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.

136 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.

    • 4moreyears says:

      “In cities across America on Sunday, people awoke to see shattered glass, charred vehicles, bruised bodies and graffiti-tagged buildings. Demonstrators gathered again in peaceful daytime protest of racial injustice. By evening, thousands had converged again in front of the White House, where people had rioted and set fires the night before.
      President Trump stayed safely ensconced inside and had nothing to say, besides tweeting fuel on the fire.
      Never in the 1,227 days of Trump’s presidency has the nation seemed to cry out for leadership as it did Sunday, yet Trump made no attempt to provide it.
      That was by design. Trump and some of his advisers calculated that he should not speak to the nation because he had nothing new to say and had no tangible policy or action to announce yet, according to a senior administration official. Evidently not feeling an urgent motivation Sunday to try to bring people together, he stayed silent.”–other-than-tweeting-fuel-on-the-fire/2020/05/31/4fc8761a-a354-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html

  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).

  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)

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