+ Mark my words, the legislative response to the sacking of the nation’s capitol will be a bipartisanship push for more money for police and more restrictions on civil liberties, to be imposed most devastatingly on BLM and anti-war protesters, tribal activists and environmentalists.
+ I don’t have the mentalist powers of the Amazing Kreskin, but a few hours after this column was originally posted, the Wall Street Journal reported that Biden supports the swift enactment of new “domestic terrorism” laws.
+ Let me get this straight. The Capitol was ransacked in a siege, instigated by some of the Congress’ own members, that left five dead, including a police officer. The pandemic killed a record number of people in a day. Millions face eviction. The president was caught on tape trying to extort a fellow Republican to manufacture votes. Over the advice of the Pentagon, the president, who associated describe as having “lost it,” has ordered a nuclear aircraft carrier to remain in the Persian Gulf and has B-1B and B-52 bombers to Iran and China and Congress adjourned for the next two weeks? Maybe we’d have been better off if the yahoos had stayed in control of the place….
+ Trump is almost certainly right when he claims that he would have been “a great general.” As Tolstoy astutely observes in War and Peace, the strategic plans of generals are almost always bunk, they usually have no idea what’s really happening on the battlefield, they often kill more of their own troops than the enemy and invariably claim they’ve won when they’ve lost. Pretty much sums up Trump, doesn’t it?
+ As word came out that his own Justice Department was investigating him for inciting a riot, a sweaty Trump taped a “concession” speech, released after his 12-hour ban from Twitter was lifted, which has all the trademarks of a hostage video. But who is holding the gun on him, Melania or Ivanka? (My money’s on Mother Pence.)
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021
+ On the day cops once again learned that they could shoot people in public and face no legal consequences, the Capitol Hill police allowed a white mob to ransack the Capitol Building.
+ As Cockburn and I reported in our book, Five Days That Shook the World: Seattle and Beyond, during the World Bank/IMF protests in DC shortly after Seattle the police were given “shoot to kill” orders. Those don’t seem to be (and shouldn’t) the rules of engagement today…
+ Police didn’t attempt to protect the Capitol building because it was public not private property…
+ Trump seems to think this was the Alamo…
+ Are the insurrectionists supposed to pick up their pardons before or after the sacking of the Capitol?
+ First, they came for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Then the Capitol…
+ Wasn’t this the scenario for a Gerard Butler movie?
+ The day Rudy crossed the Rubicon (or Rudycon, I guess). The hair dye is cast…
— Erik Wade (@erik_kaars) January 6, 2021
+ Nick Davis: “Latin America has long had a word for this one – it’s autogolpe, the putsch that the president organizes.”
+ If the Deep State were really out to get Trump, he’d be in a meat locker like Qaddafi…
+ Do we need more proof that police don’t “prevent crime,” even as it unfolds right in front of them?
+ The media keeps talking about how this is the first attack on the Capitol Building since the War of 1812, when Admiral George Cockburn’s troops burned the White House. Nonsense. In 1954, Puerto Rican nationalist Lolita Lebron stormed the House of Representatives with the intent to bring international attention to Puerto Rico’s struggle for independence. Five members of Congress were wounded in the raid. She was sentenced 49+ years and ultimately served 25 years, after being granted clemency by Jimmy Carter. How many years/weeks, if any, will today’s mob serve?
+ In 1971, the Weather Underground planted a bomb in a restroom in the Senate wing of the capitol. The blast caused hundreds of thousands of dollars, but no injuries.
+ Still it’s an interesting thought exercise to imagine how different the country might have been had the British won the War of 1812. The slave trade and slavery itself would have ended much sooner. The runaway slaves and Native tribes who fought with the British would have been granted more rights. And Admiral Cockburn would have been named Lord Protector of the Colonies., who would surely have proved a better and more humane executive than Madison and Monroe.
