Tomás Ó Flatharta

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An Evil King Rules an Afflicted Land: Coronavirus and the Depression in America – New Politicsm

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American Author and Activist Dan La Botz writes a grim assessment of the CoronaVirus Epidemic in America, and the related economic depression.

We in America live in what resembles some medieval fairy tale. An evil and maniacal king rules the plague stricken land. The wicked lords in the corrupt parliament rob the public coffers to enrich their cronies. The tribunes of the people, mostly venal and foolish, are alternately deceived or suborned by the King and the lords. Meanwhile many people are sick and many dying. The bodies pile up. The soothsayers blame it on the foreigners and plan pogroms. The mills have stopped; the inns and taverns have closed. Peasants rebel here and there but the plague prevents a general rebellion. Word has it the situation is the same in neighboring kingdoms all around.

That’s a fairy tale of course. What’s the reality? The United States now has nearly one million coronavirus cases and 50,000 deaths, more of both than any country in the world. We have an unemployment rate of 20 percent, the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The two together represent what is perhaps the greatest crisis in American history, an absolutely unprecedented event: a catastrophe. And it may only have just begun.

As the coronavirus has swept across the country bringing illness to hundreds of thousands and killing tens of thousands, Americans have been shocked by the failure of government, business, and the health system. As the number of sick mounted, there were not enough hospitals, not enough hospital beds, not enough ICUs, not enough ventilators. Hospital personnel have lacked gowns, masks, and respirators. As hospital workers fall sick or die there are not enough health workers to replace them. Some seven thousand elderly died in private nursing homes. The disease is now rampant in prisons. It is rife in meat packing plants, with 725 cases at the Smithfield plant in South Dakota. Twenty-six U.S. Navy ships have crews with coronavirus, including 850 sick on the huge 5,000-crewmember U.S.S. Roosevelt. Everywhere essential workers—bus drivers, garbage collectors, grocery cashiers, delivery workers—became sick and many have died, and neither business nor the governments that regulate these companies acted quickly to save them.
— Read on newpol.org/an-evil-king-rules-an-afflicted-land-coronavirus-and-the-depression-in-america/

The most depressing part of this analysis comes at the end, where the activities and analysis of the largest organisation on the American Activist Left, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), is described. Read the rest of this entry »

Undaunted Sanders Supporters Announce They’ll Continue Presidential Campaign Without Candidate

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USA : Bernie Sanders Campaign for President Over, Dead, Extinct. November 2020 Main Candidates TweedleTrump & TweedleBiden. Does Radical Left propose Credible Presidential Campaign for November 2020? Sanders sits on 100 million $$$ – TweedleBiden SlushFund???

Satire, very accurate satire, very close to the bone :

NEW YORK—Stressing that they would not allow a minor bump in the road to prevent them from delivering true change, the nation’s undaunted Bernie Sanders supporters announced Wednesday that they would continue his 2020 presidential campaign without the candidate. “Time and again, the mainstream media has predicted the end of this campaign, and they will again try to spin losing our only candidate as the clear conclusion of Bernie’s run for the presidency—but they could not be more wrong,” said Peter Symanski, a 27-year-old Sanders supporter who echoed the sentiment of thousands across the country while describing the Vermont senator’s decision to drop out of the race as “an insignificant setback” on the path to bringing a progressive vision to the Oval Office in 2020. “They said this race was over after South Carolina, they said it was over after Super Tuesday. But with or without our candidate, we will soldier ahead with our plan to bring true change in November. This race isn’t close to over.” At press time, the unwavering followers of Sanders went on to vow that if they did not find success this year, they would likely keep running the 2020 campaign until the end of the decade.
— Read on www.theonion.com/undaunted-sanders-supporters-announce-they-ll-continue-1842759626

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Debate: How Can We Continue the Bernie Revolution and Build a New Political Party?

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The Bernie Sanders Campaign to win the Democratic Party Nomination for President in the November 2020 General Election is Dead. Over. Extinct.

Radical left activists in the USA are debating where to go next. Let’s hope they achieve something worthwhile – the Biden V Trump contest is a miserable dead-end – unfortunately Bernie Sanders is choosing TweedleBiden instead of TweedleTrump.

While the COVID-19 crisis might throw the Democratic primary election into turmoil, it appears very likely that Bernie Sanders will not be able to win the Democratic nomination. This poses a question starkly to Sanders supporters — how can we best continue the momentum of Bernie’s historic campaign? Two petitions were initiated recently to address this question — one by Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant and another petition by some DSA activists. Both petitions argue for Sanders supporters to build a new political party but present different strategies for the steps needed to form a new party.

In response, socialist activist Jacob Smith wrote the following critique of the petition by DSA activists. Bobby Lambertz, one of the initial signers of the petition of DSA activists, replies below. We are pleased to publish this exchange as part of our commitment to facilitating constructive debate on important questions facing the socialist and working-class movements.

