Links 7/18/2020

“The icon of icons”: Remembering civil rights hero, Congressman John Lewis Atlanta Magazine

Remembering Nelson Mandela, Who Honoured the Power of Reconciliation The Wire. Oddly, the author appears not to know that the quote he cites when Mandela left Robben Island is the same he made at the end of his three hour statement at his trial.

This Microscopic Time-Lapse of Chemicals Crystalizing is Hypnotic PetaPixel (David L)



Scientists identify six different types of coronavirus with increasing severity levels Telegraph

T-cells: the missing link in coronavirus immunity? Financial Times (David L). Already a topic in comments.

Free saliva-based COVID-19 tests begin at University of Illinois, but school won’t say if students are required to take them Chicago Tribune. ma: “So let me see if I have this straight–South Korea, the U of I, even a micro-brewery in New Brunswick, Canada, can figure out how to rapidly and accurately test people, but the USofA cannot….ok then.”


Coronavirus: Boris Johnson sets out plan for ‘significant normality’ by Christmas BBC (Kevin W). Translation: Johnson believes in Santa Claus. But he’s such a narcissist that he’s unable to see that he’s on track to get a lump of coal in his stocking.


A Detailed Map of Who Is Wearing Masks in the U.S. New York Times (David L)

Social Distancing and the Rise of COVID-19 Top Data

Florida schools mandated to reopen in August Tallahassee Democrat

Brace yourself for the latest COVID-19 predictions. You’re not going to like them DailyKos (furzy)

‘Overwhelmed and Terrified’: Las Vegas’ Reopening Backfires Terribly Daily Beast

Political Responses

Senate GOP proposing five-year shield from coronavirus lawsuits The Hill


If You Want to See How Bad Things Can Get, Roll Back the Unemployment Assistance Esquire

PPP scam: Texas man spends nearly $1 million on cryptocurrency Fortune

Explosion of violence dooms Mexican leader’s bid to calm cartels Financial Times (David L)


US interest in 5G isn’t really about 5G Asia Times (Kevin W)


Modi government boasts of a trade surplus – even though it is actually terrible news for the economy Scroll (J-LS)


Brexit: Concerns for European Union over Irish Protocol RTE. PlutoniumKun: “Now here is more than you ever wanted to know on the difficulties of managing VAT after Brexit. Looks like there is lots of technical work going on, but everything is behind schedule.”

Nigeria’s Zamfara state offers repentant bandits cows for AK-47s BBC (resilc)

Nazis are VICTIMS of hate crime? Police launch probe into graffiti on monument to SS soldiers, Canadians stunned it even exists RT (Kevin W)

New Cold War

“Putin Hacked Our Coronavirus Vaccine” Is The Dumbest Story Yet Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Russian cyberterrorist stuck on six month wait list to hack into VA Duffle Blog (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A New Map Shows the Inescapable Creep of Surveillance JTM

Former ICANN CEO is now co-CEO of the private equity firm that tried to buy .org DomainWirePaul R: “Lol. HN discussion:”

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘Give Me Freedom or Give Me Death’: 13 Years Without Trial at Guantanamo, My Hunger Strike Is All I Have Left and Listen to the Brave Hunger Strikers in ICE Detention Common Dreams (ma)

Trump Transition

National Association of Police Organizations endorses Trump The Hill

Artists install anti-Trump living statues around DC The Hill (resilc)

Interview with John Bolton Der Spiegel (Futility)

Congressional Democrats Demand White House Restore Hospital Data Collection to CDC NPR (David L)

Justice Ginsburg says cancer has returned, but won’t retire Associated Press (David L)


New Lawsuit Argues That Alaska Officials May Not Mail Absentee Ballot Applications Only to Older Voters. Equal Citizens. Complaint here.

Why Jane Curtis is still fighting for justice at 102 Christian Science Monitor (resilc)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Pentagon effectively bans Confederate flags on all military property Politico (Kevin C)

Police State Watch

Federal agents arrest Portland protesters in unmarked cars, sparking intense backlash Washington Post (furzy)

Mayor of Portland to Trump: Get your troops out of the city Associated Press

Federal Agents Unleash Militarized Force Crackdown on Portland New York Times (Glenn F)

The Authoritarian Operation in Portland Is Only a Dress Rehearsal Esquire (David L)

What the Heck Are Federal Law Enforcement Officers Doing in Portland? Lawfare (David L)

32 Million People on State & Federal Unemployment, 2nd Highest Ever: Week 17 of U.S. Labor Market Collapse Wolf Street

Greatest Increase Ever in U.S. Wages Is Actually Horrible News Bloomberg

As pensions sink, CalPERS gets risky Press-Telegram (Kevin W)

New CalSTRS plan aims to reduce costs, bring more management in-house Pensions & Investments

UBS Predicts College Shakeout With Weak Schools Doomed to Fail Bloomberg. Not a hard call.

American Airlines CEO: ‘Let’s go fly, for God’s sake’ MarketWatch (Kevin W). Cabin fever. People want to go on vacation or visit relatives.

Class Warfare

Help Melk Take Time Off to Recover from Dental Surgery – Donate Today! Payday Report. This appeal, to cover $300 in dental expenses, says so much about what is wrong with America.

Notes on Nationalism George Orwell (UserFriendly)

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus (YJT):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Toshiro_Mifune

    We don’t have secret police in the United States.

    The evidence on the ground seems to contradict this. While I’m glad this is getting media attention I have no doubt there would be silence should an approved presidential office holder have used the same tactics

    1. timbers

      “The authorization operation in Portland is only a dress rehearsal.” And the authorization operation on Occupy Wall Street was only a dress rehearsal for Portland and more? That one got silence or do I misremember?

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        You remember.

        Could not get the Obama drones to see how messed up that was. But I have to say, this is a notch above destroying Occupy.

        Remember, these thugs work for the Corpocracy, not any specific politician.

        1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          The next semi-black politician installed in the Presidency will be able to go full Pinochet and the glitterati and punditoracy will cheer them for their ‘moral courage’ and ‘restraint’.

        2. dcblogger

          several notches above Occupy, those police were where clearly identified uniforms and their vehicles were clearly marked.

      2. Off The Street

        Are there NC readers from Portland who can chime in? What do they think about what is happening in their city?

        1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

          I’m right there. I am trying to get hard info on this incident. I can’t get anyone to answer if the detained person had a lawful warrant. Or who made the video clip in the first place. And why it was injected into the Twitstream when it was. My wife is convinced it was to frighten potential protestors. But I’m not so sure. The atmosphere of perpetual riot downtown falls far short of Paris 1789. There’s a mass movement against police violence in the city for sure. But the contingent that tried to destroy a statue of …an elk… is probably about burnt out on their enthusiasm for huffing tear gas. There are dozens of atrocity videos all over twitter that are clearly calibrated to send any demographic you can think of into paroxysms of rage. Pregnant white lady being savagely kicked by five black men? Got that. Trans person being beaten? Got that. Black man being savaged by a store security? Got that. White ‘Karen’ woman dissing a black woman -got that. Who’s churning these videos out? It looks like a big psy-op to this observer.

          1. jsn

            Well, the CIA has free reign to do psy-ops aganist Iran, Russia & China, and anyone who complains about this best of all possible worlds is obviously an Iranian/Russian/Chinese agitator, so obviously it’s a good idea to fund domestic psy-ops to contain that foreign meddling.

            Jay Gould, equally obviously, is on some heart and lung machine next to Dick Chenney and Bill Casey somewhere.

          2. dcblogger

            people all over the country are demonstrating, taking videos of the demonstrations, and putting them on Twitter and Instantgram. I don’t see any evidence that there is anything more to than that.

            1. question authority

              Wow, really that is what you want to tell people. Remember this is the country where the media and most of the people inside the country believe in the magic bullet that killed JFK, Sirhan executed RFK, and James Earl Ray shot MLK.

            2. Synoia

              Could “some of those people” have less than honest intentions while being paid a healthy sum?

              Agent Provocateur style intentions?

        2. froggy

          Portland resident here. It’s been 51 days of continuous protests with graffiti and some broken windows and small fires. The protests are almost completely nonviolent, and at worst a few bottles and rocks are thrown at police. For much of that time, Portland Police were indiscriminantly using tear gas and flash grenades to attack crowds. A judge issued a temporary injunction against Portland Police using tear gas, and the Federal paramility showed up soon after that, under no such restriction, so the tear gas is back. People in downtown apartment suffer the tear gas that leaks into their buildings. There was a sniper in camo photographed on the roof of one of the Federal buildings, military equipment is arriving, and there have been National Guard and U.S. Marshall surveillance flights over downtown. I’ve heard helicopters every few nights. The head of DHS came to town yesterday. The Mayor refused to meet him, but the head of the police union did, so we know who’s really in charge of the city. Three journalists provide nightly coverage:

          1. Charlie

            The mayor is in charge of the city. But this way, the mayor has “plausible deniability.”

            1. Jack

              Portland’s mayor is clearly not in charge of anything, and if unwilling to meet with federal law enforcement is just a total joke. The rioters and protestors are also clearly not peaceful. Throwing objects at anybody is potentially criminal, especially if you throw them at officers of the law. They are doing more than that. Too many people are watching liberal news media and buying into the blatant lie that theses protests are peaceful. Get a grip. You people all around the U.S. sitting at home while cities burn and honest businesses are brought to ruin, criticizing law enforcement for doing their jobs, are dispicable. It certainly is a psyop, and regardless of whether an entity is running it or not, it’s destroying the fabric of society. The entire movement is an attack on the Republican Party – it’s civil war.

              1. rob

                Is that a joke?
                Or are you really that foolish to believe the republican party is “under attack”… WOW… holy guacamole ,batman…. we have an idiot…
                And by the way… Where are you?.
                What makes you say that the posts from people who live there are not true. Do you live there too?

        3. JWP

          Out here in PDX. I’m beginning to suspect abductions and warrantless arrests of nonviolent protestors mean they’re looking for something. Possibly antifa leaders (its decentralized). Tactics are becoming reminiscent of how we operate in the Middle East with interrogation and bagged kidnappings. the quote from the main story of the fed agent saying “there’s nothing here” means they’re after something. I think dismaying protestors is a side effect of it, even though it won’t work. The damage to property has been minimal and most of it is graffiti which isn’t really damage at all. Talking to business owners who had vandalism saying they’re insured and this type of stuff has happened to them before so its no big deal. There’s lots of outrage but no fear. Still waiting for the mayor (who is facing a serious challenge from his left and Sarah Iannarone is a progressive to watch in the race) is yet to side with protestors and support them, rather just calling out the feds. Same with Kate Brown. Oregon does allow federal troops to enforce local law at times, but the protests are peaceful so in the last two night when the feds have attacked, there is no legal standing to do so.

          1. rob

            Maybe those feds are just looking for people carrying weed. It is a crime in their eyes…. and then otherwise peaceful protesters can be charged with a crime.

        4. froggy

          “Camouflage-clad federal officers, who were caught on video this week plucking protesters off the Portland streets and into unmarked vans, rented at least one of the vans from Enterprise Holdings rental car service, according to records reviewed by [Willamette Week]…Portland criminal defense lawyer John Schlosser says using unmarked rental cars to arrest protesters may fall outside the normal boundaries of law enforcement in which officers acting on probable cause make arrests in marked, publicly owned vehicles. He also said it raised questions whether the people in the unmarked vehicles are, in fact, federal agents.”

          1. JBird4049

            Increasingly the no-knock warrant carried out by police not in uniform often before dawn are routine. After bashing the door open and killing any dogs including crated ones, they rush around in a way that terrifies and confuses people.

            In the worst cases, and far too often, the inhabitants have no reason to think that they are being searched and regardless seeing armed, unidentifiable people often dress in black or street clothes, screaming children, and dead dogs, they respond with their gun.

            The reason often given is for the safety of everyone, which they justify by the violence that can happen and cause by the very tactics used.

            With these kidnappings, I bet that someone is going to get shot, perhaps by the local police themselves. What would someone think if the riders of an unarmed van jumped out and grabbed someone? I am not so sure that a local jury would convict.

            1. rob

              Local jury,
              That would be nice if these people were given the right to a jury trial by their peers… but that would be “constitutional”…. and we live in “post-constitutional” america.

        1. chuck roast

          Why doesn’t the governor of Oregon call out the Oregon National Guard to protect the citizens and confront the invaders?

