The Evening Blues - 6-16-20



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Lowell Fulson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Lowell Fulson. Enjoy!

Lowell Fulson - Lowell Jumps One

"But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people’s liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket."

-- Mark Twain


News and Opinion

Worth a full read.

Chris Hedges: Gaslighted by the Ruling Class

Once again, we see proposed legislation to mandate police reform — more body cameras, consent decrees, revised use-of-force policies, banning chokeholds, civilian review boards, requiring officers to intervene when they see misconduct, banning no-knock search warrants, more training in de-escalation tactics, a requirement by law enforcement agencies to report use-of-force data, nationally enforced standards for police training and greater diversity — proposals made, and in several cases adopted in the wake of numerous other police murders, including those of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Philando Castile. The Minneapolis Police Department, for example, established a duty to intervene requirement by police officers after the 2014 killing of Brown in Ferguson. This requirement did not save Floyd. ...

The public displays of solidarity are, as in the past, smoke and mirrors, a pantomime of faux anguish and empathy by bankrupt ruling elites, including most Black politicians groomed by the Democratic Party and out of touch with the daily humiliation, stress of economic misery and suffering that defines the lives of many of the protesters.

These elites have no intention of instituting anything more than cosmetic change. They refuse to ask the questions that matter because they do not want to hear the answers. They are systems managers. They use these symbolic gestures to gaslight the public and leave our failed democracy, from which they and their corporate benefactors benefit, untouched. What we are watching in this outpouring of televised solidarity with the victims of police violence is an example of what Bertram Gross calls “friendly fascism,” the “nice-guy mask” used to disguise the despotism of the ultra-rich and our corporate overseers. Whatever you think about Donald Trump, he is at least open about his racism, lust for state violence and commitment to white supremacy.

The crisis we face is not, as the ruling elites want us to believe, limited to police violence. It is a class and generational revolt. It will not be solved with new police reforms, which always result, as Princeton professor Naomi Murakawa points out in her book “The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America,” in less accountable, larger and more lethal police forces. The problem is an economic and political system that has by design created a nation of serfs and obscenely rich masters. The problem is deindustrialization, offshoring of manufacturing, automation and austerity programs that allow families to be priced out of our for-profit healthcare system and see nearly one in five children 12 and younger without enough to eat. ...

The entrenched racism in America has always meant that poor people of color are the first cast aside in society and disproportionately suffer from the most brutal forms of social control meted out by the police and the prison system. But there will not be, as Martin Luther King pointed out, racial justice until there is economic justice. And there will not be economic justice until we wrest power back from the hands of our corporate masters. Until that happens, we will go through cycle after cycle of brutal police murders and cycle after cycle of the profuse apologies and promises of reform. We are trapped in an abusive relationship. When we finally have enough, when we cry out in pain and walk out, our abuser comes after us with flowers and apologies and promises to change. Back we go for more.

Krystal Ball: Dems virtue signal on BLM while preserving status quo

Millionaire Trump Adviser Complains $600-Per-Week Boost in Unemployment Benefits Is Too Generous

With the U.S. jobless rate still at levels not seen since the Great Depression and coronavirus-induced mass layoffs continuing across the nation, millionaire White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow complained Sunday that the $600-per-week increase in unemployment insurance authorized by the CARES Act is too generous and said the benefits should expire at the end of July.

"I mean, we're paying people not to work. It's better than their salaries would get," Kudlow said in an appearance on CNN, echoing the common Republican complaint that many U.S. workers are earning slightly more on the boosted unemployment insurance than they would at their low-wage jobs. Progressive lawmakers and economists have argued that the solution is to raise wages, not slash benefits.

Kudlow predicted that Congress will not extend the enhanced unemployment benefits past the July 31 expiration date and said the Trump administration is "looking at a reform measure that will still provide some kind of bonus for returning to work, but it will not be as large."

Economists have repeatedly warned in recent days that prematurely ending financial relief for laid-off workers could have disastrous consequences for millions of people and hinder the broader economic recovery.

In the face of widespread economic pain and insecurity, the extra unemployment insurance has served as a lifeline for those lucky enough to have actually received the benefits to which they are entitled by law. Former Treasury Department economist Ernie Tedeschi has estimated that ending the enhanced unemployment benefits on July 31 would result in a "pay cut of 50-75% overnight" for millions of people.

Matt Taibbi RESPONDS to critics: Why left, media has lost its mind after protests

Supreme Court Slammed for Refusing to Examine Doctrine That Bolsters Police Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear several cases involving a longstanding legal doctrine giving police officers and other government officials sweeping immunity from civil lawsuits, a decision that comes in the midst of a nationwide uprising against police brutality and racial injustice.

The doctrine of "qualified immunity" has come under growing criticism from lawmakers and rights groups since the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. As CNBC explained, "the burden imposed by qualified immunity on victims of police violence is exacerbated by the fact that prosecutors rarely charge officers for excessive force violations, often leaving civil lawsuits as the only remaining avenue."

The ACLU petitioned (pdf) the Supreme Court in April of 2019 to examine a 2018 lower court ruling that granted two officers qualified immunity after they unleashed a police dog on a homeless burglary suspect who says he had already surrendered. The man accused the officers of violating his constitutional rights by using excessive force.

In a statement on Monday, ACLU national legal director David Cole called the high court's decision to deny the group's petition "deeply disappointing." Justice Clarence Thomas dissented (pdf) from the decision, arguing the Supreme Court should consider the issue of qualified immunity, which dates back to the high court's 1967 ruling in Pierson v. Ray.

Cole said the court's decision to "punt on the critical issue of official immunity, in this time of national reckoning over police violence, places the ball squarely in Congress' court."

Trump Is Threatening John Bolton With ‘Criminal Problems’ If He Publishes His Tell-All

Trump threatened his former national security adviser with “criminal liability” Monday if Bolton actually releases his tell-all memoir about issues at the core of Trump’s impeachment, as Bolton is now planning to do next week. “I will consider every conversation with me as highly classified,” Trump said Monday. “If the book gets out, he’s broken the law. And I would think that he would have criminal problems. I hope so.”

Trump’s threat follows Bolton’s decision to proceed with publication of the long-delayed book on June 23 in defiance of White House objections. Bolton’s lawyer has argued that the prolonged declassification review is no more than a pretext to censure Bolton, who reportedly describes a White House driven by the urge to secure Trump’s reelection above all else.

The dispute now presents the remarkable spectacle of a sitting president threatening to turn loose the full prosecutorial fury of his own Department of Justice against the man he once trusted with helping him make his most important national security decisions.

