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Roaming Charges: American Thanatos, Inc.

Still from The Evil Dead.

“Poverty made a sound like a wet cough in the shadows of the room.”

– Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun

+ How much is the future trading for on the future’s market these days?

+ We are witnessing an all-out push to salvage and bailout the very industries that helped create, spread, exacerbate, deny and exploit the global pandemic which is killing hundreds of thousands of people. Apparently, the only lessons learned from the current crisis will be how to make the next one even worse.

+ If you don’t have a lobbyist and a PAC, let’s face it, the govt ain’t coming to your rescue, but instead will force you right back into the worst of the killing fields. If you need any protective gear you’ll just have to strip it from the dead, assuming desperate EMTs, doctors and nurses haven’t already done so…

+ When the milestones are gravestones…a million recorded COVID-19 infections and 60,000 dead and a nation in isolated mourning gets this from Jared Kushner on Fox and Friends:

“We have achieved all the different milestones that are needed. So, the government, federal government rose to the challenge and this is a great success story and I think that that’s really what needs to be told.”

+ What Jared means when he says the “medical aspects” of the COVID-19 crisis have been resolved: 27,580 new cases and 2400 new deaths a day. Get over it, weaklings…

+ America’s billionaire class has added $308 billion to its wealth in four weeks from mid-March to mid-April (an increase of 10.5%), even as a record 26 million people lost their jobs, struggling to get unemployment compensation.

+ In case you’re keeping score at home, here’s an update on Plutocracy Index…

Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
2010 net worth: $12 billion
2019 net worth: $112 billion

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
2010 net worth: $4 billion
2019 net worth: $76 billion

Larry Page (Google)
2010 net worth: $28 billion
2019 net worth: $61 billion

2010 federal minimum wage: $7.25
2020 federal minimum wage: $7.25

+ In a press release announcing 18 new deaths from Covid-19, Los Angeles County authorities said places where between 30 and 100 per cent of residents were poor had a death rate from Covid-19 infection of 16.5 per 100,000. In areas where fewer than one-tenth were poor, the death rate was 5.3 per 100,000.

+ Team Trump has, apparently without irony, named their vaccine development project Operation Warp Speed…

+ Scotty: “I dannae if she can take any more, Captain!”

+ Okay, Fox & Friends, give me a G, give me an O, give me a GONNA GONNA GONNA GOOOOOOOO!

Q: Without a vaccine, sir, why do you think the virus will just be gone?

Trump: “It’s gonna go, it’s gonna leave, it’s gonna be gone, it’s gonna be eradicated.”

+ How long before you get your COVID-19 vaccine? Maybe 2036, if all goes well…

+ COVID-19 is at least ten times deadlier than the flu…

+ Making a killing from mass deaths, no strings attached, no promise not to do it again. The latest round of bailouts ($500 billion) to big American corporations won’t require the companies to preserve jobs or cut CEO pay.

+ Do you really think Andrew Cuomo is going to save the day?

Covid-19 mortality rates per 100k

New York state: 90.68
Spain 50.98
Italy 45.27
France 35.37
U.K. 32.70
Sweden 23.13
U.S. 17.84
Canada 8.05
Iran 7.18
Poland 1.57
Mexico 1.24
Russia .60
Australia .36
South Korea .48
Japan .31

+ The phrase “think outside the box” should have been carted to the execution platform in the Place de la Concorde years ago. Now we have to read this kind of verbal flatulence from a man who has left thousands imprisoned in boxes, across New York, fully exposed to a rampaging killer virus…

+ As armed goons swarmed the Michigan state capitol building in Lansing this week, it’s important to remember that there are 4 times as many AR-15s in the U.S. than hospital beds. (Source: Public Citizen)

+ Speaking of opening up your cities during a state of plague to mollify the demands of capital, in 1720 the city of Marseille allowed a ship from plague-ridden Cyprus into port, under pressure from merchants who wanted the goods and didn’t the patience to sit out for the usual quarantine period. More than half the population of the city died over next two years…

+ Red State South Dakota (2525), population 889,000, has almost the same number of COVID-19 reported cases as Oregon (2579), population 4.2 million…Population density isn’t the deciding factor here. One state remained wide open, one didn’t.

+ The White House Gift Shop is selling these lovely COVID-19 coins for a mere $125 a piece…Are we meant to place them on the eyes of our dead or to tip Charon as he ferries us across the river Styx?

