Roaming Charges: This Week’s Episodes in “That’s Psychotic!”

Toilets, the Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Art , Joshua Tree, California. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

“There’s a difference between saying: ‘Look, I’m going to kick him in the face because I want what he has,’ and the American way, which is to say ‘I’m going to kick him in the face because that’s right and just, and if he tries to get out of the way, he’s a criminal.’ That’s psychotic.” – Chomsky

+ Biden’s own CIA director, career diplomat and Russia hand William Burns, has long argued that NATO expansion, especially with regard to Ukraine, is a provocative miscalculation that will enrage Russia and exacerbate tensions across eastern Europe. In a 2008 memo to Condoleeza Rice, then Bush’s Secretary of State, Burns wrote:

“Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.”

+ Biden doesn’t seem to be listening to Burns now, having sidelined him in favor of the Russia hawks Victoria Nuland and Tony Blinken, with predictable consequences.

+ Maj. King Kong: “Well, I’ve been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones.”

+ Leave it to the odious Bob Menendez to refer to the German Chancellor as being in “lock-step” with the US on Ukraine.

+ Bernie Sanders finally came out with a statement on Ukraine. Amid his calls for more diplomacy, there are the obligatory denunciations of Putin as “a corrupt authoritarian,” which doesn’t seem very diplomatic at this fraught hour. He judiciously cautions against the levying of new sanctions, but then closes with one of his typical contortions: “We must vigorously support diplomatic efforts to deescalate this crisis and reaffirm Ukrainian independence and sovereignty. And we must make clear that Putin and his gang of oligarchs will face major consequences should he continue down the current path.”

+ What about our gang of oligarchs, Bernie?

+ “NATO’s existence became justified by the need to manage threats provoked by its enlargement” — Richard Sakwa, historian and specialist on East Europe

+ During the first week of the Beijing Olympics, the Biden administration approved a $100 million weapons sale to what Roger Waters once dubbed the “shoe-factory called Taiwan.” The package included a Patriot missile defense system, sure to antagonize the Chinese.

+ The thinking behind this is not, how shall I put it, first-rate…

+ Grant won the Civil War by making the South fight on multiple fronts at once. The Biden Doctrine seems to be to force the US into simultaneous confrontations with China and Russia, while continuing “minor” wars in the Middle East and Africa. Excuse me, but this makes Bush’s “strategery” seem profound.

+ Richard Stengel is a political analyst at MSNBC, a former Under Secretary of State in Obama administration and the former Editor TIME. Apparently the ability to spew forth banalities like this on-demand is the surest route to lofty sinecures in both the State Department and the mainstream media…

+ If the IDF believes that this photo of the blindfolded, handcuffed and abandoned to die Omar Assad is exculpatory, imagine what’s going on the photos of arrests and detentions that they refuse to release.

+ It has long been the case that it is easier to articulate the true nature of the Israeli state from within than from without, where any such descriptions are immediately deemed anti-semitic and muted by the masters of the “free press”…

+ Michael Benyair, Israel’s former Attorney General: “It is with great sadness that I must also conclude that my country has sunk to such political and moral depths that it is now an apartheid regime. It is time for the international community to recognise this reality as well.”

+ Meanwhile, Israel’s Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked is pushing a bill to ban Palestinian family unification, which she claims is meant to stop the “creeping right of return.”

+ According to the New York Times, Erik Prince is just another “military contractor”…

+ Art Spiegelman’s Maus is a brilliant and powerful book, one of the greatest graphic novels ever published. Now, imagine a Palestinian version of Maus, set in Sabra and Shatila. How many shelves would it be evicted from and how many people would rush to its defense?

+ If we can’t tax churches, can we at least tax the carbon emissions from their book burnings?

+ Can you be a little more explicit about what you mean by “explicit“, Senator Cruz?

+ The key questions is whether the “explicit porn left-wing teachers” are spreading in Texas’s schools is more or less explicit than the porn Cruz himself was liking and sharing on his social media account?

+ Shortly after Ethan Lynne, a 17-year-old high school student in Virginia, retweeted a Richmond public radio station’s report about Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plan to halt efforts to highlight the history of enslaved people at the Executive Mansion, the Gov.’s campaign attacked Lynne, posting a photo of the teen with former governor Ralph Northam that was taken at a Democratic fundraiser in the fall, saying: “Here’s a picture of Ethan with a man that had a Blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook.” Youngkin didn’t apologize to the student, but he did send out this Tweet trying to disclaim any personal responsibility.

+ No, Governor, this is a typical stunt on your part. You’re the boxer who moves down a weight class, instead of up, to try and score a few cheap points, until you’ve finally started throwing punches at kids…

+ Politicians are all about “personal responsibility,” except when it comes to themselves, when they always have staff to blame.

+ If Joe Rogan’s use of the N-word and other racist slurs on 70 different shows was taken “out of context,” if it was only an etymological discourse on the semantic drift of words, then why apologize and express “shame” about it? And why remove the clarifying context by deleting the shows, leaving behind only the admission that you repeatedly used racist language?

+ The stock price will bounce back up when Spotify starts charging a premium to listen to the 70 deleted episodes…

+ Derrida: “You only ask forgiveness for the unforgiveable.” (Perjury and Pardon.) Or if you’re desperate to save your $100 million gig…

+ Adam Rothman: “I’m going to have to rename my Civil War class ‘Great Moments in Legitimate Political Discourse.'”

+ Tamara Lich, organizer of the Canadian anti-vaxx trucker convoy,  launched a previous truckers protest in 2019, before COVID had made headlines.

+ I know the year is young, but this will almost certainly prove to be one of 2022’s best headlines, capturing so much of our era in one sentence…

+ Dr. Jill was sent forth this week to break the news that Biden’s promise of “free community college” was “off the table.” Which begs the question: Is there any room left on the floor?

+ The cost of the community college plan Biden ditched? $11 billion a year or roughly what the Pentagon burns ever five days.

+ True. We’re averaging about four 9/11s a week now. But it’s important to recognize the deaths from 9/11 resulted from a suicidal attack by cowardly outsiders against our “values”, while the Covid deaths (the equivalent of 300 9/11s) have resulted from a suicide pact by courageous patriots in defense of our “values”!

+ David Wallace-Wells: “The logic of vaccination is not as strong from social obligation as from individual risk reduction. And yet, to judge from our tragic performance in the age of vaccines, this pathologically individualistic country has failed miserably there, too.”

+ What do you call it when you impose the cost of your freedom on the rest of society, especially on those who treat the consequences of your hazardous “choices,” at risk of their own health? Externality doesn’t quite cut it.

+ A new study published in Nature (this one a survey of more than 150,000 cases) confirms previous reports that the risk of vascular disease doubles or worse after being infected with COVID-19 and gets higher depending on the seriousness of the COVID-19 infection.

+ Over the over the course of the pandemic, the risk of death from Covid-19  was 60 percent higher for Black people and 90 percent higher for Native Americans compared with Whites, and 80 percent higher for Hispanics compared with non-Hispanics. So naturally, Stephen Miller is filing a class action suit claiming that there’s a genocidal plot to keep white people from getting Covid vaccines and therapeutics.

+ I haven’t been surprised by anything RFK, Jr’s done since his antics at NRDC, the most corporate environmental group in the states. Throwing his wife Cheryl under the bus, demeaning Anne Frank, whining about being underpaid at $350,000 a year. All par for the course. But even my jaded eyes did a double-take when I saw the headline that his anti-vaxx group, Children’s Health Defense Network, had given a $50,000 contribution to the Republican Attorneys General Association, one of the groups pushing the conspiracy that Biden stole the 2020 elections (from Trump, not the primaries he stole from Sanders). And an illegal contribution at that. The rightwing Attorneys’ General association, founded by Ken Paxton from Texas, is a 527 political action group. RKF’s organization is a 501(c)3 public charity and by law is prohibited from giving money to political operations. RFK’s group claimed ignorance of the restrictions, but this hardly washes since RFK has been a lawyer working with nonprofits almost his entire professional career. He’s even incorporated a few, including Waterkeeper’s, which he once ran for $450,000 a year.

+ RFK, Jr’s ties with MAGA go all the way to the top (or the bottom, depending on your perspective). Here he is with Michael Flynn, Roger Stone and Charlene Bollinger, who is selling her anti-vaxx videos for $499 a pop.

+ Once the “populist right” starts asking these kinds of questions, who knows where it will end up…the nationalization of the banks?

+ Those workers with household incomes of less than $25,000 were 3.5 times more likely to miss a week of work due to COVID symptoms, compared to those earning $100,000 a year or more.

+ While 95% of high wage workers enjoy paid sick leave, only 35% of low wage workers do, thus exacerbating the already extreme inequities of the pandemic.

+ Chicago’s terrible Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said that remote learning is leading to an increase in …uhm…carjackings.

+++

+ They don’t even pretend anymore. They’re quite explicit about about the botification of everything, a future of droids making droids: “With human labor, what they produce depends on if they’re hungry or are they tired or have they had their coffee… We still have employees working around the robots, but we can reduce labor by roughly half.” Now all they need are robots to buy shit. But they’re smarter than that…

+ Ray Bradbury: “People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it.”

+ One analysis suggests that police officers are 14 times more likely to be involved in a sex crime than people on the sex offender registry are to repeat their offenses.

+ In your city, Mayor Adams, that “anything goes” mindset starts on Wall Street and runs all the way through the NYPD…

+ Cops lie, about matters big and trivial: Eric Adams, the self-proclaimed vegan, was outed ordering fish last week in a NYC restaurant.

+ Eric Adams: “You take someone hooked on heroin, put them in one room, and someone hooked on cheese, put them in another room, and you take it away, I challenge you to tell me the person that’s hooked on heroin and who’s hooked on cheese.” Sounds like the mayor may be hooked on something, himself.

+ Welcome to the Adamsification of the Democratic Party. Soon they’ll all be campaigning as Vegans (Who Eat Fsh on Fridays) for Stop-and-Frisk.

+ Val Demings is the Biden Crime Bill come to life…

+ So tax cuts and more money for police are the cornerstones of Demings’ domestic campaign strategy for defeating Rubio. Can’t wait to hear how she squeezes to the right of Marco on Cuba and Venezuela.

+ Two the Minneapolis police officers on a SWAT team that was captured on body camera video firing at citizens without warning from an unmarked cargo van days after the police killing of George Floyd were also part of the no-knock raid that led to Amir Locke’s killing.

+ Peter Cahill, the judge in the Chauvin trial, signed the no-knock warrant in the raid that led to the police shooting and killing Amir Locke…

+ Nearly two-thirds of Black people in the US have had an immediate family member incarcerated…

+ Kafka in Gitmo: “Legally there is no mechanism whereby a court, in habeas corpus cases, or Periodic Review Boards, can actually secure the release of men who have ‘won their freedom’. There is no legal requirement for their release to actually take place.” – Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, attorney for Gitmo detainees.

+ Bloomberg’s going to take stop-and-frisk to an entirely new level….

+ From the lawsuit filed against Harvard and anthro Professor Comaroff: “Harvard dragged the process out for over a year, foisted inordinate burdens on Plaintiffs, then willfully ignored the overwhelming evidence they marshaled. During the process Harvard obtained Kilburn’s private therapy records without her consent and disclosed them to Comaroff.”

+ The only thing surprising about the scandal at Harvard is the fact that so many people are surprised this is happening at Harvard.

+ In another section of the complaint, Comaroff is described as comparing himself to Harvey Weinstein…

+ A little known section of Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill, largely scripted by Joe Biden, banned Pell grants for incarcerated students. The effect was immediate. Within a year, the number of incarcerated college students plunged by an estimated 44%. Two years later, out of 772 prison college programs that operated in the early 1990s, only eight were remained.

+ The Mayor of Hudson, Ohio seems to believe that ice-fishing is a gateway activity to … prostitution. (I’m sure the largemouth bass agree.)

+ In the Alabama gerrymandering case, the plaintiffs sued within hours of the new maps being adopted by the state. The case was expedited by trial court, which issued an extensive opinion in January, four months before May 24 election. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that to strike down the new district maps would cause chaos for the elections. Even John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion in Shelby v. Holder (2013) gutting the Voting Rights Act, wasn’t buying this rationale and joined the dissenters.

+ Why waste your breath talking about expanding the Court if you’re just going to get more pro-police, anti-civil liberties, torture-approving neoliberal deregulationists from the people who campaigned under the banner: “Elect Us to Save the Supreme Court”?

