Roaming Charges: Tin Cops and Biden Coming…

California Highway Patrol riot squads firing “rubber” bullets and tear gas at antiwar students on the campus of UCLA.

America, why are your libraries full of tears?

– Allen Ginsburg, “America”

+ As America’s liberal elites declare open warfare on their own kids, it’s easy to see why they’ve shown no empathy at all for the murdered, maimed and orphaned children of Gaza. Back-of-the-head shots to 8-year-olds seem like a legitimate thing to protest in about the most vociferous way possible…But, as Dylan once sang, maybe I’m too sensitive or else I’m getting soft.

+ Here’s the political background to the police raids against antiwar students on campuses across the country this week, violent crackdowns that have Joe Biden’s fingerprints all over them: On Tuesday, Biden demonized the protesters as hate groups. On the same day 22 Democratic House members called for the students at Columbia to be cleared from the campus, this was followed by Chuck Schumer speaking on the floor of the Senate denouncing the occupation of Hind Hall as an act of terrorism. Then the NYPD did its vicious nightwork at Columbia and CCNY. On Wednesday morning, the Biden White House compared these brave students–from Columbia to UCLA, Indiana to Texas–to the white power tiki torch thugs at Charlottesville. On Thursday, Biden gave a speech that would have condemned the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement, women’s movement, Native American Rights movement, anti-Vietnam War movement, Stonewall, anti-apartheid movement, BLM and the labor movement he claims to venerate (not to mention the Boston Tea Party) as outside the American tradition of free speech. Biden is the author of the most repressive crime laws in the history of a nation whose statutes are full of repressive crime laws. He hasn’t changed. In fact, he’s gotten worse as his brain demyelinates and his grip on power becomes more and more tenuous.

+ In contrast to Biden’s reactionary blandishments of the antiwar movement, here are the words of the most successful progressive leader in the US today, Shawn Fain, head of the UAW:

The UAW will never support the mass arrest or intimidation of those exercising their right to protest, strike, or speak out against injustice. Our union has been calling for a ceasefire for six months. This war is wrong, and this response against students and academic workers, many of them UAW members, is wrong. We call on the powers that be to release the students and employees who have been arrested, and if you can’t take the outcry, stop supporting the war.

+ Perhaps the UAW will now retract its premature endorsement of Biden? Unlikely, of course. The endorsement itself probably doesn’t matter much. Many of the UAW’s rank-and-file will still vote for Trump. The campaign money might. The endorsement lends Fain’s very clear statement even more weight. Fain’s statement is not going to change Biden’s mind. He’s encased himself in 50 years of pro-Israeli political concrete. But it helps to undermine the disgusting narrative put out by the White House and top Democrats that the students are naive dupes of Hamas, justifying these brutal crackdowns.

+ The “naive” students at Columbia understand the historical context of their movement and the previous movements on their campus better than any of the administrators seeking to evict, suspend, expel & imprison them. It is why, despite the police raids, expulsions and arrests, they will win and their tormentors fall in disgrace.

+ Columbia University has an endowment of $13.6 billion and still charges students $60-70,000 a year to attend what has become an academic panopticon and debt trap, where every political statement is monitored, every threat to the ever-swelling endowment punished.

+ Doesn’t the White House have anyone who speaks Arabic on staff? Perhaps they didn’t hire any–that would be a Biden thing to do. Or perhaps they’ve all quit. Who could blame them, hearing the administration equate “intifada” with hate speech? “Intifada” means “shaking off,” as in a protest or uprising, the kind of public action allegedly protected by the Constitution. In Arabic, the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Vietnam war protests, the women’s movement, the OWS protests, and the BLM protests were all called “intifadas,” as was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.  This Intifada will likely spell the end of the Biden presidency without a single stone being thrown.

+ The Biden administration is not only incapable (more likely unwilling) of practicing peace-seeking diplomacy in Gaza or Ukraine, but here at home, as riot police batter unarmed students from coast to coast, in raids the White House’s own belligerent and bigoted statements instigated and justified. It’s a dereliction of the duties of his office and should be as impeachable an offense as any malfeasance Trump engaged in.

+ In 1970, Richard Nixon famously made a trip to the Lincoln Memorial to actually talk with anti-war protesters for more than two hours. Biden sneers at them, encourages the liberal press to smear them and university presidents to send in riot squads to clear them off campus…

+ Columbia student organizer Jon Ben-Menachem: “Joe Biden should immediately stop making statements which manufacture consent for threats to the physical safety of American students.”

