Sunday 5th of July 2020

in the sick bay, awaiting the final blow...

liberty

It’s always difficult during a crisis for the government to address problems effectively while guarding against potential collateral damage to the freedoms Americans take for granted.

 

That dilemma has become acute with the current coronavirus outbreak and the measures being taken to stem it. No one should doubt that this pandemic is a worrisome problem. Not only is the virus highly contagious, the mortality rate (especially among elderly victims and those with underlying health problems) is substantially higher than with influenza or similar diseases. That gap shows signs of narrowing, but there is little question that coronavirus is a serious health menace.

Nevertheless, the troubling reality is that governments have always exploited crises to expand their powers—often to a dangerous degree. That has certainly been the case throughout American history.  

Some of the precedents state and local officials are setting to address the corona virus outbreak are truly alarming. Both California Governor Gavin Newsom and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have issued executive orders essentially placing their entire states on lockdown. Abuses of power during earlier crises should alert us to the potential dangers of a repetition. 

World War I not only resulted in blatant assaults on the First Amendment (including the jailing of war critics), it led to statutes and executive orders that haunt us to this day. Various administrations have trotted out the Espionage Act of 1917 to punish whistleblowers and intimidate investigative journalists. Subsequent presidents used other laws passed during the war in ways never contemplated by the legislators who enacted them. For example, in August 1971, Richard Nixon declared a national emergency under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 to impose import tariffs, close the gold window for international payments, and establish wage and price controls.

World War II produced additional abuses and alarming precedents. The most egregious was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order putting Japanese Americans in “relocation centers” (concentration camps) for the crime of being Japanese Americans. In an especially shameful ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of his action, which made it an ongoing policy option. During the Korean War, President Harry Truman attempted to seize control of the nation’s steel mills as a wartime measure.

More recently, the policy responses to the 9/11 terrorist attacks included the so-called Patriot Act and its legendary erosions of the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as the weakening of other rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The result has been an intrusive surveillance state that no one can seem to control.

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/liberty-and-the-coronav...

recuperating one billion bucks...

As the US needs to spend US$1.8 trillion to protect against the coronavirus, it will economise a little bit by slashing aid:...

 

 

Washington will cut aid to Afghanistan by $1 billion starting immediately, after failing to resolve a fierce dispute between rival Afghan leaders, the State Department said, noting the US military withdrawal would continue.

Lamenting the failure of Afghan leaders to agree on an “inclusive government,” Pompeo said the feud between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah had “harmed US-Afghan relations,” adding that Washington would review cooperation with the country and make significant cuts to US aid.

“Because this leadership failure poses a direct threat to US national interests, effective immediately, the US government will initiate a review of the scope of our cooperation with Afghanistan,” he said in a statement on Monday after an unannounced trip to Kabul.

“Among other steps, we are today announcing a responsible adjustment to our spending in Afghanistan and immediately reducing assistance by $1 billion this year.”

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/483902-pompeo-cut-aid-afghanistan/

 

 

 

MEANWHILE IN JAPAN...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=93&v=9HgvKIoJbvE&feature=emb_logo

 

 

it's going to get bad...

Senate negotiators cite progress on $2 trillion stimulus bill
Deal appears closer after a day of drama and rancor 


Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was said to have told Democrats that he was hopeful of reaching an agreement by the end of the day.


For the first time, the United States reported more than 100 coronavirus-related deaths in a single day.
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One wonders what the stock market is going to do to suck up this extra cash before the needies get it... It's going to be a race for the exits...

the final sacrifice from the oldies...

Older people would rather die than let Covid-19 harm US economy – Texas official


Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick tells Fox News: ‘Do we have to shut down the entire country for this? I think we can get back to work’

As Donald Trump pushed to re-open the US economy in weeks, rather than months, the lieutenant governor of Texas went on Fox News to argue that he would rather die than see public health measures damage the US economy, and that he believed “lots of grandparents” across the country would agree with him.

“My message: let’s get back to work, let’s get back to living, let’s be smart about it, and those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves,” Lt Gov Dan Patrick, a 69-year-old Republican, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday night.

“Don’t sacrifice the country,” Patrick said. “Don’t do that.”

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/older-people-would-rather-...

 

 

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prego...

In order to remedy the massive influx of patients with Covid-19 who saturate its health system, Italy is now turning to China, Cuba and Venezuela for help, both material and human. What about the European Union? The second country in the world after China and the first European nation most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Italy is now turning to the international stage to request medical aid, both human and material.

