Links 6/30/2020

Florida manatee deaths up 20 percent as Covid-19 threatens recovery Guardian (resilc) :-(

South Pole warming three times faster than rest of Earth: study PhysOrg (Bob H)

How green sand could capture billions of tons of carbon dioxide MIT Technology Review (David L)

Fueled by High Temperatures and Ample Land, Locusts Swarm Italy LinkTV (Bob H)

No more spitting in Major League Baseball Boing Boing (resilc)

Yale captures first ever video of brain clearing out dead neurons New Atlas (David L)

Shocking Lawsuit Alleges CHL Hockey Players Were Forced to Bob for Apples in Urine Vice (resilc)

Flu Virus With ‘Pandemic Potential’ Found in China BBC


JUSTICE MALALA: What three American airports taught me about Covid-19 and political leadership Business Live (South Africa)

Bringing sports back now is an ethical, political, and practical mistake. Slate


Three Stages to COVID-19 Brain Damage, New Review Suggests Medscape (JTM)

Chinese virus vaccine approved for military use Asia Times


Kai-Fu Lee on how covid spurs China’s great robotic leap forward Economist


The Blundering British Political Class has Shown the Same Incompetence in Both Fighting Wars and Coronavirus (resilc)


Trump’s COVID Directive May Force Workers To Pay To Go Back To Work Too Much Information

Gilead’s coronavirus treatment remdesivir to cost $3,120 per U.S. patient with private insurance CNBC

Hugo’s Tacos in Los Angeles closes over customer mask rage Sacramento Bee (resilc)

COVID-19 Alert re Fraudulent Facemask Flyer (JTM). Please circulate to business owners and managers.

In Hot-Spot States, Virus Testing Means Long Lines, Delays Bloomberg. As we’ve been saying..

Fired Florida Covid Dashboard Architect Claims She Was Asked To Manually Change Numbers Forbes

Fauci doubts effectiveness of coronavirus vaccine in US due to anti-vaxxers Guardian

Two Friends in Texas Were Tested for Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408. New York Times (John N)


Nearly 11% of the workforce is out of work with zero chance of getting called back to a prior job Economic Policy Institute<


Hong Kong national security law unanimously passed by Beijing, while Joshua Wong and associates announce decision to quit party politics South China Morning Post

China Passes Law Aimed at Crushing Hong Kong Protests Wall Street Journal


Qasem Soleimani: Iran seeks Trump’s arrest over killing of general BBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster’s Dishonest Attack on Restraint American Conservative (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

REvil Ransomware Gang Adds Auction Feature for Stolen Data ThreatPost (Dan K)

Trump Transition

From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump’s phone calls alarm US officials CNN. Notice first sentence; “In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state…”

The End of the Trump Rally American Prospect

US removes Saudi Arabia from list of worst human traffickers CNN

Opinion analysis: With Roberts providing the fifth vote, court strikes down Louisiana abortion law (Updated) SCOTUSblog

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Defunding the Police Must Include Ending the Surveillance of Muslims Intercept

De Blasio Agrees to Cut NYPD Funding by $1 Billion Wall Street Journal

St. Louis couple threatens protesters with guns outside their home Reuters (resilc). This was already making the rounds (see big discussion in comments of the couple’s very poor gun safety practices, plus general numbskullness) but it’s now gone big time MSM.

Study: U.S. flood risks dwarf federal estimates Politico

This Map Shows Which US Homes Will Flood Over the Next 30 Years Vice (David L)

Our Famously Free Press

Exclusive: Facebook ad boycott campaign to go global, organizers say Reuters

Newsonomics: The next 48 hours could determine the fate of two of America’s largest newspaper chains Dan Cook, NiemanLab

Marty Baron Made The Post Great Again. Now, the News Is Changing. New York Times. What horse manure. Baron as some sort of exemplar of journalistic virtue? When the Post refused to retract or correct its PropOrNot hit piece, and instead put up a bizarre disclaimer that amounted to “We don’t stand by our reporting”? And Baron most assuredly was in the loop; our lawyer’s nastygram went to him. In addition, we were told writers on the national security beat were upset about the piece and sent angry e-mails to Baron, because the author Craig Timberg had been kicked off that beat and his piece should have been reviewed by the nat sec editors and wasn’t.

BP has saved itself before the axe falls forever on fossil fuels Telegraph (David L)

Opinion analysis: Court strikes down restrictions on removal of CFPB director but leaves bureau in place

Airbnb CEO: Travel may never be the same Axios

Angrynomics: read it if you want to get angry Richard Murphy (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

How Dollar Stores Became Magnets for Crime and Killing ProPublica (resilc)

Amazon To Pay $500 Million in Bonuses To Workers Most Exposed To Coronavirus CNET

Tesla workers fired after staying home during covid-19 pandemic Washington Post (UserFriendly)

Antidote du jour. Mark T: “Cook Islands. Visited there about 5 years ago. Even the dogs take walks along the beach.”

And a bonus (Chuck L)

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Amfortas the hippie

    Please forgive for re-hoisting this topic(or threadjacking)…but I think the concept is important, and will become more so near term(and I can’t really sit online in the mornings anymore…heat= get ‘er done by noon or 1—and, I’m just getting around to this, which somebody linked a couple of days ago):

    ““The basis of geography is an inhibitor to settling on shared goals, because if geography is the only commonality, you’re not necessarily coming to the problem with the same vulnerability and values,””

    I didn’t anticipate the gentrification aspect of this.
    Out here, this is pretty normal behaviour….with a long history.
    German Idealist Settlers(only white/Native American Treaty that’s never been broken…which itself contained a mutual aide agreement), then Farmer’s Co-Ops, and various Church Socials and local Relief Societies along a spectrum of altruism and effectiveness.

    and this bit:
    “More people higher on the economic ladder lost their jobs. Young, otherwise healthy people became seriously ill. During COVID-19, it was acknowledged that racism made the impacts of the pandemic worse for Black and brown populations. For all these reasons, the response has been different during this crisis. ”

    …is very important, I think…but only if you can get your neighbors to further bifurcate themselves between online/offline(twitter isn’t the world…or your neighborhood). That added toxicity is anathema to the endeavor.

    –end threadjack—see y’all this afternoon.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I scanned your link but had trouble parsing the gist of it. At best I could offer some impressions. Many things — I am not entirely sure what — have made simple sharing, let alone providing help to neighbors — problematic … especially on the East Coast. Maybe too many strings tie to the help government and private agencies offer. Some of it has to be the Junior-Women’s-League supercilious simper that accompanies or is projected onto those who provide help — like Chip and Muffin Wasp in Antz.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i don’t know what it’s like outside of my own experience.
        I gather that this is an unusual place,lol.
        30 years ago, during my Wild Years, where I lived in a VW camper van for five years from Houston to Talahassee, I had the opportunity—always unlooked for, because I had never known “community support”…or even “community”)–to stay in the yards or on the couches of various and sundry other poor people whom i worked with.
        I’ve spoken often of the Swamp People in the Atchafalaya Basin…that was an extreme version of non-hippie communism…but there were many others, and more ordinary.
        Large Cajun or Creole families, with a pit always going and a big pot of something…extended family close enough to call on for help with an engine or a tire or a fallen tree…
        That’s how my grandparents had been…but all that ended quickly when they passed, and I was pretty much on my own.
        So experiencing the whole Pull Together was pretty remarkable, to me.
        Out here, as an example(that i’ve also gone on about prolly too often) is the rumor mill…. a bunch of busybodies, listening to the scanner and gossiping incessantly about who got drunk and crazy or who slept with whom.
        But when the scanner says that somebody on Pecan Street is off to the hospital, the phone lines activate, and somebody drives by to see who it is, and soon there’s someone looking after the kids, or driving a spouse the 100+ miles to the ER to be with…and even later, rallying to send food or rent money or to take the kids out from underfoot for a time…and all without any formal coordination or organisation.
        color or politics or 100 year old feuds cease to matter, and the necessary work gets done.
        It’s truly amazing.
        Then, when it’s settled down, they all go back to gossiping and sniping,lol.
        the folks in that article(don’t remember who linked it) are trying to jury rig that sort of thing from scratch….because that sort of thing is at least felt to be lacking, even if many can’t articulate what used to be in this gaping societal hole. The non-system system out here grew organically, over generations, and has much to do with pioneer times being within living memory of my wife’s grandmother’s generation, when there was no outside help, and this town/county were on their own.
        I can’t imagine trying to erect a similar system where…say…my brother or my dad live(kingwood and clear lake, texas), where one not even knowing the neighbor’s name is all too common.

        when i talk about the Look After One Another Thing on NC, I’m reminded just how odd this is…
        and when my brother or cousin comes up and experiences it firsthand, the oddness is even more acute.
        Cousin…Mr Take Care of Hisself…was up here for 3+ months for initial lockdown.
        He was astonished that everyone knew that he was one of ours within a day or so of his arrival in the dead of night,lol>
        My interest in articles like this is that i think it’s important…and will be more so as the state further retreats from all the Helping parts of it’s remit.
        something will fill that void…better good hearted neighbors looking after one another, than going further down the dog eat dog, hyperindividualist nightmare road.
        Even at this late date, I don’t think that the latter scenario is necessarily baked in, yet.
        at least i sincerely hope it’s not.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I sense and feel a lot of fear of strangers even in the small town where I live now. I don’t know whether this is strictly an East Coast Megalopolis phenomenon or not. I’ve lived as a stranger for most of my adult life, moving from place to place following the jobs. I worked long hours and never got a good sense of communities I worked in. I remember Indiana as a friendlier place than most. Vermont was also friendly but always a little distant from anyone who’d lived in the area less than two generations. These memories are from the last century and a lot may have changed since I was last there.

          My sister has lived in Upstate New York in the same small town for decades. She knows a fair number of the people around. I was visiting her and ran into some serious car trouble with her along. Some people in a town ten miles over were extremely helpful to us in getting a tow and finding a good mechanic to help. Of course I did have some decent plastic to wield.

          Of late her area is beset with a large and growing population of homeless and unemployed. They are not generally trusted or well-regarded from what I can gather. My sister works at a state welfare office up the road from her house and some of her opinions, and the opinions she reports as commonplace among her co-workers would make a Republican proud. She is badly paid, not well-treated at work and often complains about having to work as she does to receive not much more pay and benefits than the people she helps at the welfare office.

          Where I live, closer to the City, the people are very fearful and hesitant of each other. This is the land of razor-blades in Halloween apple fears; drive the kids to school so no one grabs them; play-dates with cleared and approved friends; don’t stop for strangers along the road — you will be robbed and car-jacked; and be extremely cautious of what help you give beyond calling 911 and waiting at an accident scene or you could be sued. There is a joke about hitting a pedestrian in NY — make sure they’re dead. Supposedly the penalties at law are bad no matter what but it’s much better for dealing with any civil law suits that might result. Craig’s list sellers often want to meet in front of Police Stations or public parking lots to do their deals — even very small deals.

          I am afraid Matt Stoller describes my sense of how well the people “Look After One Another Thing” will work in the Megalopolis:
          “Every age gets the metaphorical crises it deserves, and New York’s came in 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit the city and caused power outages across half the city. I was there, and at first everyone was really nice to each other. Within a few days, a Mad Max vibe began to creep into daily interactions. The lights came back on in time to get the city more or less back to normal, though not everywhere.” []
          I am definitely feeling a pull toward areas more like where my sister lives.

        2. Adam Eran

          Sounds ideal. One recommendation: If you’re in a neighborhood where people are strangers, a nice way to introduce yourself is to make a phone list. That means people a) know each other exist, and b) spontaneously look out for one another. All the potlucks, cookie sharing, shared dog walking ensues pretty much by itself.

  2. Winston Smith

    Gun-toting Ken and Karen:
    pointing weapons at unarmed unthreatening passersby. She had her finger on the trigger. At some point, he stood there in a movie pose trying to look tough and blithely pointed the muzzle of his AR-15(!) at his wife standing next to him. It is fortunate that nothing happened as one could easily imagine one of those guns going off. Wonder if they even knew where the safety was. I used to hunt as a kid and the only time my father ever hit me was when I wasn’t handling my gun properly on a hunting jaunt.

    1. jackiebass

      Any hunter that has shot something with a high powered rifle should know the damage it does. It isn’t a pretty picture. This alone should make a hunter be more safe and have a respect for the weapon they are carrying. You can’t reverse an accident after it happened.

      1. rd

        The AR-15/M-16/M4 was designed because the carbines the US military used in WW II and Korea did not have enough stopping power to put the enemy soldier on the ground after hitting him. So charging enemy soldiers were getting into American lines after being hit. The high velocity bullet is designed to do a lot of internal damage and stop an enemy soldier from continuing to charge. However, the NATO round is effectively a .22 sized round and is often considered too small to provide clean kills in hunting large game despite the high-velocity.

        These were designed as anti-personnel weapons, not as hunting or target shooting rifles. They do get rechambered for larger caliber for hunting purposes. The lack of corrodable or warping parts does make it useful for hunting in wet environments. The ability to fire quickly in semi-automatic mode is useful when hunting things like feral hogs that can be very dangerous if you miss on the first shot. It is the obvious firearm of choice to tote around in a wealthy neighborhood.

        1. Darthbobber

          But the M16 succeeded the M14, a 7.62 mm rifle. The m16 was initially a response to jungle firefights. The AK used basically 7.6mm short ammo, and an individual Vietcong fighter could carry a higher quantity of that ammo than an American girl could of the 7.62 mm long rounds.

          This relationship reversed with the 5.56mm round of the m16.

