Links 6/2/2020

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Dear patient readers,

I have been having a terrible time with elder care and on other fronts, so you probably won’t see much from me in the way of original posts. I am very beaten down.

Carnegie Mellon tool automatically turns math into pictures Eureka Alert (David L)

The Future Of Wind Energy OilPrice (Kevin W)

#COVID-19

the ‘ANYTHING’ face shield can be made using whatever’s around you, even a haribo packet DesignBoom (resilc). I love this, for cleverness and because it will drive face recognition systems nuts.

Deresponsibilization and the Politics of Escape Notes from Disgraceland. Important.

Science/Medicine

Dire warning of a pandemic 100 times worse than COVID-19 News Medical-Net (David L)

Specific immune suppression leads to severe COVID-19 disease News Medical-Net (David L)

MRI Scans Show Signs Of “Viral Brain Invasion” In Patient With Covid-19 IFLS (Kevin W)

NIH-halted study unveils its massive analysis of bat coronaviruses Science (Kevin W)

US

COVID-19 and student learning in the United States: The hurt could last a lifetime McKinsey (Adrien)

9 contract COVID-19 at Bob’s Red Mill as state officials respond to food processing outbreaks OregonLive (David L)

Political Responses

Coronavirus, Rioting, and the Privatization of Morality Benjamin Studebaker (UserFriendly). Important.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Wars without end: why is there no peaceful solution to so much global conflict? Guardian

JOHN PILGER: The Forgotten Coup Against ‘The Most Loyal Ally’ ConsortiumNews (Chuck L). We’ve written about it before, but worth not forgetting.

Air Force gentrifies Marine MOUT Duffle Blog (Kevin W)

George Floyd

Lawless America Daily Mail. Many many pix.

COPS to release 2-hour ‘Just the Beatings’ DVD BeetPress (UserFriendly)

Where did policing go wrong? Matt Taibbi (J-LS). Important.

POLICE USE OF FORCE PROJECT . A must read. Scroll down to the part about how more restrained policing saves police lives too. The problem is, per Taibbi above, there is not just a well-established, bogus belief system on this topic, but also profiteering. Overly muscular policing costs more money.

Defund The Police HuffPost (UserFriendly)

In letter to Minneapolis police, Bob Kroll plans to ‘fight for jobs’ of cops who killed George Floyd City Pages

White nationalist group posing as antifa called for violence on Twitter NBC (furzy)

Matt Gaetz Seriously Asks: Can We ‘Hunt’ Antifa ‘Terrorists’ Like We Do ‘in the Middle East?’ Daily Beast. The stupid, it burns. Resilc: “You mean the same 82nd that got their asses kicked in ‘Nam and Afghanistan?”

Agent Provocateurs: Police at Protests All Over the Country Caught Destroying Property Mint Press

‘This Is Not What We Wanted’: Black Protesters Stop Outside Agitators Newsy (David L)

‘We will not be silent’: Members of the ASBMB Minority Affairs Committee release statement about police killings of black people and institutionalized racism MEMBER MAGAZINE OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Iran calls on US to ‘stop violence’ against its own people Al Jazeera

George Floyd: Journalists in several cities injured and arrested covering protests Independent (Kevin W)

Cops and PTSD Psychology Today. Resilc: “I worked on a PTSD and citizen soldiers project at UNC 2006-2014. lots of ex-Iraq and ex-Afghanistan wars returned with PTSD and become cops. We see the story on the streets now.”

The economics of civil unrest Asia Times (resilc)

How to Cop-Proof Your Phone Before Heading to a Protest Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Jerusalem Demonstrations against Police Brutality after Autistic Palestinian Youth Shot to Death Juan Cole. Given that many US police forces have gotten training from Israel, the parallel in outcomes should come as no surprise. See:

With Whom are Many U.S. Police Departments Training? With a Chronic Human Rights Violator – Israel Amnesty International

Minnesota cops ‘trained by Israeli forces in restraint techniques’ Morning Star

China?

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

State building by stealth? Wolfgang Streeck. Important. For instance:

…a constitutional amendment turning the GCC to a court of second-to-last instance behind the ECJ might go through, especially if the impression can somehow be cre-ated that it will help against Corona and the economic disaster that might follow it. The neces-sary two-thirds majority in the parliament might be there, with the SPD and the Greens filling in for those CDU/CSU deputies refusing to vote in favor.Would this not be a nice present for Merkel to offer the European Council as Germany takes over the EU presidency on July 1?

Is Bolivia’s ‘interim’ president using the pandemic to outstay her welcome? Guardian

Trump Transition

DC Episcopal bishop: ‘I am outraged’ by Trump church visit Associated Press

Facebook employees hold virtual walkout over Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to act against Trump Guardian (Kevin W)

Here’s what Facebook employees are saying about Zuckerberg’s decision not to remove Trump’s threats of violence Boing Boing

America Has No President Atlantic (resilc)

2020

Black Americans Have a Message for Democrats: Not Being Trump Is Not Enough New York Times (UserFriendly)

Why do currency-issuing governments issue debt Bill Mitchell (UserFriendly)

Watch a Tesla Model 3 drive into a flipped truck on a Taiwan highway AutoBlog (David L)

Class Warfare

Sanders says ‘ultra-rich’ have been ‘looting’ for 40 years, amid looting of businesses and banks Just the News (resilc). Note the finger-wagging.

It’s a Class War Now Too CounterPunch

Serial TV and the indignities of class: Snowpiercer, Normal People and Little Fires Everywhere Culture Matters (Dennis B)

Antidote du jour. mgl: “From our friends’ yard May 31 a.m., Anchorage, AK. Moose & calf after a hard day’s labor I’m sure. They apparently didn’t stir much when our friends left their home.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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183 comments

  1. Wukchumni

    Agent Provocateurs: Police at Protests All Over the Country Caught Destroying Property Mint Press
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    54% of LA County’s budget goes towards policing, and seeing as Schrödinger’s category of imaginary money is more dead than alive-not to tax a point, and where to pare-the supervisors must’ve been pondering at some point in the pandemic-especially as crime rates were tanking, looking at the elephant in the room, it wears a badge.

    The squeaky heel gets the broken window?

    Reply
  2. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: MRI Scans Show Signs Of “Viral Brain Invasion” In Patient With Covid-19

    I do not like this AT ALL! Clikc bait! All it shows in inflammation in the olfactory bulb, not “Viral Invasion”. It could simply result from viral contact at the epithelial level of the sinus. It is this kind of limited thinking that stops them from making progress and unnecessarily scares people.

    And they say this, but alllllll the way at the end:

    “What remains to be seen is to what extent symptoms are due to viral infection of the brain itself, or secondary effects including inflammation in the brain triggered by the immune system’s response to the virus, and in others stroke due to blood becoming more likely to clot for example.”

    Reply
    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      The Snowpeircer series is a horrible adaptation, made for neoliberals to feel good about identity politics. It will not end, and cannot end, as beautifully as the movie did becasue it would expose neoliberalism for the crock it is.

      Reply
        1. Panawakening

          Yes, remember this is a specific criticism of the story and writers, and not universally shared. As a production, it’s superb. Your friend has done well here, do tell them so,

          Reply
      1. J.k.

        Thats a pity. I enjoyed the film. I did hear the tv show is a mostly a run of the mill cop show. I was looking forward to it but i think I will pass.

        Reply
  3. mattpretz

    Just don’t read the comments on the Matt Taibibi piece. It appears that people get wrapped up in the language of “crimes rates” and “incentives” without recognizing that the majority of the “good” police actually do is more of a social service than an enforcement role (i.e. Narcan, provide documentation for insurance companies, and lost pets). Once you suggest that the police need to stop being what they are — change actually means a vacuum where chaos forms to amped up internet trolls and politicians.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      It is not doing good work that is the problem. The problem is that American policing in generally has become more violent, more like brutal, even sadistic prison guards than police officers.

      It is the (at times) almost random beatings, thefts, and murders and the near complete impunity in which they do so that is the problem. From what I can glean the American police have always been violent towards the poor and especially minorities, but they have never been as lethal as they are now.

      Fortunately for me, I am a middle aged white dude living in an area in which the police generally are quite good. However, if I was black, or poorer, or even homeless, or even just living in a nearby county or city, as in ten miles it could be a real problem. Further, it is almost random. Many departments are good, many are okay, and others are just bad. Same with the police and how am I to know which ones, especially the individual officers?

      Most officers either want to help or are just trying to do a decent job, but there is always Officer Raging Bull. If I meet the first, and I almost always do, I have a pleasant, or at least as unpleasant as possible, interaction. However, if I meet Mr. Raging Bull and somehow trigger him, he could ruin my life and face no punishment whatsoever.

      So, we need something akin to a police force because there are always going those public services needed and even more the rare individual who just does not care to be human, but rather wants to be a violent monster. Just how do we get an organization to do these functions without becoming the violent monster it is suppose to defend us from?

      Reply
      1. eddyl

        I thought the same thing too. Until I was in Miami and witnessed a Drunk & Disorderly kerfuffle at one of the tourist trap bars. I stopped by to have a look for a bit. After a few minutes, some other passerbys stopped and asked what the the big deal was. I said (laughingly) that the cops were arresting the gays because some of the straight tourists didn’t want to see them in the straight bars. (Remember, this was 20 years ago where this kinda stuff happened). I admit I might have said this a bit loudly, but the next thing I knew I had the hands from a pair of cops grabbing me from behind, by my shoulders, forcing me to the ground. I was then dragged to a cop car and thrown into the back seat. All the while the arresting officer was saying that he was tired of all of the gays “causing problems”. Sitting in the backseat, I could hear the same officers talking nearby, and I could hear one ask if he was really going to have me arrested for this, and the cop said “yeah, fuck it and fuck him!”. Then they both laughed and walked away. So I spent the entire Easter Weekend in jail – 3 days for speaking to loudly to a cop??!! And because of that little experience, it has cost me dearly, potential jobs, internships, involvement in civic activities, etc, And it will follow me for the rest of my life. But I guess that is the price I have to pay for being stupid.

