Links 6/1/2020

US Campaign Against Cuba’s Medical Brigades Targets Healthcare, Not ‘Forced Labor’ FAIR

NASA astronauts just flew SpaceX’s Crew Dragon into orbit for the first time MIT Technology Review

Space Force draws space penis over eastern coast of Florida Duffelblog

40 Times Mother Nature Proved To Be Scary As Hell (WARNING: This List Might Be Too Scary For You) Bored Panda

Obituary: Christo Javacheff, the artist who wrapped the world BBC

What Did Bach Sound Like to Bach? Humanities

Black Injustice Tipping Point

More than 50 Secret Service agents are injured in clashes outside the White House: Rioters throw Molotov cocktails in DC while looters trash Gucci and Chanel stores in NYC on a sixth night of violence in cities across the US Daily Mail

World alarmed by violence in US; thousands march in London AP

Racist Killing and Impunity Craig Murray

Will Urban Uprisings Help Trump? Actually, They Could Be His Undoing. Mother Jones

LAPD: “You will be fired upon” & Floyd Eyewitness Greg Palast (chuck l)

After George Floyd, a Nation in Search of Justice New York Review of Books

Minnesota prosecutor’s charges might lead to an unjustly easy sentence for George Floyd’s killer Boston Globe. I’m usually one of the first in line to criticize Tribe, but I think here in this op-ed he and  co-author Albert Turner Goins get it about right.


Royce White towers above the Minneapolis protests, and thousands are looking up to him WaPo

Open season on the free press: Journalists targeted in attacks as U.S. protests rage. Reuters

US Law Enforcement Are Deliberately Targeting Journalists During George Floyd Protests Bellingcat (furzy). Moi: When you’ve lost Bellingcat…

Class Warfare

Should the Rich Be Allowed to Buy the Best Genes? Air Mail. Walter Isaacson. Still too much royalty and celebrity nonsense on his new venue, but this reminds me why Graydon Carter has enjoyed such success in media. Up to you whether you decide occasional partial access is worth the free registration.

The Housing Vultures New York Review of Books

Trump is desperate to punish Big Tech but has no good way to do it Ars Technica

‘Why Do We Always Get Hit First?’ Proposed Budget Cuts Target Vulnerable Californians Kaiser Health News


Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus Counterpunch

COVID-Related Fiscal Issues Could Become New Excuse to Privatize Drinking Water TruthOut

Globalizing the Fight Against the Pandemic Project Syndicate

Retailers and Restaurants Hit in Protests, Adding to Coronavirus Damage WSJ

Six businesses finding an upside in the crisis FT

Novel coronavirus losing potency, top Italian doctor says Al Jazeera. ER: “Sure would be nice if this were true, makes it an optimal one for your links and the wise commentariat esp. Ignacio and Bsoder”. Moi: Obviously the claim needs to be confirmed.

Citi warns markets are out of step with grim reality FT

Economic Scars for Decades to Come Der Spiegel

NYC’s Metropolitan Opera artists face uncertain future due to coronavirus lockdown Daily News

The Secret, Absurd World of Coronavirus Mask Traders and Middlemen Trying To Get Rich Off Government Money ProPublica


Doctor’s Note: Does a high viral load make coronavirus worse? Al Jazeera

These Athletes Had the Coronavirus. Will They Ever Be the Same? NYT

Serfs Revolt

Resident physicians should have a say in their working conditions Stat

Nebraskans Ask For Protections For Meatpacking Workers: “Essential Workers Are Essential Lives” NET Nebraska

Sports Desk

Players make MLB counteroffer in bid to save 2020 season NY Post


British-era Special Branch offers a hint of how local and mainland Chinese agents could help enforce Hong Kong’s new security law SCMP

Hong Kong: Boris Johnson urged to form alliance over China security law BBC

Trump’s war on Huawei is self-defeating Asia Times

China asks state firms to halt purchases of U.S. soybeans, pork, say sources Reuters


Why Mumbai is still struggling to cope with coronavirus The Print

The Political Fix: As India unlocks, how the Covid crisis is playing out in 3 very different states Scroll

Trump Transition

Trump cancels summit but says he will invite Putin to later G7 event Guardian

How John Brennan and Mike Pompeo Left the U.S. Blind to Saudi Problems Politico

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Bsoder

      Is that the one trump wants ‘hurt’.

      Why is it that if one holds views that are judged ‘left’ (to be honest I couldn’t put a collection of those views together), it is always radical left. Ok what’s the extra that makes ‘left’ views become ‘radical‘. To go further, it now is radical left anarchistic. So I ask, with ‘anarchistic’ what do you get that’s different that merely radical left, as opposed to merely mundane left? I know republicans have speech/thinking impediments, but still, does anyone know what these terms are supposed to mean. Are there any living examples. Anyone coming forward saying ‘yup, that’s me’. Anybody that ever lived? Stalin was not an anarchistic. I’m confused. I might be one. I don’t know. It doesn’t help that trump being delusional thinks that whatever he thinks is real.

          1. Annieb

            Food not Bombs is definitely not aligned with anarchism. If you read their web site, which you linked to, you will know that for certain. If you have any knowledge of their activities in communities, you will also know that they have nothing to do with anarchism.

        1. jsn

          But within the neoliberal frame work, “rule 1. because markets, rule 2. go die”, any suggestion of some inherent value to human life is radical.

          This is the framework under which our policy auction house operates since Citizens United.

      1. Martine

        If you want to understand anarchism, Emma Goldman’s Anarchism and Other Essays is a good place to start.

        1. montanamaven

          I would also recommend Colin Ward’s “Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction. Nice little pocket book. Peter Kropotkin’s “The Conquest of Bread” is another good way to begin.
          I am wending my way through “Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism by Peter Marshall. It starts with the Taoists as part of the prehistory of anarchism. It was the thinkers of the 19th C who began to articulate it. Marshall says “For all the different philosophical assumptions, strategies and social recommendations, anarchists are united in their search for a free society without the State or Government. They all flow in the broad river of anarchy towards the great sea of freedom.” Anarchism is not individualism. It is the goal to create a society “which allows all human beings to realize their full potential.,”

          1. MLTPB

            The eternal Dao can not be worded, or something like that.