+ Still the greatest and most enduring cover of any book on American politics…
+ Flags seen at MAGArampage: Trump flag, Gadsen Flag, American flag, Blue Lives Matter Flag, monarchist Iranian flag, Confederate flag, Israeli flag…But, sorry Robert Reich, didn’t see one flag for the Russian Federation.
Putin won. https://t.co/k5m45qvnMj
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 6, 2021
+ How will Hope Hicks record this moment on her resumé?
+ This whole uproar was actually sparked because the House chaplain ended that prayer with “Amen and A-women“…
+ When anarchists occupied the sidewalks of Wall Street, they sat around in consensus circles and debated the merits of Modern Monetary Theory, before getting their heads clubbed by NYPD…
+ Not surprising that the MAGA-minions lacked the guts of AIM activists, who ended the March of Broken Treaties in 72 by occupying the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters for a week, seizing records of BIA villainy, & emerging with bundles of cash paid by Nixon.
+ The coverage of the occupation of the Capitol by ITV was much more riveting and informative than anything I saw on the US networks or cable channels. Here’s a clip…
— Cyrus Sanati (@BeyondBlunt) January 7, 2021
+ The White Jacobins…45% of GOP supported the storming of the capitol.
+ Trump rebuffed calls to send in the National Guard to protect the Capitol. But he salivated to unleash them on the streets of Portland…
+ Leave it to Biden to demand that Trump “step up” instead of “down”…
+ By refusing to prosecute Bush and Cheney for a fraudulent war, and the crimes committed during the War on Terror, you and Obama ensured that the presidency itself was above the law…
+ On the other hand, we now have Biden’s two pals from Delaware, Chris Coons and Tom Carper, saying we need to “turn the page” on today’s events….(Bob Seger wants his song back!)
+ How long before Biden says we must “look forward not backward?” Oh, yeah, Hakim Jeffries said it earlier in the week…
+ When you’re looking into the Abyss, it’s staring back at you and you don’t even know it.
+ Let the healing begin…
+ Melanie K.Yazzie of Red Nation: “The guy in red face who stormed the capitol today is Arizona right-winger Jake Angeli. It’s not a coincidence that an iconic image of white nationalism in 2021 is a dude playing Indian.”
+ Does the DC curfew apply to members of Congress? The country would be much safer if it did…
+ 14,000: number of arrests during George Floyd/BLM protests this summer.
+ Here’s Lindsey Graham auditioning for Meghan McCain’s seat on The View…
"Trump and I, we're had a hell of a journey … enough is enough … we've gotta end it" — Lindsey Graham pic.twitter.com/HoHXAt8Gtx
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 7, 2021
+ He’ll never lose another ball in the rough at Doral.
+ After four years of playing the role of obsequious factotum to Trump, Mike Pence’s “loyalty” will be rewarded by his Master making him the fall guy…Serves him right.
+ Meanwhile, Steny Hoyer, Pelosi’s number two in the House, rhapsodized that giving George W. Bush the presidency in 2000 was one of his proudest moments of his public career.
+ George W. Bush: “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic.”
+ Speaking of shame, who besides pundits who have him on speed dial, still listens to the man who told some of the most consequential lies in the 20th century, yet, like Kissinger before him, somehow still retains the title of “statesman”…
+ His daddy’s office ran death squads in Latin America for nearly 8 years during the Reagan administration…
+ The Democrats’ response to MAGAcoup will be…wait for it…yes, more Adam Schiff-led Russiagate hearings…
+ In her resignation email, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says she was deeply troubled by yesterday “in a way that I simply cannot set aside.” Charlottesville and caging children didn’t ring her alarm bells, apparently…
+ Before the left starts lionizing Elaine Chao for belatedly flipping on Trump, let’s pause for a moment and remember that this is the woman who, while Secretary of Labor, gave out contracts to non-union construction firms for repair work on the Labor Department building.
+ Probably peeved that Trump didn’t hire her brother to help the MAGAminions hold the Capitol building, Education Secretary Cruella DeVos announced her resignation on Thursday night…
+ Apparently, DeVos was more horrified by how the images coming out of the Capitol might affect children than the mercenaries working for her brother who were rewarded with a pardon from Trump after having been convicted of slaughtering civilian men, women and children in Iraq.
