Links 6/4/2020

Giant toxic toads come out in South Florida as heavy rains set the perfect mood for breeding Miami Herald

Echoes in the Chelsea Hotel Popula

40 Hilarious Pets That Got Shamed Publicly For Being Naughty Bored Panda

AIS Mystery: 12 Ships Appear to Cross Continents and Drive in Circles Maritime Executive (The Rev Kev)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

George Floyd Death: Derek Chauvin’s Now Faces 2nd-Degree Unintentional Murder; 3 Other Officers Charged CBS Minnesota

Cameras Won’t Stop Police From Killing NYT

Why America’s revolution won’t be televised Asia Times (The Rev Kev). Pepe Escobar.

Jimmy Carter: Privileged, powerful must fight racial biases Atlanta Journal Constitution

Obama, Addressing George Floyd, Calls on Every Mayor to Push for Police Reform NYT

Another Long, Hot Summer in America Project Project Syndicate Ian Buruma

Fast-Food Companies Still Don’t Care Grub Street

Threatening notes left at houses with Black Lives Matter signs City Pages (Chuck L)

Cop In Armored Truck Tells Peaceful Protesters: ‘If You Do Not Move You Will Be Dead’ Jalopnik (re/silC)

ACLU files suit on behalf of journalists in Minnesota CNN (furzy)


NYT Rebuked for Tom Cotton Op-Ed Calling for US Military to Use ‘Overwhelming Show of Force’ Against Protests Common Dreams

Self Protection

How to protect yourself from rubber bullets—and why these ‘nonlethal’ weapons are so dangerous Popular Science (re/silC)

Protest Safety: How to Protest During the Coronavirus Pandemic Teen Vogue

Sports Desk

Drew Brees faces backlash from teammate:s, others in NFL and around sports for anthem protest comments CBS Sports. re/silC: “this will be fun to watch on game day.”


Early Facebook Employees Disavow Zuckerberg’s Stance on Trump Posts NYT (Chuck L)


The American Virus London Review of Books


Will the Pandemic Push Knowledge Work into the Gig Economy? Harvard Business Review

Soho could be pedestrianised and filled with outdoor restaurants and bars this summer TimeOut

How Germany Saved Its Workforce From Unemployment While Spending Less Per Person Than the U.S. ProPublica

The UK Compared With Other Countries on the Pandemic Counterpunch

Science and Politics Collide in the Battle against COVID-19 Der Spiegel


Hydroxychloroquine does not prevent Covid-19 infection if exposed, study says Stat

Governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company Guardian

WHO restarts HCQ trial after Lancet concern over paper that trashed it Indian Express

Oxford, AstraZeneca Covid-19 deal reinforces ‘vaccine sovereignty.’ We need a people’s vaccine instead Stat

Food Security

Coronavirus: UK farmers face brutal test ahead of Brexit FT

Serfs Revolt

Amazon warehouse workers sue over risk of COVID-19 infection The Verge (re/silC)


Cyclone Nisarga: Mumbai, the worst is over Mumbai Mirror

How Amitav Ghosh imagined the impact of a cyclone hitting Mumbai in his book ‘The Great Derangement’ Scroll. Book excerpt.

Balancing the Books on Climate Change Capital & Main

Why are investors not pricing in climate-change risk? Economist (David L)


Beijing hits back after Boris Johnson promises to relax British visa rules for Hongkongers SCMP

China warns the UK to ‘step back from the brink’ after Boris Johnson offers 3 million Hong Kong citizens refuge in Britain Business Insider

Hong Kong Has Been Tested Before, But Never Like This Bloomberg

Trump administration to block Chinese passenger airlines from traveling to US Independent (The Rev Kev)


Bangladesh: Can this Putinist State Beat the COVID-19 Pandemic? The Wire


Libya’s GNA retakes Tripoli airport from Haftar’s forces Al Jazeera


Staffers lash out in Bernie world meltdown Politico

Trump Transition

The Establishment Only Dislikes Trump Because He Puts An Ugly Face On The Empire Caitlin Johnstone

After long silence, Mattis denounces Trump and military response to crisis Reuters

Conscience of conservatism steps up the rhetoric in denouncing Trump and his enablers MinnPost. Chuck L:  “When you’ve lost George Will . . . ”

Trump’s American Spring Rolling Stone. re/silC: “i hear cuomo in the barn when i’m welding now. he sounds soooooooo good.”

A triple whammy of crises tests Trump’s support ahead of November’s election Reuters

Antidote du Jour (Micael):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra


    Mr. Obama expressed optimism that the reform effort could transcend political divisions. He said that he was heartened by polls showing broad support for their grievances, and that this made the current situation more heartening than the protests in the late 1960s.

    Reflecting on the larger meaning of the protests, Mr. Obama said the unrest after Mr. Floyd’s death was “unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime” and expressed hope that Americans would be “reawakened” to unite around racial justice.

    > Pepe Escobar

    There’s no question the US is mired in a convoluted civil war in progress, as serious as what happened after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King in Memphis in April 1968…

    The insurrection, so far purely emotional, has yielded no political structure and no credible leader to articulate myriad, complex grievances. As it stands, it amounts to an inchoate insurrection, under the sign of impoverishment and perpetual debt.

    The Narrative Matrix on full display. I’m siding with reality/Escobar and not the snake oil sales man who betrayed/sold out the hope placed in his election, an election that promised to effect improvements in the economic conditions of the majority of citizens. Instead we got Obamacare and an extension of empire and an ever increasing burden of debt.

    1. jo6pac

      I was wondering if any one expected anything different from obomber. Normal for him to get in front the paraded without any investment.

      1. Carla

        Yes, Jerri-Lynn said he was already a master at it when they were in class at Harvard Law together.

          1. Swamp Yankee

            The Obameter? Obometer? I forget the portmanteau you used, Jerry-Lynn, but I liked it.

            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author


              My HLS classmates still remember me for coining that phrase back in the late 80s when we were fellow law students, Looks complicated, but is easy to pronounce, if you divide it Obama-mome-ter. Rhythmic even. Plays off of thermometer, and describes a device/blowhard that is a perfect conventional wisdom indicator.

      2. ChrisFromGeorgia

        It is still disheartening to see that so many Americans don’t recognize the role that Obama played in laying the groundwork for Trump.

          1. Wukchumni

            I took to calling him ‘The Great Spelunker’ early on, as he’d cave on anything.

        1. Berto

          Not an Obama fan, but I see Democrats passing the Civil Rights and Voting Right acts, laying much more of the groundwork for Trump, than Obama’s Presidency.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Would that be the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

            Awful lotta economic water under the bridge since then.

            1. cgregory

              Of the 49 major pieces of legislation passed by Democrats in the last 100 years, 46 of them were enacted before 1988. Would the party’s lunge toward big donors with the creation of the Democratic Leadership Council (which called Howard Dean a “liberal”) have had anything to do with that massive downshift?

              Inquiring minds want to know.

              1. MK

                Do you have a list of or link to the 49 pieces of legislation you mention? I’m curious to see what is on it that I may not know about (I was born in 1980). Thanks!

          2. jsn

            If I’m getting your point, a better argument cold be made the Republicans are at fault for winning the Civil War.

            Am I missing your point?

            1. chuck roast

              Yeah I’d like to make the case. If the north had never fought the Confederacy, they would have been able to construct their own little Brazil. Good luck to them.
              Cotton picking was becoming a less profitable enterprise and would have disappeared in time. The rest of us could have gone on and attempted to construct a civilized society. Having these reactionaries along for the cruise is like dragging an anchor.
              OK. You can throw the rocks now.

              1. lordkoos

                There would have been an awful lot of economic refugees fleeing to the north, both black and white.

          3. Upstater

            That was 55 years ago. What have they done since? Courts have also weakened voting rights since.

