Suggestions for Posts?

If you’d like to suggest an article you think should be posted for view and/or discussion – just add a comment below including the url. The editors are always willing to consider suggestions from our readers that don’t involve self-immolation.

We’ll probably delete the suggestion after deciding to Post or not – just to keep the place tidy. 🙂 Oh, you can ignore the “count” of how many suggestions are in the pool. WordPress can’t keep that straight once we’ve started deleting unused suggestions.

495 thoughts on “Suggestions for Posts?

  1. Footnote says:

    Edward R. Murrow, “See it Now” (CBS-TV, March 9, 1954)
    “A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy”
    (transcript) Video:

    “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men — not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.”
    “This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy’s methods to keep silent, or for those who approve,” Murrow continued. “We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities. As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”

  2. Prescience says:

    “There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” Philip K. Dick (1928~1982)

  3. Cassandra says:

    “Trump ‘didn’t know people died from the flu.’ It killed his grandfather.” (Washington Post 2/7/20) “…In 1918, Friedrich Trump was a successful, 49-year-old businessman, husband and father of three living in Queens, according to Gwenda Blair in her 2001 book “The Trumps: Three Generations That Built an Empire.” One day in May, he came home from a stroll feeling sick. He died almost immediately.
    He was a victim of the first wave of the Spanish flu pandemic. A second, deadlier wave hit in the fall. All told, the pandemic killed at least 50 million people worldwide and 675,000 in the United States, according to the CDC.”

    Last October the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Risk and Foresight Group convened a group of experts to work through what would happen if a global pandemic suddenly hit the world’s population. The disease at the heart of their scenario was a novel and highly transmissible coronavirus and the scenario they arrived at was shockingly similar to what’s unfolding now.
    This was not the first pandemic scenario to raise serious questions about the strength of the global health system. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has developed a particularly outstanding pandemic exercise, Clade X, a full video of which is available at
    See also “Ending the Cycle of Crisis and Complacency in U.S. Global Health Security”
    The CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security Nov 18, 2019

  4. New Norm says:

    “Rhode Island police began stopping cars with New York plates Friday. On Saturday, the National Guard will help them conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York and demand 14 days of self-quarantine.”
    “Right now we have a pinpointed risk,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “That risk is called New York City.”
    New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., on Friday reporting a total of 44,000 cases.

  5. Gweilo Joe says:

    “China approves two coronavirus vaccines for human trials : Experimental COVID-19 treatments to go ahead in China as it grapples with imported cases from neighboring Russia.”
    Al Jazeera’s Sarah Clarke, reporting from Hong Kong, said China’s National Health Commission also confirmed the trials will go ahead.
    In March, Beijing gave the green light to another clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by the military-backed Academy of Military Medical Sciences and biotech firm CanSino Bio, shortly after US drug developer Moderna said it had begun human tests for their vaccine with the US National Institutes of Health.
    “We can confirm now that three particular vaccines are being tested in China, and the National Health Commission has said it will have to clear a number of conditions before they can enable mass production of the vaccines globally,” said Clarke.

  6. Cassandra says:

    ‘Megadrought’ emerging in the western US might be worse than any in 1,200 years
    Fueled in part by human-caused climate change, a “megadrought” appears to be emerging in the western U.S., a study published Thursday suggests.
    In fact, the nearly-20-year drought is almost as bad or worse than any in the past 1,200 years, scientists say.
    Megadroughts – defined as intense droughts that last for decades or longer – once plagued the Desert Southwest. Thanks to global warming, an especially fierce one appears to be coming back

    “Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought”

  7. Daniel 5:5 says:

    “After Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, explained the White House’s new guidelines for states to slowly reopen their economies in a three-phase process, Fox News host Laura Ingraham sought another opinion later in the show.
    She turned to Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, television psychologist to the masses.
    He acknowledged that the novel coronavirus is killing Americans — more than 33,000 as of early Friday — but also wondered why the economy would shut down over the pandemic but continues to function as people die from lung cancer, car crashes and pool drownings. (Unlike coronavirus, none of the causes of death listed by Dr. Phil are contagious.)
    …Dr. Phil argued states should ‘reopen their economies’ even if lives might be lost to the virus to prevent anxiety and depression.”
    ‘Dr. Phil’ holds a doctorate in clinical psychology but is not licensed to practice.
    This was after Dr. Fauci corrected Ingraham when, as part of her questioning the need for quarantine lockdowns, she tried to make a false comparison between the coronavirus pandemic and AIDS
    “Trump Refuses to Condemn Coronavirus Lockdown Protesters: They ‘Like Me’”
    A protest movement is taking hold targeting states that have extended social-distancing rules, closed schools, and restricted access to large religious gatherings. And it’s being fed by loyalists and political allies of President Donald Trump.

    • Judas Goat says:

      Let’s explore exactly why Dr. Phil’s coronavirus arguments are so obtuse (Washington Post 4/17/20)

      “…McGraw’s comments came about 24 hours after another television doctor, Mehmet Oz, appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program to similarly discuss reconsideration of coronavirus containment efforts.
      “Let’s start with things that are really critical to the nation, where we think we might be able to open without getting into a lot of trouble,” Oz said. “I tell you, schools are a very appetizing opportunity. I just saw a nice piece in the Lancet arguing that the opening of schools may only cost us 2 to 3 percent in terms of total mortality. And, you know, that’s — any life is a life lost, but to get every child back into a school where they’re safely being educated, being fed and making the most out of their lives with a theoretical risk in the backside, it might be a trade-off some folks would consider.”

      “Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed, but I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops! Uh, depending on the breaks”
      General ‘Buck’ Turgidson (George C. Scott) “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

  8. Room 101 says:

    As public lockdowns are being enacted in major US cities, scientists warn of an impending war between starving rat populations that may take over the streets.
    According to NBC News, the country’s rat population suffers from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak as food businesses like grocery stores and restaurants are shuttered to reduce the spread of the disease.
    These closed restaurants and grocers were a primary source of food for city rats, which means their closure has cut off food for the rodents.
    “A restaurant all of a sudden closes now, which has happened by the thousands in not just New York City but coast to coast and around the world, and those rats that were living by that restaurant, some place nearby, and perhaps for decades having generations of rats that depended on that restaurant food,” said Bobby Corrigan, urban rodentologist.
    “Well, life is no longer working for them, and they only have a couple of choices.”
    The survival choices that the rats now face, according to Corrigan, could have extreme consequences, including the rise of “rat armies” that will fight to the death to conquer areas where food sources still exist.

  9. That was then... says:

    Internal Documents Show Federal Agencies Supported the WHO Before Trump Was Against It
    In a battle between China and the U.S. over global leadership, American diplomats and aid officials cited U.S. funding of the World Health Organization as key and relied heavily on the agency for help. When Trump cut its funding, he upended all that.

  10. Business as usual says:

    Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says ‘there are more important things than living’ to justify reopening the state’s economy [for instance getting Trump reelected]
    Small Business Rescue Earned Banks $10 Billion In Fees
    Here are the largest public companies taking payroll loans meant for small businesses Reportedly the U.S. government has allocated at least $243.4 million of the total $349 billion to publicly traded companies instead of the nation’s smallest, mom-and-pop shops to keep their employees on payroll and prevent mass layoffs across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  11. Cassandra says:

    Summer Arctic sea-ice is predicted to disappear before 2050, resulting in devastating consequences for the Arctic ecosystem. The efficacy of climate-protection measures will determine how often and for how long. These are the results of a new study involving 21 research institutes from around the world, including McGill University.
    The North Pole is presently covered by sea-ice all year. Each summer, the area of sea-ice coverage decreases and grows again in winter. However, as a result of global warming, the overall area of the Arctic Ocean covered by sea-ice has reduced rapidly over the past few decades.
    “Arctic Sea Ice in CMIP6” by SIMIP Community is published in Geophysical Research Letters. The research was supported by funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program.

  12. What if..? says:

    “Exclusive: As Washington DC Faces Coronavirus Spike, Secret Military Task Force Prepares to Secure the Capital” (Newsweek April 16, 2020)
    According to new documents and interviews with military experts, the various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. They are so secret that under these extraordinary plans, “devolution” could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America.
    On February 1, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper signed orders directing NORTHCOM to execute nationwide pandemic plans. Secretly, he signed Warning Orders (the WARNORD as it’s called) alerting NORTHCOM and a host of east coast units to “prepare to deploy” in support of potential extraordinary missions.
    U.S. Northern Command (or NORTHCOM) is the homeland defense military authority created after 9/11. Air Force General O’Shaughnessy is NORTHCOM’s Colorado Springs-based commander.
    See also “National Security Dies in Sunshine”

  13. Hippocratic Oath says:

    “Doctors: Execution drugs could help COVID-19 patients”
    Many medications used to sedate and immobilize people put on ventilators and to treat their pain are the same drugs that states use to put inmates to death. Demand for such drugs surged 73% in March.
    Twenty-five states have the death penalty, while three have moratoriums on capital punishment.
    States may be hesitant to turn over their drugs because they have had problems securing them as many pharmaceutical companies oppose their use in executions, said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

  14. Curiouser and curiouser says:

    “White House officials weigh replacement of HHS Secretary Azar : Azar drew Trump’s ire last week over his removal of a top vaccine official” [Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which was involved in work on a coronavirus vaccine and treatments, said he was removed from his post for resisting efforts to promote hydroxychloroquine as a treatment.]
    Spokesmen for the White House and HHS denied Azar was in jeopardy.
    “The Department of Health and Human Services, under the leadership of Secretary Azar, continues to lead on a number of the President’s priorities. Any speculation about personnel is irresponsible and a distraction from our whole-of-government response to covid-19,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
    “Secretary Azar is busy responding to a global, public health crisis and doesn’t have time for palace intrigue,” HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said in a statement.

    “Why was an obscure federal bureaucrat involved in Trump’s emergency hydroxychloroquine authorization?”

  15. Heads up says:

    UK children dying of new disease ‘possibly linked to coronavirus’ : Medical experts investigate possible link between coronavirus and severe inflammatory disease among infants.
    “It’s a new disease that we think may be caused by coronavirus and the COVID-19 virus; we’re not 100 percent sure because some of the people who got it hadn’t tested positive, so we’re doing a lot of research now, but it is something that we’re worried about.” UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock
    See also

  16. Science be damned says:

    “Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature”
    Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences.
    This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes—a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a pandemic.
    The study also supports the scientific hypothesis that COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has its origin in bats as Sarbecovirus, a subgroup of Betacoronavirus.
    The findings, Machine learning using intrinsic genomic signatures for rapid classification of novel pathogens: COVID-19 case study, were published today in PLOS ONE.
    “Machine learning using intrinsic genomic signatures for rapid classification of novel pathogens: COVID-19 case study”

  17. Cassandra says:

    What if Covid-19 isn’t our biggest threat?
    Availability heuristic
    The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk is an interdisciplinary research centre within the University of Cambridge dedicated to the study and mitigation of risks that could lead to human extinction or civilisational collapse.

  18. Meanwhile says:

    “Barring Congress from enforcing its subpoenas in court could push lawmakers toward arresting senior Trump administration officials or pursuing even more extreme measures, several appeals court judges suggested Tuesday.
    It was the second time in recent months that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has openly mulled the bizarre and unnerving prospect of armed conflict between the House sergeant-at-arms and FBI agents if other, more peaceful options for the House to obtain information from the executive branch are closed off.”
    “Federal appellate judges grilled the Trump administration on Tuesday in its dispute with the House over former White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena for his testimony.
    In perhaps the most high-profile court hearing since the coronavirus pandemic forced the judiciary to hold virtual proceedings, the Trump administration and the House delivered oral arguments before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the McGahn case as well on a dispute over whether the administration can use Pentagon funds to build a border wall.
    The House sued the administration early last year after President Trump ordered the use of defense funds for the border wall in the wake of an impasse over the issue with Congress forced a government shutdown.”

  19. Megillah says:

    “US to recognise annexation of occupied West Bank, Jordan Valley : Palestinians reject application of Israeli law on occupied WB areas, saying it will shut the door on two-state solution.” The Palestinians and much of the international community regard Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank as illegal under the Geneva Conventions that bar settling on land captured in war.
    Israel disputes this, citing security needs and biblical, historical and political connections to the land.
    “Israel’s Arguments for the Legality of Settlements under International Law”

    • eideard says:

      Managed to get this up, this morning. PITA even attempting to revert to original WordPress creative software. I’ll have to adapt somehow to this wholly unintuitive “upgrade”.

  20. Driver says:

    Trump Administration Eases Truck Safety Rule : Acting Administrator, a Former Industry Executive, Waives Required Rest Time for Drivers

    “Some truck drivers who are working around the clock to deliver essential items to grocery stores and hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic say they’re struggling to make ends meet.
    According to the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association, there are more than 17,000 trucking companies in the state of Wisconsin. Many of those companies are small with only two or three truck drivers employed. Leaders warn the impact that the coronavirus is having on the trucking industry could soon end up costing consumers.
    Sergio Ruvalcaba, a truck driver who stopped for gas at Love’s Truck Stop in Oak Creek on Thursday said he is used to working 13 hours per day. Now, the hourly-paid driver is scheduled about eight hours per day. He tells TMJ4 he is losing about $1,000 dollars per month due to non-essential businesses being closed.”

  21. Comic strip says:

    “Little Donald’s Sneeze” (After Winsor McCay’s “Little Sammy Sneeze”) By Peter Kuper. The New Yorker, April 27, 2020 Issue (click to enlarge)

  22. 3Card Monte says:

    “Government researchers changed metric to measure coronavirus drug remdesivir during clinical trial : Death rate was eliminated as a primary outcome measure, replaced with the time it took patients to recover.”
    The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for Gilead’s remdesivir drug to treat the coronavirus, President Donald Trump announced Friday. Trump made the announcement in the Oval Office alongside Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day.
    The FDA previously authorized the emergency use of malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. However, it later issued a warning against taking the drugs outside a hospital or formal clinical trial setting after it became aware of reports of “serious heart rhythm problems” in patients.
    Gilead Sciences, Inc. press release (5/1/20):

  23. Chump change says:

    ‘Heads we win, tails you lose’: how America’s rich have turned pandemic into profit : As 26 million Americans lose their jobs, the billionaire class has added $308bn to its wealth
    “Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes, and Pandemic Profiteers : The net worth of eight American billionaires — the ‘pandemic profiteers’ — surged by over $ 1 billion in 2020.”

  24. Abe says:

    President Trump on Sunday took aim at George W. Bush after the former Republican president issued a call to push partisanship aside amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
    In a three-minute video shared on Twitter on Saturday, Bush urged Americans to remember “how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat.”
    “In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God,” Bush said. “We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.”
    In an early morning tweet on Sunday, Trump called out Bush for his failure to support him as he faced an impeachment trial earlier this year over his alleged dealings with Ukraine. He cited apparent comments from Fox News anchor Pete Hegseth, who asked why Bush didn’t push for “putting partisanship aside” amid the trial.
    “He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history,” Trump said.

  25. 'snuf says:

    “Researchers expressed alarm this week after the National Institutes of Health abruptly cancelled funding for a long-standing research project by US and Chinese scientists to examine how coronaviruses leap from bats to humans, potentially causing devastating pandemics—such as the one we are currently experiencing by a coronavirus genetically linked to those found in bats.
    The funding cut could set back critical research into preventing such disease spread, scientists say. They also expressed dismay that the decision was prompted by unfounded conspiracy theories and what some see as a wider attempt by the Trump administration to deflect criticism of its handling of the pandemic by blaming China for unleashing the disease.
    The NIH has not provided a clear explanation for its move to cancel the funds, which occurred April 24.”

    Also: “The Food and Drug Administration is dealing with a flood of inaccurate coronavirus antibody tests after it allowed more than 120 manufacturers and labs to bring the tests to market without an agency review.
    The tests, which look for antibodies that indicate whether a person has been exposed to the virus, have been eyed as a tool to help reopen the country by identifying people who may have immunity. Antibody data could also help determine the true extent of the U.S. outbreak by finding cases that were never formally diagnosed.”

  26. Harbinger says:

    Cars Stuck at Sea Shows Weight of U.S. Auto Industry Glut
    “…There are gluts of all shapes and kinds forming in the U.S. nowadays, a testament to the scope of the economic pain the coronavirus is inflicting. Slaughterhouses are killing and tossing out thousands of pigs a day, dairy farmers are pouring away milk, oil sellers were paying buyers to take barrels off their hands last week, and now, brand-new cars are being left adrift at sea for days.
    For the auto industry, which saw U.S. sales plunge almost 40% in March, the crisis has left cars gathering dust on dealer lots, dealerships shuttered, auction prices slipping and tens of thousands of workers laid off or furloughed.
    “Dealers aren’t really accepting cars and fleet sales are down because rental-car and fleet operators aren’t taking delivery either,” said John Felitto, a senior vice president for the U.S. unit of Norwegian shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen. “This is different from anything we’ve seen before. Everyone is full to the brim.”