          1. Dirk77

            While possibly your comment was tongue in cheek, because the invaders have identified themselves as federal employees. A clash like that would be so much a very last resort. I don’t know about the Portland mayor, but gov Kate Brown seems pretty sensible. So she’s probably thinking time will bring clarity and this can at worst be used for the feds to hang themselves. BTW, thanks NC for the link to that Lawfare article.

      3. Rhonda

        Those Federal Police could take the arrestees to the nearest military base and hold them there incommunicado with no call to lawyers nor ther relatives ever being informed.

        Except for Habeus Corpus…Oh, Obama cancelled that when he “reluctantly” signed the National Defense Authorization Act.

        “The National Defense Authorization Act [4] signed by President Obama on the 31st December 2011 authorises the indefinite detention, without trial or indictement, of any US citizens designated as enemies by the executive. The individuals concerned are not only those who have been captured on the field of battle, but also those who have never left the United States or participated in any military action.”

        Trump thanks Obama for handing him that power.

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        Occupy was completely different. It was Federally coordinated but the action was all in hands of local police. Mind you, the idea of Federal coordination is still an encroachment on local policing, but the locals would not have gone along if they didn’t want Occupy out. And in quite a few cities they clearly did, above all NYC and Oakland.

        And there were local abuses…in NYC cordoning and clearing a big area around the encampment to keep the press well away, plus bulldozing the entire encampment, including live dogs, into garbage trucks, and in LA, as Yasha Levine reported, incarcerating reporters and keeping people on a bus for hours in zip ties so they’d pee in their seats. Yasha’s wrists were hurt by the zip ties to the degree that IIRC he didn’t regain full sensation in his hands for 2-3 weeks.

    2. rob

      if the representatives and prosecutors of the areas/states where these illegal kidnappings(the unconstitutional arrests of american citizens)take place were honorable, and were to press charges against the federal officers involved… this would be a good way to expose what is legal in this country.
      I would expect the NDAA and all the other “patriot-act” type legislation… as well as the secrecy clauses… will trump any state laws… and the constitution… and the bill of rights…
      So I would expect the locals know they can’t buck the feds….
      But damn , if people don’t need to see what has been the case for too long already… which just means its getting more blatant… and not a damn thing we can do about it… until….?

      1. Oh

        That lowlife Obama stuffed NDAA down our throats. And Congress was the one that passed the “Patriot Act” and took away our freedom.

        1. Elizabeth

          Yes, it was on New Year’s Eve when Obama signed the NDAA. Funny I don’t remember any Democrats being outraged about it – it’s funny how outrage works.

        2. Pavel

          And Joe Biden was one of the authors of the original PATRIOT act legislation. Obama and Biden, quite a pair.

          And for Barry to get all high and mighty about BLM and police brutality, he didn’t seem so concerned when droning innocents (collateral damage) every week. I’d call that POTUS brutality.

    3. fresno dan

      July 18, 2020 at 7:28 am

      As I recall, the 4th amendment ceased to mean anything* (if it really ever did) upon a little policy known as “stop and frisk” in New York city that violated our vaunted constitutional rights of tens of thousands of people for years, after which our esteemed courts finally determined that, OH YEAH, police can’t just search you cause your black or brown.

      In this instance, probably after long and arduous legal wrangling, after which only a portion of what happened MAY be determined to be illegal, will anyone responsible for this suffer ANY punishment or negative consequences whatsoever??? OUCH!!! I hurt myself laughing…
      c’mon man – “land of the free” “rule of law” “constitutional rights” are total bullsh*t and always have been.
      Consequences – who suffers them, and who is immune from them.

      * back in ’68 that liberal Warren court basically nullified the 4th amendment with the Terry ruling. And of course, with the court created doctrine of sovereign immunity, the ability of the public to challenge any judgement of a cop that a search (and any number of other things) was “reasonable” was de facto destroyed.

      1. Oh

        Any citizen or organization that keeps saying that we have constitutional rights have to be smoking something.

        1. hunkerdown

          If they are, find out which adult bought it for them and give them the hell of their lives. And if you see an adult giving a teenager any Ayn Rand or Milton Friedman, get your minivan and a few friends and slide up alongside them.

      2. mpalomar

        “ ‘land of the free’ ‘rule of law’ ‘constitutional rights’ are total bullsh*t and always have been.”

        Madison, the chief instigator of the 1789 constitutional coup to overthrow the far more democratic state assemblies operative under the ‘articles of confederation’ always thought the Bill of Rights a ‘parchment’ sop to placate the democratic worry warts. He was convinced they were more or less harmless sentiments that could be brushed aside should the need arise.

        The state assemblies had far lower ratio of citizens to reps, some as low as a few thousand to one, compared to the first congress which was proportioned around 75000 to 1 and is now I believe far higher. The state assemblies under the articles were far more responsive to citizens needs, for instance on debt forgiveness, hence Madison’s urgent, covert mission to subvert them with a new constitution.

        1. JBird4049

          Some of that is true. However, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law were never meant to be a farce. The fact that the latest efforts to eviscerate have been done covertly and in piecemeal otherwise it would be stopped. It is also true is that the Confederate government was that in name only without any funding except the pittance from the states, was ignored to such an extent that it could not even deal with the wars threatening to happen or adequately represent the country. The near conflicts included the armies and navies of said states.

          If you include the Dutch and British colonies, then the nation has over four centuries of history with the wealthy and powerful subverting the law to suppress everyone else for further wealth and power.

          This is always followed by the counters of the general population against the powerful. It seesaws back and forth with the elites now on the upswing trying to maintain their power. The next few years will determine whether they successfully defend and expand it as they have done for fifty years or whether they fail, and hopefully, the rule of law makes a comeback.

          1. mpalomar

            I’d largely agree with you. The Articles of Confederation had problems as you note and there was a consensus perhaps that they needed amending. However what Madison pulled off was essentially a coup against a more democratic system under the Articles. He had tried several times prior to overthrow them and finally succeeded in Philadelphia convening a secret proceeding without minutes, called on an ambiguous mission without full consent of the states.

            The result was certainly a less democratic framework of governance that drew power away from the people to a centralised, far less responsive form of government. Madison who at first objected to the Bill of Rights not wanting any amendments to the proposed constitution that might delay its verification, thought the sentiments in the Bill of Rights were only a parchment barrier that could be easily brushed aside as the need arose. He was probably wrong to an extent about the importance of the sentiments and right to an extent about their ability to withstand situational adversity.

            If the states had understood that he had in mind a new constitution instead of amendments to the Articles, many never would have participated and ultimately the new document passed with much anguish and less then robust approval.

      3. Tomonthebeach

        What DHS is doing is not stop-n-frisk. It is catch-n-release without charges. Its purpose is to elevate terror of being on the streets of your own town so citizens will welcome clampdown on protest – any protest – mostly leftist protest – the evil boogieman Antifa protest that Barr invented.

    4. William Hunter Duncan

      What if the Mayor of Portland instructed Portland Police to arrest the Feds?

    5. Goyo Marquez

      Wait… what happened to all, those leftists defending the criminalization of illegal immigration? Which department is arresting people in Portland? First they came for the Mexican peasants looking for jobs…

    6. Tomonthebeach

      What I find dismaying is the obvious parallel between Trump and Hitler. These DHS thugs in combat uniforms clearly serve one purpose – to spread terror and assert that the terror they triggered will be crushed by the same thugs who fomented it. They are stormtroopers and, as their fearless leader explained in the tweet, they are taking over.

      Americans should be very very worried that Trump is not waiting till November to seize power. If that sounds like pearl-clutchy hysteria, read a few chapters of historian Robert O. Paxton’s Anatomy of Fascism – then judge.

      1. timbers

        “They are storm troopers…”

        That made me think of Star Wars, which turned a light bulb on in my head:

        Trump should start wearing Darth Vader’s helmet as mask. It would set an example and send an honest message.

      2. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        Yes we should all sit by and just let streets and shops and statues get smashed because “woke”. TDS sufferers saying the man is Orange Hitler (when the actual policies being pursued including detentions are more like Orange Obama) is hysteria. That he will “seize power” after November if he loses. GMAFB. Which party *actually* tried that with the help of the lovely FBI after 2016?

        You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world. Where was the wokerati when Saint Obama enshrined the worst of The Patriot Act as law? Destroyed habeus corpus? Added five countries to the list of those we are unilaterally bombing? Made sure no banker would ever go to jail?

        You want a better freer country try putting up better freer candidates and policies. Hysteria about the current WH occupant coupled with willful blindness about the people who manufactured the systems and conditions that resulted in him and enabled him is useless.

        1. Montanamaven

          Thanks for a bit of perspective rather than, as you say, “hysteria”. Many here have been warning about The Patriot Act and the mysteriously ready-to-go Department of Homeland Security after 9/11. And I will never forgive O for brutally putting down Occupy. Here come those chickens to claim their roost.

        2. Jeff W

          You want a better freer country try putting up better freer candidates and policies. Hysteria about the current WH occupant coupled with willful blindness about the people who manufactured the systems and conditions that resulted in him and enabled him is useless.

          I might just quote that.

          It’s actually worse than useless, really, because focusing on one person diverts attention away from those systems and conditions.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            By all means, let’s change how people thought 50 or 100 or 150 years ago.

            While we’re at it, let’s change the things they did back then.

            Maybe the wokerati would be interested in slavery that is actually happening today. Not 150 years ago, today in 2020. This came about when their Patron Saint, black president Barack Obama, took his black National Security Advisor’s advice and bombed the African country with the highest standard of living on the continent back to the Stone Age. They took particular care when smashing this success story to destroy the world’s largest desert irrigation project.

            But oh, no, let’s change the minds of some 18th and 19th century slave holders. And oh goody, said black National Security Advisor Susan Rice may be named the next president (Biden’s VP). At least we will have a really woke woman at the helm when we re-open some brand new 21st century slave markets.

          2. hunkerdown

            Neoliberals love to pretend progress is an excuse for cultural obliteration. Why don’t you ever cheer for neoliberals getting the Pinochet treatment? It’s really the only thing that will reestablish citizen power or even change the direction of usurpation.

            There’s a reason the term “Whig theory” is derisive.

    7. Dirk77

      Thank you everyone for your Portland DHS comments. The media these days reminds me of the movie line: “Does your disability preclude you from getting to the point?”

    1. pjay

      John Lewis was truly an American hero to me, for all the reasons noted in the Atlanta Magazine article. Yet my final memory of him will always be his stabbing Sanders in the back — in an unnecessarily spiteful way — in the service of the Clinton machine.

      Some of the revelations during the Trump Clarification provoke rage or paranoia. Others, like that one, are also heartbreaking, even for an old cynic like me.

        1. Spring Texan

          Yep, people are such a mixed bag, there can really be a lot to admire on the one hand and then something really low too (since it’s the most recent, the Sanders thing came first to my mind too, and also the mixed record of the CBC vis-a-vis Wall Street and poor people, though I don’t know for sure if Lewis typified that) Typical of us humans. You don’t have to deny either reality.

          You can admire Mandela and still see that his government did little to nothing for the poor, for instance, which was really bad and still harming people to this day.

          The people you simply don’t mourn at all though are the ones like Roy Cohn or Trump – who don’t have the mix – I won’t totally go with “de mortuis nil nisi bonum” but there’s a reason for that saying . . .

    2. Alex morfesis

      Sadly, even the black agenda report forgets to look history in the eye…”and remember guys, the guy in the trench coat with the backpack is our guy inside”…bloody Sunday…not so much for John Lewis who was photographed after the fact with bandages but the black and white videos suggest otherwise…the tube stalinist airbrush machine has reduced the availability but a good vid which is 6:01 long shows what one needs to see… although at the front when the police begin to push back, a slow review shows they never hit him and he just put himself on the ground….one might argue the later images don’t show who is getting beaten…except at about 3:14 to 3:17 when an image of someone being carried by a few folks is where your eye will focus…in the top of the image one can see that backpack and trench coat walking away from the fight with no one chasing him…hands in his pocket slowly walking away….it is what it is…now that he is gone, the truth should be told…he was not the only government helper close to MLK or Malcolm X…in fact one currently fading person was at the scene of the death of two civil rights fighters….one we know the image…the other he just happened to be at the same event when the last of his interlocutors stopped breathing…to open the door for him to lead folks down a dead end alley…no happy thoughts for JL

        1. Alex morfesis

          What are you going to believe…the truth or your lying eyes…not one to just burp out links…the tubemachine has only one easily found 6:01 vid for bloody Sunday Selma and as to the other persons mentioned… still breathing so we shall leave that somewhat alone but Lagos does come to mind.

          1. hunkerdown

            Then why even post on a Links thread? Smells like homework. Anyway, Blogspot is free.

  2. Fireship

    It’s one of those days today, when the Nakedcapitalism links capture a snapshot of a historical moment: Citizens being disappeared off the streets by the security forces, Massive unemployment, a pandemic out of control.

    The only thing left to wonder at this stage is if the US is going to end up like Russia or more like Brazil. To see one empire (USSR) collapse in real time is astounding, to see two… has that happened before?

    1. David

      The Ottomans and the Austro-Hungarian empire both fell at the end of WWI. The French and British empire both fell in the decades after WW2, though France has maintained a lot of control in Africa.

      1. Quentin

        And the Russian Czarist Empire, to add another heavyweight to the post-WWI collapse. Russia was (and still is) an empire.

        1. Olga

          To be strictly correct, czarist Russia ceased to exist before the end of WWI, not to quibble too much. If not for the revolution, Russia would have been on the winning side – interesting to ponder how things would have been if the czar were able to confer with W Wilson…

        2. workingclasshero

          The russian fedetation is not an was the largest republic of the ussr and was rightfully described as the one with the most weight of influence by population and size but as an independent state it pales slongside the u.s. in military power and economic influence

          1. Dan

            How many overseas military bases – if any – are required to be considered an empire?

            I imagine everyone has their own criteria for what actually constitutes an empire, beyond the Merriam-Webster definition. And there are obviously both quantitative and qualitative differences among simultaneous empires, now and throughout history.


      2. Quentin

        Germany’s Wilhelm 2, Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia, also fell on his crown. Quite a time, that one. This time around the powers that be will try much harder to keep a lid on the putrid infestation engulfing all of us.

    2. tegnost

      Don’t be silly!
      “All’s for the best in the best of all of all possible worlds”…

    3. Keith

      How about the former Yugoslavia? It was a multicultural society as we are. It seems such societies have much higher upswings when the going is good, but much lower downswings when the going gets bad, as people embrace their more tribal instincts.

      1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

        It’s not like Yugoslavia just descended into tribalism. That’s bourgeois nonsense. The events there were engineered, and turned out the way they did because of the plans of state actors. Real life isn’t like a zombie movie.

        1. Olga

          Yes, and it is very important to know just how that was done. A peaceful country in Europe – just torn apart. Same tactics can easily be used elsewhere. Blaming it on tribalism is an easy way out (not that stoked tribalism did not play a role).

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yugoslavia had a distinct multi-cultural society. For all of our problems, the melting pot is still quite real, or more accurately, we are fairly good at assimilating non-English protestants into this society. The head of the orthodox church in Yugoslavia was a player regardless of his abilities. I have no idea who the top rcc bishop is and image most cradle catholics don’t either. He’s likely a right wing nut, but he’s probably more concerned the pope hasn’t made Mccarick a saint. There are gay catholics and protestants. Even women catholic and protestants. Tito was still balancing ethnic groups despite the official line. He worked to make them dependent, but they weren’t as well integrated as Iraq which despite Western attempts to break up and open genocide hasn’t.

        The US “brown” population lumped together by the faux woke as POC (the Karens love to say coloreds in public) don’t come from the same place and have about as much in common as Italians, Irish, Greeks, etc.

        The Russian and Brazil examples are great. Though I would point to the difference being how effective state and local governments can be in the absence of prolonged federal leadership during a crisis. Millions lost their homes in 2009. Now we have a pandemic leading to all kinds of crises.

      3. mpalomar

        The US, the Europeans and NATO had other plans for non aligned Yugoslovia. There could not be a functioning semblance of independent socialism left over in Europe as the triumphalists of a particularly malicious variety of capitalist democracy ushered in the end of history.
        Plus they had an opportunity to supercede the UN and implement NATO as a policy enforcement arm for the new order.

      4. jonboinAR

        Ever since the chaotic fall of Yugoslavia, I’ve been back-of-my-mind concerned about the US suffering a similar fate. Now that concern I feel is much less inchoate. I saw then how ethnic groups who for many years have lived peaceably in close proximity can suddenly go all tribal and murderous toward each other. The Hutu/Tutsi sudden killing spree was another troubling indicator. At this time, I’m “officially” worried.

        1. Olga

          There was deliberate outside interference and fifth columns used (plus, let’s not forget Croats had a fascist streak during WWII). As long as these elements. are not present in the US, you may (probably) rest easy.

          1. jonboinAR

            How is it that BLM seems to have gotten enormous amounts of corporate financial support? Is this intended toward a particular end? On the other side, just who are these supposed “feds” snatching folks off of the street and “disappearing” them. As usual with some of the news that comes out of large, seemingly spontaneous movements, some of it doesn’t seem to be completely spontaneous or actually disorganized.

            1. RWood

              We should look back to comrade OpenthepodbaydoorsHal’s comment of 16.6.20 for possible links.

            2. hunkerdown

              This. Neoliberals and other sociopaths don’t do honest allegiance. Both parties have neoliberal fifth columns and they are willing to act as terrorists, knowing the other will excuse them from accountability in every way that really matters.

    1. JEHR

      I will bet that that fox is preparing his den for new occupants. Foxes like to have a nice clean place to bring the little ones into the world.

    2. fresno dan

      July 18, 2020 at 11:02 am

      Well, as everyone else put in a bon mot, I might as well too.
      He’s an Obamafox ….
      He’s a yellow fox democrat…
      he’s a Bezos employee
      he needs a birdcage liner like everybody else

    3. John k

      She can’t read.
      But she needs a lot of paper bc the pups aren’t house trained yet.

    4. mpalomar

      Perhaps a Bezos drone delivering the news.
      Or a furry admonition from the Song of Songs,
      “the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards…”

      Lillian Hellman The Little Foxes interpreted by W Wyler and B Davis,
      Horace Giddens:
      “There must be better ways of getting rich than building sweatshops and pounding the bones of the town to make dividends for you to spend. You’ll wreck the town, you and your brothers. You’ll wreck the country, you and your kind, if they let you.”

  3. jr

    That Caitlin Johnstone piece is great, I book marked it as a nice little pill for the next schmuck I bump into who starts ranting about Putin stealing babies or something.

    “propaganda trance”

    I think there is a lot more truth to this statement than may be generally recognized…

    1. Carolinian

      This is good.

      So let us consider The Russian Playbook. It stands at the very heart of Russian power. It is old: at least a century old. Why, did not Tolstoy’s 1908 Letter to a Hindu inspire Gandhi to bring down the British Indian Empire and win the Great Game for Moscow? The Tolstoy-Putin link is undeniable as we are told in A Post-Soviet ‘War and Peace’: What Tolstoy’s Masterwork Explains About Putin’s Foreign Policy: “In the early decades of the nineteenth century, Napoleon (like Putin after him) wanted to construct his own international order…”. Russian novelists: adepts of The Playbook every one. So there is much to consider about this remarkable Book which has had such an enormous – hidden to most – role in world history. Its instructions on how to swing Western elections are especially important: the 2016 U.S. election; Brexit; “100 years of Russian electoral interference“; Canada; France; the European Union; Germany and many more. The awed reader must ask whether any Western election since Tolstoy’s day can be trusted.

    2. JWP

      She’s been killing it lately. A much more accurate fact checker than twitter’s bots.

      One side blames China, the other Russia. Only the introspective will learn and be better for it.

    3. Olga

      Patrick Armstrong’s latest
      “His “playbook” [G Sharp’s] is useful to outside powers that want to overthrow governments they don’t like. Especially those run by “dictators” not brutal enough to shoot the protesters down. It’s not Russian diplomats that are caught choosing the leaders of ostensibly independent countries. It’s not Russians who boast of spending money in poor countries to change their governments. It’s not Russian diplomats who meet with foreign opposition leaders. Russia doesn’t fabricate a leader of a foreign country. It’s not Russia that invents a humanitarian crisis, bombs the country to bits, laughs at its leader’s brutal death and walks away. It’s not Russia that sanctions numerous countries. It’s not Russia that gives fellowships to foreign oppositionists. Even the Washington Post (one of the principals in sustaining Putindunnit hysteria) covered “The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere“; but piously insisted “the days of its worst behavior are long behind it”. Whatever the pundits may claim about Russia, the USA actually has an organisation devoted to interfering in other countries’ business; one of whose leading lights proudly boasted: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”
      Not just 25 years ago – but starting in 1947 (with Greece, Italy, France, Syria) in the cross-hairs.

  4. allan

    As much time has now passed since the world was put on notice that something bad was coming
    (the lock down of Hubei, with a population of 60 million)
    as passed between Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.
    How’s that war on the virus going?

    Reality shows shortfalls of Trump’s claim to ‘best testing’

    Here are some snapshots from what President Donald Trump describes as the nation with the “best testing in the world” for the coronavirus: [lists various horror shows] …

    Trump’s persistent salesmanship about the prowess of testing in the United States is colliding with a far different reality for those affected by the explosion in coronavirus cases. …

    Plot idea for one of those alternative history novels: FDR tries persistent salesmanship to defeat the Axis.
    Gives fireside speeches declaring that, `We have the greatest military in the world. People tell me, sir, we’ve never seen anything like it.’ Responsibility for actual fighting is assigned to the states.
    Eventual defeat and occupation of the U.S. are blamed on the Director of the Public Health Service.

    1. Ganga Man

      Great comment, I noticed no one has applauded you for your incisive sarcasm. Is it becuz criticism of dear leader is not appreciated on this blog? People do some to get all riled up about Russian stories though, wow, touches a raw nerve apparently.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You must not be familiar with this site. There’s plenty of loathing for Trump but no one needs to go on much about it because the MSM does that 24/7. People come here to discuss the not obvious.

        1. Ganga Man

          Yves, I love your site, I’ve been coming here for years, but this is the first time I got a comment through. The comments have gone downhill however, too many red hatters spouting nonsense. But allan’s comment is priceless – “Responsibility for actual fighting is assigned to the states.
          Eventual defeat and occupation of the U.S. are blamed on the Director of the Public Health Service”.
          Pure genius.

          1. jr

            “this is the first time I got a comment through”

            Good to see you’re making the most of it…

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            I suggest you read out Site Policies. It appears you haven’t, particularly if you have hit our moderation tripwires more than occasionally.

      2. occasional anonymous

        You can get ‘Orange Man Bad’ anywhere. NC strives to go deeper.

        And we’re not big on baseless conspiracy theories, which is why so much of the Russia stuff lands like a lead balloon.

    2. cocomaan

      Plot idea for one of those alternative history novels: FDR tries persistent salesmanship to defeat the Axis.
      Gives fireside speeches declaring that, `We have the greatest military in the world. People tell me, sir, we’ve never seen anything like it.’

      That’s what the fireside chats were, if you haven’t listened to them.

      One I recall was featured on Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History, where FDR says, “Some of these other countries think Americans are weak! That we don’t have the fortitude to fight wars!” Can you guess what the next line was?

    3. marym

      For Trump having the “best” is a bug not a feature. From your link (though he’s said it repeatedly):

      “He falsely claimed “the cases are created because of the fact that we do tremendous testing.”

      WaPo reporting today:

      The Trump administration is trying to block billions of dollars for states to conduct testing and contact tracing in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, people involved in the talks said Saturday.

      The administration is also trying to block billions of dollars that GOP senators want to allocate for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and billions more for the Pentagon and State Department to address the pandemic at home and abroad, the people said.

      1. rowlf

        Paragraph 3 of the WaPo story linked above: “The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity…”
        Must be real this time.

        1. marym

          I thought including “people involved in the talks” would clarify that. A lot of reporting on the Trump administration is sourced to people who won’t go on record with their names. I give names when they’re there, and usually try to be mindful about avoiding linking to reports based solely on anonymous sources. I cited this report since it’s consistent with his repeated statements that if we did less testing we’d have fewer cases, and his statement: “So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’ They test and they test.” He and his staff did subsequently try a few different spins on the latter.

