Links 6/5/2020

Largest And Oldest Maya Monument Ever Found Discovered Under Mexico Science Alert

Google Search a Target of U.S. Antitrust Probes, Rival Says Bloomberg

Panic, Pandemic and Payment Preferences (PDF) Bank of International Settlements. “Both merchants and consumers appear to have been keen to reduce their use of cash. Many merchants made it clear through signage that they preferred contactless card payment, even for low-value payments. Some even went as far as to indicate that they would not accept cash. Maybe partly in response to this, and their own concerns about hygiene, many people reduced their use of cash in stores. In addition, there was a significant shift to online shopping, where cash is simply not a payment option.”

The next big problem for the economy: Businesses can’t pay their rent WaPo (Re Silc).

Millions Of Americans Skip Payments As Tidal Wave Of Defaults And Evictions Looms NPR

Termite Capitalism: how private equity is undermining the economy Open Democracy

Ex-Enron CEO Skilling Raises Funds for Energy Marketplace The Street (Michael Olenick). That’s nice.

Repair store faces hefty legal bill after losing David and Goliath fight with Apple over replacement iPhone screens The Register. The only way Apple could be losing money on its repair business is with Hollywood accounting.

#COVID19

The science:

The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2 Nature. From March, still germane.

COVID-19 Can Last for Several Months The Atlantic

* * *
Vaccines:

COVID-19 vaccine development pipeline gears up (PDF) The Lancet

First Human Trial for COVID-19 Antibody Drug Begins IEEE Spectrum. Eli Lilly.

* * *
Treatment:

Hydroxychloroquine for the Prevention of Covid-19 — Searching for Evidence NEJM

‘I would not recommend this.’ A scientist’s hydroxychloroquine trial—and his advice to Trump Science

* * *
Spread:

Social network-based distancing strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve in a post-lockdown world Nature. Recommended strategy: “[I]ndividuals must decide with whom they regularly want to interact and, over time, restrict interaction to those people. This reduces the number of contact partners rather than the number of interactions. This strategy of limiting contact to very few others with repeated interactions is in the spirit of a social contract with others to create social bubbles allowing only interactions within the same group delineated by common agreement.” Very interesting.

Bjorn’s Corner: Do I get COVID in airline cabins? Part 5. Leeham News and Analysis

Coronavirus: kitchen fans could be behind latest Hong Kong cluster, says leading infectious disease expert South China Morning Post

* * *
Testing and tracing:

Race, Ethnicity Data To Be Required With Coronavirus Tests In U.S. NPR. The reporting form, naturally, does not require income or occupational data.

Hype and science collide as FDA tries to rein in ‘wild West’ of COVID-19 blood tests LA Times

Coronavirus: tractor production EU Referendum. Operational capacity.

To Build Its COVID-19 Task Force, Las Vegas Partnered With A Company Linked To UAE Intelligence Buzzfeed

* * *
Masks:

Universal Masking in the Covid-19 Era NEJM

Community mask trees spring up in and around Salisbury Salisbury Journal (Clive). Clever!

Epidemic Of Wipes And Masks Plagues Sewers, Storm Drains Associated Press

* * *
Social determinants of health:

Public Health Experts Say the Pandemic Is Exactly Why Protests Must Continue Slate

Senior Citizens in Subsidized Housing Have Been Dying Alone at Home, Unnoticed Because of Coronavirus Distancing Pro Publica. One wonders what will happen in a heat wave.

* * *
Government response:

The C.D.C. Waited ‘Its Entire Existence for This Moment.’ What Went Wrong? NYT

China?

The US-China Rashomon moment Asia Times (KW).

Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil embraced by new generation, as young activists recommit to fighting for those without a voice South China Morning Post. Thread with photos:

 

Police detention in Hong Kong:

 

Opinion: Macao Can’t Replace Hong Kong as an International Financial Hub Caixin

UK/EU

Bank of England tells banks to be ready for no-deal Brexit Reuters

EU-China summit: What really happened? Deutsche Welle

Viktor Orbán’s Masterplan to Make Hungary Greater Again NYRB

NY Dispatches: the newfound assertiveness of regional leaders No Yardstick

New Cold War

New Russian policy allows use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear strike Defense News

Russia will never initiate use of nuclear weapons, Kremlin says TASS

Striking at the Heart of the Trans-Atlantic Bargain Der Speigel

The Risks of Autonomous Weapons Systems for Crisis Stability and Conflict Escalation in Future US-Russia Confrontations Russia Matters

Swarms of Mass Destruction: The Case For Declaring Armed and Fully Autonomous Drone Swarms as WMD Modern War Institute

Trump Transition

‘Gutted’ Interior agency moves out West with top posts unfilled The Hill

2020

Biden Says About ‘10 to 15 Percent’ of Americans Are ‘Not Very Good People’ NYT

For Trumpism, Skeptical Of Trump The American Conservative

Syraqistan

Kushner tells Netanyahu to ‘greatly slow’ annexation process Middle East Eye

How feasible is Netanyahu’s July plan to annex parts of the West Bank? CGTN

Israel settler leader: Trump is no friend of Israel Middle East Monitor

Police State Watch

Bill Barr And The Justice Department Send In Their Own Troops The American Conservative. We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.

Mule Eschaton. In its entirety: “A lot of people around the country right now are not getting very warm feelings about politicians with Ds after their names. Trump doesn’t run the state and local police.” Funny how that gets erased.

NEWS: Police Reform Stalled In NY As Cash Flowed to Cuomo & Dem Leaders David Sirota, Too Much Information. I’m shocked.

Why is the NYPD So Powerful? The Cuomo Files. Property values.

Insurrection in the Eye of the Beholder The Baffler. The Insurrection Act of 1807.

Decoding Radio Telemetry Heard on News Helicopter Video Footage with GNU Radio RTL-SDR.COM

Black Injustice Tipping Point

On white supremacy Maddie Flood, Medium (DS).

Police brutality (1), thread worth reading in full:

 

Police brutality (2):

 

Law Enforcement Seizes Masks Meant To Protect Anti-Racist Protesters From COVID-19 HuffPo

Fashion Jumps on Black Lives Matter Bandwagon After Lootings Bloomberg

South L.A. is largely untouched by unrest. That is by design LA Times

Today’s Activism: Spontaneous, Leaderless, but Not Without Aim NYT

The Jackpot

A Foretaste Of James Howard Kunstler’s Long Emergency The American Conservative

2020 Peter Turchin, Cliodynamica. Handy chart:

Class Warfare

House Progressive Caucus leader blasts mass unemployment as ‘a policy choice’ The Hill

IRS faces obstacles with remaining stimulus checks The Hill. “Tax experts said the IRS faces a tough road ahead in getting payments to everyone who hasn’t received theirs yet, especially for low-income individuals who don’t make enough money to have to file tax returns and also don’t receive certain federal benefits.”

Philadephia Inquirer Reporters Strike over Racial Inequity Payday Report

How Apple learned automation can’t match human skill Apple Insider. Whaddaya know, turns out labor power is worth paying for.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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

177 comments

  1. J.k

    This is from 2011 but still relevant.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/05/german-police-used-only-85-bullets-against-people-2011/328297/

    “German Police Used Only 85 Bullets Against People in 2011”
    In the u.s , that can happen during a single incident.

    I hope you all dont mind me posting this video this early in the morning, perhaps wait a little later in the day to view it, its graphic. In my opinion it is a state murder of a homeless man on video. This video is from last year. Police received call of homeless person waving and pointing a gun at people. I find it very disturbing that far too many of us have been conditioned to view an incident like this and reflexively, without really thinking about it come to the conclusion that it is justified. He didnt obey commands, he reached for his waist, etc.
    Considering the article about Germany. You can entirely imagine the very same scenario playing out very differently, without any fires being shot and without any loss of life.
    In the video you can tell that leo does not roll up on the suspect with sirens blazing, like the Tamir Rice case. They park out of his sight. He is laying down in front of a bus stop. With his arms on his head, looking as if taking a nap. They walk towards him and yell to him to get his attention and yell commands at him which he ignores and seems to reach for his waist, case closed! He had a b.b gun. You can just imagine how it would have played out in a place like Germany. Instead of 5 cops with machine guns (i know nothing of weapons) , a couple plains clothes cops would have easily snuck up on him and disarmed him. Taking him to jail or a mental health clinic.
    But these officers unload on this guy without flinching, nonchalantly like they are hunting game. They probably unloaded half the rounds on this one guy that Germany would in an year.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gX_OO-w2VZg&feature=youtu.be&noapp=1

    Reply
    1. Bugs Bunny

      That video is disgusting. The absolute indifference to life. The cops behave like they’re in a video game. The poor guy was just sleeping and rightfully annoyed. He even called them out on how dumb they look with their machine guns. Awful.

      Reply
    2. rd

      The explosion of guns in the US over the past three decades means American police assume whoever they deal with has a gun and is ready to use it. That is not the case in pretty much every other country in the world, with a few exceptions like Somalia.

      So other police forces truly view their gun as a last resort measure. Many jurisdictions require a report to be filed if the gun is simply removed from its holster, never mind fired.

      By the time you layer the systemic racism on top of the plethora of guns, it makes for the current situation in the US with everybody afraid of each other and willing to act on those impulses.The Supreme Court’s rulings of qualified immunity essentially turning into unqualified impunity throws fuel on the fire.

      Many of the guns that Canadian and Mexican police have to deal with in the hands of criminals are illegally imported into those countries from the US, so the US is effectively arming criminals in other countries.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We’ve gone from the mythos of the wild west and gunplay being prevalent, to it being real now.

        A great book I can recommend is UCLA professor Roger McGrath’s study of a complete run of newspapers from supposedly the wildest town for gunplay in the west, a place with such a reputation that one little girl, whose family was taking her to the remote and infamous town, wrote in her diary: “Goodbye God, I’m going to Bodie.”

        Gunfighters, Highwaymen, and Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier is an interesting read of what really went down in the old west.

        It could be that the critics are right when they say that Illinois will come to resemble the Wild West if lawmakers approve a bill pending in Springfield that would allow citizens with permits to carry concealed firearms.

        The frontier population was heavily armed in the 19th Century, generally speaking, and as a result, rash quarrels and other minor disputes far too often ended in bloodshed and death.

        The mining town of Bodie, Calif., for instance, had a homicide rate of 116 per 100,000 residents in its boom years from 1878 to 1882, with nearly all the deaths caused by guns. That rate is nearly four times higher than modern Chicago’s homicide rate, and helps prove it is no myth that the West was a violent place.

        Violent but, curiously enough, not particularly dangerous.

        “The weak and the unwilling were almost never attacked,” said Roger McGrath, a professor of history at UCLA, whose painstaking analysis of crime in Bodie and nearby Aurora, Nev., provides a clear-eyed look at this storied and frisky era. “The violence was pretty much confined to young, usually drunk single men challenging each other to fights,” he said.

        McGrath pored over local newspapers, letters, magazines, diaries and public records to assemble his statistics, and of all the homicides he found, he said, he classified only 6 percent as outright predatory murders. The rest were the result of idiocy.

        Comparing Boston to Bodie, McGrath found the urban, Eastern Seaboard town city had a similar robbery rate to Bodie, a burglary rate nearly five times higher and a reported rate of simple theft nearly 20 times higher. And that was Boston circa 1880.

        Chicago in 1993 would scare the hell out of a time traveler from Bodie. Our robbery rate was 15 times higher, our burglary rate 13 times higher and our rate of simple theft nearly 25 times higher. Criminal sexual assault, reported some 3,000 times a year in Chicago, was nearly unknown in Bodie and throughout the old West, McGrath said.

        These same patterns held true in other frontier towns studied, according to Richard Maxwell Brown, a University of Oregon historian who has written extensively on the traditions of violence in America. “Those who kept out of the saloons and gambling halls-the regular, peaceful citizens-were safe,” he said.

        Reply
        1. Billy

          “Bodie, for instance, had a homicide rate of 116 per 100,000 residents in its boom years from 1878 to 1882, with nearly all the deaths caused by guns. That rate is nearly four times higher than modern Chicago’s homicide rate.
          A small mining town versus this “Democratic modern civilization”?
          There have been 238 homicides in Chicago, So Far, in 2020.
          https://graphics.suntimes.com/homicides/

          How many were killed by the police? Who were the shooters? Were gun laws being followed. Would more gun laws stop this?

          Reply
        2. juno mas

          Well, those death by guns statistics are a bit distorted. Bodie, CA (gold mining boom town) had around 5000-7000 population, at its peak. Re-extrapolating those statistics would indicate that Bodie had about 8 gun deaths per year. Not bad for a boom town full of young gold miners and 65 saloons!

          Bodie, now a ghost town, is a must see California State Park for anyone traveling the east side of the Sierra Nevada. The Methodist church is in remarkably good condition. Visited at off-peak, the serenity and vastness of the surrounding Great Basin is inspiring. The difficulty of living in the West at that time is palpable. (Of course, the Shoshone indian tribes had it much worse—that is where most of the unrecorded gun deaths occurred.)

          Reply
          1. Tom Stone

            What’s the murder rate like in Vermont?
            And rape, the other common violent crime?
            IIRC it was the first “Constitutional Carry” state.
            No permit or training required to carry a concealed weapon.

            Reply
        1. Procopius

          I’ve always wondered about that operation. The many stories I read about it said the people who set it up wanted to trace the weapons after they entered Mexico, but I never saw a story that explained how they thought that would work. Does ATF have undercover agents (“spies”) working in Mexico? I’m sure DEA does, and I think they aren’t very effective. It seemed utterly stupid on its face. Whatever happened to the people who authorized it? Promoted? That’s what usually seems to happen.

          Reply
      2. JBird4049

        Police deaths like the number of households with guns have been going down since the 1970s. The greatest number of police deaths occurred in the 1920s and 30s.

        As far as I know the United States has always been an unusually well armed country and American police have had to deal with the very chance of gun violence since it began; the number of households with guns have apparently been either trending to either the same or even slightly down as well since the 1960s as well. The number of guns per a gun owning household has been increasing though.

        Reply
        1. rd

          Every farmer had a rifle/shotgun. That is actually common in many countries. As the number of farmers declines, those gun numbers decline.

          What is unusual in the US is the handguns and assault-style rifles. The handguns are common in the general population – I know engineering women who carry them in their purse which is unimaginable in places like Canada. The assault style rifles are a much smaller percentage of the population, predominantly white male, who also tend to accumulate many guns often with 10 or more.

          There is more guns in the US than people now (estimated 120 guns per 100 civilians). That is not the case for any other country on the planet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_civilian_guns_per_capita_by_country

          The next highest is Falkland Islands (rural and invaded by Argentina 40 years ago) at 62 guns per 100, Yemen at 52 guns per hundred. The former Yugoslavia countries that fought a civil war 20 years ago are in the 30 to 40 range. Canada is 34 (much of the country is rural, even many parts with subsistence hunters). Most of Europe is in the 10-20 range.

          Similar to healthcare costs, the US is off-the-scale compared to the rest of the world.

          BTW – the US incarceration rate is the highest in the world at 737 people to 100,000. Next highest is Russia at 615. Ukraine and South Africa are 350 and 334. Europe is generally below 150 with many below 100.https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/incarceration-rates-by-country/

          American exceptionalism.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            I would not be shocked at all. I could be considered a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but some people are bit, uhmmm… enthusiatic on their support especially on the growing fringes of the right and the left.

            This is what concerns me; it is not necessarily the number of guns and gun owners, but the cops and the radical, perhaps better described as paranoids on both political fringes that are increasingly armed and looking for the bad guys. We’ve always had guns because we always had farmers, criminal gangs, militia, paranoids, and some kind of armed police. Weapons and Americans are as normal as apple pie. We just have rarely have such a wonderful tinderbox of angry, paranoid, frightened, increasingly radicalized groups.

            So, continuing the original topic, the remaining 34-39% roughly, depending on whose statistics is used, that just have a gun or two. Going by 330 million guns and 330 million Americans and 40% of the population, that means 132 million guns owned by almost ten million people and 165 million guns owned by 128 million people. Granted the majority of the gun owners would just have a handgun for protection and maybe a .22 rifle for target shooting.

            Reply
            1. Massinissa

              “enthusiatic on their support especially on the growing fringes of the right and the left.”

              Is there actually a fringe left that cares about gun ownership? Was under the impression that the fringe left in this country, like Antifa or the like, that advocates violence mostly arms themselves with molotov cocktails and the like. Are there still significant Black Panthers style militant leftists with rifles around that I don’t know about?

              I assume most people hoarding guns are on the right fringe, not that it really matters either way.

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                The fringe right does have a head start and a stronger desire, but there has always been those leftist especially of an anarchist bent who also want to be armed. Viva la revolución!

                With the increasing size of the police state and an authoritarian government there has been an increasing interest in being armed, and if someone is willing to use firebombs, why wouldn’t they get and learn how to use a gun? They are willing to burn someone to death.

                Really, the narrative that only those crazy, racist deplorables that want their guns is a real problem; it is yet another means of virtue signaling and tribal markings using disinformation. For example, most gun deaths including mass shootings are done using handguns, but the arguments increasingly talk generically about the machine guns.

                Then there is the correlation between increasing poverty, stress, despair, and anger, all of which has been increasing for the last thirty or forty years, and increasing gun deaths. However, that would mean looking at what has been causing the increasing poverty, stress, despair, and anger, which means looking at our neoliberal regime, and that is unacceptable. So, the increasing focus on the means of expression rather than the causes for that expression. If nothing else, reducing that poverty, stress, despair, and anger would reduce the number of guns being bought, but…

                Reply
              2. J.k

                Massinissa
                “Is there actually a fringe left that cares about gun ownership? Was under the impression that the fringe left in this country, like Antifa or the like, that advocates violence mostly arms themselves with molotov cocktails and the like. Are there still significant Black Panthers style militant leftists with rifles around that I don’t know about?”

                There definitely are fringe left groups likes of The Spartacist League. A part of the Fourth International. I think they are some kind of Marxist-leninist , trostskyists, i believe. They are very much about armed self defense. And they strongly defend the 2nd amendment. I think groups like this are currently very much on the margins, id reckon the black panthers probably have a higher membership.

                Thanks for the recommendation Wukchumni.

                Sheesh, i did say i know nothing about weapons, hoping someone would correct it. but by all means dismiss the point being made over that inaccuracy if it makes you feel better.

                Reply
                1. JBird4049

                  Sorry. I have a few berserk buttons.

                  And yes, the Black Panthers probably do have a greater membership than the Trotskyites.

