Closing Thought–22Apr20

The pandemic has lots of news around it…..the infect numbers…..the shortages…..sadly the death numbers…..there is yet another problem that Covid-19 is creating…….problems for the drug cartels….

Coronavirus is dealing a gut punch to the illegal drug trade, paralyzing economies, closing borders and severing supply chains in China that traffickers rely on for the chemicals to make such profitable drugs as methamphetamine and fentanyl.

One of the main suppliers that shut down is in Wuhan, the epicenter of the global outbreak.

Associated Press interviews with nearly two dozen law enforcement officials and trafficking experts found Mexican and Colombian cartels are still plying their trade as evidenced by recent drug seizures but the lockdowns that have turned cities into ghost towns are disrupting everything from production to transport to sales.

Speaking of crime and pandemic……

It appears that overall crime numbers are going down during this isolation thing……

Amid empty streets and shuttered shops, crime rates in some of the biggest U.S. cities have dropped — with a few exceptions. 

Car thefts and store robberies are spiking in some municipalities even as crime overall — especially violent offenses — dropped in 10 of the 20 most populated cities, more than halving in San Francisco alone. according to a Bloomberg News analysis of data from 10 major cities.

“It’s just a reflection of reduced opportunities for these kind of events,’’ said Daniel Nagin, a criminologist and professor of public policy at the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “In the case of murders, these often occur in public places in bars and things like that. With those kinds of activities shut down there’s less social interaction.”

Covid-19 effects all aspects of society….even those that we pretend we do not see…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid-19–Are You At Risk?

I know that there has been a wealth of information, some good and some total BS, about this virus and who could be at risk.

There are a few things that could put one a more risk than normal….

Immunocompromised is a broad term reflecting the fact someone’s immune system isn’t as strong and balanced as it should be.

Because immunocompromised people’s immune systems are defective or ineffective, they’re unable to stop invasion and colonisation by foreign intruders, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

An under-performing immune response leaves people susceptible to infection, but the severe symptoms in some people are actually caused by a huge immune response sweeping over the whole body.

The reasons for this are varied, and can be complex and intertwined.

These four things may increase your risk of coronavirus

It is a shame that this country has had two decades to prepare for this eventuality…..and we failed miserably.

The nation’s health secretary was warned about a possible pandemic — and, he admits now, he didn’t take that first warning seriously enough. But he studied with experts at the Centers of Disease Control. He read papers on virology. He took his concerns to the president. And months later, the administration unveiled a plan to tackle the virus emerging out of Asia, investing in therapies and warning Americans to stock up on canned goods.

It’s a moment that feels ripped from the headlines about the current coronavirus crisis. But the year was 2005, not 2020.

And for his troubles, that health secretary — Bush appointee Mike Leavitt — was mocked as an alarmist by political rivals and late-night comics, even as that year’s threat of avian flu petered out around the globe.

“Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recommended that Americans store canned tuna and powdered milk under their beds for when bird flu hits,” host Jay Leno said on the Tonight Show in 2006, a recurring bit where he ridiculed Leavitt’s warnings. “What? … Powdered milk and tuna? How many would rather have the bird flu?”

And look what all the skepticism has done,

It flew up and bit us in the ass and at the worse time…..a time when we have an ineffectual president… scoffed and now you pay.

The deaths from this virus was 2 weeks earlier than first reported….

Up until recently, the first COVID-19 death in the US was thought to have occurred in Washington state on Feb. 29. But autopsies have revealed two earlier coronavirus deaths in California, one on Feb. 6 and the other on Feb. 17, the AP reports. The San Francisco Chronicle calls it “a stunning discovery” that radically changes the timeline of the virus in the country and adds to other recent evidence that it was circulating in the US earlier than previously believed. “We know there was a person diagnosed in late January with the virus—but to have at least three people right around the beginning of February and late January already have the infection and two of them pass away means the virus has been around for a while,” Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith says, per the Mercury News.

Both victims died at home in Santa Clara County and tissue samples ultimately revealed they had the virus when they died. Officials also revealed a third death in the county not previously attributed to coronavirus, that one on March 6. Before Tuesday’s announcement, the first recorded COVID-19 death in the hard-hit county was March 9. The three newly revealed deaths are believed to have been cases of “community spread,” meaning the victims caught the virus from an as-yet-unknown person in the community, as opposed to transmission via travel or “close contact” with someone known to have the virus. That’s important because it indicates community transmission was occurring in the county long before the US’ first confirmed case of community spread, which came on Feb. 26 in California’s Solano County.

One more thought….while you prepare to re-open the nation (a Trumpian BS term)…..the news of the next wave has come out…..

As states start to reopen or, at least, consider reopening, the director of the CDC has a warning: The coronavirus isn’t going anywhere, and when the next wave hits the US, it could be worse than this one. “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” Robert Redfield tells the Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.” So he broke it down: “We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” which could be devastating for the nation’s health care system. Even a severe flu season alone is enough to put a strain on that system, and Redfield notes we’re lucky the coronavirus arrived as the current flu season was waning.

If COVID-19 had arrived earlier, “it could have been really, really, really, really difficult in terms of health capacity,” he said. Redfield says that officials need to use the next few months to prepare for a second wave by increasing testing and contact tracing (which, he noted, Census Bureau workers, Peace Corps volunteers, and AmeriCorps volunteers could potentially help with), continuing to urge residents to practice social distancing, and starting to remind people how important it is to get a flu shot next season. CNN reports that White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx was asked about Redfield’s comments during Tuesday’s press briefing. Her take: “I don’t know if it will be worse, I think this has been pretty bad. … I believe that we’ll have early warning signals both from our surveillance that we’ve been talking about in these vulnerable populations. We’re going to continue that surveillance from now all the way through to be able to give us that early warning signal.”