+ In Utah, the state welfare system is almost inseparable from the Mormon Church, where it’s often up to LDS bishops to decide who receives assistance. There are several cases where the bishops have refused to give aid unless the person agrees to attend church services or gets baptized.

+ The neocon panjandrum Jonah Goldberg (author of “Liberal Fascism”) has been hired by CNN, after leaving FoxNews, while NBC snapped up his “intellectual” soulmate Stephen Hayes (author of the neocon fantasy book, “The Connection: How Al Qaeda’s Collaboration With Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America”). How long will it be before CNN and MSNBC start picking up the castoffs from Newsmax and OAN?

+ Nails were about the only thing the Polynesians wanted from the Cook expeditions…in addition to Captain Cook’s head, of course. They wanted that too and ultimately took it.

+ The National Archives says it had to retrieve 15 boxes of Trump presidential records from Mar a Lago in January of this year. Why did they wait a year? And why does the Washington Post refer to the theft of public records as “improper“, instead of illegal?  Clinton’s former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger lost his law license and paid a $50,000 for purloining copies of classified documents relating to the Millennium bombing plot from the National Archives in an attempt to cover-up intelligence lapses under his watch in the Clinton Administration.

+ Investigators with the House have apparently found “gaps” in the White House phone call logs for January 6th. Rosemary Woods, where are you?

+ The revelations (if you can call them that) of Trump munching on White House memos (probably the healthiest part of his diet) should lead to a revival of that shelved Dylan film Eat the Document

+ So under Reagan ketchup was declared a nutritious vegetable and under Trump White House documents were considered an essential fiber.

+ Given all that fiber intake by Trump, it’s no wonder why the Oval Office toilets were so frequently clogged

+ The flushing episodes are extracted from Maggie Haberman’s forthcoming book on Trump, Confidence Man, schedule for publication in October. Haberman’s been taking a lot of heat for saving this nugget for her book and not disclosing a potential federal crime on the pages of the New York Times, a paper which went into a prolonged spasmatic fit during its coverage of HRC’s emails.

+ I’m no fan of Haberman’s reporting, but it’s ridiculous at this point to think that revelations of even the most outrageous conduct by Trump in the NYT or Washington Post would nudge popular opinion about the man.

+ One arbiter of journalist ethics sneered that Haberman had betrayed the profession and asserted that Woodward and Bernstein had not reserved “juicy” details of Watergate for their book. This is nonsense. In fact, the aspect most people remember about Woodward and Bernstein’s Watergate reporting–Deep Throat–appeared only in the book, not their Post stories.

+ I guess the big question is whether the classified love letters between Trump and Kim were so explicit that they violated some anti-porn law like the Comstock Act when they were taken across state lines from DC to Mar-a-Lago

+ Neuraklnk, the biotech firm owned by the billionaire child of apartheid Elon Musk, tortured 23 monkeys in Nazi science-like brain experiments that resulted in “brain hemorrhages, bleeding rashes and self-mutilations.” Over the three years (2017-2020) of their captivity in Neuralink’s labs, 15 of the 23 monkeys died or were euthanized. Over to you and the Rebel Ape Alliance, Koba…

Koba, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

+ I loathe the faux populist JD Vance, but this is true for almost every politician, isn’t it? I think Biden won because he went into Covid detention for the last couple of months of the campaign, while Trump just kept thrusting himself out there, even when he became infected himself, after infecting everyone around him…

+ Sen. Tommy Tuberville on the bill to ban lawmakers and judges from trading stocks: “I think it’s ridiculous. They might as well start sending robots up here. I think it would really cut back on the amount of people that would want to come up here and serve.”

+ 44% of Americans don’t own a single share of stock…

+ Oklahoma Republicans have introduced a bill that would create a state-run database to track pregnant women considering abortions.

+ Politics in the US is a game of inches, most of them measured in the gerrymandering of congressional districts. At the national level, the country remains split nearly 47/47, with 5 percent perpetually on the fence. In that respect, Trump was no outlier, but performed like a fairly typical Republican candidate, a little worse than Bush and Romney, a little better than McCain.