Goodbye, Columbus: Bree Newsome Bass on the Movement to Topple Racist Statues Across the Globe

Under pressure from police, France backs off chokehold ban

UN Human Rights Council Agrees to Hold Hearing Focused on 'Racial Inequality and Discrimination' That Characterizes American Society

The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold an emergency hearing Wednesday at the request of 54 African nations on racism and police violence around the world and particularly in the U.S. as ongoing protests over the killing of black Americans by the police turned out hundreds of thousands around the country over the weekend.

"The protests the world is witnessing are a rejection of the fundamental racial inequality and discrimination that characterize life in the United States for black people," Dieudonné W. Désiré Sougouri, Burkina Faso's representative to the U.N. in Geneva, said Friday in a statement on behalf of the 54 countries.

The hearing will focus on "racially inspired human rights violations, police brutality against people of African descent, and the violence against the peaceful protests that call for these injustices to stop."

Protests over the killing of Floyd last month by four Minneapolis police officers quickly spread across the U.S. and the world. In their letter to the council calling for hearings, the African nations note that Floyd's killing was part of a longstanding pattern in the U.S.

As Al Jazeera reported Saturday, the letter follows a call from advocates in the U.S. that the world body hold hearings:

The call came after Floyd's family, along with the families of other victims of police violence and more than 600 NGOs this week called on the council to urgently address systemic racism and police impunity in the US.

Protests over the killing of Floyd and the ongoing problem of police racism and violence in the U.S. continued across the country over the weekend as Americans in multiple cities showed up in force for black lives. In Atlanta, the killing of Rayshard Brooks Friday night led to an explosion of frustration as demonstrators filled the streets Saturday and Sunday demanding justice, shutting down the interstate. ...

Wednesday's hearing will focus on the global epidemic of racism that affects black and brown citizens of multiple countries, but will focus on the U.S. specifically. The U.S. is not currently a member of the Human Rights Council, the Trump administration having withdrawn from the organization in 2018 over criticism of Israeli abuses in the occupied territories.

Trevor Noah: Why Did Rayshard Brooks Have to Lose His Life?

Rayshard Brooks' Widow Wants the Cops Who Killed Him in Jail: ‘It Was Murder’

The widow of Rayshard Brooks spoke out on Monday, three days after her husband was shot in the back and killed by an Atlanta police officer in a Wendy’s parking lot, in an incident that has already resulted in protests and the resignation of the city’s police chief.

“I want them to go to jail. I want them to deal with the same thing as if it was my husband who killed someone else,” Tomika Miller said in an interview with CBS News. “If it was my husband who killed them, he would be doing a life sentence. They need to be put away.”


An investigator from the medical examiner’s office said Brooks had died of gunshot wounds to the back, and declared his death a homicide. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said on Sunday the decision whether to bring charges against the officers could come by midweek. Howard told CNN that Rolfe could face felony murder charges.

Miller said she wants both officers charged. “It was murder. It was not justified,” she said.

‘It’s time to fight back’: Rayshard Brooks’ death prompts calls for overhaul of Atlanta’s police department

Sherialyn Byrdsong stood in the parking lot of the Wendy’s drive-through where Rayshard Brooks was killed four nights ago and listened to a woman addressing the crowd passionately. “It’s getting dark and I need to get my baby home,” the speaker said. “But I need y’all to listen for a minute. I need y’all to understand that we outnumber them. The police, the national guard, the army, the navy — whoever comes down here. I need y’all to exercise your second amendment right, because the civil war never ended. They’re immune to us singing We Shall Overcome. It’s time to fight back.”

It was an impassioned plea at a peaceful protest, one of the many that have rocked Atlanta since Brooks’ death.

Protesters are demanding that Garrett Rolfe, the officer who killed the 27-year-old, be arrested. In an intense news conference on Monday, Brooks’ family called for murder charges against Rolfe, as well as a radical overhaul of Atlanta’s police department. “There’s no justice that can ever make me feel happy about what’s been done. I can never get my husband and best friend back,” said Brooks’ wife, Tomika Miller. “The only way to heal some of these wounds is through a conviction and the drastic change of the police department,” said Brooks’ cousin, Tiara Brooks.

An announcement on Rolfe’s arrest may come on Wednesday, CNN reported. The decision will be up to Paul Howard, the local district attorney for Fulton county and an African-American native of Georgia who has served as the city’s top prosecutor for more than two decades. ...

Brooks’ death has sparked a flood of demonstrations across the city, with myriad goals and tactics. Some are “just sick and tired of being sick and tired”, Byrdsong said. Others want to confront police officers outside police precincts and other government buildings. Then there are those who are already working on the policy plank of what has become a national movement, just as it did for two years following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, for police and criminal justice reform.

"Black Mecca"? The class disparity between Atlanta's Black politicians & their constituents

Robert Fuller: officials vow investigation into California hanging death

The FBI and the California attorney general’s office will monitor the investigation into the hanging death of a Black man in the south of the state, in one of two cases that have resurfaced fears of lynchings during a time of racial tensions and mistrust of law enforcement in the country.

Robert Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree near Palmdale city hall in the early hours of 10 June. The county medical examiner labeled the preliminary cause of death as suicide pending a full autopsy. But the office deferred that decision after community members demanded a full investigation in a contentious news briefing late last week. Over the weekend, hundreds took to the streets in protest, demanding attention for the case. ...

Meanwhile, the family members of a 38-year-old man who died on 31 May in Victorville, California, are also raising questions about officials’ account of their relative’s death. Malcolm Harsch’s body was discovered 50 miles from Palmdale, hanging from a tree in front of the Victorville public library in San Bernardino county. Harsch had been living at a nearby homeless encampment, the San Bernardino county sheriff’s department said in a statement. Encampment residents had cut him down and were rendering aid to him when department personnel arrived. The sheriff’s department “did not recover any evidence to suggest foul play” at the scene. ...

Southern California has had a long documented problem with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, and recently has been experiencing a rash of anti-Black incidents among its youth. Palmdale was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice’s civil rights unit for purportedly targeting Black people with “discriminatory enforcement” of the federal housing choice voucher program.

Outrage at video showing child who was maced by police at Seattle protest

Standing among a group of peaceful anti-racism protesters in downtown Seattle on a recent Saturday afternoon, Mando Avery held his seven-year-old son’s hand as he and three generations of his African American family finished a prayer with members of their church. Only feet away, Evan Hreha, 34, a hairstylist, arrived at the protests alone. That was when, Avery said, out of nowhere, a police officer fired mace at the group. It hit his son square in the face.

As the young boy screamed and clutched on to his father, Hreha caught it all on camera. He confronted the officer he believed had maced the boy and told him the footage was going online. He then posted it on social media. The footage captures the outrage of protesters after the boy is maced who demand to know why police sprayed a child with the chemical irritant, and made no attempt to help.

Since then, Hreha has been arrested and spent two days in jail for what some are calling police retribution for a video which went viral. The young boy is still traumatized, reeling from the chemical burn on his cheek and asking his parents what he did to deserve it.

“I would say that you were targeting my boy,” Avery told the Guardian, asked what he would say to police. “I don’t know if you were trying to set an example and strike fear into him. You did a great job.” What upsets him most, Avery said, is that officers and a group of emergency medical technicians standing about a block away did not step in to help.

“No officer, who’s paid to protect, chose to stand up, break the ranks, go help this child,” he said. “I just don’t understand how any of them can sleep.”

This Hurricane Season, the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Complicating Disaster Response Plans

The coronavirus pandemic — and the attendant social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders — has upended hurricane planning protocol for the 2020 season, a five-month period that started on June 1. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted in May this season will be “above-normal,” with as many as six major hurricanes expected. To put this in perspective: The agency predicted two to four major storms in 2019, and three in 2018. Major storms are those classified as Category 3 or higher, with winds of at least 111 miles per hour, and are guaranteed to yield significant destruction and death.

It’s the first time in U.S. history that hurricane season planning will have to take into account social distancing, and the first time every state and territory has simultaneously declared a “major disaster” — a designation that allows them to access millions in federal funds and assistance from FEMA. “This is very uncharted territory,” said Lauren Sauer, an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins, where she studies disaster response and how disasters impact health care infrastructure. “Almost everything we’re doing is new, and we’re already seeing shortages on essential supplies.” ...

Last week Democrats on the House Subcommittee on the Environment sent a letter to FEMA criticizing its hurricane guidance as lacking important details and noted staffing shortages the agency is facing. The “available personnel qualified to lead field operations has fallen from 44 to 19, staff members have been pulled from responding to other disasters, training centers have been shuttered, and new employee recruitment efforts are on hold,” they wrote. The letter cited a Homeland Security Department inspector general report from March that reported FEMA lacked “a coherent strategy” for using advanced contracting during Hurricane Maria, and a Government Accountability Office report that documented FEMA’s challenges in responding to hurricanes and wildfires in 2017. The lawmakers requested a virtual hearing with Gaynor by June 22 to discuss FEMA’s plans for navigating Covid-19 and natural disasters, including tornadoes, wildfires, and hurricanes.



the horse race



GOP Money Flowing to Super PAC Backing Rep. Eliot Engel, Documents Show

A Republican super PAC is funding an outside effort to help reelect Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, locked in a tight primary against insurgent Jamaal Bowman.

The super PAC is called Americans for Tomorrow’s Future, following in the proud tradition of nonsensically named political action committees. The connections to the GOP are apparent enough that the Center for Responsive Politics lists it as “Republican/Conservative.” The PAC’s treasurer, David Satterfield, is a former aide to one-time Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist. Satterfield works now at Huckaby Davis Lisker, a prominent firm that does election compliance and accounting work for Republican campaigns. This cycle, the firm is handling the accounts for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee, and the campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among dozens of other GOP operations.

The PAC, presumably due to its visible Republican ties, is not spending directly in Engel’s New York primary. Instead, it funneled $100,000 to another super PAC, called Democratic Majority for Israel, on May 27. DMFI, a controversial operation inside the Democratic coalition, spent heavily against Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, with help from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, The Intercept reported in February. Since cashing the Americans for Tomorrow’s Future check, DMFI has spent more than $600,000 boosting Engel and hitting Bowman on TV, and with digital ads, mailers, and paid phone banking. DMFI has not spent money on any other race since taking money from the GOP operation.

The congressman, who’s been in office for over three decades, is the chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, where he has served since 1994. From that perch, he has been particularly conservative on policy toward Israel, even as the base of the Democratic Party moves leftward on the U.S.-Israel alliance. Pro-Israel groups have contributed more than $1.3 million to Engel over the course of his career. NORPAC, another pro-Israel PAC, is Engel’s second largest contributor this cycle, after the Pro-Israel America PAC, and has given his campaigns $132,509 throughout his career. While Bowman’s campaign is focused on issues like health care, housing, education, and justice reform more than foreign policy, he would certainly be more progressive than Engel, whose loss would be a major blow to leading pro-Israel political groups.

Ryan Grim: Hillary, GOP Super PAC SWOOP IN trying to save Eliot Engel from progressive challenger

Sanders Endorses Dr. Arati Kreibich's Bid to Oust Right-Wing Democrat Josh Gottheimer

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday endorsed neuroscientist Dr. Arati Kreibich in her bid to unseat second-term New Jersey Rep. Joshua Gottheimer, a corporate-friendly conservative Democrat who has repeatedly undermined progressive policy goals in Congress while securing favors for the financial industry.

"As a neuroscientist, Arati conducted research on opiate addiction and after working directly with pharmaceutical companies, she gained a clear understanding of the major shortcomings of our for-profit healthcare system," Sanders said in a statement. "She understands that healthcare is a right for all, and not a privilege for the wealthy few."

"Arati decided to take on the incumbent Democrat in her district because she knows that this moment requires bold, progressive leadership," the Vermont senator added. "Now is not the time to think small. If we come together to elect Arati, we will have a member of our movement fighting for our values in Congress."

The New Jersey Democratic primary is scheduled to take place on July 7.

In a statement, Kreibich thanked Sanders for his endorsement and said she is "inspired by the movement he has been able to build."

"I look forward to carrying that mantle forward by fighting for progressive change in Congress," said Kreibich. "In the midst of this crisis, millions of Americans are rising up to demand we stand up to Donald Trump, enact healthcare for all, and take bold action on climate change. It's time we elected a leader in NJ-5 who will listen."

Kreibich's platform includes big-ticket progressive agenda items like a Green New Deal, a $15 federal minimum wage, and Medicare for All. The insurgent candidate's website also emphasizes priorities such as expanding Social Security, ending cash bail and the death penalty, and implementing universal vote-by-mail.

The neuroscientist's grassroots campaign—which has won the backing of national progressive groups like the Sunrise Movement and Indivisible—is taking on a congressman whose ability to quickly rake in corporate cash earned him the nickname "human fundraising machine."