          The m16 made up for the lesser mass of its bullet with an end over end tumbling action. It’s still not great at its theoretical maximum effective range, and a decent marksman in an environment with good visibility would prefer an m14 or g3 even at the cost of greater size and weight.

          1. rd

            I clearly needed to add /s after it. A problem of the times is that sarcasm is not obvious, similar to the difficulty of distinguishing The Onion from Fox News.

    2. Louis Fyne

      the story is more complex. Reportedly according to the police report filed the protesters broke through a gate into a private driveway.

      Among the protesters, someone in the crowd waived a gun at the couple. The couple then got their guns.

      I wasn’t there, ask the couple….who supposedly have represented police brutality clients and have contributed to the Dem. AND Rep. parties.

      Just saying and not defending the clients, nor the protesters. Both seem in the wrong.

      as with most things, the story is more nuanced than a clickbait headline.

      1. Mangeons les Riches

        The gate was for a private community, not their driveway. And about that “donating to Dem” claim:

        I agree that both parties seem to be in the wrong – this particular protest is just asinine, the mayor clearly wasn’t doxing with any sort of insidious intent – but, if you look at just the facts, one side seems to be more wrong than the other.

        1. Pelham

          But the gate was part of their private community. I dislike these gated enclaves, nonetheless, they exist and are legal. And if “protesters” break in like that, it’s reasonable for property owners within to assume their homes might be next on the agenda.

          I don’t know the laws in St. Louis or Missouri. Maybe brandishing a firearm, even on one’s own lawn or driveway, is illegal. In this case, illegal or not, it’s defensible. Granted, the two could have been brandishing with a bit more care; they don’t look as if they know much about the weapons they’re holding.

          What’s notable is the national coverage of this incident that routinely omits the key fact of the iron gate breakage. I see a local prosecutor plans to go after the couple. Any plans to do anything about the property damage?

          1. Mangeons les Riches

            And if “protesters” break in like that, it’s reasonable for property owners within to assume their homes might be next on the agenda.

            It is not. They know who their neighbors are They might not have known about the protests before the fact, although he especially seems to be pretty dialed in to what’s happening locally from his televised interview.

            As I indicated, I disagree with the protests but I don’t disagree with the ability to protest at the #1 elected official’s home because they happen to live in a private community. Maybe those other members of the private community should exercise their powers as an HOA and expel the community member who’s bringing in all the riffraff?

          2. Darthbobber

            Legal or not, it was stupid. If you’re really terrified of a large crowd, some of whom might be armed themselves, you don’t present the largest possible target, in the most exposed possible position.

            And if you have any business with a firearm, you aren’t waving it about this way and that, frequently looking in a totally different direction from where it’s pointed. Which should be up, unless you’ve actually identified a target.

      2. Rod

        having visited St Louis many times for business and pleasure, I discovered long ago St Louis’s private enclaves. Spent too much time driving up and down streets looking at those mansions, I guess, because that is what I told the cops that stopped my little sightseeing sojourn with a two car blockade and ‘document check’.

        So--as with most things, the story is more nuanced than a clickbait headline. is very right. is a very good intro.

        Private streets remain a stubborn relic of St. Louis’ Gilded Age. Homeowners paid for the streets and sidewalks to be paved long before the surrounding arteries were maintained by the city. In doing so, they purportedly reserved the authority to decide who could use them, which, according to an 1895 story in the St. Louis Republic, was “a privilege, not a right.” Whether they still functionally or symbolically shut people out — one can easily enter Portland Place just around the corner from the gates — the ornate gates, guard towers, and black powder-coated signs denoting “private street” in gold-embossed serif type dot the St. Louis urban landscape as reminders of these restrictions.

        the enclaves vary in upkeep presentation–some pristine in preservation some struggling with the cost of conserving. As a white male who has made a life long living in the Construction Trades, the Architectural Heritage in St Louis is really spectacular–be it in these enclaves or throughout the city.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          These gated private streets are also a thing in Western Paris. I was shocked the first time I stumbled across one there, seemed quite incongruously Third World to me, like the private gated parks within wealthier parts of London.

      3. Lambert Strether

        Video shows gate was intact when St. Louis couple pointed guns at protesters KSDK

        But video from early in the incident shows a man holding open the left side of the gate while the right door is fully intact and upright.

        “I didn’t see anything violent. I didn’t see anything wild from my perspective. I did see somebody open the door, and they walk into a gated community. I didn’t see anything broken or property being damaged,” Maxi Glamour said.

        Glamour organized the online petition calling for Krewson’s resignation and attended the Sunday night protest, which Glamour said was organized by multiple groups….

        Photos provided by the McCloskeys’ attorney show the gate folded over after protesters left.

        Not that I’m doubting the police account or McCloskeys’ attorney, you understand. Yeah, “Maxi Glamour”, but if the video supports her account…

    3. DanP66

      I cannot and will not try to defend the manner in which they handled their firearms.

      I will however say that if I had been them I certainly would have gotten my guns out.

      Given the times we are in, the looting, cops on the defensive and calling in or not responding, violence, theft, arson, and protesters chanting “Eat the rich!”?

      Then a group of masked individuals tears down a gate to enter private property?

      No frigging way I do not get out my guns.

      My issue is the manner in which they handled their guns and the fact that they were pointing them without an intent to shoot. You point a gun at someone it is only with the intent to shoot them, otherwise, safety on, muzzle in a safe direction and finger off the trigger

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Amen. Actions have consequences, and despite all the bowing, scraping and pandering by people who have not been directly affected yet, I predict we have not seen the last of this “behavior.”

      2. The Historian

        “I will however say that if I had been them I certainly would have gotten my guns out.”

        So protestors walking past your home is now a capital offence? Because that is exactly what you are saying when you get your guns out.

        Would you really shoot someone who was just walking on your property? When did trespass become a capital offence?

        There is absolutely no evidence that the protestors were ever interested in breaking into the couples home or were even threatening the couple. So exactly what was the capital crime they were committing? Or is a person’s paranoia enough these days to end someone else’s life?

        1. Fireship

          If someone threatens your life and points a gun at you and you respond by going of, getting a gun yourself and coming back to the source of the threat in order to return the threat…. well, you gotta be a special kind of moron.

        2. Louis Fyne

          protesters were 100% on private property and allegedly someone in the crowd brandished a loaded weapon first

          that is THE detail lost in the clickbait headlines. just saying.

          This is NOT the hill to (proverbially) die on for 1st amnedment assembly rights

          1. lyman alpha blob

            allegedly someone in the crowd brandished a loaded weapon first

            How would anyone know the allegedly brandished weapon was loaded if it wasn’t fired? X-ray vision?

            Also, the “he had a weapon” or “I felt threatened” excuses are the same ones cops use as justification for killing people and the weapons are often only “found” after the fact.

            Lots of rumor and innuendo on all sides with this incident. Luckily nobody got shot.

            1. Mel

              “How would anyone know the allegedly brandished weapon was loaded if it wasn’t fired?”

              That would go for the crazy couple as well. Maybe the reason he was carrying the rifle the wrong way around is so nobody could see that the breech was open and he had a little red plastic flag in the chamber. That would spoil the moment.

              Of course, yes, we know that “It’s OK, it’s not loaded.” can be the last thing somebody says.

              1. flora

                “It’s OK, it’s not loaded.” It’s possible the gun owner has unloaded the rifle or pistol and yet a cartridge has jammed in the magazine in a way that makes the gun look unloaded. If the trigger is pulled the gun will perfectly fire that ‘hidden’ round. I have seen this happen twice, and thank g– no one was injured, primarily because the safety training ‘never point a gun at someone even if it’s unloaded’ was followed. Guns can malfunction, their magazines can malfunction, just like everything else.

                A gun is always loaded. Treat a gun as if it is loaded even if you have personally unloaded it or watched someone else unload the gun. (I’ll stop now. :) )

                1. furies

                  Yep happened in my family; dad showing off his new rifle at a party, pulls the trigger and lucky my mom/brother weren’t standing 6 inches further left.

                  Guns are death machines. People who collect guns worship death. How American…

                  1. flora

                    Yikes! Glad your mom and brother are ok.

                    Cartridges can get invisibly jammed half loaded between the magazine and chamber. Doesn’t happen often. But gun owners need to keep that very real possibility in mind. Even if you do everything right a gun can still malfunction. A gun can still be invisibly loaded even when you think it is empty.

            2. Steven

              Facts matter. Night and day from police who actively go into communities and someone on their own property. Would not do what was done by the home owners and at least in Texas where I live such actions are justified. People have the right to protest, and as here, people who feel threatened on their own property have a right to brandish a firearm. Again do not confuse what you would do versus what someone else would do—- simply stated what you want is not is the law, and have fortune to not to live in a country where that is so.

              1. lyman alpha blob

                There may be a difference, but I don’t think the difference is night and day at all between cops and civilians ‘protecting their communities’. George Zimmerman comes to mind.

                I lived in a neighborhood where drive-bys were common, had a loaded 9mm thrown into my backyard, etc. There was a ton of crime and I participated in an actual neighborhood watch where groups of concerned residents would walk the neighborhood to let others know there were people who cared and were looking out. We did not carry guns.

                If it’s legal though, to each their own I suppose, however so many guns should not be legal. When people argue that if they didn’t have their own guns, they would they be able to protect themselves from out of control cops (a completely valid argument), I say take them away from the cops too. We, the people, are their bosses, are we not?

                I am not against all gun ownership, but the completely outrageous fetish we have with firearms in the US has got to stop.

                1. Steven

                  I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. As a concurrence point would agree not much difference between cops and community patrols out and about in a community, placing themselves in situations where danger invites rescue. A distinction needs to be made based on facts in this case. The people brandishing firearms were on their own property and were not in places of public accommodation like a cop or citizen patrol would be patrolling a community. They were not looking for danger, danger (from their perspective) came to them on their property. Some could argue they should stay inside, I probably would- yet they have every right to be outside on their property too.

          2. The Historian

            I’ve read many accounts of this incident and there is absolutely no mention of any protestor with a gun, so where are you getting your information about this? The protestors weren’t interested in the McCloskey’s, they were going to protest at another house.

            Do you understand that the laws in this country are based on what people do? Not what they could or might do? Paranoia does not give a person a valid reason for turning trespass into a capital crime.

            1. MT_Bill

              I believe their official statement to law enforcement and press states that some people in the crowd were armed and also threatened their lives and property.

              Who would you believe? The people who were at home minding their own business, or the people who criminally destroyed property to criminally trespass on private property.

              Really surprised there isn’t surveillance footage. Think it’s going to be a booming few months for the private security industry. You’re going to want to have those tapes to back you up in court.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Interesting point that you raised. A whole community of multi-million dollar home so where are the surveillance footage? Is this a case of the dog that did not bark?

                1. MT_Bill

                  Just want to add that I fully agree with your point above about people carrying guns and a false sense of security or acting in ways they wouldn’t unarmed.

                  I see the same thing with people carrying bear spray. Yes, you should carry it, but you’ll be safer if you act like you don’t have it.

              1. Billy

                “Trump, once again exacerbating racial tensions…”

                How did Trump trick all those thousands of marchers and looters to scream about how different black lives are and to identify white privilege again?

                1. integer

                  Yep, and the LCD screen that’s mounted on top of the camera is also visible. There’s no way that setup could be mistaken for a gun if one were looking at it from the vantage point of the gun-toting couple.

              2. Lambert Strether

                From Metro:

                “This is all private property,” he said in an interview with KMOV4 local news. “There are no public sidewalks or public streets. I was terrified that we’d be murdered within seconds, our house would be burned down, our pets would be killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob.”

                I don’t think our elites are doing well.

          3. Kurtismayfield

            Where is the video? With that kind of house they better have video surveillance.

        3. QuarterBack

          Breaking down a gate into a private property is NOT “walking past”. If you look at the pictures of the gate, it was mangled and broken by a substantially violent force. To claim in this specific instance that the protesters were innocent nonviolent citizens just walking by is total BS.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            I’m enough of a redneck to concede this…to a point.
            it’s in the air one breathes in rural texas that you have a right(often a duty, where one’s kids are inside, etc) to defend one’s property….
            I wasn’t there, but the mangling of my front gate by a crowd of people i don’t know would be enough for me to ring the bell, sending all 6 of us for the nearest firearm.
            No matter the crowd’s configuration or hue.

            (we’ve occasionally drilled for this, since the Time of the Prowler(crazy neighbor sneaking around with guns crucifying cats)….sheriff’s office couldn’t be bothered.
            We drill for such things…and for things like tornadoes…so that everyone knows what to do. Early on, boys would get under momma in the cast iron tub while i went out armed to the teeth and with a spotlight.Crazy 8 years, that)

            Insufficient data on this instance…but it’s likely that there’s a both sides component at work.
            Ken and Karen obviously shouldn’t be allowed to handle weapons.

          2. Darthbobber

            But it was not broken at the time. When the marchers arrived, they just opened it and walked through.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              again…i wasn’t there…and have seen no video of any bad behaviour by the protesters.(surely, such a neighborhood has video).
              all I’ve seen is Ken and Karen brandishing weapons like they’ve never held one, and learned all about guns from action movies.
              …and pictures of the inside of their house, of course…which doesn’t exactly endear me towards them…but habits of decor are immaterial(lol) to the real issue.

      3. Berto

        If these people were black, they would have been killed in a hail of police bullets. PERIOD.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          The police were called but they didn’t come. Destruction of personal property has been a “constitutionally protected, first amendment ‘right’ ” for about a month now. I suspect these two lawyers took that into consideration.