2000 Bush 47.9%
2004 Bush 50.7%
2008 McCain 45.7%
2012 Romney 47.2%
2016 Trump 46.1%
2020 Trump 46.9%

+ For me, the staggering number here is the 50.7% George W. Bush compiled in 2004, which is an indicator of just how dreadful a campaign Kerry ran. In the end, of course, the election wouldn’t have made much, if any, difference. At the time, Bush’s defeat (if not Kerry’s victory) would have represented a popular repudiation of a regime that lied the US into a war.

+ It’s hard to take Marjorie Taylor Greene too seriously as Georgia’s version of Magda Goebbels when she can’t tell the difference between the Third Reich’s secret police and a cold Andalusian vegetable soup.

+ You can run, but you can’t hide, Marjorie!

+ We used to run an irregular feature on CounterPunch called the Gitlin Alert!. Irregular because the timing of the Gitlin Alert depended entirely on the eruptions of Mount Gitlin, which would experience phases of agitated activity followed by prolonged (but rarely prolonged enough) silences. Our Gitlin alerts warned readers that toxic gasses might be leaking from their screens, whenever we detected a new pronouncement from the cinder cone. Now we can sound the “all clear.” Todd Gitlin, the man who turned the 60s into an industry, is dead from complications of COVID at 79.

Probably no generation has yielded as many turncoats to their youth as the Sixties. But did any of them grow older and crabbier faster than Gitlin? David Horowitz is probably the most notorious defector. But Horowitz, as sleazy an operator as you’re likely to encounter this side of the NFT market, never hid his switch from Left Field to the Right Field line. He advertised and sold transformation. Gitlin, the former head of the SDS, was a more insidious presence, someone who continued to masquerade as a loyal member of the team, while using his former position as a leader of the radical left as a platform to attack and deprecate every new leftwing movement to come along after the McGovern campaign of 1972 as an alleged betrayal of the “spirit” of the Sixties, whatever that meant. By the end, Gitlin’s tiresome tirades against multi-culturalism, identity politics and the excesses of the antiwar movement began to lose their punch. He was an obscure grouch to be dusted off and hauled out for a quote by journalists who wanted to trash Occupy Wall Street, BLM,  Code Pink or Antifa.

Ultimately, even our Gitlin Alerts were met with quizzical queries, like “What’s a Gitlin?” What, indeed.

+++

+ Laguna Beach is on fire and it was 85 degrees in Brookings, Oregon (42.0526° N) on Thursday, so I guess it makes sense that Wall Street considers oil the “Hottest Sector” in the economy now.

+According to the Wall Street Journal “more than 80% of proposed commercial carbon-capture efforts around the world have failed, primarily because the technology didn’t work as expected or the projects proved too expensive to operate…” Of course, it’s never been about “capturing the carbon,” but about capturing the subsidies that come from your claims of capturing the carbon…and, of course, giving you a rationale for continuing to emit carbon based on the (false) claim that you’re moving toward “Net Zero” by capturing it!

+ Mark van Baal: “Setting targets for operational emissions is like a tobacco producer who promises to smoke less himself while continuing selling more cigarettes.”

+ On Mount Everest, and many of the other peaks in the high Himalayas, ice that took 2000 years to form is melting in less than 25 years.

+ 200: the average number of cargo and tanker ships blue whales off the southern coast of Sri Lanka encounter every day.

+ Mike Davis: “Right now, my mind is occupied with fairly extremist ideas about what needs to be done. Once you accept what the real stakes are of climate change—I’m not advocating violence, but I’m advocating confrontational politics writ large.”

+ Uncle Joe Manchin just endorsed Lisa Murkowski’s campaign for reelection to the US senate, which pretty much forecloses any more wilderness or oil & gas leasing restrictions in Alaska…

+ Manchin said this week he’s “not a Washington Democrat, ” whatever that means. He’s a Black Lung Democrat.

+ 89 tons: the amount of prehistoric organic matter required to make one gallon of gasoline. The average coniferous tree weighs about two tons.

+ January was one of the driest months on record for California…

+ As the high plains of Colorado continue to warm, the desiccated soils are soaking up more and more moisture, draining rivers and drying out farmlands. “The topsoil is so dried out, when we do get moisture, it doesn’t go very far. The wind sucks up the rest,” John Stult, a 73-year-old wheat farmer told the Colorado Sun. “It’s climate change, no question about it. If we get 3-4 degrees warmer like they say we might, it’ll look more like Albuquerque around here, and they don’t do a lot of farming around Albuquerque.”