Kreibich, who has vowed to reject corporate PAC money, told The American Prospect last month that she hopes her superior organizing and grassroots support can overcome Gottheimer's massive fundraising advantage, accumulated with the help of private equity firms, Wall Street banks, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"We were knocking on 1,000 doors a week [before the Covid-19 pandemic], well on our way to our 100,000-door goal," said Kreibich. "Now we're doing digital and virtual, and we've made 90,000 contacts at this point, phone calls and texting."

"We're seeing how folks are doing and connecting them with mutual aid resources, PPE collection and delivery, and delivering meals," Kreibich added. "Here we have folks who need real relief in North Jersey. People who are struggling on a daily basis while he's siding with Republicans and predatory lenders."



the evening greens


DNC's Climate Council Urges Party to Go Beyond Biden Plan, Calling for Fracking Ban and $16 Trillion Renewable Energy Investment

The Democratic National Committee on Monday attempted to dismiss its own climate council as an "insurgent" group that isn't "taken seriously" after the panel released policy guidance that goes far beyond presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's own climate platform.

The DNC Environment and Climate Council released its 2020 Platform Recommendations for the party on June 4, calling on the party to "commit to the spending necessary to address the climate emergency: $10-$16 trillion in federal expenditures over the next decade."

The recommendation was notably more ambitious than the platform pushed by Biden during the Democratic primary pledging just $1.7 trillion for shifting to renewable energy. The council's proposal reportedly frustrated DNC leaders, one of whom firmly told Reuters Monday, "Joe Biden will be writing the platform for our national convention."

Michelle Deatrick, chair of the council and a former presidential campaign surrogate of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), told Reuters that the panel has been in touch with Biden's campaign and the joint task force that was formed by Biden and Sanders, including the two primary candidates' advisers.

The progressives on the climate task force include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash. The panel and similar task forces focusing on the economy, healthcare, and other key issues are helping Biden to update his platform for the general election.

The DNC climate council's specific recommendations include:

  • banning fracking and oil and gas exports;
  • directing "massive investments to renewable energy infrastructure, creating millions of jobs, and [ending] all incentives and subsidies of the fossil fuel industry;" and
  • establishing a federal Just Transition Task Force to develop a program supporting communities and workers impacted by the climate crisis and the transition to renewables, and [funding] the program.

In addition to pledging a fraction of the renewable energy funding called for by the council, Biden's current plan would permit the continuation of fracking and oil and gas exports for the time being. ...

Although numerous polls have shown that the climate crisis is a top issue for U.S. voters across the political spectrum—with Democrats ranking it as their second-most imprtant priority after healthcare in a survey by Climate Nexus earlier this year—one DNC leader claimed that the council's proposals are "a nonstarter."

"Nobody takes them seriously," the senior Democrat told Reuters.

'This Is Why We Continue to Fight': Indigenous Leaders Outraged as Trans Mountain Pipeline Spills 50,000 Gallons of Crude Oil

Indigenous leaders are demanding that the Canadian government immediately halt the ongoing expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline after the leakage of an estimated 50,000 gallons of crude oil at a pump station in British Columbia on Saturday—a spill that once again confirmed warnings of the fossil fuel project's grave threat to the environment.

Chief Dalton Silver of Sumas First Nation said in a statement (pdf) Sunday that "we cannot continue to have our land desecrated by oil spills."

"The proposed Trans Mountain expansion route would see an additional pipeline crossing one of our sacred sites, Lightning Rock, at two spots," said Silver. "We will do absolutely everything we can to prevent this from happening—an oil spill at Lighting Rock would be horrific for our people."

Leah George-Wilson, chief of Tsleil-Waututh Nation, said spills from the Trans Mountain pipeline—which the Canadian government purchased from Kinder Morgan in 2018 despite widespread opposition—are "inevitable, can't be fully cleaned up, and have devastating effects."

"This most recent spill is another reminder that the risk is too great to accept," said George-Wilson. "The Trans Mountain pipeline has already spilled more than 80 times since it began operating. This is why we continue to fight the Trans Mountain Expansion in the courts."

The oil spill was first detected in the early hours of Saturday morning. Trans Mountain Corporation, a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation, claimed in a statement late Sunday that the spill at the Sumas Pump Station in Abbotsford, British Columbia has been fully contained and does not pose a threat to "the public or community."

The pipeline, which transports around 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta to Vancouver, was restarted Sunday after it was shut off for just over 24 hours following the spill.

In a joint statement (pdf), the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) said the June 13 spill "occurred just south of the Lightning Rock site—a cultural site and burial grounds of great significance to the Semath First Nation and Stolo Coast Salish Peoples."

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of UBCIC, called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop "investing in old technology for a fossil fuel product that is toxic to our environment."

"The broken and aging Trans Mountain pipeline is a potent symbol of economic uncertainty at a time when Canadians are desperate for recovery from Covid-19," said Phillip. "This is a pivotal moment demanding strong leadership that understands the need for a drastic shift to clean energy development."

Experts Say $17.5 Billion Writedown by BP Prove Oil Giant Knows 'Reserves of Oil and Gas Increasingly Worthless'

Fossil fuel giant BP announced Monday it will write down nearly $18 billion in existing assets, a move that climate advocates say is more evidence that the industry is undergoing a massive shift that will leave oil and gas reserves less and less valuable as the world pivots to more planet-friendly and financially-viable sources of energy.

"Big Oil is finally admitting what we've been saying for the last ten years," Fossil Free Media director and Stop the Money Pipeline campaign spokesperson Jamie Henn told Common Dreams. "Their reserves of oil and gas are increasingly worthless because there's no way to safely, or profitably, produce them."

The massive writedown comes as the economic impacts of the global coronavirus pandemic have converged with the preexisting financial crisis facing the fossil fuel industry due to surging renewables, a glut of oil and gas surplus in the global market, and the growing political demand to reduce emissions.

As The Hill explained:

In making the moves, the company cited both weakening demand and the possibility that the pandemic will speed up a transition to a lower carbon economy.

"Renewables are the present and future," tweeted former British Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. "Fossil fuels are dinosaurs."

BP's writedown is the company's largest since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The move by BP needs to be seen in context of the industry and the actions of other companies, wrote Bloomberg News columnist Chris Hughes:

The company's management is shifting from the bullish to the bearish group. On that basis, some fields won't earn adequate returns, and some of the world's fossil fuels that would have been extracted and burnt now won't be.

It's a moment to be compared not only with peers' comments of late, but with the seismic revaluations the industry has inflicted on investors over the past two decades—think ConocoPhillips' $34 billion of asset impairments in the financial crisis.

In a statement, Greenpeace U.K. senior advisor Charlie Kronick welcomed the company's change of tune and urged it to protect its workforce.

