Big Weekend Gets Off to a Weird Start

The Fourth of July weekend started early in Los Angeles this year. On Wednesday, June 30th, the L.A. Police Department blew up two blocks in the middle of Historic South Central. Unfortunately, this was not a controlled fireworks display, intended to entertain the local residents and thereby create lasting bonds of amity and goodwill. It was more like the opposite of that. Seventeen people were hurt in the 7:30 p.m. blast; none had life-threatening injuries. Fifty residents were displaced from their homes for a week. What’s truly strange about this story is that it could have been a whole lot worse. Apparently responding to a …

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Wealth Hoarding Endangers Democracy, Report Says

by Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams The growing concentration of wealth in fewer hands—including among corporate robber barons’ descendants who continue, after multiple generations, to wield the “financial, political, and philanthropic clout” afforded by enormous inheritances to “advance their dynasty-building agenda”—intensifies working-class suffering in the U.S. and poses a threat to society and democracy. That’s according to Silver Spoon Oligarchs: How America’s 50 Largest Inherited-Wealth Dynasties Accelerate Inequality, a new report out June 16th from the Institute for Policy Studies. Analyzing data from Forbes, IPS tracked the assets of the country’s 50 wealthiest families—“including the Waltons, the Kochs, the Mars family, and many others, some well-known …

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Want Socialism? Try the U.S. Military.

by Mike Lofgren America’s love affair with lunacy continues undimmed. Along with flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, and fans of perpetual motion, according to a May 21 Ipsos poll, 53 percent of Republicans now assert that Donald Trump is the current President of the United States. There is a tendency in the reality-based community to regard these folks as obscure lunatics who yell at their TVs in trailer parks when they’re not ruining a relative’s Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, this epidemic of delusional belief embraces a more exalted layer of the social spectrum, a group on which the maintenance of our democracy—deeply flawed as it is—may hinge. This May, …

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Who Knew Dr. Strangelove Was a Documentary?

Just a week into the Biden administration, a familiar old bugbear reared its ugly head: would the U.S. go to war with China in defense of Taiwan? Should it? Speaking of “should,” we know we ought to be concerned about the geostrategic implications behind this issue, not to mention the serious humanitarian concerns, but—and you can sue us for this if you like—remembering, as we do, all the hot air generated on this topic back when Ike was in office, we’re just going to yield to temptation. Herewith: a few spitballs from the back of the class. The right wing in those days was made …

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Who Actually Owns the Formerly-Award-Winning Local Daily?

[From time to time a farmer feels compelled to waste half a day wrestling a rock out of a location where its continued presence is a constant aggravation which can no longer be borne. Such is the nature of the following patch of text. Readers need not apologize for skipping over it; we apologize for its length. Once we got this rock rolling…. In our defense, it could have been even longer. – The Ed.] Elsewhere in this issue we cite a statement which was recently published in the Portsmouth Herald—a newspaper which we used to call “The Award-Winning Local Daily.” The moniker had been …

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Here Comes the Judge

Judge Amy Berman Jackson started the week off with a bang. Because hardly anyone seemed to be listening, and because the Memorandum Opinion she signed on May 3rd explained a matter of great import exceedingly well, and because it suggests that there is some slight possibility that justice—real justice—might someday actually prevail, we’ll quote her memorandum below, at considerable length. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington [CREW] had asked the Justice Department for two documents. Jackson ruled that CREW was entitled to get one. That may be enough. Take it away, Judge Amy Berman Jackson: On Friday, March 22, 2019, Special Counsel Robert S. …

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