            Was Emna too wordy, from that view?

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        The more restrictions and prohibitions in the world,
        the poorer people get.
        The more experts a country has,
        the more of a mess it’s in.
        The more ingenious the skillful are,
        the more monstrous its inventions.
        The louder the call for law and order,
        the more thieves and con-men multiply.

        Tao te Ching #57 (anarchist Ursula K. Le Guin, trans.)

        1. John Zelnicker

          Here’s another translation, by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English (Vintage Books, 1972):

          “The more laws and restrictions there are,
          The poorer people become.
          The sharper men’s weapons,
          The more trouble in the land.
          The more ingenious and clever men are,
          The more strange things happen.
          The more rules and regulations,
          The more thieves and robbers.”

          Both of these translations add to, and expand, the meaning of each other.

          I particularly like the juxtaposition of “ingenious and clever” with “strange things happening”, as we are certainly seeing many unprecedented events in our time.

        2. km

          The stricter the laws a country has, the more that lawyers multiply and trouble the people.

        3. MLTPB

          Zen practitioners likely will recognize the part about ingenious, clever and skillful people.

          ‘Stop the rational mind.’

          I guess they avoid discussions about quantum mechanics for example, as much as they can so they have more time for zazen.

          1. mpalomar

            I may be missing your point but although the theoretical physics in the ‘Tao of Physics’ and ‘The Dancing Wu li Masters’ is apparently outmoded, certainly among zen practitioners, some are serious quantum ponderers.

      3. Judith

        James C Scott. Two Cheers for Anarchism. Scott thinks a lot about states and how they originated. He finds anarchism quite appealing but does not expect the state to go away.

  1. Jessica

    Saying that the virus has weakened (whether or not that is true) would allow the powers that be to stand down from the more severe forms of lockdown without leaving themselves open to the claim that they had over-reacted.

    BTW, as far as I know, because a microbe is better off keeping their host alive, microbes normally do weaken after crossing from one species to another and this pattern is so reliable that scientists use it in reverse. They calculate how long a microbe has been in humanity from how weak it has gotten.

    Major exceptions have been the plague, which was primarily a disease of rats and the fleas, so under little evolutionary pressure to go easy on humans, and the Spanish flu.
    Has anyone seen any studies proving that the second wave of the Spanish flu was deadlier because the virus had become more lethal? Given that the Spanish flu occurred at the end of a grinding war of attrition with many parts of Europe in bad shape, it might be that the reason for the deadlier second wave was weakness in the victims.
    There is also a claim that many of the deaths were due to aspirin, which came off of patent right then, being given to patients in large doses.

    1. Phacops

      Much of the death attributable to the 1918 influenza was from secondary bacterial infection. Whether or not that was the consequence of damage by a dysfunctional innate immune response (interferons and cytokines), as is happening with COVID, is not clear.

    2. Hopelb

      Read an article about the virologist who discovered HIV, who believes Covid was lab created, and that it will quickly disappear;
      “ Montagnier also predicted the imminent disappearance of the virus , because its supposed artificial origin would be weakening it.

      “You can do anything with nature, but if you do artificial construction, it is unlikely to survive. Nature loves harmonious things; what is foreign, like a virus that comes from another virus, for example, is not well tolerated,” he assured. For the scientist, the parts of the virus into which HIV was inserted are rapidly mutating, causing its self-destruction.”

  2. allan

    Re: `How John Brennan and Mike Pompeo Left the U.S. Blind to Saudi Problems’

    Interesting history.
    But the one person most relevant to why we’re blind at the moment,
    MbS’s backdoor to Trump, is glaring in his absence: Jared Kushner.

    Did the author willingly pull his punches,
    or was Kushner’s name taken out by the CIA pre-approval censors?

  3. bassmule

    It’s official!

    Rumsfeld: Looting is transition to freedom

    WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) — U.S. forces should not be blamed for the lawlessness and looting in Baghdad as it is a natural consequence of the transition from a dictatorship to a free country, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday at the Pentagon.

    “The task we’ve got ahead of us now is an awkward one … It’s untidy. And freedom’s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They’re also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that’s what’s going to happen here,” Rumsfeld said.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Freedom fighters over there. Outside agitators and domestic terrorists over here.

      1. Peak Coup 2020

        When do they become freedom fighters over here ?


        Have you missed the last few decades ?

        1. TMoney

          Terrorists become freedom fighters only if you win and you get to write the history books. If George III and not George Washington wins, the history books would talk about traitors in the British colonies in the Americas.

      2. km

        It seems that every city is claiming the destruction in their particular city is caused by “outside agitators”.

        How convenient. Must be outsiders doing the damage, because the people here are perfectly content with the way things are. That was the segregationist catchphrase ca. 1959, too “Outside agitators are stirring up our negroes!” Because of course black people just love being fifth second class citizens and could never want anything else.

        Of course, to believe the outside agitators story, one apparently must also believe that the murder of George Floyd sparked off travelling teams of outside agitators, the Detroit agitators heading off to Cleveland, the Cleveland agitators going to Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh crew taking a road trip to Philly, etc., all around the country.

        Not only is this pointless, it also defies belief.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes, and people throwing around the term “failed state”. No. “The state” did not fail, the individual people chosen for a solemn duty failed in that duty. And “failed” is past tense, whereas this project is very much happening in the present. I know, because I see the people directly responsible in realtime on TV every day, saying things. Apparently they are still enjoying complete freedom of movement, they’re not (yet) in the rumble seat of a tumbril, enjoying the view over the mob with their cabezas on the top of a pike, or in a nice orange jumpsuit, making little rocks out of big ones at Sing-Sing.

        1. ambrit

          Who could have guessed that the local Foot Locker was going to be the next Hurt Locker?

