Links 6/15/2020

An ancient Roman city has been fully mapped using ground-penetrating radar Ars Technica

Kerala could have avoided the deaths of two elephants if it learnt to kill wild boars scientifically Scroll

A nose-horned dragon lizard lost to science for over 100 years has been found Science News

What Happens When Sea Otters Eat 15 Pounds of Shellfish A Day NPR (David L)

Divorced general thinks bases should be named after officers who understand loyalty Duffelblog

UK marks anniversary of Grenfell Tower fire that killed 72 Al jazeera

Twitter Users Share 29 Statues That Are Better Than The Ones Protesters Are Tearing Down Bored Panda

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“The Concept of Race Is Taboo” Der Spiegel re/silC)

Moving Street Protests from Futility to Utility Counterpunch. Ralph Nader.

Dangerous Ideas And Our Cancel Culture American Conservative

New Hope for People Who Claim Racism Tainted Their Death Sentence Marshall Project

California prosecutors routinely strike Black and Latino people from juries, report says LA Times. And this in California, a so-called ‘blue’ state.

Pentagon Surplus Handouts Stoke The Militarization Of US Police Barron’s. Note the story emanated with Agence France-Presse, and the reporter’s byline is a French name, meaning the eyes of the world are on US practices and not reported through the lens of the US press..

House Dems’ Reforms Are Not Enough — Congress Must End Federal Policing Funding TruthOut

Calls Mount for ‘Radical Changes in Policy and Policing’ and the Arrest of Fired Atlanta Officer Who Killed Rayshard Brooks Common Dreams

#COVID-19

COVID-19, Civil Unrest Could Trigger Mass Migration in Post-Pandemic World Study Finds re/silC: “canada might need a border wall.”

DC Detects New Peak in Coronavirus Cases: Health Officials NBC 4

Republican coronavirus skepticism may shift as cases rise in states Trump won Guardian

Public health workers fighting virus face growing threats AP

Trump economic adviser urges wearing of masks at Tulsa rally Thomson Reuters

State Investigating Hospital With Coronavirus Policy That Profiled Pregnant Native American Mothers and Separated Them From Newborns ProPublica

Slowing the Coronavirus Is Speeding the Spread of Other Diseases NYT

To understand who’s dying of Covid-19, look to social factors like race more than preexisting diseases Stat

COVID-19 vaccines for all? Lancet

Class Warfare

Corporations Are Claiming “Black Lives Matter.” That Would Be News to Their Workers. Jacobin

The Illusion of a Rapid US Recovery Project Syndicate. James K. Galbraith. Note this appeared before the market crash and advances arguments Galbraith has been consistently making.

Facebook says it doesn’t need news stories for its business and won’t pay to share them in Australia Guardian

MTA’s ‘very expensive’ homeless outreach effort a bust, inspector general finds NY Post

UK

Six in 10 NHS doctors facing shortage of scrubs, shows UK survey Guardian

Just DON’T do it! Hundreds of Nike customers ignore social-distancing in bid to cram into Oxford Street store while thousands queue at Primarks across UK as shops reopen for first time in three months today Daily Mail

Italy

‘Disinfecting non-stop’ as Italy faces two new coronavirus outbreaks SCMP

China?

Coronavirus: Beijing lockdown spreads in race to control outbreak SCMP

Chinese shoppers are giving luxury brands some hope  CNN

Chinese capital reinstates curbs as coronavirus resurfaces Reuters

India

Pause, rewind, play: How captain Sourav Ganguly and coach John Wright revolutionised Indian cricket Scroll

India’s COVID-19 Cases Spike By More Than 11,500 for Third Straight Day The Wire

Two Indian high commission officials missing in Pakistan Times of India

Coronavirus: India to use 500 train carriages as wards in Delhi BBC

1 in every 10 new patients tested in India is COVID-19 positive — and that just means community transmission is underway but not everywhere Business Insider

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

The two-year fight to stop Amazon from selling face recognition to the police MIT Technology Review

Julian Assange

WATCH: ‘Spying on Assange’ With Max Blumenthal, Stefania Maurizi and Fidel Narváez Consortium News

Trump Transition

The Trump factor: Asian allies question America’s reliability  FT

2020

Democratic fears grow over 2020 voter suppression The Hill

The media’s vital role in safeguarding elections Columbia Journalism Review

Back in the Senate, Sanders weighs how to wield his outside-Washington power WaPo

Joe Biden Needs to Learn an Urgent Lesson From the 2004 Election NYT As mainstream a warning as you could imagine, but is the DNC or insider Democrats listening? Unlikely.

Syraqistan

Death by drone – the United States’ vicious Afghan legacy Qantara

Antidote du Jour. TF:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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113 comments

  1. PlutoniumKun

    Coronavirus: Beijing lockdown spreads in race to control outbreak SCMP
    Chinese capital reinstates curbs as coronavirus resurfaces Reuters

    Bizarrely, the semi-official line seems to be that the Beijing outbreak originated from contaminated salmon from Norway. More worryingly, there seems to be a lot of buzz on Chinese social media that the danger now is from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi students and workers coming to China (there aren’t very many of them, but they seem a convenient scapegoat). Or put another way, the government is determined to blame all future flare ups on foreigners, however unlikely that may be.

    Reply
    1. L

      SCMP isn’t exactly the official line but if you go to the Global Times they do make the “foreign” point a bit more. That said if you read the details it is clear that the “cutting board for foreign fish” (an interesting designation) was the only place it was “detected” but the market itself is large and the early cases were “food researchers” that traveled widely so it is far more likely that this is all over the slaughterhouse.

      In recent years the CCP has moved from China embracing the world to a more foreigners are out to get us mode for everything. They recently issued a warning that PRC students should not go to Australia (students from the PRC make a huge percentage of their foreign student body) on the grounds that Aussies are racist. The fact that Australia had backed calls for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 was doubtless just a coincidence.

      Reply
      1. Olga

        “In recent years the CCP has moved from China embracing the world to a more foreigners are out to get us mode for everything.”
        Could this be because, in fact, some in this world really are out to get China?

        Reply
        1. L

          Someone is always out to get someone. But there is a difference between calling out a specific policy opposition and simply spreading the domestic message that everything that goes wrong is someone else’s vicious plot against you. The former is perhaps honest. The latter is paranoid whining and excuse making. It is also a desire to make you the only trusted source.

          Reply
          1. witters

            Yeah, Scotty from Marketing put them right. 1) Australians are not and never have been racist. 2) and never saw anyone enslaved.

            So quit the whining and excuse making China!

            Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Yes and in other Oz news our PM announced that the lockdown has cost $100 billion dollars so far and has plunged the country into the first recession in 29 years. We have had 102 deaths. Even though the evidence that lockdowns do *anything* to reduce total deaths is sketchy, let’s be generous and say there would have been 10X as many deaths with no lockdown, and do the maths. Let’s see, we would have had 1,000 deaths, $100B divided by 1,000 yields $100 million dollars. Median deaths have been at age 87, with an average number of co-morbidities of 1.8.

        Not sure how you can avoid concluding that the lockdown was the most disastrous public government policy decision since the Japanese Imperial Council decided to attack Pearl Harbor. Unless you really believe potentially, slightly lengthening one granny’s life was worth $100 million dollars in losses to people and the economy.

        Reply
        1. False Solace

          I suppose the overloaded hospitals in Wuhan, Italy, and NYC were just figments of our collective imagination, then? And quarantine measures did nothing to stop the spread in those areas? Thank you for making your argument so clear.

          Additionally blaming economic effects on the lockdowns instead of the virus, which has been debunked multiple times on NC.

          Reply
        2. Norm de plume

          1 how could you trust the govt to accurately estimate the cost, which as it happens is a lovely big round number (100 billion), when they ballsed up the Jobkeeper estimate by, what was it, 70 billion?
          2 it is the Covid situation generally that has caused the economic dislocation, not the lockdowns in particular. There is good evidence to suggest that many people would have shunned gatherings if not totally isolated themselves, worked from home, worn masks, etc, regardless of what the govt told them. People see what they see and act accordingly when it comes to personal and family safety.
          3 deaths cannot be the only measure that defines your strategy; this thing can affect almost every part of the body in ways we havent even begun to understand. This is obvs not good for affected survivors and their families, but also involves vast costs and claims on future resources, which tends to affect business confidence in the here and now
          4 it is easy to look back and apportion blame but in the moment the precautionary principle must apply if the potential for disaster is unknown. I was happy that the seriousness of the approach, despite worries about how it might be perverted, indicated a sensible appreciation of risk
          5 reducing the data to a few extra months of life for several seniors is misleading, but also, why the nonchalance about their bearing the cost? Maybe it’s my proximity to my own entry to god’s waiting room that has set my teeth on edge in recent months when I see the ‘it’s just a few oldsters’ meme…

          Look, we may have had a recession this year anyway. If you’re looking for avoidable costs, ScoMo’s own goals with China will surely cost us 100 bill or more if they get serious about minerals, education, tourism etc. And for what? Brownie pts for some pointless grandstanding to further worm our way up the rectum of history’s shortest lived hegemon, currently in the foothills of disintegration?

          Great move Scott. Hope that basket you’ve put all our eggs in doesn’t break.

          Reply
        3. BlakeFelix

          Also if you stamp it out like New Zealand then things can go back to normalish perhaps. With nothing you might be at only 1000 deaths but it would still be rising fast and exponentially. Expecting people to ignore that and go on with business as usual seems unlikely to me, the government in Oz doesn’t publicly choke people to death for violating quarantine, the virus does. Not usually young people, granted, but it can easily knock them down for a couple of weeks or months and leave them permanently scarred. I would imagine at some point there will be capital flight to safety, as wealthy people with their act together show a preference for safe places where they can go to shows, eat in restaurants, bang hookers and such. I know New Zealand is sounding better and better to me.

          Reply
        4. Felix_47

          We knew in March that wearing a mask was important. I started to wear one on March 7, the day I stopped going to the gym. Had we simply had universal mask requirements from that day one the economy would have gone on and the death toll would be a lot lower. I just don’t get it. Very few Americans are wearing masks. They would rather ruin the economy?…..which they have.

          Reply
  2. jackiebass

    Both CA and NY are considered strong blue democrat states. The reality is the same for both states. In the big cities of both CA and NY you have huge democrat majorities. In the rural areas of both states you have huge republican majorities. It’s a matter of numbers. Because the population of cities is much larger that rural areas the states end up being democrat. Where I live in upstate NY a democrat has a hard time winning an election. So calling both states democratic is a little misleading. Parts of both states are democrat, but other parts are just as strongly republican. My republican county, Chemung, is and has been one of the most economically depressed areas of NY state. The voters still vote republican. Probably because of two issues. Gun control and abortion get their vote every time.An example of people voting against their economic security and because of religion. Many are big fans of Fox News. We have two big state prisons that employ many people. It is interesting to have a conversation with these people. It’s an eye opener.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      granularity matters.
      as does participation.
      Texas is a “red state”…and the usual assumption from all and sundry is that we’re monolithically Right Wing Nut Jobs with big hats.
      similarly, I live in a “Red” County.
      What both of these assumptions miss is how many people in each polity, Texas and my county,don’t participate in elections.
      I have a more granular view of my county…at 4500~ population, i pretty much know everybody, at least a little bit….and it’s easier to parse demographic data at this scale.
      about a thousand people vote, here, at best….less in Midterms…out of 3500 or so “eligible voters”…the other 2500 or so have either abandoned politics, or were never all that involved to begin with. Both of these reasons for non-participation has at least something to do with perceptions of utility.
      IE: whether it matters who wins a seat…from sheriff to president…enough to justify the hassle of registering and then voting. Most of the voting these days is done in the Courthouse…where the judges and the sheriff are…which, due to past racial and economic injustice, definitely dampens enthusiasm for engagement by our brown and poor people.
      Regardless, the result is that politicians and policy are determined by a minority…one that skews towards material well being, as well as towards not-brown.
      that minority tends towards conservatism…staying the course…no fundamental change needed, since they are doing alright.
      and of course, add in the fact that the “Liberal”/”Left”/”Center Left” Party has very little to offer all the nonvoters out here, aside from scoldings, and it’s little wonder…almost as if by design.
      I can’t point to a 1-1 correlation, but I would bet $10 that this whole set of phenomena scales up to Texas in general.
      so when the Big Media talk about “Red and Blue”, it’s pretty much meaningless.
      if we really wanted to know where the People stand…a good place to start would be to simply ask them…and then listen to what they say.

      Reply
      1. Gary

        I am also a Texan. The Red vs Blue promotes a football team type narrative. It’s like you are supporting something abstract like a “team” instead of voting for your own interests. This only works because of the Electoral College. Even the so called red states are just barely red when you look at all the votes. I think this discourages some of the blue voters from getting out and making a change. Many of the counties are decidedly conservative but they should not be deciding the whole state.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          and the football team stuff has moved almost entirely on-line, too…dems haven’t had a storefront/HQ for an election in my county(or the 4 surrounding, also rural, counties) since 04.
          and nobody answers the phone.
          it’s almost as if they don’t want new voters, or even to win elections.

          …and…there’s all manner of Details that have an effect on turnout and particpation:
          here, if you want to run for sheriff(prolly the most important local elected position), you run on the GOP ticket…even if you’re really a Dem(or Libertarian, or Commie, or whatever)
          So, the sheriff’s race is effectively decided in the GOP Primary…which means that if you want a say in that single, often very important, election, you have to vote in the GOP Primary…which means you Can’t have a say in anything on the Dem Primary Ballot.
          (and you get GOP junk mail forever after)
          the handful of Dem-Leaning sheriff candidates I’ve known over the years were up front with me about the laziness and cowardice that goes into these calculations. There’s no help from the State Dem Party, of course,lol…so it’s a heavy lift to run as a Dem, what with all the idiotic propaganda shat out by the GOP/Fox/etc…and it’s seen as not worth the trouble…especially as time goes on and the Dems are more and more seen as wimpy doormats who don’t believe in anything.
          I can go on for days about little esoteric shenanigans like this, built in to the System, that hardly anyone knows about.

          Reply
      2. montanamaven

        if we really wanted to know where the People stand…a good place to start would be to simply ask them…and then listen to what they say.

        Wise words. It really is impossible to paint with a broad brush. I spend time in two rural counties, one in Montana with a population of 3600 and one in upstate NY with a population of 40,000. In Upstate NY, I also live in a county with prisons, so when they vote they do vote “for their economic interests” since their relatives work there. They also vote for 2nd amendment rights which is also more important in rural areas far from where you can call 911. They don’t feel it’s the police’s job to protect their ranch or farm. In Montana, this county is solidly Republican with 21% going to Dems. Even so, the turnout is over 80% or it used to be because they like to get the “I voted” sticker and then go to the Church spaghetti dinner. I don’t know as much about who votes and who doesn’t in the NY county. Corruption though is a big topic and one that most don’t see a way out of. Everyone wants to “vote the bums out” but nobody knows how to do it. So why vote?
        I’ve learned a lot by stopping my opinionated chatter and, yes, stopped and listened. Sometimes what we call conversation is just people talking past each other.

        Reply
      3. Societal Illusions

        thanks for sharing this, Amfortas.

        splitting the population based on differences instead of assisting everyone to connect to similar needs is a strategy that evidently works.

        a clearly identified and large enough threat would permit more to coalesce around solution.

        why isn’t the threat only visible to a minority?

        Reply
      4. JBird4049

        Agreed. Admittedly from my dim childhood recollections, as well as my readings, California was more politically homogenized state, which was partially due to the state’s much more diverse economy. More of a Purple than a Blue or Red state. Actually, it is blue coastal, where all the money and power is controlled by the neoliberal Democratic Party, and the much poorer, politically weaker Republican Party controls the counties. There is a great disparity in population, but I think the disparity in wealth and media coverage is much, much greater.

        Rifting on this:

        San Francisco was a working class town with an extremely strong union movement up into the 60s, when the City and Port of San Francisco effectively, I would say deliberately, destroyed the port and as a convenient side effect, the rest of the (unionized) manufacturing and very large warehousing sectors of the city. In much of the Bay Area outside of San Francisco as well.

        Similar efforts, I think, happened in the 60s in the South and East Bay and in Southern California in the 70s. The exact reasons for this to happen can be debated, for instance the San Francisco unions didn’t want to reduce the port’s break-bulk facilities; that would have meant reducing the workforce, but TPTB really, really pushed the de-industrialization of the whole state as well as the concentration of the economy into Silicon Valley, where even the chip makers were shipped overseas. The state’s port facilities have been concentrated into Long Beach, although Oakland happily built a new container port complete with heavy dredging.

        The Black population of the San Francisco Bay Area has been declining for years as much of the jobs that they came here for have left. The state’s population in general has become increasing one of haves and have-nots instead of general prosperity with the poorer whites moving into the Red peripheral areas and the wealthy of all races concentrating into the coastal Blue areas, with the Black population even more effectively ghettoized into all the areas where manufacturing and shipping (and jobs) used to be.

        As the prosperous areas have become increasingly concentrated, White and Asian, the fetishization, perhaps better said the use of tribal identity markers, of Identity Politics, Abortion Rights, and Gun Control with the de-commitment concurrently of Civil Rights such as free speech, or fighting poverty, or getting a good education or of the ability to get a job that pays enough for even a room, never mind a family. The poorer, the more steeply triangular the class system becomes in California, the more both the Democratic and Republican Parties ignore poverty, especially the reasons for its growth, in California. It’s great to talk about racism, homophobia, and sexism, or even guns, abortion, and certainly education, but not at ignoring and perpetuating the lack of making a living, at the lack of food, clothing, and shelter for a growing number of Californians, of Americans as well as that causing the growing political weakness of the working, and even the disappearing middle classes.

        Reply
      5. eg

        Haitch-eee-double-hockeysticks, Amfortas, that scales up right past Texas to the top of every “democratic” neoliberal nation!

        Reply
    2. dave

      I haven’t seen that voting Blue has been all that great for one’s economic security the last 30 or so years either.

      Reply
      1. Kevin

        BINGO!
        Neither side has pushed an economic equality agenda in practice for many years. We’ve simply replaced “big government” with “big corporations”. What is truly pathetic is that vast swaths of rural white and urban blacks have paid the price – too bad they cannot see what they have in common – getting screwed. The media and our politicians prefer to see us fight amongst ourselves. The “other guy” is always our enemy.

        Reply
    3. Expat2uruguay

      Report from Uruguay. After 90 days since the start of our outbreak we are nearly finished. In the last week we have reported two new infections in the country of 3.5 million. We currently have 37 Active cases and three people in ICU.
      Businesses and public offices are slowly opening up, much more slowly than in the US. Masks are mandatory on buses and in stores. Many people wear masks on the streets and even in cars! It looks to be a solidarity thing. The borders remain closed, even though we do have a few binational cities with Brazil where that is recognized as impossible. But there are no flights at the airport.
      As some may know, we have a new government that came into power in March. It is a government of the centre-right and it has done remarkably well dealing with covid-19. The new president has earned the trust of the people, partly by declaring himself personally responsible during the crisis. The government has behaved in a competent manner, and has trusted the populace to follow recommendations instead of using mandatory orders, which was called for by the previous left-wing government, now in opposition, and their allies in the medical profession. People who feel sick are evaluated in their home, and if they are confirmed positive they are asked to self quarantine at home and all of their contacts are traced and tested. Even though the government is center-right, they provided a great deal of financial support to workers and business owners so that they could shelter in place. Society here has pulled together in the fight against covid-19 and there is no internal fighting amongst citizens regarding the response. We have done well, but caution remains in force.

      Reply
    4. John Wright

      Re: Voters voting republican are “An example of people voting against their economic security”

      But the Democrats have not exactly promoted economic security (such as a minimum wage increase, discharge of student debt, better healthcare, pushing against for “free trade” initiatives, not approving large defense budgets, not approving Trump’s tax cuts, ending the carried interest favoritism, pushing back against welfare to the well off in the rescue packages in 2008/2020 and not pushing against costly wars).

      The dividing line between national Democratic and Republican leaders vis-a-vis economic issues is not very sharp.

      It was almost 30 years ago (1992) that James Carvill stated “It’s the economy, stupid”.

      The plebes’ economy seems of little concern at the national party level, Dem or Repub.

      After all, Trump may have won BECAUSE he convinced voters he was concerned about their incomes/jobs.

      Reply
    5. Glen

      Creating and inflaming the Red/Blue divide is very handy in keeping the 99% from realizing they have much more in common with each other than with the 1% that own the government.

      Much cheaper to keep all the poor and middle class at each other necks than actually DO ANYTHING for them.

      Reply
    6. @pe

      A first-past the post with single representative districts and a winner take all presidency has only two metastable states: locally one-party states (what you describe) and locally/globally a two party state where the two parties are driven to the same policies to represent the same oligarchy. If you make civil service positions (dog catcher) an elected position, the drive to spoils increases the minima of those area dramatically.

      It automagically translates to a system where people are divided into a dominant group that has total power, with the possibility of a second coalition of the excluded. Socially, that has obvious consequences beyond the political.

      It’s all terribly obvious, but as long as the basic law is sacred scripture (something really helpful to the oligarchy)… any attempt to change anything without touching the magic document is begging for crumbs from the lords table. Heck, from time to time some bits really do fall!

      Reply
  3. fresno dan

    Report from the hinterlands (Fresno, CA Fashion Fair Mall Fleming’s restaurant – an upscale steakhouse and wine bar)

    I am so old I can remember when the land at the Fashion Fair mall in Fresno Ca was an outdoor drive-in movie theater.
    So, apparently back on May 22, Fresno allowed dining IN restaurants – I did not know that. So apparently there was a distinction at sitting in a restaurant and sitting at a restaurant bar. To sit at the bar at Fleming’s just began on June 12, and that is how I typically (well, always) eat out. So, for the first time in 3 months, I went out, more to find out how the world has changed than anything. I called the restaurant and as I suspected, I had to make a reservation to sit at the bar, something due to covid-19.
    I am pretty frail due to my health history (I will spare you) – so rationally, I should stay in until there is an effective vaccine. But as Hank Williams says:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19vApPwWqh8

    And the truth of the matter is, I am more terrified of getting in a car and having to drive somewhere than I am of covid-19. On the way to the restaurant, too far ahead for me to have any chance of making it, was a green traffic light – a light that had been green a while. And then, a motorcyclist went through (that is, the mortorcyclist went through perpendicularly to the direction I was going, that is the motorcyclist went through an EXTREMELY red light. Not a pink light, or even red, or even crimson, but a burgundy light. Do people care about their own lives?). I don’t know if Fresno has more traffic accidents than the average burb, but it seems that way to me.

    So, although people go on about the death of malls, the Fresno Fashion Fair mall remains remarkably popular from my observations, and despite covid 19, seemed about 50 – 80 percent full on this last Sunday at 5 pm compared to a pre covid-19 Sunday. Although the restaurant seemed thriving, the bartendress told me that because of occupancy restrictions, they were only about 17% of capacity. Were they really packed in like that before?
    So the waiters and bartenders are all masked. The customers don’t wear masks. The bartenderess tells me that she has to change gloves for every new customer. Even though the bar is very long, only two customers are allowed at the bar at a time (I am the only customer at the bar – the other person at the bar is a take out/delivery waitress handling the orders). It seems to me the bar was long enough to allow at least 3 and maybe 4 patrons with sufficient social distancing. It seemed bizarre as there were just two chairs at the bar (apparently for couples, as it was just me, the second chair was “closed”) As I am rather antisocial, I actually prefer being the only person at the bar. I estimate the bar typically could seat 12-15 patrons. The last time I was there, it was Super bowl Sunday and I was the only one at the bar – my view on football has been expressed numerous times on this blog
    https://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2015/02/01

    AND, I mention to the bartendress that I bet the restaurant wishes that instead of the little crepe myrtle trees that supply (barely any) shade on the west side of the restaurant, they only practical place to have outdoor dining, they wish they had planted some BIG trees – but that is my own bete noire…(it is a million degrees in Fresno in the summer – plant BIG shade trees!!!!!!!!!!!! What is so hard to figure out!!!!!!!!!!!!)
    Now, across from Fleming’s is the The Cheesecake Factory, and their outside dining is on their east side, so patrons are in the shade of the building at 5 pm, and there was definitely more patrons outside than usual, by a substantial margin (outside in Fresno in the summertime, or inside in delightful air conditioning? Do you prefer your root canal without novocaine?). For Fleming’s, this is the first time EVER that I can remember seeing patrons dining outside – undoubtedly because Fleming’s outdoor dining is on the west side of the building and is getting the delightful afternoon Fresno sun (SARCASM – it is hot enough to melt iron – do I exaggerate Wukchumni? ). They do have big umbrellas, but still.