 

+ What’s Jared’s cut?

+ Herman Melville on Jared Kushner: “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.”

+ First coronavirus case in New Zealand: February 28
First coronavirus case in the US: January 20

New Zealand response: Immediate lockdown
US response: Unending incompetence

New Zealand coronavirus deaths: 19
US coronavirus deaths: 64,000+
(Source: Public Citizen)

+ From the Desk of the Grim Reaper himself: Mitch Mconnell says his top priority for further COVID Crisis legislation is immunity for companies who get sued by employees or customers for giving them COVID.

+ The Power of Big Meat: 20 slaughterhouse workers are dead, at least 6500 are sick and Trump, bowing to the demands of of odious companies like Tyson Foods, IBP and Smithfields, are forcing them to stay open, as super spreaders of mass-death.

+ Here’s a portion of a memo from the Sanderson Farms chicken killing company to its employees, many of them immigrants from Central America, urging them to put their lives at risk on the killing floor for the good of the ole USA, that beacon of tolerance and freedom…

+ Kill the chickens at 175 per minute, then let the virus kill the people who kill the chickens at 175 per minute and kill the people who live with the people who kill the chickens at 175 per minute…

+ 890 infections. At a single meatpacking plant in Logansport, Indiana.

+ Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds warns that workers who don’t return to work over fears of contracting COVID will be deemed to have quit their jobs and lose unemployment insurance: “Iowa Workforce Development said Monday that failing to return to work out of fear of catching the virus will be considered a voluntary quit, which disqualifies workers from receiving unemployment benefits.”

+ The governor made the decision to reopen despite the recommendations of her own scientific taskforce which concluded that the end of physical distancing could yield “a huge range of possible outcomes, from relatively low fatalities to catastrophic loss of life.” Given the ‘considerable uncertainty’ in how many deaths Iowa could have (from 150 to more than 10,000), they recommended that “prevention measures should remain in place. Without such measures being continued, a second wave of infections is likely.”

+ Get back to work, or else: Eighty workers at the Leprino Foods cheese plant in Fort Morgan, Colorado have tested positive for COVID-19. Half were asymptomatic…

+ If you don’t eat yer meat, how can you get yer COVID? How can you have yer COVID, if you don’t eat yer meat?

+ The pig killing industry industry just sent this guide to “depopulating” excess pig populations on farms, which runs from the bolt gun last seen in No Country for Old Men to gassing the animals in the barn…

+ Cigna executives told analysts the pandemic wouldn’t hurt its business, while the health insurance lobby was shaking down Congress for aid.

+ The Catholic Dioceses of Buffalo, currently facing accusations of 250 cases of clergy sexual abuse, filed a lawsuit against the federal government demanding access to PPP small business bailout money

+ Meanwhile, tribal governments were supposed to get $8 billion in direct emergency relief from the CARES Act, the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill that became law on March 27. More than a month later, they haven’t gotten any of it.

+ The economy shrunk by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, the first decline since 2014 and the worst quarterly contraction since 2008, when the country was in a deep recession. And it’s going to get worse…

+ The COVID-19 death toll in the US (58,568) has now topped the death toll of US soldiers in Vietnam (58,209)…but still two million to go before it tops the number of Vietnamese the US  killed in Vietnam.

+ The University of Washington model, repeatedly cited with self-congratulatory approval by Trump, predicted a COVID-19 death count of 60,000…by the end of July. Sometime Tuesday, the US surpassed that grim prediction three months early. Is this what winning looks like?

+ Asked about the US hitting 1 million coronavirus cases, and his February prediction of going from 15 to close to 0, Trump says, “Well, it will go down to zero, ultimately.”

+ In the U.S. harvesting of crops is already underway and will peak as the weather gets warmer and fieldworkers who work and sleep in groups are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 infections. There are about 2.5 million to 3 million workers on farms of all sizes, with about 3/4 estimated to be foreign born.

+ Across Oregon, Latinos have disproportionately tested positive for COVID-19, making up 27% of cases but just 13% of the state’s population. The disparity is especially acute in the agricultural areas of the Willamette Valley. Over half of Marion County residents who got a positive test back between April 25 and April 27 live in Woodburn, according to a Salem Reporter analysis of Marion County data. Woodburn, a majority Hispanic town, makes up less than 10% of the county’s population.

+ Deep Nazi Thoughts From a California Politician: “We would have significant loss of life, we would lose many elderly, that would reduce burdens in our defunct Social Security System, health care cost (once the wave subsided), make jobs available for others and it would also free up housing in which we are in dire need of,” wrote Ken Turnage II, chair of the Antioch Planning Commission, on his Facebook page. “We would lose a large portion of the people with immune and other health complications. I know it would be loved ones as well. But that would once again reduce our impact on medical, jobs, and housing.”

+ Of course, Turnage is now worse than Rahm Emmanuel’s brother, Ezekiel, who makes Stephen Miller seem humane: “These people who live a vigorous life to 70, 80, 90 years of age—when I look at what those people “do,” almost all of it is what I classify as play. It’s not meaningful work…that’s not probably a meaningful life.”

What a grotesque family…

+ Some of the “very good people” at the Campaign to Reopen America Prematurely (CRAP) rallies are either holding signs with Americanized versions of Nazi slogans or they are being righteously pranked . Pointing this out just got me put in Facebook jail…

+ Aristotle: “It is also in the interests of the tyrant to make his subjects poor. The people are so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for plotting.”

+ NYC data on lab-confirmed cases shows death rates per 100,000 approximately twice as high among black and latino populations as among white and asian populations.

+ Meanwhile, another study found that more than four-fifths of hospitalized coronavirus patients in a Georgia sample have been African-American…

+ In Richmond, Virginia, black people make up only 40% of city’s population but 100% of the deaths

+ Social distancing practices alone, as implemented in China during the outbreak, is sufficient to control COVID-19, according to a new study published in Science. While proactive school closures cannot interrupt transmission on their own, they can reduce peak incidence by 40-60%…

+ Trump is apparently pushing his intelligence agencies to develop (or concoct) a link between Chinese bioweapons labs and the coronavirus. Put Judith Miller on the case! Judy has a rare talent for finding things that don’t exist…

+ The big banks took in more than $10 billion in fees while processing loans that required less vetting than regular bank loans and had little risk for the banks, the records show. Taxpayers provided the money for the loans, which were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.

+ On Tuesday, the COVID-19 death toll in the US (58,568) surpassed the death toll of US soldiers in Vietnam (58,209)…but still two million to go before it tops the number of Vietnamese US operations killed in Vietnam.

+ There have been 484 COVID-19 deaths in VA hospitals. Has Trump attended any of the funerals?

+ So Pence makes a show visit to the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday. The Mayo Clinic requires all visitors and staff on the Covid-19 ward to wear masks. Mayo Clinic even tweeted out this requirement. Pence (anointed by the Anointed One) refused to wear a mask, the hospital let him in anyway, prompting the Mayo Clinic’s social media person to delete their tweet, which, of course, had already been captured by Pence Watchers in anticipation of the VP breaching the protocol.

+ Hot Hoosier v. Hoosier action, featuring Letterman on Pence: “To me, that is just taunting people who are ill, to see that guy in his $40 suit walking around in the Mayo Clinic without a mask.”

+ To try to clean up Mike’s mess, they sent Mother Pence out for a rare appearance on FoxNews, where she asserted that Pence didn’t know about the Mayo Clinics mask protocol until after his visit. This feeble excuse was shot down almost immediately by Voice of America reporter Steve Herman, who tweeted that Pence’s own staff had sent a memo to reporters traveling with the vice president about the clinic’s mask requirement. “Please note, the Mayo Clinic is requiring all individuals traveling with the VP wear masks. Please bring one to wear while on the trip.” So, Mother lied, Pence the Pious gets outed, and now his staff (Katie Miller, Stephen’s wife) is retaliating against the reporter, who broke the story…

+ Remember when Michael Flynn got fired (allegedly) for sending Pence out to (unwittingly) lie on the Sunday morning shows about the General’s calls with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington? Looks Pence just did the same thing to his wife on Maskgate. What did Mother know and when did she know it?

+ The Full Pence…

JONATHAN KARL: So when you promised 4 million tests 7 weeks ago, you were just talking about tests being sent out, not completed?

PENCE: “Precisely correct”

+ On Tuesday Trump was asked about a Harvard report that said U.S. needed to be at five million test per day by early June to reopen safely. Trump responded, “We are going to be there very soon.” On Wednesday, Trump said, “I didn’t say five million — somebody said five million.”

