• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Truth or Consequences

As calls ramp up for the nation’s leaders to deal with the coronavirus pandemic as if we were at war, it’s worth remembering the advice Aeschylus, the Greek tragedy playwright, gave nearly 2,500 years ago: “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

Indeed, if there’s been one thing notoriously lacking in the months since the first coronavirus infections appeared in the U.S. it’s been the pure, unvarnished truth we need in order to deal with our lives, our families, our communities and our future.

Congress knew what was likely to happen and how unprepared the nation was for this pandemic. How do we know that? Why, simple — just look at what some of the senators on the Intelligence Committee did after being privately briefed in January about the potential impacts a pandemic would have on the nation.

As reported by Politico, “the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions.” Adding insult to injury, Burr sold off his stocks right after he published a column on how well-prepared we were for the pandemic.

Unfortunately, Burr was not the only one to “unload” stocks after receiving the truth that was withheld from the rest of America’s 327 million citizens. As reported by The Hill: “According to financial disclosures, Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) each sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks within days of the Senate holding a classified briefing on Jan. 24 with administration officials on the threat of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Of course these senators deny that their inside information had anything to do with dumping their stocks prior to the stock market crash that has wiped out virtually all gains since Trump took office. Some might wonder, however, at the coincidence that all of them sat on the same committee and got the same private briefing prior to the disposition of their stocks.

One might even wonder what the rest of the populace would have done had the truth been revealed publicly instead of behind the closed doors of the Senate Intelligence Committee. For millions of Americans, the lack of truth from our politicians did indeed bring dire consequences, especially considering that those now-crashed stocks represent their life savings and retirement funds.

What else may have happened had the populace been given the whole truth about the pandemic and our federal lack of preparation? Unfortunately, we’ll never know — but it’s fair to say we may have begun taking a number of economically, socially and medically prudent steps to deal with what’s now so unavoidably upon us.

The truth is that millions of lives are totally disrupted by job, income and investment loss. But if the Trump administration has its way, we won’t be getting that truth, either. As reported late last week, his Department of Labor issued an email noting that “unemployment figures are closely tracked by financial markets judging the strength of the economy” and advising: “States should not provide numeric values to the public” and instead “provide information using generalities to describe claims levels (very high, large increase).”

Truth is obviously a casualty under Trump, despite the fact that this is a public health crisis, not a war. What we deserve and desperately need from those who claim to lead us is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth — or we, the people, will be left to face even more dire consequences.

 

More articles by:

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

May 25, 2020
Marshall Auerback
If the Federal Government Won’t Fund the States’ Emergency Needs, There is Another Solution
Michael Uhl
A Memory Fragment of the Vietnam War
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
Make a Resilient, Localized Food System Part of the Next Stimulus
Barrie Gilbert
The Mismanagement of Wildlife in Utah Continues to be Irrational and a National Embarrassment.
Dean Baker
The Sure Way to End Concerns About China’s “Theft” of a Vaccine: Make it Open
Thom Hartmann
The Next Death Wave from Coronavirus Will Be the Poor, Rural and White
Phil Knight
Killer Impact
Paul Cantor
Memorial Day 2020 and the Coronavirus
Laura Flanders
A Memorial Day For Lies?
Gary Macfarlane – Mike Garrity
Grizzlies, Lynx, Bull Trout and Elk on the Chopping Block for Trump’s Idaho Clearcuts
Cesar Chelala
Challenges of the Evolving Coronavirus Pandemic
Luciana Tellez-Chavez
This Year’s Forest Fire Season Could Be Even Deadlier
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Beijing Acts on Hong Kong
George Wuerthner
Saving the Lionhead Wilderness
Elliot Sperber
Holy Beaver
Weekend Edition
May 22, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Hugh Iglarsh
Aiming Missiles at Viruses: a Plea for Sanity in a Time of Plague
Paul Street
How Obama Could Find Some Redemption
Marc Levy
On Meeting Bao Ninh: “These Good Men Meant as Much to Me as Yours Did to You”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Shallò: 120 Days of COVID
Joan Roelofs
Greening the Old New Deal
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Still Matters
Charles Pierson
Is the US-Saudi Alliance Headed Off a Cliff?
Robert Hunziker
10C Above Baseline
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
The Fed’s Chair and Vice Chair Got Rich at Carlyle Group, a Private Equity Fund With a String of Bankruptcies and Job Losses
Eve Ottenberg
Factory Farming on Hold
Andrew Levine
If Nancy Pelosi Is So Great, How Come Donald Trump Still Isn’t Dead in the Water?
Ishmael Reed
Alex Azar Knows About Diabetes
Joseph Natoli
Will Things Fall Apart Now or in November?
Richard D. Wolff
An Old Story Again: Capitalism vs. Health and Safety
Louis Proyect
What Stanford University and Fox News Have in Common
Pete Dolack
Work is Inevitable But its Organization is Not
David A. Schultz
America and the Rise of the Chinese Century
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Fears the Nakba: How Memory Became Palestine’s Greatest Weapon
Heather Gray – Jonathan King
Coronavirus and Other US Health Threats? Fund Public Health Not Foreign Wars
Brian Cloughley
Don’t Be Black in America
Kenn Orphan
A Pandemic and a Plague of Absurdity
Matthew Stevenson
Our Friend Eugene Schulman
Richard C. Gross
The Man Who Cried Wolf
Ron Jacobs
Road Trippin’
Robert P. Alvarez
A Simple Solution for the Coronavirus Crisis in Prisons
Aadesh Ravi
The Long March of the Locked-Down Migrants
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Proliferation of Conspiracy Theories & the Crisis of Science
Nilofar Suhrawardy
The Other Side of Covid-19
Binoy Kampmark
Battles Over Barley: Australia, China and the Tariff Wars
Cesar Chelala
Donald Trump can Learn Something from Mao Zedong’s Mistakes
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail