Links 6/12/2020

Archaeologists may have found site of the Red Lion, London’s first playhouse Ars Technica

Alberta and South Korea’s pensions just bought the Coastal GasLink pipeline: 8 things you need to know The Narwhal (Senator-Elect)

Moose And Her Calves Decide To Spend A Day In This Family’s Backyard, Man Documents How It Went Bored Panda

Swedish PM Olof Palme’s alleged assassin does have an India connection. No, it isn’t Bofors Scroll

Fossil tracks left by an ancient crocodile that ‘ran like an ostrich’ BBC

The Story of Prisoner No. 760 Der Spiegel

Black Injustice Tipping Point

On Days of Disorder The Scholar’s Stage

Disband The Tone Police Too Much Information. David Sirota.

The commercialisation of George Floyd: US firms look to capitalise on a movement France 24

Eight minutes that could change the world Asia Times. Michael Vatikiotis.

Protest misinformation is riding on the success of pandemic hoaxes MIT Technology Review

AFL-CIO Censors Payday Comments on Cop Unions From It’s Twitter Feed Payday Report

Exclusive: Most Americans, including Republicans, support sweeping Democratic police reform proposals – Reuters/Ipsos poll Reuters

Support For Defunding The Police Department Is Growing. Here’s Why It’s Not A Silver Bullet. Marshall Project


Dow slides more than 1,800 points on fears of coronavirus resurgence, more economic pain WaPo

The Abrupt, Radical Reversal in How Public Health Experts Now Speak About the Coronavirus and Mass Gatherings Intercept. Glenn Greenwald.

FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps The Hill

Jewish kids take over Brooklyn streets to demand reopening of sleepaway camps NY Post

Health Workers Resort To Etsy, Learning Chinese, Shady Deals To Find Safety Gear Kaiser Health News

Nurses Have a History of Activism in the U.S., Championing Suffrage and Universal Health Care Teen Vogue

Study: 100% face mask use could crush second, third COVID-19 wave SFgate

Trump’s decision to leave WHO came with bluster, but no action so far Stat. Exactly like his use of executive orders. All hat, no cattle. Miind you, I don’t find his blustering without folllow through to be a problem. Better all bark, little bite, than the alternative


Covid-19 studies based on flawed Surgisphere data force medical journals to review processes Guardian

Class Warfare

‘Speaking of Looting…’: Trump Admin. Refuses to Disclose Corporate Recipients of $500 Billion in Coronavirus Bailout Funds Common Dreams

Hedge fund manager stands to profit on ‘flip’ of taxpayer-funded coronavirus drug WaPo

Big Money Bought the Forests. Small Logging Communities Are Paying the Price. ProPublica

Bosses in the US Have Far Too Much Power to Lay Off Workers Whenever They Feel Like It Jacobin

Tim Bray, the senior Amazon engineer who dramatically resigned in protest, just told a union meeting of engineers and workers the company should be broken up Business Insider

KKR asks advisers to ‘share the pain’ amid $18bn spending spree FT

Meet Wikipedia’s Ayn Rand loving founder and Wikemedia Foundation’s regime=change operative CEO Grayzone

United Kingdom

No ‘patient zero’ as Covid-19 came into UK at least 1,300 times Guardian

Coronavirus: Only an Anecdote Craig Murray

The Brexit crisis led to totally incompetent leadership at a time of unprecedented calamity. Now we are paying for it Independent

UK air passengers urged not to take hand luggage on planes Guardian


China issues fresh warnings on travelling, studying in Australia SCMP

The Shape of Asia’s New Cold War Project Syndicate

Zoom accedes to Chinese demands to shutter online activist meetings Agence France-Presse


Why Does Tamil Nadu Wish to Denotify Part of the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary? The Wire

Delhi already out of ICUs, will exhaust ventilators this week, claims govt study The Print

As Donald Trump tightens immigration rules, Indian tech students ditch the American Dream for Canada Scroll

Delhi accused of under-reporting coronavirus deaths FT

Trump Transition

Politico apologizes after its bizarre and puzzling claims on Trump, racism, and Obama AlterNet

Don’t sue Donald Trump if you get coronavirus! Supporters wanting to go to his mask-free comeback MAGA rally in Tulsa have to sign disclaimer to get tickets Daily Mail

Milley Apologizes for Role in Trump Photo Op: ‘I Should Not Have Been There’ NYT


UN expresses ‘horror’ at reported mass graves’ discovery in Libya Al Jazeera

How can Europe help prevent the carving-up of Libya? Qantara

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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  1. John A

    Re Swedish PM Olof Palme’s alleged assassin does have an India connection.

    I watched the entire media conference that was streamed live. Very disappointing, weak gruel. The bullets that killed Palme and injured his wife are too badly damaged to link to a specific murder weapon. There has been no DNA testing, there is no suggested motive other than the alleged now 20 years dead murderer was a local councillor for the conservative party. Basically, because the guy acted a bit oddly around the murder scene and was a bit of a fantasist in terms of what he said to the police afterwards are all they have to go on. He had alcohol and living beyond his means problems. Committed suicide 14 years after the assassination with a combination of alcohol and tablets. Left no note. His PC was subsequently destroyed. In a way, as convenient a patsy as Lee Harvey Oswald. Very much not cased closed. Plus apropos the article, he was by no means a school contemporary of Palme.

  2. Doug

    In the linked Marshall Project piece — support for defunding police is growing.. here’s why it’s not a silver bullet — the authors do a reasonable though incomplete job of describing challenges to police reform. They miss a crucial point, though when they say post-2008 cutbacks led to poor response times. Police notoriously have failed at basic service – and too many police tell citizens who request help, “Well, we can’t help you because of cutbacks. Call your city council person and tell them to raise our budgets — and then we’ll respond”

    That terrible omission from this article aside, the authors or their copy editors added the utterly meaningless extra title: “It’s not a silver bullet”

    Let’s immediately award Marshall Project a “No Duh Award”. Seriously, what is a silver bullet for systemic rascism and injustice in police affairs? Nothing.

    So please spare us the useless commentary.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The point of defunding is the advocates of “reform” have been reforming the police for years to a point where there could be a few good apples left. You can’t fix the current police or even reasonably improve them. Hiring new and better recruits to send them to a diseased structure will only ruin the new recruits.

      It’s similar to kicking police unions out of the AFL-CIO. Given the track record, we wouldn’t be losing much.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Agreed. The police have to built up from the ground up in a lot of places. I was watching a Jimmy Dore video on this subject and it was bad. When that 75 year-old was pushed back in Buffalo, when he hit the ground the crack was so loud that the whole advancing police line stopped to see what happened. And yet when the two cops responsible left court, their entire unit cheered them (19:21 video with swearing)-

        In another horrible example, police in LA shot a homeless man in a wheelchair in the face. I have no idea why. Perhaps they were in fear of their lives-

        This is not policing. This is warrior-police at work.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The recent behavior is beyond appalling outside of some of the violence which I could almost overlook given factors such as stress, but the cheering is twisted and demonstrative of a culture with no redeemable persons in it. The threat of “no police” warnings amounts to other people doing what the police already do without the threat of retaliation.

          That restaurant owner in Tennessee (? There are so many cruelties being perpetuated, this has just been forgotten) was basically targeted because the police are functionally evil.

        2. Oh

          Cut their fancy salaries to begin with and get rid of their pensions. Stop hiring the double dippers from the pool of retired soldiers. Take way their guns and other weapons and make them walk the beat. No more fancy police cars, body armor or night sticks for the family bloggers.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            These are potential solutions for 10 to 15 years ago. The casual nature of the cruelty in these systems leads me to the conclusion the police departments in the U.S. are by and large incapable of being improved. They need to be replaced altogether.

            We need a whole new system and personal. Its not an “easy” solution, but pretending the police as constituted are redeemable belongs to the realm of fantasy now.

          2. John Beech

            No offense to those enamored of the idea of defunding the police, but I disagree. If anything, we should increase funding and hire more cops – but – hand-in-hand with this are 2 things.

            1. Every shooting, every report of abuse by a citizen, ‘everything’ for every cop in America goes in a national file.
            The point being, Bobby who beats up blacks for sport in Hueytown can’t go across the street and become a cop in Tarrant City. Basically, once you’re fired, you’re never again allowed in a position of authority over a citizen . . . 1-strike and you’re out!

            2. Decriminalize sex work, and drugs offenses – all of them.

            With number two you eliminate nearly 100% of the crimes inner city blacks engage in to earn a living off the books. After all, we can’t make it nearly impossible to get a job while also failing in education, and then criminalize the only other work that’s available to the unskilled whilst having television programs showing how aspirational life can be if you’re white and not expect kids to follow the easy money. Duh!

