You Think You Are Retired?

Closing Thought–03Apr20

For all those recently retired folk from the military…..keep an eye on the news for you are only retired if the military says you are retired…..

Covid-19 may be the straw that broke the retired camel’s back……

What the Hell could the old professor be blabbing about, right?

Glad you asked……

The Pentagon will call back a number of retired and reserve troops to help fight the pandemic, after President Trump issued an executive order Friday night. He did not say if anyone would be returned to service who didn’t agree to it, the Washington Post reports. The order covers retirees, though, and Trump said some of them have “offered to support the nation in this extraordinary time of need.” Under the order, Defense Secretary Mark Esper is to return units and members of the National Guard and Reserves, as well as some Individual Ready Reserve members, to active duty, per the Military Times. “Decisions about which individuals may be activated are still being reviewed,” a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement issued after midnight.

No one said how many troops will be brought back, but an Army spokesman said roughly 15,000 veterans have shown interest. Recalls of Ready Reserve forces are rare, per Stars and Stripes. Trump’s order says returned troops could be kept on active duty for as long as 24 months. Those brought back would mostly fill headquarters jobs and medical roles, the Pentagon said. The Army had asked some veterans who were medical care providers last week if they were interested in returning to duty. “When the Nation called — you answered, and now, that call may come again,” Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands wrote to them.

So if you are recently retired…..DO NOT get too comfortable in that retirement…..your recall may be in the mail….

On March 29, the Army’s Human Resources Command sent messages to nearly 10,000 soldiers in the IRR asking for volunteers to put the uniform back on, Lt. Col. Emanuel OrtizCruz, an Army spokesman, confirmed to Military.com. The messages went out to those who had served in military occupational specialties including family nurse practitioner; critical care nursing; emergency nursing; nurse anesthetists; generalist nurse; and respiratory specialist, he said.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/03/31/army-asks-10000-recently-separated-soldiers-come-back-virus-fight.html

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Are You “Never Trump”?

This is another of those slogans and insults that I find offensive and totally pathetic.  It is nothing more than mental midgets insulting because they are not sharp enough to argue the point.

I have been told that I am a “Never Trump” person and to that I just tell them to visit IST and see what I have written about the president.

For those lazy people and you know who you are I will summarize for your merger mind…..I have been criticizing the president on many issues…immigration, environment, governing style, taxes but I have also come down on his side on several other issues like ending our endless wars…..Trump has made an effort but he needs to go much further but for the most part his foreign policy needs some work and some people that will care for the country and not worry about massaging the genitals of the man.

So to call me a “Never Trump” person is just flat out wrong……I prefer to label myself as “America First” person….everything a president does should be to move this country forward not to the lap of luxury…..

I am not alone there are many GOPers that have left the GOP behind because of the twisting of the conservative faith into a pretzel that benefits NO one but the man at the top (The Man In The High Castle)…..

The phrase “Never Trump” doesn’t do justice to Republicans, or former Republicans, or any non-Democrat who speaks out against the lies, immorality, and nefarious activities of Trump’s Republican Party. It’s an intellectually lazy label born of the clickbait media culture. I guess that’s the reason why the Trump cult loves it, and maybe partially why journalists use it.

But you ask, why is it intellectually lazy?

Because every time Trump, or his sycophants use the term Never Trump, they imply that those Republicans who oppose Trump are corrupt and those who are apolitical are part of some sort of conspiracy. And the truth is, there’s nothing of the sort. David Frum and George Will and Rick Wilson all come to their antipathy toward Trump for different reasons, none of which was for self-gain. The unifying thread is that these people and others, believe that Trump represents such a danger to the Republic that it is important to sublimate their careers, their policy preferences, their tribal identities, in an effort to oppose him.

It’s Not “Never Trump.” It’s “Country First.”

I would never vote for Trump I have better things in mind for my country than what Trump offers.

