Links 6/7/2020

Earth’s carbon dioxide levels hit record high, despite coronavirus-related emissions drop WaPo

Russian fuel spill declared federal emergency Intellinews. Exxon Valdez territory.

Ripe as a Roadkill Raccoon Chris Jones, IIHR Research Engineer (Late Introvert). Good stuff on Iowa hydrology.

Wall Street Doubts Fed’s $600 Billion Lending Plan Can Succeed Bloomberg

What next for the Fed as signs of recovery emerge? FT

American Jobs Are Returning But An Ugly Summer Still Looms Bloomberg


The science:

How long does the coronavirus last inside the body? National Geographic

Sexual Health in the SARS-CoV-2 Era Annals of Internal Medicine

* * *

The data:

The Tiny Data Firm at the Center of the Hydroxychloroquine Storm Bloomberg.

New U.S. Data Rules Aim at Clearing Up Jumbled Virus Picture Bloomberg

* * *


The quest for a vaccine could restore faith in big pharma The Economist

Fake Science: XMRV, COVID-19, and the Toxic Legacy of Dr. Judy Mikovits (preprint) AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (AL).

‘It’s psychologically easier’: how anti-vaxxers capitalised on coronavirus fears to spread misinformation Guardian (Re Silc).

* * *


Is The Coronavirus Crisis Over? HuffPo

Confirmed coronavirus cases are rising faster than ever CNN

More than half of England’s coronavirus-related deaths will be people from care homes Guardian. “Care homes,” “darkness visible,” “community policing….” In retrospect, the ice floes would have been better. On the bright side, the fiscal situation of the UK’s retirement system must have improved.

How one British town managed to swerve coronavirus outbreak with simple system The Mirror

How the Protests Have Changed the Pandemic The New Yorker. Protests and spreading, a thread:

Compare the Flu Pandemic of 1918 and COVID-19 With Caution Smithsonian

* * *


Tokyo university startup develops coronavirus-catching fabric Nikkei Asian Review

* * *

Political response:

This little-known program has played a central role in the U.S. government’s coronavirus response CBS



How Has the Coronavirus Crisis Affected Xi’s Power: A Preliminary Assessment China Leadership Monitor (PlutoniumKun).

Hong Kong’s tycoons catch the privatisation bug as they pick up assets at rock-bottom prices amid stock market’s slump South China Morning Post

Why now:

Indonesia coronavirus cases surge to nearly 1000 in a single day Sydney Morning Herald

Even US$3 billion not enough to settle 1MDB case with Goldman, says finance minister Straits Times


India’s strategic illusions, delusion and hallucinations Asia Times

South Korea

South Korean boyband BTS donates $1 million to Black Lives Matter Reuters


La UE da la espalda a Trump y busca una revisión de relaciones con EE UU El Pais (Ignacio). Google translation: “The EU turns its back on Trump and seeks a review of relations with the United States.”

£108m PPE contract was given to small pest control company The Times

New Cold War

Decoding Russia’s Official Nuclear Deterrence Paper Carnegie Moscow Center

Russia: The Identitarian Bogey Man of American Politics Gordon Hahn. A dyspeptic canter through identity politics.

Trump Transition

Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning NYT


Joe Biden the revolutionary? What a bunch of malarkey. WaPo

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Mayor Bowser’s budget increases police funding, but:

‘Am I going to get shot?’ kids ask, as brands try to explain racism and violence to children Reuters (re Šilc). The idea that “brands” have agency seems perilously close to the Bearded One’s concept of commodity fetishism.

Police State Watch

Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Result of Approved Minneapolis Police Training Larry Johnson, Sic Semper Tyrannis. As I keep saying, the Blue cities have the kind of police that their Democrat mayors want.

Chicago Mayor Says Police Union Is ‘Extraordinarily Reluctant To Embrace Reform’ NPR. Let’s remember that Rahm Emmanuel, Lightfoot’s Democrat predecesor and [genuflects] Obama’s chief of staff, was running his own Gitmo in Homan Square as recently as 2015. So, yeah.

Exhausted, abused Chicago Police officers need a break, top cop says Chicago Sun-Times. After what, a week?

57 members of Buffalo police riot response team resign after shoving incident Buffalo News. Not from the force; just the unit. More on the “shoving incident”:

Two Buffalo Police Officers Suspended After Staining Clean Sidewalk With Blood The Onion

We Crunched the Numbers: Police — Not Protesters — Are Overwhelmingly Responsible for Attacking Journalists The Intercept

Policing, Police States, and a Failure of Governance Mike the Mad Biologist

Black Injustice Tipping Point

UPRISING: Black ‘Misleaders’ Seek to End Protest Margaret Kimberley, Consortium News

Removal Public Displays of the Confederate Battle Flag Marines

How to Do Reparations Right David Brooks, NYT. “There’s a wrong way to spend that money: trying to find the descendants of slaves and sending them a check. That would launch a politically ruinous argument over who qualifies for the money, and at the end of the day people might be left with a $1,000 check that would produce no lasting change.” Adolph Reed, February 2016: “We are in one of those rare moments in American history—like the 1880s and 1890s and the Great Depression—when common circumstances of economic and social insecurity have strengthened the potential for building broad solidarity across race, gender, and other identities around shared concerns of daily life. These are concerns that only the minority of comfortable and well-off can dismiss in favor of monuments and apologies and a politics of psychobabble, concerns like access to quality health care, the right to a decent and dignified livelihood, affordable housing, quality education for all. They can be pursued effectively only by struggling to unite a wide section of the American population that is denied those essential social benefits or lives in fear of losing them. Isn’t it interesting that at such a moment the corporate-dominated, opinion-shaping media discover and project a demand for racially defined reparations that cuts precisely against building such solidarity?”

The Day I Met James Baldwin at Harvard Anne C. Bailey

Our Famously Free Press

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette removes protest and police brutality stories from website following protests from union members Pittsburgh City Paper. Looks like management “touched the type.”

Sports Desk

Why it matters that Roger Goodell didn’t say Colin Kaepernick’s name EPSN

U.S. college towns on edge as coronavirus threatens football season Reuters

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

Judge in Jeffrey Epstein grand jury case has ties to those with a stake in outcome Miami Herald

Realignment and Legitimacy

Trump is incapable of wielding power The Week. But read all the way to the end.

There Can Be No Change. Heisenberg Report (re Šilc). Interesting!

Class Warfare

Atlanta Protests Reveal Divides in Bastion of Black Success Bloomberg

Jim Cramer: The pandemic led to ‘one of the greatest wealth transfers in history’ CNBC

Delivery workers navigate a pandemic, protests and curfews to make ends meet CNN

‘Don’t Forget the White Women!’: Members Say Racism Ran Rampant at NOW Daily Beast

Come on, man:

To buy wholesale milk for its food boxes, USDA is paying well above retail prices The Counter

Americans turn to home-farming as they fear for their food supply Guardian

Why Sleep Deprivation Kills Quanta

Newton, the Man John Maynard Keynes, MacTutor

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.


    1. Tom

      The great American primaries show – American’s pathetic response to their country’s ills, electing Joe Biden featuring Biden voting blacks from Florida.

      1. ambrit

        Blaming the victim is not an “honest” argument.
        The method of the chosing of the “choices” for the voters goes way back into what used to be considered CT Territory. Now, our penultiworst fears are being ‘validated’ before our lying eyes.
        One can never be too cynical in politics.

    1. The Rev Kev

      People are fixated on the virus being spread by the protests but your film clip shows that there will be other vectors at work. I don’t see the Mayor of Los Vegas on the floors in that clip.

    2. Darthbobber

      And to make it even better, everybody heads right back to their hometown right after the Vegas getaway. Great.

  1. Colonel Smithers

    Further to India’s delusions, multi-ethnic Mauritius risks getting caught up in that nonsense. Agalega, a francophone, African and Catholic island has been ethnically cleansed by the Hindu dominated government in Mauritius and leased, if not ceded, to India. As the agreement and the bribes paid off shore to the dynastic kleptocracy in charge are secret, no one knows what is going on.

    Why Mauritius, the world’s original rainbow nation and where half of the islanders are not Hindu or Indian, is getting involved with India’s delusions is beyond many, if not, most of us.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thank you Colonel. Between Han nationalism and Hindu nationalism, it does not sound like a good brew. But Hindu India is a bit more of a worry as they are making clear that there is no room in India for anybody who is not Hindu. I do wonder if there is also the old Caste system at work here to determine who the winners and who are the losers. I fear that something ugly could easily come out of the Hindu India movement that will put paid to what has been called the world’s largest democracy.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Ripe as a Roadkill Raccoon Chris Jones, IIHR Research Engineer (Late Introvert). Good stuff on Iowa hydrology.

    Thats really interesting. Catchment management is one of the most horrendously complicated things in a landowning democracy. Thousands of active stakeholders, with often entirely unreconcilable objectives. And add that in to the reality that water catchments rarely neatly follow political boundaries (and even more so when you include groundwater, which interact with surface water catchments in unexpected ways). The same complications occur whether is a local stream or the Mekong River, its all just scale. Some would argue that watershed management has driven history, rather than vice versa – most of the great early empires were built on managing huge watersheds such as the Tigris or Yellow River. Some would argue that the management of the great rivers is still the entire raison d’être of China (an amazing percentage of top CCP officials were, and are, hydrological engineers).

    But one thing it does illustrate is the failure of libertarian approaches. Unfortunately, as the article more or less concludes, satisfactory results can usually only be achieved if there is someone, somewhere, with the power to over rule local interests and impose a policy. This sounds great if that body is doing what you personally think is a good thing (such as, for example, imposing strict limits on pollution and run-off). Less so if that body imposes something you don’t like (such as building a big dam next to where you live). There are no easy answers.

    1. J.k

      Thanks for the link and your thoughts. Ive read similar stuff before about the ruthlessly meritocratic nature of the system in China. In addition to being scientists and engineers, they also have to demonstrate incredible competence in governing large areas with 10s of millions of people before they can rise in the ranks of the party. And here our leaders can barely string together a coherent sentence.

      1. JBird4049

        But what about history or the equivalent to a liberal arts degree? Scientists and engineers tend to be limited in their thinking. People in the “soft” fields like anthropology or writing tend to be more fluid and more humane in their thinking. It looks like its China’s best and the brightest might have some blind spots if they don’t have people other than engineers or scientists in hard fields.

  3. Bugs Bunny

    “Exhausted, abused Chicago Police officers need a break, top cop says”

    Lived there for 5 years. Never saw the cops outside of their cars except to hassle a homeless guy or hang around inside the White Hen Pantry getting free coffee and food. They occasionally combined both when a homeless person was at the White Hen Pantry.

    Of course they need a break.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Of course they need a break.

      30 days of violent protests would break the police (and the police instigate a lot of the violence). It may be that this is why they’ve backed off.

      1. Chris

        I count many LEOs as friends hroughout the country and especially in the DC/MD/NoVA areas. They all tell me they’re exhausted after working nonstop for the last week.

        Just the crowd management aspect of their jobs while wearing riot and pandemic gear has been physically exhausting. I can only imagine what the emotional and mental aspects of the demonstrations are doing to add to that.

        The men and women I know who are LEOs are physically fit, have families, and are active in their communities and on their jobs. I won’t get into anecdotes vs. data or end with a ridiculous #notallcops but yes, please understand that asking to people to work nonstop in dangerous conditions is tiring.

        Also tiring are all the people I know who don’t own guns, don’t know how to defend themselves or their families, have a lot of money, live conveniently close to major highways, and are telling people how maybe we don’t need the police and our taxes shouldn’t go to that anymore… I almost want to see that happen just so people begin to understand the gravity of the situation we’re in. I mean, we could pay taxes, or you could volunteer to be robbed and directly redistribute your earnings to some enterprising people looking for an easy mark. Your choice I guess?

        1. lordkoos

          Why do they have to work so hard then? Most of the protests don’t need nearly as many cops as I’ve seen.

          1. MLTPB

            St Francis conversed with animals.

            Not many of us could.

            Once I was taking a walk in the park, feeling peaceful, and as I approached a rabbit, still feeling one with nature, it just scampered away.

            It could not sense that I came in peace.

            It’s similar among human strangers.

            People know they are peaceful protesters. But others can’t tell, in real time…only afterwards.

            I can see how might it require more energy for the police, for same amount of time, walking the same distance.

            1. Chris

              There’s a lot to say about that kind of awareness. If you’re interested, I recommend books by Rory Miller. I also recommend his seminars too. I use that training in my job a lot, both in dangerous situations and when negotiating.