+ The deepening drought in Oregon…

* Roughly 88% of the state is in some level of drought
* The drought is worse now (88%) than this time last year (75%)
* Most of central Oregon, which accounts for about 16% of the state, is experiencing “exceptional” drought conditions…

+ “The current anti-wolf frenzy is not based on economics, and it’s not based on science. It’s driven by something deeper and darker.”

– Maggie Howell, executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center

+ Fortunately, a federal court has finally intervened, restoring federal protections for the gray wolf across much of its range. This is the third major legal victory by environmentalists over Trump-era policies (the Willow oil field development in the Arctic and oil leasing in the Gulf of Mexico) that had been defended and continued by Biden.

+ A closer look at this welcome court ruling on wolves reveals that it doesn’t apply to the states where most heinous wolf-slaughter is taking place: Montana, Idaho and Wyoming because, thanks largely to the Democrat Jon Tester, those states have granted total control over wolf management.

+ Meanwhile, the state wildlife agency has gone to court seeking to reinstate aerial “hunting” of wolves, arguing that its own rules prohibiting slaughter by helicopters was made “in error.

+ A few old-timers will recall the close ties between Clinton and Weyerhaeuser and how their business soared and forests fell when he was governor of Arkansas and president of the US. But it turns out they’re doing even better under Biden, netting record profits in 2021 totalling $2.6 billion.

+ This is, of course, just a fraction of how hot it will get when Hanford blows up…

+++

+ Eubie Blake: “Listen to the birds and don’t hate nobody.”

+ Sun Ra Lives! A solar storm destroyed 40 SpaceX satellites orbiting the earth.

+ I was walking in downtown Milwaukie, Oregon (home of Dark Horse comics) a few weeks ago listening to Hendrix in the West and serendipitously came across a mural of Hendrix and George Floyd, which prompted this little riff on Hendrix at the crossroads of his art for CounterPunch +.

Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

+ Eric Alper: What’s a song that never fails to make you tear up?

CCR’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” which was the first song I heard on the radio the morning I woke up to learn that Ali had been defeated by Frazier, and I started tearing up, for Ali, yes, but mainly because of the grief I was going to endure at school that day, a nearly all-white middle school on the southside of Indy, where Ali was viscerally hated and I one of his lone champions. They would have reviled Frazier too, if he hadn’t been fighting Ali. I’ve probably heard it 1000 times by now but I still flash back to that awful morning.

+ Why Don Cherry will always be one of my favorite musicians: “Miles Davis plays pretty good … for a millionaire.”

+ John Bonham, he kept the train wreck running in time.

+ Sonny Rollins: “Jazz is the music of this planet because jazz mimics nature. When you play jazz, real jazz, you don’t know what the next note is going to be. The next note comes just like each day is different.”

+ The best thing about another boring, predictable list of Oscar nominees is the lack of a best director nomination for the petulant Denis Villeneuve. David Lynch’s Dune is a wreck. Messy, incoherent, incomplete and silly. But the silliness saves it. It is so much more fun than the ponderous and grandiose film by Villeneuve. Jack Nance, Dean Stockwell & Sting infuse Lynch’s movie with the levity that Villeneuve’s lacks (who could take this story seriously?), which quickly sinks in the cinematic sands under the weight of its own pretense.

I Don’t Feel the Urge to Turn Back Time

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

A Thousand Trails Home: Living with Caribou
Seth Kantner
(Mountaineers Books)

The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives
Adolph Reed, Jr.
(Verso)

Freedom: an Impossible Reality
Raymond Tallis
(Columbia)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Tomorrow
The Rave-Ups
(Omnivore)

Clap, Clap! The Joyful Noise
Kenny Cox
(BBE/Strata)

Time Skiffs
Animal Collective
(Domino)

Only Consumers

“It is only through difference that progress can be made. What threatens us right now is probably what we may call over-communication–that is, the tendency to know exactly in one point of the world what is going on in all other parts of the world. In order for a culture to be really itself and to produce something, the culture and its members must be convinced of their originality and even, to some extent, of their superiority over the others; it is only under conditions of under-communication that it can produce anything. We are now threatened with the prospect of our being only consumers, able to consume anything from any point in the world and from any culture, but of losing all originality.”

– Claude Lévi-Strauss

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