  5. Ramon Z

    US interest in 5G isn’t really about 5G
    “for the first time in history, the United States is not leading the next technological era.”
    Anyone care to comment?
    I thought the US principle objection to Huawei G5 was that they would no longer have access to content due to encryption

    1. David

      That’s the official treason. That they’re worried about Chinese espionage.

      But 5G is also representative of a technological phase transition. As recently as five or ten years ago people were saying that China only know how to manufacture “cheap shit”, that they only know how to copy, that their schools teach memorization, that they’ll never be creative, etc.

      Those beliefs were all ridiculously stupid coping mechanisms. But people genuinely believed them. Now we live in a world where China makes 5G, and they may be the first to develop a Coronavirus vaccine, and they’re more likely to build the next great particle accelerator, and so on.

      1. a different chris

        >But people genuinely believed them.

        Which is amazing because they were fed the identical crap, to the word, about the Japanese.

        Then everybody looked a bit closer at their Honda.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        The “free traders” made absolutely insane promises. My all time favorite was the export of legal expertise. Nothing about it made sense, but thye made the promise. As to why the US can’t fire up the factories to make ppe items, look at the free trader con artists.

        1. Off The Street

          “Free trade” can have several meanings that coexist.

          Carry trade gets a free ride.
          You end up heading toward working for free.
          Carriage trade gets more stuff virtually for free.
          Some [family-blogging] pundit gets free lunch compensation with some [family-blogging] perfesser but benefactor remains hidden.
          Tax havens support all of the above.

          1. hunkerdown

            Which one is, of course, dependent upon your rank in the neoliberal system. In what reads as childish fictions for the arrested development mass, the initiate will see actionable instructions.

    2. Jessica

      Would have appreciated if the note that the article was written by a Huawei executive had been at the top, not the bottom.
      The US objections are to all the backdoors that Huawei will have for Chinese intelligence services. The US knows they are there because of the ones it has in current equipment.
      Also, it is a part of the US’s broader cold war against China. In this case, the US is making sure to keep its allies in line.

    3. Alex morfesis

      Perhaps a more apt descriptive would venture into suggesting for the first time in recent history the USofA is not leading the “financing” of the next/new leading technology….but with 24/7 eye in the sky capacities does big flubber really need to “know” what someone is “thinking” if there is very little capacity of some group gathering enough resources to be any form of threat ?? Wizard of Oz noise about encryption is cute but one can not move anyone to take action by imagination….one must openly communicate ideas and thoughts….nothing is sadder or funnier than watching a few dozen geniuses being perp walked or prosecuted in front of cameras for conspiring to over throw a government…that is barely enough people to run one department store location, let alone overthrow anything…but one can always amuse themselves and dream.

      Encryption is mostly irrelevant….if some baddy wants to frame you or prosecute you if they think you are a real threat to their gravy train, encryption is not going to stop them from going after anyone….

      If one imagines the trust fund babies of the wizard underground were really hiding out from law enforcement all those years after the 60’s…got a nice little bridge to sell ya…really cheap…needs some work on it but today only….

    4. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

      David Harvey talks about how 5G is emblematic of China “out-capitalisming” the US. China has cultivated a business environment unfettered by all the regulations, restrictions, and other impediments American corporations have instituted to maintain their monopoly positions. Further, without the restrictive intellectual property laws fettering Americans, you’ve got Chinese entrepreneurs and corporations reading over each other’s shoulders, which is driving developments in parallel, so to speak.

      1. Pookah Harvey

        Stiglitz also points that out. He compares the failure of Russia with the success of China in adapting to capitalism. The difference is in where they placed their priorities. Russia was forced by the IMF to prioritize private property rights, China on the other hand has prioritized innovation.

    5. Rhonda

      ‘You can never be China’s friend’: Spengler
      Asia specialist and distinguished columnist David P Goldman is convinced the US and Europe stand a chance against the Red Dragon – but the clock is ticking

      “I actually broke the story in July in the Asia Times. It’s since been discussed in various other media. The Chinese have pioneered a communications technique called “quantum communications” which uses the entanglement of electrons at a distance to create a communications signal. The quantum system is such that if you interfere with it in any way, the signal disappears. The quantum state is destroyed. So, it’s like a letter that disappears the moment you look at it. It’s theoretically impossible to hack. The 5G bandwidth is so powerful that you can integrate quantum communications into ordinary 5G communications and make it standard.”

      1. Olga

        I remember reading that at the time, and it stuck with me. Makes sense… however, what I do not get then is what does it mean when they say someone else will build the 5G network (Samsung, Ericksson, Japanese). Is the Chinese 5G qualitatively different?

      2. chuck roast

        Nice to know that the 5G bandwidth is so powerful. They can replace the 4G’s on the roof of my wife’s apartment house with the powerful 5G’s. My wife’s bed, which is about 14′ below the new 5G perch will be ground zero for the new signal. Of course the City Environmental Health officer is one of those see, hear, speak no evil guys and refused to even have a discussion with me concerning the environmental implications of non-ionizing radiation. Moreover, I’m totally full of s$#t which is why I’m not sleeping in that bed, and why my wife will allow her brain (and body) to be fried by the new powerful 5G bandwidth. Oi!

      3. km

        IIRC, until recently, Spengler was on the pro-China train. He also was a rabid neocon.

        He seems to have ditched both ideologies, right around 2016.

        He has not ditched his “Israel First, Israel Last, Israel Always” stance, which appears to be about his only fixed position since leaving Larouche.

    6. Synoia

      The US’ prime telecom Lab and Manufacturer was Bell Labs and Western Electric. There were dismembers in the break up of AT&T in the ’80s.

      The US has no domestic “phone equipment manufacturer.” Cisco is about the closest, but they focus on Premises networks.

      Major companies include Huawei (China), Nokia-Siemens (Finland-Germany), Ericsson (Sweden), and Alcatel-Lucent (French-US).

      In a move noted for its brilliance, the break-up of ATAT destroyed the best Telecommunication Lab in the world (Bell Labs), and the US’ domestic telephone manufacturing company (Western Electric).

      I’d add that very few, if any, of the original analogue/narrow band manufacturers survive today. They did not make the transition to a broadband/Internet world.

      One can add IBM to the list, they also did not make the transition from Narrow Band networks (analog) to Broadband (digital). The sold their communications division to Cisco some time back.

      1. Glen

        As a manufacturing engineer for my whole career, I’ll throw in my two cents.

        Nobody from China ever held a gun to anybody’s head and TOOK their job. American CEOs shipped the jobs, factories, and technology to China to increase profits. They also slashed R&D. I worked for Bell Labs a long while ago after the break up – they were doing fine. But Americans CEOs singular focus on profit ueber alles lead to the destruction of institutions such as that – these are expensive to operate. The American companies which did not invest in the jump to newer technologies (again mostly a byproduct of slashed R&D or slashed investment in new factories/equipment) was a decision made at the top, by the CEOs which maximized profits but ultimately leads to the demise of the enterprise.

        As a manufacturing engineer, it was very easy to predict how the out sourcing of manufacturing plays out. Depending on the technology involved in five to fifteen years, the factory making the product is in complete control of the design process too.

        Monopolies stifle innovation. Innovation thrives where many companies exist. America would do much better if it took action which allowed innovation to thrive and weakened the power of large corporations to destroy small competitors.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It gets better than that. Big business got their trained seals in Washington to push laws in taxation that made it of benefit for an American company to relocate their production to places like China. People blaming China is just a way to absolve all those CEOs for all the damage that they did and will still allow them to move production from China to yet another foreign country like Vietnam.

          1. eg

            Glen and Rev Kev have it sorted — look no further afield than America’s oligarchs and you’ll find those responsible for polices which aided and abetted the deindustrialization of the US. It’s been a long and sordid tale of treasonous looting.

  6. The Rev Kev

    I have no idea why all those police units are running around wearing camos. The idea of them is that you are supposed to blend in with your surroundings. But those camos you can see a mile off – unless they were planning on hiding out in city parks that is. They make as much sense as the Uniformed Division of the US Secret Service. Maybe they should adopt different clothing to blend in.

    I know. Maybe they can disguise themselves as hipsters. They could grow scruffy beards and maybe have their hair in a ponytail. Wear skinny capris & conflict-free fabrics and ride around on Lime scooters while having their heads buried in an iPhone 11. Nobody would even see them coming until they were on their target and then it would be too late to run. It could work.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When those blue camo uniforms came out in 2008 the sailors nicknamed them “blueberries”. But it was quickly noted that if they caught fire in an accident or in battle, the plastic-based uniforms would melt onto the sailor’s skin creating horrific burns. And if you fell overboard, that it would be hard to see you in the water. It would have been better and safer if they had just issued them standard WW2 blue utilities.

        1. David J.

          Not the first time this has happened. I enlisted near the end of the traditional crackerjack uniform era. Those were spiffy! Then we transitioned into what we called “the ice-cream man” uniforms around 75. Those stunk! We did keep the traditional utilities (working dungarees.)

          They finally wised up in the 80s and brought back the crackerjack

    1. Watt4Bob

      The reason they’re wearing camouflage uniforms is the manufacturers of uniforms have already sold all the black uniforms necessary to outfit every police officer in the USA.

      1 + 1 = 2*

      When every police officer in the USA has both camo, and black uniforms, they’ll sell them stylish brown.

      1 + 1 + 1 = 3*

      *dollars, that is.

      1. Massinissa

        The reason British Redcoats wore red was that when they were first created, venetian red was the cheapest dye available.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I have read 19th century British articles by soldiers trying to save the red coats being replaced by khaki by arguing that red actually blends in better with the landscape at times or even in the dark. Having seen a replica red coat from two kilometers away, I can say that those accounts were wrong. But they did look classy-

          I always thought that for combat though, that it would be best to choose brown trousers.

      2. Carolinian

        Sounds like the protestors are wearing black. The Feds probably figured that no self respecting protestor would be caught dead in redneck camo, therefore IFF (identification friend and foe).

    2. Keith

      It provides for a shock effect. Imagine being on the street at night, then a minivan (the soccer mom’s type) pulls up with what appear to be heavily armed commandos emerging from it coming after you. It gives great shock effect, freezes their prey and allows them to effect the arrest with delay or resistance. At least, that is my two cents (not adjusted for inflation).

      1. wilroncanada

        Yes, the shock effect. But they seem to mostly catch and release, Scare the s$$t out of people. Keep them around the building for awhile. Fingerprint them and take mug shots. Maybe throw them into the tank with a couple of drunks or fentanyl users, then let them go. No record of an arrest because no actual arrest. Just some prints and pieces to add to your facial recognition database you’re not actually supposed to have.

        It’s similar to what police in many parts of the US are doing in conjunction with school boards, but without the camo. Local police are on call inside many (most?) schools. Take the kid in to the police station. Let him/her see a few intake prisoners with physical damage from their “arrest”. Scare the s##t out of the child. Then call the parents to take the child home. He/she’ll do one of two things: curl up cringing in class for the rest of his/her school days, or obtain a weapon, preferably a gun to take his/her revenge on “authority.” Both routes are the end of “reforming” the child

        1. The Rev Kev

          Sounds like a variation of the old ‘Scared Straight!’ program going back to at least the 70s-


          Having very, very young school children being arrested by police in school and being given a police record instead of the school doing disciplinary action is only a newer innovation and is beyond despicable.

    3. DJG

      The Rev Kev: Think of camo in U.S. culture as related to the current mask frenzy.

      Camo is everywhere, including on civilian clothing, signaling to everyone worldwide that Americans are rough&tough and these colors don’t run and other patriotic gore.

      It is part of the militarization of U.S. culture and also a sign of the servility of U.S. civilians in relation to our glorious military.

      1. JWP

        And to the parts of the world that see the US military as an occupying/terrorist force, it shows “we will kill you and take over your country” Really quite the message to be sending as a populace. Especially when that message has been turned on our own citizens. First the police were defamed and have become a hated/feared presence by many, and now with abuses of force in DC and Portland, the military is soon to join. The mentality is ripe for uprising and war.

      2. CoryP

        LOL that my first interpretation of “these colors don’t run” was some kind of bragging about our camo textile dyeing process.

  7. savebyirony

    Oh my goodness, after painfully reading down thru the links, thanks so much for the real catwalk bonus antidote. For a few precious minutes it really worked.

    1. Stephen V.

      While I don’t recognize the frog, that cat is the inimitable Maru! Thanks for much-needed chuckles.

