The Evening Blues - 6-24-21


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Detroit Junior

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues piano player Detroit Junior. Enjoy!

Detroit Junior - Call My Job

"War has rules, mud wrestling has rules - politics has no rules."

-- Ross Perot

News and Opinion

‘Rules-Based International Order’ Means Washington-Based International Order

The US government has shut down multiple news media websites based in the Middle East, including Iran’s state-owned Press TV, and al-Masirah TV which is owned by the Houthi group Ansarullah in Yemen. The Department of Justice said on Tuesday it had seized 36 Iranian-linked websites, claiming without evidence that they were associated with “either disinformation activities or violent organizations” and were shut down for a violation of US sanctions.

This would be the same US government that is imprisoning Julian Assange for journalism which exposed US war crimes, the same US government which paid for the weapons used to destroy more than 20 Palestinian media outlets in Gaza last month, the same US government whose unipolar domination of the planet is made possible by the journalism-destroying propaganda of the media-owning plutocratic class in alliance with sociopathic government agencies.

This would also be the same US government which constantly pays lip service to the need to protect the freedom of the press, as part of the “rules-based international order” it purports to uphold in the world.

The Biden administration has been bleating “rules-based order” so frequently and with such obvious meaninglessness that even The New York Times voiced some criticism of the way that vapid, idiotic phrase is being used instead of the well-defined term “international law”. As Medea Benjamin and Nicolas JS Davies wrote for Salon last month:

For Blinken, the concept of a “rules-based order” seems to serve mainly as a cudgel with which to attack China and Russia. At a May 7 UN Security Council meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that instead of accepting the already existing rules of international law, the United States and its allies are trying to come up with “other rules developed in closed, non-inclusive formats, and then imposed on everyone else.” …

Today, far from being a leader of the international rules-based system, the United States is an outlier. It has failed to sign or ratify about 50 important and widely accepted multilateral treaties on everything from children’s rights to arms control. Its unilateral sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Venezuela and other countries are themselves violations of international law, and the new Biden administration has shamefully failed to lift these illegal sanctions, ignoring UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ request to suspend such unilateral coercive measures during the pandemic.

Indeed, US government officials babble endlessly about “rules”, and the “rules” are literally always tools used for the benefit of the US government, and the US government literally always flouts those “rules” exponentially worse than any other government on earth.

What the phrase “rules-based order” actually means is Washington-based order. It means a world order imposed by the US government and its lackey states on pain of devastation and death, which exists solely to keep the US at the head of a unipolar empire. It means do as I say, not as I do. It means rules for thee but not for me. It means we decide what happens based on what suits our interests.

If you peel away all the narrative spin and outward politeness, the US empire just looks like any other tyrannical force that has ever existed throughout human history, except it kills a lot more people than most of the others. In the old days the thugs with the most effective killing force would dominate everyone else using terror, wearing frightening battle costumes adorned with the body parts of their enemies. Nowadays they still dominate everyone else using terror, except they do it while wearing suits, and while waxing self-righteously about the “rules-based international order”. And they are much better at killing.

There is no other government on earth that is less qualified to impose any “order” upon the world. This is the only government on earth which has killed millions of people and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century, the only government on earth that is circling the planet with hundreds of military bases and working to destroy any nation which disobeys its dictates. Yemen alone completely delegitimizes any claim the US may have had to be the arbiter of “order” in the world, to say nothing of Iraq, Vietnam, Libya and all the other innumerable atrocities that this monstrous regime has inflicted upon our species.

The sooner humanity can extract the parasite that is the US empire from its skin, the better off the whole world will be.

Trita Parsi: What To Know About Iran's New Hardline Government

Craig Murray: Black Ops in the Black Sea

Sometimes it is worth stating the obvious. The United Kingdom does not have a coast in the Black Sea. British warships are not infesting the Black Sea out of a peaceful intent, and there is no cause for them to be entering disputed waters close to anybody’s coast. This is not a question of freedom of navigation under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea. There is nowhere that a British warship can be heading from the UK under the right of innocent passage that would require it to pass through coastal waters by Crimea. The Black Sea is famously a cul-de-sac. ...

Sending gunboats to the Crimea is as mad as – well, sailing an aircraft carrier expressly to threaten the Chinese. There are those who see this activity as evidence of the UK’s continued great power status. I see it as evidence of lunacy.