                  Reply
                  1. Procopius

                    I thought the Trotskyites followed Irving Kristol into the Program for the New American Century, which is the source of most of the famous neo-conservatives. I believe they set up the American Enterprise Institute, but I don’t know if they advocate arming for defense or insurrection.

                    Reply
                    1. JBird4049

                      Personally, I think too many leftists and conservatives use their proclaimed ideology as a crutch for themselves and a club to use on others.

                      Instead of a tool to make orderly and understandable reality, it becomes something that actually ordains or makes reality. So when the One True Faith has failed, say Trotskyism, another True Faith must be found.

          2. ACWilson

            Many of us can buy not just ONE toy, but LOTS of toys, because overall the US is rich. If cars are your thing, you can have lots of cars; the US now has more motor vehicles than licensed drivers. If guns are your thing, you can have a whole room full of guns, because they are a lot cheaper than cars.

            We are hoarders, as shown by the proliferation of “personal storage” locker warehouses, to hold the overflow from our attics, basements, and garages. I’m a hoarder, too – no guns and only 1 shared car, but too many bicycles, CDs, and LPs.

            I personally wish that the only guns in civilian hands were non-automatic hunting weapons, as in Japan and a few other places, but I know that that’s not gonna happen here in my lifetime.

            I’m an old white guy in a quiet mixed neighborhood, so I myself probably do not need to wear a kevlar vest every time I step outside. Gotta watch out to avoid being hit by a car driven by a drunk or otherwise distracted driver, though. And, my health isn’t what it once was, so I’m considering getting one of those plastic face shields, in case a maskless asymptomatic COVID-19 carrier breathes on me. (Will it fit below my bicycle helmet?)

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              Why not just get a cloth mask, perhaps a copper fiber one, instead of a big plastic shield? It should fit easily under a helmet.

              Reply
      3. Roland

        Murder rate is much lower than 30 years ago.

        Gun homicide rate is much lower than 30 years ago.

        Murder rate for LEO’s is lower than 30 years ago.

        You would have to back nearly 60 years to get to a time when someone in USA was substantially less likely to get shot dead than today.

        Given the facts, one can draw two conclusions:

        1. The recent militarization and increased aggressiveness of LE agencies is unrelated to the level of threat.

        2. The stridency of anti-gun activism is unrelated to the level of threat.

        IMO both of those tendencies are authoritarian and are against the people. Once again we can see how both the so-called conservatives and so-called liberals actually work in parallel against the people.

        Reply
        1. lordkoos

          It’s hard to support your assertion of anti-gun activism as unrelated to the threat when we see goofballs showing up at peaceful protests armed to the teeth, not to mention the increasing amount of mass shootings. While statistically it may show less gun-related violence, there still seems to be plenty of it.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            There is plenty of gun violence, but much, perhaps most of the violence and death is triggered by the increasing poverty, despair, and alienation. The triggers themselves cause more deaths than the gun violence. So rather than dealing with what is destroying people by the tens of millions, the focus is put on something that directly kills a few tens of thousands. In fact, the more the conditions that cause the former are mentioned, the more the latter is brought up.

            Reply
    3. fresno dan

      J.k
      June 5, 2020 at 7:36 am

      https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed

      Only 13 of the 104 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime. 4 of these cases have ended in a mistrial or charges against the officer(s) being dropped and 4 cases are still awaiting trial or have a trial underway. Only 4 cases (Matthew Ajibade, Eric Harris, Paterson Brown Jr., and William Chapman) have resulted in convictions of officers involved, with a fifth case (Walter Scott) resulting in the officer pleading guilty.
      Of the 4 cases where the officer(s) involved have been convicted and sentenced, none were sentenced to serve more than 4 years in prison.
      ====================================
      The political process in this country has made the decision that police can act with impunity.

      Reply
      1. Billy

        That’s because a jury didn’t convict those charged,usually with first degree murder. That’s why Chauvin was indicted on 3rd degree, much easier for a conviction. They system seems to be working in this case.

        Fresno, anybody, What exactly do the demonstrators hope to achieve?
        What is their goal?

        Reply
    4. fresno dan

      J.k
      June 5, 2020 at 7:36 am

      https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed

      Only 13 of the 104 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime. 4 of these cases have ended in a mistrial or charges against the officer(s) being dropped and 4 cases are still awaiting trial or have a trial underway. Only 4 cases (Matthew Ajibade, Eric Harris, Paterson Brown Jr., and William Chapman) have resulted in convictions of officers involved, with a fifth case (Walter Scott) resulting in the officer pleading guilty.
      Of the 4 cases where the officer(s) involved have been convicted and sentenced, none were sentenced to serve more than 4 years in prison.
      ====================================
      The political process in this country has made the decision that police can act with impunity.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        I would add to that list that the clearance rate for homicides has been declining for decades as well. The War on Some Drugs seems to be a partial cause. The emphasis has shifted from solving crimes to getting money by fines and asset forfeitures and the more the emphasis is put on money gathering the less emphasis is put on solving violent crimes like armed robber, rape, and murder.

        Reply
    5. Henry Moon Pie

      Just a story that illustrates that big city police departments can handle situations like that in Germany with skill and compassion (my apologies if I’ve related this story on here before).

      A couple of years ago, I was working in my front yard garden on a summer day. Taking a little break, I went inside–without locking the front door– and sat down at my computer that overlooks the front yard. A few minutes later, a man appeared walking down the sidewalk. As soon as I saw him take a turn up our walkway, I went to the front door, but too late. My visitor was already walking through the door. When he saw me walk into the foyer, he started to back up, cursing at me but otherwise making no threatening move. After he had backed out the door, I closed and locked it, and returned to my window to see what he was up to next.

      It was clear by this time that our visitor was having very lively conversations with unseen companions, and as he carried on these discussions, he began to remove his clothes in the street in front of our house. About that time, the police and EMTs arrived, the EMTs at one end of the street, the cops at the other. The cops also did not use their siren and parked half a block away from the fellow. The EMTs approached at the same time as the cops, and no one touched the man–they only spoke. After a couple of minutes, the EMTs gently took him by the arms and led him to their vehicle, and the cops departed.

      This is the same police department that killed Tamir Rice a few years ago and engaged in the infamous pursuit by scores of police cars of a couple who had the fatal misfortune of having their car backfire in front of police HQ. I know that the DOJ’s spanking of the department did result in some changes, and these are reflected in the proliferation of “community relations” police whose goal is to arrive at peaceful resolutions of community problems. They have a long way to go, but American police can do the job in a reasonable way.

      Reply
      1. Butch In Waukegan

        Knowing the race of the disturbed individual would be helpful in analyzing this anecdote.

        Reply
    6. Geo

      My last summer in NYC before moving I was walking near Times Sq. right after two women bystanders had been shot by police who were firing on a homeless man who was unarmed.

      This article about it also references and links to the prior incident when the police opened fire on a guy near the Empire State Building and struck numerous bystanders.
      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/times-square-shooting-nypd-officers-shoot-two-innocent-bystanders-near-times-square/#app

      My first two encounters with NYPD were having a cop neighbor who regularly (and loudly) beat his girlfriend threaten to arrest me if I “made a sound“ and having a team of cops hold me at gunpoint (face against the wall, gun to the back of my head) while they searched my building for some guy.

      I’ve tried to think of good experiences I’ve had with police in my life. Three come up. One was a speeding ticket where the cop was polite and I was speeding so deserved it. Another was one who pulled me over to give me a warning because my taillight was out. The third was a cop who gave me directions when I asked while walking around lost in Seattle.

      Bad ones that involve abuse of power, racism, or apathy toward those in need I could go on and on about. And this is all from my perspective as a white guy.

      Reply
      1. truly

        so your quibble is the difference between an automatic (machine gun) and a semi automatic? The semi auto needs to have the trigger pulled each and every time a shot is fired. A fully automatic the trigger can be pulled, held down and shots will be fired continuously.
        So in the 1985 Philadelphia incident when police fired 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) bullets into one domicile, the cops had to pull the trigger 10,000 separate times. Thanks goodness (snark alert) they had a guy with some C-4 up in a helicopter. Those LEOs were going to have to file a claim for disability for repetitive motion injury!

        Reply
        1. rd

          Even the military tend to have their automatic fire on 3-shot bursts because long automatic fire like in the movies is inaccurate as the barrel climbs and wastes lots of ammo. 3-shots increases the odds of hitting the target with at least 1 and 2-3 hitting will generally stop the person in their tracks. Low velocity bullets fired on semi-automatic were a problem for military because it did not stop the charging enemy likey encountered in Korea and Vietnam, so the high-velocity round with automatic fire capabilities was developed and became the M-16.

          Reply
        2. occasional anonymous

          No, that’s still wrong. Police carry rifles, not machine guns. A machine gun looks like this: https://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/imgs/m249-saw_3.jpg or this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/M2_-_24th_MEU.jpg/800px-M2_-_24th_MEU.jpg

          Police carry rifles, which look more like this: https://i.insider.com/5bbcfdfa98a18029fb0f1e7a?width=1100&format=jpeg&auto=webp

          The difference is, to quote Wikipedia: “A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm designed to fire rifle cartridges in rapid succession from an ammunition belt or magazine. Not all fully automatic firearms are machine guns. Submachine guns, rifles, assault rifles, battle rifles, shotguns, pistols or cannons may be capable of fully automatic fire, but are not designed for sustained fire. As a class of military rapid-fire guns, machine guns are fully automatic weapons designed to be used as support weapons and generally used when attached to a mount or fired from the ground on a bipod or tripod. Many machine guns also use belt feeding and open bolt operation, features not normally found on rifles.”

          This is all neither here nor there, however. At a guess Plissken above is a gun nut who thinks that people not having an in-depth knowledge of his sick hobby invalidates their concerns.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            Not really because using accurate terms truly matter. If buying a car or talking about regulations, would you say the words gas mileage, electric, hybrid, diesel, automatic, stick shift, sedan, SUV, four wheel, sporty, and luxury as being unimportant for a legislator, or even for a hobbyist? 

            Going further, take the words “communism” and “liberal” for example.

            It took a few decades from about 1920 to 1970, but liberal became conflated with (Godless) communism which allowed conservatives and the neoliberals in the Democratic Party to also conflate socialism and leftism with communism. Since communism is ultra, no good, bad, evil, and the work of Satan, socialism, leftism, and liberalism both socially and economically must also be bad. Such as unions, civil rights, government, social programs, fighting climate change.

            The same efforts are made with Democratic, Free-Market Capitalism and God. All four terms mean different things and do not necessarily go together, but too often people treat them, especially the first three, as one and the same as well as good and the natural expression of either nature or God.

            Since I am a God fearing Socialist who thinks markets are good, even necessary, for a functioning economy at least in the present time, I cannot exist. Through in a fanatical supporter of the entire Bill of Rights who is also very socially liberal, but also an opponent of Identity Politics and too many people’s heads cannot comprehend it.

            Making meaning imprecise, even irrelevant, and just an emotional trigger means having a rational discussion impossible. This is an increasingly standard tactic of the entire American political spectrum.

            Too many people insist on treating all guns as if they were the old machine guns you would see in the trenches of the Great War. Heavy tripod weapons that fired full sized bullets at hundreds of rounds per a minute, sometimes for hours on end in an emergency are not the same as a semi automatic or bolt action hunting gun firing a full size 30.06, or an AR15/M16/M4 which all fire an intermediate .223, or .22 bolt action squirrel gun, or a 12 gauge shot gun, and then there are the different handguns. They are all different with different uses and needing different kinds of regulation. Yet many people want to conflate the whole mess into (Machine) Gunz! and then they get annoyed when others get annoyed at the endless attempts at conflation, regulation, and banning of every kind of gun.

            Maybe would should eliminate guns just like how some say we should eliminate all cars, but FFS please at least try to use the right terms.

            As with the anti-communist/socialist, pro free market capitalist using words as if they are holy incantations used in the fight against the Dark Side, being unserious with meanings just undercuts the debate. Once again. Words have meaning.

            Reply
      2. Bugs Bunny

        First (comme il faut), Plissken, I thought you were dead.

        Second, your comment is an ad hominem attack. Perhaps you’d like to reword it to be a little less, personal.

        Reply
      3. Tom Stone

        Snake, many police departments issue select fire weapons, particularly to SWAT teams.
        Tommyguns were common issue in the 1930’s as were BAR’s.
        The 1033 program made surplus M16’s available inexpensively, so that’s the usual choice today.

        Reply
      4. truly

        quoting:
        The last person killed by Vallejo police was Willie McCoy, a 20-year-old who had been sleeping in his car in February 2019 when six officers fired 55 bullets in 3.5 seconds.
        end quote
        And some still want to quibble about the term machine gun.
        I use a semi auto on a very regular basis. It is not a machine gun. I could not fire 9 bullets in 3.5 seconds with it. Not because I am incapable. The gun is.

        Reply
      5. JTMcPhee

        Cops don’t have fully automatic weapons, what most of us think of as machine guns? Maybe you and the rest of us ought to watch this video, where an apparently homeless guy is seriously ‘lit up’ (as US troops phrase it, about killing “hajjis” in Notagainistan): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX_OO-w2VZg&feature=youtu.be&noapp=1&app=desktop&has_verified=1

        Sounds like about 6a 00 rounds per minute to me, at least it wasn’t a full 30-round clip fired into the guy who the cops said had a BB pistol in his waistband. His real crime was telling the cops to go fuck themselves. I defy anyone to justify this shooting.

        Reply
  2. Isotope_C14

    “Biden Says About ‘10 to 15 Percent’ of Americans Are ‘Not Very Good People’ NYT”

    “I have no empathy for millennials”

    Was this an admission?

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      No mention of who those 10-15% are. No one will be surprised that I agree and that bezos tops my list of not very good people. That aside, I think it’s a way to walk back hillary’s deplorable comment by lowballing how many people elite dems disregard.

      Reply
    2. Geo

      Considering primary voter turnout it looks like about 10-15% of Americans voted for Biden in the primaries. So, he’s not wrong.

      Reply
    3. verifyfirst

      So I guess this is progress–from Obama’s 2008 “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

      To Hillary’s 2016 “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

      Now Biden 2020– About ‘10 to 15 Percent’ of Americans Are ‘Not Very Good People’

      So see–it’s a smaller number of people this time (well, leaving out his other comment about millenials, but they don’t vote anyway, do they??!!).

      Reply
    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      It’s as if Biden looked at how Hillary swiped defeat from the jaws of victory and said “hold my beer.” Trump is trying to give him the election and he seems determined to make himself as unappealing as possible to vote for.

      Reply
    1. WillyBgood

      And the department of labor just relaxed regulation opening up 401k money to private equity! That works out great for retirement, just look at CalPERS.

      Reply
  3. Henry Moon Pie

    While Tucker Carlson has returned to being Tucker Carlson, the paleos continue to be among the most perceptive and least blinkered of political observers. From the piece about Kunstler:

    There is, in some circles, a quasi-supernatural belief that America, or the modern techno-industrial world order, has vanquished scarcity and deferred death, and that this state of affairs is somehow permanent and guaranteed. It is no surprise, really, that tech-heavy hyper-capitalism is now morphing into the alt-religion of transhumanism.

    For Kunstler, all of this is a fever dream, the lunatic rantings of a deposed king, the hallucinations of banquets in the mind of a man succumbing to starvation. But perhaps we will not literally starve; perhaps we can salvage the best of the modern era, like advanced medicine and electronics.

    This writer understands that our elites, especially some of the most prominent billionaires, are entranced by the concept of transhumanism. Perhaps they see themselves as evolutionary jumps, and they might get some agreement on that except as to whether the jump is forward or back. But paleos have always recognized humanity’s limits and counseled caution when it comes to social and political changes. Now they are fully aware of unbridled technology’s impacts on those social and political changes, and they’re wary.

    Reply
  4. J.k

    Some of those officers in that scene of the 75year old man being shoved and nearly killed had just pulled a p.r stunt a day or two prior with taking a knee with the protestors at that very site. It is on the twitter.
    Are they trying get more people on the streets with this kind of absurd, unnecessary violence? Many people who typically give leo benefit of the doubt will begin to think twice with images of this pointless violence directed at someone that looks like their father or grandfather.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I never watch tv during the day, and just happened to be at a friend’s store in Tuluca Lake, only about 5 miles from the North Hollywood Shootout in progress, where the coppers were clearly outgunned. The police went to a sporting goods store to get better gats, out of desperation.

      Anyhow, watched the whole saga on the telly in his store-unedited as it played out.

      That there was a sea-change in law enforcement, and you’d start seeing things such as coppers ‘blousing’ their pants (whadarya, a paratrooper or a flatfoot?) and veering towards a military stance.

      Coppers are racking up lots of demerits across the country, just as the money to fund them is running out, and the only thing that saves them is a reprieve from the President…

      …stay tuned for highlights of next week’s episode

      Reply
      1. rtah100

        Wuk, thank you for my new word of the day, “blousing” your boots/trousers. I’ve just had to spend fifteen minutes on British army sites to confirm that this is also a thing on our side of the pond.

        Apparently if you want it to look really good on parade, you put a bit of bike chain in the hanging down trouser leg! And these days the UK Army boots do it for you so it’s not needed.

        Reply
    2. Winston Smith

      The most awful part of that video (incredibly) is the part where the policemen just walk by the injured man lying on the ground unconscious with blood pooling from the back of his head. Complete indifference.

      Reply
        1. Milton

          As Jimmy Dore repeatedly states: The prime directive of the police is to get home safely at night. Protecting and serving are quaint notions found only on the side of police cruisers.

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            I think that it goes further than that. In the US military there is the concept of over-match which means that they are not interested in fair fights but want to have the deck stacked on their side. In places like Iraq, you saw that troops sought to dominate the locals with their guns so that they would have total control of the situation.You see this played out in movies and TV series too. So this concept has come to the police via the many military people that got employment with them after leaving the service and has become the norm. It’s all about dominating the situation.

            Reply
            1. Wukchumni

              We have exactly 1 sheriff overseeing a few thousand of us here in Mayberry-adjacent, and we’re friends with his parent-in-laws, who have had us over for Thanksgiving a few times, with him in attendance.

              He lives in the community with his family of 4, and everybody knows him by name.

              Its so different in Ruralfornia.

              Reply
            2. Aumua

              It’s all about dominating the situation.

              Which is exactly what Trump said to do: dominate the streets.

              Reply
            3. ex-PFC Chuck

              The demographer Emmanuel Todd, in his prescient 2002 book After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order, coined an apt phrase for these one-sided conflicts: Theatrical Micromilitarism.

              Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                A lot of police got their Israeli training through the Israeli consulate in Boston. That business of kneeling on people’s necks is standard fare for Palestinians.

                Reply
    3. Billy

      Like the suggestion that damage awards to citizens from the police,
      after a jury trial, come out of that local police department’s pension pool.

      Peer pressure from other officers afraid of losing some of their future retirement would limit misbehavior.

      Reply
      1. Geo

        Public sentiment can swing wildly. Remember the bank robbery just a couple years after Rodney King where two robbers took on 300+ police and lead to allowing police to be much more heavily armed?

        https://www.dailynews.com/2017/02/27/20-years-after-the-north-hollywood-shootout-echoes-of-the-terror-remain/

        Police, more than anyone, should be at the forefront of gun control in this country. Instead, we have a domestic arms race that is ratcheting up exponentially. Even lefty groups are talking of the importance of having guns now. Mutually Assured Destruction seems like the only way we know how to deal with each other at this point.

        Reply
      2. Big River Bandido

        I love the concept that all officers must be made to suffer for the actions of the worst. I would extend that to fines/garnishment of wages so that they suffer immediately as well as long term.

        But getting the administrative or judicial ruling, or the piece of legislation that sticks the knife in, is still the biggest challenge. Law and judicial procedure are stacked overwhelmingly in favor of the pigs. That political power must be destroyed. Doing that will probably will require a head-on fight to decertify the PBA.

        Reply
    4. danpaco

      Copaganda: photo’s of police siding with protesters by taking a knee then cracking skulls once the cameras have left.

      Reply
    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Byron William Brown II has been mayor of Buffalo, NY for 14 years. He is a democrat.

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

      In February, 2020 Brown pledged to make Buffalo the nation’s “leading intelligent smart city.”

      The North Carolina-based institute will work with the city to develop an advanced software suite to analyze data the government gathers, and determine trends and other predictive tools to help shape city operations and policies, according to his speech. Brown said the data and analytics center would be “the first of its kind in the nation.”

      Also too smart streetlights, smart sewers and other smart whatnots.

      Sorry for the Wikipedia link. I attempted to access this information through city websites and, in each case, the Server Not Found message was returned. I was unable to assess whether that was the “smart” or the “intelligent” part of the mayor’s plan.

      Anyone seriously wishing to address the police brutality issue in american big cities should first watch The Wire for an in-depth depiction of the actual problem.

      Abbreviated Eschaton: Trump doesn’t run the state and local police.

      Reply
      1. juno mas

        Well, Trump doesn’t run state and local police, Thank Gawd! With his alt-right rhetoric giving covert license to aberrant police behavior, he doesn’t have to be the local police chief. He is the Pardoner in Chief (See: Sheriff Arpaio.). He’s packed the Supreme Court with Justices who will maintain the current “reasonable fear” justification for police actions. Continued protection for excessive use of force incidents. Who cares what the police chief thinks?

        Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      I see a market opportunity: biodegradeable and compostable single-use PPE. What with the rickety state of US infrastructure, exacerbated by state and local funding problems, it may be important to have wide-spread “on-site” (as in “home/yard-based”) processing solutions. I wonder if “The Humanure Handbook” will sell out.

      Reply
        1. CanCyn

          Me too, I made my husband and I several cloth masks each. We just wash after wearing. And, unless we’re actually caring for someone with COVID, most of us don’t need gloves, we can just wash our hands. A lot of the mask and glove protocols are for medical personal. If we’re wearing masks to help when social distancing isn’t possible (e.g. in the grocery store at the checkout), we don’t need to worry about all of the rigmarole of N95 mask wearing.

          Reply
  5. anon35

    re IRS faces obstacles with remaining stimulus checks:

    There are numerous ethical, philosophical and practical problems that result from having only a SINGLE payment system (besides mere physical fiat – grubby coins and paper bills, aka “cash”, aka “currency”) that MUST work through private depository institutions (aka “the banks”) or not at all and this is one of them.

    Reply
  6. Billy

    Panic, Pandemic and Payment Preferences

    30 seconds in a microwave at full power and paper money is sterilized. Coins can be placed in a bowl with bleach water or left a couple weeks and virus is gone.

    Good local business opportunity for unemployed people; service calls to houses to pickup all the “dirty cash” for weak minded, helpless people want to get rid of, coins included.

    Amazing how gullible people are to accept this headlong rush into totalitarianism.
    Think a bad credit score limits your economic fortunes?

    Wait until your cashless society, instantaneous tracking, marketers dream, hacker’s delight and tax man’s paradise system has locked you out for civil disobedience, pending court action, software error, crash, or, there’s a national disaster-power failure.

    People with “great credit” were begging for food and bottles of water during the fires and power failures in northern California when card readers were out.
    “Sorry, cash only.”

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Used to have a microwave oven that had written in sharpie on the glass door-DO NOT USE FOR FOOD. It was a proving ground for better coins through chemistry.

      An amateur can wreck a valuable coin in say a hard rub of Wright’s Silver Cream (this stuff was seemingly invented to ruin aged metal discs) but if you knew what you were doing or had experimented enough on lesser value goods, you got the hang of it.

      A certain liquid concoction in a petri dish barely covering up a coin, and let it blast for 30 seconds, could greatly improve the look & value.

      As close to alchemy as I ever got.

      Reply
      1. Billy

        Do not put metal of any kind in a microwave.
        Didn’t your mother tell you that? That includes staples or paper clips on any mail you sterilize there. The grills are a special rounded shape that doesn’t concentrate the energy leading to arcing and sparks.

        Reply
      2. CanCyn

        When I was a kid, my did some repair work on the Welland Canal (Lake Erie to Lake Ontario). He brought us all kind of old stuff from the bottom of the canal. We cleaned the glass and metal bits in Coca Cola. It worked surprisingly well. I suspect that is why I’ve never been much of a soda drinker – I didn’t like the idea of drinking that kind of corrosive stuff :)

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          My teacher did something like that in grade 5. He put rusty nail, into r coca cola and a couple of days later the rut was gone. He put a bone into coca cola and within days there was nothing remaining. My memory of the Welland Canal was a field trip to the Thorold paper mill in grade 7.

          Reply
      3. Bugs Bunny

        Wuk, I like your style. As a kid philatelist, I would improve my worst ones with a tiny paintbrush and a little special stamp glue.

        I absolutely love mint stamps. Especially the US stamps of the 1930s New Deal period. They are gorgeous and incredibly well printed. The government hired the best printers back then.

        The absolute worst stamps, from an aesthetic point of view, were either the Victorian Penny Blacks or of course, the 3rd Reich stamps in their sick browns and blacks, with no meaning other than submission.

        I once had a very, very valuable UN stamp that somehow, through no fault of my own, and for reasons unknown, got a very small tear in it, and could not be repaired and could no longer be described as perfect…

        I learned from that UN stamp as a boy. Nothing will stay perfect. Move on.

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          Bugs
          But you surely learned as you got older and interested in girls, that ‘philately will get you nowhere’. I know I did.

          Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The first plastic money in the world came from Australia-adjacent in 1913.

        The Cocos Islands (or Keeling Islands) are an Australian external territory located in the Indian Ocean. They were first claimed by the British in 1814, but not formally annexed until 1857; the islands were administered from Ceylon after 1870, and after 1886, from the Straits Settlements. Plastic token coinage was issued in 1913, and later in 1968.

        https://en.numista.com/catalogue/cocos-1.html

        Reply
      2. RMO

        You can wash coins and Canadian bills with soap and water if you’re worried about contamination. Letting them sit for three days or just not sicking your fingers in your mouth, nose or eyes after handling them also works.

        The grocery stores near me (Vancouver suburbs) have put clear plastic over the credit card readers keypads so they can disinfect them without the disinfectant harming the machines. Cash seems to be being used a little less than normal but is still accepted everywhere I’ve been.

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          Almost all the stores I’ve been in, in the Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, have signs posted saying: Credit or Debit cards only (for now). I’ve still used cash for small purchases; have had no refusals. (I refuse to use a debit card. Cash or credit card only, with pin, not tap.)

          Reply
    2. Maritimer

      Good Lord, please spare us these financial experts. These “think-in-the-box” folk might want to read Taleb’s Antifragile for instance.

      Anyone ever been in a supermarket when the digital system goes down? CASH ONLY!! Total digital payment breakdown.

      So, if the entire digital payment system or a significant part of it goes down, what will work if there is no CASH? Nothing, there is no redundancy.

      So, in today’s fragile world, there are lots of state entities alone who might take down Digitial via cyberattack. Then there are lots of rogue actors, ISIS e.g. and also 2100 (Forbes, 2020) Billionaires, many of whom are sociopathic capable of launching significant cyberattacks. Imagine shorting digital!

      Then there are the super and lesser powers capable of launching both cyberattacks and physical attacks on digital infrastructure. Pearl Harbor today would be to take down the opponent’s digital infrastructure as the first move.
      It should be mentioned also that if the digital system goes down, bitcoin is useless as payment.

      So, in the dangerous environment of today as illustrated by Covid, we should preserve and probably enhance current redundant systems such as digital/cash not make them singular.

      If digital payment fails, it is only lettuce which will buy the lettuce among other things.

      (Just got cash out of the bank today. Took me a week to get it and they were not happy about it, even asking me what I wanted it for! Why won’t you take a check? Say, ever hear of Cyprus?)

      Reply
  7. Wukchumni

    South L.A. is largely untouched by unrest. That is by design LA Times
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I knew the cop who ‘started’ the 1965 Watts Riots: Lee Minikus, he was a keen numismatist. From what I can gather it was all in South Central for the most part, as was the Rodney King Riots, which only started creeping into WASPy enclaves, as in Fairfax and no further, when law enforcement turned the tide on looting.

    This time was so different, the action transpired at the highest levels of consumerdom, and not just LA. I was looking at looted locales in SF-adjacent, and the names of the places all screamed upper middle class. As if a starter course, beginning with just deserts first.

    Reply
    1. bwilli123

      Santa Monica musical equipment store looting last Sunday.
      …”A few minutes later, when Negrete dared look again, from every direction, there were hundreds of people barreling toward them in a scene she depicted as “pandemonium.” There were cars speeding up to the center – including brand new luxury Mercedes SUVs and Infiniti vehicles – with trunks popping open ready to be filled with loot, and while it was mostly young men, every ethnicity and age assaulted the building before her eyes.”

      https://www.foxnews.com/us/santa-monica-music-center-looters-armed

      Reply
      1. Geo

        From the article:

        “Calling 911 proved to be futile. According to the frightened Music Center owner, they were informed that police could not get to the scene, and if they were registered gun owners, they could protect their private property. However, California has some of the strictest gun legislation in the country, including magazine limitations and a 10-day waiting period after purchase.”

        Nice how they propagated NRA mythology into a horrifying story of systemic failure. “Buy a gun because there’s no one to protect you.” Maybe they could have protected themselves. Maybe it would have turned into a shootout and they’d be dead now. Either way, this is how a society with no functioning government and an ethos of social Darwinism behaves. Truly depressing from any angle one looks at this article from.

        Reply
    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Just “deserts” or just “desserts”? No matter. How about “cooler heads”–

      Davidson-Carter plans to hold a protest at a nearby park. But when she sent out fliers, the response surprised her: “Why bring the chaos to our neighborhood?”

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Well, technically most of LA is a dessert, but really is Baked Alaska appropriate unless you’re on a cruise ship?

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        desert(3), n.

        1. Usually deserts. reward or punishment that is deserved: Death was his desert.
        2. the state or fact of deserving reward or punishment.
        3. the state or condition of being worthy, as in character or behavior.

        I’m a little geeked that I had the chance to draw attention to this very interesting and useful word. Thanks!

        Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “‘I would not recommend this.’ A scientist’s hydroxychloroquine trial—and his advice to Trump”

    This is the same study that Krystyn Podgajski so rightly tore apart yesterday. And I still don’t see any mention of the use of zinc at all. So still yet another example of bad science. On the bright side, Lancet has been forced to retract that ‘observational study’ which must have been humiliating-

    https://www.thelancet.com/lancet/article/s0140673620313246

    Unfortunately for the Lancet, questions still remain as to how this piece of junk made it through any peer review. Lancet has some ‘splainin’ to do-

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-05/hydroxychloroquine-study-the-lancet-peer-review-coronavirus/12324118

    Reply
    1. shtove

      Seems to me the wikipedia page Coronavirus disease 2019 is the best filter for dodgy claims – scrupulous lack of mention of hydroxychloroquine.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        You forgot to give the link-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus_disease_2019#Medications

        That whole section is thin but it does mention hydroxychloroquine. It says that it is associated ‘with higher death rates along with other side effects’ but this turns out to be that dodgy Lancet study though they do mention that it was pulled. And it does make a tentative push for Remdesivir without mentioning that it has proven itself to be a dud.

        Reply
      2. Mel

        Don’t forget that anybody can edit Wikipedia. The people who formed the bogus research corporation to front the article that got into Lancet could have edited Wikipedia.

        Reply
        1. shtove

          I know that, but as always with WP the secret is in the talk page, where you can check out the standard of editing.

          Reply
  9. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Hello, Buenos-Aires-on-the-Potomac!

    Looks like “operation gaslight ’em” has begun, with the first psy-op coming from the BLS.

    2.5 M jobs added in May, when their own reporting showed 2M in new claims every week.

    Argentina here we come! Can we at least get some good tango joints out of it?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Hello, Buenos-Aires-on-the-Potomac!

      Could there be a ‘Junta del Este’ brewing now that the brass has polished off statements that no, they won’t go along with el Presidente.

      Reply
      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        A military coup d’etat cannot be ruled out.

        Generalissimo Mattis, your time has come. Civilian rule has failed.

        Reply
  10. Kevin

    Why the paranoid reaction to peaceful protest?
    The flu kills far more people every year than peaceful protest.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      Quokka? New one on me, but ka–wai–iii!! (“so cute!!”) I wonder, though, isn’t giving an obligate herbivore an artificial flower animal abuse?

      Um, wiki says they, err, mate frequently. So perhaps its a gift for someone?

      Reply
      1. newcatty

        When I saw the Quokka holding a flower, my mind flashed back on the iconic image of another time of peaceful protesters in the streets. The young person who held out a flower to a man with a gun. Also, I was touched by the sweet and gentle eyes of the Quokka.

        If I was so much younger, now, it would be a great thing to join peaceful protesters with armful of flowers. Pass them out to anyone who would accept them. Then, softly suggest that they hold out their flower to a man or woman holding a gun.

        And, yes, this brings to mind the lyric: Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing. When will they ever learn? (Dylan). Now, sadly, I don’t think learning is the answer. I don’t think one of the problems in our current America is that “they” don’t know what they do. It is also true that it has not much to do with innate level of intelligence. Especially, when decrying the current president or PTB. I noticed sometimes here on NC, or when talking with people, that a word to describe amoral, cruel, divisive words and behavior is just so stupid. It is easy to describe anyone who is showing us who they are as stupid, if they do evil. This is not the problem. Unfortunately, it usually is just the opposite. It’s difficult for reasonable people with moral compasses to try to understand corruption and cruelty. But, to write it off with the oh so stupid, dumb, idiotic label is not helpful. It is cognitive dissonance and it is really difficult to not be influenced by it.

        Reply
  11. Wukchumni

    I realize that this is essential cherrypicking good news out of a torrent of disquieting dismal dirge, but Lapins is the king of the heap in production. Must have 333 tasty little orbs on it.

    The largest tree of a dozen different varieties 6 feet under and 8 feet over is the tastiest and stingiest, in that the Stella has but a dozen cherries, and is twice the size of the Lapins.

    Reply
  12. Polar Donkey

    An update on protests in Memphis -A few days I had written a comment about how the police department and mayor’s office been working with a non-threatening protest leader. For a few years now they have helped build up this “leader”. With the George Floyd protests, this was the police and mayor’s chance to install this person as the point person for protests in Memphis. After 5 days of protests and marches, the marches led by police/mayor mole got soft treatment and positive media attention, the mayor met with protesters. Of course, nothing had stopped the mayor for doing this on day 1 or 2, and after 2 days of curfews. The mayor met with his mole and protesters with great fanfare and a press conference. Agreed to meet once a week for 4 weeks to discuss police reforms. Same basic police reforms people have been talking about for 10 years. The next day after the press conference, a council of ministers had asked to meet with mayor to discuss police reform. Mayor said no I’m already meeting with his person and protesters for the next month. Props to the mayor and police for playing the long game to co-op protesters, marginalize the ministers, and prevent any real reform.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Reminds me of the official, government approved unions in Mexico that are used to “represent” the workers. Then there is the leadership in many American unions which really are working with and for the corporations and governments that the union members work for. The leadership both here and in Mexico are often more wealthy than what their salaries would suggest. Just like members of Congress. Funny how that works.

      Reply
  13. zagonostra

    St. Thomas Aquinas, excerpts from De Regno

    Thus among the ancients all powerful men were called tyrants. If an unjust
    government is carried on, not by one but by several, and if they be few, it is called an
    oligarchy, that is, the rule of a few. This occurs when a few, who differ from the tyrant only
    by the fact that they are more than one, oppress the people by means of their wealth.

    Moreover, a government becomes unjust by the fact that the ruler, paying no heed to
    the common good, seeks his own private good. Wherefore the further he departs from the
    common good the more unjust will his government be. But there is a greater departure
    from the common good in an oligarchy, in which the advantage of a few is sought…

    Therefore, to establish virtuous living in a multitude three things are necessary. First of all,
    that the multitude be established in the unity of peace. Second, that the multitude thus
    united in the bond of peace, be directed to acting well. For just as a man can do nothing
    well unless unity within his members be presupposed, so a multitude of men lacking the
    unity of peace will be hindered from virtuous action by the fact that it is fighting against
    itself. In the third place, it is necessary that there be at hand a sufficient supply of the things
    required for proper living…

    Reply
    1. Baby Gerald

      Excellent quote- thanks for sharing Zaganostra.

      On the word ‘tyrant’ our own Michael Hudson had this to say during a speech he gave to The People’s Forum in NYC in April 2019 on the subject of Debt Cancellation from Antiquity to Today.

      I’ve time-stamped to the section where he mentions why the Eastern Roman Empire succeeded where the Western Roman Empire collapsed. At the 1hr19m mark, he goes back to 7th Century BC Greece to explain the original definition of the word ‘tyrant’ and we see how scholars [like St. Thomas Aquinas] have since adulterated it to mean something very different from the original Greek.

      Reply
      1. Zagonostra

        @BG

        Thanks for link. I’ve been following Michael Hudson for many years, along with David Harvey, Richard Wolff, Bill Black they provide a much needed salve for the “dismal science.”