            One could make the argument that GHWB’s passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act was the last socially transformative legislation, similar in stature to the 1960s civil rights legislation.

            1. Berto

              “That was 55 years ago. What have they done since?”

              Lose the white vote in every national election.
              But I get your point.

          4. Fireship

            Wow! It only took 100 years from the end of the civil war! Civil rights for all is what a government is supposed to do. Other countries don’t go around saying, “Hey look at us, we allow our black citizens eat in the same place as our white citizens!” Giving all citizens equal rights is not exactly cutting edge progress.

            1. JBird4049

              To be fair, for the United States making equal rights legal was cutting edge progress. It could be argued that the (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) NAACP primary purpose was to stop the rountine lynchings of Black people specifically, and indirectly Native Americans and Hispanics from being routine. The firings, beatings and sometimes lynchings of gays and lesbians was routine in parts of the United States into the 1980s and 90s.

              We are not talking about drinking at the same water fountain or eating at the same restaurant, we are talking about be able to breath the same air and remain alive. The struggle still goes on although the violence has been vastly reduced.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Yeah, about that “reawakening”–been there done that.

      Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. (Cheers, applause.) We are the change that we seek. We are the hope of those boys who have so little, who’ve been told that they cannot have what they dream, that they cannot be what they imagine. Yes, they can. (Cheers, applause.)

      —-senator barack obama, February 5, 2008, on why you should pick him.

      The sanctimony of this pompous ass is “unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime.”

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        Imagine hearing the same sanctimony from a fellow student in a HLS class. At least you are referring to campaign rhetoric. We had to endure such tripe when we were supposed to be learning about con law, or federal courts. Monumental grandstanding!

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          So, am I safe to assume that the “we,” so “liberally” sprinkled throughout the soaring rhetoric and delivered with such biblical flourish is the “royal” one?

        2. Carla

          At the 2004 Dem convention, he said what so many Dems wanted to hear. I was in a hotel room in Philadelphia at the time, and turned to my traveling companion and said “This guy could be president.” I felt wary, but wanted to hope. Having been quite well aware of the sham of our entire system for quite a while at the time, it still was not hard for me to cast a vote for Obama over McCain in 2008.

          Clarity came quickly, with Geithner’s appointment, and then Obamacare to seal the deal.

          Hope is a bitch.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” – . Augustine of Hippo

              0bomba brought neither of the daughters

          1. jonboinAR

            I voted for Obama the first time as less likely to get us into a nuclear confrontation with Russia than McCain. I never bought into his rhetoric. It was too Bill Clinton-like in its happy feely, vague opioid sense. I remember having some hope around the Health Care bill. After that hope was dashed, I was off of him completely.

      2. John Wright

        But I know people who maintain that Obama was prevented from doing the “right thing” because the evil obstructive Republicans stopped him.

        I did listen to Obama speeches for the first two years of his administration waiting for the good changes to be launched.

        After watching his healthcare initiative, his rescue of the financial industry and continuation of all the wars, I quit listening to him.

        I watched what he did (dogged pursuit of government malfeasance exposing whistleblowers, Libya, Ukraine, Syria, fracking, avoidance of any painful climate change inititatives).

        I view both Trump and Obama as con men.

        But Obama is a vastly superior con man, as he runs his con for his benefit while convincing many conned that he had good intentions but was prevented from doing the right thing.

        Obama is truly a master of the game.

        1. Acacia

          What happens if you tell them they’re naive and gullible, and when their car throws a rod that Obama will be sipping a cool refreshing drink in the vineyard?

          1. marym

            Maybe there’s a level of evil at which calculating lesser evilism is a pointless exercise
            As a candidate, Trump campaigned on a promise that the United States would not shy away from killing civilians in its wars abroad. In 2015, when asked what he would do if elected to defeat the Islamic State, then-candidate Trump said “you have to take out their families,” and he further promised that his administration would no longer be fighting what he perceived as Obama’s “politically correct war.”

            While not all campaign-trail utterances end up as formalized policy, by 2017, the Trump administration was already working on rolling back its predecessor’s rules about airstrike transparency. Obama’s 2013 Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) designated looser targeting restrictions for battlefields and tighter ones for nonbattlefields…

            While keeping within the letter of the rule, the Trump administration simply expanded battlefield designation to areas of Yemen and Somalia, rendering the whole of the distinction all but meaningless.


            Under Donald Trump, drone strikes far exceed Obama’s numbers

            Graphics for stats for Afghanistan and Somalia:

            Iraq and Syria 9/2014-12/2017 > 10,000 coalition airstrikes in Trump’s first year:

            Civilian casualties:

            Arms sales:

            Transparency: Bloomberg 03/06/2019 Trump Cancels U.S. Report on Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes

        2. mpalomar

          But I know people who maintain that Obama was prevented from doing the “right thing” because the evil obstructive Republicans stopped him.

          Jerri-Lynn’s remembrance of things past is another piece of the Obama puzzle. Perhaps he was just a malleable, greenhorn senator with no there there. In the 2008 primaries I voted Kucinich who, the US being what it is, of course had no chance. The appearance of Geithner and Summers and a host of other appointees were ominous and portentous, accurately so, as it turned out.

          I recall hearing William Greider at a local bookstore warning of the appointments and Bill Black as well. At the time there was a notion advanced by the weather vane in chief about his cabinet, a ‘team of rivals‘ and if one was so inclined one could delude oneself into believing that Obama was going to do the right thing occasionally, an illusion that was however fading fast.

          There were the challenges to Obama’s legitimacy from birthers and open carry anti Obama demonstrations, there was Rep. Joe Wilson’s ‘you lie’ 2009 moment and the 2010 State of the Union when Obama criticized the Surpreme’s ‘Citizens United’ decision and Alito winced ‘not true.’

          First US black president and some thought he might not survive his first couple of years in office. As it turned out Obama wasn’t up to the job, one might also ask who is or at least who is that might be electable?

          His presidency was a failure because he couldn’t stand up to the swamp, including Democrats, like chair of the Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus who immediately took ‘single payer’ off the table. Then again in 2014 Baucus, no longer a senator, had apparently changed his mind, so if Obama had had a backbone…? Expectations were high for Obama on the left (with no solid justification) and therefore his surrender to the swamp on so many fronts was particularly galling.

          His presidency coming when it did was a catastrophic failure which took the air out of the movement and led to Trump by not walking back the Bush administration’s wars and constitutional violations; by immediately succumbing to the quislings supporting a version of the Heritage Foundation’s health care plan and failing to address the ever tenuous middle class vis a vis the financial crisis.

          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘he couldn’t stand up to the swamp?’ He was the swamp. Selling out was in his grand plan from day one. As soon as he became President he dumped Obama’s Army as an example. And now he is a fixer for the DNC (e.g. getting Perez the big prize, helping get Bernie to quit). In liberal circles he still is he-who-must-not-be-criticized but I sometimes think that it is because if his faults and crimes are acknowledged, then they will have to also admit that they were completely suckered by him. And this they will not do.

            1. Acacia

              This. Looking back to Obama’s Harvard days, to the $40K advance for his first book (that he struggled to complete, even after it morphed into a personal memoir), to the lectureship and law school fellowship he was offered at Chicago, to the offers of a tenure-track position there (which he refused several times, as he wasn’t cut out to be a publishing academic), it’s fairly clear that the list of suckers is a very long one.

        3. jonboinAR

          One thing I’ll give Obama, he has a calming quality we could use right about now.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Yes, Obama was the Valium of the political left. The problems remained just the same, if not got worse, but people were more chill with it.

      3. Chris

        Have we really forgotten Obama’s reaction to people protesting oil pipelines? Or Occupy Wall Street?

        We’ve heard this “you’re making you voice heard” schtick before, usually when his administration was busy destroying the movement. Why is the media’s memory hole so selective?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There is one thing Obama has promised since 2004, and its “no drama, Obama.” He promises our problems can be solved easily and are all in our head. Even with Biden, the promise of an “easy fix” is very important. Sanders message is there is work ahead and demands one’s own political accountability. Be responsible for your neighbor.