      1. marcyincny

        Really? It’s Maru? I’m not a cat person but there was something familiar about that catwalk cat. Thanks!

        And yes, much needed after just a few of the links…

          1. newcatty

            Funny catwalk cats. Though imo it’s not kind to dress up animals in any circumstances. It was awful whenever that dumb dress up your cat or dog for Halloween thing became the rage. Made somebody lots of $$. Where were those “costumes” made and sold here?

            Anyway, my two beautiful cats do a catwalk everyday in their born suits.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        some kind of leopard frog.
        I’m almost sure that it’s NOT a Plains Leopard Frog, as we have lots of those, and i’m familiar with them.

        in other news, 30 minutes ago…which was 30 minutes after I’d let out the 50 some chickens and 10 guinneas…I was interrupted in my compost magic by about 30 Golden Eagles alighting in a tree across the field from the chicken house.
        I rode down the field in the Falcon to attempt to encourage them to move on, but they all took flight and went to our North Field.
        All hands, Beat to quarters!
        I rousted everybody, and put the chickens right back up.
        —At least i think that’s what they are,lol.
        Huge.Too big for any hawks I’ve seen, and the markings match Audubon, Sibley, etc descriptions and pictures of Golden Eagles.
        If any of the pics turned out, I’ll post.
        Signs and Wonders.

        I’m almost afraid to read the news of the world,lol.

        1. Jen

          You must be a ninja level chicken wrangler. I can get my flock of 10 back in the coop if it’s close to dark. Otherwise, forget about it.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Are you in a drought? Golden eagles are extremely territorial though the intertubes say juveniles may congregate in winter. So if you have an off kilter breeding cycle, you might be right. Different hawks flock when they migrate.

          There is always speciation and evolution. Are cultural changes the first step in evolutionary changes? Maybe. You could be witnessing the rise of our future eagle overlords.

        3. polecat

          Maybe Boston Dynamics has been busier then we all thought. Did you perchance to see ’em by the lights of their eyes?

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            lol. Yeah, i got within 30 feet of a treefull of them, and several flew maybe 20 feet over my head.
            it has been dry as normal for this time of year, not exceptionally so. and it’s been a little bit hotter than “normal”.
            i see hundreds of hawks migrating in spring and fall.
            shouldn’t be happening right now.
            they’ve moved on, now…and chickens are loose in mom’s orchard, where they have some cover.

            it’s haycutting season, which means lots of mangled snakes and rats in this part of the world, right now.
            Only thing i can think of that would explain their presence in such numbers.
            I’ve only ever seen them in one’s and twos before.

            1. td

              When I lived on the east slope of the Canadian Rockies, twice a year we could watch the eagles migrate, both golden and bald. They utilize the thermals along the ridge lines and it is a steady stream on the peak days, best watched with binoculars or telephoto. I assume that Amfortas is near the southern end of the migration but it is really very strange to contemplate such a large group in one place, especially in July.

              Perhaps it was this year’s crop of yearlings seeking mates or something not too ominous. On a canoe trip, we once encountered about forty juvenile Loons rafted together and that was how it was explained to me.

      3. crow

        Northern Leopard frog. They like the invasive Jumping worms that have taken over my garden here in southern New England.

    2. JWP

      If the news keeps devolving as it has, we will need upwards of ten antidotes a day to get through it.

  8. a different chris

    Re Bader-Ginsburg:

    Lordy yes I know Trump will appoint a wack-job. And worse! — a male one. OMG, gotta have diversity!

    But the whole judges-for-life thing makes me sick. They really think that in their mid-80s they are the best we can get?

    Actually that alone may be the best sign of both of their mental deterioration and the fact that they maybe should never have gotten that far to begin with. Anybody who had a fully functioning brain would recognize the falloff and turn their attention to their grandchildren and whatever other individual pursuit(s) they find compelling for their “golden” years.

    She needs to quit. They all should have moved on by 65 like most of us. But the type of people that have that type of sense never seem to get that far, do they?

    1. Keith

      Can you imagine the rage and outcry if he does get to appoint someone in her slot? It will be comedy gold!

      1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

        Gold market’s gonna tank with all the golden manbabies getting handed out

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        yeah. sean hannity or alex jones as chief justice would be a hoot.
        of course, if he really wanted to upset the applecart, he could nominate obama for a slot.
        just imagine the confusion and running about!

      3. Kurtismayfield

        But Mitch told us last time that we couldn’t let a President who was close to leaving office appoint a judge. Does all that not matter now because of the R after his name?

        1. jonboinAR

          Definitely, the Dems should follow “Turnabout is fair play” theory and just filibuster the heck out of whomever Trump nominates, on principle if for no other reason.

          1. GramSci

            Filibuster is a Senate game. Dems don’t run the Senate, so they can’t play that card.

            1. Late Introvert

              Can they deny a quorum? And if so, is there a snowball’s chance in he!! they will do it? Ha.

      4. lordkoos

        I see nothing amusing about Trump appointing yet another arch-conservative corporatist to the court.

        1. edmondo

          Yeah, that’s a job for Biden. Somebody ask Merrick Garland if he’s ready for his close up.

      5. Fraibert

        I suspect that President Trump will nominate Judge Barrett, currently on the Seventh Circuit, should he be in a position to make such nomination. Judge Barrett is a conservative favorite and pro-life, as well as being a woman.

        Another plus from some perspectives: Judge Barrett is not an Ivy League graduate (B.A. Rhodes College; J.D. Notre Dame).

        Additionally, because she’s a conservative Catholic, she was also the subject of a clumsy 1960s-esque hit job by Senator Feinstein, who essentially stated that her religion made her unfit for the judiciary (

        In short, I think this nomination would create a real show, while also furthering the Republican’s general purposes.

        1. Rhonda

          Almost 90 year old Feinstein’s religion makes her unfit to represent the other 96.7% of Americans in U.S. foreign policy votes.

      1. Conrad

        I attended a speech by her here in Wellington back in 1999 or 2000. It was an excellent speech and I was most impressed. But I thought she seemed pretty old and frail. For her to keep going for another 20 years is just cruel really.

        1. Dirk77

          I’d consider voting for Biden just to allow Ginsburg to spend her remaining days in peace. But Biden needs to be let out to pasture too. Is the ruling class all overdue for retirement? Wasn’t the Soviet Politburo also like this before the collapse?

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      Nancy Pelosi comes to mind. She is the walking dead literally. When she stands at a podium she appears so fragile, with a very weak and raspy voice. I fully expect her to collapse and die on the spot.

        1. DJG

          JEHR: Hah. Canadian stratagems. As a resident of the Great Lakes States, I can assure you that we live in constant fear of a Canadian invasion. That is why Mackinac Island and its fudge shops are considered our first line of defense against your incursions into Lake Michigan.

    1. Big Tap

      Joe Biden had been known to mix up states. He thought New Hampshire was Vermont. Anyway Newfoundland had it’s own time zone and New Brunswick doesn’t.

      1. ambrit

        This segues nicely into an idea for a Netflix “original” production: “The Man In The Low Basement.” It’s about a vice president who shuttles between alternate realities.

        1. newcatty

          Ambrit, think it would fit brilliantly into all of the revisions of old tee vee series that are rehashed already by Netflex and others. It would be a great premier for a newer version of “Twilight Zone”. Please request your idea and concept fee when we hear of its upcoming debut. Who would you have play the VP?

    2. chuck roast

      St. Andrews…my favorite port de visit. Puts the “c” in civilized.
      After the revolution (you know, different guys stealing the money) the Royalists in Castine dismantled their houses and floated them up to St. Andrews. Based on my experience, they did the right thing.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Given that Newfies are treated as the intellectual slowpokes of Canada, whether that is actually true or not (I briefly had Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro as a client) so maybe this was accidentally trying to say even Newfies are ahead of the US.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Dutch accountant uncovers fraud behind Syria rescue organization”

    So a fraudulent organization that makes fraudulent claims based on fraudulent proof is discovered of being involved with fraud? Even their financing is based on fraud. Come to think of it, they even stole their name from a real Syrian organization. The whole thing has been nothing but play-acting which is perhaps why they were awarded an Oscar. If you do not believe me, remember when the mannequin challenge was a thing? Well…

    They even took a selfie together after it was all over.

    1. Olga

      Yeah, those guys did their utmost to promote videos as a 100% proof of … absolutely nothing. Or, lies – nothing but lies. I guess they did us all a favour – proving that any evidence can be staged. Haven’t heard much about WHs, after Le Mesurier died.

  10. jr

    So, i had an interesting exchange with a chatty gentleman at my coffee spot. This guy is I’d say early sixties and a 24 year veteran of the West Village. He fled here from his Bronx Irish childhood neighborhood because the woman he fell in love with is Filipino and she would have guns stuck to her head telling her to get out of their part of town.

    As he is telling me this, a trans woman walked by exhausted and covered in dirt. I’m always polite and say hello to the homeless and transient, she was pleasant in return. My new pal was looking concerned and angry.

    Long story short: his wife was brutally attacked by a trans woman who worked the neighborhood as a prostitute, beaten and robbed. After a half hearted investigation, she was charged with a minor theft and spent like 6 months or so in jail. The guy said she was back on her corner in seven months. This was in the 80’s. It was rough around here, just watch any movie about NYC in that era.

    Which helped set the stage for when he met Christine Quinn at a community meetup, she’s an openly gay NYC politician and a “champion” of that “community.” My pal tells me the audience was filled with Village residents, of all races and sexual orientations, demanding something be done about the Christopher St. Pier situation. The Pier sits on the Hudson and has long been a hangout for gay and trans POC, especially the semi and fully homeless. If you’ve watched a movie about the drag scene in NYC, you’ve seen it. I’ve known a few of them, their stories are heartbreaking tales of rejection, prostitution,rape, drugs, etc. The Pier is their place at night but it spills out into the neighborhood. The intra group violence is pretty bad according to one of them I knew* and some targeted residents for mugging or rando violence. An older woman was brutally beaten just last year, teeth broken, by one of them.

    So Quinns response to their cries was……….you guessed it, IDpol babble about how it was the traditional right of the poor and rejected queer youth to hang out at the piers.( A sentiment I happen to share.) Anything other than acceptance of that fact was homophobic and racist.

    And thats about it. Neither a shred of concern for the residents nor really for the kids, except as a political vehicle for her own ambitions. She was accompanied by FIERCE, a queer youth advocacy group who backed her up with their stories about queer lives and how the Pier is so important to them. They seem legit to my cursory look at their site, probably good kids indoctrinated into the blue fascist dogma:

    It just struck me as a microcosm of the problems we discuss here, the other-ing of the residents by politicians and the exploitation of real issues effecting queer youth of color by them as well. Desperate kids who will get behind anyone who even pretends to listen. Nothing gets done but more divisiveness and frustration get generated. No one is safer or more secure. No one homeless or hungry gets comfort. The only change is in Quinns goals for her career:

    Her second try.

    My new pal was upbeat about the current state of the Village. He felt safer. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it will likely be getting a lot worse really soon.

    *Apparently I nearly caused a riot on the Piers about two years back. I had a huge bottle of vodka left over from a private event and I gave it to my weed dealer for two dimes worth of smoke. She was a really cool lady, tough as nails and whip smart, with plump sacks for 10$. She one time beat up a trans woman who stole a pint of gelato I’d given her. She told me later she had headed down to the pier with the jug of vodka where everyone got lit the heck up and fights broke out, sex in the bushes, NYPD joined in, people running up and down the Waterfront. I hope no one was seriously hurt but I have to admit to a small bit of glee at the thought of sparking a blowout party…

    1. Rhonda

      People make their own hell and they have to live in it.
      NYC sounds like a sewer that the deitritus of society flows into.

      All the words in the world don’t change that.

        1. Rhonda

          If our town has any people who made nothing but bad choices, we’ll send them your way so they can find their ‘community’.

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      There are eight million stories in the naked city c̶a̶p̶i̶t̶a̶l̶i̶s̶m̶. This has been one of them.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘‘Overwhelmed and Terrified’: Las Vegas’ Reopening Backfires Terribly”

    Who could have ever predicted this ever happening? Nobody I tell you – except for perhaps the entire Naked Capitalism commentariat who weighed in when that loopey Mayor Carolyn Goodman was pushing to have the whole place open up while she sheltered at home because at age 81, she had a family.

