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Roaming Charges: the Anal Stage of Constitutional Analysis

Mount Washington from the B&B burn. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

+ In 1973 the Espionage Act case against Daniel Ellsberg for violating  was dismissed by Judge William Byrnes after it was revealed that the Nixon administration had bugged Ellsberg’s phones and broken into his shrink’s office. There was also a plot by Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy to use a Cuban exile hit team to “totally incapacitate” (ie, assassinate) him. Surely, the CIA’s very similar plot to kill Julian Assange is at least as odious as what Nixon’s plumbers did to Ellsberg and the thinly manufactured case against Assange is deserving of the same peremptory fate.

+ PEN America on Julian Assange’s extradition: “The Biden Administration must return to its stated principles and drop these charges, in the interest of press freedom and the United States’ global standing with respect to human rights.”

+ The key thing in American politics is to be the first to wrongly interpret a result (ie., the recent elections were a clear rebuke to criminal justice reformers) and to loudly stick with your take long after it has been disproven.

+ Big city crime waves? NYC’s homicide rate is down 13.3% and shootings are down 11.5%, year to date. Murder numbers are the 8th lowest of past 50 years.

+ Thirty years after cities started imposing juvenile curfews, there’s no evidence that these measures reduce juvenile crime.

+ The Supreme Court is doing its part to increase the lagging murder rates.

+ Here’s Clarence Thomas invoking Justice Taney and his Dred Scott opinion in support of Thomas’ ruling to strike down NYC’s concealed carry law…

+ There’s nothing like applying an “historical test” for regulations governing weapons that didn’t exist in the historical epoch the Originalists fetishize. Here’s more from Thomas’ opinion: “Respondents do not offer any evidence showing that, in the early 18th Century or after, the mere public carrying of a handgun would terrify people.”

+ 83 million: the number of Americans who lived in communities were concealed carry permits were limited to those who had a demonstrated need for self-defense.

+ It’s official. 50 years of a Constitutional right to an abortion has been overturned in a 6-3 decision. So much for Chief Justice Roberts as a “moderating” force.

+ The National Right to “Life” Committee released model legislation for states to adopt after the Supreme Court overturns Roe. The language would criminalize providing information on self-managed abortion “over the telephone, the internet, or any other medium of communication”. So much for free speech…

+ So states can’t regulate gun control, but can regulate when, where or whether you can get an abortion.

+ Stanley Cohen: “The SCOTUS has decided that the issue of what a woman chooses to do with regard to her bodily choices is up to each state. . . yet the state has no role to play in deciding how much or little a woman is to be protected from gunshot murder.”

+ In a week of gut-wrenching Supreme Court decisions, rulings which will irrevocably alter daily life in the Republic for millions, one of the worst, the gutting of Miranda, was supported by the Biden administration. Common ground with this court will be a death warrant for many, especially the poor, the infirm and the marginalized.

+ Meanwhile, in Vega v. Tekoh, the Supreme Court eviscerated what’s left of Miranda, with Alito concluding that you can’t sue cops who don’t provide you with your Miranda warnings and then use your statements against you in court. The Biden administration supported the ruling. During oral arguments, the DoJ’s attorney Vivek Suri told the court: “It isn’t a substantive right to receive the Miranda warnings themselves. A police officer who fails to provide the Miranda warnings accordingly himself doesn’t violate the constitutional right.”

+ In his concurring opinion in Dobbs, Thomas urges the Court to overturn Griswold (right to contraception); Lawrence (invalidating anti-sodomy laws); Obergefell (marriage equality)…

+ I’ve always thought Alito, the supreme egotist, leaked his own opinion. But if it was, in fact, leaked by a clerk for a liberal justice in order to give the Democrats time to prepare a massive response, think how deflated they must feel today at the risk they took, when NOTHING HAPPENED.

+ If Dobbs and Bruen are the kinds of rulings Alito and Thomas can come up with by consulting the Anglo-American history entries in World Book Encyclopedia (Junior Edition), imagine what they’re likely to cut-in-paste into their opinions after combing through Texas’ forthcoming Patriotic History textbooks.

+ Originalism is the anal stage of constitutional analysis.

+ We’ve known about the Dobbs ruling for a month with almost no response. Rarely, if ever, has an overwhelming majority in any country that advertises itself as a secular democracy reacted so passively to the abolition of a fundamental right by a minority of religious fanatics.

+ With weeks to prepare, the most Biden could offer was to encourage people to vote for Democrats in November, pledge more money for Capitol Hill police to protect the Supreme Court and to rebuke protesters for being unruly. Biden: “I call on everyone, no matter how deeply they care about this decision, to keep all protests peaceful. Peaceful, peaceful, peaceful. No intimidation. Violence is never acceptable. Threats and intimidation are not speech.”