+ One of the Columbia trustees that Baroness Shafik “consulted” with before “inviting” the NYPD Riot Squad to invade campus, break into Hind Hall and arrest the students in her care was Jeh Johnson, Obama’s former director of Homeland Security who now sits on the board of Lockheed. Johnson once claimed that Martin Luther King, Jr. would have supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

+ For nearly two days, the NYPD covered up the fact that one of their officers had fired a gun inside Hind Hall, while they were arresting students. Ultimately, the shooting was only revealed by the New York City DA’s office. If you call in the NYPD, you can pretty much guarantee there will be bang-bang…Is there any doubt now that the NYPD raid did more damage to the buildings at Columbia than the students? The people who invited these cops on their campus should never be guardians of students again.

+ Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich: “We must obliterate Rafah, Deir al-Balah, and Nuseirat. The memory of the Amalekites must be erased. No partial destruction will suffice; only absolute and complete devastation.” While chastizing college students for calling their campaign an “intifada,” Biden is shipping Israel the weapons to carry out Smotrich’s putsch into Rafah…

+ Yousef Munayyer: “No one asks how Palestinian students are supposed to “feel safe” at institutions who invest in and profit off of the murder of their relatives.”

+ Prem Thakker: “The dilemma for American college students is that their tax and tuition dollars are helping fund a plausible genocide; if they protest that fact, their tax and tuition dollars are then used to beat and arrest them & their teachers.”

+ Daniela Gabor: “Minouche Shafik wrote a 2021 book – ‘What We Owe Each )ther’ – where she proposes a reset of the social contract to improve intergenerational fairness. Then she went to Columbia and brought a notoriously violent police force into that social contract.”

+ John Fetterman, the oafish senator from Pennsylvania, went from being a quirky political clown to Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King’s “It”: “The protesters at Columbia demonstrated that there are two factions of the protesters–there’s the pro-Hamas and then there’s the really pro-Hamas.”

+ The great jazz pianist Vijay Iyer: “Gen Z has agitated for action on gun control, climate change, reproductive justice, trans rights, voting rights, racial justice, immigrant rights, reducing police violence, and stopping genocide. Elders have failed them at literally every turn.”

+ Judith Butler: “If calling for an end of genocide is understood as making a Jewish student feel unsafe, then the safety of the situation has been oddly co-opted by that particular Jewish student. Palestinians are the ones in need of safety [from genocide].”

+ At Dartmouth, the police threw to the ground Professor  Annelise Orleck, the 65-year-old head of the university’s Jewish Studies program.

+ Raphael Orleck on the bodyslamming arrest of the chair of Dartmouth’s Jewish Studies program, Annelise Orleck: “That’s my fucking mom—-she’s okay now and bailing out the students who got arrested. I’m so proud.” Orleck has been banned from the Dartmouth campus, where she’s taught for 34 years, for the next six months for trying to protect her students from NH riot police. Orleck has been banned from the Dartmouth campus, where she’s taught for 34 years, for the next six months for trying to protect her students from riot police. 

+ The pro-Israel fanatics who attacked UCLA students Tuesday night with clubs and bottle rockets, as campus security cowered inside a building like deputies of the Ulvade police force, shouted out it’s time for a “Second Nakba!” Don’t wait for Biden or CNN to condemn this eliminationist rhetoric and violence.

+ Around 3:30 on Weds., morning, the pro-Israel mobs attacked four student journalists for the Daily Bruin on the campus of UCLA. The gang surrounded the Bruin reporters, including editor Catherine Hamilton, sprayed them with mace, pointed laser lights at their faces and verbally harassed them. Hamilton said she was punched repeatedly in the chest and upper abdomen as she tried to break free. Another student journalist was shoved to the ground, beaten and repeatedly kicked. “We expected to be harassed by counter-protestors,” Hamilton said. “I truly didn’t expect to be directly attacked.”

+ Momma, we’ve found the “outside agitators”… The Daily Beast reports that before the violent attack on anti-war demonstrators at UCLA, Jessica Seinfeld (wife of the comedian) and Bill Ackman (billionaire husband of the plagiarist Neri Oxman) gave thousands of dollars for a pro-Israel demonstration on campus.