  4. fresno dan

    Minnesota prosecutor’s charges might lead to an unjustly easy sentence for George Floyd’s killer

    I was watching a 3 hour TV special about Epstein – and like a lot of TV stuff, the most important and obvious points are never addressed. And that is the total lack of accountability of prosecutors. Endless yammering in this society about how bad child trafficking is, yet somehow BOTH state and federal prosecutors have a cavalier attitude when its done by a billionaire….
    Somehow, SOMEHOW, its no one’s job to ask either Acosta or Krischer exactly why they thought an aggressive prosecution of Epstein couldn’t happen. Infuriating.
    Likewise, murder is suppose to be the most grievous of crimes, and when one has videotape evidence, somehow the US legal system, when it involves a police officer, has inordinate difficulty in understanding that something significantly unjust has taken place…
    The US courts – always differential to the police and billionaires
    Really, isn’t it obvious that the US legal system is designed to allow arbitrary and capricious decision making when it benefits the powerful?

    1. Bsoder

      9 minutes to execute someone. Even when the medics came the cop wouldn’t move. And trump saw it and called it ‘good’. We’ve gone from having a king to a god.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Two Orange Man Baaaaaad comments within 4 minutes. Must be some sort of record.

        Minnesota has a democrat governor and a democrat attorney general. Minneapolis has a democrat mayor. Both of Minnesota’s senators are democrats (and both are female.) The Klob was Hennepin County Attorney from 1999-2007, and the current county attorney is a democrat.

        This is the very combination that, we are told, will create political and societal nirvana–peace, love and prosperity for all.

        So it MUST be Donald Trump’s fault.

        I despair that I am not possessed of the ability to “reason” so brilliantly.

          1. edmondo

            I’m not allowed over there anymore. I refuse to believe that Joe Biden’s dementia is a result of his “stutter” so I am banned for the third time. Sometimes I go for the laughs and I intend to be there on November 3rd once they realize that “Mr. Electable” isn’t.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          I know the Dems have let us down, but please: he has absolutely contributed to the present climate of despair and desperation by reinforcing the worst in all of us and now he is going to double down on his utter failure to provide leadership

          wait for the 2p presser

          1. ambrit

            Say what you will about Trump, he is showing the world the real face of the American Elites. The other Party would have handled this situation better, in purely cosmetic terms. The underlying reality would not have changed.
            This is what the end stage of an empire looks like and acts like.
            It is going to get a lot worse.

            1. km

              If Ferguson was anything to go on, there would have been a blue ribbon commission and some white papers.

              Surely, that would have fixed everything.

              1. ambrit

                You got it! Just be certain to validate the credentials of the Blue Ribbon Panel members.

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            “…..he has absolutely contributed to the present climate of despair and desperation by reinforcing the worst in all of us….”

            What does that even mean?

            1. fwe’zy

              Visions of Snidely Whiplash. Thanks for calling it out, especially above. Not that DJT isn’t vile, but whattabout the Dems eh.

              1. ChiGal in Carolina

                parallel construction, dude, as my reply to Katniss was, in effect: not that the Dems aren’t vile, but whattabout DJT eh

                minimizing the vileness of anyone as creating a boogieman—“orange-man bad” is just snark

                and what it even means is that we can do without the dog-whistles, you really think they make it easier to rip off the fig leaf?

                not in my lifetime, and when it happens some of these here armchair warriors ain’t gonna like it much

                1. fwe’zy

                  You’re absolutely right wrt your whattabout. My vitriol would’ve been properly aimed higher up in the thread. A commenter who’s been liberally seeding the daily convo with TDS.

                  1. fwe’zy

                    I still don’t agree with your “the worst of us,” though. I’m not convinced that the dog whistles are more destructive than the actual mega-hauls of looting orchestrated by both administrations/ parties. That includes privatization and hollowing-out at every level of society.

            2. skippy

              Regardless of the twitter banter Trump has moved aggressively to strip mine FinReg, environmental and labor laws, all whilst engaging with the breather posse that even Reagan knew were deep loon pond, now attempting to secure the judiciary into perpetuity.

              Its like that last stage of some stimulant addiction, all the kids in the house know dad is nuts and want out …

          3. occasional anonymous

            All that has been reinforced is the complete lack of critical thinking skills of the ‘resistance’. That stupidity has definitely been rewarded over the last four years.

      2. expose

        Trump did not call it ‘good.’

        President Donald Trump called the death of George Floyd “a grave tragedy.”

        “It should never have happened,” Trump said Saturday, five days after Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. “It has filled Americans all over the country with horror, anger, and grief.”

        Also, he immediately asked for Federal investigations into violations earlier in the week.

      3. Robert Hahl

        One thing people are responding to in this video is that the cops know they are being recorded and really don’t care, they are not just faking it.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Gov. Walz has now appointed MN AG Keith Ellison to run the case. The state has officially expressed a lack of confidence in Hennepin Co Attorney Mike Freeman (who is palpably eager to please whoever else is in the room with him).

      The %s of out of state agitators were overblown, but increasingly locals are wondering if a handful of trained assh*les didn’t do 80% of the arson. Caches of accellerants are being found (but not everywhere or in great numbers).

      I wish we had a credible news media to sort this all out.

      1. Carla

        “increasingly locals are wondering if a handful of trained assh*les didn’t do 80% of the arson.”

        You mean, like, “trained assh*oles” as in police, FBI or Homeland Security infiltrators?

        1. Local to Oakland

          I also saw pictures showing pallets of bricks had been conveniently placed for breaking windows.

          1. Aumua

            Well you don’t know why those pallets were there. You can have your suspicions, and I suspect as well foul play. But the truth is, that it’s speculation and calling it anything else is disingenuous.

              1. Aumua

                Yeah, it’s more of the same. I would love for there to be a smoking gun, but this just ain’t it.

      2. MLTPB

        Thanks for the update from MN.

        While we don’t have anything conclusive (Greenwald above – no evidentiary basis…absent of evident), i believe it’s easy for one agitator out of 100 peaceful protestors to ruin it.

    3. J.k

      Now that the independent autopsy has concluded it is indeed homicide and with the state a.g Ellison taking over is it to much to hope the charges will be upgraded and the other accomplices also be finally charged?