    1. Carolinian

      Here in SC people are complaining because the guv said all bars have to stop selling alcohol at 11pm. The patrons and bar owners said they are boozily commingling and breathing in each other’s faces at 9 pm so why not 11 pm?

      Ok they didn’t say that but it’s probably true that whatever they do at 9 they do at 11 (which was their point). Bar owners say the new rule cuts their sales in half. Boo hoo.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        How the heck is keeping bars open at all now not considered completely batpoop insane? What is occupying the spaces where their brains are supposed to be?

  12. Wukchumni

    Had our family Zoom session yesterday, and mom revealed that one of the cooks @ her assisted living place that’s really more of a cruise ship that doesn’t go anywhere, has tested positive for Coronavirus, and the feel is suddenly less sanguine and more San Quentin, with more or less a complete shutdown of all cells, er apartments. The staff that come in deliver her the daily ration of 4 physical newspapers & take out her trash and do her laundry, and serve food from that kitchen where the cook went viral, are her only physical contacts.

    My sisters both plead with her to bail out, but she’d rather ride it than leave her redoubt, and besides as she soothed our fears by explaining something was gonna get her, its already taken 95 years.

    They’d given her an hour in the yard, er patio, but that got yanked too.

    She’s been there 4 years and there’s 51 apartments in the complex, with rarely a vacancy, but as of late 10 are available for lease.

    1. furies

      Man, Wuk

      That’s terrible. I hope your mom has a light go of it.

      Not a great way to leave this world.

    2. Carolinian

      In the PBS documentary about Covid families would go to the elderly person’s window and blow kisses and hold signs while standing outside. Perhaps they could install two way telephones as at San Quentin. This would be a long haulish move to be sure.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Man, I hope that your mum is OK there. She sounds like a person though, who my late mother would have described as a “tough old chook” so she’ll probably just ride it out without batting an eye.

    4. CoryP

      From that brief description, it sounds that she isn’t miserable (tho that level of physical contact really sucks…), that she has frequent (telephonic, at worst) contact, and is sharp enough to situate the pandemic within her current idea of life expectancy.

      That’s probably what I would say if I lived in a retirement place that wasn’t a hellhole. I mean, what else are you going to do? Move in (and then back out) with family who is unable to take care of you?

      My apologies for assuming too much in my above description. Canada has experienced huge mortality in our aged care homes. But I think the greater tragedy is the (understood but never spoken) absolute shit quality places in which we house our elders. And that’s been exposed exquisitely by our military going in and giving very blunt reports. All the death has been bad, but I think the most politically actionable thing to most people is how awful these places are and have been forever, sans Corona. The system is broken.

      So if she’s having a good time there I can understand her not wanting to leave. I do hope,with the other commenters, for her continued health and that you can maintain contact with windows or phones or whatnot.

      Saying my prayers for you and yours!

  13. fresno dan

    Nazis are VICTIMS of hate crime? Police launch probe into graffiti on monument to SS soldiers, Canadians stunned it even exists RT (Kevin W)

    I was making a point in an email exchange with friends in a discussion about confederate memorials, that even though the soldiers for a cause could be brave, devoted, and endure much hardship, memorials should not exist for bad causes, e.g. Nazism. I noted that Germans don’t publicly honor their relatives who fought in WWII in the SS, and don’t rationalize that uncle Fritz really didn’t buy the racial superiority thing.

    So is the monument itself a hate crime? It does raise an interesting issue with regard to cemeteries – instead of a group memorial, what if an individual wanted a gravestone honoring uncle Fritz’s service with an inscription that read: he carried out the final solution with vigor, efficiency, and great devotion.
    Would that be a hate crime? I think so, but say it was edited to read: he carried out the defense of Germany with vigor, efficiency, and great devotion. One could see how a judicial review could be tied in knots. Maybe sometimes “norms” are what are needed.

      1. fresno dan

        July 18, 2020 at 11:02 am

        I am a little bit torn about this – I view cemeteries, and in this case a private cemetery, as inviolate, and beyond transient kerfuffles. The past should be buried and the dead rest in peace.
        BUT….I think it is a bridge too far to tolerate memorials to Nazis.
        It will be interesting to see how this is resolved.

        1. JEHR

          Timothy Snyder wrote a book about the “bloodlands” that Ukraine was part of during the second world war. The brutalizing of the Ukrainian population by the armies of both Hitler and Stalin accounts for the mess that the Ukraine is still living through. How would anyone be able to live through two occupations led by these leaders?

            1. furies

              Thank you for that. TS was one of the reasons I quit the NYRB. The other one was Masha Gessen.

          1. Olga

            TS cannot be considered an impartial authority on anything to do with USSR. More like a super biased hack… I tried to get through his stuff, and just wanted to throw up. He is also controversial among some other historians.

              1. CoryP

                Hahaha that was my immediate thought.

                I can make a hypothetical argument for keeping such things up in a cemetery, but the fact that her explanations were full of complete misrepresentations (lies) makes me think Canadian officials won’t handle this very well in a PR sense.

                I was just talking to my mom about my late maternal grandfather who came from the Ukraine and held a lot of, uh… anti Semitic views and was curious about the details of his military service. (She said: “haha oh yeah he talked about Hitler all the time!”) Apparently their family has no idea and no documents.

                I wonder what the best place to investigate this is. God forbid I pay $20 to some random site like ancestry, but I assume such places exist where I’d get my money’s worth. Suggestions?

                As someone who has no ethnic identity other than “Canadian” it would be interesting if I could connect my roots to the Galician SS or whatever. (Ironically!)

            1. Duck1

              Ukraine was also occupied by the Germans in WW1 as well as fought over during that usually forgotten intervention post-October revolution by the western powers. Many hands stirring the pot there during the XX century.

    1. rtah100

      Germans have two words for monuments.

      Denkmal – a memorial, literally “time to think”
      Mahnmal – a memorial to a bad occurrence, with the sense of admonishment

      So a memorial to the SS would be a Mahnmal and would be very salutary.

      I learn that a few weeks ago on NC (and verified it, I am a doubting Thomas) so I am just trying to keep the corporate memory alive!

    2. David

      This is RT after all.
      It’s often forgotten that he Germans fought the war on the Eastern Front at the head of a multinational coalition. Some of their allies were independent (like the Finns), some sent official contingents under German operational command (Italians, Rumanians, Hungarians), and some sent volunteer units (notably the Spaniards). These fought alongside the Wehrmacht.
      It was a bit different in the countries where the Germans were fighting, or which they were occupying. Unlike the Wehrmacht, the SS was prepared to accept foreigners in its ranks, and hundreds of thousands of committed anti-communists volunteered: it’s the closest historical parallel I’m aware of to the Islamic State. Most Western European countries were represented, notably the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. The extreme collaborationists in Paris organised a regiment-sized unit which fought near Leningrad (though the Vichy government tried to stop them).
      But the situation was more complicated where fighting was still going on, and quite often nationalist or separatist movements allied themselves with the Germans hoping to secure independent states when the Nazis won. This happened in Yugoslavia with the Croats, and with the Muslims who raised two SS Divisions. It happened in Ukraine, where there was strong anti-Russian feeling, and there had been a strong independence movement since the 1920s. So I suppose the Ukrainians (who surrendered to the Allies and could hardly be sent back to Russia) would argue that they were simply fighting for their independence in the only way that was open to them, and presumably that was the spirit of these memorials. It’s a reminder of just how hideously complicated and morally dubious the whole Eastern Front fighting was.

      1. td

        Ukrainians and other former Soviet citizens who were naive enough to surrender to the Western Allies were largely sent back to Russia. Those with a better survival instinct looked for civilian clothing and attempted to blend in with other displaced persons. The Ukrainian division stayed on the eastern front and some of its members fought on against the Soviets as forest partisans well into the 1950’s.

        In eastern Europe and the Balkans, it doesn’t matter which side you choose. Go back far enough and there are horrible things at the root. It is a tragic footnote to human history and interlocking layers of oppression.

      2. Olga

        Funny, D,.. I tend to say, ‘well, it’s NYT, after all…’ More often than not, RT is a much more reliable source of news.
        As for complicated eastern front, yes, it was. In addition to Rumanian, Slovak, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian units, here were many other foreigners – some listed here
        But a sweeping statement “in Ukraine, where there was strong anti-Russian feeling” is not correct. First, ethnically, there’s not much difference between Russians and Ukrainians, so the statement makes little sense. Second, some did have an anti-USSR feeling, but this was predominantly in the western part of Ukraine. This part was under Poland (and also, Poland/Lithuania) and later, under the Habsburgs. They did a lot to promote division (divide-and-conquer), including trying to elevate Ukrainian dialect into a full-blown language.
        What radicalised many of the western Ukrainians was not even the USSR, but being under Poland, which attacked USSR in 1920 (S. Bandera’s bio may be of interest). When they killed, they often targeted Poles, Jews – with both of whom they had historical grievances), and then Russians. Bandera’s units were too brutal even for the nazis.
        After the war, many escaped to the west – and Canada took a bunch (Chrystia Freeland’s grandfather comes to mind).
        And yes, some remained fighting after the war – the forest brothers – relatives still remember how they raided villages for food – in that corner, where Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia come close.

        1. The Rev Kev

          When the Wehrmacht went into the Ukraine, lots of the people were cheering them as liberators and I remember one German officer wrote that he did not care as they were there to occupy them and take their lands away, not liberate them. Soon enough the locals discovered their mistake but by then it was too late.

          1. Dirk77

            If my memory of reading the Gulag Archipelago serves, Ukrainians who fought on the German side were repatriated back to the Ukraine by the Americans and Brits when the war ended. Stalin then sent them all to the gulag. The number was at least 100K, but that doesn’t include civilians who fled the Soviets.

        2. CoryP

          Olga, thank you for that information.

          This is probably neither the time nor place but do you have any good reading suggestions about the Holodomor?

          That is, if you think it is a real thing. (LOL)

          (I have been thinking about this ever since I saw some Holodomor tour bus roll through my town and rolled my eyes at the apparent Canadian state sponsored propaganda)

          All information I’ve run into is just badly referenced propaganda from either side. The truth is rarely in the middle. And not saying you’re unbiased, but I’d be interested to know what you’d consider a good source. … I really don’t know where to start.

      3. km

        Actually, there was a great deal more anti-Polish feeling among the Ukrainian nationalists of the day than there was anti-Russian. At least until 1939, when the various Ukrainian fascists got loose from the Polish prisons where they had been cooling off, and found out just how little I.V. Stalin was interested in their ideas of what they thought Soviet Ukraine ought to be.

      4. Roland

        Also, during the war, many people of German descent in occupied parts of Eastern Europe and the Balkans were conscripted into the Waffen SS, regardless of whether they had any Nazi party affiliation. That’s what happened to a friend of mine’s grandfather, who was an ethnic German living in Slovenia. He saw action on the Eastern Front. Luckily for him, he was badly wounded in early 1945, and was still convalescing, in what would become the US Zone, when the war ended.

        However he was unable to help his family, who of course by that time had been expelled from Yugoslavia, and were now among the many millions of Displaced Persons, of all nationalities, who thronged Europe in the aftermath of the war. My friend’s father, then a boy, nearly died of malnutrition as a refugee. His life was saved by an elderly couple who knew traditional herbal medicine, and who brewed some sort of tea to remedy the vital deficiency.

        Most of the story of war is about people being caught up in things that are way bigger than they are. Over time, I have come to take a wide and generous view of the memories and narratives of wars. To be sure, that is a luxury afforded one by the remove of time and space. But it is the exceptional case where indulgence is actually wise. Fight wars when you must, but once the war is over, for God’s sake stop fighting it.

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      If memorials should not exists for bad causes The Wall in Washington D.C. should be torn down.

    4. km

      I would consider that abominable statue a hate crime against Poles, Jews and Russians, to name a few.

      Wait, can Russians even be victims of a hate crime?

  14. Wukchumni

    ‘Overwhelmed and Terrified’: Las Vegas’ Reopening Backfires Terribly Daily Beast
    I wonder how Pavlovegas responds to ‘positive’ reinforcement that reopening might have doomed sink, er sin city?

    It was the dumbest idea ever really, it’s a hundred and something outside, while the punters mingle in air conditioned splendor inside.

  15. Off The Street

    Los Angeles history slice, from Central Avenue, courtesy of Kareem Abdul Jabbar in today’s LA Times. Well worth a read and many topics to research further, whether jazz, urban development, history or others. Jabbar has developed quite a post-basketball career and covers many topics, not always LA-focused.

