We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, March 27, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Friday, March 27, 2020

I am posting articles mostly about the coronavirus pandemic from what I believe are credible sources and/or writers. I will not pretend that anyone is infallible, because they are not. I think they are honestly using their best judgement to figure out what is going on with the pandemic and the best course of action. You must form, as always, your own opinions.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Thursday, March 26, 2020

  • The War on Death by C. J. Hopkins from his weblog Consent Factory, Inc. (satire)
The point is, the global capitalist empire (for whatever reasons, real or imagined) has turned on the MINDLESS HYSTERIA machine, and dialed it up as high as it goes. People are in full-blown headless chicken mode. No one (or hardly anyone) is thinking, or listening to dissenting opinions, or paying attention to official statistics, or common sense, or anything else that contradicts the War on Death narrative.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

  • Shortage of ventilators [respirators] explained by Dr. Emily Porter of Austin, Texas (via YouTube). (Note: There is not only a shortage of ventilators but also test kits and facemasks, the latter especially for hospital workers, which are necessary to seriously limit the damage done to our population. It seems common sense that only telling people to shelter-in-place ensures that infected people will spread the virus to their families. Only people who test positive must be quarantined. And, Jimmy Dore wonders why Facebook has waited until a few days ago to donate 720,000 facemasks.)
  • Trump Administration Endangers the Lives of Health Care Workers by Anita Desikan from Union of Concerned Scientists. (Note: Blaming things on Trump seems to be so fashionable these days, but I don't buy it. Still, I think that this article presents credible information regarding our health system and its weaknesses.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A few years ago I wrote a piece for Labor Day suggesting that it become a “do-nothing day.” It was a bit satirical but of course had a serious point as satire does. I had little hope that my recommendation would be adopted. Now that we are suffering from coronavirus panic and people are being told to shelter in their homes, many are no doubt suffering withdrawal symptoms from having to slow down. After all, how many cookies can you bake, television and movies watch, liquor drink, emails and texts send and receive, toilet paper rolls count, etc.?

I am well aware that this enforced idleness has inflicted enormous economic damage on regular working people world-wide, as I believe it is meant to do. The psychological damage is incalculable. The super-rich will no doubt profit mightily from the coronavirus crisis while the poor and middle-classes, small business owners, and the elderly will suffer greatly.
... US health officials seem to be deprioritizing this targeted approach in favour of social-distancing measures, as is the United Kingdom. Such behaviour is a matter of concern for the WHO, which recommends both strategies. “We have not seen an urgent enough escalation in testing, isolation and contact tracing, which is the backbone of the response,” said director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press briefing on 16 March. “We cannot stop this pandemic if we don’t know who is infected,” he said. “You cannot fight a fire blindfolded.”
... the only progressive way out of the coronavirus crisis can come from working-class action, both nationally and internationally. And to bet on it, we need from now on to promote an emergency program that allows the exploited and oppressed not to come out defeated, dispersed, and impoverished by this crisis, but rather as an active force, more organized and conscious of its own strength. At the same time, it is the working class that is most exposed to contagion, in conditions of precarious work, with terrible transport systems, without safety and hygiene conditions in the companies.

In the face of the disaster to which the capitalists have led us, it is necessary to show that it is the workers themselves who can take all the necessary measures: not only from the point of view of guaranteeing work, stopping massive layoffs, and maintaining wages, but also providing food and medical resources for the entire poor population — and not only for a rich minority. This will only be possible if workers’ democratic control from below can be imposed in the workplace in an effort to secure and convert production to meet social priorities.
(Note: If you liked this article, you may also like another post from this source entitled "Workers’ Control Against the Pandemic".)

Monday, March 23, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Monday, March 23, 2020 (Added content to Children's Health Defense article at 4:50 PM CT))

  • Climate gentrification threatens Miami's last affordable housing by Irina Ivanova from CBS News. (Note: This may be a harbinger of things to come that illustrate class-based social consequences of rising sea levels that are caused by global warming. As always in a capitalist system the poor will be initially impacted far more than the rich.)
  • Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Serve a Global Agenda? by Senta Depuydt from Children's Health Defense. (Note: Depuydt provides evidence of the overwhelming influence of major pharmaceutical corporations and political bias against the Empire's opponents like China. She puts less emphasis on the availability of testing for coronavirus (which I think is of critical importance) and the ineffectiveness of quarantining, but she does write the following in one paragraph:
The current power struggle in France about coronavirus strategies between health officials and the country’s leading expert is truly eye opening. Professor Didier Raoult, who is one of the world’s top 5 scientists on communicable diseases and leads the high tech research center on infectious diseases, IHU – mediterranée Marseilles, argued that the approach of mass quarantine is both inefficient and outdated and that large scale testing and treatment of suspected cases achieves far better results.
The author puts much more emphasis on effective, low cost treatment of the virus that Chinese experience has proven.  But can we be surprised with evidence of capitalist ruling classes protecting their own interests of profit and power in their strategies to combat this virus?
At one point Depuydt provides us with this insightful comment:
It is undeniable that the coronavirus epidemic has come on the scene at a crucial moment, when people everywhere are in revolt against the power of international financial institutions and multinational pharmaceutical corporations, whose stranglehold on governments is no longer hidden. Many scandals have shaken confidence. The bankruptcy of an aberrant economic system is accelerating, and attempts to start a third world war are multiplying. While it is impossible to know how the “coronavirus pandemic” will influence the redistribution of power, it is certain that many are seeking to have Covid-19 serve the political interests of a global governance project. [Her emphasis.]

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Posts that I especially recommend today: Sunday, March 22, 2020

My commentary: Notice that the Newsweek article uses variations on the word "secret" government legislation dating back to the Eisenhower administration. This process was accelerated during both natural and man-made threats to the US government, but expecially the latter after 9/11. We've witnessed this phenomenon grow ever since; and now with the coronvirus and the government negligence to establish an effective public healthcare system, a military junta takeover is becoming a realistic probability.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff codified these rules in October 2018, reminding commanders that they could decide, on their own authority, to "engage temporarily" in military control in circumstances "where prior authorization by the President is impossible" or where local authorities "are unable to control the situation." A new Trump-era Pentagon directive calls it "extreme situations." In all cases, even where a military commander declares martial law, the directives say that civil rule has to be restored as soon as possible. [My emphasis.] 
Now that it is likely too late, will people take Peter Koenig's warning in 2016 seriously? Do you actuallly believe that the present anemic capitalist version of "democracy" will ever be restored? If so, I have a fine bridge to sell you.