Brazil police use teargas and rubber bullets against indigenous protesters

Riot police have fired teargas and rubber bullets at indigenous activists protesting outside Brazil’s congress against new legislation that would undermine legal protections for indigenous territories, and open them up to commercial agriculture and mining. Thick clouds of teargas enveloped the demonstrators, including children and the elderly, as police attempted to clear the camp in Brasília on Tuesday where they have been protesting for the past two weeks.

“We were surprised from behind with gas bombs and rubber bullets. People were hurt in the confrontation,” said indigenous leader Dinamam Tuxá. “It was an abuse of power, with violence from the police.” Footage of the episode showed protesters running and shouting amid the clouds of gas. Tuxá said that police officers continued to shoot gas and rubber bullets even after one of the protester had collapsed on the ground. Protesters fought back with bows and arrows.

Three protesters were injured, as were three policemen who were hit by arrows, the police said. Despite the confrontations, hundreds of protesters returned to the streets on Wednesday, and indigenous women handed flowers to police officers.

FDA to add warning about rare heart inflammation to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

The US Food and Drug Administration will add a warning to the Covid vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna about rare cases of heart inflammation in adolescents and young adults, the agency announced on Wednesday.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory groups, meeting to discuss reported cases of the heart condition after vaccination, found the inflammation in adolescents and young adults is likely linked to the vaccines, but that the benefits of the shots appeared to clearly outweigh the risk.

Health regulators in several countries have been investigating whether the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna shots using new mRNA technology present a risk and, if so, how serious. The CDC said that patients with heart inflammation after vaccination generally recover from the symptoms and do well. ...

Concerns about the more highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant taking hold in the US, and its impact on younger people, have added to the urgency to increase vaccinations even as the inoculation effort here has slowed considerably.

People are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Companies should take note – and treat them better

Got an advanced degree? Twenty years of experience in your field? The ability to drop everything to respond to work emails? Great! Then you meet the qualifications for an entry-level job paying miserable wages. But you’ll need to have a gazillion interviews and write a thank-you letter after each one to have any chance of getting it, of course.

That’s an (only slightly exaggerated) reflection of what the job market has looked like for a long time. Wages have been stagnant for decades. Companies have been demanding more, and offering less: the power has been very much in employers’ hands. Now, in the US at least, the power balance may be shifting; people are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Almost 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April: the highest numbers since government record-keeping for labour turnover began in December 2000. Meanwhile, in the UK, a lot of people are seriously thinking about quitting – one study found 38% of employees are looking to change roles in the next year. ...

I am not an economist, but it seems to me that one way companies can end the labour shortage is by paying people more and treating them better. A few forward-thinking employers are trying this unusual strategy. For the most part, however, companies seem to be demanding that the government bail them out by creating conditions that give them their pool of desperate and easy-to-exploit workers back. The US’s largest lobbying group, for example, is trying to pressure the government to end unemployment benefits.

Sirota, worth a full read:

We’re told billionaire tax avoidance is ‘perfectly legal’. But is it?

In the wake of ProPublica’s recent disclosure of how billionaires avoid income taxes, a narrative has been manufactured: we are told that while the moguls’ schemes to reduce tax liability may be immoral, the tactics are all “perfectly legal”, in the words of ProPublica, an idea that was then echoed by the Associated Press, the New York Times and the pundit world. This conventional wisdom – depicted as unquestionable fact throughout corporate media – is held up as don’t-hate-the-player-hate-the-game proof that we should be angry only at the tax system, but not necessarily at the oligarchs getting rich off it. In fact, the only person so far presumed to be worthy of any law enforcement scrutiny is not any of the billionaires avoiding taxes, but the whistleblowing source of the IRS leak. ...

It is a familiar benefit of the doubt: billionaires may give a lot of cash to politicians, but they are hardly ever reported on as if they are explicitly corrupt. They may leverage their philanthropic empires to boost their business interests, but they are almost never depicted as crooked. They may pay a lower tax rate than everyone else, but they are rarely depicted by the media as outright scofflaws. Instead, we get a lot of talk about this being “just the way things work”. ... Few are daring to ask how many of these schemes existed in the gray area between legal tax avoidance and impermissible tax evasion. Even fewer are suggesting the findings should prompt any kind of government investigation of sophisticated tax shelters and circumvention tactics. ...