    So to support the restaurant I bought a 29$ (maybe it was 26$) glass of chardonnay (for chardonnay!??!!! Its high end, and I was going higher than usual to help as I could). But I think most, if not all restaurants won’t be able to continue much longer under current conditions.

    So everybody I saw outside walking around was unmasked – and I would have been curious to have gone into the mall to see how many people were masked, but I was informed the mall closed at 6 pm (earlier than usual pre covid), and I was still at the restaurant. The rule at every retail establishment I have gone to in Fresno is if you go inside you should wear a mask, and I can’t think of anyone I have seen who was not wearing a mask in those few times I have been out to retail establishments. I just do grocery shopping (once a week), a trip to Home Depot, the bank to deposit my “shutdown” check, and my tax preparation.

    Typically, an outing at a restaurant for me lasts about 2 hours (I am slow) – this time, it was about 1 hour. The service during normal times wasn’t slower, but really the ONLY thing I had to do was to address my drinks and food. Usually there are 2 bartenders, but with the reduced capacity there was only one, so no effort expended trying to up sell me higher end wines. So years ago I changed my diet – no donuts, pizzas, fast food hamburgers. Remarkably, this change was not as difficult or as much of a sacrifice as I had imagined. And even though going out several times a week is what I do, something seems broken, odd, dated. I have experienced an alternative, and I don’t see myself returning to old restaurant habits, even if a very good vaccine is developed.
    WHOO HOO – they opened the Fresno Zoo Friday. You have to get a ticket on the internet before you go because they are limiting attendance – its 39 ACRES – c’mon man…

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Careful fresno dan. I see that Fresno Zoo has a stingray touch pool. Don’t forget what happened to Steve Irwin…

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        The Rev Kev
        June 15, 2020 at 9:19 am
        So it costs to get into the park that the zoo is in.
        It costs to get into the zoo
        It costs to pet the stingrays.
        By gum, I don’t mind getting stung by the stingrays, but I won’t be stung by the neoliberal concessionaires …

        Reply
        1. periol

          Supposedly there’s been a baby boom in zoos since the shutdowns started. My personal speculation is that the animals do not actually like being checked out by humans all the time; it stresses them out. Humans go away and what do you know, romance is in the air.

          Something about that equation doesn’t say much good about human beings and the way we have chosen to live in relation to the world. I was sure hopeful the rona would make some changes. Maybe it still will.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            The few times i’ve been to a zoo in recent times, it seemed there were a lot of young families with babies, and I don’t really get it, it’s hard enough to figure out human beans, why burden them with a plethora of odd animals?

            Reply
    2. Dalepues

      Red light runners. If there were a trophy for the city with the most red light runners, Mobile Alabama would surely win it. It is so bad here that drivers stopped at a red light do not enter the intersection for at least four, even five seconds after the light has changed to green. I thought Atlanta was bad, but Mobile is in a class all to itself.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        And here I thought that the three second “Safety Delay” at light changes was a mainly Hattiesburg thing. We have the same ‘red light runner’ syndrome in our half horse town. Comments here on NC suggest that it is an All America Sport.

        Reply
      2. fresno dan

        Dalepues
        June 15, 2020 at 10:00 am

        I always look to the left when entering an intersection. A couple of months ago, and this is at 6am on a Sunday, I was distracted by something (NOT my cellphone – I am probably the only person alive who does not carry a cell phone…maybe I should). Anyway, I look up and notice the light is green, so I thought I better get going and forgot to look left. Just than a car went zipping by right in front of me.
        Sheer serendipity that I avoided that. A few weeks ago a 13 year old boy was killed when the car he was in was hit by a drunk driver going through a red light at 3 pm on I believe a Saturday afternoon.

        Reply
        1. furies

          Fashion Faire Mall was the hang out spot when I went to high school — yup, ‘new’ at the time. My first credit card (and last!) with Gottschalks.

          I got out of the valley and headed north and then north again.

          I miss warm summer nights, the sierras and my grandparent’s ranch in Dinuba but glad to put the stinky *hot* valley in the rear view mirror. The only thing worse than Fresno would be Bakersfield~

          Reply
    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      The change in habits will be devastating to business and local revenue models as we know it. 17% capacity might include former hours. I can’t imagine many places are going to even bother staying open in the event they get customers. I picked up food at a place on saturday I wouldn’t usually go so my perception is off, but at first I was disgusted at the lack of masked patrons outside, I went inside briefly and saw no one eating inside. The outdoor patio isn’t very big in retrospect.

      Reply
    4. John Beech

      Not exactly hinterlands, but Central-FL here . . . where mask behavior is similar to your observation. Regarding a fundamental change in behavior vice eating out . . . I agree. With regard to your comment about your health, I’m not sure if you’re brave, fool hardy, or stupid for going out to eat when you have a delicate health condition but I wish you well, regardless. Fortunately for you, it seems the odds are around 1:20 you even meet someone with it (broadly speaking), and then you have to have sufficient face time to receive enough viral load to face the consequences (just 5-10 minutes in an enclose automobile), and an unknown period of time when outside (addressing the 39-acre zoo). Not bad odds if it were a loaded revolver (two free get out of jail cards from three spins). However, these are not odds ‘I’ want to face at this point in my life so I mind the warnings and act with due caution with regard to wearing a mask in public (pharmacies, grocery stores like everybody else). Reason being, while I know we’re born with an expiration date, I’ve no desire to bring said date forward in time. Hence, routine mask wear is the order of the day when going out despite being a normally Republican-voter (I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid offered at Fox news). Note; I too am borderline stupid for going out at all because of ICU admittance twice in life for pneumonia.

      Final observation; the virus is an RNA strand and just because it reaches your nasal cavities does not guarantee infection if you wash it out. Yes, wash it out! Anyway, my physician suggested one of these, which I use following every excursion;
      https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FDCMSTU/ref=dp_prsubs_2
      . . . and two things about it; first, it’s surprisingly easy to do/use (not the sensation you get of water up your nose at the beach or swimming pool), and your body knows what to do when you give the bottle a big old squeeze. Last point, 3-tbsp of non-iodized salt into a 2L bottle of water you’ve boiled (to avoid amoeba) works like a charm.

      Finally, did you know the lipid shell with which the RNA strand is coated is surprisingly easy to destroy? Ordinary denatured alcohol (Jasco brand is the least objectionable odor to me, and I buy it at Lowe’s) will dissolve the lipid in 5-6 seconds, thus rendering the remaining bits 100% harmless. I keep a spray container handy. This one from NAPA;
      https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7705011
      . . . is the best in my opinion. However, since you must have a compressor to recharge it, a small garden sprayer also works (and is a lot less expensive).

      Reply
    5. DJG

      fresno dan: Thanks for the many enlightening observations, as always.

      I would say that eating at Cheesecake Factory is a bigger public-health hazard than coronavirus is. Don’t they give people EKGs as they stagger out of there after the Double-Stuffed-Oreo cheese cake with hot chocolate lava sauce?

      On business trips (speaking of something broken, odd, dated) I have often eaten at the bar. It’s sometimes the best / only way to get into a high-end restaurant out of town, without reservations and by one’s lonesome. (And get the check past the accounting department.