+ Listening to any ten minute span of Trump speaking extemporaneously often presents an irrefutable challenge to Derrida’s famous assertion, Il n’y a pas de hors-texte.

+ As with this unprompted whopper: Trump says South Korea’s Moon Jae-in “Called me to congratulate me on the testing.” He claimed Moon told him, “Your testing is the greatest in the world…I want to just tell you, what you’ve done with testing is incredible.” Can we see the transcript of this perfect call or is it locked inside the super-secret-super-duper-safe?

+ Total U.S. coronavirus tally at the end of each Friday. As Andrew Yang would say: MATH…

• Jan 17 — 0
• Jan 24 — 2
• Jan 31 — 7
• Feb 7 — 12
• Feb 14 — 15
• Feb 21 — 30
• Feb 28 — 65
• Mar 6 — 310
• Mar 13 — 2,224
• Mar 20 — 17,962
• Mar 27 —  102,636
• April 3 —   275,000
• April 10 — 504,000
• April 17 — 707,000
• April 24 – 923,470
• May 1 –     1,130,786 and counting…

+ The state of Florida has ordered medical examiners to stop publishing COVID-19 death notices. Why? When the medical examiners’ list was available, it showed more deaths than the state’s count…

+ Georgia Man doesn’t get nearly the same media attention as Florida Man, but he’s quietly gaining ground…

+ Did someone say “bleach?”

+ This pronouncement from Trump seems far more dangerous than his white light/white heat/drink your bleach rant: “I think you will see a lot of schools open up, even for a short period of time … in terms of what this vicious virus goes after, young people seem to do very well.”

+ Denmark’s unemployment rate climbed from 4 percent in February all the way to … wait for it …. 4.2 percent in March. It likely would have spiked to 9.2% without the Danish government’s payroll subsidy program.

+ How many of the people frantically waving American flags and protesting about how the lockdown violates their rights see the threat to the Constitution in this headline in the Miami Herald…“ICE Tells Federal Judge the Court Has No Authority Over Its Detention Practices.”

+ This week in 1967 Muhammad Ali refused to be drafted to fight in Vietnam. “I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

+ Florida International University has sent a letter to students and alumni begging them to put FIU in their wills before they die of COVID-19. Here’s an idea: Leave FIU your student loan debt…

+ I need an intervention: Somebody make me stop watching this….

+ Stanford Health Care, which operates a hospital system in the Bay Area, imposed pay cuts and furloughs for 14,000 workers amid coronavirus pandemic. “These health care workers at Stanford, and everywhere else, are heroically going into work every day in circumstances where they’re literally putting their health on the line. Stanford’s reward to them for this is to cut their pay by 20 percent. It’s really outrageous,” said , said Steve Trossman of the SEIU-UHW, which represents roughly 2,000 workers impacted by the cuts.

+ The following Tweetspasm is incendiary nonsense, of course, but at least Trump recognizes the difference between the “people” and the “taxpayers”…the people being corporations like Amazon and the “taxpayers” the rest of us.

+ Before the stock market drop, 365 hospitals — about one of every 13 — reported an investment portfolio exceeding $100 million, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of hospital cost reports from 2018 filed with Medicare. Together, those investments pumped $2.8 billion into those hospitals that year.

+ According to a report in Politico, big businesses and ranking Democrats are coalescing around a plan to bail out employer health insurance plans in the wake of staggering losses to the insurance industry…They’ll do anything to stifle the movement toward single-payer. Can someone please forward to Noam?

+ Millions haven’t even been able to make an unemployment claim, according to an analysis by the EPI. For every 10 people who said they successfully filed for jobless benefits the last 4 weeks, 3 to 4 people tried to apply but couldn’t get through & 2 others didn’t try because it was too hard.

+ Referring to his state’s large population of senior citizens, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called Florida “God’s waiting room” during a press conference on Monday…

+ Nick Cowern, climatologist: “Highly significant that the two wealthy western countries with the worst problems of social inequality and deprivation – the US and UK – have accounted for nearly half of all global COVID-19 deaths to date.”

