Roaming Charges: The Screams of the Children Have Been Edited Out

Infant doll left at the Memorial to Murdered Children, Oregon City, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

“The screams of children have been edited out…”

–  Editorial note appended to videos of the police response to the Uvalde shooting.

A truck speeds past the parking lot of Robb Elementary School, turns abruptly and crashes into the ditch amid a cloud of dust. Two men turn towards the wreck and then retreat as the driver starts firing at them with an AR-15 rifle. The crash is seen by a teacher who calls 9-11. She tells the operator: “I can’t see him. The kids are running. The kids are running. Oh my god.”

After firing several blasts of shots toward the school, the Uvalde shooter enters the building. It’s now 11:33 in  the morning. By this time, several more 9/11 calls have alerted the police to a shooting incident at the school. A school security camera records the shooter as he saunters down the hallway, pauses briefly to peer around a corner, runs a hand through his hair, then continues down the hall toward classrooms 111 and 112.

At this point, a young boy wearing glasses comes out of the bathroom on the left side of the hall, freezes when he sees the shooter open fire, then runs back into the bathroom.

The killer continues shooting inside the classrooms for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds, firing more than 100 rounds.

At 11:36, the same security camera shows numerous police enter the building and move cautiously down the hall. A minute later, the police come running back after taking fire from the gunman. One officer is seen holding his head, thinking he’d been shot. He looks at his hand. Doesn’t see any blood. Shakes his head. Another cop is shown checking his phone, using his handgun as a stylus. His lock screen depicts the logo for “The Punisher.” But this man is no avenging super-hero. He cowered for more than an hour while kids as young as 9-years-old bled out just down the hall.

By 11:52, more police have gathered in the hall, which is crowded now with cops. Many of the new arrivals are outfitted in SWAT gear: helmets, body armor, assault rifles. Several are carrying bullet-proof shields.

The digital time stamp reads 12:09 and the police are still mulling about at the end of the hall, far from the classrooms, where the screams of terrified and wounded children have been muted so as not to distress us. More than 36 minutes have ticked by since the killer entered the building.

At 12:21, the shooter fires four more shots. A couple of cops flinch at the sound of the gunfire. More screaming comes down the hall. We don’t hear it, but the cops do. Slowly a group of police with guns, shields and body armor move down the corridor. One cop can be heard saying, “They’re making entry.”

More time passes. Two minutes. Five minutes. Seven minutes. Nine minutes. It’s now 12:30. Fifty-seven minutes after the killer entered the building.  Fifty-four minutes after the first police set foot in the hallway. Thirty-eight minutes after the SWAT team showed up with the ballistic shields. Still no entry has been made. No entry has even been attempted.

The camera shows a plainclothes cop in a helmet walk across the hall to a dispenser on the wall. He squirts some sanitizer into his cupped hands. Rubs them together, as if scrubbing his hands of the entire affair, then ambles back to his position behind a corner.

Then at 12:50, there’s the sound of more rapid gunfire, as police finally opened the unlocked classroom door and a Border Patrol agent shot and killed the gunman, an hour and seventeen minutes after he first entered the building and killed 19 students and two teachers and wounded 17 others. Seventy-seven minutes. When did the screaming stop?

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+ On July 6th, Albuquerque police were searching for a 27-year-old black man named Qiaunt Kelly. The cops claimed that Kelly was wanted on a federal felony warrant. They tracked him to a neighborhood in southeast Albuquerque, where they spotted him working on a motorcycle. When they tried to detain Kelly, he took off, running into a nearby house and locking himself inside.

More cops arrived on the scene. The SWAT team was called in. Robots were deployed and drones were sent aloft. The house was put under siege. With Kelly inside, the SWAT team begin launching tear gas cannisters, smoke bombs and flash grenades into the house. What the cops may or may not have known when they started bombing the house with grenades and “irritants”  (aka, chemical weapons) is that a 15-year-old boy named Brett Rosenau, also black, had followed Kelly into the house.

According to neighbors, the police kept shelling the residence with tears gas, smoke bombs, and flash grenades every thirty minutes for the next five and a half hours, until the house caught fire and smoke began to pour out of the windows. Still the cops waited another 40 minutes to call the fire department. Some witnesses reported hearing gunshots fired by the police, though the department denies it.

