Roaming Charges: The Sky is Frying

Mount Hood through smoke. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

As I sat down to write this on Thursday afternoon, more than 100 million Americans were sweltering under extreme heat warnings and that didn’t include the Pacific Northwest, where the vents of the blast furnace are slated to open on Monday sparking temperatures in the 100s for most of next week. (It’s a modest 87 at the moment here in Oregon City.)

Meanwhile, this week the tarmac on the runways at London’s Heathrow Airport melted, after the temperature soared to 104F. (It had never been 100F there before at any time.) Fires burned across England, France, Portugal and Spain. The surface soil temperature in Spain spiked to 138F. People died on the streets, in their cars, on their bikes, in prisons and nursing homes. Europe’s response to this crisis is to restart shuttered coal plants.

It’s raining where’s it’s never rained before. Ice frozen 10,000 years ago is melting into milky streams. Rivers that have run for 1,500 years are now seasonal creeks. 1,000-year floods are happening every 30 years. Forests are burning beyond their capacity to regenerate, while deserts are expanding in all directions. Alpine glaciers in the Alps and the Karakoram are collapsing. The cost of all is this enormous, hundreds of billions a year in the US alone. But one community’s catastrophe is another’s financial opportunity. Many of the same corporations driving the climate crisis and are making out on the other end “restoring” the damage–often underwritten by government subsidies on both ends.

Here there are new fires, big mean ones, in Texas, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada and California. Yosemite is burning. Fires are closing in one the Mariposa grove of Giant Sequoias and across the Owens Valley to the east in the Inyo Range some of the world’s oldest trees, 4500-year-old Bristlecone Pines, are threatened by the mega-drought, bark-beetles and displacement by the limber pine.

The Great Salt Lake will soon be a great salt flat, a vast basin of toxic salt that will be lifted by western winds and blown into Provo and Logan and Salt Lake City. Farther south, Lake Powell is now Glen Canyon again, it’s impounded waters lower than at any time since the floodgates of that monstrous dam closed in 1963. I wish my old pals Dave Brower, Ed Abbey and Katie Lee had lived to see this day. They wouldn’t be surprised that humanity was responsible, through ignorance, complacency and greed. Hell, basically the same human characteristics that flooded the canyon in the first place having been warned that this would be the inevitable result.

The Colorado River is all used up and there won’t be more where that came from. The western states want water; West Virginia wants coal. It’s not a fair fight. West Virginia will win every time.  Even the powerbrokers of the West understand this dynamic. Fossil fuel comes first. So the irrigators and the real estate tycoons and the ranchers and the city managers and the casino operators and the golf course resort owners are now contemplating how to divert water from the Mississippi to the desert Southwest. It’ll have to happen soon. Time is running short.

The Overton Arm of Lake Mead 2000, 2021 and 2022. The “lake” is now at just 27% capacity. Photo: NASA.

So a certain desperation is setting in, even among the people who are profiting off of our perpetual state of crisis. But it hasn’t sharpened our politics and it won’t. This was the week Joe Manchin performed a late-term abortion on the fetal remains of Biden’s already grossly inadequate climate plan. The same week that Biden jetted off to Riyadh to fist bump the Saudi dictator and frantically begged him to jack up production of Saudi crude oil. But the Crown Prince stiffed the American president in public, a decision which may have been the only favor the Saudis have ever done for the environment.

Biden, the humiliated weakling, returned to the states, vowing shrilly to declare a “climate emergency.” This is more mystification from the machine and only the most credulous among us could take it as anything more than a grain of toxic salt. In his first year in office, Biden had already approved more new oil drilling permits than Trump and that was before he provoked, armed and financed another oil war in Ukraine. None of this is surprising. It’s who Biden is. It’s who every American president has been or likely will be.

Once our nation ran on slave labor. But since the end of the Civil War, the country has run on fossil fuels. Every institution of the government has been constructed to exploit and safeguard that power source. It’s not merely that the government won’t confront the climate crisis, but that it is incapable of confronting the climate crisis. To confront it would require the government to go to war against itself. For all practical purposes, the government of the US is the fossil fuel industry.

The sky is frying and, as the wind shifts, little bits of it begin falling down as ash here in the foothills of the Cascades, hundreds of miles away from the fires in the Salmon River country and the Bitterroot Range. We have entered the Inferno with no sure-footed Virgil around to guide our way back out.