+ Almost every Biden statement turns into a case study in Freudian parapraxis…”You not gonna be able to do that economic intercourse around the world…”

+ A basic rule for decoding Bidenspeak: Every time Biden says “Let me be clear”…he’s about to tell a lie. When he says, “Let me be VERY clear”…. he’s about to tell a big lie. Consider yourself forewarned…

+ Biden says that he’ll keep the US embassy in Jerusalem, but opposes Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. But if Israel proceeds with “annexation” of West Bank prior to his inauguration (in the increasingly unlikely event of his election), who is naive enough to believe that Biden will impose sanctions on Israel, cut off US aid or even sponsor a toothless UN resolution condemning Israel?

+ “She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.” So says Tara Reade’s former neighbor, an anti-Trump Democrat, in a devasting (for Biden) interview with Rich McHugh of Business Insider.

+ Stacey Abrams, who pronounced on CNN that she believes Biden when he says he didn’t sexually assault Tara Reade, has passed the first phase of her audition. For her next challenge, Stacey will explain why Biden’s vote for the Iraq War was actually a vote against the Iraq War.

+ Stacey Abrams justified her “belief” that Joe Biden didn’t assault Tara Reade by reading from the Biden campaign’s talking points which alleged that the NYT’s investigation concluded the incident didn’t happen. This prompted the NYTs to Tweet that Biden was lying about their investigation…

+ How many times have these very same groups scolded us that “silence is complicity”: The Daily Beast contacted 10 top national women advocacy organizations about Tara Reade, including Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and NOW. None provided comment.

+ “Silence is complicity,” Part 2. Nancy Pelosi on the Tara Reade allegation: “I do support Joe Biden. I’m satisfied with how he has responded.” Biden has yet to make any public comment about Reade. (Biden finally denied the allegations on a Friday morning appearance on Morning Joe but still refuses to open his senate records, which are archived at the University of Delaware.)

+ Let Joe B Joe…More Pelosi on the Biden allegations: She said she respects the Me Too movement, but “There is also due process, and the fact that Joe Biden is Joe BIden, there’s been statements from his … former employees who ran his offices … that there was never any record of this.”

+ Someone might want to direct Pelosi and Abrams to this piece from The Cut, which lists all the women who have gone public about their creepy interactions with Biden.

+ Laura Moser: “Believe women except when they interfere with your dream of still not giving people healthcare.”

+ So Joe Biden has pledged to pick a VP who is a woman. He’s also announced that Christopher Dodd is on his VP vetting committee. Yes, the man Ralph Nader called the Senator from Aetna who infamously participated in the “waitress sandwich” sexual assault with Ted Kennedy, reported in GQ and in Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein’s book, Washington Babylon:

A waitress at one restaurant on Capitol Hill once entered the upstairs dining, closed during the lunch hour, to find the Senator (Kennedy) in intimate colloquy with a lobbyist for Hanes pantyhose. Dodd stood nearby.

+ A few pages on in that same immortal tome I came across this passage of “cloakroom talk” amid the Democratic Senate caucus in the 1970s: When Sen Fritz Hollings saw a photo of Ted Kennedy with a young woman on a yacht, he quipped: “I see the Senator has changed his views on off-shore drilling.”

+ Biden is presumed guilty by his own standard (not the one I’d apply, but it’s the one he set for himself when he wanted to look tough on Kavanaugh): “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.”

+ If they GOP were smart (they’re not), they’d stay silent about Biden’s crude behavior and just let the Democrats bury themselves under their own sanctimonious duplicity.

+ Even though we’re both veterans of In These Times, I’ve never been a big Chris Hayes fan. But almost alone among the MSDNC crowd he has treated Tara Reade’s allegations against Biden as a legitimate story to be reported, investigated and openly debated. His reward? A “Fire Chris Hayes” movement launched by MSDNC watchers who are just as cultish and far more hypocritical than the FoxNews hordes…

+ For all the fervent talk about Trump cancelling the elections, it was the Democrats in New York who actually did so…

+ Here comes the big round up of all the stray sheep…Top Sanders aides, Jeff Weaver, Tim Tagaris, Chuck Rocha and Shelli Jackson, are setting up a Super PAC, to convince progressives to back Biden for president. They’ve coopted a favorite phrase of Sanders for the name of their operation: Future to Believe In. Sanders, of course, ridiculed all PACs.

+ Will the Sandernistas develop herd immunity against viral demands from Sanders’ flacks to join team Biden?