          My guess is the PMC democrats would despise JFK (for different reasons than me) for his rhetoric. “Don’t ask…” for example, JFK is making a similar demand. He’s not promising to fix it with feel goods.

    3. L

      At the end of the day I side with neither one. Obama’s many failures are well known here. Pepe Escobar, on the other hand, is perpetually critical. Like any stopped clock that does not stop him from being right at times, but in this instance I see it as too early to say anything any more than it was too early to tell how the Arab Spring would play out 1 month in. Nor should we be looking for “a leader” to do it.

      As with 2016, I think the real test will be how many of these people out in the streets run for city council, and how many of them make a run for mayor, AG, or congress. Policing as others have noted is a local function. It is the city councils and the mayors that sign contracts and it is the AGs who decide who gets charged. That won’t change until it is changed one city at a time.

      If after this is all done no fresh blood goes into politics then Trump will be right about his “great silent majority”. If, on the other hand this acts like the 2016 Sanders campaign and launches many people into political life and they collectively move the needle, then that is different. But if we sit around and wait for another “transformative political figure” to fix things from the top then we will all be shafted.

      As an aside, I used to criticize people for calling Trump a new Nixon, I thought that was lazy. Then he started quoting the guy… I guess that stopped clock can be right twice a day too.

      1. orlbucfan

        Thoughtful comment. I agree. I voted for BO cos of the AA history angle. I knew he was a YUPPIE/ Reagan fan which I thoroughly detest. The latest events prove, yet again, that informed voting matters. Always has and always will.

        1. Massinissa

          Yeah, informed voting matters…

          That’s why I always vote Green at the top of the ticket.

    4. Billy

      Jimmy Carter: “Privileged, powerful must fight racial biases”

      “Privileged”…a white Kentucky coal miner living in a dilapidated double wide, with his four rickety children has just as much responsibility and need to soul search, bend his knee and plead for forgiveness as a Jeffrey Epstein acolyte hedge fund manager billionaire living on Central Park West? That’s hard to fathom.

      “Powerful”, harder to define. I would say that anyone who has an inter-generational family history of rapid financial success, within the system, is definitely that. i.e. Lloyd Blankfein’s father a mailman, Kushner Jr’s felon father a penniless holocaust survivor, Elizabeth Holmes mother a seamstress, Gavin Newsom’s single mother a waitress, etc. Any white person whose family breadwinners have not seen a real wage increase in the last forty years is not powerful. Their tattooed methed-out kids get just as much grief and violence from the police as any black.

      1. JBird4049

        Bringing up our class system is verboten and it is acceptable to use IdPol and the very real existence of often lethal, certainly crippling, discrimination. However, all whiteness does is give a person a much better chance, not a guarantee, of being treated as a human being. The lower your class and the less your whiteness means anything to the point to those living on the street the term ‘white privilege” is an insult. Rather like how using “all lives matter” is used to belittle the murder of blacks by the cops, “white privilege” has become a way to belittle the ruin and deaths of much of whites.

      2. neo-realist

        “Their tattooed methed-out kids get just as much grief and violence from the police as any black”. You gotta be kidding???? Do you know of any of those tattooed methed-out kids getting 40 plus bullets for fumbling on a wallet like Amadou Diallo??? Any white kid versions of Rodney King? Walter Scott? Arthur McDuffie?

        1. JBird4049

          neo-realist, the numbers very roughly are 1,100 people a year are killed by police of which a thousand are shot, five hundred are white, two fifty are black, 20% have access to nothing that can be considered a weapon, and an about 100 unarmed whites are shot dead each year.

          It must be noted that the white population including Hispanics is 75% of the population while Blacks are 16% or roughly 4.5 to 1, while the proportion of deaths by police is at least 2 to 1. So in total numbers more whites are killed, but as a percentage of separate populations, more blacks are killed. Determining who gets killed the most depends on which statistics are used. Lies, damn lies, and statistics is a saying for a reason. Both whites and blacks are killed more often blacks and whites.


          Zachary Hammond

          William Bowers

          Duncan Lemp

          Daniel Shaver

          James Boyd

          Kelly Thomas (

          The Counted at the Guardian and Fatal are two good sources although the Guardian only does 2015 and 2016.

          There are others. For instance, the Washington Post does a good count based only police homicides by gun although 10% plus are done by other means. Dead is dead, so why…(Shrugs)

          I hope this helps.

      3. periol

        Let’s just be honest, Gavin Newsom had quite a bit going for him besides his “single mother a waitress”. The connections to the rich and powerful on his father’s side are vast, and then there’s that informal “adoption” by the Getty’s.

        A few paragraphs of details about his early life in this link will put it in perspective (scroll down to the last 7 paragraphs. I’d quote it, but it’s pretty long.

    5. flora

      Shorter O: A minor, D minor, D major, F minor, F major, G major, A major. What? There are words, too? /s

      1. juno mas

        Oh, I get it! That is a discordant chord progression. Non-harmonic and non-progressive is the sound of O.

    6. hunkerdown

      “Because there are folks out there who took their oath to serve your communities to your countries [who] have a tough job”

      It’s a cookbook!

      1. J.k

        If You Thought Obama Was Giving Less Military Gear to Local Police Departments, You Were Wrong

        “So far in fiscal year 2016, (Oct. 1, 2015 – September 13), the DLA has transferred $494 million worth of gear to local police departments, In These Times learned from McCaskill.

        That far exceeds the $418 million of equipment sent to police in FY 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014 – Sept. 30, 2015).”

        These were the “reforms” after Ferguson.
        Worth the quick read.
        We really are the United States of Amnesia.

    7. occasional anonymous

      “The insurrection, so far purely emotional, has yielded no political structure and no credible leader to articulate myriad, complex grievances. As it stands, it amounts to an inchoate insurrection, under the sign of impoverishment and perpetual debt.”

      And frankly it almost certainly won’t amount to anything. The entire political substance of the protests (with apparently the exception of the one being organized by the New Orleans Workers Group, which I’ve heard is firmly focused on class and is actively repudiating a lot of the language about ‘bodies’ etc that the other protests are using) is about ‘racism’. Implement reform to ‘stop racism’. There’s no class dimension whatsoever from what I’ve seen.

      There are lots of non-black people in these protests, but they’re entirely framing themselves as allies who want to end the violence committed against blacks. Some times they even perform these weird, pseudo-religious ceremonies where they debase themselves and beg for forgiveness: But there’s zero understanding that police violence is being regularly committed against poor people of all colors.

      You can’t fight something effectively if you can’t even correctly identify what it is you’re fighting. Identity politics has so eaten so many people’s brains that the very concept of a class war is utterly incomprehensible to them.

      1. JBird4049

        Give them time. Once they’re sleeping on the street or in their SUV with their families, they will find one’s “identity” will not fill their families’ bellies. Being privileged doesn’t mean anything to the poor. Of course, many people would use that truth to deny that very real, often lethal racism exists and that it is used to benefit the ruling class and their courtiers.

        This is what terrifies me. A Demagogue will transform the People into the Mob, brush away class and use identity politics to destroy their designated enemies.

        Just who will be doing the killing and the dying will depend on who truly weaponizes identity first. An archetypal Trump who uses the state to really impose some law-and-order, blood-and-soil changes or perhaps a malevolent archetypal Obama (skin color being irrelevant) to implement some bloody and horrible Hope-and-Change?

  2. PlutoniumKun

    How to protect yourself from rubber bullets—and why these ‘nonlethal’ weapons are so dangerous Popular Science

    Surprisingly useful information there. Just one thing it didn’t point out is that rubber bullets and plastic bullets are supposed to be used in a different way. In Northern Ireland rubber bullets were intended to fire direct into the ground – the ‘skipping’ motion was intended to disperse crowds. But a few children with exploded heads persuaded even the UK government at the time that they needed something different. Plastic bullets were supposed to be more accurate, and so could be aimed at ringleaders, etc. But predictably, they were aimed regularly at head height – there was even a case when a woman was killed when a soldier fired one directly through her window into her kitchen.

    The reality is that these things are far too inaccurate for their supposed purpose – disabling genuine threats. They are lethal when used against crowds.

    1. RZ

      using real bullets can be embarrassing, not that it stopped the British Government using them against rioters throwing petrol bombs, The official policy was to shoot (to kill) anyone seen throwing them. Lets see if they continue that if rioting happens at scale.

    2. The Rev Kev

      How to protect yourself from rubber bullets? How about metal, trash-can lids? They are about the same size as some of those police shields I see being used and have a handle on the other side to carry them. They don’t even have to be new.

    3. David

      Yes, the experience of Northern Ireland shows that there are really no “nonlethal” weapons in the sense of weapons which can under no circumstances lead to injury and even death. Both rubber bullets and plastic bullets were, as I remember from the time, both designed and intended to be used to hurt rather than to kill, but there is no way that such weapons can be absolutely guaranteed to be non-lethal.
      Nobody has yet really come up with a way of targeting individual rioters, when they themselves are using improvised weapons that can maim or even kill, that doesn’t have some element of deadly risk to it. Whilst there’s a reasonable argument that somebody throwing bricks or Molotovs at the forces of order can hardly object if they are targeted with a plastic bullet, such weapons, as you say, are not accurate enough to ensure that it’s them, and not the person standing next to them, or running in front of them, who’s hurt.

      1. Deltron

        Anyone remember the 60 Minutes episode on the Pentagon’s ray gun?

        From the CBS piece:
        “What if we told you the Pentagon has a ray gun? And what if we told you it can stop a person in his tracks without killing or even injuring him? Well, it’s true. You can’t see it, you can’t hear it, but as CBS News correspondent David Martin experienced first hand, you can feel it.

        Pentagon officials call it a major breakthrough which could change the rules of war and save huge numbers of lives in Iraq. But it’s still not there. That because in the middle of a war, the military just can’t bring itself to trust a weapon that doesn’t kill.”

    4. Louis Fyne

      (My opinion) —-this is precisely why the states need to flood the streets w/the National Guard—a wall of human meat to seperate cops and protesters.

      Without the National Guard, the overworked, overwhelmed, exhausted cops (12 hour shifts for 7+ days straight) will be more trigger happy with rubber/plastic bullets while at the same agigators will be more happy than happy to keep provoking cops since the collateral damage is often borne by peaceful bystanders.

      Outnumbered cops cannot maintain an orderly environment for peaceful demonstrators, the agigators will always win because cops can’t arrest everyone genuinely breaking the law

      just saying.

      1. juno mas

        If the police were more concerned with protecting store fronts instead of corralling the peaceful protesters then dispersed looting would be reduced. I understand the looting temptation;”hey, I need some new clothes/sneakers to repair this paintball/rubber bullet damaged shirt”. It’s mostly spontaneous, but detracts from the protest message.

        Cops cannot, ever, maintain order against mass protests. Even with all the military equipment they’ve procured. What you are seeing in the streets of America (if not the world) is a massive demand for real change.

      2. Another Scott

        The problem is the cops – they are far too trigger happy, especially with “nonlethal” weapons. Everyone my age in Boston remembers that poor girl, Victoria Snelgrove, who was killed by cops, who decided to open fire on college students who were celebrating the Red Sox beating the Yankees. Although some were throwing beer, most weren’t. The city (for $5.1 million) and the manufacturer (undisclosed amount) both settled with the family, but the penalty for the cop was a brief suspension.

        If that is how cops react when it’s a bunch of rowdy, mostly white college kids, who aren’t posing a major threat to anyone, it’s chilling to think what cops would do when they think they are threatened by the people they’re supposed to protect.

        1. JBird4049

          Which is what we are starting to see on camera. Rather gives the lie to the standard explanation of “fearing for their lives” as justification for murder when so many people, often completely innocent, are being attacked.

  3. Amfortas the hippie

    the ship tracking mystery:

    Spidey Sense tickled a bit when i read it…new vector for 9-11 false flag.
    in the PNW.
    To be blamed on Iran/Venezuela.
    Backed by Russia…
    and aided by various Fifth Columns of undesirables/undomesticatables here at home.

    “Sweep it all up…things related and not…”

    1. Synoia

      Personally, I suspect a software bug. It has all the attributes of something intermittent, and triggered by a combination of things in old code.

  4. Another Scott

    Michael Moore has new podcast available called Rise of the Planet of the Humans where he discusses the controversy over the removal of the film from YouTube. This includes tracing the money behind the company that had the film removed and its ties to and The Guardian, which refused to publish an Op-Ed from the filmmakers. The critique of NGOs should be pretty familiar to anyone around here. Here’s a link to the YouTube copy.

  5. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: Hydroxychloroquine does not prevent Covid-19 infection if exposed, study says

    Approximately 12% of those given hydroxychloroquine developed Covid-19, compared to 14% who were given the vitamin folate as a placebo.

    Wow, so they give them folate in the placebo arm? Folate? You mean the same folate that increases CD4 levels in HIV patients? Would giving the placebo arm glucose instead of folate make that 14% rise to maybe 16% and suddenly HCQ was proven statistically significant?

    Folate is NOT a placebo and now I smell huge rat. Why not sugar pills? In fact, why not give the HCQ arm zinc in ANY test since that is the proposed mechanism of action.

    1. Paula

      Kristen, I am not sure I understand your concern? What specific rat to do you smell?

      1. Louis Fyne

        organized, deliberate lobbying and astroturfing campaigns by the pharma-biotech companies (or paid PR firms and/or academics funded by pharma) against off-patent treatments.

        I thought that this was all tinfoil stuff at first—-now for me it is in the reasonable doubt zone

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Here are a couple rats:

        While the initial infections had to be confirmed with a diagnostic test, the researchers also counted patients who had symptoms consistent with disease, in part because testing wasn’t available. (Whatever that even means.)


        Even though the study used the gold standard methodology of conducting clinical research, outside researchers saw significant limitations. The study was conducted in an unusual way: over the internet, without patients being seen by study doctors.

        Didn’t know if the “participants” really had “the disease,” and they weren’t seen by the doctors. Sounds legit.

        What the hell is going on in Minnesota????

      3. TMoney

        A Placebo should do nothing. It sets the baseline. Kristen is concerned because the placebo is going to do something. Any conclusions are now suspect, as are the motives of the authors.

        1. Krystyn Podgajski

          Yes, all this.

          It is such bad science they are either stupid or evil. Did they not even bother to check if folate might have health outcomes? They just seem like they are in a rush to prove it does not work.

        2. rtah100

          The discussion over at In the Pipeline raises two points:

          – COVID-19 diagnosis was by two symptoms (thanks to CDC test farrago), which include… headache and diarrhoea. Both also common side effects of HCQ administration! So some of the HCQ infections may be false positives

          – there were no serious cardiac side effects noted (one case discontinued, not clearly related to the HCQ).

    2. Brian (another one they call)

      thanks Krystyn; Every story about HCQ being harmful is neglecting to include disculpatory info. There haven’t been dangerous complications for HCQ, yet this claim is in almost every naysayers bag of tricks. The tests that have shown it to be prophylactic include zinc, yet the loud voices naysaying don’t bother to include that. They just want you to know that no inexpensive drug for us peasants is going to work. Each of the big pharma choices has lacked any prophylactic effect so far, and they are still touted as functional.
      Truth, facts, evidence are not important when money is to be made.
      But there is now a Whitehouse list of acceptable drugs and the country is being bribed by big pharma companies to eschew anything cheap and functional for something costly and useless.
      that’s america boys and girls, full of @#% and proud of the lies it can tell that will cause death and lifelong complications for everyone. Fairness doctrine indeed. I remember how long that lasted.