Eventually, Kelly emerged burning building, was arrested and taken to the hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.  After the flames were extinguished, firefighters discovered the body of Brett Rosenau. The boy had been burned alive, an eerie echo of Waco and the MOVE bombing in Philly. Rosenau wasn’t a suspect and wasn’t wanted by the police. The family dog was also killed in the blaze. The house was in ruins. The family who lived there were left homeless.

Then the lies began.

In a statement picked up and reported local and national media, the ABQ Police Department defended their extreme actions by trying to paint Kelly as a dangerous menace, claiming he’d been wanted on  a “federal felony warrant.” It didn’t take long for that to unravel. There were no federal warrants for Kelly at all, felony or misdemeanor. The only outstanding warrant was for a state parole violation, after Kelly removed a monitoring device.

In a final, bitter irony, it turns out that 15-years ago ABQ police shot and killed Brett Rosenau’s father, Brett David Rosenau. The first thing I thought was: what are the odds? Then when you look at the record of the ABQ police, you’re forced to conclude: pretty good.

Brett Rosenau.

+ Keith Gladstone, a former Baltimore cop who worked in the department’s notorious Gun Trace Task Force, was sentenced to twenty-one months in prison for planting a BB gun on a man that a fellow Baltimore cop hit with a car. The victim was jailed for 317 days on the spurious gun charge.

+ A federal court has denied the city of Washington, DC’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that in his former job as head of the Metropolitan Police Department Peter Newsham, current Prince William County Police Chief, created a “watchlist” of lawyers, activists and journalists whose requests for public records would be delayed or denied in order to limit the release of information that “may lead to criticism of the department.”

+ Security guards at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis arrested a black man on the grounds that he was “casing” cars in the parking garage. The cops roughed him up, then told him “never come pack.” It tuns out the man was a patient overgoing treatment for kidney failure who was looking for his own parked car.

+ A sergeant in the Talladega, Alabama police department stated in a deposition for a lawsuit brought by people who’d been injured by K-9 patrol dog bites, said that he overheard his lieutenant say: “He wanted a dog that would bite a Black person. But he didn’t say it that nice.”

+ 43 million: the number of guns sold in the first two years (2020-21) of the pandemic, a record.

+ 45 thousand: the number of gun deaths in 2021, also a record.

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+ As a placeholder president, Biden seems to have lost his

+ Playing triangulation politics on abortion, by attacking the one motivated movement that might have saved the Democrats in the midterms is a very Biden thing to do…. “Joe Biden’s goal in responding to Dobbs is not to satisfy some activists who have been consistently out of step with the mainstream of the Democratic Party.”

+ Sen Dick Durbin: “It’s not realistic to consider impeaching Clarence Thomas.” Especially because the Democrats facilitated his ascent to the high. but the ink’s barely dry on the multiple perjuries of Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett…

+ In 1969 Nixon forced the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, a close friend of LBJ. Nixon wanted to halt the court’s leftward drift and had Fortas investigated by his Justice Department (William Rehnquist) for accepting a $20K contribution from a Wall Street financier. Ultimately Fortas stepped down & later argued cases before his former colleagues on the bench. Nixon wanted John Mitchell to replace him, but Mitchell was already damaged goods & he ended up nominating Harry Blackmun instead, who would author the Roe v. Wade decision 3 years later. Though he wrote Roe, Blackmun was no progressive and getting Fortas (who penned several key civil rights opinions) off the bench was a major victory for conservatives. Fortas’ offense, if it was an offense, was certainly not as malodorous as Kavanaugh’s mysterious loan to pay off his $200,000 in credit card debt or his (as well as Gorsuch and Barrett’s) repeated dissembling and perjuries before the Senate Judiciary committee. But Nixon played hardball and Biden doesn’t. Even Trump appears to have seduced or bullied Justice Anthony Kennedy into resigning in order to clear a seat for Brett and his keg, a resignation which may end up gutting Kennedy’s most famous decision, Oberfell v. Hodges.

+ Last week, I wrote a brief entry on the appalling case of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who became pregnant after being raped. She was only nine when she was repeatedly raped. By the time she saw a child abuse doctor, she was six weeks and three days pregnant. Unable to legally get an abortion in her home state, the girl was forced to travel to Indianapolis for the termination of her pregnancy, where the procedure is still barely legal and is likely to soon be banned altogether.