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Obituary: Christo Javacheff, the artist who wrapped the world”

    And his last words were: “That’s a wrap!” Gotta say that I was never impressed by his work but now when I see the massive amount of plastic and material used in his artwork, I think what a waste. Only a 20th century artist would consider this a good idea at all.

    1. Lee

      Agreed. I much prefer the work of Anthony Goldsworthy, whose art might be considered a kind of antidote to Christo’s approach.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Andrew, I think. Saw a wonderful film about him and his work back in the day. Highly recommended.

    2. NT

      I worked at The Gates in New York as one of many people who helped talked to the thousands of people who visited, helped ‘fix’ the Gates when the material wrapped around, and performed routine maintenance and snow shovelling in Central Park to alleviate any load on the Parks Department. The work was rough — 10 hour days in bitter cold at near-minimum wage, but one of the best gigs I’ve done in my long life.
      In the morning and at various intervals, Christo would talk about his art. His main reason for the Gates and for many of his works was to allow people to ‘see the unseen’. In the case of The Gates, this meant that the cloth movement revealed wind patterns at different times, and the design reflected the gentle slopes of the terrain, the effects of sunlight at different times on the perceived color of the gates, and the subtleties in Olmsted’s design of the park. Though visitors could not articulate the reasons, the work gave most people I saw great joy in the middle of a bleak winter.
      Also, a large part of the planning for all of Christo’s projects was a plan to recycle and reuse all of the materials. This recycling was quite expensive, so Christo designed and sold art ahead of time to completely cover the costs of this and the costs to the location. New York paid nothing for the work and received a marvelous gift in exchange. I feel honored to have helped and sadness at Christo’s passing.

      1. stefan

        As an artist, I was never particularly wowed by Christo’s artwork, but three points:
        1. I happened to walk thru Central Park during a snowstorm when they were dismantling The Gates. The park was fairly uninhabited and it was the kind of snowfall that muffles sound. During my walk I crossed paths with Jean-Claude, Cristo’s wife, who was reviewing matters from the back seat of her slow-moving limousine, window rolled down. Our eyes met and we smiled and waved to one another. She looked a bit the queen in her carriage. It was a tender moment, easy to see the wistful pride she felt for the project at its end.
        2. My father grew up in Soviet Russia and spent eleven years in the gulag (in fact his sister lived her entire adult life in exile as a medical doctor in Karaganda, Tashkent). My dad had a particular affection for Christo’s “Running Fence”, which I think he saw as a sort of metaphor of political divisions across the earth.
        3. In editing a book about art, I came to learn that for the Christo husband and wife team, the processes of social administrative procedure—getting agreements, everyone involved, permits, etc.—were a big point of the artistic process and purpose.
        I’m glad that many different artists try to do many different things.

        1. OIFVet

          Christo was born in Bulgaria and ran away soon after the war, so I think that your 2nd point is spot on.

      2. sd

        Sounds just lovely. Wish I had had the opportunity to see the piece in person. Photos were great, but an installation is never the same as it is in person.

        With all that I see happening today, the world could use a little more art.

      3. Carla

        NT and stefan, thank you so much for your comments. They really enhanced my impression of Christo’s and Jean-Claude’s work.

        It is healing to read about people’s experiences of great art, especially on such a black Monday as this is.

      4. Pat

        I loved The Gates. I realized that it did look different at different times and went to check it out often. And it did give me a better appreciation of the almost rolling hillock terrain of the park I never had before.

        Thank you for helping with it. I did not know they had made arrangements for a proper and respectful as well as responsible dismantling. How lovely. And thank you for sharing.

    3. Rory

      In the Maysles brothers 1977 “Running Fence” documentary, there is a scene of a local planning commission meeting to gain a needed approval for the running fence project. The commission members, apparently mostly local ranchers, seem very skeptical. The film shows concern and worry growing among the project’s backers, but then the camera turns to Christo, sitting calmly in a folding chair in the room. Someone remarks to him that things don’t appear to be going well. Christo’s reply – “It’s all part of the art.”

      Ever since seeing that movie, Christo’s “It’s all part of the art” observation has sustained me through many trying moments.

      I was fortunate enough to see “The Gates” in person. I think Christo was a valuable artist.

      1. Youme

        I have to disagree. Although documents and photographs are all that is left afterwards, one of the huge values of both Christo and Goldsworthy’s work was their direct engagement with the natural world. People were able to experience art as part of the natural world and not just something to see in the confines of a museum.

    4. Geo

      When I briefly attended art school I had a teacher who told us:

      “If you want to be successful as an artist there are two ways to do it. Do one thing more than anyone else has ever done it, or do one thing bigger than anyone else has ever done it.”

      Christo did it the second way. Had some intriguing concepts but always felt he was notable mainly for his scale.

  6. DJG

    Al Jazeera on weakening virus.

    First, a quote that is the tell:

    Zangrillo said some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality.

    “We’ve got to get back to being a normal country,” he said. “Someone has to take responsibility for terrorising the country.”

    Zangrillo is from Lombardy, and he is putting his toe into a brewing controversy about how the Lega has ravaged the health-care system in Lombardy. Lombardy is still the Italian hot spot, and arguably, it infected the three adjacent regions of Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, and Veneto.

    I will wait till someone with more credibilty shows some proof, like Crisanti or Burioni.

    And I will defer to our own local expert, Ignacio, who may have an opinion.

      1. Geo

        To be fair to Italians, they don’t need America to show them how to have rotten politics. They’ve been experts at that for a long time.

  7. ACF

    Re No Justice No Peace

    Remember, the white supremacist power structure, by which I mean our political economy that gives white people more power because they’re white and forcibly removes power from non-white people because they are non-white, began some 600 years ago, when we decided Natives were subhuman and committed genocide against them.

    We followed that/started in the same window of time slavery, again premised on the non-humanity of nonwhite people, of the ‘other’ (other from the white European perspective), followed by Jim Crow, followed by the continued perpetration of murderous state-sanctioned violence that the democratization of video has finally made visible to those the power structure protects and serves.

    And remember, the police do not create the social order, they enforce it; they replicate it. They are the means through which the power dynamics are maintained, but they are not the origin of the power dynamics. Thus ‘reforming’ the police, while necessary, is wholly insufficient. Power within society must be fundamentally restructured.

    It’s also important not to think in terms of ‘good cops’ and ‘bad cops’. The issue is much bigger. For sure there are many people who have strong moral codes and see all humans as equal who become police officers to protect and serve all people. To identify and critique the role the police as an institution is not the same as to indict each and every individual officer. For those of you who are in law enforcement, who love people who are in law enforcement, I am not attacking you or your loved ones. You/they make your own choices each and every day about how to function in our world, and I am no perfect person, I am not free to cast many stones.

    It’s also important to remember that while race is the used as the ultimate targeting device for social injustice, 99% (give or take) of Americans are totally screwed and restructuring of the power structure to benefit nonwhite people can be done to benefit everyone except that tiny elite that have successfully exploited the rest of us for so long. Successfully exploited us, in part, by dividing us on racial lines. We must start from the basic given: homo sapiens are human, and all humans are equal, and we can achieve justice by making common cause.

    What does it mean to achieve justice, anyway? To me it is to have a political economy that structurally minimizes the ability of any one/any group to abuse their power, for injustice is the abuse of power. It’s a dynamic definition, not a static one. Though to be comprehensive, ‘power’ must not be abused in any of its forms. Justice has its roots in fairness. In all contexts we can intuit fairness. And if you are not yet able to emphasize with the ‘other’ effectively enough to intuit fairness, project the face of someone you love, and ask if this person were my loved one, would I think it fair?

    In these crazy times, please take care of each other and please keep a level head, seeing the whole picture, while doing what you can to help in any little tangible way you can. Help what/help how? Help make your corner of this country a little more just.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        from that thread:
        Matt Stoller

        The single most annoying moral grandstander in all of this mess is Donald Trump. That’s what the MAGA right doesn’t get. He’s the President. The buck stops with him. Ranting about protesters and generally being a jerk isn’t the job.

    1. Snake Plissken

      East Asians outperform whites economically. Are they “White” in your view?

      1. ACF

        No, in my view, East Asians are not “White” within the white supremacy power structure I’m mentioning. They may well, in the aggregate and on-average have greater financial success than white people, but a) the impacts of racism go beyond financial success (if they didn’t nonwhite people, including members of the PMC, would not have the disproportionate pregnancy/childbirth deaths and other deaths they currently suffer, as just one example; b) averages conceal, and it’s not possible to evaluate the actual merits of your un-cited assertion; c) relative financial success within the bottom 99.9% is meaningful, but nonetheless relatively trivial given the power relations reflected in the wealth and power of the 0.1% v. all else, and the top 0.1% is not on average populated by more East Asians than whites; d) I would be very surprised to find that the 90.01-99.9% was disproportionately dominated by East Asians.

        Nonetheless, let’s assume for a moment that you are making an empirically valid claim that East Asians benefit from the white supremacist power structure. I’m not sure what your further point is. Are you saying they benefit more than whites? By what metrics? Do you mean that as a result there isn’t a white supremacist power structure or that it does not need to be dismantled, because if East Asians do better than whites it can’t?
        Pursuing this line of inquiry, of how do we slice and dice victimhood to isolate only the truly deserving not only misses the forest for the trees but also is a tremendous waste of time and energy, a major distraction from what should the focus: Reclaiming power from the 0.1% and redistributing it throughout the 99.9%.

        1. hunkerdown

          White *bourgeois* supremacist power structure, please. It’s all about property and always has been, at least for the people who tell the little people what and how to believe.

          1. Massinissa

            Why put in ‘white’ at all? Just call it ‘bourgeois power structure’ in the first place. Calling it ‘white’ just facilitates their divide-and-conquer endgame.

        2. Massinissa

          Why call it ‘white supremacist power structure’ in the first place if its really a class based structure? How can you claim the structure is white supremacist when it doesn’t benefit the vast majority of white people and only enriches the 1%?

          1. ACF

            hunkerdown and Massinissa
            I put in white because race is used, as I said in the original, as the ultimate targeting device for injustice. Racism is real. Just because we all can–and should–unite across class, doesn’t diminish the racist dimension of the power structure.
            I am surprised that needs explaining.

            1. ACF

              Sorry hunkerdown, I shouldn’t have looped you in that comment. If you want to add bourgeois, fine, I don’t feel the need but I agree that property is more important than life to many whose property is threatened by treating all lives equally. And the fact that our power structure does not and never has treated all lives equally is why a phrase like Black Lives Matter has meaning and power.

            2. aleph_0

              I’m not sure why you would be. The woke neolibs have used race arguments to obscure class analysis for years.

        3. Rhondda

          “…how do we slice and dice victimhood to isolate only the truly deserving not only misses the forest for the trees but also is a tremendous waste of time and energy, a major distraction from what should the focus: Reclaiming power from the 0.1% and redistributing it throughout the 99.9%.”

          I submit that you should contemplate your own words, ACF. Id-Pol is indeed a waste and distraction. It is also divisive, alienating natural class allies– as your posts demonstrate.

          1. ACF

            Class analysis cannot erase racial bias or racism. It is not helpful urge unity along class while pretending racism isn’t real or its role in the power structure is not of ultimate importance when deciding who sits on the bottom with the least power. We can and should unite across class despite race, and we needn’t debate priorities of victimhood because that is counterproductive, but that does not make race irrelevant, or racism unreal.

            I, as a white woman, do not need to fear that my white son will be murdered or even harassed by police. I do not panic when I’m being pulled over for speeding. I do not get followed in stores. I get protected and served; I am perceived as a ‘letter writer’, not someone to be policed using a ‘ghetto mentality’ (a precinct commander I once co-interviewed said Manhattan cops were the most professional because they could turn on a dime from a ‘ghetto mentality’ (which described as a ‘command and control mentality’ to a ‘letter writer mentality’ meaning protecting and serving someone who might write a letter to your personnel file. And until my follow question asking him to define terms, he’d used them casually, unconsciously, not even noticing what it meant in terms of the police being the instruments of replicating the white supremacist power structure that is rooted in the very beginnings of our nation and which has never been broken.