"This huge dent in BP's balance sheet suggests it has finally dawned on BP that the climate emergency is going to make oil worth less," said Kronick. "BP must protect its workforce, and offer training to help people move into sustainable jobs in decommissioning and offshore wind."

In a statement, company CEO Bernard Looney cited the likelihood of a reorientation toward the Paris Agreement goals of lowering emissions in the post-coronavirus economic rebuilding as a major reason the company revalued its energy stock.

"We have reset our price outlook to reflect that impact and the likelihood of greater efforts to 'build back better' towards a Paris-consistent world," said Looney.

But, Henn told Common Dreams, don't be deceived.

"BP is trying to spin this announcement as part of its transition to a 'green' company, but so far we haven't seen any fundamental changes to its business plan," said Henn. "As long as BP is drilling for oil, it's part of the problem."

"Save your applause until BP announces its ceasing all exploration and rapidly phasing out existing production," he added. "Until then, these vague commitments are about as meaningful as painting an oil rig green."


Also of Interest

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

The Killing Of Rayshard Brooks Shows How Police “Reform” Is A Joke

These protests feel different, but we have to be realistic. There's a long road ahead

The Federal Reserve Has Its Own Police and Is Part of a Vast Surveillance Center – Should You Worry?

Federal Judge Lambasts Amendment to Rename Confederate Bases as “Madness,” Gets Thoroughly Bodied By Clerk

Maria Ressa’s Libel Conviction Is a Blow to Press Freedom

The American Press Is Destroying Itself

Republicans are hypocrites. They happily 'de-funded' the police we actually need

Supreme Court Upholds Trans People’s Workplace Protections — but Trans Lives Remain Under Constant Threat

Krystal and Saagar: SCOTUS decision could have political fallout for Trump

Saagar Enjeti: Dems, media CAUGHT covering up coronavirus outbreak data from protests

Krystal and Saagar: Jon Stewart slams media in Trump era, reveals greatest regret from Daily Show


A Little Night Music

Lowell Fulson - Western Union Blues

Lowell Fulson - That's All Right

Lowell Fulson - So Many Tears

Lowell Fulson - Stop And Think

Lowell Fulson - Check Yourself

Lowell Fulson - Talkin' Woman

Lowell Fulson - Make a Little Love

Lowell Fulson - My Mind Is Trying To Leave Me

Lowell Fulson - Between Midnight And Day


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snoopydawg's picture

The cops who did that should be prosecuted. But cops shouldn’t be fired until they get due process because if they don’t there is a good chance that they will get their jobs back. This comes from Jonathan Turley.

Second tweet is what I’m talking about.

There are many more videos of cops being violent in this thread.

This is an interesting article.

Are we seeing a color revolution here?

Usually after we change the regime the country gets pounded with austerity policies and well we know what else happens don’t we?

Hmmm on further reading I’m not sure what to make of it. Webb is saying that this is just another extension of Russia Gate. One thing Trump has stood his ground on is war with Iran. Other than that he is fulfilled the corporation’s wet dreams by deregulation of everything. I can’t say that presidents are just puppets but then give Trump credit for some of the things he does. Color me confused.

BLM has taken money from the Ford Foundation and donations go through Act Blue and end up in the democrat’s pockets and Biden’s.

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12 users have voted.

"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i hope that they identify the cop that tear gassed a 3 year-old twice. i'd like to see him get his just desserts.

that zerohedge article is pretty awful. whatever is right about it is completely overwhelmed by the many things that are wrong with it. it was really sad to see pat lang raving and drooling about antifa and its amazing logistical capabilities. in the past he has had his head outside of his rectal cavity, i guess not so much anymore.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

But I can see them using the protests to crack down even more on our rights. I’m mean why would congress go to all that trouble to write legislation to do just that if they don’t get to use it?

Here is a great snapshot of our justice system.

PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter

But that’s easy to do when you know you will get away with it. How many decades did they not address the danger from not keeping their equipment and power lines up to date? This reminds me of when a mining disaster hits and we find out that they had hundreds or thousands of safety violations on their books but were still allowed to stay open?

I will not shed any tears for BP if they go kapoot. How many marine animals did they kill by bungling the blowout? Karma is going to be very busy one day.

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9 users have voted.

"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

congress (at the behest of the elites) has no intentions of allowing all of the american people to enjoy their constitutional rights. further, my guess is that they don't consider it profitable to create mayhem in order to crack down. if the elites want to crack down, they will just do it. and they probably will at the point that the unwashed masses decline to be starved and turn on the elites while they are having one of their "crisis" based upward wealth transfers.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Caitlyn has an essay on how the protests are being taken over by democrats who want to reform not defund the police. Cenk is trying to manufacture consent by saying he agrees with Stacy Adams to reform not defund. Guess who else is saying "that is what democrats should do because the right will use it as a wealth to attack democrats during the election." Lol concern trolling at its finest.

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10 users have voted.

"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i am guessing that the dems are not going to fool anybody currently in the streets with their reform talk.

in fact, if they keep it up, the folks in the streets might just start accusing the dems of bad faith. that would be interesting.

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8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

usage while participating in protests, or, political rallies. (FWIW)

According to Margaret Brennan, host of Face The Nation -

Doctor Birx from the task force told governors this week that 'shouting' can actually offset the benefit of wearing a mask.

Also, totally unrelated,

Cool beans! (as Smiley would say Smile )

If I can find out 'how' these tests can be obtained, will let you Guys know.

BTW, just bargained for a couple more GB on Mr M's monthly Verizon plan--yeah! Biggrin

Most beautiful day of the year, today. Tomorrow will be about the same. Rambo loves being exercised, so, we're all enjoying it.

Hey, Everyone have a nice evening. Stay safe, and well. Pleasantry

Mollie

Bye

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

"I know, I know. All passion; no street smarts."
~~Captain West, 1992 Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin Movie, A Few Good Men

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1856-1950)

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8 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

shouting or anything that one might do to accelerate droplets (sneezing, coughing for example) would likely diminish the effectiveness of a mask.

glad to hear that medicare is going to cover the home covid tests.

i don't know how accurate it is, but one of the kids got a home covid antibody test from work as a mail-in test. (it came up negative)

so the home tests are out there and available.

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

in the CMS Tweet that I've posted. Here you go,

Health and Wellness Startup Everlywell Selling At-Home Coronavirus Test Kits for $109
With this self-administered nasal swab test, you can have a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in two days or less.

Excerpt below:

The good news is that many people can now obtain a coronavirus test and access your results within one to two days -- without leaving home. Everlywell, a provider of various at-home lab testing services, just released a COVID-19 test available for purchase at $109 per collection kit. Provided you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can order your at-home coronavirus test kit through Everlywell's website and receive it within one to three days. You'll have a diagnosis in hand no later than 48 hours from the time you submit your test results to the lab.