+ The entirety of the statement from the American Federation of Teachers on the resignation of Betsy DeVos: “Good riddance.”
+ If every cabinet member desperate to wash their hands of Trump-stink resigns, who will be left to invoke the 25th Amendment?
+ The Trump loyalists (Chao, DeVos, Mulvaney, Pottinger, Grisham, et al.) now jumping from the sinking presidential ship are giving rats a bad name…
+ Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of “Strongmen,” describes the retreat of former Trump loyalists, like McConnell, Chao, and Mulvaney: “The phenomenon of elite defection in the end, when their personal safety is in peril.”
+ I’m pretty sure John Kelly, the man who vigorously enforced Stephen Miller’s heinous immigration policies, didn’t think of Trump’s racism, xenophobia and autocratic tendencies as “flaws” but assets to be exploited toward his own agenda…
+ The White House announces that the president has withdrawn Chad Wolf’s nomination to be the permanent Homeland Security secretary, hours after Wolf, the butcher of Portland, urged the president to denounce yesterday’s violence. Good. Whatever the motivation, Wolf had no business being DHS secretary..
+ Heard on the Internet: “Due to COVID travel restrictions, this year the United States had to organize the coup at home.”
+Anyone else recall how the Capitol Hill police body-slammed 78-year old Ray McGovern during the confirmation hearing for the CIA torturer Gina Haspel?
+ Hannah Arendt: “Violence appears where power is in jeopardy.”
+ Take it from the guy who slugged a Guardian reporter and lied to the police about it…
+ Some of the people arrested during the J20 protests of Trump’s inauguration faced decades in prison for breaking a few storefront windows…
+ Two BLM protesters, Colin Mattis and Urooj Rahman (both lawyers) who vandalized an empty NYPD police car are facing federal charges with a sentence of 45 years to life.
+ The Times of India headline rivals anything from the New York tabloids….
+ Davontae Harris summarizes in one clear sentence what I’ve been struggling to articulate for the last 48 hours…
+ And they didn’t have to shoot this poor woman, either…
GRAPHIC FOOTAGE: Police fatally shoot a Trump supporter inside the Capitol building. This is a sickening crime that should be prosecuted as such. pic.twitter.com/X8JK7HplJ7
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) January 7, 2021
+ A DC Metro police officer: “The fact that police officers from other agencies have aligned themselves with such terorristic groups shows how scary it is to be black in America…They weren’t trying to hide who they are because they know nothing will happen to them. If these people can storm the Capitol building with no regard to punishment, you have to wonder how much they abuse their powers when they put on their uniforms.”
+ Even as the Capitol Hill police allowed the Trumpniks to flood into the Capitol Building, they were not immune from the rampage. More than 60 police were injured, many from being hit by clubs and pipes, dozens hospitalized. One officer was killed and another remains in critical condition.
+ Three other MAGA rioters died during the melée from emergency medical conditions. One of them, Georgia native Kevin Greeson, wrote online before heading to DC that he hoped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would get Covid-19 and die and proclaimed: “Let’s take this fucking Country BACK!! Load your guns and take to the streets!”
+ It’s not just the cops, National Guard and military who were abetting the MAGArioters. Here’s the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice giving the mob her blessing…
+ In July 1919, a white mob rampaged through the streets of DC, while the local cops watched passively and President Woodrow Wilson remained silent. It was left to armed resistance by the Black community in what’s now the Shaw neighborhood (Utah Avenue and Logan Circle) to drive back the marauders. As many as 40 people were killed over a three day period. This was a riot that the Washington Post (100 years later) finally confessed to having incited and abetted. The NAACP wrote a scorching letter to Wilson, the most racist president of the 20th century:
the shame put upon the country by the mobs, including United States soldiers, sailors, and marines, which have assaulted innocent and unoffending negroes in the national capital. Men in uniform have attacked negroes on the streets and pulled them from streetcars to beat them. Crowds are reported …to have directed attacks against any passing negro.