            Because we can all be allies to remake power, and because remaking power will benefit nearly everybody does not mean we’ve all been equally screwed or that we all face the same problems and crises.

              1. acf

                Fair Lambert, and I’m not trying to be talmudicly precise, as I’m not worried about whether or not it’s more accurate to label the white supremacist power structure ‘burgeois’ or not.

                my intention with the original post was to remind us all that
                a) throughout our nation’s history, white supremacy has been embedded in the power structure (as has male supremacy and has heterosexual supremacy)

                b) while a core problem, because of their role in reproducing the social order, the police do not create the social order so that reforming the police is necessary but wholly insufficient and

                c) the structural changes that address white supremacy are good for most white people too because very basic injustices are committed on a class basis, and any power restructuring that benefits all non-white people will also benefit the white people who are not among the tiny elite power must be taken from.

                d) uniting across class to demand and co-create justice is the most powerful path forward.

                I mean, I hear you that ‘allies’ invokes the id pol groupings as mini-nations based on statuses like race and gender and age and all other forms of identity. In truth I wasn’t trying to invoke that. I’m calling for intentional unification across class without needing to erase (or privilege/rank) other dimensions of how and why people are made to suffer within the power structure.

              2. ACF

                Fwiw my rejection of id-pol nation states has a personal origin.

                In 1998 I was living in Inwood, very upper Manhattan, by the El not the heights that were beginning to gentrify. I was in the welfare neighborhood part, with a lobby door with a bullet hole in it, where a white friend visiting was a racially profiled as a drug buyer and frisked on his way to visit me. (I was the only white person in my building, or even on the block/neighboring blocks. It was awkward at first, as I was very conscious of my skin in a way I was not used to, but the neighborhood accepted I belonged and that passed.)

                One time I was hanging out with three friends from the block, one who was Puerto Rican, one Dominican, and one black (he didn’t call himself ‘African-American’). I listened as they trash-talked each other, each invoking the nasty stereotypes they’d internalized: Puerto Ricans as honest but dumb, and even lazy; Dominicans as smart but criminal; and blacks at the bottom as dumb and criminal. I listened until I couldn’t take it and I tried to explain why I found the trash talk heartbreaking.

                Look, I said, most white people look at you all exactly the same way. Their racism isn’t nuanced and all you do by trash talking this way is perpetuate that hate. They stopped doing it in front of me, don’t know if I successfully made my point or not.

                While that’s the reverse type of identity-based language than is usually at the heart of identity politics, it’s just the flip side of the coin. Or rather, identity politics is like the flip side of negative stereotypes. Just like negative “characteristics” should not be assigned to a group defined by status (meaning race, gender, age, educational attainment, place of birth, religion, etc) for purposes of degradation, they should not be assigned to a group for the purposes of political saliency.

                Indeed, if the identity politics-driven mini-nations were politically salient, then Cornell West’s comment about Black Faces in High Places not changing the lived experience of most people of color would be false. Instead it’s true.

    2. MLTPB

      I see justice and fairness mentioned.

      Where is decency?

      I read last week or so that it was decency, and not justice.

      Is it both, or just one of the two?

      1. ACF

        Decency is wonderful. I’m not trying to make an exhaustive list of good things. Personally I think that fairness is more closely entwined with justice than decency is, that it is an easier way to intuit whether or not something is unjust. My point in citing fairness was to encourage people to use their empathy and sense of fairness to intuit injustice in situations involving people they perceive as ‘other’.

      2. Alternate Delegate

        Thanks for remembering, MLTPB.

        Yes, I can call both “fairness” and “justice” wrong, in the sense that they exist only within a framework of competition, and that is a framework of thought we very much need to get ourselves out of.

        “Decency” is the alternative where we back away from resource limits and leave enough for all.

        It’s the crucial distinction between individual mutual aid on the one hand, and rules-and-obligation-based “cooperation” on the other. Where the latter is nothing but (yet another) cover for competition.

  8. jefemt

    I was pondering yet another Covid ‘gift’— masks.
    Objectively, a prudent behavior, rife with implied duty to good informed citizenship, respect for others and self.
    Wear a Mask, become “The Other”.
    Feel the eyes of derision, The Judgment (this from presumed ‘Christians’, but now I judge…)
    It has been transformative.
    I work in rural conservative areas, reside in a liberal urban area.
    The Great Divide.
    Aquarian Age? The Great Turning?
    I’m failing to see what will bring us all together. No Us All in USA, apparently.
    Our looming collective demise under consequences of self-directed climate change hasn’t done it–
    the existential threat that is the western form of grifted capitalism certainly hasn’t done it–
    the ubiquitous evidentiary lack of social and economic justice hasn’t done it…

    Did Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy leave the building?

  9. Jessica

    Two possibilities about the ‘weakening virus’
    1) This might turn out to be true. That would be consistent with normal microbe evolution. It might also explain why Russia has so many cases, but so few deaths. Russia got the virus late thanks to its strict and early closure of its border with China.
    2) Even if it is not true, it might provide a way for the powers that be to stand down lockdowns without leaving themselves open to the claim that the lockdowns were an overreaction.
    DJG, what do you think Zangrillo’s agenda would be?

    1. Lee

      High numbers of available hosts, allowing for rapid transmission of the disease, may also select for greater virulence, as the virus is less reliant on host’s prolonged survival for successful reproduction. It’s a mutational crap shoot, with the safest bet being to reduce the incidents of transmission between hosts. There is also the varying degrees of natural resistance and susceptibility to consider. It may be that the numbers of the susceptible are being reduced while those with greater resistance are carrying on largely unaffected. The disease also has a troubling number of varying manifestations in the very young versus the very old for instance. Also, it now appears to cause broader systemic, possibly lifelong multiple organ damage among the recovered than does a typical respiratory infection.

    2. Jeotsu

      Shouldn’t we start to see correlation between variance in the viral genome and cfr?