    3. SKM

      Yes, staggering what their idea of placebo is! Also, again seemingly negative headlines. However, it isn`t even necessarily a good thing to prevent infection, anti virals usually don`t do that anyway. If HC turns out, when used with Zn, and used either prophylactically or in the early days of viral replication (up to peak if poss) and thus keeps the subsequent disease from becoming acute, this would be a great result – exactly what we need in fact.Collectively we need to develop immunity to this (without the risk of becoming seriously ill or dying)and we won`t if infection is prevented. We need those RCTs as soon as possible…. beginning to sound like a broken record but all this disinformation is dangerous, people are being crippled and dying and still it`s politics, money careers….

    1. lordkoos

      I would think that it is true – without a steel core I don’t think the bullets would have any kind of predictable trajectory.

  6. Louis Fyne

    this is **very arguable**—- Minnesota is playing a dangerous game by upgrading the charges to 2nd degree murder versus involuntary manslaughter.

    So much harder to convict, defendant definitely will not cut a plea bargain. And the official coroner’s report doesn’t help a 2nd-degree case either (IMHO—given corona and chemical substances (fentanyl among others) in the bloodstreem)

    LOTS of turbulent time ahead

    1. zagonostra

      Curious that very little has been reported on Floyd having worked with Chauvin at a local club. Apparently they knew each other. Could this have been a pre-meditated hit job? Maybe charges will be upgraded to murder in the 1st degree once someone digs into the facts (assuming they don’t get buried).

      1. Keith

        From the little I read, they worked at the same club. Chauvin was the cop outside the club, which he was just likely for show, sort of like other part gigs, where the cops just sit in a squad car and like (Unusual as many departments do not allow cops to act as bouncers or security for clubs due to appearance issues). Floyd was a bouncer in the club, so they may not have had much, if any, contact. Club owner said the same elsewhere, although I do not recall the publication.

        If there was something there, I am sure Crump would have exploited it to further stir up sympathy for the civil case.

        1. periol

          They worked together for 17 years. I’m sure they had plenty of contact during that time.

    2. Alternate Delegate

      Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison admits this will be difficult:

      Ellison also warned that getting a conviction against police officers is difficult, noting that Freeman is the only county attorney in the state to have won a murder conviction, that of Mohamed Noor for killing Justine Damond.

      Absolutely the right thing to do, though. This is why I voted for Ellison even though I have pretty much given up on voting for Democrats in general.

      Also, I can see how adding the second degree charge may make it easier for the jury to come through with a third degree conviction. Minnesotans like to compromise. It shouldn’t work that way, but that’s where we are.

      1. Maritimer

        I’ve read a lot of legal/crime literature in my time. I have NEVER seen or heard of a book which in detail describes the twistings and turnings of the prosecutorial process.

        For instance, in some cases, the Prosecutor may prosecute for political reasons either her own or that of her Master. The most famous case of this that comes to mind is Giuliani/Gotti.

        Then another possibility is a Take A Dive Prosecution, that is the Prosecutor proceeds in order to look good but will “tank” the case at some point to either gain a favor/consideration or some other reason. I have never even heard it suggested that is our politicized Injustice System, a Prosecutor would ever “tank” a case. People always seem to assume prosecutions are pursued in good faith. Loads of ways to “tank” along the long, laborious legal path.

        What is really remarkable is that with all the law perfessors and experts churning out legal tome after legal tome, the Prosecutorial Process and its many possible abuses and manipulations is not worthy as a subject. Many other legal subjects also go unaddressed such as the absence of serious White Collar Crime prosecution. Now there’s a Pandemic!

        Lots of taboos and don’t-go-theres over at the esteemed Law School.

      1. WJ

        Have these findings been confirmed by the independent autopsy?

        Can corpses be laced with intoxicants prior to or during examination?

        I am not saying the cornoner’s report is false; I am only asking whether I have sufficient grounds for believing it to be true.

        1. Savedbyirony

          Oh it gets better. Now there are reports that one of the autopsies found that George Floyd’s corpse tested positive for the Coronavirus, and the speculation begins that the reason the cops were apparently betting the s##t out of him in their vehicle and dragged him back out and on to the ground is because Floyd was perhaps coughing and spitting on them. I guess they had to stop him from breathing because that act was a threat to their lives. (sarc)

    3. Darthbobber

      The second degree murder charge replaces the idiotic 3rd degree murder charge, and looking at the elements of 2nd degree murder in Minnesota, I really don’t see why you’d call it more difficult to prove on the given set of facts.

      1. Darthbobber

        I misremembered. The third degree charge remains, interesting to see what happens at trial, but I think that leading with the questionable 3rd degree charge would have been the dangerous game.

        Though the initial charges were probably the product of a rush to get something filed.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        At this point it would probably be helpful to remember that the cop who murdered Eric Garner, on video, in an ostensibly “woke” city in an ostensibly “woke” state walked away from whatever he was charged with, and is now “suing” to get his job back.

        I’m not a lawyer, but from what I can tell the u. s. “justice” system doesn’t do obvious.

    4. cocomaan

      Charging the other officers was a brutal mistake too. That won’t end well.

      And wow. Just wow. I had not heard about the fentanyl and the meth. I had only heard about the “possibly narcotics”.

      This case is going to be a disaster.

        1. cocomaan

          It just reminds me of the Rodney King fiasco with the case needing to be moved to Simi Valley to get an “unbiased” perspective only to end in a total acquittal.

          Single criminal cases can’t be used to achieve the kind of peace and racial justice we need. In the vein of what you’re saying the media makes every case a referendum on race relations.

          It ends badly virtually every time. How do we get out of that cycle?

          Jerri Lynn, maybe you have a perspective, since I believe you’re an attorney.

          1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            I believe Ellison needed to upgrade the Chauvin charge to 2nd degree felony murder to loop in charging the other three.

        2. barefoot charley

          Two completely different subjects intersect here: Cop impunity is founded on their (un)limited immunity recognized by courts as well as society at large. They’re practically corporate in their sovereign immunity to consequence.

          The other subject is justice. Society until now has not believed in justice against killer cops, thanks to unions, judges, prosecutors, juries, all propagandized that cops deserve special understanding. To thread the needle of justice, society must dismantle the systems of impunity. This won’t happen on Ellison’s watch–but riots do start the ball rolling.

        1. anon34

          “Doing right ain’t got no end.”

          The War on Drugs is essentially an attempt to blame the victims of an unjust economic system for their plight (cf. Proverbs 31:6-9). It’s a convenient excuse for ignoring systematic injustice.

          Meanwhile cocaine use by Wall Street bankers gets a pass?

          Also, was Floyd’s alleged “quantitative easing” simply intolerable because it was not for the banks and the rich?

          1. JBird4049

            It was also starting by the Nixon Administration to tie in those dirty hippies, liberals, leftists, and most importantly Blacks, into a separate category of being “those” people. Even in the early 1970s using blatant racism could backfire politically, but pushing those subconscious buttons especially the demon weed marijuana, heroin, or cocaine with “those” people worked as well.

      1. David in Santa Cruz

        Casting too wide a net is the same mistake that caused the Freddie Gray case to crash and burn in Baltimore.

        Second Degree Murder only requires that the perpetrator have the mental state of “Implied Malice.” It does not require that the perpetrator form the specific intent to kill. The perpetrator must only act intentionally with a conscious disregard for human life.

        An Aider and Abettor must harbor the specific intent to aid the perpetrator in a specific crime, and that the resulting crime be a natural and foreseeable consequence of the intended crime. This seems fairly simple — until the charged person testifies. This specific intent and foreseeability is the easiest thing in the world to raise a reasonable doubt about, because the the jury will be instructed that this specific intent and foreseeability must be the only reasonable interpretation of the evidence.

        These legal theories seem easy to people who don’t try cases, but I have prosecuted nearly 100 criminal jury trials to verdict, including numerous “gang” homicides, and I know how things play out when there is a witness on the stand who isn’t locked-down to a previous statement.

        Fire the other cops. Don’t screw-up Chauvin’s richly-deserved Second Degree Murder conviction by muddying-up the distinction between the mental state of Implied Malice and the more difficult proof of Specific Intent required for the aiding and abetting charge.

      2. Yves Smith

        Huh? Go look at the New York Times video. The found a second video, which had IIRC three or four officers on top of Floyd. Then that photographer was shooed away, so the rest of the sequence is from the video at the angle where only Floyd’s head and shoulders, and thus only Chauvin, were visible.

        A law professor said in the Financial Times that it was laughable to depict the way that Floyd was put on the ground as defensible, that cops are trained not to do that (put a detainee in a prone position, let alone with weight on them) for anything other than briefly.

        I would need to check the video again, and I don’t have time, but if the other cops were parked on Floyd’s midsection (which is where the rest of them were) for more than a very short period of time, they could be depicted based on expert testimony re their training as having knowingly risked injuring him. Three (or maybe it was all four) adult men on the neck and rib cage of another person? It was obvious what would happen if it didn’t stop pronto.

        In other words, the other cops weren’t passive bystanders.

        And why aren’t they likely to plead to lesser charges in return for testimony against Chauvin?

        1. David in Santa Cruz

          And why aren’t they likely to plead to lesser charges in return for testimony against Chauvin?

          That strategy didn’t work in the Freddie Gray case. Why will it work here? No one was held criminally accountable for Freddie Gray’s killing.

          How many homicide jury verdicts has that law professor taken (as I have many times)? The wonderfully nuanced “legal theories” of academics rarely hold up when subjected to the sort of vigorous defense guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment; and he is quite wrong about police procedure. I don’t like what those other 3 cops did, but it will be virtually impossible to convince a jury of 12 impartial citizens to unanimously convict them of murder. Having them in the same courtroom will confuse the issues in what should be a clear-cut case of Second-Degree Murder against this sadist Chauvin, who belongs in prison for the rest of his life.

          This video from the Washington Post is far more extensive than the truncated video presented by the NYT. Make the time to look at it carefully. The world is far more nuanced than the NYT would have you believe:

          1. Yves Smith

            No, the Washington Post video is not “better”. It does show the woman with the lanyard waving her badge, which is why you like it.

            But the Times video, unlike the Post one, clearly shows that the police dragged Floyd through the back seat of police car. The fact that they had gotten him in means there was no reason to them pull him out and place him face down on the ground.

            The Times also has much more of the video that shows two cops besides Chavin kneeling on Floyd. You only get a frame or two in the Post version and the Post incorrectly presents them as kneeling “besides” Floyd, when you can clearly see (and the narrator in Times video emphasizes) that they too are kneeling ON him.

            The Times also has more audio.

    5. kevin

      Sure its harder to convict, but this isn’t a shooting or an event that takes place in an instant and you can make the case you got caught up in the events. For someone to kneel there for over 8 minutes, 2 plus minutes while the victim is unconscious–you gotta wonder what was going on in his mind for the first minute. Certainly seems like he premeditated how it would play out. The 2 minutes he was unconsious is particularly telling. What plausible explanation is there to continue administering force once he’s unconsious?

      1. Keith

        I would like more info that lead to Floyd on the ground. What kind of fight was there, what kind of attempt to escape was there?

        1. kevin

          I very much agree, but the couple minutes he had his knee on his neck to start with should have been enough time to cool down, thus not “heat of the moment” and premeditated, right?

        2. Savedbyirony

          None. He was cuffed and sitting in the ground on a sidewalk when an additional police car pulls up across the street. (This is the vehicle the cop who applies the knee arrived in.) The original arresting officers get him up to his feet and march him to the vehicle. There was no fight and with four cops there the was minimal struggling from G. Floyd. All this was caught on a street surveillance camera and the video is available online.

          1. WJ

            It appears from one camera that Floyd was at some point inside the second car before finding himself outside it once again. It looks as if one or two officers are beating him in the back seat of the car, with another keeping watch. If he was in the car already, how and why did he get back out of the car and end up on the ground? Am I missing something here?

            1. MLTPB

              We are in a pandemic.

              We talk about droplets in the air.

              I wonder if any one sneezed or coughed inside the car. That should not lead to overreacting though.

            2. Yves Smith

              He was dragged into and then dragged out of the cop car.

              So there was no excuse that he had to be beaten, um, subdued, to get him into the vehicle.

        3. Darthbobber

          None. There’s now surveillance video from a store, and it looks like every step from the cops’initial approach to Floyd being on the ground is covered. There doesn’t seem to be anything that could even be construed as resistance. No reason at all for that level of restraint.

        4. J.k

          Keith >>I would like more info that lead to Floyd on the ground. What kind of fight was there, what kind of attempt to escape was there?

          Yeah , perhaps he was having a hard time breathing before going down due to the beating he received in the backseat of the suv, in handcuffs. Attempt to escape? Give me a break.

    6. Keith

      Well, riots are better the second time around. If Ellison can get an acquittal before the election, it could help fire up the Democratic base, not the politicians would be that cynical, or course.

      1. flora

        The verdict, either way, will be appealed. Count on it. The best outcome, imo, is the appeals finally go up to the Supreme Court and they start walking back their’qualified immunity’ doctrine that’s become a ‘cops get out of jail free card, no matter how outrageous a cop’s actions are.’ It’s a heavy lift, but the scope of ‘qualified immunity’ needs to be challenged until it passes the ‘reasonable man’ test. Currently, it fails that test, no question. Would a reasonable man thinks it’s reasonable to choke a man’s windpipe for 8 minutes when the man is lying prone, handcuffed, unmoving, unconscious on the ground? I don’t think so.

        1. flora

          Minneapolis tax payers will foot the bill for the cop’s legal defense at all stages, and any fines incurred, thanks to the way the current police contract is written. Minneapolis city council and negotiating team ought to change that part of the new contract currently in negotiations. Let the union, not the city, pay the legal bills for cops. imo.

            1. flora

              adding: see Kant’s categorical imperative.

              The categorical imperative is not subject to any special conditions and is therefore still valid whatever the circumstances. For example, if I can show that not to lie is a must then I will always respect it, whatever the circumstances, even if such a murderer wonder where lies my friend.

        2. MK

          Except for extremely small number of reasons, prosecutors can not appeal acquittals.

          Which is one reason they usually charge as many crimes ad possible for a jury to fall back on.

        3. Keith

          Big problem about qualified immunity is focused on police. Prosecutors need to be reigned in, themselves. the important thing is to criminalize the withholding of Brady material (exhornerating evidence) in order to gain leverage in a plea or to secure a conviction. This also opens the door to other issues, such as overcharging to secure pleas and the threat of bankrupting a defendant to secure a plea. Oftentimes, paying for the defense is enough of a threat to secure a plea.

          Another item, embrace a notion of the loser pays for all court costs and attorney fees, civil and criminal. Not sure how this would play out in the criminal sphere, but it is needed.

        4. Keith

          If Ellison loses, the Justice Dept will just seek a prosecution. I think for appearances and social control, these guys, for better or worse, have to go to jail, regardless of guilt or innocence.

  7. Amfortas the hippie

    and re: Pepe Escobar.
    “Jakarta is Coming.”

    my real, comprehensive political awakening came in the mid to late 80’s, in high school, when i learned…from Head Shop magazine racks…and Cuban short wave , no less…that the Central American coups and police actions and funding brutal “insurgents” was a plan of the Empire to put down anything even resembling a successful Lefty government.
    at the time, and given where my broad and deep reading had taken me, it was easy to look at the drug war, and the rest of Regan’s counterinsurgency, and see all that down south(later learned, all over the world) as Practice for the day when We, The People, got too big for our britches again…and started taking all that freedom and High Minded Idealism a little too seriously.
    Here we are…the tactics and strategies perfected throughout the third world are employed right here, at home.
    it’s right there in the various Field Manuals regarding COIN (Counterinsurgency).
    a casual glance at the history of such actions abroad, indicates that it can get a whole lot worse than clearing a park for a photo op.

    1. Michael McK

      The poem’s author, Peter Dale Scott, is a must read for understanding the US empire and it’s use of the war on drugs to cement it’s place in foreign countries and undermine social movements. Movements were undermined by more than crime and ruin in poor addicted neighborhoods. For example, when a long term protest village at UC Berkeley pushing for divestment from South Africa was proving effective a retail wave of very pure and inexpensive Heroin flooded the encampment and it’s energy was significantly sapped and dissipated.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I’m not sure the COIN operations were all that effective — but yes — things can get a whole lot worse. I believe the lesson taught in US Imperial occupations is the futility of direct engagement with a superior force, and the effectiveness of guerrilla tactics in the sustained attrition of the superior force.

    3. Carolinian

      The New York Review article is the link of the day IMO. For all the current agitation over repression you do wonder how much black lives matter to the “resistance” if they are Palestinian lives or, in this instance, Indonesian. Rose colored glasses are donned to rehabilitate monstrous figures like Lyndon Johnson or George W. Bush even though they presided over great genocides in the name of capitalism.

      In today’s piece Caitlin Johnston adopts the usual line that the elites hate Trump because he makes them look bad. but the truth is that they need someone like Trump to distract from what they are really doing. By taking up their obsession with Trump the left is playing the establishment’s game.

      1. psv

        Hi Carolinian, what New York Review article are you referring to? I don’t see anything from there – ?

        1. psv

          Oh, found it – it’s in Amfortas’ comment above – thank you for mentioning it!

    4. JBird4049

      My education began in the 70s as my family and their have politically and socially tended to be left so it has always been in the air for me. However, even after reading about this stuff for years, if just as part of reading general history, I still get surprised. By the scale at least. Just reading about the 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Black population or the Battle of Blair Mountain that killed around a hundred miners in West Virginia during 1921. Or Jakarta in 1965.

      People keep saying that communism or even socialism has never, and never can, succeed because of inherent flaws and is not only inherently deadly, but undemocratic. Strange, how real history is never recorded and kept accessible, but only the history that purports to show how Western style “Democratic” free-market capitalism is so fabulous.

      The business and/or government, usually both, gets evil, slaughter gobs of people, many of them unarmed and often not guilty of whatever “crime” that they were executed for. Sometimes it is for the crime of existing. Then it all gets hushed up, ultimately forgotten or becomes fringe, conspiracy theories while the lies become the pseudo-history becomes the “truth”

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Racist woman destroys George Floyd Memorial”

    And when she was finished, she demanded to see the manager to make sure that it was not put up again.

  9. jr

    I was so excited at the prospect of auto free zones in SoHo with the hope that they would extend to the West Village as well…

      1. JBird4049

        Like with real pharmacies being replaced with CVS and RiteAid, I miss having the real auto supply stores that have been replaced by Auto Zone.

  10. jr

    I watched the video of that woman trashing the Floyd memorial three times. She seems a bit deranged to be honest but I didn’t see or hear anything that seemed overtly racist. I wouldn’t be shocked to learn she is racist but I didn’t see it on display there, it was all political conspiracy babble…

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      I have a dear friend who spouts that same CT stuff who is neither racist nor violent. But sadly he hangs with a crowd who talk this same trash, and some of the things he shares with me I recognize (having read a fair amount of political philosophy and intellectual history in school) upon listening to be thinly veiled antisemitic and yes, white supremacy propaganda.

      very sad. they are also anti-vaxers so demonize Fauci and he is not taking any precautions. in Chicago. :-(

      1. jr

        I concur, I don’t doubt there are strong racist forces at work in those particular fever swamps. I was just a little confused after seeing “racist woman!!!” splashed in neon across the intro of the video and then finding a mere nut-bar…..

        1. juno mas

          Well, it appears the woman has ulterior motives. Evidently she has been identified and is a “party planner”. Likely out of work during the lockdown.

          Protests are probably bad for business, as well.

    2. ShamanicFallout

      We have seen the democratic brain on ‘TDS/ Russia!’ for 4 years. Now witness the conservative brain on ‘Soros/Antifa!’ Around in circles we go

      1. Massinissa

        Maybe the country could be united if the media starts saying Trump funds Soros, who funds Russia, who funds Antifa, who funds Trump, who funds…

  11. Ranger Rick

    I’d be real careful about labeling the protests the American Spring if I was Rolling Stone. The mere possibility that the protests were engineered is already driving the conspiracy theorists into a frenzy.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Full time conspiracy theorists always prescribe anything to government control. It provides a sense of security. Ito like trying to appeal to republicans. Don’t waste time worrying about it.

    2. jef

      Conspiracy theorist here. It is very interesting that the “Black Lives Matter” focus makes it impossible to point out that the truth is “No Lives Matter” to TPTB but their own.

      1. WJ

        This is true. But to my mind is is more readily explained by the infection of “social justice” movements–BLM especially–by the predominating ideology and institutional structures of neoliberalism. You don’t need a conspiracy theory to explain this. Just Marx.

  12. jef

    The posting yesterday confused the Open Sky treaty with the Outer Space Treaty.

    “The 1967 Outer Space Treaty bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in outer space, prohibits military activities on celestial bodies, and details legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space. One hundred and five countries are states-parties to the treaty, while another 26 have signed it but have not yet completed ratification.”,exploration%20and%20use%20of%20space.

  13. The Rev Kev

    I see that today’s Antidote du Jour is a flock of black swans. A hidden message perhaps on our present time? Are they about to crap all over us?

  14. Tom Stone

    Think it’s lively now?
    Wait ’til the end of August.
    Unemployment will have run out for tens of millions by the end of June and a whole shitload of those people will be newly homeless.
    The thugs are holding up the “Heroes” act (Gotta love the name!) because it contains a provision for another round of $1,200 checks….
    That’s the best the Dems are willing to “Fight for”.
    I was planning to buy a new Cadillac if it came through.

    1. Keith

      Watch crime shoot up, and another video of an arrest gone bad. With people unemployed and hungry with nothing better to do, we could expect a little more excitement on the streets. Also, don’t forget the election and the tribal instincts of most Americans when it comes to their team.

    2. flora

      As Michael Hudson noted in his interview with Paul Jay (paraphrasing), whenever the politicians open up the treasury/fed for bailouts to Wall St. they call it ‘the feds money’ or ‘treasury money’. Whenever it’s suggested the same source of money can be used to bail out Main Street or individuals, the politicians in both parties clutch their pearls and shriek ‘but that’s spending TAX DOLLARS’, can’t spend those tax dollars on Main Street bailouts!’ The money comes from exactly the same source, but the labeling the pols give it adds some sort of fake moral gloss to their decision to starve Main Street, again.

      1. Wukchumni

        Was briefly the owner of a cream colored 1979 Seville in the late 80’s, it was so unreliable that friends came up with a nickname for it: ‘The Yellow Peril’.

        1. JBird4049

          Yeah, but those 1970s Caddys and the similar Oldsmobile were steel boxes on wheels. They handled about as well as a supertanker, ate oil by the gallon, and it was how many gallons per a mile, not how many miles per a gallon, but they were almost indestructible.

      2. David in Santa Cruz

        Diamond in the back,
        Sun-roof top,
        Diggin’ the scene
        With a gangsta lean…

  15. carl

    That LRB piece is absolutely devastating. The US is circling the toilet. It focuses on Trump, mostly, but there’s so much more. The politicalization of the pandemic and the casual dismissal of human life is so typical of the country.

    1. Redlife2017

      Oh, man, that article was depressing. The start of the last paragraph is the part where those 2 weeks slam home: “Although the actual numbers are undoubtedly much higher, the confirmed death toll is now 89,000 – 22,000 in the last two weeks – with more than 1,500,000 confirmed infections.” Put it like that and it’s crazy. Combine that with the vast number of unemployed and it’s no wonder everything went unhinged…

      “It is Nixon himself who represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise. Our Barbie-doll president, with his Barbie-doll wife and his boxful of Barbie-doll children is also America’s answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the Werewolf in us; the bully, the predatory shyster who turns into something unspeakable, full of claws and bleeding string-warts on nights when the moon comes too close…” – Dr Hunter S Thompson, “Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls… (October 1973)

    2. Geo

      Once the eviction moratoriums are lifted and millions can’t pay back-rent we’ll really see the floodgates open.

      Far too many still expect something will be done to remedy this. Once they realize no help is coming it will be interesting to see what the reaction is.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Surgisphere: governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company”

    Very suspicious this. The very few staff are dodgy, the company itself resembles a shake’n’bake company, their database cannot be peer-reviewed as it is ‘propriety’, their claims to what they have been able to do is impossible, and people are already backing away from any involvement with this review of studies. None of that is the suspicious part.

    The suspicious part is how it was allowed to be published in Lancet in the first place to establish some resemblance of credibility leading to Hydroxychloroquine studies being shut down and the WHO ordering countries to stop using it as a treatment. No time for discussion about this paper but action was being taken on it almost straight away as if it was planned that way. People will die because of this op and Lancet & Brigham and Women’s Hospital will suffer reputational damage. If it turns out eventually that it was Big Pharma behind all this, colour me surprised.

    1. WJ

      “their database cannot be peer-reviewed as it is ‘propriety’”

      Why is the Lancet publishing pieces that rely upon proprietary and non reviewable data? Is this normal practice? How does this not ensure the corruption of scientific and medical research by $$$?

      1. flora

        Is this normal practice?

        Not in real science, not in sound science. It’s a tell whenever you see that. (Think of certain economists’ data sets. Think of Prop-or-not. ;) )

      1. GettingTheBannedBack

        Yes I agree. I would have thought that the WHO would have had at least one statistician who could have picked up the glaring inconsistencies in the data before they passed their quite drastic response, cancelling trials of the drug. But apparently not.
        This whole episode unfortunately further diminishes the reputation of the WHO.
        And I say unfortunately because a competent world health body is a crucial pillar of effective health systems for nations across the world.

    2. GettingTheBannedBack

      The Guardian’s expose on that Lancet paper on hydroxychloroquine. Take away. The data is a scam.

      And now the surgeon authors have retracted it.

      Retraction was their only option, as I predicted last week. The sad thing is that the reputations of the Lancet, and the highly esteemed surgeon authors, have been damaged. I hope this spurs the Lancet on to doing a better job of review in future.

  17. rtah100

    To balance the Stat study about HCQ not showing prophylaxis, here is the Indian national government study showing that HCQ dosing reduced odds of infection by 56% (odds ratio of 0.44) compared with controls.
    Full paper

    The key finding is that four or more maintenance doses (400mg/week) reduce odds of COVID-19 infection. Six or more doses reduced the risk >80%.

    But the paper is not great.

    it is badly written so it is not clear how/if the 4 weeks are related in time to the COVID-19 exposure. My hunch is that there is no relationship investigate in the paper, it is simply looking at the cases and controls and asking how many in each group also had taken HCQ doses and if so how many.

    So it is suggestive of an effect but does not prove anything about pre-exposure vs post-exposure prophylaxis. Plus maybe taking regular HCQ is correlated with concern / irrational fear for personal safety and these people are really just super-careful PPE wearers too.

    The paper also shows increasing risk of COVID-19 with increasing doses from zero to 4! It’s not clear why – perhaps patients who feared exposure would take HCQ as post-exposure prophylaxis for a week or two afterwards but it is ineffective and then discontinue it?

    Also, many of the 95% confidence intervals for the odds ratios are very wide, either side of 1, so the result is meaningless. Only the number of HCQ doses seems to be a strong signal.

    Let’s hope a study with more participants is done to give a clearer signal.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Staffers lash out in Bernie world meltdown”

    Politico may be doing a bit of pearl-clutching here. They represent the infighting in Bernie’s campaign as leftist circular firing squads. If, however, you look at it as progressive supporters of the Bernie movement versus the corporate democrats that were brought into the campaign, then it looks very much different. As an example, senior adviser Jeff Weaver is an example of the latter and activists in the campaign were blaming him for a lot of the failed strategies and miss-allocation of resources. Problem was that Bernie and his wife gave Jeff total support which led to the hostility against and elimination of Bernie activists. Probably it is these corporate democrat staff that got Bernie to stand down which has left him still fundraising for the democrats and not much more.

    1. flora

      Yes. Politico, being Politico, is probably happy to think ‘bernie world’ is melting down. ;)

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      The tell to me was that all of the people on the defense had the same response: “how does this fighting defeat Trump?” The other side seemed to have more concern about the movement.

  19. Winston Smith

    Highly recommend “The great Derangement” by Amitash Gosh. Climate change from a different perspective. A great interest is the section where he ponders why almost all climate change fiction is classed as science fiction.

  20. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

    Great writer, of fiction and non-fiction both. I’ve read many of his novels, but have yet to get to the climate change book. So many books, too little time!

  21. Wukchumni

    There are 300 AirBnB listings now in town online, and seeing as there is nearly no overnight lodging in Sequoia NP of any sort for at least a month out, and with scant earnings the past 90 days, would-be Hiltons are hungry to rent out their garage mahals, with the big change being, that just like the NP having 40% of visitors from overseas, so was clientele of short term rentals, and about the only accents you might hear this summer & fall will be those foreigners that got ‘stuck’ here amidst the pandemic.

    Are we just an odd exception in the STR game, on account of circumstances, or is it opening up elsewhere similarly?

  22. ObjectiveFunction

    From the important HBR piece on the “gigification” of the 20-40%ers, already underway, and likely to hit you, your family and friends very soon if it hasn’t already.

    This builds on the work of Susskind per et fils, previously mentioned

    “Rapidly developing AI algorithms have the capability to help in cost-effective matching of demand with appropriately skilled individuals.”

    …And for the hapless gig ‘professionals’, here’s the rub. A good example is LinkedIn. Even before Covid tanked the world, some (over 50) friends have shared that LinkedIn is now a wasteland if you don’t use the ‘right’ keywords and other attractors in addition to your actual credentials.

    Even if you target specific jobs, the HR screenerbots simply pass you by unseen, unless you know someone on the inside who can get you to the hiring principal’s desk. Or have a headhunter working for you… but is that going to happen for gig roles?

    Nobody will tell you what the right keywords are for you, unless you are either in a high demand area where there’s a lot of tips online. Or hire a resume doctor who may or may not give you advice that’s useful to you, especially if you’re say, over 50 and trying to market a track record and good judgment, not buzzword laundry lists of ‘skilz’.

    So as always, this oh so efficient “AI” ends up needing a priesthood of paid gatekeepers to interpret. Ergo, more gig jobs for credentialed 20%ers whose product is many degrees removed from any actual contribution to human food, clothing and shelter.

    Also, curious that the 3 ethnically Indian authors missed out that most of the already offshored jobs in Bangalore etc. would also be ‘gigs’ if the labor wasn’t already so cheap that it’s just easier for the providers to keep dependable folks on payroll rather than paying them for piecework. But I expect them to get there eventually as their costs go up.

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