Links 6/3/2020

GDP Update: -52.8% The Big Picture. Projected. So I guess it’s about time for austerity to kick in?

How lenders are preparing for a wave of loan modifications The American Banker

Wells Fargo stops giving loans to most independent car dealerships Reuters

Bank of America pledges US$1b to address racial, economic inequality Channel News Asis

Trump administration shelves more oil and gas lease sales Reuters

Russia Is Quickly Becoming The Most Dominant Force In Energy

Science without Validation in a World without Meaning American Affairs


The science:

A mysterious company’s coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be unraveling Science

Man Behind Sweden’s Controversial Virus Strategy Admits Mistakes Bloomberg. So much for herd immunity.

* * *


Healthcare workers & SARS-CoV-2 infection in India: A case-control investigation in the time of COVID-19 (preprint) Indian Journal of Medical Research. FWIW (I can’t vouch for the source) this is the first study on hydroxychloroquine as prophylaxis: “Consumption of four or more maintenance doses of HCQ was associated with a significant decline in the odds of getting infected.”

* * *


Protests in top 25 virus hot spots ignite fears of contagion AP

Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis The Lancet

Small droplet aerosols in poorly ventilated spaces and SARS-CoV-2 transmission The Lancet. “This study shows that better ventilation of spaces substantially reduces the airborne time of respiratory droplets. This finding is relevant because typically poorly ventilated and populated spaces, like public transport and nursing homes, have been reported as sites of viral transmission despite preventive physical distancing.” Stay away from bat caves!

* * *

Testing and tracing:

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it’s dangerously simple to do The Register

* * *

Social determinants of health:

North of England’s coronavirus infection rate is nearly TWICE London’s exposing huge regional differences as No 10 says easing lockdown won’t tip crucial R rate above one Daily Mail

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Reimagining the post-pandemic organization (PDF) McKinsey

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Remedies and Ameliorations:

How The ‘Lost Art’ Of Breathing Can Impact Sleep And Resilience NPR


China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO AP

Hong Kong police ban city’s annual Tiananmen Square vigil for first time in 30 years, citing Covid-19 threat South China Morning Post

On Secession China Law Blog

While the getting is good?

Indonesia nurses battling COVID-19 anxious over pay cuts, delayed bonuses Channel News Asia


Rare Cyclone Prompts Mumbai to Move Virus Patients to Safe Areas Bloomberg

South Korea

The voice of experience? Thread:

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Live updates: George Floyd protests across the nation CBS

Nation’s streets calmest in days, protests largely peaceful AP

New York under curfew as looters hit luxury stores Agence France Presse but A Few Store Windows Were Smashed on the UWS, Though Much of the Neighborhood Has Been Spared from Looting. West Side Rag. UWS = Upper West Side, Manhattan. Then again:

Cops mostly absent, interestingly.

They’re gonna be tired:

* * *

Op-Ed: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge Los Angeles Times

It Does Not Matter If You Are Good Elle

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How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change Barack Obama, Medium

Former President George W. Bush: ‘It is time for America to examine our tragic failures’ NBC. Forgive my skepticism that a “government of national unity” composed of “moderate Republicans,” “liberal Democrats,” and a neutered left will be able to rise to the occasion post-2020.

How violent protests against police brutality in the ’60s and ’90s changed public opinion Vox. GDP didn’t drop by half in 1968.

New Cold War

Russia Is Not Abandoning Syria or Assad The National Interest

Nuclear arms control: What happens when US and Russia let it lapse? Christian Science Monitor

Trump Transition

AP sources: White House softens on sending troops to states AP

Militarization in DC:

Esper on militarization:

The National Guard on militarization:

* * *

Ahead of Trump Bible photo op, police forcibly expel priest from St. John’s church near White House Religion News

Trump’s G7 invitation: South Korea, Australia agrees, Russia considering CGTN

Inside The Radical Republican War On The Post Office DC Report

Democrats in Disarray

10 Things Dems Could Do Right Now — If They Actually Wanted To Stop Trump’s Power Grab David Sirota, Too Much Information

‘She Needs A Bible Now, Fuckwad—Yes, It’s For An Epic Clapback!’ Yells Panicked Pelosi Aide Into Phone The Onion

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Zoom Transforms Hype Into Huge Jump in Sales, Customers Bloomberg. “Free users for sure we don’t want to give that because we also want to work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose,” [CEO Eric Yuan] said on the call.”

The DEA Has Been Given Permission To Investigate People Protesting George Floyd’s Death Buzzfeed

The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence The Nation

Antifa seeks CIA funding after being labelled terrorist group The Chaser

Imperial Collapse Watch

Endless War Comes Home The American Conservative (Re Silc).

New program helps retiring colonels decide which Civil War battle to study Duffel Blog. Hello from Fort Belvoir…

Police State Watch

As cities make deep cuts because of COVID-19, police departments are keeping their funding. Fast Company. “Nothing fundamental will change.”

A Short History of U.S. Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests The Intercept

When police officers are told they’re in a war, they act like it Ezra Klein, Vox

* * *

Medical Workers Fighting COVID Say Cops Are Attacking Them Daily Beast

David McAtee, a Black Man, Was Killed After Police “Returned Fire” at a Louisville Protest Teen Vogue. Oddly, no body cam footage.

6 Atlanta officers charged after confrontation with college students Atlanta Journal-Constitution

‘Star Wars’ stormtroopers are enforcing new social distancing rules at Disney World Business Insider (Re Silc).

Minneapolis police cite ‘fluid’ situation for troubling misinformation released after George Floyd death Star-Tribune

Thousands of People Are Monitoring Police Scanners During the George Floyd Protests Vice

The business of tear gas Axios

Health Care

How The Rapid Shift To Telehealth Leaves Many Community Health Centers Behind During The COVID-19 Pandemic Health Affairs

Class Warfare

As Economies Reopen, It’s the Law of the Jungle for Workers Foreign Policy. That’s not a bug.

Libertarianism For Me, Authoritarianism For Thee Chris Arnade, American Compass

The Treason of the Ruling Class Chris Hedges, Common Dreams

Austria unveils design to turn Hitler’s house into a police station Guardian (Re Silc). A little too on-the-nose?

Antidote du jour (via). More meese. Where are the squirrels?

Bonus antidote:

Double-bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Bsoder

      That has been in the current generation of models since 2019. Seems to be true too. Who knew. /-s

  1. zagonostra

    >Chris Hedges – The treason of the Ruling Class

    We are serfs ruled by obscenely rich, omnipotent masters who loot the U.S. Treasury, pay little or no taxes and have perverted the judiciary, the media and the legislative branches of government to strip us of civil liberties and give them the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft. …It is only the dwindling and largely white middle and professional classes who still believe the fiction that this election offers a choice or that we live in a democracy. The working class and the working poor know better.

    I’ve been reading Chris Hedges for many years, and before I knew of him Michael Paranti’s writings hit on many similar themes. The barrier I run into is that friends and family don’t think in terms of “Ruling Class.” They’ve been systematically programmed to think in terms of Democrats/Republicans and individual as opposed to systemic/institutional corruption.

    The problem and solution are in the title of this article. It requires the “largely white middle class and professional class” to acknowledge that there is a ruling class and that their interest don’t coincide. Until the PMC identify not with the rich and famous but with the poor and down trodden, there is little hope for a better future for the 99%.

    My personal attempts to try and convince friends/family to not vote/legitimize either of the two political parties never seem able to pierce the propaganda/programming Taibbi identifies in “Hate Inc.” The instruments of persuasion of the 6 or so companies that control what those marginally paying attention see and hear is overwhelming.

    1. Brindle

      Hedges is almost always a great read—I do end up feeling a little depressed because he nails the depth of the corruption.

    2. WJ

      I’m a white forty year-old male with an advanced degree and I make around 85K a year. I have minimal consumer debt, a big mortgage relative to my income, and several children. I am doing ok, more than ok actually. All my neighbors and friends from college are almost certainly making more than I do: I would imagine between 95-175k a year with some pushing upwards of 200k. All of these people are labor, in that their income is generated by their work and not by their capital. I don’t see these people coming to recognize the fundamental truth articulated by Hedges until things get a lot worse for them. They run the gamut between “conservatives” and “liberals” on social issues, but 99% of them still believe in there being a real difference between the two major political parties, and still prefer the status quo “order” over any sort of disruptive justice, etc. I don’t know what it will take to bring them around to viewing social conflict in the US through an entirely different lens, but I fear that by the time things have gotten so bad that even they come around to a more realistic perspective on things, it will be too late.

      I am very much afraid that what Hedges prophesies in his closing paragraph will come to pass before any of my neighbors change their fundamental outlook on things….

      1. Lost in OR

        As much as I agree with Chris, I find his endless rants hard to endure. Leaves me feeling depleted and impotent. Somehow, I can’t muster the rage anymore. It’s more a sadness now.

        The 9% (PMC) will come around when they finally realize the 1% has pick-pocketed their pensions.

        The 1% will not come around until the currency fails.

        1. Pelham

          Same here. And he’s repetitive and has been for many years now (though I give him credit for introducing me to a couple of original thinkers). But much the same can be said about much of the scolding left.

          1. Copeland

            But is he not identifying truths in a way that most people can understand? And haven’t these truths been extraordinarily difficult to change? Until they do, yeah, he’s gonna sound repetitive. This sounds a little like shooting the messenger.

            I can find no other commentator on our collective conundrum that spells it out –all of it– as clearly as Chris Hedges.

            But yeah, that title could use some work, perhaps Trumpify it a bit, seemed to work for him.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            I have the same feeling about Jimmy Dore.

            One thing I like about Matt Taibbi is that he’s endlessly curious, always trying to characterize events accurately, to see things are they are. Moralizers are not curious, because they already have a framework ready to hane to fit things into. Useful Idiots shows this side of Taibbi very clearly (and Halper is much more on the moralizing side).

        2. occasional anonymous

          Hedges is very much a preacher. He uses his seminary training to make impassioned, and highly repetitive, semi-secular rants. If you’ve heard one, you’ve basically heard them all.

          Also, and I know that this is an ad hominem, the way he claims to be worried about his children’s future, yet then goes on to have two more children with a woman at least 25 years younger than himself, is just gross.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > All of these people are labor, in that their income is generated by their work and not by their capital.

        I have been trying to figure out if credentials are a degenerate* form of capital, rather like a taxi medallion, or being a small** business owner, where there’s an enormous amount of self-exploitation going on. (Wittgenstein: “Why can’t my right hand give my left hand money? — My right hand can put it into my left hand. My right hand can write a deed of gift and my left hand a receipt.”)