The Washington Bee ran this cartoon. (h/t Jefferson Morley).
+ Goebbels on the battles for Berlin: “The ideal militant is the political combatant in the Brown Army as a movement…obeying a law that he sometimes doesn’t even know, but he could recite in his sleep…Thus we have set these fanatical beings in motion.” (h/t Paul Whalen)
+ Speaking of Goebbels, looks like the post-Trump right has found its Lord Haw-Haw…
This photo—of Josh Hawley cheering on the protestors right before they stormed the Capitol—basically sums up the political era. pic.twitter.com/ItXuF1KYW5
— Brian Goldsmith (@GoldsmithB) January 6, 2021
+ Hawley looks like Juan Guaido’s Missouri doppelgänger…
+ Yale law school must be proud of their latest rising star.
+ What will the Hawley and Cruz legacy admissions to Harvard and Yale look like in 40 years? Assuming the planet has another 40 years, which seems optimistic at this point.
+ With reports that the MAGAgruppen were smearing feces in the halls and offices of Congress, I’m reminded of the accounts of the Ottoman emissaries to Versailles, who wrote with disgust about the courtiers of the Sun King pissing and shitting in the Hall of Mirrors, as they awaited their audience with the Bourbon monarch…
+ Take the mic, Draymond Green…
It’s baffling to see the reaction that the law enforcement had and whoever else was involved from a authoritarian standpoint. To see the National Guard standing on those same steps when there was a peaceful protest, to now see a terrorist attack and no National Guard it just goes to show you where this country is, where this country has always been and where it’s going to stay, to be quite honest.
Nothing’s changed, this is the same America its been. It’s no different. I’ve seen a lot of things of ‘shoot them like we would’ve been shot.’ I don’t think that’s the right thing to do either. I think ‘stop shooting us’ — that’s more the battle cry than necessarily ‘shoot them like we would’ve been shot.’ Just stop shooting us.
Ironically the news that’s come out of Kenosha and these places within the same 24-hour span, as that happens, and then you just see that. It’s just like a slap in the face, almost a fuck you to every Black person in America who goes through these things,”
+ There’s an open cell still waiting for you at Abu Ghraib, Ari…there might even be dogs.
+ Nancy Pelosi just said she wants every day to be a “national security event” at the Capitol, meaning, I suspect, that she will soon be encircling Capitol Hill behind the same kind of concertina wire barrier Trump erected around the White House…
+ One thing about yesterday’s ruckus I’m still not clear on: did Mitch pause to salute the Confederate battleflag as he was fleeing the well of the Senate for the comforts of his “secure location”?
+ Here’s a pretty amazing (because it’s true) statement from big coal’s favorite congressman, Thomas Massie on why it would be self-defeating for the Republicans to invalidate an electoral college vote in a quest to preserve the Trump presidency…
+ Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom this week to South African golfer Gary Player, who expressed this robust endorsement of apartheid in his 1966 book Grand Slam Golf: “I must say now, and clearly, that I am of the South Africa of Verwoerd and apartheid … a nation which … is the product of its instinct and ability to maintain civilised values and standards amongst the alien barbarians.”
+ I wonder how many Medals of Freedom Trump will be awarding for the sacking of the Capitol?
+ I’m all for festooning these medals on odious figures like Limbaugh, Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan. Like the Nobel “Peace” prize, these tarnished imperial honors need to be exposed for what they are: rewards for loyalty to political power not authentic acts of heroism or cultural achievement.
+ Stanley Cohen: “The only one who can control the moron-in-chief now is Ivanka…by threatening to break off their engagement.”
+ Ted Cruz’s entire speech to invalidate the election can be summed up as an endorsement of the Ted Cruz is literally of the compromise of 1877, which brought a close to the contested 1876 presidential election by ending Reconstruction and establishing nearly a century of Jim Crow laws.