        Michael Parenti The Assassination Of Julius Caesar: A People’s History Of Ancient Rome gives a good description of the aristocracy turning into an oligarchy. I don’t see many references to Parenti these days, which is a pity since he was talking about many topics covered at NC over 20 years ago. His book Democracy for the Few was an eye opener way back in my undergraduate days…

        Reply
        1. Baby Gerald

          Thanks for the recommendations, Zaganostra. I’m a huge fan of Michael Parenti but only discovered him in the last couple years. I’ve already read Superpatriotism and Inventing Reality, and have To Kill A Nation on my book pile at the moment.

          His lectures on YT are a regular go-to for me when I need grounding. I’ve listened to his presentations on all the above and The Assassination of Julius Caesar and that book is on my short list for buying next. His discussions on God and His Demons and Rambo and the Swarthy Hordes are fantastic listens as well. I wish I had read him in college because his unparalleled historical scholarship would have opened my eyes so much sooner to a lot of the issues I grew up trying to understand.

          Democracy@Work is also a regular stop on my YT viewing schedule, so we’re definitely on the same vibe re: Harvey and Wolff. At the top of that aforementioned book pile is Marx’s Capital Vol. 1 which I purchased at the beginning of this COVID crisis specifically so I can follow along with David Harvey’s lectures on it. It’s a daunting tome, but Harvey’s giving me confidence that I’ll be able to get through it and understand it in ways I’d never be able to on my own. Now I just need to carve out some time from my work-at-home schedule during the day and watching the nation collapse in real time on channels like Status Coup and Jimmy Dore at night.

          Gotta admit my familiarity with Bill Black is lacking, but will have to definitely add him to my list, though, considering our reading preferences are so much alike. Where would you suggest I start? Thanks again for all the above and any future suggestions.

          Reply
          1. zagonostra

            Looks like you’re already weighed down with reading assignments…Harvey is giving a YT series on the Grundrisse that I would recommend. I read the book years ago and it is certainly more accessible than Kapital.

            Reply
  14. John Beech

    Biden Says About ‘10 to 15 Percent’ of Americans Are ‘Not Very Good People’

    And I’m one of those bad people. I own a small business, pay about $20k a month in taxes, and wouldn’t vote for Joe Biden if he were the last man on Earth!

    Why not?
    1. His record regarding school bussing in the early 70s
    2. His record from the evisceration of Anita Hill
    3. His record in positioning the Crime Bill
    4. His eulogy for Strom Thurmond
    5. His record of plagiarism other politician’s speeches
    6. His record of personal enrichment as a politician
    7. His record of his family’s enrichment off his name
    8. His record as a glad-handing good old boy
    9. His record as the working man’s friend (who has never held a real job)
    10. His record of not speaking out against the war in Iraq
    11. His record as a creeper touching women’s hair
    12. His record in the bankruptcy bill (he is from banking’s home town state)
    13. His record of support for NAFTA
    14. His record of voting against the rape exemption
    15. His record for pandering

    . . . Donald J. Trump is ‘not’ my ideal candidate but if this is the contest in November, then I’ll keep the Devil I know over an obvious party hack like Biden.

    At least the present uncouth SOB has kept his word regarding rolling back regulations, is making an attempt to build a wall to stop illegal immigration (I’m ‘not’ against immigration, but take your number and wait in line), hasn’t gutted the military, is willing to deal on infrastructure, is willing to deal on holding jobs stateside, and when he isn’t on his back foot from the unceasing onslaught of media attacks, is on the golf course where he can do no harm.

    Reply
      1. newcatty

        It would be even more “refreshing” if in the keeping his word on “rolling back regulations”, if gutting the regulations on protecting and maintaining clean waterways, air, soils and potential toxic chemicals from industries and factory farms ever escaping or purposefully allowed to egregiously, and with impunity, ruin our health and safety. Well, greed is greedy. If our government keeps fouling our nest, then the outcome will be assured. Do all of the elites want to live in resplendent isolation in New Zealand? IIRC, their government has said no way, Jose’s. I also would rather spend out my days here on planet earth. No desire to “volunteer” for a life on the moon or Mars.

        Reply
    1. marym

      …take your number and wait in line

      Seeking asylum at the southern border is one of the lines. There’s no line for DACA. Trump’s are also against lines for legal family immigration, refugees, naturalized citizens, and even birthright citizens.

      https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-trump-immigration-plan-20190515-story.html
      https://prospect.org/justice/the-new-war-on-naturalized-citizens/
      https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/immigration/story/2019-08-28/trump-policy-creates-citizenship-challenge-for-children-born-to-some-military-and-other-americans-abroad
      https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/18/trump-officials-refugee-zero-1603503
      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/10/trumps-murky-plan-end-birthright-citizenship/574366/

      …rolling back regulations

      Rolling back regulations that protect people
      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/exclusive-number-osha-workplace-safety-inspectors-declines-under-trump-n834806
      https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/apr/25/trump-safety-cuts-workplace-deaths-report
      https://www.epi.org/publication/unprecedented-the-trump-nlrbs-attack-on-workers-rights/
      https://www.propublica.org/article/chicken-farmers-thought-trump-was-going-to-help-them-then-his-administration-did-the-opposite

      Reply
    2. Oh

      John Beech,

      Just a small detail – if Biden were the last man on earth, you would be there to vote for him, would ya? /s

      P.S. You forgot to include Biden’s support for 3 strikes and you’re out and the drug war.

      Reply
    3. juno mas

      My guess that you’re not voting for Biden because you want a Republican who will reduce your “20K per month in taxes”. Those taxes are probably sales taxes, right? Paid by your customers, actually. Taxes that likely fund your local street cleaners, fire department, parks and rec., and other municipal staff? Living in a cooperative world is a Beech!

      Reply
    4. Sy Krass

      Hmm what you just just about Biden… still makes me want to vote for Biden over Trump, given your description, he’s still the lesser of two evils…

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “New Russian policy allows use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear strike”

    Not surprised at this development.It has been a dream of the Pentagon to have a first-strike capability against Russia which for them is like having a knife to your throat. So with this move the Russians are telling NATO that any missiles in eastern Europe that could be potentially nuclear-tipped will be targeted with nukes themselves in order to concentrate their minds. It does not help having constant maneuvers on Russia’s borders and right now about 20-30 warships from all over NATO are doing exercises in the Black Sea. In addition, a pair of B-1bs went there to practice launching missiles against the Russian Black Sea HQ accompanied by Ukrainian fighters.

    Reply
  16. semiconscious

    Public Health Experts Say the Pandemic Is Exactly Why Protests Must Continue

    please! yet more total nonsense from ‘experts’. one either advocates for social distancing, or one doesn’t. period. one doesn’t have the luxury of picking & choosing as to when it’s ‘appropriate’ or not. because the virus certainly doesn’t…

    their righteousness notwithstanding, the protestors run the risk of taking home with them the exact same thing that the ft. lauderdale crowd ran the risk of taking home with them…

    Reply
    1. Geof

      yet more total nonsense from ‘experts’

      They are not experts in political economy. They admit protests may spread the virus. Will protests reduce racism? They provide no evidence that they will. So on what basis do they judge that benefits exceed harms?

      Actually, I think that’s too harsh. I think that the question of whether people should be permitted to protest is political, and not a matter for health experts. Democratic participation is an essential freedom that should be judged (or blocked) on the basis of whether it is effective.

      Even this is somewhat unfair to the letter. It provides a substantial list of measures that protesters and police should take in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Of course the news article only mentions these at the end, preferring to focus on experts supporting anti-racism.

      I think the protests are justified. I think that America is becoming Brazil or worse, and almost any measure with a chance to prevent that is worth trying. However, I have a huge problem with this:

      Infectious disease and public health narratives adjacent to demonstrations against racism must be consciously anti-racist, and infectious disease experts must be clear and consistent in prioritizing an anti-racist message.

      This is an effort to polarize public health on a political issue, recruiting it for a particular agenda – an agenda that I believe has been seized on to frustrate solutions to the root causes of misery, police violence, inequality and racism. I’m a big fan of Adolph Reed Jr. I see this as more of the liberal left’s equivalent of “you’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists,” with equally dire results.

      What I would dearly like to see is for protesters of all races to organize around a program to improve the lives of working people (and indeed all Americans) of all races. It should address police violence, inequality, political exclusion – and racism, ideally understanding racism and contemporary anti-racism as strategies working hand-in-hand to divide and conquer. At this point, I see the anti-racism drumbeat as a barrier to that, a diversionary tactic that will ultimately result in pitting working-class white and black people against each other. I won’t blame people for being mistaken, but I think that contemporary anti-racism will lead to deaths. Such division is exactly the purpose for which American racism was invented by slave-owners in the 17th century. These professional-managerial class “experts,” loyal members of their caste, are falling for it.

      Reply
      1. edo

        You know what? I disagree with the protests.

        I think of myself as being on the left. I believe in a class-based approach to solving the country’s problems. These protests are being encouraged by the media, companies like Nike and Citibank, and elites who I think want encourage an ultra-emphasis on race, gender, and identity that serves to divide rather than unite. Moreover, I disagree with giving certain groups preferential treatment on the basis of their identity. I am appalled that that corporate-driven Democrats are very close to reviving affirmative action in California.

