29 June 2024

Sleeping on the job

Semini Kwsta's "Il Nostro Inconto" is from the South American Painters collection.

I don't know how much more of this I can face. The only solution I can see is launching all the billionaires into the sun.

Assange out of prison, but not without extracting a plea deal for the phony charges. This story isn't over and we'll have to wait to see where it goes, but for the moment Julian Assange is out of Britain and headed home to Australia and his family.

Tom Tomorrow presents the Trump Felony Conviction Talking Points from the GOP.

"Revealed: Israeli spy chief 'threatened' ICC prosecutor over war crimes inquiry: Mossad director Yossi Cohen personally involved in secret plot to pressure Fatou Bensouda to drop Palestine investigation, sources say [...] Cohen, who was one of Netanyahu's closest allies at the time and is emerging as a political force in his own right in Israel, personally led the Mossad's involvement in an almost decade-long campaign by the country to undermine the court. [...] According to accounts shared with ICC officials, he is alleged to have told her: 'You should help us and let us take care of you. You don't want to be getting into things that could compromise your security or that of your family.'"

"3 weeks before Oct. 7, IDF Gaza Division warned of Hamas plan to attack, take 250 hostages: Report reveals Sept. 19 document that specified terror group was training for mass assault on south; 'I feel like crying, yelling, swearing,' says soldier involved with memo"

Harold Meyerson, "Who Created the Israel-Palestine Conflict? It wasn't really Jews or Palestinians. It was the U.S. Congress, which closed American borders 100 years ago this month. Without either side even noticing it, we're coming up on the centenary of the most decisive event in the fraught history of the Israel-Palestine relationship. It was not the 1896 publication of Theodor Herzl's Zionist manifesto, nor the 1917 Balfour Declaration in which the United Kingdom pledged its support for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine. It was not the 1948 founding of the Israeli state and subsequent Nakba—the expulsion of many thousands of Palestinians from Israel. Nor was it Israel's occupation, following the 1967 war, of what had been Palestinian territories, or either of the two intifadas. Rather, it was the enactment on May 26, 1924, of the Johnson-Reed Act by the Congress of the United States. Fueled chiefly by white Protestant xenophobic fear and rage at Jews and Catholics flowing into the United States since the 1880s, the act effectively outlawed immigration from Russia, Poland, Italy, and all of Eastern and Southern Europe. Had that pre-Trumpian wall not gone up on America's borders, there's no reason to think there ever would have been more than a trickle of Jews moving to Palestine.

"The Music Mafia's Invincible 'Poison Dwarf,' in the Crosshairs at Last? The DOJ says Live Nation has been colluding with its former chairman Irving Azoff to fix artist fees and 'pimp' Ticketmaster."

RIP: "Donald Sutherland Dies: Revered Actor In Klute, Ordinary People, MASH, Hunger Games & Scores Of Others Was 88." I can't remember when I first saw him, but I know I loved him when he got involved with FTA. There's a nice gallery of pictures here.

RIP: "Willie Mays, the Giants' electrifying 'Say Hey Kid,' dies at 93 [...] The center fielder, who began his professional career in the Negro Leagues in 1948, had been baseball's oldest living Hall of Famer. He was voted into the Hall in 1979, his first year of eligibility, and in 1999 followed only Babe Ruth on The Sporting News' list of the game's top stars. The Giants retired his uniform number, 24, and set their AT&T Park in San Francisco on Willie Mays Plaza."

RIP: "Kinky Friedman, Proudly Eccentric Texas Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 79: Known for songs like "Sold American," the cigar-chomping character and buddy of Willie Nelson won acclaim as a journalist and novelist and once ran for Texas governor"

RIP: "Martin Mull, Arrested Development and Roseanne actor, dies aged 80: Martin Mull, whose droll, esoteric comedy and acting made him a hip sensation in the 1970s and later a beloved guest star on sitcoms including Roseanne and Arrested Development, has died, his daughter said on Friday. He was 80 years old." I saw his furniture at The Cellar Door, and learned this song from him.

"King Alito's Arrogance Has Reached Frightening New Levels [...] But there is a substantive problem that we're starting to pick up on, and that is Justice Alito, in recent weeks, making very real and serious errors in his opinions. They're actually prompting corrections from sources that he cites, who say, 'No, my work reflects the opposite of what you're claiming.' [...] As all three liberals said in their dissents, that is not what the Supreme Court is supposed to do. Yet it's very similar to what happened in the racial gerrymandering case, where Alito looked at what the district court had found after a lengthy trial and hearing and rejected it point-by-point, saying I know better than you. This is King Alito declaring that he alone may speak the truth. What's really alarming is that the other conservatives are going along with it. They just accept that King Alito can decree these new realities and facts and histories."

I can't read the article discussed here, but maybe you can. I can't read it because I'm in England, where it's blocked. "The British justice system and British censorship: Rachel Aviv has published a brilliant investigation of the conviction of the nurse Lucy Letby on seven charges of murder. It ranks with David Grann's article about the execution of Cameron Todd WIllingham as a withering indictment of a government's criminal procedure. Both articles will lead you dismayed about how little real evidence may be needed to take someone's liberty or life." I gather there are serious questions about this conviction. The British press was free to vilify the accused, but now we can't read about those who may have put her in the frame. As Scott says, "There may be certain limited circumstances in which restrictions on reporting during an ongoing trial might be justifiable, even if they generally wouldn't be under the American system. But I can't see a good defense for an order that sweeping, which insulates the state from criticism during an appeals process. The criminal justice system is a locus of state power that needs the scrutiny of the press like any other. And it also has the effect of removing desperately needed scrutiny from the press itself"

Jacobin interviews Lily Geismer about her new book: "The Democrats Didn't Just Fail to Defend Social Programs. They Actively Undermined Them. In the '80s and '90s, the Democrats took a jackhammer to education, housing, and social welfare. This isn't the story of a weak party unable to defend its earlier gains, but a transformed party demolishing them in service of a new neoliberal ideology."

Matt Taibbi called my attention to the fact that the bank heist was so egregious that even Saturday Night Live noticed it and had a cold open of "Timothy Geithner" explaining.

"Scientists Find Crows Are Capable of Recursion — A Cognitive Ability Thought to Be Unique to Humans and Other Primates."

Melbourne Ska Orchestra - Get Smart theme

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