And what’s striking is how this presumption runs up against ample evidence that America’s tax laws – even as weak as they are – are actually being systematically flouted by the wealthy. ... For instance, after using a one-time gift of free tuition to generate positive headlines for himself, the Vista Equity Partners billionaire Robert Smith last year settled a massive criminal case over tax evasion. Similarly, UBS, Credit Suisse, HSBC and KPMG have paid fines to settle justice department cases uncovering their roles in rampant tax evasion – and in the process some of them have confessed to criminal wrongdoing. These schemes were not isolated incidents: as prosecutors noted in the emblematic Credit Suisse case, the bank “knowingly and willfully aided and assisted thousands of US clients in opening and maintaining undeclared accounts and concealing their offshore assets and income from the IRS”. ...

In light of this, why does a leak like ProPublica’s still somehow prompt a societal presumption of innocence? It is one thing to benefit from such a presumption in a court of law, which everyone deserves. But why on a cultural level – in the public imagination – are we led to just assume that magnates must be following all the rules when they avoid paying billions in taxes? Two words: class bias. And it comes from both government and media. For decades, public officials have beaten the tough-on-crime drum at the working class, while actively helping the wealthy cheat the system – a message insinuating that moguls’ plots to bilk the country must all be permissible under the law. ...

ProPublica’s tax revelations certainly spotlight the need for lawmakers to fix a rigged tax system and for Congress to beef up IRS enforcement for the long haul. But they also illustrate the need for law enforcement officials to investigate the elaborate tax schemes that billionaires are using to enrich themselves in the here and now. After all, this is a whodunit unfolding inside a larger tax crime spree, and there is a smoking gun of IRS records showing billionaires squirreling away piles of cash. Beholding that kind of looting, and then simply declaring that everything must be “perfectly legal” before an investigation ever happens doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Coal Miners Tells Blackrock They SUCK To Their Face

SCOTUS Rules AGAINST Unions, Stands Up For Snapchat Free Speech

Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Rules Union Organizing on Farms Violates Landowners' Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday dealt a significant blow to the rights of agricultural workers to organize, ruling 6-3 that a California regulation granting union representatives access to farms amounted to an uncompensated government taking of farm owners' private property.

Wednesday's decision (pdf) in Cedar Point Nursery vs. Hassid "makes a racist, broken farm labor system even more unequal," said the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). "SCOTUS fails to balance a farmer's property rights with a farm worker's human rights."

"Farm workers are the hardest working people in America," UFW added. "This decision denies workers the right to use breaks to freely discuss whether they want to have a union."

Other critics of the ruling included Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), who tweeted that the high court's right-wing majority, a product of the Republican Party's recent stacking of the bench, "has handed down another attack on organized labor in their long war against working Americans."

At issue was a California regulation that allows labor organizers to enter private farms to talk with farm workers during non-working times about joining a union.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that "the access regulation grants labor organizations a right to invade the growers' property," which he characterized as an appropriation without just compensation.

The decision "expands the category of per se physical takings," said Jenny Breen, associate professor of law at Syracuse University, setting a judicial precedent with potentially profound consequences.

As Breen explained in an email to Common Dreams:

Government regulations that affect property rights are typically analyzed using a fact-oriented balancing test established by the court in the 1978 case Penn Central v. NYC. Instead of applying that test to the facts of this case, the court applied a separate line of cases regarding per se physical takings of private property by the government. That decision is perplexing given the obvious fact that the government did not physically take the property of the agricultural employers in the case, but merely gave agricultural employees the right to meet with union organizers at their place of work (during non-working times and in ways that did not interfere with work). The court applies the physical, per se takings line of cases because it concludes that the regulation "amounts to a simple appropriation of private property" because it limited the employers' "right to exclude."

The ruling has major implications, according to Steve Vladeck, the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law.

As a result of the decision, Vladeck said, "states cannot authorize unions (or anyone else) to enter private property, even for lawful activities (like union organizing) without compensating the property owners"—an additional cost the labor movement can ill afford.

Samir Sonti, assistant professor at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, described the decision as "an attack on California agricultural workers and their right to organize for better working conditions."

"The 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (CALRA) was a landmark victory for the UFW and others, which at least in one state confronted the historic injustice of farm worker exclusion from federal labor law," Sonti told Common Dreams. "That important law has now taken a major hit."

It is "a bit less clear" how the ruling will affect labor law more broadly, noted Sonti.