        * Google: “In mathematics, a degenerate case is a limiting case of a class of objects which appears to be qualitatively different from (and usually simpler to) the rest of the class, and the term degeneracy is the condition of being a degenerate case.”

        ** I mean “small” as in really small, with maybe under 10 employees, not small in the Federal sense, where a factory with 500 workers is considered small.

      3. vlade

        A majority of population has a good reason to good reason to fear ‘disruptive justice’ – because hostory shows that when a disruptive justice aka revolution happens, it almost always ends up very differently than it started, with the road there strewn by bodies of the innocent, and more often then not the top being ruled by fundamentally just a variation on those who were there before despite claims to the contrary (maybe not immediately, but give it a year or two and an underling or three).

        Which, you’d think, should incentivise them to support measures that will help to avoid suchlike, but no, most of the time they don’t until it’s way too late and no other way than a catastrophic failure of status-quo is possible.

        And it can’t be only because of propaganda per se, because while you can reasonably claim religion as propagandist and anti-revolutionary for a lot of the time, it’s not always the case (particularly with some polytheist religions such as Roman/Greek which did not have any explicit support for ruling castes IIRC)

        We never learn.

    3. Peter McGuire Wolf, Ph.D.

      “Until the PMC identify not with the rich and famous but with the poor and down trodden, there is little hope for a better future for the 99%.”

      Please do not forget that the only teaching which identifies with the poor is Christianity—I mean that Christ, the Messiah, came to search out and redeem the “poor” —as well as the “rich” who if you really embrace Christian values, are “the poorest of the poor”—that is if they have no compassion for the poor. If the billionaire does not /cannot see the poverty of their own heart and their communion with the poor then indeed they are “the poorest of the poor (Mother Theresa).” There is no more effective teaching on this subject than the Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the poor…

      1. Lost in OR

        Gosh, those are nice words. The Pope had some real nice words recently too.

        But where is the church, now? I mean, where the hell have they been? Somehow I’ve missed the preachers in the videofest we’re (not?) enjoying. Have any christian leaders had any more influence on mores and beliefs and policies of leading to this than, say, the democrats? I get they are right in there thinking the good thoughts and fighting the good fight, like democrats. I’m just not seeing them having an impact on modern life. The church is either pertinent or it’s vestigial. Where the hell are they?

        That said, I always love hearing from brother Cornel West. While he does not always use such nice words, he does inspire me to be a better man. God help us all.

        1. Peter

          Lost in OR: Pardon me, I am not accustomed to posting in these kind of threads—-Are you saying that my comment earlier is just nice words? I spoke in all sincerity.

          You wrote “God helps us all”. Indeed that is a worthy prayer
          It is not! Christ saying that the poor are blessed are not “nice words”—- but that it is fundamentally true.

          Bob Dylan: You either got Faith or you got disbelief. If you get Faith then you can understand humanity—if you try to solve these questions in terms of human theories, you get lost precisely because the issue of man’s salvation is the crucial point. Which is what I take you to mean when you rightly say/pray “god help us all.” Brother I am totally with you on that because it is only from God that help will come! But the sun will shine on both the poor and the rich, same as it always was and will be.

      2. vlade

        In other words, “be poor and be glad, because you’ll be better off than if you were rich once you die. You just have to believe it”.

        Being poor is no virtue, as I’m sure the billions of poor over the human history would agree with.

    4. Geof

      The barrier I run into is that friends and family don’t think in terms of “Ruling Class.” They’ve been systematically programmed to think in terms of Democrats/Republicans and individual as opposed to systemic/institutional corruption.

      Hedges warns of a similar binary:

      The last desperate resort by the oligarchs to save themselves will be to stoke the fires of racialized violence between disenfranchised whites and disenfranchised people of color.

      This is already happening, perhaps most perniciously in the obsession with racism as a moral issue: this individualizes the wrong and factionalizes the struggles of the diverse groups and races engaged in protest.

      Don’t get me wrong on racism. When visiting the U.S. I can practically taste it. But the best lies are made from truth.

      Truth: Black men are at extraordinarily high risk of being shot by police. Lie: Officers shoot because of their internal racism. This localizes the problem in the interior psychology of white officers, transmuting it from a systemic social problem to an individual moral one. In fact, in an encounter with police, black men are not more likely to be shot. But they are a lot more likely to have that encounter. The function of focusing on the racism of white officers, unconscious bias and so forth is to distract from the systemic nature of the problem. It turns a manageable problem of policy into an unwinnable war on immorality.

      It’s just like the War on Drugs. The struggles of the lower orders threaten the security of the professional class. Instead of treating it as a response to social and economic desperation, it was treated as a moral contagion. Gangsters are bad people, and addiction drives people to immoral acts, no question: but policing morality was a disaster – unless your aim was to control the population, not the drugs.

      Consider Amy Cooper, the woman filmed calling a police hit on a black bird-watcher. She doesn’t call the cops on him because she is racist: she does it because she is entitled. For her, racism is not cause but opportunity: in the form of a biased policing system, it is a weapon she seizes upon. Focusing on her moral state conveniently sidesteps the larger issues: the extreme inequality that fosters her entitlement, and the corrupt policing system that offers her racism as a weapon. Take those away and the worst she could do would be to look foolish calling him names.

      Again with these protests: racist policing was the trigger, but mass desperation and unemployment are the fuel. This is a moment for solidarity around shared interests (more than around shared morality). Reducing systemic inequality to a moral panic and white guilt allows elites to ignore the levers of policy well within their reach, while dividing and conquering the citizenry.

      The moment we allow moral outrage against individuals (whether they be Donald Trump or entitled white women) to overwhelm our concern about the system, we are lost.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’ve taken to naming the class as it is: “the aristocracy”. Everybody knows what that is, and naming it tends to make them ask themselves whether there is any functional difference between the aristocracy and the 1%. They often realize there isn’t. Some even then connect the dots with the (advertised) root value proposition of America: that we don’t do kings and barons and princes.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > I’ve taken to naming the class as it is: “the aristocracy”.

          But that’s not true, because credentials cannot be inherited, unlike titles. Hence the desperate attempts to make credentials heritable by conferring social advantages on one’s children, all the way from day care to getting to the right school.

      2. Basil Pesto

        Thanks for this post. A lot of what my peers have been posting on ~the socials~ in the
        last few days has been, I suppose, bothering me though I’ve been unable to properly articulate why. I think this is helpful though:

        The function of focusing on the racism of white officers, unconscious bias and so forth is to distract from the systemic nature of the problem. It turns a manageable problem of policy into an unwinnable war on immorality.

        I mean, people seem to talk about ‘eradicating racism’ unironically, as though it were any more
        possible than, say, eradicating the moon. It’s spurious unseriousness dressed up with the utmost seriousness, I think, but I’d be interested to know what others think.

      3. cripes


        You have nailed the problem and the solution.

        Adolph Reed has said for years that a living wage, workplace democracy, right to housing, health care and education FOR ALL would go further in alleviating historic black oppression than all the narrowly crafted, means tested, “opportunity” based, legislatively fragile “race” policies ever have.

        But that brings the spector of labor and human rights so feared by the oligarchs and their two-winged one party servants.

        I cringe watching youthful courage (and recent demo participants are younger even than usual from watching the videos) largely manipulated by media into: 1) framing the groundswell of rage lit by the George Floyd atrocity solely in terms of individual moral flaws (racist bad apple cops) and 2) playing defense on the charge of protester “violence” which demonstrably is the abusers choice of gaslighting, in private and in our public lives.

        Not that they all accept this, there is a lot of push-back, mostly drowned out by the Mighty Propaganda Wurlitzer.

        I’m waiting and hoping not to witness, unemployed young black people clashing with unemployed white people in the streets, over scraps of sustenance as the oligarchs chuckle.

        The Occupy experiment did well to frame popular rage in the broadest terms of economic, labor, human and racial justice, despite their destruction by a black president and democratic mayors.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Adolph Reed has said for years that a living wage, workplace democracy, right to housing, health care and education FOR ALL would go further in alleviating historic black oppression than all the narrowly crafted, means tested, “opportunity” based, legislatively fragile “race” policies ever have.

          > But that brings the spector of labor and human rights so feared by the oligarchs and their two-winged one party servants.

          Hence the structure of the CARES and (so-called) HEROES Acts, resolutely opposed to any form of universal benefit

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The moment we allow moral outrage against individuals (whether they be Donald Trump or entitled white women) to overwhelm our concern about the system, we are lost.

        Yep. Although I think it’s fine to have moral outrage about systems, too, rather than “concern.:

  2. Nameful

    Science without Validation in a World without Meaning American Affairs

    Lambert, I have to assume you left this in as a parody, in order to show how one should not abuse the appeal to authority. If one removes the ridiculous over-abundance of random quotes from famous people, the thin gruel left is made of mainly confused statements over something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike science. Still, perhaps at a meta level making the effort of writing this article is in fact the author’s way of reinforcing the idea of a world without meaning? If so, it won’t be long before the state of the art text generating natural language models will vault past the realm of artificial intelligence and land directly among philosophers.

    1. GramSci

      Agreed. Pretty vacuous. Not much help in trying to sort out fake Lancet/NEJM “science”, fake contact tracers, and other appeals to authority.

    2. Marcus

      I got a couple paragraphs in and decided that since time has no meaning I shouldn’t bother reading any more of this drivel.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > confused statements over something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike science

      Well, we’re talking epistemology:

      Confronting the problems of complexity, validation, and model uncertainty, I have previously identified four options for moving ahead: (1) dispense with modeling complex systems that cannot be validated; (2) model complex systems and pretend they are validated; (3) model complex systems, admit that the models are not validated, use them pragmatically where possible, and be extremely cautious when interpreting them; (4) strive to develop a new and perhaps weaker scientific epistemology.

      It’s interesting that both climate science and epidemiology are facing similar options. Personally, I’m #3 for both, but “pragmatically” is doing a lot of work.

  3. FreeMarketApologist

    …all 36,000 police officers in the force must now work 12-hour shifts for 7 days a week…

    given the way the unions have structured overtime and pension benefits, this will be terrifically expensive for NYC, both in the short term and long term. It’s a huge handout to the police force.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That figure does point out something else. The riots and protests have only been going on a week or so and that is the result. In a sustained campaign of several weeks, the security apparatus would not be able to sustain the effort at repression of a majority of the population. So in the case of an even more serious general uprising, you could see a collapse of police/military repression, especially if some units and cities aligned themselves with protestors.

      1. Keith

        Same concept regarding the imposed stay at home. Govt can control its population for so long; the more restive the population, the more resources it will consume and the shorter the time the population can be contained., hence the value of propaganda and voluntary compliance.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > hence the value of propaganda and voluntary compliance

          Perhaps defunding (or abolishing) the police will enable us to discover whether those two (plus high unemployment and debt) are enough to maintain discipline in the labor force…..

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Boston Marathon manhunt ended because they ran out of supplies and personnel.

      3. Fritzi

        This has a lot to do with the particular weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the current system.

        Before one indulges in power fantasies about people’s uprisings, it is always worth pointing out that the vast majority of all of these, all throughout history, ended in failure.

        Most rebellions, insurrections, uprisings and revolutions were and are crushed, most civil wars ended and end today with the victory of the established authority.

        Common folks uprising being drowned in blood and eventually giving up and submitting, belly exposed, because the goverment and military have the longer breath and are FAR more adapt at and much less bothered by killing, are the historical norm, everything else the exception.

      4. John k

        Seems to be happening in Tennessee… guards laying down their shields adjacent to protestors.
        Tianenmen square peaceful protest was only stopped when deng brought in troops from a distant province.

        1. Fritzi

          Which is why at least part of TPTB would like for things to escalate as much and as badly as possible.

      5. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Gilets Jaunes and HK show that the right strategy is “contain, then outlast”, and I think that will also “work” in this case. Until, of course, it doesn’t.

      6. Lambert Strether Post author

        > In a sustained campaign of several weeks, the security apparatus would not be able to sustain the effort at repression of a majority of the population.

        Yep. And without work, a lot of people have “nothing to do”…

    2. David

      It’s also extremely dangerous, because it means mass sleep deprivation, constant body-clock adjustments and exhaustion. Research suggests that, even for routine occupations, efficiency goes down and errors increase after working 35-40 hours without time off. In the UK, even the emergency services recognise this, and try to limit runs of shifts to something like that total. In the case of high-stress jobs involving life and death issues, it’s worse. The consequences of long periods of stressful work without a regular sleep pattern for the police and for their relations with the public are well known. Here’s a story about it. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation increase aggression, inhibit good judgement and screw up your perception. Exactly what’s needed in a stressful situation. I must admit that I’m surprised that none of the legions of pundits pontificating about police violence have referred to this. It’s not exactly a secret.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You won’t get any argument about any of the points that you made. Tired men make mistakes, commit terrible crimes which are met with revenge creating a feedback loop. The historical record is consistent with this point. Unfortunately – and I do not say this lightly – it may be the way that the States are headed. Read through today’s link “The Treason of the Ruling Class” and ask yourself where all this ends. It is not for nothing that some of the elite are opting for bolt-holes. Hopefully the present riots are warning enough but I would say that the reaction instead will be to double down with repression on the part of the establishment.

        1. GramSci

          Sad but true. Consider the futility of expecting the Damnocrats to implement Sirota’s 10 steps.

      2. Jessica

        The soldiers who killed at Kent State had been on duty at a strike for days and were quite sleep deprived.

        1. JBird4049

          They were also partially blinded by the uncomfortable gas masks they were wearing and had spent much of the day chasing the protesters around and being accidentally trapped by a chain linked fence. Tired, half blind, frustrated, and partially trapped. As a group they finally got so frustrated that they just opened up on the protesters, many of whom were not protesting, but just in the area.

      3. Keith

        On the other hand, the worse the police act and look on the TV to those protesting, especially toward peaceful people and the media, the greater the public pushback for reform will be. Without those images, reform is not likely.

          1. Dan

            Jimmy Dore is vital media. I know his language turns many off, but his simple, commonsense, straightforward approach to breaking things down is the best way to reach the most people quickly, imo. Many of his videos, sans the language and opines, could be used in a classroom. Highly effective.

      4. amfortas the hippie

        nurses and nurses aides do 12 hour shifts in hospitals
        our oncologist, whom wife is in with right now, often talks about the long long days
        cops need to quit whining and get busy on the soul searching
        all this “unrest” is squarely on their heads, as a group
        man up
        listening to glen beck(ugh) on radio
        he’s yammering about looters and thugs
        as if cops killing people is just so ho hum and he just cant understand why people are so upset

        san antone
        in parking lot of chemo palace
        drive by, everything looks pretty much like 3 weeks ago
        bring business open, but still way below normal activity
        lots of masks… especially the employees
        policy i assume

        1. fumo

          My brother works in a Seattle hospital, contracted C-19, and though recovered is still not 100%. He has been put back on his usual 12-hour shifts and is struggling with it.

        2. occasional anonymous

          I honestly don’t mean to be a dick, but the way you format genuinely makes it hard at times to tell what you’re trying to say. It took me a while to realize you meant Glenn Beck was yammering about looters, not the oncologist.

          1. Mel

            He’s writing the way he would talk, if that helps.
            I see now, if you read it as a table of information, then there is trouble; some things overshadow others, by their position.

          2. Amfortas the hippie

            i was on my phone, without the good glasses, and i hate typing on that little screen, and i don’t know how to turn off the frelling spellcheck.

    3. Keith

      Perhaps a chance to rethink public unions. Police unions and the skepticism of them (especially once they have to start defending the MN cops) could be a great stepping stone in that direction.

      1. marym

        Perhaps a chance to rethink killing black people and using violence against peaceful protesters? No reason for public service employees who aren’t doing that to forfeit union representation.

    4. expose

      Yes, a huge handout.

      Because I’m sure they enjoy every single moment of working 12 hour shifts with no breaks at all. Nobody would want to do that, regardless of the type of job (except for exceptionally obsessed people).

      Because spending 12 hours per day 7 days a week in the summer heat, trying to stop violence, fending off attacks is exactly what gives them joy.

      The city has created a huge powder keg with this requirement, probably knowingly and purposeful, considering that the city has refused federal backup. It actually appears to be a move to punish the police; it’s not like De Blasio likes the police. Box the police in with no help and force them to work punishing and exhaustive hours and refuse any assistance – yeah, that’s the ticket to peace and harmony.

      If I were a police person, I would seriously consider quitting or moving to another city right now.

      1. marym

        It would be less expensive and less tiring if the cops chose to direct their use of force on the looters, not the peaceful protesters and media.

      1. FreeMarketApologist

        I didn’t mean to imply that police shouldn’t be paid (in some cases, they probably should be paid more – starting pay is ~44k/yr, which isn’t much considering the risks).

        My view of the ‘handout’ is in the way overtime pay is credited toward the ultimate pension payout. Those calculation rules have created a culture of overtime abuse and resulting inflated pensions (major $$, considering that it is possible to collect a pension when you’re quite young). There was a move about a year ago to limit overtime to around 20h/mo — there had been instances where people were logging 50-60h/mo. (which, if true, goes to the issues of tired/overworked people making bad decisions as noted above).

        1. JTMcPhee

          Considering the risks? Cops don’t even make the top 20 most risky occupations in the US. Garbage collection tops the list. What do garbage collectors get paid? In NOLA, what, $10.35 an hour, and not even allowed to form unions.

        2. False Solace

          > in some cases, they probably should be paid more – starting pay is ~44k/yr, which isn’t much considering the risks

          This is propaganda. It’s literally more dangerous to be a pizza delivery guy than a cop. And they earn far less.

          Saying police start at $44k/year. That means that’s the lowest they make. It doesn’t include overtime, pension, health care benefits, and all their other cushy perks. Like macing peaceful protesters, getting away with rampant violence without any repercussions, and calling themselves heroes while behaving like they’re in occupied territory.

          Compared to the starting pay for teachers, cops are grossly overpaid. At least teachers make a positive contribution to society.

    5. Anthony G Stegman

      The number 36 thousand greatly understates the size of the NYPD. The uniformed officers alone total 45 thousand, with many thousands more filling various other roles. I recall reading that the NYPD ranks total 65 thousand. That may be low these days. It is the size of an occupying army, and way more per capita than any other city in the nation and perhaps the world.

  4. timbers

    Trump’s G7 invitation: South Korea, Australia agrees, Russia considering CGTN

    Now, he just needs to bag Hong Kong and Micronesia. Maybe Iceland too. Does Antarctica have a President? If not he can appoint a stand in (then after the G7 meeting unilaterally declare it the 51st state of America. Or is better we make the Moon the 51st?). Then he can do a photo-op with all the leaders with him in the middle not wearing a mask surrounded by the other leaders dutifully wearing masks, gazing upon him.

    PS hope Russia declines. Or better yet doesn’t decline, just never gets back to him. Or better yet, accept on condition G7 to be held in the Russian Embassy – the one we seized – staffed with Russian hospitality. Or better yet, decline for reason stated: “We regretfully decline, as our staff needs to be able to breath.”

    1. jo6pac

      Or just send a Russian citizen and wife to the event and make it a vacation for them.

    2. rd

      I do not understand the Russia invitation to the G7. Trump wants a statement from the G7 condemning China’s actions regarding Hong Kong. Russia views that as a purely internal matter and will do anything they can to put a stick in the spokes of that wheel. So Trump would be virtually guaranteed not to get the statement that he wants.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        One, Trump isn’t a rationale actor.

        Its overlooked, but I think Putin/Moscow would have been perfectly happy being anti-Chinese up to Libya. Lavrov’s point about the U.S. not accepting junior partners just vassals was an admission of this. I would say the “adult” Republican foreign policy types thought this arrangement made sense and are still pushing it. Trump will remove the sticks and provide goodies in exchange for a vote. They aren’t looking at this in view of the flowering relations between Moscow and Beijing, even Tehran is in there as the U.S. has pretty much demonstrated a relatively stable empire is not something the U.S. wants.

        Besides the “OMG Russia” fallout and Trump thumbing his nose at frauds, I think he still lives in a world where a “deal” can be made.

      2. ChrisPacific

        I’d read it as saying Trump likes his chances better if OMGTrumpRussia becomes the dominant election narrative over COVID-19 or police violence protests, and is looking to poke a stick in the eye of the Russiagate crowd to get them stirred up again. I am not 100% sure about this as he’s given every indication of being personally offended by the Russia allegations, but he’s also good at performative outrage when he thinks it will work to his advantage, and election campaigning is the one area in the political space where he’s demonstrated considerable competence.

        I am not convinced he cares at all about foreign policy except inasmuch as it impacts his domestic popularity, and the whole Russia topic in the US has become so divorced from reality that it may not make much difference what they do.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Trump knows that RussiaGate was complete BS from the start, an attempted coup by Obama, Brennan, Clapper et alia. He probably thinks he can rightly win a sympathy vote there. Here’s the problem: despite the overwhelming and unanswerable evidence to the contrary, a large swath of people still insist that RussiaGate is an actual thing, here on this planet still called Earth.