+ More signs that Trump is losing whatever marbles he had left. According to the Washington Post, the president berated his campaign manager Brad Parscale last week after advisers showed him grim polling data in and effort to curtail his coronavirus briefings. At one point Trump suggested he might sue Parscale…

+ Cost of Blue Angel flyover of NY, Jersey and Philly today: $60,000 per hour. (They could have at least airdropped some masks…)

+ The real reason the Blue Angels were doing celebratory flights:

“Total global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The total for 2019 represents an increase of 3.6 per cent from 2018 and the largest annual growth in spending since 2010. “

+ Remember Total Information Awareness? The kind of pervasive surveillance systems that seemed spooky even after 9/11 are now being embraced by the post-COVID generation, with many people eagerly monitoring themselves relaying the data on their health status, social encounters and movements to the government & their corporate “helpers”…

+ Elon Musk is now braying from the confines of his $24 million palazzo that Trump must “Free America” predicted just a few weeks ago that COVID would disappear by the end of April.

Checks Covid-19 meter…25,409 new cases onApril 28. And people buy cars from this guy?

+ In early 2020, half of Texas adults reported that they were spending too much money on housing and that it was difficult to find affordable options in the neighborhoods they want to live in.

+ When a minor drug offense means a death sentence: “Don’t let yourself get mixed up in the world of illegal drugs. It ends badly.” — U.S. attorney Ron Parsons, at the sentencing of Andrea Circle Bear, found with 8 grams of meth. Circle Bear, pregnant, caught COVID-19 in prison, gave birth on a ventilator, and died this week. Note the anodyne prose style of her death announcement…

+ 106 prisoners have tested positive at Massachusetts Correctional Institution Shirley even though fewer than 20% of those incarcerated there have been tested.

+ Unreal: 70 percent of federal inmates who have been tested for coronavirus have COVID-19.

+ Melinda Morales is sick with coronavirus. A symbolic $1 would pay the bail for her alleged shoplifting crimes at Macy’s. But because the offenses are parole violations, a so-called parole hold from the state keeps her locked up in Rikers. This is on you, Cuomo…

+ Two guards at Louisiana’s Richwood Correctional Center, where at least 45 people in ICE custody have tested positive for COVID-19, have died in recent days…

+ How Concentration Camps Kill: 60% of the people detained by ICE who’ve been tested have Covid-19…

+ Youths at one detention center in Virginia have been locked in cells no bigger than a bathroom for 23 hours a day. They’re allowed one hour to either shower, brush their teeth or call home. Classes have been canceled, and they have little to no human interactions.

+ How many of the people agitating to End the Lockdown support ending the lockdowns inside jails, prisons and ICE run concentration camps, which are killing thousands?

+ 326 people shot and killed by police in the US since January 1, 2020…”hope” they don’t shoot you or me.

+ President Trump: “We want to be where we were, and I think we can actually surpass where we were and we were the strongest anywhere in the world, we were the best that we ever were, but we were the strongest anywhere in the world.”

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we?
Could we?

+ Jerome Corsi, the rightwing prankster who was nearly charged in the Mueller investigation, meant to send an email to Zev Zelenko, a White House-allied doctor, about a hydroxychloroquine project. He instead emailed Aaron Zelinsky, the Mueller prosecutor, prompting a new probe by the DoJ. They aren’t so much the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight as the Gang That Continually Shoots Itself In the Foot…You’d think with all that NRA money and training.

+ Almost 1,000 women were murdered in Mexico in the first 3 months of this year, with the level of violence rising since the lockdown.

+ Dan Murphy: “Benjamin Netanyahu’s son just tweeted “Make Europe Christian again.” And they say American Jews are forgetting the lessons of the Holocaust!”

+ There’s no accounting for government accounting: According to devastating report by BBC Panorama on the UK’s deadly lack of preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tory government counted each glove rather than each pair and counted paper towels as PPE given to hospitals, to inflate the numbers….

+ Flakism: I’m not voting for Trump, but I did vote for everything Trump wanted…

+ Newly released FBI documents from the Roger Stone investigation reveal that Israel was furiously trying to help Trump during the waning months of the campaign with one Jerusalem contact telling Stone: ‘He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands!’ But I doubt the Democrats will launch 3 years of hearings investigating this explicit admission of foreign meddling in the 2016 elections…

+ Price gouging by algorithm on Amazon during COVID. How a five lbs. bag of rice spiked to $60 a bag…

+ Who is that unmasked man, Tonto?

