most people in his state.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Democrats are increasingly angry, and there is a lot of blame extending from the party that somehow ordinary people are to blame for the state going from “purple to red”.’

      Maybe by going so far to the right, the Democrats are seeing the situation through a Doppler Shift.

      Reply
      1. Bob

        Be careful of the color shift be it Red to Blue or Blue to Red. This can be due to the clever manipulation of voting districts – gerrymandering, voter suppression. or other tricks of the trade.

        The color shift reporting is little crazy in and of itself. A very simplistic view that totally ignores that “All politic are local.”

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In this case Missouri is a fairly prominent case. Rightwing Democrat Claire McCaskill is a regular on msnbc, presented as an election expert when she lost her statewide race asks as an incumbent when those same voters passed a minimum wage increase and medical Marijuana.

          The Team Blue message has been Claire was failed not that she failed.

          Reply
        2. Tomonthebeach

          From my perch on the wire, Red-to-Blue and back and forth is called purple . We do not have two parties – we have one chameleon.

          Reply
          1. GettingTheBannedBack

            Yep, and the next step might be a party of national unity in the face of crisis. As crazy as that sounds.

            Reply
      2. Caveat Emptor

        “Jazz has always had a big spiritual connection with life and our place in the cosmos, searching for answers and finding meaning above us, but now we need to stop looking up and look around before its too late and blue becomes red.”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efSvEg58mL0

        Chip Wickham – Blue to Red

        Reply
        1. occasional anonymous

          What is it with jazz specifically that people are so prone to making weird mystical proclamations about it?

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            It’s all in proportion to jazz being such a high scoring Scrabble word, only highlighted by nailing a double or triple word tally in placement.

            Reply
          2. deplorado

            To me, it’s because jazz is like your inner monologue (or dialogue), your inner voice, set to music.

            Reply
            1. mary jensen

              There isn’t a jazz musician who doesn’t/hasn’t acknowledged JS Bach for his inner voices/dialogues otherwise known as counterpoint and fugue, and very few are the jazz musicians who haven’t acknowledged the late great Glenn Gould for his Bach recordings. Gould’s recordings of The Well Tempered Clavier Books One and Two are a lifetime gift, The Partitas as well, the Concertos as well:

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

              Gould somewhere referred to Bill Evans as the Scriabin of jazz. Evans reportedly recorded “Conversations With Myself” on Gould’s beloved Steinway CD (Concert Department) 318 Concert Grand.

              Reply
              1. Procopius

                I remember reading stories in Downbeat, back in the ’50s, about well-known jazz musicians going the Juilliard School for advanced courses to study fugues. I believe Miles Davis was one.

                Reply
          3. Adam Eran

            First, poetry is for poets, and jazz is for musicians. If you don’t play an instrument, it can be *very* unevenly appreciated. I think of jazz (and improvisation generally) as non-verbal “speech”…which discloses how limiting denotation can be…

            Try the same song (Poinciana) by two different guys:

            Ahmad Jamal

            Keith Jarrett

            This is a “simple” meditation on major vs. minor keys that really makes jazz fans appreciate the two. More to say, but really the music says it all.

            Reply
              1. Big River Bandido

                I sense you meant that as a quip… but when played by people who possess that skills set, but lack depth of perception, then yes that is exactly the effect.

                It’s not actually jazz despite being marketed as such, but Michael Bublé’s music is a perfect example of what you describe.

                Reply
    2. Altandmain

      It was never a perfect deal, but a repeat might be the only chance to stand up against the rich.

      Just to clarify, I was referring to the original New Deal.

      The New Deal is looked upon very fondly at times by the left, but it involved compromises too, particularly with “Southern Democrats” and on a few other special interests.

      —-

      There is a very deep feeling of hopelessness in much of Missouri that person tells me.

      As he notes dryly “Missouri needs a lot of things, but one thing it needs way less of is career politicians with neoliberal economics.”

      A bit of grim reading:

      https://www.stltoday.com/business/columns/david-nicklaus/missouris-50-year-economic-slump-shows-no-signs-of-ending/article_518d58b4-4c5f-56dd-9e25-046b7f4cca4e.html

      Also, from what I’m hearing it is looking like the Democrats still blame the left for the 2016 loss of Hillary Clinton and he sees very similar sentiment at times after 2018 when the Republicans swept through the state. In truth though, part of the loss comes from the total failure to engage with rural voters by the Democratic apparatus.

      Does anyone else familiar with the area have any thoughts?

      Reply
    3. nycTerrierist

      “After this discussion with that person, I think that a working class coalition might be the only option between economically left social liberals and economically left social conservatives.”

      At Rising, Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti have been consistently advocating for this approach, under the banner of populism:

      https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising

      Reply
      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I was just going to mention that. Pushing aside the usual “I don’t agree with everything they say” caveat, I think their approach is refreshing and much needed. Even when Krystal and Saagar disagree, they are able to point out the common ground where they agree. It seems like they’re gaining an audience on the left. I hope the right is paying attention also.

        Reply
      2. Pookah Harvey

        I agree, but (there is always a but) there is one problem. Saagar presents the populist economic ideas of the right very well but presents Trump as the implementer of those ideas. Trump actions, rather than his rhetoric, displays a typical neolib agenda. As long as Trump is President an alliance of populists (as Rising advocates) will never occur unless the Left want to believe that Trump can be agent of change.

        Reply
    4. jefemt

      Did you get to the million dollar question:

      it’s late May, will you be voting Trump, Biden, writing in Bernie, or another, or not voting for a Presidential candidate?

      Reply
      1. Altandmain

        He said that he might back the Missouri Green Party.

        The other point he noted is that if Missouri is going from purple to red, it might not make a difference.

        When the Republicans have the lead they do, for any serious challenge from the Democratic Establishment, they would need to build up a huge network of enthusiastic volunteers in the suburbs and rural areas of Missouri that they have traditionally underperformed in. Lots of driving and going door to door in the smaller, and often forgotten by career politician communities.

        That by nature requires a lot of loyal grassroots supporters, people like the person who I spoke with. One thing to keep in mind is that a very large amount of the Bernie Sanders base was a genuine grassroots movement that campaigned hard.

        Reply
    5. Dan

      Well put. I have maintained for the last few years that Trump won in 2016 because he ran to the left of Clinton – ‘left’ understood in this case as paying attention to the material interests and concerns of working-class people. The border wall, bringing back industrial jobs, confronting China – all of these policy issues spoke to the discontent of the Americans who got kicked to the curb by neoliberalism. The Dems, for their part, could only offer neoliberalism cloaked in identity politics. (IMHO IDPOL is basically a reactionary political stance and is not ‘leftist’ in any essential way.)

      Reply
    6. JohnnyGL

      I think Missouri is a prime example of the flawed, lazy thinking from the mostly partisan ‘vote blue no matter who’ crowd.

      A lot of lefty media adopts the lazy framing that Repubs are always and forever destined to be soulless ghouls who delight in abusing people. Certain figures in the Republican Party fill out the image pretty nicely (Mitch McConnell comes to mind).

      However, when you sent a crappy, corrupt democrat packing off to the talking head news world, like was done with Claire MacCaskill, you open space for someone new that might turn out to be somewhat decent….like a Josh Hawley.

      Keep in mind, when you put a Josh Hawley in there….you do at least a few things:

      1) You wrong-foot crappy dems that rely on calibrating themselves to be just a smidge less bad than Republicans. Now they have to shift to compete.
      2) Also, you create space for disenchanted Republicans to pull their party in a different direction.
      3) You also deprive a crappy dem of the power of incumbency. The next crappy dem now has work to do on fundraising and building name recognition before they can dig in and claim a seat.

      Further to point 2, I think (I hope) we’re going to see a real period of soul-searching take place in the Republican Party if/when Trump loses. It seems like he’s likely to lose due to his own incompetence and refusal to confront precisely those ghouls that have such a tight grip on party leadership.

      People like Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio (who has curiously reinvented himself) are carving out a different agenda and some different political space than the usual Republican Party types. When you kick out a Claire MacCaskill, you open space for insurgents on the right to potentially remake the party. If the populist types on the right win more seats and some of the older, more pro-big business types lose, then things can change quickly.

      Now, of course, the same is true of the Democratic Party. A Biden loss seems like it should absolutely crush the idea of ‘centrists are more electable, now fall in line’.

      People on this site shouldn’t forget that mainstream democrats and cable networks are eagerly pushing the idea that Hillary Clinton was uniquely bad as a candidate and they can safely put that debacle behind them. A Biden win helps reinforce that narrative. But, on the other hand, we’ll see more narrative control attempts to paint Biden as a unique aberration, too. He was too old, his campaign poorly run and organized, he said too many offensive things, mental decline, etc.

      Also, a Trump loss can backfire on the populist right, too. It would help Fox News push the idea that Trump lost because he didn’t adhere to mainstream orthodoxy enough. They’d likely try to spin him as a unique aberration that the Republicans shouldn’t try to repeat.

      I guess my concluding notion is a reminder of the Orwell quote, “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

      Americans will need to decide how to interpret what happens in the next six months.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        “Also, a Trump loss can backfire on the populist right, too. It would help Fox News push the idea that Trump lost because he didn’t adhere to mainstream orthodoxy enough. They’d likely try to spin him as a unique aberration that the Republicans shouldn’t try to repeat.”

        Thats absolutely possible. But its not the only possibility. Having him lose may cause the populist right to romanticize him to a greater extent, and create a sort of ‘Stab in the Back’ myth that he was betrayed by… Something or another, and cause him to essentially be a sort of movement martyr.

        There are many possibilities. Everything is in flux right now. Its difficult to predict anything at all.

        Reply
      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        “ Now, of course, the same is true of the Democratic Party. A Biden loss seems like it should absolutely crush the idea of ‘centrists are more electable, now fall in line’.”

        True of course, but I’m already seeing more articles like this: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/06/putin-american-democracy/610570/

        It’s starting to feel like 2016 all over again, where the DNC and MSM were dropping little hints like this about Russia before Hillary’s wipeout. It felt to me then like they were laying the groundwork for what we now know as Russiagate.

        And of course if Biden wins, that won’t disprove that narrative. It’ll just be “whew, thank goodness for Biden who was able to overcome Russian interference and win the election.”

        Reply
        1. Phillip Allen

          I spend [a fair amount of/too much] time on Facebook, and I’m seeing lots of Dem and Dem-adjacent people whip out some variation of Russia/Putin action as explaining and/or responsible for anything happening of which they disapprove. They still believe fervently that Trump is in office only because of Russian ‘meddling’ and should he be re-elected, it will be only because of further Russian meddling. Likewise, events that reflect badly on neoliberalism and Democratic leadership are likewise attributed to a Moscow address.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            They believe this because the media told them to believe this.

            And, unbelieveably, the heads of the FBI and CIA told them to believe this.

            And, unbelievably, the soi-disant “left” said we should believe those wonderful chaps from the FBI and the CIA on TV.

            And, unbelieveably, each and every one of the Russia-gators, all the way up to the top of the government, was simultaneously testifying, hand on the Bible and under oath, that they had not the slightest shred of evidence for any of the Putin mania.

            So in the spirit of root-cause analysis we clearly see that the media is now absolutely front and center in the selection of our public officials and the direction of the country.

            So faced with a re-sequencing of the nation’s political system’s DNA, what’s a well-meaning constitutional republic polity supposed to do?

            Maybe it’s a set of standards under which a TV channel can then call their product “news”? A requirement to put the word “Opinion” or the word “Entertainment” in bold letters on the screen?

            This is mission-critical.

            But it’s also not a new problem. Would the Vietnam War have ended had Walter Cronkite not intoned on TV “this war may be unwinnable”?

            Reply
            1. GettingTheBannedBack

              In the UK after the Guardian published Snowden’s revelations, the intelligence establishment moved to take over the Guardian. They succeeded https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/how-the-uk-security-services-neutralised-the-countrys-leading-liberal-newspaper/

              Everytime an organisation questions the status quo, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the same tactics are ramped up. The threats, the soft power, the flattering and co-opting, the infiltration. It works.

              So today if you look at the liberal establishment, including the liberal media, social media, liberal political parties, liberal activist groups, you can see that the takeover of the liberal establishment by the security services is almost complete.

              Reply
              1. norm de plume

                I notice that the Guardian, hitherto full access, now requires registration to read articles. At least the Aust edition does.
                The first two paragraphs will have to do then, I suppose.
                Their behaviour on Assange, the fact that Harding still has a job, has cruelled them for me.

                TPTB have stolen our political parties, and our media, and our prosperity.

                What else is there?

                Actually, don’t answer that; not sure I want to hear it…

                Reply
          2. km

            If “Russia” has these amazing superpowers bordering on psychic mind control, where they can spend a measly $105K and flip an election with over $2,000,000,000 (that’s two billion!) in ad spend, why isn’t Stoli the best-selling beverage in the land, guzzled breakfast, lunch and dinner by every man, woman and child, touted by brainwashed docs for its health benefits?

            “Stoli! It’s got…hic…electrolytes!”

            For that matter, why didn’t Russia pony up a few dollars more and get a new Congress?

            Reply
    7. Ed Miller

      RE: Republican “economic despair” base

      One concern I have is that appearing to be on the relative left can be a deceptive strategy, especially now. With the Republicans within 2 states of having control over 2/3 of states – as needed to call a Constitutional Convention – there could be a plan here to get those 2 states by any means possible. If there is a Republican controlled Constitutional Convention, the result will be the end of the republic. That may seem wild but there are so many gears of deception in play now I don’t count out the possibility. Thinking that Karl Rove is behind the scenes somewhere on this.

      We seem to be stuck with bad options, and hopefully the worst won’t happen. With too much scary, scary coronavirus everywhere in the news (instead of better information to help people adjust) and now the Minneapolis murder, the fate of the nation could be at risk more than ever. Watch the Fed carefully.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        If regular order is that easy to tear up and remake, I don’t see why it’s a big deal, outside of the Democrat establishment who loses their position in society, arrogant, entitled familyblogs that they are.

        As long as the Democrats have a right wing, EVERYTHING is their fault. They are a free group of people who can choose to stop anytime they want. ALL moral culpability for the state of affairs belongs on the heads of that Establishment, and I don’t see anyone who’s ever worked for MSNBC, CAP, or any of those other right-wing think tanks getting out of gulag while breathing.

        Reply
      2. BenLa

        “end of the republic”
        How far is your head stuck in the sand? Just need those noble democrats with there pals from the security services to save us!

        Reply
      3. UserFriendly

        within 2 states?
        yeah, after 2016. Now they are like 7 or 8 away.
        Had we elected Clinton you can damn well bet we’d be there.

        Reply
    8. marym

      “…working class coalition might be the only option between economically left social liberals and economically left social conservatives.”

      Not if social conservatism means a definition of working class as a coercive racial, religious, and gender hierarchy, a possibility raised in invoking Hawley or Carlson.

      Reply
      1. Altandmain

        The challenge is that there are going to be compromises no matter what.

        Even if we had a proportional representation system with no interference from the rich, there would be compromises. The European nations with PR and far more strict, although admittedly still imperfect, campaign financing laws are a testament to that.

        The average American voter looks like this.

        https://www.voterstudygroup.org/assets/i/reports/Graphs-Charts/1101/figure2_drutman_73d3873f90a694512aeeb56e0ab92cfa.png

        It comes from here.

        https://www.voterstudygroup.org/publication/political-divisions-in-2016-and-beyond

        There are not enough social liberals to get serious about passing a second New Deal. Much like how the New Deal in the 1930s required compromises with Southern Democrats, any New Coalition will have to involve a coalition that makes compromises.

        Barring that, the political left will remain impotent outside of the cities, potentially some young voters who have low electoral turnout rates, and a few unique states like Vermont.

        Reply
      2. dcblogger

        Not if social conservatism means a definition of working class as a coercive racial, religious, and gender hierarchy, a possibility raised in invoking Hawley or Carlson.
        so good, it had to be repeated

        Reply
    9. Lambert Strether

      Some little-remembered history of Claire McCaskill in election 2012:

      McCaskill ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and faced Republican nominee Todd Akin in the general election. Until mid-August, polling showed them running neck and neck. Then, in a television interview on August 12, Akin claimed that women who were the victims of what he described as “legitimate rape” rarely ended up pregnant. His comments caused controversy and he was criticized by members of both parties. He faced calls to withdraw from the race but did not do so, and McCaskill opened up an increasing lead in opinion polls. Akin’s comments caused a backlash among voters, particularly women,] and McCaskill was re-elected with 54.7% of the vote to his 39.2%.

      In August 2015, McCaskill penned a Politico article describing how she indirectly helped Akin—who she believed would make a weak general election candidate—win the Republican primary. Specifically, her campaign ran ads during primary season criticizing Akin as being too conservative; McCaskill did this to encourage conservatives (via reverse psychology) to vote for Akin.

      I have often wondered whether McCaskill’s ingenious maneuver in 2012 inspired the Clinton campaign’s “Pied Piper” strategy of 2016, in which they “elevated” Trump in the 2016 Republican primary.

      Reply
      1. Altandmain

        The issue is that Todd Atkin essentially self-destructed his own campaign.

        Hawley did not do that in 2018 and seems less likely to do that when he is running for re-election.

        A case could be made that Claire McCaskill has horrendously bad campaigning skills and that when she was facing a more compelling candidate that did not sabotage themselves, that she was doomed. The person who she ran against in 2006, Jim Talent was also a hyper conservative and back then the Bush president was very unpopular for its poor handling of the hurricane Katrina, the Iraq war, along with the plans to privatize Social Security.

        Another consideration is that McCaskill and similar politicians haven’t really been doing much that would benefit their constituents. Missouri is facing long term economic challenges and needs a lot. The very essence of being a part of the government means being a public servant who should, well, benefit the public interest. Neoliberalism is the opposite of that. At most they were able to advertise, “we suck slightly less than the competition’s Republican candidates”.

        I guess the neoliberal Democratic Establishment has been so awful that they inadvertently set up the stage for people who are going to be genuinely less bad like Hawley.

        Reply
    10. dcblogger

      not sure we can form a coalition with people who love baby prisons. Also, I really do not see populist right support for things like card check for collective bargaining or the Green New Deal.

      Reply
    11. Procopius

      This morning, on another blog, a commenter said,”One good thing about a virtual convention, Bernie won’t be able to have his followers riot. Again.” A couple other commenters agreed with him (I think from the nym it was a him), even though it was completely off topic. There are several blogs I like to follow where I dare not post. These people all seem to be fanatical Hillary supporters. Of course, now that I think about it, I shouldn’t be posting there anyway; those people are not my friends.

      Reply
      1. WheresOurTeddy

        nice charts. i’m sure some people with very expensive educations that live the in nice parts of town spent a lot of time on them.

        people in the streets is the only thing that has ever changed anything in this country. ymmv

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          That was gratuitously nasty plus the substance of your response was bullshit. You are already in moderation for previously violations. You are asking to be blacklisted and we will oblige if you keep it up.

          Propaganda has been far and away the most powerful force in changing things in the US. Turned a pacifist US into rabidly pro-war in about 6 months in WWI. Got us into our Iraq sinkhole DESPITE large scale protests in the US (which were not covered; at least a half a million turned out in NYC despite it being a bitterly cold day and the press ignored them) and even larger ones abroad. The movement of the entire country to the right is the result of a long-running, well-funded corporate campaign, which was codified in the Powell Memo in 1971. Please tell me in that document where it called for people in the streets.

          Reply
  2. fresno dan

    Cornel West Says ‘Neo-Fascist Gangster’ Trump and Neoliberal Democrats Expose America as ‘Failed Social Experiment’ Common Dreams

    The system cannot reform itself,” West argued and pointed to a dynamic in which identitarian representation is asked to be a stand in for class equality, shared prosperity, and a functional democracy that actually expresses the will of the people and satisfies the material needs of the working people and the poor.

    “We’ve tried black faces in high places,” he said. “Too often our black politicians, professional class, middle class become too accommodated to the capitalist economy, too accommodated to a militarized nation-state, too accommodated to the market-driven culture of celebrities, status, power, fame, all that superficial stuff that means so much to so many fellow citizens.”

    “You’ve got a neoliberal wing of the Democratic Party that is now in the driver’s seat with the collapse of brother Bernie [Sanders] and they really don’t know what to do,” West added, “because all they want to do is show more black faces—show more black faces. But often times those black faces are losing legitimacy, too—because the Black Lives Matter movement emerged under a black president, a black attorney general, and a black Homeland Security, and they couldn’t deliver.

    Reply
      1. chuck roast

        Hah…Anderson Cooper…the poor little rich boy!

        Back when I was wandering, I developed this nutty little magic act that amused and entertained. I integrated it into bartending gigs. It gave me an edge in the competitive job market. One summer I got a great job as a bartender at a summer stock theatre. After the show the actors, actresses and musicians would show off their talents at the back dinner/bistro stage. I was asked to go on stage and perform a few tricks. Just before I went on, this fabulous baritone belted out Jacques Brel’s Amsterdam and the place went wild. That’s when I first learned the meaning of “a tough act to follow.” Welcome to the not so exclusive club Cooper.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          This wasnt following a tough act. Cooper is probably recognizing people aren’t going to be silent for Biden. Obama dumped on everyone, but Biden won’t get that treatment. Biden won’t pretend to drink Flint water and laugh without widespread criticism. Team Blue won’t be a way of ending the current crisis relative to Cooper’s class.

          Reply
        2. Lou Anton

          He’s rich, but he’s earned what he has in journalism. When I was a kid, we had to watch “Channel 1”, which was basically 10 minutes of Noxema and Oxy-cream commercials and 5 minutes of news.

          Lisa Ling was on it, and so was Anderson Cooper. Ling was almost always in the newsroom, but Cooper was in the field. Specifically, warn-torn Bosnia and Croatia in 1993. He’d broadcast with explosions going off all around him.

          Reply
          1. Merf56

            I agree. I have some serious respect for Cooper as per your post . Also… Remember Katrina? People were literally dying of thirst and starving while the entire damn country and government were wringing their hands. Cooper was spitting bullets on TV, then rented himself a boat loaded it over and over with supplies and ferried them in himself. Without a cameraman filming it either. Drop in the bucket- Sure except for the people who got some food and water but at least he tried and no one else did..
            Maybe let’s not trash every single decent thing anyone does. Nihilism is ugly and paralyzing. Cooper seems to be the only one to actually give Dr West some air time….

            Reply
      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Yuuuup

        Dr West blowing it down AND owning CNN at the same time.

        West/Hudson 2024!

        Reply
    1. Tom67

      We have something very similar here in Germany. What is left of the left (the Social Democrats and “Die Linke”) being hijacked by identity politics. It is the identity politics wing of the left that will swallow anything in the name of “diversity” “inclusion” a.s.o. to get into power. Of course they are being cheered on by the media whereas the old hard left is being vilified. The right is waking up. They have as of yet not officially adopted politics for the working class but their smartest thinkers are recognising the opportunity.One of them wrote lately: “The left is letting their crown jewels lay around. It is time we pick it up.” Really by now I am thinking that identity politics was an invention by the 1%

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        Tell them they tried identity politics 80 years ago and all it ever brings is predatory capitalism and generations of debt.

        Reply
      2. Solidarity, Brother!

        These thinkers are right and on a very deep level.
        One of the largest weaknesses of the European left is that they have completely lost the deep understanding of their own concept “solidarity”.
        Solidarity is in practical terms built bottom-up – the basis being the fundamental psychological in-group/out-group – from core family to extented family to the clan to the village to the city etc.
        Moreover, as long as the in-group delivers according to Maslow’s pyramid, all is good and the in-group can grow. When all is good, everybody are friends. After the neoliberal onslaught on the european countries, the fundaments of higher-level solidarity has been destroyed. Life has consistently gotten worse for most. When crisis occur the you see a break-down of solidarity. As an example, in the beginning of the 90s, the neonazis were everywhere in Sweden. The music charts were topped by nationalist band Ultima Thule https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultima_Thule_(Swedish_band)

        Then times turned a bit better and the neonazis were fading away back to the fringes until they came back in the form of Sweden Democrats the last five years. Now not outright nazis, but main politics being xenophobic = reducing the in-group.

        What the AfD and all other right-wing parties are doing is that they promise a solid in-group that will not be extended by immigrants. To accept immigrants, especially if they look different, is an indeed high level of in-group extension and requires very happy times.

        On top of that, building solidarity is based on focusing on what is common – that is what builds the in-group – not different. Identity politics is the exact opposite.

        Reply
      3. Phillip Allen

        I think IDPOL, if not a natural emergence out of the factional ecosystem of [1% / 9%], was certainly seized upon as a useful tool to minimize or (hopefully) eliminate class analysis from the picture.

        I expect that if a genuinely working class movement is to emerge, it will be out of a coalition what are now thought of as opposing elements – because of the D/R blue/red miasma – and not out of any conventional liberal/left formation.

        Reply
      4. Briny

        Funny, I’m certain they invented idpol. It came from academe as the result of strategic funding.

        Reply
      5. LifelongLib

        I’d say identity politics was an invention of the 10% (basically academics) and the 1% tolerate it because it’s no threat (a couple black woman billionaires, more homeless white guys, so what…)

        Reply
        1. Dermot M O Connor

          From ~1994. IDPOL’s dangers were seen coming a long time ago. Eric Hobsbawm:

          http://radical-vernacular.blogspot.com/2010/09/eric-hobsbawm.html#more

          So what does identity politics have to do with the Left? Let me state firmly what should not need restating. The political project of the Left is universalist: it is for all human beings. However we interpret the words, it isn’t liberty for shareholders or blacks, but for everybody. It isn’t equality for all members of the Garrick Club or the handicapped, but for everybody. It is not fraternity only for old Etonians or gays, but for everybody. And identity politics is essentially not for everybody but for the members of a specific group only. This is perfectly evident in the case of ethnic or nationalist movements. Zionist Jewish nationalism, whether we sympathize with it or not, is exclusively about Jews, and hang—or rather bomb—the rest. All nationalisms are. The nationalist claim that they are for everyone’s right to self-determination is bogus.
          That is why the Left cannot base itself on identity politics. It has a wider agenda. For the Left, Ireland was, historically, one, but only one, out of the many exploited, oppressed and victimized sets of human beings for which it fought. For the ira kind of nationalism, the Left was, and is, only one possible ally in the fight for its objectives in certain situations. In others it was ready to bid for the support of Hitler as some of its leaders did during World War ii. And this applies to every group which makes identity politics its foundation, ethnic or otherwise.

          Reply
  3. Ari

    In late 2018, I served on a jury in Federal Court – Southern District in Manhattan.

    It was an OWS case – against 4 individual cops, and the City of NY overall. The cops were facing numerous state charges of assault and battery and federal civil rights violations. There was a plethora of damning video evidence presented; clearly physically assaulting this woman and violating those rights, detailed eye witness accounts, and lots of hard evidence against these guys.

    Their testimony on the stand was appalling; lies, ‘I don’t recall’, and refusals to answer questions.

    Ultimately, based on the evidence presented alone, according to state and federal statues, we had to acquit them on ALL charges.

    All these videos we are seeing of the protests nationally, I can say from first hand experience, there will likely be little actual justice in any court.

    Reply
    1. Stillfeelinthebern

      Thanks for sharing this. Nothing short of destroying the current state of policing is in order.

      I urge everyone to check out this website: https://www.mpd150.com/ It is people in Minneapolis who have studied and come up with recommendations on what to do about policing.

      “The goal of this initiative is to shift the discussion of police violence in Minneapolis from one of procedural reforms to one of meaningful structural change. We will achieve this by presenting a practical pathway for the dismantling of the Minneapolis Police Department; the transference of its social service functions to community-based agencies and organizations; the replacement of its emergency intervention functions with models not based on military methods; and the redirection of resources to support community resilience and people-directed development.”

      Reply
        1. Bugs Bunny

          This is what I have been hoping for, for years now. Class solidarity. As the French say La Convergence des Luttes.

          Reply
          1. marym

            Schenectady https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-introduction
            Spectrum News Albany @SPECNewsAlbany
            Moments ago, Schenectady police officers took a knee alongside protesters as demonstrations against police brutality continued on Saturday. Police Chief Eric Clifford also took a knee and has been speaking with protestors this afternoon. (By @MercedesTVnews) 2:57 PM · May 31, 2020

            NYC https://twitter.com/GloriaPazmino/status/1267165862957629447
            Gloria Pazmino @GloriaPazmino
            Haven’t seen this video much yet, but look at these NYPD officers — including a white shirt officer— in Queens, taking a knee beside protestors. They join as they read the names of men and women who have died at the hands of police. It’s from today: 1:47 PM May 31, 2020

            Flint https://twitter.com/midmichigannow/status/1266907736735956996
            Mid-Michigan NOW @midmichigannow
            Amazing scene unfolding in Flint, Twp, Michigan. Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has joined protesters in a peaceful march. 8:41 PM · May 30, 2020
            https://nbc25news.com/news/local/justice-for-george-floyd-protest-in-flint-twp

            Reply
            1. polecat

              How much of this is genuine empathy by the ‘Lawvolken’ , any how much is them attempting a rushed left hook by getting in front of the ‘Parade* of Raging Plebians’??

              *by which, I mean the truly organic protestations of the plebs, and Not of the variety of ‘provocateurs’, of whatever stripe, who are trying to co-op them.

              Reply
    2. John A

      You say ‘Ultimately, based on the evidence presented alone, according to state and federal statues, we had to acquit them on ALL charges.’

      Was the direction given you by the judge that for state and federal reasons you had to acquit? You say the video evidence was damning. Are you supposed to believe the judge/system or your own lying eyes?
      This is a serious question, otherwise I do not understand.

      Reply
    3. Pat

      Jury nullification is sometimes an act of justice and is a long standing method of keeping the scales balanced.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        beat me to it.
        Jury Nullification is one of those things the right has hijacked(like being a patriot and having an affection for one’s country) to all of our detriment.
        and…yes…that was the justification for secession…but there, too…the right has colonised a small l liberal/civil libertarian idea.
        judges’ instructions or my lyin eyes.
        american revolution all goodness and light…the french, not so much…haiti, not at all.
        i am the only person i know who actually wants to be on a jury…and i keep my mouth shut about “nullification”(the word that is the most certain method of getting excused)
        (sadly, i had a hot check for $19–due to a bounced paycheck, no less— 30 years ago, that appears on my record as “THEFT!”…so i am not allowed to be a juror in Texas)

        Reply
      2. Kurt Sperry

        Agreed. If I am called as a juror and if it comes down to following the judge’s instructions and rubber-stamping an injustice or ignoring the judge’s instructions and doing the right thing, it won’t be the judge’s instructions I’ll follow. Letting bad cops under the color of law get away with behaving in a lawless manner is 1000x worse and more disrespectful of the law than doing the right thing.

        Reply
      3. Rory

        Interestingly, as I understand it, in federal court criminal trials the attorney for the defendant is not allowed to remind the jury of its power of jury nullification. If they get there, they do it on their own. In most states there is no gag order against arguing nullification to the jury.

        Reply
        1. albrt

          That’s one of the reasons lawyers never get chosen for juries – they might tell the other jurors about jury nullification or disagree with the judge on other points of law.

          Reply
          1. Peter from Georgia

            You’ll likely both be called in for contempt as well as lose your bar license trying that in closing arguments….

            Reply
    4. Phacops

      Regardless of what the law states, jurors, in your case, may practice judicial nullification in order to provide justice and not reward cops.

      Once empaneled, I have voted my ethics regardless of the law and have been pushed at times to vote merely to get things over.

      Reply
      1. richard

        I remember the late Alex Cockburn writing often about jury nullification, which he saw as the strongest feature of the u.s. judicial system (not exactly a lot of great contestants in that race, but wuv)
        I wonder how often juries are aware they have this power, and how often judges inform them of it?

        Reply
        1. barefoot charley

          Judges never inform of the right to nullification, and typically instruct jurors that they must follow the law, which is to say, follow his instructions and choose between the lawyers’ competing stories–which often contain details the judge specifically instructs them to disallow. Many’s the time jurors moan to reporters afterward, “We saw the injustice, but there was nothing we could do!”

          Reply
          1. orlbucfan

            Many moons ago, I sat on a jury for a underage DWI case. Now, it’s DUI but no difference. They pulled jurors from the voting rolls. Now, it’s anyone who has a driver’s license. Long story short, it was ridiculous. The cops who stopped and arrested the young woman didn’t know their arses from planet Pluto. They lied, got their facts confused, you name it. When we went into the room to figure out her judgement, we were all thoroughly confused and a couple of us were po’ed off at the fuzz. The judge told us if we had any “reasonable doubt,” we were to acquit her. Well, I spoke up and said I had plenty of reasonable doubt, but I was ready to vote with the majority so we could go home. I must have stirred up a hornet’s nest cos everyone else was fed up. We brought in a verdict of acquittal-not guilty. When the judge addressed the young defendant, he told her she was lucky. If it had been guilty, she would have been marched out of the courtroom in chains. Quote, unquote. When we were walking to our cars, several of my fellow jurors, both black and white, were horrified about the judge’s remarks. I was already politically cynical so I just raised my brows. Mind you, that was a good 25+ years ago down here in central FL.

            Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    “Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, And Police Infiltration Of US Protests”

    Guaranteed that somewhere there is a doctrine manual that lays out the tactics, techniques & procedures of gutting protests. And a prime mission would be to prevent different movements coming together. Onetime on NC, a guy was saying here that he was in a place with three different groups protesting. The police left them alone until he started to reach out to the other two groups on common causes and that was when the police moved in. So if you ever saw Antifa making common cause with right-wing militia, that will be when you see a major crackdown by the FBI who normally treat these groups with kid gloves.

    Earlier today I saw how else protest movements are set up to fail in two incidents. A bunch of white rioters was breaking windows to ransack a store but it was a young black girl that was shouting at them to stop. And in downtown Dallas, someone dropped off a whole pallet load of bricks in an area with very expensive shops but the guys who found it weren’t biting (in a funny video). If only these rich areas had security cameras to find out and trace who dropped these bricks off-

    https://twitter.com/IamBrianJohns/status/1266615047784140805

    Reply
    1. jefemt

      Brick-suppliers: My bet is DARPA-funded MIC types.

      Try as I may, Russia, China, Norf Korea, Israel or House of Saud just seem less plausible.

      Local Chamber of Commerce members– glass supply houses? Restoration specialists? The cynics mantra:
      Follow the money…

      Reply
    2. Tom Stone

      Rev, there’s a great deal of historical information about the “Cointelpro” program of the late 20th century available and Frank Kusch’s book “BattleGround Chicago” reproduces a number of fascinating government documents regarding agents Provacateur and their involvement in those riots.
      The FBI took over the job of maintaining public order from the Pinkertons in 1917 and have been the primary coordinating agency since.
      In the early part of this century “Total Information Awareness” went private ( Actually
      “Public/Private”) and “Fusion Centers’ became the key players.
      These Fusion centers share information garnered by the CIA.FBI, NSA feeds, local cops, county and state cops, private security companies and multinational corporation’s security departments.
      They also form “Task Forces” to deal with paticular threats.
      After all “The Republic is threatened by enemies from within and without as never before” and something must be done…

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        In the book “1984” it is mentioned how the secret police infiltrate the “proles” and through a gradual process, eliminate any who show any leadership abilities. I am not saying that in countries in the US that they are killed too but I would not be surprised that a lot of such people find themselves in prison or ruined one way or another.

        Consider this – you have Bernie, who is reckoned to be progressive, but where are all the progressive leadership people that should be present and who are younger than him? Why is there not a whole cadre of them? Is the face of a 79 year-old man really a symbol of progressive America?

        Reply
        1. ForFawkesSakes

          You’re on to something here, i think. I have read theory that lays out the notion that that’s is exactly the reason for the high rate of incarceration in the US. To identify and neuter future activists of color.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            not just those of color.
            cop in my hometown, towards the end of my time there before i wised up and left, actually told me as he was fingerprinting me(PI for a bag of empty beer cans i picked up at the creek):”I hate people like you”
            I asked him why.
            ” because you cause trouble, you read the wrong books, and get others to read the wrong books, you take young women for abortions* and you just don’t belong here”.
            refreshing, i guess.
            the “record” i got in that town follows me still, 30+ years later, because a few old white guys with enormous power and connections didn’t like me very much.

            (* true,lol. underground railroad to planned parenthood, 50 miles away south of downtown houston…not due to some nefarious master plan, but because a few young women knew i could be trusted)

            Reply
            1. paul

              Blimey!

              That is the clearest explanation of why the ‘genpop*’ are doomed.

              You can ,romantically,hope you can take of your self, but to taint others is a terrible sanction.

              *found in OZ – a compelling drama where everyone you liked died, and another one popped up. Not realistic, but agonisingly close to reality.

              Reply
        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Team Blue only recruits inoffensive (not having positions) self funders interested in a title at early levels. So the natural result is the next level is trash to pick from. In total, my here really isn’t a decent elected from age 40 to 65 anyway.

          You see this with the Governor of Virginia and his black faced scandal. Did he really not know about the black experience in America? He donated to Shrub in 2004. He was recruited to run for the state legislature because he was a nice guy who went to local, non partisan meetings Since he’s been embarrassed he hasn’t been godawful. It took that for him to wake up. This is the profile of Team Blue recruitment. Team Blue hates Democrats.

          Reply
        3. albrt

          “the secret police infiltrate the “proles” and through a gradual process, eliminate any who show any leadership abilities. I am not saying that in countries in the US that they are killed too but I would not be surprised that a lot of such people find themselves in prison or ruined”

          This is what idpol and affirmative action are for. Coopt the kids with leadership potential and give them a shot at a job on Wall Street. If they don’t get with the program, then it’s jail or a chokehold.

          Reply
      2. Procopius

        These Fusion centers share information garnered by the CIA.FBI, NSA feeds, local cops, county and state cops, private security companies and multinational corporation’s security departments.

        That reminds me. When they were founded, the CIA were forbidden by statute to operate in the U.S. I think it was the Church Commission (there have been so many commissions) that found they had been breaking that law, and tried to improve things. Did the Patriot Act change things to allow them to operate in the U.S.? Otherwise I can’t understand how they can be part of the “Fusion Centers.” I know they are, but I don’t see how it’s legal, and I know if he were still alive the Old Queen (J. Edgar Hoover) would have their guts for garters.

        Reply
    3. Mikel

      “And in downtown Dallas, someone dropped off a whole pallet load of bricks in an area with very expensive shops but the guys who found it weren’t biting (in a funny video). If only these rich areas had security cameras to find out and trace who dropped these bricks off..”

      Alot of insurance money to be had now where it was lacking due to pandemic related causes.

      Reply
      1. bob

        YUP!

        Lots of riot related losses and fires. Nothing to do with the landlords being underwater and better off with an insurance payout than vacant retail space.

        Reply
        1. Shonde

          An article in the Minneapolis Tribune today mentioned that lots of insurance policies have a clause excluding damage due to riots.

          Anyone familiar with this?

          Reply
          1. Bugs Bunny

            Yeah, it can be excluded in force majeure clauses. I’ve seen it plenty of times; arson, insurrection, war, acts of God…can be excluded as well. I love it when a European unfamiliar with American contracts sees “acts of God” in the clause and is like, what?

            Reply
          2. ShamanicFallout

            All policies we’ve had for our business (small- under 25 people) have had clauses NOT paying for ‘insurrections’ and ‘riots’. Big companies though may have much different kinds of coverages

            Reply
    4. Jack

      Is there such a thing as a spontaneous protest? I see no reason why the cops can’t “infiltrate” a protest group. Every other pro, anti, maybe and whatever group’s doing it. It’s a free country dontchaknow?

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        If “they” (cops, Fusion Center ‘acivists’) can keep the protests going, with lots of “newsworthy” and spinnable violence, then the “need” to “crack down” is so much more easily justified. Seems to me in this case that the internal energies and justification for what is going on are self-sustaining, but with acts encouraged or undertaken by agents provocateur to keep the ugly images coming in.

        Just read a twitter self-justification by some special snowflake penthouse dweller who took a machete to a protest activity several blocks from his NY digs. Says he was all fearful that th eMob would get past his concierge and doorman and threaten to destroy his swank apartment. Was going to “keep the looters away” from his nice neighborhood and the nice bars and restaurants he patronized, as “something of a barfly,” you know, before the lockdown. Got beat down for attacking some mope on the street. Did his tweet thing looking to explain his “thinking” and seek some sympathy/empathy for his situation. This on top of those images of NYPD thugmobiles running down people protesting. In the street.

        Add that to another tweet stream about graffiti sprayed onto the facade of “sacred” St. Paul’s cathedral, the horror! I recall that the Catholic Diocese in NY has had a problem purging nasty predatory pedophile priests from the ranks, and is in financial trouble because of the judgments and settlements in claims from abused parishioners.

        How to get out of this situation?

        Reply
    5. Winston Smith

      Ta-Nehisi Coates described his relationship with the police growing up: “for us, they were just another gang”

      Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Enlightening. Thanks. My town had a death by cop earlier this month which is very much on the mind of protestors here. I don’t think things got as bad as Minneapolis yet, but I’ve heard at least one, possibly two, people were shot and killed last night.

      Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      Yeah, the Israel-ites have been helping autocratic and oppressive regimes all over the world learn how to more effectively crush the mopes. Funny how people who may have lost relatives to German persecution are all fine with killing Palestinians for sport and to steal their homes, land and public assets. The methods they teach are not “policing” but “oppressing.”

      Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Seriously? They knocked a grandpa with his walking stick to the ground? And the reporter gives kudos to the police for picking him up? What is that reporter’s name? Frank Drebin?

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

      When the screen text said “Protest Turn Violent In Salt Lake City” I could not tell if they were being ironic or not. Yeah, the cop that knocked him to the ground did help him up but I would say that it was more out of embarrassment as to what his buddies would say afterwards.

      Reply
      1. @pe

        ya, seriously — I thought it was a parody, so I went searching for the original feed.

        Old dude with a cane knocked down for not walking fast enough with a screen title of “Protests turn violent in Salt Lake City”. The reporter talks about the police dispersing a crowd — when it’s two old men, one who can hobble away fast enough to not get knocked down. Afterwards, she doesn’t know what to say, and the anchor struggles to get her to say that the police warned the old man. Both their voices seem to be cracking, because they can’t unseen what they’re not supposed to be aware of.

        It’s really damn meta — it’s an indictment of the police, the journalists, everything. Chomsky is right, the conspiracies are true — it’s all nutz.

        Reply
        1. Dan

          Chomsky is right, the conspiracies are true — it’s all nutz.

          Oh? Chomsky doesn’t think the 9/11 or JFK “conspiracies” are true. He insists the alphabet agencies et al are simply there to serve at the behest of the executive branch.

          He also denies that the Israel Lobby has any effect on U.S. Middle East policy, which according to Chomsky always follows Pentagon dictates. This means that the obscene amount of time, money, and resources Israel partisans devote to their cause is redundant because it would have happened anyway. Absurd. Inane in fact.

          Reply
          1. @pe

            Oh Jesus — another one of you, throwing in the UFOs to distract everyone.

            Chomsky’s position has been very clear — that the details of conspiracies are a waste of time to follow when there’s clear enabling structures to think about. Of course, the best friends of the conspirators are the conspiracy-theorists, pointing away from the root causes to the “Jews”, whoever they may be this moment.

            I guess in this case, your El Guapo is the El Guapo.

            Keep on throwing that fairy dust in people’s eyes — it’s worked for centuries, will probably keep on working for centuries. A bit of pseudo-intellectualism as cherries on top always helps, Monsieur Gobineau.

            [ And who are you trying to fool with the strawman of a fully constrained social evolution? ]

            Reply
      2. ambrit

        Rev, I watched and it was not the cop who knocked the old man down who stepped in to help the man back up. The original cop wandered around with an almost distracted air, as in he wasn’t “all there.” Steroids plus natural adrenaline rush synergy? Too much Red Bull in the MRAP?
        The “reporters” reaction was indeed indicative of an ongoing self induced cognitive dissonance.
        This was in Salt Lake City, which is, to my limited understanding, not a hotbed of ‘radical’ underclass activity.
        Long Hot Summer ahead.

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            Same as it ever was.
            Way back before Katrina, I worked with a ‘roughneck’ type on a construction job. Mardi Gras comes by and we all knew that the week before Fat Tuesday was an unofficial ‘holiday.’
            Ash Wednesday comes around and the foreman passes the hat around to raise bail for the ‘roughneck.’ We all laughed and chipped in. The next day, said ‘roughneck’ is back at work, a lot the worse for wear. Ah well, it’s Carnival man.
            The story, was almost pure Kafka.
            Our ‘roughneck’ mate had been thoroughly drunk Downtown New Orleans on Mardi Gras day. At one point, he gets into an altercation with a copper on horseback who was bulling his way through the crowd. This cop rides the roughneck down with the horse. The charges end up being the ‘usual’ for Mardi Gras; drunk and disorderly, failure to follow police orders, and, assault on a police horse. That was the charge that kept him in jail overnight.

            Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Hi ambrit. I checked that footage again. He knocked the old guy down with his shield on the third hit, hung back in a who-me? stance, and then went around the front to help the old guy out from the other side.

          I find it neat that you do not have to tell reporters how to report news but they will self censor themselves and struggle to put a spin on the indefensible.

          Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              No worries. You had me wondering myself for a moment. I still find it hard to believe that footage. Those old guys looked like they were waiting for a bus or something and should have been led away from that police line that was forming.

              Reply
      3. JTMcPhee

        I wish there was more video of that event. In similar circumstances, people, just bystanders not involved at all, get battered and then arrested as an ass-covering by the cops, charged with ‘resisting arrest,” “battery on a police officer,” “disturbing the peace.” Any wonder that there is a growling beast of disaffection and incipient anomie out among the unpropertied class?

        Reply
  5. s

    Trump praising the National Guard. That would be the same National Guard members who Trump is planning to stiff on retirement and educational benefits by ending their Federal call-up one day short of 90 days and qualifying for added benefits? They should join the resistance and protestors! Though maybe if it’s Trumps health they are directly protecting, he will revise his orders.

    Reply
    1. savebyirony

      Saw today that he tweeted a few days ago that he plans to extend their deployment thru July due to Bipartisan pressure (and maybe a little help from the street?).

      Reply
  6. MK

    Federal judges over a certain age can take senior status. That allows them to keep their job with reduced work load.

    And the president gets to pick a ‘replacement’ as well! Senior status, it’s a scam! Some ideological judges will certainly take advantage of keeping their job and getting a new coworker with the same views to teach the tricks of the trade.

    Reply
  7. timbers

    Cops Kill Because We Gave Them The Legal Framework To Do It – American Conservative

    I like this article mentioning some legal rulings that help make cops able to kill us for kicks & giggles, but wish it would have included the abolishing Habeas Corpus and passing Indefinite Detention, and how the Supremes apparently think both of those are 1000% legal.

    After all, Trump seemed to say yesterday he might use both of those on us American Citizens.

    Now if things would just calm down here in the states, we can back to normal, lecturing China on how they ought to be treating their people. I’m sure she misses our helpful advice.

    Reply
    1. Tom Doak

      Indeed. Authorities such as the MN Governor have been quick to suggest outside forces and “terrorism” because the government can bypass the Bill of Rights and use draconian measures against suspected terrorists.

      Fortunately those laws will come up for renewal again soon and I’m sure our Congress will rein them in. /s

      Reply
      1. timbers

        Trump using Indefinite Detention/bye bye Habeas Corpus would truly crown Obama’s Legacy. And it would truly not be interpreted that wat by Team “stop watching FOX News” Blue.

        Reply
        1. aleric

          A lot of rural and exurban MN addresses in that group. I dont really care which side of the border the Nazis and boogaloos attacking us are coming from. Especially now that the National Guard is siding with them by attacking neighborhood defense groups. twitter thread

          Reply
      2. Mark Gisleson

        I trust Walz. I think he was given some bad numbers but the out-of-state angle is very real in Minnesota (other places? I don’t know, I live in MN).

        In Minnesota — AND MINNESOTA ONLY — I know the Mpls police to be very bad (news, local gossip, things law enforcement clients told me, etc.), while the local Guard scandals have been fairly minimal. The governor is the former top sergeant of the MN Guard and has a very good reputation built as a high school teacher and coach who advocated for GLBTQ in MN athletics. His Lt Gov (both of them elected in 2018) is a Native American and not the neoliberal kind.

        Frankly, when cops go bad, citizen militias are the best option. If they stink in your state, well, you’re doomed. But many states have decent Guard now that the draft dodgers have long stopped stinking those orgs up. I have seen one video claiming Guard brutality but it’s very dimly lit and to me the offenders look like Mpls cops. I searched the internet and could find no black MN Guard tactical uniforms but the tweeter said they were Guardsmen. I hope that gets sorted out.

        The journalists were arrested by State Troopers which is on Walz, but two years in he’s hardly had time to clean house. The safety commissioner Harrington is Walz’s.

        Walz, btw, was a Blue Dog congressman so there’s that, but back in the day I kept saying he’d make a great governor. If you watch the actual press conferences, he handles them transparently and constantly defers to others to clarify exact policy. Mayor Frey kept Walz out of the picture until everything was in flames. Another thing to remember is that state Republicans immediately sought to put the blame on Frey AND Walz (not one word about Klobuchar from MN Republicans who really seem to like her).

        Reply
  8. jr

    Re: rising food costs

    Food issues are of particular interest to me. I’m a culinary instructor in NYC and I worked as an adult educator in Philly years ago. I can assure anyone who cares to listen that nutrition education and basic cookery skills are a crucial component of addressing malnutrition in poor communities. But I often find them absent from these discussions.

    I’m not dismissing the problem of affordability at all. Nor is this a “blame the victim” side-step routine. But consider buying chicken. Let’s say you by deboned meat. You’re paying a significant amount for that extra labor. Notch it down to bone-in, cheaper but still more expensive than the whole bird. But a lot of folks avoid the bird because they are intimidated by the task.* A sharp knife, a cutting board, and five minutes of knife training and you would have shaved off a significant chunk of the bill. Over a years time it adds up. At my local high end butcher for example, it’s 11.95$ for deboned white meat, 6.95$ for bone in, and 4.95$ whole bird, per pound.

    If you eat 100 lbs of chicken a year that’s 1200$, 700$, and 500$, it’s striking when you see those numbers!

    Now, da bones. Boneless? Pay more and no bones. Bone in? A few bones. Bird? The whole carcass, baby. Stock. Crack the bones so the marrow seeps out, roast em brown if not already cooked for some Maillard action, and >gently< steep them for hours to avoid atomizing the fat. A crockpot works best. It makes a chicken gelatin useful for any conceivable application, thickens everything nicely, and makes the whole house smell marvelous. If you scoff at health concerns, roast the skin a bit more until crisp…

    Now you have used every part of the much less expensive whole bird, literally extracting value from even the “trash.” Oh yes, bag of organs? Always check! Gravy, stock, try your hand at a force meat. The bone fragments can be ground and added to your garden, especially good for rose bushes I’ve been told.

    No time to cook well? Prep skills: do it in advance, plan your meals ahead as best you can, it saves a lot of time and frustration. I have a 5 minute pho/ramen class for example. Buy a nice set of Tupperware, you’ll need it. Shop strategically. Also, batch cooking…

    All of this can add up to a lot of savings. And better health and life quality. Good family time. A greater sense of control over ones affairs. In short, bring back Home Economics!

    *Some people are literally terrified of cooking, ranging from a fears of burns to burning a roast to burning down their home.

    Reply
    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      Yes, thanks for your work! Healthy food = clear mind = seeing through the matrix.

      And on chicken, the nutritional value of the liver and heart, so important! But it is even a food desert in more wealthy areas now. Try to find any kind of liver and you will have a hard time.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        When you can find chicken livers, (Me like!) around here, try to find some that haven’t aged enough for their bacterial cultures to be entering the Late Neolithic.

        Reply
    2. Tom

      Excellent advice for the chicken in every pot on Sunday, but don’t forget how easy, tasty and cheap the whole world of beans is. Soak any of the following, green, red, yellow, black lentils, pinto, navy, white, cannellini, great northern, black, etc beans overnight NJ change the rinse water in the morning, put in crock pot with onions, garlic, bay, peppers of any variety, cilantro or not, your favorite spices and let simmer. Serve with rice and you feed a whole family for a couple bucks. Join with most of the people on the planet for their daily food: beans and rice!

      Reply
      1. polecat

        We polecats enjoy our Tai food! While patronizing the local restaurant on occasion, I have learned to make Tai curry pastes from scratch, which we freeze into tablespoon sized dollops to be used whenever the need arises. Recently, I modified a Korean beef recipe, substituting ground beef for whole steak. Worked wonderfully with the addition of copious amounts of stirfried cabbage, coarsely sliced green onions, diced granny Smith apple, and Korean chili-paste comprised sauce, which we incorporate with our mexican pinto beans to form a sort of KorMex street taco/burrito.
        All to point out, that with a basic pantry/spice-condiment selection, which may vary according to seasonality/availability, one can be creative in providing wholesome and tasty restaurant style meals relatively cheaply.

        Reply
    3. JacobiteInTraining

      “…If you eat 100 lbs of chicken a year that’s 1200$, 700$, and 500$, it’s striking when you see those numbers!…”

      Those numbers do indeed provide motivation. And yes, I am rather intimidated by the thought of deboning chickens and/or turkeys such that I nearly always buy only the individually packaged/frozen chicken breasts. At least I am not a total loser — when it comes to whole turkeys (for holiday meals) I *do* reliably boil the whole carcass down for good soups.

      Thanks – you have just provided (and motivated) me a with task to do on my lazy sunday – buy some whole chickens, and get to studying how to debone them properly. Assuming I do not slice off any fingers, I’ll teach the kids in the household anything I learn. :)

      Reply
    4. Amfortas the hippie

      amen to all that, JR.
      I was a cook for 25 years…”chef” after i had my own place.
      got Larousse Gastronomie for my 19th birthday and carried around with me ever since.
      making stock from “trash” is the main, number one thing that made my cooking better than the next guy…as well as cut my food cost way down(in my place FC was routinely 15%). shrimp shells, fish heads, onion skins the parts of the mushroom you dont use, base of celery, bones and skins, on and on.
      you could smell my place driving past on the highway.

      and i used to give cooking lessons(to small groups, lest i be overwhelmed)…and it’s pretty amazing how much people don’t know about such an important, basic activity….as well as how intimidated they are by it.
      the most popular thing i taught, besides stocks and broths, was pre-cooking pasta(cool it, bag it, keeps for a week in the fridge) and how to make several simple sauces with a few simple ingredients(that also kept well)= quick meals on the go that don’t involve a microwave of factory food.
      this being a small, tight knit town, i’d often have people coming into my kitchen to watch.
      it was like magic to them,lol.
      strange, what we’ve become.
      hungry people can’t make nuthin.
      weird

      Reply
      1. jr

        Thank you all for your comments! This is why I love this site. Let me respond to some particular points:

        Krystyn, butchers etc. in wealthy neighborhoods have discovered that people will pay for those livers,etc. They don’t come in my chickens, they are for sale next to the uber expensive tubs of stock in the cooler. I make 1 1/2 quarts of stock from my carcass, they charge 6$ for a half quart! Can’t find bone either unless they are still installed…

        Tom, yes, I agree wholeheartedly, that’s an even more inexpensive and equally delicious meal. In general, more veges = better, for numerous reasons. But sir, when you take those beans, season them, then cook them in the aforementioned stock, well…

        Polecat, Amen! A well stocked spice rack and condiment selection are crucial, crucial! to good cooking. It sounds obvious until you realize a lot of people have ketchup, mustard, mayo in the fridge and a jar of oregano that’s been stale for two years in the pantry. And you can always gussy up take out as well!

        Jacobite, you could also just cook the whole bird how you like then pull it apart, but dressing a bird isn’t hard. Get a sharp deboning knife, its much easier than with a chefs knife. Don’t get poultry shears, they kind of gnaw rather than cut and they hurt your hands. A tip for whole birds: rub the meat >under< the skin with seasoning or marinade, literally slide your hand under the skin and smear it. Trying not to tear the skin, you can rub almost the whole surface area down. (The skin both traps juices and lards the meat a bit.) Then season the outside as well. Remember to cook and crack the bones for the stock!

        Bugs Bunny, yes! I also used to grind up the bones into a paste and feed them to my landlady’s dog. I do think you have to watch providing an over abundance of organ meat due to high mineral levels etc. but I’m no vet.

        Appleseed/Amfortas, it’s sad that we do need to be reminded of these things, we have been hobbled in so many ways. One class I taught involved scales. You would be amazed how many people can’t use a four button scale without guidance. “Oh God, not metric!!” Then, when the really basic addition part of the class came up, like 275g+ 46g = ?, the phones would come out…

        Last tip: pasta water! Save it, reduce it by half or more, and freeze! Thickens soups and sauces and adds some neutral “foundational” flavor as well.

        Reply
        1. GF

          In our local grocery stores that have real meat departments, the butchers will cut up a whole chicken for free and put it back together with the original label showing. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

          Reply
          1. newcatty

            Good point, GF.

            Thus is just a light note for today’s food thread. And, it’s a kind of cute synchronicity moment. As I was perusing NC comments, I had just started reading Jr’s excellent information on the essential importance of good nutrition and food preparation for healthy bodies and mind. Which are also integral to supporting the spirit.

            Back to story. I was ready to have a bowl of my go-to oatmeal granola, with almonds and coconut, with a couple spoons of whole milk yogurt, I usually lace that with a good shake of Ceylon cinnamon. Now my spice rack has many bottles and they are not alphabetical in order or in categories of sweet or savory. I reached for the, so I thought, cinnamon jar. Was not paying attention and just sprinkled on the spice. It was red and didn’t think much about it. I sit down to feed my body and mind, I take a big spoonful and wow…that seems a little hot…for the cinnamon bite. Well, as can be easily guessed, I had sprinkled chili powder on the yogurt. Hmmm…liked it. And, the more I ate the meal the more it was liked. Ha! I never was attracted to the craze of putting chili in ice cream, etc. Goes to show how “accidents” can lead to discovery. On a more serious note…spices are the spice of cooking. I learned to cook by being ready to invest some of my time in mostly self-teaching and research of techniques and recipes. It is important to remember, too imho, that many people are having to shop, and cook who are dealing with long hours of work, lowered incomes, crapified transportation options and, of course, food deserts. Thanks all who contributed to an important thread here.

            Reply
        2. polecat

          I can paste sauce every summer – as in maybe 40 – 60 pints, to get us through the following year. When prepping for lasagna .. which we eat a lot of, I save the ‘juice’ from what we drain off the jars before adding to the dish, prior to baking .. freezing it in ziplock bags, to be reused in soups or casseroles. I also sometimes reduce it a spell to thicken it as a kind of ‘spiced tomato paste’.

          It’s about neccessities and mother de inventiones.
          ;]

          … as you seem to infer jr, more people, do to circumstance, should figure out how to cook again … willingly, instead of waiting till forces/events out of their control force them into it.

          Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “Historical city travel guide: Athens, 5th century BC”

    This is really cool this article and is part of a weekly series which you see mentioned at the bottom of the page where it says ‘You can read other blogs in our historical city travel guide series. Take a trip to 1st century Rome, explore 19th century Edo (Tokyo), or journey to the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh.’ I could mention other aspects of life in ancient Athens but this is a family-friendly blog. :)

    Reply
    1. DJG

      The Rev Kev: The article makes two mentions of silphium / silphion, which was widely used as a contraceptive. I’m not sure why the article describes it only as a spice. People might want to buy it for other uses. Let me know if you find a good shop for such exotica.

      In any case, if you are indeed going to tour Athens, don’t forget the famous advice about drinking:

      Euboulus, fragment, Semele or Dionysos, a play written around 375 BC,
      in which the god of wine delivers this speech.]

      I mix three drinks for the temperate:
      One for health, which they empty first,
      The second for love and pleasure,
      The third for sleep.
      When these cups are emptied, the wise go home.
      The fourth drink is ours no longer, but belongs to arrogance,
      The fifth to uproar,
      The sixth to drunken revelry,
      The seventh to black eyes,
      The eighth to lawsuits,
      The ninth to anger,
      And the tenth to madness and the hurling of furniture.

      Reply
      1. Alex

        Thanks for this, they should have added it to the guide.

        Also for some reason I didn’t find any mention of hetairai in the entertainment section

        Reply
  10. Mark Gisleson

    Most of my Twitter follows are folks I know in the Twin Cities. Nearly all of them have been tweeting about out-of-state and no-plates vehicles being parked in residential neighborhoods in recent days.

    The Mpls PD is notorious for harboring white supremacists in their ranks. Early on it was noted that when police reinforcements would be called up, they’d leave squad cars unprotected behind them and organized protesters were stealing equipment from those cars. St Paul PD now stopping vehicles w/out plates and occupants running away, leaving police equipment behind (OK, maybe hard to trust the cops on this).

    Politicians exaggerated the numbers, discrediting the story but no one I know in the Twin Cities understands why the arsonists went after popular local businesses. The protesters did burn down Target, Wells Fargo, and AutoZone, but why would they burn down mom and pop ethnic restaurants?

    Minneapolis is where this started, but then something else happened and the national media is using that story without proof to allege outside agitators everywhere.

    A lot to sort out here, and the national media isn’t going to do it properly.

    Reply
    1. Tom Doak

      The people burning down mom and pop ethnic restaurants are an entirely different group, using the cover of confusion to pursue their own agenda [and let the legitimate protestors shoulder the blame].

      Reply
      1. Shonde

        I put a comment above regarding insurance policies excluding damage caused by riots.

        This was in a Star Tribune article about a St. Paul owner of several smoke/vape shops saying he and his family protected their businesses because of that clause in their policy.

        Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      that “outside agitators” trope always seemed sort of silly as a defense…”these here ferriners are against killing black folks…but our good people are just fine with it”?
      of course, the agent saboteur angle is likely the real reason for their presence.
      the more i have learned, the more i despise my country.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        At the rate that social dysfunction is proceeding, Your country, My country, and Their country will all come to be the new norm. Be prepared …to the best of your abitities, to assume your sovereign-crash positions.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          the reductio ad absurdam of the Neoliberal Dispensation: several billion individual actors(presumed to be rational) set each against all.
          Hobbes’ “State of Nature”>
          it’s really a remarkable achievement, since nobody really likes the idea when they think about it.
          like the trope tossed, years ago, about somalia as the libertarian paradise.

          sigh

          Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            The best part is when they talk smack about Marxists as utopian airheads whose goal of a stateless society is unreachable without an authoritarian revolt. General Pinochet, to the white courtesy phone, please.

            Reply
          2. skippy

            Even better … Mugabe did the right thing with land redistribution [40 acres and a mule] but did the wrong thing printing money which caused the ev’bal hyperinflation of wealth [tm].

            Rim shot – !!!!!

            Reply
  11. BobW

    India: “The baneful consequences of a commercial concern enjoying political power but answering only to its shareholders became apparent during the Bengal famine of 1770–1771. Company officers exacted dues from a dying populace as diligently as they had from a healthy one. Tax evaders were publicly hanged. The following year Calcutta informed Leadenhall Street that ‘notwithstanding the great severity of the late famine…some increase [in revenue] has been made.’”

    The Pillage of India

    Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    Missed the opening ceremonies of Kristal Macht Frei-as in looting, for we were on a 5 day trip into the back of beyond where we blissfully knew nothing. I was with my long time partner and took him to a most special lake in that it doesn’t have an inlet stream-only an outlet stream, which means that the lake water circulates during the winter as it’s spring-fed, instead of the usual high altitude lake which has no incoming water and the trout tend to be 8 inches long at best with heads about 50% larger than they should be, from the lake freezing over and them being prisoners on a underwater hunger strike.

    This lake was a real disappointment for him in that out of 51 casts, it netted him 9x goldens & 41 rainbows all 10-12 inches long. He related it was like playing a carnival game where you win the Kewpie doll 50 out of 51 times, where’s the fun in that?

    We saw nobody on our walk and reckoned the nearest human beans were about 20 miles away, perfect social distancing.

    Read The Plague by Camus, and yikes! it really resembles our times, and powerful writing in regards to the human condition, recommended~

    Watched a group of protesters in L.A. yesterday on CNN in the aftermath of looted stores on a tony avenue with a cordon of coppers hemming them in, and of 40, i’d guess 36 were white, with a gent yelling orders to them from a bullhorn-very unlike the Rodney King Riots of 26 years ago where i’d daresay there were no white protesters.

    Reply
  13. LawnDart

    https://whowhatwhy.org/2020/05/21/millions-of-americans-dont-vote-due-to-lack-of-faith-in-process/

    America Abstains: Millions of Voters Have Lost Faith in US Democracy

    I am surprised that no one posted this article or sent it to NC for Links or Water Cooler when it was published, a little more than a week ago (in light of current events, it seems like a different world back then).

    Old enough to remember when “Hope and Change” actually turned out to be a bait-and-switch, I do recall what happened to the last large-scale (peaceful) protest, OWS.

    The author seems to argue that “millions of Americans don’t vote because they have lost faith in the system or believe that elections are rigged” and that the answer is to “turbocharge the younger vote.”

    Well, not sure if it should be framed as either/or, but those two reasons can make the start of a pretty good list.

    Reply
    1. jef

      The voting process is there first and foremost to mollify the masses then there is the billions of dollars that are raked in by everyone from the candidates to the media who treats it like a national sporting event.

      Reply
      1. polecat

        It certainly doesn’t help to have a pliant group of grifting supremes who vote for moneytalk (Some’Citizens’United) whilst shit (read – the plebs!) walks (booted) right off the courtroom floor!

        Until money.. All money, is taken out of the campaign sphere, I no longer have reason to consent to my own extinction, just to keep the self-appionted anointed whole.

        Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country”

    I think that the Washington Post is playing it a little coy here. They forgot to mention how the other nations would financially sanction America until it learned to ‘behave’ like a modern country. And how resolutions would go to the United Nations denouncing America’s behaviour. And foreign warships might cruise not far from the coastline to rattle a few cages. Maybe even ratlines set up to supply weapons, training, equipment and advisors to opposition forces in the countryside.

    Trump must have been furious about these riots because it spoiled his moment. With the successful launch of SpaceX, he was going to say that it was a return to American greatness in space and put the world on notice what American ingenuity can do. Instead he had to do it against the background of riots, curfews and burning cities. And you know that he is going to take it personally because the riots won’t make him look good for the November elections.

    I heard that some news crews organized a zoom conference with police from other countries to comment on American policing methods. Here are some of the results-

    Sgt Pak of the North Korean Ministry of People’s Security: “I am personally shocked, shocked at the abuse that I have seen here. I have worked for twenty years in the streets & cellars of Pyongyang and have never seen such brutality.”