Regarding Dr Birx's remarks to the Governors - I think it was said in the context of advising or encouraging Governors to educate their constituents, so that they can mitigate some of the risks of attending rallies and protests. (since it appears that some folks think facemasks are a magic elixir which will totally protect them, when they're not)

I've listened to Birx quite a bit--she's pretty low-key in her presentation, but, relatively direct. And, usually consistent, regardless who she's speaking to.

Glad 'the Kid' had a negative reading. Pleasantry Good to see an employer furnish such kits. It should be mandated, IMO. (that they must provide them)

Mollie

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5 users have voted.

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

@Unabashed Liberal

Some people speak loudly and nearly continuously. That's a good way to spread the virus in live/work environments. Cloth masks may be good enough to contain the virus, but are people wearing them in the home?

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Marie

than I did. Biggrin

Imagine that Birx would like to see the use of non-verbal behaviors, such as 'clapping,' by rally-goers and protesters, alike. Good luck with that, I say.

Have a good one.

Mollie

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6 users have voted.

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

@Unabashed Liberal For the past few weeks I've been noticing how few people can't remain silent for more than a nanosecond and little of what they say is interesting or necessary. My neighbors (and we all practice social distancing), the chatterboxes have been wearing masks, but I've been longing for silence and wishing I could say "don't speak."

In this moment, perhaps all of us monolingual folks should become bilingual by learning to sign.

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9 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Marie @Marie

we've done. In the first place, we're on the inside of a cul-de-sac, and can't 'see' anyone but the folks across the street, and we're at quite a distance from them, as well. They're middle-aged, not seniors. Anyhoo, we were upfront with them, and, they appeared to understand that we need to keep any contact confined to phone calls or texting--for the time being.

Also, had that convo with neighbors who are/were mostly here on weekends. They live and work in Nashville during the week; already bought their retirement home. Of course, due to COVID, they aren't traveling a whole lot, lately. They were under strict lockdown orders for weeks. Phase 3 of 'opening' has recently been postponed, if I understood them correctly. So, we either text, or phone one another. They're both in their early 50's. They were cool, too.

Easy Peasy! Smile

Good luck with the magpies!

Mollie

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7 users have voted.

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

@Unabashed Liberal My complaint about noise pollution is somewhat separate from any concern about being infected with the coronavirus. I've been wearing a N-95 mask when enclosed spaces aren't avoidable. Outdoors, a cloth or surgical mask and social distance (3-6 feet) when others are similarly masked and the conversation is limited seems good enough to me, but have found myself increasing the distance when around talkers or switching to the N-95 mask.

The infection is most easily spread among close contacts and indoors. Outdoors I don't get nearer than twenty feet to someone not wearing a mask even as I'm masked. But in my area, most people are more than compliant with the mask requirement.

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Marie

that,

But in my area, most people are more than compliant with the mask requirement.

That's not necessarily true of people in this neck-of-the woods. (Mr M initially ventured out more than I, and, says he was often the only person wearing one. Says he's been looked at like he's from Mars, or something. Smile ) Unfortunately, even a lot of people who don't doubt that the pandemic is real, believe that it's been greatly exaggerated.

Now, in fairness, we're in a region of the state with very few cases, much less deaths. (fewer than 10 deaths, total, in a 5-county area)

Regarding the neighbors I mentioned, they're quite willing to wear masks around people with medical vulnerabilities, and seniors--including us. They definitely realize the risks, and, no longer even visit their very elderly Grandmother (in her 90's)--except via Skype. But, since one couple spends five days a week in one of the the two worst hotspots in the state, we'd rather just interact with them via phone, for now. And, it's simply 'more comfortable' to set the same parameters for all neighbors.

Have a good one.

Mollie

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

"I know, I know. All passion; no street smarts."
~~Captain West, 1992 Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin Movie, A Few Good Men

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1856-1950)

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1 user has voted.

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

@Unabashed Liberal You won't get infected as long as you can maintain your social isolation until the virus disappears.

I'm under no illusion that I'm 100% protected. But it's close enough as long as others in the community continue to be socially responsible and not difficult to maintain for the possible long haul.

We shall see.

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Marie @Marie

sound critical of your willingness to venture out (wasn't intended).

I've never been one to enjoy 'shopping' that much, so, can't say that I'm not rather enjoying "letting my fingers doing the walking" (or, shopping) as the old "Yellow Pages" ad went--instead of doing it myself. Smile

OTOH, we've always done a lot of traveling, and, very much enjoyed it. And, we miss it quite a bit. For sure, Mr M and I aren't normally homebodies, so, we can see this routine getting real old--if it extends much beyond this summer.

If course, there's no reason that people with low, or very manageable risk factors shouldn't resume more normal lives, especially, if they're applying the CDC recommendations (which you obviously do). So, good luck to you, as you venture out.

Mollie

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1 user has voted.

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

@Unabashed Liberal We're both doing our educated best given our personal circumstances.

I don't much like shopping either (and hate to travel), but the situation isn't near enough to life or death for me to shop on-line and further enrich Bezos. Am more worried about all the local retailers that have had to shutter for the past few months. I'm one of those weirdos that has always followed the shop local and pay a few pennies more as much as possible credo. Sad how this country has de-industrialized and consumer goods are now comparatively shoddy.

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2 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

In total, the World has accumulated:
.
.

World
10,170,820
Total confirmed Covid-19 Cases

437,722
Total deaths

::

The chart below shows is the current Top 12 Nations with the highest number of confirmed infections.

Does population size or density explain the number of infections in different nations? What else might explain the excessively low or high rates of infections in these nations?

For those who like to analyze numbers, what commonalities do you think account fo the wide differences in death rates between these countries? Notice any patterns?

There's no right answer. I have some guesses, but I'm still looking for obvious answers, too.

This Weeks Top 12 Infected Nations.

Below the nation name are two numbers:

The total number of Cases reported.
The total number of Deaths reported.

United States
2,119,912
116,341

Hong Kong
2,119,912 1,113
4

Brazil
888,271
43,959

Russia
544,725
7,272

India
343,091
9,900

United Kingdom
299,594
42,054

Spain
244,328
27,136

Italy
237,500
34,405

Peru
232,992
6,860

France
194,305
29,439

Iran
192,439
9,065

Germany
188,220
8,816

[Edit - Hong Kong correction]

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9 users have voted.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

the number of total cases in hong kong is incorrect. the internet says 1,113 total cases with 4 deaths - which is incredible. naked capitalism has had a couple of articles up over a period of time about hong kong's response, which certainly makes the u.s. look pretty incompetent.

hong kong has apparently found a way to deal with being a very densely populated area in a way that new york (for example) was unable to.

while this thing isn't over yet, it appears that thus far, being a wealthy, first-world nation does not convey some sort of insuperable advantage - much to the contrary.

