The Evening Blues - 6-1-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Pete Johnson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Kansas City boogie woogie piano player Pete Johnson. Enjoy!

Pete Johnson & Albert Ammons - Boogie Woogie Man

"It's funny that we can afford to outfit police like they were military troops, but we can't outfit doctors and nurses like doctors and nurses."

-- seen on the internets


News and Opinion


The George Floyd Killing in Minneapolis Exposes the Failures of Police Reform

As protests over the police killing of George Floyd engulfed Minneapolis for a third night on Thursday, and solidarity protests broke out in cities across the country, there was both a sense that the country had been through this before — too many times — and that the stakes had begun to shift. In the Twin Cities, where Floyd’s killing at the hands of officer Derek Chauvin was just the latest in a series of high-profile police killings in the last five years, those who took to the streets in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic were tired and exasperated. Years of misconduct and brutality by local police had brought many protests and much talk of reform. But Floyd’s death was an urgent reminder that here, as across the country, police reform had failed, and that the time had come for something different. ...

In Floyd’s neighborhood, the signs people carried recalled protests following earlier police killings while also raising new demands. They said “I can’t breathe” — George Floyd’s last words as Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than seven minutes, but also the last words of Eric Garner, who was killed six years ago by a New York police officer, igniting a movement against police violence of which Floyd’s death is just the latest chapter. After Garner’s death, as after the death of Michael Brown the same year in Ferguson, Missouri, and those of scores of other black men and women killed by police since then, protesters called for the officers to be held accountable. But there were new calls at Thursday’s protests — such as “Fund Community Not Police” — that tapped into a more recent and growing movement demanding not so much police reform and accountability as abolition, through the defunding of police departments.

“In the wake of George Floyd’s murder by MPD officer Derek Chauvin, and the Minneapolis Police Department’s escalated violence against the city’s grieving Black community, Minneapolis is in desperate need of visionary leadership,” the Minneapolis group Reclaim the Block wrote in a statement calling on the city council to defund the police department. “Now is the time to invest in a safe, liberated future for our city. We can’t afford to keep funding MPD’s attacks on Black lives.” ...

As evidence mounts of the failures of police reform, some departments and unions are beginning to embrace calls for individual accountability for “bad cops” who they continue to insist are not representatives of their institutions as a whole. But while protesters continue to call for individual officers to be arrested and prosecuted, there is a growing recognition that police misconduct will continue, no matter how many reforms politicians enact, as long as policing exists at the present scale.

The answer to police violence is not 'reform'. It's defunding.

Every time protests erupt after yet another innocent black person is killed by police, “reform” is meekly offered as the solution. ... Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer who kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes, has tried reform already. Five years ago, the Minneapolis police department was under intense pressure in the wake of both the national crisis of police killings of unarmed black men and its own local history of unnecessary police violence. In response, the department’s leaders undertook a series of reforms proposed by the Obama administration’s justice department and procedural reform advocates in academia. The Minneapolis police implemented trainings on implicit bias, mindfulness, de-escalation, and crisis intervention; diversified the department’s leadership; created tighter use-of-force standards; adopted body cameras; initiated a series of police-community dialogues; and enhanced early-warning systems to identify problem officers. ...

Following that, Minneapolis implemented a series of training programs designed to professionalize policing in the hopes that it would reduce abuses that might trigger more protests. Officers were trained in how to respond to mental health crisis calls, how to de-escalate confrontations with the public, how to be “mindful” in dangerous circumstances, and how to be more self-aware of their implicit racial bias. In 2018, the department even wrote a report, Focusing on Procedural Justice Internally and Externally, to highlight the broad range of procedural reforms they had implemented.

None of it worked.

That’s because “procedural justice” has nothing to say about the mission or function of policing. It assumes that the police are neutrally enforcing a set of laws that are automatically beneficial to everyone. Instead of questioning the validity of using police to wage an inherently racist war on drugs, advocates of “procedural justice” politely suggest that police get anti-bias training, which they will happily deliver for no small fee. What “procedural justice” leaves out of the conversation are questions of substantive justice. What is the actual impact of policing on those policed and what could we do differently? Over the last 40 years we have seen a massive expansion of the scope and intensity of policing. Every social problem in poor and non-white communities has been turned over to the police to manage. The schools don’t work; let’s create school policing. Mental health services are decimated; let’s send police. Overdoses are epidemic; let’s criminalize people who share drugs. Young people are caught in a cycle of violence and despair; let’s call them superpredators and put them in prison for life. ...

The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight. It is to dramatically shrink their function. We must demand that local politicians develop non-police solutions to the problems poor people face. We must invest in housing, employment and healthcare in ways that directly target the problems of public safety.

Cornel West Says 'Neo-Fascist Gangster' Trump and Neoliberal Democrats Expose America as 'Failed Social Experiment'

Harvard University philosophy professor Dr. Cornell West appeared on CNN Friday night amid nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and offered a searing indictment not just of white supremacy, the neo-fascism of President Donald Trump, and a criminal justice system that repeatedly brutalizes the poor and people of color—but also of a deep depravity that exists within the neoliberal capitalist system of the 21st Century in the United States that dominates both major political parties.

As protests raged in Minneapolis, outside Trump's White House, and U.S. cities nationwide—including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, and Oakland—West told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview, "I think we are witnessing America as a failed social experiment."

"What I mean by that," explained West, "is that the history of black people for over 200 and some years in America has been looking at America's failure. Its capitalist economy could not generate and deliver in such a way that people could live lives of decency. The nation-state, it's criminal justice system, it's legal system could not generate protection of rights and liberties. And now our culture, of course is so market-driven—everything for sale, everybody for sale—it can't deliver the kind of nourishment for soul, for meaning, for purpose."

"Moment of Reckoning": Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Cornel West & Bakari Sellers on Nationwide Uprising

Donald Trump under fire as violence flares across America

The chaos and crisis engulfing America came to the president’s doorstep on Saturday night, as protesters chanting “I can’t breathe” and “Fuck Donald Trump!” clashed with the Secret Service and police outside the White House. It was a visceral warning that after three years of relative peace and prosperity, Trump is in danger of being overwhelmed by cascading disasters: the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken more than 100,000 lives, an economic slump that has cost 40m jobs, and rising social unrest. ...

People gathered outside the White House on Friday night and returned on Saturday, facing a barricade formed by the Secret Service, parks and city police and their vehicles. The executive mansion resembled a fortress. Protesters knocked over steel barriers and threw fireworks and bottles. Officers used batons, riot shields and pepper spray. After hours of relative calm and a peaceful march through the city, the situation deteriorated around midnight, as demonstrators were driven back by tear gas.

Breaking into small groups, some set cars ablaze, smashed windows with bats and rocks and looted shops downtown. At the front of the Oval Room, a ritzy restaurant where guests have included former presidents George HW Bush and Bill Clinton, a protester sprayed red paint: “The rich aren’t safe anymore!”

From Atlanta to Chicago to Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, there were similar scenes as peaceful daytime protests were followed at night by fires and looting, police firing rubber bullets and tear gas. There was a demand for courageous moral leadership, to find a way out of the malaise by offering unifying grace notes. But Trump, who forged his political identity in racist conspiracy theories about Barack Obama’s birthplace, has proved unable to articulate the accumulated pain of black Americans over 400 years of slavery, segregation and police brutality, now exacerbated by a pandemic that has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of colour. Instead he has resorted to a series of tweets that critics found divisive, inflammatory and self-serving.

Bill de Blasio Needs to Resign. By Defending Police Violence, He Has Betrayed New Yorkers.

Bill de Blasio is a moral and political disgrace. In March, as the coronavirus spread through the nation’s biggest city, the mayor of New York City was proudly “telling people to not avoid restaurants, not avoid the normal things they would do” because “if you are not sick … you should be going about your life.” His advice may have contributed to the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers.

In April, he angrily singled out the “Jewish community” in a tweet, threatening a vulnerable minority with mass arrests for breaking social distancing rules — which he himself had violated just three days earlier.

Yet late on Saturday night, as mass protests against police brutality raged across New York City, the Democratic mayor crossed a new and grotesque line: He went on live television, on NY1, to defend and excuse police brutality against those protesters.

De Blasio should resign because his comments on Saturday night were brazen and disgusting lies. Two New York Police Department vehicles were filmed ramming into protesters behind a barricade. The mayor said the video was “upsetting” but claimed that it was “inappropriate for protesters to surround a police vehicle and threaten police officers,” adding that the officers had to “get out” of that “impossible” situation. The police were surrounded? They had no other options? The (viral) video evidence suggests otherwise.


It is clear that neither police car was surrounded; both drivers could have reversed but chose instead to plough their vehicles into the crowd of people in front of them. So who should we believe? De Blasio or our own lying eyes?

David Sirota has a new website up over at substack.com. He's doing some good work and is worth a look. Here's an excerpt from a piece that is worth a full read:

Immunity For The Powerful, “Law And Order” For Everyone Else

One of the crown jewels of the Constitution is the Fourteenth Amendment -- which promises that there will be “equal protection” for all people under our laws. And yet, we all know this is a farce. In America, we routinely offer legal immunity to the rich and powerful, while giving the iron fist to everyone else. It is an ugly dichotomy we don’t talk much about -- but it has been on display during this past week of protests roiling cities across the country.

Take the events that transpired In New York. There, the government deployed law enforcement to conduct mass arrests of protesters, and also to run them over and violently attack them in the name of “law and order.” At the same time, the government granted health care executives legal immunity for their profit-maximizing decisions that may have contributed to the deaths of thousands of people in nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic. ...

Not surprisingly, this dichotomy extends to the realm of criminal justice and civil liberties.

Our legal system now grants “qualified immunity” to police officers and public officials when they violate Americans’ constitutional rights.

As law enforcement brutality has been getting worse in recent years, Trump shut down the Justice Department’s initiative to scrutinize local police conduct -- and then he made it even easier for local police departments to obtain excess military weaponry. He did this at the very same time research has shown a link between police violence and the increased use of the Pentagon program that provides arms to local law enforcement agencies. 

Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers in at least six states have offered legislation in recent years to protect people who run over protesters -- a move that was all too common this weekend. Some of the measures had support from local police unions and associations.

For everyone else, it has been the opposite of immunity -- Republican politicians who so often pretend to be defenders of liberty are now offering dissenters new “tough on crime” bills to try to criminalize protest.

From 2015 to 2019, there were 116 bills introduced in state legislatures to restrict the right to protest, and 15 states passed those restrictions into law, according to a new report from PEN America, a journalism advocacy group. This is a new phenomenon -- before Trump took office, there were almost no such state initiatives.

The report notes that the laws reflect the selective use of “law and order” -- they deliver harsher punishment to protesters while limiting “the liability of public or private actors for harm caused to protesters” and creating “carve-outs for law enforcement action against protesters.”


