Thursday, March 18, 2021

Are we making any progress in addressing COVID or the hardships?

First up, Jimmy Dore.

AOC is a trickster.  That's why she's in Congress.  She gives the appearance of caring and doing something without ever doing anything.  She's just lying and conning.  And people are going to continue to be conned until she realizes the act isn't working.  Then she might do something, actually do something.  Probably even then, she wouldn't do anything big.  But she would do something to save her 'brand.'  

In other news, do you feel like the pandemic's getting any better?  Or that our government realizes the hardships so many people are living under?  Me neither.  Hope you read Ann's "COVID" and my mom's "Are we prepared?" already.  

In March of last year, Joseph Kishore and David North (WSWS) noted:

The coronavirus pandemic is developing into a social, economic and political crisis on a scale that is without precedent. Yesterday’s drastic fall in global markets and especially in the United States, where Wall Street recorded its greatest one-day loss since 1987, arose from the recognition that the pandemic will massively impact the world economy and profoundly disrupt the existing social order.

Estimates of the probable scale of deaths from the illness are causing growing anxiety. The total number of confirmed infections worldwide is approaching 150,000 and rising exponentially, but this vastly understates reality. Due to the lack of adequate testing and the long latency period before symptoms, the actual number is far higher. The official death toll is now over 5,000, and the lives of countless millions throughout the world are in danger.

Italy is deepening its nationwide lockdown, with virtually all stores closed and streets emptied. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that 60 to 70 percent of the population will become infected, meaning that millions will require intensive care or die. Iran has reportedly begun digging mass graves as the epidemic spirals out of control. France is closing all schools and universities. In the United States, major public sporting and entertainment events have been canceled, and grocery stores have quickly run out of basic necessities.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the inability of the capitalist system to deal with such a crisis. Governments throughout the world have responded with a staggering level of incompetence and disarray. No preparations have been made for an entirely foreseeable disaster. Health care systems, starved of resources, are overwhelmed.

That really could have been written today with different examples.  It's as though, a year into this pandemic, our government still refuses to get serious about what's going on and what people need -- a UBI for starters.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

 Wednesday, March 17, 2021.  Protests continue in IRaq, while a protest is planned Friday in NYC, Tara Reade talks about assault, and much more.

Starting in the US where 2020's Green Party ticket of Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker spoke with Tara Reade last night.  Tara has made credible charges of assault against Joe Biden (I believe her) and she is the author of LEFT OUT: WHERE THE TRUTH DOESN'T FIT IN.

Tara Reade: Today two thins happened that were really quite stunning.  It was revealed what [NY Governor Andrew] Cuomo's people were trying to do to one of the accusers, Lindsey Boylan, who was brave enough to come forward -- to try to smear her publicly and that's been revealed so there's an article about that, about the tactics used.  And, for me, a wonderful thing happened for a change.  Ryan Grim from THE INTERCEPT was on RISING and basically went after THE NEW YORK TIMES for misreportng and accusing me of lying about my education credentials which I did not do.  And he basically laid out what happened to me and called out THE NEW YORK TIMES for class-shaming me.  

Ryan Grim's a joke.  What was done to Tara was done to others in presidential campaigns and if you're not aware of that prepare for it to happen again and again.  On the Democratic Party side, they silence someone who comes forward by having a Democratic Party member in office announce an investigation or charges against someone.  Now these never bear out -- not even when Beau Biden executed the trick in 2008.  But they do serve to silence the critic and send the media scurrying.

A real reporter would have been on the phone every week asking, "What's the status of the investigation?"  There was no ongoing investigation, it was fake from the start.  And it was over long ago and could have been reported but no one wanted to because they were trying to fix an election.

Ryan wasn't the one who found Tara's mother's call-in to THE LARRY KING SHOW, please remember.  He's had everything delivered to him and all he's done is write badly on any number of topics.

Equally true, Ryan's not only a joke as a reporter, he's a dirty word to the Green Party after his most recent sliming.  I understand her gratitude -- any port in the storm? -- towards Ryan but I know those comments will result in e-mails so I'm heading them off right now.

I'm glad Tara's doing interviews and I hope it's getting the word out on the issues and also on her new book.  But I'm not going to set aside my media critique.  Ryan did a lousy job reporting on Tara from day one.  He also walked away when the story got too hot.  He should have been hammering away and instead he folded.  Then, months after the election, he wants to play 'brave reporter'?  I'm not going to help him lie.  

Other thoughts?  Masculinity is not toxic but there can be toxic masculinity.  It's something that needs to be noted because that term is misunderstood.  By the same token, alpha-male?  Oh, honey, really?  Do you even know which community spent the last years popularizing that term?  Now you're going to try to take it from the gay male community with no acknowledgment and redefine it as something bad and try to trace it back to Rome (that's not Tara*)?  Somewhere around that nonsense, I decided life's too short and stopped streaming.  

[Added: "that's not Tara" seems pretty clear to me that I'm saying Tara's not the one who was offering that nonsense.  I was being kind and not naming the woman who did offer it.  Since I've had to add a note let me make one more comment:  Don't sideline Howie.  He's a co-interviewer.  Tara brings him into the conversation -- and good for her -- but he should have been brought in earlier.  He's a co-host and it's not as though the other two women -- again, that does not refer to Tara -- aren't really offering anything of value.  They're just talking about a movie -- REVENGE OF THE NERDS -- without any understanding at all -- I can go into that if I have to -- and they're talking in these sweeping generalities that have nothing to do with what is going on right now in the world with assault and rape.  That's why I compared it to the soggiest of ecofeminism -- not all ecofeminism has me rolling my eyes.  Tara was a good guest.  I would've liked to have heard more from her.]

It is cultural appropriation [redefining alpha male], please note.  No community has utilized that term more than the male gay community.  They've used it, they've defined it, they have a cottage porn industry built up around their definition of the term.  

A serious conversation on the topic needs to include specifics and not be built around sweeping generalities with (misunderstood) buzz words.  I don't need your 'drunk history' version of the history of humankind to understand assault and rape.  This should have been a hard hitting, serious discussion but it meandered off into the sort of squishy nonsense and claims that I would associate with the worst of eco-feminism and Harlequin Romance novels.

Before I pulled the plug, Tara was armed with specifics and with facts and figures and maybe if they'd just spoken to her it would have been a lively and informed discussion. Her discussing how she was treated by the press and relating it to the attacks on Lindsay right now were illuminating.  But instead, this was like that awful Winter Soldier panel IVAW staged on 'assault' where no one on the panel was assaulted but you got to hear a woman saying that she got drunk at a bar and danced with her commanding officer and she realizes now that this was assault.  It may have been something but for those of us who have been assaulted it didn't seem to reach the level of assault -- though bad judgement would certainly be a term that could be applied.  

Let's get back to the real world where protests take place.  Sohali Obaid Tweets:

Mass protests in #Basra in protest to the kidnappings and assassinations of activists and protesters in #Iraq.
0:06 / 0:14

In Manhattan this Friday, a protest against the war will take place:

Join us next Fri, 3.19 @ 3:30-5 PM for the 18th anniversary of the U.S. war in Iraq. We will be demonstrating against endless U.S. wars on Manhattan Bridge Plaza during rush hour. For more information, call 718-768-7306 #antiwar #peace #bannuclear #iraqwar #protest #resistwar

In other Iraq news,  THE TIMES OF ISRAEL reports:

The last Jewish doctor in Iraq and one of the few remaining Jews in its capital, Baghdad, has died at the age of 61, reports said Tuesday.

Dr. Thafer Eliyahu, an orthopedic doctor at Wasiti Hospital, has been nicknamed “the doctor of the poor” since he treated those who couldn’t afford the costs for free, according to Israel’s Kan public broadcaster and Washington Post Iraq correspondent Mustafa Salim.   

During the Gulf War of 2003, he continued to see sick and injured patients even as bombings continued overhead, Kan reported.

Kan said Eliyahu died on Monday of a heart attack, citing a journalist in Baghdad. However, Salim wrote on Twitter that the cause of death was a sudden stroke. 

Iraq has been the host of many religions -- in the past and presently.  ALJAZEERA reports on the Mandaeans .

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