+ The Utah Attorney General’s office will suspend the use of a massive surveillance system after news reports revealed that the founder of  Banjo was once an active white supremacist and was involved in the shooting of a synagogue. Utah officials in 2018 had awarded Damien Patton’s company a sole-source, $750,000 contract to provide massive real-time surveillance of 911 calls, social media and traffic cameras. The company has also signed a $20.7 million contract with the state.

+ The “Reopen California” Facebook group has 103,000 members. And not all of them live in Orange County…

+ The courage, the sacrifice, the inspiration…

+ Cutting meat intake by half and replacing with plant-based foods in the United States could prevent 1.6 billion tons of climate pollution.

+ The first assessment of the health of the Arctic Ocean by the government of Canada finds its a marine system in a state of profound changes, including the chemistry of its waters, which are 33 percent less salty than in 2003 and about 30 percent more acidic — enough to dissolve the shells of some small molluscs…

+ Research shows that wolves howl more frequently to members of their pack with whom they spend more time, suggesting a link between relationship quality and howling frequency….

+ A federal judge in Montana struck a mighty blow against the pipeline industry, striking down the Corps of Engineers policy of issuing a “blanket permit” for stream crossings. The illegal blanket permit in question, known as Nationwide Permit 12, was last renewed in March 2017, it has been used more than 37,000 times!

+ 41 years ago this week, radioactive waste from 3 Mile Island was trucked to Hanford and dumped into an unlined pit. It’s been leaking ever since….

+ “Amplified improvement activities”….Peabody Coalspeak for massive layoffs. At least, the air quality will improve.

+ In the U.S., coal is now supplying just 14% of the power on the grid serving 65 million people from Illinois to New Jersey. That’s down from almost 20% in February.

+ Oil company Pioneer Natural Resources chief executive Scott Sheffield: “The market is telling us we should not drill another [oil] well in the U.S. for the next two years.”

+ Walter Benjamin: “That things ‘just go on’ is the catastrophe.”

+ According to the unimpeachable Alice Cooper,  Brian Wilson considers “Shortnin’ Bread” to be the greatest song ever written. According to Cooper, Wilson explained: “I don’t know, it’s just the best song ever written.” Judge for yourselves…

+ Here’s the best news of the week as far as I’m concerned: Netflix has acquired the rights to stream remastered “prints” of the films made by the late Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

+ I hadn’t watched Bergman’s “Persona” since college. Then, unable to sleep, I watched it at about 2 am on Sunday morning and was surprised to find that it’s an entirely different film, spookier, more unnerving & immediate, than the one I saw in 1978. I hadn’t realized that the core sequences of the film, featuring Bibi Anderson’s description of the beach orgy/rape, her abortion and later Alma’s (Liv Ullman) botched self-abortion, had been excised by censors and hadn’t been restored to the US version until 2001. In our age of irony-driven art/entertainment, Bergman has fallen out of favor. But I found watching it a profound experience and many of the visual & sound techniques and editing would find their way 30 to 40 years later into the “experimental” films of David Lynch and other post-modernist film-makers. There’s almost nothing in, say, Twin Peaks: the Return that Bergman & Sven Nyquist hadn’t already done in 1966. Plus, it’s probably the most beautifully shot b/w film in the history of cinema.

+ This is the funniest insult I’ve had all week. I want Sarah Cooper to turn it into a TiK ToK: “I know that Michael Donnelly and he has integrity. However, his “pals” Jeff St. Clair and Michael Moore are egotistical idiots. And yes Jeff St. Clair is a racist who doesn’t understand the concept of Environmental Justice. St. Clair just wants white people to smok (sic) pot – that’s his contribution to society.”

After Life is Over the Afterlife Goes On

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

The End of October
Lawrence Wright
(Knopf)

Had I Known: Collected Essays
Barbara Ehrenreich
(Twelve)

All I Ever Wanted: a Rock n Roll Memoir
Kathy Valentine
(University of Texas

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Ever-Roving Eye
James Elkington
(Paradise of Bachelors)

America at War
Joel Harrison
(Sunnyside)

Celestial Love (Remastered)
Sun Ra
(Modern Harmonic)

Steal Some Time

“Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but ‘steal’ some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.” (Albert Camus, The Notebooks, 1951-59)

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent books are Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution and The Big Heat: Earth on the Brink (with Joshua Frank) He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter  @JSCCounterPunch

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