"Decades of precedents have already undermined the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) as it pertains to union organizers' access to the workplace," he said. "Only under the most exceptional circumstances are private sector workers attempting to form a union able to speak to an organizer while on the employer's property."

"While Cedar Point is devastating for California agricultural workers, its impact on others workers may be minimal—but only because they already have so few rights on the job," he added.

Sonti likened Wednesday's ruling to the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Janus vs. AFSCME, which held that public sector unions cannot collect so-called "fair share" fees that help unions represent all workers, including non-unionized ones. Both rulings, he told Common Dreams, constitute assaults on the labor movement and are geared toward "enshrining the race to the bottom" when it comes to worker rights.

In addition to undermining the CALRA, the Cedar Point decision has far-reaching constitutional ramifications. According to Vladeck, "It's not just a major loss for unions. It's a major win for property rights beyond labor cases."

Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissenting opinion—which was joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor—warned that "the majority's conclusion threatens to make many ordinary forms of regulation unusually complex or impractical."

Those concerns were shared by Breen, who criticized the high court for continuing "to assume that employers have nearly unfettered private property rights that are unaffected by the presence of workers on their property."

As Biden Pledges Police Funding to Curb Gun Violence, Activists Call for Community Investment

First rioter sentenced for US Capitol attack gets probation instead of prison time

A federal judge sentenced a Capitol rioter to probation, not prison time, after she made an emotional apology to “the American people” for participating in “a savage display of violence”.

Anna Morgan-Lloyd, a 49-year-old Donald Trump supporter from Indiana, was the first person to be sentenced for participating in the 6 January attack. She will spend no time in prison after pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building”.

Judge Royce C Lamberth gave Morgan-Lloyd three years of probation, but warned that other defendants who had not been as cooperative or contrite as she had been should not expect the same punishment.

“I don’t want to create the impression that probation is the automatic outcome here, because it’s not going to be,” Lamberth said.

Morgan-Lloyd had initially boasted on Facebook about how she had “stormed the Capitol”, calling the event “the most exciting day of my life”. The Indiana grandmother and a friend had only spent a little over 10 minutes inside a Capitol hallway, prosecutors said, and had not been violent, destroyed government property, incited others to commit violence, or had any apparent connections with extremist groups. Prosecutors said Morgan-Lloyd spent approximately two days in jail after storming the Capitol, and said she had cooperated fully with law enforcement and later expressed regret for her actions.

the horse race

Krystal Ball: Buffalo Elects First SOCIALIST Mayor Of Major City In 60 Years

Buffalo elects a terrorist mayor:

Socialist India Walton Will Be Buffalo’s Next Mayor

Before giving her victory speech on Tuesday night, India Walton raised a fist in the air. “I hate to say I told you so,” she said. Walton is a nurse, an organizer, and a nonprofit executive who received more than 50 percent of Tuesday’s vote in the Democratic primary for mayor of Buffalo, New York. She’s also a socialist, an abolitionist, and a member of the Buffalo chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. Her opponent, Byron Brown, was an incumbent seeking a record fifth term backed by the local Democratic machine, the Buffalo News Editorial Board, the New York State Nurses Association, and the Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union. He has not yet conceded. There is no Republican candidate in the race.

As the Democratic nominee in a heavily Democratic city without a Republican contender, Walton will all but definitely win Buffalo’s general mayoral election in November. A former member and representative for 1199 SEIU (the union that endorsed her opponent), and backed by the Democratic Socialists of America, the Working Families Party, and the Buffalo Teachers Federation, Walton will be the first mayor in the U.S. identifying as a socialist in more than half a century. ...

Walton’s is a major win for the progressive left, which struggled to coalesce behind one candidate in the New York City mayoral race. Walton ran on a community-centered approach to public safety that prioritized independent oversight of police, harm reduction, and restorative justice. She also focused on strengthening tenants’ rights; declaring Buffalo a sanctuary city and refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and prioritizing small, minority, and women-owned businesses for local contracts.

Michigan Republicans find no voter fraud and say Trump claims ‘ludicrous’

An investigation into the Michigan election by state Republican lawmakers has concluded that there is no evidence of widespread fraud and dismissed the need for an Arizona-style forensic audit of the results. ...

The Michigan Republican report released on Wednesday followed 28 hours of legislative hearings starring local and national pro-Trump conspiracy theorists such as former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. The report labeled many of their claims “ludicrous” and called on the state Democratic attorney general to open investigations into those who may have profited from making false claims.