          2. Chris

            Long shifts. And individuals don’t make the policy decisions behind how many need to be in which place for what length of time. Throughout these protests, they are on the feet, in varying weather conditions, wearing all their normal gear (about 10lbs), plus armor in many cases (5-10 lbs), plus PPE (increases body heat, makes it harder to breathe), and they have to move and be present and focused because some of the protests become riots either by accident or intent.

            It’s also important to understand that if there are more police to make a larger presence they can act to de-escalate a situation more easily with a crowd. Many of the terrible videos we’ve seen in the last decade involved police people who reacted poorly because they could not maintain safe distance or project a presence to de-escalate a situation. Matt Taibbi writes about it well in his books.

            If you’ve never worked security or been sent to a place that was actively dangerous for your job you really can’t appreciate what it’s like. I’m not excusing the many examples of police brutality we have seen in the last week and in the years preceding too. I’m only trying to explain some of the things I’m aware of from working security myself, being sent to dangerous places occasionally, and what my LEO friends are telling me now. I would not want their jobs. Now or in a better time.

            1. occasional anonymous

              Enough. I’m tired of their whining. Their jobs are not anywhere as close to as dangerous as they want others to think. They are in fact not soldiers, and they are in fact not in a warzone.

              “Many of the terrible videos we’ve seen in the last decade involved police people who reacted poorly because they could not maintain safe distance or project a presence to de-escalate a situation.”

              Yeah, no one is buying this anymore. The ubiquity of portable devices for HD recordings, and the prevalence of places to upload said recordings, have amply demonstrated what the police are. A lot of people’s illusions about ‘Officer Friendly’ have been utterly shattered in the last couple weeks. There is something institutionally wrong with cops, in how they are selected, trained, and disciplined.

              Of course the cops can’t ‘maintain a safe distance’ when they’re sprinting towards a target to deliver a beating. And it’s become very clear that a huge number of them have neither the training nor the desire to ‘de-escalate’.

              It’s not just ‘a few bad apples’. I’m really struggling to find *any* ‘good apples’. The whole orchard is rotten. It may well be that most cops aren’t actively engaging in beatings and other abuses (though it’s clear a hell of a lot of them are), but they’re perfectly willing to not just ignore abuse, but actively enable it. The video of a handful of cops engaging in a beating, while a much larger number of cops form a cordon around it, facing outwards, to prevent anyone interrupting the beating, is emblematic of how the entire ‘law enforcement’ apparatus in the US operates.

              The fifty-seven thugs-in-uniform resigning from their unit in solidarity with the two thugs who got suspended for abusing an old man is a perfect encapsulation of the LEO mindset. They’re a brotherhood of ‘warriors’, tasked with keeping the ‘civilians’ in line. They’re loyal to their own first and foremost.

              1. Chris

                I’m not condoning any of what you’re complaining about. I’m just trying to explain some details that people may not be aware of. You are correct that de-escalation is special training and there are plenty of officers who serve and don’t receive it. Mr. Miller, the man whose book I recommended, was a prison guard who practiced what he preached and was able to resolve situations peacefully a large percentage of the time. I would hope one of the results coming out of this troubling time is that conflict communication, theories of violence, and de-escalation become more commonly included in training.

                And yes, if someone runs at you with a knife, and you can’t maintain safe distance, you do make poor decisions. There are many instances of “suicide by cop” recorded in that vein too.

                I’m sorry you have had so many negative experiences with LEOs.

                1. occasional anonymous

                  It’s not about me or my experiences. It’s about the extensive, and growing by the day, video record of how widespread abusive cops are.

                1. flora

                  Here’s a very good thread about the tension and disconnect.

                  from one of the tweets in the thread:

                  But analyzing their collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) shows that police unions are not normal & their contracts are antithetical to justice & even reasonable expectations in the realm of labor relations. Removing repeat offenders is really nearly impossible

                  Here’s the top of the entire thread.


          3. Darthbobber

            Here in Philly, we had 50 plus cops guarding the freshly sandblasted Rizzo statue from nobody even while West Philadelphia was being looted with nary a cop visible anywhere.

        2. Adam Eran

          Here’s population: 1981 – 229.5 million – 2017 – 325.1 million. That’s a 42% increase.

          Police funding: 1981 – $40 billion – 2017 – $115 billion. That’s a 287.5% increase.

          The truth is that for generations, the U.S. has been de-funding the social safety net programs that would make police force less necessary. This includes evicting / releasing mental patients, reducing welfare, and being miserly with Social Security Disability (you typically have to hire an attorney to navigate a disability application).

          I have friends who are policemen (and women), and I want their jobs to be safer. The social safety net used to be acknowledged as a cheap way to ensure social peace. Now, it’s a commonplace for people to believe only frauds and cheats (“welfare queens”) get such support. As billionaire investing genius Warren Buffet acknowledges, there’s a class war going on, “And,” says Buffet, “My class is winning.”

      2. JBird4049

        So what happens when, as is likely, the pandemic re-erupts undoing the quarantine, craters the economy more, kills hundreds of thousands, and Congress as well as local governments still refused to take this seriously? When it becomes clear that they really do mean go die?

        The epidemic is going to go away someday and people are going to be in a worse position than they are now. Somehow, I think that the next round of protests might be longer than a mere month.

  4. PlutoniumKun

    India’s strategic illusions, delusion and hallucinations Asia Times

    This is very interesting, and disturbing if its true that Modi has surrounded himself with people convinced that India is stronger militarily than in reality. China is well aware of India’s vulnerability and its inability to mobilise its army to the upper Himalaya. In any conflict there China would most likely win (with the caveat that China hasn’t much experience of high altitude warfare either, almost anything could happen). But its in China’s perceived interest to keep poking at India along those boundaries to test for weaknesses and keep India guessing. China holds the upper catchments of many of Indias most important rivers, and it knows how much power this gives it (and the Indians know it too).

    Back in 2007 I was in northern India and a whole series of bridges had been washed away. I was told repeatedly by locals that the Chinese had deliberately released floodwaters from their dams as a message to India. Whether true or not, it was certainly the perception of regular Indians that they could do very little about it.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > China holds the upper catchments of many of Indias most important rivers, and it knows how much power this gives it (and the Indians know it too).

      As with the Mekong. Could get ugly.

      1. ambrit

        Will we see “raids” like the ones Israel did against Iraki “reactors” to disable those dams inside China proper? A new form of warfare, infrastructure attrition. (Actually, that’s a very old form of warfare.)

  5. zagonostra

    >Better Times

    Maybe not now or even ahead. But I remember a time when this country was in “better times.” The headlines were more cheerful and optimistic then. When a young president captured the hopes and imagination of the country with his youthfulness and ambitions to go so far as to reach the moon. His death seemed to change the trajectory of that optimism, along the deaths that followed in quick successions.

    Riots, coronavirus, old and corrupt politicians, corporate political parties, poverty and despair, ecological decay, fragmentation and unraveling seem to be the order of the day.

    I sit on the porch in my rural central PA home, pick up a text book by an old professor and read one of those quotes academics used to like placing in front of each chapter. The quote seems to capture the collective mood I and some friends share.

    And so we come to the end, barbarism replaces culture…The life of the mind has quietly moved out of the way, making room for the terrible and pathetic encounter of the fanatic and the zombie.

    Alain Finkielkrout, The Defeat fo the Mind

  6. Eudora Welty

    Omari Salisbury, a journalist with Converge Media, has been doing an excellent job of single-handedly covering Seattle protests with just his phone. He points out (not in order of importance): when the posture of the police changes; when he feels the crowd tension is high. Also, he asks people Are you from around here?, and a surprising number of protestors are not locals. He is aware when he sees new faces in the crowd. He points out people who may be instigators (and actually intervened Saturday night to prevent escalation by people who were moving the barricades). He points out that protestors don’t have specific goals & that there are no elders or experienced organizers. He has an authentic way about him & he got a personal meeting with the Seattle Police Chief behind the police line. He’s a real star in the making.

    There was a nice moment when a police officer conversed at length with some of the young protesters, and that was covered live by Salisbury, although a viewer suspected in the chat the encounter was designed to divert attention of the arrival of bicycle cops to the scene.

    At one point, Omari felt that nearby live music was too loud, and protestors could not hear the police or any person who attempted to lead. He asked the musician to tone it down, and they had a conversation live on Facebook, but the musician accosted him later, saying he was entertaining people, helping the vibe, & “Why are you directing everything?” — I saw Omari punched out live on Facebook. He said he was OK shortly afterward.

    I’ve learned so much from watching live streaming of civil disobedience recently.

    1. Milton

      and a surprising number of protestors are not locals.
      Yes, because a human rights violation in one part of this country has no bearing on any other part.

      1. Calypso Facto

        Seattle isn’t really a ‘local’s place’ any longer – the cost of living drove the locals to the east side and further suburbs (or entirely elsewhere) over the last two decades as Seattle became SFO2. I’m not sure how much that commentary indicates people coming in explicitly for the protests or simply stating the common fact, that they moved there from elsewhere for a job.

        1. Snake Plissken

          Ex-Seattlite here. Agreed. The old Seattle is dead. Killed by Amazon. The new Seattle is full of transplants.

          1. lordkoos

            I lived there for many years. Seattle may have been killed by Amazon, but the illness started with Microsoft.

        2. Sam M

          Seattle, like SF, another naturally and culturally beautiful city ruined by rapid urbanization and tech bubbles.

          1. neo-realist

            I would admit that some neighborhoods, e.g., Capitol Hill and Belltown, have had cool arts culture and affordable housing destroyed in favor of sterile steel and glass office towers and housing only affordable to highly paid IT professionals. The political class has also been slow in adding on the necessary transit infrastructure to accommodate the vast increase in population.

            1. farmboy

              Seattle always been a company town, juiced by the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896, in 20 years population exploded from 43k to 238k. Nordstrom and Bon Marche outfitted hundreds of prospectors, but Boeing stamped the city, the state, the region post W2, giving Senators Jackson and Magnuson both d’s, the moniker senator from Boeing. Weyerhauser and Stimson Lane timber companies amassed huge tracts of land in the coastal mountains and Cascades, the term skid row originated in Seattle, Portland from streets used to slide or skid logs downhill into the water for “booming” for transport. Will the last person to leave Seattle please turn out the light graced a billboard in Seattle during the “Boeing” recession of 1971 when 40,000 engineers lost their jobs.

      2. MLTPB

        I read the comment as an observation, not relating to parts of the country bearing or not.

        Whether it was similar in MN earlier when questions about outsiders were debated, they can be observed by people there.

        Seattle is one data point (offered by a commenter, which can be additionally confirmed or otherwise). MN is another, separate data point.

  7. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Exhausted, abused Chicago Police officers need a break, top cop says” article at-

    It’s a numbers game. There are far more protestors than there are police. And police work in shifts whereas protestors can strike anytime. Joe Biden was asked for a comment but what he said did not exactly endear himself with those cops-

    “The younger generation cops now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. No, no, I have no empathy for it. Give me a break.”

    1. timbers

      He sure does ask for a great many breaks. Could it become a campaign slogan? Or how about “You’re with Me” a modified “I’m with Her” as both make the candidate themselves priority instead of the voter.

          1. ambrit

            You are both correct. First, the ‘Gifting’ of various ‘resources’ to donors, and then ‘Grifting’ from the results of said transfers of wealth.
            It’s a well known methodology of corruption.

            1. polecat

              Change ‘Give me’ to “GIMMIE!!” ..

              That’s practically all one need know of where mr. MBNA fits into D.C.’s Peter Principality ..

              Give me a G – for outrageous Gain$
              Give me an I – for nefarious Intent !
              Give me an M – for more Money !
              Give me another M – for even moar Mammon !
              Give me an I – for In$titutionalized privilege !
              Give me an E – for utterly Embarrassing !

              What does that spell ???

              !Grifting the BIDEN WAY!

                1. polecat

                  Lambert ! Thank you.
                  – polecat remembers …

                  *Come some ten year later, we we’re all wounderin “what Do You Want From LIFE?”! .. soon after, when most of the ‘hippies’, having a change of heart since having virtually starved from their febble attempts at ‘communally living’ .. got the Universal religion of the God of Mammon, and then next thing ya know .. here we are !

                  *’Spring of ’74 – end of semester late afternoon .. waiting for my highschool ‘fieldtrip’ bus to leave Fishermen’s Wharf .. as someone’s transistor radio was tuned-in to whatever radio affiliated San Francisco AM station was airing the then Live broadcast ‘demise’ in LA .. of the Symbionese Liberation Army!!

                  Talk about a surreal feeling, sitting there, taking in the apparent contradiction .. to a series of bad events, especially after enjoying my last, Best day of .. HIGHSCHOOL! – around the year the Draft had finally come to an end.