          1. Berto

            A report of a black couple waving their guns around in public would be enough to get the cops their quickly, with their arms drawn.
            Looting businesses has been legal much longer than “for a month now”. Private equity firms have been doing it for decades.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              I’m pretty sure you get my point, regardless of how hard you’re pretending not to.

              1. JBird4049

                I get the point, especially with the idiot ‘protestors” destroying stuff for either fun or ostensibly for political reasons; however, if very poor White a88, politically unconnected, socialist me were to do something like that in that neighborhood, I would likely be in jail, or at least be investigated.

                If you are of the right class, race, or of the right political persuasion, say Libertarian or Republican you would likely have no problems from the police for pointing a gun at the protestors.

                What really makes me mad is the whole rules for thee, but not for me that increasingly runs our country. One abbreviated set for the white upper classes. A less abbreviated one for the black upper classes. Then there is the standard package for the middle class modified for race. Then yet another one for the poor whites and yet another harsher one for the poor blacks. Followed by the undocumented who get a special rules edition just for them including Kiddie Concentration Camps.

                Whenever I see a story about someone accused of a crime, I immediately start guessing their caste. Once I find out the charges, I can fairly determine what their fate is very likely to be just by their class and race regardless of guilt or innocence. It’s nuts. There are the exceptions, which some charmingly naive folks say it shows the “justice” system works, but really now, they’re the exceptions that prove the rule.

            2. Billy

              When seconds count, the police are ten minutes away. Maybe never arriving if they are defunded?
              Why wasn’t there a police escort of that demonstration? Was it out of ‘sensitivity’ to the protestors? Would the cops have prevented the gate from being breached?

              The blackhandwringers want to defund the police, remove them from ‘their communities’ and yet, as soon as a citizen exercises a Second Amendment civil right, standing on their property, holding more property, they whine that the police were not there to arrest these meanies.

              1. lyman alpha blob

                Maybe the cops were the ones who tore down the gates in the first place, looking for an excuse to start something.

                It wouldn’t be the first time. Or the hundredth.

              2. Aumua

                Who is whining for police involvement here?

                Your blithe dismissal of what these protests are about doesn’t change any of the systemic issues that sparked them in the first place.

            3. Pelham

              Blacks wield guns wildly all the time in Chicago and police are nowhere. Just check out any weekend’s shooting toll, mostly in that city’s black neighborhoods.

          2. Winston Smith

            Well there were plenty of heavily armed and agressive people in the Michigan capitol and…whatever

            1. Winston Smith

              In any event, the lawyers have lawyered up. It seems they need it.
              “Under Section 571.030(4) of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, it is a crime when a person “[e]xhibits, in the presence of one or more persons, any weapon readily capable of lethal use in an angry or threatening manner.” Such a person “commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons,” which is defined as a class E felony”

              1. Aumua

                Yep brandishing is generally a crime. Whether it can be justified here, i don’t know.

            1. fwe'zy

              If true, that is an important point the commenters are gymnastically avoiding. Everything Berto says is true but it’s still incomplete without Katniss’ point. The whole situation is a mess and shows the need for Game Over.

          3. Lambert Strether

            > The police were called but they didn’t come.

            So you’re saying that socially favored people should get whacked by cops just as much as socially disfavored people already are?

    4. Fireship

      Looking through the photos of their home was an unsettling experience. I couldn’t place my finger on it, but today it hit me; it’s a mausoleum. These people are already dead inside. Their taste is that of Albert Speer, a ghastly pastiche of a cliche of a dog’s vomit of “Ye Olde Europe”. These are the Eichmanns of the world. The epitome of MAGA CHUDs. The evil of banality. That’s what’s horrifying about this pair: dead souls, vampires, empty mummified husks without purpose, empathy or vision. Karen and Ken. They would kill and die for their ghastly, lifeless, zombies’ lair.

      1. Stephen V.

        Further down in the Twitter thread, in response to these folks being called *ballers,* someone posted a pic of LeBron James’ interior. I believe they used the kinder term *museum* in the comparison. But what struck me was the openness, the sociality of LeBron’s place–lots of seating.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I’ve done the Newport Rhode Island home tours, and every place was so eerie. Interestingly enough, the Biltmore (owned by the poorest Vanderbilt kid) in North Carolina seemed like a home, a bit one but a home.

          1. Carolinian

            Ah yes our little cottage in the woods–a French Renaissance chateau built around a steel frame like a skyscraper. George Vanderbilt owned so much of the surrounding mountain landscape that he eventually gave it to the Federal government and it became a National Forest. The great Olmsted did the grounds.

      2. jr


        Broken toys, ideological automatons with their sugar on honey “moar is good” decor, on the lookout against the hordes that simply must want to steal all of the garish garbage they’ve accumulated, obviously devoid of any personal sense of meaning or value in their own existence other than exploitation and consumption, papering that inner Abyss over with flashy possessions and dramatic stands. Another image, in concert with the Helpless Haircut crowd and the brain damaged CO2 brain damage alarmists, of a cartoonish civilization in decline.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        This isn’t the banality of evil, but flat out evil. Eichmann learned of his bureaucratic role in the Holocaust and went back to his role, taking pride in the numbers on a balance sheet accepting a role in the machine. In his case, he likely had no problems with Jews and was nothing like the classic Nazi. This couple have that flair, but they need people playing the “bureacratic” side of things to get to this place by following orders regardless of the moral dimension.

        Arendt’s point was seemingly banal people with banal jobs make the evil machine work. In a way, Eichmann wouldn’t have run out there unless he was told to.

        1. Billy

          The First thing the Nazis did upon being elected was to disarm the civilian population.

          1. DJG


            There’s kinduva informal rule here against making things up. Here is a very simple fact check:


            Note the mention of the 1938 German law and ownership of firearms by German civilians.

            To quote
            it’s unlikely that Hitler would have expressed such a concept in this context, as the 1938 German Weapons Act passed during Hitler’s rule actually loosened gun ownership rules for non-Jewish Germans

          2. Lambert Strether

            > There’s kinduva informal rule here against making things up. Here is a very simple fact check:

            Actually, it’s a formal rule. “[A]gnotology or other forms of making stuff up” are site violations.

            Straighten up and fly right, Billy, or you’re outta here.

        2. JBird4049

          Worse really. His job and ideology that created it gave him both order and purpose to his life. There was someone to tell him what to do and he just had to do it well. Without his job he was lost.

      4. The Rev Kev

        An archaeologist would look at their house and say that it belonged to a high-status couple. I suspect that as your wealth increases, that you are expected to have a corresponding level of housing and cars to match your wealth or suffer the social consequences. When you have friends over, you are being expected and are supposed to impress them with what you can afford. It may be in that social strata, that the range of furnishings that you choose for your home is limited to a fairly narrow range as well. Personally I think that a study of such homes would be highly fascinating and I wonder how a Tom Wolfe would write about this subject.

      5. Katniss Everdeen

        Not that anyone’s personal decor choices have anything to do with anything under these circumstances, but the McCloskey’s home is historic.

        The couple was featured in St. Louis Magazine for their impressive renovation of the famous estate in 1988. Now more than 30 years after purchasing the home, which was once owned by Edward and Anna Busch Faust — the son of a revered St. Louis restaurateur and daughter of the beer-making Busch family — they have restored the Renaissance palazzo back to its original glory.

        They are, apparently, devoted to the preservation of the history of the St. Louis community, which would put them directly in the sights of those who would “empower” themselves by destroying any symbol of that history as evidence of “white privilege.” As if that’s gonna accomplish anything.

        1. Mangeons les Riches

          LOL…do you know how easy it is to get a home listed as historic?

          Could you imagine anybody actually uttering, “Oh, is THE Renaissance palazzo? The one that was once owned by Edward and Anna Busch Faust – you know, the son of a revered St. Louis restaurateur and daughter of the beer-making Busch family – that we all read about in St Louis magazine back in 1988?” Oh wait, that couldn’t be said because the McCloskeys are so dedicated to the preservation of history that they exclude anybody outside of their community from seeing it.

          Spare us all the PR. Watch the video interview with Mr. McCloskey and NBC, he’s clearly paranoid, ranting about the Marxist revolutionaries and blah, blah, blah. Then again, I can’t say I totally blame him. To be in a private community in your palatial home can’t be very comfortable in one of the most violent cities in the US.

        2. jr

          Yes, why they’re practically historians with this historical registry stuff, preserving the schmaltz of a bygone age and far off land for the enlightenment of…..who? The other residents of the area? The St. Louis “community”? Or is it to drape themselves in the authenticity of place and personage that only comes by possessing a reproduction of a palace? With real turn of the century plumbing?

          I bet these two run for local office in the next year or so, unless they get sent to prison first…

        3. Aumua

          There is good reason for taking down many of the statues, especially those in the south from the Jim Crow era that were put there as a not-so-subtle reminder to black people of where they came from, and where they could end up again. It ain’t about “white” or any other kind of privilege. It’s about straight up racism and its codification in our society.

          That said, here may be a few questionable cases of statue removal.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Tearing down is easy. Why not just put up some new statues? Maybe to Booker T. Washington, the first black man to be invited to dine in the White House? Oops he was invited there by that horrible man Theodore Roosevelt, and his statue is being removed. So shouldn’t they cancel Booker too, because he agreed to dine with The Horrible One?

            And what happens when all of the statues of everyone who could possibly offend anyone else anywhere are gone? Is that when the mob starts taking actions that would actually improve their lives? Like maybe revisiting whether the nation’s first *black* president with two *black* Attorneys General did anything except absolutely abandon his race to the interests of Wall St, Big Prison, Big Pharma, and Big Military? Why, it’s almost as though the real problem is not skin color but *disenfranchisement*.

            But fear not, the architect of the policies that sent them to die for no reason in foreign wars, enslaved them with credit card debt with no way out, and rounded them up to rot in prisons, VP of the blackface neo-lib charlatan, will ride to the rescue from his mansion bunker. So the beatings will continue apace but I’m sure morale will improve greatly because all of those awful statues will be gone.

            1. Aumua

              Yep it would be good if they would take actions that will improve their lives, and I think they are trying to do that. I mean it’s all to bring attention to their message and their cause. Meanwhile I just have a hard time drumming up a lot for concern for the statues. As someone else said today, it’s not like they are great works of art or anything. Statues can be replaced, and probably will be at some point, hopefully with better ones.

            2. Darthbobber

              Overall, the statues remain a sideshow for most activists and protesters on the ground (with a few exceptions like our idiotic and quite recent Rizzo stature.) But statuary related happenings seem to be a magnet for the media. Much like Abbie and Jerry’s nearly inconsequential Yippies soaked up hyperventilating press attention like a sponge.

              1. Aumua

                Exactly. The ongoing and good sized peaceful protests aren’t getting any coverage at all right now. There’s a story only if someone gets shot, or something gets destroyed. So toppling statues is in fact a productive activity in that regard.

              2. Lambert Strether

                I’m glad the Rizzo statue is gone. Good riddance. That said, the last BLM culminated with a focus on flags and statues. One might almost think that symbol manipulators had seized control.

            3. periol

              Why do we need statues at all? Tear them all down, along with the advertising billboards and giant logos littering roads everywhere.

      6. Duke of Prunes

        I hope I am never subject to your psychological evaluation of me based on my home furnishings.

        I wonder what we could imagine about you based on your home furnishings.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I can recall off the top of my head Bloomberg and Trump’s interior decor, and it’s just as horrid as the McCloskey’s and in the same overstuffed and imperial way (it wasn’t called “The Gilded Age” for nothing). The Bourbons (and, to be fair, the Windsors) had better taste, at least.

    5. Darthbobber

      You could use the video as a humorous gun safety class, since they manage to commit virtually every sin. If I were a neighbor, I’d have been expecting a stray round in my house at any moment.

      And in my head I hear my drill sergeant screaming “Weapon up and safe! Weapon up and safe! “

    6. Jack

      Did you also notice them were barefoot? Just a guess but my take is no ammo but lots of alcohol involved.

  3. jackiwbass

    The article about flood risk increasing because of climate change reminds me of something that happened a decade ago. I think FEMA is supposed to update flood risk maps periodically. It could be every 10 years. FEMA came out with a new map that showed a flood risk to many more properties. It meant that many more people would be required to buy flood insurance. Flood insurance is expensive. Because of this people complained. Of course politicians jumped on this and had the map thrown out to appease people. We allow developing in high risk areas. It is bad policy. There is a federal program that allows flood prone properties to be purchased and permanently ban developing on the property. I think its a good program but unfortunately it is way underfunded. In the US we seem to act after something happens instead of acting to prevent something.It appears we do not plan well for the future. Because of a lack of planning we have more disasters and economic damage than we should if we did good planning. It is usually a lot cheaper to prevent something than to fix it after it happens.

    1. timbers

      FWI – I looked up their risk ratings for the 2 properties I have most recently owned. One of those was was on the coast and placed into a flood zone shortly I sold, and the one which I have now that is not on the coast – both had the same ratings which was minimal. I would take issue with my current location and rate it as non existent…by any reasonable use of the term.

      I mention this because I think this measures flash flood or general flood risk, as opposed to longer term global warming related risk such as ocean front property and rising ocean levels.

      If you look at FEMA for coastal properities, they have much greater granularity of zones to caputre ocean flood risk levels.

      Which, I’m sure, is great help to the flood insurance business.