      What new version are they seeing in Italy now that has the lower cfr?

      Speculation like this really strikes me that he is talking someones book.

      1. J.k

        Exactly, this is one article and two doctors. Insofar as I can tell its all speculation. I appreciate the link, lets hope there is something to it. It would be wise to keep from jumping to conclusions.

  10. ChiGal in Carolina

    here it comes (from the Guardian’s live feed):

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she would hold a briefing today at 2 pm ET, which did not appear on the original White House schedule.

    McEnany made the announcement during a Fox News interview, during which she was also asked if Trump would deliver a national address about the George Floyd protests.

    “A national Oval Office address is not going to stop antifa. What’s going to stop antifa is action,” McEnany said, adding that Trump “has several meetings pertaining to that today.”

    “And that’s his focus, is acting and keeping our streets safe,” McEnany said.

    Trump will meet today with attorney general William Barr, who spent the weekend echoing the president’s talking points by blaming the protests on “far-left extremist groups” and demanding “law and order” be restored.

    1. sd

      Sometimes I really miss Russell Mokhiber – he used to ask the best questions in White House briefings. My favorite will always be, paraphrasing, ‘Ari, how many convicted felons are currently working in the White House?’

    2. ambrit

      Oh yes. This should be interesting.
      Now, will the Praetorian Guard support the Emperor?

        1. ambrit

          If the policy enacted is at odds with the rhetoric ex-bloviated, then cosmetic is accurate. Secondly, if the talk is just that, talk without subsequent enabling action, then cosmetic is accurate.
          Third, if the greater mass of the public knows that the ‘talk’ is without content, then cosmetic is accurate.
          Kayfabe is known of by the ‘fans,’ but appreciated nonetheless. The art of the deception can be appreciated for itself alone. In many situations, the knowing nod or conspiratorial whisper are potent methods of inculcating a ‘solidarity’ among the legions of consognati deludeati.

  11. cocomaan

    Given the volume on these protests, the widespread nature of them, and the groups doing the destructive action, I don’t really find the Mother Jones article all that compelling.

    This is a hell of a lot different Republican Party than during Reagan’s era.

    Left leaning people should be very wary of a reactionary backlash, especially come this fall. People are sick of crisis already. Trump is heavily courting black voters as an alternative to the democrat machine politics in most cities and I don’t think this will fail to resonate.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is a hell of a lot different Republican Party than during Reagan’s era.

      Nope. Various government institutions were better equipped as they had not been under decades of privatization and/or militarization, but the GOP was…well:

      It might be a bit hyperbolic, but April 1865 was a long time ago. I might argue Newt after the ’86 midterms reshaped the GOP, but in practical terms, most American politicians have only dealt with Reagan’s GOP. The idea of reasonable “Republicans” simply haven’t existed for 30 years now.

    2. Carla

      “Trump is heavily courting black voters as an alternative to the democrat machine politics in most cities and I don’t think this will fail to resonate.”


      1. cocomaan

        Look at Trump’s ad buys and messaging toward potential black voters.

        Republicans know that if they peel off even 25% of the black vote, democrats will lose around the country.

        1. a different chris

          Yeah and if Grandma had wheels she’d be a bus. What if Biden peeled off 25% of the redneck vote?

          Spend all the money you want, Donald. It didn’t work for the estimable Ms Clinton, did it. There is a point of diminishing returns in everything.

          No Trump is going to lose the popular vote. likely by an insane margin, again. The question is if he can pull off the same EC trick as in 2016, and I really have no idea.

          The question is the black turnout, not the percentage (will be pretty close to 100 this time) that will go to the Democrats.

          1. ambrit

            You obviously haven’t been listening to a lot of the brothers on the street lately, have you?
            Plus, even if the Dems get big majorities in the Black vote, what good will that do? The Southern states are predominantly white, and have few islands of Urban Progressivism embedded within them. So, perhaps big minority vote figures in the South for the Democrat party, but overall, those electoral votes still go to Trump.
            Second, the Democrats have not offered anything even remotely helpful to the masses of the working class. Absent some true disaster in October, Trump holds onto those voters again. Trump at least talks a good game. The Democrat party has visibly abandoned the working classes.
            ‘Trump Bad Man’ is not a viable political strategy.

          2. cocomaan

            Hey, suit yourself. We’ll see in a few months and you can come back and tell me I’m wrong. Just stating the facts.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Trump cancels summit but says he will invite Putin to later G7 event”

    I sometimes get the feeling that Trump thinks that the G7 belongs to him, hence that invitation for more countries to join. Does he want to get more onboard so that the G7 is gone and the G20 is replaced by this new organization? I read that when he pulled the US out of the WHO, he had the idea to set up another international organization to replace the WHO but under the leadership of the US. This is more sad than outrageous this.

  13. fhb

    RE: Air Mail.
    Interesting. Wallpaper*, then VICE, then Monocle, now Airmail – the little niches that could.
    Makes sense, I guess.

    Obviously, hip cosmopolitan globe trotters have a lot of cash to splash around when seeking out the best Ramen on Hokkaido. Or ‘the best’ Italian hiking boots to traverse the Balkans.
    I’m almost a year late to the party, (and am poor – sorry) so obviously it ain’t for me.
    But let’s see….
    Seems really Vanity Fair-ish. Ha!
    First whiff smells “American”… somewhat… provincial, dontcha think?
    Is this about Tribeca? Still? Again?
    Okay, I’ll take a little of that back. NY, London, a wee bit o France. But that ain’t gonna do. Where’s the Moldovan gangs? How ’bout those Guyanese poets? What about that Turkestan noodle made from yak tendons? Any indigenous peoples anywhere doing a remake of The Clouds?
    Well jeez, PAY THEM to. Then write about it like it was their idea all along!
    Arts Intel? Seriously? That’s their coverage? Eeek.
    OMG. That search that provides an example of “August, Picasso and Paris”. Good grief.
    Picasso? Paris? Is this for people who only eat cheddar? That trio of terms is a bad signal.
    Sort of embarrassing. Like when the MET did ‘camp’ and people dressed as lumberjacks. Or forest rangers.
    Okay – a piece on a female Saudi filmmaker. B-.
    My God. What’s the audience for this? 48 year old investment advisors from Tempe?
    This is not good. Yet. Or at least, it’s definitely not ‘next generation’. Yet.
    I give it about 3 years unless it expands in more esoteric directions.
    It ain’t nearly esoteric enough for those globalist hipster’s, Mr. Carter.
    And tossing in a couple items from the continent won’t cut it.
    This is not media for well-heeled 20-somethings. And trust me, you want those. Everybody wants those.
    I’m old, stupid and out of touch, and no, I’m not the President, but even I know this won’t work ‘as is’.
    Suggestion: Buy The Outline.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Huh ????? Is your comment some kind of poetry or output from a word-hashing computer program? What is your point?