+ From John L. Love’s early book on Jim Crow, The Disenfranchisement of the Negro (1889, The Negro Academy Press)…
Not only has the legal status of the Negro been gravely affected by these disfranchising enactments; his economic status has also been lowered. A Mississippian states the following as the reason for disfranchising the Negro in his state:
“It is a question of political economy which the people of the North can not realize nor understand and which they have no right to discuss as they have no power to determine. If the Negro is permitted to engage in politics his usefulness as a laborer is at an end. He can no longer be controlled or utilized. The South has to deal with him as an industrial and economic factor and is forced to assert its control over him in sheer self-defense.”
Thus Negro labor must be managed, and control must be asserted over him. His possession of the ballot would make him a free laborer and would enable him to demand the wages of free labor. It is truly an “economic problem,” in which not only the Negro of the South is concerned, but also the interests of free labor in every section of this country.
+ Since it first convened in 1789, nearly 2000 individuals have served in the United States Senate. Only 10 have been Black. Raphael Warnock will make it 11.
+ Mary Miller, who was just sworn in to represent Southern Illinois in Congress, was quoted endorsing Hitler during the MAGA putsch on the Mall: “If we win a few elections, we’re still going to be losing unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”
+ Meanwhile, some of the people who breached the Capitol building itself were wearing Camp Auschwitz: Work Will Make You Free t-shirts…
+ Poor Tucker. He’s even more predictable than O’Reilly. Maybe his wingman Greenwald can help him out…
+ But it looks like Tucker’s out of luck. Apparently Greenwald has found a new roosting spot on FoxNews with an even more xenophobic (if that’s possible) disciple of Ayn Rand, Laura Ingraham…
+ For some added context, maybe Laura and Glenn can interview Couy Griffen, an Otero County, New Mexico commissioner and founder of Cowboys for Trump, who a day after the raid on the Capitol pronounced:
“This is what you are going to get. You are going to get more of it….We could have a 2nd Amendment rally on those same steps that we had that rally yesterday. And if we do, then it’s going to be a sad day because there’s going to be blood running out of that building, but at the end of the day, you mark my word, we will plant our flag on the desk of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.”
+ Stasis you can believe in: 4 Democrats in the Senate and 125 Democrats in the House failed to oppose a single Trump-era Pentagon budget….
+ The nomination of Merrick Garland for Attorney General, who has an appalling record on criminal justice and civil liberties, must come as yet another disappointment to civil rights activists who were counting on a radical makeover of the Justice Department.
+ Biden was never going to aggressively reform the punitive criminal justice laws and policies he spent 40 years putting into place….
+ The return of the hyper-hawkish Victoria Nuland, one of the most noxious actors in the Obama / HRC State Department, who meddled maliciously in Ukrainian and Russian affairs, will almost certainly inflame relations between the new Biden administration and the Putin government. (See Diana Johnstone’s book Queen of Chaos for a full portrait of Nuland’s multiple acts of diplomatic malfeasance during the Obama administration.)
+ The Federalist Society can relax, Biden just got the Koch Seal of Approval…
+ We’ve finally located Biden’s base: “Among the signers: Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Pfizer, National Basketball Association, Mastercard, Blackstone Group, BlackRock, Lyft, Deloitte, Warby Parker, Moody’s, Ernst & Young, JetBlue, MetLife, Condé Nast, the Carlyle Group, Hearst, American Express.”
+ It’s worth recalling that Garland was tapped by Obama as his Supreme Court nominee because he’d determined that Garland was so “moderate” in his judicial philosophy that he’d appeal to Republicans in the US senate, who’d previously praised him.
+ Boston mayor Marty Walsh, the man Biden is nominating for Labor Secretary, gave a no-bid $1 million contract to disgraced general Stanley McChrystal to run Boston’s COVID response…
+ So the whole Bernie at Labor thing was just one more prolonged charade…
+ I thought there was an outside chance of Sanders being nominated, if only to get Bernie out of the Senate and into the cabinet, where he would be effectively emasculated like Robert Reich. But maybe Bernie agreed to play nice in the senate and carry water for some of Biden’s unpalatable policies, as he did under Clinton and Obama.