                  Patty seemed to have made out Ok though …

                2. Dr. John Carpenter

                  I clicked on that and got the weirdest ad. Laura Trump wanting me to sign a birthday card for Trump because he loves nothing more than hearing from “loyal patriots” like me. Mmmkay.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Speaking of heavy grifting, am I the only one who was seriously disheartened to see Al Sharpton given a prominent role the other day?

          For all its flaws and mistakes, it was gratifying to see BLM tell Sharpton – FBI informer, serial stealth Republican operative, charter school shill, deadbeat race racketeer – to take a walk when he showed up in Ferguson, Mo. years ago, but apparently he still has his uses to the Overclass.

          Sharpton has always represented a dishonest simulacrum of civil rights protest. To the extent that he receives any publicity or credibility, or is put forward as a voice of the rebellion, it’s a very bad sign.

          1. ambrit

            Good catch. Once he is established in the public eye as the ‘voice’ of “legitimate” protest, all those to the “left” of him can be demonized and crushed with impunity.

    2. diptherio

      I think the headline should read “Exhausted from abusing protesters, Chicago Police officers need a break.”

      1. MLTPB

        I’m still surprised, with all the research and development in science and technology, we haven’t been offered more tech solutions, like robot guard dogs, or some better crowd control apps or gadgets.

        1. Roady

          I’m surprised there’s not more coverage of the surveillance drones being used to monitor the protests nationwide.

          1. MLTPB

            Perhaps they have already been sold. Thus less need for marketing.

            Robot dogs, though, they could use some promotion.

              1. MLTPB

                I would think there are more fancy gadgets.

                Maybe shield robot cops in front of human ones.

        2. Charlie

          The reaper drones are merely awaiting the code to bomb wedding parties. Or orders from the Obamacrats returning to office.

    1. Grebo

      No big revelations or surprises, except that one of the authors (at least) is a bit of a right-winger, albeit a sensible one. I don’t recall him piping up on Corbyn’s behalf before the election. He also attributes the media’s lies to ‘a failure to fact check’ rather than the more plausible ‘deliberate disinformation campaign’.

  8. Fireship

    Re: Protests

    My prediction: Nothing substantial will change. NOTHING. Why? Because most Americans do not want change; they want to get a bigger slice of the pie. Being poor is still the biggest sin in American society, worse than being an Epstein. The proof of this is that Americans had a chance to choose real change with Bernie Sanders. They choose Joe instead. Before you go crying about how the poor average voter is an innocent victim of propaganda, the oligarchs, the media etc, remember the words of George Carlin: The public sucks.

    1. John Merryman

      People think it’s about winning, not how you play the game, so breaking the rules to win has become accepted, whether it’s our foreign policy, or looting the local Target.
      We are linear, goal oriented creatures in a cyclical, reciprocal, feedback driven reality and America is just humanity washing up against the edge of the global petri dish.
      It will change, because we have reached the end of the rope. Go forth and multiply/increasing GDP has run out of steam.
      The basic fallacy is believing our ideals are absolutes. For example, a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. Conflating the ideal with the absolute promotes fanaticism, not dialog. Any society, human or otherwise, will have its more liberal aspects and its more conservative aspects. It’s a cultural dichotomy, yin and yang. When people are taught to believe they should be on the road to nirvana, wherever it goes, than anyone going the other direction must be evil, not just reacting to the other sides actions.
      A very large bubble is in the process of popping. Humanity is in the process of resetting, whether we agree, or not.

      1. Parker Dooley

        When the Great Scorekeeper
        Comes to count the cost
        It isn’t how you played the game
        But if you won or lost.

    2. kareninca

      Things might change, but not because people in power will be awed by these protests. They will assume that they are happening because of the covid lockdowns. That young people are out protesting because they can’t be at work, can’t go to school in person, can’t go to the malls or the beach or restaurants and don’t have as much money as they did; that they have been stuck inside for months and protests are being presented as something to do that is okay and so they are the only thing to do out in the world. And that it will mostly be forgotten once the usual distractions are available again. That is what is being thought by unsympathetic people in power. They can only be proven wrong by changes in voting participation after the pandemic. I am also going to assume that next time a pandemic happens there will be no lock downs, because these protests will be seen to have been a consequence. So, more deaths next time.

    3. tegnost

      yeah about those who made the choice for biden
      The largest voting bloc is independents and a voter, in many cases in the us, needs to register for a party to participate in their (rigged) primary.
      The primary was not a referendum on the views of the populace. Period.
      Claiming that the primary was a referendum on the views of the populace is false.
      Americans want change, people with an agenda want americans to think that no one wants change.
      According to the posted chart, only about 30% of americans are registered dem, and that number has held pretty steady over the years. Blaming bernie’s demise on voters overlooks the reality of what he was up against.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That man lost his well-built up credibility at the UN and never got it back. Just another broken vessel.

    4. mpalomar

      George Carlin was one of the great late 20 th c american satirists but ‘the public sucks,’ if that was extent of his analysis, is an incomplete reduction of a function; an elite that sucks engendering and promoting an information ecosystem that results in a sucky public.
      Chicken and egg stuff.

      1. J.k

        As someone in the comments section here pointed out somewhat jokingly recently in reference to that Carlin skit, Carlin is inadvertently making a case for a vanguard party.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      Americans had a chance to choose real change with Bernie Sanders

      Did they though? The 2020 Democrat primary was an epic travesty. Have we forgotten what happened in Iowa already, where Buttigieg ‘won’ despite getting fewer delegates? In other early primaries exit poll data didn’t match the ‘official’ results, and were always skewed against Sanders. Then we had the Night of the Long Knives, where the establishment rallies around the guy in 4th or 5th place at the time, with those in front conveniently dropping out as Clyburn rallies people around Biden, who was the only establishment candidate who could have beaten Bernie in the primaries held that week. If it were a bunch of midwestern primaries, it would have been Biden dropping out in favor of Klobuchar or Buttigieg. Then once Biden had some momentum, we have him urging people to vote in the middle of a pandemic – he only backed off after ‘winning’ a few more primaries. But even then he still didn’t have enough delegates, but with the pandemic and concomitant hysteria sweeping the nation, the whole country just sort of forgot about primaries altogether while the media anointed Biden. And if none of that had worked, candidates hadn’t dropped out and nobody had a clear majority but Sanders was leading come convention time, the superdelegates were still there waiting to ignore the will of the plurality of voters and tip the scales to whomever the establishment favored.

      This campaign has been a complete and utter farce and any Democrat nominee would be considered illegitimate in a sane nation, but in this one where the Democrat party can set and break its own rules until it gets the representative of the plutocratic donor class it wants, the people be damned, evidently we’ll just have to go with the lesser of two obscenely corrupt, misogynistic, past-their-prime racists in mental decline.

      1. HotFlash

        That’s even leaving out the thousands of disenfranchised voters, eg, college students who were off their campus (where they were registered) to ‘home’, where they weren’t and couldn’t vote. Milwaukee, can’t find the reference (down the memory hole?), something like 140 polling stations reduced to 8? The people who want Medicare for All were robbed, and, sorry to say, Bernie is/was complicit. No, Bernie, you can keep my $$, just make sure it gets used for good. You know what that is, don’t you? Union sisters and brothers need some help, essential workers need some healthcare. Jillionaires *don’t need bailouts*! Jillionaires *don’t need tax breaks*!

    6. Ian Ollmann

      I disagree that that was about Sanders policies, at least not directly. The electorate has concluded in the primaries that the road to victory is in getting the votes of the never Trumpers for the democratic candidate. If Sanders won the nomination, these people would instead to prefer to vote for their dog or Herbert Hoover or Mickey Mouse. It was the same thing with HRC who was demonized in conservative media for 30 years. She couldn’t get the never Trump vote. They voted for the libertarian candidate. Voters are fighting the last election with their candidate choices.

      You are correct that moderate Conservatives don’t want “very” liberal candidates. This should surprise no one. The liberal consensus will win when it no longer needs Conservatives to win. When the DNC politicos sense that liberalism is a groundswell they will bend to avoid breaking. All you need is a liberal tsunami. Perhaps some study of FDRs term will provide some hints about how that might happen, peacefully.

      I suspect it will happen when the mainstream concludes something really does need to be done about the poor (or CO2) to avoid disaster (read: personal suffering).

    7. MLTPB

      The biggest sin…

      Is it sin or worry/risk?

      And is it just here, or many places around the world?

      1. Fireship

        I say “sin” deliberately because in America, more than any other developed country (that I know of), being poor is seen as a moral failing.

        1. clean

          “a moral failing” yes, and more and more a mental illness, to be treated with (“who pays for that?”) medication. And anger is a crime.
          difficult to deal with sudden mood swings are a common side effect.
          (often wonder how many of the police are on medication?)

  9. floyd

    re: Mikovits

    That analysis is as false as Mikovits. The hypothesis that ME/CFS is a mental health condition and can be improved by cognitive behavioral therapy has been disproven:

    “Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome stresses that SEID is a medical — not a psychiatric or psychological — illness.” – 2015 IOM/NIH Report

    David Tuller a well known healthcare journalist has been writing take downs of that CBT study (and ME/CFS) in general put out by the UK Psychiatry industry on Vincent Racinello’s (Virology expert at Columbia) website:

    This seems like a good example of someone who might know what they’re talking about in one area (retroviruses) assuming they’re also an expert in another area they know little about (ME/CFS). Or they’re too lazy to do research into what’s happened in the last 12 years.

  10. griffen

    The links to the college sports article is a must if you find the college sports seasons a pleasant distraction. Its a delicate thing to balance social distancing with the desire to cram alumni and fans into a 100,000 seat stadium. Let alone the loss of revenues to businesses and hotels, and fueling up at the QT or 7 11 or what have you.

    Good luck with it. I’ll predict a truncated version of a college football season, maybe 10 games at best.

    1. Stephen V.

      I live in an SEC college town. Restaurants, bars (Sales Tax revenue anyone?) are still not close to fully functioning. I predict all games played with some crazy algorithmic social distancing for the butts in the seats-which means less revenue. Not sure how this works every which way.

      1. griffen

        Less revenue beats $0 revenue. To be honest, the knock on effects will happen to non revenue sports. And, those local main stay locations can possibly survive with some attendance as opposed to no attendance.

        Clemson isn’t far from here, so it’ll be intersting to see how they adapt.

        1. ambrit

          I’m waiting, in vain so far, for the announcements of salary cuts to the sports team coaches and auxiliary personnel.
          The other thing I am waiting for are the infection rates for the teams and coaches as plotted over the life of whatever “Season” happens this year.

        2. chuck roast

          I went to university quite some time ago, but it was in what I like to call “the age of reason.” We had then, and still have a functioning gridiron team. From 1999-2019 the alma mater has had two winning seasons. Because I have a university degree, I can tell you with absolute certainty and conviction that this tallies up to a record of 2 and 18. Moreover, four years of strenuous mental labor at the U allowed me to easily figure the total won-lost record over what is clearly an extraordinary and singular epoch in the annals of football history. We have a won-lost record of 64 wins and 173 losses.

          One would think that here in what I like to call “the age of reason” that the Olde U would look at the concrete results of 20 years of futile effort and extreme expenditure and drop football. But then one would have forgotten that this is the age of grade inflation. Therefore we can overlook the apparent, shall we say, less than adequate play of our beloved eleven. As a reward for the effort of these fellows we have expanded the size of modest little stadium to accommodate our reasonable expectation that this will somehow improve our competitive record in the future.

          You see, football is totally Ptolemaic.

    2. mpalomar

      a must if you find the college sports seasons a pleasant distraction
      – With the covid-19 induced suspension of major sporting events and the coincidence of massive street demonstrations one wonders about the contributory effect of the missing ‘circuses’ distraction added to the elite regimes imposed ‘bread’ diet, in the collapsing ‘bread and circuses’ formulation for controlling the populous.

      1. lordkoos

        I think an another factor is that these lock-downs have given people a chance to think without being interrupted or distracted by their work.

    3. periol

      Yet another example of coronavirus pointing out a problem humans were unwilling or unable to fix. I’ve been a football fan since I was a little kid, college and pro, but the injury issues are no joke and I really don’t watch much anymore. A friend who played college ball in the 90s is already starting to notice some of the CTE symptoms. And there’s so much graft built into the NCAA system from the top on down, most especially football, it’s hard not to enjoy watching them scramble to find that money. If this doesn’t show the hypocrisy of “amateur” sports and athletes not getting paid, nothing will.

    4. mpalomar

      if you find the college sports seasons a distraction.
      – Posted this a few hours ago, apologies if this duplicates but it occurs to me that coincidental with the current uprising in the streets across the country is the covid-19 epidemic’s zeroing out of sports as distraction; a prime time ‘circus’ spectacle offering to the masses, eliminated as the important ‘bread’ end of the equation also vaporises.
      No more ‘bread and circuses.’

    1. Foy

      Yep very good, impressive woman, thanks for posting Stephen.

      Mark Twain wrote a short essay (2 paragraphs about the Two Reigns of Terror), she is articulating a version of that I think, but as she says, they are seeking equality and not revenge

  11. The Rev Kev

    “57 members of Buffalo police riot response team resign after shoving incident”

    The solution is not very hard to find. You simply disband that riot response team so that those police have nowhere to go back to. Send them to do traffic duty. Perhaps down the track that unit can be reconstituted but with more carefully selected police next time. Newsflash – It happens all the time!

    In 2014 the Camden, NJ Police Force was totally disbanded. In 2007 Fiji’s sole armed police unit – the elite Tactical Response Division – was disbanded. The UK’s Special Operation Group was replaced in 1987. In 1987, my own Oz State disbanded the corrupt Queensland Police Special Bureau and had all their files shredded. Just last month an entire Ukrainian police unit was disbanded when one of its officers raped and assaulted a female witness.

    Just Google police unit disbanded and you will find more examples. So just disband that Buffalo unit and maybe reduce tensions in the city that way. If the 700-odd police go on strike in Buffalo, get a battalion of New York State National Guard sent in to replace them after you sack any police that refuse to go back to work. The violence that we are seeing is a result of the police having the upper hand in a lot of cities and will not get better.

    1. Procopius

      I don’t remember where I read it — maybe Bloomberg? Someone had the bright idea of interviewing the cops who resigned from the unit. One quoted said they quit because the union told them they would no longer insure the team against liability for their actions. They weren’t resigning in solidarity with the two felons, but because they’d be at risk of being sued for their actions. No risk-taking for them!

    2. John Wright


      “On average, the life expectancy of Buffalo police officers in our sample was significantly lower than the U.S. population (mean difference in life expectancy =21.9 years; 95% CI”

      21.9 years is a huge difference in lifespan.

      The paper makes the case that police work is inherently stressful and coupled with poor diet, Buffalo police have a far shorter lifespan.

      The paper mentions higher death rates in the police of Rome,Italy as well.

      Note, other data from Illinois and California (see note about the Calpers supplied data) may not show an increased rate of death for police/troopers.

      The early police deaths observed in Buffalo could indicate that police work in that city is stressful perhaps making police/public interactions even more problematic and difficult to improve.

  12. Richard H Caldwell

    Caption revision: “After security teams cleared the area of retail customers with tear gas and flash-bangs, Mr. Dimon and the staff of the Mt. Kisco JPM store took a knee in solidarity with oppressed high net worth taxpayers everywhere. The moment was coincidentally captured by a passing JPM media relations team member.”

    1. cnchal

      Taking a knee doesn’t mean what we think it means. I can not figure out why taking a knee in honour of George Floyd is a sign of respect. Particularly when the “authorities” do it, it seems a blatant form of mockery.

      As for publicity hound Jamie, his knee on America’s throat while running an ongoing criminal enterprise is lauded as leadership. It shows just how messed up everything is.

      1. Big River Bandido

        After the way Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, seeing Power “take a knee” is disgusting and offensive.

      2. Procopius

        Oh, dear. I just got what “taking a knee” means in the George Floyd context.

      1. edmondo

        Someone needs to ask Joe Biden if there is space inside “his” Administration for Jamie Dimon. I want to know before November 2nd

        1. polecat

          I’ll bet, as hair is to a sniffing nose, that Joe’s wife Jill will carry on the Biden legacy by campaigning for a House or Senate seat, once Joe enters into the great beyond ..

          Even worse would be a ‘Hunter $lot’ .. machine!

          I mean, it’s All about maintaining the ‘Dynasty’ .. right?
          They’re like Terminators – they don’t die, they just keep on
          multiplying while killin the unwashed.

    2. MLTPB

      In general, not just this, there are 4 scenarios:

      No gessture, no action
      No gesture, action
      Gesture, no action
      Gesture, action

      Just looking at the gesture part, it can be misleading.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “New U.S. Data Rules Aim at Clearing Up Jumbled Virus Picture”

    ‘Laboratories will be required to report more details to the government about people who take coronavirus tests, including information on race, gender and zip code, under new guidance issued on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.’

    Gunna state the obvious here. They say that they have been preparing for a pandemic for years if not decades. Then for god’s sake why did they not have a template for a form asking for all these data points in some manual somewhere? We are now six months into this world-wide pandemic and they are only now thinking that such info would be handy? I bet you that the South Koreans would have thought this sort of stuff all the way through long ago. Perhaps we should have asked them for a copy of their manuals to see what we forgot to think about. Or was it just a matter of western arrogance that we did not?

    1. Deb Schultz

      I’m puzzled by all this too. For instance, doesn’t the CDC collect data concerning annual influenza outbreaks in order to plan for the next year’s vaccine(s)? Granted, this is sort of after the fact collection, but it must take place. Or perhaps the companies who make the vaccines do the collecting? I mean it’s not clear how any of this is being done. Or how the collected data is used going forward, to make better plans for people’s protection.

      The other problem in this is that some entity pays for this testing. I’m presuming that the federal government is doing that — maybe I’m wrong but I think this was part of the initial stimulus package. Anyway, the purseholder could most certainly have made immediate changes to data collection and dispersal.

      This article makes clear just how passive the CDC has become. I’m not sure what their role is, frankly. It’s telling that among the changes being required, the data is to be submitted within 24 hours to local/state agencies and then those agencies are supposed to pass them on to the CDC within a certain time period.

      1. MLTPB

        Data collecting and contact tracing.

        Are they something we are generally more reluctant to accept these days?

      2. VietnamVet

        The reason for the lack of planning was the purposeful ripping out of functions, hiring of stupid incompetent political appointees and purchasing of bipartisan toadies, all guided by an amoral corrupt ideology. It destroyed the US federal government. All that has passed Congress so far is trillions for shareholders and a pittance for the unemployed. The ruling caste decided a while ago to protect their hospitals but nothing else with a “lockdown”. The science of COVID-19 after six months is still pitiful. There is no national testing, contact tracing or isolating of the infected. Mitigation is failing.

        America is the Wild Wild West again. Who knows what will happen next? But Las Vegas reopening without social distancing or face masks and more than 450 American cities with mass protests must spike the number of coronavirus infections. This summer, virus testing without contact tracing and isolation is pointless. It sure looks like the Establishment will do nothing. Dying Left Behinds, due to the haphazard reopening and the unrest, will overwhelm impacted US hospital systems, once again, like Southern NY State was in April.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Sorta makes you wonder where they’re getting all the demographic information that the “news” has been reporting for months, and lockdowns and re-open plans have been predicated on.

      Maybe Surgisphere Corp. or Crowdstrike decided to step up and fill in the gaps.

    3. Procopius

      Then for god’s sake why did they not have a template for a form asking for all these data points in some manual somewhere?

      They did, but the manual was prepared by the Obama administration, so it had to be destroyed with fire.

      I’ve read that on November 11, 1918, a high-ranking British officer said, “Thank goodness. Now we can get back to a proper training routine.” Soldiers mostly prefer to be in garrison, but the longer they stay in garrison the less able they are to perform in combat.

  14. dougie

    I have stridently avoided the observations and “insight” of one Jim Cramer, since he was foisted upon us quite some time ago….That said, the comments he made in the link provided this morning actually made sense to me.

    I am left to ponder whether this is “stopped clock”, or “blind hog” phenomenon, further slippage in my cognitive function, or whether he may have been capable of learning and evolving after all.

    I prefer the latter, but I am not willing to drink the Kool-Aid just yet!

    1. griffen

      I’d suggest a stopped clock. The bigger to biggest corporations now wield more sway over commerce than before. Its akin to 2008 – 2009, when the largest 5 to 10 US banks just grew ever more powerful coming out of the recession.

      Free markets, your bologna has a first name.

      1. Temporarily Sane

        The power of capital is a taboo subject in American politics. The fact that three individuals have as much wealth as the bottom 60% of the American population is mind blowing. Of course this is almost never mentioned by the politicians who purport to be “concerned” about rampant inequality. (And the one significant exception, Bernie Sanders, it turns out was never serious about challenging the status quo.)

        Even on the supposed political left discussing inequality can be controversial. Just last week Adolph Reed Jr. was “de-platformed” by the DSA and accused of “class reductionism” for not showing sufficient fealty to the church of identity politics.

        For Democrats and Republicans alike, identity politics is the gift that keeps on giving. It smothers discussion of elite-driven economic inequality, the driving force behind the destruction of the middle- and working classes, while keeping the proles fixated on demonizing each other and resurrecting the putrid corpse of race and gender essentialism.

        As long as this continues and the masses remain divided, not much will change for the better.

        1. CoryP

          Oh Lord, I didn’t hear that about Reed.

          On a positive note, WSWS, who I would say is most susceptible to accusations of class-reductionism has been doing a very graceful job covering the recent unrest.

          I generally agree with their analysis but used to think a lot of their writing sounds off putting, if all you know is identity politics.

          I’m pleased to see they’ve managed to strike a less hectoring tone that hopefully will be more inviting to those reading for the first time.

    2. urblintz

      I think it’s a signal to “buy” hidden behind virtue signalling… there’s no reason to assume his CNBC audience wasn’t cheering.

      1. urblintz

        This is a great essay, especially when he takes down the privileged poseurs of the faux-left:

        “The left, meanwhile, did not understand that the Civil Rights movement was built on top of the New Deal, and many were obsessed with New Age rhetoric, elite technocracy, and consumer and environmental politics. Futurist Alvin Toffler talked of getting rid of that “old New Deal clap-trap” and was a constant presence at Democratic party convenings in the mid-1970s, as well as an advisor to Al Gore. Michael Milken, the godfather of private equity, used countercultural rhetoric in his justification for financial power, saying in the 1970s, “Unlike other crusaders from Berkeley, I have chosen Wall Street as my battleground for improving society.”

        The inability to reckon with the political economy choices we’ve made that result in social dysfunction is in my view a result of the cynicism of the counterculture. Proponents in that world are openly and nakedly greedy, and they justify their libertine activities using the language of tolerance, of progress, often techno-utopian flavored. That is certainly the politics of Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and McKinsey, and both political party elites. It’s why Burning Man is what it is, a seeming place of creativity and artistic license, with a subtext of billionaires being self-righteous libertine jerks.”

        1. Harold

          It was no accident the left was co-opted with consumerism and rebellion as a life-style choice. Timothy Leary was working with the CIA.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Leary was always a charlatan and publicity hound, and he’s a perfect example of the often-bourgeois and dishonest tendencies of hippiedom. Stewart Brand, who migrated from the The Whole Earth Catalog to unabashed cheerleader for the Silicon Valley Surveillance State, is another signal example.

            In his masterpiece of historical synthesis and social criticism, “The Pentagon of Power,” Lewis Mumford took a lot of heat for criticizing the hippies and late ’60’s counterculture; he’s looking a lot more prescient now.

            1. Laughingsong

              Every “movement” for change that looked to threaten rice bowls, at least in my lifetime, was co-opted, changed, twisted, watered down misused, etc. must be that whole “Realm-of-Being-vs.-Becoming” thing.

              1. a different chris

                >at least in my lifetime,

                Yeah, me too but.. if you look at the longer arc of history, it seems like there were many stories about the dam finally breaking.

                I say “seems” because most history, the type that I grew up on, was a Great (White) Man history. There was a problem and people rebelled because of it under the Great Leadership By Some Visionary.

                But I suspect there was a problem before that and a problem before that and… and finally the lid blew off and we read about the guy that got in front of the parade.

                *note – I just missed the Cuban Revolution…

        2. Procopius

          “The left, meanwhile, did not understand that the Civil Rights movement was built on top of the New Deal, …

          I think “the left” had nothing to do with it. The Democratic Leadership Council adopted the policy of destroying the New Deal even before they formally organized in 1983. They had a reason. Of course some people think the DLC was “the left.”

      2. JohnnyGL

        Yeah, I was reading that Friday. Thanks for posting.

        The way de-industrialization played out is important and understated. There’s huge black communities in the Midwest, in particular, and they’ve been hit much harder than the broader region.

        His bringing up redlining and that legacy is another huge one. For those who don’t live here, residential housing is at the core of wealth and success in the US. Even if you’re in a crappy house in a wealthy community, you’re still getting the spillover benefits of proximity to white wealth.

