May 9, 2021


Blue indicates better trend. Red indicates worse trend.

In the US, the peak weekly average of new cases per capita is better than in every other month since last May.  It is only 24% higher than in May 2020. The US has 21% of the world's cases. The percent of global deaths occurring in the US is 18%. The percent of US cases resulting in death is 1.8%. 

The peak of global per capita new cases is worse in every month except  December and January. The global death  rate is 2.1%. The current global case rate is 264% higher than in May 2020. 

The states with the highest number of recent cases per capita are Michigan, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The states with the lowest number of recent per capita cases are Oklahoma, California, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Kansas, DC and Hawaii.

The time we're in

Sam Smith - The other day I found myself wondering who among the famous and powerful I still admired and discovered my list painfully short. Instead, I began thinking of liars and con artists or, at best, popular figures much better at appearing to be what they were meant to be than actually being it. 

While the Trumpians of course led the pack, even well-meaning media voices have unconsciously redefined objectivity by treating the political right fraud as if it was merely another alternative. And presumably wise academics join by regarding our status as within the range of normal. 

In my lifetime, however, I would rank this as the worst for America, partially matched only by the horrors of the McCarthy era. In both cases, lies turned into accepted reality. 

The McCarthy period came back to mind thanks to a book I've been reading, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, by Fredrik Logevall. I was never a big fan of Kennedy, in part because I had learned to judge politicians by what they did rather than whom they seemed to be. Kennedy was the first president to benefit from show business, particularly the new technology of television. In fact, while JFK won the post television debate poll against Nixon, he lost among radio listeners. During the 1960 campaign, Norman Mailer wrote that Kennedy was "going to be seen as a great box-office actor."

But what I never knew about this actor was his friendly relationship with Joseph McCarthy, described in part by Logevall:

Kennedy knew Joe McCarthy and got on well with him. He was a fellow Irish Catholic who, like Jack, had served in the South Pacific during the war .... and who had come around for dinners at the Georgetown home in 1947, when both men were new on Capitol Hill. Jack got a kick out of McCarthy’s affability and energy on these evenings, and Eunice, too, welcomed his presence. McCarthy’s penchant for profanity didn’t bother Jack; he himself could curse like the sailor he had once been. In due course McCarthy would squire both Eunice and on occasion her sister Patricia to evening events in Washington and Boston, and would visit the Kennedys in Hyannis Port. He attended Robert Kennedy’s wedding to Ethel Skakel

 A 1954 poll found that 50% approved of McCarthy and only 29% disapproved. It is interesting that, given the current role of Rep. Liz Cheney, that the rare voice to speak out again McCarthy in the Senate was a Republican woman, Margaret Chase Smith.

Today we're in a similar period in which the purportedly constitutional and democratic establishment is painfully weak, in which lies are given normalcy, fiction treated as a rational version of truth, and the despicable are judged by rank and notoriety,  not reality. 

The obvious cure is for those supposed homelands for the moral -  academia, media and churches for example - to dump their fear and caution and rise up for democracy and decency. If Liz Cheney and Margaret Chase Smith can do it, they can too.

Platform Co-op Plans Major Online Tutoring And Teaching

Two Catholic bishops at odds over Biden receiving Communion


May be an image of ‎text that says '‎۔ The revolution has begun 4‎'‎

Via Scott McLarty


The bloody, brutal roots of Trumpism

Remnants of Chinese rocket land in Indian Ocean

A Pennsylvania Lawmaker and the Resurgence of Christian Nationalism

May 8, 2021

Capitol police report 107% increase in threats against Congress members

Stupid stuff

 Roger Stone Wants Michael Flynn to Run for President in 2024 if Trump Doesn't


Sometime in July, Feedburner will be ending its email subscriber service. If you get Feedburner by email we recommend you send us an email with the subject SUBSCRIBE and your email address and we will add you to our email service, which goes out every other day. Write

Chinese rocket junk headed for earth crash at unknown location

Inside America's Rural Housing Crisis

Threats to Members of Congress Are Up Staggering 107 Percent

Traumatized Ex-DeSantis Staffers Have a Support Group

Happy birthday: Center for Court Innovation

One of the reasons we don't create better the America we want is that we concentrate on eliminating evil with too little effort at creating good. An exception is the now 25 year old Center for Court Innovation. As it describes the story:

The Center began as a single project, Midtown Community Court, within the New York City court system to reduce incarceration and is now leading programs that limit the system’s reach into communities of color in New York City, Newark, N.J., Syracuse, N.Y., and Los Angeles. 

Over the years, the Center has moved beyond courts to work across the justice system and directly in the communities most impacted by under-investment and over-policing. We run programs that spur economic development, help young people become entrepreneurs, and change norms around intimate partner violence.      

The Center brought to New York City the Cure Violence model, a community-driven approach that has been proven to reduce gun violence. Most victims of shootings are Black and Brown New Yorkers and incidents are most concentrated in already under-resourced communities. 

Today, there are 26 sites across the city using strategies to prevent shootings, address the traumatic effects of violence, and provide mentors to those at risk of perpetrating or being the victims of violence.      The Center has advocated for policy changes and introduced reforms through hands-on, expert assistance to justice practitioners and community members in all 50 states and in countries around the world.      

By demonstrating the effectiveness of alternatives to incarceration through its programs and research, the Center paved the way for landmark legislation, including the elimination of New York’s harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws, laws that raised the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, and major reforms to New York’s bail system. These changes kept people out of jail and reduced the harms of justice-system involvement.      

The Center has changed the way thousands of people experience housing justice by creating community-based resource centers in the New York City neighborhoods of Red Hook, Brownsville, and Harlem. These centers have piloted new ways to prevent evictions and connect residents to the tools and resources they need to advocate for safe, affordable, and stable housing. Collectively, they reached over 6,000 people in 2020.  

PS: The reason we learned about the Center was that its director from 2002 to 2020 was Greg Berman, who had served in the mid-80s as a reporter for the Progressive Review.

Federal judge blasts Justice Department 'morons' for the 'inhuman' conditions of federal prisons in NYC - which make it impossible to give a fair sentence to inmates

Trump Justice Department secretly obtained Post reporters’ phone records

May 7, 2021

Musicians Say Streaming Doesn’t Pay

Florida's new election law: another attack on democracy

New York Times - The law, Senate Bill 90, limits the use of drop boxes where voters can deposit absentee ballots, and adds more identification requirements for anyone requesting an absentee ballot. It also requires voters to request an absentee ballot for each two-year election cycle, rather than every four years, under the previous law. Additionally, it limits who can collect and drop off ballots.

Continue reading the main story

Melinda Gates ‘warned Bill about Jeffrey Epstein in 2013’

The $50 billion race to save America’s renters from eviction

California's population fell by more than 182,000 in 2020, the first yearly drop for the nation's most populous state

Receptionist Excluded From Pizza Order at Work Wins $32,000 in Court

FEC Abruptly Abandons Probe Into Trump’s Stormy Payments

Origin of relgious right: Segregation not abortion

Don’t Fall for the D.C. Retrocession ‘Okey-Doke’

Crime update

May be an image of text that says 'What the? SOUTH Australian police are spreading resources to find thieves who made off with 42kg of mayonnaise. Two 21kg tubs of the condiment went missing from a Whyalla warehouse on Saturday. Police said they were puzzled why anyone would steal so much. Anyone seen making large potato salads or coleslaws should be treated suspiciously. FIRST CHIEF'


Via Scott Langill

Has America had enough of war?

Stupid stuff

Capitol Rioter Raises Hell During Off-the-Rails Court Hearing

Fox has undermined coronavirus science in at least 325 segments since January 25

46% think they’re a better person than everyone they know

May 6, 2021

Florida approves voter suppression bill

Trump family travel cost $140,000+ in just the first month post-presidency

Word: Free speech

Robert Reich   - Here’s a reminder that the political party crying about “the death of free speech” has introduced 81 anti-protest bills in 34 states, including a law in Oklahoma protecting drivers who run over protesters.

Urban Walkability Gains a Foothold in the U.S.

Grocery Prices Up Steeply From Same Time Last Year

More than 186,200 restaurants and bars applied for Covid relief in first two days of program

Stupid Stuff

 Political Wire -“A member of the Arizona election audit team that has been heavily touted by former President Donald Trump revealed that its examination of the 2020 vote in Maricopa County will include a ‘forensic’ analysis of ballots to determine if the paper is made of bamboo—in order to determine whether or not China delivered tens of thousands of fraudulent ballots to tip the state to Joe Biden,” Slate reports.“If that sounds much too crazy for an audit that was initiated by the Republican-led Arizona legislature and whose communications are being spearheaded by Republican former secretary of state, Ken Bennett, it very much is not.”

Oxford Study Finds No Link Between Technology Use and Mental-Health Problems

Slashdot- There remains "little association" between technology use and mental-health problems, a study of more than 430,000 10 to 15-year-olds suggests. The Oxford Internet Institute compared TV viewing, social-media and device use with feelings of depression, suicidal tendencies and behavioral problems. It found a small drop in association between depression and social-media use and TV viewing, from 1991 to 2019. There was a small rise in that between emotional issues and social-media use. "We couldn't tell the difference between social-media impact and mental health in 2010 and 2019," study co-author Prof Andrew Przybylski. said. "We're not saying that fewer happy people use more social media. We're saying that the connection is not getting stronger."

DOJ Appeals Federal Judge's Eviction Moratorium Ruling That Could Put 4 Million at Risk

Legal update

 Lowering the Bar

The assistant prosecutor in McDowell County, West Virginia, says this case is the “craziest” his office has ever seen, and I sure hope that’s true. Because this one involved a woman who conspired with her father and sister to kill her boyfriend, apparently so she would be free to marry her father, although they didn’t need to kill the boyfriend to do that and it’s illegal anyway, and after they killed and buried the boyfriend they went back a few days later to dig him up and put a stake through his heart, for reasons that were not explained but presumably involved vampirism and/or crystal meth, and then later the woman and her father got married and moved to Ohio. Not that there’s anything wrong with moving to Ohio, necessarily, but they did do that.

May 5, 2021

Federal Judge Overturns National Eviction Moratorium

Study Warns of 'Rapid and Unstoppable' Sea Level Rise If World Misses Paris Climate Targets

Social media interactions about Trump fall 90 percent since January

How companies rip off poor employees — and get away with it

NOAA redefines climate normals across America

A giant piece of space junk is hurtling towards Earth

Worst amount of anti-abortion legislation in a decade

Robert Reich   - Republican state legislators have introduced at least 516 abortion restrictions and enacted 12 so far this year, making 2021 the worst year for abortion access in a decade — and it’s only April.

National Lawyers Guild Urges Biden to Align US Israel-Palestine Policy With International Law

Best and worst states for nurses

Web Wallet