Plus his reaction and response to the Covid-19 pandemic is just another reason I could not vote for Trump….even though he is trying to buy votes with the peon stim plan…..

WAIT!  I guess I am a “Never Trumper”……who knew?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Those Damn Oligarchs!

We are living in the Age of the Oligarch…..and now with this virus rampaging it is more obvious than in more normal times…..

But first let’s define an oligarch…….

An oligarchy is a power structure that allows a few businesses, families, or individuals to rule. Those few ruling members have enough power to create policies that benefit them to the exclusion of the rest of society.

They maintain their power through their relationships with each other. The term “oligarchy” comes from the Greek word oligarkhia, and it means “few governing.”

The “iron law of oligarchy” states that any organization or society will eventually become an oligarchy. That’s because the people who learn how to succeed in the organization gain a competitive advantage. The larger and more complicated the organization becomes, the more advantages the elite gain.

Oligarchs only associate with others who share those same traits. They become an organized minority, while average citizens remain an unorganized majority. The oligarchs groom protégés who share their values and goals. It becomes more difficult for the average person to break into the group of elites. The following pros and cons summarize some of the benefits and issues:

https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-an-oligarchy-pros-cons-examples-3305591

Now that we have that out of the way……the one subject that seems to be off limits these days in the Age of the Oligarch is class…..

The oligarchs are happy to talk about race. They are happy to talk about sexual identity and gender. They are happy to talk about patriotism. They are happy to talk about religion. They are happy to talk about immigration. They are happy to talk about abortion. They are happy to talk about gun control. They are happy to talk about cultural degeneracy or cultural freedom. They are not happy to talk about class. Race, gender, religion, abortion, immigration, gun control, culture and patriotism are issues used to divide the public, to turn neighbor against neighbor, to fuel virulent hatreds and antagonisms. The culture wars give the oligarchs, both Democrats and Republicans, the cover to continue the pillage. There are few substantial differences between the two ruling political parties in the United States. This is why oligarchs like Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg can switch effortlessly from one party to the other. Once oligarchs seize power, Aristotle wrote, a society must either accept tyranny or choose revolution.

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/2575244/posts/2625640591

The oligarchy is here……we can deny it all we like but just a quick look at who will profit from the Covid-19 should explain it all for you……

Learn Stuff!

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

883 Page Later

By now the media has been running hour after hour of just how much the new stim plan is needed to protect the people of the US……..well that is bullshit.

Of course that is just my opinion.

But for full disclosure here is the monumental piece of work…all 883 pages of it.

Yikes, the text of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has been released (full pdf below).  The Senate took H.R.748 stripped it out, and replaced the text with this bill.   The full 50 page senate record of the activity is available here.

Digging in now.  However, at first blush the size of the spending seems to be a considerable state budget deficit bailout [similar to how Obamacare removed the healthcare pension liabilities from unions].  Here’s the BILL:

 
It is a long read but well worth to see just what games were played…..
 
It points to the capitalism’s response to the pandemic…..

In fact, the paltry bill does nothing for 80 percent of workers, exempting both large employers and small companies that claim hardship. Members of Congress argued that allowing paid sick leave would encourage sick employees to stay home—which is precisely the purpose of the program. As a result, workers will be forced to choose between going to work sick and endangering their coworkers or forcing their families to go hungry.

Nothing will be done for workers threatened by the deadly pandemic. But when it comes to bailing out the banks and propping up share values, there is no limit to the resources the government is willing to mobilize.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/16/pers-m16.html

In case you still do not understand this thing…..maybe this will help…..

more than $2 trillion that has already been pledged to backstop the values of financial assets held by major banks, Congress is debating an additional $2 trillion bailout package.

The vast majority of that proposal consists in various handouts to business in the form of a payroll tax holiday and loans, including measures specifically targeting the airline and other industries. Less than $50 billion of the bill funds emergency measures to combat the pandemic. Just one company, Boeing, is demanding a bailout larger than every public health measure contained in the bill.