    1. jo6pac

      Thanks for the link. KAJ writes a lot and makes sense. I guess when you played for the late John Wooden you were also taught to think for yourself.

    2. chuck roast

      Yes, thank you so much! Kareem did not mention it, but he had a superior jazz record collection that was entirely lost when his house burned down in the 80’s. He was regularly pounding on my Celtics during that period, but I never stopped admiring him.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Artists install anti-Trump living statues around DC”

    Four years later and they still don’t get it. As Jimmy Dore says, Trump is not the problem. He is a symptom of the problem – and that is still present. The 2016 election was bad enough to offer up a choice of only Donald trump or Hillary Clinton but now the solution is to be had in what? In the form of corrupt, lying career politician that has age-related cognitive problems? If a political system is only offering up a choice between Donald Trump and Joe Biden then the problem is not with those two politicians themselves but the system that coughs up these two as the two main choices to choose from.

    1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

      This is what you get when your political consciousness is manufactured by The Daily Show and Instagram memes.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’m really curious as to what happens if Biden is selected president and when nothing fundamentally changes, as he’s promised. Obama was able to blame the Republicans, but it seems like more people are realizing that was a sham. In some ways, it feels like the Dems are gearing up for a “this is the best we can do, but we’ll do better next time” defense. I have to wonder if that’s going to work. They’re trying their hardest to keep all the ire focused on Trump and toss out a performative win here and there, but if a Biden administration runs as I expect, I just don’t see people pacified solely because it’s a D doing the deed. (And even more so if the Dems keep the House and take the Senate. Fool me once…)

      1. Jen

        My prediction:

        1) Biden selects a Black woman as his running mate. Neoliberal, of course.
        2) Biden is, as you put it, “selected” president.
        3) Nothing fundamentally changes.
        4) Biden’s approval ratings tank (+/-) uprisings.
        5) Biden steps aside for “health reasons.”
        6) VP becomes First Woman President (and also, she’s Black).
        7) Media blathers endlessly about the Historic Nature of her presidency.
        8) If you criticize her, you are “racist and sexist.”
        9) She can’t get anything done because congress is “racist and sexist.”
        10) Nothing fundamentally changes.
        11) Someone far scarier than Trump wins in 2024.
        12) Or the whole USA thing comes apart in fairly short order.

        I’m 50/50 on the last two.

        1. BoulderMike

          I agree with you 100%, especially on 11 and 12. I have been saying this for a while now. In terms of radical, bat sh*t crazy republicans, I think Trump is like the comic that comes out to warm up the crowd before the main act. As you say, in 2024, after Biden or his VP loses due to nothing getting better, we are going to get some really crazy person like the woman who won the Republican primary for congress here in Colorado who carries a gun in her restaurant, and believes in right wing conspiracy theories. Scary times ahead for sure.

        2. Dr. John Carpenter

          I’ve considered a similar possibility for quite a while. I have to wonder if Biden would be on board with stepping aside though. He seems to honestly believe he should be president and could they make him and offer he couldn’t refuse? That’s the only part I’m not sure about.
          One disagreement on #11 from BoulderMike, I think the next Repub will make Trump look like a lefty policy wise, but I think they’ll try their hardest to have this candidate be an “adult”, if you will, rather than another crazy like Trump. To be fair, I could see it going either way, but I think a no polarizing candidate personality wise will destroy Biden or his VP.

        3. Robert Hahl

          “9) She can’t get anything done because congress is “racist and sexist.”

          …9)(a) Her birth certificate is not enough prove that she was born in the United States.

        4. drumlin woodchuckles

          The black woman VP who would become America’s first Black Woman President in that scenario would probably be . . . Kamala Harris.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Makes sense. Bidens boast of writing the 1994 crime bill which has imprisoned so many people and Kamala is a cop. Together they would make a “law and order” America – and would have the militarized police to make it happen. Biden could stay as President but Kamala would do a Cheney around him.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        The pandemic will miraculously be over. There will be a chicken in every pot and an electric, autonomous vehicle in every garage. Green, renewable energy will power the land forever. Russia will never bother us again. We’ll “turn the corner” in Afghanistan for real and the Afghans will build monuments to biden, the great peacemaker. obamacare will finally be the universal “healthcare” the country yearns for, and no one will ever lack access to “healthcare.” Racism and all other deplorable “-isms” will be banished from the earth. The borders of the country will be thrown open and we will welcome every poor, uneducated, non-English speaking immigrant into our prosperous american melting pot of a family with open arms and no limits.

        Short people will play basketball, and skinny people will play football.

        As god is biden’s witness, no one will ever be hungry again.

        It will be glorious for every single american. We will all love each other as we love ourselves.

        We will know all this has happened because the nyt, wapo, msnbs and cnn will tell us it is so.

        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          I. Just. Can’t. Even.

          KE wins the First Inaugural NC Crystal Ball Award, for unremitting prescience in the field of socio-political prediction. Mes compliments/

      1. newcatty

        I will predict that Michele, their belle, will be the VP running mate. What a clever way to continue a family aristocracy in the country. The other black women have baggage that could be carried to an election. Michele is articulate, attractive, had a pretty much scandal free ride as “First Lady”. She is “credentialed” as a lawyer. She is ready to take her place in history. She will be so cool hosting White House dinners and bring back cool music to the plebes who watch PBS.

        If you don’t vote for the ticket, then all you folks are either reserving a special place in Hell or are not black or cool.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Hmm . . . I hadn’t thought of that. Well, if it isn’t going to be Kamala Harris, it could be Michelle.

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            It could very well be that the US epidemic, economic and cultural crisis deepens further, as Trump continues to mouth off ineffectually, becoming a lame duck as his edicts are increasingly shrugged off by the Blob, the GOP grandees and even his own appointees.

            In such a case, I find VP Michelle entirely plausible as a backdoor route to Barack’s Third Term, once Old Joe is finally deemed ready for the bath chair.

            And they wouldn’t even need to deny it. I mean, how many swing voters in these days of wholesale norms breaking are gonna blow their gasket over the 22nd Amendment being subverted?

            …So soothing, ‘proven hands at the helm’, the great ‘uniter’, begin the Healing in our body politic etc. Turn the clocks back, God is in his heaven and it’s morning in America again! Cough drops for all!

        2. CoryP

          I think that’s highly plausible, but it hinges on what the Obamas actually want.

          They already have riches and fame and security forever. Do they really want the hassle of running such a s***hole country?
          Using HRC as a comparison, I could much more see the desire for power as an end to itself, and a (obscured) vision for how to shape the country.

          I get the feeling the Obamas were just along for the ride and they got theirs so why bother ?

          Caveat: don’t know much about Michelle, all biographies I’ve read of Barack just suggest narcissism rather than megalomania

  17. polecat

    I think, at the accelerating rate of disfunction, we might soon be entering the gate of History, towards a kind of Yugoslavian ‘transformation’, Murican style .. not in exactly the same way, of course .. but rhyming none the less.

    Breaking up it seems, really IS hard to do …… peacefully.

  18. Wukchumni

    National Park Service firefighters and investigators are asking for the public’s help to identify those responsible for igniting a wildfire in Ahwahnee Meadow in Yosemite National Park on the night of July 15.

    So far in 2020 park rangers and firefighters at Yosemite have investigated seven human-caused widlfires in the park.

    If you or someone you know were in or near Ahwahnee Meadow after sunset on July 15, you’re asked to contact special agents with the Park Service.
    We seem to be at a junction where society wants to break or burn things, with the latter being very worrisome.

    Its one thing dealing with lightning strike caused wildfires that need extreme amounts of energy to get going, while all it takes for a human to pull off the same is one flick of a Bic.

    1. Carolinian

      Aren’t they always arson or people so careless that it might as well be arson? You could extend that latter to your CA power company re line maintenance.

      While I like to go camping I have to say the worst thing about it is often the behavior of fellow campers. At least where I live they don’t tend to be Henry David Thoreau types–more beer and bonfire types.

  19. William Hunter Duncan

    Can someone who is willing to give New York Oligarch money, what that Bloomberg article had to say about why it is so horrible that wages went up? I imagine it was an artificial increase insofar as so many people are out of work, I’m just curious if it is also like a backdoor warning not to give the plebs any more than they need to barely get by.

    There are quite a few articles I would like to read, regularly in the links, mostly to get a sense of the current propaganda, but paying money to make oligarchs and mockingbirds even richer is anathema. So WaPo, NYT, FT, Bloomberg are too exclusive for me.

    1. Otto

      It seems one can both be anti-trump and not get it, without there bing any contradiction. If Mary Trump put up an anti-trump statue no one would argue that she really doesn’t like her uncle and that is sufficient. Trump has hurt many and killed many, as of today 140,000. Many of those related or friends to those that died may want to and are erecting statues out of pure grief.

      Depending how you define trump, I’d say he is in fact the problem. Trumps a problem because he’s anti-human. In addition if he wants to be a flag bear for the ruling class he’s also far game. As to both neoliberalism- what an anti statue to Hayek? And the current gross state of inequality who or what do you propose would make good subjects for anti-statues?

      1. lordkoos

        There is no doubt Trump is a big problem, but the system that produced him and allowed him to be elected is the real problem. The Democratic party shares responsibility for what has happened. It was Bill and Hillary who encouraged him to run in the first place, but the policies of Dems for the last 40 years has more to do with it IMO.

      2. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        Screeching insane hyperbole will really get us nowhere. Please stop. No, Trump did not “kill 140,000”.

      3. Massinissa

        I don’t always, or even usually agree with Hal, but blaming all corona deaths on Trump is patently absurd. As Koos said above, the problems are systemic, and even if that wasn’t the case, blaming all 140,000 deaths of a virulent disease, to one person, no matter how powerful, just doesn’t make any sense and hurts your case and how others will perceive it. There are so many other problematic factors at play here other than Trump.

      4. chuck roast

        Mary Trump…ratted out a family member.

        I have no clue what the corporate propagandists are saying, but I can guess that she is being portrayed a servant of the people. It’s one thing to chat up the neighbor about your crazy/powerful uncle; it’s another thing entirely to sell-out you parent’s brother for a few coins.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “Wages” did not go up. The median wage “went up” because so many people have lost their jobs at the bottom, which shifts the midpoint–the “median”–upward.

      In statistics and probability theory, a median is a value separating the higher half from the lower half of a data sample, a population or a probability distribution. For a data set, it may be thought of as “the middle” value.

      No actual money changed hands.

      Here’s a free link:

      That word “median” was kinda important doncha think? bloomberg would have made such a great president.

      1. John k

        If it’s low wage earners that mostly lose then jobs both median and avg wages rise. In fact, the bottom 10% of wage earners would be reported to have the largest increase by far, and the highest 10% the lowest.
        Unless you include the people really at the bottom, the former wage earners that lost their jobs.

      2. Duck1

        This is indeed terrible news for an economy which has enshrined the notion that its’ economic lemmings must engage in a race to the bottom. If a goodly portion of the bottom just evaporates, how will the smooth flow of economic lemmings over the cliff into the neo-liberal mare nostrum be maintained? Might there be a back-up of precarity that causes unhinged inflation only susceptible to the fine Fed ministrations of voodoo economics? We are at the cliff, I say, and the lemmings must flow, or terrible things will happen to our distribution of wealth.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      You are required to read articles before commenting.

      The piece said absolutely nothing like what you attributed to it.

      It said it was terrible that average wages rose….because low wage jobs are disappearing at a huge rate, unlike higher wage jobs.

  20. BoyDownTheLane

    “A fox in Arlington keeps stealing copies of the Washington Post”

    It needed something to wrap its fish in.

  21. allan

    I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning:

    Cato Institute @CatoInstitute
    John Lewis, Libertarian Hero

    10:04 AM · Jul 18, 2020

    As one of the responses points out, Cato filed an amicus brief in Shelby vs. Holder,
    asking SCOTUS to reduce the Voting Rights Act to a pile of rubble. Which SCOTUS did.

  22. JWP

    A note on colleges. The course registration lists at least 8/10 courses online for a school that is opening. the other ones are blended in person and a fraction are fully in person (science labs). Either they’re making it easier to switch to fully online when tuition is paid, or there will be a large amount of people taking gap years or dropping out/transferring until there’s a vaccine. Not to mention kids who have to drop out and work to support families. I can see the virus becoming a secondary concern for schools very quickly as the August-Oct evictions rise and unemployment payments dry up. Will this be a moment of reckoning for schools and higher ed finally gets what is has had coming for decades, a problem of its own creation? perhaps.

  23. jonboinAR

    Maybe OT for today’s Links (I haven’t really looked) but germane to the times. This is very long. I hope it’s allowed:
    I was just now perusing a Water Cooler from a couple of days ago. Michael Hudson commented that the correct thing to do to effect some kind of equality of wealth between the black community and the white would be to give all of the black families in the US their own homes. I’m completely in agreement with him. I’ve been thinking about something like this too, since the protests began, so I’d like to echo him.

    The thing is, from my point of view the Black Lives Matter protests and movement haven’t been exactly getting to the root of the problem. They may be planning to. I don’t know. But the problem, as far as I can see, is less that black men on the street are getting beaten and sometimes killed by the cops. Every one who commits offenses on the street right in front of the police and everybody risk getting beaten up. In my day we called it getting “rousted”. They’re going to dominate you. That is their job in that situation. If you resist or defy them, they will hurt you. I have been unable to sort out in my mind how much blame to put on the cops and how much to put on the ones defying them. I’ve known a bunch of guys who have gotten hurt by the cops, one, at least, who was killed. They were all petty criminals, all white. Most of them tried to fight the cops before getting badly beaten. The rest of us low-lifes either knew better than to try that sh!! or we just weren’t fed up to the point we didn’t care. Now the police need to be trained better to defuse these kinds of situations, I’m sure. Racist cops can be fired, educated, something. All that is still really only working on a symptom of the real underlying issue, IMO.

    The real trouble here is, I think, is that there are quite a few black men who are fed up enough to put up a doomed fight with the next cop who rousts them. They’re fed up with (I’m guessing, imagining, of course) not having a stake in this country’s wealth and opportunity. Whatever its problems, there’s still a whole lot of wealth being exchanged in this country. I imagine that much of it originates in the good amount of uncrowded land that still exists. It looks to me like many of the immigrants who come here are able to direct plenty to themselves. I don’t grudge them for it. Us white folk have it, lose it, often have it again. I myself was practically a bum at one point. Here I am now, solidly middle class. Yet the black community hardly has any of it. I’m a pest-control man, an exterminator, myself. I bring that up because I go through many houses and see what people have. In my small, rural, community, a good portion of the white folk own a nice house. It’s on several acres, beautifully mowed, with a really nice vegetable garden. The mower’s this splendid “zero-turn” job that hauls butt and mows great. They have a really nice “shop” about the size of a 6 car garage with a mechanics tool area, a $50,000 bass boat and wall full of baits, rods, etc., arranged like a fishing store. There’s a single passenger “4-wheeler”, a multi-passenger “side-by-side”, and a golf cart. There’s often an actual tractor. There are enough vehicles that if there’s only one car parked when I pull up I know for certain that no one’s home. There’s chain saws, cordless power tools up the ying-yang, on and on and on. They vacation every year at the Gulf, Bahamas, Disney World, something. Etc., etc.

    The black folks’ places I go in, they ain’t got sh!!. I mean, they mostly live as low as the poor white folks, often in crappy apartments. The highest live about like the middling white folks. They simply don’t have anything– in comparison. Now a number of few white folks are at this economic level, but they’re still quite in the minority. That’s another discussion. The black people, from what I can tell, it’s not exactly all, but most. I have this to say about it. It ain’t right. I can’t sort out why this disparity still exists. “Institutional racism”, like “racism”, these are incredibly vague terms that can mean many things and seem to be used in a very flexible manner. And then the history, oh my gosh! I just know, again, it ain’t right. AND, I think, it’s the number one problem, that if sorted out, everything else would tend to follow.

    So, a very long way around the thicket, I agree with Mr. Hudson. Every black family in the US should be given out-right ownership of a house and the property it’s on. That will give them automatically a stake. In terms of actual material wealth owned, They will immediately advance to the economic vicinity of the “average” white family. As my wife tells me, all these (white) people we know who have all this stuff don’t actually own a good deal of it. They’re up to their ears in debt. I propose giving all the black families a house, no debt lien, no rent, no mortgage to pay, nothing. I think, I’m not sure, but I think, that with that kind of stake, the temptation of the street activity that causes so much consternation, it more or less will go away. I think the black men who we percieve as causing trouble will want to stand on their porch in their bathrobe and holler “Get off my lawn!” the same way we do, just because it’s nice. It’s comforting. It’s secure and gives a sense of something to live and make plans for.

    1. workingclasshero

      How about a fed govt. Job guarantee along the lines described by proponents of modern money theory.these will benefit large portions of black disadvantaged men and women.if blm starts pushing ubi and the dems sheepishly fall in line then nothing will change for those communities

      1. jonboinAR

        Yeah, I’m for that. I wrote below about raising min wage by 2+ times, but I think the JG is a great alternative. I just want the actual recompense for work to be something going to work for, however we get there.

    2. Olga

      Not that I disagree with the proposal, but it is a bit of ‘putting cart before the horse.’ For the proposal to happen, lots of attitudes (or, attitudes of many) would have to change first. Not sure that can happen easily.

      1. jonboinAR

        Well, the reparations idea has gained some traction (I sure didn’t expect it to) since Coates brought if forward publicly in what was it, 2014? I was initially appalled at the idea (“You know what? Go to work and earn some money!”) but have since come around a lot. Basically my POV is black people in general have been here as long as we whites have. They don’t have sh!!. That just ain’t right. The end. I don’t care that much about paying them for what some of our ancestors did to their ancestors. I just want them to have an equal stake. For one thing, I think that alone will ease a great deal of friction. But also, I read somewhere recently, I don’t know if it was a link from here or elsewhere, an idea I’d seen before that big societal changes are motivated by very small minorities who are determined and keep up pressure over some time. So I wouldn’t dismiss the idea as being impossible especially in our current nothing-we-used-to-think-as-certain-is-anymore environment.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          About that 40 acres and a mule thing….

          I’m sure lots of people here will have strong ideas about *who* these houses ought to be taken away from, if there was Justice.

          1. First, as we know, we’ll need a new Federal Diversity and Reparations Agency (DIVRA?) and special tribunals to render Justice, i.e. determine m̶i̶s̶c̶h̶l̶i̶n̶g̶e̶ eligibility for the reparations program. (Since universal benefits are the handmaidens of Bolshevism). Perhaps IBM could develop the software? But anyway….

          2. Under our Constitution, the dispossessed former owners (let’s call them ‘PE funds’ for short) would be entitled to ‘fair market’ compensation. (Expropriation? Hmm, have you met our political leaders and their spouses? I think you’re looking for class-based revolution, 3 doors down). And you can naturally expect the valuation indices to be backward looking (ergo, bubblicious).

          3. So in the name of Justice, the PE portfolio firms get the mother of all bailouts just in time! on the ever ballooning tab of Uncle Sugar (or MMT, if you like). Which proceeds they will reinvest in… what? Well, certainly not in the U̶SA! unless it’s armaments maybe.

          4. Now you have all these empowered new owners settling into new digs from sea to shining sea. No mortgage debt peonage, rejoice! but they still need to pay property taxes (schools, roads), maintenance, operate cars in deep suburbia, etc. How many of them can cover those costs, and for how long?

          (Ohhhh, so we’re subsidizing a middle class lifestyle too? just for the duration, while they Learn To Code? Rrriiiight. Who got the keys to that genetic database again?)

          5. And now comes a new wave of v̶u̶l̶t̶u̶r̶e̶s̶ PE funds buying up the homesteads from their insolvent owners for lump sums. RE goes into freefall, driving a frenzy to cash out while the getting is good.

          6. Now I can’t quantify this, but I am pretty sure 95% of these forced sellers will have squandered, or been gypped out of, their payouts within 2 years, tops, and wind up back where they started.

          7. Well then, perhaps we also force these new buyers to meet the r̶a̶c̶i̶a̶l̶ ̶h̶y̶g̶i̶e̶n̶e̶ reparation standards? Because, Justice! So, a la South Africa, we anoint a tiny cadre of Black c̶r̶o̶n̶y̶ fund managers to retint our billionaire ruling class.

          And halleluiah! the ugly scars of slavery are $alved away! and the arc of history truly bends towards Ju$tice. (Turns out the Promised Land is Martha’s Vineyard).

          1. jonboinAR

            It looks to me that in your Reparations Bad Outcome Theory the supposed inability of the New Black Middle Class to pay its property taxes is carrying a lot of the weight. These folks are, for the most part I would think, currently making some kind of rent. I should think they generally are not too feeble to continue to make the rent that the State extracts from all property owners, that is, property taxes. Some of what you suggest as a likely outcome is bound to occur, certainly. I don’t see it being that prevalent, but who knows.

  24. jonboinAR

    Here’s my second part. Again, I hope it’s allowed:
    I have a second proposal as a kind of second part. Most black people around here seem to work at our little plants and some service stuff. That stuff, especially on a factory line, it don’t pay worth a bean. I tried it briefly. I couldn’t make ends meet. Of course, I was given a way out which I heartily took. Many others as we know aren’t so lucky. Now what I think, in the US with our resources, if you’re going to go to a job faithfully and perform it, you ought to be able to support a half-way decent lifestyle on it. You just should. So I think the minimum wage needs to be raised. To $15/hr, you say? No, to $25/hr. Well that will be quite inflationary, you say. Yep, no doubt. It’s the price. The rest of us who already enjoy quite decent lifestyles, it will cost us, through inflation probably. Those who now have more purchasing power will increase the demand for goods thereby pushing up prices to some unknown extent. There will just be more competition for the available Bad Boy zero-turn mowers. What? The $25/hr won’t be worth as much as it is now? Well no. It will still be worth a heck of a lot more than the $10/hr (or whatever it currently is) is now. It will at least start to be worth the trouble to go to work.

    Those 2 proposals, this and the one just above that Mr Hudson introduced the other day and I clumsily expounded upon, if they were implemented, as difficult as they might be to get sorted out, they would go a long way to solving the racial and class issues that threaten the fabric of this country.

        1. Massinissa

          The 1% don’t normally get their money from wages. Might affect some unusually high earning actors or athletes, but that’s it.

          1. Late Introvert

            Politicians used to talk about windfall profits taxes, a long time ago. Not so much these days. Tumbleweeds rolling by.

          2. Biph

            Any income over $10 million per year is taxed at 90%, any income over $20 million a year is taxed at 105%.

  25. m sam

    Where is Biden on this secret police operation in Portland anyway? I don’t see anything. And I assume that’s because he’s for it anyway, just like he was the crackdown on Occupy.

  26. noonspecial

    Re: Police State Watch

    Posting this here as a comparative look at fact vs. fiction.

    The following is a scene from the movie “V for Vendetta” and *tin foil hats on* it may be a cinematic representation of what could be going on behind some curtain(s). I seem to recall the movie includes dialogue about secret black bags employed by the (fictional) London police.

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      I personally prefer Gilliam’s ‘banality of evil’ take in Brazil, where detainees are zipped up in bags and then hung up like so much laundry.

  27. deplorado

    The World Food Prize Winner, Dr. Rattan Lal, Says Soil Should Have Rights

    I find it very strange that we have to legally anthropomorphize important institutions and components of vital ecosystems (corporations, lakes, soil) in order to have a reference for how to behave reasonably in dealing with them — but I agree that soil has to be taken very seriously and I love soil.

  28. EoH

    Ukrainian Nazi soldiers, honored by the Canadian members of the diaspora for their later insurrectionist work. I fail to see how that’s thematically different from honoring Confederate soldiers for their work before the War of Northern Aggression. Some conduct overwhelms all other conduct.

    Canadian law enforcement claims that the crime is not defacement. Nor is it painting an accurate statement about the role of those Ukrainian soldiers on behalf of Nazi Germany. That would seem to be adding the sort of context that should have been associated with a public monument in the first place.

    No, the prosecutor’s argument is that the “hate” crime is ainst the local population. Sounds like an argument a local prosecutor would make who is running for re-election, or has a Trump-like inability to admit a mistake.

    1. hunkerdown

      Chekov. Why is there a gun on the wall?

      It is a necessary precaution, Keptin. The wessel must be secure!

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