The Case for a New Party
— Read on reformandrevolution.org/articles/debate-how-can-we-continue-the-bernie-revolution-and-build-a-new-political-party/

Joe Biden Staggers Into The Evil of Two Lessers Saloon

Warning From History – In 1952 China Claimed the USA Spread Germs to Weaken the Chinese War Effort in Korea

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In 1952, China blamed the Yanks for spreading germs to weaken the Chinese war effort in the Korean War (a claim backed at the time by many experts, including my teacher Joseph Needham, an eminent Sinologist and friend of China who specialised in Chinese science). Here’s a poster from the period, with contemporary reference to the foul-breathed Trump, who spreads pestilence just by opening his vile mouth

Gregor Benton

Tariq Ali Offers Extra Evidence :

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Biden: “We Have To Take Care Of The Cure That Will Make The Problem Worse No Matter What” | Video | RealClearPolitics

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Joe Biden is almost certain to be the American Democratic Party Presidential Candidate in November 2020.

Tariq Ali Brilliantly Translates a Baffling Biden Statement About the CoronaVirus into the English Language ;

People are puzzled by this one, but in fact, it’s Biden at his most lucid. What he’s saying is that he needs to be taken into care because even though he is the cure to the Trump virus he will make all the problems worse no matter what.

Comeback Kid 🧒 In Evil 👿 of Two Lessers Saloon

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Trump Is Toast? Comeback Kid Biden Staggering Into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon?

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The Coronavirus crisis will destroy any chance Donald Trump has of retaining the US presidency this November, for one very simple reason. Driven by …

Trump Is Toast

Ed Moloney thinks he has spotted a silver lining in the CoronaVirus Cloud Haunting the USA.

Comeback Kid Staggers into Evil of Two Lessers Saloon

Trump’s USA Rejects WHO Covid-19 Test Kit – Increases Likely Death and Infection Rate

Not a great deal wrong with that on first view except the Trump-dominated bureaucracy proved incapable of putting that wish into action and so there are not enough US-made test kits to meet the predicted demand. Elsewhere in the world, by sharp contrast, there is no shortage of WHO testing kits, a tribute to the power of international co-operation.

Driven by Trump’s ultra nationalist political world view, the US rejected an international plan for a COVID test kit proposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and decided to plough its own furrow.

The consequence of that will be a huge spike in undiagnosed Coronavirus victims in the USA who will not be treated or even put into quarantine and the numbers of those stricken with the virus, and the deaths that will follow will be proportionately higher. The US, thanks to Trump, will not come out of the Covid crisis unscarred.

A Climbing American Death Rate in the Summer Months?

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COVID-19: The monster is finally at the door

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Hurricane Katrina was a climatic disaster for the great city of New Orleans, USA in 2005. 
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/reference/hurricane-katrina/

Mike Davis argues that Covid-19 could in 2020 provoke a social and medical collapse of the privately-owned nursing home industry -A Medical Katrina – in the land of Donald Trump.

We are in the early stages of a medical Katrina. Despite years of warnings about avian flu and other pandemics, inventories of basic emergency equipment such as respirators aren’t sufficient to deal with the expected flood of critical cases. Militant nurses unions in California and other states are making sure that we all understand the grave dangers created by inadequate stockpiles of essential protective supplies like N95 face masks. Even more vulnerable because invisible are the hundreds of thousands of low-wage and overworked homecare workers and nursing home staff.

The nursing home and assisted care industry, which warehouses 2.5 million elderly Americans—most of them on Medicare—has long been a national scandal. According to The New York Times, an incredible 380,000 nursing home patients die every year from facilities’ neglect of basic infection control procedures. Many homes—particularly in Southern states—find it cheaper to pay fines for sanitary violations than to hire additional staff and provide them with proper training. Now, as the Seattle example warns, dozens, perhaps hundreds more nursing homes will become coronavirus hotspots and their minimum-wage employees will rationally choose to protect their own families by staying home. In such a case the system could collapse, and we shouldn’t expect the National Guard to empty bedpans.

The outbreak has instantly exposed the stark class divide in healthcare: those with good health plans who can also work or teach from home are comfortably isolated provided they follow prudent safeguards. Public employees and other groups of unionized workers with decent coverage will have to make difficult choices between income and protection. Meanwhil, millions of low wage service workers, farm employees, uncovered contingent workers, the unemployed and the homeless will be thrown to the wolves. Even if Washington ultimately resolves the testing fiasco and provides adequate numbers of kits, the uninsured will still have to pay doctors or hospitals for administrating the tests. Overall family medical bills will soar at the same time that millions of workers are losing their jobs and their employer-provided insurance. Could there possibly be a stronger, more urgent case in favor of Medicare for All?
— Read on socialistresurgence.org/2020/03/12/covid-19-the-monster-is-finally-at-the-door/

Bernie Sanders Chooses Lesser-Evil Politics in the USA – Joe Biden Versus Donald Trump is The Evil of Two Lessers

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A dimwitted comeback kid staggers into a saloon called “The Evil of Two Lessers”

The Twilight of the Political Revolution

The Twilight of the Political Revolution
— Read on louisproyect.org/2020/03/09/the-twilight-of-the-political-revolution/

Lesser-Evil Politics from a defeated Democratic Party Candidate Bernie Sanders :

Just as was the case in 2016, Sanders will stump for Biden like he did for Clinton. Yesterday, he told Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd, “Look, Joe Biden is a friend of mine. He has indicated that if he wins the nomination I will be there for him. Together, we are going to beat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country, but you can’t — we live in a democracy, and we have to contrast his — our records and our ideas, our vision for the future.”

The dogged investigative journalist Ed Moloney adds extra toxicity :

Now that Joe Biden is the favourite to win the Democratic presidential nomination, expect to see his failing mental powers – his increasingly hard-to-ignore senility to be blunt – assume centre stage.

Democrat bosses would not be human if they were not concerned about how he will fare against Trump in the back and forth of debates. Biden’s mental confusion is now so obvious and embarrassing, even if much of the US media don’t want to go there, that it is enough to make you wonder whether the Ukrainian scandal was really staged to make it appear that Trump was scared of Biden when in fact he wanted him to be his opponent.

This piece in Commonweal magazine mercilessly examines Biden’s mental problem.

The question for the radical left in the USA becomes : is there a credible third-Party campaign which can be supported?

This is one option :

https://solidarity-us.org/every-state-is-a-battleground/

https://howiehawkins.us/whats-wrong-with-capitalism-and-why-we-need-ecosocialism/

Coronavirus has sparked a perfect storm of nationalism and financial speculation – Yanis Varoufakis, Former SYRIZA Finance Minister in Greece – THE GUARDIAN

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Here is a fresh warning about the toxic combination of two different phenomenons – the CoVid-19 Health Crisis and a Financial Money Markets Storm, similar to the 2008 Crash.

The author is Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek Finance Minister sacked from a SYRIZA Government before it surrendered to the Austerians.

See also https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2020/03/06/coronavirus-is-not-responsible-for-the-fall-of-stock-prices-international-viewpoint-online-socialist-magazine/.

When the air is replete with inflammable materials, any given spark can cause a financial explosion, at any time.

Éric Toussaint of CADTM examines a worldwide stock market collapse.

Eric Toussaint is a historian and political scientist who completed his Ph.D. at the universities of Paris VIII and Liège, is the international spokesperson of the CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt) , and sits on the Scientific Council of ATTAC France. 
He is the author of Debt System (2019), Bankocracy (2015); Glance in the Rear View Mirror. Neoliberal Ideology From its Origins to the Present, Haymarket books, Chicago; “Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank, Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers”, Monthly Review Press, New York, 2010. He has published extensively in this field. He is a member of the Fourth International leadership.

Yanis Varoufakis, Former SYRIZA Finance Minister in Greece

Nationalism and speculation have seldom had a better opportunity to combine forces as the one riding today on the coattails of Covid-19, known as the coronavirus. When Covid-19 leapfrogged from China to Italy, even ardent Europeanists normally appreciative of open borders joined the deafening calls to end freedom of movement across Europe’s national borders – a longstanding demand of nationalists. Meanwhile, the money men speculating on government debt are performing a classic flight from Italian to German government bonds, seeking the financial safety that only the continent’s hegemon can offer during any crisis. As if in a bid to remind us of the great contradiction of our times, Covid-19 is illuminating gloriously the freedom of money to transcend a borderless financial universe while humans remain as fenced in as ever.

Coronavirus has sparked a perfect storm of nationalism and financial speculation – THE GUARDIAN

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/03/09/coronavirus-has-sparked-a-perfect-storm-of-nationalism-and-financial-speculation-the-guardian/
— Read on www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2020/03/09/coronavirus-has-sparked-a-perfect-storm-of-nationalism-and-financial-speculation-the-guardian/

USA Conservative Political Action Conference attendee tested positive for coronavirus – CNNPolitics – President Donald Trump Was There!

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A correspondent suggests :

Could President Trump get coronavirus from having shaken hands or made selfies or inappropriately groped someone at CPAC?

The White House said earlier Saturday in a statement that it was aware of an individual testing positive for coronavirus after attending the CPAC conference.
“At this time there is no indication that either President Trump or Vice President Pence met with or were in close proximity to the attendee. The President’s physician and United States Secret Service have been working closely with White House Staff and various agencies to ensure every precaution is taken to keep the First Family and the entire White House Complex safe and healthy,” according to the White House.
The ACU noted that it has been in contact with the state of Maryland’s health department and would follow guidance from health experts.
“The exposure occurred previous to the conference. A New Jersey hospital tested the person, and CDC confirmed the positive result,” the ACU said in a statement. “The individual is under the care of medical professionals in the state of New Jersey, and has been quarantined.”
“Our children, spouses, extended family, and friends attended CPAC. During this time, we need to remain calm, listen to our health care professionals, and support each other. We send this message in that spirit,” the group said.
— Read on edition.cnn.com/2020/03/07/politics/cpac-coronavirus-tested-positive/index.html

Written by tomasoflatharta

Mar 8, 2020 at 10:55 am