While the Republicans and Democrats haggle over details of the bailout, they agree that 1) massive sums of money must be funneled through the major corporations; 2) that no measures be taken that limit or threaten the wealth of the executives and large investors; and 3) that the interests of the capitalist profit system and private property will remain unmolested and unchallenged. The banks and large corporations will not only continue to rule. These institutions and their executives and large shareholders are to emerge from the crisis richer and more powerful than ever.

The New York Times declared in an editorial published yesterday, “The only practical way to limit mass unemployment, and to preserve previously viable companies, is for the government to pump money into the private sector.”

(wsws.org)

If you prefer a graph to make it simpler….

$2.3 trillion in total funding was allotted as follows:

  • 54% to corporations and small businesses through loans, grants and tax cuts
  • 26% to workers and families, including 2% to safety net services
  • 8% to hospitals and other health-related spending
  • 7% to state and local governments
  • 1% to education services
  • 4% to other services

(commondreams.org)

We still believe that corporations need all this cash…..and families deserve a pittance…..health related gets 8%………parties all around for Wall Street and funerals all around for the rest of us.
 
 
Learn Stuff!
 
Be Smart!
 
I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Trump’s Name Up In Lights

Donald of Orange wants to see his name on everything about virus….especially the give-a-ways…..he has it on the postal warnings (see below)……

Front

Image

Back

Image

…and now he wants his signature on those free cash checks…….

President Trump has told people he wants Americans to see his signature on the stimulus checks that will be sent out after he signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package into law Friday, according to an administration official cited by The Wall Street Journal. Such checks would normally be signed by a disbursing officer, not the president. While signing the bill into law in the Oval Office on Friday, the president appeared to express awe at the price tag attached to the legislation, calling it a “great honor” and saying, “I never signed anything with a T on it.” Trump, who has faced criticism recently for what some see as overly optimistic assessments about the coronavirus pandemic, went on to predict a “rebound like we have never seen before” by the end of the year.  The legislation he signed includes expanded unemployment benefits, direct cash payments to every American earning less than $99,000 a year, and billions in job retention loans for small businesses. 

Read it at The Wall Street Journal

The quarantine breakers are being rounded up…….

New Yorkers seeking refuge in Rhode Island might want to think again. The state’s police and National Guard are pulling over drivers with New York plates, and knocking on doors for recent travelers from the Empire State—America’s epicenter for the coronavirus outbreak, NBC News reports. Such visitors are told to quarantine for two weeks, or face 90 days in prison and a $500 fine. “I know this is unusual,” says Gov. Gina Raimondo. “I know this is extreme. And I know some people don’t agree with it. It’s absolutely not a decision I make lightly.” Raimondo says her state isn’t ready for a major spike in COVID-19 cases: “We are not set up for that,” she explains. For more:

  • But she’s getting some pretty serious pushback, Fox News reports. “I don’t like it socially or culturally,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday. “I don’t like what it says about us as one state, one family. Also, I don’t believe it’s medically justified.”
  • For its part, the ACLU calls Raimondo’s plan “ill-advised and unconstitutional” because the “under the Fourth Amendment, having a New York state license plate simply does not, and cannot, constitute ‘probable cause’ to allow police to stop a car.”
  • But consider the math: New York state has 52,000 cases, per CNN, and Rhode Island a little over 200. “Right now we have a pinpointed risk,” Raimondo tells Bloomberg. “That risk is called New York City.”
  • Texas, Massachusetts, and Florida are also ordering quarantines for recent visitors, Politico reports. They vary in scope, but appear to be focused on the stream of residents flowing out of New Orleans and New York City.

Donald of Orange is thinking of a 3 state quarantine……

President Trump said he was considering a quarantine as early as Saturday for coronavirus hotspots in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, though it wasn’t clear whether he had the power to order state residents to stay put, the AP reports. Trump told reporters that he had spoken with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, among others, and that “a lot of the states that are infected but don’t have a big problem, they’ve asked me if I’ll look at it, so we’re going to look at it.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who criticized the federal government’s response as his state became the country’s virus epicenter, said the issue did not come up in a conversation he had with Trump earlier Saturday. “I don’t even know what that means,” the Democrat said in New York.

“I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable, and from a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing. … I don’t like the sound of it,” Cuomo added. Trump made his remarks while on a trip to Norfolk, Virginia, to see off a US Navy hospital ship heading to New York City to help with the pandemic. At the event, he spoke to a sparse crowd and cautioned Americans to take virus protections. The federal government is empowered to take measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases between states, but it’s not clear that means Trump can ban people from leaving their state. It has never been tested in the modern era — and in rare cases when any quarantine was challenged, the courts generally sided with public health officials.

The president is still acting like an immature 7 year old…..now he wants to punish those that are “mean” to him……

Shortly after the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic reached 1,500 on Friday, President Donald Trump took to the podium at a White House press briefing and complained that certain state’s governors  are not “appreciative” enough of the federal government’s help—so much so that he said he’d told Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the coronavirus task force, to skip calling governors of some hard-hit areas.  

Trump singled out the Democratic leaders of Washington and Michigan, noting that he had advised Pence not to call them as the healthcare crisis plagues their states and people fall sick and die. 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-says-he-told-mike-pence-to-ignore-governors-in-hard-hit-areas-if-they-are-not-appreciative

Finally, Donald of Orange is still pushing the “back to work” strategy to defeat this virus…..;a moronic belief….

The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the world. The total death toll globally is over 22,000. On Thursday, there were more than 6,000 new cases and 712 new deaths reported in Italy; 6,600 new cases and 500 new deaths in Spain; and 6,000 new cases and 56 deaths in Germany. The virus is only beginning to spread in Indonesia, Brazil, India and other countries in Asia and Latin America.

The center of the accelerating pandemic is the United States. It has now surpassed Italy and China with the largest number of confirmed cases, at more than 85,000. The US counted 17,000 new cases yesterday, almost three times that of any other country. The death toll has surged to nearly 1,300.

Amidst this escalating crisis, the Trump administration is intensifying its efforts to promote a speedy return to work.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/03/27/pers-m28.html

Just a few thoughts for this weekend…..

Be calm…..avoid crowds…..wash hands often….stay prepared

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Virus–This Needs Doing….NOW!

More thoughts from the trenches of the blogosphere….where good info is abounding.

Our politicians and the wealthy elite are saying that all we need to fight this virus is to throw money at them so they can survive……once again the elite get cash and the people get the virus…..

These are things that I read that I agree with 100%….things we need to do to fight this killer…..(the virus not the elite)……

No expense can be spared in making testing for the coronavirus available immediately in every country. Trillions of dollars must be invested internationally in testing regimes, the manufacture of protective clothing, the purchase of oxygen machines and other necessary technology, the construction of new hospitals and the expansion of existing hospital facilities.

From this standpoint we raise the following demands:

Accessible and universal testing: There is no way to combat the spread of coronavirus without testing that is accessible to all those who show symptoms. It is essential that testing be made available immediately throughout the United States and the entire world.

Free highquality treatment: Stopping the spread of the coronavirus is impossible in a society where only those with money can see a doctor. In a country like the United States, where the average household cannot afford to pay cash for a $400 expense, providing free treatment is inseparable from controlling the spread of the disease.

Every country must immediately begin to provide free testing and treatment, and pay all medical costs associated with the coronavirus. Medical care is not a privilege, it is a right!

Paid sick leave for all workers: It is vital to ensure that workers do not feel pressured to work when they are sick. Corporations and governments must immediately begin providing paid sick leave for all employees.

Equality of care: In the United States, a vast and disproportionate share of medical resources is monopolized by the financial oligarchy. Reports abound of the V.I.P. emergency rooms in Manhattan and the Hamptons for the super-rich, and the massive emergency bunkers and private medical treatment centers being constructed by the oligarchs in their own mansions.

There can be no preferential treatment in combating this pandemic! Equality of care is not only a moral question, but an urgent social necessity. The private doctors of the rich and those engaged in vanity procedures must be immediately drafted to treat the general population. Access to care must be determined by necessity, not wealth. The rich have the right to the same treatment as anyone else—but no better.

Protect refugees, prisoners and the homeless: Around the world, millions of people are homeless, millions more are fleeing war and poverty, and countless others are imprisoned under conditions that make them vulnerable to infectious disease. Everything must be done to improve the conditions of prisoners, refugees and the homeless and provide these vulnerable populations with access to hygiene and the best quality medical care.

Stop price gouging: Medical supplies and sanitary products must be made available to households and medical workers, and all those profiting from the crisis should be held criminally liable.

Safe working conditions: Employers and the government must be responsible for providing all employees—from medical workers to factory, warehouse, retail and service workers—with a safe work environment.

The supervision of safety cannot be left to the employers. Workers should form rank-and-file committees to make sure that safety codes are being observed by the employers and measures are being taken to combat the spread of the disease. These committees will ensure that workers are not compelled to work in an unsafe environment and that coworkers who become ill receive the necessary treatment and support.

Support the ill and the quarantined: No one should fear that being designated and quarantined means neglect and ostracism. Workers should form neighborhood committees to ensure that those who are sick and quarantined are safe and have social support and the necessary food and supplies.

For international collaboration: US economic sanctions against Iran are causing severe medical shortages in a country with over 3,000 coronavirus cases, and the US political establishment has been waging a campaign to demonize Chinese scientists and doctors. All sanctions must immediately be lifted and all restrictions on international medical collaboration ended!

In responding to this dangerous disease, one principle must guide us: that human need is primary. Combating an epidemic that threatens millions of lives cannot be subordinated to considerations of private profit.

(wsws.org)

These items should have been forefront….and yet we are still waiting on most of these answers….but not to worry the rich will get their cash….and the markets are up….and why not?  Corporations are getting FREE money……and Americans could get a death bed.

What good is a booming economy if there are no people to feed it?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

We Don’t Need No Stinking Ventilators!

Donald of Orange has stated that we do not need so many ventilators….that it is just an exaggeration from governors that are being mean to him.

As the coronavirus crisis escalates, hospitals are pleading for ventilators to save the lives of patients whose lungs are failing. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state will need 30,000 of the machines when the pandemic peaks, but President Trump thinks the governor is probably exaggerating. Trump downplayed the need for ventilators in a call to Sean Hannity on Fox News Thursday night, Politico reports. “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be,” he said. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators. You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'” Trump likened ventilators to cars, calling them “very expensive” and “very intricate.

Cuomo said Tuesday that FEMA had only sent 400 ventilators. The administration later said 4,000 would be sent. In his call to Hannity, Trump criticized the Democratic governors of Washington and Michigan and praised the Republican leadership of states like Idaho and Nebraska, which have not seen major outbreaks yet, the Hill reports. “They all have a little bit, but many of them have just a little bit and they have it under control.” The New York Times reports that the White House was going to announce General Motors and Ventec Life Systems were teaming up to produce around 80,000 ventilators, but the announcement was called off amid disagreements over how many ventilators were needed and suggestions from FEMA officials that that price tag of around $1 billion was too high.

Yep you read that correctly….they are haggling over your health care and/or your possibility of death.

ESTIMATED INFECTION BY 30Apr20–1,382,926

(map from Time)

1.3+ million people infected and the president does not think we need those ventilators because they are too expensive.

Think about that!

Remember those stories of death panels?

Looks like Donald of Orange is the head of those panels.

Learn Stuff!

Be Smart!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”