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The Coronavirus
#61
A Michigan state legislator has just died of COVID-19.

Because COVID-19 has the potential for disrupting the political process, it rightly deserves treatment as an issue of national security.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#62
(03-30-2020, 12:10 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: A Michigan state legislator has just died of COVID-19.

Because COVID-19 has the potential for disrupting the political process, it rightly deserves treatment as an issue of national security.

I don't disagree, but what do you believe the security people should do?
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#63
It s a security concern for all of us as is the integrity of the electoral process and the rejection of corruption by high public officials.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#64
One ABC News report of a rural hospital that is heading towards overload….  Apparently two churches ran funeral services with contaminated people attending.  That was enough to create a hot spot.
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#65
We are handling COVID-19 very badly.

[Image: ET9OI5KXQAgiMMV?format=jpg&name=4096x4096]

All in all, we have a top leadership that has put profit above life.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#66
If you see a chart that gives per 10,000 population or lists the number of cases currently active, you might post it. I have a feeling also that if the European Union were listed rather than individual countries, the US would not be the leader, or even close. If you want to compare apples and apples, you would compare the US to the EU, or the nations of Europe against the 50 states. That seems to be an alarmist chart, the things plotted designed to prod the US federal government into action. Choosing to show cumulative, for example, the chart will never come down. Not that the prod is not needed, but the chart does not give the true threat level.

What is the saying? "Figures don't lie, but liars sure figure?"
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#67
(03-31-2020, 04:53 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: We are handling COVID-19 very badly.

[Image: ET9OI5KXQAgiMMV?format=jpg&name=4096x4096]

All in all, we have a top leadership that has put profit above life.
Not only life but damn near everything as well.

But every business regardless of size has to turn a profit in order to survive. With this in mind, a good question to ask would be how then were the big companies of the immediate postwar years able to all but guarantee their workers lifetime security?
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#68
(03-31-2020, 10:36 AM)beechnut79 Wrote: But every business regardless of size has to turn a profit in order to survive. With this in mind, a good question to ask would be how then were the big companies of the immediate postwar years able to all but guarantee their workers lifetime security?

Three things which I have recently mentioned.  One, the rest of the advanced world had most of their factories at one point in bombing range.  A good part of their manufacturing was in ruins.  

Second, they owed a lot of cash to the US in Lend Lease payments.  If the ports of their colonies were not opened, the US would not forgive these debts.  This rapidly ended colonial imperialism and colonies for the most part.  For a time the US manufacturing had a free run.

Third, this was the Progressive Era, which ran from the New Deal to the Great Society.  For the most part, the Democratic controlled congress was actively supporting the labor unions and forcing companies into benefits.  The corporations were forced to give an unusually large slice of the pie to the people.  Once Nixon’s time and the Unraveling came around, this policy reversed.  Union power was attacked by the government, many jobs became part time so the corporations would not have to give benefits, and many manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas where the labor was cheaper or eliminated entirely by automation.  Either way, the corporations and elites profited rather than the people.

That was the time when America was Great.  The first two cannot be redone.  They were an accident of history that cannot be easily duplicated.  Neither can we get a lot of the jobs back that were shipped overseas.  Some, but not all.  The major powers have rebuilt their factories, as have the former colonies built factories to take advantage of the cheaper labor.

But we could return some power to the labor unions, require some benefits, and send less possibly critical manufacturing overseas.  We could attack the division of wealth, the steering of much of the advantage of wealth towards the elites.  In this case much critical PPE and ventilators are manufactured in China, and we are at the moment behind a lot of people in getting them.  Until China satisfies their own need, shipment overseas will be minimized.  One need to convert other US manufacturing to producing PPE, tests and ventilators, which takes time.
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#69
CNN reports that Pentagon says it still hasn't sent ventilators because it hasn't been told where to send them.

They should talk to governor Cumo in New York.  You only have to watch MSNBC to know where the big hot spots are.  He could provide a list of state governors who could provide addresses.

Can Trump abdicate the role of commander in chief?
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#70
Just in the name of law and order, Gretchen Whitmer can give some addresses in Detroit, whose overburdened police force is being hit hard. Of course Greater Detroit is a bit "dark" for President Trump's priorities in saving lives, at least for politics.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#71
The next mismatch is that Trump used the Washington State University model for how many Coronavirus cases and deaths will occur. The model assumes that the states or federal government folk who have not yet adopted isolation will do so in about a week. Presenting the model without starting the isolation tends to make the model results invalid.
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#72
(03-31-2020, 10:36 AM)beechnut79 Wrote:
(03-31-2020, 04:53 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: We are handling COVID-19 very badly.

[Image: ET9OI5KXQAgiMMV?format=jpg&name=4096x4096]

All in all, we have a top leadership that has put profit above life.
Not only life but damn near everything as well.

But every business regardless of size has to turn a profit in order to survive. With this in mind, a good question to ask would be how then were the big companies of the immediate postwar years able to all but guarantee their workers lifetime security?

1. America was 1T and not 3T in its ideology. Conformity in behavior requires some conformity in economic results. There might be class distinctions of occupation, but it is probably best if both factory workers and factory managers are alike driving into the same workplace and using the same parking lot.

2. Americans believed in technological progress, and such was incompatible with an aristocratic or feudal hierarchy. Many Americans still had memories of the last gasps of societies still living under traces of feudal ways in economics or politics. 

3. Labor unions were powerful, and they had become part of the Establishment. Labor unions had earned that role the hard way in the 1930's, and they had been good at limiting wildcat strikes in return for solid pay and union work rules. Working people got a stake in the political system as never before and kept it. 

4. The Second World War had pitted America against enemies that had racism as the cornerstone of their international agendas. Americans got a hard lesson on the potential consequences of virulent racism as they got closer to the Nazi cesspool. Nazi-style antisemitism was much more systematic than Jim Crow garbage, but parallels could be made. Japanese mistreatment of conquered peoples and especially of American POW's demonstrated what racist attitudes could do. American white soldiers came to the recognition that black and Hispanic soldiers could fight just as well as they could. Institutional racism was not good for labor peace, and the Negro (then the polite word) civil rights movement and labor unions were able to concur that equal pay for the same work was a good idea. To be sure the Negro civil rights movement of the time may not have been as loud and militant as it would become, but it was starting to assert itself on practical matters. 

5. Big Business found that if workers got good pay that workers were going to buy stuff such as cars, appliances, furniture, insurance, clothes, toys, and consumer electronics (especially television, the perfect pacifier for proles*) that are profitable to manufacture and sell. Big Business was going to either take everything in a traditional economy such as that of the agrarian South and have resentful workers who don't work particularly well or they were going to have well-paid workers who turn solid pay into a consumer economy. Big Business made the right choice.    

6. The owners and managers of industrial America (Republicans) were on the opposite side of the people connected to the agrarian elites of the largely-rural South (Democrats).    

7. America's economic elites were scared of Communism which would dispossess and even exterminate them. Communists have their strongest appeal among working people -- laborers of field and factory -- when the owners and managers fit Marxist stereotypes of the rich-and-powerful. The best way to defend capitalism from socialist insurrection likely in the event of military debacles and economic breakdowns is to ensure that this image

[Image: Anti-capitalism_color.gif]

is not the reality. It is best for all concerned that workers' lives not fit Hobbes' depiction of the state of nature as "nasty, short, and brutish". Life for workers under early industrialism and the latter times of the agrarian order was typically "nasty, short, and brutish". 

Maybe the bosses and owners cannot stop alienated intellectuals on the cultural avant-garde toying with Marxism as with any other exotic set of beliefs (OK, Buddhism is harmless) unless they are to stop all intellectual inquiry at all (as in Franco's Spain)... but if the working class has a stake in the system it won't heed the soapbox ranter who shouts "Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!" 




....................................

OK -- so what is wrong now? The American economic order is as plutocratic and as hierarchical as it was in the Gilded Age. Economic elites have established themselves as closed circles to which entry is invitation-only by members of the elite. Those elites have found innovations in sybaritic indulgence and have adopted aristocratic ways of life. Entry into those elites is now largely hereditary, and being born into the right family means more than does talent or hard work. Big Business has found ways to marginalize small business, and even in agriculture a process of farm consolidation has transformed the old norm of small-scale family farming into the latifundia typical of a feudal order. Executive elites in America have acted much like the nomenklatura in the allegedly "classless societies" in which bureaucratic power instead of ownership becomes the measure of social position.  Small business that at the least required owner-operators to work like proles and be able to deal with proles and thus dispersed economic power has given way to industrial behemoths -- vertically-integrated monopolies and cartels with top-down power and, worse, the ability to buy politicians and to fund front groups.  As a subtle effect of a political change, Corporate America and rural elites that either maintain or have developed feudal relations with their workers are both part of the Republican coalition, and that coalition is reactionary in the extreme. It has reverted to the usual ethos of exploitative elites -- that no human suffering can ever be in excess so long as it enriches and pampers those elites and consolidates the power of those elites over the masses.

But note well my advice to any capitalists who want to maintain their economic reality: act like those in the 1911 poster, and expect to be overthrown and lose everything. Note well that Lenin's revolution succeeded once Lenin's Bolsheviki started paying the cops and the soldiers out of assets that fleeing aristocrats, clergy, and businessmen could not take with them.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#73
(04-01-2020, 04:00 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: The next mismatch is that Trump used the Washington State University model for how many Coronavirus cases and deaths will occur.  The model assumes that the states or federal government folk who have not yet adopted isolation will do so in about a week.  Presenting the model without starting the isolation tends to make the model results invalid.

That, regrettably, is largely a Red-Blue divide and thus much of the 3T-4T divide in America. There is the blatant exception of Ohio, in which the Republican Governor DeWine is legitimately scared of outbreaks in CORVID-19 in Ohio. 