        If you put a lot of work into a very well maintained house in a poor community, you get dragged down by the dead-weight of being surrounded by poverty. Your kids get crappy schools and don’t get the benefit of the social connections.

      3. John Steinbach

        Notice how Stoller, talking about Neo-liberalization, skips directly from Reagan to 2008 without mentioning Clinton’s role in globalization/financialism of the economy.

        1. urblintz

          Yes I did notice that and even sent him an e mail about it… he mentions the years, which encompass Obama’s, but doesn’t mention Obama. Earlier in the essay he casually references Carter – the first neo-liberal president who was busting unions before Reagan – but his reticence to emphasize Democratic complicity is pretty obvious. I can only imagine he hopes to expand his audience to those who would find such clear stated criticism a deal breaker, hoping for some kind of “aha!” moment of self-reflection by the cool class… maybe that’s naive…

          I also mentioned his Amazon link to buying “Goliath” not so much as a barb, more as an illustration.

          I like Stoller so I’m inclined to defend him but I agree he pulls too many punches here. Maybe he feels it’s more productive to be “inside the tent” ( I think he’s wrong but can appreciate his insights nonetheless.

        2. Laughingsong

          Yes I noticed and it’s not the first time (I subscribe). I call it his “Grayson Spot”. He was a Dem staffer after all.

      4. lyman alpha blob

        In light of those facts from Stoller and all the virtue signalling from white urban liberals who want not so much to make things better for minorities and the poor as to let people to know that they are not racist, oh no, I’ll remind people of the harsh truth Randy Newman sung about almost 40 years ago.


        Decades later and people may treat each other somewhat better on an individual level, but there’s still plenty of institutionalized racism to go around and nobody wants to do anything about it, not if it’s going to cost them some real money to do so.

        1. urblintz

          the sublime Randy Newman!

          God’s Song

          Cain slew Abel, Seth knew not why
          For if the children of Israel were to multiply
          Why must any of the children die?
          So he asked the Lord
          And the Lord said:

          Man means nothing, he means less to me
          Than the lowliest cactus flower
          Or the humblest Yucca tree
          He chases round this desert
          ‘Cause he thinks that’s where I’ll be
          That’s why I love mankind

          I recoil in horror from the foulness of thee
          From the squalor and the filth and the misery
          How we laugh up here in heaven at the prayers you offer me
          That’s why I love mankind

          The Christians and the Jews were having a jamboree
          The Buddhists and the Hindus joined on satellite TV
          They picked their four greatest priests
          And they began to speak
          They said, “Lord, a plague is on the world
          Lord, no man is free
          The temples that we built to you
          Have tumbled into the sea
          Lord, if you won’t take care of us
          Won’t you please, please let us be?”
          And the Lord said
          And the Lord said:

          I burn down your cities, how blind you must be
          I take from you your children and you say, “how blessed are we?”
          You all must be crazy to put your faith in me
          That’s why I love mankind
          You really need me
          That’s why I love mankind

  15. The Rev Kev

    “The EU turns its back on Trump and seeks a review of relations with the United States”

    Trump is not making nice at all with the Europeans. He just ordered about 10,00 troops out of Germany but there was one problem. He did not bother to tell the Germans this. Maybe this was Trump’s way of “punishing” Merkel for not agreeing to a G-7 meeting which at her age would be risky. But I guess that what Trump really wanted was the photo opp and to be seen as the one running the G-7 meeting-

    1. Oh

      I would venture to say that he is making nice with the Europeans. I wish he’d be nicer and pull out all the troops!

      On a more serious note, it’s well nigh impossible to assign any meaning to Trump’s erratic behavior.

    2. neo-realist

      It appears to be more of a symbolic move than one of substance. There’s still about 25,000 troops in the country with the removal. It’s not like the Reichswehr is going to bust a move for power and we’ve still got a serious nuclear umbrella over Europe.

    3. Bugs Bunny

      If he pulled all the troops out of Belgium, that would be an attention-getter.

  16. kareninca

    I drove past a protest here in Silicon Valley on Thursday evening; it was at the intersection of El Camino and San Antonio. It was very large and completely peaceful and there was no visible police presence. However, people were not social distancing at all. I asked a friend about this who teaches social psychology, and he told me that this is because keeping that sort of distance from other people goes against our lifelong habits and training; that people just forget and forget and forget. It is like expecting them to keep their forefinger on the tip of their nose all day.

    1. AndrewJ

      Or that we just don’t care anymore. We got ginned up in a panic so Wall Street could finally profit off that recession they’ve been pencilling in for years, we watch Karen and Todd sip margaritas, maskless, at Buffalo Wild Wings around the country, while clutching their pearls at property damage and tweeting #notallcops. Most of us lost our jobs and still haven’t got unemployment. And – maybe by fundamental reform of the way we keep each other safe, more than 1 in 1000 people aren’t thrown in prison for life, don’t get locked in to the carceral state, don’t have a welfare check end up in another police killing. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.

  17. Geo

    “ CEO Jamie Dimon kneeling with staff during his first public appearance in 3 months at a @Chase branch”

    The photo of them kneeling in front of an open bank vault looks suspiciously like they may have just looted that bank. Did any cops arrest them? With Dimon’s past record and criminal circles he runs with its clear they’re up to no good in that photo.

    1. Eclair

      ” …. photo of them kneeling in front of an open bank vault looks suspiciously like they have just looted that bank.”

      Nah, they are genuflecting before the God Mammon.

      1. ambrit

        And just like in the days of the Brazen Image, the High Priests are throwing the next generations into the destroying FIRE (sector.)

    1. griffen

      Queensryche released a great album in 1990 called Empire. That article conjures up the title track of that album. What a great album start to finish.

      It’s becoming very difficult to sort through all the noise. That is a great read.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      This is exactly what i think as well, but as always Johnstone writes about a million times better than me.

      I like she ends on a Positive note!

  18. Carolinian

    Interesting links today. Re Keynes on Newton–besides his dabbling in alchemy and Biblical studies Newton is likely little known for his later job running the Royal mint. There’s a book about how this mostly consisted of ferreting out counterfeiters so they could be hung.

    And Re Heisenberg

    America’s choices have thus been narrowed down to 1) the current administration, which is a strange fusion of firebrand populism with starchy GOP orthodoxy and supply-side economic “solutions” proven to perpetuate inequality of all sorts, or 2) an administration run by a Beltway wall fixture, whose (verbatim) promise to the rich is that nothing will change.

    In other words, to borrow the well known quip, if protesting made any difference they wouldn’t let you do it, at least not on cable teevee. I don’t recall Jamie Dimon taking a knee for Occupy Wall Street.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Sexual Health in the SARS-CoV-2 Era”

    Pretty grim reading this and I can imagine that if this pandemic goes on for a few years, that sex bots will start looking pretty good. But in spite of what this article says, the Dutch have worked out how to cope and it was basically to find a bunk buddy for the duration and share a bubble with them. Just earlier, I read about a few friends who had done the same as they formed a bubble where they could visit each other for friendship-

    1. Fireship

      Or people could just make a small sacrifice for the good of everyone. I have not had any contact with my family since March. A lot of people in my family work in healthcare and we are all making personal sacrifices to get through this.

      1. hunkerdown

        Make a small, insignificant sacrifice that, even in the mass, won’t move the needle, for the bourgeois order? How about no.

  20. Geo

    Simple but illuminating thread on wage theft:

    “Most theft is wage theft. Meaning, the dollar value of stolen wages is greater than the value, each year, of all burglaries+robberies, shoplifting, auto theft, combined. Yet, wage theft is NOT A CRIME.”

    Personal anecdote related to this: I’m currently owed for three jobs I did over the winter (both for wages and expenses). One is now nearing six months overdue. The other two are approaching four months. One client has not returned a single call or email. The other has gone from “check is in the mail (January) to “I’ll check with accounting” (Feb), to “I’m awaiting funds” (Mar), to “still awaiting funds” (Apr), full circle to “sending check on Monday” (May), to ignoring me (June).

    If a poor person did this they’d be called a deadbeat and have their credit and lives ruined. But, multinational corporations I guess can do it and a lil’ independent contractor (one little person) can’t do much at all.

    Too bad wage theft isn’t a crime like being outside after 6pm during a protest. Would be fun to see militant cops swarm the Empire State Building and pepper spray an entire office floor to recover the wages owed myself and the others who haven’t been paid. But, robbing the poor isn’t a crime. It’s smart business!

    1. Foy

      Excellent twitter thread that, thanks GEO, the chart in it comparing the levels of different types of theft is shocking.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Joe Biden the revolutionary? What a bunch of malarkey.”

    ‘He is what he has always been — a champion of social justice and the middle class, a man in the thrall of large emotions that sometimes cause him to misspeak, a patriot and a pragmatist who meanders but always seems to find his conscience in the end.’

    Give me a break! Joe? Are they talking about Joe? Maybe I listen to too much Jimmy Dore but he says exactly what old Joe is all about with video clips to back it up. Demented is the kindest word that Dore uses. In my own mind, I tend to think of him as ‘Intersectional Joe’. The reason is simple.

    He has been at the intersection of American politics and every anti-American measure enacted over the past few decades. The Iraq war? Joe was pushing it heavily. Trying to eliminate Social Security and Medicare? That has been Joe’s consistent line. NAFTA? Check. Making student debt undischargable? Check. Anti-abortion? Check. More spying powers for the spooks? Check. Bailing out Wall Street? Check. The list goes on.

    And this is not getting into his racism, his sexual assaults, his molesting women and children in front of husbands and parents. You want to know what the worse is? If somehow Joe was elected and then he started to push for the privatization of Social Security so that Wall Street would get its hands on it, the same people pushing for old Joe as President would then defend Joe saying that he had no choice as America has to pay back all the money given out over the past few months.

    1. Temporarily Sane

      Jimmy Dore is one of the few media critics/commentators on YouTube who tells it like it is. That’s why centrist Democrats and phony “woke” leftists despise him. His criticism of the whole Democrat fake progressive clown show, from AOC to Biden to Sanders, is spot on.

  22. mpalomar

    Interesting interview with Marianne Williamson on useful idiots. Never heard her in an extended interview but after listening to this I’d venture she might be the most insightful and interesting of the Democratic contenders.

    1. J.k

      I certainly hope you gave Dr. Gerald Horne a listen as well. They interview him before Willaimson in the full podcast. I was pleasantly surprised to see him on such a mainstream outlet. In fact i kind of chuckled when i saw they have Williamson on immediately after, dont wanna scare away the nice white liberal folk. Ill admit i have not seen her interview, i guess ill check it out.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      our local Team Blue cohort staged one friday, and another saturday, with about 20 high school kids on the courthouse square.
      I used to work for the woman who organised it…used to get mad at me for cussing and referring to my Coonass heritage.
      her initial rallying FB post made certain to include words to the effect of “be nice and churchmousy, so we don’t upset anyone”—(which is why i didn’t bother to go, or even drive by)—neither of our two(2) Black People showed up….and the Brown was pretty underrepresented as well….

      by saturday morning, the High Priest of Local Libertardian Exceptionalism(and Gunz) was on faceborg, rallying the counterprotest(which didn’t physically manifest, as far as i know)
      Said High Priest(also used to work for him) forwarded the Rumor Du Jour of the Right, about “Antifa” and “Soros” paying $15 and hour for troublemakers(more than the High Priest ever paid me, btw)>
      HP’s followers were frightened…”OMGOMGOMG”…about the scurrilous infiltraiters making their way way out here and burning all our Liberty down.
      mentions were made about shotguns and gatling guns and such…but that was mostly just branchwaving to cover the utter, pantswetting terror from these Defenders of the Realm.
      Of course, the Team Blue performance had the same sort of hysterical ideas about what they were “up against”…had apparently read the HP’s thread…took it seriously enough to call the sheriff, who said, essentially, “dude! calm the hell down…”

      “all is vanity and vexation of spirit”, and all…
      and everything else is performative nothingism.

      former DPS guy from around here weighed in on HP’s thread, attempting to project calm and make a distinction between Protesters and “Thugs”…but he doesn’t really have the language for that…not that he’d be understood if he did(he’s a good guy, as far as career cops go)

      all of this bipartisan hysteria and gnashing of teeth actually serves to HARM what racial and social harmony we’ve managed to accomplish out here sort of organically.
      Each side believes that the other is fixin to come and get them, and since they never talk to each other, they have no way of knowing that it’s all just button pushing by the Big Center.
      Thankfully, the True Believers on both sides are but a tiny, tiny fraction of the populace, and generally only heard or noticed by themselves.

      in other news, wife had a bakesale, and sent cash money to cancer patients and the mom of a young man who suddenly fell gravely ill…and we’ve been giving away plums and nectarines and peaches and zucchini and green beans to whomever we bump in to.