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10 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

One lead I'm checking out is that all patients in these countries were treated with traditional Chinese medicine both inside and outside the hospital. This was not reported to the Western Medical Journals nor factored into the outcomes. This is second nature in these cultures. It would be unusual if they were not using natural medicine alongside Western medicine. There are several Asian studies I'm following that are looking into this.

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6 users have voted.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic with a Chinese official on how they managed the coronavirues and COVID-19 cases, but I didn't save it and can't find it. On TCM this is the best I could find, but it's incomplete and biased. Anyway:

Traditional Chinese medicine is being promoted as a treatment for Covid-19 with more than 90 per cent of patients receiving traditional treatments, according to official figures.

It was more like 98% in the report I can't find. However, TCM is a very broad category; so, that isn't very informative for western health care workers. China threw anything and everything they had and could find at the virus which would include TCM practices and treatments. Not likely that any specific TCM treatment would pass a double-blind test for efficacy and at this time such a study would be unethical.

Was it helpful in China? Undoubted (IMHO). Care and management of COVID-19 patients appears to be very important for recovery. TCM did no harm and increased the level of care. If nothing else it reduced the level of anxiety and fear. Importing TCM to the US isn't really feasible (too few practitioners skilled in the art) and Americans are hooked on a pill and high-tech to cure administered by a western trained doctors for whatever ails them. That's our version of the placebo effect (which is real) for recovery from real illnesses.

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3 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic 1,113 cases and 4 deaths.

No hypothesis that I've attempted to apply to the numbers works. Of course we have to assume that the numbers are reasonably accurate, but we're handicapped in not having detailed information on what each country has done to address the virus. Many interacting variables in play. A couple of things can be said. Dense live/work environments facilitates the spread. The age of the population is a factor in the case fatality rate as is the efficacy of the medical treatment and where patients do better, the ratio of patients to health care workers is low.

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6 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Marie

And you have it right. The numbers were compiled and confirmed by Johns Hopkins University, WHO and related health authorities on 16 June.

Hong Kong is low but it is in line with many Asian countries. for example:

Singapore
Total cases = 40,604
total deaths = 26

Singapore (pop. 5.6 million) explains it a number of different ways that are unique to Singapore:

Coronavirus: why so few deaths among Singapore’s 14,000 Covid-19 infections?

However, Taiwan, (pop. 23.8 million) also kept their infection numbers way down

Taiwan
Total cases = 445
Total deaths = 7

Wow. I am aware how they did it. There have been several films about it. It was not a gulag operation. There was a kindness about it.

Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan have ultra-sophisticated Public health care systems and medical industries. They know how to count deaths. Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand have similar ratios. China, too. But there has to be more to explain the the West's inability to contain the virus.

Thanks for your helpful response.

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6 users have voted.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic We're individualists and not collectivists, and therefore, the percentage of idiots and CT people is much too high to contain the virus properly and we're not particularly good at being patients.

FWIW, two days ago my neighbor felt so ill that he had himself taken to the ER. He most definitely looked sick, but he also looked very scared. I pointed out to him that he hasn't been out of his apartment in three months and it was almost impossible for him to have contracted COVID-19. He spent a few hours in the ER and by yesterday still felt a bit woozy but his color was back. What shocked/alarmed him was that ER personnel were relatively casual in taking care of him and he wasn't tested for COVID-19. No test in the absence of symptoms was a positive IMO. He takes no exercise and drinks a lot of beer (probably more since the lockdown). Warm weather and more beer and he was dehydrated. I suggested that he get a dog.

There are so many variables to ponder in this. We can see that a high incidence of infections does increase the number of deaths. So, containing the spread is effective to limit both. Plus, fewer cases means more early care through recovery which reduces the case fatality rate. However, in more similar management of the virus, there are still significant and unexplained differences in the case fatality rates.

/population/cases per M/deaths per M/case fatality rate:
Hong Kong - 7.5M/ 150 per M/ 0.5 per M / 0.36%
Taiwan - 24M/ 19 per M/ 0.13 per M/ 1.57%
S. Korea - 51M/ 238 per M/ 5 per M/ 2.29%
Japan - 124.5M/ 139 per M/ 7 per M/ 5.27%

Two more:
Singapore - 5.8M/ 7,047 per M/ 4 per M/ 0.37%
Indonesia - 273M/ 152 per M/ 8 per M/ 5.49%

On population and case fatality rate, Hong Kong and Singapore are most similar, but not at all similar on the other measures. Why so different for two small, concentrated populations? On infections & deaths: population, Taiwan is an exceedingly low outlier, but its case fatality rate is higher than that of Hong Kong and Singapore. S. Korea - without lockdowns but with extensive contact tracing and isolation - has a higher infection rate than the others except Singapore, and its case fatality rate falls in between the others.

On testing per M:

Singapore: 98,519
Hong Kong: 36,732
S. Korea: 22,096
Taiwan: 3,137
Japan: 2,724
Indonesia: 2,048

Are the Japanese and Indonesian higher case fatality rate a function of low rate of testing and therefore, reduced case confirmation? OTOH, the case rate for those two countries is similar to that in higher test locations Hong Kong and S. Korea.

The highest infection rates, so far, are in the Gulf states, but the death rates and fatality rates are low in comparison to western Europe and the US. The high number of mostly SE Asian migrant workers might explain the high infection rate due to their live/work environments and their recovery is similar to that in other Asian countries. If so, they're younger and less prone to obesity than we westerners, but that's only speculation on my part.

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3 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Marie

...and much needed. Thanks for weighing in on the Gulf States, too. Their wealth makes them unique, and like most nations that do well, their public health systems are strong. They have a lot of International traffic, both very high end and migrant. In looking at the variables, I discovered the vast world of migrant workers. The scale of this is something I could have never imagined. They are flown all over the world in constant waves and they do have important and specialized skills that we just don't think about. Without them, many countries are helpless to feed themselves and conduct trade. Much of the economic turmoil of the pandemic came from a disruption in their travel. Our global interconnectivity is far more intricate that we may consider. It's a very complex system and change from the outside results in massive unintended consequences. Massive overpopulation has made our species a freak of nature. Unenlightened intelligence has made us a pathogen to the planet and each other.

Nonetheless, this type of analysis — sifting through big data — is could lead us out of the mazeor give us a clearer picture of what is really going on. You mentioned that the numbers reported are unreliable. That is undoubtedly true and wide spread. Epidemiologists know this and yet they plow on, buying time for the biologists to find the solution to deadly problems we are creating.

Tnanks again for the thoughtful input.

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1 user has voted.

Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic A high percentage of the migrant workers in Gulf states are labor and their living conditions are minimal to dreadful; ideal condition for the spread of COVID-19. Doubt that those workers are receive much in the way of medical care, and would be surprised if they're isolated until recovery. Again, I have no information that that's the locus of the high infection rate in those countries. And it's possible that infected migrant workers have been repatriated. That was the source for a number of cases in S. Korea.

If not for migrant health care workers, health care in Gulf states would probably collapse. So, it's possible that that is another factor in the high infection rate.

No way to tell if the reported numbers are unreliable. The shortage of test kits early on probably means some number were infected but weren't hospitalized and recovered and therefore, aren't included in the confirmed cases. However, those numbers would be small with the possible exception of China. (The first S Korean confirmed case was a woman returning from Wuhan 19 Jan and detected by airport screening. She had visited a doctor in Wuhan who thought she had a minor cold or flu.)

This far into the pandemic, we should have some preliminary information on false positive and negative test results. For now, false positives shouldn't be of much public health concern; the cost of this error is borne by the individual who is supposed to isolate for two weeks. Let's hope the false negatives are very rare. What still doesn't compute for me is the low rate of positive test results. There should be at least two negative results for each confirmed and assumed to be recovered case. That's a very small percentage of the total tests for all countries. So, who is getting all the other tests? And why?

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2 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Chenier. Dunno is that a EB trifecta, or just a music twofer?

To put that BP writedown in perspective, a huge chunk of it appears to stem from a re-evaluation of the long term price of Brent from 70/bbl to 55/bbl, a price well above current levels of abut 39/bbl. It's somewhere around 6 to 7 percent of its net worth, but a big chunk of that, for a producer class oil company is really air, the anticipated future value of anticipated recoverable oil and gas still in the ground. Just a year or two ago they bumped the value of their Saudi Reserves up a bunch.

I love that the DNC creates a committee to come up with a serious proposed solution to the climate emergency and then says it will just let sleepy Joe call the shots by himself. What was the whole point of that exercise, to advertise just how little the care about the climate and environment, or what?

be well and have a good one.

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10 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

bifecta, trifecta - whatever you want. Smile

heh, some time ago i read that the total amount of proven reserves claimed by oil companies was something like $27 trillion. back when i read that (it's been quite a while) it was pretty obvious that there was no way that all of those reserves could be extracted and burnt without exterminating much of the planet's life.

bp and its peers better start writing down faster.

heh, who cares what the dnc says? nobody takes them seriously.

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8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

I'm watching Jimmy Dore LIVE right now with Dylan Ratigan. Really hard to watch because the audio and video are not well synced, but they were talking about this article by David Sirota: They Had the Medicare-For-All Money All Along

Since 2008, we spent somewhere between $20-35 trillion on corporate bailouts -- that’s the allegedly “unaffordable” amount that could pay for Medicare for All in the same time period.

Have a nice night.

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14 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

wow, jimmy dore pounced on that one pretty quickly, the sirota article just showed up in my mailbox this afternoon. good on him, it's an excellent article.

have a great evening!

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7 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

Thanks as always for faithfully producing the EB! Good catch picking up on that link re the Fed.

https://wallstreetonparade.com/2020/06/the-federal-reserve-has-its-own-p...

What would be exposed, what police use of naked force would we see, if protesters in Minneapolis would ever get around to zeroing in on the Federal Reserve Bank building there, as representing the finance pillar of a system that is killing people?

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@lotlizard

bought lots of guns and ammo including hollow point bullets. Social security agency, fda, irs and many that we’ve never heard of got them. Why? I don’t know. But they did.

Hey guys what are you seeing on TV? Coverage on the protests has slackened way off.

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6 users have voted.

"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

travelerxxx's picture

@snoopydawg

Hey guys what are you seeing on TV? Coverage on the protests has slackened way off.

Wonder they're covering it at all. Hard to sell Buicks when you're showing cops kicking in people's heads and burger joints going up in smoke. Just not a good look, ya know?

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5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@travelerxxx  
Businesses invest huge marketing resources in cultivating “brand images” and “brand worlds” (the web of mental imagery, associations, and feelings evoked by a given brand’s name, trademark, advertising, packaging, etc.).

Billionaire owners have a huge problem when brands lose value as people begin to associate, for instance, the Starbucks logo or the McDonald’s slogan “I’m lovin’ it” with riots, fires, danger, and destruction.

The most vulnerable “brands” of all, whose image the elites want to see protected at all costs, are of course the abstractions we’re supposed to worship, such as Freedom™, Social Justice™, Capitalism™, Diversity™, the Two Party System™, Wall Street™, and the American Way of Life™.

When enough people start to realize that those things too are just empty words used to manipulate them, corral them, move them, and fire them up to go one way or the other, then the game is up.

Here’s an excellent example of how establishment media in the U.S. and Europe deflect even the direct accusation of a Bob Dylan into psychologically safe and culturally soothing channels. Even Bob Dylan’s best attempt to indict a whole political system and shake people awake (“redpill the normies,” as the saying goes) can’t break through media’s ability to co-opt, neutralize, spin, divert, and repackage every message back into a bluepill lullaby of “my, my, how about that! but no worry, deep-state-blest elites have got this, go back to sleep”:

https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/14/interview-most-foul/

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5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/03/amazon-kindle-data-re...

The real authoritarian threat isn’t just the cops — it’s Big Tech and its quest for shepherding and policing power over the very highways and byways of human thought.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@lotlizard

is probably the question to ask. I saw people saying that Facebook will get all your information if you sign up with them. This is true. However even if you don't FB will follow you all over the net and collect whatever data they want. How? Any time you land on a page that has a FB like on it then it will follow you to your next site and the next into infinity. Google and Apple have all your info after you buy one of their phones. So here is another right that has been whittled away under our noses with the help from congress. Caitlyn linked to an older article on how Feinstein was ordering FB and Google to crack down on fake news. She wasn't alone of course because people from both sides stood up and cheered here saying that. And of course we know that the Atlantic Council full of NATO goons have been teaming up with FB on censorship. The left stood and cheered when Alex Jones got banned from social media, but have had cows when it was people from the left. Go figure.

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3 users have voted.

"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."