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+ There are some striking similarities between our crisis and the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381. The revolt came after a pandemic (Black Death), during a time of inflation, which the English elites tried to repress by putting limits on wages and then imposing a regressive poll tax, where peasants and aristocrats were taxed the same amount: 2 pence. Tax collectors were so aggressive they frequently performed virginity checks on girls to see if they were old enough to be taxed. (Coming soon to Ohio for all girls 9 and up.) When Wat Tyler, having torched John of Gaunt’s Savoy Palace (where Chaucer scribbled as Gaunt’s clerk) and seen the Archbishop of Canterbury dismembered with 8 sword blows, led his peasant army into London, to meet Richard II and his entourage, he asked for a drink of water, swilled it in his mouth and spat it out at the feet of the boy King. Whereupon he was run through by the Lord Mayor of London and his head put on a pike, as a warning to other revolutionaries. To drive home his point, the feeble Richard sent his troops into Essex, where, with a ruthlessness characteristic of the Plantagenet clan, they butchered rebel leaders from Colchester to South Minister, hanging their bodies from oak trees to be picked apart by crows and ravens.

+ At about 8 PM last Saturday night, two police in an unmarked car drove slowly by Robert Adams, who was standing in a parking lot in San Bernardino, California, 60 miles east of Los Angeles. The car abruptly stops. The cops spring out, guns drawn. Five seconds later Adams is down on the ground, bleeding out after being shot in the back multiple times, “execution-style”, according to Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Adams’ family. He was 23-years old and had not wanted for any crime.

The rationale of the police for the shooting–to the extent they felt obliged to present any at all–is by now familiar to anyone who follows these kinds of shootings. Adams “fit the description” of a person they were looking for. (He was a young black man.) He was in a “high crime” area. (He was standing in a parking lot.) He had a gun and pointed it at police. (No evidence he pointed his gun at the cops.) He made threatening movements. (He ran away.) The cops feared for their lives. (They shot him in the back.)

+ 1054 people have been killed by police in the US in the last year. I wonder how many of those were shot in the back?

+ There were 376 law enforcement officers on the scene at Uvalde, who mulled around for more than an hour as a lone gunman with an AR-15 slaughtered teachers and students. Most of them were federal and state cops: 149 were Border Patrol, 91 were state police, who under Texas law are charged with responding to “mass attacks in public places.” Only 25 were from Uvalde, and another 19 from the local sheriff’s department. The remainder were deputies from neighboring counties, US Marshalls and DEA agents. In all there were 116 more law enforcement officers on the scene that day than there were members of the Texian militia inside the Alamo when it was routed by Santa Ana’s Mexican army. Too bad there wasn’t something for them to do…

+ Crime Bill Joe strikes again. He’s push a $37 billion “crime prevention” package, the centerpiece of which is an allocation of $13 billion to put 100,000 new cops on the street (just like in 1994). And like Clinton before him, they’ll still attack him for being “soft on crime.” Which he is. Police and corporate crime, that is.

+ The rich white tech crowd that runs San Francisco got progressive DA Chesa Boudin evicted from office. He’s been replace by interim DA, Brooke Jenkins, who just disbanded the Innocence Commission and promoted the same prosecutor who “withheld evidence in a homicide trial” to manage her homicide team.

+ Max Boot throws his former Post colleague Jamal Khashoggi under the bus…”MBS is a more ambivalent figure than the cartoon villain that he is so often made out to be in media coverage. It’s true that he is cruel and repressive. But, while illiberal politically, he is liberalizing Saudi society. His reforms are revolutionary.” Chop, chop…

+ Most of the headlines were about the 18 Republicans who voted against a House Resolution supporting the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO. But surely the real story here is that not one Democrat in the House (including members of The Squad) voted against NATO expansion.

+ Aviv Kochavi, chief of the Israeli Defense Forces, said Monday that an IDF strike on Iran was becoming more likely as talks on its nuclear program stall in Jeddah. I’m for total nuclear disarmament, but this kind of constant threat of attack from a nation that has an illegal arsenal of more than 400 nuclear weapons is a good argument for Iran developing one as fast as possible.

+ It’s the Libya lesson. When Qaddafi gave up his nuclear program, NATO whacked him. As long as there are nuclear weapons, every nation should have one and only one.

+ On the anniversary of the Trinity Atomic blast, let’s recall the advice of Reagan’s Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Strategic and Theater Nuclear Forces T.K. Jones on to how to survive a nuclear war: “Dig a hole, cover it with a couple of doors and then throw three feet of dirt on top. It’s the dirt that does it. If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it.”