+ UCLA professor Danielle Carr: “It’s hard to overstate the degree of outrage & betrayal on behalf of all the faculty now, especially after what happened last night, after about 200 very violent pro-Israel protesters descended on the camp and were shooting fireworks and acting real violent. And it took the university several hours to respond and secure the students’ safety. The irony that in the name of student safety the encampment will be facing a militarised police invasion tonight, probably including tear gas, it’s just hard to say fully how disgusted many of the faculty are finding this.”

+ As Professor Carr predicted, the day after the pro-Israel mob assaulted UCLA students and faculty, the California Highway Patrol arrived on campus, not to protect the students from “outside” assailants, but to open fire on them with tear gas and rubber bullets

+ During the CHP crackdown on UCLA student protesters, at least 5 students were shot in the head with rubber bullets, the cops fired flash-bang grenades directly into the crowd and more than 130 students were arrested.

+ The Los Angeles Public Defenders’ Union called the UCLA arrests “shameful and a complete failure of leadership”. President Garrett Miller said they are ready to “represent every person facing charges.”

+ There’s something happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mister Joe…?

+ Biden: “Dissent must never lead to disorder.”

+ From Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”:

I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”

+ Biden on the George Floyd protests: “We will not allow any President to quiet our voice. We won’t let those who see this as an opportunity to sow chaos throw up a smokescreen to distract us from the very real and legitimate grievances at the heart of these protests.” But that was then under Him, this is now under Me…

+ Contrary to Biden’s deplorable speech denouncing the student anti-war demonstrations as violent, a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) found that 99% of campus protests over Palestine at US colleges have been peaceful.

+ Biden received five draft deferments during the Vietnam War but, like Trump, never took part in the student movement to end the genocidal war in Southeast Asia. He was happy for others–poor whites, Hispanics and Blacks–to serve, kill and die in his place. No surprise he condemns the students protesting to end his wars.

+ In his memoir, Promises to Keep, Biden admitted he “never saw the war as a great moral issue.” While enjoying his draft deferment to attend Syracuse University, he described being irritated by the anti-war protests on campus. His irritation rose to fury after SDS occupied the chancellor’s office and hung banners out the window of the Administration Building. “They were taking over the building,” Biden wrote, “and we looked up and said, ‘Look at those assholes.’ That’s how far apart from the antiwar movement I was.”

+ The bike lock the NYPD held up as proof that “outside agitators” were behind the occupation of Hind Hall is available for sale on campus via Columbia’s Public Safety department under their “Crime Prevention Discount Bike, Locker and Laptop Lock Program”.

+ Chris by Bike: “Cops don’t know this is a bike lock because they’ve never investigated a bike theft in their lives.”

+ Ralph Nader: “The enforcer president of Columbia University— Minouche Shafik—is one of the wealthiest people in America. As president, she makes over $2000 an hour every weekday. In three days, she makes more than many blue-collar workers at Columbia make in a year.”

+ Professor Sami Schalk, University of Wisconsin-Madison: “At the hospital, the nurse took photos ‘in case you want to file a report.’ Report to whom? The very people who strangled me at work in broad daylight with cameras rolling? Those people?”

+ During a week of ever-escalating assaults on students and faculty, Jill Biden is hosting the first ever “Teachers of the Year” State Dinner at the White House. Some of the best won’t be there because they’re in jail, in the hospital or trying to arrange bail for their incarcerated pupils…

+ Ari Fleischer was better at his job and he was one of the worst hired liars I’ve ever seen. To compare the racist violent mob at Charlottesville to students on campuses large and small across the US is just repulsive at a personal level and self-destructive on a political one.

+ On May 6th, the Pulitzer Prizes are scheduled to be announced at Columbia University. On Wednesday., night student journalists at Columbia, many of them reporting from inside Pulitzer Hall, were threatened with arrest if they moved across their own campus to report on a police raid targeting their fellow students and faculty. They won’t win any Pulitzers, but their reporting has been far more vivid, informative and less biased than the elite media the administration and NYPD allowed on university grounds.

+ One of the lies the Adams administration used to justify the paramilitary raids on Columbia was that “a wife of a known terrorist” was inside Hind Hall with the protesters. NYC media ran with this obvious lie. This morning Deputy Police Commissioner Rebecca Weiner said the woman wasn’t in Hind Hall, wasn’t part of the protests, but had been seen on campus last week and that they “have no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing on her part.”