I read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

One More Stim Bill

That title would make a great blues tune…..but that is just wishful thinking on my part.

Yep we have yet another stim bill that will help the economy to try and live through this pandemic….

Congress and the White House reached a deal on a new $484 billion coronavirus relief package in late-night talks and it sailed through the Senate on Tuesday. The package includes around $310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of money last week after approving at least 1.7 million loans. It also includes $25 billion for coronavirus testing and $75 billion for hospitals, along with $60 billion for emergency disaster loans, the Hill reports. Leaders from both parties hammered out the deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other administration officials. “The Senate is continuing to stand by the American people,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the measure passed unanimously.

This is the fourth coronavirus relief bill, and the second-largest. Around $60 billion of the money for small businesses will be earmarked for “under-banked” neighborhoods and rural areas. President Trump said he would sign the measure. “I urge the Senate and House to pass the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act with additional funding for PPP, Hospitals, and Testing,” he tweeted, adding that after he signed the bill, discussions would begin on fiscal relief for state and local governments. Rep. Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, said the House would vote on the measure Thursday, the AP reports. He said the House would also vote on a measure to allow proxy voting while the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a measure that some GOP lawmakers oppose.

The big selling point was that this plan would help rescue small business…..some will get a little assistance but there are some multi-million dollar corporations that will siphon off these funds as well……

Companies with thousands of employees, past penalties from government investigations and risks of financial failure even before the coronavirus walloped the economy were among those receiving millions of dollars from a relief fund that Congress created to help small businesses through the crisis, an Associated Press investigation found.

The Paycheck Protection Program was supposed to infuse small businesses, which typically have less access to quick cash and credit, with $349 billion in emergency loans that could help keep workers on the job and bills paid on time.

But at least 94 companies that disclosed receiving aid since the program opened April 3 were publicly traded, the AP found, some with market values well over $100 million. And about 25% of the companies had warned investors months ago — while the economy was humming along — that their ability to remain viable was in question.

By combing through thousands of regulatory filings submitted through Monday, the AP identified the 94 companies, or their subsidiaries, as recipients of a combined $365 million in low-interest, taxpayer-backed loans.

The term small business is used to make this bill more confusing….the funds are not so much for the Mom and Pop operations but rather those multi-million dollar corporations that have NO contingency plans for times of chaos.

My opinion is “tough nuggies” let them suffer…..they put the future in jeopardy to make stock trades to make them look better than they are.  Let them die!

A true small business needs to be helped….corporate maggots do not.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Redefine!

As we get closer to the election in 2020 the MSM will continue to define the candidates as Left or Right and in some cases Centrists…l.all this defining is just a ploy to drive the conversation and to define the country politically as they see fit.

I am what use to be called a “Hard Leftist” and some people call Trump a Rightist and people like Biden as a “Centrist”…..all this needs a redefining program….none of the old definitions are accurate in these troubling times.

One of the most persistent—and destructive—myths in politics is that America is a center right country politically.  It is reinforced by both parties, the press, and pundits and it has become generally accepted by much of the public.  This myth explains why folks warn against going too far to the left; about the dangers of embracing—gasp—”socialism,” and why most attempts to divine the “electability” of the multitude of candidates in the Democratic race are misguided at best.

For example, from the center right, New York Times columnist and NPR commentator David Brooks said:

According to a recent Gallup poll, 35 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, 35 percent call themselves moderate and 26 percent call themselves liberal. The candidates at the debates this week fall mostly within the 26 percent. The party seems to think it can win without any of the 35 percent of us in the moderate camp, the ones who actually delivered the 2018 midterm win.

First of all, any objective analysis of the 2018 midterms shows it was progressive candidates and voters who delivered the win.

I agree this redefining is needed….I hate that moderates are calling themselves progressive these days and fascists are calling themselves conservative.

As a lifelong “Leftist” I despise the comparisons the media and ill-informed bloggers makes these days……they are defining who YOU are and you are allowing them to do so.


Time to stand up for who you are!

“lego ergo scribo”

Covid-19 And The Cult Of Death

This is a subject that I have been saying for many many years…..I have analyzed the issues of this group over those years and see that they would prefer death of some to promote a healthier (meaning more profits) health care sector.

The group I am talking about is the GOP.

For decades the GOP has labelled itself the “party for life”….and promoted a “culture of life” for the nation……usually only because of its opposition to abortion….but how accurate is that title?

To be honest I think that the whole “life” thing is just plain noise and bluster.


A decade ago, in my first public writing since leaving Capitol Hill, I warned that the Republican Party, in its evolution towards an extremist conservative movement allied with extremist Christian fundamentalism, was becoming like “one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe.” After Donald Trump’s enthronement as the decider of our fate, I analyzed the GOP’s descent into a nihilism that belied every one of its supposed “values.” They value only absolute power or ruin.

It is now long past time to cast off highfalutin’ Latinisms and simply call the Republicans and their religious and secular conservative allies what they are, and in unadorned English: a death cult. As the country reels from the coronavirus pandemic, our national government might just as well be run by the infamous People’s Temple of Jonestown.

By now we are benumbed by the all-pervasive arguments over relaxing workplace shutdowns and stay-at-home orders due to coronavirus. In any sane society, the issue would be how to institute the most efficient measures to defeat the pandemic in the shortest time and with the lowest loss of life. Instead, Trump and his merry band of lunatics have hijacked the national debate into a faux-serious discussion of when, oh, please, how soon, can we “reopen the economy?” Naturally, the media gamely continue to play along with this calculated bit of dezinformatsiya.

The GOP says they are “pro-life”…..and yet nothing about their issues confirm that in analysis……basically all I can tell is that they are “anti-abortion”….or better yet “anti-choice”

This pandemic is showing just how much of a “cult of death” the GOP really has become.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”