            And note, my opinion totally ignores the other things I believe are unfairly affecting black society; like how fewer than 50% of inner city black kids have a Daddy at home to form a complete family unit. I mean, honestly, don’t you believe like I do that black women are already doing too much of the heavy lifting?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Right…the national file…so the cop who has multiple police jobs in recent years just didn’t raise red flags? Will it go on their permanent record?

              If you decriminalize drugs and sex, what exactly would the cops do?

        3. Michael Fiorillo

          The police are the tip of the spear of ever-accelerating class warfare, which is bound to disproportionately affect people of color, who are disproportionately working class and poor.

          Perhaps if this one-sided class war (with the Overclass winning, as per Warren Buffet’s under-publicized quote from 2005), were to be effectively countered, we’d see more success in controlling police violence. It’s no accident that declining labor power translates on the street as state violence and oppression.

          Instead, we’re going to disproportionately hear from insufferable, virtue signalling woke liberals, and/or haranguing from lumpen-bourgeois diversity consultants talking their book. Think “Diversity Day” (from season two of “The Office”), with the rhetoric and self-congratulation turned up to eleven, and with some armed Panther/rapper types featured for added thrills.

          That DSA blocked an online Adolph Reed broadcast about the rebellion, after an unhinged and evidence-free smear from IdPol entrepreneurs, is a very bad sign.

          1. Aumua

            The police are the tip of the spear of ever-accelerating class warfare, which is bound to disproportionately affect people of color, who are disproportionately working class and poor.

            Right, well why… are people of color disproportionately poor?

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              Sorry that I can’t attribute the paraphrase, but one of the most concise explanations is that in the US, “class often speaks in the language of race.” That’s exemplified by everything from African Americans used as replacement workers for breaking strikes in the 19th and 20th century, to Martin Luther King giving a famous speech at the culmination of a “March For Jobs and Freedom,” to the current spasm of white/police violence during severe economic and social crisis.

              Structural racism, white supremacy and terror are defensive and self-justifying products of our form of class dominence. Are you arguing the reverse?

              1. Aumua

                I would say that structural racism is at cause, along and intertwined with class dominance. Terrorism would be an effect, or a backlash.

          2. Lambert Strether

            > That DSA blocked an online Adolph Reed broadcast about the rebellion, after an unhinged and evidence-free smear from IdPol entrepreneurs, is a very bad sign.


    2. Adam Eran

      Personally, I’d say “Police Reform” is as much of a distraction as “Education Reform”… It’s like trying to drive your car by steering with the rear-view mirror. Both futile and dangerous.

      Matt Stoller’s article previously linked in NC gets to the heart of the matter, the trashing of the social contract. The real problem is that people used to believe social safety nets were a cheap way to buy social peace. That’s not true any more.

      The bipartisan effort to dismantle such safety nets promoted the notion that cheats were only the welfare recipients. I’ve read that the Clinton / Gingrich conspiracy to “end of welfare as we know it” threw a half million adults off of food stamps. Before that “end,” 76% of those needing public assistance got it. After: 26%.

      Of course, before LBJ’s 1964 civil rights legislation, people of color couldn’t get such benefits no matter how much they needed them. Could the racism inherent in “ending” the safety nets be a motivator here? Gee, I wonder!

      In any case, expecting the police to behave well, or gracefully handle the population’s frustration with repeated attacks from the creditor class is simply delusional. The police are only the symptom. The disease is the discrediting and sabotage of the public realm.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        By linking police and education reform, you raise the spectre of privatization,as Benjamin Studebaker recently warned (and NC linked to)

        Billionaire education privatizers and their agents appropriated the language of social justice, in order to strip yet another public asset and further segregate people. As inspiring as this uprising often appears, there’s a real danger of that with these protests, as well.

        1. polecat

          Well, as a commenter eluded to recently, we are witnessing the self-siloing of various elite constructs, into bubble enclaves of a sort, as per Margaret Atwood’s depictions in her MaddAdam Series novels .. certainly where the IT Cloud Giants are concerned.
          I mean, how long before some version of the Corp-se-Corp, having their omnipotent hands in Every profitable venture .. no matter how small, become the law-of-the-land. That’s what the IC security state seems to be evolving into, no?

  3. timbers

    How can Europe help prevent the carving-up of Libya? Qantara

    That’s easy.

    1). Leave NATO and expel all U.S. troops in Western Europe. Expel U.S. nukes and new deployment of weapons.

    2). Demand a U.N. investigation into war crimes committed in Libya, under the past and current Administrations. Insist on accountability and prosecutions all the way the highest levels.

    3). Re establish warm diplomatic and trade relations with Russia, and work with her to restore/rebuild Libya. She has her own addenda in Libya but is open to reason and comprimise and has contacts there.

    Feel free to disagree or modify, but isn’t common sense shocking and almost unthinkable in this day and age?

    1. km

      Any member of the Dubya, Obama or Trump foreign policy teams sets foot in Europe, arrest and try them for war crimes.

        1. Oh

          No worries. Just arrest them anyway and rendition send them to Gitmo. They need a taste of the same medicine they forced on others.

    2. Skip Intro

      But that might subject luminaries like hObama and sHillary to criticism (or sentences in The Hague) which would end up helping Trump destroy America’s otherwise flawless democracy!

      1. apber

        “otherwise flawless democracy”

        Either you forgot the sarcasm notation or you should have replaced democracy with kleptocracy (or corporate fascism). The sheeple are not amused. Those that have an IQ, in fact, are really pissed as they have seen the destruction of the nuclear family, lowered wages and off-shored employment, and a public education system bereft of any value to society and, are well aware of the psychotic agendas of those in power to destroy western civilization.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You think that the EU has simply said about the Brexit situation ‘Bugger it, we have bigger fish to fry now than dealing with all this crap. Let’s just do this thing if you want it so much.’
      In any case, what exactly would a good faith negotiation with Boris look like anyway?

      1. Synoia

        In any case, what exactly would a good faith negotiation with Boris look like anyway?

        A blond moment?

        Disclosure: I’m blond.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          No disrespect intended, but there’s a good likelihood it would look like the blond leading the blond.

  4. Clive

    Oh, no, what is she doing back: (don’t think it’s paywalled but if it is, you can register for a free article or a few, but really, it’s not worth the bother, other than to point out she’s still hanging around the place).

    The good news? She says she’s not running in ’24.

    The bad news? Guess who’s coming to dinner instead:

    But these are no longer the words of a would-be President. ‘I’ve definitely counted myself out,’ she says of 2024. And if Chelsea one day decided to run? ‘I would say what I bet you’d say to your daughter, which is that I want her to do whatever makes her happy and fulfilled. Then I’d tell her what my experiences have been – and warn her to go into it with her eyes wide open.’

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Well I, for one, know that when I exercise my sacred right to “vote,” my first overriding concern is whether being elected will make a candidate “happy” and “fulfilled.” It’s right up there with the color of their skin, gender, sexual orientation, and whether or not it is “their turn.”

      Keeping this great nation as successful as it is means keeping a steady eye on what’s really important. We could not have gotten where we are as a country today letting stupid stuff influence the way we “vote.”

      God bless america.

      1. hunkerdown

        Laura Numeroff should be sent to The Hague for writing and publishing obscene matter like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

      2. ChrisPacific

        Yes, that was classic Hillary. If I had an adult daughter then I would indeed say that to her in private. What I would not do is say it in an interview, especially one that I knew would be widely publicized. If I was asked, I would say that she makes her own career decisions and it was a question that should be asked of her directly.

        I would have thought this was Parenting 101. Apparently it doesn’t apply to dynasties.

    2. km

      Sour grapes.

      As convincing as Gollum trying to convince himself that he doesn’t really want The Precious after all, not all that much, no, maybe.

    3. jr

      “eyes wide open”

      Unless your husband likes to rape young girls, then sometimes you have to glance away…

  5. Wukchumni

    As eviction day looms large for a wide swath of soon to be homeless Americans, does the protest chant change to:

    Lack Lives Matter!

    And then there is the sticky wicket of being newly homeless, and with real estate deals its always the same: Location-Location-Location, and all of the good spots in the Big Smokes in California, the prime nooks & crannies ‘are ‘owner occupied’, and new arrivals will have to be happy with sloppy seventeenths in terms of selection, and having recent ‘past-class’ (a horseracing term for a thoroughbred that once could compete in bigger purse races, and can only do so now racing with lesser quality horseflesh in cheap claiming races) is there a clash with ‘the olde guard’ of homeless, holding down their assorted pee’d-à-terres?