+ When Biden the Meek brought up the butchering of Jamal Khashoggi with MBS, Crown Prince Bonesaws snapped: “What did the US do about the [Israeli] killing of Shireen Abu Akleh.” Checkmate.

+ JD Vance on his visit to Jerusalem: “Jesus Christ almost certainly walked that path and we wouldn’t know about it if Arafat or whoever came after him was in control. That is the stuff that really inspires civilizations to build themselves.” As a fan of bluegrass who lived for years in southern Indiana a couple of miles from Bill Monroe’s spread in Bean Blossom, I spent a lot of time around self-professed “hillbillies” and none of them were this stupid or would willingly associate themselves with anyone who was.

+ Jim Tourtelott:To be that much of a pretend-hick, you have to take lessons in New Haven.”

+ In the immediate aftermath of the 1988 downing of an Iranian Air Flight 655 by the US Navy warship Vincennes, killing 290 people, the government of Margaret Thatcher leapt to the defense of the Reagan regime. According to newly declassified documents, Thatcher helped cover up the atrocity, backing the spurious US scenario that the airliner had ventured “outside the prescribed commercial air route” and started to “descend” kamikaze-like at a “high rate of speed” toward the USS Vincennes. The UK was one of the few countries to defend this massacre which killed 66 children as act of “self-defense” in response to “an Iranian attack.”  Thatcher proclaimed: “You cannot put navies into the gulf to defend shipping from [Iranian] attack without giving them the right to defend themselves.” In 1996, the US government paid the Iranian government $131.8 million in compensation for the attack. Iran still has not received an apology.

+ Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin has joined the China-bashing claque, saying this week that the “US and its allies can’t allow China to dominate raw materials and technologies.” This is pretty much the justification Kissinger and Nixon used to plot the overthrow of Allende…

+ Missouri’s near-total abortion ban has made it basically impossible for miscarriage patients to obtain mifepristone, which often used in medication abortion, but also necessary to treat many miscarriages. Women are suffering intense pain because they cannot access the drug.

+ According to Laura Bassett, writing in Jezebel: “Pregnant women in Missouri are barred from getting a divorce, as state law does not recognize the fetus as a person—meaning a mother has to wait until the baby is born to deal with custody rights. You read that right: Republicans, who are trying to argue that fetuses are people, do not recognize fetuses as people when that means that it would accidentally give a woman freedom to leave her husband. Heads I win, tails you lose…”

+ Indiana’s belligerent AG Todd Rokita loudly claimed he couldn’t obtain any records proving that Dr. Caitlin Bernard fulfilled her legal reporting duties in the case of the 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio. But the local Fox affiliate got them through a simple public records request.

+ I guess there’s another J6 hearing, but none of them have grabbed my attention. They all seem like reruns of mediocre 90s cop & lawyer shows to me. My political education came from secretly watching the Watergate hearings in the Indianapolis suburbs, deep Nixon country. My dad was a lawyer for the state GOP & had been part of the welcoming party when Nixon toured the city in 1968. In a house of Republicans, watching the hearings had the illicit thrill of a teenager (which I was) watching porn. Last night we watched Only Murders in the Building the Hulu true crime podcast spoof with Steve Martin and Martin Short. It’s hit or miss show, but the latest episode breaks out into a bizarre and funny dialogue on the Iran/Contra hearings ending with a Fawn Hall joke, which must be completely mystifying to anyone under 40. What the rich cast of characters in Trump’s orbit (Jersey Shore meets Veep), these hearings have no right to be so dull. Cassidy Hutchinson is no Fawn Hall and Liz Cheney’s no Sam Ervin. (Of course, even Sam Ervin was really “Sam Ervin.”)

+ Trump’s going to run because he thinks being president is the only way to keep himself and his progeny out of prison. But Biden’s not going to prosecute Trump because at this point he thinks Trump is the only candidate he could possibly beat in 2024. Of course, HRC thought the same.

+ This is silly. Manchin is the very model of the “new Democrat” as designed by the ideological cloning team at the DLC back in the late 80s: a southerner, pro-business, tough on “crime,” squishy on cultural issues, prolific fundraiser, hawkish on foreign policy, Keynesian only in military funding with austerity for the poor. (Manchin did direct $15 million in federal money to a wetland preserve near his property.)