+ So what kinds of concessions to Big Coal and Big Pharma will Joe Manchin be extracting from Biden and Schumer to keep him from switching parties? (Not that they really needed any more than they are likely to get anyway.)
+ Better mountain top remove this guy before he becomes the Anthony Kennedy of the senate…
+ Right on cue, Manchin bleated on Friday morning that he would “absolutely not” support Biden’s pledge to pass a bill for $2,000 stimulus checks.
+ At $40,260 a year, Manchin’s home state of West Virgina ranks 47th in per capita income…
+ Conveniently, Joe Manchin will become Biden’s excuse for every unfulfilled promise he’s ever made.
+ With the Democrats end up in control of both houses of Congress, Biden will use that as an excuse to delay taking swift executive action to reverse some Trump’s most destructive policies. He’s already foreshadowed his intent to move at a sloth-like pace on immigration.
+ In their losing campaign ads, David Perdue made Jon Ossoff’s nose bigger and Kelly Loeffler made Raphael Warnock’s skin darker.
+ Tim Dickinson: “This was a classic case of a pair of outsiders beating two inside traders.”
+ How will Kelly Loeffler make money now?
+ Sen. Chris Coons, a close Biden ally, told CNBC: “If we have a Senate that is divided 50-50, that makes it very hard to do” big things like PR statehood. “I think the message that was just sent..was folks wanted to stop the division…and work together and deliver real relief.”
+ Here’s Zuckerburg’s rather feeble explanation for banning Trump from FB, a decision which is legal but still chilling from a free speech perspective. As I wrote in the early days of the Trumpocene Epoch, Trump’s social media feeds are the equivalent of hearing the Watergate tapes in real time. I’d rather know what he’s thinking (to the extent we can call it “thinking”) than remain in the dark and be caught off guard later…
+ The decision to block the extradition of Julian Assange was a welcome ruling, though one wishes it had been a repudiation of the insidious charges themselves….
+ What seems to have escaped Judge Baraitser is that Julian’s mental (and physical) health have deteriorated under the torturous conditions of the UK’s very own penal system, which seem just as cruel and inhumane as those in the US…and nearly as appalling as they were in Dickens’ time.
+ There’s a Stalinesque show trial aspect to the Assange ruling where dissent against imperial atrocities and systemic government corruption is labeled as a “mental illness.”
+ In denying Assange bail, a British judge has condemned him to further endure the very same torturous conditions that have ravaged his physical and mental health and formed the basis of the court’s refusal to extradite him to the US. Kafka in Belmarsh.
+ The people charged with enforcing laws in the US are the same people who enjoy impunity from transgressing them…In the latest case, the officers who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times will not be prosecuted.
+ An off-duty Austin cop in his own car got cut off by another driver. Claiming the driver had a gun, the cop shot at the car and chased it down. Then on-duty police arrived and shot the man and his passenger, while a child was in the back seat.
+ Because Biden won’t, Iran has asked Interpol to issue a Red Notice for the arrest of Donald Trump.
+ Approximately 14.3% of the US population had been infected with SARSCoV2 by November 15, according to new research in JAMA Network Open.
+ New analysis of blood donations has found that the coronavirus was present on West Coast of the US by mid-December 2019…
+ Looks like Big Pharma kept its New Years Resolution, as major drugmakers , including Abbvie Inc and Bristol Myers Squibb, raised U.S. list prices on more than 500 drugs…
+ Life expectancy in the US is far from exceptional…
+ RIP Shoshone leader Carrie Dann, one of the fiercest fighters for Native Rights and environmental (and all other kinds of) justice I’ve ever met…
+ Under cover of this week’s putsch, the real work of Trumpworld goes on with the auctioning off of oil drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge…
+ At nearly the same time, the Forest Service announced it will begin the transfer of 2,422 acres in the Tonto National Forest to Anglo-Australian mining companies Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Group Ltd. on January 15, five days before Trump leaves office. This will be first time the US government has given a Native American sacred site to a foreign mining company.