Cops Kill Because We Gave Them The Legal Framework to Do It

The brutal Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd has sparked violent protests, looting, and arson attacks in Minneapolis and St. Paul. A police precinct building was torched and destroyed and the Minnesota National Guard has been called out to restore order. But the killing in Minnesota is the latest reminder that politicians and judges—through federal law and judicial interpretation—have turned police into a privileged class that is most often unaccountable, if not entitled to oppress other Americans.

Almost everyone agrees that Floyd’s death was a horrendous injustice. President Trump, who urged police officers in 2017 to not “be too nice” to suspects they arrested, condemned what the police did to Floyd as “a very bad thing.” Former Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau said that the video of Floyd’s killing was “the most horrific thing I’ve seen in my career and in my lifetime.” Washington, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham declared that the officers’ actions were “nothing short of murder.” Derick Chauvin, the police officer who killed Floyd was arrested today and charged with murder; he and three other police involved in Floyd’s death were fired earlier this week. ...

But how did government officials ever acquire a right to strangle people who fail to instantly submit to their commands? Such killings would likely not occur without the sense of impunity conferred on police in much of this nation. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a top contender for Vice President candidacy for Joe Biden, was the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County (including Minneapolis) from 1998 to 2006. Klobuchar, who was nicknamed “KloboCop” by detractors,  “declined to bring charges in more than two dozen cases in which people were killed in encounters with police” while she “aggressively prosecuted smaller offenses” by private citizens, the Washington Post noted. Her record was aptly summarized by a headline early this year from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press: “Klobuchar ramped up prosecutions, except in cases against police.” Minnesota cops also benefit from their state’s so-called “police officer’s bill of rights,” which impede investigations into killings by police and other misconduct. ...

The Supreme Court has effectively given police a license to shoot, pummel, or falsely arrest ill-fated citizens across the nation. In the wake of the Civil War, freed southern blacks were terrorized by lynch mobs and other attackers. Congress responded to Ku Klux Klan violence against freed southern blacks by enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to authorize lawsuits against any person acting “under color of” law who causes a “deprivation of any rights… secured by the Constitution and laws.” But in a series of decisions beginning in 1967, the Supreme Court gutted that law by permitting police and other government agents to claim they acted in “good faith” when violating citizens’ rights. In 1982, the Supreme Court granted government officials immunity unless they violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”

Regardless of centuries of court rulings that clearly demarcated citizens’ constitutional rights, the Supreme Court decided government officials deserved “qualified immunity” unless a prior court case had condemned almost exactly the same abusive behavior. ... The Supreme Court effectively added an asterisk to the Constitution that expunged much of the Bill of Rights.

The Real Looting Of America CNN Won’t Show You. w/Chris Hedges


Krystal Ball: Does Wall Street looting lead to street looting?

US Border Patrol Denounced as 'Rogue Agency' for Using Predator Drone to Spy on Minneapolis Protests

Civil liberties advocates sounded the alarm Friday after reporting indicated Customs and Border Protection has been flying an unmanned Predator drone over Minneapolis as the city continues to roil with protest over the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week.

"This is what happens when leaders sign blank check after blank check to militarize police, CBP, etc while letting violence go unchecked," tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). "We need answers. And we need to defund."

Motherboard on Friday afternoon credited ADS-B Exchange, which tracks open source flight data of aircraft worldwide, for images showing what the monitoring group identified as a government drone circling the city.

"The drone took off from the Air Force Base before making several hexagonal-shaped flyovers around Minneapolis, according to the data," Motherboard reported.


"No government agency should be facilitating the over-policing of the Black community, period," the ACLU's senior legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani said in a statement. "And CBP has no role in what's happening in Minneapolis at all."

Investigative reporter Jason Paladino was apparently the first to notice the flight path of CBP-104, described by Motherboard as "a drone with a history":

In a 2007 Popular Mechanics article, author Jeff Wise names that aircraft as a Predator. "CBP-104 has no pilot on board. The plane is a Predator B, a sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)," the article says, describing a surveillance action on the U.S.-Mexico border.

CBP-104 is also named in daily drone flight logs from CBP from 2012, published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The drone's activities at the time included collecting synthetic-aperture radar imagery and full-motion video to aid in actions such as surveilling the border, as well as surveilling and busting cannabis grow ops and methamphetamine labs. In one instance, the logs note that the drone continued to circle and feed video to officers until every suspect in a lab raid was arrested. According to the logs, this ongoing surveillance "played an invaluable role" in the arrests.

While CBP flying the drone over the city raised eyebrows, the city falls in the agency's purview, as Gizmodo's Tom McKay and Dhruv Mehrotra explained.

"Minneapolis technically falls within the 100 air mile border zone where CBP has jurisdiction," wrote McKay and Mehrotra, "an area that encompasses just shy of two-thirds of the nation's population."

Critics pointed to the usage of the aircraft as indicative of a surveillance culture that has grown out of control in recent years.

"I can't tell you how many times, when I was working on police drone policy, law enforcement reps would get upset over the use of the word 'drone,'" tweeted Freedom of the Press advocacy director Parker Higgins. "Like, very specifically saying, it's not going to be Predator drones over protests."

The ACLU's Guliani pointed to CBP's record on civil liberties as a warning against allowing the agency to monitor the demonstrations.

"This rogue agency's use of military technology to surveil protesters inside U.S. borders is deeply disturbing, especially given CBP's lack of clear and strong policies to protect privacy and constitutional rights," she said. "This agency's use of drones over the city should be halted immediately."

The drone appeared to leave the area around 1:10pm EST.

Motherboard senior editor Janus Rose noted on Twitter a sinister aspect of the story suggesting CBP wanted the drone to be seen.

"Quick note about the predator drone from an ex-military intel source: these aircraft typically leave their ADS-B transponders off when flying missions, so they won't appear to civilian air traffic monitors," said Rose. "CBP wanted us to know it was there."

Trump Threatens to Grab Protestors By the Posse

President Donald Trump has threatened to send “active duty” U.S. military to Minnesota to quell the uprising against the police killing of yet another unarmed African-American even though the state’s governor had not accepted Trump’s offer.

The president made his intention known in a series of tweets on Friday:


Trump said “we will assume control,” clearly meaning the federal government. The National Guard of each state is controlled by the state governor.

The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration has offered “the use of active-duty soldiers and intelligence,” including “some forces who were put on alert to deploy.”

The New York Times and other media said “military police” were being prepared by the Pentagon and that it would be the first deployment of MPs since the Rodney King uprisings in Los Angeles of 1992.

Trump’s threats to deploy federal troops raise the legal question of whether the U.S. federal army can be deployed on U.S. soil for law enforcement purposes.

[Interesting discussion of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 follows at the link. -js]

Racist History Behind Trump’s Threat to Shoot Minneapolis Protesters Spurs Twitter to Act

Donald Trump’s bloodthirsty threat to have protesters in Minneapolis shot by the military, issued in a tweet early Friday morning, prompted Twitter to restrict access to the president’s message, ruling that it violated the social network’s policy against “glorifying violence.” In the tweet, posted just before 1 a.m. Eastern Time, Trump first wrote that “THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” the black man whose killing on Monday by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his throat as he gasped for air has prompted protests and rage. The president then threatened to have soldiers open fire unless local authorities in Minneapolis regain control, adding, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The tweet was soon covered by an initial warning message, which said the president’s comments violated the platform’s rules, but had not been removed because “it may be in the public’s interest” to be able to read them. Readers who clicked past that screen were able to read the inflammatory tweet, but with the warning message above it. As Twitter noted in its explanation of why it had added “a public interest notice” to the tweet, that last phrase was even uglier to older Americans who might remember where they first heard it. The words were spoken in 1967 by Walter Headley, a racist Miami police chief, who told reporters that his officers would open fire if looting broke out in the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods.

According to a contemporary news report, from December 28, 1967, when Headley announced that he was declaring war on “young hoodlums, from 15 to 21, who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign,” he added, “we don’t mind being accused of police brutality.” The goal of his crackdown on Miami’s black community, Headley said, was to unleash “an epidemic of law and order.” Headley repeated the looting and shooting threat the following year when protests in the Liberty City neighborhood devolved into riots during that summer’s Republican National Convention in Miami, which nominated Richard Nixon for the presidency. As NPR reports, the pro-segregation presidential candidate George Wallace also used the looting and shooting phrase on the campaign trail in 1968.

Trump’s reference to Headley and/or Wallace was unlikely to have been accidental. In 2016, Trump told a New York Times reporter that his own acceptance speech was inspired by Nixon’s in 1968. “I think what Nixon understood is that when the world is falling apart, people want a strong leader whose highest priority is protecting America first,” Trump said. “The 60s were bad, really bad. And it’s really bad now. Americans feel like it’s chaos again.”

‘Trump is inflaming his rhetoric on George Floyd's death’

Trump fled to bunker as protests over George Floyd raged outside White House

As protests sparked by the death of George Floyd raged outside the White House on Friday night, Donald Trump was taken into a special secure bunker. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on Monday, has sparked unrest and protests in dozens of cities across the US, including Washington DC. Demonstrators have gathered outside the White House since Friday night, with clashes erupting intermittently outside the very perimeter of the White House.

As protesters converged on the White House on Friday, the New York Times reports, “Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.” Hardened to withstand the force of a passenger jet crashing into the White House, the bunker is the same one that sheltered vice president Dick Cheney during the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. “The president and his family were rattled by their experience on Friday night, according to several advisers,” the Times report said. ...

Trump has been widely criticized for his response to the protests that have rocked the nation since video of Floyd’s death began spreading on social media.

The president has spoken to George Floyd’s grieving family, but according to Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, the conversation was brief. “He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak,” Floyd told MSNBC.

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper | The Daily Social Distancing Show


Fears grow of US coronavirus surge from George Floyd protests

Governors, mayors and public health officials across the US are raising fears of a surge in coronavirus cases arising from escalating protests over the death of George Floyd. ...
According to figures from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, the US has seen nearly 1.8m infections and nearly 104,000 deaths in the Covid-19 pandemic. In a country that does not have universal healthcare, the crisis has disproportionately affected minorities, particularly those who live in crowded urban areas.

Images of demonstrators in close proximity, many without masks, have therefore alarmed leaders – to the point where some are pleading with those on the streets to protest “the right way”, in order to better protect themselves. “I’m concerned that we had mass gatherings on our streets when we just lifted a stay-at-home order and what that could mean for spikes in coronavirus cases later,” Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington DC, said in a press conference on Sunday.

“I’m so concerned about it that I’m urging everybody to consider their exposure, if they need to isolate from their family members when they go home and if they need to be tested … because we have worked very hard to blunt the curve.”


Jair Bolsonaro Let Coronavirus Ravage Brazil. A Favela Is Taking Matters Into Its Own Hands.

'People are going to go hungry': pandemic effects could leave 54m Americans without food

A record number of Americans face hunger this year as the catastrophic economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic looks set to leave tens of millions of people unable to buy enough food to feed their families. Nationwide, the demand for aid at food banks and pantries has soared since the virus forced the economy to be shutdown, resulting in more than 40m new unemployment benefit claims, according to the latest figures.

As a result, an estimated one in four children, the equivalent of 18 million minors, could need food aid this year – a 63% increase compared to 2018. Overall, about 54 million people across the US could go hungry without help from food banks, food stamps and other aid, according to an analysis by Feeding America, the national food bank network.

America’s food insecurity crisis was dire even before the Covid-19 pandemic, when at least 37 million people lived in households without adequate resources to guarantee consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.



the horse race



Sunrise Movement Being Co-Opted By Biden Task Force



the evening greens


Climate change is driving widespread forest death and creating shorter, younger trees

Forests across the world are transforming as the Earth heats up and as more frequent and severe droughts, wildfires and disease outbreaks destroy trees.

In a new report published in Science magazine, researchers warn that climate change is accelerating the death of trees, stunting their growth and making forests across the world younger and shorter.

“This trend is likely to continue with climate warming,” said Nate McDowell, a scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and an author of the report.

“A future planet with fewer large, old forests will be very different than what we have grown accustomed to,” McDowell said. “Older forests often host much higher biodiversity than young forests and they store more carbon than young forests.”

Forests not only have less capacity to store carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels but are also unable to host certain species that normally reside there, the researcher said, which harms the role they play in mitigating global warming. Eighty percent of the world’s land-based species live in forests, according to the World Wildlife Fund.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide

George Floyd Was Held Down for Almost 3 Minutes After He Went Unresponsive and Had No Pulse

As Police Attack Protesters in Minneapolis, Speculations About “Outsiders” Draw on Fraught History

‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot:’ Brooklyn Erupts in Violence During a Second Night of Protests

I Told Riot Cops I’m a Journalist. They Forced Me to the Ground and Pepper-Sprayed Me in the Face.

Many US Journalists Arrested After New York Times Falsely Claims That Doesn’t Happen In America

Policing in the US is not about enforcing law. It’s about enforcing white supremacy

Trump Threatens to Designate Antifa—Which Isn't an Actual Group—as Terrorist Organization

Michigan Sheriff and Police Didn't Disperse Their Town's Protest—They Joined It

Begun The Civil Wars Of 2020 Have

Riot or Resistance? How Media Frames Unrest in Minneapolis Will Shape Public’s View of Protest

U.S. Debt Crisis Comes into View as Fed’s Balance Sheet Explodes Past $7 Trillion

After a Fight Over Control of Brazil’s Federal Police, Raids Target Bolsonaro’s Political Rivals

Brazil’s left and right unite to launch pro-democracy manifesto

New Zealand has no new coronavirus cases and just discharged its last hospital patient. Here are the secrets to the country's success.

Coronavirus is our chance to completely rethink what the economy is for

USAID Faces Mounting Pressure to Remove Latest Trump Appointee With History of Islamophobic Remarks

Why New Infrastructure Is a National Imperative

Hidden Video and Whistleblower Reveal Gruesome Mass-Extermination Method for Iowa Pigs Amid Pandemic

Why the Lesser-Evil Argument for Biden Sounds Hollow

Cops Aim Straight For Reporters & Shoot Live On Air! w/Chris Hedges

Compilation Of Maniac Cops Assaulting Women & Peaceful Protestors On Camera!

LAPD Runs Over Protestors As News Anchor Ignores It

Fox News Crew Surrounded & Chased By DC Protestors. w/Chris Hedges

NY Mayor Defends Cops Brutality & Cuomo Condemns It

Nina Turner: Dr. Cornel West is right, we need more than black faces in high places

Zaid Jilani: History says rioting doesn't work

Ryan Grim: Big business tries to co-opt uprising


A Little Night Music

Pete Johnson - Half Tight Boogie

Joe Turner's Orchestra w/Pete Johnson - Old Piney Brown's Gone

Big Joe Turner & Pete Johnson - Rocket Boogie 88

Pete Johnson's Band - 627 Stomp

Pete Johnson & Big Joe Turner - Roll 'Em Pete

Pete Johnson - Let 'Em Jump

Joe Turner & Pete Johnson - That's All Right Baby

Pete Johnson - Rocket Boogie

Pete Johnson - Kaycee On My Mind

Joe Turner & Pete Johnson Kansas City Blues

Pete Johnson - Dive Bomber


Share
up
20 users have voted.

Comments

Unabashed Liberal's picture

a nice and restful weekend.

if I can drop back by this evening, going to share info about conservadem Gov Walz--may explain why he had no problem calling out the National Guard. phew!

gotta run, to get ready to take a call from our Uruguayan 'bud' from our days at UDLAP (Mexico). he's been such a wealth of info and assistance, including a couple of his siblings, who still live there.

btw, really enjoyed listening to Aretha over the weekend--thank you.

hope everyone has a nice evening.

stay safe; be well.

Bye Pleasantry

Mollie

"Those who choose the lesser of evil, tend very fast to forget they have chosen the evil."
~~Hannah Arendt, Philosopher

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

up
8 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

yep, i had a great weekend. the weather was quite pleasant and i got outside for a walk with the kids and grandkid.

not paying attention to the news on saturday was a really nice respite from what's going on now. my curiosity got the better of me by the time i got up on sunday, though. Smile

have a good one!

up
6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

on a rampage out there. Films (technically videos, I guess, plus writings from all over the country). Being at home and minding your own business doesn't seem to make any big difference either.

Thanks for the news and blues, good light music tonight brightens things up.

be well and have a good one.

up
11 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

thanks, things are pretty placid in my neighborhood so far.

i just heard that trump has declared martial law in dc with a 7 o'clock curfew. that ought to help wind things down. (not)

up
7 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@enhydra lutris
'Bout Ronnie's birthday.
Tonight's Jam at our house: RONNIE WOOD & BO DIDDLEY - LIVE AT THE RITZ (Full Album )
Includes this:

It actually rained here this evening. Knocked the temp down from 100 to 85 in about ten minutes.
I'm feeling good, hope you are too.

up
6 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello
using for the OT, that exact cut. It sometimes takes my way longer to pick the tunes to use than to do everything else. There's also some more fun stuff with Ronnie and Imelda.

be well and have a good one.

up
4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

walk to and hold up a bible in front of St. John's. Enough!

up
9 users have voted.
smiley7's picture

@smiley7
caught up in this live horrible moment:

up
8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@smiley7

that's not a real bible. you can tell because it hasn't spontaneously burst into flames.

up
8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

8pm - 5am tonight through the 5th. "Only" 821 square miles, but 1,510,271 people (20th nationwide) without any witnesses for 5 consecutive nights. The Alameda County Sheriffs, fwiw, gained notoriety in the sixties during FSM and other political activities for excessive force which they have perpetuated to some extent ever since and which some openly glory in, self-identifying as "The Blue Meanies" a negative nickname hung on them by their victims in the sixties. They also invented and developed Urban Shield which was notorious for its racism, hosting right wing militias like the Oath Keepers, and promoting surveillance and control policies, products, and activities that targeted the poor and people of color. This is not good news.

be well and have a good one

up
12 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

so far, things in baltimore have been fairly toned down considering what a bunch of brutal thugs the baltimore police are. a few thousand people are now blocking 1-83 downtown, jamming up the streets surrounding city hall. i guess we'll see where that goes.

up
8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Here's a couple of longish vids, for those who have the time and interest.
R.J. Eskow interviews David Dayen about how the bailout works.
Article here: How the Fed Bailed Out the Investor Class Without Spending a Cent

Michael Moore on Useful Idiots talking about the controversy over his latest film.
I saw the film before YouTube took it down, thought it was good.

up
11 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the vids!

dayen's article about the bailout of the investor class is quite good.

up
5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

and bring some sanity to the conversation. Lucky for us we have Joe Biden to do it.

Oh well never mind....we just get more of the same. Hey, Joe, how bout not shooting people at all unless one’s life is at stake? Cops across the pond go into situations all the time without guns or if they are needed they call for backup from trained ones and only after getting an okay from the bosses.

This would have been better if he hadn’t sworn as much, but it’s still funny. Look for Jimmy talking about it soon. He’s lhao on Twitter.

This has gotten lots of laughs on Twitter.

Anonymous has taken down numerous police websites

And people across the pond are also protesting Floyd’s murder in the hundreds of thousands. People everywhere are tired of what has been happening to them as we are.

up
12 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

well, gosh, the cops have to shoot people. it's just what they do. i mean, if they didn't shoot people, they might beat them to death. joe's just trying to be helpful.

up
6 users have voted.

@snoopydawg Is there anything that more perfectly sums up the Democrats than suggesting retraining cops to shoot people in the legs rather than the hearts? If his handlers are smart, they’ll send him back to the basement and keep him there. They don’t need Biden competing with Trump for stupidest, most tone deaf quote of the day.

up
8 users have voted.

The only way Joe Biden is “going to be like FDR” is that he will die in office and leave a shitty vice president as a replacement.

snoopydawg's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

to doing anything to calm down the mood in the country because of what he says, but one look at the wreckage list and you will not see anyone voicing their concerns about him.

They are big time behind Amy McGrath to beat McCarthyism even though she is just a McConnell in a dress. She said that she would be the best person running who be able to work with Trump. Huh? Aren’t democrats supposed to be against the things Trump wants passed? And since when did people start thinking that being ex military is something that people want to see in a candidate? Might have been when they started believing that the war on Libya was the right thing to do just because Obama and Hillary said it needed to be done.

up
3 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

@Dr. John Carpenter

I had to shut down my engagement with the external world when the conversation between the presumptive GE candidates devolved into where, exactly, they're ready and willing to shoot the people.

Trump: we're going to dominate you with the military we gave all your money to
Biden: look fat, come on, how's about we just shoot you in the leg
Obama & Clinton: vote
Jane: oh fuck you all and fuck everyone who helps any of you

up
4 users have voted.
Dawn's Meta's picture

@snoopydawg picked the right wrong guy. They actually gave him their id cards. Dayem that affirmative action. Now we can't tell the good guys from the bad guys.
Ha.

up
3 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

lotlizard's picture

and defacing houses of worship with graffiti —

Here’s the thing: it’s all fun and games, isn’t it, until one realizes how easy it is for everyone, oneself included, to be swept up in the exhilaration of a Kristallnacht, if one allows oneself to be persuaded that at least some of the targets “had it coming” and comeuppance for persons, groups, or power structures one detests was long overdue …

Brushfire season will come round again — I hope by then the zeitgeist will have stopped normalizing arson as a form of protest.

up
6 users have voted.
smiley7's picture

@lotlizard @lotlizard

The fascists are flexing their muscles.

edited to add more meaning.

up
7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

i hope that the arson phase of this event comes to a close soon, too. but, i hope that what has been done gives the protest movement leverage, forcing the powers that be to make the kind of concessions that are necessary.

all of the peaceful protests of the past many years have made no apparent difference.

i don't know if this is the moment when the downtrodden have finally had enough and are willing to burn everything down if there is not sufficient change or not.

i guess we'll see.

up
7 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
it was directed at the nerve centers of state power.

By that standard, what would have real revolutionary potential would be seeing protesters surround, enter, and occupy, say, the building of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in disciplined fashion.

Do protesters know or care where the 0.1%’s precious server farms, command centers, secret legal and financial records, and other key infrastructure of repression are?

up
3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

after the 60's protests in the u.s. tend to target symbolic targets. for example, over the weekend there were attempts to burn former slave markets and the headquarters of the sons of confederate verterans and united daughters of the confederacy. in philadelphia the racist bastard, former mayor, frank rizzo's statue was vandalized.

when infrastructure is targeted, it seems to be interstates and major city arteries that are where protesters gravitate.

aside from burning a couple of police precinct offices, the protesters (so far) haven't gone after the police state's infrastructure of tyranny and nobody has thought to target financial infrastructure.

up
6 users have voted.
smiley7's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack

comparison in discussion; these US protests are not planned by folks inheriting decades of oppression, but folks accustomed to better freedoms, fed up.

PS The optimal word in my thinking, being planned; otherwise oppression and slavery have long histories.

up
3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Insurrection act.. I’m not sure, but I think Obama used it during Ferguson, but I will check

The curfews are one way to keep people from using their 1st amendment right to protest ehh?

Insurrection Act

The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law (10 U.S.C. §§ 251–255; prior to 2016, 10 U.S.C. §§ 331–335) that governs the ability of the president of the United States to deploy military troops within the United States to suppress civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion.

The general purpose of the Insurrection Act is to limit presidential power, relying on state and local governments for initial response in the event of insurrection. The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of the United States Army and Air Force (which has also been extended by executive direction to the Navy) for routine law enforcement. Actions taken under the Insurrection Act, as an "Act of Congress", are exempt from the Posse Comitatus Act.[1][2]

The Insurrection Act is brief. It allows the president, at the request of a state government, to federalize the National Guard and to use the remainder of the Armed Forces to suppress an insurrection against that state's government. It further allows for the president to do the same in a state without the explicit consent of a state's government if it becomes impracticable to enforce federal laws through ordinary proceedings or if states are unable to safeguard its inhabitants' civil rights.

The Insurrection Act has been invoked infrequently throughout American history, most recently following looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. [3][4]

In 1981, the Office of Legal Counsel stated that the act may only be used when states exhaust their own resources. In 2006 the Bush administration proposed an amendment that would permit the federal government to act without state approval; this was opposed by all 50 state governments and rejected.[5]

This was fast:

In 2020, President Donald Trump has threatened to invoke the Act in response to nationwide riots after the death of George Floyd.[6][7]

I was wrong about when it was last used. Raise your hand if you didn’t see this coming.

Let’s try this instead Trump. Get the f’cking police to stand down and only go after people who break the law. This isn’t brain surgery to see how the violence can be stamped out. But then that was never in their plans was it?

up
7 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

police violence causes an uprising? cure it with more police violence!

fucking genius!

tune in later for instructions on how to put out a fire by pouring gasoline on it.

up
10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Yep. Imagine if he was black. Equal protection..what’s that?

up
6 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

janis b's picture

It seems to me, that just when you think things couldn't get any worse they do, and you're bombarded with more and worse. What could be more inflammatory than the US government under Trump with his racist array of supporters and military might. It's so imposing and oppressive that it's hard to conceive where it might end.

Thousands of people protested yesterday in Auckland, ignoring social distancing regulations. I’m glad to see that the protest extended itself to Auckland, as it gives an opportunity to Maori and other brown people to not only show their solidarity, but make a statement about the injustice they experience here. The police and government made the decision not to prosecute the organisers of the rally. Of course there was flack for that decision from some quarters.

The decision for arming police has unfortunately been gaining more traction here these past few years. Primarily, the practice is still confined to only designated police units that carry guns in the trunk of their car. Those are the units that are called out if there’s a high concern for the victim’s or the police’s safety. I fear that a greater presence of police with guns will more likely result in innocent people being killed. I know there's a broad range of innocence, but even the least innocent don't deserve to die. How have we strayed so far from our common sense of humanity.

up
8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@janis b

I posted a tweet in my essay showing the crowds there in the streets ICYMI. This is happening all over across the pond. I think people are fed up everywhere and they were just waiting for the spark to ignite the storm.

up
4 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

i was glad to see the sympathy protests happen all over the globe. hopefully, the fact that "the whole world is watching," will put some pressure on the idiots that run things to make concessions.

i hope that nz doesn't arm the police further. it's all downhill from the point that they get to carry arms around.

up
1 user has voted.
travelerxxx's picture

Man, that video by Trevor Noah hit the nail right on the head. I was about to post it myself when I noticed you had it here on the EB.

Trevor talks for around 18 minutes, no notes, just speaking in front of a video camera. I hate videos, and yet I could not stop listening. I've heard any number of people speaking of what's happening in our nation since police in Minneapolis murdered our fellow citizen, George Floyd, but this is the best.

Trevor speaks of how society is akin to a contract, and how for many that contract has been violated to the extent that it is no longer valid. We are shocked when we see people looting and rioting, as they are not holding up their end of the contract, but for them the contract was made invalid long ago. I don't do Trevor justice. Watch the video.

If you don't notice it up thread in the EB, you can see it here.

up
5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@travelerxxx

Trevor speaks of how society is akin to a contract, and how for many that contract has been violated to the extent that it is no longer valid

Exactly. The government is supposed to represent we the people and not just the ones who can give them money to make their lives better. The government long ago failed to represent the people who voted to represent them in the first place. Too many people think that rich people have worked hard to get where they are now, but how can they fail to see that the road has been plowed by lobbyists and rewritten the rules to make them successful? Joe posted the article from Sirota that says this:

One of the crown jewels of the Constitution is the Fourteenth Amendment -- which promises that there will be “equal protection” for all people under our laws. And yet, we all know this is a farce. In America, we routinely offer legal immunity to the rich and powerful, while giving the iron fist to everyone else.

It’s not just equal protection under our laws, but equal representation for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that they are supposed to be representing. The American dream has turned into the American nightmare for far too many of us because of the laws they have passed. That so many people can’t see that just blows my mind. Take the protests for example. Many people on the right think that the protesters are asking for special rights and are in the wrong instead of seeing how they have been victimized by the PTB for far too long. It’s okay for the open up folks to demand that they are given special rights, but....

up
4 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

snoopydawg's picture

@travelerxxx

But in case it’s not the comments tonight are interesting. This isn’t the first time I’ve been seeing comments related to a color revolution that the PTB run on other countries, but is it what we are seeing here? This is cynical thinking beyond belief, but how would we know that the protests haven’t been hijacked for other reasons?

up
5 users have voted.

“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

travelerxxx's picture

@snoopydawg

What did Lily Tomlin say? Oh, yes, found it:

No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up.

It's been best to ask for a double dip the last few days. I try to get to MoA as often as possible. Be heading there shortly due to your head's up...

up
6 users have voted.
CB's picture

@travelerxxx

Neptune bob alkaline
2 days ago (edited)

Handcuffed.
Face Down.
Knee on his neck.
They did nothing.
He called the officer "Sir."
They did nothing.
He begged for his life.
He begged for water.
He begged for mercy.
They did nothing.
His nose bled.
His body trembled.
He lost control of his bladder.
They did nothing.
He cried out, "I can't breathe."
They did nothing.
Twelve more times.
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
"I can't breathe."
They did nothing.
One last time, he gasped, "I can't breathe."
They did nothing.
He lost consciousness.
They did nothing.
An EMT demanded they check his pulse.
Sixteen times.
She knew.
They did nothing.
Deprived of oxygen.
His organs screaming.
His brain frantic.
They did nothing.
They watched George Floyd die.
His life fading.
A slow death.
They did nothing.
For eight agonizing minutes.
Four officers watched.
A knee on his neck.
A lynching on the ground.
They did nothing.
He cried out for his Mom.
A grown man.
She gave him life.
He feared joining her in death.
And still they did nothing.
A black man.
Unarmed.
Murdered.
And still, they've done nothing.
Probable Cause exists.
A Double Standard exists.
The officers should be arrested.
And yet... still... they've done nothing.
May he rest in peace.
May justice be served.
Pray they do something.
#GeorgeFloyd #WhyWeKneel
#TheyDidNothing #ICantBreathe
#GentleGiant #PleaseDoSomething
#Minneapolis #BlackLivesMatter
#CivilRights #CriminalJusticeReform
#EricGarner

up
2 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@travelerxxx

i thought noah's comments about the social contract were right on target. tonight i have a video in the eb in which gerald horne addresses the social contract (it's a pushback with aaron mate video) that adds to noah's comments, though doesn't have the visceral impact of noah's vid.

up
1 user has voted.
travelerxxx's picture

@joe shikspack

up
1 user has voted.

You just outdid your wonderful self tonight!
I have zoom court early tomorrow morning, am still trying to get my home cleaned and organized for the arrival of The Love of My Life tomorrow evening. I don't want him to be shocked and dismayed, at least not by dust, etc...
I have seen virtually no improvements from endless peaceful protests.
While I do not advocate violence AT ALL, we are about to discover if it actually does bring improvements.
I have broken things down thusly: violence (and murder) by the police of and to unarmed protesters is acceptable, and violence by protesters against capitalist/corporatist property, is unacceptable and can lead to the death or imprisonment of the protester.
I expect to be otherwise occupied for a week or so, but do intend to read this amazing roundup when I can catch a little break.
Hope you are well and thriving.

up
6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh, nobody who wants to be the love of your life should be scared off by a little dust. there's no dust on you. Wink

have a wonderful time!

up
2 users have voted.
mimi's picture

just can't comment. So, no comment.

you all take care of your loved ones, kids and grandkid and help each other. Be grateful for having them. Imagine your grandkid or kid would be black and you are not black, what would you tell your kids about what is happening right now? I wished someone had a sign of life from Mark in Queens. I wish him, his wife and kids all the best.

Hope you do not collapse. Take care and have a good night sleep.

up
2 users have voted.

“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

so far, i'm keeping up with the news but there is quite a flood of it.

it's both an awful and an interesting time.

up
1 user has voted.