The Washington State model cannot readily distinguish the choices of Governors Mike DeWine (R, OH) and Ron De Santis (R-FL) until they make such choices.  DeWine, like most D Governors, recognizes that business-as-usual may be impossible for a few months.  De Santis recognizes that business-as-usual is good for taking advantage of restrictions elsewhere. The institution of Spring Break, in which kids from other parts of America go on hedonistic binges on Florida beaches and spend huge amounts of money, is good for Florida business. This time. A few months from now the virus from some asymptomatic carrier can wend its way into a senior community in Florida and cause mass death. Considering that much of the prosperity of Florida comes from Northern retirees taking assets with them from Up North and spending those in Florida so that they can escape real winters you can imagine what choice I would make if I (and I am born in 1955 and a Democrat) would make. I would be more concerned about keeping those retirees well and not scaring the next generation of well-heeled retirees from New England and the Great Lakes states.  A blizzard of inconvenient snow is far less dangerous than a blizzard of life-threatening viruses. (OK, I know what a logarithmic scale and a semi-logarithmic scale are and how they differ from a non-logarithmic scale; that could be the difference between Mike DeWine and Mike De Santis, too.)

One distinction is that Mike DeWine is born in 1947 and has practically no hope of any higher office. Ron De Santis was born in 1978 and may be gambling that by going along with the 3T ethos with his state not getting hit particularly badly that he will be in a good position for a higher office than Governor of Florida. He has time that DeWine lacks. (If you are wondering about Donald Trump and age -- Trump is simply a science-denying fool who can't understand a statistical model and the difference between a numerical scale and a logarithmic scale). I cannot tell whether DeWine acts as he does because he is smart, because he has a concern for a lasting image in history books, or whether at his age (I do not know about his religiosity) whether he sees himself accountable before God when the judgment of him awaits him. I can't imagine anything more fearsome than Hell -- and I don't mean Hell, Michigan.

De Santis is taking a huge gamble, and we can all see how that can pay off in a calamity. If there is any lesson from the last Crisis, it is that taking the immoral side in a Crisis is not good for personal survival even if such is attractive at some point. 



   

Except that it is about power and not about juvenile love... back in the 1950's (when Sam Cooke sang this) people of limited education and curiosity could do fine in a manufacturing plant. Someone with that level of lack of learning, curiosity, and self-awareness did not go far in any hierarchy in those days. Today such a person is President. Trump may be juvenile in intellect and morals, but he has been playing a game completely unsuited to someone with a juvenile mentality. 

In view of the dangers of COVID-19 I prefer leaders who, if they must be presented data on a semi-logarithmic chart, can understand the significance of things operating on a logarithmic scale.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#74
(03-31-2020, 01:53 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: One ABC News report of a rural hospital that is heading towards overload….  Apparently two churches ran funeral services with contaminated people attending.  That was enough to create a hot spot.

That's been my biggest concern here.  Evangelicals are everywhere and so are the Trump signs.  It's a toxic stew that can ignite at any time, and we're not ready.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#75
I don't know whether this is a net positive story, but Thomas B. Edsall covered a lot of ground in his recent NY Times piece: "Covid-19 Is Twisting 2020 Beyond All Recognition". Most of the story has a political twist, but some also deals with the social dynamics of the pandemic. Since the NY Times paywall is down for COVID-related articles, this should be available to everyone.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#76
Don't know much about logarithms, although I studied them in high school, used to use them later, and I was at least a B student. But I can read the chart you posted above Mr. Brower, and I can see what leveling off means.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#77
Florida just went under lockdown.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#78
(04-01-2020, 03:42 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: Just in the name of law and order, Gretchen Whitmer can give some addresses in Detroit, whose overburdened police force is being hit hard. Of course Greater Detroit is a bit "dark" for President Trump's priorities in saving lives, at least for politics.

It's a dangerous strategy. Bush tried it, and it resulted in Democrats taking congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008. Now Trump is trying it, but it may not work if the virus continues to grow in states like Georgia that were late in making restrictions and have poor services because they are Trump states. Florida could explode and threaten his support there among older folks.

Also, since older folks are more vulnerable, and they tend to vote more Republican, that could backfire on Trump's deadly strategy as well.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#79
At the Kingston mall, about half way between Boston and Plymouth, some people are not taking the stay at home order seriously.  According to several Facebook entries, some parents are dropping kids off at the closed mall to ‘hang out’ and the kids have not been taught or been practicing social distancing.  The one store at the mall that has got an ‘essential’ rating is a Target, but they have entrances outside as well as to the mall.  Thus the kids get to continue their unraveling behavior.

Does this qualify people for a Darwin Award, or are they disqualified for putting others at risk too?

***

On another note, apparently the ‘deep state’ was at it again.  A CDC official made an appearance on yesterday’s Today show and whether accidentally or not characterized the CDC guidelines as a national stay at home order.  This was enough for several governors to issue state wide say at homes.  Trump did not reenforce or deny the characterization, thus not taking blame or credit for shutting down the economy in the states concerned, while the governors got to blame the federal government.  An interesting exercise in buck passing…
That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
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#80
Adolescents underestimate the dangers of the world from drugs to fast driving to STD's...
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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