  14. Mikel

    I’d imagine a continuing retail apocalypse in cities would make way for a redesigning of infrastructure to fit “smart city” dreams and fantasies. It would also give an opportunity, for those deeply interested, to redesign infrastructure to benefit all types of automation.
    I don’t think those weird techno dreams have gone away and it wasn’t happening fast enough for investors in such dreams.
    There will be no “return to normal.”

  15. Alex morfesis

    Oh well…back to his tower he goes.. “Track them, arrest them, lock them up for 10 years…” (Cnbc) Generalissimo il dooshea emperor distracto “donaldo” oranjero trumpery has decided to obviously retire and take a fall…so…the most important decision on the table now is who is to be the Democratic VP…

    1. Geo

      Best summary I’ve heard is “They’ll let their cities burn and arrest hundreds of us just to protect three cops who took part in a murder.”

      If they had enforced the law maybe people would respect the law. They didn’t.

  16. edo

    Regarding the article “Resident physicians should have a say in their working conditions Stat”…

    There is another aspect to this topic. Hospitals exploit residents, whose salaries are actually paid by Medicare and not by the hospital, as low-cost labor for difficult jobs. I know of one hospital that got sanctioned because they were making their residents work more hours than permitted. As a result, the hospital has been forced to increase the number of nurses (i.e., good-paying jobs).

  17. Lightningclap

    Coming out of years of lurking, troubled by the link to Bellingcat. That site is part of the network of gov misinfo, approved by “prop or not” the “fact checkers” who labeled this site misinformation! For obvious reasons, zh is rarely referred to, Moa has some credibility problems, but jeez, b-cat is a paid shill posing as “Indy” blogger.

    1. Yves Smith

      We are quite aware of what Beillingcat is, as are pretty much all readers. The point of the link is that even Bellingcat, which is effectively a propaganda arm of the Atlantic Council, is siding with the protestors and against the cops. This shows that the elites are waking up to the fact that the police are out of control.

      1. Romancing The Loan

        All the article does is list the incidents and then end with a tepid little statement of opinion that this is bad. Given who they are and what their purpose generally seems to be, I’m suspicious it’s intended to stoke further conflict instead of indicating a come-to-jesus moment. If it was that I think it would be aimed at elites, telling them what they could do to bring the police back under control. (Not a reason not to read it or link it of course – just discussing.)

      2. farmboy

        “system starting to break down” sure sign of social collapse
        David Graeber
        for purposes of clarification, I didn’t say the cop solidarity gestures were sincere (certainly all of them weren’t), I just think it doesn’t matter much since either way, this kind of thing is so unusual it’s a sign of a system starting to break down. 1/

  18. marym

    Re: Nebraskans Ask For Protections For Meatpacking Workers: “Essential Workers Are Essential Lives” NET Nebraska

    Hundreds of Nebraskans gathered at the Capitol Sunday to demand more action to protect essential workers, especially those at meatpacking plants.

    The Capitol steps filled up long before the rally. Hundreds of people were there for a Black Lives Matter protest later in the afternoon, but eagerly joined the crowd advocating for meatpacking workers.

    And the advocates want to focus on broader change: to protect workers’ rights long after the pandemic has ended.


    Thanks for the link — pro-worker demands + solidarity + thinking beyond the current crisis

  19. Jack Parsons

    I’m really looking forward to Christo’s funeral.


  20. Jack Parsons

    “Trump is desperate to punish Big Tech”
    1) H1-B visas.
    2) An internet border tax to force repatriation of offshored service industries.

  21. Savonarola

    You want a conspiracy theory? How is this: ordinary business interruption insurance doesn’t cover the covid crisis. It’s explicitly excluded, no one who thought they had coverage will have it unless they bought a very explicit rider. But you know what is covered? Fire. Getting looted may well SAVE businesses and wind up meaning that areas currently getting looted/burned recover better than places that don’t, because their loss is more likely to be covered. How’s that for crazy?

    1. Yves Smith

      Readers have already dismissed this idea. Riots and looting are often excluded:

      Alex Brown, a partner at Shapiro Sher, told the Sun many insurance policies carry exclusions for damages caused by “rebellion or uprising.”

      Generally speaking, insurers have been aggressively denying business interruption claims, flat out saying they don’t have enough money to pay them.

      Vandalism is also often excluded. This is regarding homeowners’ policies but the same issues would apply to commercial policies with similar language:

      1. Savonarola

        Rebellion or uprising may be excluded. Rioting, civil commotion, and vandalism are usually covered perils under virtually all business owners and commercial insurance property policies. So far this is a long way from uprising or rebellion. We’re talking about commercial, not homeowners, policies. “Similar language” is indeed the kicker here.

  22. KFritz

    Thanks to the article on US intelligence failings vis a vis Saudi Arabia, there’s now a file entitled “Coffee, Green, Arabian,” in my “Cucina” folder!

  23. wuzzy

    Re: Bach and Acoustics —

    Thanks for that.

    I believe it was Carl Weinrich who in the 60’s recorded various works
    of Bach on the original instrument, with careful attention to
    microphone placement. The fugue in D-Major (BWV 532) was amazing as
    the reverberation enhanced the harmonies with a voice of its own.

    It is sad in these times that many musicians need headphones or
    monitors to hear.

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