Live and Let Die

Photograph Source: Bart Everson – CC BY 2.0

Real Time Reflections from Sheltered Radicals in the Time of the Most Dangerous Criminal in Human History

May 3

+ Street: Comrades, this article never ends but it’s worth a read: “34 days of pandemic: Inside Trump’s desperate attempts to reopen America.” It is a blow-by-blow account of Trump’s total reckless insanity in response to COVID-19.

Rabid white Trumpenvolk + vicious right-wing billionaires + dismal corporate Democrats+ listless “liberals”+ moronic “moderates” + ” weak-kneed “progressives” + an ocean of pathetic ex-citizens who “just don’t follow the news” or “do politics stuff” = authoritarian fascistic rule in the world’s most powerful state (though one silver lining is that the feeble U.S. pathetic-ness on display is helping contribute to an escalated erosion of American global hegemony as the U.S. is revealed even more than before as a sick joke of a nation and a farce of a “society.”

This is what happens when people put a demented fascist moron —- Donald Trump, accurately described by Noam Chomsky as “the most dangerous criminal in human history” — in the White House and can’t be bothered to mount a serious movement to get rid of his totally insane regime.

Stephen B: I condemn the American people for allowing this to happen.

Street: The terrible tiny-fingered tangerine-tinted twitter-tantruming tyrant Trump is as American as Apple Pie. And now the glorious superpower with just over 4% of the world’s population is home to nearly a third of the world’s COVID-19 cases. America First!

Pat O: the indifference of the average citizen is no accident – when labor and civil rights showed just a little muscle, they were crushed, then civil right rec’d modest successes–then labor was crushed again – with constant encouragement funded by massive resources, the average citizen shops constantly, doing little else – apathy/obedience do not come from nowhere

“What a Sad Conclusion They Make”

+ Street: A “left” friend is calling for “re-opening.” Perhaps he will join the Trumpenvolk militias in the state capitals. Hey, let’s roll. Let’s get those Mexicans back on the covid-ridden packinghouse killing floors pronto! Let’s get commuters and factories and office-buildings burning as many fossil fuels as before! Let’s get those planes back in the air, crank up the pollution and get carbon emissions back on pace for melting Antarctica by 2050! Capitalism simply cannot pause for something as trifling as public health. And since God has proclaimed that there is no alternative to capitalism, we must now open-up the profits system again! Back to business (rule) as usual

Marco Daniel Summaria: The MSM is clearly not going to broadcast or detail that we have alternatives… There are simple and effective solutions to all our socioeconomic problems, but they are not included in the ‘discourse’ because the real solutions don’t leave the current assholes in charge….and because a discussion of the real solutions lays bare the reality that it is never a matter of what social and economic reforms cost — but rather what they save, because the money is being STOLEN, and because the REAL debate is always about WHO decides HOW our money is spent.

Mona Shaw: What a sad conclusion they make. They believe their only choice is between two avenues of death.

“A Neat Little Effort”

+ Street: COVID-19 is a potent organizing and recruiting tool for Amerikaner fascists: “The Coronavirus Becomes a Battle Cry for Extremists,” New York Times, May 3rd.

Anthony DiMaggio: One big problem I had with this piece was the neat little effort to separate out extremists in the marches from the rest. This is a typical mass media tactic. Portray a small number on the right as fascists. And the rest are more respectable conservatives. That isn’t the case here. This entire movement is a front for big capital and extremist plutocrats allied with white supremacists and terrorist vigilantes. They do not speak for the masses, and essentially amount to a death cult. The artificial efforts to divide out the far right into a fascist not fascist distinction is convenient, because it allows you to erase the creeping fascism problem. And if it doesn’t exist, you don’t have to address it. US mass media is still pretending that the Republican party and right are part of a functional political process, when this crisis proves once and for all that they’re not. It’s sort of pathetic at this point that establishment types can’t see this.

“Periodic Humiliations from This Deranged Clown”

May 4

+ Street: Please see my reflection on the 50th Anniversary of Kent State and its meaning for US imperialism today.

+ Street: No re-open and we get 117,000 COVID-19 deaths by end of June. Add 45,000 more with a partial re-opening. Add 233,000 more with full re-opening. And oh, BTW: resume full on rapacious capitalist growth and species goes extinct through climate catastrophe and related causes.

