Roaming Charges: Revenge Tragedy

Frontispiece for The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd, 1615 edition.

+ We often hear from the humanitarian bombers that drone strikes are necessary tool for teaching repressive and misogynistic regimes a lesson in the Western values. And for 20 years that’s exactly what the US has done–a war that started with revenge killings against an entire country that had no direct role in the 9/11 plot ends with a revenge killing that killed Afghan children and their parents in retaliation for a suicide bomber, who may have been from Syria or Iraq. This high-minded rhetoric came from the pious diplomats, politicians and generals, who justified every atrocity under their occupation as the regrettable cost of modernizing a society that had tolerated “honor killings.” As the sanctimonious interventionists made their graceless retreat from Kabul, there’s little question whose honor was really lost.

+ Ralph Nader: “Biden went through the history of the 20-year war on Afghanistan. Never mentioned the starters of this unconstitutional war, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. He mentioned striking back at ISIS this week but couldn’t find one sentence to express sympathy and regret for the innocent Ahmadi family whose 10 members, including 7 children, were wiped out by an errant U.S. drone. Mr. Ahmadi worked with an American aid group. As for his mentioning constitutional government preventing endless wars, forget it. Empire as usual.”

+ True, but it’s an empire in retreat.

+ Biden’s real gift as a politician is the ability to break a promise in the process of making it.

+ The latest bombastic nonsense from the neocon chickenhawks about Afghanistan is that “Americans never leave Americans behind.” This is, of course, largely because with 850 military bases around the world America hardly, if ever, leave anywhere. But how many Americans were left in Lebanon, when the demigod of the neocons, Ronald Reagan, wisely hightailed it out of Beirut following the barracks bombing that killed 241 Marines?

+ Give Us a Mulligan, Inc…

+ There are all sorts of stories in liberal outlets arguing that the US needs to give humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, as reparations for the damage inflicted by 20 years of occupation. Let China or Russia provide the aid. American aid always comes with strings attached that would probably be as onerous and condescending as the occupation itself. (So does Chinese or Russia aid, but at least they’d be new strings.)

+ Will Madonna play Kandahar? Will we have to stop smoking black tar heroin?

+ According to a lengthy piece in the New York Times, “after a quick victory, the Taliban are finding governing harder.” I looked for the companion piece on how 245 years after the Declaration of Independence, the US finds governing almost impossible…

+ Al Gore couldn’t win his own state and refused to fight for the invalidated black votes that would have proved he won Florida and the election. Plus, Gore–who wanted to overthrow Saddam in the 90s–probably would have nuked Baghdad in response to 9/11 without even making an Afghan pit stop.

+ The 14 Democrats who joined with Republicans to approve a $25 billion boost above Biden’s Pentagon budget took $1.3 million from defense contractors and weapons makers.

+ Cost of the post-9/11 wars: 929,000 dead at a price tag of $8 trillion.

+ I got a call from Ed Asner during the buildup to the Iraq War. He was trying to reach Cockburn, who might not have paid the bill on the line Ed was dialing. He didn’t sound disappointed at getting me instead and he plunged right in, while I was thinking: “It’s fucking Lou Grant!” “What are we going to do about these bastards, St. Clair? They just fucked us.” That voice! Earlier in the day, the senate had voted to give Bush the authority bomb Baghdad. “Don’t they have any guts? Any gut at all? Don’t they stand for anything?” He wasn’t talking about the neocons. Asner was irate about the liberals, the 29 Democrats who voted for war, many of them politicians he’d raised money for: Biden, Clinton, Edwards, Feinstein, Harkin, Kerry, Schumer, Torricelli, among them. Ed was a magical fundraiser, like the ward heelers of old. Few could resist his call. “We’re going to teach them a lesson. We’re going to have to take them out next election. But what are going to do now, though? Got any ideas?” I had ideas, none of them very good. But Alex and I went down to LA and spoke at two big rallies Ed had organized, back when the antiwar movement had life and fire, back when it seemed like we just might be able to stop a war–until we were undermined by people we thought were on our side, leaving not just the anti-war movement fractured and impotent, but the entire country at war with itself and in denial about what it had become. But Ed always knew where he was and never stopped working on ways to get others to join him. (Our own Dr. Susan Block has written a beautiful tribute to Asner, the sexy socialist, in this weekend’s edition.)

+ This is the function of NPR in a nutshell: to cultivate a liberal audience and make them suspicious about their own best instincts, ideas and heroes……

+ A new Justice Department court filing says John Pierce, the anti-vaxx lawyer representing 17 of the Jan. 6 defendants, “is reportedly ill with COVID-19, on a ventilator, and unresponsive….” bringing his cases to a halt. There’s a bit a of snag, however, with attorney Pierce’s proposed replacement, as described in footnote two: “It is unclear if and when Mr. Marshall [the attorney’s replacement] will be able to obtain a bar license, given that Mr. Marshall currently faces felony criminal charges in two cases…”

+ Percent of ICU beds in each state filled just with COVID patients:

Mississippi 59%
Alabama 55.7%
Florida 53.3%
Georgia 53.1%
Texas 49.6%
Arkansas 48.1%
Louisiana 46.8%
Idaho 46.3%
Okla 42.5%
Hawaii 41.9%
N.Carolina 39.9%
Missouri 39.3%
Kentucky 39.3%
Tennessee 36%

+ More than 80 percent of Americans received $1400 cash payments from the Biden stimulus plan. But a new poll from Civiqs shows that only 37 percent of Americans say Biden has done something that benefited them personally, while 57 percent say he hasn’t. Maybe he should have stuck to his promise of putting a $2,000 check into every American’s account.

+ Since Biden assumed office, he has canceled less than $10 billion in student debt. Over the same period of time total student debt has increase by five-fold more than what Biden’s canceled.

Jan. 20th, 2021: $1,789,486,921,972
Sep. 2nd, 2021: $1,842,204,407,728
Increase: $52,717,485,756

+ In 2002, the year before Lula took power, Brazil’s GDP was $508 Billion (US). By 2014 the GDP had soared nearly 500%,  reaching $2.4 Trillion. In 2015, US-backed Lava Jato judge Sergio Moro sabotaged key sectors of Brazilian industry in an attempt to destabilize the government. Brazil’s GDP plunged to $1.8 Trillion, where it remains. Way to go, Obama.

+ Since the beginning of 2021, the IDF has arrested more than 1,000 Palestinian children.

+ You can see why new owners of Politico are demanding that their staff support the state of Israel, before reporting on child detentions or home demolitions…

+ Cuba’s incarceration rate–which recently prompted the Biden/Blinken State Dept to slap even more economic sanctions on the already embargoed nation–is half that of 3 US states: OK, LA and MS, and less than that of 38 states, including the US as a whole.

Source: Prison Policy Initiative.

+ The Roberts court, preoccupied with protecting slumlords, declined to hear a challenge to a draconian new Texas law that essentially bans abortions after the sixth week (that is before many women even realize they are pregnant) and deputizes neighbors, pastors and angry ex-boyfriends as abortion snitches. It could well represent the death kneel for Roe.  But erosion of abortion rights started the day after the Roe decision was handed down and the pro-abortion movement dissipated. Abortion rights for poor women were eliminated by the Hyde Amendment, which was renewed by both Democratic and Republican congresses (with Biden’s avid support) and administrations. The Supreme Court didn’t give women abortion rights, it was won on the street, through years of struggle, which is where the fight will have to take place again.

+ Those who bellow the most loudly about the sanctity of “limited government” are almost invariably the same people who brusquely support three of the most extreme powers of the state: the power to invade other countries, the power to execute citizens & the power to force women to give birth against their will.