The report was authored by the Republican-controlled senate oversight committee and it said it found no evidence of dead voters, no precincts with 100% turnout and no evidence of a Detroit ballot dump that benefited Biden, as GOP activists have claimed occurred.

“There is no evidence presented at this time to prove either significant acts of fraud or that an organized, wide-scale effort to commit fraudulent activity was perpetrated in order to subvert the will of Michigan voters,” the report reads. “Citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan.”

The report represents a stunning repudiation of the unsubstantiated claims made by the state’s pro-Trump activists and Trump himself in their bid to overturn the critical battleground state’s results. Biden won Michigan by about 154,000 votes, or three percentage points. The tally was upheld by judges appointed by both parties in state and federal court, the bipartisan boards of state canvassers and reviews by election officials.

Mitch McConnell Lays Down Radical Marker on Voting Rights: “This Is Not a Federal Issue”

Since 1965, the idea that the federal government has a role to play in protecting the right to vote has been a universally held opinion among elected officials. In 2006, the Voting Rights Act was reauthorized by Congress and passed the Senate by a vote of 98-0. It included a provision that required states with a history of discrimination in voting laws to preclear any new election laws with the Justice Department. In 2013, in a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice John Roberts struck the preclearance provision down, arguing that the South had changed and that it was no longer necessary.

Southern states began immediately to amend their voting laws, with court documents showing the explicit purpose being to minimize the power of the Black vote in an effort to boost Republican candidates. On Tuesday, the Senate moved to take up debate on S. 1, the “For the People Act.” ... S. 1 represents the Democratic response to recent voter suppression laws.

In explaining the party’s position, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act as recently as 2006, declared that the federal government ought to have no role in elections, a view that would have been at home between 1890 and 1965, but is strikingly radical in a post-civil rights era.

“This is not a federal issue. It oughta be left to the states. There’s nothing broken around the country,” McConnell said at his weekly press conference when asked why Republicans were blocking a voting rights bill from being debated on the Senate floor.

Democrats seek way forward after voting rights bill hits Senate roadblock

After nearly six months of watching Republicans relentlessly make it harder to vote in the US, Democrats suffered a major blow on Tuesday after GOP senators used a legislative maneuver to halt a sweeping voting rights and ethics bill. The vote doesn’t kill the bill, but it marks one of the most significant setbacks for Democrats in Joe Biden’s presidency so far. ...

“This kicks off the next phase of the fight,” said Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United and Let America Vote, a group running a $30m campaign in support of the bill. ... It’s not clear what the path forward might look like. Last week, Manchin released a compromise that maintained some of the most important provisions in the bill – including making election day a federal holiday, requiring two weeks of early voting, allowing automatic registration at motor vehicle offices, and mandating that states give voters seven days’ notice of a polling place change. However, the proposal does include a voter ID requirement, allowing for more aggressive voter purging, and does not require states to create independent redistricting commissions, which reformers see as a gold standard in curbing excessive gerrymandering.

Republicans appear unlikely to come around on Manchin’s compromise bill. And while Barack Obama endorsed the compromise on Monday, more than 20 civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Black Voters Matter, said the proposal was inadequate. “Senator Manchin’s compromise fails to adequately address the more than 400 voter suppression measures that are being introduced across the country,” they wrote in a joint statement. “Most damaging is its neglect of protections for formerly incarcerated and justice impacted voters; voters with disabilities; Black and all multi-marginalized voters. There has been no indication from Senator Manchin’s reported conversations with conservatives that he has been able to secure Republican support for any of the core elements of [the legislation] which is disappointing to the many activists who are pushing for passage of the bill.” ...

Muller pointed to the Senate’s August recess as a deadline to pass a bill, when many states are set to begin drawing electoral districts for the next decade. Republicans control the redistricting process in many states and without the anti-gerrymandering provisions of the bill in place, lawmakers would be free to manipulate districts to give them a significant advantage in elections.

Sen. Merkley on Voting Rights, the Filibuster & Why Infrastructure Deal Must Address Climate Crisis

Andrew Yang drops out of New York mayoral race as Eric Adams leads

Andrew Yang, who led the polls in the New York mayoral election in the early months of the race, conceded defeat on Tuesday night, after results from the first vote count showed him slumping and former police officer Eric Adams in the lead.