          I’m not sure how this nation can solve *any* of its problems if it is forced to apprehend reality through news organs designed to defend the status quo at all costs, even if that defense requires the gutting of our entire democratic system. No, you don’t have to be a MAGA guy to think this is the beginning of the end of the republic as we’ve known it. (Cue comments about how this has been going on for years, etc etc).

          Back when standards of living and life expectancies were rising the status quo seemed tolerable by most, when those things reversed and the status quo can only be maintained by the police killing people and by manufacturing a wholesale fabric of lies to expel an outsider, then…things fall apart.

          1. farmboy

            ah yes, real GDP growth of 2% lifts all boats and in time it will, while with good tax policies, targeted public spending with a Return on Investment (how come this doesn’t oft get mentioned?),and full employment we all get to kumbaya.
            Completely different world if we are static, zero growth, choices, competition get a lot tougher, class and race struggle breaks out into violent clashes. Military adventurism gets more strident, if that is possible.
            Next decade intro is all right here in front of us….

  5. Samuel Conner

    Perhaps I am a bit of a solipsist; my visceral reaction to the tweeted photo of the shattered shop windows was: “Oh dear, look at all that sharp glass on the pavement! I wouldn’t want to cross that!” and to wonder how much glass the looters tracked home on their footwear.

    (On reflection, the thought also occurs to wonder how many Zygons escaped from the shop)

    I get about on a bike and have become almost as wary of road hazards as I am of inattentive drivers (though I suppose that inattentive drivers are a species of road hazard). I often encounter “shattered glass fields” that were seemingly deliberately caused by the tossing of beer bottles (once, it was clearly a vodka bottle — very thick bottom; I spent a significant fraction of an hour picking/sweeping that one up after it had been there for a week; the business whose property the glass field abutted took no action, perhaps because its clients all arrived in cars. Not much public spiritedness in the bottle tossers or the business managers. Maybe the sociopaths who don’t rise in the organizations get their jollies by setting traps for cyclists and pedestrians). I seem to bring this “sharp glass aversion” with me to my outings into NC-land.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Good one! Your episode (“Rose”) is much more apposite than the one I was thinking of (“The Day of the Doctor”; Zygons hiding, waiting, in stasis inside 3D paintings; the glass covering the art shattered when they got out.

    1. RWood


      This a simple putt, as the Good Doctor West has clearly counseled:

      [They] should do what I did when I was interior minister. … Pull back police from streets and colleges, infiltrate the movement with provocateurs ready for anything [emphasis added], and for ten days let protesters devastate shops, burn down cars, and set cities aflame. Then, emboldened by popular support … police should have no mercy and send them all to the hospital. Not arrest them, because prosecutors would just free them right away, but beat them all and beat the professors that encourage them.

      1. RWood

        Pardon, Dr. West.

        CORNEL WEST: No, I mean, that’s ridiculous. You know, you remember, Sister Amy — and I love and respect you so — that antifa saved my life in Charlottesville. There’s no doubt about it, that they provided the security, you see. So the very notion that they become candidates for a terrorist organization, but the people who were trying to kill us — the Nazis, the Klan — they’re not candidates for terrorist organization status — but that’s what you’re going to get. You’re going to get a Trump-led neofascist backlash and clampdown on what is going on. We ought to be very clear about that. The neofascism has that kind of obsession with militaristic imposition in the face of any kind of disorder. And so we’ve got to be fortified for that.

        The picture of the haute couture in shards and its comment are apiece with the statement quoted above, by Francesco Cossiga who had been a professor of constitutional law and was a centrist Christian Democrat in Berlusconi’s government.

  6. Bsoder

    I can hear Reagan, saying ‘here we goes again’, but “Science without Validation in a World without Meaning American Affairs”, is about what I’d accept from someone with the goal:

    “American Affairs is a quarterly journal of public policy and political thought. It was founded to provide a forum for people who believe that the conventional partisan platforms are no longer relevant to the most pressing challenges facing our country.” –> Well if that was the goal, they failed.

    The World or universe stills runs by laws defined by physics. Meaning has always been problematic and western civilization say v. eastern (to name two) have very different ideas as to the meaning of it all. Or even parts of it. I think reading Thomas Kuhn’s 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, one will get a much better idea on both how science works and what it is good for. Mostly it’s good for solving problems of either the engineering or philosophical kind. Less the philosophical, though. Maybe the American Affairs guys are bothered by all these not ready for prime time Covid-19 papers being written. It doesn’t follow that science qua, is having a bad day. I do agree that we as humans we have constructed living arrangements with reality (the anything goes and nothing matters era) that can not continue. Will not, are not possible. Reality demands that every false claim must in the end to be paid back (thermo dynamics). And reality doesn’t care about our feelings.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I found this much of the article worthwhile:

      If a model is not predictive, then the performance of the engineered system cannot be predicted, and therefore cannot be optimized. In Feynman’s words, it is not a question of whether a model is “perfectly reasonable from the point of view of common sense.” But unintelligibility of the physical system results in the unintelligibility of the engineering solution, which is a physical implementation of a(n intelligible) mathematical solution. The epistemology of science dictates the epistemology of engineering. Recall Arendt: “Man can do . . . what he cannot comprehend.”

      We humans have acquired great power through our Enlightenment-period scientific explorations, mostly driven by a desire for advantage in war or business. That’s bad enough. But the truth is we have reached the point where our lust to predict and therefore control the future, even though we have very little understanding of the processes we’re screwing with, can destroy not only us but all complex life on the planet. Our idiocy extends to treading further into the unknown and un-understood in an effort to fix what earlier hubris has brought about.

      It would be nice if we could look around at the mess we made and conjure up the humility to back way-the-F-off in a whole range of areas.

      1. Judith

        And acknowledge that the complexity of the universe is beyond our comprehension. (Even the amazing and wonderful complexity of a tree and all its interrelationships is beyond our comprehension.)

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          And concentrate on how we might begin to live in harmony with that universe rather than foolishly trying to control and exploit it. The dominance route leads only to destruction.

          1. Samuel Conner

            I’m growing some perennial flowers along with annuals this year. The annuals get big fast, blossom, produce a lot of seed, and then die. Accustomed to the speed of their growth, I have been surprised by how slowly most of the perennials are maturing. Many will not blossom the first year. It’s like men and elves in The Silmarillion.

            The human race thinks like an annual — accomplish/get/experience what you can before you die; Winter is coming. We need to think like perennials, which think may mean deprecation of our sense of importance as individuals, since our lifespan remains short, like an annual plant, relative to the importance of longer-lasting supra-organisms of which we are part, groups, nations, cultures, civilizations, the species. This, I think, is greatly at variance with the neoliberal project, and utterly at variance with the libertarian project.

            So I guess our civilization will have to experience a winter.

  7. Wombat

    The trust fund babies mentioned in the Rachel Olding tweet:

    “Dozens of $200k Mercs racing each other, nearly hitting people, only stopping to load up with bags of stolen stuff and speed on to the next spot.“

    These private jet class progeny are just practicing. Their real looting will start when they begin their legal jobs.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve mentioned this before, but if you want to see how the USA goes forward from here in terms of stealing from one another (we’ve only just started-wait until the looting hits homes) its all in a film from 1967 by Miloš Forman, The Firemen’s Ball.

      Oh, and all my life and yours as well, we heaped praise on the rich and their ostentatious ways of flaunting it, which will only attract looters all the more like flies to a naked lit light bulb in the dark.

      It will be quite something watching those who wanted everybody to know how rich they are, when it turns into an albatross of loss.

    2. Burns

      That twitter thread is bananas. Lots of people moralizing about looters stealing overpriced handbags and clothes from upscale retailers. If only they fulminated so much about trillions in massive FIRE sector and corporate bailouts that maximize inequality and concentrated financial power. Who’s doing the real looting?

      1. Off The Street

        If people can’t see that looting, did it really happen? That depends on what the definition of see is, doesn’t it. When people don’t have either the attention span or the education about how Wall Street works, then their failure to perceive is a feature, not a bug.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          In the case of Wall Streets brand of looting, we are being fleeced and have ways to address it. People hate being conned more than they hate conmen.

          A store is insured and is usually someone else. Realistically, disruption in business is worse than the momentary loss of a thing. No one was swindled.

      2. Carolinian

        While as a rule I’m all for Whataboutism I think you have to make a distinction between white collar crime and situations where people think their personal safety and property are at risk. This is making the rightwing site rounds.

        Fifty-eight percent of registered voters of the Morning Consult poll said they were in favor of bringing in the military. And 33% of respondents said they “strongly support” the use of military for such purposes, with 25% “somewhat” supporting it.

        Eleven percent of registered voters said they “somewhat oppose” the measure, and 19 percent said they “strongly oppose” it.

        Some say it was the ’68 riots that gave us Dick “won’t have me to kick around any more” Nixon and I don’t think you can dismiss that.

        1. a different chris

          Only 58%? Those people are in favor of “bringing in the military” if a troupe of ants ruin their picnic.

          I usually would want to see
          1) how the question was worded
          2) how many people actually answered

          But I don’t give a s(family blog) about this beyond my response here so not gonna bother.

      3. RMO

        Burns: The on-the-street looting that has happened is indeed less than a drop in the bucket compared with what the world’s elites have been stealing over the years… but the media hasn’t run 24/7 video and commentary for days on end showing the corporate looters doing their thing. If they ever did that (thinks: “not bleeding likely” unthinks) perhaps the outrage level over that would boil over.

        I hope that something positive, however small comes out of all this in the end. The result of the previous Fergusson related protests and Occupy make me pessimistic though.

        I have friends in San Fransisco who have been staying off the street tonight but were letting people into their building to protect them when needed. They have been hearing shots fired nearby and I hope they make it through this alright.

  8. timbers

    Obama article. Sorry, could not resist:

    “If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.”

    Like when you held secret meeting with Big Pharma and insurance corporation while making you healthcare law after promising to hold these meetings in public on CN

    Like how you bailed out the banks and 1% but did nothing for folks stuck with mortgages? Like when you assassinated the kid who “liked Harry Potter just like any other normal American child”? Like when you did a Dick Nixon on steroids and corrupted the CIA/FISA/FBI framing Flynn because he wanted to whack Iran instead your preference to whack Syria? Like how you invaded/bombed/regime changed so many nations in so short a time you created “the biggest humanitarian refugee crisis since WW2”?

    “Moreover, it’s important for us to understand which levels of government have the biggest impact on our criminal justice system and police practices….But the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.”

    Is that why you barely bothered to get some non ideological agenda driven judges on the Supreme Court…which is now comprised of ridged ideologues who have told us your abolition of Habeas Corpus and replacing it with Indefinite Detention so you or Trump can imprison/torture/kill anyone for kicks and giggles….is totally 1000% legal but corporations are people and more rights than carbon based folks?

    “Second, I’ve heard some suggest that the recurrent problem of racial bias in our criminal justice system proves that only protests and direct action can bring about change, and that voting and participation in electoral politics is a waste of time….But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.”

    Like when you put GWB in prison for war crimes? Or when you prosecuted Julian Assange, Ed Snowden, Chelsea Manning gave us among other things audio/video of US troops with authorization of higher up chain of command shoot and kill civilians for entertainment?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Obama has a solution to black-white relations. He reckons what is needed is a Democrat as President. But not just any President but a black one. One that is given two full terms to start the work of reconciliation. One that starts of with Democratic control of both the House and the Senate to pass needed reforms. And when that all happens, blacks will be better off after those eight years than when that black President first took office.

        1. Duck1

          Well I had to play a drinking game reading 0bama’s text, unfortunately I had to drain the bottle when he used the word folks. So I am done today, if fact maybe I should call 911./s

    1. Big River Bandido

      Yeah, I’m not sure which is worse reading, Obama’s hopium or the bootlickers that pined for him in the comments.

      1. Pelham

        Obama was supposed to be a superbly gifted orator. But does anyone recall anything he ever said in office or while campaigning? I mean, anything uplifting. The bit about embittered whites clinging to their guns and Bibles is certainly memorable, but not quite the sort of utterance I’m looking for.

        In contrast, here are some of my fondly remembered goodies from other presidents:

        Reagan: “There you go again.” (cutting, but in an an aw shucks way)

        George H.W. Bush: “Read my lips: No new taxes.” (tragic)

        Clinton: “I did not sex with that woman.” (hilarious)

        George W. Bush: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, don’t get fooled again.” (revealing)

        Donald Trump: “I love the poorly educated.” (This is the winner, in my estimation. It’s actually kind of brilliant.)

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          “I love the poorly educated.” (This is the winner, in my estimation. It’s actually kind of brilliant.)

          Yes, because exactly who is poorly educated? The thought experiment tangents are endless, especially when one adds in cognitive dissonance into the mix. Sprinkle in personal comfort & maintaining class. Then liberally dose with what is taught and to whom whether it be in formal educational settings, on the job learning or within religious structures.


    2. cocomaan

      I latched onto that line as well: If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.

      It’s a perfect neoliberal parsing of the problem: don’t expect too much out of your institutions.

      Embody Oprah’s The Secret, the law of attraction, which is that good thoughts create better outcomes.


      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        There is a reason Obama isn’t widely quoted despite being the great orator of the ages.

        1. newcatty

          IRC that Obama ,the cool basket ball player, said something like : If I had a son I would never let him play football. Rich. Cause , you know, football is a scary sport. Uh, they can get brain concussions or worse from that inelegant “sport”. And, well his lovely daughters, I seem to recall, went to private schools. Afterall… It would be gauche and disruptive to send them to a public school. Where would secret service hang out? Michelle was so cool. She wore clothes aspiring young women could buy off the rack at a mall! She also modeled and taught Americans how to grow an organic garden! Guess it was prescient for our current reality. Victory gardens…again! Hmmm…gardens to feed your family in a time of war. I can afford organic food, but know that hard working, or unemployed “folks” literally can not. Maybe, a little, If they can could even find it in their rip off food desert stores. Now, he is the hope and change elder statesman for Biden’s token placehold for the Dems. Can’t wait for the announcement of the amazing woman who will be his VP. If it is Susan Rice, then heaven, or someone above, help the world. Actually, I would be shocked, I tell you, if they are sly enough to surprise the folks with any dark horse… I am in a cynical vein…but LilyTomlin is right: Can you be cynical enough?

  9. polar donkey

    Police infiltration- Here in Memphis, the police did use a few window breakers over the past week, but have used another system to keep marches/protests under control. The police and mayor’s office found a non-threatening (to them) “activist” that they have propped up in order to sheepdog any new people who want to march/protest. It also helps this person has good media skills. This non-threatening”activist” mostly has protests where people gather to talk on a bullhorn and then march to civil rights museum downtown singing amazing grace. Police are mellow with these protests. Make sure the Facebook live feeds stay up and news media gets easy access. When this “activist” goes to others’ protests, s/he usually disappears before the cops get rough. For example, last night there were two protests. The safe one was usual script. Talk in park, walk somewhere singing. On Facebook and on news. The other was people laying down across a busy road in another part of Memphis police use stingrays ALOT. So they have the more hardcore activists mapped out and jam their Facebook live feeds. That protest didn’t make it on news and people only briefly saw on Facebook. Cops and mayors are pretty adept at controlling what you see at the local level.

  10. Brindle

    Democrats in Disarray…

    Latest CBS poll has Biden up just 4 points on Trump—47% to 43%.

    Very possibly looking like a Trump victory in November. Trump’s base is a solid 40% or so and they will stay with him no matter what—for all his clueless-ness Trump understands how deeply racist white America is. He will motivate them and they do get out and vote. The MSM tries to build/prop Biden up but he is just a weak and uninspiring candidate.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hes an actively bad candidate. Like Kerry, the calculation was that he would show GOP voters their hypocrisy, leading for the same GOP voters to vote for him. Unlike Kerry (I always liked Kerry, so take my assessment of Kerry with a huge grain of salt), Biden is dumb, lazy, regressive, and so forth.

      Other than a strategy to fool Republicans, there is no fall back strategy or way to reinvent Biden as hes always marketed himself as a guy who shoots from the hip. HRC had room to make claims about being a secret liberal because of her age and gender and being part of a previous administration (Bill’s). Not that you have to buy it, but she could make a coherent argument for growth. Biden can’t.

    2. False Solace

      It would be truly astonishing for Trump to win reelection with >15% unemployment in multiple battleground states. Remember that unemployment benefits run out in July and evictions will be starting up shortly.

      If Trump won it would mean the ascension of tribalism over economic outcomes — which we’ve seen a taste of. Both his and Obama’s approval ratings were immune to declines in wages. It seems that average people no longer expect politicians to improve material conditions.

      Trump’s play at this point is to convince people things will get better Real Soon Now. He’d much rather talk about a race war than his record. But you know, NIxon won reelection in a good economy. OPEC didn’t hit until ’73.

      Covid is the second strike against Trump. His strategy there is to confuse the issue and blame others (China and Democrats). Confusing the issue and casting blame are his primary tactics for everything. He likes to keep the media barking at random nonsense tweets.

      I’ll guess we’ll see if it convinces enough independents to matter. Biden is an empty suit at this point. He isn’t a private equity mogul like Romney. An empty suit is generally going to win vs a 50% decline in GDP.

      1. ambrit

        Well, if Trump wants to win another four years as ‘Fearless Leader,’ he could extend the unemployment “bonus” till December and codify eviction moratoria till then too.
        Trump can run to the left of the Democrat Party on domestic issues.
        If Trump is “channeling” any past President, my money would be on Andrew Jackson.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Would that he was! “Trail of Tears” aside, Jackson correctly identified the actual existential enemy of the people: the hideous concentration of power in the banks.

        2. Aumua

          He could run left, but he’s more likely to feign or fake left. I have a hard time believing Trump and those who follow/advise him are anything but serious right wingers at heart.

      2. wilroncanada

        But look on the bright side, False Solace, Mr Tangerine Man, your president, has accomplished something important just in the last three days. He got his wall completed, albeit around the White House

  11. PlutoniumKun

    North of England’s coronavirus infection rate is nearly TWICE London’s exposing huge regional differences as No 10 says easing lockdown won’t tip crucial R rate above one Daily Mail

    Given the mediocre public transport in most north of England cities, this does pretty firmly contradict the idea that it is urban density and subway systems that make areas particularly vulnerable to the virus. It would be interesting to see if this is a pattern repeated elsewhere, and what the possible explanation might be. In Ireland, there is a similarly curious pattern whereby the relatively sparsely populated border areas were harder hit than the main urban areas, apart from Dublin. The geographical spread of this disease is really very strange.

    1. RMO

      I have friends in the U.K. They live on Mull so I’m fairly sure they’ll be alright but hearing about the higher rate of infection in the north of England is certainly disturbing.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “TRADOC salutes the Tennessee National Guard for their selfless service to the nation, and to the people of the State of Tennessee.”

    This may be more significant that it appears. Kudos by the way to the people of the Tennessee National Guard for acting like soldiers instead of warriors. Anyway, I happen to know that TRADOC is responsible for the training as well as the formation of all doctrine for the US Army. My own reading then that TRADOC is the institutional memory of the Army itself. To have the Deputy Commanding General of TRADOC itself salute the Tennessee National Guard for de-escalating a situation instead of trying to ‘dominate the battle space’ as demanded by SecDEf Esper may show what the professional officer corps is actually thinking about their possible role in the protests.

    1. The Historian

      Trump may not have as much control over the military as he thinks he does. There are other rumors out there that the Pentagon is not happy with the idea of using the US Military against American civilians. Let us hope those rumors are true!

      I call them rumors because as yet, the Pentagon has not made any official statements about their position on this issue, and I doubt that they will.

      1. rd

        In its own way, the Espey/Milley debacle of standing next to Trump at St. John’s Church after the way was cleared through peaceful protestors by truncheon wielding police may be a blessing in disguise.

        It made it clear to both of them that this President is only concerned about photo ops and appearances. Ethics, constituional law, etc. are sjust speed bumps to be run over. They now have fair warning of how they are likely to be used. They can start thinking now about what is a lawful or unlawful order. I believe much of the US military wants no part of invading American cities. The National Guard occasionally does it under the direction of the governor, but not the federal government.

        Several states, including NY, Virginia, and Delaware, did not send National Guard troops to Washington, DC once they found out the mayor hadn’t asked for them and they would be under the federal government’s control, not the mayor’s.

        I think the next week is going to be a major test for the US military. How they respond may be a defining moment in American history.

        BTW – troops are now preventing protestors from accessing the Lincoln Memorial, the site of many historic civil rights moments. Even Nixon walked into the anti-war protesting crowd at the Lincoln Memorial to talk to them in 1969. Trump is making Richard Nixon look like a civil rights giant, which I previously thought was an impossible feat.

        1. Duck1

          As despicable as Nixon was in most ways, he seems a giant compared to the current crop of politicians. Maybe is was just because he was fairly intelligent and not a geriatric case. The descendents of Birchers seem to be the essence of the Republicans while the Democrats are comfortably to the right of Nixon, except for idpol.

            1. The Historian

              I hoped that was what it was, but unfortunately it didn’t last long – no even a day! Apparently he’s now OK with using the Military against civilians. I guess his conscience had a price tag.

    2. jr

      It would be interesting to hear what the troops are thinking as well. It’s easy to conflate the military and the police together in some folks minds, and there are certainly more crossovers than are healthy, but people generally join one or the other for very different reasons.

      Police, even the best amongst them, are seeking control over their own community at some level. The enemy is your own people, race etc. aside. Soldiers are usually focused abroad, even National Guard and Reserve units are a pen stroke away from Active duty for overseas deployment. Now you have soldiers patrolling poor neighborhoods, many from similarly poor neighborhoods around the country, being told to pepper gas some lady that could be their Nanna back home in LA. Sure it’s their duty, but it ain’t their job

      1. marym

        It’s being sorted out a bit on twitter and the media, but at least some of the “troops” occupying DC now are CBP and possibly BOP. So they’re accustomed to treat people in the US as the enemy, and not accountable to a military chain of command. Another aspect of this potentially defining moment.

          1. marym

            Hah! Though I don’t know which is worse – well-prepared or ill-prepared troops going into battle against unarmed civilians.

    3. jr

      I’d also like to know what the troops are thinking. Soldiers, as it’s undoubtably been noted here before, aren’t cops. Most especially when it comes to motivations for joining the military versus the Force.

      Cops, even the best of them, are there to control their own communities at whatever level they operate on. Soldiers, even Reservists and Nat. Guard, can be shipped overseas with the stroke of a pen. The cops target environment is domestic, it’s where their problems flow from, they have a whole mythology about being second class citizens and outcasts in their own land. Service members have a whole mythology about defending their land from the other. Their problems tend to flow from abroad. Home is to be defended, not policed. Does all this make some kind of rational sense? Doesn’t matter, it’s what they think.

      So I just wonder how pepper balling poor people off their front porches, just a day at work for some cops, is sitting with the guys who signed up thinking they were supposed to be defending these people from ISIS…

        1. newcatty

          A sincere question: what is effect that a lot of veterans from the military join the “Force” after they return to the communities? It is noted how many of the soldiers who served in our endless wars or “conflicts” return to civilian life with PTSD. They bring this mental health condition with them to their new “professions “. The fact that they suffer from their perceived mythology as defenders of the homeland is not to be conflated with the very real and tragic outcome for the soldiers. And, I have no information, but are there many servicemen and women ,who are of the officer ranks , going into the job of being a cop? Do the police forces, especially in the huge metro forces, relish the veterans’ backgrounds?

    4. David

      This is about what’s called escalation dominance, much used in public order and peacekeeping situations. TRADOC will certainly be familiar with it. Essentially, the idea is to get what you want from the other party at the lowest level of force (preferably none) by demonstrating that you can escalate to whatever level is required in a disciplined manner, and for that matter de-escalate as well. In this sort of scenario, the objective is that the protesters disperse without violence. So a group of disciplined and trained personnel, even unarmed, have the upper hand over a group which is not organised and disciplined. A group which is organised and disciplined, has arms available but isn’t carrying them is next, followed by carrying arms but not using them, and so on. (At a strategic level, this is wha militaries do: they deter attempts at violent change to the political system just by existing.) The danger, especially in low-level scenarios, is that escalation happens too fast and in an uncontrolled fashion, with does seem to be the case with your police recently.

  13. PlutoniumKun

    South Korea

    The voice of experience? Thread:

    TAA is a very interesting voice on how change occurs – he’s been arguing with some justification that the US follows trends in SK, not the other way around.

    A key takeaway is that it is vital to have people in demonstrations who, as he puts it, the authorities cannot beat up or kill. Maybe if some of those Dems and minor celebs busy with their Twitter accounts would actually go out into the street it would make a difference. Street protests only lead to change when they involve more than one section of society.

    The other one is that action on the street and democratic changes don’t often synchronise. The students and workers of SK faced down the autocratic government in the 1980’s, and won. The people then voted the same bunch of autocrats straight back into office. It took a combination of constant street protest and the self-immolation of the right in a series of scandals in order to get a genuinely progressive government into place (and even then, the current SK government is really only very mildly left of centre and Progressive, but by Asian standards, its a major step forward).

    1. hunkerdown

      In other words, TAA is calling for volunteer hostages.

      Then again, it has to be asked whether Karen out-of-bounds because of the threat they present to the police. The Karen archetype embodies the served half of the servile relation in the micro, as a matter partly of self-interest. Those who are served in that relation can be presumed to favor the bourgeoisie’s station in society as a matter of self-interest, and are therefore no danger to oligarch rule. It’s possible to read Karen in front as a sign that the bourgeois order has successfully captured the protest and that there’s more pain than gain in bashing faces.

  14. Charles 2

    From the Lancet article, the most interesting passages to me was :
    “ We also investigated droplets coming from the nasal cavity, and found that with normal breathing no droplets are detected above the background noise level (2·3 [SD 1·5] droplets, and 2·6 [1·7] droplets for nasal breathing)“
    This suggests that covering the mouth only does most of the job. It is important because it makes a huge difference in confort and acceptability (think schools pupils, supermarket cashiers, and – sorry Yves – pharmacy attendants…). A mask covering the mouth 100% of the time Because it is worn consistently would be more efficient than a mask covering mouth and nose 80% of the time because it is not worn consistently. More investigation is needed about this to determine optimal policies before summer heat waves, where mask wearing discipline will tend to falter.

  15. Wukchumni

    Got back from a 5 day foray in the forest for the trees (the Dogwoods were in full bloom amidst the Giant Sequoias-their flowers resembling a fried egg sunny side up) and was blissfully unaware of events unfolding, as was my partner in climb.

    He’s a Jonah of sorts, was on backpack trips when the Soviet Union fell, and on a 1-way trip across the High Sierra by himself for 10 days when he noticed there was no air traffic overhead, as 9-11 was happening. (I was in similar straits-being up in the French Alps when it occurred, and our merry band of 3 Americans on a walk knew nothing about it until we found out a few days after)

    I e-mailed another friend who owns a condo in Santa Monica on Saturday and asked how things were, and he wasn’t all that concerned, but Farmer’s Market over on Fairfax almost got burned up.

    Fast forward to yesterday, and here’s the latest developments:

    Today got a little too close for comfort protesters from Venice tried to enter Santa Monica but were dispelled by police and National Guard to enforce a 2pm curfew.

    This is only a half a block from my condo.

    1. skippy

      Lmmao at the Venice crew invading Santa Monica, its a buffer zone between the better parts of town such as Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, and Riviera.

      Same as the DMZ of the L.A. airport beach zone between Manhattan Bch and it – all are no go zones at night.

      The cops just enforce these lines of demarcation from unwanted sorts trespassing, seen brutal take downs late afternoon in Redondo Bch, Cholos out for a ride in the Impala. Not to mention the spray painted line across the Strand near the Redondo Bch pier, U.S.A on the south side and Mexico on the pier side.

      1. Wukchumni

        When I was a kid, Venice was a kind of low down beach burb that kind of resembled Tijuana in it’s own fashion, and was a place dirty hippies (Get a job, longhairs!) were known to hang out, it always fascinated me.

        Been away from La-La-land for 15 years, and I don’t think Venice is anything similar to the one I remembered way back when, it done gentrified.

        I would’ve been like legions of Angelenos who had never been anywhere in South Central LA aside from the Forum/Hollywood Park and Watts Towers. There were swaths of Tinseltown-adjacent, that were no-go zones.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          That’s funny- a few water coolers ago Lambert had a link about Tony Hawk and some of us were discussing the SoCal origins of skateboarding in ‘Dogtown’/Venice/Pacific Ocean Park in the mid 70s. Watched the documentary about it again, Dogtown and Z Boys, and, wow, just look at where those kids were surfing (they were also surfers). Imagine that Ocean Park was just abandoned and left to rot. For years! The abandoned amusement park pilings and pier was a seriously dangerous obstacle course. I think that area was pretty much a no-go for most people definitely. Different times…

  16. tegnost

    Obama should be banned from using the word “change”…and that other one, too

  17. Wukchumni

    When tourists from Mexico, China, and Britain became the first COVID-19 fatalities in Cusco, Peru, it seemed as if the onetime capital of the Inca Empire might be headed for a significant outbreak.

    Nestled in a picturesque Andean valley, the high-altitude city of 420,000 residents, the gateway to the cloud forest citadel of Machu Picchu, receives more than 3 million international visitors per year — many from pandemic hot spots, including the United States, Italy, and Spain.

    Yet since those three deaths, between March 23 and April 3, at the start of Peru’s national lockdown, there has not been another COVID-19 fatality in the entire Cusco region, even as the disease has claimed more than 4,000 lives nationally.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thats really interesting. My first thought is that at altitude you get more UV, which both sterilises and boosts Vitamin D levels in the populations.

      I understand that populations at altitude often have genetic changes that make them more efficient at using oxygen. Even a visitor will have very elevated haemoglobin levels, such that I was told by a doctor I’d probably fail a doping test in a sporting test after 10 days or more above 4,000 metres (I can confirm that you do feel rocket propelled when going down to regular elevations).

      I’ve spent a little time at very high altitude in the Himalayan region from Tibet to north India/Nepal and Bhutan. It’s a noticeable feature there that most infectious diseases are rare. The very dry air with intense sunshine pretty much sterilises everything – regulars joke that your poo is freeze dried before it hits the ground when you use a local ‘long drop’ toilet (in Ladakh and Bhutan the house toilet is usually on an upper floor, with a handy 3-4 metre vertical descent to the animal quarters). People happily break up cow and yak dung with their hands for fuel while cooking, its pretty much sterile and safe.

      1. Wukchumni

        About the highest i’ll sleep overnight in the High Sierra is about 11k, and its above timberline and typically greatly exposed in gardens of granite, quite wonderful but only once in awhile, as I sleep in a hammock and rely on a couple of trees being about 10-14 feet apart in order to support my habitat.

        Our cabin is @ 7k+ feet and might be a bit on the low side as far as combating Coronavirus, but you go with the altitude you have-not the one you want.

      2. MLTPB

        Good point.

        I believe Tibetans have some Denisovans genes that help with high altitude living.

      3. carl

        Well then, it would be interesting to have a look at Arrequipa, a few hours from Cusco, but with a much higher number of sunny days at high altitude.

      4. ex-PFC Chuck

        While we’re on the subject of UV light there’s this from RT based on research in the USA and Japan: “The handheld high-intensity UV lamp that could KILL coronavirus once and for all.”

        After describing the difficulties of deploying existing UV light generating technologies widely, including cost, there’s this:

        ” . . using theoretical modeling of a range of materials, researchers at Penn State, the University of Minnesota and two Japanese universities believe they have found the holy grail of transparent conductors, which could allow for cheap, easy-to-produce LEDs that emit UV light at a high enough intensity to kill coronavirus.”

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Thats interesting, although I think it greatly exaggerates the existing cost of UV lamps.

          UV is very effective for sterlising, but the problem is it is very poor at penetrating barriers or going around corners. So its likely only to be effective for aerosol virus or virus’s sitting conveniently on exposed surfaces.

          Back in the 1990’s I was doing a little research on UV filters for providing the final sterilization of water from wastewater treatment plants. Essentially, treated water was pushed past what looked like big sunbeds in an enclosed pipe. In ideal conditions, they worked very effectively, but the problem they found was that anything that effected the turbidity of the water, or even larger particles that escaped the last stage of treatment, could allow virus’s to get through unscathed. Things may have improved since then, but I’ve noted that they are not used as much now in treatment systems as they were back then.

        2. wilroncanada

          Yes, ex-PFC Chuck, but you have to put them inside your body. I’ll leave the how up to you.

      5. Jessica

        On the other hand, when Tibetans fled the communist Chinese and came down to India, so many died of lung infections, such as TB. My (Danish) lama of Tibetan Buddhism said that that was why the Tibetans started to teach Westerners.

        1. newcatty

          Thanks Jessica. There is the thought that there is more to being en-lightened than just the physical high altitude UV light effect on Tibetans or others, like those who live in Peru.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Man Behind Sweden’s Controversial Virus Strategy Admits Mistakes”

    I believe that the Swedish word for Oops is Hoppsan! By opting for herd immunity,the leadership of Sweden may have led the Swedish people into the worst of worlds. A high death count and a tanking economy. But it gets worse. The Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Norway are opening up to each other but they are not allowing Swedish people into either country due to the high risk of transmission of Coronavirus. How this plays out among the Scandinavian countries I have no idea but your would reckon that there would have to be consequences.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Perhaps our Swedish regulars could confirm what would really ‘trigger’ ordinary Swedes to get angry over the policy. I suspect that they can live with being excluded from Europe for the summer, but being banned from their winter sunshine breaks while the Norwegians and Danes head off to the Med would be likely to provoke riots.

  19. DJG

    I am already seeing “compassion fatigue” from white liberals, who make the ritual denunciation of looters who are getting in the way of the message.

    Further, Nancy Pelosi’s bible-waving, which was sent up wonderfully yesterday in a post at The Root (worth the search for the Bible-Off), is more melodrama. Who hires political aides with such bad senses of gesture and theatricality? First Nancy shows us her collection of gelato, and now she’s all biblical. She is past her prime, and her moment is over. See: Trump with bible, past prime, moment over.

    David Sirota’s article is definitely worth a read, because he is talking about a legislative program. (Hey, Nancy, “Leader,” legislative program? Get your nose out of Deuteronomy.)

    Here’s mine. I’m proposing a collective think among us groundlings about where to go. Racism will not be dealt with without economic reform. Hey, Nancy, get your nose out of Revelations and write some bills.

    First, there has to be an end to police torturing people. There are times when I have mixed feelings about violence–till I read the article about what has been allowed in Minneapolis. Torture, pure and simple. And torture corrupts. There are no good apples and bad apples in a police force that tortures. So the laws shielding such behavior have to be eliminated. Cops who torture have to be charged. (Search for the article in MarketWatch that was already posted here.)

    Then there have to be economic reforms:
    Removal of barriers to unionization.
    Minimum wage of 18 dollars or more.
    End of health-insurance tied to employment, which means the expanded version of Medicare for All.
    Enforcement of wage&hours laws, workplace safety laws, and health laws.
    Reform of pensions so that the defined-contribution scam (401 ks and such) go away.
    Raises for those on Social Security.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Pelosi is in a safe seat. She doesn’t ever worry about challengers, so her staff gets praise for showing up and her longevity. Idiots don’t ever have to be challenged. The bible bit is part of “The West Wing” rot. Jeb Bartlett loved to quote the bible to out debate the right…it really was a stupid show, but it’s imagery is part of the Team Blue brain rot. Her performance had a fan made vibe to it. It’s really funny because it’s obvious Trump seemed unfamiliar with a book.

      Warren, I guess the Clintotnistas aren’t getting paid to advise her, did a much better job just showing up at the same church.

      1. Matthew Saroff

        I would note that, because of California’s jungle primary system, Nancy Pelosi is facing another Democrat in the general election, Shahid Buttar who is a progressive well to the left of Madam Speaker. (Actually, I would argue that Mitt Rmoney is to the left of Pelosi, but I digress)

        If you want, you can throw him some money via Act Blue.

        If he gets a few bucks, maybe it can put the fear of the voters in Pelosi.

      2. wilroncanada

        I think she had her nose in the book of Ruth, to see where the “Resistance” needs to go from here.

    2. Wukchumni

      In regards to divine intervention other than holding a Gideon bible aloft…

      Gabriel Over The White House from 1933 starring Walter Huston, seems appropriate now.

      Gabriel Over the White House is a 1933 American pre-Code political fantasy film starring Walter Huston as a genial but politically corrupt President who has a near-fatal automobile accident and comes under divine influence—specifically the Archangel Gabriel and the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. Eventually he takes control of the government, solves the problems of the nation, from unemployment to racketeering, and arranges for worldwide peace, before dying of a heart attack. (Wiki)

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I’m wondering what would happen if Klaatu and Gort landed on the Mall now.

        1. ambrit

          I don’t know. Many excellent NAZI propaganda films were remade by Hollywood, such as “Zero Dark Thirty.”

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            But but but Zero Dark Thirty was made by a *woman*, you know, those compassionate beings who would never ever condone torture or perpetuate myths about AWFFAP (American Wars For Fun And Profit). Hell, give her an Oscar!

  20. Off The Street

    The Science article references a company known as Surgisphere.
    If Surgisphere turns out to be a front for some shady pharma combine, will anybody be surprised? The fear, uncertainty and doubt arising from the initial anti-HCQ splash had a desired effect of delaying further work, which is a type of first-mover advantage. To quote a great, er, medical sage, mission accomplished.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “North of England’s coronavirus infection rate is nearly TWICE London’s exposing huge regional differences as No 10 says easing lockdown won’t tip crucial R rate above one”

    When this is all over the data for people who were infected and where they lived may become significant. How many of those areas like Scotland, Wales and the North were infected by people fleeing London? It happened in other countries and has happened in previous historical pandemics so it may have happened here.

    1. rd

      Same pattern as 1918-19. The cities got hit hard initially. The rural areas thought they were good, and then discovered they weren’t. One town had completely escaped it initially by blockading the roads. They let their guard down after the first major wave and got hit by later wwaves. By spring 1919, the death rates were generally similar all over.

  22. rd

    Re: GDP. What is a GDP?

    Article here looking at the state of personal income supported by government infusion soon to go away:

    BTW – the Turtle is wrong as usual. One of my kids got furloughed in late March and then permanently laid off in late April (as discussed in the article above). They have been making more money on unemployment than when they were working. Nonetheless, they knew that it was a matter of time before that gravy train stopped, so they have been diligently looking for a job the whole time. Just got a new one that starts next week. They will be making about what they were making at the previous one, which is significantly less than they can get combining state and federal unemployment compensation. They are taking the job anyway because it has good potential for growth in the future.

    So people want to work for numerous reasons and The Turtle is wrong – he just assumes that everybody is a lazy ass and just wants to suck on the government tit. That is probably because he spends too much time with Congress people, lobbyists, and government contractors who do that but at a far greater scale and he assumes that people who make below median wage are the same.

    Related to this is the insanity of the US healthcare insurance system. My kid had employer provided healthcare that the employer begrudgingly paid half of. When furloughed, the employee has to pay the whole thing, Then when laid off, went on COBRA for about a month which was about the same as the employer provided insurance cost. Then because Medicaid doesn’t count the federal $600 as income, qualified for Medicaid, so is on that for June, and then should be able to get the new employer’s health plan in July. So every month has had a major change in healthcare insurance cost or plan since March – it will be a total of five changes in five months. Insanity. These are small businesses. They should be begging for a single payer Medicare-for-All plan similar to Canada’s which would slash their costs and would greatly eliminate the paperwork and negotiation time because the vast majority of the insurance would simply reside with the person independent of the job. It would reduce the paperwork and cost burden on the individuals as well, although that is less of a concern to the businesses and government.

    1. Wukchumni

      We shall go on to the end. We shall lend in finance, we shall lend on the seas and oceans to cruise lines, we shall lend with growing confidence and growing strength in the air via commercial airlines, we shall defend our island of insanity, whatever the cost may be. We shall lend on beaches homes in danger of flooding, we shall lend on the shakiest grounds, we shall lend in the agricultural fields and in the malls, we shall lend on cape cod charmers in the hills; we shall never surrender our way of life.

      1. WhoaMolly

        Just reading Churchill. That paraphrased exhortation was followed or preceded with something like “l have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears”.

        And “take one with you”

        1. Ford Prefect

          Then Churchill went golfing after needing tear gas and truncheons to clear the way through his adoring citizens??

  23. Fastball

    Good morning Lambert,

    The link about Medical workers being attacked by cops actually leads to an article from Politico about the Republican convention.

  24. Wukchumni

    I’m happy to report a riot in progress, flocks of Phlox and lots of Farewell to Spring~

    An earlier confrontation with Golden Poppies was thought to be the largest concentration so assembled in living memory by locals, all seemingly unconcerned about it getting out of hand and things turning violet, which of course is what happened.

    1. Carolinian

      90 with hardly a cloud in the sky here. Life seems good.

      Maybe the republic will survive (at least for today).

    2. polecat

      Speaking of all things golden, I’m about to process 60+lbs of viscous ‘liquid ‘sunlight’, courtesy of a multiplicity of ever-probing tongues.

      Good day .. and sweet dreams to you all!

  25. Brucie A.

    The New Republic, By Adam Weinstein: This is Fascism

    Trump is sending an unambiguous message to a country in turmoil—and his armed supporters, from cops to vigilantes, hear it loud and clear.

    1. edmondo

      Trump has been called a fascist since January 20, 2017. Apparently, TNR staff has never read about the boy who cried wolf. Not interested (again)

      1. anon in so cal

        Almost invariably, googling the name of someone leveling the “fascist” charge, such as Weinstein, reveals they supported the Obama Clinton Brennan Syria regime change attempt and are enraged it was somewhat interrupted. Another “blue check,” Molly Crabapple, today equated Trump with Mussolini. Turns out, she was very upset at attacks on the Queda stronghold of Idlib, Syria.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “‘Star Wars’ stormtroopers are enforcing new social distancing rules at Disney World”

    All those who disregard social distancing get to to see one of the other exhibits know as the Detention Center. Persistent offenders get to see the Trash Compactor.

    1. Wukchumni

      Everybody knew the place to get high in Disneyland was on the Skyway while social distancing in the 70’s, and it was a 1-hitter gig where you lit up shortly after getting on, and held it in all the while before exhaling about to the midway point.

      It wasn’t as if the ride operators weren’t hep to goings on, so you had to do it just right in order to not have the heat come down on you.

      1. jr

        I lived in Borelando many years back and even I was amazed at the amount of recreational drugs being done at Disney, in serious “just arrived at the rave” dosages. A friend who worked there said they were constantly having to deal with some gaggle of loons or another all hopped up on Goofballs…

        1. Jack Parsons

          Oh yeah, D-land is a place with physical and emotional safety. It’s the best place ever for doing a disco dose. Small doses only.

          Mouseschwitz we called it.

    2. polecat

      Don’t you’all get a bad feeling about this crap .. I sure do. I mean Disney, for Fn Sake’ !
      Next thing ya know, the Siths will be deployed, striking anyone down with so much utters a cloaked
      cough or even a micro-sniffle.

      It’s getting so funky these daze, that it practically compels one to want to do a full grand-maul Wookiee!

  27. Retaj

    I came across this twitter thread about the company Lexipol which offers risk management to public safety organizations. They offer services to law enforcement who are short on resources can outsource the writing of their policies. For example:

    Officers may use deadly force whenever the life of the officer or others is in an imminent threat of death or great bodily injury.


    An officer may use deadly force to protect him/herself or others from what he/she reasonably believes would be an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.

    Twitter thread:

    George Floyd died of asphyxiation. Why does that keep happening? Thread time. This one is a doozy.— Kanyi Maqubela (@km) June 1, 2020

    It appears that a lot of California police department use their services. Profiting from police brutality?

    1. MLTPB

      This semi Luddite would like to know if robot cops would do a better job.

      Keep in mind though, in 2019, a robot cop told the woman trying to report crime to go away.

      It then started singing.

      Imagine…robot cops singing We Are The World.

      1. polecat

        Uh.. ‘psst’ … ED-209, ..’cough’

        In OUR reality, Massive Dynamics .. or whatever Wall$treet/Sunnyvale/DARPA-like corp gets the contract, will just make them ever more psychotically ‘glitchy’… and without even the babyfood .

        Empathy?? …Forget it!

  28. voteforno6

    Re: New program helps retiring colonels decide which Civil War battle to study

    There’s so much in that article that is spot-on. This nugget might be my favorite, though:

    “My husband was a colossal ‘you-know-what,’” former Marine spouse, Rosie Thornton, said as she massaged her temples and sipped from a glass of what appeared to be iced tea.

  29. The Rev Kev

    “On Secession”

    “Do you think the United States would allow Hawaii and California to declare independence?”, they (CCP) ask…There are two glaring problems with this particular tack. First, whatever practical obstacles may stand in the way of, say, Texas or California independence, Texans and Californians are free to express secessionist views.

    The States of Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas itself seek to disagree with the views of the China Law Blog.

    1. Jessica

      They were and are free to talk about it. It was actually doing it that was the problem.
      In China, you could not even safely write something analogous to your post.

    2. astrid

      China Law Blog presents some useful business information about China. But never forget that they made their money helping mostly US businesses offshore to China decades ago and are now making money helping those companies offshore to places with weaker worker and local company protections.

    1. Icecube12

      The cops do seem to be ignoring a lot of the looting in favor of messing with the protesters. There is an amazing clip from local news in Long Beach, in broad daylight. I couldn’t believe it as I was watching it as it was just so blatant, and you could tell the reporters’ jaws were on the floor too. Cops surround an Urban Outfitters, and the reporter says a bunch of looters just ran by the cops and blindsided them as they arrived, so no one was arrested. Then you see banging from the store’s boarded up windows. Those inside inside finally break through the glass, and over the next minute, a bunch of kids emerge out of the store through the window, up and over the boards, falling onto the street before running away. This is in full view of the cops, who stand there staring while the looters run away. I have found the clip, so you can watch this astonishing moment yourselves.
      Cops in Long Beach ignore looters and no arrests are made

      1. MLTPB


        Mentioned here and above about NY around Broadway, Fifth and Sixth.

        Are they being singled out?

      2. Harold

        Former Italian Christian Democratic President, Prime Minister, and 1970s Interior Minister Francesco Cossiga’s advice to Silvio Berlusconi on handling demonstrators. Do:

        “what I did when I was interior minister. … Pull back police from streets and colleges, infiltrate the movement with provocateurs *ready for anything* [emphasis added], and for ten days let protesters devastate shops, burn down cars, and set cities aflame. Then, emboldened by popular support … police should have no mercy and send them all to the hospital. Not arrest them, because prosecutors would just free them right away, but beat them all and beat the professors that encourage them.”
        For decades, local police and FBI have sent undercover officials to participate in — and escalate — protests.

        Quoted in The Intercept

  30. Wukchumni

    Wells Fargo stops giving loans to most independent car dealerships Reuters

    (with no apologies to Oprah)

    ‘You don’t get a car loan!’
    and ‘You don’t get a car loan!’
    and ‘You don’t get a car loan!’
    and ‘You don’t get a car loan!’
    and ‘You don’t get a car loan!’

  31. allan

    From today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing:

    Kyle Cheney @kyledcheney

    ROSENSTEIN: None of the info in the Mueller report
    or the criminal indictments from the investigation relied on the Steele Dossier.
    10:45 AM · Jun 3, 2020

    Surely John Solomon, Andrew McCarthy, Kimberly Strassel and the rest of the right-wing noise machine
    will retract or correct the millions of words they wrote that were premised on a Steele connection.

    1. anon in so cal

      From Jonathan Turley:

      “Rosenstein insists that the information in appointing Mueller was based on that incomplete information at the time. He admitted that by August 2017 when he signed off on the Mueller investigation there was no evidence at all of collusion with the Russians.”

      “Rosenstein said that he has not accused McCabe of “misrepresentations” but that he was “not forthcoming” and withheld important information. He stands by the statement that “for whatever reason” he withheld information that he (Rosenstein) had a “right to know.””

      “McCabe just called Rosenstein’s claims of being mislead are “completely false” and that Rosenstein was “fully briefed.” McCade calls it a “sad attempt” using Rosenstein as a “willing accessory.””

      Everyone with any functioning brain cells knew the Steele dossier was b.s.

      Hoping Durham has the fortitude and integrity to make indictments.

        1. hunkerdown

          Can’t stand the thought that both sides of the oligarch party system have thugs and shock troops, that the entire bourgeois order is a contest at who can make the most audacious lies into public realities.

    2. WJ

      This is worded so as to avoid denying what is actually being claimed: that the Steele dossier was on the one hand recognized to be baseless and on the other hand served as the pretext for the intelligence agencies’ monitoring and investigation of a political campaign through the FISA courts.

      Nobody is saying the indictments were based on the Steele dossier. How could they be? None of the indictments were at all related to the purported Russiagate conspiracy in the first place, but rather to prior illegal acts that came up in the course of the investigation, technicalities shown to be setups, and unactionable symbolic gestures against foreign corporations that later had to be walked back in embarrassment.

  32. rd

    Interesting analysis of recent consumer spending. It appears low-income Americans spent 5% more, presumably because of cash infusions, while consumers with more money reduced their spending.

    Its really amazing that if you give money to people struggling to get by, they will actually spend it instead of hoarding it under their mattresses./s

    This is why the whole trickle-down thing has always been baffling to me. For decades, it has clearly just been fake economics in order to justify giving campaign contributors huge tax cuts with little to no economic benefit.

    On the other hand, I have always felt that the focus on slashing the safety net, including unemployment insurance and Social Security was economic suicide and we are seeing it here in this report. Many of these lower-income Americans are probably seniors on Social Security who are simply a steady economic fly-wheel with cash coming in every month that is spent by the last day of the month. This is real revenue to landlords, small businesses, grocery stores, county property taxes, etc. Similarly, poor people who get welfare, SNAP, unemployment insurance, or are in minimum wage jobs etc. are in the same position. It comes in and goes out quickly with very high money velocity until it gets in the hands of the top 10% where the velocity drastically slows down as a significant percentage gets saved and not spent. If it gets into the top 1%, it just goes straight under the mattress, never to be seen again, and providing no economic value except to stock market and art values.

    1. hunkerdown

      A warning shot. “Now, as a good foot soldier of Rule 2 of neoliberalism, we don’t have to worry about you going and listening to those single payer people in your house, do we?

  33. Wukchumni

    Sequoia NP re-opens tomorrow and seeing as it’s supposed to be 103 in the Central Valley, that’ll be incentive enough to be @ 6,500 feet and in the 70’s instead, among the Brobdingnagians.

    It’ll mostly be a drive-by gig with no overnight camping or hotels open within the NP (with the exception of the Silver City Resort in Mineral King-which is on private land) until at least after the July 4th holiday.. About the only thing you can do is hike, and i’d expect the trailhead parking lots to be a jamb-job, with the Marmot Cong itching to get into engine compartments in MK, with so many possibilities.

  34. Maritimer

    Former President George W. Bush: ‘It is time for America to examine our tragic failures’ NBC.

    And let’s start with the tragic lies and failures of Iraq/Afghanistan overseen by GWB who ends up at the end of the NC comments pile.

    Good Lord, after all the lying, looting, torturing, killing, this guy does not even have the decency to stay under his Texas rock. Who’s next on the Comeback/Redemption Parade, Dick Cheney?

    1. polecat

      I thought it was a Conneticut rock .. pile ? Anyone ?? ….. Bueller ? I know it’s one of those tony countryclub upper crustal eastcoast states .. where elite family dynasties grow like toxic mycelium.

      The ‘Ranch’ was a cloaking device smothered in barbecue sauce!

  35. nothing but the truth

    “So much for herd immunity.”

    The role of the media in this covid sensationalism deserves its own research. The media has turned into a bully.

    We are reaching a point where the only viewpoint is the political one, and the media is the judge jury and executioner.

    If even a fraction of the energy and bullying should in locking down the economy had been used to protect and isolate the at risk population (by moving them to tented accommodation in rural areas, for example), we would have saved lives, and prevented massive job losses.

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