+ Street: I don’t believe the tangerine reptile here . There’s no way Tony Fauci told Trump COVID-19 “wasn’t going to be a big deal” last January. What a lying sack of shit Danger Clown Donald is.

Terry Thomas: Everybody involved in the federal response, including Fauci and Birx, should expect to be under the bus before this is over, and if they refuse to leave the administration and accept the periodic humiliations from this deranged clown they can expect to be under the wheels repeatedly. It will become a ritual.

Killer Kim Reynolds

+ Street: Iowa’s Koched-up governor Kim Reynolds to her state’s working-class: “put your life at risk or sacrifice your unemployment pittance, proletarian peons!” According to Business Insider, “Iowa [Reynolds] tells workers to return to their jobs or lose unemployment benefits, despite warnings that reopening could lead to a 2nd wave of infections.” This white-nationalist witch is opening most of the state’s counties even as Iowa cases and fatalities have been taking off — last I looked Iowa’s rate of increase was the highest in the nation. Let’s deliver Frau Reynolds and other top Iowa Reich officials to a Tyson plant pork-cutting room and make them live in a trailer park in a meth-drenched county where doctors are scarce and no hospitals can be found.

A Loathsome Shit-stain

K.J.F: What a loathsome shit-stain Trump is. He accepts responsibility for nothing. He will sacrifice anyone–with the possible exception of his daughter, Dachau Barbie–to move any blame from himself. He is a coward. His sickness is incurable

+ Street: Given Demented Orange’s earlier claim that COVID-19 would just go away with warm weather and his longstanding efforts to accelerate the process of turning the planet into a giant Greenhouse Gas Chamber, I’m a little surprised Tangerine Antichrist hasn’t argued for increasing global warming as a good cure — along with main-lining Clorox.

May 5

+ Street: Orange King Covid announces that “we will release our politically self-interested Orwellian distortion of COVID-19 history sometime: Reuters, “Trump Says U.S. Will Report Virus Origins, Gives No Timeline,”

Terry Thomas: Typical Trump: announce major exculpating information to be delivered at future date that of course never arrives. He has no intention of delivering shit about China. Just one more manipulation of media and pig food for the Trumpenvolk. Put it out there and it becomes reality. “Don’t believe what you see and hear.”

Kenneth M: You just know that Trump is going to accuse the Chinese of releasing the virus from that biomedical research lab in Wuhan, but when pressed for evidence, Trump will coyly respond that he would love to present the evidence, but by doing so, he would risk revealing intelligence sources and methods.

Terry Thomas: That’s how it works. Put it out there, becomes reality for the targeted population, and move on to next pile of crap.

+ Street: “We get a lot of people watching.” See this New York Post piece on Trump loving how his nightly coronavirus briefings garner a lot of television views. It’s all about ratings for this subhuman malignancy Trump.

Terry Thomas: Even as his advisors, at least the ones who retain a modicum of sanity, point out that recommending people ingest bleach and stuff UV lamps down their throats are things that probably lose you votes. This guy can’t stop himself: if there’s stage he has to be the one on it, the only one on it. Somebody else getting attention is more than he can deal with. So these shit shows will return and he will show off his talents for all to see.

This is War

+ Street: See this: COVID-19 mutates and will take different forms (like the flu). Meanwhile right-wing criminals plot re-escalated exposure and mass death. We need able-bodied people to process that the right-wing is trying to kill millions and broadly (when you factor in ecological problems like climate) trying to wipe out humanity. That means mass movements beneath outworn 18th Century slaveowners and merchant capitalists’ constitutions and absurdly compromised ruling class electoral and party systems. But first we need to process just how extreme the project of the right is. In the current environmental and epidemiological context, we are dealing now with “the most dangerous criminal[s] in human history” (Chomsky) from Trump and Bolsonaro and their corporate and military allies and enablers on down. We are all dead meat without a radical alteration in our relationships with current social, political, environmental, and physical reality. We must rise and defend prospects for a decent organized human existence in the future. Get it that your right-wing uncle or cousin or brother in law or brother or (gasp) son or husband is the 21st century equivalent of a Nazi and actually more dangerous given current realities. They may not know better and it may even in a way not be their fault, but, well, so what? This is war.

“Live and Let Die”

May 6

+ Street: This is brilliant and haunting:

“A seamless vision of this country’s ever-flowering dystopia unspooled itself in Arizona yesterday. Donald Trump, in furtherance of his quest to reopen the U.S. economy in the middle of the beginning of a lethal pandemic, visited a Honeywell International face mask factory in Phoenix… and refused to wear a mask, despite the big sign at the door telling visitors to WEAR A MASK.”

“All the workers wore them. The press and Secret Service agents wore them. Trump, senior White House staff and the Honeywell executives present did not. As Trump toured the facility maskless, the factory sound system began blaring ‘Live and Let Die,’ the Guns N’ Roses cover of the old Paul McCartney chestnut.”

“This was not a worker signaling his disapproval of Trump and his deadly policies. ‘Live and Let Die’ is a staple at Trump’s rallies. It was the perfect Trump anthem, played in Phoenix as he turned his factory tour into another campaign stop at which he signaled to his base, ‘No masks needed, it’s a hoax’ with his usual brazen carelessness. One wonders what Sir Paul thinks of this.”

(From William Rivers-Pitt, “Trump’s Anthem Has Always Been ‘Live and Let Die.’”)

I am nearly speechless at this point. “Live and Let Die” is this monumental asshole’s Social Darwinian “anthem” — of course it is. The vicious. corrupt, lethal, and fascistic idiocy and of this presidency is overwhelming.

+ Street: They need just the right amount of us to die. Too many deaths is bad for profits but so is too few. The Lords of Capital are trying to calibrate just the right amount of death – the sweet spot for them

The Only Way

+ Street: The Dems have nothing and will not save you. They suck. The electoral, party, and legal systems – same thing. We will have to think and act outside the usual bourgeois boxes or we will all go down with the ship.

Cindy B. H.: There is a movement afoot, growing out of the MayDay General Strike organized by Cooperation Jackson:

Valerie V-S: Strikes and direct action are the only way. The legislatures and the Courts have always been on the back end of any successes won by and for ordinary people. NOTHING good in America has ever come about as a gift freely given from On High (legislatures or courts), but as a response to persistent, organized direct action. Lincoln didn’t even think that slavery in the South was an issue to be addressed, only slavery in states on the Western frontier, until Frederick Douglass and the entire Emancipation movement pestered him into doing the right thing. This has been true ever since.

“Criminal Negligence”: Lesser Evil-ism “Brought Us Here”

+ Street: I can simultaneously (a) understand why many on the left will vote for Biden to block Trump (I mean I have been describing Trump as a demented fascist oligarch for a good while) and (b) find it depressing to read Noam Chomsky suggesting that lefties who can’t vote for Biden are criminally complicit in Trumpism. If one is going to call Trump potentially worse than Hitler —- “the most dangerous criminal in human history” — then one ought to be calling urgently, regularly, and loudly for mass action in the streets everyday starting yesterday. It’s not at all clear that Trump can or will be defeated through the badly degraded U.S. electoral process – one of the least democratic electoral set-ups in the industrialized world.

Jay Becker: THANK YOU! Seriously, “potentially worse than Hitler” but rely on the political channels that these fascists control? THAT’S criminal negligence, I don’t care what your name or your credentials are. And even though we can’t go out in the streets right now, some of us have been making the case and building the movement to do that as soon as possible because it’s the only power that can stop them, people power – connect with Refuse Fascism (RF), sign and spread RF’s Statement of Conscience because this isn’t proto- or neo- or sorta fascism, it’s a fascist regime that already controls the executive and top judicial branch and the Senate so “let’s not hope against fact that the 2020 election…will resolve this crisis.”