The concession capped a disappointing performance for Yang, a former tech entrepreneur and long-shot presidential candidate, with early tallies showing him in fourth place for the race to lead the largest city in the US.

While Adams led on Tuesday, however, he is a long way from being confirmed as the Democratic candidate for mayor – a nomination almost certain to guarantee a win in the election proper this November in the overwhelmingly Democratic-voting city. ...

On Wednesday morning Adams was at 31.7% with 84% of early and on-the-day votes counted, with Maya Wiley, a progressive civil rights lawyer, trailing on 22.3%. Kathryn Garcia, a former New York sanitation commissioner, was third with 19.5% of the vote.

“I am not going to be the mayor of New York City based upon the numbers that have come in tonight,” Yang said in a speech on Tuesday night. By Wednesday he had 11.7% of the vote.

the evening greens

Why the water in California’s capital stinks right now

The water district of Sacramento, California, has always fielded calls from concerned residents reporting a weird taste and odor in the water coming out of their taps. A naturally occurring compound called geosmin can give the water an earthy taste when water levels are low and temperatures are high. The water isn’t dangerous, but it is stinky. Typically the complaint calls don’t start until autumn or late summer. But this year is different, thanks to a worsening drought that has hit the region hard. ...

The situation prompted the city to issue a statement that the water was safe to drink, and recommending that residents chill the water or add a little lemon to mask the muskiness. The suggestion raised some eyebrows, but officials are hoping to assuage people’s fears and say the situation is a reminder of the daily challenges of dealing with extreme drought.

The changes in water quality aren’t limited to Sacramento. Other districts across California have reported concerns about water taste and smell, especially during dry periods, and the issue is one of several symptoms of the drought disaster. In other areas, wells are expected to go dry and already more than a million Californians lack access to safe drinking water. A report issued by the state water resources control board this year found that roughly 620 public water systems and 80,000 domestic wells were at risk of failure.

US Navy’s powerful shock exercise harms marine mammals, expert says

The US navy set off a massive explosion last week, detonating a 40,000lb blast as part of a test to determine whether its newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, is ready for war. The test, known as a full ship shock trial, is just the first of three planned blasts over the coming months.

But the amount of explosive used – 40,000 lbs – is enough to have outsized effects on any marine life in the area, said Michael Jasny, who directs the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Marine Mammal Protection Project, working on the law and policy of ocean noise pollution.

Ordinarily, the navy uses much smaller detonations in sinking exercises, just a fraction of this size, he says.

“The navy’s own modeling indicates that some smaller species of marine mammals would be expected to die within 1-2km of the blast, and that some marine mammal species would suffer injury including hearing loss out to 10km of the blast. That gives some sense of the power of the explosives we are talking about,” Jasny said.

The area is home to populations of dolphin and small whales at this time of year, and Jasny says that’s worrisome because as a general rule, smaller animals are more vulnerable to blast injury. “A large whale might need to be within a few hundred meters of the blast to die, while a small mammal could be a couple of kilometers away,” he said, adding that even if the animals survive, loss of hearing is a significant problem for mammals who make their living in the ocean, as they use their hearing to find food and find each other.

Also of Interest

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

Fed Chair Powell Misleads House Hearing on Wall Street’s Bailout Programs

These Uppity Brits Need A Slap-like Lesson

Freedom Rider: Biden, Putin and the Press

Democracy Dies At The Washington Post Editorial Board

Why Non Surveillance States Will Out Compete Surveillance States

'We're Not Going Away!' Nonviolent Protest Over Voting Rights Ends With Arrests in DC

Leaked IPCC Draft Climate Report 'Reads Like a 4,000-Page Indictment' of Humanity's Failure

Scientists identify 29 planets where aliens could observe Earth

Krystal and Saagar: MSNBC Admits Maddow Not A REAL Source Of Information

Smoke, fire and lasers: Palestinian protesters try to force out Israeli settlers

4 young Palestinian refugees on resistance, Gaza, and exile

Rising: Tom Perez JUMPS IN MD Gov Race, Will Anti-Union Ties Hurt Him?

A Little Night Music

Detroit Junior - Money Tree

Detroit Jr. - Too Poor

Detroit Junior - So Unhappy

Detroit Jr. - Money Crazy

Detroit Jr - The Way I Feel

Detroit Jr - Young Blood

Detroit Jr - Alice

Detroit Junior - Some Nerve

Detroit Junior - Baby Workout

14 users have voted.


ggersh's picture

If I'm black and have smack instead of coke I get 10 to 20.

But hey hey I'm white and attack the Capital, probation, community
service and a small fine is cool.

First rioter sentenced for US Capitol attack gets probation instead of prison time

A federal judge sentenced a Capitol rioter to probation, not prison time, after she made an emotional apology to “the American people” for participating in “a savage display of violence”.

In the first two weeks of 2020’s Black liberation protests, police arrested more than 17,000 people in 50 major cities, according to The Washington Post. Publicly available arrest records show that the overwhelming majority of people arrested in 15 cities nationwide were accused of nonviolent misdemeanors, most on charges of violating newly imposed citywide curfews or emergency orders.
Some of these people remain on house arrest with no trial date in sight, like Mohawk Johnson, a Chicago-based rapper and comedian who was arrested at an August protest for allegedly swinging a skateboard at police to defend protesters. Some received home visits from federal agents after attending protests or providing community mutual aid. The FBI conducted door-knocks and home raids of anti-racist organizers across the United States, including in New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Portland, OR, and within prisons. Often these visits were in connection to last summer’s uprisings, but federal law enforcement also used the far-right attack on the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 as an excuse to visit the homes of anti-racists and anti-fascists in an effort to further target activists on the left.

12 users have voted.

I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
those born Jewish

"Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
now it's someone who Jews don't like"

Heard from Margaret Kimberley

joe shikspack's picture


heh, kinda reminds me of an old song.

7 users have voted.
mimi's picture

still enough mouths left functioning to say anything. By now the lips should be so used up that there are no mouths left to say anything.

Strange. Thanks for the EB. I made it through the headlines and first minutes of the videos. I just dream of the Morning Blues to come out.

I am too tired and have no lips that can service some rational thought. Please forgive.

Good Night, EBers and friends. Be well and confident. There will always a reason for the next war. So, no worries. As long as you can emigrate to Maine, there is hope. /s

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, the thing is that there is functionally a near endless supply of mouths, rational thought has little to do with it, and there is no need for them to have anything to say to keep providing lip service.

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.

Is there no longer honor among thieves?

Thanks for the EB Joe.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


thieves have stratified into classes, with some thieves having achieved such lofty heights of thievery that there is honor amongst their own class that does not extend down to more prosaic criminals. so much for dylan's observation that to live outside the law you must be honest.

7 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

6 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

joe shikspack's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

heh, yeah, you may be the bringer of elephants tonight.

i haven't been able to figure out whether it's an elephant or a mouse to tell you the truth. it really seems like it could be either and i am open to facts and persuasion.

7 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@joe shikspack
You leave something available, they'll gladly take it.
Many years of rodent avoidance has taught that lesson well.
On the other hand, there are no wild elephants in michigan.
At least not anymore.

4 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

got the great ruling he so deserved!
have a great evening, joe, and I am glad for your cooler weather.
It is beginning to be hot, damn hot, in Texas.

7 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

i don't think that donziger's motion has been ruled on yet, at least a quick google doesn't turn up any results for it.

sorry to hear that texas is trying to fry you guys. the last few days here have been a fabulous respite from the usual hot and humid weather that we have this time of year. i hope that you get a break, too.

have a great evening!

7 users have voted.

She knows who she is and what she stands for. She speaks with grace and dignity with a whiff of impishness.

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yep, me too. i hope that she turns out to be a great mayor for buffalo.

6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

... would be a dream come through, right? But what do I know.

On other news ... the Nazis are coming, run and hide. Angie Merkel will go into history as one of the best German chancellors. Many will cry after she is gone. The lady had some nerves to do her job.

I wanna buy a little hut in Maine and be close to Buffalo. I like India Walton there quite a bit.

The hell is coming up in September. May be some hut in Alaska would be a good idea?

heh just my usual kidding around. Bye.

6 users have voted.

I thought this tweeter made a nice point:

It's about to get unreasonably warm up hear in the Pacific Northwest, glad to hear you are making out alright weatherwise. Be well.

9 users have voted.

@peachcreek Probably way over the heads of all but leftie political junkies.

3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, that was an excellent tweet. i hope that she does an outstanding job in buffalo, goes indie and smashes buttigieg in a future presidential election. a fella can dream.

2 users have voted.