+ The woman Adams slanderously smeared was Nahla al-Arian wife of Sami-al Arian, the former professor of computer engineering at South Florida (and CounterPunch contributor), who was never convicted of a crime by a jury but pled to one count after a mistrial, then was wrongly held under house arrest for refusing to testify in a federal case…the charges were later dismissed. Adams falsely Sami al-Arian was “arrested for and convicted for terrorism on a federal level” and implied that Nahla, a retired elementary school teacher, had somehow helped to train the students in civil disobedience. In fact, she was in NYC with her two daughters Laila and Lama, both journalists, stopped by the encampment for about 20 minutes and, according to her daughter Lama, had some hummus and left because she was tired. Nahla called the Columbia students “beautiful and busy.”

+ “The whole thing is a distraction because they are very scared that the young Americans are aware for the first time of what’s going on in Palestine,” Nahla Al-Arian said. “They are the ones who influenced me. They are the ones who gave me hope that at last the Palestinian people can get some justice. I sat and I felt happy to see those students fighting for justice for the oppressed people in Palestine.”

+ According to Lama, one of the best young documentary filmmakers around, her mother found out this week that more than 200 of her relatives have been killed in the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

+ Anyone who wants to know more about the bogus case against Sami Al-Arian and the decades-long harassment of his family should watch the documentary, The USA v. Al-Arian, which shows how in the post-9/11 mass hysteria the Patriot Act was used against a university professor for merely knowing someone who was a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad years earlier.

+ Two days after the raid, Adams was still being pushed to name how many “outside agitators” had been arrested by the NYPD. Adams had no answers, because there weren’t any and shrugged off the questions, saying: “I don’t think that matters…One professor poisoning a classroom of students is just as bad as 50.”

+ A year ago, NYC Mayor Eric Adams vowed to bring what he’s learned from Israeli Police to the NYPD. That rare promise kept…

+ Adams justifying the police raids: “These are our children and we can’t allow them to be radicalized.” Adams and the Democrats have done more damage to academic freedom than Ron DeSantis and Christopher Rufo.

+ In Eric Adams, the people of NYC must endure the hybridization of the lies of a politician with the lies of an NYPD cop.

+ The real “outside agitators” on the campuses of Columbia, NYU, and CCNY were the police themselves. (For example, less than half of all NYPD officers live in NYC and only 25% of LAPD officers live in Los Angeles.)

+ Dana Bash’s first husband, Jeremy Bash, was chief of staff of the CIA (2009-2011) and later chief of staff of the Pentagon, under Obama. Daughter of an ABCNews producer, she is a creature of DC.  Raised there. Went to GW, then right to work for CNN, which she’s never left.

+ Remember months ago, when Bash scolded Rep. Pramila Jayapal for having the audacity to voice her concern about 15,000 (at that time) Palestinians killed by Israel by saying: “You don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.” (They do, as the State Department’s Country Report on Israel recently confirmed.) The IDF doesn’t even have to vet Bash’s stories, they come out fully synched with the Israeli theme of the day.

+ On the very day the Biden administration condemned Russia’s use of choking gas in Ukraine, it applauded police raids on campuses across the US where riot cops drenched non-violent students in tear gas who were protesting a genocidal war in Gaza, where Israel has repeatedly used, in violation of international law, US-made white phosphorous munitions.

+ Someone in the Biden campaign should take notice of this, but apparently they’ve written off anyone under 30 (along with anyone who has a conscience.)

+ Six faculty members from Washington University in Missouri — four of whom were arrested at Saturday’s protest — are not only banned from campus, but are forbidden from speaking with Wash U staff and students even in off-campus settings.

+ The windbags who bellow the most bombastically about the sanctity of the Constitution are almost always shown to know almost nothing about it. I give you the senator from Tennessee…

+ Melanie Newport: “Hearing that the students in our UConn campus jail are not being fed. Also we have a campus jail.”

+ How will they divide the spoils? Now, on to the University of Chicago!

+ Columbia Encampment response to the use of police force and the refusal of divestment: “If the University does not come forward with real, concrete proposals that address our demands, we will have no choice but to escalate the intensity of protest on campus.”