 

However, the Italian government did not turn to the European Union (EU) to relieve its overburdened healthcare system, which can no longer cope with the massive influx of patients, but to China, Cuba. and in Venezuela.

 

Responding to the call, Cuba dispatched on March 21 to Lombardy, the region of Italy most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 3,095 deaths according to the latest report, a team of 52 doctors and nurses, including some having fought the epidemic of Ebola in Africa, to help the European country worst affected by the virus, according to AFP. The team, made up of 36 doctors, 15 nurses and an administrator, "is ready to work tirelessly to treat and confront the epidemic of Covid-19 in collaboration with health professionals" from Italy, said its chef, Carlos Ricardo Perez. His team is expected to start helping out in Crema hospitals in the Cremona province of Lombardy on March 22.

 

Find out more about RT France: https://francais.rt.com/international/72947-covid-19-italie-demande-aide...

 

 

On 21 March, Russian President Vladimir Putin in talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed Russia's readiness to provide prompt assistance to Italy in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Nine Russian Aerospace Forces' aircraft have delivered equipment and around 100 military experts to Italy to help it fight the coronavirus.

According to the Defence Ministry, Russia has sent medical virologists, doctors who have a great experience in fighting epidemics, medical equipment, and vehicles for aerosol disinfection to Italy.

Per Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over 59,100 coronavirus cases registered in Italy and more than 5,470 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in the country.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/photo/202003231078677989-russia-aids-italy-fight...

 

 

Read from top...

"you are now under my total control"...

see:

 

https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/25/watch-how-to-practice-proper-social-distancing-propagandawatch/

 

See also:

 

 


POLITICS


Wake Up! Your Fears Are Being Manipulated


We have a terrifying example in 9/11 of how this goes. Let's calm down and figure out who has what to gain by stirring panic.


MARCH 26, 2020|12:01 AM


PETER VAN BUREN


I’m not worried about the guy coughing next to me. I’m worried about the ones who seem to be looking for Jim Jones.

Jones was the charismatic founder of the cult-like People’s Temple. Through fear-based control, he took his followers’ money and ran their lives. He isolated them in Guyana where he convinced over 900 of them to commit suicide by drinking cyanide-laced grape Kool Aid. Frightened people can be made to do anything. They just need a Jim Jones.

So it is more than a little scary that media zampolit Rick Wilson wrote to his 753,000 Twitter followers: “People who sank into their fear of Trump, who defended every outrage, who put him before what they knew was right, and pretended this chaos and corruption was a glorious new age will pay a terrible price. They deserve it.” The tweet was liked over 82,000 times.

The New York Times claims that “the specter of death speeds across the globe, ‘Appointment in Samara’-style, ever faster, culling the most vulnerable.” Others are claiming Trump will cancel the election to rule as a Jim Jones. “Every viewer who trusts the words of Earhardt or Hannity or Regan could well become a walking, breathing, droplet-spewing threat to the public,” opined the Washington Post. Drink the damn Kool Aid and join in the panic en route to Guyana.

The grocery store in Manhattan, just after the announcement of the national state of emergency, was pure panic. I saw a fight break out after an employee brought out paper towels to restock the shelf and someone grabbed the whole carton for himself. The police were called. One cop had to stay behind to oversee the lines at the registers and maintain order. To their credit, the NYPD were cool about it. I heard them talk down one of the fighters, saying, “You wanna go to jail over Fruit Loops? Get a hold of yourself.” Outside New York, sales of weapons and ammunition spiked.

Panic seems to be something we turn on and off, or moderate in different ways. Understanding that helps reveal what is really going on.

No need for history. Right now, in real time, behind the backs of the coronavirus, is the every-year, plain-old influenza. Some 12,000 people have died, with over 13 million infected from influenza just between October 2019 and February 2020. The death toll is screamingly higher (as of this writing, coronavirus has infected 60,653 and killed 819 Americans). Bluntly: more people have already died of influenza in the U.S. than from the coronavirus in China, Iran, and Italy combined. Double in fact. To be even blunter, no one really cares, even though a large number of bodies are piling up. Why?

The first cases of the swine flu, H1N1, appeared in April 2009. By the time Obama finally declared a national emergency seven months later, the CDC was reporting that 50 million Americans, one in six people, had been infected, and 10,000 Americans had died. In the early months, Obama had no HHS secretary or appointees to the department’s 19 key posts, as well as no commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, no surgeon general, no CDC director. The vacancy at the CDC was especially important because in the early days of the crisis, only they could test for the virus (sound familiar?). Yet some 66 percent of Americans thought the president was protecting them. There was no panic. Why?

Of course, Trump isn’t Obama. But if you really think it is that black and white, that one man makes that much difference in the multi-leveled response of the vast federal government, you don’t know much about bureaucracy. Most of the people who handled the swine flu are now working the coronavirus, from the rank and file at CDC, HHS, and DHS to headliners like Drs. Andrew Fauci (in government since 1968, worked ebola) and Deborah Brix (in government since 1985, prior to corona was an Obama AIDS appointee).

Maybe the most salient example is 9/11. Those who lived through it remember it well, the color threat alerts, the jihadi cells around every corner, the sense of learned/taught helplessness. The enemy could be anywhere, everywhere, and we had no way to fight back. But because the Dems and Repubs were saying the same thing, there was a patina of camaraderie to it (led by Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg, where are they now?), not discord. But the panic was still very real.

Why? We panicked when people took steps to ensure we would. We were kept calm when there was nothing to gain by spurring us to panic (the swine flu struck in the midst of the housing crisis; there was enough to worry about). After 9/11, a fearful populace not only supported everything the government wanted to do, they demanded more. Nearly everyone cheered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and not believing the government meant you were on their side. The Patriot Act, which did away with whole swaths of the Bill of Rights, was overwhelmingly supported. There was no debate over torture, offshore penal colonies, assassinations, kidnappings, and all the little horrors. The American people counted that as competent leadership and re-elected George W. Bush. Fear was political currency.

Need a 2020 example of how to manipulate panic? Following fears of a liquid bomb, the TSA limited carry-on liquids to four ounces for years. Can’t be too careful! Yet because of corona, they just changed the limit for hand sanitizer only (which, with its alcohol content, is actually flammable, as opposed to say, shampoo) to 12 ounces. Security theater closed down alongside Broadway tonight.

False metrics are also manipulative because they make fear seem scientific. We ignore the low death rate and focus on the number of tests done. But whatever we do will never be enough, never can be enough, the same way any post-disaster aid is never delivered quick enough because the testing is not (just) about discovering the extent of the virus. For those with naughty motives, it is about creating a race we can’t win, so testing becomes proof of failure. Think about the reality of “everyone who wants one should get a test.” The U.S. has 331 million people. Testing 10 percent of them in seven days means 4,714,285 individuals a day while the other 90 percent hold their breath. Testing on demand is not realistic at this scale. Selective decision-based testing is what will work.

South Korea, held up as the master of mass testing, conducted at its peak about 20,000 a day. Only 4 percent were positive, a lot of effort for a little reassurance. Tests are valuable to pinpoint the need for social distancing, but blunt tools like mass social distancing (see China) also work. Tests do not cure the virus. You can hide the number of infections by not testing (or claim so to spur fear), but very sick people make themselves known at hospitals and actual dead bodies are hard to ignore. Tests get the press, but actual morbidity is the clearest data point.

There will be time for after-action reviews and arguments over responsibility. That time is never in the midst of things, and one should question the motives of journalists who use rare access to the president to ask questions meant largely to undermine confidence. If they succeed, we will soon turn on each other. You voted for him; that’s why we’re here now. Vote for Bernie and Trump wins and we all literally die. You bought the last toilet paper. You can afford treatment I can’t. You’re safe working from home while I have to go out. Just wait until the long-standing concept of medical triage is repackaged by the media as “privilege” and hell breaks loose in the ERs. We could end up killing each other even as the virus fades.

At the very least, we will have been conditioned to new precedents of control over personal decisions, civil life, freedom of movement and assembly, whole city lockdowns, education, and an increasing role for government and the military in health care. Teachers, don’t be surprised if less of you, and fewer classrooms, are needed in the virus-free future, in favor of more classes online. It’s almost as if someone is taking advantage of our fears for their own profits and self-interest.

There are many reasons to take prudent action. There are no good reasons for fear and panic. The fear being promoted has no rational basis compared to regular influenza and the swine flu of 2009. We have a terrifying example in 9/11 of how easily manipulated fearful people are. Remaining calm and helping others do so is a big part of what your contribution to the disaster relief could be.

That’s one way to see this. Too many right now, however, seem to be looking for Jim Jones.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.


Read more:
https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/wake-up-your-fears-are-being-manipulated/

Read also:

amusing creative side-effects of your panic...

 

an uncomfortable notion: the coronavirus is an escaped/released bioweapon...