      1. rd

        Coastal properties are easy to map. You can do it by elevation for a given storm surge estimate. Interior river flooding is much more difficult because you have to do extensive hydrologic modeling taking into account storm event precipitation, topography, land use (percent of impermeable surface), and flood storage (disrupted by levees). Constantly changing land use, especially suburban devlopement with lots of impermeable surfaces and levee construction can greatly increase downstream flooding. That, combined with increasing magnitude of precipitation, is creating increased flooding which is why we get increased property damage claims.

        US zoning is generally set by popular demand and racism. Science just gets in the way and costs developers and property owners a lot of money between storms. The attempt to bring FEMA into the 21st century was shot down within a couple of years byu the politicians.

        The goal of everybody, including the municipalities that collect property and sales taxes, is to maximize development and have the federal government pick up the bill when there is a flood. As a civil engineer, I have zero sympathy for a homeowner who lives in a mapped 100-year floodplain, elects not to pay for flood insurance, and then wants aid to repair their flooded home.

        The classic example of American floodplain insanity was Houston where the municipalities allowed developers to build homes INSIDE two USACE flood control reservoirs on land that was not owned by USACE. When Harvey hit, the homeowners were really surprised when their “high ground” residences started filling up with water.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I was surprised to learn after Harvey that the Addicks Reservoir had houses in it, now.
          I’m from north of Houston, and rambled all over the Greater Houston Area back in my day, and that was a sort of undeveloped park…as it should have remained….good for beer drinking and the occasional mushroom festival.
          Up around Magnolia, where I’m from, there was Lake Creek(the name says it all!), with it’s rather large floodplain, way back behind our house.
          it was George Mitchell Land and used only for oil drilling and deer hunting since time immemorial…until after I left, 30 years ago, when they put a bunch of overpriced tract home subdivisions back in there>(along the old Honea-Egypt Road, which used to be 15 miles of muddy dirt road, and a mainstay of avoiding the law)
          It floods every 2 or 3 years…sometimes Lake Creek actually becomes a Lake.
          it’s cruel and shameless on the part of the developers…and idiotic on the part of the people who purchase those ticky-tacky “homes”.
          should have remained wilderness creek bottom.(I wandered all back in there for miles when i was a kid)

          1. FluffytheObeseCat

            The people who purchase those homes are rarely long term locals, and they have no idea they are in a flood zone. Who would tell them anyway? The realtor who shows the places? Some administrative assistant at their title company? No one in the game and in the know will say squat about it, except to provide legally required notice about flood zones & insurance options. Buried in a documents packet, along with reams of unrelated real estate boilerplate.

            The buyers aren’t civil engineers. They aren’t geologists who teach cartography and GIS. They aren’t men who watched that land for decades. They aren’t rd, me, or you in other words. And that is true across the US. The youngish, first time home buyers who stretch to afford these kinds of “ticky tack” homes in banal, endless subdivisions are left blind to their vulnerability.

            I have somewhat limited sympathy for rd’s hypothetical homeowner who wants a taxpayer bail out after failing to buy obviously necessary flood insurance. I have far less sympathy for the “professionals” who make bank off the careful maintained illusions of the home buying public. The public is artfully kept ignorant. Intentionally so.

            1. rd

              Most people in a 100 year flood zone are told when they buy the house and take out the mortgage that they need to have flood insurance. It is generally a deliberate choice not to. Sometimes, people are unaware, especially if there is a map change but usually they have knwledge and roll the dice. The irony is that the flood insurance is subsidized as the program generally pays out more than it takes in. That is one reason why the insurance industry wants no part of it.

      2. chuck roast

        This is the way it works:

        Local man/woman runs for mayor/city/town council.

        Local developers, land use lawyers, civil engineers, builders contribute to man/woman’s campaign.

        Man/woman appoint/recommend “friendly fellow(s)” as Planning Director/Land Use Commissioners.

        Planning Director/Land Use Commissioners are happy to approve Land Use Plan amendments, zone changes, special use permits recommended by contributors that encourage “highest and best use.”

        Suckers and chumps occupy areas/units formerly seen as incompatible in original land use plans.


        This is America. You’re on your own.

  4. Sean gorman

    I am certainly in favour of defunding, even here in Canada, but couldn’t we start by detoxing them? Sports organisations seem on top of the steroid problem, and the mass produced cookie cutter bodies of the uniformed police are clear evidence of the problem.

    1. Winston Smith

      Speaking of policing in Canada, the head of the SPVM union (Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal) denied any problems caused by racism within the force. Sure. I lived there for 8 years and while the problem is certainly not on the same level as in US cities, it certainly exists.

    2. Aumua

      Rampant steroid use is definitely one of the big institutional problems with modern policing, and is a major factor in their hyper aggressive behavior, IMHO.

  5. Polar Donkey

    Masks and restaurants – Holy cow. The restaurant I work at has for the past two Saturdays had to deal with regional baseball tournaments. Imagine trying hard to social distance and follow health department covid19 guidelines, and 20 teenagers and parents walk in restaurant. Almost none have masks and they don’t believe covid19 is an issue. Baseball people are so bad they can not even grasp concept that maybe you should just send one person into restaurant to arrange for seating. No, they all stand around in a pack. We can not seat more than 6 at a table anyways but that doesn’t matter to baseball people. They get their area of restaurant with tables spread out and wander around between the tables. You give them masks and they may put them on to walk from hostess to their tables, but don’t wear them when the walk through restaurant to leave. Our staff had meltdowns and would head the other direction. Baseball tournaments are a menace to public health. How the hell baseball for teenagers and kids is still happening but not for professionals is beyond me.

    1. KevinD

      Wow – where are you located?? No baseball happening in western Chicago – at least my area.

    2. jr

      Thank you for you observations. This runs parallel to my comments below, I think. Sporting culture has always stunned me with the liberties it takes and that people allow it. Referring again to my coach uncle and the cult of football he was assistant leader of. Football nights were a bit lunatic, people would park in other’s lawns, people fired off shotguns into the air for big wins and little ones too, drinking and driving, of course the fights and trash and petty thefts. I remember as a kid being swept up in the excitement if not the game itself. We would flatten tires in the parking lot, set fires, steal beer, and conduct tactical urination ops. And we weren’t the bad kids. Looking back, it seems so crude and aggressive and odd.

      1. hunkerdown

        Pace Veblen, sporting is predation play. Of course they’ll celebrate their ability to ignore “lesser” people. It’s the whole point.

    3. mike

      Here in NJ we don’t have indoor dining and aren’t opening it soon. However, we are opening amusement parks at 50% capacity (so the lines will only be 20-30 minutes long) and casinos. and protests are heathy if for the right cause. It makes it difficult for people to calibrate the seriousness and effectiveness of the rules when the policies are so arbitrary.

      1. Darthbobber

        Well, given that at the beginning gun shops and liquor stores were essential and unemployment offices were not, what do you expect? And both Jersey, where I was working, and Philly, where I live, focused entirely on customer-facing operations. If you were manufacturing, warehousing or transporting anything, no matter how frivolous, and no matter how ridiculous the nature of your facilities made the idea of safe operations, you were essential, period.

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Speaking of dining, here is today’s laugh:

        In the UK, some supermarkets have admitted that there is horse meat in their home-cooked burgers. Even places like Burger King have had to admit that there are “small amounts” of horse meat in their burgers.

        Within hours of the news that Tesco’s ‘all beef hamburgers’ contained 30% horse meat, the following quips hit the Internet:

        I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse. I guess Tesco just listened!

        Anyone want a burger from Tesco? Yay or neigh?

        Not entirely sure how Tesco is going to get over this hurdle.

        Had some burgers from Tesco for supper last night.
        I still have a bit between my teeth.

        A woman has been taken into hospital after eating horse meat burgers from Tesco. Her condition is listed as stable.

        Tesco are now testing all their vegetarian burgers for traces of unicorn.

        “I’ve just checked the Tesco burgers in my freezer … “AND THEY’RE OFF!”

        Tesco is now forced to deny the presence of zebra in burgers, as shoppers confuse barcodes for serving suggestions.

        I said to my spouse, “These Tesco burgers give me the trots…

        “To beef or not to beef, that is equestrian”…..

        A cow walks into a bar. Barman says, “Why the long face? Cow says “Illegal ingredients are coming over here stealing our jobs!”

        I hear the smaller version of those Tesco burgers make great horse d’oeuvres.

        These Tesco burger jokes are going on a bit. Talk about flogging a dead horse.

        Since they’re selling the meat wrapped in plastic, is that technically a “Trojan Horse?”

        Instead of choosing “rare, medium or well done, it’s now Win, Place or Show”

        At first, I thought, “Oh great, I’ve been saddled with another email to forward, but something spurred me on.”

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          (with apologies to Julius)

          After all that, I’m leaving in a hoof!

          And if that’s not fast enough, I can leave in a minute and a hoof!

  6. Bugs Bunny

    I don’t think there’s anything more “Wisconsin” than that sad bear cub getting freed from the cheese doodle tub at sunset on a lake Up North. Those guys are heroes.

    1. rowlf

      Needs the “The bear was over by where Ronnie’s truck fell through the ice last year” to wrap it all up.

    2. Rod

      what resonated with me was filming the ‘animals’ in the boat being humans.

      what puzzles me is why that behavior (autonomic as it appeared) isn’t manifest.
      Particularly in the light of the last couple of months.

      1. Bugs Bunny

        It’s just some people fishing and helping a baby bear, man. Hermeneutics not really required.

        Now for the bar with a dock that every Wisco lake has, there your reflection more than applies. It can be either ecstatic or static.

        I miss July there. The smell of the green abondance, the freedom of the lake. Miller beer on tap.

  7. jr

    ARe: CHL sexual abuse culture

    I have family members who are/were serious football people, my uncle was a small town PA high school assistant football coach and his sons were both players. So were all their friends, you just didn’t make friends with non sports kids. The people in this town lived for football, like “Friday Night Lights” with less models. I don’t recall anything as quite as grotesque as the abuse in the article but there always were these odd little rituals and allowances I would hear of, sometimes see, from my cousins.

    Things like slapping one another’s groins in the locker room, peeing in each other’s bedrooms as a prank (that one seemed popular amongst them and all their friends), seemingly taking every opportunity to expose their genitalia to one another.

    Now, I get the concept of pranking and goofing off but this was different. Whenever I would hear about or see and question this behavior, my cousins or their friends would get this weird, part defensive/part smug “insidery” look on their faces and indicate in some manner that I just didn’t understand. Often I would hear “It’s my thing!”, as in the weird thing I do to others for reasons I obviously don’t understand. This stuff always stood out to me because I was never involved with the youth sports world beyond getting creamed in dodgeball.

    1. Alfred

      Actually the CHL business is anthropology, not pranking. Fascinating evidence is to be found in John Bourke’s description of the “Urine Dance of the Zuni Indians of New Mexico” (easy to find on google books), from the 1880s, one of the fundamental texts bearing on what became known as the social construction of masculinity, but only one tiny contribution to the vast literature on “the ordeal” as a factor in in-group formation. The shock registered by outsiders upon discovering evidence of passage through any ordeal (which works by making voluntary humiliation a point of pride, and whose practice must always be an open rather than a guarded secret) never comes unexpected, for it is the necessary proof of the ordeal’s effectiveness. The ordeal and its consequences therefore must always be publicized, though of course always in the oblique and disapproving terms required for making any discourse on taboo matters socially acceptable.

      1. jr

        Actually at no point did I refer to the CHL behavior as pranking, in fact I referred to it as abuse. I described the weird non-CHL behavior I witnessed as not being merely pranking, but something more. The anthropology angle is interesting but nothing I said diminished the abuse in the CHL to the status of pranking. Which has me wondering why exactly you chose that wording when you could have just as easily mentioned your points on their own merits….

        1. hunkerdown

          Not to belabor the obvious, but hazing IS abuse and the context of in-group formation is critically important to explain it. If you eliminate context, then smacking the hell out of your kid for predatory, antisocial behavior like reading Ayn Rand becomes abuse, and I must simply disagree in the strongest possible terms with that conclusion.

          1. ChrisPacific

            That’s not a great example, since many countries consider ‘smacking the hell out of your kid’ to be abuse in any context (and will prosecute you for it). So it will not work for readers from any of those countries, even if it’s different where you are.

      2. flora

        Fraternity hazing rituals for new members (now illegal, in theory, due to multiple deaths) comes to mind.

    1. mike

      I think the answer is a little simpler…. There was never any crime to investigate. It was made up out of whole clothe to both cover for the previous administration’s corruption and to stifle and disrupt Trump’s policy initiatives. And it worked… just at the expense of the divisiveness and general distrust that permeates our society

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Yeah, funny how the article didn’t come to that conclusion at all.

        But of course the same people investigating Trump are the ones who now think Bush Jr had a decent respect for the rule of law as seen in yesterday’s water cooler.

        With the mental contortions these Beltway types do to justify their of their own evils, one begins to wonder if there might be something in the water in DC causing these highly educated elite brains to rot.

      2. QuarterBack

        I would add that the motive was an arson to coverup the scene of a crime, and the gasoline is (now literally) being poured on every day.

      3. marym

        Seems as though investigating a few conversations cronies had with their Russian buddies was more a distraction while the his actual policies – lower taxes for rich people and corporations, making himself richer at taxpayer expense, chipping away at the safety net, arms sales, deregulation — got implemented just fine.

        What policy initiatives have been stifled?

        1. Mike

          I am going to have to disagree. I think 3 years of fake investigations, Insubordinate behavior from the “resistance” within the executive branch and civil service, unprecedented court interventions (with fake subjective criteria such as Trump’s reasoning or intent to do implement policy that fall squarely within the executive branch) has had an impact on his agenda.

          I can only assume his opponents don’t think they can win elections with their own ideas or they would fight with those.

