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Roaming Charges: Fighting Our Real Enemies

+ About 10 years ago, an irate Sinéad O’Connor rang up the CounterPunch office and threatened to sue us over a piece we’d run. Becky sensibly gave her my number. I was walking the dog when my iPhone buzzed.
“This is Sinead.”
“Sinead who?” I inquired, …

+ About 10 years ago, an irate Sinéad O’Connor rang up the CounterPunch office and threatened to sue us over a piece we’d run. Becky sensibly gave her my number. I was walking the dog when my iPhone buzzed.

“This is Sinead.”

“Sinead who?” I inquired, playing for time.

“Who the fuck do you think, asshole!”

“Oh, O’Conner,” I muttered. As if there could be any other.

It turns out this was the beginning of a fraught but beautiful relationship.

I let her unload on us for about 40 minutes and then said, “Why don’t you write that up for us?”

“You want me to write for you?”

“Absolutely,” I said.

“Thank you, thank you! Nobody’s ever responded that way to one of my calls before,” she said. And she did.

Over the next few months we got a few pieces from her that were funny and smart and wicked. She’d call up 5 minutes after she emailed it Dublin time and say, “Jeffrey, did you get the damn piece, yet, I haven’t heard from you!”

“Uh, Sinead, it’s 4 am here.”

“Sorry, I’ll call back.”

She was beautiful, brilliant and one of the bravest people I’ve ever encountered.

And now she’s gone.


+ I found my notebook from the day of that first call from Sinéad. There’s a funny bit I’d forgotten. After we’d smoothed the waters & she agreed to drop her suit and write for us instead, O’Connor said: “One more thing, Jeffrey [the fierceness returning to her voice] You’ve got to promise never to run another story by that fucking c-word (she could outswear Lemmy from Motörhead) Ruth Fowler!” Fowler had written the offensive piece. I replied, a little tremulously now: “No. I promise not to banish you no matter what outrageous thing you write or what nasty shit they say about you and I won’t ban Ruth, either.” She sighed. “OK, a girl has to try. Bye lover.” Bye lover. How could I have ever forgotten?

+ After a couple hundred thousand cases of abuse by priests and nuns (including her own), there’s no doubt now that Sinéad O’Connor was right about the Church and the Pontiff who sanctified and covered up its crimes against children.

+ O’Connor: “I feel that having a No. 1 record derailed my career and my tearing the photo put me back on the right track.”

+ Question: Did ripping up the photo of John Paul II define your career?

Sinéad: “Yes, in a beautiful fucking way. There was no doubt about who this bitch is. There was no more mistaking this woman for a pop star. But it was not derailing. People say, “Oh, you fucked up your career.” But they’re talking about the career they had in mind for me. I fucked up the house in Antiqua the record companies wanted me to buy. I fucked up their career, not mine. It meant I had to make my living playing live, and I am born for live performance.”

+ When Frank Sinatra said he wanted to slap her for disrespecting the Pope, O’Connor retorted: “It wouldn’t be the first time he’s hit a woman.”

+ This a capella performance of War by Sinead a few nights after all hell had broken loose from her SNL gig is one of the most courageous acts I’ve ever seen. Mercilessly booed by 24,000 Born Again Bob Dylan fans & only Kris Kristofferson would come to her aid. What a bunch of frauds.

+ Only Sinéad O’Connor had the guts to go to a Bob Dylan Tribute and sing a Bob Marley song,  highlighting how far Dylan had left those sentiments behind, while Marley, like O’Connor herself, only got more radical until his death.

+ While Bob Dylan snarled out anti-Palestinian hate songs like Neighborhood Bully, Sinéad O’Connor boycotted Israel

+ Before shredding the pope on live TV, O’Connor had already infuriated the guardians of American political morality by refusing to perform in venues that opened the evening with the Star-Spangled Banner. Sinead was also one of the first white artists to condemn the racism of the music establishment–from the Grammys to Rolling Stone to MTV–which ignored if not denigrated what would become the defining music of our time: hip hop. After hundreds of thousands of cases of clerical abuse (including her own), O’Connor was proved 100% right about the Catholic Church and the Pontiff who sanctified and covered up its crimes against children. But being right is often cold comfort and doesn’t lessen the pain from the wounds that have been inflicted on you. She was the real thing and paid price for being it.