      1. Chauncey Gardiner

        Thanks to you and your wife for giving fresh fruit and vegetables to those who need them, and to your wife for having the bake sale. I appreciate your many thoughtful actions, as well as your thought-provoking comments here on NC.

      2. diptherio

        You’ve already got plums and nectarines and peaches?!? This northerner is so jealous.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          but all the plants, Natives included, are obviously confused:
          mesquites both flowering and with beans in april until now(usually late june), galliarda and coreopsis(usually late june) concurrent with all the april and may wildflowers, etc.
          lots of this confusion about…including coyotes singing as much as the dead of winter(usually don’t hear them all summer).
          after 3 years of hardly any birds, and 3 consecutive grasshopper plagues(the yellow ones)…now the birds are back, and the Two Striped Grasshoppers are at near plague levels.
          at least they didn’t hatch out until april, and didn’t mature until after the fruit set….but all that has been strange, too.
          the go-to organic repellent for hoppers is garlic, made into a tea and sprayed everywhere. the yellow hoppers attacked the garlic first, 4 years ago, and ate it down into the ground.
          then went for the mint, basil, and fruit tree bark.
          again, koyaanisqatsi

          owls are still hooting all night, too…usually stay quiet until october.
          and we had lows in the 50’s not 2 weeks ago,lol
          I still have both my winter and summer wardrobes out…my closet is in chaos(which prolly has some metaphorical pertinence that I’m too lazy at the moment to pursue)
          and this formerly arid country feels a lot like Louisiana, of late.

          most people…even those out here…don’t notice this sort of thing…but i do.

          1. furies

            It smells like fall here in the mornings.

            Very very weird and disconcerting.

            Plants confused as well.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              yes, exactly!
              smells like Fall.

              I awoke at 2:30 for some damned reason, and while waiting on coffee to make, went to see what was up at the Library and Environs(Eldest had buddies over…campfire and sausages and beer).
              Moon was bright enough to see by(the better to ‘neak up and observe), and while it wasn’t cold…there was a nip…the way it feels in october when it’s still hot, but there’s something’s changed.
              I scared the hell out of my son and his buddies by materialising out of the grass,shot the bull for a moment and then i moseyed on for my jointwalk.
              half expected the winter constellations in the east.
              I spend most of my time outside,and– prior to covid and lockdown— alone …with birds and geese and lizards and dragonflies and trees and squirrels.
              I’m deeply involved with the goings on in the underbrush.
              and I’m saying that there’s something amiss.
              we’d better get our shit together pretty soon.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Hard for me to imagine in Leavenworth. I’m pleasantly surprised. I’ve been pleasantly surprised over and over by who has publicly supported this cause.

  23. Deb Schultz

    The Bloomberg article concerning changes to data collection required of labs doing covid testing is well worth reading. It seems there has been no standard form for reporting data with required items of entry. It isn’t clear just what information, if any, labs were required to report to the CDC and state/local health departments prior to this ‘change’.

    Public health data collection is a mystery to me and this report only makes me more mystified.

    1. td

      I kind of doubt that the Indonesian number reflects the actual extent of the illness and should be viewed as a trend indicator. The Brazilian bad orange man just abolished their online plague database so we can only look for anecdotal reports from the locals.

    2. MLTPB

      Testing more, I read.

      Orange county public health site, unlike the LA one, shows charts, over time. There was a jump in new cases Friday, reported yesterday. The hospitalized chart is still trending up, till last week (that segment of the 7 day moving average curve looks flat).

        1. MLTPB

          Thanks. Didn’t know that.

          Still don’t know how to get it from their homepage. So, I did a search, and now will check it often, soon as I figure out how the charts are not loading on my tablet.

    3. MLTPB

      Local ABC News has an article about a possible spike in cases, perhaps related to the Memorial weekend gatherings, reopening and protests. Something about positive test rates of around 4% prior to May 31 to over 8% on June 3.

      Even with more sun light, and Vitamin D.

      Maybe we need humidity as well.

  24. Pelham

    Got blocked when I tried to access the WaPo article on rising CO2 levels. But judging from the headline, I’d say it casts Michael Moore’s disputed documentary on “sustainable” energy in a more credible light. As Moore says, after 50 years of wind and solar, it’s legitimate to ask how we’re doing. Especially since we have less than a decade now to fix this.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > after 50 years of wind and solar, it’s legitimate to ask how we’re doing.

      As with every other task our diligent NGO sector has been failing to solve for decades.

      1. barefoot charley

        On the sunny side, we’ve had “less than a decade to act” for the last 40 years–and it’s a good thing too!

        Spoiler alert: if you go outside, you’ll note that it’s already too late . . .

      2. farmboy

        Utility scale solar now cheaper than fossil fuel.
        More than half of the renewable capacity added in 2019 achieved lower
        electricity costs than new coal, while new solar and wind projects are also
        undercutting the cheapest and least sustainable of existing coal-fired plants.
        Auction results show these favourable cost trends accelerating, reinforcing
        the case to phase-out coal entirely.

        1. periol

          So that only took 50 years, and now it’s going to take how long to build that out across the grid? I’m down for solar at my house, but let’s not pretend we’re going to have a solar grid in 10 or even 20 years.

          The only way we heal ourselves and this planet is to consume less. There is no magic bullet to give us all the energy in the world. We are going to have to conserve. The technofixers should focus on decreasing the amount of electricity we need, rather than trying to continue to expand the amount of energy we use.

  25. IMOR

    Re: WAPO ‘Rebel Joe Malarkey’ column comment on how few Bernie voters will actually refuse to vote for Biden. The NC commentariat have kicked this around from every angle, but as a Bernie supporter let me say again: It’s not how odious and awful the current Trump face on the existing system is, it’s that Pelosi and Biden and their colleagues have spent 25 years showing and telling me they have no place for my views and do not want my vote.

    1. edmondo

      I suspect that “Mr. Nothing will fundamentally change” will find out just how wrong he is when the Dems lose 100 seats in the House in 2022 and his re-elect numbers look like Trump’s in 2024.

      We have our 5th “change” election in a row in 2020. The misfit between the candidate and the times is way too big a bridge to gap. He’s going to be a disaster of epic proportions.

    2. Jason Boxman

      I spoke with a local Democrat Party activist and previous state party convention delegate for MA, and that person at least, was all in with the Bernie Bros narrative and seemed convinced that Sanders’ supporters intend to vote for Trump. I got out of Democrat Party politics a long time ago, and it was bizarre talking to someone that seemed functionality stupid, but clearly industrious. I guess it wouldn’t surprise if I still had any expose to those particular cohorts of people.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > functionality stupid, but clearly industrious

        This famous quote from Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord:

        I distinguish four types. There are clever, hardworking, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and hardworking; their place is the General Staff. The next ones are stupid and lazy; they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the mental clarity and strength of nerve necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is both stupid and hardworking; he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always only cause damage.

        I don’t know if you had that quote in mind…. But here we are!

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          That quote definitely puts me in mind of the “Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail” episode of Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love.

          1. pasha

            one of heinlein’s best, i agree! many of the details in the tale are autobiographical, reflecting his schooling at annapolis and peacetime military career

          2. The Rev Kev

            The “Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail” was so inspiring. You do wonder how much of it was him talking about his own days in the Navy. If he had not gotten TB, then he would have become just another admiral instead of the man with a solid body of work to his name.

        2. Jason Boxman

          I was indeed thinking of that, as you’ve quoted it before and I credit you with my becoming familiar with it. With the state of the world, I think upon it often.

    3. Billy

      Joe Biden the revolutionary?

      Joe Biden His time: “48 years of Revolutionary change in the U.S. Senate”

    4. Dr. John Carpenter

      I have a lot of issues with that article, such as the idea that Joe has been “a champion of social justice and the middle class” and even the implication the Joe would “turn it over” after four years, something he won’t commit to. The idea that Sanders voters hatred of Trump will drive them to vote Joe, well, I say we’ll see.

      I do agree that the idea of Joe being some transformative President is nonsense. But, to use their house flipper analogy, Biden will be more likely to slap a cheap coat of paint on the the house after stripping out anything of value, call it good and leave the rotting foundation as is. Since the house inspectors are on the take, they’ll declare it safe and we’ll be left with another bill of good. Considering Joe can’t commit to anything he’d do if elected, I think even the limited imagination of “return to normal” is a pipe dream.

  26. L

    How to Do Reparations Right David Brooks, NYT.

    So the man who has literally made a career out of lecturing us that unwed black mothers are to blame for.. everything has now switched to telling us how to do reparations “right”.

    Oddly enough that represents a perverse form of progress. Now that in his insular world even Yale’s official Man of Humility has been forced to acknowledge that there are inequalities out there that can’t just be solved by stomping down.

    1. ChrisPacific

      My hopes were modestly raised after he listed all the reasons why giving money to individuals was the wrong idea. Perhaps he was advocating for a national process of reckoning and reconciliation?

      No such luck. He’s all for using a big chunk of money to make it all go away and avoid having to ask or answer hard questions. He just thinks it should go to neighborhoods and not individuals. Should the victims of past oppression now consider all historical debts paid? Is it enough for that? How can you be sure when you’ve made no attempt to figure out what they are? What about the people who will see it as an outrageous and unjustified giveaway? How will you counter their arguments if you’ve just made up a dollar figure out of the air? Doesn’t manifest destiny give Americans the right to culturally and economically assimilate any and all minorities, on the grounds that they will be better off by definition? Is there any need for America to change how it thinks about itself as part of this process? If not, how can you be sure the problems won’t continue, and is some money for neighborhoods really going to do anything to change that?

      You might think that a nationally prominent columnist would make some effort to tackle questions like these, or even acknowledge that they need to be answered. I guess that would be too much like work.

      1. lordkoos

        “He just thinks it should go to neighborhoods and not individuals.”

        Well, of course… it’s easier and more profitable to grift an entire neighborhood.

  27. fresno dan

    Judge in Jeffrey Epstein grand jury case has ties to those with a stake in outcome Miami Herald

    The Palm Beach judge who has thus far refused to release grand jury records in the Jeffrey Epstein case has both professional and family ties to three of the politicians who have a stake in keeping those records secret, the Miami Herald has learned.
    Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges.
    Marx, a six-term elected judge, chairs Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission, the state agency that polices judges and handles complaints filed against judges.
    In 2012, Marx weighed running for state attorney herself, then decided against it after supporters of Aronberg, the only other candidate, indicated they would file an ethics complaint against her and also run a candidate against her husband, who was up for re-election, the Post reported at the time. Judges in Palm Beach County rarely face opposition and such reelection contests, when they do occur, are costly and time consuming.
    If there was as much swamp in the Florida everglades as there is in the Florida judicial system, uh…well, the everglades would be as big as South America…or the world…or maybe the solar system.
    The thing of it is, is it really plausible that most, or even some, of the state courts are much more ethical than Florida? If weapons (and not very good ones) are a byproduct of the Military Industrial Complex, is it any wonder that justice is a byproduct (and not a very frequent one) of the Judicial Legal Complex?

  28. BLM in 1776

    The Little Black Boy

    My mother bore me in the southern wild,
    And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
    White as an angel is the English child:
    But I am black as if bereav’d of light.

    My mother taught me underneath a tree
    And sitting down before the heat of day,
    She took me on her lap and kissed me,
    And pointing to the east began to say:

    Look on the rising sun: there God does live
    And gives his light, and gives his heat away.
    And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
    Comfort in morning joy in the noon day.

    And we are put on earth a little space,
    That we may learn to bear the beams of love,
    And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face
    Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

    For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear
    The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice.
    Saying: come out from the grove my love & care,
    And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.

    Thus did my mother say and kissed me,
    And thus I say to little English boy:
    When I from black and he from white cloud free,
    And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:

    I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bear
    To lean in joy upon our father’s knee.
    And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
    And be like him and he will then love me.

    — William Blake, London 1776

  29. Massinissa

    Well, one good thing about the Corona crisis is that it sort of abolishes the myth that first worlders can make individual progress on global warming by making ‘good choices’ or whatever. Millions of more people staying off the roads more than normal and it barely dents CO2 emissions… The climate crisis isn’t a crisis individuals can really effect on a meaningful scale, the problems are largely institutional.

    Not that individuals can’t try if it makes them feel better, I’m just saying acting as if the problem is individual actions was never going to alleviate the problem in any meaningful way.

  30. Billy

    Brands try to explain racism and violence to children

    “Get the new Nike Fleet Foot, puncture proof, ideal for running from looting and the police, built in blue tooth enabled pedometer to measure your distance and stamina.”