      Barkeeps are fonts of information. So I can tell that you had good conversations with the bartendreuse.

      Also, barkeeps usually enjoy customers at the bar. All of sudden, free food and drinks start creeping across the glossy wood. (I recall this happening in Anaheim, New York City, Athens (where the Greeks also cross-examined me in English), and Chicago.)

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        DJG
        June 15, 2020 at 10:25 am
        Don’t they give people EKGs as they stagger waddle out of there after the Double-Stuffed-Oreo cheese cake with hot chocolate lava sauce? If they don’t they should…
        Oh, its bartendreuse and not bartendress – thanks for that :)
        I was trying to spend higher than I usually do, but I only got charged half – maybe they were so glad to have anyone at the bar. I did leave a 100$ tip because I know its rough times for wait staff.

        Reply
    6. ambrit

      Try to find a pink mask to match the Bunny Slippers this fall and winter. (I have started to see branded face masks, ie. Nike, New Orleans Saints, Subway [???!!!], and others. The ‘Market’ does not miss a trick to squeeze a few shekels out of any “situation.”)
      We basically stopped going out anywhere after Phyl’s cancer kicked into high gear. So, that change to our habits predates the coronavirus outbreak. But I do notice in my weekly outings for “supplies” that the eateries and retail shops are slowly opening up. My question is, why now? For all intents and purposes, the Pandemic is only ‘taking a breather’ before it’s next innings.
      I was talking with Phyl this morning about the almost ‘Street Fair’ atmosphere I encountered at the BLM ‘rally’ Downtown Hattiesburg this past weekend. To say that it was sobering and depressing to encounter would be an understatement.
      I had the idea for a t-shirt this Sunday past. A simple, (yet tasteful,) shirt with the motto on it, (perhaps in Gothic script,) “Future Covid-19 Momento Mori.”
      We are not sanguine about events coming up this fall and winter.
      Be very careful.

      Reply
      1. fresno dan

        ambrit
        June 15, 2020 at 12:45 pm

        Subway [???!!!]
        SUBWAY ????????!!!!!!!!! I sometimes am so lazy, and Subways are everywhere, that I have eaten there, but I only admit that on the internet because I post with a nom de plume. I think I would sooner put that I have a chronic flatulence problem on my facemask…

        So Fresno now has a site with lots of pandemic data
        https://cofgisonline.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=1f82e8eb24c0403c90e774202c5dafea

        We were never hit hard, but zero evidence that there is any diminution in the growth of cases. I had been hopeful that with the heat there would be some amelioration, but no evidence of that at all.
        I am sorry for your endeared’s cancer and all the best to you and yours, Ambrit. I am a cancer survivor.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Good man! I’ll tell her that.
          You stay safe from the “Insideous Invasive Coronfluenza” now. We were worried about you that last ‘incognito episode’ you experienced.

          Reply
    7. Bugs Bunny

      At this point I’d kill for an upscale steakhouse (sorry vegetarians).

      Give me a few very dry martinis made by a bartender as well. Before the steak, bien entendu.

      Reply
  4. jr

    Re: MTAs homeless outreach

    “But the effort was primarily hamstrung by the MTA’s limited ability to force homeless people off trains and a vast web of societal failures that have increased homelessness, the IG’s office concluded”

    Wow, that phrase is doing a lot of work, so let’s see MTA has limited authority,probably a ham fisted approach, AND they’re facing a homeless population problem that is just the leading edge of a tsunami brought about by an economic collapse that beggars the adjectives of Lovecraft. In a time of plague, when, according to a transit cop I talked to, the homeless are hiding in the subways to avoid getting sick and in their fear and anger have taken to throwing offal at anyone who approaches them…

    Yep, it’s a “bust.” Maybe they didn’t spend enough money on it….

    Reply
  5. The Rev Kev

    “Calls Mount for ‘Radical Changes in Policy and Policing’ and the Arrest of Fired Atlanta Officer Who Killed Rayshard Brooks”

    One thing that I have not heard about in terms of reform of police and policing is the end of civil asset forfeiture in the US. A bedrock of the American justice system is suppose to be the presumption of innocence but with civil forfeiture, the police can take your money, proclaim the money guilty, and then it is up to you to chase your money through courts trying to get it back again – if you ever do. I have to say that it sounds like something out of medieval times when armed soldiers felt free to shake down passing travelers for anything that they could seize. You wonder if police on highways seize more money in the lead up to Christmas for the blow out parties that they want to hold. Yeah, the police seize about $12 billion a year but how much of that is just money taken off innocent people?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United_States

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      I’d like to find out more about where civil asset forfeiture came from. I read many years ago that forty or fifty years ago the Supremes upheld the practice, basing it on Admiralty law, comparing it to seizing pirate ships. Apparently they have not accepted a similar case in modern times. Would they accept the voluminous evidence of abuse and corruption as a reason to overturn precedent? After all, Anthony Kennedy, the man who, with a straight face, said, “[W]e now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. …

      The fact that speakers [i.e., donors] may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that these officials are corrupt. …

      The appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.”

      is no longer there.

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          I remember when the local coppers began showing up on the streets in Louisiana in freshly painted nearly new SUVs with the sign tastefully painted on the passenger side door to the effect that this vehicle was courtesy of a drug asset seizure.
          Forget about the general public’s faith in the ‘Organs of State Security’ being even handed servants of the public. That concept died with the Middle Class.

          Reply
          1. wilroncanada

            Are you sure it wasn’t related to the Hell’s Angels?
            Interestingly, the British Columbia Supreme Court just ruled, after years of attempts, that the Province, under the Civil Forfeiture Act, could not seize their clubhouses in Vancouver, Kelowna, and Nanaimo, based on the argument that, in the future, they would be used for criminal activity. the fight took 13 years and cost the Hell’s angels more than 1 million dollars. Have not heard how much it cost the BC taxpayers.
            In parts of the US at least, the police would have seized the property, money, whatever, and then challenged/dared them to try to get it back.w

            Reply
      1. fresno dan

        Procopius
        June 15, 2020 at 11:52 am

        https://www.heritage.org/testimony/civil-asset-forfeiture-when-good-intentions-go-awry#:~:text=The%20History%20of%20Civil%20Forfeiture&text=The%20history%20of%20civil%20forfeiture%20law%20in%20the%20United%20States,the%20reach%20of%20U.S.%20courts.

        Very long story short, supposedly the court found that the cargo of a ship itself was in violation of the law.
        To apply that to modern day automobiles or cash in one’s possession is just a scam.

        Reply
      2. pcraig

        If I remember correctly it was created to seize the assets of those ‘drug king pins’ fancy cars and other ‘ill gotten gains’. Sarcastically speaking, it has evolved. 21st century policing is a direct legacy of the drug war. I’m not minimizing how crappy the cop’s were before but screening is the number 1 problem and that includes the screeners. I mean, the bar had to be lowered because who in hell wants to be a drug warrior?

        Reply
  6. Brindle

    re: “Public health workers fighting..”

    Interesting how in the whole article there is no curiosity of the political affiliation of those making the threats to the public health officials. Tip-toeing around right-wing loony-tunes seems to be a normal practice.

    “Then came the Facebook post: a photo of her and other health officials with comments about their weight and references to “armed citizens” and “bodies swinging from trees.”

    Reply
  7. Floyd

    RE: The Corps claiming BLM, when I log onto Chase Bank online i see, “”We must channel this emotion, this visibility and this time to forge lasting and meaningful change.”

    – Chase Senior Leadership Team

    Here is how they intend to “forge’ ahead:

    ‘What we’re doing

    Investing in cities — We are investing $500 million to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity—such as affordable housing, small business expansion, neighborhood revitalization—in cities around the world, including Detroit, Chicago, the Bay Area and the Washington, D.C. region. But it’s more than money: It’s finding willing and able partners in the private and public sectors to amplify the results.

    Hiring/mentoring — We will hire more than 4,000 Black students in full-time positions, apprenticeships and internships at JPMC over the next five years. And we’ll provide 1,000 young men of color—primarily Black and Latinx—the skills they need to succeed and access greater economic opportunity through our Fellowship Initiative program over the next 10 years.