+ I should note that this wasn’t the first time Ruth Fowler had gotten us in trouble. She’d written a piece ostensibly on Angela Jolie’s double mastectomy which had provoked the overwrought ire of the ISO (now defunct). I wish Ruth would get us into more trouble. You meet the most interesting people that way.

+ With O’Connor you can never escape the beauty, texture and depth of expression in her voice, here singing “I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls,” the song Maria  the laundress sings in James Joyce’s story “Clay” from Dubliners.


+ I will have much more to say about the arrest and detention of our friend and contributor Boris Kagarlitsky, the great Marxist Russian economist and anti-war dissident, who has now been jailed by the USSR and both the Yeltsin and Putin regimes. Now is not the time. So I’ll keep it to this: Free Boris! End the War!

+ Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir says he wants “to take the good things from the U.S.,” such arming civilians and using the death penalty against “terrorists.”

+ Former US ambassadors to Israel Dan Kurtzer and Martin Indyk have called for an end to military assistance to Israel. They say that the aid causes the U.S. “to seem like ‘enablers’ of Israel’s occupation.” When you’ve lost Martin Indyk…

+ RKF, Jr. during his “Combatting Antisemitism, Championing Israel” event in New York City: “Israel has…Israel is not going to use their nuclear weapon unless they’re attacked and we know that.” In fact, I’m pretty sure we don’t know that.

+ Every nuclear state is a terrorist state, using the threat of its arsenal to bully non-nuclear states into submission. Moreover, Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear power plant in 1981 was a kind of nuclear strike, given the amount of highly-enriched uranium released by the attack.

+ At nearly the same time RFK, Jr. was “championing Israel,” Tamir Pardo, the former head of Mossad, told an Israeli radio station that the Israeli right is similar to the KKK.  Pardo said that many of the Israeli government’s legislative initiatives are tantamount to “antisemitic laws,” and would be labeled as such were they passed in any other country.

+ RFK, Jr. to Greta Van Susteren: “I’m the only one who has called for Biden to retract the $2 billion payment he’s giving to Iran, which you know will be used for genocidal purposes.” How can Dennis Kucinich continue to front for this maniac?

+ While Jewish groups across the US  condemned the Israeli parliament’s vote to limit the power of the judiciary as a threat to democracy, Biden could only mutter that it is “unfortunate.

+ As Ben Reif pointed out in a piece for +972 magazine, in his speech ahead of the Knesset vote Justice Minister Yariv Levin pointed to five Israeli government decisions that were blocked by the Supreme Court for being “unreasonable.”  Each one involved Palestinians and the Occupation.

+ The courts are already about as hostile as they can get toward Palestinians. This week an Israeli court approved the forced removal of all 500 residents of Ras Jrabah, an historical Bedouin village,  to make way for the expansion of Jewish settlers in the suburbs of the city of Dimona, home of the Israeli nuclear research labs. Despite the village of Ras Jrabah predating the establishment of Israel and the court’s acknowledgement that the residents have been living on the same plots for almost 50 year, the court still found this insufficient reason to grant the Bedouins any rights to their lands.

+ The American Anthropological Association (AAA) voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions and sever ties with Israeli universities over their role in discriminating against Palestinians.

+ Even Israeli businesses are beginning to leave the apartheid state. Nearly 70% of Israeli startups have taken action to relocate parts of their business outside Israel.

+ Sinead O’Connor: “Nobody with any sanity, including myself, would have anything but sympathy for the Palestinian plight. There’s not a sane person on earth who in any way sanctions what the fuck the Israeli authorities are doing.”

+ The Pentagon argued fervently against Biden handing over evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine to the ICC, protesting that it would undermine the US’s longstanding position that the court shouldn’t be allowed to investigate and prosecute Americans. Biden sent the documents to The Hague, despite the objections of his generals. If the move will in fact make it easier for the ICC to prosecute US war criminals, then good own goal for Biden!