+ If protests don’t “intimidate,” they’re not protests but something like group therapy sessions.

+ What’s “peaceful” about forced labor and birth?

+ Aren’t these militarized cops, whose budget just boosted by Biden, Schumer and Pelosi, meant to “intimidate” and inflict “violence?”

+ They never showed up like this to protect access to abortion clinics, which had been the target of death and bomb threats…

+ We’re repeatedly told that our imperial wars are meant to “defend American freedoms.” After Friday’s ruling, it’s pretty clear that for the last 50 years a helluva lot of people have died and were killed in vain…

+ According to a new Gallup poll, American confidence in the Supreme Court has collapsed to the lowest level ever recorded. Most of them have been hated or ridiculed all their lives. Can you imagine Gorsuch, Kavanaugh or Alito ever having any friends?

+ For decades he Democrats squandered their majorities & super-majorities with the politics of gestures. The Republicans leveraged their minority status by understanding how to exploit the constitution and the courts to achieve real power and once they got put it to devastating use.

+ Sen. Joe Manchin: “I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided …” Funny, Manchin’s never this much of a sucker when it comes to coal policy…

+ The leadership of the Democratic Party, which for 20 years has said the only reason to vote for them is to protect Roe, should resign en masse. Their failure is absolute.

+ The Democrats were willing to keep Roe under perpetual threat to raise tens of millions and maintain a justification for voting for them, even as their austerity economic policies and war-mongering, made them nearly indistinguishable from the Republicans. Now the last illusion is shattered.

+ What could be worse than Pelosi’s last recitation of doggerel by Bono? An ode to the perfectibility of the Zionist state by a liberal Israeli poet…

+ The problem with a Lysistrata-type protest in response to the overturning of Roe is that no one wanted to have sex with these Incels to begin with…

+ “Next month!” It took them a couple of days to enact more police protection for the people who overturned Roe, weeks before the decision was officially announced….

+ William Koziarz told the Tampa Bay Times that two years ago he was walking on Pinellas Beach in Florida and noticed a sign: “It said ‘No motorized vehicles allowed,’ and 15 minutes later I get ran over by a police vehicle.”

+ The Texas public safety chief admitted this week that the classroom door in the Uvalde school shooting was not locked, even as police waited nearly an hour for the key. (If a street gang behaved with this kind of gross negligence and indifference to the lives of children they’d find some major crime to charge them with.)

+ An Oklahoma man in a tactical vest with an AR-15 and a holstered pistol prompted local businesses in the town of Broken Arrow to lock their doors. When people in a Target parking lot called 911 to say the armed man was headed inside, police said he wasn’t breaking the law. You have to wait until the shooting starts…unless he’s a black teen, then they’d shoot him on sight, no questions asked.

+ No Incel can feel like a man without one…

+ Biden’s budget doubles funding for the police (COPS) hiring program, from $157 million in Trump’s last year in office to $388 million.

+ The GOP is a lot more upset about the non-plot to assassinate Kavanaugh, than the ongoing plot to kill one of their own, Mike Pence. In part because the current Supreme Court is going to do more on its shadow docket to implement far-right ideology than any president or Congress.

+ Here’s Eric Greitens (wife batterer) calling on MAGA-chuds to attack “moderate” Republicans.

+Of course, they would cower for an hour behind an unlocked door while school children are being slaughtered.

+ A Naval intelligence officer with the unlikely name of Hatchett Speed assigned to the NRO in Chantilly, Virginia, has been arrested on misdemeanor charges for his role in the Capitol Riot. Speed had been assigned to the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Virginia. In an affidavit, FBI agents allege that Speed “panic-bought” an arsenal of weapons after Jan. 6 and praised the Unabomber, the Olympic Park Bomber and Adolf Hitler.

+ The laborious and repetitive J6 hearings have become a recruiting ad for MAGA, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and whatever foul monstrosity is fermenting-into-being to their right.

+ Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann told Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark about his plan to help Trump overturn 2020 election:”Good, fucking a-hole, congratulations, you just admitted your first step you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony.” Of course, you’re not really Attorney General until you’ve committed a felony or violated the constitution. It’s practically a prerequisite for the job…

+ So here’s Stacey Abrams, heroine of the liberals, urging more money for cops.

+ The median salary of the Uvalde cops who sat on their asses while kids and teachers were being gunned down behind an unlocked do0r: $58,000 a year and nearly $80,000, when you include overtime pay.

+ The average salary of a cop in Georgia: $58,000; average salary of a teacher in Georgia: $48,000.