+ The gold miners who have illegally invaded Yanomami territory feel so confident they’re not going to be kicked out by Bolsonaro that they’ve started staging music concerts…
+ In one-third of US rivers, the color has changed significantly over the last three decades. Satellite observations over 35 years show that these dying rivers, which are over 60 meters wide, are now dominantly yellow and green in color, suffocating under dense sediment loads and algae blooms.
+ A new study finds that the amount of baked-in warming from carbon pollution is enough to push temperatures past 2 degrees Celsius.
+ In which John Kerry cites the murderous PLAN Colombia as a template for the kind of climate plan he is concocting for Biden: “So we put together a plan, not unlike the plan we once put together called Plan Colombia, where we put a billion dollars on the table and managed to pull Colombia back from being a failed state.”
+ California’s 2020 wildfire season spewed enough carbon dioxide into the air to equal the emissions of 24 million cars driving over the course of a year.
+ The first three months of the water year have been extremely dry across the Southwest, a region that’s in the tightening grip of a megadrought.
+ The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has decided d that the Robinson nuclear plant in South Carolina does not need to make any seismic upgrades post-Fukushima, even it owns the distinction of being the plant with the highest risk for an earthquake-caused meltdown in the US.
+ Most of us know that crows and ravens and jays are smart. But do they exhibit signs true consciousness that would even meet Descartes standard? In other words, do they think about their own thinking? Yes. New research shows that crows and other corvids “know what they know and can ponder the content of their own minds.”
+ Ignoring every gut instinct warning me not to, I watched Coppola’s attempt to salvage Godfather Three last night & concluded its actually worse & more incoherent than the original, but at least it was 4 minutes shorter. (I did enjoy briefly spotting our friend Tao Ruspoli’s father Dado).
+ The best part of Made Men, the tedious new book on the making of Goodfellas, is how much Scorsese’s filmmaking improved after he started working with Rainer Maria Fassbinder’s cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, who, after all those years with Fassbinder, was able to do two weeks of shooting in a single day. Ballhaus’ first film for Scorsese was the madcap comedy After Hours, which we just watched again and really enjoyed. Ballhaus was introduced to Scorsese by John Sayles, for whom he’d shot Baby, It’s You.
+ I highly encourage all of you who love the Southwest, wild rivers, Ed Abbey, and/or the Monkeywrench Gang to sign up to watch my friend Chris Simon’s fantastic new documentary on Ken Sleight, Abbey’s pal and the model for Seldom Seen Smith. It’s free. But donate to the Utah Film Center. They need it and deserve it.
+ Like almost everyone (in the US, at least) my introduction to Claude Bolling, who died last week at the age of 91, was his collaboration with Jean-Pierre Rampal: Jazz Suite for Piano and Flute. But the record I still play and enjoy is his rollicking take on boogie-woogie: The Original Bolling Boogie.
All the power’s in the hands of people rich enough to buy it
What I’m reading this week…
Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone
The Hearing Trumpet
What I’m listening to this week…
There is a Tide
Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 2: the Cowboy Arms Sessions
You Could Fight
“You felt, in spite of all bureaucracy and inefficiency and party strife something that was like the feeling you expected to have and did not have when you made your first communion. It was a feeling of consecration to a duty toward all of the oppressed of the world which would be as difficult and embarrasing to speak about as religious experience and yet it was as authentic as the feeling you had when you heard Bach, or stood in Chartres Cathedral or the Cathedral at León and saw the light coming through the great windows; or when you saw Mantegna and Greco and Brueghel in the Prado. It gave you a part in something that you could believe in wholly and completely and in which you felt an absolute brotherhood with the others who were engaged in it. It was something that you had never known before but that you had experienced now and you gave such importance to it and the reasons for it that you own death seemed of complete unimportance; only a thing to be avoided because it would interfere with the performance of your duty. But the best thing was that there was something you could do about this feeling and this necessity too. You could fight.” (Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls)