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A Reply to Jeffrey St. Clair’s “Strange Things Happening Every Day”

Jeffrey St. Clair’s 3-5 April 2020 Column, Strange Things Happening Every Day

Point-Counterpoint:

+ = Jeffrey St. Clair

— = Manuel García, Jr.

+ Is it possible for an entire country to win a Darwin Award?

— Yes, it’s called Climate Change, and a successful international effort.

+ At the onset of a pandemic outbreak of a virus that viciously attacks the lungs of humans, the Trump administration is rolling back the clean cars rule, permitting a billion more tons of carbon dioxide into the air.

— Have to, there may not be much time left for the fossil fuel companies to make one last killing.

+ Despite months of warning, the Coronavirus has now killed more people in the US than 9/11. By next week, it will probably be killing more people in the US than 9/11 every week. By the following week, every day.

— Okay if it reduces overhead costs, and doesn’t cut productivity or kill market demand.

+ 6.6 Million initial jobless claims. That’s 10 million over the last two weeks. As designed, the neoliberal system is barely capable of serving the un- & underemployed in a mild recession. It’s going to collapse under the weight of a cratering depression. Then what? Are we to suppose that Biden and Trump, two of the most ridiculous figures ever to rise to leadership positions in this country, are going to work it all out on the phone from their respective bunkers?

+ They should just seal Biden up behind a wall of bricks as in the Cask of Amontillado. He’s done. Only the insurance industry can save him now and they’re toast, too…

— Trump will pivot on to the his Let’s Make A Grand Bargain: I’ll give you Medicare-For-All-Uninsured to keep contagious bodies from piling up on the streets (and promote it as an “I’m saying your asses” gesture to the fretful bourgeoisie), and y’all get down on your knees and vote me, McConnell and the gang back in (so we can keep the keys to the Treasury and stay in command of government). Note to T-self: After the pandemic’s over, and y’all aren’t looking, I can re-uninsure the uninsured. Biden is too brain dead to think up anything like this, or anything at all.

+ If CNN gave Ralph Nader just one hour each Friday evening to demolish all the nonsense Trump, Pence and Biden had spewed over the course of the previous week, can you imagine how much better informed the country would be about what is required to confront the crisis that is enveloping us?

— CNN does not want the country to be better — truthful — informed. But you are just being ironical, you obviously know this.

+ It’s as if we’re back at the beginning of the AIDS crisis, when it wasn’t enough to fight a killer virus you had to fend off the ravenous swarm of “religious” bigots as well…

— The Abrahamic religions are united on three principles: intolerance, sexism and stupidity.

+ The Trump Administration is now saying seniors on Social Security must file a tax return to get a $1,200 check. This extra hurdle means millions of Americans will likely miss out on the payment.

— Maybe that stress will speed their infection with COVID-19, with the “good” result of lowering overhead costs.

+ John Henry: “Suddenly, the whole nation is depending on the same people they say shouldn’t make $15 an hour.”

— The American bourgeoisie loves loyal self-sacrificing slaves, and would like to repeal the 13th Amendment, so long as they themselves didn’t fall under it.

+ Biden surrogates have spent the last couple of days going back in their timelines to delete Brett Kavanaugh-related Tweets and Facebook posts in order not to have their “Believe the Women” standards invoked against Joe the Groper…

+ But, hey, our sexual predator isn’t as crude as their sexual predator.

— It’s all about the patriarchy.

+ $300 Million: the amount of money the airline industry has spent lobbying congress since their last big bailout…

+ $47 Billion: the amount of money they spent on stock buybacks over the last decade. (h/t Doug Henwood.)

+ Zoom is now valued at 50% more than all the US airlines put together.

+ The Day the Earth Stood Still: Researchers report a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust — that could be result of transport networks and other human activities being shut down…

— In truth, there is very little NEED for airline travel at all. It is massively wasteful of hydrocarbon fuel, and grossly polluting (particulate and CO2), and it is a rapid conduit of viral contagion. Similarly, the is NO NEED for the boat-cruise industry. We can and should work out our lives — work, pleasure, agriculture — within our home regions, worldwide, in order to significantly reduce our climate change and biodiversity destructive impacts. When long distance travel is actually necessary, it can be done with much greater energy efficiency by train and boat (even sailing), if we are willing to allow the time. And that is the major attitudinal improvement we all need: stop the unnecessary rush; give all the time that is needed for the things that need to be done (and cost is irrelevant to need).