+ Biden the deal-maker did little to court Manchin’s vote. Biden could have offered to move the CIA HQ to Berkeley Springs, which is what the West Virginia senators have always wanted and Rockefeller and Byrd almost got. Just put the Agency in some coal reclamation site and they can trade “Havana Syndrome” for Black Lung.

+ Out of 433 active shooter attacks only 12 ended with the shooter being shot by a “Good Samaritan” with a gun…

+ Homeless people in north LA have been subjected violent police crackdowns, evicting them from camping sites and forcing them to live in the Mojave Desert, miles from running water, in extreme heat, where people are now dying

+ Heather Ann Thompson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the Attica Prison takeover (Blood in the Water) has been banned in New York prisons because official incite “acts of disobedience.” Yet, as CJ Ciaramella points out in an article for Reason, “One of the key demands at Attica was an end to censorship’… Inmates’ books, newspapers & letters from loved ones were often tossed in the trash, esp. if they were in Spanish.”

+ In 2008, before the Citizens United ruling (another Alito opinion), billionaires contributed $31 million to federal political campaigns. In 2020, billionaires contributed $1.2 billion.

+ In the aftermath of the Dobbs rule, pharmacy chain CVS has a developed a new policy for controlling prescriptions to “women of child bearing potential”, where an “alert will display at Data Entry Verification informing them to validate that the indication of diagnosis is documented on the prescription and that it is not to terminate a pregnancy.”

+ Walgreens is moving in a similar direction, even allowing their pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions.

+ Does Walgreen’s allow their clerks to “step away” from customers buying chips, sodas, cigarettes, chocolate Roundup or any of the other toxic crap they sell that’s likely to reduce their life expectancy?

+ According to the criminologist Nell Darby, from the 17th Century through the mid-19th Century, women (especially working-class women) in Great Britain could be jailed (in some cases executed) for giving birth to illegitimate children, concealing the birth of a child and infanticide (abortion). But the men who fathered the children, and conspired to keep their existence secret (often because they were men of social status & married), weren’t subject to any of these criminal sanctions. Kind of like Ohio, Louisiana and Texas today.

+ Alisabeth Janai Lancaster, a former a retired Federal Reserve law enforcement officer, who is now running for school board in Santa Rosa County, Florida, is calling for doctors who treat trans kids to be lynched. During a candidates’ forum this week, Lancaster said: “These doctors that are going along with mutilating these children and prescribing hormone blockers to these kids, in my opinion, they should be hanging from the nearest tree.” Her blood-thirsty rant was greeted with cheers from the audience. The event was held in the St. Sylvester Catholic Church.

+ $15,000: what Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan makes per hour. (Source: Ralph Nader)

+ Nicholas Ferroni: “If you are okay with having Muslim, Jewish and Hindu students sit through a Christian prayer in public school and not okay with having Christian students sit through a Muslim, Jewish or Hindu prayer, then it’s NOT religious freedom–it’s religious oppression.”

+ All of the Republicans in the House voted against a Democratic bill calling for the Pentagon to investigate neo-Nazis in the military. Isn’t the military the safest place for neo-Nazis? It’s where Ukraine, Russia, the UK, France and Australia stash theirs…

+ Where’s the politician who talks like this embittered police detective in Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, who is sick of having his investigations into the nefarious schemes of LA elites shut down?

“There ain’t no clean way to make hundred million bucks. Maybe the head man thinks his hands are clean but somewhere along the line guys got pushed to the wall, nice little businesses got the ground cut from under them and had to sell out for nickels, decent people lost their jobs, stocks got rigged on the market, proxies got bough up like a pennyweight of gold, and the five percenters and the big law firms got paid hundred-grand fees for beating some law the people wanted but the rich guys didn’t, on account of it cut into their profits. Big money is big power and big power gets used to wrong. It’s the system. Maybe it’s best we can get, but it still ain’t any Ivory Soap deal.”

“You sound like a red,” I said, just to needle him.

“I wouldn’t know,” he said contemptuously. “I ain’t been investigated yet.”

+ When I hear about the “Clinton Murders”. I don’t think of Vince Foster, but of Rickey Ray Rector, a brain-damaged black man Clinton rushed to jab with a lethal injection during the 92 campaign, and Iraqi artist Layla al-Attar, killed in one of Clinton’s missile strikes in Iraq. We used one of al-Attar’s paintings as the cover of Kathy Kelly’s book, Other Lands Have Dreams.

+ Speaking of Bubba, few people remember that he launched his campaign at Stone Mountain, Georgia’s version of Mt Rushmore, featuring a monumental carving of Confederate Generals on horseback. As bad as Reagan launching his fall campaign against Carter by giving a State’s Rights speech at the Neshoba County fairgrounds in Mississippi, just a few miles from where three civil rights workers were murdered by the Klan in 1964…

+ Ronald Reagan didn’t so much ignore AIDS as actively encourage and facilitate its spread. Reagan’s Surgeon General, C. Everett Coop, said that the view in the Reagan White House as that ‘they (homosexuals) are only getting what they justly deserve.” Biden seems to be taking the same tact for monkeypox, which is being written off as a homosexual disease spread by promiscuous gay sex. (It’s not.)

+ The US spends just 0.2 percent of its GDP on child care. The average of EU nation’s 0.7 percent.

+ Meanwhile, the United States has the highest rate of children living in single-parent households, nearly twice the rate of Germany and triple that of Japan.

+ In the next few months, the global population will surpass 8 billion humans and India will vault ahead of China as the world’s most populous nation. Between them, China and India will be home to more people than were alive on the entire planet at the end of WW II.

+ “Unfraid?” I’ll bet he’s absolutely terrified of salad bars, CRT and the trans woman in the local pickle ball league….

+ The Democrats in the House pushed through a bill called somewhat cheesily the Respect for Marriage Act, which codifies protections for gay and interracial marriage. (Respecting marriage? I’d’ve thought the radically progressive perspective would be against the institution of marriage altogether…) Still the bill attracted 47 the votes of Republicans, substantially more than in 2004 when gay marriage was such a hot political issue. John Kerry thought gay marriage lost him Ohio and the election, the Democrats blamed the loss on Diebold voting machines (the Dominion of their day) and the rest of us knew he lost because of his noxious “Reporting for Duty” convention, where he vowed to be a more competent version of Bush…

+ I’d like to note for the record that one of the first English novels was about a transvestite, Henry Fielding’s The Female Husband, published in 1746. Fielding, author of Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews, was no radical. He was a Tory judge, who personally financed the first police force of London, the Bow Street Runners.

+ Isaac Chotiner’s interview with Alan Dershowitz is the funniest thing I’ve read all week. Dershowitz can’t even recall the name of his own book. Or whether he brokered Middle East Peace for Trump with the Emir of Qatar or “No, of Kuwait. No, was it Qatar?”

+ Judith Miller was a model of reportorial scrupulousness compared to some of the people the NYT has assigned to the Israel beat, including Isabel Kershner, whose son served in the IDF & whose husband works for the INSS, which mission is to spit-polish the image of Israel after every atrocity.

+ Kerhsner is awful, but perhaps not as noxious as CNN’s  White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, the Alabama alum, who, while working for Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, seeded her stories with sick jokes about torture, writing “ the Guantanamo Bay detainees were certainly the firs to do the ice bucket challenge, and it’s high time they got their due.” So pleased was this sadist at her execrable quip that she repeated it, writing that the forever prisoner Abu Zubaydah “is another prisoner who [Gen. Michael] Hayden confirmed had been waterboarded during his stay at a Cuban camp. Zubaydah took the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ an impressive 83 times.”

+ Boris Johnson’s exit speech in brief: “I want to use last few seconds to give some words of advice to my successor. Number One: Stay close to the Americans. Stick up for the Ukrainians. Stick up for freedom and democracy…Mission largely  accomplished…Remember above all: It’s not Twitter that counts… Hasta la vista, baby!”

+ “Alex, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

+ Here’s Glenn defending Matt Gaetz’s vote against codifying the Obergefell ruling legalizing gay marriage…

+ Gaetz also voted against protecting the right to access to birth control for similar “reasons.”

+++

+ UN supremo Antonio Guterres told ministers from 40 countries this week that human society is approaching a “collective suicide“: ‘Half of humanity is in the danger zone, from floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires. No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction.’”

+ Climate change is expected to cause about 250,000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050, according to the World Health Organization.

+ Over the last 50 years, the oil and gas industry has amassed $52 trillion in profits, banking $2.8 billion every day since 1970.

+ Joe Manchin is bragging this week that he saved “US taxpayers” $300 billion from sabotaging the climate change package. But the cost of climate inaction to the US treasury is expected to be $2 TRILLION per year.

+ Memo to Joe Manchin: Between July 15 and 17 alone, the amount of ice melting in Greenland produced 6 billion tons of water per day–enough to flood the entire state of West Virginia under a foot of water.

+ According to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the amount of electricity consumed by air conditioners will triple by 2050, requiring new energy sources equivalent to the combined current electricity capacity of the United States, European Union, and Japan.

+ A study in the American Journal of Public Health documents that when the temperature in Boston hits 90F, emergency medical service dispatches increase by 2 percent, police department dispatches increase by 9 percent and fire department dispatches increased by 10 percent.

+ 6.7%: the amount of forest acreage lost to catastrophic wildfires in California since 1985.

+ One of Europe’s major trading routes, the Rhine River, may soon become to0 shallow for ship traffic.

+ The relative carbon emissions to yield for 50 grams of protein (recommended daily amount)

beef:      25 kg
cheese:    4 kg
chicken:   2 kg
peas:         0.2 kg

+ In 2019, at least 2,800 people died from air pollution, 95% of which derives from the burning of fossil fuels. On top of that, there were 15,000 related cases of pediatric asthma in the state.

+ Edward Snowden: “At a certain point, our corrupt and moribund political culture has no hope of solving humanity’s problems. You either bet on science and technology, or you bet on extinction.”

+ The increase in the warmest summer days at London’s Heathrow is progressing at more than twice the rate of the average summer day.

+ 300 metric tons: amounted of carbon emitted by the John “Only corporations can solve the climate crisis” Kerry family private jet since Biden took office.

+ 1 billion tons: amount of manure generated each year by animals in factory farms in the US. Nearly three times as much waste as generated by the human population of the US.

+ Land Life, a corporate carbon offset company that claimed it would use the blockchain to help reforest  the planet, has accidentally set off a 35,000 acre wildfire in Spain, the second wild fire they’ve caused in a month.

+ Tariq Fancy, the former Chief Information Officer at Blackrock, asserts that “sustainable investing” is mostly a scam: “Sustainable investing boils down to little more than marketing hype, PR spin & disingenuous promises from investment community”

+++

+ PG Wodehouse: “If there is one thing I dislike, it is the man who tries to air his grievances when I wish to air mine.”

+ This “vegan” “friend of animals” (and news anchor for an ABC affiliate in LA) thinks a flyover by a plane built to carpet bomb civilians (and animals, I might note) is “pretty cool”…. Let’s recall exactly what we’re talking about here. 387,072: civilians have been killed as a direct result of US military actions in the post-911 wars, part of a long history of “strategic bombing” of civilians in Vietnam (2 million), Korea (2.5 million), Japan (1.1 million) & Germany (500,000).

+ In 1965, the music committee of the Pulitzer Prize organization selected Duke Ellington for its annual award for achievement in music composition. The Pulitzer governing council rejected the selection and no prize was given. Two of the music committee members resigned in protest. Ellington is the greatest American composer and one of the greatest composers period of the 20 C. The decision to deny him the award was based on ignorance and racism. It’s past time to rectify a grievous historical wrong. Music historian Ted Gioia has put together a petition encouraging the Pulitzers to finally give Ellington the award he was denied. I encourage you all to sign it

+ “I want to be a force for real good. In other words. I know that there are bad forces, forces that bring suffering to others and misery to the world, but I want to be the opposite force. I want to be the force which is truly for good.” – John Coltrane, who died at 40, 55 years this week.

I’ve got a real bad feeling

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

The Revenge of the Real: Politics for a Post-Pandemic World
Benjamin Bratton
(Verso)

Imagining the Heartland: White Supremacy and the American Midwest
Britt E. Halvorson and Joshua O. Reno
(University of California)

Burning the Books: a History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge
Richard Ovendon
(Harvard University)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Reboot
Ronnie Foster
(Blue Note)

Something More Than Love
Lera Lynn
(Ruby Range Records)

Mesmerism
Tyshawn Sorey
(Yeros7)

Things Cannot Go On Well

“My good friends, things cannot go on well in England, nor ever will until everything shall be in common, when there shall be neither vassal nor lord, and all distinctions levelled; when the lords shall be no more masters than ourselves. How ill they have used us!… They have wines, spices and fine bread, when we have only rye and the refuse of fine straw; and if we drink, it must be water. They have handsome seats and manors, when we must brave the wind and rain in our labours in the field; but it is from our labour they have the wherewith to support their pomp.… Let us go to the king, who is young, and remonstrate with him on our servitude, telling him we must have it otherwise, or that we shall find a remedy for it ourselves.” (– John Ball, a leader of the Peasant’s Revolt)

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