        Reply
        1. Morgan Everett

          Yeah, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being sold something when it comes to the protests. It isn’t like the anger at the lack of accountability in police departments isn’t completely reasonable either, but corporate America jumping on board so fast makes me suspicious. The doctors saying that these protests are totally ok, unlike the last ones, is completely ridiculous though. Culture War uber alles.

          Reply
        2. Geof

          I think that’s a reasonable position on the protests, and good reasons for holding it. You could be right.

          I agree with you about affirmative action. I have long sat on the fence, thinking that in principle it is wrong, but in practice maybe it could be a helpful temporary measure to accelerate change. But that would require an exit strategy, with the ultimate goal of colourblindness. It has been half a century and there’s no indication it’s succeeding – but I’ve heard plenty of reasons why it’s a disaster. I would not be surprised if the experience of capable but-not-quite-as-capable affirmative action recipients is why a study found that a shocking 40% of college-educated whites privately believe that “Genetic differences contribute to income inequality between black and white people.” Not ignoring the pervasive atmosphere of race bias in the U.S. (and under no illusion that schooling is fair), it could also explain why some of the most privileged black students perceive pervasive racism and colleges: told they’re one of the best, but finding that they are always doing a bit worse, they may naturally think that they are victims of racism. In my opinion, they would be right.

          I do not know to what extent this divide and conquer strategy is conscious, and to what extent it is an alignment of interests or myth-making. It just seems so obvious, and yet I see people everywhere signing up. I don’t want a failed state on my border, but if this is the response to such obvious injustice, I just don’t know.

          Reply
      2. newcatty

        A sincere and, AFAIK, genuine spokesperson for the poor and depressed peoples in this country: Reverend Barber. One of the many reasons my spouse and I admire him is that he emphasizes that when advocating for the poor in this country, to be able to live lives with basic necessities, like decent housing, good food, real healthcare, environments with clean air and water, excellent public education, safe infrastructure is not only based on speaking for any one race or ethnic group. He, if you do not know of him, is a black man. He understands that to change how things are in America that one needs to be a champion for all poor, underclass, and exploited people. It is right to point out that most food deserts, toxic home environments are where people of color live in this country. But, these conditions are all around us every day. The compassion for people needs to be based on their actual conditions. To not be aware that anti-racism, anti-isms are as said: to divide and conquer the working underclass and poor is a barrier to real and positive changes in the country. Not rhetoric that is just propaganda for any agendas. Real change . Hope is good, but most certainly not enough.

        Reply
  17. Synoia

    New Cold War…

    On the US’ Space Force “Orbital Weapons” I perceive a flaw in the strategy.

    1. The weapon must be in t circumpolar orbit to cover the world
    2. Finding them with radars easy. And they have predictable orbits.
    3. Where they are an where they will be becomes very easy.
    4. Countermeasure are also easy, and relative to the cost of the weapons, inexpensive.
    5. Counter measure include a cloud of ball bearing, moving at orbital velocities is a very good countermeasure.

    Our soon to become beloved Space Force (We love you for your service), would rapidly become weaponless, and be a Space Farce.

    Space would become useless, because clearing all the space debris is close to impossible.

    Should we be calling the objects launched by our Space Force, Trump Litter? That is, useless for the intended purpose?

    As in “Oh, that’s just Trump Litter!”

    Reply
    1. Billy

      “A cloud of ball bearings”–moving in an opposing orbit, you forgot to say.

      How about a Mask Task Force? That would do more to protect the public and would cost a lot less.

      Reply
  18. Geo

    Good to see the people at Yahoo News have not lost their sense of humor:

    “Biden seen as ‘strongest challenger in modern history’”
    https://news.yahoo.com/biden-strongest-challenger-in-modern-history-as-protests-coronavirus-send-trump-reeling-160925201.html

    Almost as good as a headline from The Onion! “Strongest challenger”? All it took was a pandemic, nationwide protests leading to Constitutional violations by his opponent, and an economic collapse for him to squeak into a comfy lead in the polls!

    Going to be fascinating to see how the Dems botch this one. Will be a challenge but I have faith they’ll figure out a way.

    Reply
        1. rd

          I think Trump has lost any negotiating strength regarding Hong Kong’s security law over the past week. China and Russia will just be rolling over in hysterical laughter when he rambles on about human rights.

          Reply
    1. Massinissa

      Pretty sure they said the same thing about Dewey back in the day… Right before Truman beat him hard.

      Reply
  19. Betting Man

    Biden Says About ‘10 to 15 Percent’ of Americans Are ‘Not Very Good People’

    I’ll take the over.

    Reply
  20. ThomG

    RE: Social network-based distancing strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve in a post-lockdown world

    Agreed, very interesting. SNA is frequently used by police departments, intelligence agencies, and the military (see, for example, its application to mapping terrorist networks). Pair a network map with Geo-location data and you have quite the surveillance tool…

    Reply
  21. Billy

    South L.A. is largely untouched by unrest. That is by design
    Concentrating on areas of affluence, Hollywood, Fairfax and Beverly Hills.

    Antisemitism and a concentration on “white privilege”?

    Reply
  22. ShamanicFallout

    A report from the Twitter-verse: I follow a wide range of people on Twitter because it’s a pretty good way of ‘taking the temperature’ as it were. I’ve noticed now on Twitter pages from the right commenting on how a large number of scientists, epidemiologists etc have pretty much completely changed their tune on coronavirus risk now vis a vis the protests. From ‘shelter in place, stay at home to save lives, the protests in MI are irresponsible and will have deadly consequences, going to beach is going to kill grandma”, etc. to (from Jennifer Nuzzo, former head of CDC): “We should always evaluate the risks and benefits of efforts to control the virus. In this moment the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.”

    And of course people notice this kind of stuff. So now we are seeing a lot of people saying “huh? what?”. Now is the time to weigh risks and benefits? Did we weigh risks and benefits when we closed businesses, schools, daycares? Imagine what might (will?) happen if in two weeks a lot of these cities that saw large protests suddenly have a big spike in cases that lead to another lockdown and business closings. I can just picture the sh*tstorm from the right.

    I feel like we are in a psyop experiment run by aliens. And their intentions are not benign

    Reply
    1. Dan

      I feel like we are in a psyop experiment run by aliens. And their intentions are not benign

      Me too. It’s all a simulacrum.

      Reply
    2. marym

      I only follow a few segments of twitter and haven’t even done much of that today, so I’m not up-to-date on the “risk-benefit” takes, but I think there are those of us who are sympathetic to the protests and also worried about the risks.

      From what I’ve seen the protesters are mostly wearing masks (which protesters against stay-home orders considered tyranny); and governors of at least some states (IL and NY that I know of) are telling protesters to get tested. I’d also say “huh? what?” to those protesting business closures who don’t weigh the risks of the lack of workplace safety, PPE, and healthcare for workers.

      Reply
      1. ShamanicFallout

        I started paying more attention to this theme just today because Glenn Greenwald was on the Rising with Krystal Ball and his position is this, I quote: “I’ve been vocally supportive of the protests from the start and still am. But the radical, sudden, extreme shift in how our authorities talk and issue decrees about Covid-19 — without any attempt to justify the 180 degree reversal — is creepy and authoritarian”. And he was certainly early on supportive of lockdown and other measures to slow the virus and mitigate risks.
        the interview continues from there of course. The segment is worth watching and listening to (there’s a twitter thread) but I think the Rising has a youtube channel.

        Reply
        1. ShamanicFallout

          Correction- Greenwald was not supportive of across the board lockdowns. I think he was in the ‘weighing the risks and benefits’ category

          Reply
  23. flora

    re: Police Brutality (2)

    Looks like the elderly gentleman had a police helmet in his left hand that he was trying to return to the cops. Maybe he found it on the ground? For this, the cops send him to the hospital with a serious head injury. Jesus…

    Reply
      1. flora

        This gets more interesting.

        Two unnamed officers reportedly told the local ABC news station similarly that they didn’t resign out of solidarity with the officers suspended but because the union wasn’t “legally backing” them. A copy of an email that Evans sent members on Friday morning also suggests the union wouldn’t be paying for the legal defense of ERT officers moving forward.

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/buffalo-mayor-police-union-protests_n_5edb06d0c5b67f2275c1ccee

        Reply
  24. J.k

    Many thanks for the links today Lambert.

    It’s a bit frustrating reading stuff like the Atlantic article on c19 in light of how many people around me are completely lax about it than they were a few weeks ago. I walk into a grocery store and see number of people without masks. Standing in line , a couple in front of me have their masks on the chin and carrying out a conversation as we wait in a ridiculously long line.

    The Atlantic article also mentions Epstein-Barr virus , yes apparently its a thing and its a herpes virus. Strange times!

    Reply
  25. Tom

    Kunstler has been ranting on for a long time. But has peak oil theory been scientifically verified? Not sure if America’s problem is peak oil but instead a blind faith in capitalism and every new technology. You all need to focus on reversing financialisation and coming up with a globalisation that isn’t zero sum(benefiting the global south at the expense of the global north)

    Reply
    1. Odysseus

      But has peak oil theory been scientifically verified?

      Depends on exactly what you mean by that.

      Due to fracking, overall world oil production has mostly been flat for several years. So we’re not seeing an outright decline.

      However, the cost per barrel (sometimes expressed as energy return on energy invested) is most certainly going up over time. There will come a day when economically viable oil fields are smaller than consumption.

      Probably the best discussion of this that I have seen is Gail Tveberg at Our Finite World.

      Reply

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