+ Week 3: About half of U.S. workers say they or someone in their household has lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including 23% who have experienced a household job loss….”

— Eliminate income as a source of anxiety: universal better-than-basic-income, Social-Security-For-All. Yeah, fuck work! Believe me, people would just love to volunteer for every kind of “job” that exists, and excites them, suits their interests and skill, and which they would devote themselves to, if they had no worries about needing to “earn” a paycheck. If we pay them without obligation, they will choose to contribute — “work” — from interest. The only occupations that would suffer under this plan would be the parasitic ones, the ones we do not need, the truly “non-essential” ones: the pure overhead, guillotine it!

+ Three days later [1 April 2020], as the American COVID Death Count hit 4,788 President Trump had this to say: “Did you know I’m #1 on Facebook? I just found out I’m #1 on Facebook.”

— Louis XVI was number 1 in 1788, Nicolae Ceaușescu was number 1 in 1988, so maybe you’ll [Trump] make a big splash soon too (after we all run out of cake).

+ Nearly 60% of Americans in a recent poll have concluded that the US economic system is made solely to serve the rich. Are they mistaken?

A screenshot of a social media post

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+ “We don’t do body counts”: The Pentagon this week explicitly barred military commanders from publicly reporting COVID-19 cases.

+ I imagine FoxNews will be holding a show trial for the court martial of Capt. Brett Crozier, commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, who was removed from his post for raising the alarm about COVID-19 rampaging through his ship.

+ “That’s how you send out one of the greatest captains you ever had…”

+ The Navy fired the captain who tried to protect his crew…

— The PRIME DIRECTIVE of military careerists is CYA (translation for civilians: Cover Your Ass). It was for violating this PD to the embarrassment of his superiors (in rank, not character) that Captain Brett Crozier, USN, was relieved of his command, on 2 April 2020, of the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.

— It’s the Navy way. They made Admiral Kimmel a scapegoat, similarly with the Captain of the cruiser Indianapolis, and with the poor gunner guy who was in the turret of the battleship Iowa that suffered an internal explosion (touchy gunpowder in the shells; I met one of the guys in Sandia Labs who tested the powder afterward and verified its instability), and they robbed Commander Rochefort (who devised the Midway trap of the Japanese) of any honors during his lifetime (the brass back in DC, who had opposed Rochefort’s plan gave themselves Silver Stars (or whatever) and took credit for the Midway victory after the fact. It’s always “shoot the messenger” with those brass-hat careerist cowards: and they run the Navy (and similar in other branches, but the Navy specializes in CYA). General Patton had it right when he said, about himself and the other brass, at a US bond rally in the states that “our soldiers died for our medals.” They hushed up Patton after that. Honor does not easily or often lead to medals.

+ So not only does the Pentagon get a blank check, it’s also written in invisible ink: The Pentagon wants classify the Future Years Defense Program, citing fears the data ‘might inadvertently reveal sensitive information.’

— Theft is most successful if done in secret.

+ A rural Minnesota county has unexplained spike in coronavirus cases. Local public health expert thinks it’s because of Fox News coverage dismissing the danger of the virus.

— Social Darwinism at work (beneficially, I hesitate to say).

+ The federal government has listed the coal industry to its list of critical infrastructure that’s considered vital to public health, the economy, and national security, which is kind of like saying “virus” is essential to the public health…

— The phrases “public health” and “national security” are used as synonyms here for “the economy,” which of course means “Wall Street” (or “banksters” and “billionaires” and “the 1%,” if you’re a romantic).

MG,Jr.: I did not respond to every point JSC make in his column, just what struck me. This is not a judgment on the relative merits of the items not responded to.

To relieve the boredom and stresses of my friends during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have posted these two music videos, to help you all feel better for a least a few minutes. I will be posting one music video a day (different kinds, from my Deep Archive) on my Facebook page, for this purpose. Enjoy them.

“Brother” @ Lukas’s Birthday

18 August 2017

 

Dizzy Ms Lizzy

10 November 2010

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