    Perhaps corporations as atonement, and reparations, could provide direct tax payer subsidized gift cards for their merchandise for the black community only?

    1. jr

      I read that Jay Z called the governor of Minnesota to discuss the murder of Floyd. A number of news organizations, entertainment and “real” news, covered this crucial development. I asked myself why I was even reading this. Why in the name of Bog am I supposed to care what some celebrity says to a governor in a private phone call? Why are celebrities turned to as paragons of wisdom in political matters at all?

      It’s just another form of marketing, I think, same as Nike or Adidas or whoever is taking on the role of racism educator. They insert their names, bodies , voices, and symbols into every aspect of our lives; not content to sell us garbage, they must assume the role of teachers and leaders. It’s like a cartoonish other world with this twisted, up its own wazoo hierarchy and set of norms, utterly fabricated and maximized for exploitation. And a significant portion of the population assumes this is perfectly valid…

      1. Billy

        Then they can pay our taxes…

        The flip side of No Taxation Without Representation is

        Representation Begets More Taxation.

  31. Massinissa

    About the Korean band BTS doing that donation, it makes sense, because they’re trying to get good press after a scandal last week. I can’t remember if it was mentioned in NC at all, I don’t think it was, but a song in their latest album had an audio sample that said “Though you are dead, yet shall you live, and he that liveth and believeth shall never die”. They say they just found the sample on the internet, thought it sounded good, and put it in the song.

    Well uh, apparently the sample was from… an old sermon by Jim Jones. You know, the guy who killed a few hundred people with poisoned koolaid. Oops? So they really need positive press right now to hope the media forgets about that oopsie quickly, and it will probably work.

    1. MLTPB

      Didn’t know about that, thanks.

      If that’s the case, what does it say about their creative process or work?

      1. Massinissa

        I mean, its K-Pop. There IS no creative process there. KPop isn’t the same as American music, its commodified on a scale unknown in western music industries. The songs are designed for them, the dances are designed for them, what they are supposed to say in interviews is decided for them, what they are supposed to say publicly their hobbies are are decided for them, they’re not allowed to have public romantic relationships, and on and on. Everything about a Kpop group is commodified and created as a product. And the individual ‘artists’ are considered expendable, and they’re usually discarded replaced with other ‘artists’ once they hit 30. That’s why Kpop is usually large groups of people (BTS has 7 members, and some groups are larger than that), so that its easier to replace the individual when they get too old.

        Kpop is a much more soulless, capitalist enterprise than the western music industry has ever been. I honestly feel bad for most of the artists: It comes close to exploitation. This is just a quick, general overview: Basically, Kpop is the musical equivalent of sausage making. The more you read about it the more sick it begins to make you. I have nothing against people who like listening to Kpop, but I know too much about it to stomach it.

          1. Procopius

            Like Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus. Created by Disney. I recall a quote from some Disney executive, “There are lots of pretty girls who can sing, but it takes millions to make a star.” However, I do think the group Black Pink is gorgeous.

        1. Big River Bandido

          As a musician I must disagree. Western pop music was commodified and stripped of its soul 40 years ago.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’m not altogether sure it was that cynical. There has been a lot of talk in the K-Pop world about the creative debt owed to black American music traditions and that some form of ‘payback’ was needed – this predates BTS’s little mini-scandal (there always seems to be some scandal or other attached to K-Pop bands).

      I’m no fan of K-Pop, but I’ve a few friends who are into it and are quite knowledgable about contemporary music and they insist that BTS, among a few others, are a genuine musical force and should be taken seriously.

      1. periol

        A million dollars? Come on, it was definitely cynical. If they were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts we wouldn’t know about it.

    3. Janie

      Massinissi @ 1:41

      Not original with Jim Jones. See John 11:25, about resurrecting Lazarus.

      1. periol

        Unfortunately I don’t think any audio recordings of Jesus exist. It was definitely a Jim Jones sermon.

      2. Massinissa

        It was specifically a clip of Jones saying it. They could have gotten a clip from someone else saying it, but, almost unsurprisingly, the Jim Jones version must be the easiest to access on the internet.

        1. CoryP

          I guess the industry doesn’t go for manufactured edginess? Seems to me like something that you could lean in to, at least in the West.

    4. Acacia

      BTS Jim Jones sample: honest mistake, or clever marketing ploy to attract publicity?

      Christianity is a big force in South Korea, and they have cults too.

  32. Portlander

    RE Daily Beast story: Members say racism rampant at NOW

    I thought this was a very revealing story.

    I recall Van Jones saying recently that white liberal women were part of the problem…. Has organized political feminism been too upscale (white) for its own good?

    Despite Obama, perhaps one can say the same about neo-liberalism generally–outwardly “concerned” but still firmly on the side of institutionalized white power. Remember, the cries for police reform are happening in some of the most “blue” cities in the country.

    1. LifelongLib

      Ok, but if you waved a magic wand and suddenly the distribution of wealth and income matched the population in terms of gender, race, etc. most commenters here (including me) would still think society was deeply unjust. A few people incredibly rich, many struggling, the number with enough to have a decent life getting smaller and smaller. Somewhat different in appearance but basically the same as now.

    2. lordkoos

      That could be because blue cities seem to have some of the worst police departments.

  33. Chauncey Gardiner

    Re the link to the article on CNBC under “Class Warfare”: …”The coronavirus pandemic has produced ‘one of the greatest wealth transfers in history,’ CNBC’s Jim Cramer said.”

    While his statement about the wealth transfer and concentration of wealth being among the greatest in history is true, that this ongoing wealth transfer and the tremendous concentration of wealth in a very small segment of the population over the past 20 years was caused by the coronavirus — which in and of itself is financially and politically agnostic — is laughable. Just more of the same from the MSM.

    1. barefoot charley

      I hate to be fair to Jim Cramer, but he’s right: covid shut down the global economy, seizing up finances and financiers around the world. So the Fed gave them 8 trillion dollars to tide them over. That is indeed ‘one of the greatest wealth transfers in history,’ certainly it’s the quickest. That money overwhelmingly went to the already overwhelmingly rich, who are so rich they don’t spend their own money, and when they lose other people’s money the Fed gives *them* more money. Oddly, even Jim Cramer gets this. Too bad we don’t.

  34. barefoot charley

    The Daily Beast’s piece on a black snowflake’s experience of NOW kinda triggered me. It screams for perspectives the author, the complainer, and the complainees all entirely miss.

    The complainer listed all the special identities shouted out by Democrats in this election cycle, as they do. The complainees–middle-aged professional women, meritocrats whom NOW has served well–were miffed that the young woman left white ladies out of her list of people the women’s movement must serve. The young woman was more miffed at the old white ladies: “This organization has a problem of racism and ageism and [they] don’t know how to deal with it,” she told The Daily Beast in an interview.

    The article makes that clear, but a learning opportunity was lost. The funny thing is, those old white ladies who think they’re so progressive are excellent stand-ins for Moderate Suburban Women, and maybe some Karens too. They don’t understand their privilege or self-privileging, which is certainly their right as Americans, and they are alienated by both the girl, and by her party that doesn’t still shout out what they bring to it. They’re right to be. And the complainer is right. But the complainer’s expectation that the whole world will embrace her self-expression the way they teach people to in college, and that she really *doesn’t* have to appeal to anyone but the oppressed, because everyone else should just knock it off, starting with NOW, isn’t exactly realistic, nor any way to win elections. But the Democrats and their spear-carriers train people to do that, they cater to people who do that. And they alienate people outside cities who don’t know the kind of people who get shouted out now, and who self-righteously ignore 20th Century white folks. C’mon man, gimme a break.

    It’s gonna be a long, stupid election.

  35. anon

    Bush and Powell now supporting Biden. Is this payback for Biden’s strong support for the endless wars they lied us into?

    1. barefoot charley

      Makes sense. Trump is chaos, but a campaign pledge he almost keeps is to keep us out of more stupid wars. He’s kind of a peacenik–which is not antithetical to democracy, but sure is to Democrats.

      1. Massinissa

        He hasn’t at least not officially. Hes said he ‘doesn’t support Trump’, but hasn’t officially endorsed Biden yet.

  36. Mikerw0

    Started thinking about my crisis playlist and realized that all I need right now is CSN&Y…

    1) Almost Cut my Hair — Pandemic

    2) Ohio — BLM

    3) Helpless — overall situation

    4) Monster/Suicide/America (Steppenwolf) — encore

    I came of age to this music. Demonstrated for civil rights and to stop the Vietnam War (my parents were ready to send me to Canada to avoid the draft). Never, ever thought neoliberalism would rise in response and the destruction it would bring.

      1. newcatty

        Another song that speaks of “destruction”.

        How can people be so heartless?
        How can people be so cruel?
        Easy to be hard
        Easy to be cold…
        Especially people who care about social injustice
        Do you care only about the bleeding crowd?

        This song really resonated with me when I first heard it in about 1970. We saw a live performance at a local theatre. I looked around me at my spouse and friends, as we watched…so enthralled. It seemed that so many of us were caught into the times and led by our hunger for the good things, baby. Peace, justice and equality. But, being a friend was sometimes ignored or led to being betrayed. It’s important to be caring. Remember, charity begins at home.

      1. farmboy

        BBKing, Why I Sing the Blues
        Everybody wants to know
        Why I sing the blues
        Yes, I say everybody wanna know
        Why I sing the blues
        Well, I’ve been around a long time
        I really have paid my dues

        When I first got the blues
        They brought me over on a ship
        Men were standing over me
        And a lot more with a whip
        And everybody wanna know
        Why I sing the blues
        Well, I’ve been around a long time
        Mm, I’ve really paid my dues

        I’ve laid in a ghetto flat
        Cold and numb
        I heard the rats tell the bedbugs
        To give the roaches some
        Everybody wanna know
        Why I’m singing the blues
        Yes, I’ve been around a long time
        People, I’ve paid my dues

        I stood in line
        Down at the County Hall
        I heard a man say, “We’re gonna build
        Some new apartments for y’all”
        And everybody wanna know
        Yes, they wanna know
        Why I’m singing the blues
        Yes, I’ve been around a long, long time
        Yes, I’ve really, really paid my dues

        Now I’m gonna play Lucille

        My kid’s gonna grow up
        Gonna grow up to be a fool
        ‘Cause they ain’t got no more room
        No more room for him in school
        And everybody wanna know
        Everybody wanna know
        Why I’m singing the blues
        I say I’ve been around a long time
        Yes, I’ve really paid some dues

        Yeah, you know the company told me
        Guess you’re born to lose
        Everybody around me, people
        It seems like everybody got the blues
        But I had ’em a long time
        I’ve really, really paid my dues
        You know I ain’t ashamed of it, people
        I just love to sing my blues

        I walk through the cities, people
        On my bare feet
        I had a fill of catfish and chitterlings
        Up and down Beale Street
        You know I’m singing the blues
        Yes, I really
        I just have to sing my blues
        I’ve been around a long time
        People, I’ve really, really paid my dues

        Now Father Time is catching up with me
        Gone is my youth
        I look in the mirror everyday
        And let it tell me the truth
        I’m singing the blues
        Mm, I just have to sing the blues
        I’ve been around a long time
        Yes, yes, I’ve really paid some dues

        Yeah, they told me everything
        Would be better out in the country
        Everything was fine
        I caught me a bus uptown, baby
        And every people, all the people
        Got the same trouble as mine
        I got the blues, huh huh
        I say I’ve been around a long time
        I’ve really paid some dues

        One more time, fellows

        Blind man on the corner
        Begging for a dime
        The rollers come and caught him
        And throw him in the jail for a crime
        I got the blues
        Mm, I’m singing my blues
        I’ve been around a long time
        Mm, I’ve really paid some dues

        Can we do just one more?