    Affordable housing — We’ve committed more than $28 billion to support financing of affordable housing and community projects over the last decade, resulting in over 112,000 affordable housing units.

    Small business — The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund expands access to capital and advisory services for minority entrepreneurs. In four years, we committed over $17 million through the fund, creating or retaining over 3,000 jobs.

    Branches — This is where we start relationships with so many customers and communities. One-third of our branches today are located in majority-minority communities, and we expect 30% of new branches to be in low- and moderate-income communities as we expand into more markets.

    Policy — Our newly created JPMorgan Chase PolicyCenter last year helped lower barriers to good jobs for people with criminal backgrounds. This includes advancing policies that restore Pell grants to people with criminal backgrounds, “banning the box” on job applications and reforming clean-slate laws so anyone with minor offenses on their records can more easily qualify for jobs. Last year, we practiced what we preach in hiring more than 3,000 people with criminal backgrounds.

    Philanthropy — We are committing $1.75 billion through 2023 to create economic opportunity and drive inclusive growth around the world. We recently made a philanthropic commitment—and will match our employee contributions—to promote racial and social equality through recognized leaders: the Leadership Conference Education Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Urban League, and the Equal Justice Initiative.

    We join together in solidarity with the Black and Brown community in our commitment to end racism and social injustice.
    ————-
    So, Chase hired 3,000 people with criminal backgrounds? Yes, I am sure that is going make a huge impact. I wonder what the tolerable level of felony was? Apparently, “minor offenses.” Battery, shoplifting, drug sales??? Who knows? Then, they are going to give money to Black non-profits, when those same non-profits have not produced squat in the way of meaningful change for the last 55 years. Oh, and they are going to loan out $28 Billion at interest. $500 million to cities around the world to revitalize? OK, loaning money in India, for example, helps BLM how???

    You know what Chase could do if they really wanted to help poorer people? How about lower the NSF fee to $3.00 instead of $37.50. A lot of poor people end up in legal trouble over bounced checks and the ridiculously high fees help get them there. Or how about stressing the importance of marriage in minority communities. Where fathers and mothers are not paying to maintain two sets of abodes, two sets of utility bills, two sets of cable TV, two sets of furniture, two sets of maintenance, etc. Plus, the children can be in two-parent, two-income families.

    Reply
    1. Michael Fiorillo

      They’ll also use this to push for more charter schools, which had taken some PR hits due to their close association with Trump/DeVos.

      Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      About that “$28 billion to support financing of affordable housing and community projects over the last decade,” three words: Jefferson County, Alabama. Remember them?

      Here is a reminder about what happens when jp morgan chase comes to town to “invest” in “bettering” your community, courtesy of Matt Taibbi.

      What happened here in Jefferson County would turn out to be the perfect metaphor for the peculiar alchemy of modern oligarchical capitalism: A mob of corrupt local officials and morally absent financiers got together to build a giant device that converted human shit into billions of dollars of profit for Wall Street….

      Chase “helped” so much that poorer residents, many if not most of them black, not only lost their jobs but had to put port-a-potties in their front yards becuse they couldn’t afford the sewer bills.

      When you hear, “We’re from jp morgan chase and we’re here to help,” best to take a pass.

      https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/looting-main-street-196661/

      https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/jefferson-county-alabama-screwed-by-wall-street-still-paying-95047/

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        This matters not, it’s much too close to facti-ness to gain general currency in the current environment. (How I wish we could turn the page from this “current environment” where everything “matters” but nothing actually matters).

        What really matters is that certain people now believe that JPM bank is “woke-ish”. Why, I even saw their esteemed Chairman on bended knee, presumably signalling that he felt a sufficient level of guiltiness for his white privilege? Maybe, when rising from bended knee, he then asked “so can I get back to pillaging black people now?”. And the answer would be: yes, sure.

        Reply
    3. Amfortas the hippie

      and…regarding bounced checks.
      “Theft by Check” goes on your record as “THEFT!!!”.
      which…in Texas, at least…makes it illegal for you to serve on a Jury.
      so yet another excuse to pack Juries with friendly old white folks.

      Of course, this doesn’t just effect Black people…I had a bounced check that got away from me, almost 30 years ago…and got a misdemeanor for it.
      $19…paid back and then some…but my Record says “THEFT”.
      (yes…I know i can get that expunged, or whatever, but it requires money and a lawyer.)
      I’d allege that this disproportionately hits POC…and I wouldn’t be surprised if giving ammo to the prosecution to exclude Black People from being on the proverbial “Jury of Peers” wasn’t right there in the middle of reasons for it.

      Reply
    4. Synoia

      So, Chase hired 3,000 people with criminal backgrounds?

      Yes. The C suite was not making enough profit, and needed to work with new trainers to sharpen themselves up /s

      Reply
    5. Jim Thomson

      They could just lobby for a job guarantee and M4A.
      Much simpler and likely more effective; they seem to get everything else they lobby for.

      Reply
    6. John Anthony La Pietra

      Four more words about that $28 billion — and Chase’s own words, to boot (but with emphasis added by me): “over the past decade“. . . .

      Reply
    7. False Solace

      Shaming poor women for not getting married is a favorite pastime of morality scolds. While it may be emotionally satisfying it’s also “the worst sort of ham-handed propaganda”, to quote our host.

      Bill Black: The AEI and Brookings Sell Marriage as the Solution for Poverty

      If people in “minority communities” aren’t getting married I think it’s incumbent on everyone else to mind their own damn business. When it comes to combining households to save money the poor are way ahead of you. At any rate marriage rates have plummeted among whites as well so I can’t imagine what you think BLM has to do with it.

      Reply
  8. Tom Stone

    Civil asset forfeiture is armed robbery under color of law, and it will almost certainly be a part of any domestic terrorism bill.
    Joe Biden supports both a domestic terrorism bill and a National “Law enforcement Bill of Rights” which would create a formal caste system in the USA.
    M4A may not be on the table, however societal collapse certainly is.

    Reply
    1. orlbucfan

      Civil Asset Forfeiture was unleashed on this country courtesy of Richard Nixon and his War on Drugs (minorities and DFHs), pot in particular. Just another aspect of the “conservative” curse. That Antidote du Jour is simply amazing. Thanks, Jerri-Lynn. :-)

      Reply
  9. fajensen

    Just DON’T do it!

    So, scores of people desperate to risk the health and lives of self and family just to get a once-every-2-weeks chance to buy some discounted tat that they 1) Don’t really need, 2) Could wait getting until the excitement dies down (or just order online)!

    The crazy never ends. No wonder the casualties keep piling up!

    Reply
    1. Keith

      Well, considering that the “protests” were supported by the powers that be and the media, is it really a wonder why people are not taking the social distancing thing seriously? COVID does not affect getting together to protest or loot, yet for any other activity, it is deadly. Bit of a disconnect there.

      Reply
  10. Amfortas the hippie

    re: the wapo on Bernie being back.
    so…he’s “keeping his powder dry”?

    I guess everything’s on hold until Biden wins, and the Dems “take” the Senate…and Bernie gets to head the Budget Committee….something I would have been excited about not 4 years ago.
    Now, I can’t help thinking about sheepdogs and compromat, having lost all faith in our perfidious political system.
    The only upside is that I’m increasingly not alone in that attitude…which is kind of weird,lol.

    Reply
    1. edmondo

      Bernie’s job is to make you think that Joe Biden’s austerity will be different from Barack Obama’s austerity. And it will be. It will be deeper, crueler and more damaging.

      Any Blue will do. I expect the GOP will retake the House in 2022. I wonder if they impeach the old racist.

      Reply
    1. Carolinian

      Here’s his argument in a nutshell

      Black Lives Matter profited in 2016 from a humongous $100 million grant from the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic capitalism stalwarts such as JPMorgan Chase and the Kellogg Foundation.

      The Ford Foundation is very close to the U.S. Deep State. The board of directors is crammed with corporate CEOs and Wall Street honchos. In a nutshell; Black Lives Matter, the organization, today is fully sanitized; largely integrated into the Democratic Party machine; adored by mainstream media; and certainly does not represent a threat to the 0.001%.

      He’s saying BLM is a Potemkin liberation movement compared to the more organic predecessors such as the Black Panthers–a group that was actively hunted down and suppressed by the then Hoover FBI.

      In contrast, there have been academic rumblings identifying the sea of converts to the Black Lives Matter religion as mostly products of the marriage between wokeness and intersectionality – the set of interlinked traits that since birth privileges heterosexual white men, now trying to expiate their guilt.

      As I think I said before, you have to be suspicious of any revolution that Jamie Dimon is taking a knee for.

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        As I think I said before, you have to be suspicious of any revolution that Jamie Dimon is taking a knee for.

        Abso-frickin’-lutely.

        Reply
      2. L

        While I agree with your skepticism of Jamie Dimon I think we also have to differentiate between a movement and an organization. Much like distinguishing between Tea Partiers (i.e. the actual believers) and the Tea Party Patriots(tm) The former group had demands that were driven by their beliefs, including the demand that rich people not receive preferential treatment. The latter lobbied for the Koch Brothers.

        From that I have seen there are “official” BLM groups that are well funded and sanitized and then there are the actual people in the streets who are very much against R and D mayors, R and D councellors, etc. In my area, for example, the protests were organized by local groups, made concrete demands that cut across political parties, and did so without the “blessing” of any national organizations.

        I think that he overstates the extent to which the DNC and the “Deep State” has controlled the BLM as a movement though they are clearly trying desperately to do just that.

        Reply
        1. pjay

          Margaret Kimberly from Black Agenda Report made the same argument in a very good comment posted at Moon of Alabama the other day. B’s main post concerned the BLM organization as a sheep-herding front for liberal Dems following the argument of Escobar and others. It was pleasantly surprising to see her break into the rather simplistic commentary with her nuanced observations. Well worth reading her response.

          Reply
        2. pjay

          I know many NC readers, and probably contributors to this thread, respect the perspectives of Black Agenda Report (often cited here) on these issues. Margaret Kimberly commented directly on Escobar’s argument the other day, and basically agreed with L. As usual, it is important to resist the efforts by various interested parties to simplify a complex reality.

          Reply
    2. Keith

      Considering they formed from the Ferguson situation, I think that was a given. After all, that was a good shoot. Had they fired up all cylinders against an actual travesty, like the Rice shooting in Cleveland, then they may have been a legitimate movement.

      Reply
      1. J.k

        BLM began earlier with the murder of
        Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of his murderer and not after ferguson as you state.

        A good shoot? Ofcourse , only in the minds of the ever exceptional citizens of the exceptional nation.
        I will remind you this is not how law enforcement in other advanced industrial capitalist societies operate. In most other countries the incident would not have ended in the death of the young man. For example , in Germany (80+million,pop.) law enforcement only fired 86 bullets in in 2011. More than half of those were warning shots. Killing 6 people in the entire year. In the u.s police will easily fire that many shots in a single incident. And kill 6 people every couple days. In germany, france , england, etc. the young man would have most likely been subdued and arrested and not dead after encounter with law enforcement.

        Reply
        1. Keith

          The individual was high, assaulted and robbed a grocery store, then assaulted a cop and tried stealing his gun. That is a legitimate shoot.

          I recall the Martin case, the media really botched it up. I attended a seminar where the defendant’s attorney gave a presentation on how to deal with media bias and misinformation in a high profile case. His side was pretty interesting. One fact I was very surprised to learn was there was no neighborhood watch. Another, a cop told the guy to buy a gun due to aggressive stray dogs in the neighborhood.

          Reply
          1. J.k

            My point is there are countless cases in other parts of the world where “The individual was high, assaulted and robbed a grocery store, then assaulted a cop and tried stealing his gun” does not equal a death sentence. There are number of videos, for example from the u.k, where a subject much stronger than the officers is armed and likely on stimulants, yet does not come close to ending up dead. There is something very rotten when we are so eager to excuse murder by state actors when citizens in other democracies under similar cases do not. It points to a serious imbalance within the power relations between the masses and their democratic government.
            And your point about BLM some how being tainted by the fact it really expanded in the aftermath of Ferguson is superficial.

            Reply
  11. Tom

    Re: Joe Biden Needs to Learn an Urgent Lesson From the 2004 Election – NYT

    Publishing an op-ed by Iraq war cheerleader/revisionist Michael E. O’Hanlon should be a fireable offense. When was his credibility restored? Who replaced the guy that just got canned for the Cotton piece? I think she’s an interim, so it should be a tidy matter. Comments are conveniently disabled at NYT.

    Reply
  12. Steverino

    More on Taleb–a debate in progress with Ioannidis:

    https://forecasters.org/blog/2020/06/14/covid-19-ioannidis-vs-taleb/

    “Starting from the question of whether forecasting for Covid-19 failed, they both unveiled their position. Nassim N. Taleb believes that all efforts and resources should be directed to halt its spread and reduce the number of infected and deaths without any concern about forecasting its future course as the uncertainty of doing so cannot be measured and the risks involved are highly asymmetric. John P. Ioannidis, on the other hand, claims that more reliable information is needed to make multiple billion-dollar decisions and that forecasting has failed us by being too pessimistic about the future growth of the pandemic and by exaggerating its negative effects. Reflecting upon it, they both see a failure in forecasting here, with John P. Ioannidis seeing those forecasts as necessary but unreliable to help policy makers, while Nassim N. Taleb sees the failure in the very idea one may use such (single-valued) forecasts as input to decision-making in view of the properties of the underlying processes.”

    Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Beijing battles ‘explosive coronavirus outbreak’ as food market cases mount”

    It seems that the Chinese have decided that whenever there is an outbreak of Coronavirus, that the best thing is to drop the hammer but hard. No screwing around. Just go right in. They haven’t had a case for weeks but now people are getting nervous just as they had started to relax.

    The three dozen or so cases track back to the the Xinfadi wholesale market in the city’s southwestern district of Fengtai. That meant nothing to me but a guy on TV was saying that about 70% of all fresh vegetables sold in Beijing go through that market which is huge. Something tells me that this sort of thing is going to become the new normal in countries around the world for a very long time.

    Reply
    1. ewmayer

      That wholesale market is huge – article said ~70% of its workers had been tested so far, of the roughly 10,000 workers total. Alas, the article failed to provide one crucial piece of information – whether mask wearing was mandatory at the market, for both workers and customers.

      Reply
  14. marym

    Re: Embassy banner

    Jennifer Jacobs @JenniferJJacobs
    NEWS: @USEmbassySeoul removed “Black Lives Matter” banner draped on exterior of the US embassy in South Korea after it was flagged to Trump and Pompeo. Both were displeased, sources tell me and @nwadham. Pride banner has been removed, too, per @Lee_Jeong_Ho. Story out soon.
    8:12 AM · Jun 15, 2020 https://twitter.com/JenniferJJacobs/status/1272517211069046787

    NEWS: “Black Lives Matter” banner, unfurled to support anti-racism protests that followed George Floyd’s death, and pride flag on US embassy in Seoul replaced with banner commemorating 70th anniversary of Korean War.
    8:52 AM · Jun 15, 2020 https://twitter.com/JenniferJJacobs/status/1272527442431881216

    Link to story (paywall)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-15/-black-lives-matter-banner-removed-at-u-s-embassy-in-seoul

    Reply
  15. L

    Regarding this:

    Republican coronavirus skepticism may shift as cases rise in states Trump won Guardian

    I wouldn’t hold my breath. In my state they said the same thing on the county level skepticism would fade once it moved from blue to red counties. It didn’t. People remain remarkably entrenched in their views.

    Moreover, as harsh as this may sound, if you are the type of person who can ignore or doesn’t check on, suffering the suffering of people in “those cities” then you are probably not going to tear your heart out over the people at the meatpacking plant. They are not, as one Wisconsin senator put it “The normal residents”.

    Reply
    1. Keith

      Also, I think as the virus moves from Blue to Red, the media will lose interest (like during the riots). I am in the Red part of WA. Our numbers are going up, yet we are still opening the economy because the Blue side is doing well. For better or worse, this virus has a political skew to it. So at this point, it is just best to deal with it and just go along, whatever may happen.

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        On the blue side of WA, we may be doing better than the Eastern and Middle red parts of the state, but that doesn’t mean we’re doing well. We’ve had layoffs – UW has laid off thousands of people and have furloughed a lot of employees. Many companies have furloughed and laid off quite a few people, and many restaurants have had to close up shop.

        Reply
        1. Keith

          I wasn’t mentioning the economic part of it, but I can see how that would be a big issue. I suspect a lot of the small mom and pops will be gone, too. Big Box retailers were giving free reign to stay open, whereas smaller retailers had to close. I still find it interesting that PetSmart was an essential retailer. The other factor is people will swarm to the open counties. I went to Spokane so I could get a haircut (still not allowed in Tri-Cities). One thing I noticed up there, the bars were filling up and people were enjoying themselves. Masking was lax, aside from employees. Walla Walla is also opened, along with Columbia entering stage 3. There is no way to have one county completely closed while the neighboring ones are opening up, people will just drive over, like I did.

          Reply
  16. QuarterBack

    Re AI technologies for facial recognition, the underlying technology elements are advancing in leaps and bounds, and are also becoming much more available. The most significant component in demand today is access to very large high quality data sets for training the algorithms. To be most effective, these training data sets need to have photographs that are verified to be associated to a known individual. The largest sources for these are government (federal, state, municipal, and foreign) identity databases for things like drivers licenses, employee IDs,passports, booking photos, etc. My guess is that the tech companies are much more interested (for the moment) in gaining access to the training data than the governments are wanting the technology.

    Another good data source is bank ATM camera captures that can be paired to ATM card owners. ATM photos are a little more problematic because people do occasionally borrow other people’s cards. ATM photos also help overcome a limitation called “ cooperative bio identification” because most government photos are taken at specific posed angles with controlled lighting and backgrounds, whereas ATM photos are taken at many angles, lighting conditions, backgrounds, and frequently with others in the frame. For a training set, it’s the confirmation of relationship between a photo and a person that is much more important than the quality of the image.

    Social media content is vast, but are not reliable enough to have the sources correctly tagged for training. Once training sets from government and ATM can train the AI though, these social media sets can be used to automate social networking, contact tracing, and geolocation.

    Reply
    1. Keith

      Probably the best case I have heard for wearing a mask. Population monitoring is creepy, regardless if it is from the govt or private sector.

      Reply
    2. Oh

      These companies will buy their data set from Target, which takes your picture (w/o your permission) if you use their self check out.

      Reply
  17. Romancing The Loan

    Landmark US Supreme Court decision on civil rights today – they finally recognized what’s been obvious for at least thirty years, that discrimination against gay or trans people is simply sex discrimination. 6-3 decision with the surprising but welcome additions of Gorsuch (who wrote the opinion) and Roberts.

    Link to opinion

    Reply
    1. fwe'zy

      Not at all surprising. Mad rush for millennial and edumacated hearts and minds. IdPol will carry the winner across the 2020 finish line. Class issues can go f themselves.

      Reply
      1. workingclasshero

        Idpol can also be used down the road for humanitarian interventions/subversions against u.s. adversaries overseas.maybe i’m to paranoid about the deep state and council on foreign relations but this stuff will employ many people inthe media and state department for many years.

        Reply
  18. Samuel Conner

    It seems to me that DJT is expert at acting and expressing himself in ways that leave space for people, especially disaffected people, to project their hopes onto him.

    This reality suggests the possibility that the famous “West Point ramp shuffle” might actually have been a subtle bit of political theatre.

    Perhaps he was quietly, almost unnoticeably, reaching out to the Sanders wing of the D party with the message that he is more Wobbly than Biden is.

    / :)

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      Yes, that makes good sense. The woman was protesting the sake of unhealthy food, /s

      Not before time, I might add.

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Saw that in RT yesterday but I bet most people will think that black people did it. Just the other day here in Oz, a statue to Captain Cook was graffitied and when caught, it was two women. One was white and the other was Asian who worked part time as a Green party staffer.

      Reply
  19. diptherio

    An ancient Roman city has been fully mapped using ground-penetrating radar Ars Technica

    My first thought was, “A Roman city, huh? Probably super-boring, what with the Roman mania for grids and whatnot.” Clicked on the link: “oh look, a rectangle!”

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      That wasn’t the point of the article. It was how they were able to map a whole city and put all the buildings into context. Suppose that archaeologists in two thousand years discover your city under the one for the year 4000 AD. How much would they be able to say about your city by only excavating in the occasional new building site or unused bit of land? Not that much and it would work out that they would not know about the important places in your city or how it all fitted together and how your city actually worked. This way they get a snapshot of the whole city and can then pick and choose the best places to excavate that will yield the most information. No point excavating a McDonalds when you could be excavating the city museum or town hall.

      Reply
  20. Amfortas the hippie

    https://www.texastribune.org/2020/06/12/kim-olson-looting-candace-valenzuela/

    her comment: “”What the hell you got snipers on the roof for in a peaceful march?” Olson said, according to video from the event. “Even if people loot, so what? Burn it to the ground, you know, if that’s what it’s gonna take to fix our nation. I know people don’t want me to say that, but I’m just saying, you know, what are you gonna do, shoot us as we protest? We really have fundamentally pivoted the militarization of our police force where it used to be to protect and serve.””

    …got her predictable pearl clutching from the Right…but also IdPol-Speak from the “left”(meaning the Demparty/Team Blue/Checklist/Tone Police)
    “Looting” and “Riot” do a lot of work, these days…and it’s sad that we can’t seem to do nuance, any more.
    smashing a window at Macy’s is different than smashing one at the corner BBQ joint…and i’d allege that the latter might reasonably be attributed to agents saboteurs.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      that was my response, too.
      “paying people a fair wage is an incentive”.
      these people,lol.
      That guy wouldn’t last a day in my shoes.

      Reply
    2. neo-realist

      That shouldn’t have been a surprise. They’re going to rely on the private sector to initiate the recovery. Republicans don’t do New Deal Programs to jump start economic growth. Their ideology doesn’t support that sort of policy. It will be interesting to see the kabuki theater that Trump will engage in between now and election day to compensate for a lack of ideas to put people back to work and alleviate the stress of poverty in Main Street America.

      Reply
  21. HotFlash

    Well, I read that Jacobin article, and looked at that nice bunch of MacDonald’s workers from Wisconsin. And I thought about MacDonald’s anti-union policies and actions, and I wondered, what it a group of people got together, formed a worker coop, and bought a MacDonald’s franchise? You know, workers owning the means of production and operating in a democratic manner. I really, really wonder what MacDonald’s would say. Well, I suppose I can guess what they mthat Jacobin articleight say, but how would they justify it?

    Reply
      1. HotFlash

        Not cheap to enter, but if Mickey D’s is sincere, perhaps a way could be found. After all, a MacDonald’s restaurant pays wages to the employees, ROI plus something like a salary to the owner, and a healthy return to Head Office, so the $$$ is there. Staffers clearly have the skills (doh). Just think! They could elect their supervisors, agree on scheduling, pay themselves $15, plus healthcare! Credit union backing? Sell shares in the coop to community members? If there’s a will, there’s a way.

        Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Franchises are a relationship which mostly involves the ability to use certain trademarks, buy certain products, and access certain intellectual property, and residual profit, in specific ways for specific purposes, in exchange for payment and compliance with another 2-3 layers of management above you.

      That isn’t a MoP, so much as “access to” an MoP.

      McDonald’s has been described as a real estate company with a burger mill attached, not unlike the typical mini-storage operation, and in the same spirit as (formerly) GMAC’s car company.

      Reply
  22. jr

    Protest note: there is a small gathering in front of the Stonewall Inn, mostly young queerfolk, listening to a speaker. It was literally impossible to fully hear what the speaker said due to the lack of sound equipment but the little bit I gleaned spoke of common suffering and shared struggles. The banner above the speaker declared that “Pride is a riot! #BLM”…

    Reply

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