    Corporal Geller of the Israeli Army: “What are they doing? If I tried to do this to the Palestinians here I would have my a** in a sling before I could say “Oy vey!”‘

    Talal of the Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious police: “My Israeli colleague is right! This is so wrong this. These people have rights you know. This is denying them their freedom of expression!”

    Corporal Kapoor of the India Police Service: “Hey, when I hit people with my ‘lathi’ stick, I am only hurting them to teach them a lesson. I don’t do it for the kicks nor to humiliate them. And where is the personal touch with shooting people with rubber balls that you get with hitting them at point blank range with a lathi stick instead?”

    Reply
    1. flora

      The Supreme Court has spent 50 years creating protection instead of accountability for rogue cops. See this NYTimes editorial:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/29/opinion/Minneapolis-police-George-Floyd.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

      A longer read on the same topic, see this May 8, 2020 special Reuters report:
      ‘For cops who kill, special Supreme Court protection’

      https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-police-immunity-scotus/

      Reply
      1. farmboy

        likelihood of police involvement in stranger deaths, 33%. from a Bureau of Justice Statistics 2015 and Research Triangle Inc think tank study. find at Granta dot com, violence in blue

        Reply
    2. flora

      Your comment is great satire. Thanks. Where has the Post been all these years while the S.C. protects rogue cops? Rhetorical question.

      Reply
    3. LawnDart

      Now if we could only get Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to covertly supply the American rebels in MN and elsewhere in the states…

      Reply
      1. cyclist

        Is there any way to watch this without dealing with Amazon? I don’t have an account with them, and won’t be getting one.

        Reply
  15. The Historian

    Edit: This was in reply to AltandMain, the very first post. How it got here, I will never know!

    WOW!
    Forgive me, I am really NOT trying to be critical, but I think you’ve just pointed out ways we are being manipulated by both parties these days.

    “Steve Bannon, Tucker Carlson, and even Trump himself when he campaigned against free trade are now to the left of Democrats on certain economic issues. ”

    You will really have to explain THAT statement! Because as far as I can see, neither party is for free trade OR all that different on economic issues. The Democrats want to control trade and the economy one way, the Republicans another, but neither party wants “free trade” or to do anything for Main Street, and neither party wants the workers in any country to have control over the production of their own goods.

    Is what you want “nationalism”? Then call it that instead of using euphemisms like “free trade” and “economic issues”. But remember where nationalism always leads historically – and this time will be no different.

    And also remember, it isn’t foreign peoples who have destroyed our Main Street economy, it’s those same people, Democrats and Republicans that we are so desperately trying to find differences between, that did the job together.

    As far as SALT, so what is wrong about getting rid of the SALT deductions? I am not sure I understand your argument at all on that issues. And, BTW, the acronym SALT used to mean something entirely different.

    But your comment does point out the ways that our discourse has been distorted by the use of words we no longer understand the meanings of. For instance, what is “left” these days? What is “right” these days? For that matter, what does Democrat or Republican even mean? And I certainly have no clue these days what the terms “economically left social liberals” and “economically left social conservatives” actually mean – or how they could ever come together on any issue. Are you saying that what you believe are “leftists” should join in coalition with the “Religious Right” and go back 100 years in terms of civil rights to save the economy?

    In sum, I am absolutely NOT sure I understand what it is you – or anyone else, for that matter – are saying about what it is that we want and I believe that is because we don’t have a common understanding of what certain terms mean any more – they have been so abused by all the talking heads so that they could mean anything and be used to gather support for anything.

    Reply
    1. orlbucfan

      Terrific comment. An example of an English word that has been badly distorted and damaged by the Far Right Corporatists and their MSM lap dogs: liberal.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        I mean to be fair I have never liked the way Americans use the word ‘liberal’ to mean something completely different from what it means in Europe. In Europe it means free trade, free markets, all that bullsh*t. Americans thinking it means… I dunno, being capitalist but not being racist like those other capitalists, just serves to distort political discourse here even further.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          In American it means “righteous” and “holy”. Never underestimate the influence of “liberal” (Euro definition) Protestantism.

          Reply
    2. False Solace

      Here’s a quick summary of terms. Obviously this is just my opinion, but I think a lot of commenters on NC will agree.

      The “left” supports labor. They have so little funding and political support they’re functionally nonexistent in most countries.

      The “right” supports the existing hierarchy: the rich, plus population segments that have been historically dominant (upper castes, whites, men, etc).

      “Liberals” want markets to control society. That is to say, they want buying and selling to infiltrate organizations and social relations. They want to enhance the ability of corporations to sell products to all population segments as efficiently as possible. Therefore they outwardly support equality between groups (opposing racism, homophobia, etc.). In practice their support of corporate-controlled markets preserves existing hierarchies. They do not support labor. They support “free” trade and immigration which is designed to crush labor.

      The Democrat and Republican parties serve the donor class. They represent slightly different groups of investors. If the donor class wants something they get it. Immediately. If different groups of donors disagree they fight it out. The parties subscribe to slightly different sets of social customs. This is done to recruit 50.1% of the population for the purpose of winning elections. Like Coke vs Pepsi, same sugar water different marketing.

      Some people might disagree or nitpick. But conflating the “left” with “liberals” is a clear sign of confused thinking. Is it possible for the “Left” to ally with parts of the “RIght” on certain issues? Of course. Is idpol a necessary defining feature of the left? I don’t think so, not in its current form. But I do think “supporting the rights of workers” means supporting all workers, regardless of how many identity groups the ownership class wants to divide them into.

      You asked about SALT deductions — it’s an obvious ploy by red state politicians (Republicans) to attack the funding structure of blue states (Democrats). It’s controversial because different groups of investors have different priorities. Some worry about unrest among the lower classes, some don’t need or care about education or health funding..They pretty much all agree that paying for infrastructure is for chumps, though.

      Reply
      1. LifelongLib

        “Liberal” used to mean someone who preferred a capitalism as the most efficient way of organizing production and distribution, but with massive government intervention to provide equal opportunity, alleviate poverty, etc.

        “Conservatives” wanted markets to control society.

        Reply
      2. Acacia

        Thanks, False Solace, for a very cogent summary. This NC commenter for one agrees with all that you say.

        A definition of “progressives” might also be useful. I gather it overlaps a lot with “liberals”, though the emphasis is more on rights and idPol-ish values than economic liberalism. I’m sure somebody else here can clarify and/or improve on this.

        Your point about the conflation of “left” and “liberal” is important and deserves further elaboration. I notice a great many people on both sides of the political spectrum now use these terms almost interchangeably, and this is piled on top of previous distortions of the historical use of “liberal”. It’s one thing for conservatives to rail against “leftists” when really the object of their attack is liberal/progressive values — this happens a lot —, but it’s also an issue when liberals self-identify as “left”, although many of them arguably are not.

        I personally know a number of people who have to date consistently identified themselves as left-liberal, but post-Trump they seem to no longer have any serious interest in general support for the rights of workers. Looking back in retrospect, I think the change really began before Trump. TDS is perhaps more the expression of a latent, pre-existing condition. In the past, for example, these self-identified left-leaning peeps would nod in agreement when conservatives were said to cynically use social issues (e.g., abortion and gay marriage) to divide voters, but then they also nodded in agreement when Obama told them that many working-class Americans “cling to guns or religion”.

        Today, still, this group that self-identifies as being “on the left” will insist that they support labor, but in fact this support is now way down the list of their concerns and has become contingent on said workers having the right “values”, which really means passing a set of purity tests w.r.t. racism, xenophobia, LGBT-phobia, etc. This allows the testers to reject all members of the working-class who don’t pass, and banish them to the one of the circles of hell reserved for “Trump supporters”, “white supremacists”, “Nazis”, “fascists”, etc. To my mind, this group is no longer “left” in any sense — maybe they are “good liberals”(?) —, but in effect they have aligned their interests with those of the PMC.

        Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Dogs can sniff out COVID-19”

    Hmmm. A neat, easy solution of doing an initial screening of people that could prove really useful at say, airports. That other article – “Coronavirus: The mystery of ‘silent spreaders'” – mentions that South Korea realized that asymptomatic spreaders were a thing in January and yet there are still calls for temperature checks as a solid means of screening people FOUR months later. Better to go with the dogs. As a side note, I saw this thing about using dogs for screening people for viruses before. In the book “World War Z” where the Israelis were using them to stop any infected people coming into the country.

    Reply
    1. John k

      Not much research in sniffing smells. Should be possible to copy what animals can do. I think bears are even more sensitive.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        Dog sniffers are well accepted. Australia has dogs in its airports to sniff for drugs. At Laguarida, the TSA sometimes uses sniffer dogs. If you get routed by a sniffer dog, you get treated as if you are TSA Pre: shoes stay on, laptops and liquids stay in bags, you walk through a metal detector rather than a scanner. I don’t think they want passengers to get used to this, but the dogs appear to be deployed at busy times so as not to create undue lines at the TSA checkpoints.

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        I dunno. Dogs notoriously give some (many?) false positives when used to sniff for drugs or bombs. They are very sensitive to unconscious (?) signals from their handlers. Of course the chemical tests give false positives and negatives, too, and I don’t think we have a good handle yet on how many of those we should expect. They (dogs) are widely accepted, but so was the “bomb detection” device the Thai Army bought a bunch of, which turned out to be basically dowsing rods. They did detect some explosives, but mostly gave false positives.

        Reply
  17. Local to Oakland

    I haven’t seen numbers for last night, but Friday night’s protest here was about 7500 people. That’s nothing compared to the number of people here who came out for Oscar Grant or Occupy.

    Also the looting is not typical. Fires in trash cans or tires is fairly common, but burning buildings is not. If the destruction is the objective, who benefits?

    Reply
    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      Who benefits? The insured. The LLCs that own the building(s) in which the fire occurs. And therefore the equity companies that own the LLCs.

      Reply
      1. LifelongLib

        True for some, but I keep thinking about places like that science fiction bookstore. Someone’s labor of love, and even if insured probably housing things that are difficult or impossible to replace. Not a loss that can be measured in money…

        Reply
      2. Procopius

        As someone pointed out above, most commercial property insurance policies have a clause providing for non-payment in case of riot or insurrection, or “acts of God.” That’s why you see some small business owners standing guard over their property.

        Reply
    2. Edward

      I think the communities that were wrecked in the 1960’s race riots never recovered. I hope that isn’t what happens in our time.

      Reply
    3. BobW

      Never proven as far as I know, but we all assumed that many if not most of the fires during the Rodney King riot were set by owners for insurance money.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        For the majority of Angelenos, their only entry point into South Central LA was going to the Fabulous Forum for a sporting event or concert, and I remember going from the Harbor Freeway onto Manchester Ave circa 1995, and it wasn’t unusual to see all 4 corner businesses still empty lots a number of years after the Rodney King Riots had torched them, and plenty of empty lots on the 10 mile or so jaunt to the Forum.

        You kind of got the feeling that none of them were insured, as there was no there, there.

        Reply
  18. a different chris

    BTW, this is not contradicting the great Dr. West, who has been amazing now and throughout his whole life. But there is “something happening here”….that he shouldn’t miss:

    “When you talk about the masses of black people—the precious poor and working-class black people, brown, red, yellow, whatever color—they’re the ones left out and they feel so thoroughly powerless, helpless, hopeless—then you get rebellion.”

    But historically you very, very rarely get successful rebellion. You get successful rebellion when the bourgeois suddenly look down and see the cliff, when they realize that it’s gonna happen to them if they don’t do something. And do it collectively.

    Lots of white faces in those news shots, and for once they aren’t just the police.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There is push back against generation divides, but look at those millennial wealth numbers compared to previous generations at that point in life. Kaboom!

      “Go West young man,” previously created an outlet, and Team Blue types love the updated spin of “learn to code.” We are past point of little investment for massive returns of tech.

      Reply
  19. The Rev Kev

    “5am starts, poverty wages and no running water—the grim reality of “picking for Britain””

    This article is right from what I remember from my younger days. Picking strawberries suck. Been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Onions too and watermelons suck as well. Anything working right on the ground in fact. Much better work can be had doing apples or grapes. And to tell the truth, working for British bosses was never crash-hot in my books as most seemed to be out to prove something. Perhaps a problem here in this article is that the pickers are British in Britain itself. Workers from other countries you can abuse but when you abuse fellow British, you discover that they have recourse to rights and the law.

    Reply
  20. Carolinian

    Re New York Review and The Pillage of India–I’ve just been reading a book about the Great Game, the name for the 19th century sparring between Britain and Russia over the northern borderlands of India. The Brits were constantly worrying that the Russians would invade India and rob them of their cash cow. So this discussion of the British Empire isn’t irrelevant to current events given that Russia still seems to be a bogeyman for much of the British establishment and the current US obsession with Russia arguably has come from that direction (some say the Cold War itself was invented by Churchill).

    Reply
    1. Duck1

      Iron curtain, for sure in March ’46.
      Long telegram might put Kennan ahead in the horse race in February ’46.

      Reply
      1. Nancy Boyd

        Yes, it’s significant that Churchill gave his Iron Curtain speech in Truman’s home state.

        Reply
  21. allan

    The view from One Police Plaza:

    Commissioner Shea @NYPDShea

    To the Members of the NYPD:

    What you’ve endured these last couple of days and nights—like much of 2020, so far—was unprecedented. In no small way, I want you to know that I’m extremely proud of the way you’ve comported yourselves in the face of such persistent danger…
    8:45 AM · May 31, 2020

    The replies are not to be missed.

    Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    Sequoia NP opens on June 4th, with no campgrounds open until after July 4th, so this unfortunately means a resurgence in short term vacation rentals here, as there are no plan B’s in terms of staying in the National Park.

    Just when you thought the menace of AirBnB et al was defeated, not so much as it turns out.

    Reply
  23. Ignacio

    RE: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe and the US BioRxiv

    I wish I had read this before. Anyway, thanks a lot for this link! Accurate tracing of early events in necessary to understand what went wrong and how can we anticipate better response.

    Reply
  24. Carolinian

    Interesting WaPo story about restaurants and Covid. Turns out meatpackers aren’t the only businesses with staff packed together in small areas with lots of chaos and shouting and undocumented workers.

    But in the back of the house, the part that most customers never see, a very different conversation is taking place. Chefs and other kitchen staff are quietly raising the alarm about the prospect of returning to what once passed for normal: chaotic, overcrowded, poorly ventilated kitchens where everyone is shouting, everyone is touching multiple surfaces and nobody has time for safety precautions when the front of the house gets slammed.

    We hear a lot about heroic “essential” workers in agriculture but not so much about the risks service workers in the restaurant industry are expected to run so PRCs can avoid the use of a frying pan. The story says it’s the workers who are risk in the drive to reopen these businesses and not so much the customers. Hazard pay–and higher restaurant prices– on the horizon?

    Reply
    1. Pat

      I am not saying we need not be concerned, but in much of America that front of house isn’t going to be slammed in the same way as before. Capacity for most restaurants has just been halved or reduced even further. Although more pick up and delivery may address that.

      Just as I do not know what theater and filmmaking will look like over the next year, I am pretty sure that restaurants are also on new ground. All of those businesses are going to face massive changes both for the labor and for the finance part of it. And yes higher prices are going to be pretty much unavoidable.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Yes there is that. And the story says restaurant owners are trying to adapt in the kitchen as well as the dining room. Meat packers will have to adapt too.

        But I guess my larger point was that the dishwashers and others are the invisible low wage workers that don’t get nearly the attention of, oh say, Walmart associates. When DC proposed a local minimum wage law they tried to make it for big box stores only and not all those restaurants where politicians wine and dine.

        Meanwhile it has been reported that fast food stores plan to become even more automated as their response to the problem.

        Reply
    2. Carolinian

      Er, make that PMCs. Still getting hang of new lingo.

      And in my ville the city has closed the street in front of the downtown restaurants so they can set up outdoor cafes. Seems to be popular.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        Yeah, I was trying to figure out why the Peoples Republic of China was in the kitchen with a frying pan: I suppose they were getting ready to cook Hong Kong?

        Reply
  25. Wukchumni

    Covid-19 made the Big Smokes redundant, as any reason for being huddled among masses of humans was no longer possible-no sporting events, concerts or what have you, and now that rioting & looting has broke out, what’s the allure?

    Remember when the internet was going to set us free to live anywhere, but hardly anybody did…

    I see that changing rather quickly in favor of the small town, Schumacher must be smiling somewhere.

    Reply
  26. Pat

    I realize that this is not of primary importance, but I fell down this rabbit hole yesterday and found myself wondering if I had missed the community dissecting the Serve America Movement.

    I discovered this more overtly embarrassed Republicans attempt to become power players with Democrats using unity and bipartisanship and civility than even than the Unity campaign while looking at the ballot listings and websites of AOC’s challengers.

    (For the record, while I do not agree with Badrun Khan, she at least has her stands on her website. There is also a gadfly candidate who runs for various congressional positions along with his run for President or Governor depending on the year)

    Michelle Caruso-Cabrera has no political positions on her website, which is dedicated to press releases and coverage largely attacks on AOC. But she DOES have a second ballot line as the candidate for Serve America Movement Party.

    That led me to this:
    https://floridapolitics.com/archives/331849-david-jolly-named-executive-chairman-of-serve-america-movement

    Which included this little tidbit about the Denver based 527 non profit political organization established in 2016: “In 2018, SAM became one of only eight official parties recognized by the state of New York after getting more than 50,000 votes for its nominee for Governor. SAM used its ballot line to run more than 100 candidates in 2019, with 51 of those candidates winning their elections to offices in 21 counties across New York.”

    Unity might have been for show, Bloomberg for ego, but I am thinking these Masters of the Universe are tired of middle men and are playing for keeps.

    Reply
    1. allan

      Ms. Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign contributions are a sight to behold.
      They don’t need an FEC filing, they need a cell block in The Hague:

      Dan Senor, ex-Coalition Provisional Authority spokesbot: $2,800

      Richard Grasso, NYSE ex-CEO: $2,800

      Randall Stephenson, ATT CEO: $5,000

      David S. Mack, Chairman of PANYNJ (until forced to resign in a 2009 scandal): $2,800

      You know, people with the best interests of NY-14 definitely at heart.

      Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      I think it’s more prudent to keep the mosquitos out of the tent to begin with.
      a Big Center Party of Unity has been trying to be born since at least 2015 and Herself.
      I don’t think it will sell as well as they think it will.
      like toynbee’s “dominant elite”.
      bereft of ideas and exhausted, but still clinging.
      nothing left but inertia.
      should be a hoot.

      Reply
  27. Wukchumni

    I’ve been advocating going to gas rationing, as you really don’t want the country moving around with a pandemic holding sway, and now it makes even more sense, in that the protesters of the worst sort seem to be all out of town agent provocateurs, and no gas and no problem.

    Set it at the same rationing rate as during WW2, 3 gallons per driver-per week.

    This will stop the spread of both plagues…

    Reply
  28. farmboy

    1968 Jun4, RFK shot and killed
    June8,JERay arrested in London for MLK murder, gets life in prison
    June19 50,000 join 3,000 at Resurrection City atDCMall
    July1, LBJ signs Non-Proliferation Treaty, still primary means to suppress spread of nuclear weapons.
    July18, Intel incorporates to produce microprocessors.
    July20, 1st Special Olymics
    July23, In Cleveland,Glenville shootout between police and black militants, 7 dead, 5 days of riots. Haunts Mayor Carl Stokes,7 months into 1st term as the 1st black official of a major US city says later it haunted every aspect of his administration.
    July25,Pope Paul rejects artificial contraception recommended by predecessor Pope John.
    Aug5-8, Nixon nominated for President.
    Aug20, USSR invades Czechoslovakia, halting Prague Spring.
    Aug21, PFC James Anderson 1st African American Marine to receive Medal Of Honor.
    Aug26, Beatles release Hey Jude, 1st single on their Apple label.
    Aug28, at the Democratic Natl Convention in Chicago, police and Natl Guard RIOT, going on a rampage tear gassing and clubbing demonstrators, reportrs, and bystanders on national TV. HHH wins Dem nomination for president next day.
    Police behavior institutionalized.

    Reply
  29. The Historian

    Before everyone starts believing all police are inherently bad, read this posted on Facebook by the Minot Police Department:

    “Minot Police Department
    1 hr ·
    I would like to ensure those who are gathering in Oak Park that we will not interfere with the peaceful assembly or freedom of speech. I, like many others across the country, am upset with the actions and in-actions of the officers involved in George Floyd’s death. Our badges have once again been tarnished by a few bad apples and I share the frustration that this badge should be worn proudly as a symbol of peace and security… not power and control.

    I would like to ensure that our department stands united as one community during today’s event. Please keep this event safe for all to gather and share their message.

    Please keep social distancing in mind to keep those around you safe and healthy as well.

    John Klug
    Chief of Police”

    Reply
    1. False Solace

      Yeah, the “not all cops” propaganda deluge has already started. Lots of happy feely photo ops of cops being friendly with “peaceful” protesters as if that excuses the atrocities they commit hours later and relentlessly day after day. The point is to divide public opinion and turn the easily led chunk of Americans who believe whatever the media tells them against the much smaller chunk who are in the streets demanding change.

      The cops are trained to be violent thugs who escalate confrontations. They serve the ruling class, not the citizens. They shoot people standing at home on their porch (which the curfew order specifically allowed the citizens to do). They ram crowds of protesters with police cars. They are sadists who murder people in the street with impunity while onlookers beg them to stop. I could link you video after video of mind-blowing violence all of which happened just last night.

      A self-serving photo op or press release is not going to change my mind. If it changes yours — you are part of the problem.

      Reply
      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        It’s always “a few bad apples”. They have been telling us that since 1992 and probably before. The idea that this is some exceptional and rare event is sadly untrue. That this cop had multiple incidences like this and was still on the force tells me he wasn’t a “bad apple”. They just couldn’t brush it aside this time (and they tried.) How anyone can use the “bad apples” defense in 2020 with a straight face is beyond me.

        Reply
      2. The Historian

        Don’t YOU want police departments to change how they treat people?

        There are police departments out there who understand that policing has taken a wrong turn in this country and are trying to fix that – but you aren’t willing to give them a chance, are you? It sounds to me like you WANT policing to stay the same as it is now, because, although it fixes NOTHING, it does give you the opportunity to express your hate, doesn’t it? And obviously that is more important to you than making improvements.

        Prejudice is ugly, no matter what form it takes!

        Reply
        1. Massinissa

          … You sure like putting words into False Solace’s mouth. Sorry, but where is the evidence that there are ‘good’ police departments in this country? What state do they exist in? When do they do anything but cover for other cops? Also why are you getting so very mad? Its just a discussion on NC. No need to take it so personally.

          Reply
        2. Aumua

          There are police departments out there who understand that policing has taken a wrong turn in this country and are trying to fix that

          I would say that policing did not so much take a wrong turn, as it started off on the wrong foot altogether. And I question whether any of these police departments are really trying, or have any intention to change anything, or if these are symbolic and ultimately empty gestures.

          Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            Or whether they will allow community engagement to stay the MRAPs when the community is no longer interested in the, inherently right wing and no mistake, bourgeois liberal order.

            Reply
      3. Aumua

        Agreed. I’m not calling anyone here part of the problem… but it’s the institution of policing and the well established patterns of abuse of power within that institution that needs to be looked at and changed. Not a small task. It’s very large and daunting task that will require sustained focus and effort. And this “look at us, we’re not all bad” stuff is a time tested method for diverting attention away from that focus and effort.

        Reply
        1. The Historian

          This is my last post on this issue since it is obvious that I am not singing with the choir here.

          I wasn’t trying to do a “look at us, we’re not all bad”. Perhaps you don’t understand how hard it is for police officers to cross that blue line – there will be repercussions – but some police forces chose to do it any way. This is akin to a shipboard mutiny.

          You aren’t going to change police forces by hating them – they are used to that – or by political means – those in power love the kind of control the police can give them. The change, as it did when police forces began turning military, will come from inside. What I am saying is that there is a seed of hope out there when police forces start turning on each other and against the kinds of violence you are seeing from police in the larger cities, and that seed needs to be watered, not stamped down.

          You are never going to love the police, they understand that even if you don’t, but you can help those police departments that do want to change by not painting them all with the broad brush of prejudice. Go after the bad cops and the bad police departments! I am all for that and always have been! But realize that there are also police men and women who are sick of what they are seeing from their brothers and sisters in uniform and want them out too!

          Reply
  30. Wukchumni

    Never have riots have been so ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille.

    Think of the chunky movie camcorder only a few observers of the Rodney King Riots would’ve wielded, compared to the ubiquitous smart phone everybody has.

    Reply
  31. Carolinian

    Re Dowd/NYT on Trump and Twitter,. Perhaps she’s being facetious by suggesting that Twitter made Trump, but the reality is that it was Trump who made Twitter. After all Twitter was once mostly the favorite playground of journalists like Dowd. It was Trump who got the platform mentioned on cable news every day and brought it into current prominence. Dowd seems to concede that a platform devoted to excessive pith and catchy one liners might not be in itself a good thing (the late Cockburn boasted that Counterpunch was a “twitter free zone” according to St.Clair). But with the once good gray Times turning itself into social media who is she to complain?

    Some of us go out of our way to ignore Trump, regardless of platform.

    Reply
    1. flora

      Yes. Good on the Flint PD and other PD’s in the country who haven’t lost their minds and common sense.

      One interesting bit about Minneapolis is the police union is currently in contract/salary negotiations with the city.
      https://www.reddit.com/r/Minneapolis/comments/gu2dsn/best_way_to_influence_police_union_contract/

      I gotta wonder if the cop(s) who killed George Floyd in broad daylight thought that was some sort of negotiating tactic: nice city ya got here, be a shame if something happened to it. No, that wouldn’t happen.

      Meanwhile, “The Minneapolis Public Schools system plans to vote next week on whether to terminate its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) amid unrest over the police-involved death of George Floyd.”

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/minneapolis-public-school-system-to-vote-on-terminating-contract-with-citys-police-department/ar-BB14MlX8

      Reply
      1. Roger Smith

        Lost their minds? Minneapolis, St. Paul, and State leadership sat by while their cities were being destroyed for 3 days. Those who have done nothing to curb this are the ones who have lost their minds. It has to be that at least 90% of all cities with “protests” had them turn violent and destructive. Meanwhile we still have partisan left leaning people pretending the police are the ones agitating protesters when, in these instances, it is the opposite. How long will it be until this Flint officer is eating his foot? “We hear you, please burn state property and loot your local stores.”

        Until people stop being such easily led sheep on all sides, we will only continue this ouroboros of shark jumping. This is utter chaos without any aim, only an ignorant trajectory towards more clamp down of institutional policing and racial hatred.

