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JHB's Journal
JHB's Journal
June 28, 2020

I suppose I have a minor quibble with Joe, or maybe he's simply more diplomatic...

Trump's presidency isn't a 'gift to Putin,' it's a purchase. Vlad has all the receipts.

June 21, 2020

Al Franken breaks down the Trump Tulsa Totter


Al Franken
6,200 people at Trump rally in Tulsa. Acts that had bigger crowds at the same venue in 2019:

- Sha Na Na
- The Pips (w/o Gladys Knight)
- Loverboy
- John Tesh
- The West Virginia Touring Company of La Traviata
June 19, 2020

Unlisted reason:

You can't munch on popcorn and other concession snacks with a mask on.


The findings empirically answer the age-old question of whether it's better to charge more for a primary product (in this case, the movie ticket) or a secondary product (the popcorn). Putting the premium on the "frill" items, it turns out, indeed opens up the possibility for price-sensitive people to see films. That means more customers coming to theaters in general, and a nice profit from those who are willing to fork it over for the Gummy Bears.

Indeed, movie exhibition houses rely on concession sales to keep their businesses viable. Although concessions account for only about 20 percent of gross revenues, they represent some 40 percent of theaters' profits. That's because while ticket revenues must be shared with movie distributors, 100 percent of concessions go straight into an exhibitor's coffers.
June 17, 2020

It doesn't, but dealing with it is complicated and the provisions are relatively obscure...

...so the only people who lobby hard about it are the people who like the current setup and are pushing for more.

I'm not an expert, but my sense of it is that these games are responsible for most of the job losses usually blamed on "trade deals! NAFTA! RARRRW!"

When this subject comes up it's always instructive to break out the 1991 Philadelphia Inquirer series by Bartlett and Steele:

How game was rigged against middle class

After three decades, American worker loses out to Mexico
Who - and how many - in America's middle class

The lucrative business of bankruptcy

Big business hits the jackpot with billions in tax breaks

Why the world is closing in on the U.S. economy

The high cost of deregulation: Joblessness, bankruptcy, debt

For millions in U.S., a harsh reality: It's not safe to get sick

How death came to a once-prosperous discount-store chain

Raiders work their wizardry on an all-American company

When you retire, will there be a pension waiting?

Workers saving for their retirement lose on junk bonds

How special-interest groups have their way with Congress

America's two-class tax system

This has been with us for a long time.
June 12, 2020

From what I've seen, they'll enjoy finally having some time to breathe

I forget who said it, but their situation has been described as "Trying to take a sip from a fire hose open full blast."

June 12, 2020

Oh, it goes farther back than the Diallo shooting

And, just keeping it to Rudy and not going back to stuff Frank Serpico shed light on, or any of the stuff before then...

Let's go to Rudy's unofficial mayoral campaign kickoff, the Sept. 16, 1992 police protest/riot about the Civilian Complaint Review Board:

Rudy’s Racist Rants: An NYPD History Lesson
By Nat Hentoff and Nick Hentoff, July 14, 2016

As many as 10,000 demonstrators blocked traffic in downtown Manhattan on Sept. 16, 1992. Reporters and innocent bystanders were violently assaulted by the mob as thousands of dollars in private property was destroyed in multiple acts of vandalism. The protesters stormed up the steps of City Hall, occupying the building. They then streamed onto the Brooklyn Bridge, where they blocked traffic in both directions, jumping on the cars of trapped, terrified motorists. Many of the protestors were carrying guns and openly drinking alcohol.

Yet the uniformed police present did little to stop them. Why? Because the rioters were nearly all white, off‐​duty NYPD officers. They were participating in a Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association demonstration against Mayor David Dinkins’ call for a Civilian Complaint Review Board and his creation earlier that year of the Mollen Commission, formed to investigate widespread allegations of misconduct within the NYPD.
Newsday reported on other instances of racial abuse. City Councilwoman Una Clarke, a petite black woman, was blocked from crossing Broadway “by a beer‐​drinking, off‐​duty police officer who said to his sidekick: ‘This n***** says she’s a member of the City Council.’ ”

Mary Pinkett, another black councilwoman, was trapped on the Brooklyn Bridge as her car was rocked back and forth by off‐​duty officers. The two elderly passengers in her car were terrified.

Much more at link, don't be put off by it being on the CATO Institute site.

After Diallo, there was Abner Louima, who wasn't killed but was horrifically assaulted by an officer within the precinct station house. I often come back to the Louima case because absolutely none of the usual excuses/rationalizations apply, yet it was all the "one bad apple" nonsense. They fought tooth and nail against prosecutions, and especially against any broader investigation of the precinct about what was happening on a daily basis that Volpe even imagined he could get away with something like that, and why others were so quick to aid in a coverup. Rudy never could bring himself to come out and say that there is simply no scenario where proper police procedure involves a plunger handle.

Still later there was Patrick Dorismond's death at the hands of undercover cops. They tried to sell him drugs, he refused, they wouldn't take no for an answer to the point where he took a slug at one of them, and in the ensuing scuffle he was shot dead. Rudy personally intervened there and unsealed Dorismond's juvie record to show what a bad guy he was. All it proved to everybody else is that Dorismond could have been a poster-guy for what juvenile justice is supposed to do to get someone who makes really bad decisions as a teenager to get back on track and contribute to society.

"America's Mayor" like hell. MAGAt Mayor, is what he was.
June 10, 2020

#ShutDownAcademia #ShutDownSTEM 10 June 2020


On edit: See also post #2 below for a Scientific American article and interview with one of the organizers, which may distill it better than the direct sources.

Note: STEM here is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine

I don't have a comprehensive list, but a lot of institutions and publishers across the world are participating today. That doesn't even get into the number of individuals.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020
No research
No meetings
No classes
No business as usual

On June 10, 2020, we will #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM, and #Strike4BlackLives.

In the wake of the most recent murders of Black people in the US, it is clear that white and other non-Black people have to step up and do the work to eradicate anti-Black racism. As members of the global academic and STEM communities, we have an enormous ethical obligation to stop doing “business as usual.” No matter where we physically live, we impact and are impacted by this moment in history.

Our responsibility starts with our role in society. In academia, our thoughts and words turn into new ways of knowing. Our research papers turn into media releases, books and legislation that reinforce anti-Black narratives. In STEM, we create technologies that affect every part of our society and are routinely weaponized against Black people.

Black academic and Black STEM professionals are hurting because they exist in and are attacked by institutional and systemic racism. Black people have been tirelessly working for change, alongside their Indigenous and People of Color allies. For Black academics and STEM professionals, #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM is a time to prioritize their needs— whether that is to rest, reflect, or to act— without incurring additional cumulative disadvantage.

Those of us who are not Black, particularly those of us who are white, play a key role in perpetuating systemic racism. Direct actions are needed to stop this injustice. Unless you engage directly with eliminating racism, you are perpetuating it. This moment calls for profound and meaningful change. #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM is the time for white and non-Black People of Color (NBPOC) to not only educate themselves, but to define a detailed plan of action to carry forward. Wednesday June 10, 2020 will mark the day that we transition into a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in academia and STEM. We join with members of Particles for Justice in calling for a #Strike4BlackLives.

To be clear: #ShutDownSTEM is aimed at the broad research community who is not directly participating in ending the global pandemic, COVID-19. If your daily activities are directly helping us end this global crisis, we send our sincerest gratitude. The rest of us, we need to get to work.

Share your detailed plans and actions with the global community using the hashtags #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia.

Our collective efforts will lead to eradicating anti-Black racism because Black lives depend on it.

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