  27. McLeod says:

    “Eleven Senators sign letter asking Forest Service how they will suppress wildfires during the COVID-19 pandemic : One of the Senators’ questions was about the Forest Service’s projection of a worst-case scenario of a six percent “cumulative mortality rate” at large fire camps” Article includes some of their questions, paraphrased.
    The Senators letter to USFS Chief Vicki Christiansen:

  28. Nomad is an island says:

    “World leaders pledge to fight coronavirus, but the U.S. skips the meeting : Commission claims fundraising victory for pandemic fight even as total new money is unclear.”

  29. Knock, knock... says:

    “The New York Times has won its lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission, as a federal judge ruled Thursday that the FCC must turn over net neutrality comment records that it refused to give to the NYT.
    The NYT sued the FCC in September 2018, saying the agency denied a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request for records that the NYT said might shed light on possible Russian interference in the net neutrality repeal proceeding. The Times’ motion for summary judgment was granted by Judge Lorna Schofield of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.”
    See also NYT 9/21/18: “NYT sues FCC, says it hid evidence of Russia meddling in net neutrality repeal : FCC broke law by hiding net neutrality comment records, lawsuit alleges.”

  30. Martian Chronicles says:

    “Scientists Discover Evidence Of Ancient Martian Groundwater In Antarctica :Though the Allan Hills 84001 meteorite was discovered in 1984, scientists have not been able to determine if the organic matter came from Mars or Earth — until now.”
    “…These results fit with other evidence from the Red Planet. NASA’s Curiosity rover and Viking landers found traces of organic material on the Martian surface. But rover instruments can’t do the battery of tests that an Earthbound laboratory can,, so the rover data doesn’t tell scientists where the organic compounds came from, how old they are or how they formed. This research, if borne out, suggests that at one point, when Mars was covered in oceans, those oceans flowed with organic matter.”

    • Space case says:

      “Trump says US will beat out Russia and China with ‘super duper missile’ : Development of missile comes as US president’s rhetoric has fueled fears of a new nuclear arms race”
      “Unveiling the flag for his new space force in the Oval Office on Friday, Donald Trump said the US was developing a “super duper missile” to outpace military rivals including Russia and China.
      “We have no choice, we have to do it with the adversaries we have out there. We have, I call it the super duper missile and I heard the other night [it’s] 17 times faster than what they have right now,” the president said, sitting at the Resolute Desk.
      “That’s right,” said the defense secretary, Mark Esper, standing to Trump’s right.
      “You take the fastest missile we have right now,” Trump said. “You heard Russia has five times and China’s working on five or six times, we have one 17 times and it’s just got the go-ahead.”

  31. Royal absolutism says:

    United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday vetoed legislation passed by both houses of Congress seeking to limit a president’s ability to wage war against Iran.
    “This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party,” Trump said in a statement released by the White House. “The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands,” he said.
    The US Senate, where Trump’s fellow Republicans hold a 53- to 47-seat majority, is expected to hold a veto override vote as soon as Thursday.
    The resolution, which passed the House of Representatives in March and the Senate in February, was the latest effort by Congress to wrest back from the White House its constitutionally guaranteed authority to declare war.
    A handful of Republicans in both houses supported the measure when it passed, but not enough to muster the two-thirds majority necessary in both houses to override a veto.

  32. Con job says:

    The federal agency that regulates the U.S. television industry slapped the largest civil fine in its history on Sinclair Broadcast Group – a company with links to the Trump administration – as punishment for deceiving the government.
    Sinclair agreed to the $48 million fine and entered into a consent decree to close three separate ongoing investigations by the Federal Communications Commission.
    Sinclair, based in suburban Baltimore, owns and controls more than 190 stations across the country. That makes it the one of the nation’s largest players in local TV. It had sought to become even more dominant by taking over Tribune Media – the television properties of the former Tribune Co.

  33. Heads up says:

    A top donor to President Trump and the Republican National Committee will be named the new head of the Postal Service, putting a top ally of the president in charge of an agency where Trump has long pressed for major changes in how it handles its business. “The Postal Service is a joke,” Trump said publicly last month in the Oval Office. He called for the agency to quadruple its shipping prices. Many analysts warn that if the Postal Service did that, it would put itself at a massive disadvantage in the marketplace.

    “The debate over a post office bailout, explained : Republicans want privatization, Trump wants to stick it to Amazon.”

  34. Shanghaiing says:

    “Satellite Images Show Armadas Of Vacant Cruise Ships Huddling Together Out At Sea
    With the cruise industry on life support, fleets have put to sea for an indefinite stay with many of their crewmen trapped on board.”
    “Cruise passengers have gone home, but the crews that looked after them are still stuck at sea”
    “Saudi Arabia Bailed Out A Cruise Ship Company With Close Ties To Trump : When the coronavirus hurt cruise giant Carnival Corporation, the Saudi crown prince’s fund stepped in to help its founder: a longtime Trump associate.”
    “…The cruise lines are now floating deep, deep in the red, and they didn’t get help from the stimulus bill — Congress cruelly restricted its aid to American companies that don’t attempt to dodge American taxes by incorporating themselves in less, um, demanding countries — like Panama, Liberia and Bermuda.
    Still, they have lots of friends in high places. Donald Trump had called them one of the “prime candidates” for a government bailout. (The biggest of the mega-cruise companies, Carnival is chaired by Trump pal Micky Arison, and was once a sponsor of an “Apprentice” reboot.) Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin amended the thought, saying the administration didn’t want a bailout — just “providing certain things for certain industries.” Which, of course, is not the same thing at all.” Gail Collins, NYT Opinion 5/6/20

  35. Ministry of Truth LCC says:

    (May 1, 2020): At the first official briefing by a White House press secretary in 417 days, Kayleigh McEnany promised journalists, “I will never lie to you.”
    Trump’s fourth press secretary concluded her briefing by saying “Everyone should watch the Fox News town hall with the president from 7 to 9 p.m. It’ll be can’t-miss television, much like the highly rated President Trump coronavirus task force briefings have been.”

    (May 8, 2020): “We have put in place the guidelines that our experts have put forward to keep this building safe, which means contact tracing,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters during Friday’s news briefing. “All of the recommended guidelines we have for businesses that have essential workers, we are now putting them in place here in the White House. So as America reopens safely, the White House is continuing to operate safely.”

  36. Doc says:

    “What the Coronavirus Crisis Reveals About American Medicine” (the New Yorker, May 4, 2020 issue)
    Meanwhile in a parallel universe: “Trump officials reportedly dispute the US COVID-19 death toll, floating a far-fetched theory that hospitals may be inflating cases to get more funding”

  37. Whitman's Sampler says:

    “After studying global data from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, researchers have discovered a strong correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and mortality rates.”
    “14 mutations found in SARS-CoV-2: One strain may be more easily spread”
    “Two new reports suggest that the warm summer months will not significantly slow the novel coronavirus as it spreads around the globe.”
    Last but not least: “Bug experts dismiss worry about U.S. ‘murder hornets’ as hype”

  38. Jeremiad says:

    Momism as a critical label was introduced by essayist Philip Wylie in his 1942 collection “Generation of Vipers”, referring to an American cult of motherhood
    Interview with Philip Wylie, Mike Wallace, The Mike Wallace Interview (ABC TV) May 12, 1957
    Description: “The novelist, satirist, and social critic Philip Wylie talks to Wallace about moms and “Momism,” women and marriage, religion, intellectualism, and psychoanalysis.”

  39. Doc says:

    In recent years, giant viruses have been unearthed in several of the world’s most mysterious locations, from the thawing permafrost of Siberia to locations unknown beneath the Antarctic ice. But don’t worry, “The Thing” is still a work of science fiction. For now.
    In a new study, a team of Michigan State University scientists shed light on these enigmatic, yet captivating giant microbes and key aspects of the process by which they infect cells. With the help of cutting-edge imaging technologies, this study developed a reliable model for studying giant viruses and is the first to identify and characterize several key proteins responsible for orchestrating infection.
    Giant viruses are bigger than 300 nanometers in size and can survive for many millennia. For comparison, the rhinovirus — responsible for the common cold — is roughly 30 nanometers.
    “Giant viruses are gargantuan in size and complexity,” said principal investigator Kristin Parent, associate professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MSU. “The giant viruses recently discovered in Siberia retained the ability to infect after 30,000 years in permafrost.”
    …Whether giant viruses are capable of infecting humans ­- unlike the coronavirus ­- is an evolving topic of discussion amongst virologists.

    “Structural and Proteomic Characterization of the Initiation of Giant Virus Infection” (Cell 5/8/20)

  40. Gweilo Joe says:

    Large chunks of a Chinese rocket missed New York City by about 15 minutes
    The US Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron confirmed that the core stage re-entered Earth’s atmosphere at 11:33am ET (15:33 UTC) on Monday at a location over the Atlantic Ocean. 18 SPCS @18SPCS 11:02 AM · May 11, 2020
    #18SPCS has confirmed the reentry of the CZ-5B R/B (#45601, 2020-027C) at 08:33 PDT on 11 May, over the Atlantic Ocean. The #CZ5B launched China’s test crew capsule on 5 May 2020. #spaceflightsafety

  41. Red herring says:

    Yesterday the president of the United States, in his ninth tweet of the day, accused MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough of murder.

    Meanwhile the disease caused by the novel coronavirus has reportedly killed at least 81,000 people in the United States.

  42. Puzzling Evidence says:

    “The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has accidentally disclosed the name of a Saudi diplomat suspected of directing support to two al-Qaeda hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Yahoo News reported.”
    “The mistake about the identity of the Saudi embassy official was made in a declaration by an FBI official in response to a lawsuit by families of 9/11 victims who accuse Saudi Arabia’s government of involvement in the attacks, the report said on Tuesday.”

    Michael Isikoff, the chief investigative journalist at Yahoo News who was the first to notice the apparent mistake, told Al Jazeera he knew right away the disclosure was “a slip-up”.
    “When I noticed that the declaration included this information, I contacted the FBI for comment. Because I knew that the justice department and the Trump administration had been going to extraordinary length to keep all of this under wraps,” he said.
    “In fact, both Attorney General William Barr and the Acting Director of the National Intelligence Richard Grennell had filed motions with the court saying that any information relating to the Saudi embassy official and all internal FBI documents about this matter were so sensitive; they were state secrets, that means if revealed they could cause damage to the national security.”

    “This shows there is a complete government cover-up of the Saudi involvement,” said Brett Eagleson, a spokesman for the 9/11 families whose father was killed in the attacks. “It demonstrates there was a hierarchy of command that’s coming from the Saudi Embassy to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs [in Los Angeles] to the hijackers.”

  43. Polizeistaat says:

    Two new provisions tacked on to the Patriot Act would, if signed into law, grant the federal government far greater powers to probe citizen’s private lives online.
    Introduced by Senate GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the provisions would allow the FBI to collect any American’s web browsing and search history without a warrant, The Daily Beast reports, while also giving Attorney General William Barr the ability to look at all intelligence gathered through FBI surveillance.

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said that Barr, who has been deeply involved in investigations of interest to Trump, could authorize an investigation into a political rival, which could then unlock the internet-spying powers McConnell wants to grant the FBI.
    “Under the McConnell amendment, Barr gets to look through the web browsing history of any American—including journalists, politicians, and political rivals—without a warrant, just by saying it is relevant to an investigation,” said Wyden, who has been trying to ban warrantless surveillance on such records.

  44. Putsch says:

    Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner raised eyebrows Tuesday by suggesting that there was uncertainty about whether the presidential election would happen in November as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic and that he had some role in making that determination.
    Hours after his remarks to Time magazine [ ] generated a strong reaction on social media, Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, issued a clarification, saying he was unaware of and not involved in any “discussions” about changing the date of the 2020 election. Neither Trump nor Kushner as his adviser has any legal authority to change the timing of the presidential election.
    The brief and disconcerting episode raised doubts about Kushner’s familiarity with the laws and constitutional provisions governing U.S. presidential elections. As the Congressional Research Service says, “The text of the Constitution does not appear to contain a constitutional role for the Executive Branch in such decisions.”

  45. Gweilo Joe says:

    “U.S. President Donald Trump signaled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the coronavirus outbreak, saying he has no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy.”
    In an interview with Fox Business Network broadcast on Thursday, Trump said he was very disappointed with China’s failure to contain the disease and that the pandemic had cast a pall over his January trade deal with Beijing, which he has previously hailed as a major achievement.
    “They should have never let this happen,” Trump said. “So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.”
    “…“Now, if you did [cut off all relations with China – the world’s second largest economy], what would happen? You’d save $500 billion,” Trump said, referring to estimated U.S. annual imports from China, which he often refers to as lost money.
    While U.S. intelligence agencies have said the coronavirus does not appear manmade or genetically modified, Trump said in his interview that China should have stopped it at its source.
    “Whether it came from the lab or came from the bats, it all came from China, and they should have stopped it,” Trump said.
    “It got out of control.”

  46. 4therecord says:

    “President Donald J. Trump is using the Defense Production Act to ensure that Americans have a reliable supply of products like beef, pork, and poultry.” (White House press release)
    “Trump Administration Rigs the Beef Market : With Supermarket Prices Rising, Agriculture Department Backs Giant COVID-Ridden Meatpacking Firms Over Ranchers and Feedlot Operators”
    Since 1980, 41% of U.S. cattle producers have gone out of business.

  47. Rule of law™ says:

    The United States Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily prevented the House of Representatives from obtaining secret grand jury testimony from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
    The court’s unsigned order keeps previously undisclosed details from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election out of the hands of Democratic legislators for now.
    The committee investigation “continues today and has further developed in light of recent events”, the House told the justices, citing the “possible exercise of improper political influence” on decisions to seek a shorter prison term for Trump confidant Roger Stone and end the prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, despite his two guilty pleas.

  48. ¡Ay, pobrecito! says:

    Live updates: Memorial Day weekend crowds cause concern as U.S. death toll nears 100,000

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 7:31 AM · May 25, 2020
    “Some stories about the fact that in order to get outside and perhaps, even a little exercise, I played golf over the weekend. The Fake & Totally Corrupt News makes it sound like a mortal sin – I knew this would happen! What they don’t say is that it was my first golf in almost…” [7:31 AM · May 25, 2020] “….3 months and, if I waited 3 years, they would do their usual “hit” pieces anyway. They are sick with hatred and dishonesty. They are truly deranged! They don’t mention Sleepy Joe’s poor work ethic, or all of the time Obama spent on the golf course, often flying to….” [7:31 AM · May 25, 2020] “….Hawaii in a big, fully loaded 747, to play. What did that do to the so-called Carbon Footprint? He also played moments after the brutal killing by ISIS of a wonderful young man. Totally inappropriate – and it was me who shattered 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. I was left a MESS!”

    Avē Imperātor, moritūrī tē salūtant (“Hail, Emperor, those who are about to die salute you”)

  49. OJT says:

    In March, during a tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, President Trump theorized that he might have a “natural ability” for medical science. The magazine’s latest cover explores that possibility. The image is by Barry Blitt, who started contributing to The New Yorker in 1993, and who, in May, won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.

  50. Ad Astra says:

    “The US Army has signed a three-year deal with SpaceX to test the company’s Starlink satellite-broadband service, SpaceNews reported today.”
    The Army and SpaceX signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement known as a CRADA, an Army source told SpaceNews.
    The project will be overseen by the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s C5ISR Center based at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
    CRADAs are commonly used by the military to evaluate technologies and services from the private sector before it commits to buying them. The Army in this case wants to be able to assess the performance of the Starlink low Earth orbit internet service when connected to military systems.
    See also “Musk’s satellite project testing encrypted internet with military planes” (Oct 2019)

  51. Hired hand says:

    “Renewable energy firms scooping up cast-off oil and gas workers”
    “Renewable Energy Booming in Texas as Oil and Gas Struggles” (May 11, 2020) See also “Energy storage is a game-changer for Texas”
    “The Green New Deal Can Exist in Texas” (Sept 2019)

  52. Flashback says:

    Trump Suggests ‘MAGA’ Fans Gather at White House, While Threatening to Clamp Down on Demonstrations With Military
    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 6:41 AM · May 30, 2020: “Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. @SecretService. They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe. They let the “protesters” scream & rant as much as they wanted, but whenever someone….
    [continues] ….got too frisky or out of line, they would quickly come down on them, hard – didn’t know what hit them. The front line was replaced with fresh agents, like magic. Big crowd, professionally organized, but nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would….[continues] ….have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. “We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and…. [continues] ….good practice.” As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand. Thank you! On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. “Not their job.” Nice!”
    [ 7:34 AM · May 30, 2020] “The professionally managed so-called “protesters” at the White House had little to do with the memory of George Floyd. They were just there to cause trouble. The @SecretService handled them easily. Tonight, I understand, is MAGA NIGHT AT THE WHITE HOUSE???”

    From May 2 to May 10, 1963, the nation bore witness as police in Birmingham, Ala., aimed high-powered hoses and sicced snarling dogs on black men, women and even children who wanted just one thing — to be treated the same as white Americans.