This disturbing case was reported two reporters for the Indianapolis Star as part of a wider story on women from neighboring states coming to Indiana for abortions and the strain it was putting on the few abortion clinics left in the Hoosier state. As part of that story, the Star reporters interviewed the doctor who had performed the operation on the ten-year old Ohio girl. In order to protect her patient’s privacy rights–both medical and as a juvenile victim of a sex crime–the doctor, Caitlin Bernard, kept her comments brief.

This perceived “vagueness” in her account was used as a bludgeon against her and the reporters. The onslaught started with a truly shameful piece in the Washington Post by its press critic Glenn Kessler, who cast doubt on the doctor, the abortion, the rape and the journalists who reported the story. Kessler dismissed the Star’s deeply reported piece as a “one-source” story–this from a paper that routinely runs Bob Woodward on its front page! In this case the story was far from a single source, though the principle source, Dr. Bernard, obviously had first-hand knowledge of the case and put herself on the record (and in the line of fire.) What Kessler didn’t bother to find out was that the Star reporters had been working on both aspects of the story (the rape and the abortion) with journalists at Gannett and the Columbus Dispatch. No matter. Kessler’s despicable piece opened the floodgates and the most toxic flotsam of the right rushed through.

Fox News (Hannity, Watters, Ingraham, Carlson, et al) began doxing the doctor, placing her name and photo on segments calling the rape and abortion a hoax. The rightwing AG of Ohio, Dave Yost, declared that there was “not a whisper of evidence” that the rape of a 10-year-old had taken place. Jim Jordan tweeted out that the doctor’s story was “a lie.” Jonathan Turley wrote a rancid piece for the NY Post–the go-to venue for this kind  of tripe–denouncing the case as a politically-motivated “activist’s tale” that “looks like a lie.” The WSJ editorial page ran a savage piece titled: “An Abortion Story Too Good to Confirm.” Tucker Carlson’s wingman, Glenn Greenwald–last seen feting the virtues of Jair Bolsonaro –sprang up out of his squawk box to proclaim the “evidence woefully inadequate” and the Star’s publication of the story a case of “recklessness” in pursuit of “the Cause.”

Then the news broke that the Columbus police had arrested a suspect in the rape of the 10-year-old girl and that the rape had been reported to the police by Child Services on June 22, confirming nearly every aspect of the reporting by the Star and the Dispatch. Suddenly, the flotsam scrambled to recalibrate. Jim Jordan deleted his “lie” tweet. AG Yost said the girl didn’t have to travel to Indiana to get an abortion. Fox News blamed the rape on illegal immigration. Turley and Greenwald hid behind the caveats that they’d said the case “could be true,” which, of course, only made the smears they wrote more damning not less.

And then there was the ludicrous Indiana Attorney General, a Trumpian Visigoth named Todd Rokita, who declared (on Fox News, naturally, which used the occasion to flash yet another photo of Bernard) that he’s launching an investigation into Dr. Bernard for failing to report the rape that only a day earlier he didn’t think had happened: “We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure. If she failed to report it in Indiana, it’s a crime for — to not report, to intentionally not report.”

+ The hacks–Kessler, Turley, Greenwald, FoxNews–who savaged the Indy Star reporters for their story on a 10-year-old girl who aborted the fetus of her rapist engaged in the very kind of journalistic malpractice they falsely accused the Star reporters of committing. Recall the similar hit job launched by the Post 25 years ago, when they attacked the reporting of Gary Webb on drug-running by contra thugs backed by the CIA. Webb’s Dark Alliance series for the San Jose Mercury News was richly sourced with on the record quotes, government records and court documents. It didn’t matter. They tried kill his career anyway. And largely succeeded.

+ Who will check the “fact checkers”?

+ Jim Bopp, the Indiana Right-to-Life lawyer who has drafted model legislation for anti-abortion state lawmakers to adopt, said the 10-year-old who crossed state lines to receive an abortion in his state should have carried her pregnancy to term and would have been required to do so under his law. “She would have had the baby,” Bopp told Politico. “And as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we hope she would understand the reason.”