        In hindsight I was also stupid in believing that it could never happen to me.

        And that’s my point. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it could never happen to you. ‘Cuz when that much power is given to individuals, and they can wield that power in any arbitrary manner they wish, where they know the court system is tilted toward them and 99% of the time will back them up, you should be absolutely terrified next time you see a policeman. I know I am.

        Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    I met a fellow numismatist in 1981 in Auckland, and we’ve been friends since, and he’s just as goofy as I am if not more-so its been kismet. I’ve requested that it be checked into, if he can adopt me, and yeah I know it might seem unrealistic given my age, but i’m still a kid.

    Sadly, looks to be a no go, his response:

    “Sorry – the Samoans spoiled it for everyone when they tried the old adoption trick years ago and the media got hold of it.

    It looks like you’re just left with the choice of Catalina or Tomorrowland (if it hasn’t been ransacked yet). Personally I’d avoid Philly for a while.”

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’m more likely to used my mom’s lapsed canuck status to get me over the hump, and into the oil patch of Saudi Alberta, or lay low near Crowsnest Pass-not far from Bellevue, where she was born.

        p.s.

        She just turned 95 the other day~

        Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Thanks!

            She’s the best mom you could ever hope for, and we’d be on a cruise about right now in celebration of, but Zoom will have to do.

            We’re always trying to glean memories out of her, and she remembers everything.

            She told us that King Edward the 8th and Mrs Simpson visited her high school class during WW2, as he had a ranch nearby.

            Reply
  5. Henry Moon Pie

    Deresponsibilization–

    Swiss theologian Emil Brunner:

    Capitalism is irresponsibility organized into a system.

    Reply
    1. anon27

      I’ll note that Biblical economics is NOT socialist.

      But otoh, neither does the Bible allow unlimited land ownership or collecting interest from fellow citizens. Instead, roughly equal ownership of land by all citizens was the norm with provisions in the Law (e.g. Leviticus 25) to keep it that way.

      So let’s please stop imagining that socialism is the only alternative to injustice.

      Reply
      1. Fireship

        No, socialism is not the only alternative to injustice. There is also communism. Or anarchism. Is that steam fizzing out of your ears now?

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I know, maybe we should try that other alternative to injustice: capitalism. For all. Coupled with a single justice system that all citizens must answer to.

          Today we have hyper-socialism for the aristocracy with unlimited free money from the State if it ever goes wrong for them, coupled with total forgiveness when they break the law. For the 99% we have Hobbesian capitalism, day in and day out, and a very different enforcement regime for the same body of laws.

          Naming other “isms” just drives yet another wedge to split the polity when what we need is a system that applies to all, with even punishments no matter what color your collar or your skin happens to be.

          Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      That was a very thought provoking missive.
      This:
      “Over the course of the last 50 years, contemporary Western political systems have become entirely self-referential. They have lost every external point of reference and, in that way, corrective mechanisms that align them with their social purpose. They could be either judged only on their own terms or not judged at all. Consequently, they have been allowed to continue to expand, increase in size and become more efficient, but in the direction that served no other purpose but their own. With time, they have become all encompassing – every sector of social activity gradually became like this and now all systems account for all of reality[4]. There is nothing that can be held against such a political system that is not revealed to be already part of it. The mode of ideological hegemonic functioning has become self-preserving: Nothing that comes from within the system can be resisted – no critique of it can be articulated and revolt and uprising are rendered meaningless.”
      …………….
      this is what i mean when i talk about the Bastille being everywhere and nowhere, without and within…there’s no bastille to storm…Holy Abstraction: Mr Exxon puts a leaky pipeline through my back pasture, and The Law does nothing: where’s the recourse? Where is Mr Exxon’s house? His Neck?
      for all the solemn admonitions about Morality and Personal Responsibility…for all my lifetime I’ve heard this nonsense…and yet, the fundamental structures are geared specifically to avoid responsibility by those who benefit the most from this state of affairs.
      between weather pain and pain from the work i’ve been doing this last week, I’m pretty scattered…but there was a survey/poll I saw…at least adjacent to one of the Links, here…about 40% of Americans saying “Burn it All Down”…that the System is Hopelessly Marred, and that we must start over.
      from scratch.

      I awake, late, today…pain and mental agitation kept me up.
      so my day is already pretty screwed,lol.
      But I lay here and listen to the coffee making, hear an owl, and the crickets and frogs out there, and have difficulty contemplating that the country is on fire…that the cowardly orange man is attempting to out-do the Mad King: “Burn them All…”
      and then wife’s tv comes on in the other room, and the MSM is apparently in a conundrum: there’s a TV studio in every pocket…how to reconcile their usual palliative narrative with what’s on twitter?
      they’re giving the most lip service i’ve ever seen to the Root of all this “unrest”…but I can hear in their voices, and word choices, that they long for their old normal…”Looters”…lamenting “The Violence” of the Unwashed…Ignoring the Violence from “Our Government”—nay, “Our Civilisation”–, at all levels, that causes ordinary people to lash out.
      They don’t want to see the Root.
      But the Root keeps growing into their studios, and mucking up their Narrative.

      Reply
      1. Jesper

        Makes me think of this old movie:The Corporation
        https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379225/

        This film takes an in-depth psychological examination of the organization model through various case studies. What the study illustrates is that in the its behaviour, this type of “person” typically acts like a dangerously destructive psychopath without conscience.

        Reply
      2. jr

        “…contemporary Western political systems have become entirely self-referential.”

        Does this not smack of a similar problem in the sciences? The notion that science and it’s models are the starting point, ignoring the fact there is a conceptual framework those models are birthed within that’s open to examination? It’s like measuring a ruler with itself…

        This is another kind of inner Bastille I think, one that privileges abstractions, useful as they are, over actual human experience. It’s why the Humanities languish. And it gives doofuses like Neil De(family blog) Tyson and Bill Nye the Scientism Guy far more airtime than they deserve.

        Reply
    3. Bsoder

      Clever, and something to put on the tombstone. Adam Smith clearly didn’t see it that way. In another book he wrote of the necessity of being a moral person in all things especially capitalism.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        The biggest problem with Adam Smith isn’t anything he did or said, but the fact that neoliberal economists do not actually care what he thought or said, and only care about what they want him to have said. They ignore the vast bulk of his work and cherry pick specific lines and passages in order to advance a narrative he really has nothing to do with. The Adam Smith presented to the public by Neoliberal economists is essentially their fabrication.

        Reply
      1. Susan the other

        It doesn’t even rise to the level of benign neglect. It is simply disregard. A just society simply is not important. Last night on Democracy Now there was a good panel discussion (Kanye West and 2 others) wherein a professor from Princeton made the direct point that the reason The United States is exploding with anger is because of this exact thing. Government is there for one reason and one reason only: to take responsibility. It is not there to get on a daily photo op and lament how awful the situation is as if there were nothing a poor government person, with all vested authority necessary, could do. Except just wring their hands and say “I feel your pain”. Government has failed at every turn.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          “Government has failed at every turn.” Not really. It is working really, really well for the 0.1% and mostly for their courtiers in the 10%

          Reply
    4. Norge

      The corporation… what’s not to love? All the rights of Personhood, none of the responsibilities.

      Reply
    5. dk

      It’s a great piece, thank you Yves for bringing it to our attention, and for the commentary.

      I do have one quibble, which remarkably doesn’t undermine the thrust of the piece.

      Reopening the economy during a pandemic is a high-risk decision. It is desirable by businesses and, if successful, the monetary and political upside could be substantial. However, the downside is difficult to own — the price can be many human lives.

      Failing to reactivate the economy has direct cost in lives since, awfully, we are to large extend dependent on the commercialized and privatized processes of production and delivery for essentials, food, and electrical power. Tailored electricity drives not only our refrigerators (food preservation) and air conditioners (hot summer ahead, and storms, and fires) but our banks and much of our commerce, and have all but consumed our books and libraries, and wormed into our social and political thought.

      Our consumption of necessaries is a commercial activity that depends on ongoing commercial process. When supply chains choke up and facilities close, it takes time to reset/reload and fully activate them. When maintenance is further deferred, already tottering infrastructure crumbles faster. Narrower political and financial benefits aside, long term shutdown/lockdown is not a viable option for our population. There is cost in lives on both sides of the scale.

      In California last summer PG&E simply decided (in the Trumpian/ImpossibleGame manner) to suspend its responsibilities to its more than just customers, for the custom of their own sustenance is ultimately PG&E’s commercial lifeblood too. PG&E dodged liability in the courts, choosing a “responsibility” to profits. The success of it’s strategy lay in the brevity of this action.

      Reply
  6. timbers

    Agent Provocateurs: Police at Protests All Over the Country Caught Destroying Property Mint Press

    This plus “The Forgotten Coup” and “Where did we go wrong” –

    Looks like America conducts it’s domestic policing the same way it conducts it’s foreign policy and international relations. So in a way America has not really shed it’s Southern Slave heritage…we’re still just acting it out domestically and internationally?

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      It is not just destroying property that gets riots going. Watch the 4:54 video of white dudes pushing black protestors into police and then running off. It is a Jimmy Dore video (who else) and so the normal language alert. I have heard about this tactic before. In the book “Kent State: What Happened and Why” by James A. Michener, he mentions a radical group tactic where a line of them get behind a bunch of protestors, hold hands and then push them towards police/National Guardsmen. They then dissolve and reform behind another section of the crowd to repeat the tactic. Of course when the trouble starts this group exits, stage left.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Watch this one…

        A couple of white chicks dressed in black*, spraypaint BLM Matters** on a Starbucks in Santa Monica, and are confronted by a black lady, explaining to them that it will be blamed on the black community, when they didn’t do it.

        * loved the one with a droopy pink backpack, a bold fashion statement

        ** I think she misspells it, a common rookie spraying mistake

        https://twitter.com/CamGLansford/status/1267196318251794433?s=20&fbclid=IwAR1gUGoZRC_tL6i2kOZoyKH5izezMydaYqnXV94-1tuR96klYtu7PQzh7c0

        Reply
      2. timbers

        Taibbi piece says America police started with purpose to police slaves and latter to enforce Jim Crow laws. Wow. They never taught that in grade school history class, if they did I wiped it from my memory.

        Reply
        1. JTMcPhee

          Here’s another piece on the Chicago Red Squad, note the history in ‘the Gilded Age’ to cram down labor and any motion toward a more just social structure:

          The Red Squad had its roots in the Gilded Age, when class conflict encouraged employers to ally themselves with Chicago’s police against the city’s increasingly politicized workforce. Following the Haymarket bombing, Captain Michael J. Schaack orchestrated a vicious campaign against anarchism, resulting in 260 arrests, bribed witnesses, attacks on immigrants and labor activists, and convoluted theories of revolutionary conspiracy. Continuing its use of both overt and covert tactics, such as surveillance, infiltration, and intimidation, Chicago’s Red Squad in the 1920s under Make Mills shifted its attention from anarchists to individuals and organizations who the Red Squad believed to be Communist. Casting a wide net, the squad by 1960 had collected information on approximately 117,000 Chicagoans, 141,000 out-of-towners, and 14,000 organizations. After the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the Red Squad expanded its targets from radical organizations like the Communist and Socialist Workers Parties to minority and reform organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Lawyers Guild, and Operation PUSH.

          https://www.chicagocop.com/history/specialized-units/red-squad/

          So much we mopes never learn in what passes for civics, government, history and law studies on our great public and private schools.

          Reply
        2. John Zelnicker

          @timbers
          June 2, 2020 at 9:42 am
          ——-

          He’s right.

          The language of the second amendment is specifically written, at the behest of the slave-holding states, to preserve the legitimacy of the state militias, which were nothing more than slave patrols.

          IIRC, it’s the part about a “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” that was edited from a previous version.

          Sadly, in a quick scan of the Wikipedia entry I can’t find any references to this, but I have read extensive posts by historians outlining the process.

          This is part of the erasure of history in our school curricula in order to maintain the myth of the “Shining City on the Hill”.

          Racism is deeply rooted in the 400 year history of the white man on the North American continent, starting with the Natives and continuing to this day with the black folks whose ancestors were brought here in chains.

          We are beginning to reap, once again, what we have sown.

          Edit: Apologies to the moderator for adding to your work.

          Reply
          1. occasional anonymous

            I’m going to push back against an unwarranted focus on racism with this recent Adolph Reed piece: https://nonsite.org/editorial/how-racial-disparity-does-not-help-make-sense-of-patterns-of-police-violence Reed is basically a lone voice in the wilderness at this point.

            In point of fact none of this is a ‘Black Injustice Tipping Point’. It’s a Class Injustice, and the inability to organize based on that means it will ultimately not be a Tipping Point. If you’ve paid any attention at all to the many, many videos of police brutality in the last week, you will have seen that the police absolutely do not care if a protestor is black or not. Everyone is a valid and potential target to the cops. In fact at some protests they’ve moved white people to the front to use their ‘privilege’ as a shield. It hasn’t worked.

            The inability of protesters to hone in on a class critique means they are doomed to failure. Up next: Trump invokes the Insurrection Act, and then the indiscriminate crackdown really begins.

            Reply
            1. Anthony G Stegman

              The Insurrection Act gives Trump authority to send federal troops only to Washington D.C. The act does not give the president authority to send federal troops to the 50 states without those states approval and request for the troops. Trump is blustering yet again.

              Reply
            2. Left in Wisconsin

              Yes, this is a huge problem. But part of the problem is that it is both class and more than class – intersectionality in the true sense of the word. Talk to virtually any middle-class black person and they will have stories about their racist treatment by authorities that I and my white middle-class friends don’t have. They will also have stories about black ne’er-do-wells they know, which complicates the simple stories we all like to tell ourselves.

              But in general, I agree with you. I am now hearing white people describe “not getting pulled over by the police” and “not being unjustly accused of committing a crime” as “white privilege,” rather than a normal expectation that every human being living in a functioning society should have.

              I think the protests are bound to fail (in terms of generating real change) for any number of reasons. And I don’t think having a class critique would substantially increase the odds of success this time around because most USAmericans have been acculturated to not comprehend such a thing. There is a lot of work to be done.

              Reply
          2. JBird4049

            “The language of the second amendment is specifically written, at the behest of the slave-holding states, to preserve the legitimacy of the state militias, which were nothing more than slave patrols.”

            Please do not simplify and distort the past to support a thesis.

            Do get me wrong in that the Slavocracy just loved using the local state militias to oppress and kill black slaves. They also used it to oppress and kill poor whites, just not as brutally.

            However, the United States had just fought a revolution in which armed citizens in the form of militias had been a very important part and in which a number of battles had been won by them. Although it could only be won by the Continental Army with the help of the Kingdom of France, it was the various state militia that often tipped the balance.

            As Americans were generally hostile to the idea of even just having an army, especially a large one, because it could be used to overthrow or control the government, the state militias were to be the main defense with the skeletal regular army to be ramped up in times of war. What create the very same thing that the country had just spent twenty years either being oppressed by or fighting?

            That is an original purpose of West Point; the creation of an officer corp that could be used to build an actual army as well as making available the skills beyond infantry were maintained. Engineering and artillery in particular. This is why the American military was almost comically unprepared for any war until after the Korean War.

            Seriously, read about the period just before and during the beginning of every major war that the country has had until Vietnam Only the navy was sometimes at all prepared. The government always, and the army often, was like a collective bunch of demented blood thirsty chickens just shocked and surprised, even when it was the United States declaring the war! “We’re declaring a war! Psst, we don’t have an army ready… what!!” It wasn’t until during the Second World War that it truly became obvious that something besides the ramshackle state militias had to be at least established even if the country never deliberately went to war again.

            American style racism is the creation of the wealthy elites to divide and conquer the population and mostly, especially in the earliest years thought of much of the white immigrant population about as well as they did the natives and the imported slaves. The used a created race system to hide the class system, much like the British, French, and Dutch Empires did.

            See the book White Trash by Nancy Isenberg for some background. The book Masterless Men: Poor Whites and Slavery in the Antebellum South by Keri Leigh Merritt would probably be good as well, but I have only skimmed it and so I can’t give a honest recommendation yet.

            Reply
            1. John Zelnicker

              @JBird4049
              June 2, 2020 at 8:22 pm
              ——-

              “The case for seeing the Second Amendment as part of the early debate over slave control and militias has been made with great persuasiveness by former Pennsylvania Assistant Attorney General Anthony F. Picadio in both the 2019 Pennsylvania Bar Quarterly and Transpartisan Review and by law professor Carl T. Bogus in the University of California, Davis Law Review of 1998.

              And in addition to such books as Professor Sally Hadden’s 2003 study, Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, and Brennan Center for Justice President Michael Waldman’s 2014 history, The Second Amendment: A Biography, there are also strong op-eds on this subject.”

              https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-slave-owners-dictated-the-language-of-the-2nd-amendment

              Also:

              “[Virginia Governor Patrick] Henry feared that without checks upon it, Congress could undermine the ability of militias in Virginia and elsewhere in the South to suppress slave uprisings and pursue runaway slaves.” from the same article.

              Reply
        3. Jessica

          Northern police were started to police working class immigrants, especially Catholic ones. The threat that dirty Catholic immigrants presented to our fair Protestant nation was a go-to theme for reactionaries, just as racism is now, late into the 1800s.
          Northern police were nasty to Blacks, but that wasn’t their primary function until the Great Migration.

          Reply
    2. jef

      US playbook; insite civil unrest, fan the flames, call it a civil war, then come in and bomb the place to the stone age. So we have the destruction of all our crucial infrastructure to look forward to.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        And so little of that infrastructure undergirds the holdings of the wealthy any more, so bombing factories and railroad terminals and such would not cut into the ‘disposable income’ that’s now just stored in electronic entries in various balance sheets and accounts… So no big loss for the Rich Class, and watching the mopes burn historically has apparently been a turn-on for the powerful.

        Reply
    3. Braden

      The agent provocateur argument is nonsense. The looting is being done by a mixture of the desperate and opportunistic. It’s predominantly in Black neighborhoods because that’s where a lot of the desperate live. We threw people onto UI, handed out a pitiful amount of money, and then assumed they would find a way to survive. Guess what! They are. You can blame them for violence and property destruction, but your moral judgement is meaningless. They have been abandoned by their government, and thus owe their government no responsibility to follow its laws beyond what the government can enforce at the point of a gun. Give them hope, medical care, a quality education, and a means to make a living. Invite them back into American society. Then you can talk to them about “destroying their neighborhoods”.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        +100

        when i was still arguing with my local teabillies around here…usually in the editorial/letters section of the little local paper…that’s the sort of thing I’d say: I want my neighbor to be able to feed his kids… no matter how bad his choices…not merely from a moral stance(which all you churchgoers should be ashamed to have an agnostic best you on)…but for my own self interest. If his kids are hungry, he might contemplate raiding my freezer on the back porch…or yours.
        make sure they have enough to eat, and it protects YOUR assets, so you can go on being Amoral without worrying about it.

        —and so on.

        one of my favorite quotes, in spite of the source:
        “what luck for the rulers that men do not think”-A. Hitler.

        Reply
        1. Susan the other

          That sounds way too intentional for Hitler. Hitler was a puppet from the get-go; chosen, I think, because he was close to delusional about his fatherland and the wrong-doing of the Versailles Treaty. Hitler must have thought that men actually do think and they came to the conclusion that his point of view was the only way to go. Hitler wasn’t nearly as cynical as he was nuts.

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            A puppet of…American industrial and financial interests. Very disorienting to lift the hood on a Nazi tank or truck and see…a Ford badge on the engine. Funded by US dollars. Tires by Goodyear and aluminum by Alcoa. Now THAT’s a part of American history you will definitely not read in a textbook.

            Reply
          2. Amfortas the hippie

            yeah. “unsourced”
            https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/what_good_fortune_for_governments

            but it’s still pretty useful.
            cognitive dissonance/koan on at least 3 levels, including that it’s me, quoting that guy.
            been almost 20 years since i boned up on all of that….part of the big study of The Right.(had to read all kinds of distasteful stuff…de maistre to goebbels to david duke)
            Sort of surprising that i’m not even more cynical…if not outright misanthropic.
            Know your Opponent.

            Reply
      2. workingclasshero

        Federal job guarantee based on mmt funding principals are imo the best route for distessed communities.

        Reply
      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Um, not correct. Looting in Manhattan by organized gangs. Some of the looting in LA follows this pattern. Looks like where the pickings were the richest, criminals moved in. And the money is in the middle class and better ‘hoods, not the poor areas.

        From of all places the Wall Street Journal Looters Damage Businesses, Anger Protesters:

        In New York City, organized groups cased businesses during the day before returning to ransack stores at night after peaceful protests ended.

        In Sacramento, Calif., after a march against police brutality dissipated, a mob broke the windows of a pharmacy and busted through a security door. In Louisville, Ky., after looters hit a Kroger grocery store, the frustrated mayor said criminals exploited demonstrations to steal.

        As largely peaceful protests have erupted across the country—sparked by the killing of a black man, George Floyd, while in Minneapolis police custody—they have frequently been followed by looting. Criminals have stolen from high-end clothing stores on New York’s Fifth Avenue, mom-and-pop restaurants in Minneapolis, and an Amazon van in Santa Monica, California….

        In other cities, such as New York, looters appeared to be more organized.

        Dan Biederman, president of the 34th St. Partnership, a Manhattan business group, estimates 20 stores were burglarized by groups of looters working together on Monday night alone. He estimated damage in the area was in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

        Mr. Biederman said looters came by to scout the area during the day on bicycles and then returned later on foot among protesters. Once the protesters left at night, gangs hit specific stores.

        “The looting is not chaos,” he said. “It’s extremely well planned.”

        Reply
  7. PhilK

    Piles of BRICKS mysteriously sprouting up near riot hotspots all over US have journalists demanding answers

    Stacks of bricks left seemingly unattended in riot hotspots across the US – as if begging to be snatched and thrown by unruly mobs – have protesters and journalists wondering whether the violent street clashes are orchestrated.
    It’s not every day one sees a stack of bricks just lying around unattended, especially when there’s no construction to be seen – but a rash of reports of pallets of bricks turning up as if by magic in over half a dozen cities over the weekend has investigators trying to get to the bottom of who’s seemingly giving would-be rioters the tools they need to turn what began as peaceful protests violent.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      And has anyone else priced out an order of bricks? Those things are expensive. You don’t just leave them laying around.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We went from leaving pallets with bundles of Benjamins in Baghdad, to finding pallets of bricks on the sidewalk here.

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          Wuk & Slim
          It must be the fault of the pallet building companies, and their union workers. There was such an overstock of pallets, all unused, nice and new. They had to develop new uses. A pallet is not just a pallet, but a conveyance for money and building materials to be destroyed.
          The big winner from all the destruction is the GDP.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            Just off of Hwy 99 are a number of pallet places that buy and sell them, a few open all hours if you get a hankering for a gross as your harvest is coming in, or conversely selling them back for about half when you’re done. An essential tool in Ag, but a fair amount of farmers don’t want them laying around taking up space, thus a ground floor opportunity business became of it.

            Some of the pallet proprietors have them stacked up 20 feet high and go on for quite a ways

            Reply
    2. cnchal

      > . . . has investigators trying to get to the bottom of who’s seemingly giving would-be rioters the tools they need to turn what began as peaceful protests violent.

      Are those investigators the police?

      When I let my imagination flow and follow the money, my conclusion is the police union did it. Lots of smashed windows, with the businesses whose windows were smashed calling for moar police protection racket. The police get lots of overtime and sadistic fun beating heads, firing teargas cannisters and generally making themselves indispensible to a so called peaceful solution which never comes, in the process making bank on overtime and the bonus of boosting future pension payments.

      With all the cameras crisscrossing all the areas recording everything that moves, it should take investigators about a half hour to figure out how a pallet of bricks showed up in any downtown.

      Reply
  8. Krystyn Podgajski

    For those people who commented on my comment yesterday saying “They probably know who I am already” so ProtonMail etc whatever…

    Yeah, of course, I was denied a sensitive job becasue there is a file on me from college and my phone was tapped the week after 9/11 becasue I posted something on the internet. But that does not mean I should expose every future kernel of info they can use against me or my friends regardless of the truth. Because a good prosecutor can make up their own truth.

    In a fascist culture, guilt is irrelevant.

    Tails, VPN, ProtonMail, Signal, and do less – Just stop giving these companies and the state your data.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >In a fascist culture, guilt is irrelevant.

      Bingo. I would broaden that to “facts” being irrelevant.

      However, I disagree with your last point. This is the real problem with all the spying on the people that everybody is so upset about: It isn’t that they will actually find anything on anybody (so many people, so much noise) but that they will say that they did and point to a rack of computers – the actual contents will of course be classified by “national security” but just take our word for it! – and non-tech people will be impressed.

      So go offline as much as you like, encript away, if facts don’t matter then hiding your actual data won’t either.

      Reply
    2. Oh

      There’s also ProtoVPN free for certain servers and they also have a fee based one. Also try tutanota for e-mail. the Protonmail server is based in Switzerland and the tutanota one is in Germany. These countries have strict laws on privacy. BTW, signal is now wire and can be used for texting/calling from your cell your phone.

      I agree that “they” need not know what you’re doing or where you are at all times. But beware – the apps on your phone snoop on you and the data is being sold to others.

      Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “the ‘ANYTHING’ face shield can be made using whatever’s around you, even a haribo packet”

    When I first saw that, I thought how stupid it looked. But then I remember an important principle of life. If it looks stupid, but it works – then it’s not stupid.

    Reply
  10. zagonostra

    >Coronavirus, Rioting, and the Privatization of Morality by Benjamin Studebaker

    If we are to change, the system must change first. We can only change it when we do politics, and the system is designed to stop us from doing it, to push us again and again into the private, into the moral, into the cultural realm.

    This is the crux of contention between friends, especially those who are religious, and myself. In contrast to Studebaker, they hold the view that it is the opposite: Until individuals fundamentally change themselves, society will never improve.

    I know the pat answer is to say it’s not an either or situation. However, I think this conflict between these two views strikes at the problem of re-constituting the U.S. social/political system into a more just society.

    Reply
    1. Bsoder

      I like Benjamin Studebaker, but if he wanted to preach philosophy he should have studied it for eight years like I did. Has anyone read Hesse’s “The Glassbead Game”? I’m trying to image being alive in Adam Smith’s time and if having the means bringing charges against the government for either being immoral or amoral. It’s a ludicrous. People had a much more wholistic sense about reality. He’s got the wrong philosopher as well, David Hume, has the final say on morality as science. Occasionally, been equaled in his discourse never exceeded. But it hardly mattered because many of the problems inherent in both capitalism and whether the ‘state’ should be moral or not wouldn’t become issues until about now. Studebaker‘s observation that in a neoliberal version of capitalism we get political tactics of divide and conquer and leaving everyone for themselves and god agasint all, aren’t by design as much by choice, i.e., being greedy seems so wonderful till you look around and see what it wrought. It never had to be this way nor can it continue. By that I mean, it won’t continue, because we will all be dead.

      Reply
      1. zagonostra

        I am very familiar with Hesse’s Das Glasperlenspiel, how do you see it related to Studebaker’s article?

        Reply
    1. Tom Stone

      DC Grimes, Israeli anti riot forces use suppressed highly accurate .22 rifles to kneecap palestinian protestors.
      10-22’s accurized by Volquartsen as I recall.

      Reply
        1. Toshiro_Mifune

          The ‘butterfly bullets’ appear to be just hollow points (HP).
          Not dismissing the damaged an HP round can do, they’re fairly common though.

          Reply
            1. Toshiro_Mifune

              And still illegal under international law in war settings
              No argument from me. I just thought the IDF had invented some sort of new .22 LR exploding munition.

              Reply
          1. J.k

            I remember when the Palestinians were peacefully protesting at the border recently. The Israeli forces were intentionally shooting to cripple hundreds of protestors. They were clearly targeting medics as well. The vast majority of those hit were nowhere near being a threat physical threat to the border or the Israeli forces.

            Reply
      1. Bsoder

        Medical, we really don’t want to be knee capping anyone, it’s a for life problem. The cops don’t need to be shooting anyone really. Biden, can’t they find a body double?

        Reply
      2. Yves Smith Post author

        US cops hit their targets only 15-20% of the time. As in the intended person. Forget about which body part.

        Maybe a sniper out of the fray with one of these super rifles could pull off those shots, but not beat cops who won’t carry rifles but pistols.

        Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Even “stupider”–The person the cop would be shooting is the “unarmed” one “with a knife or something.”

      Reply
      1. Charger01

        Don’t be silly. Police carry “drop guns” for that very purpose. Extra 10-15 years for the prep, doncha know. One of the NOLA detectives associated with the Donzinger bridge incident was convicted of planting guns on murdered civilians. This happened with the LAPD and Chicago PD as well.

        Reply
    3. urblintz

      Eleanor Bumpers… an elderly black woman shot to death in NYC. The cops were there to evict her, she refused to answer her door so they broke it down to be confronted with her holding a knife ( I wish she’d had a bazooka)… and so they shot her… twice… the first shot took her hand off, the hand holding the knife, the second shot took her life. Cops exonerated… and she’s mostly been “disappeared” Google her and you’ll find little, including a typically incomplete wiki entry lacking the important details of her murder by cops. I found this: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/20/nyregion/fatal-police-shooting-in-bronx-echoes-one-from-32-years-ago.html

      Joe F. Biden is a FRAUD.

      NWA says: F… the police!

      Reply
  11. allan

    Irony dies, but not before moving to to Foggy Bottom:

    Matt Lee @APDiploWriter

    .@secPompeo meets with Tiananmen Square survivors at 2:30 pm today, per @StateDept.

    8:21 AM · Jun 2, 2020

    The State Department press release doesn’t mention whether or not Pompeo plans to tear gas them.

    Reply
    1. Olga

      Oh, I miss seeing Matt Lee. RT used to have clips of the F Bottom press briefings, but then they got booted out, in the name of press freedom, of course. Matt usually had some tough questions that made the FB’s narrative enforcer squirm a bit.

      Reply
  12. Tom Stone

    Those who want to see “Medicare for all” should keep in mind that Medicare has co pays, especially for drugs under the “Part D” supplementary insurance.
    And those co-pays can be increased without notice as I recently learned.
    My co-pay for a blood thinner went from $3.80 to $293.22 without notice.
    It shouldn’t have been a surprise, it’s an insurance company, CVS Caremark.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I hate to be stupid (and I know people who have medical issues can get very frustrated when laypeople second guess them) but what about aspirin? In Australia I noticed there was scaremongering about aspirin, when the stomach bleeding risk is exaggerated (about 1.5% of the population has it and taking aspirin increases that another 1%). Or is it that you are taking so many meds you don’t want to risk one outside the regime?

      I took my mother off a prescription blood thinner because it increased Covid-19 risk and have her on aspirin for want of better, but her issues are very different than yours.

      Reply
      1. sd

        My mother took a baby aspirin for that reason every day. It was actually under her prescriptions listed by her primary care physician, though she just bought over the counter.

        Reply
      2. JTMcPhee

        Aspirin is useful for some people for some conditions needing interference with the clotting cascade that can produce strokes. But not for others. Many people have to take Coumadin (warfarin sodium) because they have particular kinds of mechanical hear valves where aspirin, or newer anticoagulants like Eliquis and Pradaxa do not keep clots from forming behind the valves and migrating due to hemodynamics in the heart. Others need effects of Coumadin to address existing clots. And Coumadin is way expensive, unless you have something like VA (max $9 for a 90 day supply) or TRICare, the single payer for retired veterans and some spouses.

        Medicare for All should have been called “National Health Service, no charge at the point of care.” Not sold well, but I guess they proponents either got rolled by Fifth Columnists pushing that form, or just hoped the reservoir of people who are actually satisfied with Medicare as it is, would push it over the top.

        Out-of-pocket for people who are on Medicare A and B and a full-benefit “Medical” supplemental like AARP’s Plan F are still paying $6,000 a year for medical coverage, along with the cost of a copay on all their medications (Part D) and any “drug insurance plan” they care to pay for (all of which are ripoffs, IMO) since GW Bush plotted that out with Big Pharma and Saint Obama made it worse. My base Part D is $59 a month, fortunately I can get all the meds I currently need from the VA for that max $9 for 90 days. But the VA is in the sights of privatizers, and I’m 74 and hoping I am gone before that shoe drops.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          Let’s jazz it up a bit and pander to the alms-class prey that fancy themselves temporarily embarrassed predators.

          US HEALTH FORCE™!

          Victory Gardens! Compost bins! Outdoor exercise! DIABETES: The Enemy Within. Fight them in the kitchen so you don’t have to fight them in your body!

          Reply
      3. anon in so cal

        My husband takes Xarelto for afib. I need to research the link between blood thinners and Covid-19.
        So far, there’s this:

        “One common topic we keep getting questions about is anticoagulant (blood thinning) medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), apixaban (Eliquis), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).

        Do they increase your risk coronavirus complications and put you in the high-risk category?

        The short answer: The medications themselves do not make you more susceptible to coronavirus infection or complications, says Satjit Bhusri, MD, associate director of cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and assistant professor of cardiology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. “But the next question is why are you taking this medication in the first place? The answer to that is what makes you at high risk for COVID-19 complications.”

        https://creakyjoints.org/living-with-arthritis/coronavirus/treatments/blood-thinners-anticoagulants-coronavirus-risk/

        Many people prone to gout, such as my husband, cannot liberally take aspirin. Some studies suggest blood thinners are a better stroke preventative than aspirin:

        https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/pages/2016-06-20-aspirin-versus-blood-thinners-in-afib-patients.aspx

        Reply
    2. nippersmom

      Please read the actual Medicare for All proposals. They don’t just extend Medicare as it currently exists, they expand it to eliminate the need for supplementary insurance (as well as adding vision, dental, and hearing aid coverage) and include caps on prescription drug prices. Even people who currently have Medicare would be much better off under the Medicare for All programs proposed by Jayapal and Sanders.

      Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Said it before. Bernie gave up on pushing for Medicare for all back in April in an email to his supporters. Jayapal from what I hear, may be more serious.

          Reply
          1. marym

            Sanders didn’t ever find a good way to communicate the difference between current Medicare, and M4A, but saying the gave up isn’t really fair. He proposed an emergency plan funded by Congress. From his email:

            In this crisis we must empower Medicare to cover all medical bills during this emergency.

            This is not Medicare for All. We can’t pass that right now. But what this does say is if you are uninsured, underinsured, if you have high copayments, high deductibles, or out of pocket expenses, Medicare will cover those expenses so that everybody…will get the health care they need.

            Of course Pelosi’s rejected it for a proposal included in the recent House bill to fund insurance company profits some COBRA payments instead. Passing M4A was even more unlikely, and even the most optimistic versions of M4A have had a 1-2 year implementation schedule.

            Reply
    3. Bsoder

      No it’s the Feds they must have moved the drug to tier 5 with a 25% copay. My wife has to pay $500 a month for one drug, until by such magic, that I can’t figure out you reach $9048 out of pocket, but you get some credits rolled back in, so it’s not $9048, but it is not zero either. *sigh* Do we really have to do this to ourselves?

      Reply
      1. Duck1

        To belabor the point, and as was pointed out by some of the commentariat during the “democratic” presidential primary process, anybody involved with the current medicare system in the US sees a seriously deficient system. Better than nothing and better than the ACA perhaps, but thoroughly infested with neoliberal complexities that are unnecessary. So whether using Medicare for All as the slogan for universal healthcare was a wise choice, so far it seems to have stuck, unfortunately in my view. Realize that the proposal solves the problems, but the moniker is what draws attention.

        Reply
        1. marym

          The argument for the use of Medicare as both the name and the administrative framework has been that Medicare is a trusted and successful program, despite issues like privatization and coverage gaps.

          When HR 676 was introduced in the 108th Congress (2003-2004) the short title was the United States National Health Insurance Act (or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act). (Link)

          That name remained through the 110th Congress (2007-2008). (Link)

          The short title was changed in the 111th Congress (2009-2010) to “United States National Health Care Act or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act”. (Link)

          (Are the Dems starting to conflate health insurance and health care?)

          There was no text submitted with an apparent place-holder bill in the 112th and 113th Congress

          (Is this due to the supposed awesomeness of the ACA?).

          The bill reappeared in 2015 with the name stripped down to Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. (Link)

          The Sanders Senate bill introduced in 2017 (Link), and both the Sanders Senate bill and the Jayapal House bill of 2019 are both called just the Medicare for All Act of 2017 (Link, Link).

          Reply
          1. Left in Wisconsin

            Tammy Baldwin, back when she was in the House, claimed to introduce M4All in every new Congress (can’t recall if she was lead sponsor or just one of several). It was she and her ilk that were responsible for the blank version introduced in 2009 (and following), when they knew the O-nauts were not on board. Could make one think the whole thing was always just for show.

            Reply
      2. polecat

        Yes. By my lowmoke computations, logic dictates that our betters truly haven’t progressed beyond the 21st Earth-Century hominid level of .. ‘Hopscotch!’

        Always fighting those primary turf battles … and we’re just along for the .. phasing.

        Can we Now take away their warped-drives ………………. ?

        Reply
    4. Jack Parsons

      Don’t know where you are, but Costco pharmacies charge cost+15% on all medications, AND you don’t have to join. It’s an amazing public service.

      Reply
  13. nycTerrierist

    really good piece by Studebaker, much appreciated:

    “The moral is the space where we can have the catharsis of judging another individual. The political is the space where we must confront our own impotence and weakness in the face of the power of the rich and well-connected”.

    Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    I’ve been a collapseratti since I don’t know when, doom me he cried.

    An odd pursuit to an end to be sure, although always safely viewed from afar in both time & place.

    Eventually cooler heads will prevail in our travails which are increasingly appearing more in the French Revolution model of disparate groups angling for attention via wanton destruction, upping the ante. Nobody cared about the peaceful George Floyd protest march videos, but show me a looted REI video and that’ll get our attention toot suite.

    Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Minnesota cops ‘trained by Israeli forces in restraint techniques'”

    Looks like the Minnesota Police learned their lessons well. In the past five years Minnesota Police have rendered 44 people unconscious with neck restraints. And yet a Minneapolis city official stated that it is not permitted by the M.P.D. Go figure-

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/minneapolis-police-rendered-44-people-unconscious-neck-restraints-five-years-n1220416

    But there is a major difference between the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the Occupied American Territories. The later is in possession of 270 million handguns alone and god knows how many long rifles, military assault weapons, telescopic sights and night sites. Four police were just shot & wounded today in St Louis and I would call that fair warning. It’s all fun and games beating people up and shooting them with tasers, flash-bang grenades, rubber balls & pepper balls until some people decide to start shooting back. Anybody remember the case of one Micah Xavier Johnson four years ago?

    Reply
    1. jefemt

      My gut says that the vast majority of the known and unknown gunz and bullets in America’s citizenry are held by conservative, neutral-to-pro Trump whites.

      Very few by urban liberal-leaners, non-violent people of color, or the folks who are non-violently protesting. (The Other)
      But I judge and stereotype!

      Compare in your minds eye the current protests versus the armed occupation in Michigan a few weeks ago.

      Its only June 2- what a year!

      Reply
    2. Bsoder

      Yes. And trump is going to push this until we to get who knows what. He is without hope the people he wants killed are without hope. This will not end well.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords.

        Adlai Stevenson

        Reply
      2. Katniss Everdeen

        “…..and a way to unite going forward.”

        Ah, yes, the ardently sought yet ever elusive “unity.” It’s what america needs.

        Appearing with Tucker Carlson last night, journalist Zaid Jilani noted that polls demonstrated that 96% of americans agreed that George Floyd had been murdered by the cop. He further noted that such a level of agreement, some might call it “unity,” was extraordinary.

        But despite nikki’s truly inspiring, if nauseatingly predictable, attempt to stay relevant, the last thing this country needs with a very important election coming up is “unity,” which implies that there’s only one side and everybody’s on it. “Unity” is a reality that exploitative politics simply cannot abide.

        So the racial wedge had to be driven in and fast. When you’ve pinned your electoral hopes on the existence of the rabid racism of the incumbent and his supporters in the hope of herding racial groups to your side en masse, “unity” cannot and will not be tolerated. It’s great in theory, but problematic in political practice.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Tucker absolutely gave it to Trump last night. The “law and order” track was probably the right political bet. But the divisive stuff about Antifa was political stupidity at its finest.

          My current prediction is that Trump loses in November. But the problem is that TEOLAF (The Empire Of Laughter And Forgetting) will then have a double set of prisms to view reality through. The press makes us view the world today through the single prism “Trump Is Bad So Bad”. This works because the light rays hit a real-world object (say a suspect helplessly restrained on the ground), passes through the prism, and emerges as This Happened Because Trump Is Bad So Bad. The dual prism after Trump is gone will have to bend reality rays at least twice before they emerge as Here Is What You Think. Light striking the same real-world object (black police brutality victim) initially is filtered as Biden Is Good Because He Did Not Write The Crime Bill, but then has to bend *again* to emerge as Police Brutality Is Good Because Biden Did Not Write The Crime Bill. This will likely be disorienting for some. We may even see the dreaded “triple prism effect” when the animatronic President Biden Head emits a bafflegab phrase like “We Can Solve This With More Record Players”, has to bend once to be rendered intelligible, then through the Biden Is Good prism, then through the final This Is Good Because Biden is Good prism. We really do live in the best of all possible worlds.

          Reply
      3. Oh

        I believe Asha Rangappa is a former FBI agent who spread Russiagate fables on MSNBC to Brian (my helicopter was shot down in Iraq) Williams.

        Reply
  16. Seth Miller

    The “Use of Force Project” requirements are a step in the right direction, but they do not go far enough, and they seem to write racism out of the equation.

    Specifically, while a “continuum of force”, under which the use of force by the police is supposedly adjusted to be proportional to some “threat” that they face, sounds like common sense, it actually sidesteps the issue: the use of force by the police needs to be meaningfully constrained in a way that doesn’t depend upon the police to police themselves.

    Deadly force should never be used by a police officer who is not under mortal threat. Period. I don’t care if that means that some “perp” escapes into the wild. The problem here is that cops on the scene don’t behave as though there is any constraint upon their use of force. The only way that changes is if (a) they are not allowed to use deadly force, except to defend themselves against an actual (not perceived) mortal threat; and (b) they know they will not be able to bull***t their way through a criminal prosecution arising from their use of force.

    The “continuum” is not proposed as a change to the standard to be applied to a cop facing a murder charge, and even if it were to be adopted it would quickly return us to a situation where the police get the benefit of the doubt in claiming that a wallet is a gun, an unarmed man is a menace, and another dead black citizen brought it on himself.

    I agree that the key to fixing the problem is to regulate the use of force by police. That starts with constraining the use of deadly force, in absolute and unmistakable terms.

    Reply
    1. Romancing The Loan

      I like the idea of imposing a system of personal insurance for police – tied to the individual, not the department – that pays out settlements for inappropriate use of force instead of the taxpayer. The idea being that a violent cop’s premiums would quickly rise to a level that made them unemployable.

      Reply
      1. Oh

        The premium payment for such insurance should come out of the Union’s coffers rather than from the city’s.

        Reply
    2. flora

      I support unions in general. However, it might be time for the AFLCIO to disaffiliate the police unions. (Something about Jay Gould’s quip that he could hire one half of the working class to kill the other half. Unions shouldn’t support that, imo.)

      Reply
        1. flora

          I don’t know. He may have been. A lot of state govt employee unions formed in the 50’s and 60’s. The federal and states’ civil service systems’ (not a union) was in effect during FDR’s time; civil service reforms were the result of the 1900-20’s progressive movement; part of the ‘good goverment’ movement to professionalize and de-cronyize govt employment.

          I do know govt employee unions can not strike, for obvious ‘continuity of govt services’ reasons, and because the civil service was originally started to make govt employment continuous during a change of party control after an election (see above), more stable, and less dependent any party or political coercion (the ‘spoils system’) for employment.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            in Texas, at least, Teachers…being “Public Employees”…are forbidden the Strike, by explicit law…and if they go ahead and Strike any way, the law says…again, explicitly(unlike so many laws, i might add)…that said Striking Teachers will lose their Pensions, and their Teacher’s Certification(that is, their license to teach).
            Ergo, the Teacher’s Union in Texas is pretty much limited to “advising” the gooberment.
            I think this is wrong as wrong can be.
            this is why the recent Teacher “Strikes” weren’t actually “strikes”, as defined by law…they went around it…and around their unions.
            organised them on an individual level on facebook and twitter.
            That Individual aspect further complicates any retaliation by being covered under the Right to Assembly(looks at the 100 other tabs on computer right now), which is germane to today’s news.

            Reply
            1. flora

              And good on the teachers!

              One question though; are teachers hired under the state civil service system?

              I think most teachers are hired outside the civil service system. Not all govt public employees, especially at the local level (school districts) are part of a state civil service system, which leaves them at the mercy of local politics and local financial interests, imo.

              Reply
              1. flora

                Adding:

                In my opinion, the AFT, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, is pretty bad at representing actual classroom teachers’ job conditions and the private expenses teachers bear to do what the public job should provide from the public purse. Chalk/markers, erasers, books, etc.

                Reply
                1. flora

                  adding, to be blunt: the current AFT leadership is part of the Dem estab, more interested in brunch with connected DC Dem pols than in improving the working conditions of the millions of classroom teachers in their membership. imo, of course.

                  Reply
                  1. newcatty

                    Right on, flora. And to be blunt, too, it’s not just the AFT leadership. At least in the state where I live and know the school districts…It is the same. The administrations at the specific schools also like to brunch with the connected people in their towns and cities. There are some exceptions: a principal can be really dedicated to their jobs…many don’t last as they are outliers who are nibbled to death by the other players in the game. The system is an absolute corporate structure like the exploitative business of America. The teachers are caught in the middle. They actually fear or kiss the principal. They also can keep their heads down and rely on staying under the radar. The older, both in age and in years teaching, are either burned out and take it out on The newbies or just take advantage of them in the school. Of course, again, there are exceptions that really do try to mentor new teachers. The conditions for most public schools are awful. But, wait! If you land a job at a upper class school; it might be nice to have working AC or heat in the school. You probably don’t have to pay for supplies. You get salad bars and pizza at the cafeteria. The pizza doesn’t taste like cardboard and the sauce like cheap jarred stuff. You find sweet contracts with higher end sandwich stores that deliver fresh hoagies. If vegetarian, the veggies are fresh. And, the rest of the staff, if still in existence, are on the lowest rung of the ladder. From “aides”, to the janitors. The one staff member that you quickly learn to treat with pointed politeness and bring a nice plant on Valentines’ Day is the school secretary. Sigh, yes, runs the day-to-day ops. Many are very efficient and most are nice people. Almost always women. In middle schools and high schools the counselors are usually sincere in wanting to help the staff and students. They often are just overwhelmed with the load.

                    It’s a real jungle out there for many of our kids. I know though that some of the schools in lower social economic districts have amazing teachers and staff. The kids on school lunch programs get breakfast, too. The schools have a laundry and parents, or the kids, can wash their clothes. The same staff help out before or after school. The school partners with clothing banks to outfit the kids who need basic clothing and supplies like a backpack.

                    I know this cause I have worked in a capacity, in my former life, in a position with a university in our city, where I traveled to almost every district. I knew and talked to the staff…very off-record. Yes, caring and supportive education for our kids would be essential for social equality in This country. Imagine it.

                    Reply
    3. J.k.

      If wannabe killer cops understood they would stand to lose their life savings and their homes, and retirement packages in addition to actually being prosecuted. There would be a cultural shift within their ranks. Or at the very least they would a little less trigger happy. But from the very beginning they are trained to think and act as if they are in war zones and the priority is their own safety. This is especially true in cities and even more so when they live in the burbs and go into hyper segregated minority neighborhoods to police. They end up acting like an foreign occupying force. I dont think even the remedies listed above can actually be implemented as long as this economic system has permanent underclass, and a racial caste system
      And not to even mention the infiltration of leo by white supremacists and crypto fascists over the last 30 plus years.

      Reply
  17. lyman alpha blob

    Biden is now fundraising of George Floyd’s death – http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/elections-2020/george-floyds-brother-asks-joe-biden-to-promise-him-justice/ar-BB14UzI4?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp

    He mentions during a [family blog]ing fundraiser that he spoke with Floyd’s brother who asked him to promise justice, but nowhere in the article do I see a mention that Biden said he would give it. He does say however-

    “I give you my word, Joyce, there is nothing more consequential to me than having this opportunity to begin to rip out the roots of systemic racism that exist across the board,” Biden said. “I think we’ve got a shot now.”

    So it’s an “opportunity to begin to” is it, Joe? So it’s kind of like giving people access to not being murdered, is that about right?

    No matter how bad it gets, we can never be cynical enough.

    Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        wife listened to a biden speech a while ago…I was at the time limping around doing things, so i missed it all.
        she said it was a good speech.
        I countered, but it’s wishful thinking to believe that he’s changed his stripes after a 50 year run of being a republican with a D after his name, embracing the worst dixiecrats, fellating the “Credit Industry” and bowing down before wall street.
        I continued, in the way of a few things I’ve seen linked here, that Bernie WAS the Compromise!
        we had the embodiment of everything a majority of the American People say they want, but nooooo…we can’t do that…because the Big Boys might stop writing checks.
        Biden’s speech…which i’m sure msdnc will have on a loop, and that my mom and spepdad will fling at me in short order…is just more “Messaging” from the AI in the basement of Hillaryworld.
        It’s meaningless noise.
        I’d rather vote for my cat.

        “Orthodoxy is Unconsciousness”-Orwell.

        Reply
      2. cocomaan

        I thought that was clear: he’s not going to be Trump. 2020 democrats don’t care who it is as long as it isn’t someone who might want to do something when in office.

        The democrat platform is to change nothing.

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          And it has not changed since 2016.
          The two-word platform: NOT TRUMP!
          Narrower than a highwire.

          Reply
        1. Pat

          What are you going to believe Joe or your lying eyes IOW the contemporaneous record OR the imaginary remembered record he presents in debates and campaign events?

          The record isn’t always THE record. /s

          Reply
    1. Mel

      “opportunity to begin to …”

      I think I remember that from HRC’s old campaign, too. Nothing ever plain and definite, always those long strings of qualifiers. Which is how she could honestly claim to be the most qualified candidate, I guess.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        As in “She qualified all her statements with obfuscatory language which read carefully removed all meaning from every sentence.”

        So it’s just confusion over which part of speech that “qualified” is — an adjective or a verb…

        Most qualified, in some sense of the term. Almost as good at that linguistic game as Saint Obama…

        Reply
      2. ambrit

        Until we stopped her stringing us along.
        Aren’t gig economy ‘journalists’ called “stringers” as well?
        I hope I’m still around to see all these Kleptocrats ‘strung up.’

        Reply
        1. newcatty

          Language is like many things…can be used for good or evil. Evil, as in veiling true intent. Creating ” their reality”, as in the context of maintaining the empire, is not just propaganda. It is the way to divide and conquer the people. Here, there or anywhere. The most insidious ( well, maybe one the ways) is form the scripts to lie with commission or omission. Maybe more people are catching on…

          Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “……this opportunity to begin to rip out the roots of systemic racism that exist across the board…..”

      What the hell have the last almost 50 years at the highest levels of government, 8 of which as vice president of the united states been if not an “opportunity”?????

      Eric Garner was murdered on the streets of a heavily democrat city in a heavily democrat state in July, 2014, with two and a half years left in the second term of the obama / biden administration. I’d ask where this “root ripping” sense of urgency was then, but I already know the answer.

      As far as I’m concerned, anyone who’s buying into this blatant concern fakery deserves the whole lotta nothing that they’re going to get.

      Reply
    3. J.k.

      Thats right. Vote for Joe 2020. We will only shoot you in the kneecaps!
      Thats right , the permanent underclass with racial caste system will stay in place , enforced by leo carrying out the “drug war”. Only we promise not to shoot and kill you in the streets with impunity. Rather kill you slowly with poverty and prisons. Vote Joe,2020.

      Thats the hope being offered people on places like npr from the white liberals and the thin layer of middle class black folk with all this police reform talk.

      Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “DC Episcopal bishop: ‘I am outraged’ by Trump church visit”

    Trump: “How many Brigades does the Episcopal Church have?”

    Reply
  19. Kris

    On “Coronavirus, Rioting, and the Privatization of Morality” – this must have been written about a different part of the country than the one we live in (MI). Perhaps people wear masks in grocery stores, since it’s been required, but walking on the sidewalks, jogging, playing outside, chatting in yards, having barbecues, riding bikes – no masks in sight. Not only that, there are occasional comments about how funny it is to see people wearing masks while still in their cars, etc.; the shaming seems to be pointed in the opposite direction. The author’s point may still be valid, but s/he paints with too broad a brush in gathering the evidence on which it is supposedly based.

    Reply
  20. David Carl Grimes

    I wonder if we are going to see the resurrection of a more militant Black Lives Matter that uses armed force.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      I was pretty excited to see a muscled and tatoo-ed Black Panther in one of the many photo essays about these uprisings.
      He had a big ol’ gun, too.
      remember, those guys showing up at the California state capitol with war machinery is what changed Reagan’s mind about an assault weapons ban.

      and the Panther’s social policy is something that has been left totally out of the history my kids get from school…but they get it from me,lol.
      like when they catch me out there cooking fajitas with NWA blasting in the trees…their shock that I even know about such things is invigorating.
      and it’s an opportunity to hold forth(in a Socratic way) about all such hidden history.
      then i catch my 14 yo reading the wiki about Stokely Carmichael and Fred Hampton.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Panther_Party#Survival_programs

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        On that hidden-history theme, people are working hard to outdo each other rhetorically in casting Trump into the outer darkness as “the worst president ever” and ‘the world’s most destructive force of communist fascism” or whatever.

        Would be worth looking back over Us history to that time shortly after the rollover into the 20th Century when a guy named Thomas Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated the 28th President of these Untied (sic0 States:

        Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the 28th US president, often makes the top ten in rankings of the best US presidents. In the well-known polls taken by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. in 1948 and 1962, Wilson was ranked #4 behind Lincoln, Washington, and FDR. By the end of this post, I hope you will agree with me that he belongs in the bottom rung and was one of our worst presidents ever, if not THE worst.

        Wilson was the first president to criticize the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
        Wilson criticized the diffuseness of government power in the US in most famous book Congressional Government. In this work he confessed, “I cannot imagine power as a thing negative and not positive.” His love and worship of power was a prime characteristic of fascism. “If any trait bubbles up in all one reads about Wilson it is this: he loved, craved, and in a sense glorified power,” writes historian Walter McDougall. It should not surprise us that his idols were Abraham Lincoln and Otto von Bismarck.

        “No doubt a lot of nonsense has been talked about the inalienable rights of the individual, and a great deal that was mere sentiment and pleasing speculation has been put forward as fundamental principle,” wrote Wilson, attacking the very individual rights that have made America great.

        He rejected the principles of “separation of powers” and “checks and balances” that are the foundation of American government: “Government does now whatever experience permits or the times demand….” wrote Wilson in The State.

        No fan of democracy or constitutional government, he wrote the following in Constitutional Government in the United States: “The President is at liberty, both in law and conscience, to be as big a man as he can. His capacity will set the limit….” Sounds like a devotee of the imperial presidency.

        Indeed, in a disturbing 1890 essay entitled Leaders of Men, Wilson said that a “true leader” uses the masses of people like “tools.” He writes, “The competent leader of men cares little for the internal niceties of other people’s characters: he cares much–everything–for the external uses to which they may be put…. He supplies the power; others supply only the materials upon which that power operates…. It is the power which dictates, dominates; the materials yield. Men are as clay in the hands of the consummate leader.” So much for the dignity of each person!

        “Woe be to the man or group of men that seeks to stand in our way,” said Wilson in June 1917 to counter protests to the fascist regime that he created upon entering WW I. https://conservativecolloquium.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/woodrow-wilson-americas-worst-and-first-fascist-president/

        Quite the guy. Alien and Sedition Act, War War War, on and on. Trump has a long way to go to catch up with Wilson.

        And Biden seems to be selling himself as what, a nebbish? Hell of a country we got born into, no?

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          wow. those quotes read like the little aphorisms at the beginning of chapters in the Dune books.
          Harkonens, indeed.

          and, BTW, thanks, Lambert, for putting “we’re ruled by Harkonens” into my surface mind go-to lingo quiver. I uttered it at the beer store to the redneck ranch wife behind the counter, after she opened by listing “freddy gray, trayvon,…” and went on to sound a lot like lil ol me in railing against the Machine and “a pox on both parties”, and etc.
          when i said the Harkonen bit, i was floored when she said “Exactly!!”

          wasn’t that long ago that i may as well have been speaking Aramaic around here with such references,lol.

          Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      This was excellent IMNSHO. It was hard to pick a favorite part, but here’s one I particularly agreed with:

      In any event, the Resistance media have now dropped their breathless coverage of the non-existent Corona-Holocaust to breathlessly cover the “revolution.” The American police, who just last week were national heroes for risking their lives to beat up, arrest, and generally intimidate mask-less “lockdown violators” are now the fascist foot soldiers of the Trumpian Reich….”

      I wanted to call this cognitive dissonance, but cognitive whiplash seems better.

      Reply
    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i like CJ, altho i don’t always agree with him on everything.
      in re: the Narrative of Divided Americans At Each Others’ Throats(tm), here’s a thing on Politico that endeavors…pretty well, i thought…to undermine that whole thing:
      https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/02/fringe-groups-trump-democrats-295728

      I’m not on twitter or FB, so i can’t easily go and verify, but it gells with my own experience with Antigov types(lots of them in my neck of the woods), as well as the numerous polls showing overwhelming majorities in favor of things like M4A and an end to the foreverwar and a whole lot of other great big issues.
      also gells with my Fieldwork…so long as you avoid the pavlovian triggerwords, and use language that your interlocutors understand, something approaching a majority of our fellow americans are in agreement about many, many things.
      in contrast, you’d never guess that this near unity of opinion even exists, if all your information comes from the MSM.

      Reply
  21. bassmule

    Straws in the wind? McConnell breaks with Trump:

    “In no world whatsoever should arresting a man for an alleged minor infraction involve a police officer putting his knee on the man’s neck for nine minutes while he cries out ‘I can’t breathe’ and then goes silent,” Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, said on Monday. “Our nation cannot deafen itself to the anger, the pain and the frustration of black Americans. Our nation needs to hear this.”

    Lawmakers Begin Bipartisan Push to Cut Off Police Access to Military-Style Gear (NYT)

    George Will:

    Trump must be removed. So must his congressional enablers.

    All to be taken–especially McConnell–with a carload of salt, but even so.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      McConnell is hated in KY, per what I read. All his noise is, is a sad attempt to try to look a little less inhuman. He is in a tough electoral contest.

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        Amy McGrath is going nowhere. Hillary Clinton has a better chance of beating “Moscow Mitch” than Amy does. But I will bet the ranch that she fundraises at least 30 million from crazy Democrats.

        Reply
    2. Jessica

      As far as I know, it is axiomatic that no revolution is possible without significant splits within the elite. Nothing says that those splits need to be moral or sincere or anything other than the purist opportunism. They just need to exist.

      Reply
  22. Basil Pesto

    I remember a few years ago reading a piece about the militarisation of police in the US. I suspect I found it through NC. It stuck in my mind at the time for just how crazy it was. I was going through my Pocket app archive to try and find the piece but couldn’t, though I did find this one which I suspect was linked to in the original piece I read (which, iirc, was longer and more overtly editorial).

    Note the year it was published

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/local-cops-ready-for-war-with-homeland-security-funded-military-weapons

    I then noticed later this evening a Stoller tweet that echoed the reporting from that story:

    https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1267813658920251393?s=20

    If I find the original story I’m thinking of, I’ll be sure to pass it on.

    Reply
    1. anon in so cal

      “How Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer Are Teaming Up With the NYPD to Push Police Militarization”

      “The Obama administration’s call for reductions provoked a fierce backlash, with the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, joining with NYPD police commissioner Bill Bratton to demand high levels of funding by casting the city as a “top terror target.”

      https://www.alternet.org/2016/06/how-hillary-clinton-and-chuck-schumer-are-teaming-nypd-push-police-militarization/

      Reply
  23. WhoaMolly

    >Dear patient readers,
    >I have been having a terrible time with elder care and on other fronts, so you probably won’t see much from me in the way of original posts. I am very beaten down.

    Dear Yves, feel free to email me directly if you need someone to vent/talk to.

    Reply
    1. Susan the other

      Elder care is 24/7. You need to get away regularly. It’s hard to find a good live-in or someone you trust to give you some time off. But might be worth finding somebody. Or your family members. I have noticed over the years that as long as someone has stepped up to take care of mom, the rest of the siblings don’t step in. With my own grandmother, my mother got the short straw and her three sisters virtually disappeared. With my mother-in-law the sister next door got the honors and the other 3 sisters never even bothered to offer to help, although they lived in the same county. And etc. Seems like the one with the major responsibility should have a schedule of frequent time off. Especially these days when the last place to put a parent is a rest home.

      Reply
      1. WhoaMolly

        We had best luck finding help with my wife’s dad through the local hospice organization. They are comfortable with end of life and know of various local resources.

        Our situation might be unusual though. We are fortunate to have a very good local hospice group. Possibly because we live in an area that has been a middle class retirement destination since the 1940s.

        Reply
      2. newcatty

        Something that is not, in some minds a PC or kind and loving thing to point out re elder care in this country. Many of our elders are not someone that their children want to be in their presence. The tragedy and truly awful conditions at many “rest homes” is another aspect of the whole virus pandemic has put a spot light on is this fact. Not only are many older people living with pain, illness or disabilities, but their emotional states are destroyed by there conditions. Also, many of their innate personalities revealed in their older age. If the parent was abusive as a person, then if not physically any more, then verbally. Current nursing homes or assisted living are mostly warehouses for them. As is obvious, the staff are usually overworked and paid lousy wages. Often, the poor or hidden classes. Mostly, women. So, now what? I have no answers. In our family the last parent to die was in one of the “decent” assisted living institutions in her home city. She had many kids. No one wanted her to live in their home. All of them loved her, but truly would have sacrificed their own mental health to “care” for her passive aggressive criticisms about almost any thing in her eyes. The best they could do was to find the “best” place for her. The irony was, too, that she practically gave a home and helped raise one child’s family for many years. If healthcare was really care and most older people were not destined to be sick and depressed, then maybe things could be different. I am just talking about elders in general. Like public education…its all part of the crappified situations and institutions in this country.

        Reply
  24. Alex

    Re the Guardian’s wars without end

    Today’s wars are mostly undeclared, undefined and inglorious affairs typically involving multiple parties, foreign governments, proxy forces, covert methods and novel weapons.

    That sounds like a typical kind of conflict in the most of the world for the most of the time. Wars with definite beginnings and endings are mostly a phenomenon of the last few centuries of the European history. Also not sure it’s better since your average 18th century European war would have many more victims in one year than a modern low-level conflict has in ten.

    Reply
    1. RMO

      The way that piece was going to go was made obvious early on (if it wasn’t already obvious being in the Guardian…) with this:

      “Libya is a classic case of a state of chaos deliberately fed and manipulated by external powers, in this instance Turkey, Qatar, Russia, Egypt and the UAE”

      Seems to me there are a few nations missing from that list… who are also missing from any mention in the rest of the piece. Ok, the U.S. is mentioned at least once:

      “Ambitious states have always sought to dominate neighbours in the way China, for example, is doing now. One reason this happens more frequently today, and more anarchically, is declining American engagement.”

      Just how hollow or deluded does a person have to be to write an article like that?

      Reply
  25. Alex

    Thanks for the link about the dismissal of Gough Whitlam – I’ve never heard about it before. I checked it on Wikipedia and what is baffling is why did he lose so badly in the subsequent elections?
    The article doesn’t discuss it I’d expect an ouster of a politician by non-democratic means to boost his popularity.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      When Gough Whitlam got in, it was at the end of a very long run in power by the other party. Change was being demanded but the party in charge was not willing to do it. So when Gough got in, he did popular things like order Aussie troops out of ‘Nam straight away but his reform program was being too fast and too radical (for the time). After the coup, the forces arrayed against him by the establishment were too extensive and people wanted a rest after all the changes. He did not win power again but the reforms mostly stayed.

      As for John Kerr, the man who kicked him out of power? Well, he became a pariah-

      “The remaining years of Sir John Kerr’s life were miserable ones. He was subject to relentless harassment whenever he appeared in public.” He therefore moved to London “where he could be seen most days, usually the worse for wear, at one or other gentleman’s club.”

      Reply
  26. Edward

    “COPS to release 2-hour ‘Just the Beatings’ DVD ”

    The COPS television show was a police propaganda-fest. FAIR published an article back in the 1990’s, I think, claiming the show was slanting its reporting to present police behavior as better then it was, and hide police brutality.

    One thing I haven’t seen mentioned so far on the subject of the police is the television show The Shield, which resembled a police version of “24”. While “24” received attention for its advocacy of torture, I have never seen this disturbing show discussed.

    Reply
    1. Pespi

      The Shield was a callous attempt to draft off the success of the Sopranos, with the pure ideology of the police state making it safe for basic cable.

      It’s remarkable how there were once TV shows that didn’t show all police as John Waynes stopping the end times from coming, one busted tail light at time. The Rockford Files comes to mind.

      Reply
      1. Edward

        The show seemed designed to appeal to violent cops. I liked the Rockford Files too. An interesting theme on that show was that many people in prison are innocent.

        Reply
  27. Edward

    Trump has been making noises about cracking down on the protests, perhaps using the Insurrection Act. There was actually a plan developed by Reagan’s nutty FEMA director, called REX 84, to jail American protestors in detention camps. Could this be another possibility?

    Reply
  28. Deltron

    re: Future of Wind Energy (oilprice.com)
    The author should provide the full fuel cycle comparison (cradle-to-grave emissions, costs per unit energy, etc.) between wind, coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, etc. to support the underlying premise. To not include this information as background is misleading readers in my view.

    Reply

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