  53. Cassandra says:

    “The wave of mass protests across the United States will almost certainly set off new chains of infection for the novel coronavirus, experts say.
    The virus seems to spread the most when people yell (such as to chant a slogan), sneeze (to expel pepper spray), or cough (after inhaling tear gas). It is transmitted most efficiently in crowds and large gatherings, and research has found that just a few contagious people can infect hundreds of susceptible people around them. The virus can spread especially easily in small, cramped places, such as police vans and jails.
    As such, for the past several days, the virus has found new environments in which to spread across the United States. At least 75 cities have seen widespread demonstrations and social unrest as Americans have gathered to protest systemic racism and the killing of George Floyd, the black man who died last week under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Dozens of cities imposed curfews over the weekend amid widespread looting. It has been among the most turbulent moments of societal upheaval in the U.S. since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.” (The Atlantic)

    • p/s says:

      President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States would designate Antifa as a “terrorist organisation”, despite concerns by legal experts, who say the president has no legal authority for such a designation and question how it would be implemented.
      Antifa, short for anti-fascists, is an umbrella term for a far-left-leaning movement with no designated leadership that is opposed to far-right ideologies. Some anti-fascists confront neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups at demonstrations.

      “The Boogaloo movement, members of which are often referred to as Boogaloo boys or Boogaloo bois, is a loosely organized American far-right extremist movement. Members of the boogaloo movement say they are preparing for a coming second American Civil War, which they call the “boogaloo”. The term is used by members of the group to refer to violent uprisings against the federal government or left-wing political opponents, often anticipated to follow government confiscation of firearms.
      The movement consists of anti-government and anti-law enforcement groups, as well as white supremacist groups who specifically believe the unrest will be a race war. Groups in the boogaloo movement primarily organize online, but have appeared at in-person events including the 2020 United States anti-lockdown protests and the May 2020 George Floyd protests.”

      See also “The Boogaloo Movement Is Not What You Think”

      • eideard says:

        In reference to /k/…I have to say that I much prefer my Mossberg “Defender” over any Remington slug gun. I’m now enough of an old geezer that there are no members of my family left of that generation wherein pretty much everyone worked for Remington Arms one time or another.

      • Accelerationist says:

        Law enforcement officers amassed along Lake Street near Hiawatha Ave. as fires burned after a night of unrest and protests in the death of George Floyd early Friday, May 29, 2020 in Minneapolis. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP).

        • Recipe for Disaster says:

          (ABC News June 1, 2020, 4:54 PM): “National Guard troops were deployed near the White House Monday evening hours after President Donald Trump said he wanted a military show of force against violent protests gripping the nation.
          …He said he may invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act, which permits a president to deploy military inside the U.S. to deal with civil disorder. [Not all DC Guard troops will be armed according to a ‘U.S. official’]

          “Trump signaled the move in a call with governors earlier Monday in which he promised a demonstration of “total domination” in Washington, as he railed at the state leaders for looking “weak” and pushed them to call in the National Guard to “dominate” protesters and wished there was an “occupying force” in cities across America.
          “Washington, they had large groups, very large groups. … But Washington was under great control,” Trump said. “But we’re going to have it under much more control. We’re pouring in — we’re going to pull in thousands of people.”
          “We’re going to clamp down very, very strong,” Trump said. “The word is dominate. If you don’t dominate your city and your state, they’re gonna walk away with you. And we’re doing it in Washington, in DC, we’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before. … But we’re going to have total domination.”

          • Jimmy Click says:

            “Prepare Ye the Way of the Trump. Make Straight Paths for Him.” (Washington Examiner 6/2/20)
            “WASHINGTON, D.C.—Under normal circumstances, Donald Trump crossing the street to hold up a Bible in front a church would be a cringeworthy photo-op. He didn’t read from it. He didn’t step in the church and pray. He just awkwardly modeled with a Bible. It was the crudest photo-op symbolism imaginable.

          • Relativism says:

            When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, neocons had promised that they would be greeted as liberators. Instead, the world saw scenes of looting and chaos in Baghdad.
            At a press conference at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, was asked about the looting. The U.S. Secretary of Defense, who had been a major advocate of the war, replied:
            “While no one condones looting, […] one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression and people who have had members of their family killed by that regime, for them to be taking their feelings out on that regime. […] And I don’t think there’s anyone in any of those pictures, or any human being who’s not free, who wouldn’t prefer to be free, and recognize that you pass through a transition period like this and accept it as part of the price of getting from a repressed regime to freedom.”

            “Stuff Happens” – Rumsfeld on looting in Baghdad (April 11, 2003)

  54. What's Opera, Doc? says:

    “…At some point the listener will lose track of the words altogether and it is then—especially when a single note is held for an impossibly long time, until finally there is a break just before the end, when the singer gasps silently for breath—that Poizat says people start to cry. Listeners sense that the singer’s voice had almost broken free of language, and at the
    same time they know that the voice can never break out of language. After the soprano catches her breath and sings the tonic note, the opera goes on in ordinary human language. Poizat thinks only angels can sing and still not make sense; if human singers could actually move outside of language the result would be a wild screaming, something dangerously close to insanity. According to Poizat, all true opera lovers feel this, even if it’s unconscious, and all true opera lovers cry. Ordinary pole-faced opera fans do not understand that when the coloratura sings, it’s not a human voice they are hearing, but “the angel’s cry.” (Elkins James)

  55. Cassandra says:

    Riots, White Supremacy and Accelerationism (Lawfare 6/1/20)

    “In political and social theory, accelerationism is the idea that capitalism, or particular processes that historically characterized capitalism, should be accelerated instead of overcome in order to generate radical social change. “Accelerationism” may also refer more broadly, and usually pejoratively, to support for the intensification of capitalism in the belief that this will hasten its self-destructive tendencies and ultimately lead to its collapse.
    Accelerationist theory has been divided into mutually contradictory left-wing and right-wing variants. “Left-accelerationism” attempts to press “the process of technological evolution” beyond the constrictive horizon of capitalism, for example by repurposing modern technology for socially beneficial and emancipatory ends; “right-accelerationism” supports the indefinite intensification of capitalism itself, possibly in order to bring about a technological singularity [ ]. Accelerationist writers have additionally distinguished other variants, such as “unconditional accelerationism”. A far-right, white nationalist adaption of the term surfacing during the 2010s eschews the focus on capitalism of the prior variants, to instead refer to an acceleration of racial conflict resulting in a white ethnostate.”

    “White supremacists pose as Antifa online, call for violence : Although the account only had a few hundred followers, it is an example of white supremacists seeking to inflame tensions in the United States by posing as left-wing activists online.” (CNN 6/2/20)

  56. Last call says:

    “Jane Goodall: Humanity is doomed if we don’t change after this pandemic” (6/4/20)
    “Save Nature to Save Ourselves, UN Report Pleads : Humanity is rapidly destroying the natural world upon which our prosperity – and ultimately our survival – depends, according to a landmark UN assessment of the state of Nature released Monday.” (5/6/19)
    “World is ‘on notice’ as major UN report shows one million species face extinction” “With 132 member Governments, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is the global body that assesses the state of biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people, in response to requests from decision-makers, and outlines options for the future based on different socio-economic choices.”

  57. 4therecord says:

    In 1989, Mr. Trump placed full-page advertisements in four New York City newspapers, including The New York Times, calling for the state to adopt the death penalty for killers. He made clear that he was voicing this opinion because of the rape and assault of Trisha Meili, a woman who had been jogging in Central Park.
    Five black and Latino teenagers were coerced into giving false confessions, wrongly convicted and sentenced to prison for gang-raping and nearly killing Ms. Meili.
    They were exonerated in 2002 after the district attorney’s office determined that the attack on Ms. Meili was an assault committed by a man named Matias Reyes, who surfaced in 2002 and confessed to the crime, an admission confirmed by DNA evidence. The DA’s office also determined the five boys were elsewhere in the park at the time the assault and rape took place.

    (click to enlarge)

  58. p/s says:

    (Dana Milbank, Washington Post 6/10/20): “President Trump’s planned address to the nation on race, American Urban Radio’s April Ryan reports, is being written by none other than Stephen Miller, a Trump aide and aficionado of white nationalism.
    This is bound to raise a fuhrer. What next? Paul Manafort drafting a presidential address on business ethics?
    But Miller can stand down. Trump has already given his remarks on race — many times, in fact. Here they are, entirely in Trump’s own words, excerpted:”

  59. Status quo says:

    “A vote by the Republican National Committee to leave the party’s 2016 party platform unchanged ahead of the November election has infuriated grassroots activists — including moderates who wanted to streamline its message and social conservatives who sought added language on emerging hot-button topics.”
    “The decision by the party’s executive panel Wednesday means the GOP will maintain positions in the 4-year-old policy blueprint — including opposition to same-sex marriage and a nod to gay conversion therapy — and decline to stake out new positions on topics such as police reform, gender identity and third-trimester abortions. Party officials and senior Trump campaign aides had previously discussed ways to pare down the 58-page document to a single note card or abbreviated list of principles, but the effort broke down after several conservative groups registered complaints with the White House. “

  60. Exigency says:

    “Trump might go down in history as the last president of the Confederacy” (Eugene Robinson, Washington Post)
    “…Lee’s surrender ended nothing, because the nation did not even begin to grapple with white supremacy. Reconstruction was strangled in its infancy; true racial reconciliation was never even attempted. The statue of Davis in Richmond, brought down by protesters Wednesday night, was not erected until 1907. Like almost all of the Lost Cause monuments, it was built during the revanchist era, when Southern whites were celebrating their reestablished dominance over African Americans via repressive Jim Crow laws and the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan.
    Many recall that the Confederate flag at the South Carolina statehouse was taken down in 2015 following the massacre of nine African American worshipers by a white supremacist at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston. Few realize that the racist flag had been installed at the statehouse not in 1861 but a century later, in 1961, when black South Carolinians like my parents were agitating for the right to vote.
    …Trump must be bewildered. Unsubtle appeals to racial animus (remember his “birther” lies) have always worked for him in the past, but now he seems to be flailing. If it turns out that the Lost Cause is finally, truly lost, then so is the president who made himself its champion.”

    “Southern Man” (Neil Young, 1970)

  61. Sunday Funnies says:

    “Bad Diet & Bad Hair Destroy Human Civilization” By Aline Kominsky-Crumb and R. Crumb (The New York Review of Books June 11, 2020)

    “Who cares whether they laugh at us or insult us, treating us as fools or criminals? The point is that they talk about us and constantly think about us.” Adolph Hitler, “Mein Kampf” (1925)
    “Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939” By Volker Ullrich (2016) p. 95

    • Trumpeted says:

      President’s Donald Trump’s showmanship is failing him as fears mount of a new spike in coronavirus infections and after another shooting of an African American man raised new questions about police brutality.
      Instead of addressing such questions directly, Trump is grasping for made-for-TV moments designed to enhance his personal aura — a device he has used to some effect in his presidency but that is now emphasizing his disconnect with many Americans and struggles to manage crises besieging the White House.
      The President’s television producer’s eye leads him to seek dramatic tableaus that create his preferred image of himself — strong, defiant, tearing down establishment structures and trampling the normal etiquette of the presidency.
      In the most recent example on Saturday, Trump’s attempt to wrap himself in the power and prestige of the military failed at a West Point graduation ceremony apparently put on for his benefit, when his creeping walk down a ramp triggered so much social media mockery that he felt the need to explain it in a tweet of his own.
      And for all his tweets about law and order, he didn’t weigh in on the latest apparent incident of police brutality — the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks in the back in Atlanta, which led to the resignation of the city’s police chief — while secluded at his New Jersey golf resort for much of the weekend.

  62. Niemöller says:

    The Trump administration announced Friday it is eliminating an Obama-era regulation prohibiting discrimination in health care against patients who are transgender.
    The move — coming during Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community that takes place throughout the month of June, and on the four-year anniversary of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed at a popular LGBTQ venue in Orlando — was swiftly denounced by LGBTQ groups, which see the action as discriminatory.
    “HHS Finalizes Rule on Section 1557 Protecting Civil Rights in Healthcare, Restoring the Rule of Law, and Relieving Americans of Billions in Excessive Costs.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release 6/12/20

    • Update says:

      Federal civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.
      The landmark ruling will extend protections to millions of workers nationwide and is a defeat for the Trump administration, which argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation.
      The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices.
      The LGBTQ community is made of up of approximately 1 million workers who identify as transgender and 7.1 million lesbian, gay and bisexual workers, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute.

      Aimee Stephens, the transgender woman at the center of the Supreme Court’s blockbuster case concerning whether LGBTQ workers are covered by federal anti-discrimination law, has died according to her lawyers. She was 59.

  63. Meanwhile: says:

    “Israel greenlights illegal ‘Trump’ settlement in Golan Heights : Israeli official says ‘Trump Heights’ in the occupied Golan Heights will house 300 Jewish families.”
    Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981. The vast majority of the international community considers the move illegal under international law.
    But during a visit to Washington, DC by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March last year, just weeks before the Israeli elections, Trump changed decades of US policy by signing an executive order, officially recognizing the strategic mountainous plateau as Israeli territory.

    See also “Huge Oil Discovery on the Golan Heights!” (2016)

  64. Heads up says:

    BP is writing down the value of its assets by as much as $17.5 billion as a shift away from fossil fuels is accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.
    The UK oil company said in a statement Monday that the health crisis could have an “enduring impact on the global economy,” resulting in less demand for energy over a “sustained period,” and it cut its forecast for Brent crude prices over the next three decades by 27% to $55 per barrel.

    A tiny genetic mutation in the SARS coronavirus 2 variant circulating throughout Europe and the United States significantly increases the virus’ ability to infect cells, lab experiments performed at Scripps Research show.
    “Viruses with this mutation were much more infectious than those without the mutation in the cell culture system we used,” says Scripps Research virologist Hyeryun Choe, PhD, senior author of the study.

    “The D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein reduces S1 shedding and increases infectivity.” doi: Note this article is based on research findings that are yet to be peer-reviewed. Results are therefore regarded as preliminary and should be interpreted as such.

  65. Jimmy Click says:

    Patrick Hutchinson, a protester, carries a suspected far-right counter-protester who was injured to safety, in London on Saturday.
    Speaking about the events leading up to the photo, Mr Hutchinson said he was with his friends when one of them saw an altercation at the top of the stairs by the Southbank Centre, near Waterloo.
    “The guy ended up on the floor and these guys [signalling to his friends] rushed in to stop him from getting trampled,” said Mr Hutchinson, a personal trainer and grandfather.
    “In doing so, they created a barrier around him, and I was the last one to come in. I scooped him up into a fireman’s carry and marched him out with the guys around me, protecting me and shielding me and protecting this guy from getting any further punishment.”

  66. HAR says:

    John Cleese Mocks Fox News For Unknowingly Reporting Monty Python Joke
    During a story about the Seattle protests that aired live Friday night, Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum reported on a Reddit post she said was evidence of infighting among activists involved in the city’s so-called “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” There was just one problem: The post was clearly a joke referencing one of the most famous scenes from the 1975 comedy classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in which Graham Chapman’s King Arthur approaches two peasants and announces himself as their king.

  67. McLeod says:

    “On Tuesday, PG&E Corp. will plead guilty 84 separate times to involuntary manslaughter — the deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history.”

    “Pacific Gas & Electric, long accused of putting profits before customer safety, has acknowledged its neglected equipment set off the fire that destroyed most of the Northern California town of Paradise in 2018. The Camp Fire claimed the lives of 85 people, but prosecutors weren’t sure they could establish one of the deaths was the company’s fault. The blaze burned more than 153,000 acres.
    PG&E is approaching the end of a complicated bankruptcy case it used to work out $25.5 billion in settlements to pay for the damages from the Camp Fire and others that charred wide swaths of Northern California and killed dozens of people in 2017.
    U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who supervises PG&E’s five-year probation for an explosion in its natural gas lines that killed eight people in 2010 in a San Francisco suburb, has been highly critical of the utility for failing to take more measures to make its grid safer.”

  68. 800-pound gorilla says:

    “How Elon Musk’s Starlink Could Disrupt The Telecommunications Industry”
    See also “SpaceX will have to demonstrate Starlink internet’s low latency within the next month to qualify for up to $16B in federal funding” (TechCrunch 6/16/20) The FCC requires that anyone participating in its $16 billion federal funding auction for rural broadband access demonstrate latency under 100 milliseconds, but anyone who hopes to qualify must meet that threshold within the next month.

    • Glas Gaibhnenn says:

      LONDON (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has prevented druids, pagans and party-goers from watching the sun rise at Stonehenge to mark the summer solstice this year.
      The ancient stone circle in southwestern England usually draws thousands of people to mark the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. But Britain has banned mass gatherings as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
      English Heritage, the body that oversees Stonehenge, livestreamed the sunrise instead. It said more than 3.6 million people watched as dawn broke at 4:52 a.m. Sunday (0352GMT, 11:52 p.m. EDT Saturday).

      “An Archdruid performs a ritual near to the cordoned off Stonehenge as a small group of people gathered to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, near Salisbury, England, Sunday, June 21, 2020.”