+ Marisa Kabas: “For years conservatives derided college kids as liberal snowflakes… Now that their power is clear, universities are trying to shut them down, and cops are beating the shit out of them. You don’t beat the shit out of snowflakes.”

+ If a video emerged of Joe Biden sticking a lit cherry bomb up Commander the German Shepherd’s ass, Aaron Rupar would find some way to defend it and still excoriate the disgusting Kristi Noem for shooting the family puppy Cricket in a South Dakota gravel pit…

+ Columbia doctoral candidate Rachel H H: “Insane that Columbia has locked down campus to everyone. No research, no books, no labs. No libraries, no medical services appointments, no studio or practice space. No lectures, no concerts. Just the pure administrative university and its disciplinary power.”

+ In reply to a question from FoxNews about the campus protests,  White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Department of Justice, Homeland Security and the Department of Education will be involved in the investigations, suggesting that the Biden administration may be pursuing federal “hate crime” charges against student protestors

+ Before you take out that student loan, which you’ll be paying off until you get that first social security check when you’re 85, you might consider whether the school you choose allows snipers on campus…

+ Imagine the reaction from the White House, Congress and the US media if Putin had used these violent police tactics to suppress anti-Ukraine war protests on campuses in Russia.

+ Is there any doubt that USAID would be funding these student protests if they were happening in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Brazil, Russia, Belarus, South Africa, Syria, Iran, China, North Korea, Colombia, Chile…?

+ The country has lost its friggin’ mind…

+ According to a database compiled by the Appeal, nearly 2,000 people have been arrested at 72 campus protests this month. The fate of many of the students, some of whom face absurd charges like “hate crimes against law enforcement,” is in the hands of local prosecutors.

+ Move over NYC firefighters who raised the US flag over the still-smoking ruins of the World Trade Towers and your fallen comrades, you’ve been replaced by heroic NYPD riot cops beating up unarmed students to the soundtrack of Woody Friggin’ Guthrie…

+ More embarrassing than the US triumphalism after the invasion of Grenada…

+ Judith “Free Speech” Miller should be hiding her face for the rest of her life and afterlife…

+ This one’s for you, Rachel: The Evergreen State College has agreed to“divestment from companies that profit from gross human rights violations and/or the occupation of Palestinian Territories.”.

+ Despite the police crackdowns (or perhaps as a solidarity response to them), the Palestinian solidarity & anti-war student actions have now spread to at least 154 college campuses in the US over the past two weeks…


+ A new study in Nature: “Using an empirical approach… the persistence of impacts on economic growth, we find that the world economy is committed to an income reduction of 19% within the next 26 years independent of future emission choices.”

+ Temperatures every month between July and December of 2023 beat the prior record by at least 0.3C. And September shattered the previous record by 0.5C.

+ A UN labor agency report warns of the rising threat of excess heat, and climate change on the world’s workers. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that over 2.4 billion workers — more than 70% of the global workforce — are likely to face excessive heat as part of their jobs at some point, according to the most recent figures available, from 2020. That’s up from over 65% in 2000.

+ The two families (Ferrero and Mars) who own the biggest chocolate corporations have more wealth than the combined GDP of the two countries (Ghana and Ivory Coast), which supply the most cocoa beans.

+ In the last ten, severe storm outages increased by 74% compared with the prior decade. High winds, rains, winter storms, tornadoes and hurricanes, accounted for 80% of all power interruptions over the last 20 years.

+ In China, EV sales have quadrupled in four years. Chinese EVs now account for about two-thirds of all global EV sales.

+ Sixty corporations are responsible for half of the world’s plastic pollution, led by Phillip Morris, Danone, Nestlé, Pepsico and Coca-Cola.

+ Almost half of China’s major cities are sinking because of water extraction and the increasing weight of their rapid expansion. One in six are subsiding by more than 10mm per year.

+ Pollution levels near freeways are 3 to 4 times higher than neighborhoods farther away, leading to an increased risk of respiratory, cardiovascular and reproductive health problems. The effects of this pollution get worse as the traffic volume increases.

+ This has the flavor of a BP ad after Deepwater Horizon…The US is producing more oil (13 million barrels on average every day in 2023) and exporting more LNG than at any time in history.

+ Last year was by far the most destructive wildfire season on record in Canada. But the total burn area so far in 2024 is 20 times what it was by this time lie 2023.

+ Ten years after the Flint water crisis became public and 7 years after the city was ordered to replace the lead service it still hasn’t done so.