    Or does the Bizarro World endgame of the USSR & USA devolve to where everybody kind of ‘owns’ whatever property they’re ensconced in when confusion reigns and capitalism as we knew it goes away?

    …stay tuned

      1. Wukchumni

        Most everything i’m vested in, is stuck in the ground similar to the sword of Excalibur, occasionally bearing fruit.

    1. Susan the other

      “pee’d-a-terres” – we never get a straight story. Hey, they aren’t living in their own squalor – they are merely “homeless.” We get the Fed, Congress and the big banks all sounding like they stand 100% behind forbearance until the pandemic is over and there are actual jobs to be had again. Then we get the irony of slimy landlords hiring mercenary cops to physically throw out all the hapless freeloading tenants – even though the landlords will find no new renters afterward for the duration of not just the pandemic but the entrenched unemployment that follows. At some point the landlords will be faced with overwhelming maintenance costs. And the buildings will likely be torn down. If the land can be reused.

      1. newcatty

        And vintage Susan the Other, Thank you. The cruelty and rapacious behaviors of the monied and property class is just becoming so blatant and intensified that it is breathtaking, whether it be literally taking a person’s breath by the “police”, as they protect those classes ( war and the force are actually the same racket in this country); or in the grinding down more and more people into poverty and the spectacle of “the merely homeless”. It is not just people of color, who are in the underclass of the greater society. The fact they suffer in great numbers is not to be dismissed. But, homeless people, many women and children, are now in all races and ethnicities. Decrying racism isn’t enough. It’s certainly been propagandized to further divide and conquer poor and underclass people. Does it matter if that homeless or hungry woman or child is “white” or “black”? A hard rain is already falling, God bless us everyone. Oh, just read it is raining micro-plastic particles in the national parks in the great American southwest. An article in Ecowatch reported it is the new acid rain.

  6. Ramon Z

    “China issues fresh warnings..” because I’m old and have time on my hands I have had a lot of time to peruse the news across a wide range of sites, a bit like NC.
    This has sadly left me unable to discuss news items with a great many of my “liberal” friends. Hidden behind a liberal facade I have discovered some pretty unrelenting hostility to a range of subjects, Arabs and Chinese being very prevalent.
    Initially I was shocked, surprised and irritated. I thought I might try to point out some alternate points of view but this is mostly brushed away. If you then look at where these people get their news from it is invariably from such liberal bastions such as The Guardian, BBC, CNN.
    I’m not sure but I would think that most of these outlets would be outraged if you accused them of racial bias, which is odd considering the views held by a lot of their consumers. Very sad.
    Thank you NC for helping me towards a clearer picture of what’s going on.

    1. Olga

      It’s like the time I read mainly the NYT (long ago, before internet democratised the news) – and came to think that bombing Yugoslavia was somehow justified. What madness! But that is exactly what such media sources are designed to do – to maintain the empire narrative.
      There is a new one in town – relentlessly anti-China, since the empire now sees it as its main threat. Suddenly, we see no shortage of news, all negatively portraying China. Many websites – even those one would expect to be more discerning – amplifying the bad news. Sad and very dangerous. And not unlike all the anti-USSR, and now, anti-Russia propaganda.

  7. zagonostra

    >America Convulses in Pain, Fed Bails Out the Wealthy -Wolf Street

    If more people understood the full ramifications of what is going on there would be more people in the street than that which was prompted by the murder of George Floyd.

    We’re in an economic meltdown like I’ve never seen before. Tens of millions of people have lost their jobs – and so suddenly, that the government data to track them has fallen into chaos, with different agencies reporting data that is all over the place and contradicting each other. None of these systems were designed to track this type of sudden collapse of the labor market during a pandemic…

    This is the largest wealth transfer in the history of mankind, and it increased by a huge amount the already huge wealth disparity.

    People who don’t hold assets, the people that depend on their labor to get through life, they got totally screwed.

    I cannot think of a more heinous act that the Fed under the leadership of Wall Street insider Jerome Powell could have concocted

    Congress could and should impose a lockdown on the Fed. But lawmakers belong to the same capital class that is getting made whole, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, at the top. They’re among the rich asset holders, and no way that they’re going to shut down the Fed’s scheme, when it has made them so rich. They certainly don’t want to have any skin in this crisis – or in any crisis. They too want to be bailed out each time it hits the fan.

    1. rd

      The Fed is a symptom, not a cause.

      The Fed can pretty much only deal through the wealthy and well-connected. Congress and the President are supposed to be connected to the people.

      I think the Fed has made errors and has done a poor job of regulating the financial sector in areas it has responsibility for, but it has a limited set of tools. Congress and the President have a nearly unlimited tool box that they have elected not to use time and time again.

      Unfortunately, the Fed has been largely the only game in town in much of the past two crises, so Congress appears to think the Fed can carry the load. Pretty much every Fed meeting in the GFC and now, the Fed is asking for more fiscal assistance.

      The few things Congress has done, such as the $1,2000 tax credit check, the $600 addition to unemployment insurance, and the parts of the PPP that went to small business had the extraordinary effect of raising personal income by 10% in April and may accomplish something similar in May. But I don’t think Congress understands how much power they actually have to improve the lot of the average person, or they don’t care.

      1. ewmayer

        “The Fed is a symptom, not a cause.” — Sorry, but that’s simply bullshit. Did you actually *read* Wolf’s article? E.g.

        “[The fed] printed $2.9 trillion since early March to bail out investors in highly leveraged hedge funds that were imploding, and to bail out investors in highly leveraged mortgage REITs that were imploding, and to bail out asset holders whose stocks were plunging, and speculators in the riskiest concoctions, and investors of all kinds, and to bail out asset holders of any kind – and the wealthier they were, the more they got – to make sure they don’t feel any of the pain.”

        Congress and the President didn’t *make* them do any of this – sure, Trump *wants* them to keep the Wall Street asset-bubble party going through the election, but what about the fed’s vaunted “independence”? Did anyone *force* the Fed to engage in decades-long policies which explicitly prop up speculative-asset prices to the detriment of the economy? And engage in a decade-plus regime of brutal interest-rate supporession which has robbed savers of trillions in interest income, thus acting as a massive subsidy to Wall Street and the post-GFC insolvent bank fraud cartels? And the Fed is allegedly necessarily “disconnected from the people” – WTF do you think the famous twin mandates in its charter are supposed to be about? Also, it has been “using a lot of tools” which it simply invented out of whole cloth or whose deployment has gone way beyind what its charter permits, such as these slush-fund Special-Purpose vehicles whose abuse Wolf has been discussing frequently. Oddly, Congress could and should rein that nonsense in, but never seems to get around to it. so perhaps you’re right, it’s not the Fed’s fault for now redeploying all the various novel rich-people-bailout tools it invented during the GFC, but was never called to account for. If “those are its only options” as you claim, then it needs to simply be abolished and replaced with an entity which actually serves the real economy, and which must go through Congress and the president in order to create money.

        1. Susan the other

          It would be one thing, if when the Fed bailed out the rich, making their assets secure – preventing a run on the dollar which is the mythological pillar holding the whole dump yard – if that largesse to the rich made a difference in the lives of the rest of us who have been put into service making them rich – both obediently producing and consuming. It would be very wise for the top 10% to acknowledge their debt to society and the environment but they do not. Maybe they do in private, but I doubt it. Exploitation is still the business model. If the wealthy put their wealth to good use it would be an entirely different matter. But what do they do? They just keep playing the stock market; the just keep financing oil wells with no oil and other shell games. I have not heard of a single thing they have done to improve the world in an honest way – all they do is finagle new ways to make a dishonest profit look honest. Look at big Pharma in the time of Coronavirus. It has been disgraceful. They don’t even bother with PR these days. That should tell us something.

    2. Krystyn Podgajski

      Why understand when you have so many drugs and avenues to help you hide from the reality?

      It’s tecKNOWlogoy to the rescue!

      Loose yourself in Facebook and Twitter! Escape in all the cat videos on YouTube! Drink! Smoke weed! (You know it stimulates oxytocin release so it can replace any human contact you are missing, right?) And if that does not work, if you are too aware, well, BigPharm can always help with their addictive meds. Crap, even they want to use once “illegal” drugs to treat your awareness! And if you are too black or too poor their are always the U.S. Narco Complex that can flood your streets with opiates.

      And if that fails, well 8 minutes and 46 seconds on your neck will make you forget all your worries.

      1. jr

        I agree with most of what you’ve said but smoking weed is far more than a mere oxytocin euphoria addiction. It’s literally a part of my mental health kit, as a Bipolar: Lite! I take two pharma meds and I smoke like Bob Marleys funeral procession. All three are necessary, as my GF would readily attest to.

        Euphoric states are also wonderful founts of creativity, in the right hands. I am a poet amongst other things and I can attest that losing oneself in a sea of blissfulness opens the sluices in ones mind, allowing gorgeous rainbow cascades of words to spray out like kaleidoscope peacock fans, raining fiery, hissing crystalline fragments of the dreams of the Gods into the deep dark blue depths of your mind.

        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          I have nothing good to say about the long term use of cannabis. I have a friend off of it 5 months after 7 years of heavy use, she is a different, and better person. It causes anxiety and takes it away. It is the biggest joke on humanity.

          The link between oxytocin genetics and mental health is clear, it plays a large role in stress reduction.

          I don’t really care how cannabis makes anyone feel, I care about why cannabis makes them feel good. One gets good feel from heroin as well. I was on all the pharm drugs, now I am on none but a good lifestyle. I am much healthier, and my friends would readily attest to.

          I know all about the euphoric states of mania. It is no different than depression. Just another mental illusion. Mania is just your preference, others prefer the depression.

          1. J.k

            I can tell you i have known people who work in jobs that are incredibly taxing on their bodies. Construction, electricians , etc. Cannabis has been a godsend for their aging , aching bodies. These folks will have a few tokes in the evening after 10+hour shifts or edibles on the day off. So yes , different from people who are sitting around getting high all day to deal with anxiety. Its also absurd for you to be lumping cannabis in with heroin. That may not have been you intention but thats how it comes off. And people abusing cannabis is the biggest joke on humanity? Lol, ok.

            1. Krystyn Podgajski

              “I can tell you i have known people who work in jobs that are incredibly taxing on their bodies. Construction, electricians , etc. Cannabis has been a godsend for their aging , aching bodies. ”

              The solution to their aging aching bodies is not cannabis, it is getting a different job. I know it is not possible most times but it is the truth.

              You know what also helps aches and pains? Heroin. Ha! How dare I compare cannabis and heroin? This is how.

                1. Krystyn Podgajski

                  I am as dogmatic with the Dao as I am with gravity. Going against either leads to calamity. They are both laws, not religions.

                  But dogma, what dogma? Just providing some insights on the body. I talk, that is all, it does not matter to me. Just a response to a stimulus. It’s like these manic runners I see, they all say it is healthy, but I always see then with crutches at some point. This pushing, it goes against the Dao you know, that is where injuries happen. But think about it for yourself. Then it is not dogma, but like gravity.

                  1. Dan

                    It’s like these manic runners I see, they all say it is healthy, but I always see then with crutches at some point. This pushing, it goes against the Dao you know, that is where injuries happen. But think about it for yourself.

                    Upon resting, and thinking, I will now speak. I’ve known many runners in my life. Some end up with crutches; some don’t.

                    It is all Tao.

                    1. Krystyn Podgajski

                      “Some end up with crutches; some don’t.”

                      Why don’t rabbits sleep in fox dens? Because it goes against their nature. Many people will just say “running is healthy”, but it is not healthy for the people who need crutches.

                      It is all Dao. But people can go against the Dao, They might not be following the Dao, but the Dao will still act upon them. Some people can push the Dao as well, but what is it we are not seeing? Running, so much Yang! We are addicted to Yang!

                      I do not see many animals out jogging or running marathons, yet they are naturally active. If you want to see the Dao, do not watch humanity. All this thinking, interfering with the Dao. Cannabis, interfering with your Dao.

                      In harmony with the Tao,
                      the sky is clear and spacious,
                      the earth is solid and full,
                      all creature flourish together,
                      content with the way they are,
                      endlessly repeating themselves,
                      endlessly renewed.

                      When man interferes with the Tao,
                      the sky becomes filthy,
                      the earth becomes depleted,
                      the equilibrium crumbles,
                      creatures become extinct.

                    2. Dan

                      Tao that says rabbits may not lie with foxes is not Tao.

                      Are you not aware of Animal Odd Couples?

                      It is all Tao, as are your thoughts on the matter, as are mine.

              1. J.k

                Got it. Ill be be sure to tell my buddy who gets relief from his arthritis and other minor physical aches due to cumulative effects of 30+ years of hard physical labor to simply get another job. Until then, when he runs out and the dispensary is out of stock i will be sure to advice him to just try some heroin instead. Talk about missing the point.

              2. s.n

                The solution to their aging aching bodies is not cannabis, it is getting a different job.

                yeah right. learn to code.
                Perhaps it is wisest to accept that your life-problem solutions might not be mine.
                [reefer? been there and done that, years ago. Don’t do that no more. But in the great scale of ingested things it is fairly benign, and has its medicinal as well as recreational uses. To assert otherwise is perhaps based on ignorance? or reliance on second-hand or third-hand information?]

          2. periol

            FWIW, I have found that people’s reaction to marijuana is quite varied. It does different things to different people. I have met people for whom it does not work. I have met people who have weird reactions. In general, I have personally found it to be more like what jr describes. But I’m always open to being wrong, and I try very hard to listen to my body closely. The thing I’ve definitely found with weed though is YMMV, and it’s not for everyone.

          3. CarlH

            For my PTSD there is nothing, and I mean nothing that works like cannabis. I would certainly not be alive now if I had not gotten rid of the hardcore meds the VA fed me and replaced them with cannabis. Your tone comes off as self righteous and ignorant to me. Try listening to the experiences of other people and really hearing them before going off like this.

            1. Krystyn Podgajski

              You think I am saying these things becasue I do not care? No, I am only searching for the best care. My life has been dedicated the last 15 years to finding a solution to mental health issues.

              I am aware that cannabis helps people with PTSD feel better, but the effects do not last. This has been shown in studies and happened to a Vet I know. So while it helps it is ultimately a bad treatment. It works because it stimulates the opioid and oxytocin receptors like heroin does.

              PTSD occurs with a mix of experience and polygenetics. The polygenetics is overlooked. I would hope we could get to the point when personalized genetics will help people recover more quickly.

              I have PTSD, from a stay at a torturous psychiatric hospital. I had to do a lot of work to get over it. And I used some meds to help me on the way. The meds are important, but our system sucks at providing the work that is needed through therapy.

              Low dose medications are only meant to get you stable so you can do the hard work. I have schizophrenic friends who used them this way. Now they just like with the hallucinations. It is like how I live with my flashbacks of the hospital. They just do not trigger the fear response and anxiety anymore.

              The goal I feel, instead of deadening the PTSD with cannabis, is to increase synaptic plasticity through nutrition and relearn and rewire the fear response. GABA may play a large role in tis, but there are many targets.

              1. juliania

                Bravo to you, Krystyn. One thing cannabis does is make you love it. I’m lucky to be of an age that I wasn’t around it when vulnerable. Can’t say I wouldn’t have tried it if it had been, as my kids have done. Wrecked their lives for a while. Medicines are different, and if it is needed there I wouldn’t judge. Just very sad what it has done to so many creative lives. Creative, J.t? Not so much. It just looks that way to you and those like you who are under the spell.

                Life is so much more.

                I loved the Tao finding it in college. Now am an Orthodox Christian and finding the Tao within that faith, lovely combination. We need to focus, now more than ever. [Sorry to be so late getting to this.]

    3. Billy

      “….there would be more people in the street than that which was prompted by the murder of George Floyd.”

      And that is why the media is hyper-focusing on Floyd; To dissipate and distract from that massive trillion dollars fraud, and the one’s to come. Problem is, people loose interest in causes after a while and go home. By the way, what exactly is the goal of the BLM demonstrators?

      Prior to the next trillion dollar bailout, they are going to have to create another reason for people to be outraged so they don’t pay attention to the next sequential mortgaging of their future.

    1. Lee

      A great line on the irrelevance of celebrity commentary: “The streets will speak for themselves.”

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Study: 100% face mask use could crush second, third COVID-19 wave”

    Face masks. We are having this conversation now. After six months of a world-wide pandemic. In spite of the fact that every country that masked up was able to get on top of this virus. There is a city in Germany called Jenna that I heard about today. They went full masks in that city and reduced the spread of this virus by 40% so imagine if everybody had done this for the first wave. By now, everybody would be back at work while still wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Instead, six months later, we are saying that hey, maybe face masks might be a good idea after all. Jesus wept.

    1. Wukchumni

      I was in the temple yesterday, and none of the dove sellers were wearing masks-a bit disconcerting. I had to read them the riot act.

    2. Wukchumni


      Here in the Central Valley Bible Belt, masks are few and far between in terms of wearing them in public. I had on short gauntlets and wore an N-95 (I somewhat resembled the Lone Ranger sans steed) in my foray to obtain foodstuffs, vittles & sundries, and maybe 25% of the customers wore a mask, with about 25% of the employees not wearing one.

      1. fresno dan

        June 12, 2020 at 9:01 am

        So, in an effort (losing) to stop resembling a hippopotamus, I decided not to buy a package of donuts at the grocery store – they no longer sell individual unwrapped donuts… :(
        So I stopped at the donut shop I used to frequent (hence my resemblance to certain quadrupeds) before the lock down. The donut clerk wasn’t wearing a mask, and a bunch of old timers having coffee and donuts – not a mask among them, even though they were in the age bucket most imperiled.
        I remember years ago a friend of mine’s brother in law didn’t wear seat belts, nor his children, because he believed in the event of an automobile accident he could raise his right arm and restraint his daughter from flying through the windshield.
        Fortunately, he was in an auto accident….he survived (he was alone) and learned about physics, human reaction time, and reality. Unfortunately, in this case the survivors will believe that they were correct, and the non survivors will not be around to dispute them…

      2. Lee

        Hooded rain poncho, safety goggles, and a P-100 face mask make up my current shopping ensemble. For some odd reason, fellow shoppers tend to give me a wide berth.

    3. rd

      I think Missouri may be convinced. They think they dodged a bullet with two stylists in a hair salon who ended up being Covid positive and showed symptoms, but were wearing masks. They traced 140 clients who appeared not to have become Covid-positive:

      The big issue is the political polarization in the country matches where international travel does and does not occur, so the blue Democratic lead cities got hit hard early while the red Republican areas did not. That meant that the Republican strongholds viewed it as a Democratic blue state problem, not a national problem. Its one of the few areas where they believe libertarianism is the right approach. Now that it is infiltrating their areas, their unilateral focus on re-opening the economy doesn’t allow much deviation from that mindset. I hear that opinion from people in those areas tha tI work with.

      Its going to be a much bigger disaster than it ever needed to be and it will get into every corner of the country due to popular demand.

    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      And of course, the leadership vacuum on this allowed wearing or not wearing a mask to become a symbol of political and tribal identity rather than the public health thing it is for the good of everyone. Add to that the “I didn’t wear a mask and I didn’t get it” mentality and I’m fully expecting the second wave to be much worse.

  9. Wukchumni

    Re: Statue of Limitations

    The south will rise again in temperature, as climate change tears it path, leaving large swaths uninhabitable.

    The one curious relic of the Confederate monuments just happens to be the largest bas-relief artwork in the world, and there is really no good reason why it wouldn’t be there many thousands of years from now, causing historians in 4040 to think that the CSA won the Civil War, because never ever does the losing side make a grandiose memorial for themselves, as is the the monument @ Stone Mountain. Ga.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Never heard of the Stone Mountain Confederate Monument before. It is – bizarre for want of a better word. Somebody should start up websites saying that the people depicted are actually Lincoln, Grant and Sherman.

        1. juno mas

          No need to chop it down. Simply remove the nearby parking zone and the people impact measures (hardened walkway, split-rail fence, signage). Let the area attempt to return to a more natural appearance. (It is clear from looking at the photos that adjacent trees are straining under the impact of compacted soil (foot traffic) and lack of natural organic litter.)

      1. TXMama

        Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech includes a powerful exhortation “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.” It’s just a part of his beautiful exhortation for freedom that is so moving. Take some time to listen to the speech. It is amazing.

        There was a plan to put a bell of freedom atop Stone Mountain as a tribute to King, but I don’t know if it was actually done.

      2. Clean

        Rev, Major Hugh Thompson, the helicopter pilot, who along with his crew, put a stop to the My Lai Massacre in progress and safely escorted survivors away ( Vietnam, March16, 1968) was from Stone Mountain, Georgia.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Now there is a man who I have admired for a long time. A real gutsy performance deserving of a Medal of Honour.

  10. Ford Prefect

    Re: Mask-free Trump rallies

    This could be an interesting moment in history when creationists get to experience Darwinian evolution principles in real time.

      1. Carolinian

        It should be said that the black leadership of the city of Atlanta has never been fond of Borglum’s carving (he later did Mt. Rushmore) nor of that other Atlanta icon, Gone With the Wind (movie now under attack for its unquestionably Jim Crow attitudes to slavery). The Lost Cause ideology is no longer much in vogue here but once littered our landscape with memorials to those who, by this way of thinking, should have won but we were outnumbered. Now we are into smartphones and modern stuff.

        Blast the thing off the cliff face or concede Craig Murray’s point–all statues are Ozymandias. After all those Rushmore figures had their unsavory side as well. Blast them all?

        1. Wukchumni

          There isn’t much we’ll leave behind aside from extensive trash middens, and by leaving both monuments intact, perhaps the aliens who stop by our planet in 5150 will think we were a race of giants, with the largest ones memorialized in South Dakota, not too far from where the dinosaurs called home.

          1. Carolinian

            They’ll find an arm sticking up holding a torch and ape like inhabitants (saw it in a moovee).

        2. Alfred

          Pardon my pun, but the Stone Mountain relief,its champions, and its detractors all now find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. The relief was ill conceived from the get-go, and its execution disfigured one of Georgia’s (and the world’s) natural wonders in order to create a tourist attraction designed to glorify the antebellum South. The work contributes nothing to the history of art beyond an egregious example of the aesthetics of bigness, of which there are (too) many others elsewhere. But to blast it away will only relegate the history of the sculpture as such to the same category now occupied by that of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. And in the place of the carving that already scars the granite of Stone Mountain, the granite will be left with an even bigger scar. The mountain itself with thus be further diminished physically, and yet its power to memorialize will be multiplied.Because the the theme of Borglum’s image was memory (making things real again after they had ceased to be real by entering remembrance), having the concreteness of that image vanish (just as the men it depicts vanished) will only reinforce the impressive power of the theme itself. Moreover, the new scar will endure much longer than Borglum’s scar, and persist that much longer in recalling not only an episode of politically motivated vandalism from the mid 20th century but also a second one from the early decades of the 21st. Memory, it turns out, is a very hard thing to erase. Perhaps, indeed, those things that people would like most to forget are actually the ones that are most resistant to forgetting. Perhaps also, if people just stopped looking at Stone Mountain, they would cease to see it; and though still unable to forget it, yet their memory of it might dim a bit. It might also be worth looking into whether kudzu can be induced to grow on granite.

          1. juno mas

            Maybe a solution would be to not “blast it away” but have real artists contemplate selective sculptural changes that reconfigures the stone face into a more creative/natural facade.

          2. Carolinian

            It’s not particularly interesting as art–unlike Rushmore–so someday visitors will say “who are those guys in that boring carving?”

            When the site was still run by GA they would have laser shows at night in the summer and people would sit on the grass as then novel laser beams played on the side of the mountain–anything to make the artwork less boring. There would be musical accompaniment including, of course, Dixie.

            1. newcatty

              I am old, now. I was a child in the later 50’s and early 60’s. As I look back at elementary school in a very small town in a southwestern state, I recall my favorite class, out of class: Music. I remember the teacher was an older woman, who played the old piano to accompany our singing. We had some kind of “chorus books” that we used to read along the lyrics. I loved to sing, so just was enthralled. The curious thing was that the songs were mostly popular “folk” songs from different areas of the country. Among, them was Dixie. Ole Susanna. Something like a song about the working on The Erie Canal and a mule named Sal. Something about leaving ole Texas, now…no room for the long horned cow. My Ole Kentucky Home. Christmas time! We may as well as had a protestant hymnal to celebrate Christmas! Thus started at Thanksgiving( unlike now, of course) and culminated in a grand performance for the whole school and families of the kids. As a child, tbh, I don’t think we had any idea of the cultural references of those songs or that it was exclusively Christian ideology. The kids were mostly white with a few Latino kids. A few Native American kids, too. The Latino families may have been mostly Catholic, but more than likely would have been OK, or silent, about ole town religion in the music room. Interesting how southern songs were used in a small southwestern town’s milieu.

    1. Carolinian

      Not that I think Trump should be holding mass rallies but I wonder how you reconcile your snark with this. From Greenwald link above

      But perhaps the most egregious and illustrative example of the utter manipulation of public health science and expertise for nakedly political ends is found in the open letter that was originally crafted by epidemiologists at the University of Washington and then ultimately signed by 1,300 experts from around the country.

      That letter, which made headlines in media outlets around the world, acknowledges that 1) these massive protests are likely to spread the coronavirus and result in deaths from COVID-19; 2) those harms from new infections are likely to fall disproportionately on African-American and Latino citizens; and 3) the use of preventative measures such as social distancing and masks is very difficult to maintain at such protests. In other words, these protests — dedicated toward protecting the lives of minority citizens — are virtually certain to result in the deaths, perhaps in large numbers, of the very people they are designed to protect.

      He says he supports the protests but that our credentialed arbiters of dispassionate truth have also fallen prey to the politicization of everything. Greenwald:

      But what we should not tolerate, and what the scientific community cannot permit if it is to retain its credibility, is the abuse and manipulation of health expertise for political ends.

      He has a point?

      1. juno mas

        GG has a point. But it is a narrow one. I like Greenwald’s ability to illuminate inconsistency in argumentation. But he’s painting with a broad brush, here. The scientific consensus on Covid-19 is in flux; it’s a novel coronavirus. Immunologists are actually split on how to best contain it, given the US culture that refuses to wear masks. (Most of the protesters in my area are wearing masks, most people on Main Street and at the beach are not—where do you think the virus transmission is occurring?) The protests appear to be more urgent (to those involved) than the folks shopping while unmasked.

        As for apolitical science: many people have been asking for climate scientists to be MORE active in their statements on the implications of AGW. Many refuse, saying they relate the facts and political choices either emphasize or ignore them.

        GG’s commentary illuminates the razor’s edge of science and society, not devious behavior.

        1. mike

          You excuse this behavior by saying “the scientific consensus on Covid-19 is in flux”… which is true but GG’s point is that the scientific consensus is shifting based on non-scientific data… such as the health professionals political views.

          1. juno mas

            The scientific consensus on Covid-19 is in flux; it’s a novel coronavirus. Immunologists are actually split on how to best contain it, given the US culture that refuses to wear masks.

            The above is the full thought. The scientific thinking is changing based on what the current science suggests AND what can be practically implemented. The scientific data (and empirical evidence from Asian countries) indicates that masks are essential for reducing virus transmission, without total lockdown. However, the US, and other countries, are re-opening without the mask imperative. Health officials are being over-ridden by political representatives; some health officials are being fired for adhering to the scientific data.

            What is occurring in the US is not a devious shifting of scientific data, but the perspective of health officials responding to social/political factors.

            I respect GG for illuminating inconsistencies. Life is full of them.

    2. voteforno6

      I might almost cheer them on, if they didn’t run the risk of infecting others as well.

    3. The Rev Kev

      There is a way to make this palatable for Trump’s supporters. Just announce that one lucky ticket holder will win a $10,000 cash prize and watch them line up for tickets. I mean, $10,000 for the GOP is just walking-around money and they can afford it. Hopefully the winner will not be one of those that get real sick afterwards.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Right. “If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park…..”

        Some insults just never get too old to “re-imagine.”

    4. schulace

      will match the Darwinian process around the recent protests. So what’s your point? You are wishing for death and illness on these people?

      1. hunkerdown

        I can think of no other effective way to reduce the number of authoritarian followers in a society than to bait them into a tra of their own devising.

  11. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Grayzone backgrounder on Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales.

    A former futures and options trader, Wales openly preached the gospel of “Objectivism,” Rand’s ultra-capitalist ideology that sees government and society itself as the root of all evil, heralding individual capitalists as gods.

    Wales described his philosophy behind Wikipedia in specifically Randian terms. In a video clip from a 2008 interview, published by the Atlas Society, an organization dedicated to evangelizing on behalf of Objectivism, Wales explained that he was influenced by Howard Roark, the protagonist of Rand’s novel The Fountainhead.

    In fairness it should be pointed out that Wales’ own Wikipedia entry talks about his devotion to Rand, onetime C.B.DeMille screenwriter and major loon. In a world where it is acceptable to treat formerly mainstream social democratic ideas as “far left” then surely Rand’s “government is not the solution, it’s the problem” philosophy should fairly be described as far right.

    That said, I’d still hold that Wikipedia is highly useful as long as you know which topics to avoid. For those there’s the rest of the web where we construct our own personal wikipedia.

    1. CuriosityConcern

      I read either the Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged when I was but a teen, it was terrible.
      I agree that Wikipedia can be very useful.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” -John Rogers

        1. CuriosityConcern

          I was thinking of that quote when I wrote my comment. I would have mangled both the quote and attribution.
          I slogged through LoT also, but ended up finding my place in Piers Anthony and William Gibson, an odd combo I admit.

  12. a different chris

    This is what I expect and why I wish I could live in a different country:

    Like I keep saying, not predicting a Biden EC win but if I was forced to I would. But Biden’s a one-termer, Nancy Pelosi with a Y chromosome, and his VP will tarnished by the whistling past the graveyard approach of the next 4 years.

    A smarter Trump, who for example would actually do something meaningful about bringing back manufacturing (sure dude, put tariffs just on China and watch everything move the Vietnam, which it was anyway. WTF) will certainly give the Dem nominee a battle.

    Anyway one big takeaway from the article is already well known here, the Republican Party sticks to it’s beliefs thru thick and thin, whereas the Dems can’t even be said to have any. That makes a difference, as Bill Clinton (hilariously, as he was such a feather in the wind it was comical) said.

  13. NotTimothyGeithner

    I feel like everyone in an English speaking country simply wouldn’t cover their nose. Explaining it to them would just be too annoying. Quarantine was so much simpler.

  14. mpalomar

    Not sure if this early June Corbyn interview has been posted but an interesting bit at 38 minutes has Corbyn relating a meeting with Obama in 2016. Corbyn congratulates Obama on the ACA and claims Obama responded saying it was his ‘greatest disappointment’, that his intention was to replicate a national plan similar to the UK’s NHS.
    I don’t imagine Corbyn, who comes across as a rare, ethical and decent politician of the kind rarely encountered on either side of the pond at that level, is lying. One does wonder about the motivation behind Obama’s revelation.

    1. Mel

      Before it leaves the factory, every Trudobamacron unit is programmed with the three laws of Trudobamacron:
      1. Look good.
      2. Say nice things.
      3. Two laws is all you need. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.

      No denying that what Obama said was really nice.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      Obama just said whatever he thought his audience wanted to hear. Obama appears to have no ideology other than opportunistically taking the path of least resistance.

      1. RMO

        If that truly had been his intention he could have at the very least said that a national single-player plan was what he wanted to accomplish at the time and made the excuse that the ACA was all he thought could get through congress. The fact that he never espoused any real progressive positions in his time as President is what eventually made me come to the conclusion that he really has no ethical core at all. He couldn’t even be bothered to make an Eisenhower type retirement speech after hos second term and has spent all hos time since then doing whatever he can to cash in on his former position and burnish his inflated self image. And I believed in the guy in his first run and was still foolish enough to hope that he would do something, anything good in his second term. Instead he went on TV to “Slow Jam The News” and push the TTP and Hillary in a nauseatingly smug and oily manner.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Covid-19 studies based on flawed Surgisphere data force medical journals to review processes”

    Looks like both The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine got themselves suckered. There was always an easy solution to stop this happening and that is to require any study giving access to their database to prove their assertions. But Surgisphere claimed that it was ‘propriety’ and so could not be examined, even after it was found that they lied about the Australian part of the study. The Guardian rang all the major hospitals in Australia later and was told by all of them that they had never heard of Surgisphere – at all. So this is fraud plain and simple. The more you go into the story of that company, the worse it got. The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine have only got themselves to blame for their part in this fiasco.

      1. Ignacio

        I think this is much worse than Theranos. The Guardian did this time a good job of search and research on Surgisphere and what has surfaced is not pretty. For me the the least important of these consequences would be the loss of credibility of those important medical journos. This should be important at least for them! But the consequences of the publications regarding ongoing clinical research on Covid was much more important. It is just awesome that some unknown and rogue company, without –to my knowledge– any kind of institutional support and/or official approval was claiming to monitor clinical data all around the world on Covid 19 and other diseases, and that such “platform” or whatever (11 employees according to The Guardian) was able to manipulate the NEJM or the Lancet to influence HC systems around the world about important decisions on Covid 19 treatments. This has to be thoroughly investigated and it somehow has to be avoided that something like this happens again.

        As Rev Kev says this is plain fraud and I just can’t believe how degraded are our standards for publication even in research areas that have enormous impacts like HC. These guys have been shown serial fraudsters and in a short period have produced too many publications, none of them peer reviewed, neither subject to minimal fact checking when they were including bold claims.

    1. Chris

      Two things a respectable journal and its reviewers should always look for in evaluating a submitted paper:

      1. Have the authors demonstrated that the study received ethics committee approval covering all of the research subjects?

      2. Are those named at the top of the paper truly the authors of the work, participating in some way in the conceptualisation, data collection, analysis and writing?

      It seems that standards at the Lancet and NEJM (among others) may have slipped somewhat.

  16. Wukchumni

    Happy Dock Ellis day golden anniversary, and does MLB have a future?

    It was fading bad with the average age of fans being close to social security payments, just too slow of a game for the youngins’, and even slower now that the season looks to be wiped out by insistence by players that pre-Covid-19 salaries stay up in the higher climes.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Dock’s performance 50 years ago was a beauty. Baseball had some marvelous characters in the 70s; Dave Kingman and Bill Lee and Mike Marshall were all outspoken free-thinkers, as was the Dock. It’s much more anodyne and conformist now, and that’s part of why its popularity is slipping. Another golden anniversary next year: on 1 September 1971, Pittsburgh’s starting lineup had only persons of color (with Dock pitching). Times change.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Baseball has problems like the absence of Bill Lee, not that I remember, and pricing/costs to entry (playing in high school. To a certain extent, it has the same problem as Travel Soccer in the U.S.). But and this is a big one, I watch an unhealthy amount of baseball and frequent minor league games. The shift towards hitting home runs and strike outs have just drawn out the games. Baseball is simply boring. Balls aren’t put into play anymore. Games just take forever.

        Structurally I think addressing the umpire’s lack of favoritism towards black pitchers, which is why we have to have mind numbing discussions about computers calling balls and strikes, and raising the mound a bit are probably the solutions.

        I think about Greg Maddux. Certainly, he had problems as a pitcher in the playoffs, but he was fun to watch during the season. Seeing a lousy Clemens type night after night is just kind of dull. The 2004 Red Sox rotation was Pedro, Schilliing, Derek Lowe (who threw a great sinker ball which was fairly unique despite his lack of talent), and Tim Wakefield (with his wonderful knuckler some night). The fifth starter was some guy because Pedro and Schilling pitched every fifth day that season. Now, its like yeah, they look a little different, but every night is the same…I really don’t care. Pedro is an exception, but I’m not sure Lowe and Wakefield can make it in the world of modern scouting reports. The Red Sox traded away Mookie Betts, and people are so apathetic John Henry still walks free.

        1. JWP

          I miss the Maddux type pitcher. Get through a game with blazing efficiency and filthy off speed in under two hours. All the pitching change and velocity hounds have made it more difficult to tune in for a full game. Gotta bring back the complete game as a regular staple of a pitcher.

          Furthermore, I fear the MLB is heading the way of the NBA with consolidation of success among the highest bidder. Ex. the Dodgers this offseason and the Yankees of recent. Is it a coincidence our sports teams reflect our economic competition?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The scouting reports are incredible compared to 10 years ago, even 5 years ago. Starting pitchers have lost an edge. Its 9 guys versus 1 guy. Its easier to disseminate weaknesses (sign stealing aside). Its easier to get a bead on guys during a second go through the order. To me the solution is to move to give pitchers the edge by raising the mound but limit the pitching changes allowed. Make Maddux possible.

            NBA with consolidation of success among the highest bidder.

            I disagree. NBA teams tend to spend big after they get good. The rules largely demand teams have huge contracts anyway. From a competitive standpoint, there are going to be teams who have hideous contracts on the books (see the Knicks). In MLB, Houston taught everyone that the scouting reports in conjunction with the draft rules means a team could blow it up for a season and come roaring back, so to a certain extent, you will see teams do this (except the O’s who will forever be mismanaged).

            1. JWP

              The shift of hitters to make their launch angle higher to be able to offset pitchers dominating low in the zone has done a great deal to make Maddux’s less frequent. Pitchers countering with the rising fastball at high velocities has done little to improve their chances. I agree on both of your propositions especially raising the mound. Might cause Mr. Capps some trouble however:

              I always feel bad for the O’s and Mariners who seem destined to lose despite great farm systems. With big market teams snatching up players younger and younger with huge contracts (Betts,28, Stanton, 28, Harper, 26, Machado, 27), it seems possible they begin taking players from smaller market teams like the Astros were before they can form a successful team. Granted the NBA does not have the farm system the MLB has nor do contracts last as long with the salary cap so buying after success and opposed to before is the norm. However, with minor league baseball having an uncertain future, I cannot confidently say we will see teams like the Astros and Twins develop their way to winning going forward.

            2. periol

              “The scouting reports are incredible compared to 10 years ago, even 5 years ago.”

              I know you’re being serious, and I agree with your general point, but I couldn’t help but laugh. The Houston Astros and I’m sure other teams have made a mockery of everything baseball with their real-time video feed and sign communication to batters. The scouting reports are definitely AMAZING these days! Yu Darvish and other pitchers have certainly had some things to say about it…

        2. Darthbobber

          Just let pitchers go back to being allowed the kind of “brushback” pitches that guys like Gibson, Drysdale, Marichal , Koufax threw and watch the balance of terror change.

  17. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Abrupt, Radical Reversal in How Public Health Experts Now Speak About the Coronavirus and Mass Gatherings Glenn Greenwald Intercept

    [A]s public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders. Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives.

    I’m sure those who lost their jobs and businesses and face eviction because they can’t pay their rent or mortgage as a result of the lockdown, are grateful for the professionalism and conviction of these “experts,” who don’t seem the slightest bit embarrassed to publish this incoherent, overtly political bullshit

    And I wish I had a stronger word than “bullshit” for the claim that “these gatherings” are “vital to the national public health” being made by “experts” who can only bring themselves to speak the words “national healthcare” when they are actively campaigning against it.

    PS. Anyone who still believes that cheap hydroxychloroquine + zinc will kill you as a result of “expert opinion,” should be forced to read this statement over and over until the hypocrisy sinks in.

    1. Ignacio

      Glenn Greenwald’s article is excellent. Leaves a few but important ideas about the politisation of epidemiology and about our individual freedoms just using common sense. Spain was possibly the first Western country to see acute politization of the epidemic and the far right parties (PP and VOX) retrospectively rallied against the demonstrations held in Spain for the rights of women on March 8th. They basically blamed the epidemic in Spain to these events. And Spain has from the very beginning been on top as one of the hardest hit countries of the world. So, this was a Big Big Blame to play with.

      More retrospective analysis casts doubts on these claims: my own analysis showed that peak contagions in Spain occured the week before the demonstrations, and by, then the curve was already flattening. You cannot identify a spike on hospitalisations or deaths associated with that event. It is also known now that events in open spaces aren’t necessarily such hot spots for contagions and most were occurring in the meantime in office space, restaurants, public transport. large events in closed spaces, etc.

      But if we look retrospectively as Greenwald’s do, with common sense, lessons could be learned for possible future situations: the “stay home” stupidity as if having a walk was unhealthy etc. Much of the excess in lockdowns was probably a reflection of incompetent governments having lost control of the situation, acting as China copycats and believing doing so they could regain control of the situation.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “China issues fresh warnings on travelling, studying in Australia”

    I will diverge for a few moments here. If there is one thing to remember about Prime Minister Scotty from Marketing, he is all about the economy. So he never talks about people or voters but talks constantly about workers. Australia to him is an economy with a country attached to it. Right now he is trying to force all the States to open up their borders both internally and to overseas. He wants all the internal airlines flying again too in spite of the fact that cases of Coronavirus keep on cropping up. And he wants all those international students back though they have not mentioned anything about quarantining them first.

    So for reasons of his own (or Trumps) he is picking a helluva fight with China which is akin to picking a fight with your bank manager. He is doing stuff like signing an anti-China pact with India ( as well as other stuff as well. So the Chinese are firing a few shots across his bow. Getting to this article then, Australia has a huge number of overseas students that come here to study which includes a large amount of Chinese students and they bring in about $12 billion a year. In addition, we get about 1.5 mimlion Chinese tourists a year which brings in another $12 billion or so. So China is saying hey, all that money can go away you know. It makes no sense to do this when the country has now gone into a recession.

    Scotty is also threatening States by saying that any State does not open will not have student from overseas flying into it. The man is a lunatic. After spending hundreds of billions of dollars, he is wiling to gamble it all away by opening up early because markets. I think that he is gambling that we have enough testing and PPE gear that we can deal with constant flare ups after opening up. He also wants to go back to attending big football crowds as well as his fundamentalist church services too. So in short, he is displaying the same level of leadership that he did in the massive bushfires that we had a coupla months ago.