+ A New York Times investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Aklen pretty much demolished every scenario put forward by the IDF. According to the Times, 16 shots were fired from the location of the Israeli convoy, contradicting Israeli claims that the soldier had fired five bullets in the journalists’ direction. Moreover, there were no armed Palestinians near her when she was shot, disproving Israeli claims that, if a soldier had mistakenly killed her, it was because he had been shooting at Palestinian gunmen.

+ This is a disorder worthy of its own entry in the DSM: Rusty Bowers, the Arizona House Speaker who testified on Tuesday that he resisted former President Donald Trump’s strong-arm tactics to overthrow the 2020 election, said he’d still vote for Trump in 2024: “If he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden, I’d vote for him again.”

+ Ruby Freeman, Georgia election worker slandered by Trump and his legal goon squad: “The President of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small-business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stood up to help Fulton Co. run an election in the middle of the pandemic.”

+ Bidenism in a nutshell: After blasting oil companies for price gouging, Biden announced a suspension of the federal gas tax for three months, a move which will do almost nothing to reduce prices at the pump but will almost certainly provide an even bigger boost to oil company profits.

+ So much for that carbon tax…

+ If Biden was serious (he’s not), he would have called for a waiver of mass transit fares

+ According to the latest FEC filings, two Republican billionaires, Paul Singer and Bernie Marcus, each contributed $1 million to the United Democracy Project in May, the new AIPAC-affiliated super PAC that has intervened in Democratic primaries in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland and California.

+ If Garland wanted to investigate war crimes, he could have taken the Metro to Langley…

+ The Russian moves to restrict gas supply to Europe sent gas prices spiking by 60% in less than a week.

+ Putin’s air war doesn’t seem to be going all that well. Here are some numbers, as of the ned of May, from the normally reliable William Arkin: 20,000 Russian sorties, 3000 in Ukrainian airspace, 2275 long-range missiles expended, 630 from Belarus soil, 110 cruise missiles shot down, over all less than 40% success rate.

+ Substantial majorities in both Italy and Germany favor a negotiated peace in Ukraine over a protracted NATO-supported war against Russia.

+ Who will tell Zizek?

+ U.S. single-family rents climbed at a record pace of 14% from April 2021 to April 2020…

+ Even at this late date, a CDC study found that people who live in “disadvantaged areas” are half as likely as those in wealthier areas to be prescribed antiviral drugs as a treatment for COVID.

+ Covid is still killing 315 Americans a day, double the number who are dying from suicide or car crashes.

+ Despite the fact that he world has now administered more than 12 billion Covid vaccine shots, 73% of the global population remains un-boosted and 33% are completely unvaccinated.

+ At the end of 2020, more than a third of North Carolina residents were in collections for medical debt.

+ Is it any wonder that the US ranks 48th in the world in life expectancy?

+ Child abuse as government policy: According to a new report by the Marshall Project, 1 in 3 people held in a U.S. Border Patrol “facility” since 2017 was a minor — 650,000 youths in all.

+ The Enlightenment?

+ So Colombia finally throws off the shackles of US imperialism, puts an end to the murderous PLAN Colombia, pulls the plug on the country being traditional staging area for US interventions across South America and the laughing stock of the Left, Jimmy Dore, prospective “independent” candidate for president, slams Gustavo Petro for being “too woke?”

+ Dumb and Dumber, live!

+ The Democratic Congressional Committee recorded  $7.8 million in itemized donations in May, a quarter of those ($1.37 million) were transfers from Nancy Pelosi’s PACs.

+ As the UK’s rail crisis deepens, it’s worth nothing that private companies operating and leasing UK trains have made at least £8.3 billion in dividend payments to shareholders since 1996.

+ Brexit for thee, Ireland and the EU for us… In 2016, only 47 British MPs & Lords held an Irish passport – by 2021, that figure went up to 227 . As of  this month, there are now 321 of them with an Irish passport.

+ Because of high turnover rates and job dissatisfaction, an internal memo warns that Amazon could run out of workers in the US within two years.

+ You just got “Frummed”…

+ An amendment to the California Constitution to ban involuntary servitude, such as prison labor, failed in the state Senate. The measure needed 27 votes (2/3s of the chamber) and only received 20.

+ When QAnon comes for Mike Pence

+ I wonder what stumbling across an episode of the Benny Hill Show would have done to this fragile man’s mind…

+ Since June 1, mentions of Drag Queen Story Hour have bulged by 777%  on Twitter, according to Zignal Labs. The traffic is largely driven by right-wing influencers like LibsOfTikTok.

+ Elon Musk’s transgender daughter has applied to legally change her name and gender, saying she no longer wants to “be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form”.

+ Nearly one-third of divorce filings in the US in 2011 contained the word “Facebook.”

+++

+ The number of disasters related to climate increased by about 400% in recent decades, from 711 between 1970 and 1979 to more than 3,500 between 2000 and 2009. There were more than 3,100 climate-related disasters from 2010 to 2019.

+ On February 28, an unprecedented ‘rain bomb’ hit Lismore in New South Wales, dropping as much as 27.5 inches of rain in 24 hours, more than London typically receives in a year.

+ Meanwhile, in July 2021 Liguria received 7.1 inches in one hour and over 35.4 inches in a 24-hour period.

+ On June 16, Mawsynram, India–one of the world’s wettest regions, recorded an astounding 39.51 inches (1003.6 mm) in less than 24 hours.

+ Even with all this extreme rain, the UN estimates that by 2050, between 4.8 and 5.7 billion people will live in areas that are water-scarce for at least one month each year, up from 3.6 billion today.

+ In 2020, the EU pledged to plant 3 billion trees by 2030. A tracker launched in 2021 to monitor progress shows that as of last week the EU has planted less than 1% of the three billion goal, leaving 2,997,053,985 trees left to plant in the next seven and a half years.

+ In the last year, The global pipeline of offshore wind projects has nearly doubled from 429GW of potential new capacity to 846GW.

+ Despite pledging to reduce carbon emission, the global steel industry may have to write down as much as $518 billion in Stranded Assets over the next decade because it is still building coal blast furnaces.

+ The transportation of food from the field to the kitchen is responsible for more than 6% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, nearly triple earlier estimates, according to a new study in Nature Food.

+ A new economic analysis of Canada’s TransMountain Pipeline by the Parliamentary Budget Office shows that the pipeline has a Present Net Value of negative $600 million or about $1.6 billion less than the PBO’s previous estimate only two years ago.

+ The first confirmed case of transfer of Avian Flu to a mammal occurred in Sacajawea State Park near Pasco, Washington, where the virus was detected in young raccoons. Pasco? You’d think the radiation from the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation would have killed that virus off…

+ People watch the New England Patriots play at Gillette Stadium  inFoxborough, Mass. on a 1.32 acre field. But the stadium complex is surrounded by 213 acres of land paved over for parking lots to accommodate the crowds. And now the owners of the stadium want to add more

+ Tesla’s are spontaneously exploding all over the place, even in junkyards.

+ On June 22, there were 56,000 lightning strikes in California, the 6th most on any day in the last decade.

+++

I went ahead and watched the Robbie Robertson documentary, Once We Brothers and it was just OK. Too much Springsteen and Clapton for my taste, though Clapton succeeds in revealing himself as a prick, showing up at Big Pink and demanding to join the Band. But the doc has lots of Super 8 and 16 mm footage from Woodstock I’d never seen, a scene which seems to’ve descended into darkness pretty quickly. Robertson’s French Canadian wife is very articulate. You really feel for what she had to endure from living with the two Richards (Danko and Manuel) and Levon Helm, including a blitzed Manuel wrecking her Mustang (with her in it) and a stoned Helm coming to get them and crashing into a police car. The yard at Big Pink was a junk (or perhaps junky) heap of wrecked vehicles. Dylan flits and out dropping inscrutable bon mots.

+ Every MLB player and fan owes a debt to Curt Flood. His lonely fight to free players from the plantation system, where they were the property of owners, was as important as Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and Curt paid a heavier price.

+ Peter Bogdanovich put everything he knew about film into The Last Picture Show and had nothing left to say in his other films, where he seemed to have forgotten everything he’d once learned.

Can You Justify Your Cruelty to the World? Are You Terrified of Your Own Words?

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

Against the Wall: My Journey From Border Agent to Immigration Rights Activist
Jenn Budd
(Heliotrope)

Internet for the People: the Fight for Our Digital Future
Ben Tarnoff
(Verso)

The Monster’s Bones: the Discovery of T. Rex and How It Shook Our World
David K. Randall
(Norton)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Moon Rappin’
Brother Jack McDuff
(Blue Notes)

World Construct
Matthew Shipp Trio
(ESP)

Scrutiny
Fashion Club
(Felte)

Turning Schools Into Armed Fortresses

“Will there be tragic events on school campuses? Yes, and having more armed police on campus has not proven effective in reducing them. Instead, they have been incredibly effective at driving young people out of school and into the criminal justice system by the hundreds of thousands. Even if armed police on campus were an effective tool for reducing a few violent incidents, the social costs of that approach are not acceptable. We must find better ways to keep kids safe than turning their schools into armed fortresses and prisons. It’s time to take police out of the schools and reject the harsh punitive focus of school management. Our young people need compassion and care, not coercion and control.”

– Alex Vitale, The End of Policing