+ To me the focus on exceptions for “rape or incest” is misguided. Either women have a right to control their bodies or they don’t. The Texas case clarified what’s at stake and how badly that basic right has been traduced, partly as a consequence of RBG’s extreme selfishness in clinging so long to her seat that she allowed one of the world’s most thuggish misogynists to name her replacement and partly as a result of the Democrats’ repeated failure to codify abortion rights during the decades when they had complete control of the government.

+ Remington, the gun manufacturer being sued by Sandy Hook parents, subpoenaed their slain children’s attendance, academic and disciplinary records…

+ Shots fired! Man down!! Chelsea Manning:

Glenn Greenwald, I don’t have $10,000 right now but if I get it I want to send it back to you from a donation you once did. I can’t deal with this anymore. I’m terrified of you and everything you do. you’re greedy, unprincipled, and I’m embarrassed for ever considering you a friend. saying what’s on my mind anymore or taking a stand from the people that I once considered allies but who have chosen to bash, harass, humiliate, intimidate, and lie to get ahead to those he has hurt I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. I was scared and that’s my fault.

+ Rashomon, the Purdue Pharma version…

+ If Sirhan killed RFK and if his motive was retaliation for Kennedy’s support of the sale of 50 F-4 Phantom jets to Israel to kill Palestinians, then the case against his parole–that he might be tempted to repeat his crime–might be compelling since the US is selling Israel far more weapons now. But that’s not the case Rory Kennedy makes in this strange NYT column, not strange for her–since who among us can put ourselves in her shoes–but strange that the Times printed it, since it argues that parole should be used to extort a confession, which is the kind of coercive use of government power the Kennedys (including her father and uncles) always claimed to oppose.

+ Three decades after the Kyoto Protocols on climate change, the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is the highest in more than 800,000 years. I don’t think the approach the world’s industrial nations have taken to climate change even qualifies as “incrementalism.”

+ Where Ida went…

+ That 3.14 inches of rain that drenched NYC on Weds. night from 8:51-9:51 PM, shattered the previous record of 1.94–a that record was set a month ago.

+ The worst inland oil spill in U.S. history occurred on the original Line 3 pipeline. And even before oil has begun to flow, the new Line 3 pipeline has experienced 28 drilling fluid spills into 12 river crossings…

+ Biden’s oil envoy, Amos Hochstein, ran a shadowy consulting firm with foreign fossil fuel clients, personally advised an Emirati gas company, and owns stock in companies with horrific human rights records. Is it any wonder that Biden just moved to open 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling?

+ Is Biden getting any political credit from the holy “moderates” for opening 80 million acres of the Gulf to new oil leases? No. So why do it? Perhaps because he’s always supported the oil industry, wants their $$$, and knows that Gang Green will stick with him no matter how egregious his betrayals.

+ The flow of the  Colorado river has declined by nearly 20 percent from its flow throughout the 1900s. If the current rate of warming continues, the loss is likely to be 50 percent by the end of this century.

+ The number of steelhead returning from the Pacific Ocean to the river this year is the lowest ever recorded. As of this week, just over 29,000 steelhead passed Bonneville Dam since July 1, less than half the average of the past five years.

+ Like Trump, Biden is opening another 2.1 million acres of federal wildlife refuge land to hunting. Unlike Trump, Biden’s Interior Department is “framing” this slaughterfest as part of his “aggressive conservation agenda.” The greenwashing of the business-as-usual schemes coming out of the Biden Interior and Agriculture Depts is so fast and furious now that they announce these policies while the paint is still wet.

+ Caldor Fire as it crossed Echo Summit and descended on South Lake Tahoe…

Photo: Caltrans.

+ Not sure that firefighters should be risking their lives to protect huge homes built in fireprone forests (which is basically all forests west of 100th Meridian). But it’s another example of “socialism” at work that’s never acknowledged as such by the “I support the first responders” crowd.

+ South Tahoe has a large working-class population, mainly to service the wealthy. They are mostly renters. As far as houses go, the median sale price this year is $735,000–$200,000 higher than the insane market in Portland, Oregon.

+ Speaking of socialism for the rich…

Q: Will ratepayers face fees from Hurricane Ida’s damage to Entergy lines?

Deanna Rodriguez (Entergy CEO): We’ll have to see I don’t have an answer to that. We’ll have to take stock of what federal funds we can get.

+ Excellent piece by Kirbie Bennett in the Durango Telegraph on the kidnapping of Native Children (and not just because it quotes yours truly)…

+ In my CounterPunch Plus essay this week on Dollar General and the destruction of rural America I wrote about the recent suicide of an acquaintance, a 28-year-old man who, in a moment of economic despair, shot himself in his mother’s house, in the room next to where his younger brother slept. When I visited his gravesite, I found that someone glued four rifle cartridges and one empty slot to his memorial plaque. (I’m informed by someone who knows that the serviceable section of a 7.62 x 51mm ammunition feed belt, from a fully automatic M-60 machine gun, capable of discharging 550 rounds per minute.) I’ve spent a lot of time in cemeteries doing genealogical and biographical research over the years and never encountered something like this. He wasn’t a veteran of the military, just a young man who liked guns. Was his death being mocked by local trolls? Or is this some sinister form of tribute, a macabre manifestation of how deeply NRA-culture has embedded itself in the psyche of the American outback, where self-murder with a gun is celebrated as an honorable way to exit.

Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

+ According to James W. Loewen’s book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, on the day Ho Chi Minh died in September 1969 there was a biography of John Brown on is desk.

+ I haven’t dipped into the CounterPunch mailbag in several months, so in effort to spare you any more of my jokes and jibes this week I’m going to turn over several column inches (are they inches or now pixels?) to CounterPunch readers:

“History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.”

Much like Monica Lewinsky saved Social Security, Cuomo’s resignation, prompted by his predatory sexual behavior, probably saved the State University Of New York system. Cuomo was touting, with the endorsement of Frau Clinton and “Comrade” Sanders a system whereby the universality (really affordability) of the SUNY system would essentially vitiated by a neo-liberal “means tested “ tuition regime.

I’m a SUNY product when the system was at its apex in the early 70’s- tenured radicals in every department of the arts and social “sciences”. One of my mentors, the indefatigable Marxist, co-chair of the Economics Dept. Robert B. Carson, did however retire in disgust as one of the last Reds standing in the early 00’s as he found the students totally uninterested in his Introduction to Radical Economic Theory.

– Paul Whalen

Louis Proyect

I read the articles on Louis Proyect. I am saddened to read he has passed away. I learned from many of his articles. They are and will be very important. Please share my condolences with his loved ones. Thank you again for allowing writers like Louis to guide us with knowledge. His combative spirit is here with us all the time.

– Jimmy Centano

Dollar General

Dear Jeffrey:

You knocked it out of the park, based loaded. Thank you.

Tony Litwinko

Cuomo and Gas

He may have supported natural gas as a bridge fuel (Sierra Club and Bloomberg), but later he also imposed a State moratorium on fracking and pulled the Clean Water Act’s Section 401 Water Quality Certification trigger to kill major gas pipelines. I somehow can’t get the anti-pipeline people to focus on this State regulatory tool, which is not preempted by the Natural Gas Act and FERC.

I was unaware of the disparity in installed capacity – really bad. Thanks for that.

Bill Wolfe

Dollar General

A very fine piece, one of your best… Really good: compassionate, tough, and wise.

Daniel Wolff

Louisville

I just read the piece on CP+ on your stay in southern Indiana.  I had a book of business in and around Columbus between 2005 and 2015, working to establish and administer employer retirement plans, and am familiar with the terrain.  Columbus is relatively prosperous compared to the tiny towns not far removed from it.  There is real suffering in some of those places, sadly.

Chris Coyle

Economic Dystopias

Superb article on Indiana malaise and how Dollar General fits right in. Reminds me of Nicholas Kristof’s book on Yamhill [Oregon], city and county of. I would really like a book based on what you’re telling us in this article. One difference of opinion, or perhaps terminology: Where you’re talking about Dollar General’s fitting in the Indiana  “economic model”, seems to me that what we’re really talking about is  a “cultural model”. Sadly, a model whereby a person stops shopping at his neighbors’ grocery and men’s store in order to save a few bucks shopping at a wretched retail joke like DG. While you didn’t explicitly mention “dystopia” you made it clear by mentioning the possibility of 30,000 DGs in the near future!

Les Margosian

Indiana

Your article about Indiana was quite a treat for me. My parents divorced in Chicago when I was a child and my mother brought us to live with her mother in Leavenworth, Indiana. I went to the grade school there until we moved to Louisville when I was around the age of ten or 11. (1947ish)

In the early 90s there was a high school reunion in Louisville which I went to but really, all I wanted to do was rent a car and drive across the river to see Leavenworth and to test my memory. I wandered around and actually remembered quite a bit. I thought the town would be run down and depressing but it wasn’t. It probably is now based on your report. I went for lunch at the Overlook cafe which really is quite a beautiful vista. A group of six young men came in, all of whom had T shirts inscribed with religious “thoughts”. Your observations brought that picture right back to me and reminded me how much I didn’t belong. I had a very nice lunch and headed back to Louisville and the reunion.

I have lived in California since I left Louisville in 1955 and this reunion trip was the only time I’ve been back to the area but I was so glad I got to see Leavenworth. The school is planning a 65th reunion post Covid. Perhaps I’ll go and make it two times in 65 years.

Thank you for a walk back in time.

Kindest regards,
Donald Shain

Carrion Feeders of Rural America

This commentary on Dollar General was essential reading for me.  I grew up in rural America, on a 160-acre family farm in NE Iowa.  This was late 40s & 50s when every retailer was family owned; the pharmacy, grocery store, hardware store, eateries and taverns.  Farming was essentially organic, although we wouldn’t have known the meaning of the word back then. Closer to 19th century farming.  We even had a pair of draft horses.  Now the Dollar stores, etc.  This from Harper’s Index August Issue “Percentage of new chain stores in the United States that are either Dollar General, Family Dollar or Dollar Tree: 39%” Paul Street has insightfully described the state of Iowa’s descent into the abyss.

I was deeply saddened this morning when reading of the passing of Louis Proyect.  Passionate cinephile that I am, I have read everything he has posted for years.  I copied many of them and have a thick file of his analysis. He was my go-to source for cinema as David Yearsley is for music.  Thank you for bringing him to readers like me.

From Kansas City, MO
Dean Guthrie

The Dollar General Theory of Employment and Money

That was a really beautiful piece of writing — and an important one. It is such a shame that it is behind a paywall. I would love to be able to share it widely.

Lorraine Suzuki

Semantics

No big deal, just an observation. About 15 years ago I contacted a minor media contributor about how the word “strike”, as in drone-strike, allied strike, airstrike, etc., was compared to the use of  “enemy attacks”.  “Strike” was being used by the MSM as an euphemism, a sanitizing word, to discretely separate “us from them, the enemy ‘”attackers'” of the moment.  It still is the common practice of the MSM for purposes of alleged enemy differentiation.  Just a thought, but the practice is genuine among the MSM.  Maybe calling attention to this discrepancy is worth a few words  in your weekly roundup, which is exceptional for bringing attention to environmental and ecological matters affecting us all.  To me, an attack is an attack is an attack,  regardless of its origin…period.  Briefly stated, the USA good guys commit “strikes” while the ubiquitous bad guys  commit “attacks”.

Dave Morton
Boulder, Colorado

Dollar General and Rural America

Just a quick note to commend you for your essay on Dollar General and the (continuing) decline of rural American communities.

I was a staff editor of American Agriculturist magazine for ten years in the 1970s and for a couple more as editor-general manager of New England Farmer. In that capacity I would roam the dirt roads of northeastern USA, interviewing, photographing, and writing stories intended to help farmers earn a better living.

But on the way to the research plots, dairy farms, and Mom and Pop vegetable farms, a bigger picture began to emerge. Why is it, I would ask myself, farms would immediately begin to look more prosperous after crossing a state line? Or doubly more obviously so upon crossing into Ontario or especially Quebec?

And why are these small towns in upstate NY shriveling up?

Your essay adds a few more decades to the story, and it’s not a pretty story.  Thanks for telling it so well.

Alan Knight

Louis Proyect

Jeffrey,

I am one of those “doctrinaire anti-Imperialists,” and an ex-Trotskyist at that, who believes that Proyect’s columns on matters like Syria placed him on the side of the enemy. He never met a Syrian jihadist or right-wing Ukrainian “freedom fighter” he didn’t like. I think his columns took up far too much space in Counterpunch, besides being personally vicious in tone. I could give a crap what he thought of films.

Sincerely,

Richard Lenzi
(author of “Facing Toward the Dawn: The Italian Anarchists of New London,” reviewed in Counterpunch by Ron Jacobs)

Dollar General Theory

Mr. St. Clair,

Thank you for taking the time to write what so many of us have been observing in the hinterlands for decades. Both IGA stores in northern Muskingum County, Ohio (where the closest grocery store is 20 miles away) have closed down. There is a Dollar General, but those without transportation eat out of convenience stores and food banks.

Tennessee is the home state of the Dollar General Corporation. Due to Dollar General beancounters switching from employed company truckers to private contractors to deliver goods to local stores, the shelves here have been empty (or close to empty) for several months this summer. We are not hoarders, but whenever there is stock on the pegs we grab whatever we can afford. Frankly, it feels like a total breakdown in the national supply chain is more than imminent.

The absolute irony of the non-stop coverage of Afghanistan since August 15, 2021, compared to the news blackout that dominated U.S. mainstream media since 2007, seems to have been completely eliminated from the conversation of pundits and on-air commentators. Sort of like that $15 an hour minimum wage promised to voters in GA if they elected Warnock and Ossoff never did materialize, and hasn’t been mentioned again by a failed Democratic Party incapable of reigning in narcissistic megalomaniacs like Sinema and Manchin.

BTW- the reason people watch what they say in bars these days has more to do with Stand Your Ground Laws and the ongoing insanity of mass shootings, than some honest desire to avoid offending other people. Where we live the weapon of choice still has four wheels, but that doesn’t mean “hunting accidents” aren’t a convenient option for those of limited intellectual capacity to make their final argument. I know Indiana has its share of Sundown Towns… but I haven’t seen an African-American resident in Monroe County, TN in 3 years!

Personally, our family was already avoiding ill-informed and delusional Trump supporters prior to February 2020, but skyrocketing rates of the Delta variant in a county with a 34% vaccination rate has provided us with more motivation to stay home… than say your average, “Fuck Your Feelings” t-shirt. It seems Baptists can now curse for political reasons.

IN ANSWER TO YOUR FINAL QUESTION- What comes next is a racial war initiated by White Nationalists backed by racist police and county sheriffs: Civil War 2.0

Brad

Do You Ever Think?

While reading with great interest your dissection of the morally incomprehensible and abject corruption of what is euphemistically called “ The Afghan war” I was jarred back to reality as you once again true to form reflexively regurgitated the Covid 1984 talking points regarding ivermectin.  Do you not see the brutal irony of your position as co-founder / editor of what is ostensibly a counterweight to the pablum offered by Fox, CNN, MSNBC etc…. in this context you sound exactly like the ones you mock so rightfully. You have information sent to you and at your fingertips yet still choose to be an useful idiot. Is this really the best that you can do ? I’m afraid at this point I know the answer

Frank

Dollar General Down Under

I read your article on the Dollar General Stores and I actually wept. Your writing made the tragedy so real for me. I posted it on Facebook – which believe it or not, a few people will actually read – and sent it to all my friends in an e-mail link. I think it is one of the best pieces you have ever written. So thank you – even though I feel totally wrecked with sadness.

I am an American living in a small town in Australia with my Australian husband. There is a saying in Australia – We are ten years behind the U.S. in trends. I think this is actually true. I feel like my political life in Australia is in many ways, one long déjà vu. The Dollar General Store equivalents are here too, battling it with Walmart equivalents for market share while all the ma and pop stores close around them because they can’t compete. Even cafe’s struggle as people flock to MacDonalds for a “cheaper option” that somehow doesn’t ever seem to be that much cheaper.

Anyway, I just had to write to tell you how much your essay moved me – which I am sure was your intention. I am sure it has had a profound effect on other readers as well.

Valerie Tweedie
Port Pirie, South Australia

+ I came across this photo of Alexander Cockburn that I took about 20 years ago on a Labor Day Weekend ramble in the King Range on the Lost Coast. As I recall, Alex was explaining precisely how he was going to cook the tri-tip on a campfire we almost certainly had no business lighting in those dry conditions (though they were downright moist compared to today). I hope you’re Labor Day weekend is as relaxed as ours was…

+ In 1980, Paul McCartney was arrested in Japan when 7.7 ounces of marijuana was found in his luggage, discovery that could have meant years in prison. After thousands of letters poured in to the Japanese government supporting McCartney, he was released and deported after only 9 days in lockup. One of the most authoritative letters was from Lee “Scratch” Perry, the Sun Ra of Reggae, who died this week:

Dear Sirs,

I Lee Pipecock Jackson Perry would LOVE to express my concern over your consideration of one quarter of a kilo to be an excessive amount of herbs in the case as it pertains to MASTER Paul McCartney.

As a creator of NATURE’s LOVE, LIGHT, LIFE and all things under the sun, positive feelings through songs, good times and no problems, I find the Herbal powers of marijuana in its widely recognized abilities to relax, calm and generate positive feeling a must.

Herbs is his Majesty’s. All singers positive directions and liberty Irrations. Please do not consider the amount of herbs excessive.

Master Paul McCartney’s intentions are positive.

Baby Blue Green Star
Pipecock Jackson
Lee “Scratch” Perry
Banana I Eye Pen Ja
Nature’s Love Defender

+ The SF Examiner of 9/24/61 references performances by one of the greatest bands never to be recorded–unless, in some forgotten box, lodged on the rafters of some cobwebbed attic in the Mission, there is a tape…

+ Somewhat surprisingly, NPR ran a great reflection this week by keyboardist Tom Ries on his years playing jazz and rock with Charlie Watts: “One night in Pittsburgh, we went to hear the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, which featured Frank Wess, James Moody and Jimmy Heath in the sax section. Backstage, Charlie was like a young boy again, in disbelief that he was standing in the same room as three of his heroes. Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get better, Jimmy Heath got our attention and started dancing around the dressing room. This jazz master, for our amusement, was doing his best Mick Jagger impression. Charlie got quite a chuckle from that sight.”

Doesn’t Buy Things to Fill Voids, Doesn’t Hate the Sound of Her Own Voice

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

The Journeys of Trees: a Story About Forests, People and the Future
Zach St. George

Particulate Matter
Felicia Luna Lemus
(Akashic Books)

Blood on the River: a Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast
Marjoleine Kars

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Absence
Terence Blanchard
(Blue Note)

Sounds From the Ancestors
Kenny Garrett
(Mack Avenue)

All Things Are
Kevin Hays / Ben Street / Billy Hart
(Smoke Sessions)

Raw, Glittering Force

“Raw, glittering force, however, compounded of the cruel Machiavellianism of nature, if it is to be but Machiavellian, seems to exercise a profound attraction for the conventionally rooted. Your cautious citizen of average means, looking out through the eye of his dull world of seeming fact, is often the first to forgive or condone the grim butcheries of theory by which the strong rise.” (Theodore Dreiser, The Titan)

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 @JeffreyStClair3

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