          1. marym

            Oh, I agree with your last sentence. The mystery is the idea of Trump having not only some policy agenda that was thwarted, but one that would benefit anyone but the beneficiaries of those policies that have gotten implemented.

            Despite all his whining, he certainly doesn’t mention anything of substance. He had a Republican congress the first 2 years. He’s been appointing WH staff, cabinet, and sub-cabinet positions for three years. He, his family, and his cronies inside and outside government mostly refuse to provide testimony or documents for any investigation. He himself spends hours watching FOX, tweeting, and playing golf.

            So it’s not like there’s been no opportunity.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              It’s not so much what Trump didn’t get passed that he wanted to – I doubt he had much of an agenda teed up and as noted he did manage to get moar tax cuts for the rich, some weak tea NAFTA ‘reform’, etc. passed because of course the Democrat party largely agrees with him on those things.

              It’s more what he was forced to do that he otherwise wouldn’t have done. Admittedly this is speculative, but he seems to like making a deal more than anything and I doubt he would have been nearly so bellicose if it weren’t for these investigations coupled with the Republican hawks whispering in his ear.

              I doubt he ever even heard of Suleimani before he was offered the chance to turn him to pink mist for example, and I don’t think Trump would have killed him on his own. I also don’t think Trump had much interest in coups in Bolivia and Venezuela either, or if he even knew what continent they were on, until the Elliot Abrams of the world got their hooks into him and convinced him to move forward so that he wouldn’t look soft on Russia.

              Those last two are impeachable offenses if you ask me, but of course the Democrat party agreed with him on those fronts too, so they impeached for one clown calling another instead. Complete BS all the way around.

              1. marym

                Maybe anything bad Trump does is to distract from something worse he’s doing (per #resistance). Maybe anything bad #resistance does is to distract from Trump’s supposed commitment to world peace (per anti-#resistance). Maybe Obama did X which was worse than Trump. Maybe Bush did Y which was worse than Obama. Maybe Obama’s failures were due to mean Republicans. Maybe Trump’s failures are due to mean Democrats. There’s no lesser evil, only style and focus, and there’s a lot of complicity in evil.

                1. lyman alpha blob

                  I agree, which is why none of these clowns will be getting my vote, if I even bother.

          2. hunkerdown

            You can’t eat ideas and they’re all lies anyway. Let’s retire that bien-pensant nonsense as a qualification for public office because it only brings us more skilled liars and more talented grifters.

        2. km

          How many times did Trump try and fail to leave Syria?

          Did not The Resistance(R) howl “Putin puppet!” at even the most timid attempts at diplomacy with Syria?

          1. marym

            I was thinking more about domestic policy. He has expressed sentiments in favor of troop wthdrawals and less war, but, as he said even during the 2016 campaign, he means to take the oil.

            January 2020

            “People said to me, ‘Why are you staying in Syria,'” Trump said Tuesday. “Because I kept the oil, which frankly we should have done in Iraq,” he added, to cheers and applause from the audience. The president has previously criticized his predecessors for not profiting off Iraqi oil wells.


            Also, he hasn’t held back on actually killing people or arms sales.

          2. Mike

            I would argue that immigration and decreasing military interventions were two of his largest policy issues that got him elected. Any attempt by him to address either of these is met with incredible resistance from the swamp (including republicans). Step out of line and another ridiculous investigation is opened. The only thing that got through was the typical republican tax cut. Which goes against the rest of his economic vision. IMO

            1. marym

              My comments above already listed major policy areas where he’s implemented his vision, and continued foreign interventions of death and destruction.

              On immigration too, investigations in which he and his administration decline to participate haven’t thwarted implementation of policies thwarting illegal immigration, legal immigration, family immigration, refugee status, asylum, travel visas, work visas, temporary protected status, naturalization, and birthright citizenship. True, he hasn’t gotten there yet with trashing the lives of people still protected by DACA.

              And of course many of us are taking the pandemic seriously, despite his preference that we not. So there’s that.

            2. Duke of Prunes

              It amazes me (well, not really, but it should) how “Russia!Russia!Russia!” always amps up whenever Trump tries to do anything to limit our involvement in Syria or the Afghanistan. Seems like it was only early last week that Trump was talking about drawing down troop in Afghanistan, but now he’s Putin’s stooge for not starting a hot war because Russia pays Talibans to shoot Americans . Didn’t the CIA more or less create the Taliban to shoot Russians? This story frustrates me so.

        3. Oh

          It was a huge distraction and these DemRats are no different than their Repug counterparts. Looking at how Obomber announcing that Bushie followed the rule of law and his wife hugging Bushie and offering him candy is enough proof. The average voter is easily fooled by the Kabuki theater.

  8. Lemmy Caution

    I’m highly suspicious of hit pieces on Dollar stores. The article could just as easily be titled: “How Walmart Stores Became Magnets for Crime and Killing.” Doing a search on the “Gun Violence Archive” site named in the article shows 450 gun violence incidents at Walmarts from 2017-2020 — more than double the 200 incidents at Family Dollar or Dollar Tree stores during the same period that the article decries. Since there are far fewer Walmarts than the Dollar stores (4,700 vs. 24,000), it would be appear the odds of experiencing gun violence is much higher at a Walmart.

    1. Billy

      Note that the article tells us “a man entering the store just after 1 p.m., wearing a blue sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over a red cap, and holding a silver gun.”
      What about the color of the shooter? Great reporting.

      1. Aumua

        Probably a white guy, tbh. A white man who just happened to decide to rob a dollar store in a poor black neighborhood. Ya think?

  9. Clive

    Re: Boris Johnson More Fuzzy-Felt Than Roosevelt

    Even the Telegraph relegates the “stimulus” to being nothing more than an attempt to talk up the economy. If only that sort of thing is sufficient to offset demand destruction.

    It’s like he left a zero off the amount that should have been allocated. Time will tell if an absence of actual austerity will be sufficient, probably it’s not.

    What I don’t understand is why, at negative interest rates, all governments are not borrowing to fund any legitimate project with a reasonable chance of a net payback?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Re your last point. This being the case, why do not governments refinance debts? All governments have debts on their books and many go back several decades. It was only about two decades or so ago that Australia finally paid back the money borrowed during the 1920s to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Could not a government borrow the money equivalent to that debt and use it to retire that old debt? The amount for that debt would still be the same but if they locked in present interest rates, they would need less money to pay down those debts over time.

      1. Redlife2017

        That would cause big problems for the pension schemes. They buy up a lot of government debt predicated on the income (in the US and UK) – if they have interest rate protection, that may not be completely horrific. But when you look at how the pension schemes nailed successive governments to not change from RPI to CPI for inflation-linked bonds in the UK, you can also understand that if they thought that was bad – ohh boy. That change to the yield of the bond would be catastrophic.

        I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do that, by the way. Governments would have to be willing to make the pension schemes whole (ish). But would any government do that (certainly not Starmer in Labour)? The pension provision in the UK is so horrible that its not like we can put those people into the government rolls. …if only anyone believed that the Bank of England creates money.

    2. False Solace

      > What I don’t understand is why, at negative interest rates, all governments are not borrowing to fund any legitimate project with a reasonable chance of a net payback?

      The UK doesn’t need to borrow to spend. At one point the BOE knew that. Maybe that explains it.

      The poltiical class of the UK has no interest in doing massive spending unless it directly enriches themselves and their wealthy friends. The personal payoff for infrastructure or similar projects is too low and slow.

      If the government were to borrow large amounts of money from the public at negative interest rates, this would have a deflationary effect. The government would be removing money from the private sector without replacing it. Partially erasing the (hopefully) beneficial effect of spending. It’s better that it’s not occurring. Corona bonds are an interesting alternative, if EU spending has to be financed, but it looks like the northern countries would rather die in a fire.

  10. cnchal

    > Three Stages to COVID-19 Brain Damage, New Review Suggests Medscape (JTM)

    A new review outlines a three-stage classification of the impact of COVID-19 on the central nervous system and recommends hospitalized patients with the virus all undergo MRI to flag potential neurologic damage and inform postdischarge monitoring . . .

    Jawb one is do not get it.

  11. Andrew

    After reading the critique of H.R. McMasters essay on restraint at TAC I checked out Rod Drehers story on the new Orthodox Cathedral for the Russian Military, the embedded six minute video of this place is stunning. Aside from Drehers obligatory swipe at Putin he makes the point that Russians are building up their social iconography while we tear ours down.

    1. Fireship

      Reading Rod Dreher is one of my guilty pleasures. I enjoy my weekly trips through the looking glass into Rod’s World where reality is inverted. This week he quotes Victor Orban on feral foreigners running wild through the streets of Western Europe which has collapsed due to heathen democracy and birth control or something like that.

      To be honest, I think most American monumental ‘art’ should be torn down. Not because of what it represents, but because it is frankly crap. There is nothing American about it. It is second rate, derivative, boring crap.

      1. Andrew

        Yeah Dreher can be a nutter but I found his travel series through Russia reporting on the resurgence of Orthodoxy interesting. Vladimir Putin is also an Orthodox Christian and ironically a former FSB agent who has been a major force for state financial support rebuilding cathedrals across Russia, I believe it framed as reparations for the destruction of churches during the early Bolshevic Era. During the Great Patriotic War Stalin eased up on church suppression as it fostered cohesion amongst the all the different Soviet peoples; Looking at the video this seems to be reflected in the iconography of the new Cathedral. I think it is a credit to Putins statesmanship how he has knitted the Communists , his only real politically viable competition, the Orthodox Church (Tsarists) , and the liberals who do not follow the haphazard Navalny (or Pussy Riot) into building something grand. I dont think Rod Dreher ever acknowledges Putin’s role in this area.

        Just my impressions as a Russia watcher.

  12. Wukchumni

    Heard from a friend who works for the NPS that the main part of Sequoia NP in the Giant Forest is being trashed by visitors, as Americans have apparently gone feral on the crown jewels and there is litter all over the place, some of it having to do with lessened maintenance, other aspects include people’s reluctance to use long-drop toilets cause of Covid, so some are shitting w/o sitting all over the forest for the trees.

    I wonder what the situation is at other National Parks?

    1. Carolinian

      Sorry to hear it. Covid seems to be bringing out the tenderfeet who aren’t much into respect for nature much less knowing how to go to the bathroom in the woods.

        1. Carolinian

          One word Benjamin–catholes (OK that’s two words). You can dig one with a stick.

          Leaves can serve as TP. Just don’t use the ones that come in groups of three.

    2. KevinD

      Check out the administration’s proposed budget cuts to the NP for 2021. Another “death-by-a-thousand cuts” approach. I guess the hope is we’ll look at it in another ten years and say it’s not worth saving.

    3. juno mas

      Joshua Tree NP was similarly despoiled when maintenance staff was temporarily furloughed this past year. Seems we need a new Colin Fletcher for a new generation of hikers.

  13. timbers

    From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump’s phone calls alarm US officials CNN. Notice first sentence; “In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state…”

    Maybe Carl Bernstein – the CNN reporter of this story that leaks highly classified government phone calls – can be imprisoned and put on trial at the same time Julian Assange is?

    If Carl divlluges his sources we could also arrest and charge those folks, too, and they can be tried at the sme time. Maybe this would save a lot of taxpayer money.

    And since Carl admits in his opening sentence that he was voilating Federal law and is maybe even a traitor, the court proceeding for the prosectution might be very easy.

    1. tinheart

      I love this quote by Carl B. where he calls Russia “a second-rate totalitarian state with less than 4% of the world’s GDP”. Well, if they’re second rate then what is everyone worried about? That would be like worrying about those crafty Spaniards or devious Italians. (And the undue influence or Portugal.)

      I guess it’s Schrodinger’s Russia now – it’s either in collapse or a colossus, depending on the goal’s of the authory.

      1. rowlf

        If I remember correctly France has a larger military budget than Russia (and a seaworthy aircraft carrier). Maybe less defense industry grift is what makes Russia such a dangerous country to the world.

        1. chuck roast

          Now if they were to contract for a few dozen F-35’s I’m sure all would be forgiven.

      2. DJG

        tinheart: As a small country that has as its main natural resources agriculture, wineries, and fishing–as well as talented people–Portugal has had undue influence on the world. Supposedly, the nefarious Portuguese taught the Japanese how to make tempura. It’s some kind of conspiracy.

        I am now going to leak my hundreds of top-secret calls with Portuguese who keep insisting that they have Absolutely No Desire to take over the rickety U S of A and nurse it back to sanity.

        1. tinheart

          We must remain ever vigilant against the Asiatico-Portugese Alliance and the threat of the Brazil. And the weaponized music of Salvador Sobral!

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        Since I think the USA has been an American style f-ism since 1981, these regimes such as the US need enemies who are simultaneously all powerful and ready to be collapse to distract the population. Iraq, Iran, and now Russia are all imminent threats who will be overthrown by the people if Americans just acted even crazier than usual. Also those countries tend to have smaller prison populations per capita meaning crime must be rampant and so forth.

      4. Carolinian

        But, but….they made a movee about him and his obnoxious pal Woodward. I wonder if Redford might want to take that one back.

        Nora Ephron made a considerably less flattering movie about him called Heartburn. They were married.

      5. Skip Intro

        It was always Schroedinger’s Russia… Either a fundamentally untenable economic system which was collapsing, as inevitable, or a world-class political, economic, and military competitor who could take over the globe if the vigilant even blink.

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          “Russia is never as strong as she looks. Russia is never as weak as she looks.” Variously attributed to Churchill, Talleyrand, or Metternich. Regardless of the source, it’s not bad advice.

      6. rd

        They have nuclear weapons and are also very good at asymetric warfare, including fighting through proxies.

        The countries that the US has difficulty defeating usually have a signficant percentage of the population living in medieval conditions with the country itself barely registering on the GDP meter. The US usually has to leave those countries with its tail between its legs.

      7. km

        Russia also is a fascist state when the audience are liberals, and communist when the audience are conservatives.

        1. Aumua

          Nah, they’re Communists either way. I mean conservatives like to call the liberals Communists, but really they both hate Communism equally.

      8. Susan the other

        And Bacevich v. McMaster. Bacevich is looking clearly and critically at McMaster’s advocacy of war. McMaster didn’t exactly say “with Russia” but who else? I’m sorry to see McM. pushing the relentless war meme. And propaganda is not the mandate of the military. Just the opposite. I’m disappointed to now think that McM. is serving as a dysinformationist right along with the MSM, NPR, BBC and various shadowy US and UK intelligence operatives. Thanks to Bacevich for not mincing his words. And raising the eternal question, What is it about Russia, anyway? I’ve never seen the answer to this question.

      9. timbers

        Maybe Trump can storm CCN with some fed types decked out if full military gear (and Covid masks of course but Trump of course not having one to emphasize is special-ness) and arrest Carl B and associates on grounds of leaking highly classified Top Secret vital govmit communimcations.

        In the middle of all this as it is going down, Trump can approach the TV camera looking directly into it, and make a Dick Nixon V for Victoy shape with his arms and tell the viewers “We finally did, people. We caught the Clinton News Networks red handded sabataging American and we shut it down!”

        This would pose a huge dilema for John Roberts should CNN take matters all the way to the Supremes. Should Roberts best be the 5th vote to side with CNN so Dems can finally openly call him “liberal” and hero of the resistance?

        Well…maybe this will show up as a comedy skit on SNL…

  14. DanP66

    As for the couple in St. Louis that held guns on the protesters?

    Well, personally I do not blame them.

    After weeks of insanity, looting, burning, attacking cops, marchers chanting “Eat the rich!”, you then have a masked mob tear down a gate and enter private property?

    Heck, I would have grabbed my guns too.

    The issue I take is that they pointed the guns and did not shoot. Do not point unless you actually intend to shoot someone. Otherwise keep the gun down. Did not like the way she had her finger on the trigger either. Again, MAT….muzzle in a safe direction, action open, finger off the trigger until you are prepared to shoot.

    (Anyone else think that the woman reminded me of a Karen?)

    I have a really bad feeling about where this is all going and what things are going to be like in the fall.

    My neighbor came over yesterday to ask me if he should get a 9mm or a .45 and what kind of ammo he should use for it and for his shotgun.

    A good friend who is a retired cop told me that he is stocking up on guns and ammo.

    Me? Yeah, well, have not gone there yet but I have checked the guns I do own and I have made sure that I have a few boxes of ammo in the house

    1. The Rev Kev

      Their big mistake was leaving their house to start waving around guns at people. If they had gone and made themselves a cup of coffee and watched something on the telly, then those protestors would have been gone shortly. That is the trouble with guns. With one you feel powerful and you might go looking for trouble as a result because you think that you can handle it.

      Reminds me of this old dude that saw a robbery taking place in his neighbour’s house a coupla ears ago and he rang 911. The trouble was that he got so riled up, that he ignored the officer telling him that police were on the way and to stay put, went out with his gun and shot them both dead. And I don’t think that he was even really bothered by that fact afterwards.

      1. DanP66

        No. A mob breaks down your gate you do not go play ostrich.

        Maybe in a different time but not now.

        Too many mobs burning, looting, assaulting, and the cops are nowhere to be seen.

        This was NOT a public road and those protesters had to break down a gate to get in. They had already demonstrated that they had no respect for destroying private property.

        These aholes that broke in are lucky they did not get shot and if they had I would have no sympathy.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘With great firepower comes great responsibility.’

          -Peter Parker (kinda)

          If you know guns then you know that those two failed to know their own. If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself if you would be happy going to a shooting range with those two.

        2. witters

          “These aholes that broke in are lucky they did not get shot and if they had I would have no sympathy.”


          1. verifyfirst

            If the premise is that this couple was really concerned for their personal safety, why did they make themselves easy targets by standing outside like that, no body armour, just a flacid pink polo shirt for protection? Stupid.

            If they were actually worried about their personal safety, would they not have taken cover behind the thick rock walls of their palace, and surveyed the scene (with their guns) from a position of safety?

            So either they are super dumb, or their agenda was not their own personal safety.

            1. Dr. John Carpenter

              This. Posing out in the open like a dyslexic Rambo is hardly a defensive pose.

            2. Billy

              Imagine your outrage if they had been wearing camouflage.

              Meanwhile, we still don’t have M4A or a fair tax system.
              But, Black Lives Matter!

        3. Mark Gisleson

          So if mayors all live on private streets, they never have to fear protests again?

          Nice world you live in. I’ll try not to visit as I’d rather not get shot for accidentally touching someone’s property.

        4. The S

          The video of the protestors entering the grounds clearly shows the gate swinging open easily; there was no “breaking down a gate.” Besides, if one has been shunted into the property-less underclass, why would one respect property laws of people in Versailles-like mansions? It’s best to make life for the rich miserable until there is economic justice.

          1. Darthbobber

            And they were just walking past on the way to their business with the mayor until this pair made their appearance and some of them decided to take a pause to annoy them.

        5. jr

          Right, best to escalate things through the roof by waving around guns that you obviously have no idea how to properly use. Cause the only thing easier to protect yourself against than an angry mob is an enraged one…if they weren’t grandstanding idiots and actually thought of their own security they wouldn’t have announced their position, shown their assets, until absolutely necessary…

        6. Wyoming

          You are completely wrong. 100% period full stop.

          That couple committed serious felony’s. If I had been there and they had done that I would have shot them on the spot. They absolutely had no right to do what they did and were clearly threatening to kill the people they pointed their guns at.

          We all have the right to self defense and they were the criminals in this situation.

        7. Winston Smith

          Well in the meantime, Ken and Karen are gettin’ scared of something else…the consequences of displaying their Rambo/Death Wish fantasies in the age of social media. The incident is being investigated by local authorities and the merits of a case against or for their actions is debated at length in the link below. Their attorney is careful to point out that the “agitators were white”(?!)

        8. flora

          I agree with you. If the mob broke down their gates to enter their property intent on destruction then the homeowners stepping out with with guns to ward off more destruction wasn’t out of line, imo. I would have done the same. Except, I’m not sure those homeowners know how to handle and use guns. They could have popped each other the way they were waving the guns around. Yikes!

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            If The S is right, there’s video showing there was no “breaking down the gate” involved.

            Can someone please point out where the protesters marching through the gate can be seen?

        9. Massinissa

          It was a private road but it was available for foot traffic. You just can’t drive on that road. Actually learn about the road before saying BS about it.

    2. rowlf

      In Georgia people have been cleaning out the gun stores for a while and overwhelming the background check system. Last Friday a local tv channel updated an earlier story but unfortunately it hasn’t been posted. The earlier story below matches what I have seen in the stores outside the Atlanta perimeter. Check the video in the story.

      Street disturbances spur gun sales in metro Atlanta

      1. KevinD

        The media gins up the fear and the gun lobby and NRA reap the profits. Rinse and repeat.

    3. expose

      I’ve never owned a gun in my life, but now looking into it.

      My liberal cousins have a shotgun and several hand guns, so I visited them for advice, then went to a gun shop. I’ll take the classes, and these include gun range practicing. So, I’ll practice and practice, then select the guns.

      It was recommended that I get a hand gun, a revolver, and a shotgun.

      So, these are my plans. Rioters got within several miles of my house. Ultimately, when I can swing it, I’ll move (hopefully before the housing values tank).

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe you should also have a coupla sessions of paintball with those liberal cousins. Those balls are only fired at low velocity but they might give you an idea of what it might be like if you are downrange of them coming your way like if you got involved in a real firefight. Just an idea.

        1. Off The Street

          My colleague used to have his house vandalized during Halloween. His solution was to hide out on the roof and then tag the offenders by firing paintballs at them. They got the message and didn’t return, and he wisely stopped before getting arrested.

      2. Berto

        Please do. We need more good guys with guns stopping bad guys with guns (e.g. the police). A nation with 393 million civilian-owned firearms should not have this kind of police brutality problem.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          How about we just take away certain guns from citizens and the cops and then ban their manufacture rather than trying to ensure all are armed against all?

      3. edmondo

        I was going to buy a gun but then realized it would be the only thing worth stealing in the house so I decided against it.

    4. flora

      My neighbor came over yesterday to ask me if he should get a 9mm or a .45 and what kind of ammo he should use for it and for his shotgun.

      uh oh. Maybe your neighbor first needs to take a good pistol gun safety course before buying a hand gun. Sounds like he doesn’t own one and maybe has never used one. I know you can still find safety courses. The NRA used to – 40 years ago – offer great, free gun safety courses. That was before they morphed into whatever it is they are now. Bet the current NRA is secretly not unhappy about the current unrest. sigh…

        1. flora

          The ‘left’: we unilaterally surrender in the name of peace for all mankind.

          The ‘right’: excellent.


    5. chuck roast

      I fired an M-1 in the army, but really haven’t done a thing since. But I see where you are coming from. You can’t hit a thing with a 45 unless it’s about 8″ away, so that is out. I don’t think that a 9mm has much stopping power…maybe a 12 gauge pump might work.

      What do think of a 3″ mortar or something like that? You want to get them before they get in firing range. What about getting a bazooka? If they are riding around in a vehicle that would give them pause. Any recommendations on an M-60 machine gun? They look wicked bad, and might be good for a guy like me with failing eyesight. How about something that launches grenades? What about anti-personnel mines? I could sow them around my house. That would trick ’em. What do you think?

  15. MT_Bill

    There’s been some interesting developments in the CHOP shooting story linked to in yesterday’s water cooler.

    Seems there is a reasonable chance that CHOP security shot up the wrong vehicle(white cherokee vs. silver forerunner), and killed two teenagers out for a joy ride in a stolen car.

    The spin in the media coverage is something else. It’s not often that the media calls a sixteen-year-old a man when they’ve been shot and killed.

    The Othering in the comments section is proceeding as well. The term “Battleground States” may be taking on a whole new meaning by November.

    1. flora

      Speaking of media spin, and not to diminish the tragedy of the CHOP killings, it’s interesting to read 2 diametrically opposed views about large church services and large peaceful street protests. Both are large gatherings of people in close proximity for extended times.

      On the one side : it’s claimed large church services are righteous and necessary and do not spread covid, but large peaceful protests are bad because they of course spread covid. On the other side: it’s claimed large peaceful protests are righteous and necessary and do not spread covid, but large church services are bad because they of course spread covid.

      It’s interesting watching the battle between the two sides for hearts and minds; ‘my’ group is more righteous and necessary than ‘your’ group so ‘my’ group can’t spread covid because we have ‘right’ on our side, whereas ‘your’ group is a danger to society. I’m pretty sure viruses are equal opportunity agents.

      1. Massinissa

        Theres a difference though: One is outside and one is inside. Also the church services are less likely to mask.

        Multiple studies show you’re more likely to catch it indoors.

        Though, that being said, I do agree that it is interesting to see the reactions, even if the protests have at least a somewhat lower chance of spreading the infection.

  16. Off The Street

    David Lazarus of the LA Times wrote an article about the COVID-19 drug pricing yesterday online and that appeared in today’s print edition. The company’s pricing rationale discussion gives one heartburn, among other afflictions.

    1. flora

      And to think WHO stopped trials of (very inexpensive) hydroxychloroquine (sp?) as an early symptoms’ treatment/prophylaxis. (I must not think foily thoughts.)

    2. flora

      Thanks for the link. If this is what’s charged for a medicine that doesn’t cure, that was developed and tested primarily with public tax dollar funding, what do you suppose Pharma will charge for a working vaccine?

      1. Off The Street

        I may need to update my postings to include a sign-off :)

        Carthago Pharma Delenda Est

  17. Wukchumni

    I’ll preface this by way of hearing bullets fly in the distance 5-10x a week here is about normal around these parts.

    5 years ago, a house on a few acres a few hundred yards from a friend’s house sells, and the new owner liked to shoot at all hours of the day, which not only pissed off my friend but all of the neighbors within earshot, and yet nothing could seemingly be done on account of guns having more rights than humans in our country and particularly in Tulare Co. where getting a concealed carry permit is no biggie and maybe they’d frown on you owning a Bazooka or a German 88, but everything else goes, and finally after a few years the hand cannon fan sold and went away.

    Now, if the same fellow had played heavy metal music and/or Debbie Boone amped up to 11 @ 11 pm, the sheriff would’ve put an end to that act quick.

    1. a different chris

      Ditto for Western Pennsylvania.

      Most of them are decent hunters just occasionally making sure everything is good to go, but yesterday somebody had to play mid-afternoon with his no doubt new hand-cannon. Easily twice as loud as what people who actually use the things on deer makes. I wonder if he hit anywhere near where he was aiming…

      …anyway I had to comfort the older dogs like it was 4th of July already. But yes loud music will get you a visit.

  18. a different chris

    The Justice Malala article – it ends with “because of poor political leadership”.

    He (and fortunately for him, this is not an insult) does not understand America at all. We are idiots. We are now an Idiotcracy. Our leadership is enabled and encouraged from below, and is a perfect reflection of the country and thus unsurprisingly completely incompetent.

    Yeah, the Rethugs rigged everything so they could rule with a minority — but the Democrats let them do that. They put up no “Resistance” at all to voter suppression, instead sharing quotes from “The Emerging Democratic Majority” during little closed sessions complementing each other.

    But, back to Idiotcracy, the R’s are a minority but far from a small one. 45% isn’t exactly a beer hall putsch. And the party with the majority of (uselessly distributed) votes is looking like it’s going to give us Joe Biden, so…. well there you have it.

    1. Buckeye

      Yes, I agree. The “state of things” is all on we the people. In colonial times the rigging of courts to rule for the rich, sleazy business dealings for the rich, robbing people of their political power: all of these (and more) were causes of the American Revolution. The Regulator movement in the Carolinas, Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys, and the various patriot clubs in Massachusetts all formed to combat elitist power.

      With the vote fraud of “voter suppression” and packing of courts with right-wingers, trillions in welfare for big business, our colonial ancestors would have taken up arms and fought back 20 years ago.

      But what do we the people do today? Act and think stupidly and selfishly; arrogantly proud of our stupid selfishness. And half the people are active, happy collaborators with the tyranny because
      the tyranny “reflects my values.”

      Like ” V for Vendetta” put it: if you want to see the REAL architect of all this ruined society you should look no farther than your own mirror.

  19. Pavel

    Off topic as it were, Yves, but isn’t today the deadline for the UK to ask for an extension on Brexit negotiations?

    As you have noted in the past, it seems they are slouching to a no-deal exit. Covid couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

    1. Clive

      Already past that particular even horizon

      What precisely is the thinking that continued EU membership or an extension would help the UK in respect of COVID-19? The IMF (table, pg. 7) estimates the UK will perform better than the EU in terms of recovery (although it is a competition between Cinderella’s Ugly Sisters for, well, ugliness).

      Even Christine Lagarde warns that the post COVID-19 economy will be “changed permanently” (likely an understatement). So what is the benefit of enshrining a trading relationship which is rooted in the world as it was 5-to-10 years ago? Even the EU will need to have a serious think about how it shapes up to the future. Aligning to an institution that is itself going to have to work out what it wants to be doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me..

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Shocking Lawsuit Alleges CHL Hockey Players Were Forced to Bob for Apples in Urine

    That may explain the rampant fighting in juniors. I’d always thought it was just the young guys wanting to prove themselves for the NHL scouts in the stands, but maybe it’s more personal than that. It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve attended a CHL game so maybe things are different now regarding fights like they are in the NHL where fighting on the whole is way down, but I used to go a lot and those kids used to beat the [family blog] out of each other. Just anecdotal, but I saw a lot more really vicious fights in juniors than I did in the NHL.

    1. JEHR

      I have paid some attention to what goes on in Junior League Hockey and it just seems to get worse and worse as time goes on. What are we doing to our young boys when we let them be “trained’ by hockey wizards? I read about the pedophilia rampant in hockey training but did not realize that the brutality in the game is part of the learning process that young guys are “trained” to experience. What a horrible thing we are doing to our youth just so some rich guys can look at hockey the way they want to see it: violent, ugly, demeaning and profitable!! Hockey makes too much money to remain just a pleasant game which is where it began–it has become a huge and horrible experience to suit the taste of the owners. I guess hockey has become “too big to fail” along with many other out-size institutions in our culture.

  21. Wukchumni

    We were told to go out and get as armed & dangerous as possible which a good many dutifully did on their own Dime, but what about uniforms, otherwise things will get murky as to who is the bad guy brandishing?

    I say we elevate the need for domestic BDU production to essential, food production can wait.

      1. Wukchumni

        You know, come to think of it things really accelerated in our global war on terror, just about when we adopted the current helmets for our GI Joes that could garner me a Godwin if I was to mention the similarity between older European helmets that also doubled as a shovel in a pinch.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Back when those new-style helmets were brought in, they were nicknamed the “Fritz” Helmet” due to their resemblance to the WW2 Stahlhelm models. Would you believe that I have a Stahlhelm here at home in a small size?

      2. Wukchumni


        I anticipated this happening and got a hellova deal on a hardly bombed used MRAP @ an Army-Navy store in Pixley, and it penciled out to paying just a little more than a new stock loaded Jeep Cherokee without a V hull, it was a no brainer.

  22. Carolinian

    Re WaPo/NYT/Marty Baron–I only made it halfway through but apparently the thrust of the article is that Baron sure is a great guy but old school and insufficiently woke. The old school part we can buy because apparently these folks all see themselves as 4th estate guardians of the public order. They are legends in their own mind and sometimes even have films made about them with Spotlight being the one about Baron when he was in Boston. Given that kind of hagiography complaints by a mere website don’t get a lot of attention.

    But surely it is time for big media to stop inhaling their own past brand fumes and admit that they have lost it. Baron is 65 so that’s a good excuse for him to step down without having to get into how rotten his newspaper has become.

  23. a different chris

    This is really good for those in the comments that get all up in their shorts when they hear “defund the police”. A pull-out:

    The police don’t want to be defunded, of course, but many say they’d like to be relieved of duties they have neither the skill nor, in many instances, the inclination to assume

    You don’t get what you want, sadly, in this day and age by asking for it. You have to ask for the moon and stay there until the other side, the one “defending the status quo” finally starts to move.

    1. Aumua

      You don’t get what you want, sadly, in this day and age by asking for it. You have to ask for the moon and stay there until the other side, the one “defending the status quo” finally starts to move.

      This is something Trump has always understood, and now this protest movement is on top of it too, but Democrats still habitually start low and end up with near zero.

      I’m sure many of these cops would like to be relived of traffic or mental health counseling duties, but they’re going to be relived of their jobs if defunding actually happens. Then they will just have to find something productive to do with their selves, oh well.

  24. Wukchumni

    No more spitting in Major League Baseball Boing Boing
    I was expectorating that to happen…

    Take me out at the ball game,
    Take me out without the crowd.
    Buy me off with just enough jack,
    I don’t care if I never get back,
    Let me root, root, root for the home team to stay clean,
    If they don’t win it’s no shame.
    For it only takes one called Covid strike, you’re out,
    At the old ball game.

    1. chuck roast

      So, in my lifetime:
      They put in the DH for home runs and in the process demolish two or three great baseball strategies;
      They raise the mound to give the pitchers an advantage;
      They decrease the size of the strike-zone to give the hitters an advantage;
      They allow infielders to field other positions based on hitter profiles;
      They now are requiring relief pitchers to pitch for certain amount of time or pitches or something like that;
      Now guys can’t spit?
      If they outlaw guys standing in the batters box and playing with their ba**s, I’ll never watch another game.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Actually spitting was a 19th century thing in countries like the US and oz. It was only after the first world pandemic that this old custom was cracked down on. You see it in posters from this era. It may be that in baseball, that it is a relic of former times.

    1. Geo

      It’s said here often but the fact that journalists like Hedges have been pushed to the fringes of media while all the stenographers are promoted at mainstream outlets is the most glaring indictment of how our national news is purely propaganda. Even when “real news” comes out in mainstream publications I have to ask, “who does this benefit?” And look for the underlying narrative they’re trying to shape.

      In a functional democracy Hedges would be hosting Morning Joe, Abby Martin would be in Maddow’s seat, and the headliners in the MSM would be staying on egg crates shouting their ravings at pedestrians pretending not to hear them.

    2. JEHR

      We think we have problems when we just has to wear a mask, physically distance ourselves from others and wash our hands! I cannot imagine spending 30 years in prison for a crime I didn’t do.

  25. rd

    Apparently, when the “White Power” video was posted and raised all sorts of backlash, it took 3 hours to take it down because nobody could get hold of the President because he was golfing and had put his phone down.

    If true, this is mind-blowing. How is it possible for White House aides not to be able to get in touch with the President or somebody in his enourage for 3 hours? This is beyond incompetency.

    1. a different chris

      At least somebody should make good on this Russophobia and ask “if they had launched nukes, what were we supposed to do? Wait until you got off the golf course?”

      1. rowlf

        I don’t what the current procedures are but a week or so ago I was looking for some of the pranks that used to get put in the launch briefcase and what I was reading said Bush Sr changed a lot of the practices, dialing it down to some degree.

        Who knows, maybe all the nuclear preparedness stuff got all hollowed out like the CDC and other infrastructure. I mean, nukes cost a lot of money and practice drills are expensive and can be embarrassing.

  26. juno mas

    RE: Green Sand

    Folks, the natural landscape is not the laboratory.

    The sand on many beaches is transitory. It moves. Along the foreshore, wind-driven onto the back-shore (to initiate vegetation) and much of it (avg.1000 C.Y./day in my coastal locale) down the coast and into off-shore marine canyons by the littoral drift of wave action. Maintaining any beach with green sand is a perpetual motion machine.

    1. Oh

      Instead of clamping down on the source of pollution (in this case CO2) these jokers are looking for silly ideas like these.

  27. David

    I’m going to ask the indulgence of the community to post a second story on French politics this week, because it’s important. In essence, François Fillon, former French Prime Minister, who might well have been President today, has been sent to prison for five years (three suspended) for ripping off the taxpayer. The bare bones of the story have been covered in some of the English language media, as here, but there’s a wider background which is important for the next election.
    In early 2017, Fillon, Prime Minister under Sarkozy from 2007-12 (they apparently hated each other) looked like the candidate most likely to win the Presidential election in May. Conventional wisdom was that he would probably squeak into the second round over the unknown Macron and the unpopular Mélenchon, and then beat the unelectable Le Pen. That was until the Canard Enchainé one of France’s most beloved institution, read obsessively by the rich and powerful to see if they’re in it, revealed that he’d been “employing” his wife on largely-nonexistent parliamentary assistant duties for many years. She had been paid something around one million Euros, which would have been legal if she had actually done any work, but there was no evidence that she had, and her own admission in a TV programme devoted to the couple that she hadn’t. It later turned out that Fillon had also “employed” his two teenage sons as research assistants, again, without any evidence of actual activity.

    Many people (including me) thought that Fillon would have to back out of the race, but he grit his teeth, denied everything, and mobilised quite a lot of support on the Right for the theory that he was the victim of a conspiracy (he was probably correct but that doesn’t make him less guilty). In the absence of any plausible alternative candidate, he clung on, but was sufficiently weakened that Macron finished ahead of him, and went on to beat Le Pen. The French financial crimes authority were already busy investigating him at the time of the election, and they’ve thrown the book at him, pretty much all of which has impacted.

    Why does this matter? Well, first, it can only increase even further the disenchantment of the French public with the political class. When you are living on a pension of the equivalent of $1000 per month, the millions apparently stolen by Sarkozy and his clique (coming later this year) just seem unreal. But everybody can understand a man who secures his wife a salary of around $75,000 per year for doing literally nothing because the couple want to live in a nicer house and have a better standard of living than they were entitled to. And Sarkozy’s presumed crimes were largely to raise money for his election campaigns, whereas the Fillons were just personally greedy. Moreover, Fillon, a nasty little man, was always sermonising about virtue in public life, and finding fault with others, especially the poor.
    The other reason is that this information didn’t come out by accident, and there is some suggestion that the prosecutor was encouraged at a high level to investigate it, and quickly. It’s fairly clear that the leak – detailed and supported by documents – was deliberately orchestrated and timed to ruin Fillon’s chances of winning the election, and to clear the way for Macron. Whodunnit? The political class is talking of little else at the moment, and the list of potential suspects ranges from Macron supporters to members of Fillon’s own party, such is the internecine hatred on the political Right in France. The next two years will be full of allegations, revelations, settling of scores and planting of knives in backs, all with an unpredictable effect on the outcome of an election which is impossible to predict anyway.

    1. Susan the other

      I remember watching a clip of the first leaked confession. Mrs. Fillon was (somehow?) filmed having lunch with a friend, I think in London but maybe Paris, anyway they were speaking English, and she told her friend with a little smile and a shrug that Fillon had given her a good paying job but that she never did any work at all. And I thought at the time, how could she be so dumb as to admit that to anyone and how exactly was it filmed? Somebody must have set her up.

    2. Clive

      With the Eurovision Song Contest having been unfortunately cancelled this year, I’m sorely tempted to have an alternative version where Europe’s political actors have to appear in a “Jeopardy!” format show. Please do bear with me, I think I’m on to something good here.

      As an example, we could have “Boris Johnson for €500” and the answer would be “Head of Government or State who sold out all his former allies”. Or “Leo Varadkar for €25”, the answer being “Came third in an election but still going to be the Taoiseach”. So you can then imaging the fun with “François Fillon for €1,000,000” and the answer would be “How much is it for a French Prime Minister?”.

      And then in “Final Jeopardy!”, all current leaders and their oppositions (plus a special returning champion Ursula von der Leyen, famous for “Doctoral thesis, €2 a word” giving a wildcard answer of “1,200 pages plus an early completion bonus” and making off with the tie breaker when playing head-to-head against Victor Orbán who unwisely attempted “Syrian refugees passports” as an answer to the same questions and lost, but only after he was ejected from the studio for threatening to fire a water canon at von der Leyen and take down a statue of Friedrich Engels) together with an extra special guest contestant, Joe Biden, playing sudden death.

      I think it would be a smash, anyway.

    3. CoryP

      Thanks, David. No need to ask for indulgence. Ok the contrary I wish I could flag your posts so I wouldn’t miss them.

  28. Geo

    Off topic but… just had my first interview for my new movie come out in Rue Morgue Magazine. It’s been a four year journey to get this one made and I’m excited it’s finally starting to emerge into the world. If you like really weird movies tacking themes of clashing eras, how violence has generational impacts, and how old ways refuse to release their grip on progress, all wrapped up in a story of an alcoholic vampire going on a bender, then you might like it. :)

    (NC mods: Hope it’s ok to share this here. It’s not my usual grumbling about the state of the world which add marginal value to the discourse in these comments and is unrelated to any topical news but it’s exciting to me so wanted to share.)

    1. shtove

      Horrorist here, but I haven’t watched a vampire flick since Only Lovers. Will check it out.

      1. Geo

        In it’s script form it got some comparisons to that one but now that it’s done it’s very different… some similar themes but explored in a much different way. I wish it was as beautiful as Only Lovers! But, my entire budget was probably less than the catering budget for that movie. Plus, I was not just director but also DP, and production designer (set dressing and wardrobe included). So, made due with what I could accomplish with limited resources. I just embraced the “gritty” indie vibe. So, it’s sort of like if “Only Lovers” was made by Abel Ferrara.

      1. Geo

        Coincidentally, we’re actually looking into that! Already have some interest from a Japanese distributor. It’s gonna cost about $7-8K to get proper dubs done though and I don’t think my unemployment checks will cover that right now. Might have to do subtitles at first then introduce a dubbed version once the movie has been out for a bit and brought in some funds.

        This whole thing has been made with a lot of love, and a lot of savings and debt. With the current situation I’ll be lucky if I have a few hundred bucks for marketing it but hopefully press, reviews, and word-of-mouth get it out into the world. Despite it being a “vampire movie” it’s actually one I’m proud of for how initial audiences have responded to it. They’ve really been taken in by the deeper themes and have had great discussions with them afterward about what it meant to them, ideas it evoked, and their own interpretations of the philosophies and messages in the film. Even had a few people at the test screening who had tears in their eyes at the end. So, if it can be found by domestic audiences I’m hoping it will do ok and we can get it dubbed for overseas audiences too!

  29. KevinD

    Robert E Lee’s take on monuments:

    After the American Civil War, Robert E. Lee opposed the creation of monuments to the Confederacy and its leaders over concerns that they would be divisive and delay reconciliation. In 1866, for example, he opposed a monument to Stonewall Jackson, arguing “that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South,” construction of such a monument would undermine recovery and reunification.[2] Later, in 1869, he refused an invitation to attend a Gettysburg memorial involving both Union and Confederate officers believing that holding such a memorial would “keep open the sores of war.”[3]

    Via The Strategy Bridge

    1. Susan the other

      I saw a recent clip regarding the removal of another Lee statue and the claim was made that the slave ancestors of the person speaking had been brutally whipped by Lee’s instructions. Which may or may not be true. The only thing I remember reading about Lee was that he was not a slave owner. His wife’s family had been but Lee himself was ambivalent toward the institution of slavery. And the only reason he took his commission for the Confederacy was because he was from Virginia. But conflicted. Lincoln himself was conflicted. I wish we could leave all the statues in place including the ill-conceived ones and just place an historical “addendum” on them explaining their shortcomings. It would be very instructive.

      1. periol

        Quite honestly, I disagree about taking down these statues. They are part of our political religion (propaganda), one that is almost unacknowledged in America and Europe (and places they conquered), but can also be seen in China, etc. The monuments are temples to a religious story about the country; in the Old Testament these statues would be considered idolatry.

        In the USA specifically, the pomp and circumstance of government, from the money to the State of the Union, is deliberately filled with religious iconography. These statues are no different. Relegate these men to history books. Placing statues in public is a powerful symbol, no matter what the words underneath it say. Removing these statues is a powerful statement that the American (religion) “dream” is not what we’ve been told.

        I personally really hope Mt. Rushmore is unmade. The American Political religion planted their largest monument right in the heart of sacred native lands. In the middle of nowhere. Just to proclaim who the new gods are.

        1. Massinissa

          I agree with you. Monuments like these are not history, they do not ‘teach’ anything. I’ve seen comparisons of taking down these statues to book burning, which is nonsense. If people want to learn about these Confederate generals, they can read books, watch documentaries, or even take a glance at Wikipedia for all it matters. What can a statue teach, other than at some point decades ago a bunch of southerners (I myself am one, living in the ‘red hills of Georgia’, as it were, and one of my ancestors was a Confederate cavalryman no less… Sigh…) wanted to send a message and aggrandize these historical figures for political reasons?

          Honestly? I’m not sure I like the idea of erecting statues to aggrandize historical figures in public places at all. Can’t we just have statues that have purely artistic merit, rather than trying to aggrandize the actions of this or that historical figure? It reeks of old fashioned state legitimization and the like. Its one thing if the statues are a few hundred years old, but I’m not keen on erecting statues of ‘great men and women’ in general in modern times, even if the figure is beyond reproach.

      2. marym

        On slavery and his treatment of enslaved people

        On monuments: (from the NYT link)
        “Dr. Foner said that after the war, Lee did not support rights for black citizens, such as the right to vote, and was largely silent about violence perpetrated by white supremacists during Reconstruction.

        The general did, however, object to the idea of raising Confederate monuments, writing in 1869 that it would be wiser “not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife.””

      3. Voltaire Jr.

        I have thought that some way to remove the statues [cleanly] and to put them in a building/museum dedicated to the past history would be optimal. Have explanatory plaques that give context. This would protect them as well.

      4. Lambert Strether

        > The only thing I remember reading about Lee was that he was not a slave owner.

        Gen. Robert E. Lee owned slaves AP

        > His wife’s family had been but Lee himself was ambivalent toward the institution of slavery.

        The Myth of the Kindly General Lee The Atlantic.

        Lee’s cruelty as a slave master was not confined to physical punishment. In Reading the Man, the historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor’s portrait of Lee through his writings, Pryor writes that “Lee ruptured the Washington and Custis tradition of respecting slave families” by hiring them off to other plantations, and that “by 1860 he had broken up every family but one on the estate, some of whom had been together since Mount Vernon days.” The separation of slave families was one of the most unfathomably devastating aspects of slavery, and Pryor wrote that Lee’s slaves regarded him as “the worst man I ever see.”

        Lee was a thoroughly bad man, “Lost Cause” propaganda to the contrary.

        1. Susan the other

          Might be changing my opinion here. The Lost Cause story seemed true to me because Lee didn’t want a civil war to happen at all. There’s no denying it was a great tragedy. I’m usually more cynical – but re The South, I keep looking for something honorable.

  30. Jeremy Grimm

    “South Pole warming … ”
    “Nearly 11% of the workforce …”
    “Trump’s COVID-19 Directive …”
    Maybe further indications that the climate could be heating faster than had been thought — even though “just within the natural variability of climate models” are not unexpected. Maybe indications that unemployment after Corona may be in double digits or that arbitrary financial insults are added to injury for those who must go back to work or face ruin … are simply to be expected at this point. But I confess puzzlement that so many comments concern the “Gun-toting Ken and Karen” or “couple in St. Louis that held guns on the protesters”.

    1. a different chris

      Climate will kill you relatively slowly compared to a “wrong place wrong time” (and worse if “wrong color”) gun-totin’ idiot so I guess that’s why it gets a bigger reaction.

      But yeah if a politician ran on 100% NRA and 100% GND I would vote for him/her/they in a heartbeat.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        There is a lot going on right now. Climate and even the unhappiness which promises to accompany Corona’s presence and departure are wearing. But I believe the gun-totin’ idiots — the subject of so many the comments today — are too much of the popular media moment to deserve so much attention on this forum. At such moments I worry what the ‘left-hand’ might be doing.

        1. Massinissa

          To an extent I agree with you. The ‘gun-toting idiots’ are a symptom of wider problems rather than a cause of social ill in and of themselves. I’m worried what they will do as the country becomes more of a pressure cooker, but at the same time I don’t think they should be scape-goated for wider social problems.

          And to be honest? I’m worried what *everyone* will do as the country becomes more of a social pressure-cooker. Guns are not a requirement for violence or social unrest, as the riots a few weeks ago showed.

  31. Wukchumni

    For what its worth dept:

    Just watched the trash truck pick up the contents of the Brown, Blue & Green bins this morning and to the dump it all goes, so much for recycling & composting.

  32. a different chris

    Well McGrath won, so you can for sure expect to see ol’ Mitch back next year. I didn’t think Booker would be able to beat McConnell either, but he would have made more of a race out of it, by bringing up, you know, actual contrasts.

    I mean even I, if I was a Kentucky voter, would think “well if she’s just gonna do a nicer version of the same thing as him, however she isn’t gonna be Majority Leader so she can’t even bring back the perks.”

    The whole Dem Party “glue yourself to the left arm of the nearest Republican” stupidity doesn’t win elections and is useless for changing the conversation to grounds where you can win elections on.

    1. Berto

      Democratic Party candidates not being progressive enough for Kentucky voters, is the death knell for the GOP.
      When the virus passes, there will be plenty of shovel-ready jobs to kick-start the economy.

  33. nothing but the truth

    “axe falls forever on fossil fuels”

    someone drinking too much kool aid.

    the only source that can replace in terms of quantity and dependability and scale is fission/ fusion.

    fusion is always 50 years away for last 75 years.

    1. Massinissa

      I have to agree. Renewables are good, but no matter how they are scaled up, replacing fossil fuels with them 100% is unfeasible. Unfortunately, modern life uses up too much energy to be sustainable with renewables alone without society consciously reducing energy consumption, and as you say, fusion may or may not be economically viable in a reasonable timeframe, even if it is proven to be conceptually sound from a technical perspective.

      Unfortunately this isn’t politically palatable to professional environmentalists, which is why Michael Moores latest film has caused such an uproar among them…

      1. Berto

        Make fossil fuel companies pay their external costs, and they too will be unsustainable.

        1. periol

          And that’s before we even talk about the shell game financing shale…

          Such a simple solution, making these demonic corporations pay for all of their externalities, a solution which is of course politically and economically untenable at this time. It will be untenable right up until it isn’t, though we’re running out of time to get anything out of the ff corps.

        2. Massinissa

          That wouldn’t solve the problem, though. The problem is more the unsustainable use of energy by global society and the global economic system. No amount of carbon taxes or other ways of making carbon more expensive will make renewables or other sources of power able to meet global society’s current needs, much less the needs of global society if it continues the exponentially increasing economic growth of the last half century.

          That being said, the easiest way to reduce energy use would be a massive economic collapse, so if that is the intent, a carbon tax or some other way of making the oil companies pay the full cost of environmental externalities that they ignore for profit would un-ironically be a good idea toward that goal. The economy continuing as it is will destroy the capacity of the planet to provide for human life, or *at least* the amount of human life living on the planet in a best case scenario.

          Though uh… Looks like the corona might do that for us. Or at least the first part. Sigh… I hate this global situation.

  34. Maritimer

    “Bringing sports back now is an ethical, political, and practical mistake. Slate”

    Professional Sports and Ethics?

    First all professional sports are Monopolies in the greatest “capitalist” country in the world. For some unexplained phenomenon of capitalism, sports cannot be delivered by capitalism but must be given a monopoly. This monopoly extends even to the lower levels where the sports fodder (players) are funnelled into the professional system.

    Second, the franchises of these sports rackets are, in the main, owned by billionaires. They get stadium tax breaks, tax incentives and credits and accounting loopholes for just being good sports. Thank you, Senator, here are your two tickets to the playoffs.

    Thirdly, these sports shill for booze, overpriced footwear, garbage food, and other products deleterious to a healthy society. These professional sports suck up the athletic air and create spectators, eaters, drinkers but not participants.

    Fourthly, one of the most infuriating sights is to see some so-called icon of progressivism wearing a baseball hat of some monopolistic team and pimping for them. (Search Michael Moore like I did and you may find him pimping for the SF49ers or even the NYYankees, Wall Street’s pimp-striped team! Lots of other progs doing it too.)

    Fifthly, pro sports restricts the bargaining rights and career opportunities of its labor. (Imagine graduating from Business School and being “drafted” by a Wall Street firm and being able to only work for them for a number of years. That’s how it works in pro sports.)

    It would be interesting to see how much of the Covid Slush Funds are going to the Sports Monopolists but Slate is probably not interested in that.

  35. Maritimer

    “Bringing sports back now is an ethical, political, and practical mistake. Slate”

    Professional Sports and Ethics?

    First all professional sports are Monopolies in the greatest “capitalist” country in the world. For some unexplained phenomenon of capitalism, sports cannot be delivered by capitalism but must be given a monopoly. This monopoly extends even to the lower levels where the sports fodder (players) are funnelled into the professional system.

    Second, the franchises of these sports rackets are, in the main, owned by billionaires. They get stadium tax breaks, tax incentives and credits and accounting loopholes for just being good sports.

    Thirdly, these sports shill for booze, overpriced footwear, garbage food, and other products deleterious to a healthy society. These professional sports suck up the athletic air and create spectators, eaters, drinkers but not participants.

    Fourthly, one of the most infuriating sights is to see some so-called icon of progessivism wearing a baseball hat of some monopolistic team and pimping for them. (Search Michael Moore images like I did and you may find him pimping for the SF49ers or even the NYYankees, Wall Streets pimp-striped team! Lots of other progs doing it too.)

    It would be interesting to see how much of the Covid Slush Funds are going to the Sports Monopolists but Slate is probably not interested in that.

  36. occasional anonymous

    Angrynomics: read it if you want to get angry Richard Murphy

    Blyth has always had a bizarre blind spot when it comes to MMT. The worst parts of Austerity are when he’s trying to thread the needle of how public debt is in any way ‘debt’.

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