+ Speaking of Greenwald, you can catch him appearing alongside Betsy DeVos and Dog the Bounty Hunter, at FreedomFest, an annual gathering of MAGA-in-the-Suites types sponsored by Tea Party Patriots, AIER, Donor’s Trust and the Koch Bros.’ Americans for Prosperity…

+ Since Watergate the prime directive for investigative journalists has been to “follow the money.” Greenwald seems to be turning this concept on its head…

+ In Louisiana, a doctor prescribed Cytotec to make the insertion of an IUD less painful. Walgreens called the physician to ask if the prescription was for an abortion, she told them it was for an IUD and the pharmacy still refused to fill it.

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+ The fact that many newspapers and politicians are expressing “moral outrage” at Biden’s flight from Israel to Saudi Arabia but not at Biden’s flight from DC to Israel is a pretty clear indicator of how little “moral authority” the US has (or even pretends to possess)…

+ I’d have thought “our moral authority” had already eroded down to Ordovician strata of bedrock…

+ The Peace Prize Prez, Barack Obama, visited Saudi Arabia more frequently than any other president–four times in 8 years, visits during which the genocidal war on Yemen was plotted, financed and unleashed.

+ In its yearly Children and Conflict Report, the UN charges that Israel killed 78 Palestinian children last year and maimed another 982.

+ According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, around 80 Egyptian soldiers killed during the 1967 Middle East War are buried in a mass grave under Mini Israel, a popular Israeli theme park.

+ After he heaped praise on the Jewish State, declared himself a Zionist and mumbled vacant promises about an eventual “Two-State Solution,” Biden’s entourage took him through the streets of Bethlehem, where he encountered these signs erected by the Israeli human rights group, B T’Selem…

+ Biden said he remains committed to the idea of “two states for two peoples”, but added that the “ground isn’t ripe” for the resumption of negotiations (meaning, I guess that the ground Israel wants for new settlements is still wet with Palestinian blood.)

+ “2 States for 2 Peoples”: Where “one people” (the inconvenient ones) are evicted from the place where they were born and live and dumped in the other state over which the neighboring state has complete power….

+ Biden after fist-bumping Crown Prince Bonesaw: “I’m doing all I can to increase the supply [of oil]. The Saudis share that urgency, and based on our discussions today I expect we’ll see further steps in the coming weeks.”

+ What’s Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia really about? Not merely begging for oil. Any increase in Saudi oil production isn’t likely to much impact on prices at the pump in Scranton, PA. Our friend Sam Husseini theorizes that “the end result of what the US government is doing may be a Saudi bomb. The collusion with Israel, the machinations around Iran and the JCPOA, the further militarization of Saudi Arabia, the ouster of Imran Khan in Pakistan. A Saudi bomb would anchor it, making overthrow less likely.”

+ This is the kind of intelligence the Pentagon is desperate to declare a state secret in order to keep the production lines for the F-35 rolling:

Russia is “moving reserve forces from across the country and assembling them near Ukraine for future offensive operations,” and added that many of the new infantry units are “probably deploying” MT-LB armored vehicles, which Russia “has long considered unsuitable for most front-line infantry transport roles.” It was originally designed in the 1950s as a tractor to pull artillery, has very limited armour, and only mounts a machine gun for protection.

+ Stephen Kinzer: “For American strategic planners, this war has little to do with Ukraine. They see it as a battering ram against Russia. Since saving Ukrainian lives is not their priority, they view diplomacy as an enemy.”

+ The House of Pelosi just passed a $840 billion Pentagon spending bill, which more Republicans (62) voted against than Democrats (39). For perspective, the Pentagon appropriation is nearly 20 times larger than the amount ($44 billion) the Biden administration requested to confront the biggest threat to the planet: climate change.

+ First Biden told the US congress that American troops were fighting  in the Middle East. Now he contends they aren’t, even as he praised a drone strike that allegedly killed an alleged leader of ISIS in Syria. “Repeat this line. But say ‘aren’t’ this time. End of quote.”

+ An SAS unit routinely killed Afghan detainees, claiming that that prisoners in zip ties allegedly pulled out weapons and had to be shot. The SAS unit never changed procedures. he British military has covered up these murders for a decadeA military investigation only talked to military members–not witnesses–and exonerated the Special Forces unit.

“SAS squadrons were competing with each other to get the most kills, and that the squadron scrutinized by the BBC was trying to achieve a higher body count than the one it had replaced.”

+ I wrote a piece in the latest CP + on how Pinochet became the favorite general of the US far right, surpassing in their esteem even Robert E. Lee. Along with the Proud Boys and Patriot Front, I should have included the Economist in their ranks…

+ L. Brent Bozell, Jr., 1962: “To stamp out world Communism I would be willing to destroy the entire universe, even to the furthest star.” What we’re up against isn’t a new phenomenon…

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+ The state of Arizona spends only 6% of its welfare budget on helping poor families and 61% of it on harassing and punishing poor families through Child Protective Services.

+ As I reported last week, Arizona has passed a law making it illegal to record police officers within 8 feet. This is the same state which has enacted laws that would slash state funds if cities cut police budgets too much and permits county sheriff to take over police altogether (and rehire all laid off officers). The also now requires “civilian” oversight boards to be composed of 100% police or former police.

+ The Arizona law restricting the filming of police officers came a week before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (Irizarry v. Yehia) recognized a 1st Amendment right to record the police, reversing a district court’s decision granting qualified immunity because the right wasn’t “clearly established.”

+ The same goes for Supreme Court justices, even when they’re drinking beer and eating steaks at Morton’s. What’s good for abortion clinic workers and patients ought to be good for the jurists who said they were fair game in the name of free speech…

+ Jefferson’s political opponents–Hamilton, Adams, Burr–were all woke to this in the 1790s and, as Dylan sang, “planted stories in  the press”…

+ David Chase on the central theme of The Sopranos: “The kernel of the essential joke was life in America had gotten so savage, selfish — basically selfish — that even a mob guy couldn’t take it anymore. And he’s in therapy. He and his guys were the ones who invented selfishness. They invented ‘Me First.’ And now he can’t take it anymore because the rest of the country has surpassed them.”

+ The “pro-life” Texas parole board voted unanimously this week to deny Ramiro Gonzales a temporary reprieve to allow him to donate a kidney before he is executed.

+ In 1861, 11 Senators and 3 Representatives were expelled from Congress for failing to recognize Lincoln’s election and supporting insurrection.

+ Score one for Biden…

+ Jeff Sharlet, author of Undertow: Scenes From a Slow Civil War: “I’ve a child in longterm residential health care, following two previous hospitalizations. I’ve a good job with “good” insurance. I pay for the best plan. Today insurance says they’re done covering residential, 1/3 through program. Many experience far worse. Fuck capitalism.”

+ The Genius of the American Health Care System: Spending more to die younger…

+ More than 1,000 New York City residents are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the first time the city has eclipsed this level since the second week of February.

+ A new report in the American Journal of Public Health concludes that “the CDC consistently underreports cases and deaths among African American and Hispanic or Latino individuals and overreports deaths among people older than 65 years and White individuals.”

+ What party fools believe… According to a survey in the Journal of Politics, Republicans believe 38% of Democrats are LGBTQ (it’s 6%) and that 44% are Black (24%). While Democrats believe 44% of Republicans make more than $250k a year (it’s more like 2%) and that more than 40% of Republicans are Seniors (it’s less than 20%).

+ According to a new court filing, former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant instructed his wife’s friend Nancy New — whose nonprofit group was receiving millions in sub-grants from the welfare department Bryant oversaw — to pay former NFL quarter Brett Favre $1.1 million. The grants to Favre were part of a $19 million scheme, which has been called the largest public embezzlement swindle in state history.

+ During the first nine months of FY22, union representation petitions filed at the National Labor Review Board have increased 56%—up to 1,935 from 1,240 during the same period in FY21. Over the same period, unfair labor practice charges have increased 14.5%—from 11,451 to 13,106.

+ According to a new study on “Real Time Inequality” by Thomas Blanchet, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman: “After accounting for taxes and cash transfers, real disposable income for the bottom 50% was 20% higher in 2021 than in 2019, but fell in the first half of 2022 as the expansion of the welfare state during the pandemic was rolled back.”

+ The federal minimum wage of $7.25 has reached its lowest value in the last 66 years. According to a report from EPI, “a federal minimum wage worker now earns 27.4% less in inflation-adjusted terms than what their counterpart was paid in July 2009, when the minimum wage was last increased, and 40.2% less than a minimum wage worker in February 1968, the historical high point of the minimum wage’s value.”

+ $5,000: average monthly rent in Manhattan. (The median rent is $4,000 a month.) An increase of 30% from last year.

+ Speaking of economic inequality, we’re thrilled to announced the publication of Michael Hudson’s vitally important new book, The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism?, available now from CounterPunch Books in a variety of electronic formats.

+ A recent study from New Zealand shows how quickly the air in buses becomes displaced by carbon dioxide exhaled for its passengers. Wishing 20 minutes, the a level of CO2 went from 516 parts per million to an astounding 5737ppm, meaning that one in 7 breaths was filled with air other people had breathed out. The implications of this research for viral spread are profound.

+ According to Michael Ignatieff, who is out hawking a new book (On Consolation): “Liberalism has been weakened by its bloodless cosmopolitanism.” But surely it’s the millions of people left bloodless which weakened whatever moral claim liberalism had as a political and economic system not it’s alleged “cosmopolitanism”, whatever that means…

+ John Bolton on CNN this week: “As someone who has helped plan coup d’état — not here but, you know, other places — it takes a lot of work.”

+ What “coup” is Bolton referring to? Perhaps the January 2019 coup attempt against Venezuela’s elected government, when, as Trump’s  National Security Advisor, Bolton boasted: “We’re looking at the oil assets” and “we’re in conversation with major American companies.”

+ Steve Bannon’s attorney David Schoen: “We have to make a decision… what’s the point in going to trial here if there’s no defenses?”

Judge Nichols: “Agreed.”

+ This guy was last seen dancing ecstatically to YMCA at a MAGA rally…

+ The Musk Family are the central characters in a Raymond Chandler novel of our time…Errol Musk, Elon father, revealed this week that he had sired second child with his 35-year-old stepdaughter, who he’s raised since she was 4. “If I could have another child I would,” Errol Musk told The Sun. “I can’t see any reason not to.”

+ A trans woman named Erin Taylor says she endured four months of harassment from employees and managers at the Chick-fil-A where she worked in Decatur, Georgia. According to her lawsuit against the company, “the Franchise Owner responded by saying that it should be an honor that with (Taylor) being a transgender woman that someone liked her enough to hit on her.” Now we have a better idea why the fast-food outlet is closed on the Sabbath.

+ Let’s welcome today’s guest lecturer in Human Anatomy 101, Brad Tschida, former majority leader of the Montana House of Representatives, on the topic of what makes a woman: “The womb is the only organ in a woman’s body that serves no specific purpose to her life or well-being. It is truly a sanctuary.”

+ Wittgenstein: “Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.”

+ Someone on Jordan’s staff should arrange a screening of “Junior”…

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+ In spite of new research, dire warnings, global summits, international agreements, rising oceans, melting glaciers, hurricanes, droughts, fires, famine and floods, global CO2 emissions keep rising. They are now 60% higher than they were in 1992, at the time of the Earth Summit in Rio.

+ Last week, the Biden Administration gave the green light for the Uinta Basin Railway to barge through 12 miles of roadless wilderness area in a Utah national forest in the interest of oil development….

+ The rivers of south Texas are quickly rapidly drying up. According to numbers charted by the US Geological Survey, the flow rate of the Frio River at Concan, Texas, has been at or near zero for several weeks. The Pedernales River is also at zero near Fredericksburg, Texas. The Llano River’s flow is running below 1 cfs. The Guadalupe River near Hunt, Texas, is flowing at an all-time low of 6.84 cubic feet per second and continues to drop. In New Braunfels, there is still flow in the Guadalupe River, but it is much lower than average. The flow rate there is 58.5 cfs, well below the historical median of 346 cfs.

+ According to research out of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Arctic is heating up more than four times faster than the rate of global warming. The trend has risen steeply twice in the last 50 years, a finding missed by all but four of 39 climate models.

+ Summer temperatures in Reno, Nevada are 10.9 degrees higher on average than they were in 1970.

+ The U.S. share of global solar component shipments has collapsed to less than 1% in 2021 from 13% in 2004. Meanwhile, China’s share of the production of solar components has increased over the past two decades from near zero to nearly 85% this year.

+ A new United Nations report estimates that extraction, climate change, pollution, and deforestation are pushing nearly one million species towards extinction.

+ $1.8 trillion: amount of global economic losses attributable to US greenhouse gas emissions.

+ Herschel Walker on air pollution: “No matter how much money we put into cleaning our air up, it’s going to float over to China. Bad air. Now China bad air floats back over here to our good air. Then all the sudden you got to clean their bad air up because all our good air floated over there.”

+ The future of the Antarctic midge, the only insect species native to Antarctica, is in peril as a consequence of climate change.

+ The Sudd wetland (Africa’s largest) in south Sudan could be converted to desert by the revival of a half-completed Nile canal project, which would divert water out of the wetland and send it to Egypt.

+ At least 120,000 of Oregon’s nearly two million property tax lots are located in in high or extreme fire risk zones of the “wildland-urban interface.”

+ Glyphosate, the toxic active ingredient in Round-Up, has been found in 80% of US urine samples. You can get busted for having traces of 2 beers in your urine but Monsanto won’t for putting cancer-causing chemical into it…

+ “Salmon tea,” the decaying bodies left by salmon after they spawn and die, yield so much nitrogen and phosphorus into rivers that they penetrate the soil to about 200 feet from a stream. Ecologists have found traces of ocean-derived nitrogen in shrubs and trees more than 1,500 feet from streams in Southeast Alaska.

+ For the first time microplastics have been detected in beef and pork, as well as in the bloodstreams of live cows and pigs. Scientists in the Netherlands found the particles in 75 percent of meat and milk products tested and in every blood sample.

+ After the Italian government agreed to pay the full cost of installing a heat pump and giving the homeowner a 10% bonus for using it, Italy reduced emissions from home heating more in the last 8 months than in the previous 20 years.

+ Taking a private jet, just once, has about the same climate impact on the planet as 100 Haitians do in a year.

+ The boom in EV car sales is actually making the climate crisis worse

+ Households in the UK throw away 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging a year and recycle just 12% of single-use plastic.

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+ Arthur Miller warned Elia Kazan not to go to Hollywood and keep working in the theater instead. Miller said if he went to Hollywood he was either going to be blacklisted or forced snitch. Kazan went with the intent to do just that. He was fully content to put other people out of work, so that he could continue making films. Just look at Warren Beatty. How can we take Reds seriously after that?

+ Kazan made a couple of good films (based on great material, largely driven by peak Brando) and a lot of mediocre ones. He wasn’t as talented as Leni Riefenstahl, but I don’t recall the Academy giving her a lifetime achievement award….

+ Members of the Group Theater (many former friends and colleagues) named as “Communists” by Elia Kazan during his testimony to HUAC: Clifford Odets, J. Edward Bromberg, Lewis Leverett, Morris Carnovsky, Phoebe Brand, Tony Kraber, Ted Wellman, & Paula Miller, Lee Strasburg’s wife.

+ A message to Warren Beatty and Martin Scorsese from Orson Welles…

+ Singer-songwriter Jim Croce (who enlisted in the Penn National Guard to avoid being drafted and going to Vietnam) on what he learned in basic training, which he was forced to go thru twice for “not following orders”: “I was well-trained for a war where we have to defend ourselves with mops”.

+ Mavis Staples, who turned 83 this week: “I never sang for a Grammy, for money, for fame. That’s my whole purpose for singing: for people, for the fans.”

+ Someone bravely put forth the idea that Blowing in the Wind might not be the best song released in 1963. I responded by saying it might not even rank in the top 10…

You Really Got a Hold on Me: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Heat Wave: Martha and the Vandellas
Be My Baby: The Ronettes
Can I Get a Witness: Marvin Gaye
In Dreams: Roy Orbison
Ring of Fire: Johnny Cash
It’s Alright: The Impressions
One Fine Day: The Chiffons
Little Deuce Coup: The Beach Boys
Act Naturally: Buck Owens and the Buckaroos

Nothing Good Ever Goes Away

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

Salmon Wars: the Dark Underbelly of Our Favorite Fish
Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins
(Henry Holt)

Extreme North: a Cultural History
Bernd Brunner
Trans. Jefferson Chase
(Norton)

The Face of the Waters
Tony McKenna
(Vulpine)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

On the Way to be Free
Chicago Soul Jazz Collective
(JMarq)

Toast
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
(Reprise)

Found Light
Laura Viers
(Bella Union)

When the Lid Comes Down

“Newspapers are owned and published by rich men. Rich men all belong to the same club. Sure there’s competition–hard, tough competition for circulation, for newsbeats, for exclusive stories. Just so long as it doesn’t damage the prestige, privilege and position of the owners. If it does, the lid comes down.” (Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye)

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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