+ A year ago an explosion killed at least 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian custody at the Olenivka penal colony in the Donetsk region. There has still been no prosecution of those responsible. According to the UN, there hasn’t even been a credible investigation.

+ Alexei Navalny has now spent more than 900 days in prison, at least 200 of them in solitary confinement.

+ Tony Bennett, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. “But who are the terrorists? Are we the terrorists or are they the terrorists? Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Bennett said. “They flew the plane in, but we caused it. Because we were bombing them and they told us to stop.” (Thanks Greg Grandin). This thoughtful statement by Bennett didn’t engender the backlash that hit Amiri Baraka or Ward Churchill, perhaps in part because much of his fanbase didn’t know Bennett was a lefty of longstanding and in part because it was made 10 years later and by then most Americans had begun to view the Bush-Cheney-Obama wars as disasters, here and abroad…

+ Writing in Politico, the Fletcher School’s Daniel Drezner assessed the motivation behind the ruthless (and apparently immortal) centenarian Henry Kissinger’s surprise visit to China this month: “You know what corporate clients really want to hear? Exactly the kind of insider gossip that Kissinger trafficked in throughout his entire career. This means that his latest sojourn to Beijing will not just shower him with press coverage but with continued corporate support.” Sounds about right. In 1991, Kissinger went to St. Petersburg to advise the young Vladimir Putin, then head of the Mayor’s Committee for External Relations, on the proper way to privatize (loot) the City’s public assets and infrastructure…

+ The new Taliban has gone ahead with its spiteful plan to shutter the nation’s beauty salons, a source of employment for more than 60,000 women in a nation that offers precious few professional opportunities. Here in the US, corporate executives are apparently gearing up to use AI to perform the gender-cleansing work of the Taliban.

+ Kris and Sinéad together again, this time without the catcalls from Dylan cultists…


+ An investigation by Searchlight into the deplorable conditions inside New Mexico’s largest jail for children disclosed how kids from 12-17 are “routinely subjected to strip searches, held for weeks in cells without toilets, and left with only a thin plastic sheet to block out the glare of hallway lights that never turn off.”

+ In a 79-page opinion on the systematic profiling of black drivers with out-of-state plates, Federal Judge Kathryn Vratil wrote that a Kansas state police unit waged a “war on motorists…[in the] name of drug interdiction.” “As wars go, this one is relatively easy; it’s simple and cheap, and for motorists, it’s not a fair fight. The war is basically a question of numbers: Stop enough cars and you’re bound to discover drugs. And what’s the harm if a few constitutional rights are trampled along the way?” Vratil was appointed by President George H.W. Bush. One of the five plaintiffs in the case, Joshua Bosire, said: “I sleep with a gun next to my bed. I drive with cameras recording. I don’t travel at night, because I am scared of what law enforcement people can do to me.”

+ Filmmaker Damien Smith was making a documentary on police brutality (Searching for Officer Friendly), when someone broke into his Hollywood home. Smith called the police. When the cops arrived, they tasered Smith three times, cuffed him and hauled him into the back of a police car in front of his neighbors. He was eventually released without charges. But the incident wasn’t investigated for more than a year.

+ When reporters from the LA Times tried to figure out the names of cops who blew up a neighborhood after detonating a cache of confiscated fireworks, the LAPD and police union denounced them as “unethical” and “stalkers.

+ Leonard Leo, the panjandrum of the Federalist Society, urged the police in Mount Desert Island, Maine to arrest Eli Durand-McDonnell for the offense of calling him a “fucking fascist” in public. This doughty defender of the Constitution claims that Durand-McDonnell’s speech isn’t protected by the First Amendment: “This is no longer a political protest, when they have ‘Fuck Leo’ signs . . . and their Twitter and Facebook posts talk about ‘Get out,’ and ‘You don’t belong here.’ ”

+ Randy Heath, a 39-year-old Miami resident who “loved to eat,” weighed 204 pounds before he was sent to jail. By the time he was found dead in his jail cell months later, he weighed just over 100 pounds. His family claims Heath, who’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was starved to death by his jailers.

+ The Houston chapter of Food Not Bombs has now been ticketed more than 30 times for sharing free food with unhoused neighbors. Each ticket is for $2000 and  specifically notes the citation is for “feeding homeless.”

+ When Cyrus Gray was arrested he didn’t have the money to afford bail. Staff at the Hays County Jail in Texas warned him: “Get comfortable. You are going to be here a while.” They were right. Gray spent the next four-and-a-half years behind bars waiting for his trial.

+ 87% of actors earn under $26,000, which is the cutoff under the current contract to qualify for health insurance. Meanwhile, Netflix is offering $900,000 for a single AI product manager.

+ Snoop Dogg explaining why he cancelled his two scheduled performances at the Hollywood Bowl: “We continue to stand in solidarity with all of our brothers and sisters in the WGA and SAG/AFTRA during this difficult time and remain hopeful that the AMPTP will come back to the negotiating table with a REAL proposal and we can all get back to work.”

+ Just since May, federal investigators have uncovered labor violations at McDonald’s franchises involving 388 minors, including two 10-year olds. The violations included: children working too many hours, working at dangerous jobs and, in the case of the 10-year-olds, working without pay.

+ Sinéad with Sly and Robbie…


+ A New York Times piece details how Florida, which Ron DeSantis had fully opened up, was crushed by the Omicron variant. A big source of the spread occurred in the state’s schools at a time when the vaccination rate plummeted. Of the 23,000 Floridians who died, 9,000 were younger than 65. Despite the DeSantis camp’s claim at the time that “our entire vulnerable population has basically been vaccinated,” a vast majority of the 23,000 deaths were of people who were either unvaccinated or had not yet completed the two-dose regimen.

+ Meanwhile, the US is now experiencing the biggest increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations since December. Weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen by more than 10% across the country.

+ In Poland–that grim NATO ally–police suspected a woman of having an abortion. They served a warrant at her house where they took her underwear and collected what they suspected was blood from her floor. Then they searched through the sewage to prove she was lying about having had a miscarriage.

+ Teenagers in the US are now 2.5 times more likely to die than in Western Europe and the gap is widening: guns, car crashes, suicides and fentanyl, seem to be the driving forces.

+ A new study out of NYU calculates that more than 80% of New Yorkers who inject drugs test positive for the opioid fentanyl, despite only 18% reporting using it intentionally.

+ Between 2019 and 2021, California’s opioid-related deaths spiked by 121%. Most of these deaths were linked to fentanyl.

+ A Wall Street Journal story on the possible bankruptcy of a drug-maker called Mallinckrodt, which was the largest producer of opioid pills in the U.S. from 2006 to 2014, opens with this graph: “A group of hedge funds is devising a plan to cut off about $1 billion meant to help victims of opioid addiction, opening the way to keep some of the money for themselves.” How are these people still walking around, dining on haute cuisine, shanking balls at Bedminster, sailing up the Hudson on yachts?

+ Joy Alonzo, a professor of pharmacology, gave routine lecture about the opioid crisis to students at the University of Texas Medical  School. One of the students in the class, who is the daughter of Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, accused Alonzo of disparaging Texas Lt Gov Dan Patrick. Patrick’s chief of staff rang up the college administration to complain and within hours Alonzo was suspended from her job, with university Chancellor John Sharpe sending Patrick’s chief of staff a text saying:  “Joy Alonzo has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation re firing her. shud [sic] be finished by end of week. jsharp” Alonzo, one of the country’s leading experts on opioid addiction, has taught in the system for more than a decade.

+ Little known fact: Norman Bates’ “Mother” founded Moms for Liberty…

+ The GOP presidential candidates are all coalescing around a plan to cut Social Security for younger people. Explains why they want to increase the voting age…(Also why they want to put kids to work at 8, paying into a system they won’t see the benefits of…)

+ From a New York Times study of admissions to elite universities and colleges: “For applicants with the same SAT or ACT score, children from families in the top 1 percent were 34 percent more likely to be admitted than the average applicant, and those from the top 0.1 percent were more than twice as likely to get in.”

+ When George HW Bush ran for US senate in Texas in 1964, he was attacked from the right for having married the daughter of a communist. As proof of her subversive origins, these forefathers of MAGA pointed to the fact that Barbara’s father, Marvin Pierce, was the publisher of Redbook women’s magazine. Bush lost.

+ Ron DeSantis has now fired one-third of his paid campaign staff. Among the terminated was Nate Hochman, the communications staffer who made and Tweeted out a pro-DeSantis video with Nazi imagery.

+ People generally like their kid’s school, which may be one reason the smoke from DeSantis’s scorched-earth campaign against them is blowing back in his face. According to a recent Gallup poll, 80% of parents said they were somewhat or completely satisfied with their child’s school, which in most cases was public. This approval rating was actually a little higher than in most years before the pandemic.

+ As part of its public school “turnaround” vision plan, the Houston Independent School District–the largest in Texas– is shutting down 28 school libraries and turning them into disciplinary centers.

+ Eleven paragraphs deep into Nicholas Kristof’s interminable NYT column arguing that legacy admissions for the offspring of privileged elites aren’t a problem, we are confronted by this staggering parenthetical admission: “(Conflict alert: I was a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers and my wife, Sheryl WuDunn, is currently a member and previously served on the Princeton and Cornell boards; our three children also attended Harvard.)” I wonder how many people leapt that hurdle and kept reading for any reason other than the laughs, which, otherwise, come so infrequently in his writing.

+ Political punditry is the sub-basement of journalism. For a year or more, the opinion pages were flush with columns promoting DeSantis as the rational alternative to Trump, when really his only political skill is his viciousness. Even Trump could occasionally feign compassion. Now DeSantis is getting whacked by Christian conservatives for assailing Trump’s meagre criminal justice reforms.

+ DeSantis said this week that while he wouldn’t pick RFK Jr as a running mate, he would consider him to be in charge of the FDA or CDC “if he’d be willing to serve.” Maybe DeSantis will tap Ammon Bundy to run the BLM…Looks like he’s going to need the money.

+ Here are a couple recent scenes from the legislative branch of our ruling gerontocracy…

Now Mitch…

+ Not sure why any politician would want to be remembered like this. Their old racist luncheon buddy Strom Thurman wanted to go out this way: “Just tell ’em when they put me in my casket, they’re going have to chop my pecker down to close the lid.”

+ Vanderbilt University’s Medical Center is being sued by its transgender clinic patients, who accuse the hospital of violating their privacy by turning their medical records over to Tennessee’s attorney general.

+ The neo-fascist Italian government of Giorgia Meloni is discriminating against lesbian parents by refusing to register the name of non-gestational mothers on the birth certificates of children born to lesbian couples and now even retroactively removing their names.

+ Bloomberg estimates that Elon Musk’s decision to turn Twitter into X wiped out anywhere between $4 billion and $20 billion in value. He probably has one last chance to save the platform: rename the Site Formerly Known as Twitter:

+ According to the Wall Street Journal, the Social Media Company Formerly Known as Twitter, is extorting major companies to advertise on its site by warning them to spend money on X or lose ability to control their brand identity on the new X.

+ For 16-years a Twitter user had the handle “@x,” then when Elon Musk impetuously decided to rebrand the company he swiped “@x’s” handled and changed it to @x12345678998765. Mashable’s Matt Binder interviewed him about the whole experience.

+ Under orders Elon Musk, Tesla engineers faked its dashboard range projections so it appeared drivers could travel more miles before the battery needed recharging. Last year, the flood of complaints from Tesla owners began to overwhelm the company. In response, Tesla created a special team to start canceling owners’ service appointments.

+ As a Senate panel investigates billionaire Leon Black’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein after Black paid a $62.5 million cash settlement to the US Virgin Islands to help quash a lawsuit against him by the U.S. Territory’s Attorney General, the former CEO of Apollo Global Management has been hit with a new allegation that he raped a 16-year-old disabled girl, who has Autism and a form of Downs Syndrome. The woman, who says in a lawsuit she was trafficked to him by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, claims that she was raped and severely beaten by Black.


+ The entire Northern Hemisphere is +1.23°C warmer than average (1979-2000) and +0.44°C warmer than ever recorded.

+ As the Sicilian capital of Palermo is encircled by fire, large sections of the city of Catania (pop: 300,000) have gone 48-hours without water or electricity because the cables laid under the roads have melted in 46C heat.

+ Combined, wind and solar facilities generate nearly 40% of installed capacity in Texas. Natural gas, formerly the state’s dominant power source, now accounts for less than 42%.

+ Talk about “cooking the books“: “An assessment of global GDP loss in a so-called ‘hothouse’ world of 3C by a group of 114 central banks and financial supervisors did not include ‘impacts related to extreme weather, sea-level rise or wider societal impacts from migration or conflict.”

+ One in 10 flights taking off from UK are private jets. (Let ’em take off, don’t let ’em land!)

+ Charles Oppenheimer, who describes himself as an “entrepreneur and investor”: “As J. Robert Oppenheimer’s grandson, I believe that my grandfather would support the expansion of nuclear energy as an environmentally friendly solution to address both the world’s energy problems and, perhaps counterintuitively, as a catalyst for peace and unity.” Why should we listen to the Oppenheimer brood and not the descendants of physicists like Leo Szilard and James Franck who refused to have anything to do with his mass-murder project and knew that the atomic power industry would always be linked inseparably with the atomic weapons industry.

+ Writing in Nature about their new research on the impending collapse of the Gulf Stream, Danish scientists Peter and Susanne Ditlevsen warn: “We estimate a collapse of the AMOC [Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation] to occur around mid-century under the current scenario of future emissions.” Under the Ditlevens’ scenario, the current, which transports water around the Atlantic basin and plays a key role in regulating everything from the rate of sea level rise on the East Coast to Europe’s average temperatures, is already beginning to slow and will likely stop entirely sometime 2025 and 2095. The change would probably be irreversible and is like to trigger increased storms, flooding and dramatic sea level rise. The socioeconomic consequences (not to mention the disastrous impacts on marine life) would be catastrophic for tens of millions of people.

+ The ocean temperature in Manatee Bay, near Key Largo, reached 101.1F on Monday, the hottest sea surface temperature ever recorded on Earth.

+ The news may be even worse up north off the east coast of Canada, where hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean experienced sea surface temperatures more than 5°C (9°F) above normal and some areas approaching 10°C (18°F) above normal. Thermal stress from this marine heatwave is certain to have major impacts on marine life in the Northwest Atlantic.

+ The Florida Keys contain the third largest coral reef system in the world and the only one in the continental US. With the extreme ocean temperatures this summer, all of these reefs are at risk of dying out. Many already have. Scott Atwell from The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: “We’ve never seen anything like this. Some are not even bleaching, they are going straight to dead.” “We are surprised by the pace. It is unprecedented what we have seen. We’ve never seen anything like this. Some are not even bleaching, they are going straight to dead.”

+ The brutal heat waves pressing down on Europe are eviscerating the continent’s cereal crops. Southern Europe grain yields are likely to be 60% lower than last year and 9.5% lower than the 5-year average. 

+ According to the International Energy Agency, “low-cost new wind and solar PV installations have displaced an estimated 230 TWh of expensive fossil fuel generation.” The new wind and solar systems are expected to save EU consumers 100 billion Euros from 2021 through 2023.

+ Brandi Morin: “There were uncontrollable sobs in my chest as I stood at Peez’uh near Pee-hee-mm-huh (Thacker Pass) where it’s being dug up for North America’s largest lithium mine. Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral territories this is that I interviewed, do not want their lands sacrificed to meet the world’s need for the “green” transition. The pain here is deep. Paiute-Shoshone were massacred here and their ancestors I spoke with told me some of them ran up this hill to try to escape.”

+ This summer about 200 million people in cities today are at risk from extreme heat. That number that is expected to increase eightfold by 2050.

+ In a 24-hour period last week, Nova Scotia was deluged with 3 months’ worth of rain.

+ People keep asking me, as they wipe the sweat from their brow: “Is this the new normal? Is this what summer’s going to be like from now on?” My answer is no. We won’t know what the new normal is until after we’ve stopped burning fossil fuels. And we’re still using more each year than the year before.

+ FoxNews’ Bill Hemmer defending RFK, Jr. to Karl Rove: “He was never on to the Green New Deal. He was never on electric chargers running from California to the state of Maine. He’s a different kind of Democrat. The kind of Democrat that, frankly, you and I grew up with.”

+ On Thursday, the Supreme Court vacated the 4th Circuit’s stay against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Construction can now continue. There were no dissents. Repeat no dissents. As someone noted: “It’s good to see that they don’t take time off during the summer from fucking up this country.”

+ In light of all of this, the Heritage Foundation is promoting something called Project 2025, which they describe as a battle plan against the administrative state: “Project 2025 is not a white paper. We are not tinkering at the edges. We are writing a battle plan, and we are marshaling our forces to systematically prepare to take power day one and deconstruct the administrative state.” First target: climate regulations.

+ Sinéad the Goth…


+ William Gaddis’ consternation after receiving his royalty statement from his publisher in 1981 is no doubt shared by thousands of writers, including myself. But few of us have written books like The Recognitions or JR, two of the 10 best American novels of the 20th Century: “My last statement from Harcourt Brace reads debit of $4.29, incorporating the 33¢ they overpaid me on my last royalty check 6 months ago of $11.48.”

+ Of the two great character actors named Walter in Hollywood’s “golden age”–Brennan and Huston–I’ve always preferred Huston. There was something affected about most of Brennan’s performances that I found off-putting. I now feel confirmed in my choice after learning that Brennan was a virulent racist who danced a jig on the set of his tv show The Guns of Will Sonnet after learning of MLK’s murder.

+ Commie Barbie has taken the South! Down on your knees, Ted Cruz!

+ Advice from Cpt. Beefheart’s mother, Sue: “Don, you’d be really popular if you only wore a big belt like Elvis.”

+ Carlson Family Values: Tucker Carlson told Megyn Kelly that when he heard his mom was dying he…”went to dinner.” “Our mom was not a fan of us. What eventually happened, I got this call–she’s dying, you should go visit her. I didn’t fall apart; I went to dinner. I felt sad for her I guess.”

+ Nashville-based musician Adeem the Artist: “The only culture war in country music is between people who believe in a just, equitable world with space for all of us to feel welcome and those of us so afraid of anything different, they’re willing to sing about hate crimes.”

+ Stanley Kubrick: “A film is—or should be—more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.”

+ The Boston building that housed Ticknor and Fields, publisher of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry David Thoreau, still exists (277 Washington St.) and looks to be in pretty good shape, except for one thing. It’s now a Chipotle. And so it goes.

+ The poet Hart Crane writing to a friend in 1922: “It is my opinion that some fanatic will kill Joyce sometime soon for the wonderful things said in Ulysses. Joyce is too big for chit-chat, so I hope I haven’t offended you with the above details about him.”

I Wanna be Haunted by the Ghost of Your Precious Love

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

Under the Banner of King Death: Pirates of the Atlantic, a Graphic Novel
David Lester

Psychonauts: Drugs and the Making of the Modern Mind
Mike Jay

The Worlds of Public Heath: Anthropological Excursions
Didier Fassin

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Anthem of Unity
Joel Harrison
(HighNote Records)

(East/West Records)

The Complete Atlantic and Reprise Singles
Little Richard
(Real Gone)

Intimations of Glory

“My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation’s history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.” (Edward Abbey, Confessions of a Barbarian)

This content originally appeared on and was authored by Jeffrey St. Clair.

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