    1. Wukchumni

      Declare yourselves ‘the West Island’ and go east metaphorically young man, before the Marmite Wars start in earnest.

      1. Synoia

        I believe Australia has it’s own version of Marmite (food of the Gods) called Vegemite.

        It is interesting the foods one favors are those fed to you as a young child. I really like Tabouli. I had forgotten it’s existence, and then met it again in a London Restaurant. It was like a memory explosion.

        The same is true for me from some music. I sang the Chorus from the Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor by Rimsky-Korsakov, and it was eerie when I found it again and heard a choir singing familiar, but forgotten, music.

    2. Darthbobber

      Gotta love this. Natalie from Marketing objecting to this whole “Scotty from Marketing” thing. We just don’t get the awesome breadth and depth of the Marketing mission.
      “Marketers put the physical and emotional needs of stakeholders at the centre of organisational decision-making. They use data to underpin their decisions. And they are experts at rapidly deploying and efficiently managing resources for the best return.”

      “Marketing isn’t frivolous, expensive window dressing. At their core, marketers are in the business of solving problems; customer problems and organisation problems. They seek to understand the root causes of issues, and address those in a meaningful and sustainable way before throwing money at the problem.”

      For the full dose:

      And this blather is, sadly, their self-image. (Its like reading one of the aggrieved Yuppie responses to the coinage Yuppie back in the day.)

  19. polecat

    The ‘experts’ always seem to remain wholly-made in mine eyes! I’m sure They have no problem what-so-ever, for example … where ‘rentiering’ is concerned …

    I have absolutely no confidence in ANY of the institutions that I once held dear. NONE!

    ‘So into the Chasm we go – black, white, brown and so ..
    on our knees apparently .. wearing a mask or no.’

  20. Wukchumni

    Off to traipse among the Brobdingnagians in the main part of Sequoia NP, in the Giant Forest. It’s been a week since the National Park was reopened, and i’m curious what’s what.

  21. Treefiddle

    Speaking of forests, wanted to share this link the timber industry in Oregon, which gets reported on rarely because logging companies are scary:

  22. JEHR

    Re: Alberta and South Korea’s pensions just bought the Coastal GasLink pipeline . . .

    We Canadians have a front-row seat to watch a rogue premier try to run the economy of Canada without the rest of Canada. At first, he tried to upstage our PM from his own province in order to run things the way he wants to. Then he threatened to deny equalization payments for his own purposes. Finally, he is threatening to leave Canada. So, it is not surprising to me that he has teamed up with private equity. I have an inkling that these pipeline deals won’t end well for the pensioners.

  23. Susan the other

    On the Nathan Tankus takedown of Prof. Portnoy’s misinformation used for a blatant political agenda. Just as Yves warned us that it was a tad hysterical to conflate 2008’s melt-down of Collateralized Debt Obligations with today’s actually legitimate Collateralized Loan Obligations (with succinct differences exposed, thank you Yves), Nathan has clocked Portnoy’s paranoia-based selected information and exaggerated statistics. The banks are not going to fail. Since 2008 the Fed and Congress have actually cleaned up all the fraud that almost brought down the world. And implemented new regulations that (I was actually amazed to read this) control against all that former fraud. I really didn’t understand how well the situation had been cleaned up and if I had read Portnoy’s editorial I would have probably believed him. But the really truly annoying thing was that Portnoy had another agenda which was to encourage people to go back to work to save the financial system. Interesting in light of the clear facts that the financial system is not in danger; only people’s health and lives are now in danger. Not to mention that most of those lost jobs are never coming back.

  24. JWP

    RE: Big Money Bought the Forests. Small Logging Communities Are Paying the Price

    Reading this piece in the Oregonian yesterday brought to mind an article from Treehugger about access to private lands:

    Much of what Weyerhauser owns contains some of NW/Central Oregon’s most beautiful features including the popular Abiqua falls. It is illegal to access most of these places (the ones that haven’t been clear cut or are patrolled) because there is no right to roam. I have begun emailing my reps about such laws and hope the right to roam movement gains traction.

  25. Randy G

    Speaking of Arizona, where Covid-19 cases are increasing, I live in Tucson — surely not the most retrograde city in the country — and I’m stunned and discouraged by the number of people no longer wearing masks inside stores.

    Two weeks ago at the Sprouts market on Speedway, about 80% of shoppers wore masks; yesterday, on a visit to the market, quite crowded, this had dropped to about 40% — with many elderly and young alike refusing to wear masks. (One elderly lady not wearing a mask inside was accompanied by an even older gentleman — probably late 80s — wearing a Trump red baseball cap outside the store. In some cases, evidently, the masks have become political symbols; not wearing them demonstrates your rugged individualism and/or party loyalties.)

    Early on in the Covid-19 plague, when masks were in short supply and their protective value unclear, not wearing them was comprehensible. Now that they are widely available and inexpensive, and their importance in slowing the spread of the Coronavirus repeatedly demonstrated by studies, it is obdurate and selfish stupidity to charge into crowded spaces without them.

    A few more examples: at the Dollar Store on Grant, one out of ten customers (aside from myself) wore one. The middle-aged clerk neither wore a mask nor gloves. At the Petsmart, I was the only person in the store wearing a mask; the middle-aged clerk wore no mask or gloves. She did ask me to put my basket into a pile to be “wiped down”.

    Trader Joe’s on Grant practically begs in a sign right outside their entrance for people to wear masks. Yet on my recent foray, 4 shoppers — all 60-years plus — insisted on their right to shop without masks. Trader Joe’s and CostCo in Tucson have by far the highest number of shoppers still wearing masks — at least in my limited sample.

    I am still waiting to see a store post a sign: no shirt, no shoes, no masks — no service. Maybe they are afraid they will be shot by vigilantes, but people should have the right to enter stores without needlessly elevated risks of infection.

    Most alarmingly, I entered a small local pet store yesterday, which is tight under the best of circumstances; except for me, not a single one of a dozen or more customers wore a mask — nor did the owner and staff. Not only is it impossible to manage any social distancing in the store, you have to physical squeeze by people just to move around.

    The Republican governor of Arizona recently decreed a draconian week-long curfew to stifle protests and protect high-end malls from attacks. In the meantime, the real danger of widespread illness and death is largely ignored in the rush to get back to ‘business as usual’.

    The cynic in me has always celebrated the H.L. Mencken aphorism: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

    The idealist in me always hoped that Mencken was merely a sour elitist.

    Expect cases of Covid-19 to surge here in Arizona and presumably much of the rest of the country as well. And ‘they’ ain’t going to shut down the economy again… so what now? We are entering The Twilight Zone….

    Wow! What an awesome time to be a cynic in America!

    1. RMO

      Personal observation here in the Vancouver suburbs – about a third of shoppers are wearing masks. Masks are still somewhat hard to come by though so that may have something to do with why the other two thirds aren’t. The two meter separation rule seems to be largely adhered too as well. I’m still wearing a mask when I shop (gloves too, and I’m still doing near-Andromeda Strain levels of decontamination when I get home: clothes off in the garage, full shower, washing everything that comes into the house that can’t just be left for several days) and this is in a Province where our most recent 24-hour new case figure was 14 out of a population of 5.1 million… and even that was a bad number by our recent standards.

    2. kareninca

      Wow. I am actually shocked. At the Trader Joe’s I go to in Silicon Valley, everyone was wearing a mask today. And they are not that easy to get.

  26. newcatty

    Well, as has been often stated on NC, a quote from the great sociologist Lily Tomlin (like the late George Carlin): Can one be cynical enough? Please excuse, if I paraphrase the quote. We lived in Tucson for many years… The report you give doesn’t surprise me at all. When you are losing Trader Joes and CostCo in Tucson…where have all the old hippies gone? Lots went North, young man. Years ago, Tucson had the rep as the left enclave of AZ. It was a source of pride, and relief, for the most part of “folks”. Like, “Keep Austin weird “. The state leadership was in the bastion of conservative ( Republican) capital city.

    Tucson was no paradise. UofA kept us busy for a long time, Now, the foothills are on fire. Interesting fact: it was, and is, where most upper class have homes. At least in the adjacent areas of town. Do you believe in karma, in a city’s life? To be fair, we still have old friends in town and I feel sorry about the fire’s destruction of the rugged hills and canyons. Fire can be good for an ecosystem. Please stay safe. Smoke inhalation is not healthy. Another good reason to wear a mask.

  27. Tom

    I think instead of being outraged at every news item every other day maybe we as a people should take a step back and think about how much of our problems stem from our fixed human nature and how society can be formed accordingly. It’s very futile and a waste of energy to do otherwise.

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