        Reply
        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          precisely those who have failed to deploy the resources that would be needed to track and apprehend the looters and fascists and anarchists while protecting the PEACEFUL AND PRINCIPLED protest of the many both Black and white and especially the young:

          will be responsible for the likely outcome of an ignorant trajectory towards more clamp down of institutional policing and racial hatred.

          and that would be not the protestors or the looters or the fascists or the anarchists but THE POWERS THAT BE.

          this country can’t even test and trace.

          #failedstate

          Reply
        2. flora

          It’s not binary, all-or-nothing.

          Scroll down the list to see Minneapolis’s current police contract on some key elements that keep bad cops on the force. Erasure of bad conduct reports with new contracts. The city could change this. They’re in contract negotiations right now. They could remove the bad conduct record erasure in the new contract. That might help weed out and get rid of bad cops on the force. Good cops shouldn’t object to that. There’s a lot that can be done locally and at the state level.

          https://www.checkthepolice.org/#review

          Reply
  32. Daryl

    https://twitter.com/safrazie/status/1266874958757523456

    > Garcetti says every testing center in the city of LA has been closed. This appears to have been a punitive response. In his response as to why the centers were all closed rather than in specific areas: “We’re not going to stand for the burning of police cars.”

    This is starting to seem like outright war, rather than anything to do with the law.

    Reply
  33. Cripes

    Help me understand this:

    Protest and property violence is happening in maybe 50 cities across the country. But mayors, governors and police agencies claim the majority are outside agitators.

    So, outside agitators in each of these cities leave their familiar locale to travel to another state at their own expense to protest and commit property damage instead of in their own City?

    My question, do they sleep at the motel 8 or the Hampton Inn? Is there an app to swap housing with other agitators in your destination city? Discounts for repeat stays when the arrested return for court appearances?

    Business must be booming.

    Reply
  34. nothing but the truth

    India coronavirus: Why is India reopening amid a spike in cases?

    Simply, because the alternative is starvation of the masses.

    Indian establishment has been incompetent, and the state govts politically motivated in their actions.

    It did not take an Einstein to anticipate that the daily wagers would starve in a lockdown, and Indian govt has a “poor” footprint at the local level to avoid this.

    No one anticipated that millions would march home thousands of kilometers across the country.

    The govt just refused to acknowledge the problem till 2 months (!) into the lockdown and open the railways for migrants to return to the hinterland for survival.

    Reply
  35. urblintz

    I didn’t catch her name before changing channels (CNN) but one of Obama’s Natl. Security advisers – while pushing back lightly against Trump’s tweet to put Antifa on the terrorist list – went straight to the Dem playbook and specifically grouped “China and Russia” along with white power and right-wing militia types as Trump allies trying to upend the next election.

    It will never stop.

    Reply
    1. Massinissa

      Saying Trump is soft on Russia is one thing, but do the Dems not realize the very real danger of a war with China, and that accusing Trump of being ‘soft on China’ is liable to make him more likely to start one? They’re playing with fire with these falsehoods.

      And for gods sake, how can he be said to be ‘soft on china’ when he’s the one who has started a historic trade war with them? Are they expecting us to believe the Trade War is some secret Xi/Trump plan for destroying capitalism and the American Way or something?

      Reply
      1. urblintz

        There is no rational explanation… these people are too crazed to consider the consequences. I have zero interest in defending Trump, mind you. He’s a dangerous narcissist now wielding the big hammer. But derangement is not an appropriate response, yet it’s all they’ve got. Adults stuck in a temper tantrum, like kids with fingers-stuck-in-ears-blah-blah-blah-I-won’t-hear-you, hiding from responsibility for their epic failures … and far too many Dem voters have bought into this malign sickness for me to hope it won’t work, again, to misdirect attention from Democratic complicity in the evil.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          In fact, they consider the consequences carefully, before considering the measures to ensure that the consequences land on the s–t-eating classes.

          Reply
  36. Jason Boxman

    The Times has a story about Amazon getting overwhelmed earlier in the pandemic, including this gem, which hilariously has always been my experience on Amazon. Period. I hate trying to find stuff on Amazon:

    But on Amazon, customers were confronted with failures that were much weirder and harder to understand, with, of course, nobody around to explain them.

    Searches for antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer turned up page after page of irrelevant products, scams and overpriced items with shipping times weeks or months in the future.

    That’s just a typical day on Amazon. I didn’t realize so many people were unaware? I avoid anything not sold by and shipped by Amazon like the plague, the 3 times a year I can find an item only on Amazon. (Of course Amazon brand stuff if frequently dangerous garbage as well, so I avoid Amazon branded stuff as well.)

    Reply
  37. The Rev Kev

    Just watching the morning news here to see a tanker truck drive into a crowd of protesters on a bridge at speed. No word on any killed or wounded but the guy was pulled out of the truck and held for police-

    https://www.startribune.com/tanker-truck-barrels-into-thousands-marching-on-i-35w/570908442/

    Yesterday in Salt Lake city some old dude was threatening people with a bow and arrows so he got mobbed and beaten up-

    https://www.abc4.com/news/top-stories/police-man-threatening-crowd-with-bow-and-arrow-in-salt-lake-city-being-screened-for-charges/

    This is really getting like 1968.

    Reply
    1. J.k

      https://mobile.twitter.com/oracularrevenge/status/1266961337336414209

      There are the conservative/right wing outlets like the blaze engaging in some dangerous shenanigans online. One of the guys that works for the blaze Posted an edited version of a video he filmed . He claimed the video showed a business owner was murdered by a mob for defending his store. It spread like wildfire whipping up hysteria for hours before he was forced to put up the full version after others started posting clips from different angles. It show this man being pelted with rocks, the man is armed with a sword or a machete. Initially he begins to run away but then turns his focus on a kid with a skateboard and begins to chase him and charges at him with the weapon. The group that was present pounced on him and delivered a brutal beating. The man did not die, and now it also seems like he isnt a business owner. Just a nutjob who thought he would play cop with a sword. This edited version misrepresenting the event is still being spread online and on twitter along with the false narrative. Honestly , the beating and the aftermath made my stomach turn. But this guy was charging people with a sword/machete. The link i posted looks to be one of the more complete versions.
      Similar stuff happened with the guy with the crossbow. Edited video spun to misrepresent the events.

      Reply
    2. YetAnotherChris

      I think the trucker in Minneapolis blundered into that situation and really tried to stop. Area freeways were to be closed at 8 PM but that was abruptly moved up to 5 PM. It seems likely that in the confusion MnDOT missed a barricade or lost track of a tanker on I-35.

      The approach to that bridge from the south is a tight left turn in a low area, and the trucker would have seen a long slow rise ahead of him before the crowd on the bridge came into view. I’ve never tried to stop a tanker truck abruptly, but I imagine the fluid dynamics could make that tricky. And once he stopped, he was besieged by angry people. My bet is that he panicked and tried to get out of there.

      Reply
      1. J.k

        Chris, i think your assessment seems sound. I think , like you said he may have bungled into this situation. I imagine if he intended to harm or kill he would have kept going. It does look as if he was going quite fast and tried to stop when he realized what was going on. And he sounded the horn as he was hitting the breaks.

        Reply
        1. InThePines

          The top-view video of the truck stopping shows the suspension loading and unloading as the driver pinned the brakes and the cargo is surging. A loaded truck takes an eighth mile to make a panic stop from 65. A loaded tanker has a higher center of gravity and its driver gets repeatedly slammed by the surge.
          Glad he didn’t kill anyone, and impressed that he was treated better than Reginald Denny despite all the adrenaline around. Freaking lucky.

          Reply
  38. Carolinian

    Garrison Keillor on what is happening.

    The burning and destruction happened in the neighborhood beloved to my mother’s family, thirteen kids grew up not far from there, around 38th and Longfellow. I walked those streets as a kid, our Sunday School was in the neighborhood. I pray that peace returns. This pandemic has isolated people and maybe that was a factor — schools are our most basic democratic institution, followed by grocery shopping and sports, the bus system, and your early work experience. That’s where real change occurs, not in righteous pronouncements like this one.

    more

    http://www.garrisonkeillor.com/nfm-may-29-2020/

    Reply
  39. Lil’D

    I got this from Bernie just now

    Today, across the country, the American people are rising up in outrage against the torture and murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the ongoing systemic racism that permeates our society.

    We know that the murder of George Floyd is just the latest in a seemingly endless series of police killings that take the lives of African-Americans: Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Rekia Boyd, Walter Scott and so many others that it shocks the mind. When will it end?

    The American people are rightly demanding justice and an end to police brutality and murder. And Congress must act. It is my view that:

    Every police officer involved in a killing must be held accountable, and those found guilty must be punished with the full force of the law. That includes officers who stand by while these brutal acts take place.

    Every single killing of a person by police or while in police custody must be investigated by the Department of Justice.

    Police departments must look like the communities they serve and be part of those communities, not be seen as invading, heavily-armed occupying forces.

    Police departments that fail to reform should be stripped of federal financial support.

    The federal government has to aggressively lead a complete overhaul of policing in this country.

    And we need to examine whether the time is now for us to federalize the murder of people by state actors.

    There are many important organizations working to advance racial justice in this country. Today I would like to ask you to contribute to a few of them, if you can afford it.

    Please split a contribution between the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Movement for Black Lives, Poor People’s Campaign, and Center for Popular Democracy. These groups are doing critical work and could use your support.

    As we focus on the issue of police violence and killing, we must also fight to end the many other ways violence is visited on marginalized communities.

    Black people face economic violence. In the wealthiest nation on earth, when 40 million Americans live in poverty, incredibly, one out of three African-American children live below the poverty line and too many are trapped in a school-to-prison pipeline.

    That economic violence goes further. While tens of millions are working hard every day, with little to show for their labor, over half of African-American workers in this country earn less than $15 an hour. Starvation wages are a form of violence and African-Americans and other communities of color bear the brunt of this plague.

    Speaking of plagues, the current COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged Black and Brown communities at far higher rates than white communities both in terms of infection and death. This is on top of the fact that Black and Latino people disproportionately bear the violence of a cruel and dysfunctional health care system that results in the death of some 60,000 Americans each year, because they cannot afford the health care they need.

    It is the violence of homelessness where, today, in the midst of the pandemic, millions worry about being forced out of their apartments or homes and joining the 500,000 Americans who are already homeless.

    Sadly, these are just some examples because this violence can be seen everywhere in the lives of Black people. So, as we watch Americans all over the country taking to the streets to peacefully protest this violence we must keep in mind the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

    “We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.”

    And speaking of non-violence, I must say that I am deeply saddened as we witness the destruction of stores in neighborhoods who depend upon these shops for their survival. It is the people in those lower-income communities who will be forced to live without access to groceries and other necessities long after the fires are extinguished and the television crews have packed up and gone home. I want to commend those in the community who have courageously tried to keep that destruction from taking place.

    In this enormously difficult moment in American history, now is the time to honor George Floyd, and to do everything possible to make sure that his death was not in vain. Now is the time for us to come together, in a non-violent way, to demand justice in America in all respects. Racial Justice. Economic Justice. Social Justice. Environmental Justice.

    This week, I will begin discussions with my colleagues and with people from the grassroots about supporting and crafting legislation that begins to dismantle racism in America and creates the kind of nation we can and must become.

    Today, I hope you will consider making a contribution to some of the organizations that are working to bring an end to systemic racism.

    Contribute $500 to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, Movement for Black Lives, Poor People’s Campaign and Center for Popular Democracy.

    Let us go forward together. Let us peacefully protest and continue our collective struggle for justice.

    In solidarity,

    Bernie Sanders

    Reply
      1. InThePines

        FWIW, his suggested donation amounts are pegged to previous donations. Out of that context, it looks tone-deaf.

        Reply
  40. VietnamVet

    For a while, I’ve felt that unrest was likely with the offshoring of middle-class workers jobs. The Establishment got richer at the expense of everyone else helped by the legal system and the political class. The Walton family’s Walmart stores are an example or Bill Gates who eliminated typing pools. But, also, there is the increasing intentional exploitation of people by credit cards, hospitals, opioids, fructose additives, drugs and casinos that made Americans ill (81% of the young are unfit for military service) and deeply in debt. Also, there is exploitation of the environment which has increased storm damage and flooding.

    The Minnesota democratic governor is a prime example of the 10% who won’t look the truth in the face because then they would have to acknowledge that they are enablers of the corruption. The President and Congress are mentally locked up in the Versailles on the Potomac.

    The riots are integrated. On the screen, incarcerated at home, they look class based and revolutionary. The Greatest Depression and the Pandemic have struck hard blows to Americans. Not to mention, the Presidential Moron who can’t do anything right. The Establishment has weeks to find jobs for the youth and set up a free national public health system to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

    The Western Empire is dead. The USA and UK are pariah nations filled with infection, hundreds of thousands dying, and isolated from nations that have controlled the virus. The United States of America may be finished too.

    Reply
  41. Chris

    No, this time, it’s really real for reals. The Trump Presidency is over…because a Clinton tool says so.

    From the Guardian…:

    Trump’s nonfeasance goes far beyond an absence of leadership or inattention to traditional norms and roles. In a time of national trauma, he has relinquished the core duties and responsibilities of the presidency.

    He is no longer president. The sooner we stop treating him as if he were, the better.

    Every now and then Mr. Reich says something I agree with. This is not one of those times. I remember he enabled Bill Clinton and still thinks Democrats are the good guys too. Surely someone so smart and so well regarded could provide some advice for a sitting president facing these amazing challenges simultaneously? No?

    Whatever will these people do when there is no more Trump to write about… :/

    Reply

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