+ Florida’s coral reefs have experienced a 90 percent decline in the past 40 years, largely due to warming oceans.

+ The recent storms that flooded Dubai were made 40% more intense by climate change.

+ Taxing big fossil fuel firms could raise $900 billion for climate finance by 2030.

+ A one-liter bottle of water contains 240,000 plastic fragments, far more than previously thought.

+ The rate of primary forest loss in Indonesia soared by 27% last year according to a World Resources Institute analysis of deforestation data.

+ According to Consumer Reports, climate change will cost a typical child born in 2024 at least around $500,000 over their lifetime—and possibly as much as $1 million—through a combination of cost-of-living increases and reduced earnings.

+ Since 1976, more than 4 billion solar panels have been manufactured worldwide and the cost per panel has declined by 96 percent.

+ US emissions declined by 3% last year, almost all of it in the power generation sector, as emissions continued to climb in the transportation, industrial and agricultural sectors.

+ Mashable: “The last time CO2 levels were as high as today, ocean waters drowned the lands where metropolises like Houston, Miami, and New York City now exist.”

+ A new report from the International Energy Agency forecasts that by 2030 1 in 3 cars in China is expected to be electric, while only 1 in 5 in USA/Europe.

+ Our friends at the Alliance for the Wild Rockies are running this ad on the bison slaughter outside Yellowstone, which is really pissing off all the right people. Pass it around to help them piss off more…


+ Corrections officers in NY’s Broome County Jail assure pretrial detainees will be paid for their labor. However once assigned a job, they receive no compensation and are forced to work under threat of disciplinary sanctions and solitary confinement.

+ NYC’s attorneys, who are required to report all settlements and judgments against the NYPD, failed to report $1.2 billion in payouts over a 10-year period–about half of the total payouts during that period.

+ Tough on crime, anti-bail reform DA Sandra Doorley got caught speeding (55 in a 35 mph zone), refused to pull over, called the police chief, and then berated the patrol officer.

Doorley: “Sorry, I’m the DA. I was going 55 coming home from work.”

Cop: “Fifty-five in a 35.”

Doorley: “I don’t really care.”

Then Doorley calls the police on her cell, demanding: “Can you please tell him to leave me alone?”

Then she handed the phone to the officer and went back into her garage to the door of the house, saying, dismissively: “This is ridiculous. Just go away.”

The cop orders her not to go into the house several times.

Cop: “Ma’am, come outside, you can’t just go inside, this is a traffic stop.”

Doorley: “Listen, I know the law better than you. Would you just leave? Would you just leave me alone?”

+ At least 94 people died after they were given sedatives and restrained by police from 2012 through 2021, according to findings by the AP in collaboration with FRONTLINE (PBS) and the Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism. That’s nearly 10% of the more than 1,000 deaths identified during the investigation of people subdued by police in ways that are not supposed to be fatal. About half of the 94 who died were Black. Behind the racial disparity is a disputed medical condition called excited delirium, which fueled the rise of sedation outside hospitals. Critics say its purported symptoms, including “superhuman strength” and high pain tolerance, play into racist stereotypes about Black people and lead to biased decisions about who needs sedation.

+ The Miami mother of a mentally ill son who was fatally shot by a cop is jailed simply for sharing news stories about the cop, without comment, on Facebook.

+ Since 1991, homicide rates have fallen in New York City by 86% and in Los Angeles by 73%.

+ The last growth industry in America: “Florida is charging formerly incarcerated people $50 a day even if they’re no longer in prison. The “pay to stay” fee is based on the length of the original sentence, so even when they’re released they must keep paying for a prison bed they’re not using.”


H5N1 virus. CDC/ Courtesy of Cynthia Goldsmith; Jacqueline Katz; Sherif R. Zaki.

+ There are reports out of Ranchi, India of 8 human H5N1 cases: 6 poultry farm workers & 2 doctors (which is of particular concern if accurate as canaries of H2H spread)

+ CDC found one virus from a cow with a marker known to be associated with reduced susceptibility to neuraminidase inhibitors (a change at NA-T438I). 

+ RNA analysis shows that bird flu has been spreading in US cattle since December. The USDA didn’t make an announcement until March. In April USDA shared only partial data, making it hard to track the virus’s spread. (Imagine the outrage if the Chinese did this. Well, you don’t have to imagine.)

+ One in five milk samples in the US has shown genetic traces of bird flu. The question is why aren’t we testing cattle herds?

+ Out of 33 dairy farms in 8 U.S. states, only 23 people have been tested for highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 by states–less than 1 person per farm.

+ Rick Bright, virologist: Seeing a mutation that confers resistance to flu antivirals is a huge concern actually. If this were to spread, it could render flu drugs in stockpiles less effective. There are not many alternatives in abundant supply…This is not something to minimize; something to watch very closely.

+ Why aren’t American chickens vaccinated? Not only has an H5N1 vaccine always been available for day-old chicks, but it’s regularly updated for circulating variants.  The US is the only major country that doesn’t have mandatory #H5N1 vaccines for poultry, even though an H5N1 vaccine for day-old chicks has been widely available and regularly updated for newly circulating variants.


+ More than three years into the Biden administration, the FDA is finally poised to ease restrictions on marijuana. But it turns out to be another Bidenian half-measure, since, as our friend Sanho Tree, a drug policy expert at IPS, pointed out, “dropping marijuana down to Schedule III still allows criminalization of people using it without a prescription.”

+ Teenage suicide rates in the US are much higher on school days and in school months, and are lowest in July when most schools are out.

+ There are now 2.4 million more female than male undergraduates on U.S. campuses (8.9 million women compared to 6.5 million men).

+ The fertility rate in the US dropped to its lowest level in nearly a century at 1.6–.5 points below the replacement rate. Immigration is the only thing propping up the US economy.

+ Pro Publica: “Cigna tracks every minute that its staff doctors spend deciding whether to pay for health care. Dr. Debby Day said her bosses cared more about being fast than being right: ‘Deny, deny, deny. That’s how you hit your numbers,’ Day said.”

+ In the last 10 years, the number of people shot in road rage incidents quadrupled. Two of the three cities with the highest # of incidents are in Texas, Houston and San Antonio.

+ By 2022, the number of people living in extreme poverty reversed course and began to rise.

+ Between 2019 and 2022 inequality in both rural and urban China has increased; the higher the quintile, the higher the cumulative real per capita growth. The gap is more extreme in rural areas. 


+ Isaac Chotiner vs. Elliot Abrams

Chotiner: A lot of people still think of Iran-Contra when your name comes up. Do you think that’s fair?

Abrams: Well, it’s fair because that’s what comes up when you Google my name.

Chotiner: Right. Do you feel reformed in some way?

Abrams: Reformed from what?

Chotiner: Oh, just the crimes. People should always have a chance to reform.

Abrams: I think that’s a really offensive and, frankly, quite despicable question.

+ The Biden administration has been secretly sending long-range missiles to Ukraine. The ground-based ATACMS have a range of 190 miles. Previously the US had been shipping Ukraine short-range M777 Howitzers, with a range of 25 miles, and medium-range Himars, with a range of 55 miles. The Russians have been using BM-30 Smerch (range: 43 miles), 2A36 Giansint B Howitzers (range: 25 miles) and the D-30 Howitzers (range: 13.6 miles)

+ According to Naalsio, an open-source researcher who has created a spreadsheet of documented equipment losses during Russia’s ongoing Pokrovsk Raion offensive, in central Donetsk, the Russian military seems to be suffering a 6-to-1 ratio of equipment loss compared to the defending Ukrainians. The Russians appear to think the sacrifice is worth it in order to seize the strategically and logistically important city of Chasiv Yar, which is located nearly 50 miles north of Avdiivka.

+ Internal emails show U.S. border agents joking about killing immigrant children and committing other abuses, while referring to immigrants by the derogatory slur “tonk.”

+ TIME: Don’t you see why many Americans see such talk of dictatorship as contrary to our most cherished principles? 

Trump: “I think a lot of people like it.”

+ Trump said this week that he’s good with states tracking women’s menstrual data and pregnancies to prosecute abortions. Laura Bassett recounts the grim history of the police already engaged in that kind of surveillance.

+ Before the Supreme Court, the lawyer defending Idaho’s law preventing medically necessary abortions for wanted pregnancies admitted that doctors would be prohibited from performing the procedure even if it meant that the woman would lose an organ…

+ Christian nationalists Steve Cruz and Ben Zeisloft apparently believe that any woman who gets an abortion “should be killed”: “She should be tried and convicted; dig a hole and put her down.”

+ Around 200 people gathered near Lake Como, Italy this week to mourn Mussolini on the 79th anniversary of his death.

+ Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, the top recipient of airline industry campaign donations, inserted language into a spending bill that will undermine Biden’s rule meant to give passengers automatic refunds when their flights are canceled.

+ Share of global GDP

US 27%
EU 21%
China 17%
Japan 4%
India 4%

+ From Macron’s speech to the EU: “The EU must demonstrate it is never a vassal of the United States.”

+ Brazil’s unemployment rate has hit a 10-year low, with 244,000 new, formal sector jobs in March – 35,000 in manufacturing.

+ Brett Chapman: “The biggest problem facing Native Americans in the U.S. today is being invisible as members of modern society. Because Indigenous history has been whitewashed out of U.S. history in schools, we are largely seen as a historical people.”

+ Bianca Tylek, director of Worth Rises: “There is no way to incarcerate our way out of drug addiction … there is nothing about prisons—the way they are built, the way they are designed, the way they are financed, the way they are structured—that is meant to help deal with drug addiction.”

+ $100 million: the amount private companies banked from forcibly removing homeless people in California alone.


+ David Menschel: “It’s kind of bizarre to feel the need to say it, but it’s a very very bad sign for a society if one cannot freely protest a genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, mass graves, and the mass incineration of children. That is a very bad place for a culture to be.”

+ In Kai Bird’s biography of Oppenheimer, warped unrecognizably by Christopher Nolan’s film, Bird recounts how Berkeley’s administration routinely used the football team and frats to bust striking teachers and student protesters on campus.

+ Former British PM first-week book sales…

Tony Blair: 92,000

David Cameron: 21,000

Liz Truss: 2,228

+ A senior at Columbia: “There are so many cameras on campus my mom is going to find out I vape on the cover of the New York Times.”

+ Strange, I seem to recall Cicero’s hands being nailed to the rostra of the Forum Romanum

+ With an awareness of how traffic pollution and congestion have distressed the lives of many residents of west Oakland, the owners of Oakland’s new baseball team, the Oakland Ballers are encouraging fans to bike and walk to games at Raimondi Park this summer. Go Ballers!

+ Puppy killing is the most depraved way yet to own the libs. But we know it will just keep getting sicker, in a game of political gross-out. I remember when Sen. Joni Ernst ran campaign ads in Iowa showing her castrating hogs. That seems almost pastoral, after South Dakota Gov. Kristi Neom’s depraved account of dragging her 14-month-old puppy Cricket to a gravel pit for summary execution because Cricket wouldn’t “hunt right.” Then she killed the family goat.

+ In response to Gov She-Ra, the puppy killer, people have been posting photos of their dogs. We’ve had several over the years but none quite like Boomer the Aussie: escape artist, mountain climber, goose chaser, food larcenist, sock-shredder, & hole-digger, who’d chase & return a ball once but never saw the point of doing it again. His smile was often evidence that something nefarious was a-foot…a-paw, I guess. An anti-authoritarian whom Gov She-Ra would’ve considered a “bad dog” and sent for execution in the gravel pit. Boomer had his own psychic for a while, a woman in Texas, who would send him calming messages over the phone for $10 a minute–messages he treated with his customary indifference to human commands, rational, disciplinary or esoteric. A loyal, free-thinking, protector of everyone who showed him the affection he was due. He was the raucous epicenter of our family for 13 years. Boomer ¡Presente!

+ Boy George accepting the Grammy Award for Culture Club in 1984: “Thank you, America. You’ve got taste, style, and you know a good drag queen when you see one.”

+ Bob Marley: “Punks not Rasta but them fight down the Babylon system an’ love black people.”

We’re Finally On Our Own…

Booked UP
What I’m reading this week…

Postcards to Hitler: a German Jew’s Defiance in a Time of Terror
Bruce Neuberger
(Monthly Review)

Half-Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change and Pandemics
Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass

Exit Wounds: How America’s Guns Fuel Violence Across the Border
leva Jusionyte

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Charles McPherson
(Smoke Sessions)

The Burning Bush: a Journey Through the Music of Earth, Wind and Fire
DJ Harrison / Nigel Hall

Silent, Listening
Fred Hersch

Put Your Bodies Upon the Gears

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.” Mario Savio

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3