Terry Thomas: Seems to me we’ve ended with “the most dangerous president in history” in some measure because too many have operated on the “lesser evil” assumption for as long as I can remember, and I go back pretty far. Every republican seems in some fashion worse than the democrat opposing them, so in the final analysis people vote for the democrat, not identifying at all with the policies, but at least they’re not the republican who seems somehow worse — perhaps this worked when it was FDR v. Hoover or LBJ v. Goldwater (and I know LBJ’s relation to Vietnam, etc.) or maybe even Carter v. Reagan. But as John Harvey says, the democrats have grown into liberal versions of the conservative republicans: all believe in the neoliberal organization of the global economy, and all that entails. Obama might talk a better game on global warming or whatever than republicans but in terms of actual policy he would only go so far, because the corporate overlords lay down the rules of the game. This trend has literally brought us to Biden v. Trumpian Neo-fascism. So now we are being asked to vote for Biden, with all his racism and corporatism, because at least he’ll make references to global warming as the planet begins to sizzle on a carbon skillet. But he won’t actually confront the issue, because his corporate overlords will lay out the rules of his administration. And he’ll gladly follow them. Hell, this guy can’t even come out in support of universal health care in midst of a pandemic. I’ve done this shit long enough — can’t do it anymore. The social safety net the democrats (and republicans) crafted from the New Deal to the Great Society is gone, and none of them support it anymore.I would have voted with gusto for Bernie, but now I’ll vote for the Green candidate, and I would do so even if I lived in an alleged swing state. The democrats are complicit in putting us in this horrifying situation, and I can’t support the shit anymore.

Valerie V-S: The Dem controlled House voted without any debate 3x to give T everything he wanted in a Defense Budget, the last time while they in the midst of impeaching “the most dangerous man in America”.

No Profit in Prevention

+ Street: Of course: CNN, “Nation’s stockpile proves no match for the coronavirus pandemic”. An arch-capitalist society doesn’t heed warnings from mere public health experts and plan and produce on behalf of the common good. Where would the profit have been in adequate preparation?

“Regular Folks” – “Saying Out Loud What Right-Wingers Say in Private”

May 7

+ Street: Trump is up to 24 Lies Per Day since early April — I shit you not: see this.

+ Street: Jesus H Antichrist: “Wisconsin’s chief justice said a coronavirus outbreak spreading through a meatpacking plant wasn’t affecting the regular folks. The comment came Tuesday during oral arguments in the state’s stay-at-home shut down case.”

“‘Due to the meatpacking, though, that’s where the Brown County got the flare. It wasn’t just the regular folks in Brown County,’ Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Roggensack said.”

Kenneth M: She is only saying out loud what a lot of far right wingers will say in private. Whenever I go to the underbelly of the Internet, places like 4chan where people are less guarded, a lot of people share this view: “the majority of people dying are Blacks, Latinos, old people and people with underlying conditions, so maybe having COVID19 isn’t the catastrophe the news media are making it out to be.” You just know the plutocrats hold a similar view: “You mean our Big Beautiful Stock Market is tanking because we are shutting down the economy just to protect the old, the sick and the working class? F*ck those people! Open the economy now!” What makes this even worse is that under normal circumstances the opinions of racist plutocrats wouldn’t gain much traction among the general public, but their lackeys in the corporate media are subliminally grooming the public for an unsafe reopening of the economy. They are constantly running stories about the anti-lockdown protesters or local city councils refusing to enforce the state lockdown and allowing businesses to operate. Their stories rarely allow time for public health officials to explain to people why this behavior is so dangerous or acknowledging that 70% of the public want lockdowns to continue until public health officials, and not politicians, believe it’s safe to reopen.

Hate Deficit

+Street: See this, “The Rich Are Having Themselves A Fine Coronavirus,” reporting that:

“It’s not just bank shareholders who are going to feast on cash payouts while millions of Americans find themselves unemployed. The restrictions on dividend payouts to shareholders ― even for companies that receive a bailout from the coronavirus bill ― only apply to airlines and ‘national-security-critical’ businesses. A lot of firms are about to lay off a bunch of workers to cut costs while sending checks to their shareholders. Congress and the Trump administration are letting it happen…. Today, as unemployment has skyrocketed to the highest level since the Great Depression almost overnight, the top economic regulator in America is protecting the rights of big banks to keep funneling cash to the wealthiest people in the country.”

Liberal and “moderate” Dems: are you capable of a hint, a scent, an iota, a scintilla, a fraction, a dose, a drop, a speck, a flicker, or a wisp of appropriate class hatred for the wealthy, parasitic, and capitalist possessing classes?

Valerie V-S: NO. They are not. They’re digging in deeper. They don’t want to associate with the unwashed masses, only to read about them is the NY Times Poverty Porn sections.

“You Know the Thing!”

+ Street: Joe Biden in Texas last March 2: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: All men um, are created by the, um, co…,oh,… YOU KNOW THE THING!” I am not making that up. See the YouTube video here. This is the clown the Democrats are running again “the most dangerous criminal in human history.”

Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).