        Oh I thought I’d go down to the welfare
        To get myself some grits and stuff
        But a lady stand up and she said
        “You haven’t been around long enough”
        That’s why I got the blues
        Mm, the blues
        I say, I’ve been around a long time
        I’ve really, really paid my dues

        Fellows, tell them one more time

        Ha, ha, ha. That’s all right, fellows

        1. farmboy

          BBKing Why I Sing the Blues
          When I first got the blues
          They brought me over on a ship
          Men were standing over me
          And a lot more with a whip
          And everybody wanna know
          Why I sing the blues
          Well, I’ve been around a long time
          Mm, I’ve really paid my dues

          I’ve laid in a ghetto flat
          Cold and numb
          I heard the rats tell the bedbugs
          To give the roaches some
          Everybody wanna know
          Why I’m singing the blues
          Yes, I’ve been around a long time
          People, I’ve paid my dues

          I stood in line
          Down at the County Hall
          I heard a man say, “We’re gonna build
          Some new apartments for y’all”
          And everybody wanna know
          Yes, they wanna know
          Why I’m singing the blues
          Yes, I’ve been around a long, long time
          Yes, I’ve really, really paid my dues

      1. Mikerw0

        As we build out playlists…

        6) We Can Be Together / Volunteers (Jefferson Airplane) — encore 2
        7) Good Shepard — Jefferson Airplane

        8) I Shall be Released — The Band

        9) The Times They are A Changin — Bob Dylan

        10) Masters of War — Bob Dylan

        11) Blowin in the Wind — Bob Dylan

        12) A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall — Bob Dylan

        13) War/No More Trouble —Bob Marley

        14) Won’t Get Fooled Again —The Who

        1. anon38

          Won’t get fooled again? Really?

          Then note that MMT co-founder Warren Mosler, would INCREASE* government privileges for private depository institutions, aka “the banks.”

          Of course it’s “balmy” to consider completely de-privileging the banks. /sarc

          Looks to me that the bankers and their toadies are well on their way to fooling people again.

          * e.g. unlimited deposit guarantees for free.
          * e.g. unlimited, unsecured loans from the Central Bank at ZERO percent interest.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Different genre, but you could also add Sun Ra’s “It’s After The End Of The World (Don’t You Know That Yet?”)

  37. John Anthony La Pietra

    I started to look at the Economist article — with a headline like “The quest for a vaccine could restore people’s trust in big pharma”, I figured there might be a good punchline. But I didn’t find it until the story started fading into paywall, and I saw the NewsGuard seal of approval. . . .

    1. CoryP

      My instinct at that headline is that a (probably rushed) vaccine for a disease a number of people think is overhyped is exactly the wrong way to restore trust in pharma.

      Although I don’t know what would restore trust other than nationalization by a demonstrably non-corrupt government. Good luck

  38. JWP

    Does anyone think the left is prepared to step in if Biden wins? If he does, when the never trumpers and liberals realize the problems remain and feel betrayed, will the left be able to welcome them to the movement instead of allowing them to go back to the right like 2016? Furthermore, will the platforms of the progressives be marketed well enough to keep them from moving to a moderate stance even if Trump wins again?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      no, no and no.
      Left, such as it is, has refractured with a quickness…like spring steel.
      Team Blue/Big Center will never admit that they have been wrong about anything…they will instead blame the Left, primarily…and Trump’s Evil.
      From what i can tell…from both online and real world fieldwork…one’s level of Comfort is a great indicator for how closely one adheres to Mainstream, Official American Politics(believe either D or R can Do It!, while the Other One Can’t…while subsuming the awareness that both D and R are really the same thing.
      The Uncomfortable, on the other hand, are ready for something new…but have learned not to put too much stock in all that political nonsense(unresponsive, exhausting, glacial, a pox on them all)
      Occasionally, someone comes along with a narrative of change…and a bunch of this latter group flocks to them…Right or(more rarely) left.
      Then the Machine creaks into motion and snuffs out the upstart…in a very sophisticated manner, so that it’s not at all clear about what’s going on.
      Then one of the Two rallies the demoralised followers of the upstart, as best they can, and brings some back into the fold…leaving the rest to become even more demoralised and apolitical.
      This has worked for so long that the Two and their Machinery have left it on autopilot…giving us Trump, and now the pandemic, the pandemic depression and now an inchoate revolution due to yet another extrajudicial killing on video…the proverbial straw after all the rest.
      If Bernie hadn’t returned to the Mountain, there might be hay to be made from all this chaos and suffering…
      I don’t see anyone else out there with his standing and spunk.
      But he left(is Jane in a basement, somewhere?)
      So we’ll go with the default the Machinery is hoping for….”a Return to Normalcy”>

      better save your seeds, and get in a good place.
      because i don’t think that all this is anywhere near over.

      1. Daryl

        > better save your seeds, and get in a good place.

        I wish that I had done this before now. I’m in a good spot to wait out the pandemic, at least.

        1. Dan

          Isn’t much of this at the behest of Jane Sanders? I think she likes having dinner with the Bidens.

  39. Knot Galt

    On Ripe as a Roadkill Raccoon Chris Jones writes as worthy a rant as I have ever read.
    “I detect a different kind of vibe in this rotten raccoon story. Desperation. When you’re redrawing maps to prevent the tide from eroding your petrified position, the gig is about up.”

    1. JBird4049

      I live in a state where there’s a drought at least ⅓ of the time and floods every 10-15 years between the “normal” years with their 3 months of rain and 9 months of dry; the bulk of the population lives in SoCal which has the least amount of water and so most of the water has to shipped something like 500 miles from Northern California.

      I do not think that the system built in the 50s and 60s to provide drinking water to at least 25 million people could be built today. No because of a lack of knowledge or resources, but because wealthy and connected, selfish jackasses would be finding ways to stop or exploit the building projects for their own personal gain.

    1. Acacia

      Welp… we’ll have to check back in two weeks and see how things are going. Similar “re-opening” scenes happening all around the country. This site (posted here at NC a few weeks ago) has a nice visualization by state:

      Rt Covid-19

  40. chuck roast

    Thank you for the mention of the incomparable Dorothy Day. She was best described by an old (new) lefty friend of mine who opined, “Well Dorothy Day is dead. Her body will now turn to diamonds and float up to heaven.” I was lucky enough to have an aunt like that. Aunt Alice.

  41. Middle of the road

    I read the article by Larry Johnson and many of the associated comments. Other than a validation point that Democractic mayors hate their citizenry, I’ve got to say this gentleman seems like just just another polite racist hiding behind a bunch of hokum and weasel words to make his viewpoint seem more acceptable. (And most of the commenters aren’t even polite racists.)

    Please prove me wrong about this, but Larry isn’t worth a plugged nickel in my book.

  42. Tom Stone

    Since issues of policing and the second amendment are in the forefrong of the news, here’s a question for the commentariat.
    What happens to a convicted wife beater who gets caught with a gun in San Francisco?
    Keep in mind that once convicted of spousal abuse you are barred for life from possessing a firearm and the penalty at the federal level is a $25,000 fine and 10 years in the penitentiary, at the state level it’s a felony punishable by 10 in the pen.

    And the answer is, it depends.

    If you are the sheriff and chief law enforcement officer of the County, nothing.
    You keep wearing your sidearm at press conferences and retire at the end of your term with full benefits.
    what happened when the Sherriff pled guilty to spousal abuse?
    Jail time?
    Probation or parole?
    Ordered to take anger management classes, at least?
    You have got to be kidding, no.
    That’s how gun laws are enforced in the most “Woke” city in the USA.

    1. JBird4049

      Similar story in many, but not all, California counties, especially the ones that effectively have a shall not issue policy with CCW (concealed carry permits). If you make a large “campaign donation), or are someone that has fame and connections like a celebrity or politician, or perhaps something like a security company.

      The Bay Area is especially bad at this. Santa Clara, the East Bay counties, and Marin county all effective no issue policies with giant loopholes that still do not allow victims of domestic violence, have death threats, or those who jobs are possibly dangerous because of carrying valuables for business. Best have tens of thousands of dollars and maybe the application will be approved.

      This system where connections and money is more important than qualifications or need is corrosive to the respect for the law ‘cause money becomes the law.

  43. ChristopherJ

    Most US based commenters seem calm and okay despite the chaos in the cities. Not sure that would be me. I am in Cairns and scared as much as I can remember about my future and that of my children.

    Many here talk as though what goes around comes around, as though anybody deserves to catch the virus, but I am really worried for the future of so many decent people who live there. And, you can’t even get on a plane to somewhere better (and probably won’t be able to until you get that virus contained), unless you have a private jet, of course, and can, say, make it to one of your boltholes in Queenstown NZ.

    No money, no job, no food, while the rich enrich themselves further right in front of your eyes. And guns. And further reasons to distrust the police and anyone in authority.

    Something is going to go boom.

    Why don’t they turn off the telecoms and internet, starve the protestors of their fuel and their capacity to share the ongoing violence? Or maybe that would be a guaranteed recipe for total anarchy…

    Stay safe

    1. Massinissa

      The reason we are chill is because there IS no ‘ongoing violence’. The riots have stopped for the most part and the demonstrations are 90%+ peaceful at this point. There was a bit of burning in my next door city of Atlanta last week, but the looting has stopped and everyones just peaceful protesting now. The City has decided to remove the 9:00 curfew they had for a few days because the rioting has stopped.

      So don’t worry, at least for now, nothing is really burning anywhere.

      I’m more worried about the riots starting back up in the summer if it becomes apparent the peaceful protesting is actually accomplishing any reform. THAT could get real bad real quickly. Or worse, a wave of evictions or the like causing unrest in the cities. That could get even worse even quicker.

      So for now, I’m not worried, but in the medium term, I am somewhat anxious. Very anxious, honestly. In fact, in the medium term, I think you were entirely correct when you wrote this part of your comment:

      “No money, no job, no food, while the rich enrich themselves further right in front of your eyes. And guns. And further reasons to distrust the police and anyone in authority.

      Something is going to go boom.”

      Things are peaceful for now, but I do wonder for how long… I await July with bated breath…

      1. YetAnotherChris

        Much of the suspense revolves around the charges against the officers in Minneapolis. I have speculated on this site that the two rookies, Kueng and Lane, might conceivably walk. County Attorney Mike Freeman has been pushed aside for various reasons and all four cases have been handed over to MN Attorney General Keith Ellison. He had better not botch this. Convictions for Chauvin and Thao should be his first order of business, seeing that he has a stronger case against each of them. If the two rookies are going to walk, that needs to happen last, not first.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        We went to Portland last Sunday and besides a few protestors on their way to wherever they were going everything was Business as usual. People walking around. Homeless people getting angry at each other and one of them even tripped and fell as he was running down the sidewalk all Fd up on Zeus knows what. On a side note there’s this really good deli called Kenny & Zukes. Their Reuben (+pickles) is the bee’s knees. They even randomly gave me a free jar of homemade mustard, which I’ve finished in a week.

  44. polecat

    Lambert .. Re. Motown. They was where it was at! After all that ’60’s confusion & shit ..

    Don’t you ever have that jones to get down ? .. to feel the urge to get Funky ? I sure do!

    As an example : CTI Records was in the heart of the Motown Scene. They produced some mighty fine grooves in their day, dude – by bringing together some superbly talented, with mixes of both olds-school & new, musicians! Twas a good time to be into contemporary Jazz, imnsho.

    KPop- incessentness on a Mobius Loop .. is no comparision. I mean really .. though they be somewhat different genres, Even the Ohio Players put Kpop to shame!

    1. YetAnotherChris

      I think Lambert was making a wry comment on the closed-loop, top-down structure of Motown under Berry Gordy, rather than any aesthetic comparison to K-Pop. There were a lot of undersung, underpaid musicians toiling away at Hitsville USA.

      Say his name! James Jamerson!

  45. 3.14e-9

    Keynes on Newton — thank you so much for that link, Lambert.

    PBS NOVA did an episode on this in 2005 called “Newton’s Dark Secrets.” I liked it so much that I bought it on video and watched it several times. I’d forgotten, though, that Keynes had such an important role. Too bad he wasn’t around for the NOVA producers to interview for this episode, as he was actually more open-minded and, I dare say, knowledgeable about what Newton was really up to. Makes me wonder if Keynes did some of his own dabbling in the occult. In any case, the episode is well worth watching. The YouTube link I found is low-res, but the search returned a Vimeo upload that is much better:

    Another tidbit I’d forgotten: Newton predicted the world would end in 2060. Seems like we’re on track…

    1. strawman

      yes, the Keynes piece is really interesting. On the video though, we as a culture, are just too hard on eccentrics. i suppose it doesn’t make for good television, but when anyone shows any sign of being different they get marked out for ridicule. Newton held back about a lot of things; leave him alone, I say, unless he’s harming someone. Nova is quick, however, to give him credit for executing the 14 counterfeiters, as though he’s acting a little normal.

      You ask if Keynes dabbled in the occult, I don’t know, but if I remember correctly, most, if not all his friends were pacifists (Bertrand Russell, G.B. Shaw, the Bloomsbury group). that’s a type of cool-aid and something to think about, as the empire veers toward disaster capitalism. Keynes himself wasn’t, publicly anyway; he was in government. But what a weird idea: full employment in peacetime. (If anyone cares, JFK’s closest advisor Ted Sorensen was a registered conscientious objector. And a favorite writer, Harold Pinter, was asked to leave the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts for the same.)

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