      • Chorea gigantum says:

        “The area around Stonehenge, packed with famous Neolithic sites, is one of the most well-studied archaeological regions in the world. Yet it still has new secrets to offer: A paper published yesterday in Internet Archaeology reports on the discovery of a vast circle of deep shafts dug more than 4500 years ago. These shafts, measuring 5 meters deep and 20 meters wide, were once thought to be sinkholes or dew ponds. But researchers using ground-penetrating radar and magnetic surveys turned up at least 20 holes, arranged in a circle more than 2 kilometers in diameter, surrounding the sacred site of Durrington Walls, The Guardian reports. Building the shafts would have been a considerable feat of persistence, and the labor needed to place them accurately suggests the people who built them had developed a system of counting, scientists say.”

  69. G-Man says:

    “To some extent, every Internet user leaves a digital trail. So when a masked arsonist was seen on video setting fire to a police car on the day of a recent protest in Philadelphia, the fact that her face was hidden didn’t prevent a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent from tracking down the suspect. The keys ended up being a tattoo and an Etsy review the alleged arsonist had left for a T-shirt she was wearing at the scene of the crime, according to the FBI.”

    The alleged arsonist:

  70. Stay tuned says:

    “White House officials are putting a target on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, positioning the agency as a coronavirus scapegoat as cases surge in many states and the U.S. falls behind other nations that are taming the pandemic.”
    Meanwhile: “Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, along with CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield and other government officials will testify Tuesday at a House oversight hearing on the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Redfield will appear as witnesses during the hearing. They will be joined by Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir and US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, who will also be testifying as witnesses.”
    Last May the White House blocked Fauci from testifying before House lawmakers.
    At the time, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere confirmed the move, saying, “While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to Covid-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings.”

  71. Hey, Rube! says:

    ● “The Looming Bank Collapse : The U.S. financial system could be on the cusp of calamity. This time, we might not be able to save it.” (The Atlantic July/August 2020 issue)
    ● “Why Reopening Isn’t Enough To Save The Economy” (NPR 6/23/20) [“How Did COVID-19 and Stabilization Policies Affect Spending and Employment? A New Real-Time Economic Tracker Based on Private Sector Data” ]
    ● “Key Support for the Economy May Be About to Buckle : Government stimulus programs have helped support spending by lower-income Americans, but the money could soon run out” (Wall Street Journal 6/23/20)
    ● “As Trump Touted the “Fantastic” Economy, Mick Mulvaney Was Selling Off His Stocks : The then-White House chief of staff reportedly dumped between $215,000 and $550,000 in holdings in March, while the president was still claiming the economy was in “great shape.” (Vanity Fair 6/16/20)

  72. Mike says:

    History Will Judge the Complicit : Why have Republican leaders abandoned their principles in support of an immoral and dangerous president? Anne Applebaum , The Atlantic July/August 2020 Issue
    Trump’s sway over Lindsey Graham — and all Republicans — is weakening (Washington Post 6/23/20)–and-all-republicans–is-weakening/2020/06/23/8a7dcf1c-b579-11ea-a8da-693df3d7674a_story.html

  73. YIKES says:

    “Dark Basin: Uncovering a Massive Hack-For-Hire Operation” (Citizen Lab June 9, 2020)
    “The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto, focusing on research, development, and high-level strategic policy and legal engagement at the intersection of information and communication technologies, human rights, and global security.”

  74. Hundredth monkey says:

    “Dolphins can learn from peers how to use shells as tools : The marine mammal learns how to hunt from mom, but not always, a study suggests”

    “The ability to craft tools is one of the defining features of our [human] species. The technical intelligence hypothesis predicts that tool-making species should have enhanced physical cognition.”

  75. WTFU says:

    “In a filing with the Supreme Court, the Trump administration has reaffirmed its position that the Affordable Care Act in its entirety is illegal because Congress eliminated the individual tax penalty for failing to purchase medical insurance.”
    “Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the government’s chief advocate before the Supreme Court, said in a brief that the other provisions of Obamacare are impossible to separate from the individual mandate and that “it necessarily follows that the rest of the ACA must also fall.”
    “How Trump endangers our health: Let us count the ways”

  76. Canute says:

    A judge on Thursday dismissed an attempt by President Trump’s younger brother to block the publication of a forthcoming unflattering tell-all book by Mary L. Trump, the President’s niece.
    Judge Peter J. Kelly of the Queens County Surrogate Court in New York, where a motion to obtain a temporary restraining order was filed Tuesday by Robert S. Trump, dismissed the case citing a lack of jurisdiction.
    Robert Trump, Donald’s younger brother, spent at least 10 days in an intensive care unit before being released this week and launching legal action to try and stop the publication of his niece’s explosive tell-all book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man”, according to multiple people familiar with the situation.
    Trump administration attorneys and his outside counsel have been hard at work this election year—one already plagued by a destroyed American economy, a mass protest movement in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, and a coronavirus pandemic that’s claimed a U.S. death toll upwards of 100,000—as the president goes to war against new books and manuscripts penned by his foes, including his former National Security Adviser John Bolton and his former longtime fixer and lawyer Michael Cohen.

  77. 4therecord says:

    “Consider for a moment how the events of May 25th through June 9th—the days of democratic bedlam in the streets, bracketed by the death and the burial of George Floyd—would appear had they occurred in some distant nation that most Americans have heard of but might not be able to find on a map. Consider that, in the midst of a pandemic whose toll was magnified by government incompetence, a member of a long-exploited ethnic minority was killed by the state, in an act defined by its casual sadism. Demonstrators pour into the streets near the site of the killing, in a scene that is soon repeated in city after city. The police arrest members of the media reporting the story. The President cites a threat to law and order, and federal agents are dispatched to disrupt protests in the nation’s capital, using tear gas and a military helicopter. These acts further erode his already tenuous position, prompting church leaders to rebuke him, and decorated generals to question his fitness for office.

    In such a scenario, the lines of conflict gain new clarity, the abuses more unqualified horror. American commentators would compare the successive nights of protests to the Iranian uprisings of 2009 and the Arab Spring of 2011. The U.S. State Department, depending on its allegiances, might surreptitiously aid the protesters. We would all recognize the moment as the product of a traumatized society.”
    Jelani Cobb, “An American Spring.” (The New Yorker, June 22, 2020 Issue)

    • Ed. Gibbon says:

      “The United States: Not a Failed State, but a Failing Society” (6/29/20)
      “…the United States is a creature without modern precedent. One has to go all the way back to the disastrous reigns of Nero in Rome (first century CE) or Czar Nicholas of Russia in the early 20th century to find such fecklessness in the face of huge threats. And while it’s tempting to say Trump is fiddling while the nation burns, this is not just about presidential leadership. It is about a society that has forgotten that our well-earned freedoms come with responsibilities, chief among which is the responsibility to make personal sacrifices for the good of the community. Its individualism has mutated into selfishness at a time when selflessness—the recognition that we are indeed all in this together—is necessary. The United States is a highly capable state whose politics and cavalier attitude about small, individual contributions to the public good have rendered it incapable of mobilizing that capacity to address the worst threat to public safety of the 20th century.”

  78. Déjà vu says:

    Attorney General William P. Barr on Friday directed the formation of a task force that will be dedicated to countering “anti-government extremists,” escalating federal law enforcement’s response to the violence that has sometimes marked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism, according to a memo obtained by The Washington Post.
    “When the black justice movement got too powerful, the FBI got scared and got ugly : In the 1970s, the surveillance and intimidation was no joke”
    COINTELPRO was a series of covert and illegal[1][2] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations.

    Meanwhile: “Over Memorial Day weekend, Attorney General William Barr removed a low-profile US attorney in Texas following the public airing of a dispute over an investigation into Walmart — a move that didn’t draw the same attention as the firing of the high-profile US attorney in Manhattan, but is now raising new questions about political interference inside the Justice Department.”

  79. 3Card Monte says:

    President Trump said late Sunday that he was not told of intelligence that a Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. troops, because U.S. intelligence officials did not find it credible.
    “Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP,” Trump said in a tweet, referring to Vice President Pence. He added that he considers such reports “possibly another fabricated Russia Hoax” spread by the “Fake News … wanting to make Republicans look bad!!!”
    Earlier Sunday, Trump had tweeted that he had not been briefed about the intelligence, but he did little to clarify whether the administration was denying that the assessment existed or simply denying that he knew anything about it.
    Asked to comment, John Ullyot, a National Security Council spokesman, said that “the veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated.” The CIA and the Defense and State departments declined to comment.
    Russia and the Taliban have denied the existence of the program.
    Trump’s late-night tweet on Sunday came in response to one by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), one of many lawmakers from both parties who called on the Trump administration to provide an explanation of what had transpired.
    “Imperative Congress get to the bottom of recent media reports that Russian GRU units in Afghanistan have offered to pay the Taliban to kill American soldiers with the goal of pushing America out of the region,” Graham tweeted.
    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said during a television appearance Monday morning on Fox News that lawmakers would be briefed on the situation later in the day, adding, “I think that will clear up a lot of the false reporting.”
    She did not specify which members of Congress would be briefed.

  80. Doc says:

    “Even With Insurance, the COVID Drug Remdesivir Is Shockingly Expensive : The raw materials for a course of treatment cost only $10 — but they’re selling it for $3,120.”
    “Dr. Anthony Fauci says he would “settle” for a Covid-19 vaccine that’s 70% to 75% effective, but that this incomplete protection, coupled with the fact that many Americans say they won’t get a coronavirus vaccine, makes it “unlikely” that the US will achieve sufficient levels of immunity to quell the outbreak.
    With government support, three coronavirus vaccines are expected to be studied in large-scale clinical trials in the next three months.”
    “After 500,000 deaths, WHO warns worst of coronavirus pandemic is “yet to come” “Chinese researchers have discovered a new type of swine flu that can infect humans and has the potential to cause a future pandemic, according to a study released on Monday, though scientists have cautioned that the virus does not pose an immediate global health threat.
    The disease, which researchers called the G4 virus, is genetically descended from the H1N1 swine flu that caused a pandemic in 2009. G4 now shows “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus,” said the study, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
    See “Prevalent Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus with 2009 pandemic viral genes facilitating human infection” (PNAS)

  81. Puzzling Evidence says:

    “Who’s the most galling, captivating character on our screens this summer? It’s Karen — and she’s everywhere.”–and-shes-everywhere/2020/06/30/f806a64c-ba44-11ea-80b9-40ece9a701dc_story.html
    “Karens Going Wild by Pavel,” an Instagram account with more than half a million followers and rising, which shares particularly egregious Karen videos of the moment, resulting in swift responses.
    The awful beauty of the Karen and Ken videos — their rawness and immediacy — is that we as viewers haven’t yet processed how they truly make us feel. Only angry? Only vindicated? Aghast? Sick? It’s a show that is very much in progress.

  82. Hope says:

    “Two new climate lawsuits give Big Oil the tobacco treatment “
    “Baltimore urges justices to keep Big Oil suit in state court”
    “Will Big Oil Pay a Price for its Lies?”
    “Big Oil’s Nightmare Is Coming True”

  83. Cui bono? says:

    “Voter ID laws discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities, new study reveals : Minority voter turnout declines in states where voter ID laws are enacted” (University of California – San Diego–vil062420.php
    “A disproportionate burden: strict voter identification laws and minority turnout”
    “The Myth of Voter Fraud : Extensive research reveals that fraud is very rare. Yet repeated, false allegations of fraud can make it harder for millions of eligible Americans to participate in elections.” (Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law)

  84. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, says:

    Monday President Donald Trump went after attempts to strip the names of racists from buildings.
    On Tuesday, it was a federal housing rule meant to combat racial segregation – as well as threatening to veto a defense authorization package if it includes a provision to rename some military bases honoring Confederate leaders.
    By Wednesday, Trump was calling the words “Black Lives Matter” a “symbol of hate” — a description he’s refused to use for Confederate emblems — that would spoil the “luxury avenue” he once called home.

  85. How now says:

    U.S. prosecutors late on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to seize the gasoline aboard four tankers that Iran is shipping to Venezuela, the latest attempt by the Trump administration to increase economic pressure on the two U.S. foes. (Reuters 6/2/20)
    In the civil-forfeiture complaint, the federal prosecutors aim to stop delivery of Iranian gasoline aboard the Liberia-flagged Bella and the Bering, and the Pandi and the Luna, according to the lawsuit, first reported in the Wall Street Journal. It also seeks to deter future deliveries.

  86. Movie Buff says:

    Walmart is teaming up with Tribeca Enterprises to turn 160 of its store parking lots into drive-in movie theaters.
    “Beginning in August, Walmart will roll out this red carpet experience in towns across the country for a combined 320 showings. This family-friendly night will include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities and concessions delivered right to customer vehicles.
    Walmart’s drive-in tour will run through October. Additional details will be announced closer to the start of the tour. More information can be found here:

    “Hotshot Eastbound, Iaeger, West Virginia” by O. Winston Link, 08/02/1956 (click to enlarge)

    • Pedant says:

      “At the Iaeger Drive-In Theater Willie Allen and Dorothy Christian appear impervious to “Hot Shot” merchandise speeding eastbound along the Pocahontas Division of the Norfolk and Western Railway. This train is Time Freight No. 78 running on a passenger train schedule hauling all merchandise cars going east to Norfolk, Virginia. This coal fired steam locomotive, No. 1242, was built in 1949-1950 at the N&W shops in Roanoke, Virginia. The Class A locomotive, first introduced in 1936, was a simple articulated locomotive that had two engines, front and rear, both of which used steam at the same 300-psi pressure. The locomotive had 70-inch driving wheels, and was capable of speeds up to 80 mph. In 1980 Link noted in the book Ghost Trains that the Class A locomotive was, in his opinion, the most beautiful engine ever built. Interesting Facts: Link used a total of 43 flash bulbs, all fired simultaneously to achieve this magnificent result. Winston once stated, “Since I could only see the headlight of the locomotive in total darkness, I did not know until the flash was fired that I had captured this prize.” The couple in the foreground sits in Winston’s 1952 Buick convertible. He also used this car in another well-known 1956 image, “Sometimes the Electricity Fails”. The image on the movie screen is from the 1955 motion picture “Battle Taxi”, which was being shown that evening. It is interesting to note that according to Tom Garver (Link’s former agent), Link had tried to produce this image in July of the previous year, but multiple problems with his equipment resulted in no usable images.”
      Link’s photograph required two exposures on separate sheets of film, one for the image on the movie screen and the other for the rest of the photograph.
      “Battle Taxi” Aircraft on the drive-in screen is a North American F-86 Sabre

      A partial drive-in theater—Theatre de Guadalupe—was opened in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on April 23, 1915: “Seven hundred people may be comfortably seated in the auditorium. Automobile entrances and places for 40 or more cars within the theater grounds and in-line position to see the pictures and witness all performances on the stage is a feature of the place that will please car owners.” (“A New Comer To Las Cruces”. The Rio Grande Republican. 16 April 1915. p. 1.)

  87. Puzzling Evidence says:

    “The Birdsong That Took Over North America : Since 2000, a strange new type of song in white-throated sparrows has spread across the continent at stunning speed.”
    “Sparrows are singing a new song, in a rapid, unprecedented shift : White-throated sparrows across Canada are abandoning an old song in exchange for a trendy new tune. The reason remains a mystery.”
    Two white-throated sparrow songs

  88. Space case says:

    “A cosmic mystery: European Southern Observatory’s telescope captures the disappearance of a massive star”
    “The possible disappearance of a massive star in the low metallicity galaxy PHL 293B” (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society)
    ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”

  89. By any means says:

    How Republicans Are Using Technology to Deny Your Right to Vote : In an Era of Blatant, Court-Sanctioned Voter Suppression, Voting Machines May Be Democracy’s Weakest Link
    “Traditionally it’s always been Republicans suppressing votes in places …Let’s start protecting our voters. We know where they are. … Let’s start playing offense a little bit. That’s what you’re going to see in 2020. It’s going to be a much bigger program, a much more aggressive program, a much better-funded program.” Justin Clark, a senior political adviser and senior counsel to Trump’s reelection campaign, on Nov. 21 2019 as part of a wide-ranging discussion about strategies in the 2020 campaign, including more aggressive use of Election Day monitoring of polling places.
    Freed by Court Ruling Republicans this year are investing $20 million in a plan to challenge votes, even though evidence of widespread voter fraud is non-existent.

  90. Shifting sands says:

    (July 10, 2020): New Friday Night Justice Department Shake-Up Installs Barr Deputy in Brooklyn
    “The pattern continues: Barr replaces a US Atty with his own close aide, this time in EDNY. The other pattern is that these districts always have a tie to Trump. EDNY is investigating Trump inaugural committee.” Barbara McQuade
    (July 2): U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Stepping Down, Office Says In his new role at the Justice Department Donoghue will serve as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, the top deputy to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and is expected to help facilitate communications between all U.S. attorneys.
    Donoghue’s resignation comes about two weeks after Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was fired after refusing Attorney General William Barr’s order to step down.

  91. Footnote says:

    President Donald Trump considered the idea of selling Puerto Rico in 2017 after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria, the former acting Homeland Security secretary told The New York Times in an interview published Friday.
    “The President’s initial ideas were more of as a businessman, you know,” Elaine Duke, who was serving as DHS’ acting secretary when the hurricane hit the island in September 2017, told the Times.
    “‘Can we outsource the electricity? Can we can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset?'” Trump reportedly said, according to Duke in the newspaper interview. “(She said the idea of selling Puerto Rico was never seriously considered or discussed after Mr. Trump raised it.),” the paper reported.
    Despite massive death toll, Trump calls Puerto Rico hurricane response ‘an incredible, unsung success’

    The US president and first lady visit a disaster relief distribution center in Puerto Rico after the US territory was pummeled by a category 4 hurricane.

  92. Ten-hut says:

    “Previously classified military documents about how the Army sought relevancy during the atomic age will be part of a novel Twitter series released daily this week.”
    “From Monday through Friday, the 18th Airborne Corps will tell the story of the Army’s Atomic Age on its official Twitter account, @18airbornecorps.
    “The Atomic Age: A Twitter Novel” tells about how the Army transformed from a World War II force to a technologically-adapt force designed for protecting the homeland against potential nuclear aggression between 1953 and 1961.”

  93. Clausewitz says:

    “Iran expert Trita Parsi said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” Tuesday that a potential Israeli strike on an Iranian nuclear facility could be pushing the U.S. toward war.
    Parsi said that the more than a dozen “suspicious” explosions reported at Iranian nuclear facilities are unlikely to be accidents, and some have speculated U.S.-backed Israel is behind them. Israel’s defense chief said earlier this month that they are not “necessarily” behind all incidents of fires at Iranian nuclear facilities.
    “Iran is a big country, accidents do happen, but this many in this short of a period, in this many strategic targets is extremely unlikely to just be accidents,” Parsi said.
    He said that if the reports are true “this is dragging the U.S. closer to war.”
    “Mysterious incidents in Iran continue as at least 7 boats catch on fire at shipyard : The fire broke out at the port of Bushehr, near Iran’s only nuclear power plant
    “Exclusive: Secret Trump order gives CIA more powers to launch cyberattacks”
    “Potential China-Iran pact brings more urgency to extend UN embargo, says Pompeo”

  94. Hey, Rube! says:

    “Trump administration shifts control of coronavirus hospital data from CDC to HHS”
    “News of the change came as a shock at the C.D.C., according to two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.”

    “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
    (George Orwell “1984”)

  95. Gleichschaltung says:

    Trump Unleashes His Secret Police in Portland : In a dangerous authoritarian move, federal agents in camouflage and without badges are rounding up American citizens.
    The Trump Administration Is Deploying “Secret Police” Against Protesters in Portland : As federal forces allegedly snatch demonstrators off the street and into unmarked cars, some predict the city “is a test case” for the rest of the country.
    “A peaceful protester in Portland was shot in the head by one of Donald Trump’s secret police,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote in a Thursday tweet that also called out acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf. “Now Trump and Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media.”
    Civil rights advocates suggested the Trump administration is testing the limits of its executive power.
    Justice Department investigates as Portland protester shot in head with less-lethal round (includes video) The U.S. Marshals Service is investigating after a protester was hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend after being hit in the head by a less-lethal round fired by a federal law enforcement officer, authorities said Monday.
    Bystander videos show LaBella, 26, collapsing to the ground unconscious and bleeding profusely from the head after a federal officer outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse fired a less-lethal round at him. He was standing with both arms in the air holding a large speaker across the street from the courthouse when he was hit.
    LaBella’s mother, Desiree LaBella, told Oregon Public Broadcasting that her son suffered facial and skull fractures. He came out of surgery early Sunday morning and was responding to doctors.
    The Department of Homeland Security’s “Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT) is a special task force to coordinate Departmental law enforcement agency assets in protecting our nation’s historic monuments, memorials, statues, and federal facilities.”

  96. Puzzling Evidence says:

    “The official portraits of former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were removed from the Grand Foyer of the White House within the last week, aides told CNN, and replaced by those of two Republican presidents who served more than a century ago.
    White House tradition calls for portraits of the most recent American presidents to be given the most prominent placement, in the entrance of the executive mansion, visible to guests during official events.”

  97. Rosie says:

    January 1943. “Daytona Beach, Florida. Bethune-Cookman College. Girl welder in the National Youth Administration school.” Photo by Gordon Parks, Office of War Information

  98. Heads up says:

    “The US Air Force is getting tired of bloated acquisition programs, and has apparently threatened to nationalize its aircraft manufacturing process if heavy industrial and aerospace companies continue to treat the military like a cash cow.
    Will Roper, the USAF’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L), warned that nationalization may be imminent if the nation’s industrial base continues to shrink.”
    See also “Air Force ‘Digital Century Series’ Acquisition Concept Nearing Milestone”

  99. Ok then... says:

    Donald Trump v Fox News Sunday: extraordinary moments from a wild interview.
    In an interview with Fox News Sunday recorded at the White House on Friday, Trump said “I’m not losing, because those are fake polls” and refused to say if he would accept the result if Biden won in November.
    “I have to see,” Trump said. “I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”

  100. Old school says:

    David Kaiser, a scion of the Rockefeller family who steered one of its philanthropies into a pitched confrontation with the company that provided the family’s prodigious wealth, died on Wednesday at a family home on Mount Desert Island, Maine. He was 50.
    As president of the Rockefeller Family Fund, and as an official of Just Detention International, a group dedicated to fighting sexual abuse in prisons, Mr. Kaiser pursued twin passions: combating climate change and reforming the criminal justice system.

  101. Seeing Is Believing says:

    (NY Post): “A doctored video of President Richard Nixon delivering an Apollo 11 contingency speech is making its rounds online — with its creators hoping to underscore the disturbing power of “deepfake” videos.”
    ( “Apollo 11 ‘disaster’ video project highlights growing danger of deepfake tech”
    (MIT): “Tackling the misinformation epidemic with “In Event of Moon Disaster” : New website from the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality rewrites an important moment in history to educate the public on the dangers of deepfakes.”
    “In Event of Moon Disaster”

    • Make belief says:

      “AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All : Synthetic video and audio seemed pretty bad. Synthetic writing—ubiquitous and undetectable—will be far worse.”
      “…Seeing a lot of people express the same point of view, often at the same time or in the same place, can convince observers that everyone feels a certain way, regardless of whether the people speaking are truly representative—or even real. In psychology, this is called the majority illusion.
      As the time and effort required to produce commentary drops, it will be possible to produce vast quantities of AI-generated content on any topic imaginable. Indeed, it’s possible that we’ll soon have algorithms reading the web, forming “opinions,” and then publishing their own responses. This boundless corpus of new content and comments, largely manufactured by machines, might then be processed by other machines, leading to a feedback loop that would significantly alter our information ecosystem.”
      Re: ‘majority illusion’ see MIT “The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind : Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.”

  102. Prognosticator says:

    “Using techniques from astrophysics, researchers can forecast drought up to ten weeks ahead” (University of Sussex 7/20/20) “The work is part of a larger research project under the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) programme, which looks to understand how forecasts can be used by disaster risk managers to act early in order to minimise the impacts of disasters.”

  103. Cassandra says:

    “The High-Finance Mogul in Charge of Our Economic Recovery : How Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin became one of the most consequential policymakers in the world.” (The New Yorker July 20, 2020)
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will come to Capitol Hill today on to brief Senate Republicans on the forthcoming coronavirus relief bill.
    The two will meet with Republicans during their Tuesday closed-door caucus lunch, the first time the caucus as a whole will meet since returning to Washington.
    Mnuchin — speaking with reporters during a White House meeting with President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Meadows — said that the focus of the legislation will be “kids and jobs and vaccines.”
    “The emerging GOP coronavirus relief bill appears likely to embrace some of President Trump’s key priorities, despite opposition from within his own party, including a payroll tax cut, very little aid to state and local governments, and measures tying school funding to the reopening of classrooms.”
    The payroll tax is the 7.65 percent tax paid by employers and employees that goes toward the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Congress will have three weeks to write the bill before adjourning for summer recess.
    See also “Trump administration pushing to block new money for testing, tracing and CDC in upcoming coronavirus relief bill” and “Trump says he will block coronavirus aid for U.S. Postal Service if it doesn’t hike prices immediately : The president said the postal agency should quadruple its package delivery prices, otherwise he would block congressionally approved funding”.

  104. Mindful says:

    “Pick a card, any card. It’s a staple of traditional magic tricks. But if you choose the three of diamonds, chances are you may have been “primed” by the magician to pick that card without even being aware of it. That’s because certain subtle verbal and gestural cues can unconsciously influence decision-making, according to a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).”
    PNAS: “Influencing choices with conversational primes: How a magic trick unconsciously influences card choices”
    “A Complete Psychological Analysis of Trump’s Support” (Psychology Today 2018)

  105. Public sector alert™ says:

    “Leveraging close ties to Twitter, controversial artificial intelligence startup Dataminr helped law enforcement digitally monitor the protests that swept the country following the killing of George Floyd, tipping off police to social media posts with the latest whereabouts and actions of demonstrators, according to documents reviewed by The Intercept and a source with direct knowledge of the matter. The monitoring seems at odds with claims from both Twitter and Dataminr that neither company would engage in or facilitate domestic surveillance following a string of 2016 controversies. Twitter, up until recently a longtime investor in Dataminr alongside the CIA, provides the company with full access to a content stream known as the “firehose” — a rare privilege among tech firms and one that lets Dataminr, recently valued at over $1.8 billion, scan every public tweet as soon as its author hits send. Both companies denied that the protest monitoring meets the definition of surveillance.
    “End surveillance workarounds : Federal agencies collaborate with third-party agencies to obtain data without a warrant.”
    “How to reform police monitoring of social media” (Brookings Institute July 9, 2020)

  106. HAR says:

    ‘Boycott the MLB’ crowd takes an L as Giants-Dodgers and Yankees-Nationals draw record TV ratings
    Despite the repeated insistence by some that the return of national anthem protests would cause MLB television ratings to crater, the two games televised to a national audience Thursday night set multiple viewership records.
    According to Nielsen ratings shared by ESPN, the first regular season game of the season between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals averaged an audience of 4,00,000 viewers, which is a new record for an MLB opening night game telecast. The broadcast was the most-watched regular season MLB game on any network since 2011.
    In addition, the late game between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers generated an average audience of 2,764,000 viewers, and was the network’s most-watched MLB regular season game in a 10 p.m. ET slot ever. Locally, the broadcast drew a 6.9 rating in the San Francisco market — a figure that makes it the highest-rated regular season MLB game in the SF market since 2013.

  107. Santayana says:

    “When Is a Nazi Salute Not a Nazi Salute?” (The New York Review of Books 7/25/20)

    “Truth is required to act freely. Freedom requires knowledge, and in order to act freely in the world, you need to know what the world is and know what you’re doing. You only know what you’re doing if you have access to the truth. So freedom requires truth, and so to smash freedom you must smash truth.” Yale philosopher Jason Stanley, author of “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them” (2018)

  108. Joshua says:

    A viral video purportedly shows section of the border wall separating the US and Mexico collapsing under strong winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Hanna.
    “A video gone viral said to show a section of the border fence being blown down by Hurricane Hanna has caught the attention of federal immigration authorities late Sunday who were scrambling to find out if it was true.
    Roderick Kise, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Rio Grande Valley said he was checking with authorities in Washington, but at first glance did not believe the footage was from South Texas.
    “The hurricane hit us at nighttime, but looks like it was shot during the day,” Kise said in an interview.
    “Moment Trump’s ‘indestructible’ border wall collapses as Tropical Storm Hanna lashes south Texas”

  109. 4therecord says:

    Army National Guard commander Adam DeMarco will testify on Tuesday that Park Police’s use of force in the clearing of Lafayette Square last month was an “unnecessary” and “unprovoked” escalation that he and his fellow National Guardsmen viewed as “deeply disturbing.”
    DeMarco’s testimony, previewed in a written statement released by the House Natural Resources Committee on Monday, contradicts statements made by Attorney General Bill Barr and the Trump administration about the controversial clearing of protesters, which preceded President Trump’s visit to St. John’s Church for a photo op.
    Barr claims that there was “no correlation” between his decision to clear the park and Trump’s visit to the church. He has also accused the media of lying about the protesters outside of the White House being peaceful and denied that tear gas was used.

    “Having served in a combat zone, and understanding how to assess threat environments, at no time did I feel threatened by the protestors or assess them to be violent. In addition, considering the principles of proportionality of force and the fundamental strategy of graduated responses specific to civil disturbance operations, it was my observation that the use of force against demonstrators in the clearing operation was an unnecessary escalation of the use of force. From my observation, those demonstrators – our fellow American citizens — were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights. Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.” Adam DeMarco, a major in the D.C. National Guard and Iraq War veteran.

  110. Space case says:

    Two Indian schoolgirls have discovered an asteroid which is slowly shifting its orbit and moving toward Earth.

    The Planetary Defense Coordination Office is a planetary defense organization within NASA’s Planetary Science Division. Its mission is to lead the coordination of interagency and intergovernmental efforts to plan responses to potential impact threats.

  111. Mатрёшка says:

    The US is moving forward with President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany, a decision that has attracted bipartisan congressional opposition and roiled key allies who see the move as a blow to NATO.
    Secretary of Defense Mark Esper acknowledged the plan will cost billions to execute when he formally announced the decision on Wednesday from the Pentagon. US defense officials said it will take years to relocate the troops.
    The plan to pull US troops from the long-time NATO ally has been met with broad bipartisan opposition amid concerns that it will weaken the US military’s position vis a vis Russia, however the Trump Administration has decided to proceed with the move.
    The White House’s plan to withdraw thousands of US troops from Germany is emerging as a new point of tension between the President and top Pentagon leaders, including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who has avoided criticizing the move publicly but has significant concerns about it, multiple current and former officials tell CNN.

  112. Suburban Housewives of America™️ says:

    “Trump boasts of pushing low-income housing out of suburbs : The connection between the president’s denigration of low-income housing and racial segregation was not lost on his critics.”
    “You know the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home,” Trump said during a talk in Midland, Texas. “There will be no more low-income housing forced into the suburbs. … It’s been going on for years. I’ve seen conflict for years. It’s been hell for suburbia.”
    His comments were an echo of his tweets earlier in the day, in which he said suburbanites would “no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood.”

    • BOGUS POTUS says:

      Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 5:59 AM · Aug 12, 2020:
      “The “suburban housewife” will be voting for me. They want safety & are thrilled that I ended the long running program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood. Biden would reinstall it, in a bigger form, with Corey Booker in charge! @foxandfriends @MariaBartiromo”

  113. WCGW says:

    Scientists Resurrect 100 Million Year-Old Underwater Lifeforms
    As reported by Gizmodo, an international team of scientists led by geomicrobiologist Yuki Morono from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology revived these microbes that are actually from 101.5 million years ago.
    Once the microbes, which are a type of bacteria, were put in laboratory conditions, they came back to life and began eating and multiplying, as living things tend to do.
    Even though these microbes are over 100 million years old, they were living in low-energy conditions that allowed them to “retain their metabolic potential,” according to a new research study published by Nature Communications.

  114. Archivalist says:

    Video of then-businessman Donald Trump struggling to vote in-person before declaring he would fill out an absentee ballot in 2004 has resurfaced this week amid a new round of unfounded attacks on mail-in voting from the President.
    The “Access Hollywood” segment, filmed as Trump was attempting to vote in the 2004 election, shows Trump alongside TV host Billy Bush visiting multiple New York City polling locations. Trump, however, is blocked from voting at each location because he is not on any of the voter rolls at each stop.
    Trump can be seen becoming increasingly frustrated before declaring, “I’m going to fill out the absentee ballot.”
    The segment ends with Trump filling out what Bush describes as a provisional ballot in his car.
    “I just voted,” Trump touted. “At least you can say the Trumpster doesn’t give up.”

  115. Cassandra says:

    A majority of the world population lives on low lying lands near the sea, some of which are predicted to submerge by the end of the 21st century due to rising sea levels.
    The most relevant quantity for assessing the impacts of sea-level change on these communities is the relative sea-level rise—the elevation change between the Earth’s surface height and sea surface height. For an observer standing on the coastland, relative sea-level rise is the net change in the sea level, which also includes the rise and fall of the land beneath observer’s feet.
    Now, using precise measurements from state-of-the-art satellite-based interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) that can detect the land surface rise and fall with millimeter accuracy, an Arizona State University research team has, for the first time, tracked the entire California coast’s vertical land motion.

    Coastal elevation in California. Coastal zones, which are defined to be those with elevations less than 10 m [32 ft and 6 inches], are shown in red. Segments of the coast with elevations higher than 10 m are colored by a yellow gradient. Credit: USGS NED.

  116. Hey, Rube! says:

    “How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air” : This spring, a team working under the president’s son-in-law produced a plan for an aggressive, coordinated national COVID-19 response that could have brought the pandemic under control. So why did the White House spike it in favor of a shambolic 50-state response?” (Vanity Fair 7/30/20)
    “…Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
    That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.
    [In a statement, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said, “The premise of this article is completely false.”]

    “President Donald Trump’s advisers got him to pay more attention to the COVID-19 pandemic by noting that the surge in cases was hurting Republican states, an administration official told The Washington Post.
    The tactic has seemed to “resonate” with Trump, The Post reported on Monday, as the president “hewed closely to pre-scripted remarks” in subsequent news briefings.”

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday published its ensemble forecast, which projected 173,270 coronavirus deaths in the US by August 22, with a range between 167,692 to 182,366 deaths.

  117. Grierson says:

    ICE Agents Complain About Nazi Comparisons, Say They’re Only Enforcing the Laws
    A new Netflix docuseries that saw filmmakers gain “unprecedented” access to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s operations under the Trump administration sees ICE agents open up about what it’s like to be seen as “the bad guys.”
    For roughly three years, starting just after President Donald Trump took office, filmmakers Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau were given a stunning level of access to the U.S. Homeland Security department’s immigration agencies, including ICE and the Border Patrol.
    Schwarz and Clusiau followed federal officers and agents as they enforced some of the Trump administration’s most controversial immigration policies, including the government’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy at the border and ICE’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants across the country, with their work culminating in the new docuseries “Immigration Nation”, which saw its trailer premiered exclusively on and which is set to launch on Netflix on August 3.

    “Immigration Nation” trailer:

  118. Smilin' Jack says:

    July 30, 2020 – Sierra County, New Mexico- HAPSMobile Inc., a subsidiary of Japan’s telecommunications operator SoftBank Corp. along with its minority owner and aircraft development partner AeroVironment, Inc., held the first successful flight of the Sunglider™ solar-powered high-altitude platform system (HAPS) at Spaceport America on July 23, 2020.

  119. Oily business says:

    “Syrian government condemns oil deal between Kurds and US firm as ‘theft’ : The deal comes months after president Trump expressed interest in the country’s lucrative oil fields”
    “Syria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Sunday condemned the recent agreement between the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the U.S. company Delta Crescent, an illegal deal which is aimed at giving the White House a free hand to steal the Arab country’s oil.
    “This is an illegal agreement. It is nothing more than a contract between thieves and a real robbery,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry stated, adding that the SDF-Delta contract “attacks Syrian sovereignty and reinforces the U.S. hostilities towards the country in this new attempt to steal its resources.”
    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is allied with U.S. President Donald Trump, was involved in the agreement negotiations, according to the local outlet Al Monitor.
    During the negotiations, Graham held direct and prolonged talks with SDF commander-in-chief Mazlum Kobani.”
    See also re: US sending additional ‘assets’ to Syria to protect oil fields. (10/23/19)

  120. Tombaugh says:

    Amazon investing $10 billion to compete against SpaceX in satellite broadband : FCC approves Amazon plan to offer low-latency Internet with 3,236 satellites.
    SpaceX has launched 422 Starlink satellites into orbit since 2019 as it builds a 12,000-satellite megaconstellation in orbit. (6/3/20)
    With so many Starlink satellites in orbit (SpaceX is operating the largest satellite fleet ever), the company has come under fire from astronomers and scientists worried about impacts to astronomical research.

  121. Cassandra says:

    “How the Pandemic Defeated America : A virus has brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees.” (Ed Yong, The Atantic, updated August 4, 2020)
    “…Despite its epochal effects, COVID‑19 is merely a harbinger of worse plagues to come. The U.S. cannot prepare for these inevitable crises if it returns to normal, as many of its people ache to do. Normal led to this. Normal was a world ever more prone to a pandemic but ever less ready for one. To avert another catastrophe, the U.S. needs to grapple with all the ways normal failed us. It needs a full accounting of every recent misstep and foundational sin, every unattended weakness and unheeded warning, every festering wound and reopened scar.”

    May 13, 2017 (click to enlarge)

  122. Mike says:

    “Beirut has suffered a catastrophe that will live long in the memory – and the repeated betrayal of its citizens is a travesty : Lebanon’s people face a terrible mix of long-term economic ruin, a pandemic and now a devastating explosion. All presided over by a ‘government’ unworthy of the name, says Robert Fisk” (includes videos)
    “…How on earth could 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate be stored in a flimsy building for so many years after being removed from a Moldovan ship on its way to Mozambique in 2014 with no safety measures taken by those who decided to leave this vile material in the very centre of their own capital city?”

    “US defense officials contradict Trump: No indication yet of attack in Beirut”

  123. Raison d'être says:

    “A motorcycle rally that brings tens of thousands of tourists to a small South Dakota city is about to begin”
    “The celebration — which usually draws about 500,000 people — will take place as the coronavirus pandemic remains out of control in cities across the country and health experts warn against large gatherings that help fuel the spread.
    …Some 60% of Sturgis residents, when surveyed, told the city they’d rather the event not proceed as scheduled this year.”

  124. Zeitgeist says:

    “Republican operatives, some with ties to President Donald Trump, are actively helping Kanye West get on presidential general election ballots in states ranging from Vermont to Arkansas to Wisconsin.
    The effort is raising questions about whether Republicans are pushing for the rapper’s addition to the ballot as a way to potentially siphon voters from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
    Until Tuesday, West’s attempts to get his name on the ballot have only focused on states that are either dominated by Republicans or Democrats in presidential elections. But West’s expected addition to the ballot in Wisconsin means the rapper will likely be a choice for voters in a battleground state that is key to both Trump and Biden’s path to winning in November.
    “I like Kanye very much,” Trump said at the White House on Wednesday evening. “I have nothing to do with him being on the ballot. I’m not involved.” n’s path to winning in November.
    “I like Kanye very much,” Trump said at the White House on Wednesday evening. “I have nothing to do with him being on the ballot. I’m not involved.”

    Rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, October 11, 2018

    • Stalking horse says:

      (Fox News) “Kanye West indicates he is running for president to siphon votes from Joe Biden : West has filed paperwork to appear on the ballot in eight states, which wouldn’t add up to the electoral threshold alone”
      At least four GOP-linked campaign operatives have made efforts to help get West onto the ballots in multiple states, including in potential battlegrounds like Wisconsin and Ohio, the New York Times reported Monday.
      The latest Republican operative to join up with West is Lane Ruhland, one of a handful of GOP election lawyers in Wisconsin — and a former legal counsel for the state Republican Party.
      She’s also directly worked for President Trump. Ruhland recently represented the Trump campaign in its lawsuit to force Priorities USA, a Democratic super-PAC, to pull an anti-Trump ad off the airwaves. She was in court representing the Trump campaign just last week.
      Ruhland currently works at Husch Blackwell, a national law firm. Before that, she served in a number of fairly senior roles in Wisconsin GOP circles. Ruhland most recently was director of environmental and energy policy at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, a GOP-leaning business group that often helps fund Republican candidates. Before that she was a deputy chief of staff for then-Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel (R), and from 2014-2015 was the Wisconsin Republican Party’s legal counsel.

    • Curiouser and curiouser says:

      “Here’s How Republicans Are Boosting Kanye West’s Presidential Campaign”
      ye @kanyewest [Kanye West] 9:38 PM · Aug 11, 2020: “I’m willing to do a live interview with the New York Time about my meeting with Jared where we discussed Dr Claude Anderson’s book Powernomics”
      “Entertainer and Trump supporter Kanye West recently met with White House adviser and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, a source familiar with the meeting said on Wednesday as the entertainer pursues his efforts to appear on the presidential ballot this November.”

    • Sideshow says:

      “On Wednesday, Mr. West renewed questions about his behavior after tweeting a video in which someone appeared to urinate on a Grammy statuette; referring to himself as “baby Putin”; and, in a tweet that was removed by Twitter, posting the phone number of a top magazine editor whom he called a “white supremacist.” [West campaign’s recent filing to the Federal Election Commission showed that Mr. West had lent the campaign nearly $7 million].

  125. Coal miner's canary says:

    “Study finds high levels of toxic pollutants in stranded dolphins and whales : Researchers examine 83 stranded dolphins and whales in North Carolina and Florida” (Florida Atlantic University)
    This is the first study to date to publish a report examining concentrations in blubber tissues of stranded cetaceans of atrazine, an herbicide, DEP, (a phthalate ester found in plastics), NPE or nonylphenol ethoxylate commonly used in food packing, and triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent present in some consumer products, including toothpaste, soaps, detergents and toys.

    “Anthropogenic Contaminants and Histopathological Findings in Stranded Cetaceans in the Southeastern United States, 2012–2018” journal Frontiers in Marine Science, 05 August 2020

  126. Cassandra says:

    “The main question,” Bill McKibben writes in his sobering review of Mark Lynas’s Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency, “is whether we’ll be able to hold the rise in temperature to a point where we can, at great expense and suffering, deal with crises coherently, or whether they will overwhelm the coping abilities of our civilization. The latter is a distinct possibility.” (The New York Review of Books, August 20, 2020 issue”)
    “If we stay on the current business-as-usual trajectory, we could see two degrees as soon as the early 2030s, three degrees around mid-century, and four degrees by 2075 or so. If we’re unlucky with positive feedbacks…from thawing permafrost in the Arctic or collapsing tropical rainforests, then we could be in for five or even six degrees by century’s end.” Mark Lynas

  127. Dateline: Cloud-Cuckooland says:

    (Fox news) “Trump shoots down reporter claim NJ club members violating coronavirus guidelines: ‘It’s a peaceful protest’ : ‘I call it peaceful protest because they heard you were coming up and they know the news is fake.'”
    “President Donald Trump turned a hastily scheduled Friday night “news conference” at his New Jersey golf club into a surreal kind of campaign rally — uttering the usual boasts and false claims, except with polo-clad club members standing at the back of the room.
    Trump also introduced a new, wildly inaccurate claim: an allegation that Democrats are cheating in the election via their negotiations with Republicans over a new coronavirus relief bill. (CNN fact check)

  128. And for his next trick... says:

    “A big fan of payroll tax cuts, Trump signed an executive action Saturday deferring the employee portion of payroll taxes — 6.2% for Social Security and 1.45% for Medicare — for workers making less than $100,000 a year through the rest of 2020.
    If he’s reelected, Trump said, he plans to forgive the taxes and make permanent cuts to the payroll taxes.
    “I’m going to make them all permanent,” he said.
    Otherwise, presumably, workers would have to pay the taxes at the end of the year.”

    Meanwhile: “Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail : Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party have taken to the courts dozens to challenge voting rules. Trump’s aides are pondering possible executive actions.”

  129. Curiouser and curiouser says:

    “Yes, Trump Actually Did Want to Be Added to Mount Rushmore”
    See also NYT “How Kristi Noem, Mt. Rushmore and Trump Fueled Speculation About Pence’s Job”
    Petition: “Put Donald Trump’s face on Mount Rushmore”

  130. Smilin' Jack says:

    Night Stalker MH-47 Emerges With Mystery Modifications During Training In Colorado : The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment has been flying out of Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport for weeks, but the new gear is a surprise.
    The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne)

  131. Let us all enthustically applaud our beloved Leader says:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (George Santayana, 1905)

  132. Movie Buff says:

    “On Friday, a federal judge agreed to the Department of Justice’s petition to vacate the Paramount Consent Decrees, a landmark 1948 ruling that forbade vertical integration in the film sector and ended the Hollywood studio system. In isolation, the decision could raise some concerns. In a world where theaters are decimated thanks to a pandemic and consolidation among media firms is already rampant, the future for independent theaters looks grim.”
    Hollywood studio system

  133. Cassandra says:

    “What Europe’s cities are doing to handle heatwaves” (BBC news)
    “Ever hotter heatwaves are not recognised by weather models: KNMI” ( “‘Heatwaves have been getting more extreme over the last three years. But I had not expected one as extreme as this and it is worrying we did not see it coming” Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) climate researcher Jan van Oldenburgh. “The impact of heatwaves should not be underestimated, heatwaves are killers. In 2003 tens of thousands died in Europe because of extreme heat”, he warned.
    “What has caused Europe’s heatwave?” (CGTN)–SLw1mnNUkw/index.html

  134. TGIF says:

    “President Donald Trump on Thursday again attacked his own FBI director, whom he appointed, and pushed Attorney General William Barr to pressure the Justice Department’s investigation of the Russia probe.”
    “An FBI lawyer who worked on the surveillance warrant of former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page plans to plead guilty Friday to making a false statement in an email as part of an investigation into the Russia investigation.
    Kevin Clinesmith plans to admit to one charge of altering an email to another official in 2017 that said Page wasn’t a previous government source, when he had been one.
    Clinesmith had also been critical of President Donald Trump when he worked for the FBI.
    Friday’s charge represents the first public production from the highly-anticipated Durham investigation and will likely provide political fodder for Trump amid a storm of negative headlines regarding his management of the coronavirus pandemic.”
    “CDC predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths by Labor Day”

  135. So it goes... says:

    “Bald eagle attacks government drone and sends it to bottom of Lake Michigan”
    “The attack could have been a territorial squabble with the electronic foe, or just a hungry eagle,” the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy in a statement.,9349,7-385-90161-535800–,00.html
    “Bald Eagle Attacks Trump During Photoshoot”

  136. Fortean says:

    “What makes ships mysteriously slow down or even stop as they travel, even though their engines are working properly? This was first observed in 1893 and was described experimentally in 1904 without all the secrets of this “dead water” being understood. An interdisciplinary team from the CNRS and the University of Poitiers has explained this phenomenon for the first time: the speed changes in ships trapped in dead water are due to waves that act like an undulating conveyor belt on which the boats move back and forth. This work was published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).”
    “The dual nature of the dead-water phenomenology: Nansen versus Ekman wave-making drags” 8 July 2020, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1922584117

  137. Busy, busy, busy... says:

    “Millions being made from cardboard theft” (BBC News)
    “…The annual value of the legitimate trade in recycled cardboard and other papers is expected to climb to $5.4bn (£4.1bn) by 2024, up from $4.3bn in 2017. This increase is not surprising when you consider the continuing rise in online shopping, and the fact that most consumer goods are delivered to you in cardboard boxes that are made from recycled fibre (said to be 93% recycled for boxes in Europe).
    Over the past decade used cardboard has mostly been sent to China, to be pulped and turned into the new boxes its vast export sector requires. This has made some Chinese people very rich, such as billionaire Zhang Yin, the “queen of trash”, whose firm specialises in importing used cardboard from the US.”

    “China’s ‘Queen of Trash’ finds riches in waste paper – Business – International Herald Tribune” (2007)
    Zhang Yin

    Thailand, March 2014) (Alamy stock photo)

  138. Curiouser and curiouser says:

    “Dozens of former GOP national security officials to back Biden, call Trump ‘dangerously unfit’” (FOX News)
    “More than 70 former national security officials who served under Republican administrations have endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, joining a wave of GOP voices throwing their support behind the former vice president.
    The officials have served under President Trump and former Republican Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.”
    Former Trump administration official Miles Taylor speaks out on breaking with Pres. Trump and endorsing Joe Biden. The president called Taylor a “disgruntled employee” and said he did not know and had never heard of him.
    In a statement to The Hill, a White House official said that “the president takes thousands of photos with individuals he does not know so [Trump’s] tweet should not be that surprising.”
    The president regularly claims he does not know individuals in his administration who are critical of him, including multiple witnesses who testified during his impeachment trial.

    Former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor with the current occupant of the White House

  139. Money to burn says:

    “Trump campaign, RNC have spent more than $1 billion since beginning of 2017, filings show”
    (July 28, 2020) “President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign violated the law by masking millions in spending, a nonprofit democracy group alleged in a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.
    The Campaign Legal Center said in the 81-page filing that the president’s reelection campaign and campaign committee hid $170 million in spending to major vendors as well as family members and associates by diverting the money through firms headed by Brad Parscale, who was replaced as campaign manager earlier this month, as well as other senior campaign officials.
    The nonprofit alleged that the campaign effectively laundered money in order to hide payments to contractors and advisors, including the maker of a campaign app, as well as Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host who is dating the president’s son Donald Trump Jr.”
    “How Donald Trump Moved Millions From His Campaign Donors To His Private Business” (7/21/20)
    “2nd Circuit appeals court declines – for now – to block ruling requiring disclosure of Trump’s tax returns” (8/20/20)
    “Steve Bannon indictment highlights loopholes in political spending transparency” (8/20/20)

  140. Daniel 5:5 says:

    Iran sanctions: nearly all UN security council unites against ‘unpleasant’ US : Letters from 13 of 15 members underscore US isolation as it seeks to ‘snap back’ measures against Tehran

    “The Trump administration was left isolated on the world stage as foreign allies and competitors alike rejected its demand to restore UN sanctions on Iran Thursday.
    Despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the US has “every capacity” under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which enshrined the international agreement, to trigger so-called snapback sanctions, because the US was initially a party to the deal.”

    • Déjà vu says:

      “Nixon’s Enemies List” is the informal name of what started as a list of President of the United States Richard Nixon’s major political opponents compiled by Charles Colson, written by George T. Bell (assistant to Colson, special counsel to the White House), and sent in memorandum form to John Dean on September 9, 1971. The list was part of a campaign officially known as “Opponents List” and “Political Enemies Project”.
      The official purpose, as described by the White House Counsel’s Office, was to “screw” Nixon’s political enemies, by means of tax audits from the Internal Revenue Service, and by manipulating “grant availability, federal contracts, litigation, prosecution, etc.” In a memorandum from John Dean to Lawrence Higby, assistant to White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman (August 16, 1971)”

      “Stalin’s shooting lists (Russian: Ста́линские расстре́льные спи́ски) were the lists of extrajudicially accused persons submitted to the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, after the endorsement by Joseph Stalin and other members of the Politburo, for issuing a verdict, typically execution by shooting, either by an individual or a firing squad.”

  141. From the horse's mouth says:

    “Trump dismisses secret audio of sister calling him ‘cruel’: ‘Who cares?’
    “All he wants to do is appeal to his base. He has no principles,” Maryanne Trump Barry allegedly said” (Fox News)
    “Trump’s sister bitterly criticizes him in conversations secretly recorded by her niece Mary Trump” (CNN)

    “In secretly recorded audio, President Trump’s sister says he has ‘no principles’ and ‘you can’t trust him’”(Washington Post)
    …“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” [Maryanne Trump] Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary L. Trump. “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”
    Barry, 83, was aghast at how her 74-year-old brother operated as president. “His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”
    In response to a question from The Washington Post about how she knew the president paid someone to take the SATs, Mary Trump revealed that she had surreptitiously taped 15 hours of face-to-face conversations with Barry in 2018 and 2019. She provided The Post with previously unreleased transcripts and audio excerpts, which include exchanges that are not in her book.”
    (The article includes an audio excerpt of one of the conversations)

  142. Cassandra says:

    “America’s Public Plant Breeding Programs Are In Trouble” (Modern Farmer 8/19/20)
    Declining US plant breeding programs impacts food security (American Society of Agronomy 8/20/20)
    “Plant breeding capacity in U.S. public institutions” (Crop Science, May 24, 2020)

  143. ...and for my next trick says:

    (Sunday Aug 23): The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the use of convalescent plasma to treat Covid-19 on Sunday, saying the “known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.”
    “Today I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives,” President Trump said at a White House briefing. “Today’s action will dramatically increase access to this treatment.”
    The announcement came just days after the FDA reportedly pulled back from issuing the same authorization over concerns from Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top government health officials about the effectiveness of the treatment. [ ]
    The announcement came just a day after Trump blasted the FDA, which is led by one of his own appointees. The president accused the agency of deliberately hindering research on vaccines and therapeutic treatments to sabotage his re-election chances.
    “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics,” Trump tweeted. “Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answers until after November 3rd.”
    Trump praised the FDA’s decision on plasma at his press conference Sunday.
    “This has nothing to do with politics,” the president claimed.

    The Republican National Convention starts tomorrow

    As of yesterday the coronavirus had infected more than 5.6 million people in the U.S., roughly a quarter of the globe’s reported cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data. On Friday, the U.S. recorded at least 1,100 deaths, bringing the nation’s death toll above 175,000.

    • p/s says:

      “The Trump administration is considering fast tracking an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed in the U.K. for use in the United States ahead of the nation’s upcoming presidential election, according to a Financial Times report, which cited three people briefed on the plan.” [ ]
      “One option, according to the FT report, would involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration awarding “emergency use authorization” for the vaccine, which was developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
      AstraZeneca told the FT that it hasn’t discussed an emergency use authorization for its potential vaccine with the U.S. government. A spokesperson for Health and Human Services, which includes the FDA, told FT that any claim of an emergency authorization for a vaccine before the election is “absolutely false.”
      The availability of a vaccine before the U.S. presidential election could allow Trump to justify his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has faced widespread criticism.”

      • Winter is coming says:

        “FDA’s promotion of post-COVID plasma treatment was as bad as it appeared : FDA was selective with its numbers, and it used the wrong risk measure.”

        BioCentury (August 24, 2020): “Angered by NIH’s Collins, Trump misfires and hits FDA Commissioner Hahn”
        “President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on FDA were prompted by Trump’s anger at NIH Director Francis Collins for delaying authorization of COVID-19 convalescent plasma, individuals who have been in close touch with the White House told BioCentury. Trump’s misunderstandings about the roles of FDA and NIH, and concerns about the pace of clinical trial enrollment for COVID-19 mAb candidates, caused the president to lash out at FDA and its Commissioner, Stephen Hahn, rather than Collins.
        FDA was poised to issue an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) last week for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. It put the plans on hold after Collins objected, citing a lack of data from randomized, controlled trials. NIH has no formal role in FDA’s regulatory decisions and the agency has in the past disregarded his concerns.
        The delay infuriated Trump, who attributed the delay to foot-dragging at FDA, sources told BioCentury.”

        • Update says:

          “FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has ousted his top spokesperson after only two weeks on the job, following unhappiness with the agency’s communications strategy. The move sets up a potential fight with the White House, according to four individuals with knowledge of the decision.” Hahn officially removed Miller, a fellow Trump appointee, from her post on Friday morning, ending a tenure that was marked by infighting and a damaging controversy this week over the FDA’s emergency authorization of convalescent plasma as a Covid-19 treatment.
          The FDA had faced growing criticism over its hiring of Miller, a former reporter for far-right One America News who has no science or medical background, has worked in Republican politics and is known for her extensive writings on gun rights advocacy. The agency’s top communications role is traditionally filled by a career civil servant, and the job opening was initially listed as a role for career civil servants in April before being taken down.
          Miller’s ouster came one day after HHS officials canceled the contract of Wayne Pines, a consultant to Hahn who had advised him to walk back his inaccurate claims about convalescent plasma, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Hahn’s late-night mea culpa angered health department officials, and after discovering Pines had aided that decision, they began the process of severing his contract, the person said.”

          (Fox News Feb, 2015) “FOX 5’s Emily Miller gets DC gun carry permit approved”
          (Washington Post Feb 2015) “Gun rights-advocating local Fox reporter has told different versions of ‘home invasion’”

          • Theodoric of York says:

            “President Trump has instigated an all-out crusade against the Food and Drug Administration at a critical point in the federal government’s fight against Covid-19.
            Three senior FDA officials and several outside experts told STAT that Trump’s attacks threaten to permanently damage the agency’s credibility — especially when combined with a disastrous series of public misstatements on Sunday from Stephen Hahn, the cancer doctor who became FDA commissioner in December.
            Beyond long-term concerns, these officials expressed a more immediate fear: that political incentives could interfere with approval decisions surrounding a Covid-19 vaccine, which Trump has repeatedly suggested could come before the Nov. 3 election. A premature approval, experts said, could further weaken Americans’ confidence in vaccine safety, especially if it appears rushed or politically motivated.”
            “…Emily Miller’s previous work included directing communications for Senator Ted Cruz’s re-election campaign and reporting for One America News, a right-wing cable channel that often dabbles in conspiracy theories and prominently supports Trump. As Stat news points out, Miller also worked as columnist for the Washington Times, where she published pieces with titles such as: “New Obamacare ads make young women look like sluts.” In 2013, she published a book on gun rights titled, ‘Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants to Take Yours.”
            Along with Miller’s ouster, the Department of Health and Human Services also terminated a contract with a public relations consultant who advised Hahn to apologize for his misstatements, according to the New York Times. The HHS told the Times that the termination decision was not related to Hahn’s statements or apology.”

  144. Tom Osceola says:

    “Hurricane warnings issued as Gulf Coast prepares for back-to-back strikes from Marco and Laura : Louisiana could see an unprecedented two hurricane landfalls in three days: Marco striking Monday and the more formidable Laura late Wednesday
    The dual hurricane threats could tax residents and emergency responders alike, who may already be scrambling to deal with the fallout from Marco as Laura plows ashore, probably at even greater intensity, all in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The National Hurricane Center warned of a “prolonged period of hazardous weather” for areas affected by both storms.”

    A simulation from the American model of Marco (first) and Laura (second) as they move through the Gulf of Mexico. This is just one model, and actual landfall locations and storm track are likely to vary. (August 24~28)

    • Cassandra says:

      “Although scientists are uncertain whether climate change will lead to an increase in the number of hurricanes, there is more confidence that warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea levels are expected to intensify their intensity and impacts. Stronger hurricanes will be far more costly in terms of damages and deaths without action to make coastal (and inland) areas more resilient.” (C2ES – the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
      NOAA Sea Surface Temperature Composite, August 22, 2020:

    • Update says:

      Hurricane Laura is forecast to rapidly power up into a “catastrophic” Category 4 hurricane, even stronger than previously expected, as it churns toward Texas and Louisiana gathering wind and water that swirls over much of the Gulf of Mexico.
      Satellite images show that Laura, currently a Category 3 storm, has become “a formidable hurricane” in recent hours with maximum sustained winds near 110 mph.
      It has undergone a remarkable intensification, “and there are no signs it will stop soon,” the National Hurricane Center said in a briefing early Wednesday.

      • Cassandra says:

        “Hurricane Laura’s storm surge could create a ‘wall of water over two stories high,’ devastating Texas, Louisiana” (CNBC Aug 26 20204:44 PM EDT)
        “The topography of south Louisiana is especially vulnerable to a strong storm surge because much of the land between the coast and the city of Lake Charles is marshland and rivers that run into the Gulf of Mexico.
        “To think that there would be a wall of water over two stories high coming on shore is very difficult for most to conceive, but that is what is going to happen,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Schott at a news conference.
        …Climate change has resulted in hotter atmospheric and ocean temperatures as well as sea level rise, which combined have driven more intense and rapidly developing hurricanes with more dangerous surges.
        This year’s hurricane season is on track to become one of the worst in recorded history as sea surface temperatures continue to rise in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, according to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.
        Genesis 7:21:

  145. Oink says:

    “Despite worldwide oil glut, Trump releases plan to open Arctic to drilling” (8/19/20) The US interior department will auction leases before the end of the year, secretary David Bernhardt told the Wall Street Journal. That could make it harder for Democrats to reverse the decision if Joe Biden wins the election in November.
    “2 lawsuits challenge Trump’s drilling plan in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge” (Anchorage Daily News 8/25/20)

  146. Fortean says:

    Scientists didn’t detect a parallel universe in Antarctica. But they are learning more about mysterious, ghostly neutrinos
    “Why some physicists really think there’s a ‘mirror universe’ hiding in space-time”
    “A series of viral articles claimed that NASA had discovered particles from another parallel universe in which time runs backward. These claims were incorrect. The true story is far more exciting and strange, involving a journey into the Big Bang and out the other side.
    The sensational headlines had muddled the findings of an obscure 2018 paper, never published in a peer-reviewed journal, which argued that our universe might have a mirror reflection across time, a partner universe that stretches beyond the Big Bang. If that’s the case, and a series of other extremely unlikely and outlandish hypotheses turn out to be true, the paper argued, then that in turn could explain a mysterious signal hinting that a completely new particle is flying out of the ice in Antarctica.”
    See also :”A huge cloud of invisible particles seems to be missing from the Milky Way : Scientists disagree about how to interpret a new paper with heavy implications for light dark matter.”

    • Schrödinger's cat says:

      “Impact of ionizing radiation on superconducting qubit coherence” (26 August 2020)
      “Technologies that rely on quantum bits (qubits) require long coherence times and high-fidelity operations. Superconducting qubits are one of the leading platforms for achieving these objectives. However, the coherence of superconducting qubits is affected by the breaking of Cooper pairs of electrons. The experimentally observed density of the broken Cooper pairs, referred to as quasiparticles, is orders of magnitude higher than the value predicted at equilibrium by the Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer theory of superconductivity. Previous work has shown that infrared photons considerably increase the quasiparticle density, yet even in the best-isolated systems, it remains much higher than expected, suggesting that another generation mechanism exists.” (see footnotes)
      Re: Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer theory of superconductivity see
      Flammarion Woodcut 1888 (colored):

  147. Yee-haw! says:

    “Thousands of oil and gas operations, government facilities and other sites won permission to stop monitoring for hazardous emissions or otherwise bypass rules intended to protect health and the environment because of the coronavirus outbreak, The Associated Press has found.”
    “The result: approval for less environmental monitoring at some Texas refineries and at an army depot dismantling warheads armed with nerve gas in Kentucky, manure piling up and the mass disposal of livestock carcasses at farms in Iowa and Minnesota, and other risks to communities as governments eased enforcement over smokestacks, medical waste shipments, sewage plants, oilfields and chemical plants.
    The Trump administration paved the way for the reduced monitoring on March 26 after being pressured by the oil and gas industry, which said lockdowns and social distancing during the pandemic made it difficult to comply with anti-pollution rules. States are responsible for much of the oversight of federal environmental laws, and many followed with leniency policies of their own.”
    See “Citing virus, EPA has stopped enforcing environmental laws” (March 24, 2020)

  148. Puzzling Evidence says:

    Earlier this year, astronomers announced a dazzling discovery. A fast radio burst called FRB 121102 wasn’t just repeating – it was repeating on a discernible cycle.
    For around 67 days, the source is silent. Then, for around 90 days, it wakes up again, spitting out repeated millisecond radio flares before falling silent, and the whole 157-day cycle repeats.
    The source has flared up again, right on cue – consistent with predictions of its activity cycle and because FRB 121102 repeats itself, astronomers have not only been able to accurately predict when it will be active again, but have even been able to identify its origins — in a dwarf galaxy three billion light-years away.
    Even more intriguing is that despite how quickly FRBs move, they’re extraordinarily powerful. Within milliseconds, they can unleash an amount of energy equal to hundreds of millions of Suns.
    A CBC News interview with an astronomer discussing the fast radio burst phenomenon:

  149. Fait Accompli says:

    “Wall Street Is Looting the American Retirement System. The Trump Administration Is Helping : The Trump administration is opening up retirement funds to private equity — at workers’ expense.”
    “Trump Looted $44 Billion From FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund in the Middle of a Record-Setting Hurricane Season” “…the $300 unemployment supplement isn’t coming from money appropriated by Congress. It’s coming from the government account meant to cover natural disasters like the one presently bearing down on Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.” (8/26/20)
    “Most States Failing To Maximize Eligibility For Extra $300 Weekly Unemployment Benefit”

  150. Update says:

    “As Scores Of U.S. Universities See Coronavirus Outbreaks, Nation Tops 6 Million Cases : There have been at least 183,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 nationwide.”
    “Trump’s Latest Excuse: COVID-19 Only Counts When It Kills The Perfectly Healthy.
    After Trump retweeted a QAnon falsehood about the CDC, COVID-19 and preexisting conditions, it became the party line.”
    “False claim shared by President Trump that only 6% of CDC-reported deaths are from COVID-19 is based on flawed reasoning”
    “Yet more data support COVID-19 aerosol transmission”
    “Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have conducted a study suggesting that infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can directly infect heart tissue and contribute to whole-organ cardiac dysfunction.”

  151. Special K says:

    “Two strangers, with the same first name, and a terrifying story about ketamine in policing” (CNN)
    Ketamine that’s injected during arrests draws new scrutiny (AP)
    “Minnesota Paramedic Speaks Out Against Police Use of Ketamine Injections : Joseph Baker has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that police pressured him to use the sedative during an arrest.” (The Intercept)
    Non-medical use of ketamine (Wikipedia)

  152. Implausible Deniability says:

    “White House claims Trump hasn’t seen video of supporters firing paintballs at protesters despite retweeting it : President has defended his supporters as “GREAT PATRIOTS!” even after retweeting a video of some of them firing projectiles at people in Portland”
    “Trump suggests some ‘very stupid rich people’ are bankrolling protesters in DC, around country”
    “Fox News host Laura Ingraham appeared to cut off President Donald Trump during an interview in which he compared police officers accused of brutality with missing a golf putt.”

    • Reality ✓ says:

      “On Monday, Trump told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham a wild story he’d heard about a supposed plane full of “thugs” who had traveled together on a commercial flight to an unnamed American city to stage protests during the Republican National Convention. These same thugs, in Trump’s telling, are secretly pulling Biden’s strings from the “dark shadows.”
      These are “people that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows,” Trump said. “They’re people that are on the streets. They’re people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that.”
      The president wouldn’t offer any more specifics because he said the whole incident is under investigation — another claim for which there’s no public evidence — but added “a lot of people were on the plane to do big damage.” (article includes link to a transcript of the Fox news program and a video excerpt)
      “It’s an eminently familiar approach and strategy,” said John Carey, an expert on why authoritarian regimes promote conspiracy theories at Dartmouth College. “We’re seeing a politician who’s quick to deploy some of those same rhetorical tools.” See

  153. Kratocracy says:

    “The US has imposed sanctions on senior officials in the International Criminal Court (ICC), including chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.” (BBC News) (includes video)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the court of “illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction”.
    The Hague-based ICC is currently investigating whether US forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
    Created by a UN treaty in 2002, the ICC investigates and brings to justice those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, intervening when national authorities cannot or will not prosecute.”
    President Donald Trump issued an executive order in June, which allows the US to block the assets of ICC employees and stop them entering the country. The US state department has also restricted the issuance of visas for ICC staff involved in “efforts to investigate US personnel”
    A 2016 report from the ICC said there was a reasonable basis to believe the US military had committed torture at secret detention sites operated by the CIA.
    The actions of the Taliban, the Afghan government and US troops since May 2003 are expected to be examined by the court.”

  154. Aces & 8s says:

    “Since the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally ended Aug. 16, 263 cases have been linked to the 10-day event by state health officials in South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Washington, New Hampshire, according to Forum News Service and other media reports.”
    “The first known Covid-19 death linked to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in Minnesota”
    “How ‘Superspreading’ Events Drive Most COVID-19 Spread : As few as 10 percent of infected people may drive a whopping 80 percent of cases in specific types of situations”

  155. Wake-up call says:

    “Chris Stapleton says Black lives ‘absolutely’ matter, feels America he was living in is a ‘myth’ : The singer said he’s trying to ‘listen’ in the wake of George Floyd’s death” (FOX News)
    Chris Stapleton (Wikipedia)
    Stapleton’s latest album “Starting over” will be released November 13, 2020
    “Trump cranks up attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice”

  156. ...and so it begins says:

    “Airline Pilots Landing At LAX Report “A Guy In Jetpack” Flying Alongside Them” “The pilot estimated the jetpack was only about 300 yards out of his window.” Air traffic control audio clips here:

    “The future is there… looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.” (William Gibson, “Pattern Recognition” 2003)

    August, 1928

  157. Santayana says:

    September 4, 1949, truncheon-wielding police officers and stone-throwing rioters descended on cars belonging to the racially integrated audience of an outdoor performance by the singer and activist Paul Robeson.
    Peekskill riots
    See also

    “Peekskill Outrage – Sidney Poitier, Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson”

  158. Labor day says:

    “A Transit Worker’s Survival Story” (The New Yorker, August 31, 2020 Issue)

    “…On March 26th, Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, which represents the [New York] city’s subway and bus workers, announced its first two deaths from COVID-19
    During the next ten weeks, the pandemic would act like a slow-moving Triangle Shirtwaist fire, rippling through the ranks of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and killing more than a hundred of its employees. This spring, the M.T.A., which runs the city’s buses and subways, endured a significantly higher death toll from COVID-19 than other government agencies in New York City, including the police and fire departments.”

    See also 1941 NYC Bus Boycott

  159. Footnote says:

    “The 42.5-acre Aisne-Marne Cemetery and Memorial in France, its headstones lying in a sweeping curve, sits at the foot of the hill where stands Belleau Wood. The cemetery contains the graves of 2,289 war dead, most of whom fought in the vicinity and in the Marne valley in the summer of 1918. The memorial chapel sits on a hillside, decorated with sculptured and stained-glass details of wartime personnel, equipment and insignia. Inscribed on its interior wall are 1,060 names of the missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. During World War II, the chapel was damaged slightly by an enemy shell.
    Belleau Wood adjoins the cemetery and contains many vestiges of World War I. A monument at the flagpole commemorates the valor of the U.S. Marines who captured much of this ground in 1918.”
    “President Donald Trump accused of calling American soldiers killed in combat ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’”
    Harry S Truman’s actions during the 1918 Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

  160. Update says:

    President Trump on Friday asserted that a coronavirus vaccine would probably be available for distribution next month, contradicting his administration’s chief scientific adviser responsible for accelerating vaccine production. The discussion comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told all states and U.S. territories to be ready to provide a vaccine to health-care workers and other high-priority groups as early as Nov. 1, which prompted concern that the Food and Drug Administration was rushing to approve a vaccine before Election Day, Nov. 3, for political reasons.
    Leader of U.S. vaccine push says he‘ll quit if politics trumps science
    U.S. deaths from the coronavirus will reach 410,000 by the end of the year, more than double the current death toll, and deaths could soar to 3,000 per day in December, the University of Washington’s health institute forecast on Friday.
    “The worst is yet to come. I don’t think perhaps that’s a surprise, although I think there’s a natural tendency as we’re a little bit in the Northern hemisphere summer, to think maybe the epidemic is going away,” Dr. Christopher Murray, director of IHME, told reporters on a conference call Friday.
    IHME COVID-19 Projections (Sept 3, 2020)

    • Perspective says:

      “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” [originally a radio comedy broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 1978]

      • eideard says:

        Americans in general have no clue of the perspective of a great deal of the rest of the Western World. Adams wouldn’t have gotten his show on American TV…maybe PBS. But, radio in the UK was bigger than PBS was in the US…at the time.

        Watching one of my latest fave British mysteries the other night, the female lead was asked [as an aside relating to another figure in the tale] if she ever wore a crucifix? Reply? “I never saw the inside of a church in my life; but, I wore one when I was sixteen…because Axl Rose did.”

  161. Let us all enthustically applaud our leader's munificent generosity says:

    Millions of Americans who are struggling to put food on the table may discover a new item in government-funded relief packages of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat: a letter signed by President Donald Trump.
    The message, printed on White House letterhead in both English and Spanish, touts the administration’s response to the coronavirus, including aid provided through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative to buy fresh food and ship it to needy families.

  162. Labor day says:

    “The Lawrence Textile Strike, also known as the Bread and Roses Strike, was a strike of immigrant workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912 led by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
    “Following the arrest of the IWW leaders, martial law was declared in Lawrence as violent clashes between strikers and police continued. In one such clash, a fifteen-year old boy died on the bayonet of a militiaman. In an effort to spare the children from further violence and economic hardship, the strike relief committee devised a program whereby the children of the strikers would be sent to sympathetic families in other cities. Frightened by the publicity this program began receiving and cognizant of the growing sympathy for the striking families, Lawrence authorities attempted to put a stop to the relief efforts.
    On February 24, police surrounded the railroad station where a group of 150 children were preparing to depart. As the children, accompanied by their parents, made their way to the train, a mob of club-wielding policemen attacked. The beating and trampling of innocent women and children made headlines across the country and focused national attention on the Lawrence strike. Indeed, the public outcry was so great that the textile corporations eventually caved in and the strikers won their demands.”

    ‘Law and Order in Lawrence’ by Art Young, Industrial Worker, March 21, 1912.

  163. Business as usual says:

    President Donald Trump’s difficult week with the military got a little worse on Monday, when the commander in chief accused the Pentagon leadership of pushing for conflicts in order to keep defense contractors profitable.
    The president later shared tweets comparing himself to former President Dwight Eisenhower, who warned Americans about the rising power of the military-industrial complex in a 1961 speech marking the end of his time in office.
    Trump has long framed himself as a staunch ally of the military and claimed enduring support among service members for his administration. The president has pushed to expand America’s gargantuan military budget and repeatedly bragged about the strength of the U.S. armed forces. (Newsweek)
    “US President Donald Trump is expected to invite Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to the White House following the signing of the Israel-UAE peace agreement and ahead of the US presidential elections in November.
    Trump wants to present another international diplomacy achievement to assist his election campaign and at the same time clinch $100 billion more in arms deals for the US defense industries in key election states like North Carolina, Florida, Virginia and Nevada.” (Globe)
    Also: “The Trump White House is quietly planning sales of F-35 stealth fighters and advanced drones to the Emiratis as part of a wider plan to realign the Middle East, but Israel and Congress may object.” (NYT) “Since 2017, lawmakers have put holds on proposed arms packages to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, citing the thousands of civilians killed by a Saudi-led coalition in the Yemen war. Many of the civilians died from precision-guided bombs made by Raytheon. In a widely criticized move in 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a declaration of an “emergency” over Iranian activities in the region to bypass Congress in pushing through $8.1 billion of weapons to the two nations.”

  164. G-Man says:

    Gerald Shur, Architect of Witness Protection Program, Dies at 86
    In 1961 Mr. Shur became an early recruit in the crusade by Robert F. Kennedy, then the attorney general, to break the grip of organized crime in the United States. Joining the Justice Department that year as a lawyer assigned to New York, he was tasked with investigating the mob.
    Largely at his instigation, the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 created the Witness Security Program (sometimes known as WITSEC) under the United States Marshals Service. One part of the program protected criminals in prison who were providing evidence against other criminals; these informants would, for instance, be isolated in secure cells away from inmates who might carry out a hit. The better-known part of the program fashioned new identities for vulnerable witnesses and those close to them, allowing them to start new lives.
    During Mr. Shur’s 34 years at the Justice Department, 6,416 witnesses and thousands of their dependents — “including wives, children and mistresses” — were given new identities and relocated, Pete Earley, who with Mr. Shur wrote the 2002 book “WITSEC: Inside the Federal Witness Protection Program,” said on his blog in a tribute to Mr. Shur.

  165. Dezinformatsiya says:

    “Is ‘Antifa’ Setting Wildfires in Oregon? Law enforcement pleaded with social media users to stop spreading such hoaxes.”

    “The Trump team welcomed Russian disinformation, the Trump administration further confirms” See also

    “How Hitler’s ‘fake news’ assault on America came perilously close to succeeding” In ‘Hitler’s American Friends,’ historian Bradley W. Hart reveals the extent to which US citizens aided, abetted, and otherwise supported Nazi Germany

  166. Stealing away... says:

    “The Trump administration has secretly siphoned nearly $4 million away from a program that tracks and treats FDNY firefighters and medics suffering from 9/11 related illnesses, the Daily News has learned.
    The Treasury Department mysteriously started withholding parts of payments — nearly four years ago — meant to cover medical services for firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics treated by the FDNY World Trade Center Health Program, documents obtained by The News reveal.
    The payments were authorized and made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which oversees the program. But instead of sending the funds to the city, the Treasury started keeping some of the money.”
    ‘It’s wrong’: Trump administration admits defunding FDNY’s 9/11 healthcare program Dr. David Prezant, the FDNY’s chief medical officer who oversees the 9/11 program, told The News earlier this week that he’s been asking the Treasury Department and the city for years about the quiet rerouting of cash and that no one has ever given him an answer. Documents Dr. Prezant provided to The News showed that the Treasury Department has docked about $3.7 million from the 9/11 fund since 2016.
    Steven Terner Mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th Secretary of the Treasury on February 13, 2017. As Secretary, Mr. Mnuchin is responsible for the U.S. Treasury.

  167. Meanwhile: says:

    “My Wild Time Living in a House Full of Wombats : Donna Stepan and her family rehabilitate orphaned wombats at their sanctuary in Australia. Here, she writes about her job—and very unique living situation.”
    “The Wombat Whisperer” The wombat is under threat of extinction from an agonizing disease. Donna Stepan is trying to save them.

  168. Cassandra says:

    “Animal populations worldwide have declined nearly 70% in just 50 years, new report says” (CBS News 9/10/20)
    “Nearly 21,000 monitored populations of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians, encompassing almost 4,400 species around the world, have declined an average of 68% between 1970 and 2016, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2020 [see link]. Species in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as global freshwater habitats, were disproportionately impacted, declining, on average, 94% and 84%, respectively.”

  169. CHRIZZART says:

    “The top spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services issued an extraordinary broadside on Sunday against career government scientists, accusing them of “sedition” in their response to coronavirus and claiming without evidence that a critical federal health agency has a “resistance unit” against President Donald Trump.
    Michael Caputo, a fierce defender of Trump who was appointed to the agency earlier this year by the President, made the accusations during a live video hosted on his personal Facebook page, which — along with his Twitter account — was deactivated at some point following the Sunday diatribe. Caputo confirmed the comments he made during the video, which were first reported by The New York Times, to CNN on Monday.”
    “Caputo attacked the news media and Democrats, predicting Trump will win but Joe Biden won’t concede, “and when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at the inauguration, the shooting will begin,” he warned. “The drills that you’ve seen are nothing. If you carry guns, buy ammunition, ladies and gentlemen.” He claimed his family is being verbally threatened, his “mental health has definitely failed,” and he doesn’t “like being alone in Washington,” describing “shadows on the ceiling in my apartment, there alone, shadows are so long.”
    HHS told the Times in a statement that Caputo “is a critical, integral part of the president’s coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.”
    However, according to the Washington Post, “He and an adviser have faced mounting criticism in recent days for interfering with the work of scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seeking to change, delay or kill weekly scientific reports they thought undermined Trump’s message that the pandemic is under control. Caputo has also sought to wield influence over when government scientists appear on television, telling officials that he approves such bookings.”

  170. 4therecord says:

    “Remarks by President Trump in a Briefing on Wildfires | McClellan Park, CA” White House Press release (September 14, 2020)
    MR. CROWFOOT [California Natural Resource Secretary Wade Crawfoot]: Yeah, well, from our perspective, there is amazing partnership on the ground, and there needs to be. As the governor said, we’ve had temperatures explode this summer. You may have learned that we broke a world record in the Death Valley: 130 degrees. But even in Greater LA: 120-plus degrees. And we’re seeing this warming trend make our summers warmer but also our winters warmer as well.
    So I think one area of mutual agreement and priority is vegetation management, but I think we want to work with you to really recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests, and actually work together with that science; that science is going to be key. Because if we — if we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together protecting Californians.
    THE PRESIDENT: Okay. It’ll start getting cooler.
    MR. CROWFOOT: I wish —
    THE PRESIDENT: You just watch.
    MR. CROWFOOT: I wish science agreed with you.
    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t think science knows, actually.

  171. Mike says:

    Brazil’s Soccer Federation Adopts ‘Equal Pay’ Policy
    The U.S. women’s soccer team was not as lucky as their Brazilian counterparts. Last year, after winning the World Cup, a federal judge dismissed their bid for equal pay, rejecting claims that players had been underpaid, marking a crushing defeat in light of the constant struggle for equal rights for women in sports.

  172. Footnote says:

    Army medic Cpl. Waverly Woodson Jr. is credited with saving many lives on D-Day when Allied troops landed on Omaha Beach, but a bipartisan group of lawmakers says he was not considered for the Medal of Honor because he was Black.
    They’re working with Woodson’s widow to change that. One million Black Americans served during World War II — one in every 16 American service members.

  173. Bilagáana says:

    “Wired for success”
    “The college experience has been reduced to the size of a computer monitor on many college campuses this fall. In an effort to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks, more than 1,000 colleges and universities are fully or heavily relying on virtual learning, including schools on the Navajo Nation – where internet access is notoriously scarce.
    How can online learning succeed in a place where students aren’t wired?”

  174. Ugly says:

    “West Virginia environmental regulators are proposing to reduce the fines that a coal company owned by the state’s governor could pay for water pollution violations that are the focus of a federal court case. The move comes after the company stopped paying penalties required as part of a settlement four years ago to clean up its mines across the Appalachian coalfields.”
    See also: “Companies Owned by This Billionaire Governor Received up to $24 Million in Bailout Loans : West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received between $11 million and $24 million from a federal coronavirus economic relief program. His luxury resort received up to $10 million, but did not promise to retain jobs because of the loan.”

  175. Cassandra says:

    New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States
    “According to new data from the Rhodium Group analyzed by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, warming temperatures and changing rainfall will drive agriculture and temperate climates northward, while sea level rise will consume coastlines and dangerous levels of humidity will swamp the Mississippi River valley.
    Taken with other recent research showing that the most habitable climate in North America will shift northward and the incidence of large fires will increase across the country, this suggests that the climate crisis will profoundly interrupt the way we live and farm in the United States. See how the North American places where humans have lived for thousands of years will shift and what changes are in store for your county.”

  176. Jimmy Click says:

    ‘They Will Remember Us’: The Miners of Black Harlan
    In April 2019, Radcliffe (Ruddy) Roye traveled to Lynch, Kentucky, to photograph black miners in a town that once boasted the largest coal camp in the world. He found a community of fewer than 700 people, without industry, left behind and largely forgotten in national conversations about coal country that presume a white face. Ruddy’s images and stories from this vibrant but fading community

    Bennie Massie

  177. Willie Sutton says:

    Thousands of documents detailing $2 trillion (£1.55tn) of potentially corrupt transactions that were washed through the US financial system have been leaked to an international group of investigative journalists.
    The leak focuses on more than 2,000 suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed with the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
    Banks and other financial institutions file SARs when they believe a client is using their services for potential criminal activity.
    However, the filing of an SAR does not require the bank to cease doing business with the client in question.
    The documents were provided to BuzzFeed News, which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
    The documents are said to suggest major banks provided financial services to high-risk individuals from around the world, in some cases even after they had been placed under sanctions by the US government.
    According to the ICIJ the documents relate to more than $2tn of transactions dating from between 1999 and 2017.
    One of those named in the SARs is Paul Manafort, a political strategist who led Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign for several months.
    BuzzFeed News: “FinCEN Files Show Criminals Moved Billions As Banks Watched”
    The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists: “Global banks defy U.S. crackdowns by serving oligarchs, criminals and terrorists : The FinCEN Files show trillions in tainted dollars flow freely through major banks, swamping a broken enforcement system.” See also

  178. HAR says: